As I was sitting out on the front porch the other night, I paused to ponder my place in the world. Through the swirling smoke of one of my favorite cigars, I was given the privilege of gazing up at the stars to ponder my modest impact upon the events of the 21st Century. You, my readers, were uppermost in my mind.
As you might imagine, I am just one man, who has one way of looking at things, nothing more or nothing less. You as people in a free society have the right to read what you please. You have the right to think as you wish. There is no mind control censor. No my friends, more than this you have an obligation to think and improve yourselves.
There are many fine writers who deliver a growing stream of fire service wisdom. For whatever the reason, I am pleased that you select my words for your review.
I have been truly blessed to have had a tremendous range of experiences dating back to my time in the service during the Vietnam conflict. It has been my good fortune to travel with, and experience the wisdom of, some of the great thinkers in the fire service of our time. I feel that thanks to their efforts and encouragements, I have been given the honor of having an impact upon the fire service world. At least that is what your emails are telling me.
As I sit at my computer, I seek to remain ever aware of the impact that my words have. The very act of writing comes as an honor and a privilege. The ability to influence another human being with the written word is an essential part of the joy in my life. Likewise I see an awesome responsibility on my side of the relationship. I do not want to waste your time. Thankfully I have been blessed with editors who have allowed me to share my thoughts with you.
The key to a great deal of what I do involves creating works that will stimulate you to think. Far be it for me to be so presumptuous as to think that you will all agree with me. I tend to be far too controversial for that sort of nonsense to ever occur.
Over the past few weeks I have been taken to task by a number of you for a variety of reasons. Some of you have attacked me personally. Feel free. Because my work is published, I am a sort of a public figure. Others have attacked my educational background. That is OK too. I know what I know and I am well aware of the manner in which I learned what I know. Others of you have pounded me over my words, actions, life, education, and experience. I am pleased that you took the time out of your life to explore my thoughts and words.
It is great to know that you feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts with me. Many of you apparently do not have the ability to productively vent in your normal environment. I guess that I afford a place for you yell and scream via the mechanism of an email, anonymously or otherwise. Wow, how great is that.
You really do read my words.
Just remember that I never answer anonymous emails. Each week I put my thoughts and words next to my picture and name. I do not need to hear from firstname.lastname@example.org that I am not meeting your needs. I do not deal in hidden thoughts or agenda. As I say on my own website,