Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My wishes for my son (Part 2)

In my last blog, I’ve expressed some wishes for my son. I think there are more that I would like share with my son about some values or views on things that he will encounter in future. I think I always have more to say. Let’s continue.

Son, I believe that certain characters are we borne with. I’m not trying to force anything upon you. Because I can’t make you into something that you aren’t. You will have your own path of life, you will meet different people, face your own problems, make your own decisions and take their consequences as a result. However, I wish you can try to understand some of my views and values as a result of my own experience, observances and encounters. They may not be all right and may not apply to your issues in future. Nevertheless, these are things that you should take them as good valuable references. Please try to digest them and file them in certain cabinet in your mind. Hopefully, they will help you someday…..

Enjoy continuous learning – Learning is important, you will learn anytime, anywhere. Cos, there are always things that you don’t know. Thus, be alert of what’s going on around you, and around the world as well. Knowledge itself is not evil; it is how you use it that matter. Regardless, learn as much as you can. When you learn a new skill, it doesn’t mean that you will need to use it or do it. Like learning how to cook doesn’t make you the defaulted chef in all occasions, learning how to clean a toilet properly doesn’t mean you have to do that everyday. Never take the attitude that if you don’t know how to do certain thing, you will be immune from doing that. Cos, knowledge or skills that acquired through learning can produce positive effect and will be beneficial to you in many unexpected occasions. The best part and most enjoyable part is that when you need to use it, you can use it. Therefore, don’t be shy in learning. Also, you should try to be and remain curious of the world, that is a driver for learning. Continuous learning will do you no harm. Sometimes, learning can be hard and unpleasant, but it is matter of how you value learning and you should try to keep a positive attitude in learning. Remember, all materials can be taken away from you, but your knowledge will stay with you and that can’t be taken away. In other words, knowledge is a non-movable treasure in your mind.

Do what’s right, not what necessary most people do – Once you have data and knowledge, you can develop your analytical skills. Then, you will know how to prioritize actions to see what has the most values and what are more important. There are a lot of things are right thing to do that not everybody will have the knowledge or gut to do. However, you know it is right and you understand the benefits/consequences of your action. Then, try to do the right thing, as long as it doesn’t hurt the poor, the weeks, and the innocent. Certainly, you personal safety is also important. Don’t put yourself in a harm way unless there is no alternative. There are many things that many people do, but that doesn’t mean that those are ‘musts’ that you have to do. Like a popular TV program, a group action for certain purpose, or else. Many people don’t have the choice or knowledge to know better things to do. They don’t know or to lazy to make wise choice. That doesn’t mean that you are one of them. You can always do better. Only follow the crowd if it is wise to do so. Otherwise, stick to your own gun and make you point. Do what is right.

Love your family – You need friends and you will meet people then make friends with them. Some of them would be your buddies and someone you can share things that you would not share with your family. I’ve been in your place before. I was young before. I understand the value and importance of friendship in a person’s life. However, as you grow older, after you face ups and downs. You will know and you should know that, you family always love you unconditionally. There is no bottomline or special considerations. You will always have a safety zone at home that your family will give you appropriate support wholeheartedly.

Be polite and humble – Being self-confident is important, but don’t get yourself being viewed as arrogant or cocky. Being polite to others, and stay humble for your ability is a virtue that would give a positive impression of yourself which will help you deeply in many cases. Cos, there is only so much a personal can do. You would need others to help you willingly. A positive view of person would take a lot of effort and time to build up and maintain, but it doesn’t take much to destroy it. Be humble and polite are always good to build up a person’s image. I’m not saying I would like you to fake it by being polite and humble in front of others. I would like you to do that naturally as they become part of your value and behavior.

