Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Inquiring Mind wants to know.

Some time ago (December 11, 2008) I subscribed to a blog called Tangobaby: Living in this crazy little city by the bay: San Fransisco. She posted an interview she got from another Blogger. It was interesting and thought provoking, and at the end of it, she gave us [me] the opportunity to sit down in the hot seat and answer some questions [You will also have this same opportunity at the end of this blog]. I jumped at the opportunity to be interviewed by a blogger that I have no connection with, other than the fact I read her blogs [which are well written and filled with fantastic photography].

Last night about 1:36am. That's Eastern Standard Time, she delivered the questions she wanted to ask. I was up for about another hour thinking about them, then my dog wanted to go out, then I went to bed, then I woke up and was still thinking about her questions. So! Without further adieu.

Tangobaby: I'm writing these questions on a very historic day in our nation's history. You and I live in such very different parts of the country, yet we both are excited and impatient for things to improve and for our country to be restored. I know you have a young child and a baby on the way. When your children are old enough to understand about politics and voting, what will you teach them? How will you help to develop them as the next generation of American citizens? What would you share with them about Obama's inauguration today?

Yes, we are at a very interesting time in America, and you and I are fortunate to live this day, and everyday from a different set of circumstances, and from different points of references culturally. I do, in-fact, have a young child. She is about to turn 7 in March. She is already very very inquisitive about politics and this past election she really wanted to know everything. Her mother and I are not together so she splits her weeks between Mom's house and my house. 3 1/2 days each house. The switch in houses happens on Hump Day [Wednesday]. During the election cycle, her school was teaching her about voting, and the American process. They learned to identify the candidates once it was down to just the 2 majors. She knew who they were, and she kept asking me who I was voting for. Her Mom was a staunch Obama fan, and I, was a fan of John McCain. My reasons were mine, but it was nice for her to see the perspective between her mother's point of view and mine. She kept asking what socialism was, because she heard me and her mother talking about it in very different terms. She assumed that Socialist meant that he liked to go to parties more than he liked to work and if that was the case, she like McCain.

She already has the curious mind.

My hope for my children is that they look at me funny when I say that when Obama was elected, the only other race that lead the American people before him were white. I don't want them to have to deal with civil rights. I don't want them to depend on their government, but have their government depend on them. I want them to realize that MLK day is more than just a day off of school or work [if they get into the financial industry]. I want them to realize what it stands for. Its a day to give back to their country. My best friend volunteers at a soup kitchen once a month. He has started to take my daughter now that she is getting older. I want her to see that there are people out there that don't have what we have, and that to get to where we are, you have to work. I want them to be able to make their own way out of a bad situation rather waiting for a government hand out. If they do need assistance from the government, they owe it to their fellow citizen's to pay it back, either financially or with their time.

To teach them this, I will never tell them anything, because I would run the risk of lecturing and conflicting points of view between her mother and I. The best way for children to learn is to lead by example. Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." This has never rang more true than right now.

Tangobaby: As a self-described "peddler of technology," do you feel like most Americans appreciate and understand the incredible variety and capability of technology that's available to them? How can we be good consumers of technology? Do we consume more technology than we really need?

What a loaded question.

My overall feeling on technology is that American's don't want to be bothered with some of the technology out there. It isn't until they talk to a guy like me that they can see the benefits of the technology at their finger tips. People forget that 10 years ago we were still buying film for our cameras, printing our photos on paper, and sending mail via the USPS rather than gmail. Slowly people are realizing that they no longer carry photos in their wallet or even carry cash in their wallet. Everything is becoming digitized. Cameras. Money. Lives.

In the business world, I have lived by a mantra, if you don't embrace your company's business model, you are doomed to fail. This rings true for technology. If you sit around fighting technology, you may be ignoring the very technology that could one day save their life.

I know melodramatic. But its true.

Right now technology is changing to make everything consolidated and integrated. A good example would be a smartphone from your cell phone provider. Just by getting a smartphone, you can consolidate your cell phone, address book, calender, and iPod into one device. A major platform for America is conservation. If everyone embraced technology, they are in turn conserving and saving the planet.

Need a connection?

