Alternative to Suing a 4-Year-Old

As usual, I started my day by browsing The New York Times. And this morning, an article grabbed my attention: 4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case.

In summary, a 4-year-old girl and her friend were racing their bicycles under the supervision on their mothers on the sidewalk in Manhattan. At some point, they hit an 87-year-old woman and injuring her. The lady died three months later. The estate of the lady sued the children and their mothers for negligent. The judge decision was not about whether they are liable or not, but only to permit a lawsuit against the children and their parents to go forward.

Since this was just a short description from the incident, I don’t have any opinion on whether this was a tragic accident or this was more of a negligent. I wonder what the intention of the estate in suing the family, and I wonder how the parents approached the accident (did they show care and concern to the lady? Or did they just care about their kids’ rights?). Some commenters also suggest that including the children is the only way to sue the parents. I am not a lawyer, so I have no idea why the lawyers do what they do.

But what get me thinking is whether suing is the best way of resolving such a problem. It seemed to me that such a case should be resolved family to family, heart to heart. In my ideal world, I believe that the children need to know that what they did was wrong, but I don’t think it’s necessary for them to be sued. The parents need to have the humility to apologize. And the lady’s family need to be listened for their loss and pain but they need to forgive and let things go. I think this is what a compassionate and caring society should be. Can we accept that sometime things happen and let’s deal with it together rather than against each other? Can we take responsibilities just enough but not too much? And can we take responsibilities without being taking advantage of? To me, the more litigious our society is, the more we cannot do this because we have to defend and fight against each other. And this, put me unease.

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Bali – The Love Part of Eat, Pray, Love

Pura Ulun Danu - Bali, IndonesiaHave you guys read and/or watch the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”? I love the book and am looking forward to watching the movie. I especially want to see the love part of EPL – Bali.

It is interesting to hear in the trailer, that Liz spoke of Italy, India, and Bali, as if Bali is a country like Italy or India. More correctly, Bali is a small island in Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, after India, China, and the US.

Pura Ulun Danu - Bali, IndonesiaCulturally, Bali is very unique because the majority of the people there are Hindus whereas the majority of Indonesians are Muslim. The World Factbook said that 86.1% of almost 243 millions Indonesians are Muslim which put Indonesia as a country with the most Muslims (almost 210 millions Muslims) followed by Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Just in case some of you are curious, about 62% of the world Muslims live in Asia, not in the Middle-East.

Rice Terrace - Bali, Indonesia

Back to Bali, although Bali is a small island, its unique culture, beautiful beaches, island life style makes it a very attractive place to visit. There is something for everybody. Those who like the beach and to surf can spend time in the beach area like Kuta. For people like me and DH who like more of the art and the quietness of nature, you can stay in Ubud.

Kecak Dance - Ubud, Bali, IndonesiaDuring our stay there, in the morning, we strolled around Ubud to see temples, or pura they call them, and galleries. At night, we went to see dance performance. One of the most interesting ones is called Kecak Dance, where the men would be dancing while chanting the word “cak, cak, cak, cak”. Sometimes the men would go into trance and walk on fire or stab themselves with dagger without being injured.

Tanah Lot - Bali, Indonesia

Getting around Bali is quite easy as well. There are many private driver that one can hire for a very decent price. There are also many types of Pura, small, large, on top of a hill, in a  lake, close to the ocean, etc. The one on the left, for example is called Tanah Lot, and is accessible during low tide. If you are thinking of visiting Bali, Frommer’s online has many good information.

Well, that’s it about my trip to Bali, Indonesia – one of the most memorable and relaxing place to be. May be love does blooms in such a magical place. What do you think? What is your favorite vacation place?

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Colorado Mountain

Today, I am allowing things to be. There is nothing to fix, nothing to analyze, nothing to optimize. My intention today is to allow and to observe as details as possible, as best as I can. To be aware and to be mindful.

Why? Because in allowing, I don’t have to struggle against myself and make things more complicated than it is, and by observing I hope to see the deeper part of my beings. Relax to whatever happens enable me to see the natural unfolding of events. And you know what, many of them unfold to its beautiful states without me having to interfere.

So today that will be my intention, to give rest to my analytical and problem solving mind.