Respect others and give a helping hand – You need to learn how to get along with other people. Your family will forgive your reckless and bad temper. However, others wouldn’t. Therefore, you need to understand that everybody is different to certain extents in various areas. They have borned with certain conditions, make available selections, and grow up with their own backgrounds and experience. In order to get along with others, you should respect them just as you want to be respected for who you are. Mutual respect is a very basic value for groups to get along peacefully. Too many conflicts are avoidable if people respect each other’s right and conditions. In order to better getting along with others, try to give a hand to help them if it is possible. I’m not saying that you need to sacrifice yourselves or your welfare for others. However, do some goodwills, make some nice gestures, sometimes helping someone doesn’t cost a lot or any money at all. Something as simple as opening doors, or even a big smile to others would help. Just make sure you study the situation carefully, and be helpful when possible. A little nice effort could go a long way in some cases.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My wishes for my son (Part 1)

I think pretty much all parents would have some kinds of goal/hope/wish their kid to be ‘something’ when they grow up. Like to be some kinds of white-collar professionals – doctors, lawyers, etc, or more specially to live like certain lifestyles – i.e. to be rich, either from a well-paid job, or as owners of businesses. The reason behind is that they want their kids to have financial security. If the parents themselves are financially secured, on the one hand, they will try to extend their own security to their kids through education, materials sharing or inheritance after death. So, the kids can stand their own. If the parents are not financially secured, such wish/goal would mean that the parents would like to benefit from their kids’ financial success. It is particularly true for parents living in such a capitalistic society/culture. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, cos everyone is free to entitle to their own goal/wish. Certainly, would those goals/wishes ultimately come true or not is another story. We can wish all we want, without some plans and actions, the possibility that goals/wishes will come true is just like winning lottery.

Relatively rare is that parents will have specific wish/goal what kind of characters or values that they hope their kids will be able to have when they grow up. I don’t know about others, but my belief is that characters and values are extremely important to determine what kind of person the kids will end up to be then simply wishing your kid to be a doctor or lawyer. Cos, without solid characters and good value, even if they become doctors or lawyers, they would become bad doctors and rotten lawyers. Or, in many cases, they simply can’t become what their parents want them to be. Also, many parents don’t spend enough time to see what kind of materials their kids are. Yes, they are all princes and princesses in their parents’ eyes. Many of them do think that their kids are better than what actually they are. Cos, understanding what you have is equally if not more important than what fantastic goal you want the kids will be in future.

Of course, I don’t know what my kid will be in future. I would let my kid to explore how much upside he can go, but I do have the hope that he won’t fall below the bottom lines that I wish he can be. I don’t have a very organized set of plans or goals for my kid. However, these are just some values(not in any particular orders) on my mind that I would like my son to consider. My dear son, I hope you will read the following and really spend time to think about them someday:

1. Healthy Body - A healthy body overall, scratches here and there is fine, cos it is part of growing up. Just don't get serious injuries that have long lasting effect would be fine with me.

2. Appearance - In terms of physique, strong, slim and with good BMI through regular exercises. Not necessary muscular unless you want. Big belly is a no-no. Whether you want a tan or stay pale skin is up to you as well.

3. Physical alternation - Hair length or style doesn't matter to me. Cos, it can be changed/restored. Tattoo? no-no unless it is with convincing reason. Not girlfriend's name or something stupid. Piercing is your choice. However, I think if you spend more time on your character and individuality development, you would deem that you don't need drastic physical alternation to his appearance. I believe that one of the main reason people spend so much time and effort on their appearance (including hairstyle, makeups, fashions, and those more drastic changes like plastic surgery, tattoos, body piercing, etc) is because they think that those changes would change other's perception of them and improve their self-esteem. However, I think that if you make an equal effort to improve your inner-beauty (i.e.mental toughness, intelligence, knowledge base, EQ, etc), those improvements are more durable and valuable in the long run, and more important is that those improvements are stepping stones or bases that you can further build upon. I'm not saying to have a decent appearance is not good, just anything too excessive would be thought twice before doing it.

