Monday, November 28, 2005


Ok - so maybe I was out to lunch with my ideas about a soft society. How about this one ... my thoughts on headgear. I have to admit that I am actually pretty mixed on this one. I guess I see both sides.

This all started with my last trip to Sportmart (now Sports Authority). As you walk in, there on the right side where they put the seasonal sports gear was their snow skis, snowboards, boots and of course helmets. I stopped to look at them and they are actually pretty cool. Kind of like skateboarding helmets, but they look way more comfortable. There are awesome colors including camo.

But my first thought was - are we over the edge. Are there enough accidents to warrant helmets? I never wore a helmet. I don't remember hitting my head when I crashed - and it isn't like I never crashed. I have seen a number of people brought down the hill on stretchers, but it always appeared that they had leg problems, not head injuries. So I did a bit of web searching and found a site that has some interesting statistics. This data doesn't support the need for helmets. It does point out that there is a real need for wrist braces when you snowboard, but that isn't the topic!

I did find a site that has some data around head injuries. It even describes the kind of injuries that occur, and it does appear that a helmet would help with these.

But this is about headgear not helmets for snow skiing or boarding. There are a number of different types of headgear to consider. Here are some examples.
  • Football - most people would agree that helmets are a good thing. But what if they continued to wear leather helmets rather than the helmets of today. Would there be more or less injuries. I firmly believe that there are harder hits today than in the past because of all of the body armor that is worn today.
  • Rugby - the players don't wear helmets. Would there be fewer injuries if they did? I suspect that there would not since they would hit each other harder. But what about headgear to protect concussions or just their ears. Seems like this would be a good idea. There appears to be a raging debate on this very topic. Maybe it helps with cauliflower ear?
  • Biking - well, I have to admit that after taking a really hard fall on my mountain bike where I launched over the handlebars, flew head first into the dirt, and woke up with my bike a ways away from me, I am sold! I would never ride a bike without a helmet and am amazed at how many people ride on the road without one.
  • Wrestling - we are making Nick wear headgear when he wrestles. This is to protect his ears not so much his head. Seems like a good idea to me.
  • Soccer - this is the latest rage. Headgear for soccer players. To protect from concussion. The data on all of this seems pretty limited. The topic is new and decisions to use headgear appear to be based on a study in Norway around heading the ball. This debate continues as well.
I did find one interesting article on the whole subject. Take a look. Their thoughts are not all that different from mine:)

One last interesting data point. I was talking about headgear to a senior who both bikes and snow skis. He said that he of course wears a bike helmet but what was a surprise to me is that he also wears a helmet when he skis. He said that it is because at this point in his life, he wants to enjoy what he has left and doesn't want an accident to screw that up!

So I am pretty mixed on all of this. Where do you draw the line?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Soft Society

It is the day before Thanksgiving - lots of thinking about how much we will eat tomorrow, and what football games will be on. But I was thinking about something else today when I took a walk to the grocery store to get something to eat (the cafeteria was already closed).

As I was walking to the store, it hit me how soft we have become. We don't walk much. We walk sometimes for exercise, but not much just for fun or just as another way to get somewhere. We don't even ride our bikes for that purpose. We get in the car and drive. Wow - I am starting to sound like an old man.

That wasn't the purpose of this. Well, I don't think there was a purpose. But it just hit me how our activities have changed. The kids still play outside, but they rarely meet up with a bunch of friends and play football or baseball at school. When they do - they have a great time. But it doesn't happen all that often. Some of this is out of fear. We don't feel comfortable with our kids out of our sight, or out of close sight. We are worried that they will be kidnapped. I guess there is more of this going on than I think. Or maybe it is just more visible. It is a HUGE leap to allow kids to ride their bikes to school.

There are lots of other examples of this. How many people do their own gardening vs having a gardener. How many of us do the physical things that we or the generations before us did. Not all that many, unless we are doing it for a purpose - to get in shape:)

Kind of reminds me of the comment that Steve Young made the other day about Chris Simms - he said:
I worry that he grew up in a much different atmosphere, a laissez-faire kind of atmosphere. And I'm worried he really doesn't have the mental toughness to deal with the information overload that comes with the NFL.
Chris' dad Phil didn't take to well to this:) He fired back with his own comments on Steve. Steve then resonated to these and tried to clarify. But all that Steve was saying is that he grew up in a Soft Society. My point exactly:)

So not that this
necessarily is really good or bad, just an observation. As you can tell by my comments, it is a bit concerning to me. Maybe the pendulum has swung too far.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I saw a great advertisement the other day (ok, not great for those who actually have a problem, but hang with me anyway). It was for a drug called Neurosil. They said - "Discover how you can take control of your 'Restless Leg Syndrome'." RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) - now that is a new one. This is for people who can't keep their legs still, they have to keep moving them. And the drug is intended to help those who have this sit still. I thought that I would look up the definitions in the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.
  • Restless - continuously moving
  • Leg - (know this one)
  • Syndrome - a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality
So it hit me. I have RBS - Restless Body Syndrome. It is not just my legs but my whole body that need to be continuously moving:) Finally, I understand. It is not just extra energy but rather I HAVE A SYNDROME.

