Friday, January 31, 2014

Clean The House With Deconstruction And Reconstruction

Everyone changes for better or for worse. I hope more people change for the better. The successful people and the happy people live an open life looking for changes. Some changes are small and some changes are big. Any change involves cleaning the house, out with the old and in with the new, trash the bad and welcome the good. Rebuild and start over. Deconstruct and reconstruct.

For instance, a professional sports team finishes last place in their division. Ownership wants change. The team releases the bad performing players and signs new players. The team fires the coaching staff and hires a new coaching staff. The team drafts young players from college. Ownership creates a short-term plan and a long-term plan. It takes times and patience to develop a winning team.

I remember the day I realized I must grow up on Sat Oct 4, 2008. The deconstruction and reconstruction were immediate. I donated old clothes and purchased new clothes, and those included gym clothes. I needed a new desktop computer. I built a new computer with help from friends and my dad. I rearranged my room for more open space which included throwing away junk. I purchased a new mattress after sleeping on my old mattress for decades.

Furthermore, I opened myself to new hobbies and interests; for example, ballroom dancing, hiking, and reading fiction books. I stopped reading non-fiction books for the most part. I stopped staying home too many days and go out and find new adventures and new experiences. I started meeting new people and making new friends. And I went back to school to earn an AA degree in Accounting.

The foundation is set today. I'm working full time to get back into the work force. I'm establishing a physical routine working out at the gym three to four days a week. I'm finding some more time to keep in touch with my friends with social networking. I'm in a good position since March 2007 when I started working at Cisco; moreover, I learned from my many mistakes I made from the rest of 2007 to most of 2008. The foundation continues to get stronger. I look for new people to meet. I look for new hobbies and interests to pursue. I'm looking forward to read more books. I push myself to fulfill my remaining short-term goals which are finding a permanent job and living on my own.

Time will tell what I'm doing now makes the difference for my future. I must have trust and faith what I do today results in a bright, successful, and happy tomorrow. To quote Steve Jobs, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever." What I do today hopefully affects me years later in a positive way.

Something must be destroyed to be replaced with something new, fresh, inspiring, and motivating. Help and support are required to live a better life. Find the courage and strength to change. Never live the same dull, boring, and routine life. Stop complaining and expressing frustration to other people. Be responsible. Live life innovating infinitely.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Top Ten Self Discoveries

I believe few people have the ability to seek their own self discoveries and do something about them. They take their self discoveries and become better people. They improve their lives. They make changes to be a stronger and smarter person. It's like you don't see a person for a long time. The person is different and better two years later. You share your complements when you converse.

I'm lucky I self discover my life; in particular, my mistakes and my weaknesses. I create action to correct my mistakes and convert my weaknesses into strengths. For example, my laughing was too loud. Anyone could hear my laugh in a neighborhood. It appeared I laughed too loud because I wanted lots of attention. Another reason is I'm partially tone deaf. The problem is fixed. My laugh loudness is at a conversational level depending on how loud the environment.

Here are my top ten self discoveries:

10. Improve my handwriting. I checked out a handwriting improvement book at the library in the summer of my junior year at San Jose State. My writing is readable today compared to when I was in high school. I also improved my personal signature such that it promotes my high intelligence and good guy nature.

9. Change majors. Mathematics was too difficult. I changed majors to Economics. The idea to change majors was all me. There was no outside help or assistance to make my college life easier.

8. Learn how to cook. I learned enough cooking skills to cook on my own. Good enough for the short-term. I must learn more cooking skills in the long-term.

7. Physical fitness. I realized physical fitness is important to live a healthy life since my freshmen year in high school. Going to the gym is a top leisure activity for decades.

6. Let me think. Be discrete. The two sentences are number eight in my daily rules of life. The downside being an open person is saying too much. Sometimes saying too much is bad. There are some conversations and information better kept to oneself. I continue to practice pausing and thinking before saying.

5. Wear costumes at anime conventions. I watched 17 episodes of an animation series at a convention's midnight programming. I wanted to wear the costume of the main character. Wearing costumes at anime conventions saved me from quitting anime. It extended my anime hobby longer than I expect.

4. Live an active, get up from my bed life. I made life choices to get out and do something, anything in late 2008. Life must not be boring. I'm sad some people are doing nothing to live life full of something for everyone. My life motto is the following: get up and do something, anything. Eat new foods, visit new places, meet new people, read books, watch a movie, hike, dance, organize a gathering, listen to new music . . . do something, anything.
3. Find more friends. Friends help you live an exciting life. Living life alone has limitations. On the other hand, living life with friends the sky is the limit how much excitement living life daily. Life is more fun. Friends can help you when you need assistance and advice.