4. Communication skill -
I hope you will have good communication skills. Able to contact smooth conversations to almost anyone. Doesn't be shy or with tongue tied when you deal with strangers or anyone else. Of course, you will make mistakes and say stupid things that hurting people and end up hurting yourself as part of your growth. However, as time goes by, I hope you will improve. Cos, good communication skill is the most important thing a person can have in a society. Remember, communication is 'two' way, don't just talk, you need to listen as well. Sometimes, it is more important to listen then talk. If you don't listen carefully, you will not know what should say. Also, listen to people is not just about the content, equally important is what have not be said. The body language, tone of voice, etc are also important. Otherwise, you will know what should say, but you may not know how to say....

5. Good EQ - It is so important to have good EQ. Of course, with good IQ is great. However, in these day and age, it also applies to future that IQ is something that we can leverage on. There are many books to read, many virtual resources available, and courses to take. Also, if you can seek other people with more expertise than yourself in any area for advice and help. However, with good EQ, you wouldn't be able to successfully get others to help you. Also, I would say majority of the problems that you will face in your life are 'people' problem. With good EQ, you can prevent them from happening in the first place or solve them without much problem. There are many problems in the world, financial crashes, earthquakes, etc that we can't solve or even comprehen. However, as long as we live, we would be around people, and we will need to know how to get along with them either in crisis or in peace time. So, it is extremely important to have good EQ.

So what is considered to be good in EQ? Well, it is a million dollar question, there are tons of books about that. However, just on top of my mind, I would say there are few:

Being emotionally stable - it is better to stay calm in facing crisis. You may be scare or upset or angry. That's fine, but don't let your rough emotion to hijack your thoughts and actions. Conveying the energy from anger and sadness to something positive is easy to say than done. However, if you can calm yourself down within a short period of them by yourself and regain rational thinking. It is a big plus in dealing with problems. Sometimes, your additional stable emotion will cause more problem than you need. Control your temper! Remember!

Be rational - Yes. Once you can calm down, then you can start using your brain rather than your heart. Try to look at problem with a holistic view. Look at it from 360 degree, up and down, inside out. Then, think of solution, or alternatives to problems. There is often more than one solution. The number of solution or alternatives will increase as your intelligence grow and your analytic skill develops. It is often no 'best' solution. Cos, everything is a matter of 'gives' and 'takes', and resources are always limited. It is a game of 'time' and 'quality'. You just need to use your EQ and communication skills to manage other's expectation. Therefore, a lot of the time, some so-called 'best' solutions have never been implemented. Rather, the 'acceptable' solutions win out. BECAUSE, someone uses his/her skills to convince the people who are being affected that it is the 'best' solution, and to make them 'accept' it. That's how many things being done!

Be Patient - I know you are young and young people are impatient. Remember, many things in this world take times. Things take times to become problems. Things take times to get made. Solutions take times to be implemented and take times to see the effect. So, it is natural to take times to make decision on solution or to plan on things.

6. Skill development - There are full of problems in the world. Hardcore knowledge are widely available with technological improvement, but they are more or less simply data and tools. However, it is up to you to think about how to put them together to fix the problem you are facing. If you can, try to understand the logic behind solutions, especially what are the building blocks of the solutions. Then, you will learn how to put what together that can perform certain functions.

7. Enjoy the process - A lot of people around you will give your pressure on the results of your actions. They will criticize your failure and praise your success. Certainly, you will enjoy the praise and upset of criticism. However, don't let those emotion to make you overlook another thing which is more personal to you. It is the process itself. It could be long, hard, and difficult. Other people only care about your end result, you should care the end result as well because that's your goal, but you should try to make the process itself enjoyable a bit. Enjoy the difficulties along the way. Those are valuable experience and lessons. You are not the others, you are the one who have gone through the whole thing. Sometimes, you might be alone in it. So, you need to understand and look at the good side of the whole thing. Not just the end results, cos end results are not always the most important things, you may lose a battle, but will win a war. Treat defeats as learning lessons, and the process itself are trainings for something bigger and more important in future.