I used to buy CD's. I have nearly 1,000 of them upstairs in my office right now, collecting dust. Every one of those CD's have been copied into my computer and I have most of them stored on my phone. I don't carry an iPod, and I am not about to lug around my entire CD collection. With the advent of digital media, I have been able to cut down on my paper costs by not printing every photo I have taken, and purchase of those little pieces of plastic called CD's. If every America did that, imagine the number of barrels of oil we could save by not manufacturing all those CD's.

Our computers have become virtual shoeboxes. We keep everything on them. Music, Video, Photos, documents, presentations, you name it, you might be able to store it on your computer. I have even curbed my purchases of DVD's. Almost every DVD now has a digital copy you can download. I now just interface my computer into my television and I can watch my movies off my computer on my television. I no longer have a ton of traditional frames hanging around my house. I have digital picture frames. The pictures change every 30 seconds.

There are cars out there that will integrate with your cell phone. The Ford Fusion has a system in it called Sync. It is a software package that uses Bluetooth technology to interface your phone with your car. I can make phone calls, listen to music, and even see who is calling me all from my car, just by having my phone inside the car with me. No more wires. Nothing more than a simple radio wave that is unique to your car. With just one car, I have been able to not take an mp3 player or CD into my car. No clutter. No messes.

American's have not gone to the extreme like I have, but then again, I sell a product that interfaces with everything, so I try and use it for everything. I carry one cell phone and one laptop computer. My wife does the same. My daughter also has a cell phone.

To consume too much technology is to not consume it at all. If we all embraced technology and all its benefits, we could really start a conservation movement. I think America needs more technology. I think we are behind the 8 ball.

*the only piece of technology I have not embraced is the e-book. I love the way the printed paper feels and the actual physical movement of moving pages relaxes me.

Tangobaby: I saw on your facebook page that you described your mood as "angsty." I'm going to assume here that's not a comfortable place to be right now. What is "angsty" and how do you get yourself out of it? What are your favorite diversions?

I think it was my MySpace I said that, but nonetheless, I said it. You're right it's not a comfortable place to be right now. Angsty is a feeling that makes you react 1 way. With a scream. Right now in my life I am in a moment of flux.

The things on my mind that are contributing to this description are, a new president and hopes that the job market improves before my wife finishes school so her chances of gainful employment are better. I have been trying to close on a mortgage for my condo for over a year now. Every time we get to the point of closing on the mortgage, something happens where it falls through. Now I am living in a condo owned by a very dear friend, and I am asking myself the question, do I want to stay here? Is it worth it? Now a new opportunity has presented itself for a move into a bigger house for less money than what I would pay for a condo. Now is that something I want to pursue and leave a dear friend of mine high and dry in an uncertain job market, and a very volatile and plunging housing market? I am torn between career paths with my company. Do I want to continue on this management path, or move to a more training path. In the event I choose a training position, it is non customer facing, so in the even that my company decides to cut back, I would be the first to go.

Its a very very confusing time, and with the wife being pregnant [who I am always worrying about] with our first child together, I am trying hard to make sure my 7 year old isn't going to feel left out or neglected.

I just want a clear path right now, and its hard. Call it my male nesting instinct.

As of late my moods on MySpace have been: busy, anxious, and enthralled. I also like superfluous, pissed off, and happy as hell!

To place Angsty in an overall category, its not a comfortable place to be, but its not entirely unpleasant. Blogging and writing help me think, and I think my wife can appreciate it, because if I dumped everything on my mind on her right now, she would collapse in a heap, although I know she has a lot on her mind these days as well.

Tangobaby: Writing a personal blog and having total strangers read it can have many benefits but it can have its pitfalls, too. For someone who's never read your blog before, what is the main thing you'd like them to understand about you and why you write this blog?

I am having trouble answering this one, because I write this blog to clear my head. Its a way to put my thoughts out on paper, and you as a reader can give me input. I really like to learn from the people around me. My younger brother Keith wrote something in his bio on another website we run that rings true.

