This is my attempt to create some interesting musings, uberservations and, perhaps, insights on both my personal and professional life.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life Is Deep, Big

I watched a movie called “Swing State” on the plane (upgraded to business class!) from Beijing to San Francisco over the weekend. The collection of movies looked fairly dire, so I went into the experience with the attitude of, “it’s the best thing there is, within a selection of crap.”

I remember this movie marketed as a light comedy about some guy, played by Kevin Costner, whose vote ends up deciding who will be the next President because of some electoral vote anomaly: a-la Florida in 2000.

On the surface the movie lives up to the promotion.

Really, though, the movie is about single parenting, alcoholism, unemployment, and apathy in America. Not just socio-political apathy, which is certainly pervasive throughout the film, but really a general laziness by Americans. The main character is as lazy in his parenting as he is with his knowledge about the importance of his civil duty as an American.

The main character’s 5th grade daughter takes care of him – makes his lunch, gets him up in the morning, and acts as his social and moral conscious. The main character is a metaphor for all Americans…or at least the average (mean) American.

Do American’s really understand the issues when they vote? Are the policies that our next President will set understood by the average American?

My meandering point here is that Americans are apathetic and we don’t understand the real issues in front of us. We don’t pay enough attention to the details of our leader’s policies to comprehend the long term implications.

Back to the movies… there are other films that on the surface look like one thing, but viewed through a different lens are something quite different.

Another example is “Fast Times at Ridgemont High;” superficially, a movie (a GREAT movie) about stoned teenagers in Valley during the 1980’s. But, “Fast Times” is a social commentary on divorce, abortion, and a world where teens are forced to grow up too fast. The term “Fast Times” doesn’t have to do with the partying in the movie, which is the obvious interpretation, it really has to do with the how fast kids have to grow up to survive in America today.

Anyhow, here’s my message for the day, look for a deeper meaning in everything. Life is big.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bob's on Hiway 1

We used to go to the Little Creek Ranch, south of Half Moon Bay on hiway 1 by about 5 miles, for our pumpkins, but alas, the family run operation has shut down. We drove up to the drive-way last weekend saddened to see the farm lands void of pumpkins, small farm animals, and the paddock of sunflowers which had signaled the official start to Halloween for our family for the past three years.

We made the best of an otherwise upsetting situation for the kids and headed a half mile west to Arata Farms. It was just ok, albeit it crowded and very expensive. Nick got lost in the hay labyrinth ($5.00) and the girls got soot on their faces during a very short tractor hay ride ($5.00/person).

Nick had it set in his mind that he wanted to cut his pumpkin from the vine and Arata didn't offer such a novelty, so we headed back north to Bob's directly on hiway 1. Bob's had a sign that led me to believe the pumpkins could still be on the vine: "Pick 'em where they're grown."

Indeed, Bob's was the spot. We got a huge pumpkin, with the biggest stem (it's all about stem these days) I've ever seen, for only 10 bucks.

We here at KroBlog give Bob's our "Number 1 Halloween Bargain and Great Family Fun" award.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good Advice as We Enter Hard Times

We here at the KroBlog would be labeled "out-of-touch," or "calloused" if we were to ignore the financially catastrophic events which have besieged the globe over the past two weeks.

I was on an email chain started by Chris Zaharias discussing the meltdown, and at some point on the chain, we received some good writing and a good outlook from Alexander Kawa who was also on the chain. Here's what Alexander has to say:

"I think it's going to be challenging to make "lemonade out of lemons" but what else can one do? I am concerned that while it is important for us to understand in better detail the problems of today's circumstances, it is also important to seek new and more meaningful opportunities. This may mean we need to reinvest in ourselves by first discovering our own personal inspirations, develop passions and then obtain the skills to get to this better place.

I don't think purely investing in one commodity or vehicle is necessarily the way out this mess. It's not that I think it's not a good investment decision. I just think circumventing a potential for malaise stemming from this crises can be achieved if we do some introspection and take thoughtful actions. Motivated by the work we do, not its fruit, and seek to innovate because it is how we deal with our own "inner fire," I think we can best handle what Kevin Phillips suggests is going to be a 20 year problem."