Mismatched Expectations

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The world evolves.  To wit, sun rise & set; leaves grow & fall.  As tenants on this planet, we too evolve.  If we don’t adapt, mismatched expectation will likely happen.  Particularly with things we had done in the past but are no longer available.

I can’t read the grocery store aisle signs nor the fine prints in the newspaper.  My eyesight are not as sharp they used to be.  I can’t bound up the stair steps like I did in my youth.  Nor can I recall details quickly as before.

These are signs of me aging and perfectly acceptable as long as I don’t pretend otherwise.  But often times, I fail to adjust and think (or secretly hope) things will never change.  I get the mismatched expectations.  Maybe I am not as much a realist as I think I am.

And I understand much better why my parents did and said the “wrong” things. No longer I feel the urge to correct  them.  Perhaps that I AM adjusting, albeit slowly.

How often do you experience mismatched expectation?

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Distraction

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We distract ourselves all the time. Either intentionally or un-intentionally (un-welcomed).

The un-welcomed ones are easy to spot. Robocalls, pop-ups, spam, street noises, etc.  Anything interrupts and annoys us. For the most part, we put up with them as conditions to living.  Some, we even accept as part of our daily life.

The intentional distractions on the other hand are more tricky. They are intentional.  We engage in them to escape from our present reality. We seek them out on purpose. Movies, games, eating, drinking can fall into this category.  Baking at home during the pandemic is a popular example. No wonder the stores are short on flours.

A danger of distraction is that it takes us away from the self, from the real issue, and from the moment. We lose sight of what is important. What is it that we really want or need?  For instance, no amount of bread we bake can make the Coronavirus go away.

When it’s time to face the self, distraction becomes a major obstacle.  

How often do you get distracted?

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Time Well Spent?

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Time the great equalizer,

we all have the same amount each day.

24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds

to be exact.

No fuss, no mess, and non-controversial.

Until . . . you’re

quarantined at home,

waiting at doctor’s office, or

enjoying your favorite movie,

Then it becomes super elastic.

Too long, short, quick, slow?  Time well spent?

Is time fast or slow for you during Covid-19?

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Week In Review – 18 Oct 2020

The pandemic is on the rise. Not only in US but also worldwide. Unfortunately, we lead the world in the numbers of infected and dead (8.1M and 219K respectively). Not knowing when will it all end, many are hit by Covid-19 fatigue. Good to remind ourselves that the pandemic is not a sprint but a marathon. Need to pace ourselves to the finish.

Speaking of pacing, wife and I took a belated trip to Chicago to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Our first trip since the Coronavirus and a bit of reaching out for us.  It was quite an eye opener to see how travelers and business deal with the pandemic. And the impact to both is quite significant.

Winston Churchill said in 1942, over two years before the end of World War II after the African campaign and the Brits won in Africa that, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”  He did not sugarcoat his message for the same reason of wanting to pace his people.

However, parallel realities do exist, and people are going to believe whatever they want.  Take the two events happened this week for examples: Columbus Day and Amazon Prime Day. To each his own.  All in one package of what I attributed to as the price of democracy.  So do exercise your right, duty, and vote.

Stay safe & have a nice week.

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Parallel Realities

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As the weather here cools, we are deep into the Autumn season, while the Southern Hemisphere in its Spring. This is an example of parallel realities, a concept I had a hard time grasping for the longest time. Don’t ask me why.

Parallel realities exist much more than one may realize. For instance, in the US, hardcore Biden and Trump supporters each believe their candidate will won the presidential election in 18 days. Go Vote!

Granted perception shapes reality, and everyone’s perception is based on his/ her own values and persepctives, the parallel realities whether real or perceived create frictions. Because individuals like to believe their own reality is true.

Having said that, how do we ever expect to build consensus? Well, in the US we have a representative democracy. Meaning we rely on our elected officials to represent us, to negotiate when conflicting views or parallel realities occur, and to build the consensus we need to move forward.

Does it work? Not always. The Gallup poll shows that in July the US Congress, the ultimate body of our representative democracy, gets only 18% approval rating. Much lower than the President’s. And in two and half weeks, we will find out more with the general election.

Do you think our political system is able to overcome the challenge of the parallel realities?

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Travel During Coronavirus Pandemic

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With the news like “the number of new daily [Covid-19] cases has risen almost 50 percent in the U.S. over the past month. The situation is even worse in Europe,“ traveling seems like the farthest choice on anybody’s to do list. Nevertheless travel does happen during this period voluntary or not.