I consider myself a very curious person. You know when you were a kid and you'd be at recess... then one day you'd find a dead bird on the playground? Naturally there would be a group of curious kids standing around the dead animal, possibly interpreting what death means to them at that moment... Well I was the kid poking the dead bird with a stick, and in a specific incident, dragging a dead squirrel home. I'm just thinking to myself... "I mean there has to be more here than just a dead bird!!". I have carried that mentality with me to this day. I mean I'm not going around poking objects into dead animals anymore... well not all the time... but my curiosity is still there. Only now it applies to EVERYTHING. ---Keith (my bro)

That is a way to sum me up.

Tangobaby: What makes you laugh?

My brothers make me laugh. My younger brother is studying improv at the famed Improv Olympic in Chicago right now. His off beat humor really is hilarious. Its hard to explain, but I have always been in awe of his whit.

Chuck Pahlanuik also makes me laugh. His satirical writings make me laugh, because they are so dry. You never see the build up, but when you find his punchlines, you can't help but giggle.

Will Ferrel. Immature, stupid, and HILARIOUS are the 3 words I would use to describe him.

George W. Bush. I know what its like to speak to a room full of people, and I would probably do the same things he did. Come off looking like an idiot.

Democrats. I mean those left wing nut jobs. They make me laugh because I truly believe they think that now that Obama is president he is going to put on his cape and save them. Let's not put the horse before the cart. He has the highest expectations, not only from his own people, but from the people that voted against him. He is only 1 man. He's not a super hero.

Republicans, and Rush Limbaugh in particular. He is so far right, he probably only makes right turns in his commute home just to make sure he will never been seen going left. To get to California he probably flys East around the world to get there, because to fly West is to fly left.

You [Tangobaby]. Your humor makes me smile almost everyday. Your blog has become part of my daily routine. I have an RSS reader on my BlackBerry and I look for updates almost hourly of all the blogs I follow. Sometimes your blogs put a smile on my face during the day, when otherwise I would be not smiling.

My wife. I share many laughs with her. I love arguing the counter point to her point. If she hates Obama, I love him. If she hates something, then I love it. Its once she realizes what I am doing does she get really mad, and yells at me, but I think that's healthy.

Anyone who takes themselves way too seriously. My Grandpa told me before he died, "Life's to short to be pissed off all the time."

That's it. I hope you enjoyed the interview as I have. Its funny. You learn a lot about yourself when someone else is asking the questions.

So I will give you the same opportunity that was afforded to me from Tangobaby.

Here's "The Rules."

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." [I'm gonna need an e-mail address from you, so feel free to email me at acgercak AT gmail DOT com]
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and link to my blog.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


mouse (aka kimy) said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview with tangobaby. I'm impressed with the not only your thoughtful writing but some of your very wise insights.

I was sadden to learn that you are separated from your wife, but it sounds as if you must have a good relationship considering the arrangements with respect to co-parenting. children flourish when they are surrounded by love and it doesn't matter if their parents live in different houses.

your reply to the technology question was so informative....I appreciate some new ways of thinking about technology your reply stimulated in myself!

having worked in the medical arena for many years I witnesses how electronic medical records can really improve service delivery and in the long run save money, I'm crossing my fingers that president obama is successful with getting his desire to have all h.c. facilities/offices to go electronic. of course rolling out and adopting this technology must be done carefully and with an awareness that there will be a great deal of resistance from providers - there's a saying that goes "the only person that really likes change is a baby with a dirty diaper" - there is some truth to that!

as an incurable nosey parker I love these interviews! thanks for playing along. it's been great to get to know you better!

oh by the way, I was a "poke-r" when I was a kid too and guess I still am....

It's Just Me said...

I stumbled across your blog - not knowing you had answered the infamous tango-interview questions. I too had this opportunity! Isn't it a thought provoking process. I am sure we are both better for it!

Char said...

great interview - thanks for sharing your answers with us, I enjoyed reading. I particularly love your grandfather's quote. I may have to keep it in mind more often.

tangobaby said...

Adam, what a great interview. I love how much thought and feeling you put into each and every answer.

Your perspective on the subjects I posed, especially your views on politics and technology, were really refreshing and grounded. I'm so glad you asked me to ask you these questions.

And now when I feel angsty, I'll know what the word for it is!


Thanks for playing.