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Saturday, Nov. 17, 2001
Whew, was it really just a couple weeks ago that I was saying work was slow? When I had lots of time to sit and read and write and whittle wooden figurines out of cypress?

In the course of those two weeks, we have:

1. Started the Taiwanese restuarant, and passed our framing inspection
2. Ordered materials for our church job, the 'cross in the ceiling'
3. Been offered another, less extensive restuarant project
4. Did work at a new Verizon cell phone store
5. Finished two little cabinet install jobs
6. Been given favorable thumbs up on some huge bids

Did I miss anything? Oh, yes. We got some more tantalizing tidbits on the super secret job. A job so cloaked in security that even the mole we have on the inside is reluctant to reveal many details. But I'll tell you what I know.

We're going to build a city. For Mr. Benefactor.

I don't know how else to describe or tag this man. He's a short little guy who has gone from being an office assistant in a construction firm to a builder, then a developer. He has, quite literally, more money than God. And he does stuff like build cities and you get the impression that he's just doing it for fun. Because fun is what we have when working for him. Everyone does, so long as you work the magic that he asks of you.

Last year Mr. Benefactor had us help him build a marina. We were brought in late to the project, at the stage where a large regional contractor had very nearly finished, and was causing no end of grief to Benefactor by dragging it out and delaying the fun. So we got the call. He greeted Stu and I at the door of the trailer which served as his temporary office. Cup of coffee and boat shoes. No tie. He waved the free hand in the direction of the marina itself.

"Finish this," was all he said. You know, most normal folks would have at least had a set of plans or a punchlist or something. But this guy knew, and we knew, what he was saying and what we needed to do.

I looked at Stu and he looked at me and we both gave that little incline of head thing. Which without words, meant only one thing. We were going to be outrageously busy and having a ball spending large amounts of the Benefactors cash for the next few months. Without a lot of preamble, that's just what we did. The two warrior poet carpenters sallied forth on a quest.

We stalked that marina, which was the size of a small town and had nearly as many buildings, like kings. Given a mission, we set out to right the wrongs of the previous monarchy and bring justice to the land. Within four months, the deed was done. Ahead of schedule. The Benefactor toasted us with large amounts of frothy drinks at the insanely trendy restuarant which was part of the complex. Loud and happy sounds filled the night as we put an end to the job, one of the few times I can remember having such a stamp of finality put on our completion of a project. Stu and I were the talk of the city.

The Benefactor chuckled his way into a happy state of semi-retirement. Announced that he was going to go to earth for a while. Fish, play around with the stock market, maybe buy a football team or something. You know, just for laughs.

Evidently he got restless with all that. He likes activity, and the bustle of large earth moving equipment, and the feel of sawdust on his hands. He favors meetings where one sheet of paper is passed around to everyone, containing only the words "Let's do the impossible just to piss somebody off!" Funny thing is, after we all have a laugh about it, we go out and do exactly that.

So Stu and I are waiting. The call is coming. We've heard just enough about this project to get a scope of its' magnitude, seen enough actual activity to know that it really is happening, and have been told, by our mole, that we are spun up right in the middle of it.

One of these days, the man is going to stand on a hill of dirt with a cup of coffee, and his favored sons. Wave the free hand out toward a convoy of bulldozers and trucks. Just a general sort of directional wave.

"There it is, boys. Build me a city over there."

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