8. Set up your bottom lines and never cross themselves -
As you grow older, you should know that the world is full of 'greys'. 'Black' and 'white' are the end of the spectrum of 'greys'. You will know what are they, but most of the time you will not reach them. So, the world you are living in are full of 'compromises'. The 'gives' and 'takes' that I mentioned above are part of the 'compromises'. Just imagine the 'gives' and 'takes' are 'black' and 'white'. How much of which you pour into a bucket (solution) is to reach 'compromises' - the 'greys'. However, there are 'dark' greys and 'light' greys. Different degree of 'greys' do bear different consequences. So, there are 'greys' that you need to set as bottom lines for your own actions. They should not be changed unless it is under extraordinary circumstances, like life or death situations. Otherwise, you need to stick to your values and bottom lines. Believe me, it is easier to live within some boundaries (particularly those boundaries are set by yourself) than living without any boundaries. Cos, we do need some guidelines for our own actions. Otherwise, you will lose your focus and make mistakes. I believe in freedom, but there are limits. I will share with you more about that separately.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I think I need to be motivated. Specifically, need to self-motivated to make ‘something’ happen soon. Cos, lately, I feel like I’m being trapped in a “psychological torture chamber”, or tied up by many ‘mental’ strings. I need a breakaway. I still have not figured out how to do that yet. However, I think I need to get that done soon before my mind go haywire.

I think I’m partially responsible to put myself in the current trap. Yes, there are things happening at work, at home, in my life in general. Are those things all bad? Well, objectively, there are not really bad. Many people in this society are facing much worse situation than me, but I’m not responsible to deal with their problems, but mine. Yes, I know the theory of ‘half-glass full’, that doesn’t help much well there are many half glasses of water being poured and swap amount glasses of different sizes and colors. Just got me confused somehow….

Do I have problems? Yes, I think I do. I think the answers should not be too difficult to figure out, I’m just being trapped to motivate myself to start solving them. I always proud of myself being a cool-minded, objective person, who can skip the emotional part of reacting to problems, and jump to problem-solving mode at ease. However, I guess there are exceptions every now and then, particularly to my own problems. Doctors do get sick, you know.

In some previous blogs, I did mention what are my ways to straight out my mind. Namely, take a walk in a park, look at the nature and talk to myself. I’ve not done that yet this time. Not sure if it still works. Cos, I think some of my problems are more deep rooted that I may need drastic solutions than something superficial. I think I just need to find time to relax, to think, to plan and to execute. That’s what I need to do. Just one step at a time….

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Apple is Unstoppable

I found this article on PCmag.com, just wanna share with you all:

Why Apple is Unstoppable
ARTICLE DATE: 09.21.09

By Tim Bajarin

I recently spoke with an executive who is a PC vendor, and he asked me a question that also happened to be an important statement on his part: "Apple is really unstoppable, isn't it?"

Given Apple's increased dominance in the smartphone and MP3-player space, as well as the company's gains in consumer and business mindshare with the Mac platform, Apple is perhaps the most influential company in the personal computer and CE market. And this is driving its competitors crazy.

To better understand how powerful Apple has become—and more important, how it will continue to drive the market in new directions—you have to understand that Apple is not really a PC or even a consumer electronics company anymore. Yes, the company makes PC and CE products. But what it has become is a digital asset management, aggregation, and distribution company that also makes devices that can receive, deploy and view all types of Apple-managed and personal digital content.

One of the more startling announcements made at Apple's recent iPod launch event was that Apple has the credit card information on over 100 million users. And the company did not come to own these digital customers by accident. One of the things people don't realize about Apple is that its roadmap and product planning is done in 10-year increments. In fact, Apple started laying the groundwork for being a digital asset management and distribution company two to three years before the first iPod even hit the market, back in 2001. And from that point on, the company has made this the framework behind everything it has done and created to date, and it will guide Apple's product designs and strategy for the foreseeable future.

So what do I mean when I say that Apple's real business is that of a digital asset management, aggregation, and distribution company? The first glimpse came with the introduction of the iTunes Store and its first generation of music downloads. At this point, Apple introduced us to the idea that we could have a medium for finding and buying music, and then playing it back on an iPod.

