Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Throwback Blog: Perfect Drive To Work

Blogger’s Note: Throwback blogs are blogs from my past. I start posting past blogs reflecting what I wrote. It's like my "A Second Look" blogs for which I give myself feedback.

Today's throwback blog is titled Perfect Drive To Work in Feb 2008. The blog reminded me working at Cisco. The experiences and lessons apply to today's work environment. There are days of short commutes. There are days simple assignments became complicated. I mentioned my department took two months to complete a quarterly report.

Since December 26, 2007, I have been driving the expressways to work instead of driving the freeway. On Friday February 15, I drove from home to my turnoff without stopping. A perfect drive. A perfect commute. I said "Perfect!" after I passed the last intersection. Now the bonus was making the left turn without stopping on a red light. I stopped. The next perfect drive must be all greens. No red lights.

Moreover, the work day was perfect. I took a break from working on my department's quarterly report and I work on my other assignments I delayed completing. I completed most of the assignments and I must finish on Monday. Monday is President's Day, and even though I have to work *sniff, sniff*, I expect a slow day.

Speaking of quarterly report, my department should be happy we should finish in three and a half weeks. The last quarterly report, our first time using a new format, took eight weeks.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

The World Simultaneously

Today is the third day of the four day Thanksgiving weekend in the Pacific Standard Time Zone. Right now. At this moment. This minute. This second. Everywhere in the world morning, afternoon, or evening. Families are enjoying each other's company. A retail worker helps a customer choose a dress for a Christmas gift. A police officer responds to an emergency call for domestic violence. Two people fall in love. Two people are breaking up. There is a car accident on the freeway. A baby is being born. Someone who lived 90 years old passes away. A cargo ship sails peacefully in the Pacific Ocean; however, a storm is coming towards it. Someone listens to The Beatles. Someone listens to Bruno Mars. A meal is served in a household. A person microwaves a personal size pizza.

Someone writes a blog. Someone reads a blog. Someone is depressed Donald Trump is the next President of the United States. Someone is happy Donald Trump is the next President of the United States. A computer crashes. A light bulb burns out. A basketball player shoots and makes a three point shot. A garbage worker picks up garbage. A fire burns a house. A dog eats lunch. A cat drinks water. A drug addict sniffs cocaine. Another drug addict continues rehab. There are people eating. There are people studying. There are people driving. There are people flying. There are people sleeping.

The events above happen in real time. The present. Now. What happened a second ago, a minute ago, or an hour ago is the past. Move forward. The world continues. People succeed at something. Victory. People fail at something. Mistakes are made. We, you and me, are part of the world continuing. We are living. You and I are doing something now. Boredom counts as doing something. You're breathing. Anything we're doing now other people are doing the same. You watch YouTube videos. Other people watch YouTube videos. You pay bills. Other people pay bills. You're swimming. Other people are swimming. You're thinking. Other people are thinking. The world continues turning. The world never stops. The world doesn't end. Tomorrow is another day. Life goes on.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Luck Is Part Of Life

Everyone must accept luck is part of life. Everything we do luck is a factor such as winning a contract, winning a contest, receiving a job offer, playing board games, and being at the right place at the right time. Conversely, losing a contract, losing a contest, not receiving a job rejection, losing a board game due to a dice roll, and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. There are times a success or a failure ends up being lucky or unlucky.

Some people have luck going in their favor many times. Some people have luck going in their favor a few times. Some people deny good luck or bad luck a factor in their daily lives. Good luck or bad luck factors more in life than most of us believe. Luck can be the deciding factor. Sometimes luck is the deciding factor. The common lucky life includes a well-being family, good health, high intelligence, no cavities, no financial debt, no car accidents, and living in a good neighborhood. Further, living dependently on good luck must be avoided. Never depend on good luck dictating how to live life.

My opinion regarding luck is the most successful people under appreciate luck and the least successful people over-rely on luck. The most successful people say hard work, determination, desire, motivation, strength . . . the clique description words describing their success. These people rarely say good luck. These people downplay luck. I believe these people must recognize good luck as a factor for their success. There are other people who can do the same or better. The least successful people say patience, waiting for the opportunity, hoping for the next break, too many rejections, bad timing, relaxing before the working . . . the clique description words describing their frustrations. These people say they're getting no good luck. These people pray for good luck. I believe these people must improve their efforts to increase their chances of getting good luck to be successful. There are other people in similar situations for which they eventually succeed.

I hope everyone's luck improves. I hope for the best. Nobody lives a life with too much good luck. Tragedy is waiting. Nobody lives a life with too much bad luck. A big break is coming soon.


Monday, November 07, 2016

SOMT: Cities, Downtowns, Stores, Parties Meet People

Blogger’s Note: SOMT stands for Sign Of My Times, an occasional blog sharing my thoughts how time changes life from when I was young to today.