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This Week Night Sky Show: Perseid Meteor Shower

Do you know that between August 9 and 14, depending on your location, the Perseid meteor showers is on its peak? According to the NASA website, at its peak we can see 98 meteors per hour from the mountain top of San Francisco area provided that the sky is clear, the moon light and city light and other lights do not pollute the sky. (Update: I found another NASA website that claimed at peak there are approximately 50 meteors per hour. Urgh… what a major difference).

So last night/this morning, we went to stargaze and we’re hit with reality. Number one, finding a good and safe and legal place to stargaze without being blinded by lights or ran over by cars or blocked by cloud are not easy. By the time we got to a place with good opening, clear and dark enough sky, it was already close to 12:30 a.m. !

Number two, we’re sleepy and concerned about our next day work. So we decided to go back at 2:00 a.m. We are not morning people, but if we were, we should have gone at 4:00 a.m. As a result, we got to see only about 20 falling stars, more than I’ve seen in regular days, but not as near as the reported peak. It’s still quite something though to see those stars in the sky plus the planets (Jupiter was very bright last night).

If you are like me, you kinda know what meteor shower is, but you don’t quite know what it is. Here are some of my findings:

Meteor shower is an event in which many meteors are observed to radiate from one point in the night sky. Last night is called Perseids meteor shower because it comes from the constellation Perseus. I honestly didn’t see it as radiating from one point. I saw them across the night sky – on my left, on my right, on the top, anywhere.

Apparently Perseid meteor shower has been around for a long time – something like 2000 years, and it can be seen mostly from the Northern Hemisphere. Every year, Perseid is active between July till August. This JPL-NASA website gives us a list of major meteor showers in 2010-2011 and also tips on seeing it.

Here is a link to an abc news program that makes me meteorly envious, especially considering that the location is in a residential place. They don’t even have to drive away from their house!

Anyway, enough rambling about Perseid. Tonight and tomorrow night, we’re planning to chase those meteors again. Hopefully, we can see more of them, or if not, at least we get to spend good time laughing with friends, and that’s probably the beauty of watching meteor showers with others. 🙂

Foothills Park

Interesting Sky Color

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Are You a Placater, Blamer, Computer, Distractor or Leveler?

In my previous post, I wrote about how to look at ourselves based on Virginia Satir theory of self. For this post, I’d like to continue basing my writing on her theory but this time it’s about pattern of communications.

In our every day life, we often encounter stress in our interaction with people – your boss demands you to get your work done NOW, your children nag you to get everything under the sun, your SO disapprove of your spending, etc.  All of these stress often impact our self-worth. We start to question whether we have been a good employee, parent, or partner. Virginia Satir, drawing for her many years of experience in helping people, saw that people have four universal patterns of communication while reacting to perceived threat.

The four patterns of communication:

  1. Placate – appease the other person to avoid anger
  2. Blame – the fault is on the other person
  3. Compute – hide behind words and intellectual concepts
  4. Distract – ignore threat, hoping to go away if done long enough.

Placater Stance

I will do whatever you tell me to do. I am here to make you happy.


A placater talks in a way that is pleasing to the other person. She does not disagree, does not stand for herself, apologizes for things that are not her fault. A martyr parent or a “yes man” employee is an example of a person who is taking this role. The recipient is happy at the moment but later on resentment will brew.

If you want to learn more how this stance affects our body and mind, assume the position as shown in this picture for 60 seconds and check with your body how this feels, check with your thoughts and feelings as well. It is uncomfortable, isn’t it? And after while, we get tired of having to do this.

Blamer Stance

It's your fault. I'm the boss. You cannot do anything right.


A blamer finds fault in others. He thinks that he is superior than everybody else, and that others have to obey him. A blamer is a dictator.

In reality, a blamer often does not feel good about himself. This stance makes him feel better because it often gets people to obey him. When people obey, he feels good and effective.

Just for fun, assume this stance, tighten your neck muscles, curled your lips, and criticized everybody and everything else for 60 seconds. Can you imagine how this impacts one’s health in the long run?

Computer Stance

I am ultrareasonable, calm, cool, and collected. Rational thinking is superior than feeling.


This stance is unfortunately often thought as the ideal goal for many people. A computer is very correct, very reasonable, very logical. He does not show any feeling of vulnerability though she often feels it. He uses long, abstract words with a dry delivery. He is detached.