Not long after that, Apple added audio books, and then movies and TV shows. Thanks to very hard work on their part, Steve Jobs and company convinced most of the movie and TV studios as well as various content providers to allow the company to manage, securely protect, and then distribute these disparate forms of digital content. And until 2007, most of that content was confined to Macs and PCs, as well as to iPods.

Then Apple decided that it could offer this managed content via a smart phone as well, and it introduced the iPhone. But with that platform the company realized that it could add even more "content" via dedicated applications for the iPhone. With this new app platform, Apple also was able to redesign the iPod completely, and it soon gave us the iPod touch—a dedicated portable media player that is also an app platform.

Apple has another major advantage in that it owns the Mac, iPod, and iPhone OSes; Mac hardware platforms; and iPod and iPhone designs. That makes it easy for the company to create devices that take full advantage of the content it offers and manages. This reinforces Apple's unique position, and is frustrating its competitors to no end.—Next: A Complete Ecosystem >

Apple has a complete ecosystem of hardware, software OS, and applications platforms as well as its back-end content management and distribution system, so it can deliver a complete solution to the user. Oh yes, and the company just happens to have some of the most elegant software-UI and hardware design geniuses in the world working with it, as well.

If Apple does bring out a mini-tablet of some sort, it almost assuredly will have another winner, so long as it takes full advantage of its platform ecosystem. In fact, Apple could continue to innovate around all types of new hardware designs while integrating its asset management and distribution system into new devices: next-generation TVs, set-top boxes, and so on. It could easily continue creating products that consumers will snap up—and extend the Apple empire well beyond its current footprint.

And put yourself in the place of a content or app developer. You would have to be insane not to back Apple; it can deliver over 100 million prospective digital customers to you. So Apple will continue to attract digital content providers and app developers from all over the world, who will in turn help Apple to extend a global reach for its products.

This puts the mainstream PC and CE guys in quite a pickle in the long run. At the moment, most of them are just creating boxes or devices that can accept and view digital content. Yes, you can get movies, music, and even Web apps for these devices, but the consumer carries the burden of getting all this content and managing it. And if you've tried to do this, you know that simply managing your individual passwords for each service is a big pain, let alone trying to aggregate and sling that content from device to device.

It's no wonder that people are flocking to Apple stores and buying Apple's new PC and mobile devices in increasing numbers. In the end, while consumers may like Apple's hardware, what they're really buying is Apple's simple way of managing, aggregating, protecting, discovering, distributing and slinging digital content around their PC and device networks.

At the moment I don't get the sense that other PC and CE guys really understand what Apple has become. While they have been fighting wars on form, function and prices, Apple has boldly transformed itself from a mild and not-so-meek PC company into the most powerful digital-asset-management company on the planet. And for the time being, it is unstoppable.

In next week's column, I'll tackle the question of who Apple's real competitors are—and how the rest of the PC and CE companies can compete with Apple.

Copyright (c) 2009Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Although we are living in a society with numerous interaction with and dependency on other people for many things, I still believe that certain extent of independence and self-reliance is extremely important. I don’t agree or accept everything that my dad taught me when I was a kid. However, there are few things that I do believe dearly as I found them to be really true. Being able to stand on my own as a man is one of them.

He always taught me and my sisters that learning is important. When you learn something, regardless how small or tedious that it might seem at the time, someday you may find that to be useful. You may not know when will you ever do the thing that you have learnt. However, when it comes, you will be thankful for your learning. He also taught us that there is a different in doing a thing and learning that thing. Namely, you don’t necessary have to do what you learn, it may not become your responsibility just because you know how to do it. However, when there is a need to do it, and the worse case is that nobody around can help, then you will be able to do it. We are not striving to be the savior or hero to save the innocents or incapable folks, just able to do something when it is needed would make us feel good. Also, people who will be benefited from our action would most likely appreciate our good deed.

