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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hill and Valley

I'm working on a mouseless computer, with a partially functioning spacebar. That combined with my partially working brain are going to present a real challenge, so please forgive runon words and sentences.

I've been absent from the Internet and for that I apologize to my readers, a few of which have been loyal and helpful. Excuses are plenty and meaningless. For those who were interested, even a reliable nemesis, I thank you for your encouragement. For those that tolerated my morose state of mind and loved me anyway, there's no way to thank you adequately. Some problems are only solved in the bosom of those who love you in spite of your failings and unprovoked hostility. This is one of life's miracles.

I am alternately a huge fan of technology and a Luddite skeptic. For now I've decided I can live with both. I'll use it, without faith, and follow it as far as it will take me. Should it fail me tomorrow I will carry on regardless. Life takes no excuses. Helen Keller had no computer, vision or hearing, but had inner vision and profound intelligence. She knew no black or white, could not detect an accent and could only vaguely remember the experience of sound, but could speak, write and inspire. If this tool serves any purpose and touches anyone then it has extended my reach.

This evening I took a brief turn around Churchhill and Shockoe Bottom and got a direct reminder of the things I love and dislike about Richmond. I was going to say hate, but that is an unproductive and destructive emotion. If you love something, you don't hate it, you try to make it better, an important distinction. I saw many things I liked and enjoyed and I saw some grim realities that too frequently are ignored. Shockoe Bottom, the heart and birthplace of the city is still a shell of what it should be, full of promise and half boarded up or vacant. The most promising proposal in years is treated as a financial scam, but I passed a closed bakery that once served up fresh breads and pastries empty and gathering dust. I drove several blocks where every other storefront was vacant and given the current business environment could be worse. The latest greatest investment plan is to spend 70 million to funnel 1600 buses a day past Main Street Station into to a restored trainshed that should be paved with marble and gold. 1600 buses! Can you imagine the God awful congestion, noise and fumes. If we must spend 70 million on mass transit, lets build a decentralized system of park and rides, more efficient routes and faster, cleaner and quieter buses that serve the metro area. Let's harass the counties till they chip in and join an integrated transit system. Let's show at least as much vision as a deaf mute from the last century who never saw a computer, phone or television, never used twitter and never sent an email. A 70 million dollar train shed! (Explitive deleted)

Rant terminated. I promise to be more thoughtful and constructive in part II. I've tired of whining on other blogsites and decided to blow some steam here. I've been bled and purged. I saw some good things tonight that gave me reason to hope, even in these hopeless times. I hope you'll bear with me. There's a lot to be hopeful about and reason for optimism.

Best wishes fellow travelers.

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