Week In Review – 7 Oct 2018

First week of October and it started out with a bang.  A new Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed after all the drama.  Certainly a feather in the President Trump and GOP’s cap.

May be also a preview for the Mid-term election to come next month?

In term of battling for the hearts and mind of the voters in November, what will this Republican win demonstrate?  Backlash from the women voters and Me-Too movement? Incompetence of the Democratic Party? Or a nation farther divided?

Hard to tell.  From the look of it, winning at all costs is the take-away and has the upper-hand.

Regardless, I would enjoy my moment of peace and quietness before things get heated up again. By the way,  amidst all the hoopla, I did manage to replace my front porch light this weekend.  Something productive at least.

Have a nice week.

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Is Customer Always Right?

Customer is important.  Absolutely.  Ask any business (and by extension government).  Plain and simple, customers’ satisfaction affects the company’s bottom-line.  This is why company like the Ritz-Carlton provides outstanding customer service in order to command the premium prices.

But is the customer always right? Is there a situation where the customer is wrong?  Given customer satisfaction lies in the eyes of the beholders, to what extent should anyone accommodate his/ her customer?  Is there an limit?

I say yes that there is a limit.  Majority of the customers are valuable.  They contribute to the core of the business, and the business exists because of their customers. However, there is the small percentage of customers that is not worthy of the return on investment.

I am talking about the customers who abuse their privilege.  Those who would return products at a drop of a hat, complain incessantly at the smallest inconvenience, refused to accept any resolutions other than their own.   In other words, the customers that simply not worth keeping.

From a cost and benefit point of view, it is best to let these customers go.

Do you agree that the customer is always right?

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Confession Of A Not-so-handyman

Weather is getting cooler.  And leaves are changing color. It is early fall for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.  In the years past, I would be busy training for my fall marathon.  But this year, I am done early.

So, it’s time to take care the chores around the house and get it ready for the winter.  At least that is what I think whenever I am reminded by that sheepskin about my degree and  the tuition that went to my engineering school.

I am not a handyman by any stretch.  My repertoire consists of searching online and praying for videos posted by some Samaritan who have solved the exact problem I am dealing with.  You would be surprised how much one can find on sites like the Youtube.

Over the years, driven by my ego and supported by the Youtube, I have tackled problems like replacing the toilet, unplugging the gutters, and draining the furnace.  As a result, I have become familiar with the aisles of the local hardware stores and the not-so-proud owner of miscellaneous parts & tools in my garage.

To some I maybe a “handy-man” around the house.  But if I can’t find the video on the Youtube, the job is best left to the professionals.

Are you a handyperson?


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Drifting Thought

No hurry and no direction, just drifting along . . .

Am I wasting time or enjoying the moment?

That depends on what is important (to me).

Am I searching or simply at peace with myself?

Life’s merry-go-round repeats the same music and same scenery.

Am I facing a boring routine or a comfort place?

Maybe a target, destination, or purpose is necessary

or necessary evil.

That is up to me.

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Between Heart and Mind

What’s between one’s heart and mind?  Literally, about a foot.  But in my case, they are a world apart.

You see.  I am, or was, a big fan of the mind.  Rene Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” had been my motto.  Naturally, I would put critical thinking on a pedestal as the pinnacle of my efforts. That is until I discovered poetry.

Poetic examples like Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” and Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” not only grabbed my heart but they made it sing.  Can’t explain the poets’ creativity nor duplicate or repeat them.  But the passion in these poetry took my breath away.

And I like it. The question becomes how do I reconcile my heart and my mind?

I can pretend to be a more balanced person (between my heart and mind).  But that is only the tip of the iceberg.  Deep down,  I yearn to be more a heart person, more in sync with my feeling and passion.

How do I shutter my chatty mind?

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What Is My Priority?

During my marathon training, I dutifully put in between 20 to 60 miles a week.  Needless to say,  that takes time and energy, lots of them in fact.  And I am usually exhausted as a result.

One would think that now off-season, I should have a windfall in my hand in terms of time & energy.  Reality is nothing even close.  The windfall disappears like pulling fist out of a bucket of water.  No trace.  Can’t even tell what was there before.

The strange part is at the end of the day I am still tired.  So where did my time and energy go?   The answer – I don’t know.  The scarier answer is that life sips through my fingers without me even noticing.

Yes, “fillers” are there and have been for a while.  House chores, yard works, and other fillers have their places in life.  After all, one can’t be putting out fire all the time.  Even the fire brigade has to tend to their equipment.  I got that.

But little filler here, little there, soon my whole day is gone.  And, I am left worn out just the same. Go figure.

Do you know where your time and energy went?

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New Month, A New Beginning

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Today is the first day of October and Monday.  Something about starting the month on a Monday makes it feel like a fresh start.  A new beginning.  And I love that feeling. It is a feeling of hope, opportunity, and possibility.  A feeling I used to get at the beginning of every school year.

Also it has been three weeks since I completed the Erie Marathon. Three weeks of post-marathon recovery which involved light recovery runs, yoga practices, and lots of rest. My body and mind are making their comeback.  I am finally not tired when I set out to  run this morning.

Here is a quote I like to share in celebrating the new month:

Sow a thought, reap an action;

Sow an action, reap a habit;

Sow a habit, reap a character;

Sow a character, reap a destiny.  ~ Samuel Smiles

What destiny would you like to plant in October? 



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Week In Review – 30 Sep 2018

Freedom, while positive in connotation, in extreme is neither comfortable nor productive.  Cases in point are prisoners and babies.  Neither are the preferred state for any society for sustainable operation.

Guarding against the extremes, freedom is checked by the concept of self which acts as a governor that “normalizes” us.  This balancing act of overcoming and checking oneself  becomes a perpetual part of human drama.

Speaking of human drama, Washington DC has its fill this week. Whether you are a political junkie, activist, or innocent bystander, there is no escape from the media frenzy. More reason for me to run and be closer to Mother Nature.

The other big news this week is that my quest to the Boston Marathon continues.  I would be lying to say I am not disappointed.  But I suppose that is my personal human drama.

Have a nice week.

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Running As Therapy

Other than training for marathon, my running is anything but regimented.

Among the things I do while running during off season include thinking about issues at large, working out practical problems, planning ahead for trips and vacations, socializing with running partners, and last but not least exercising.

In a nutshell, running is my therapy.  It is me-time and protected to be spent on anything I deemed important.  Picture this: fresh air, elevated heart rate, sympathetic ears (of my partners).  Sort of like going to the therapist office without the fees.

And invariably, after my run,  I feel uplifted – my day started on a healthy note, my body and soul relaxed by the endorphins released, and my relationship column filled. All the benefits of running without the downside. What’s not to like?

What do you get out of running?

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Free To Be Me

I am free to be me.

Isn’t that always the case, you ask?

Yes but, allow me to explain:

I am not free if I don’t know it, feel it, or realize it.

Like many, I face self imprisonment.  Shackled

by fear, fantasy, and other negative thoughts.

While the choice has always been within, it takes courage and

persistence to peel through the layers of doubt to find oneself.

And I am on that journey.

It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.  ~ J. K. Rowling

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