Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm No Pundit

Pride goes before destruction,
and haughtiness before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18 (NLT)

Greetings. I've decided to abandon a 25-year career in Public Safety to focus full-time on improving my writing, learning a different trade, and replacing Jim Doody on City Council should he somehow manage to unseat Craig Meis.

April Fool.

The recent sacking of E. Michael Ervin by the Free Press got me thinking more about my own writing. For a while I've been pressuring myself to try to write more, in a more timely fashion, about things that maybe I'm not so knowledgeable or passionate about. This would be great if I could do it for a living, but I don't know exactly how close I could be to something like that without more 'formal' education. That's something to explore someday.

Since the Sentinel has listed this blog the number of visits has tripled on average during the week. Ah, the power of statistics. This basically means that 30 people visit per day instead of the usual 10. Despite my efforts at producing more, which have been marginally successful, I don't get the traffic or readership that I think other blogs get. And that's just fine.

I'm the only local blogger listed on the Sentinel website (aside from Sentinel employees) who isn't self-employed, retired, or generally their own boss. This leaves me precious little time to write, especially during the work week. It also keeps me on tip-toes around sensitive issues that could leave me in a position of (more than usual) disfavor at work.

I try to avoid engaging in rhetoric that could be overly associated with the concept of hubris.
A lot of the other local bloggers let it all out at times, and end up sounding shrill and judgmental. For me, that's not in keeping with trying to be a good Christian.

I try to point out areas of disagreement, inaccuracy, inefficiency, oppression, and unfair behavior in as fact-based a way as possible. I endeavor to have a good time doing this at no one's expense, with the understanding that we all make mistakes, we all need advice, and we are all God's children.

I average 5-6 hours of sleep a night, and that's usually enough but sometimes not, especially when 12-hour shifts are the order of the day. I get two of those this week, and I'm sufficiently bogged down with paperwork that time in the office on at least one of my days off will be the norm for the next couple of weeks. So I'll get this out and keep on plugging away for the rest of this week, anyway.

I've known E. Michael Ervin for several years, way back to the night that we successfully lobbied City Council to add a PEG channel clause to their contract with Bresnan. Mike's a good guy, and even though lung disease has sapped him a bit, he remains informative, opinionated, and fun to converse with in case we run into each other, as was the case a while back in front of City Market Downtown.

Josh Nichols set the standard and principles for his opinion page when he sent Janet Rowland packing under similar circumstances. For Josh to do otherwise with Mike Ervin would have invited comparisons to Charles Foster Kane, and his adherence to a "Declaration of Principles".

What happened with Mike was unfortunate, but necessary. Perhaps we'll be fortunate enough to have an E. Michael blog soon. Mike, let me know if I can help with that.

Even with Mike's departure, Ralph, Gene, and Rick, along with myself and others, have all let the sneer show on occasion, some more often than not. Even so, I'm flattered to be listed alongside such a diverse group of insightful and talented "amateur" journalists.

It would seem that to be truly venomous and pointedly nasty takes a professional, and for that locally we have the Dean of Mean, Gary Harmon. Gary reminds me of a sort of half-baked H.L. Mencken in reverse, but I'll digress from exploring that concept further. I prefer to show respect for the dead.

To atone for that and other transgressions, this month I'll endeavor to focus on people and ideas that enhance the quality of life in Grand Junction and other places that I've been fortunate enough to call home. We have a storied history in this country of doing interesting things in April; maybe I can help to illustrate to many (as many as will endeavor to read this, at least) what the power of one person (or more) can do in a positive way, even when faced with overwhelming odds. I would appreciate any ideas you may have in bringing some of these examples forward.

Have a great month ahead, and thanks for visiting.

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