I think what my dad’s lesson is really true. I will certainly pass that to my son. I don’t have any doubt that he will understand what the lesson means. However, whether he will believe it and really take that on would be his choice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gadget on my wishlist

Originally, I was thinking about blogging my wishlist. However, come to think of it, it could be too long, like peace to the world, equality across all humans, etc. Or even on a personal level, able to bring up my kid healthy and happily, stay healthy,etc. Just too many of them. Yes, I'm greedy in this sense, cos, for God sake, those are just 'wishes', it is fine to be greedy for that....

Anyway, as I'm just a regular human being, I don't have super power to do all good for the rest. Also, for some long term things like stay healthy and all that. You gotta have some hiccups here and there. So, I just wanna confine this blog on just the gadgets that I want (not I need, I live so far so good without them).

Well, gadgets usually smaller things, for me, I will definitely include TV set as a gadget, cos it is by my definition which mean any physical thing that give pleasure in the entertainment aspect of life. For me, why I think about gadget on my wishlist? No, it is not about my birthday is coming and all that. It is because of the reappearance of the geek-beloved Steve Jobs in yesterday's iPod briefing presentation. Here, I'm not gonna talk about him nor the upgrade gadgets that he presented. Instead, I was thinking about the gadget that he didn't talk about but definitely he is working on - the iTablet!

Why would I put something that has existed in its final form on my gadget wishlist? Well, it is because I think I've become a Mac convert that without a Mac that I've faith in Apple's products based on what I've owned and used so far - IPod Classic, IPod Shuffle, and IPhones. I think iTablet or whatever name it is gonna be, will be another ground-breaking product that whether it will create its own market or not is not my concern, but it will very likely change our way of life somehow. Especially, it will improve the relationship between human and computer. Yes, iPhone itself is a computer, it has already done that. However, iTablet will be doing that again in different form, more likely will adapt some of our need in different way. Like data/media presentation and input, communication and mobility.

Will I buy an iTablet when it comes out? No, not until in second generation, when bugs are fixed or format has been improved. The reason why I was thinking about getting a computer is that. I recently find out some old invoice in my vault that my current Dell desktop was purchased back in 2004. That's almost 5 years old! Does it still meet my daily need? Well, I survive. Is there room for improvement? Hell yes! I was thinking about getting a new PC after Window 7 Service Pack 1 being released. Would I get a desktop or a laptop or those PC inside the monitor itself? I've not decided yet. For me screen size, convenient connections, and storage capacity are key for my PC. Certainly, the OS has to be reasonable. With the proposed timing for Win7 SP1, I don't think I will get one till at least a year away. However,......

Recently, I walked by some stores that have Mac inside. I touched them, played with them for few minutes. Man, that's just so seductive! The mac just looks so nice! Come to think about my usage of PC, I would say 99% of my usages are in 3 areas. First, using MS Office, basically Excel and Word for 95% of the time. For the rest will be a bit powerpoint, and use PDF (yes it is adobe, not MS!). Secondly, I use my PC to browse web. Though I've few browsers, I love Chrome! It is the fastest. I rarely use Safari or Firefox. IE? I already abandon it except in occasions of compatibility. Third, I use my PC for media thing, i.e. using iTune, Realvideo, and Canon's programs for photo management. So, do I really need a PC for the above? or a Mac would work! Hmmm.........that get me thinking lately.

Yes, cost is an issue, Mac is expensive but it is still affordable! I just need to make sure the storage issue works out fine. Then, Mac is...definitely an....option! Well, all these just get me thinking.....

Honestly, I don't really have time to do much else these days. So, my wishlist is actually relatively realistic. I'm not looking for wooing a chick, or getting a Ferrari, or a jet, a sailboat, or some other fluffy, fancy stuff. I just wanna get a PC, a dream PC that fit like a glove! Is it too much to ask?...Hmmm....I just have to keep thinking for this moment. I don't think I'm gonna buy anything soon. Certainly, it is and will be on my radar for coming months or year!?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Telling Lie

When we were kids, adults always tried to pass their values, moral beliefs to use as guideline to live by. In order to avoid confusing us, many of those 'lessons' were water down to make it into simple black-and-white duality. So, we could easily pick the 'white', not the 'black'. However, as we are growing up, we learn that black and white are just the two extremes of a spectrum of 'greys'. As we learn more, we do have to cut corners here and there on those 'white' to shift our value beliefs and action into the grey areas. We learn that the world is not black and white. We often have to make compromises, consensus, on certain beliefs in order to be able to 'bend in' the crowd or society as a whole.

