Monday, March 05, 2007

Notice The Lines?

I'm going to give notice.

No, not to my employer.

Yes, to you.

Okay, I was being dramatic.

Blogger has been good to me, but it does seem rather silly to have go through Blogger to post my thoughts, whims, various hallucinations, etc..when after all I am "Philosopher King" of a web hosting/design firm.

Admittedly, I don't do a whole lot in that capacity, attend functions of State, occasionally field calls from a few folks, encourage my lackey, and I've fired a couple of clients. Yeah, I'm a great businessman.

Anyway, I'm going to shut down this blog...not today...not sure when.

But, I'm not going away.

I'm only going to move it - God Willing - a step to the left while jumping to WordPress, which seems to meet all my other words, it's also free.

Eventually the web address for the blog will change. It will be simpler and I'll leave this blog up to point you there, but my plan is to make the address "" which is currently my "homepage" but I don't really do anything there, I updated it for the first time in years a week or so ago and was rather embarrassed by its look so I didn't bother to put links to family photos and such, they're still there, and will be included in the new blog as a link, but truthfully, I don't think many people come to my homepage too often to see the same stagnant picture of me poised like Edward R. least I hope not, that would be kind of creepy.

I got rather excited about the prospect today, downloaded software and plug-ins, etc...and then got sidetracked by something more important.

A family in our apparent new church home is going through something unimaginable...the wife, who has some medical issues, is missing.

Amy and I met with her husband Sunday, and oddly enough I had Amy's phone (another story) as I was coming home from work today and he called asking if we might be able to put up a website to help find his wife, something we had already offered to do.

As soon I got home, I - The Philosopher King - actually designed the initial site...sort of. I'm having Amy debug it before publishing it - and it needs a lot of debugging. It's nothing fancy, it's not intended to be, so it's really perfect for the upper reaches of my web design prowess.

After talking with the husband, we decided on a website name, I got some other details and suggested a few things. Amy registered the domain and I hope it will be up in a matter of hours.

The woman's name is Cheryl Huish and the site will be

Her husband's name is Chuck and they have two small kids.

This is an odd situation for me...because I'm also covering the story of her disappearance as part of my duties to my employer - where I am not "Philosopher King."

I've been a newsman for a long time, and I know the drill in many of these types of cases. It could turn out any number of ways.

So I have to set some boundaries, I have to cover the story, but I also have to draw a line between what I know from having spoken and prayed with Chuck. It's certainly not the usual, "This is off the record" kind of conversations I've had with many people over the course of my years in the news business, but I have been in slightly similar situations in years past. I believe Chuck knows that information shared with me in God's sanctuary is not going out for broadcast without his permission.

Some years ago, our then next door neighbor was assaulted by a young girl whom she taught at a local high school. It became big news and the neighbor's husband came to me almost immediately asking how to deal with the media. I told him and his wife then something I suspect most folks in my position wouldn't have, I said, "Don't."

I told her to heal, and refuse all interviews. I said the media trucks would soon leave from in front of their home (and ours). When she was physically and emotionally ready to deal with the news media, I told I would counsel her.

That worked out well, some weeks after the initial incident, I was checking in on her and she said she was ready, so we brainstormed a bit, and decided that maybe the law should be changed to better protect teachers.

Admittedly, I ended up doing her first interview, but I quickly pointed her to other far more influential reporters for additional interviews, and then things steamrolled as they do in the news churning industry and soon she was everywhere, an advocate for change...a woman with a cause and the bruises to prove it. Eventually hearings were held in Austin and the law was indeed strengthened significantly, on the first try - you'd have to know how the Texas Legislature works to fully appreciate that.

Some good came out of a bad situation and the media was no worse for wear.

This situation is different though. I do not know Chuck Huish. I met him Sunday. I have never met his wife, or their kids. Amy felt compelled to personally pray with him after our church service, and I ended up speaking with him as a result. Amy and I offered what we could, help with a website, and if need be I suppose some help in dealing with the media attention.

It's a fine line, but one I see very clearly.

I do not know how this story is going to run its course, but I do know Cheryl Huish is still, for me, it's an easy thing to do.

So now I'm going to serve notice to you on a related matter, which might require you to decide if there is a fine line for you to examine. I'd like to request those of you with websites, or blogs, to consider putting up a link to


Well, it's one way to get that website "ranked" in the search engines - gosh, I announce I'm going to eventually leave Google's "Blogger" service and now I'm enlisting quasi-conspirators to help jiggle Google's algorithms a bit.

Still, that's how it's done. The more folks who link to that site, the more Google will take notice. Right now, odds are that if you type Cheryl Huish into Google tomorrow morning, it will point you to this page. My goal is to soon have the search engines point you to the site set up for the family.

If that's not something you feel you want to do or can do, I have one more request...will you pray for her? For her children? For her husband? For some resolution?

I don't think there's really too much of a fine line fact, in my experience, that line...that line of wide open to us all.