• The Decatur Navigator

    The Decatur Navigator

  • The Decatur Navigator

    The Decatur Navigator

  • The Decatur Navigator

    The Decatur Navigator

Obviously this nation is facing something it never has before – the real prospect of electing a black man for our president. If you read through any of my other posts, most of them anyway, you’ll quickly find out I’ve been a Hillary Clinton supporter from day one. However, I have a feeling I’m going to have to switch allegiance pretty soon to Obama, unless Hillary puts up some huge upsets in the remaining primaries. This has brought up some interesting thoughts on race – something that most people don’t want to talk about but I’m just crazy enough to discuss anyway.

I remember my first meeting with a client of mine, who is the pastor of predominately black church here in Decatur. I remember going into the office and seeing pictures of the pastor’s children on his desk and was amazed. “Black people take pictures of their children?” Then his wife brought me bottled water and I noticed the brand. “I buy that brand too!” I even noticed the hardwood floors and thought. “That’s the same species of wood as in my house!” How silly this all sounds but that’s what I was thinking. It’s kind of like Bill O’Reilly being amazed of seeing black people in a restaurant using utensils to eat their food. It’s dawned on me during this political season how truly segregated black and white people still are in 2008 and how completely ignorant we are of one another!

To educate myself better, I’ve even considered attending my client’s church some Sunday as sort of a “cultural exchange” mission. If I could stop looking at the floors and pews long enough from trying to discern their species of wood, I’d probably find that black and white churches have a lot of things in common besides the wood they use in their construction. I’d probably find people a lot like me – as scary as that may be!

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(Above Photo: Exotic Imports Car Lot Movie Location – Downtown Decatur. This is an updated photo taken on Sunday, May 4th. Notice the snow! How cool is that!)

The Matt Damon movie “The Informant” is about to begin shooting in Decatur! The first visible sign of the movie that you can visit, is the old Firestone service center downtown, which has been temporarily converted into an exotic car sales lot. So far, the “exotic” cars haven’t appeared, so I’m assuming filming will start as soon as the Mercedes, Porsche’s and Lamborghinis roll in. I’m guessing Mark Whitacre didn’t shop for Chevy’s and Ford’s.

To think that my eyes have looked at a building that Matt Damon’s eyes will soon rest upon is just too much! I may have even walked upon sidewalks that his very feet have already touched. Forget about the Shadows of Lincoln monuments – we have Matt Damon!

May 8th Update

I saw a friend at my daughter’s orchestra concert held at MacArthur High School last night and she showed me a picture she had taken of Matt Damon with her cell phone at the mall. It was up close, personal and everything! So far, all I’ve been able to capture is the residual energy of his presence at the Beach House and the downtown car lot scene. I did drive my car through a puddle left behind by the melting snow though 🙂 …. Rumor has it that shooting will be going on this Saturday (May 10th) at the courthouse. I’ll be there, if I’m not carted away by security!

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IT IS A PERIOD OF CIVIL WAR. REBEL MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE LAUNCHED ATTACKS ON ONE ANOTHER IN HOPES OF CORNERING THE MEDICAL MARKET IN DECATUR. PATIENTS HAVE ENDURED ENDLESS FULL-COLOR NEWSPAPER ADS, COUNTLESS BILLBOARDS, RADIO SPOTS AND TELEVISION COMMERCIALS. WE ENTER A TIME OF CONSIDERABLE UNREST AND TROUBLE AS THE INTENSITY BECOMES ALMOST UNBEARABLE!

SCENE ONE:

We enter the command center of Hospital A:

SECOND LIEUTENANT IN CHARGE OF MARKETING: (Speaking to CEO)

I’m sorry sir but it looks like the naming rights for the moon have already been taken, however there is a red dwarf star in a far away galaxy that is still available.

CEO OF HOSPITAL A:

BUY IT!

COMMANDER OF MARKETING: (Speaking to CEO)

Sir, it appears that Hospital B has recently erected two new billboards on the northwest corner of town and sponsored a potluck dinner for a homeless shelter.

CEO OF HOSPITAL A:

BLAST THEM! Who allowed this? Run a full-page color ad in tomorrow’s newspaper informing our patients about our new commitment towards two-ply toilet paper in all hospital bathrooms – only the best touches our patient’s behinds!

COMMANDER OF MARKETING: (Speaking to CEO)

Yes Sir. But another full-page ad, won’t that mean we’ll have to raise insurance premium deductibles on our employees?

CEO OF HOSPITAL A:

Yes, they will have to pay more but it is a sacrifice that I am willing to make!

