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Birthday Bookends

My last birthday day before J becomes an adult reminded me of that last one before she was born. They are book-ends of the time when almost my entire life was about motherhood. It was the strongest signal in the noise of everyday. She got me some flowers and matcha mochi ice cream this year. And took me out to lunch at our favorite Chinese place. We save this place for the my birthday lunch ever since J has had a job and was able to pay for it. Small traditions that have come to matter more now that she will be gone. Everything is now about the last time we do things together on certain dates. As she begins her own life, those dates will find her in other places doing other things. She will be missed here at home. 

But I will remember the flowers in the vase, eating mochi ice cream together and that lunch where we talked about the hard life of young people in the food service industry. J make it a point to tip very generously and add a smiley and "Thank you" to the check to s…

Logic Bomb

This story would be funny if were not sad and true. I used to work with a programmer who graduated college the year I was born. He worked with antiquated technology and guarded his job and the secrets of his code with his very life. His whole demeanor at the workplace was a product of his fear of being made redundant. Yes, there were automated spreadsheets involved there too. Last I heard he had retired from the job after a multi-decade run exactly in the same role. 

When I first met him, I was taken aback by his resistance to any new idea and his unwillingness to share anything he knew. Over time, I was able to earn his trust and maybe some grudging respect. He would talk about his weekends and grand-kids occasionally. I showed him pictures of J. I am certain given a choice, he would have lived a different kind of life, worked a job where fear of unemployment was not the daily guiding force. Yet, with each passing year it became just a little harder to make change, illnesses in the fa…

Other Lives

Reading about these expat ventures is inspiring. So easy to settle into what is traditional, well-worn and predictable but if the soul of the person craved for another kind of life, they would never feel at home being settled. My own life due to choice and happenstance has been very much in the normal and boring mold. The dreams of going the offbeat path foregone a long time ago. 

Yet, I held on to some part of it and tried to pass it on to J. Tell her over and over that there are only a few windows of opportunity to take those big, dizzying plunges in life. Experience free fall into the unknown and make the most of where you end up finding yourself. And I have nudged her little by little to try some of what I never could or did with hopes that she may go where I have never been, live the life I only imagined for myself. To that, she will add what is uniquely her, remove that is alien to her nature. 

I hope that she will live a life far more bold and colorful than mine but in a way that…

Renting Bliss

I have a few friends who have tenants on their property and from what I hear it is neither easy work nor easy money. They have decades of experience along with a fair share of war-stories. That said, it is still good income so people persist despite the challenges. Was reading about a start-up idea around building and renting homes in people's backyards.

It sounds a little too dreamy for all concerned. The homeowner just sits around and collects monies. When you hear of a scheme like that you really need to think really hard. There is the presumption that the presence of this pre-fab appendage in the backyard will not hurt the home value in anyway and when time comes the home-owner could just sell and move on with their life. Because if that does not happen they will need to pay.  Home owners associations might have their thoughts on such enterprise rooting on their turf.

There is also the blissful assumption that such close proximity renting arrangements will work out for the home-…

Simple Commentary

Sometimes the a short comment can outdo an article itself. Here is an example where the topic under discussion was scientific experiments to discover if mirror and parallel universes exist. It's hard for the average person to understand the point of the experiment and what it seeks to prove or disprove.

But the same is hardly true about the comments. My favorite being "The existence of a parallel universe would certainly help to explain Brexit". A sentiment shared by many no doubt and one that people even far removed from the action can appreciate.

When you are a layperson and read "But if the detector does register the presence of neutrons, the theory is that they may have gone through the wall by “oscillating” into the mirror world – becoming mirror neutrons – and reappearing in this universe, and more specifically the lab in Tennessee." you have to wonder if that is physics or voodoo they are talking about. The Brexit observation is way easier to grasp.

Simple Joys

Pairing Cheez-It with boxed red-wine is an idea stupid, simple and definitely fun. It's certainly not aimed at folks who know their wine and treat it with respect. Its more for the rest of us who don't and can't be bothered to educate themselves. Our rules tend to be very elementary - red or white and dry or sweet - there could be some scaling and then permutations. In that scheme of things there is a spot for the humble house wine that presumably pairs well with Cheez-It - a snack that I love and therefore studiously avoid. 

Having a big bag of Cheez-It at home to me is playing with fire. It will only promote distracted over-eating in stressful times and craving for even more. Add a wine to it and only worse can happen to the likes of me who can't master their snack portion size. I will stick with my hundred percent avoidance strategy that has served me well over the years.

Clever Things

The tweener button is indeed a nice thing to have on shirts. I add improvements like this to my clothes all the time just did not realize it could be called "innovation" and merit a patent even. The celebration of commonsense in the story felt almost satirical. Its interesting to see what folks are excited about these days - for instance not having a keyhole on the front door.

From an utilitarian thing as an old fashioned lock, this smart device becomes something that occupies disproportionate space in our lives. It comes with an app, batteries and USB port and whatnot. All to lock a door. There is a cleverness about the tweener button specially that it is hidden and makes that casual look seem effortless. It adds value without taking up too much space of any kind. That could be decent test for anything that claims to be innovation.