2. Growing Up Part II. The moments happened in Oct and Nov 2013. They included reorganizing my priorities, discovering my leap of faith, creating two new daily rules of life, and establishing short-term goals. Two of the four short-term goals were accomplished in late Nov. My future looks upbeat.

1. Growing Up Part I. My life changed dramatically on Sat Oct 4, 2008. The people who knew Raymond Mar before the date no longer exists. I'm grown up. I'm no longer naive. I'm stronger, smarter, wiser, and kinder. I don't take life for granted.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Work Jan 26, 2014

The two month's date passed on Mon Jan 20, 2014. I'm getting better and understanding the procedures. There is still more to learn. I need to start reading books on wine to supplement what I'm learning on the job. I hope to start reading this week. The following summarizes recent shifts:

Fri Jan 3 was the last day of an easy commute. Everyone goes back to work from the Christmas holiday on Mon Jan 6. Everyone in the company had been getting sick. I jump started a customer's car dead battery using my jumper cables.

I worked a Sat shift on Jan 4. The entire shift was auditing our second store's inventory for the second time.

The sickness affected me on Mon Jan 6. I went home early and took Tue Jan 7 off. I went back to work on Wed Jan 8. The second store opened. My manager started the day training the staff at the second store. I opened the store. I received two shipments. Two boxes fell down resulting in two broken bottles from one shipment. It was my fault. There is some knowledge beyond common sense regarding receiving shipments and stacking boxes. If the boxes are too heavy or packaged poorly, then stack them lower. Don't trust the delivery person stacking the shipment. Lesson learned.

Thur Jan 9 was the latest I arrived at work. I had trouble getting out of bed from being sick. There was an accident on the freeway. There was one green light at all signaled intersections. I apologized to my manager. I made up the 30 minutes arriving late during my lunch hour eating my Subway sandwich while working. The Coke soft drink helped because, in my family, drinking Coke helps us feel better when anyone is sick.

My first foggy commute took place on Fri Jan 10. I arrived to work on time. I went out to lunch getting Broccoli Beef Chinese take-out at an expensive Americanized Chinese full service restaurant located within walking distance. The food is decent and much better than Panda Express. It's worth the extra few bucks compared to a Subway sandwich. The Broccoli Beef was my first warm lunch since I started working.

My manager told me the second store complained about inaccurate inventory counts because of my auditing. I went defensive and justified my auditing. My manager wanted to communicate the second store's thoughts and feelings. There was no judgment. There was no need to take it seriously. I shouldn't take it seriously. I had past experience going defense immediately. I needed to relax.

I had a dermatologist appointment before work on Mon Jan 13. There was a backup near my freeway exit. It must be the first day of school at a nearby junior college. One of the managers was on a business trip. We were shorthanded. It was the first day I was given a walkie-talkie to communicate with the front end.

The shorthanded staff was worse on Tue Jan 14. One of the workers called in sick. The owner purchased Round Table Pizza. I took a very late and shorten lunch.

Luck was on my side for my morning commute on Wed Jan 15. The signaled intersections were all green after I exited the freeway. I arrived early.

There was a minor accident on Thur Jan 16. A UPS representative visited my manager regarding missing and damaged UPS packages during the holidays. He filed a claim to seek compensation over $1,000. The representative even became a salesman selling UPS services and assuring UPS has high customer satisfaction, excellent reliability, and cheaper prices.

Fri Jan 17 was my first shift ever at the second store. The second store uses Macs. I spent an hour driving back to the first store getting my laptop. I didn't learn the Mac fast enough and I needed my files that took too long to download from the network. The store was busy with many customers during the afternoon. The commute to the second store is 50% quicker than commuting to the first store.

The entire shift on Mon Jan 20 and half my shift on Tue Jan 21 was preparing for the events at the first and second stores later in the week. The owner closed the store early on Wed Jan 22 because she treated the workers to watch Cirque Du Soleil Amaluna.

The first store continued to receive inventory for the second store even though the store opened on Wed Jan 8. My manager told me the reason is the second store's credit application has not been approved on Thur Jan 23. As a result, those vendors continued to bill the first store. The vendors eventually deliver inventory to the second store when the credit application is approved.

