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Welcome to my site and thank you for reading. After many times thinking, if only I had a blog, well-- here we are. This blog will feature writings on a variety of topics from roadside food, to leadership in the fire service; politics; culture- gay, straight, and indifferent, my experiences in Ohio, New York and beyond; and much much more. It's my hope that you will find it interesting and that it stirs at least some thought and discussion. I am certain you wont always agree, but that is what its all about right? Oh and one more thing:

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Little Clues..

So often the little things are the best clues.  As I sit outside the place I work, watching the rats scurry about with an arrogance reserved for creatures with no fear or inept managers with tenure, my gaze falls upon the traffic lights.  They are among the brightest I have seen in New York.  The blubs gleam like a Macy’s Christmas.  The red and green and yellows—brilliant illumination—creating a safer intersection for the people and the rodents.  Even the WALK/DON’T WALK hands are piercing bright, easy to see from a far distance—surely a wonder of traffic engineering.

The only thing is this.  The intersection these lights guard—well, it no longer exists.  This portion of Brooklyn’s street grid fell victim long ago to the weapons of choice of urban planners.  Park benches, pavers, trash cans and a myriad other pedestrian plaza features that occupy the spaces were cars used to go.  As a result, the streets are little more than driveways and imagination and memory.  Whatever remained of the urban flow was removed in the name of security. $200,000 guard shacks, concrete barriers and some fencing help secure the scene from evil delivery trucks, wayward students attending the nearby schools and Chinese food delivery drivers on scooters that are more duct tape than anything else.  All manners of evil are halted from progressing onto our “campus”—never mind the busy streets on the other side of the building or the fact that our public safety communications facility is downwind by less than a mile from one of the nation’s most likely terror targets.  The gates and the dozing blue uniformed sentries will ensure our safety.

You have to wonder, as the light goes through its cycle—red to green and back again.  How many other things here do the same? Onward without learning?  Performing a function admirably that no longer needs to be performed.  It is as though an elevator operator pressed the button for you, even though you could do it yourself—or, worse, even though you were in a one story building. 

So much of this city seems to be this way.  Inertia is a powerful, powerful force.  It can drive organizations, people, places—stoplights and walk signs—well on past the moment they were useful or even necessary.  I think about this as I ponder my own future—where my own needs will take me and as I try to find inside—in the places that cannot be guided by an illuminated white or red hand—the map that will say where to go. 

My only certainty is that it is a different place.  Away from the humans that so brazenly walk amongst the rats and the people and things that so blindly continue on—never realizing how much has changed around them. And likely without the comforting light of a street light that has long ago lost its street.

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