I watched the movie "American Graffiti" on Sat Nov 5. Good movie. The movie was ranked #77 in the American Film Industry's Top 100 Movies of all time 1997 list. The movie is about two high school grads spend one final night together cruising the local town.

My favorite part of the movie was everyone being outdoors. The characters were outside seeking adventures and experiencing new experiences in town. Meet new people, share laughs, cry, be honest, and finding oneself. My generation's youth we spent time outdoors. We met new people. We cruised cities, downtowns, and roads. Also, we met new people indoors such as malls and parties.

My youth leisure was being active. We were physically doing something. We brought ourselves out there to be seen. We brought ourselves out there to see new people. We brought ourselves out there with our friends to strengthen our friendships. We made phone calls on landlines to organize the day's activities.

More youths are on the computer today. More youths are on the internet. More youths are on their cell phone. Cell phones and the internet are great to organize gatherings. Meeting people indoors such as parties and gatherings is acceptable. The bottom line is don't isolate yourself. Don't be anti-social. Spend time outdoors. Get up and do something, anything. The best way to meet new people is still the old fashion way. Get out there.

In addition, I follow my advice. I'm a man of my blogs. I begin attracting new people indoors and outdoors when I find my own nest.


Sunday, November 06, 2016

Maintenance Is Important As Innovating Infinitely

We hear about innovation daily in the media. A company, person, or persons discover something innovative. Daily life changes. Also, employees in a company think about innovation. How can a procedure be more efficient? How can a product be cheaper? How can a service make more money? The mindset everyday is doing better. Improve. Innovate infinitely.

I blog maintenance. Maintenance is today's center of attention because many people neglect maintenance. I admit some days I ignore maintenance for which I actually maintain myself each day. The simplest example is sleep. Sleep is a body maintenance. Sleep is resting my body, mind, and soul. Sleep is my spiritual practice. I have more life maintenances listed below:

*Car. I maintain my car checking the oil, inspecting the tires for nails, and visual check the engine for bad smells and leaks when I fill up the car with gas. I also maintain my car at home checking all fluids and tire air pressure.

*Computer. I maintain my computer and laptop backing up my files. I download the latest Windows updates, anti-virus updates, and software updates.

*Clean house. I maintain the house vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, and moping the kitchen floors. I also include washing the dishes, laundry, and organizing. I maintain a clutter free living environment.

*Job skills. I maintain or review my core skills including Excel, Access, and SQL during my job search. I have been learning new skills such as Python and CSS. I'm currently maintaining or reviewing VBA which I learned earlier in 2016.

*Gym. I maintain my body working out at the gym four to five days a week. Weightlifting and cardio are my workouts.

*Bare necessities. Another body maintenance is keeping myself clean and groomed. Take a shower. Shave. Brush teeth twice a day. Cut my finger nails and toe nails. Haircut. Apply lotion to dry skin.

Maintenance can be boring. Maintenance must be done. Review. Drill. Repeat. Use it or lose it. Maintenance is a way to get back. Go back to the basics when in trouble. An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure. Moreover, finding time for maintenance can slow us down in a positive way. Take it easy. Relax.


Saturday, November 05, 2016

Top Ten Life Lessons I Learned Watching Sports

I'm a sports fan for most sports professional and college. I do my best to follow the current events. There are life lessons I learned since I watched sports as a child. I wrote blogs inspired from sporting events such as The San Francisco Giants playing Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, and Alex Smith's first year with head coach Jim Harbaugh in the NFL 2011-2012 season.

Obviously one sports life lesson is hard work. I add the adverb "intelligently". Work hard intelligently. Dedication is also important. The player must go all-in his or her sport to be successful. Learn. Repeat. Practice. Repetition. Learn, repeat, practice, and repetition intelligently.

Here are the top ten life lessons I learned watching sports:

10. Curses Are Meant To Be Broken. Congrats to the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series. The last time the Cubs won was 1908. Congrats to the Boston Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series after their last world series win in 1918. The Cubs' curses billy goat in the 1945 World Series, black cat in 1969, and Steve Bartman in the 2003 National League Championship Series are forgiven and forgotten. The bottom line is nothing bad lasts forever curses or no curses.

9. Rest. Stay Healthy. Rest is important to stay healthy. Rest minimizes the chances for injuries. Days off are important. Athletes are not super humans. Sleep and rest are important.

8. Strong Core. The San Francisco Giants World Series wins in 2010, 2012, and 2014 are a good example of a strong core. Nine players were part of the three world championships. These players established a strong starting pitching rotation, a strong relief pitching bullpen, and top hitters at the heart of the batting order. A key factor for any success is a solid foundation, a solid core, or a group of reliable people.