"Do Not Lie" is something bad that we were told when we were kids. The 'Crying wolf' is the prime tool for teaching such moral value. Yes, it will be what I'm gonna use to teach my kid. However, as we grow older. Yes, I still believe "Do Not Lie", however, the biggest difference is the 'but....' that I would add right after. The reason why we teach kids not to lie is because we don't want the kid to lie to us, and don't want the kid to lie to the teachers or another one else. It is because we believe that kids are not experienced liars. Their liars are too amateur that adults should easily spot out and parents would get into trouble with their little liars at school. Also, if the kids are good liars, we don't want to be lied to. However, we are getting older, we start to learn that lying is just another tool that can be used to serve our self-interests.

Not that I'm condoling lying as a good thing, but lying is definitely a double-edged tool that would hurt ourselves easily. Our society is based on creditability, lying destroys that. In some occasions, like in court, lying is crime. I also see that lying is a form of deception. The purpose of deception, regardless its form, the bottomline is for the self-interests of the deception creator.

When a kid lies, his/her instinct is because he/she wants to get something, maybe a piece of candy or a new toy. Or, he/she wants to avoid something, like physical punishment, being scolded, or deprive of watching TV. It is no difference for adults, just the stake could be higher. That's why we have financial scams, spam emails, fake goods, etc. The form of deceptions are different, but the goal is the same. Certainly, many of them are crimes. However, some 'wise' guys invent the term of 'sweet white lie (or Innocent lie)' to give us green light to lie in casual relationships. Are those so called sweet white lies really sweet? I'm not so sure. Nonetheless, to be honest, I wouldn't say I've never lied. Cos, that's a lie by itself. So do believe other adults making the same claim.

I'm not a good liar, I would rather not lie in most occasions. Cos, practicing to be a good liar seems to be too hard for me. I think I will get burn so bad before I can play with this fire. Also, if telling 'sweet white lies' are not so bad in many people's eyes, then being honest to admit 'little faults' should not be too bad neither. I just think that living a relatively honest life, and do not need to remember what lies I told before is a more comfortable. Keep creating new lie to cover the old one is just too hard for me, I don't want to live with such burden.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Power of NOW!

As time travel is not a reality. We can neither go back to the past or future. Therefore, we are all living at the moment, it is NOW. However, many people, including me sometimes, would spend more time than it should be, missing or thinking about the past, or dreaming about the future.

Of course, it is not fair to bash all, but I think many people who are indulged in missing the past – particularly the so called good old days, are folks that have not much going for their future. Thinking takes time, so when you have time indulging the past, it means that you are spending time to let you mind doing ‘time travel’ to the good old days, rather than doing something maybe more valuable at this moment. Many old people like to think about the past. Naturally, it is because they have a longer past to think about, and they have a shorter future of which the end is something that many people would like to put off. Well, that’s not their faults. However, for younger people, I mean those in their 30s or 40s are increasing to think about the past. For example, I do hear more folks saying how good the 80s and 90s were. The trend and the life, back then were just worth missing. Certainly, they are no historian who will also look at the bad side of those days when the Cold war was still going on. I just think that the value of looking at the past is to learn previous lessons in order to avoid repetition of mistakes. Otherwise, who care about the past, neither the good or bad of which can be changed.

Thinking about future is important, cos what could happen down the road should be the most important guideline to tell us what should be done now. A better future has been the driver of most of human advancements. However, the flip side could be true, what Adolf Hitler thought about the Third Reich’s future ended up the tragedy for millions. On a personal level, we may not have a big goal and think about it everyday, however, setting up some short term goals would be a nice way to motivate oneself to work harder than one can be.