I worked at the second store on Fri Jan 24. The owner told me I work at the second store on Fridays indefinitely. The staff was informed of a consignment wine from the second store co-owner's acquaintance. The consignor is divorcing his wife and needs money. He comes to the store shopping such that he's really spying on his consigned wines. The second store's co-owner ran the afternoon's event because the rep experienced food poisoning. The entire day was quiet with few customers shopping.

Moreover, Fri Jan 24 is a model when I run errands. I got breakfast at McDonalds which was the second time I ate breakfast out of the house. I went to the auto shop to get my tires rotated and balanced. I purchased gas next. Then I went grocery shopping before my shift started at 10:30am. I drove around the nearby retail shops memorizing the stores if I need to run errands after work during my lunch hour. I saw a Chipotle and ate a burrito. I also saw a Nob Hill grocery store for which I shopped after my shift to buy milk. Finally, I went to the post office. The nearby retail stores reminded me of visiting a friend in Ukiah, CA. There was a small city feel.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Colin Kaepernick Learning On the Job

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick lost a disappointing NFC Championship game to the Seattle Seahawks. I share my thoughts on Kaepernick.

His early success is also his failures. Many 49er fans have high expectations for a player who played 1.5 full seasons. Perhaps, the expectations are too high. I can relate because of my early successes at my first jobs after college. The difference is Kaepernick doesn't take his starting role for granted; on the other hand, I took my jobs for granted. Kaepernick works hard on and off season doing his best to be a winner. I didn't work hard and I didn't improve my skills and knowledge.

The scouting report at the 2011 NFL Combine stated his weaknesses included lacking experience under center. He was slow to check down or throw quickly when blitzed. Hall of fame quarterback Joe Montana said Kaepernick must learn how to pass in the pocket. He must learn how to run the offense in the pocket. Make quick reads and choices. Read and observe the defense. Stay calm in the pocket instead of panicking early and running out of the pocket. Scan the field to find open receivers. He must learn how to play the game correctly.

Hall of fame quarterback Steve Young was a running quarterback. Young eventually learned how to pass and run the offense. His hard work and learning rewarded him with a Super Bowl championship in his 10th NFL season and one of the highest quarterback ratings careerwise. Montana won his first of four Super Bowls in his 3rd year.

Good Teachers

Kaepernick eventually learns the game and wins a Super Bowl. The coaches, teammates, veteran players, and support staff help Kaepernick become a successful quarterback. Successful people are dependent on good mentoring, good teaching, and good learning skills. Be patient. Success takes time. There are mistakes to be learned. There are successes to be improved.

There are new experiences and knowledge acquired only on the job. Kaepernick gains experience on the football field such as creating more big plays and developing patience. He already has an excellent physical body, quickness and speed to avoid sacks and getting first downs, and a strong throwing arm. Kaepernick is an important player that resulted in the 49ers playing in the NFC Championship in 2013 and 2014; moreover, he already has six post season games experience.

I believe Kaepernick is the San Francisco 49ers' future quarterback. He's going to win the franchise's sixth Super Bowl Championship in time. The 49er organization and the fans must wait. We are witnessing a young quarterback on the rise to stardom. We must grunt out the failures Kaepernick must learn. Patience is a virtue for which we are rewarded in time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Accutane Day 1,809

I used about 33% of Tretinoin since around Feb and Mar 2013. I applied the facial cream once a week. The blackheads and whiteheads continue on my nose and cheeks. No acne flare ups. There was one acne every two or three months. I continue the routine applying Tretinoin once a week.

Tretinoin is powerful. My dermatologist said the facial cream was like peeling my skin. My tube's expiration date is Aug 2014. He said I can continue using beyond the expiration date because expiration dates are approximations from the FDA. The cream strength is 95% after the expiration date. He gave me a prescription if I want a refill in Aug. Prescriptions are valid for one year.

I asked my dermatologist two questions. The first question was freckles. He told me freckles are temporary sun spots. They disappear eventually. I asked him the freckles question because I thought I received more freckles on my entire body from head to toe. I showed him my left arm and left leg the black spots I thought were freckles. I was wrong. The black spots are moles. I asked him how moles appear. He explained confusedly with medical jargon. I followed up the mole question with the same black spots I see in older people. He called those moles "age marks."

My second question was my acne scars on my cheeks. It seemed the scars are healing; in other words, my cheeks are clearing up to be smooth. My dermatologist was surprised. He said as we age, our faces experience something negative. I didn't quite understand to explain in detail. The bottom line was my dermatologist didn't give me a clear answer. He said it was great if I'm correct my acne scars are healing. They were not supposed to heal.

