Don’t Spend it All in one Place!

It was interesting watching the testimony of economists in the past week, how academic all their suggestions seemed to be. They mostly all said that giving people money would help, but only if done quickly. Empirical and historical evidence seemed to be strangely lacking. Surely this has been done before…what have we learned besides 'do it quickly'?

The paper out of Berkeley apparently showed such packages were not all that effective, going all the way back to Eisenhower. People only actually spent 20-40 percent of the free money. What do you expect?? When people feel their economic situation is getting worse, do you really expect them to blow money you give them on cheap Chinese goods? Most people will probably pay their defaulting mortgage, rent, or credit card debt with the money.

If the US Government really needed us to go out and spend the money…they should put it on non-cashable credit cards! Better yet, they should take the $600x'however many people make less than 75K per year' and invest it directly into preferred industries. But I guess they've chosen to pass the money though the people like good Republicans and let the people decide how to spend it. Silly.

A Lesson in Compassion

I attended a 2-day, 21-hour track & field coaching certification program last weekend. On the second day, we were treated to Subway sandwiches and Gatorade as we watched some demonstrations out at the track.

They had us attempt a triple jump movement, so I set my drink bottle down and got in line. When finished, I found the orange gatorade, opened it, and took a swig. I was repulsed when I quickly learned that not only was it not my bottle, but it had alcohol in it.

The apparent owner of the spiked gatorade noticed the look on my face & asked if it tasted 'funny.' Repulsed and judgemental, I replied shortly, 'yeah'. Looking back on the incident I realized that I was completely void of compassion. Yes, I was grossed-out. Yes, I believe that coaches are some of the biggest role models for children, and was disgusted by the example he was setting by drinking in broad daylight under that setting.

But what I didn't even think about at the time was what this person must be going through to believe that it was necessary to drink to get through that particular day. I didn't even bother to ask him why he was drinking. It could have been a real opportunity to show care & compassion, but all I could think about was myself. I turned a cold shoulder, and got nowhere. Lesson noted.

Beating the Darkness

“Don’t force yourself to get rid of a bad habit. Forcing yourself is something like beating the darkness with sticks. You can walk into a totally dark room with some friends and begin beating the darkness with sticks shouting at it to leave. Hundreds of people can beat the darkness for hours and it will still remain.The sensible man will just light a candle and bring it into the room. Yoga is that candle. Bring it into your life and all your unwanted habits will leave. You need not bother yourself about them. When the mind and body are strong, they will just drop away.”

~Sri Swami Satchidananda, Master of Yoga

Life Boat

“Great religions are the Ships
Poets the life Boats.
Every sane person I know has jumped Overboard.
That is good for business
Isn’t it Hafiz?”

~Hafiz, 14th century poet

Ryan in front of Navy Ship

Harbin Hot Springs

I’m so excited for my hot springs excursion tomorrow north of San Francisco to Harbin Hot Springs

If you read my New Year’s resolutions (the About Me) page, you will have noticed it is my goal to go to some hot springs 4 times this year. First quarter will be covered, come rain or shine (and rain is usually more fun for hot springs)!


I decided to go out to a gathering of Barack Obama supporters and cheer him on in the Iowa caucus last night–something I’ve never done before. I had a blast! I liked the crowd of people gathered there at Tosca Cafe, and I got to talk to a few of the organizers of Obama’s San Francisco, San Mateo, and Oakland campaign headquarters. It was a great learning experience and I got excited about potentially helping out with the campaign.

I have always been interested in politics, but never have been moved to participate until Obama showed up like a rock star in Texas on the television last year. I was skeptical, until I looked into his campaign more on his website ( and learned more about him.

My overall opinion is that Mr. Obama is the kind of politician and change-agent that Americans dream its politicians can be, but knowing that not every politician has his integrity, courage, savvy, or intellect. He is the kind of person you want in office, but are kind of afraid to put into office, because people with good will and strong vision are the type that get assasinated due to the shadows they cast over cowards (Think JFK or Abraham Lincoln). Obama is the kind of leader we need right now, and I wish him the best.

Deep Thoughts from Traffic School

Yes, I’ve been a bad girl. I made an illegal U-Turn in buisness neighborhood and had to spend 5 hours in online traffic school. As Dr. Richard Carlson noted, how many U-Turns do you have to do in the sake of “saving time” to justify 5-8 hours in traffic school? (Not to mention the time working to pay off the fine).

However, I learned some cool things and thought I’d share a couple:

What causes aggressive driving behavior? Health professionals generally attribute it to:
1) Increasing congestion on the roads.
2) Increasingly fast-paced lives (e.g., dual-income families).
3) Longer commutes.
4) Day-to-day stresses.

Wow! Yet another argument for the hunter-gatherer lifestyle (no congestion, ample leisure time, no such thing as a commute, no day-to-day stresses!)

Automobile collisions are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of one and twenty-nine.

Concentration Tricks:
“The mind will reel from one thing that interests it, to another that is suddenly more interesting. It must be disciplined to stay with what is important, not to what is suddenly shinier and brighter.”

“Good drivers know that concentration often flees from efforts to evoke it. They know it prefers to be attracted, rather than forced to the task, and so they find something different in the habitualness of driving that draws interest to keep them involved in the process of driving. “

“Another useful exercise is to train your attention to flick back and forth quickly from one focus to another. Do not let it stick to one thing, no matter how interesting it might be. “

Who would have guessed traffic school would teach you about meditation? (Only in California!)

I passed with a 92% and now I can move on with my less-aggressive life.

Happy New Year!

I worked on my New Year’s resolutions yesterday. I think I’ve got a good start.

Last night’s sunset over the bay really punctuated the end of a passionate, powerful, busy, and productive year.

Wishing you health, happiness, peace & prosperity in your world this year.

Sunset 10

Last sunset of 2008