Since we can only go in one direction, if we want a better future, it really matters on what we are doing NOW. Also, we need to enjoy the moment, try to enjoy what we are doing NOW. Cos, future gratification is down the road, not now. If we don’t enjoy what we are doing now, we most likely won’t do well in what we are doing, and the results won’t be good enough to achieve what we want. So, enjoy the moment is important, even though sometimes it could be painful.

The bottom-line is that thinking about the past or the future should serve the purpose of helping us to do whatever we are doing NOW.

NOW is the future of the past. future
NOW is also the past of the.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A picture speaks for itself

What global warming is doing to our earth, for ourselves, and our future generations to come......
- A photo took by Michael Nolan from his recent trip to the Arctic -

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Disney + Marvel

vs? or +?

The recent breaking news of Disney acquisition of Marvel Comics is definitely something catch many people's eyeballs.

I'm not interested in going to slice and dice the financial part of the deal, where it is good for stockholders or not. There are tons of articles out there for that aspect. However, I just want to talk about how I feel the importance of Disney in the role in American culture on a global scale.

As we know, Disney is just like Coca Cola, the value is not really about the physical stuff. Yes, theme parks worth lots of money, merchandises too. However, what Disney can distinguish from many others is the brand name, the image it portrait to the world which is also very intertwine with what American tries to present to the world. The image of fantasy, fun, youth, and kind. It tries to cater its products to the majority, to provide a mental comfort zone for people to hide behind, while they are also facing the ruthlessness of the world. Meanwhile, make a truck loads of $$$. There is nothing wrong with that. Those who criticize Disney are the bitter ones that can't do what Disney can't.

Disney understands markets very well, it diversifies into many streams of businesses: TV, sports, movies, theme parks, etc. Just creating an universe that you just can't get away from. When they knew that their core animation business was in trouble, was aging and would become irrelevant, they bought Pixar. What a smart move! Pixar cements Disney's future in animation, and continuity in creating new characters for its theme parks and merchandises. The new acquisition from Marvel would just do the same. Yes, Marvel has many edgy characters with shortcomings and odds. However, when reality TV is the trend, audience are more interested in viewing 'real' people than characters created by writers. Some edgy comic book characters would be more welcome than the traditional Disney characters that basically all good. Either way, it will work for them as they have an expanded universe of characters to do any mixes and matches it wants.

Regardless of the image of the Marvel characters, yes some of them are simply ugly. However, if the Shrek can be a hit, there is nothing wrong with the Incredible Hulk! Cos, most Marvel Characters, they are fighting for justice, for the poors and weaks, and for peace (ironically by means of fighting and violence). So, the goals are still good, not like the villains will win at the end. So, it is basically in line with Disney's image to certain extent.

In other news story, people also mention Steven Spielberg's deal with Disney to distribute his future films. Those stories claimed that is good deal to Disney as well. I agree but with reservation. It is because the brand of Steven Spielberg is very valuable. The theme of his works are largely family oriented and are in line with Disney as well. However, he is in his sixty already. For a brand name that built on a person rather than with a long lasting theme is only good as long as the person is alive. Also, Spielberg's movie characters are not very transferable that can pass on to generations to come. Mickey mouse is forever cheery and vibrant. Indiana Jones will retire and die, and ET just only came once. So, Marvel's characters are relatively much more durable, Spiderman will long live after Stan Lee goes to see the Lord.

Well, with the acquisition, though it will take few years for some Marvel characters to make some serious $$$ for Disney. However, for audience like you and me, it will be quite interesting to see how Disney will take the Marvel Universe to move further and wider. For me, a non-comic book fan of Marvel, I would be very interested to see what hidden gems among those 5000 characters in the Marvel Universe. To be honest, I didn't know the existence of Iron Man until the movie came out. Therefore, I am sure there will be more interesting things from the Disney+Marvel teams in the years to come. A thumb up to the deal!