I posted a pic above. I should find time to compare past Accutane blogs I posted my face.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Very Productive Weekend

The past weekend I wrote all my activities I completed and accomplishments instead of writing a to-do list. I was undisturbed and unbothered. There were no unexpected events. All three of those helped me fulfilled a successful weekend. I completed the following below big or small:

*Twitter. I checked my timeline Sat morning and Sun evening.

*Meals. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

*Personal Hygiene. Shower, brush my teeth, and shave.

*Manscape. I took care of my body hair.

*Stretching. I plan to go back to the gym Monday after recovering from the flu twice.

*Dishes. I washed dirty pots and pans.

*Breta. I replaced the cartridge in the water pitcher.

*Haircut. I look better with a buzzcut.

*Cooking. I cooked on my days off to help with the family.

*Grocery Shopping. The groceries included milk, bread, and Belvita for snacking at work. I also went to the bank.

*NFL Playoffs. I watched the San Francisco 49ers on TV. I listened to the other games on radio because I was multi-tasking.

*Email. I caught up with my emails.

*TV on DVD. I watched two episodes of The Simpsons and two episodes of Breaking Bad.

*Video Games. I played for 20 minutes.

*Sunday Newspaper. I read the retail ads and the comics. I read the newspaper on Monday.

*Auto Maintenance. I changed the oil and spot cleaned the interiors.

*Facebook. I updated my profile and read status updates.

*60 Minutes. I watched the segment on people remembering each and every day of their lives.

*Blog. I wrote a blog on my productive weekend.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


A friend of my dad died on Dec 2013. We received a letter detailing his death on Mon Jan 6, 2014. The death was a shock to my entire family. He suffered a fatal heart attack at work. He died instantly. There were no past health problems. He was 56 years old. If you were to meet him face to face, you likely think he was in his late 40s. He was a smart man working as an engineer at a medium sized company. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Nobody escapes death. We start dying the minute we're born. Anytime, anywhere, any reason, and any cause, death comes to us. Sometimes we're prepared. Sometimes we're not prepared. Death can come instantly.

There is always time to live a good life no matter the age. Don't live a boring life. I continue to catch up what I missed in my 20s and early 30s. I'm not ready to die. There are more new adventures. There are more new experiences. There are more new people to meet. I'm motivated to live the best life I can. I live a better life tomorrow. I don't want to settle and live a too easy life. Living a too easy life is a waste of time.

The last five years gave me confidence, hope, and knowledge I'm living my life correctly. I'm living my life without boredom. I'm living my life seeking new adventures, experiencing new experiences, and making new friends. The starting point happened on Sat Oct 4, 2008 when I realized I must grow up. My life has been getting better thereafter indefinitely. I earned an AA degree in Accounting. I learned ballroom dancing and ice skating. I started to read fiction books. I found new hobbies including hiking and Mahjong (Riichi). A friend introduced me to good workout plans I follow at the gym. I opened myself to eat new foods. I recently found a job which I hope leads me to a new future moving out of the house and living on my own. And there is much, much more.

I'm not ready to die; however, if I die soon, at least I accomplished much more of my life in the last five years than the previous 30+ years. I add bullet points to my life resume every day. My future obituary is beefing up with more positive descriptions. I want to die on the highest note telling my friends and family I never stop living a good life. I'm positive and joyful. I always desire to do something, anything new.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Feeling Anti-Social

The first time I heard the words "anti-social" was in Summer 2011. What is anti-social? Why do anti-social people want to avoid human contact? I fail to understand. I must live with human contact and their presence. I must live with communication and conversations with people. We're humans. Human interaction is important to live a good life.

My understanding of anti-social is a person wants to be alone--really alone such that he or she is happy being the last person on the face of the world. The person wants to be lonely. The person desires no human communication. The person feels satisfied being alone. The person refuses all social activities involving people. The person is comfortable and content being quiet if he or she is in a social setting.

I began feeling anti-social when I started planning for New Year's Eve on Dec 26. I stayed home watching television after work on Dec 31. I continue to feel anti-social. I'm confident these anti-social feelings disappear. I hope my normal self returns with the desire to be with people soon. I don't approach people; however, if people approach me, I respond friendly.

Anti-social Is Taking A Break From People

I wonder if anti-social is normal. I never thought I take a break from human interaction. I feel good being alone. I take a time out from the presence of people. The statements have merit. I think I have a better understanding why some married couples take a time out from their marriage such as a marriage vacation where the couple mutually separates to be alone.

