Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Most articles about Google talk about the great food there. True! Some articles have written about the Google15. There's truth to this - I'm currently facing (despite my skinny frame) the Google5 - extra pounds that incrementally hit - I have a gut feeling about how this will turn out! Tradeoff -> goodg food vs. unneeded weight.

Trying to walk/run it off this evening (first activity in a while), I ran down a little creek near our home in Almaden. I saw a few mallard ducks and a family of quail scurrying into the bushes (yes quail can fly too!). Idyllic and peaceful, with the sun setting over the Santa Cruz mountains, and the water dribbling down the creek. The moon clear in the evening sky!

My eyes filled with tears, since this was hardly a peaceful, lovely day for our community - in the wee hours this morning, (around 3 am), a young boy from our community was killed in a car crash - a couple of teens were returning late when the driver, inebriated, crashed into the traffic light post. The car caught fire and the passenger, a recent graduate of the local Leland High School was trapped in the burning car - gone! Imagine this pretty day for his family and friends, and the family and friends of the driver, who is in jail. DUI!  Tradeoff? Probably one glass too many, one choice too bad, and a young man snuffed out at the prime of his life, another with this weight for the rest of his life.

We are constantly making these tradeoffs - trading off family time and relaxation for incremental importance at work ... a "career" or recognition or a fistful of dollars. I'm not able to see my parents in Bangalore for months on end, as we're here in California for a "better life" for ourselves and our kids. Our son is working very hard in high school - several hours of homework per day plus other commitments, and it's a daily tradeoff between his future and his social well-being.  More likely a tradeoff between a good UC school and another good school. Not much of a tradeoff! If he's not stressed, we're doing it on his behalf.

We're in Silicon Valley in the sun when the rains are pelting the streets in India. We've traded off the grass and the mountains for the concrete jungle and the traffic, the creek for noisy Old Madras Road, but we're losing ourselves in a meaningless quest for ... what?

We blog and tweet and only a few "followers" care about our false sense of self-importance or self-meaning. We think we're doing something important, but are we? We're only making a tradeoff - one decision at a time - that we'll be happy with or regret in the future.

This morning, I made my middle schooler get off the car and run to school so he wouldn't be tardy since all the cars had backed up on the side streets due to the accident (which we were unaware of). Tradeoff - he ran more than 3 blocks with his heavy backpack on his back, so he wouldn't be tardy!

Tradeoff -> no one was tardy today! The principal's phone message just asked us to hug our kids and tell them how much we love them, and that we should reinforce that they should use good judgment in their lives. Make the right choices! Some tradeoffs are expensive. Some tradeoffs are painful. Some tradeoffs don't leave room for others.

There's a poster and flowers at the traffic light near our house. Flowers for an immature decision, a bad choice.

Let's hope that our sons and daughters make the right tradeoffs. I'm questioning mine!