Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Keith McHenry
 :: Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs
at St. David of Wales kitchen ::

I have my appointment with Nikki again, same as three years ago, to sort out the tax situation.  I'm claiming 1099 income in 2011, which is a pleasant change from 2009, 2010 during which I racked up a deficit on my SBA loan (since repaid), doing the coffee shops circuit, roadshow stuff.

That was all at a loss, net negative (in the red).

I got Friendly with Food Not Bombs and we learned to live off what others would throw away.  We got by on no dish TV and very little heat, and will probably live longer and prosper more as a result.

Others had it much worse.

Anyway the neighbors have HD and we never unplugged from the Internet.  Tara got a good public school education, thanks to Mr. Nims, Gonzo, and many others, dedicated pros.  Go Cannibals.

April 9 was a red letter day in that I finally got to meet, cook and serve with Keith McHenry, cofounder of Food Not Bombs.

He grew up in the national park system, having been born on base in Germany (Weisbaden, where Reggie Hyde and his family were from -- friends in Rome down the street).  I'm not surprised he thinks and breathes Logistics and does it well (including big time during Katrina).

Keith's level of management skill has not gone unappreciated.  Some Peruvian group, with hazy ties to IBM, interviewed him for hours.

He's like that advanced CEO you read about in management school, who mingles freely on the line, yet has overview and organizational memory.  Yes, some FNB servings feature table clothes.  Yes, biodiesel has been in the pipeline.  Yes, he's been offered use of airplanes.  All things I'd wanted to know.

As a long time target of negative scuttlebutt campaigns, he's been more successful than most.  FNB still has a great reputation, because it's a great idea and intelligently designed.  People can see for themselves what goes on at all levels.  What's not to like?

As I said in our meeting (St. David of Wales) what other charitable activity allows really well off people to dive in and reap the same benefits (develop cooking skills, eat fresh vegan, work out, do cardio, meet cool people, practice self organization) on an equal footing?

A community gets created where the 1% don't feel demonized, and the 99% don't feel they're being controlled.  The operations are quite transparent.  Rescuing perfectly good food from the compost compressors and taking joy in its preparation and sharing, with due attention to issues of food safety and sanitation, is hardly a stupid thing to be doing.

Boosts IQ and EQ both.

Working with FNB reduces cognitive dissonance by up to 30%, studies have shown.  Walking your talk in a philanthropic endeavor is a privilege not a burden.  One nets rewards, such as even better ideas for how to do the work.

Keith says Donald Rumsfield's maintenance guy has been active in FNB, when not working on the bomb shelter.