7. Redemption. One of my favorite words. A team has another chance to correct mistakes. A player has another chance to forget being the goat and become the hero. There are endless future opportunities to succeed after mistakes.

6. Streaks And Slumps. Nobody's perfect. Life is not perfect. Sports are not perfect. No team wins 100% of their games. No player shoots 100% success. Winning streaks and bad slumps are part of the game. Winning streaks and bad slumps are part of life.

5. Be Professional. Professional expectations are high in all major league sports. Players act, behave, perform, and communicate professionally. They play professionally when we watch sports at the stadium or on television. They're having fun. They're also working. They're performing at the highest professional level. All success requires professionalism.

4. Consistency. The team plays their game. The players perform to their strengths. Coaches plan their games to their team's strength. Consistency is the key. Avoid being streaky. Never deviate out of the game plan. Good moments come to a person living a consistent life.

3. Be Calm. Moreover, consistency includes being calm. Avoid playing desperate. Desperation plays rarely succeed. Teams rarely play the final minutes, final quarter, final inning, or final period being desperate. Almost always losing teams continue to follow their game plan. There are exceptions such as playoffs.

2. Good Coaching. Coaching is important for the players to succeed. Coaches keep their players focused. Coaches correct a player's mistake. Coaches place their players at the best opportunities to succeed. Coaches teach their players what it takes to become successful. Coaches are like mentors. People need mentors to become successful.

1. Support. Nobody succeeds alone. Successful people need support from other people such as advice, assistance, favors, and a listener. Coaches are also a player's support. Players support each other because the team wants to win. Players watch each other's backs. Players stand with other players in bad moments. Players complement other players for good plays.


Tuesday, November 01, 2016

A Lesson From My Bad Years

Everyone lives good years. Everyone lives bad years. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Think Monday morning quarterback. Steve Jobs said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." The past can't change. The opinions on the past can change. We better understand the past when we continue living. We wise up.

The following years are my bad years. What caused the years to be bad? What lesson did I learn? I think back my past bad years to remind myself the lessons I learned.

2002 bad year. 2002 was the opposite of 2001. I could say 2002 bad year started on 9/11. Life flow went my way in 2001. Life flow went against me in 2002. 2002 was a bad year beyond my control. I couldn't recall any highlights. I didn't remember any accomplishments. Work was hell because there was nothing happy to keep me going. Confusion and ambiguity were the best 2002 adjectives.

2002 lesson. My manager was unofficially fired. My company kept their firings quiet or concocted a legitimate reason for dismissal. She did nothing. A person has nothing, does nothing, gets nothing, be nothing, and people treats you like nothing. Never be a nobody.

2007 bad year. 2007 was an up and down roller coaster for which 2007 went downwards after May. My grandfather past away in Jan. I started to wear braces in Jan. My company went downhill again people leaving the company in Feb. I started working at Cisco in Mar. I purchased my first car in May. The rest of 2007 went down the roller coaster for which I lived like I was on vacation in my high school years.

2007 lesson. The first day I worked at Cisco I said to myself, "2007 is a good year no matter what happens afterwards." 2007 was a year I took for granted. I worked half-ass at Cisco. My gym workouts were both ineffective and inconsistent. I read a string of bad books. I didn't know why I finished reading those bad books. I experienced multiple times of fatigue. Never take life for granted.

2008 bad year. The real estate bubble popped. Work got easier because there was nothing to do. There were fewer assignments. My contract was terminated. I became lost. Who was the real Raymond Mar?

2008 lesson. I realized I must grow up on Sat Oct 4. The changes paid immediate dividends. New clothes. Read fiction books. New desktop PC. New mattress. New gym workout plans. Forgiveness. I opened up to new adventures and new experiences.

2013 bad year. Too much fun. I didn't work hard enough and long enough to learn new job skills and review existing job skills. Also, the process to review my existing job skills was incorrect.

2013 lesson. Playtime was over. It was time to be a mature adult responsible for myself. Spend less time having fun. Spend more time learning new job skills.

2014 bad year. I failed to follow my 2013 lesson in 2014. I had too much fun from Jan to Jun. I was shocked I failed an Excel test during a job interview. The worse day of my life happened in Sep when I worked at a new job doing shady tasks.

2014 lesson. I reviewed my Excel skills and my other skills the correct way by watching YouTube videos. Moreover, I have been learning new job skills primarily watching YouTube videos. For example, Tableau, Salesforce, Python, and CSS. The first lesson was always learn new job skills and always review existing job skills. Learning new skills outside my career is valid. The second lesson was saying goodbye to anything or anyone holding me back. I retired from anime because I have more important priorities. I stopped seeing some people who didn't contribute to my well-being. I stopped seeing some people I didn't contribute to their well-being.