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Kris' quotes and questions


One of Kris' quirks, one that I absolutely love, is that he will ask an unusual question, usually one relevant to the situation at hand, in order to spark an off-the-wall conversation. After a few years of this, I started writing the questions down, mostly because they're so entertaining. I wish I had kept notes about the conversations that followed, too.

"Water splats. It doesn't roll."

It was raining outside, and the drops were really loud on the roof of the house. I commented to Kris that I was surprised at how big the drops were. He pointed out that, no, it wasn't raining: it was hailing.

"It's not about the size of the pie, it's about the size of the piece."

We were talking about something, I don't recall what, but I had made some comment about people's greed in a dying industry. It might have been something comparable to the horsewhip industry in the beginning of the car era, but applied more to a more recent technology, not sure.

The observation seems right on, though. Many times, people are more interested in keeping what they have, in the areas they know, instead of looking around and seeing other opportunities. I know I'm guilty of this.

"It's easier to keep up than catch up."

This should probably be a letter, but Kris said it, so here it is.

He made this comment offhandedly after I skipped a workout. I don't recall if I was injured or not, given the last fews years, I probably was.

Fitness is definitely one of those qualities that takes constant maintenance, and keeping up with it is way easier than trying to catch back up with it. It's not like you can workout for ten hours on one day and be as fit as you would be after working out for an hour a day for ten days. Darn it.

"Large car. Small space. Do you think you have any recourse if you're in an accident?"

We were in the parking lot off Cowper and University in Palo Alto, when Kris asked this question. The lot has many spaces labelled "CAR SMALL" (or "SMALL CAR" if you read it close to far away). These spaces are, as expected, smaller than most spaces, and should be filled by, you guessed it, small cars.

However, the lack of parking spaces in the downtown Palo Alto area often causes the retarded drivers of large SUVs to park in these spaces. And yes, I'm deliberately calling them "retarded," because there is something fundamentally wrong with drivers who park in spots that are clearly too small for their vehicle, a vehicle sized far bigger than the driver truly needs in the first place, and thinks the parking is a good idea.

Clearly wrong.

As we drove by a particularly big SUV, might have been an Cadillac Escalade, in a CAR SMALL spot, Kris pondered what recourse a driver of a small car parked in a small space would have if the large vehicle damaged the car, or blocked the small car in with its size. The small-car driver would, of course, have whatever legal recourse for damage to his vehicle by the large vehicle.

For inconvenience of being unable to leave the spot because of the larger vehicle's size, however, the issue is murky. The larger car isn't supposed to be parked in the spot, but we didn't know of any parking law in Palo Alto that legally prevented its parking. I recall a law was proposed, but I'm pretty sure the political arm of MWSUV (Mothers with SUVs) defeated it in the elections.

We concluded the small car driver would have no recourse, but we didn't reach this conclusion until the end of the drive home.

Which made the question a great one for conversation, and achieved Kris' hidden agenda of asking thought provoking questions to ponder.