PS: Now when I told Julie this - she thought the B meant Butt, but I like my choice better.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Workouts and Travel (and other related challenges)

I am home from a short one day trip to Monrovia. It is Friday, my schedule is pretty light, but I have a bit of whatever is going around. So this may be yet another day that I go without a workout.

Which led me to the topic of the day ... :)

It is just too hard to get enough workouts in. Yea, yea, as I always say, it just has to be a priority and you will make time for it. But it is a priority for me - just maybe not enough. But that being said, I am having a heck of a time getting them in.

So what gets in the way ... and what to do about it.
  • Travel - short trips to Monrovia (LA) and long trips (India, UK, etc.)
  • Important Team - multiple locations, biggest part of biggest software acquisition that we have done, significant revenue riding on the products my team builds
  • Big Job - lots of expectations around customer visits, presentations, etc.
  • Old Age - more injuries than I have had in the past, calf is taking forever to heal, same story for shoulder separation
  • Kids - want to spend time with them when I am not traveling / working!
I know, no simple answer. I just have to keep working on it. Just a couple more emails and I think I will go for a short run before my next call ...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Christmas Shopping and the Web

Well - Christmas shopping has sure changed. It use to be that you decided what you wanted and went to the store to get it. Not anymore. It is either way easier or way more difficult - not really sure ... Now you decide what you want, and use the web to help you to find the best one or the best price or maybe just to make sure that you didn't miss something.

Maybe a hypothetical example will help. I don't want to use a real one just in case Anthony or Nick read this:)

So say I want to get a basketball hoop. I could drive to Sportmart and Big 5 and Sears, check out what they have, and then go back to the place that has the best one. Or if I don't have time, I might just buy one at the first store that I stop at. But if you do either of these, when you get home you are not sure you got the right thing or the best price.

So you go on the web first. Look at everything that is out there, and then decide what to do with all of this information. You might then go to a store and look at what they have, then either buy it there or buy it from someone on the web. You have to think about the price, cost of shipping, time to deliver and reputation of the company. But what if you can't find a store that has what you found on the web. How do you decide if it is good? You can look for reviews or feedback from customers. Places like maybe ...? Now you might have enough information to buy on the web.

But is this enough information to make the right decision? What about eBay or craigslist? Better check there as well. But this is even more confusing. Now you see a bunch of new stuff. Why is there so much new stuff being advertised there? Huh. Now I have to go back and look at the web for reviews or feedback. And do I trust the seller? And there is of course the used stuff. Some looks like a good deal, but do I want something used?

After all of this, I finally decide to go to Sears and buy one. But I am pretty happy because I am informed. I guess this is all good. At least I was able to do most of the research while watching Monday Night Football!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Time to get back to it ...

It has been a LONG time since I added to my blog. My bad. Time to get back to it.

My goal is to add to this at least a couple of times a week. Even if I add only a few sentences. I would like to get to the point where I add pictures on a regular basis as well. We will see.

So this was a great weekend. We went to PG on Thursday night. I worked from there for about half a day Friday and took the rest of the day off (and a beautiful clear warm day it was!). I decided that I would treat Friday like a work day. Got up, took my shower, had my coffee, ate, and got to work. I had a couple of scheduled calls and made a couple of others as well. It worked out really good - with the exception of not having connectivity. I went with Julie, Nick, and Anthony into town where I went into Kinkos and connected. They went to the store and bought frisbees ...

Once I was done checking mail, they picked me up and I was done for the day:)

We went back to the house, dropped off my stuff, and went out for a game of frisbee golf. We ended up giving Julie 2 strokes, Anthony and Nick 1 stroke and I played even. After about 2 1/2 hours of play we ended up with a three way tie for first, and me in second:) It was a blast!
We had dinner at latitudes (the old Tinnery at Lovers Point) and headed to the book store.

The bookstore was a reward for both Anthony and Nick's good quarter. They both have been playing sports and did very well with their grades as well - both almost getting straight A's!

... since I am just starting this back up - a quick update. Nick did cross country and is almost done with wrestling. Anthony just finished football ...

Saturday turned out to be just as clear and nice as Friday. Julie and I left the kids and went for a two hour walk / hike at Point Lobos. If you haven't bee there, you have got to go!!

We headed back just in time for lunch and the Cal / USC football game at Snarleys. It was a bit of a blow out, so we stayed only until the half. We left Julie to her art and headed to Big 5. Got a trackball and smashball sets and headed back to the house where we played in the park for hours ... We ate at home and watched Batman Begins - good movie if you haven't seen it.

And today was nice as well. We played at the park and at the beach in the morning, then headed home home just after lunch - there are always chores to keep up with.

So overall, awesome weekend.