Don’t mistake him for a person who is centered, grounded, and calm. The latter is radiating with presence, warmth, and compassion. You know you are dealing with a computer because you will not feel understood.

To see how it feels, assume a sitting position that is rigid, push away your feeling, don’t move, not even muscle. See how you feel in this stance in comparison to other stances.

Distracter Stance

Du.du.du.du.du.. the Martian is coming...


A distractor talks about unrelated subject while under stress. She does not talk to the point and very unfocused – who cares is the attitude. She is hoping that by doing this, the problem will go away.

If one is doing this stance for a while, the feeling of loneliness and purposelessness often emerge. Though it seems that nothing bothers her, it is actually a lonely and meaningless place to be.

So what is a good stance? Virginia Satir called this stance leveling or flowing.


A leveler responds to situations congruently. In this stance, our body, voice, facial expressions are all of a match. The relationship feels easy, free, and honest. A leveler apologizes when she makes a mistake. If an error has been committed, she will evaluate fairly without blaming. Sometimes she will be talking intellectually as when she is lecturing or explaining something but her feeling is still intact. There is no machine-like feeling when dealing with this person.  When there is a problem, she will deal appropriately rather than shoving it under the rug. A leveler conducts life with integrity, commitment, and creativity. She is able to work out problems in a real way. Satir found that when people start to level, they found their hearts, feelings, bodies, and brains. As a result they found their souls and humanity. What a wonderful finding, don’t you think?

Well, that’s it for this installment of pattern of communication. What do you think? Can you find of an example for each of the stance? Which stance do you use the most?

*If you are interested in learning more, I recommend Virginia Satir’s book: The New Peoplemaking

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A Lullaby Of Comfort and Hope

A Mother and a Child Elephants - Tarangire, Tanzania

A comforting present of a parent

A Lullaby of Comfort and Hope

Sleep, sleep, my dear child,
Do not you be worry,
Because tomorrow, the sun will greet you with a smile,
And the wind will blow softly on your face
to whisper its greetings

Sleep, sleep my dear child,
Take rest in the cradle of the night
Tomorrow God will wait for you to wake up
And He’ll embrace you in His arms
With a smile in His face
Because you are His beloved creation

Sleep, sleep my dear child,
The darkness of the night is nothing to fear of
Because it too will pass
And be changed by light

Sleep, sleep my dear child,
Because many of us wish you
That you may be safe,
That you may feel supported by your body,
That you may be content,
And that you may live freely.

A Family of African Elephant - Tarangire, Tanzania

The comfort of a loving family

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The Beautiful California – The Forest of Nisene Marks

The Forest of Nisene Marks

Foot bridge - remind me of Japanese garden

If you are like me, looking for a cheap and healthy recreation activity, and you are blessed to live near places with natural beauty, hiking is the solution to what we are looking for. Living in the northern part of the beautiful state of California, DH and I have gone to love many of the parks and one of our favorite ones is called The Forest of Nisene Marks.

The Forest of Nisene Marks


According to Wikipedia, Nisene Marks was a matriarch of a Salinas farming family that bought the land in their search of oil. After drilling effort returned nothing, in 1963 her children donated the 9,700 acres of land to California. The CA State Parks with the help of Save-The-Redwoods League expanded the park to 10,036 acres. Now the park boasts to have 30 miles of trails and are shared by hikers, joggers, and bikers.

Interesting Things to Find in Nisene Marks

Here in Nisene Marks you can find:

  1. The epicenter of the California Loma Prieta quake in 1989.
  2. The history, remnants, and information about logging industry (do you know how engineers solved the problem of carrying lumber through a steep incline? What is a bull donkey?).
  3. The two waterfalls – Five Finger Falls and Maple Falls.
Five Finger Falls - The Forest of Nisene Marks

Five Finger Falls - July, 2010


Because the trails in Nisene Marks are for most part shaded, this park is a perfect hiking place during the Summer.

The Forest of Nisene Marks

Shady and wide trail

Did I say shady? Well, even though you can be inside of the forest for a long time, there are also openings where you can cast your eyes far and see the magnificent beauty of the Bay Area. Here is one of the opening:

Overlook - The Forest of Nisene MarkWell, that’s it for now about this magical place. If you live or visit the Santa Cruz area, please visit and enjoy this natural beauty. And if you have a chance, please share, what is your favorite hiking place?

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