Being anti-social gave me immediate positive outcomes. I accomplished my personal errands and responsibilities beyond what I normally fulfill when I didn't feel anti-social. I began the process of getting back into shape; unfortunately, the process is slow because I experienced the stomach and I have been experiencing the Respiratory Syncytial Viruses (RSV) due to unhealthy air and other people being sick. Another benefit being anti-social was avoiding sick people. And I felt less stress and more relaxed since I'm taking a break from obligations with other people.

I even felt anti-social in social networking. I didn't post a Tweet from Dec 28, 2013 to Jan 4, 2014. I did read my friends' Tweets. I checked Facebook yesterday for the first time since the middle of December. I posted my first 2014 Tweet and Facebook status update yesterday. I'm starting to end my anti-social attitude.

My first experience being anti-social convinced me anti-social can be good. I'm sure I experienced anti-social a long time ago. I have been with people, meeting new people, and making new friends for a long time. I forgot the last time I wanted to avoid all human contact. I was afraid to lose people I avoided the anti-social feelings.

I wrote a blog being alone is okay that made my personal top 30 blogs when I wrote my 300th blog. Being alone is a break from human interaction. Being alone is not okay if a person lives a lonely life 24/7. People must not live a life as if being in solitary confinement at a prison. Don't be a loner. I used to be a loner. It sucked.

I prefer the term "being alone" instead of "being anti-social" the next time I want to avoid all social interactions.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Press The Reset Button

I felt bloated and my stomach hurt at work on Thur Dec 26. I went home early. I had the stomach flu. I called in sick on Fri Dec 27.

I realized since Fri Dec 27 there was something wrong with me. My problem wasn't physical. My stomach flu recovery was fast--the fastest ever I could remember. My problem wasn't mental. I remained focus at work. I solved problems. My problem wasn't emotional. I didn't feel depressed. My problem wasn't spiritual. I believed in myself. And my problem wasn't financial.

What was the problem? I share my thought process to find the answer.

*Did I need a distraction? Distraction was good to take my mind off something I didn't want to think about. There was nothing I wanted to take my mind off. There were no negative thoughts or moments. My answer is no.

*Did I need to change something? Life has been good. Change has been going on since I found a job. There was no need to change anything else in the short-term. My answer is no.

*What was missing? Living on my own, working at a permanent position, meeting new people, creating new circle of friends, seeking new adventures, and experiencing new experiences are missing in my life. However, there's nothing missing in the short-term.

*Get back to who you were before. I didn't want to get back to being unemployed. I hope I'm never unemployed for the rest of my life. There is nothing to get back. I'm going forward.

*Time out. I'm going with the flow of good timing and good fortunes. No time out.

*Vacation. I can't afford a vacation.

*Were there mistakes to be corrected? I continue to correct the mistakes I made decades ago such as catching up what I missed in my 20s. There are no recent mistakes that must be corrected. My answer is no.

*Start over from the beginning. There was nothing life shattering or a life disaster that convinced me I must start over from the beginning.

*Find something new. There was nothing I needed new. It was like uninstalling Windows 7 and installing Windows 8 in my desktop.

*Reminded myself my past successes. Reviewed my basics living a successful and happy life. I remind myself weekly. The past successes aren't helping me solve my problem this time.

*Performed a checkpoint. I don't need a checkpoint to evaluate my current life. I want to continue living. There is no stopping in the short-term.

*Did I need a new identity? I'm always getting stronger, smarter, wiser, and kinder. My identity is always new. A new identify was not the solution for my current problem.

*Did I need a new attitude? My attitude continues to be positive and finding joy in good times and bad times. No attitude adjustment was needed.

*Reset. Yes, I need to reset my life.

Let's elaborate on resetting my life. There's nothing wrong physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. There is nothing specifically wrong. There's nobody I hate. There are no problems at home. Everything is going well. I have a full time job. My life is moving forward instead of being paused.

Here's an analogy to reset my life. My life is a desktop computer. The hardware, software, operating system, network, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers are running good. Nothing needs to be changed, replaced, fixed, or upgraded. My desktop computer needs to restart to run smoothly again. The RAM is refreshed. The temp files are deleted. The cache is clean. The taskbar is clear.

Getting sick with the stomach flu was a blessing in disguise. I took the day off from work that made me realize I felt something wrong. I must find a solution. I'm lucky and I'm fortunate I solved the problem quickly.

The next time you feel something is wrong, try to reset your life. There may be no need for changes, to take a vacation, to take a time out, to start over again, or to perform a checkpoint. Reset your life to run smooth again.