SECOND LIEUTENANT IN CHARGE OF MARKETING: (Speaking to CEO)

Hospital B has also installed a new CT scanner capable of scanning the entire human body within 10 seconds. Today’s newspaper has an article touting it’s great benefits.

CEO OF HOSPITAL A:

What! We just bought a new scanner last week! Oh, isn’t there some new device we can purchase quick?

COMMANDER OF MARKETING: (Speaking to CEO)

Yes, a new drive through CT scanner has just been released in Switzerland. It is the new BIO-VEHICULAR PARTICULATE IMAGER. Patients wouldn’t have to leave their vehicles for their scans. Not only is this machine capable of detecting life threatening conditions of carbon based beings, it can also detect potentially devastating mechanical problems due to piston viscosity of the internal combustion engine.

CEO OF HOSPITAL A:

YES! This is it! We could throw in free oil changes and the market will be ours – ALL OURS! BAWAHAHAHAHA!

Another chapter ends in the ongoing saga. Tune in next week for another heart pounding episode of HOSPITAL WARS!

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I’m not the conspiracy believing type of person but this whole wacky Rev. Wright show we’ve been watching the past couple of days seems more than strange. Is it planned? Isn’t this the best way to separate Obama from his pastor? Think about it, the whole thing is quite ingenious. If Rev. Wright just acts like this total loony and makes everyone think that he now hates Obama and wants to destroy his presidential hopes, wouldn’t that make people feel kind of bad for Obama and put a HUGE separation between the two? Rev. Wright is supposed to be a smart guy, Obama is a smart guy, they had a close relationship, now Rev. Wright suddenly becomes Obama’s #1 enemy? Obama could very well be the first African American president, why on earth would Rev. Wright, especially Rev. Wright, want to derail that possibility? He’s THAT hurt by Obama condemning his controversial remarks? Obama wasn’t that hard on Rev. Wright, he didn’t disown him, he didn’t say he was a bad guy, there’s no reason for Rev. Wright to be this angry at Obama. I could understand his anger towards the media but not Obama.

Maybe Rev. Wright is a total nutcase and I’m off my rocker but isn’t this all kind of fishy. Isn’t it?

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The last I saw the going rate for gas in Decatur was $3.55 a gallon – actually $3.56 if you notice the .9 behind the .55. Anyway, it got me to thinking, always dangerous, of what we can do to relieve some of our pain. $3.55 GasI’ve tried to think of ways I could cut down on my driving but I’ve quickly come to the realization that in Decatur, as in most mid-size cities, we are totally dependent upon our personal vehicles to get from point A to point B and back again. America simply has a lousy mass transit system, or no system at all, for the majority of the country. Europeans are decades ahead of us in mass transit. Besides the fact that it may become too expensive to travel very soon we’re also hurting our environment. The Earth can only take so many carbon emitting vehicles and that’s it; there’s only so much oil in the ground, only so much corn we can grow for ethanol, only so many wars we can fight for oil until we blow the entire planet up – we simply need cars that don’t require a combustible engine to power them – we need something else.

If I had a large enough piece of land I would seriously consider buying a horse! I could picture myself driving around town with a horse and buggy. It would get me where I needed to go – though a little more slowly than I’m used to but heck, it’s better than walking! As much as I’d love to have a horse and have been looking for any excuse to buy one, I’ve tried to think of other more realistic means of transportation to reduce our dependence on our vehicles. I went back to the past again and thought of the electric street cars that once zipped through Decatur. You know, right now, those don’t seem like such a bad idea! The problem is we are so used to our freedom. I don’t want to arrange my life around a bus or street car schedule, I want to hop in my car and go whenever to wherever I please – I’m spoiled that way like the rest of America. I don’t want to walk or ride a bike either. Let’s face it, we’ve been spoiled but if gas hits $5 a gallon or higher, a very likely scenario, we’re screwed!

The United States is decades behind Europe in mass transit – very few Europeans drive. Their cities are equipped with mass transit systems to take them throughout their cities and beyond. They have modern passenger trains that can reach 200 miles an hour and above. It makes our Amtrak look downright prehistoric in comparison. We need to invest some major bucks into modernizing our transit system. We also need to pour some major bucks into developing vehicles that don’t require fossil fuels or ethanol. We need a technological revolution to save our economy and our way of life. I don’t know what the answer is because I’m not a scientists or an engineer but I know doing nothing isn’t an option any longer, that is, if we want to have any place in this world’s economy besides being the laughing stock.

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