Recently, my wife and I flew to Chicago for our wedding anniversary. I got a first hand look at the state of travel, and it’s not pretty. Michigan Avenue along the Chicago lakefront is the City’s tourism central. It boasts the Magnificent Mile for shopping and Cultural Mile for Arts and other venues.

Sadly, many hotels & restaurants along the Michigan Ave are temporarily closed. Even the ones openned are subject to capacity control. For instance, Giordano’s famous for its Chicago deep dish pizza were limited to 50% capacity. Normally, the line would be out the door. We did not have any problem walk-in and getting seated.

City of Chicago is doing its part. Posting weekly a quarantine list on travel. Mask and social distancing are the norms almost everywhere we went. Ample signages around to remind tourists and residents alike about the Covid-19 and associated precautions. We feel safe. But the impact of the Covid-19 on Chicago local economy is undeniable.

Do you feel it’s safe enough to travel?

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Friendly Reminders

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Less than 20 days to US general election. If you intend to vote, voting by mail, early voting, and in-person voting are options available. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference.

Covid-19 case is on the rise. Face covering, hand hygiene, and social distancing may sound staled, but they do work. Scientifically proven. Just look at the countries like Canada, New Zealand, and Thailand.

Feeling depressed or fatigue? You’re not alone. Year 2020 has been trying on everyone. An effective solution within your control is sleeping better. It will rejuvenate you. Be patient, and give it a try.

Lastly, stay compassion toward others. It’s the only way to build consensus – a word that is almost unheard of in this day and age. But make no mistake that together we will get through the challenge.

Other suggestions?

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Columbus Day Not Observed

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Columbus Day was two days ago.  Although a national holiday designated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt back in 1934, it is not one of the more celebrated holidays in the US. In fact, it’s the least observed. And there is a reason why.

While Christopher Columbus gets the kudos for leading the Europeans to the Americas, his less than cordial treatment of the natives has caused many detractors to oppose the whitewash of this holiday and counter-celebrate the day as the Indigenous People’s Day.

Frankly, in the context of 2020 when racial injustice is at public forefront, Columbus’ actions does cause pause. Granted history is what it is, and we can’t change what happened. We could acknowledge past tresgression, learn from history and not to repeat it.

What’s your thoughts on the Columbus Day?

 

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Thoughts On Amazon Prime Day 2020

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It’s a mecca of online marketing event and demonstration of true economy of scale.

For non-Prime users, the Amazon Prime Day is an “annual deal event just for Prime members . . . delivering incredible savings on products from small businesses; top brands. Beat the holiday hustle & shop for everyone on your gift list during Prime Day!” (source: Amazon.com).

Amazon Prime membership costs $119 a year.  (Basic membership is free but does not get the Prime Day savings).  For 2020 the Prime Day is Oct 13 & 14 – delayed from the usual  month of July due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The timing is to beat the traditional Black Friday sales with the pre-holiday shopping while staying at home as a motivation.  This event drives other competing merchandisers like Walmart and Targets into their own sales.  But there is a difference. A Big difference.

Amazon’s advertised “savings” is based on a pricing strategy of lower profit margin/ higher volume for its suppliers.  Higher volume is the key because of Amazon’s logistics prowess to handle its two day delivery for over 100 million prime members worldwide.

Dare I say that no others has squeezed supply chain as efficiently as Amazon can.

What other business strategy can turn a pandemic into profitable event?

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Monday Muse

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Remnant of Delta, not the airline but the former hurricane turned tropical depression, is gracing our area today (the rain actually started last night). Wind guts and cooler temperatures preview the Mid-Atlantic winter making the stay-at-home more palatable.

Tonight, Mr. Trump is scheduled to host a campaign rally down south in Florida. I am glad. Not that I would go if it were held here in Washington DC. The White House has garnered the reputation of being a Superspreader site after last week’s fiasco.

I understand Mr. Trump’s motive but prefer to stay as far away as possible.  With the Covid-19 cases on the rise, why would anyone attend a mass event if they don’t want catching the Coronavirus? 

In our free country, we should not take our precious freedom for granted.  Just like the general election in 22 days,  we need to do our parts, so to keep it that way.

Have you decided on in-person versus mailing-in voting?

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