Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's The Second Year That Counts

There's a common saying you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The saying has merit. Nobody wants to see a potential worker dressed in a Hawaiian shirt being interviewed for an executive position. Nobody? *Clears weird thought in my head*

Thinking one step ahead, the second year, the second go around, the sophomore year determines how good someone or something is. My freshmen year in high school was excluded from my college applications—colleges looked at sophomore to senior year grades. My first year at my present company gave me the wrong impression how friendly my company was—the company began going downhill in terms of workplace morale. Some people I met I thought they were cool people at first—the more I knew them, the more I realized they were jerks. And my laptop I purchased in 2005 worked without problems even though other people reported problems on my model in their first year of use—so far so good in the second year ^_^

When everything is going smoothly in the first year taking classes at high school, the first year working in a company, the first year in a serious relationship, the first year driving a new car, whatever first year, the second year determines how good it is. In the first year, some people tend to have the mindset, the thinking, and the attitude that everything was going perfectly, flawless, and joyful. The first impression was positive. Everything was mistake free or problem free; unfortunately, mistakes and problems are going to happen sooner or later. The second year determines if any mistakes and problems could be corrected to continue the classes, the career, the relationship, keeping the laptop.

Every year, Major League Baseball awards the top rookie in the American League and National League the Rookie Of The Year awards. Mark McGuire, Derik Jeter, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Mike Piazza won Rookie Of The Year awards and have hall of fame careers. On the other hand, Walt Weiss, Jerome Walton, Junior Felix, and, damn, a lot of no namers won Rookie Of The Year awards and have crappy careers in their second years many never played at the major league level thereafter. These players likely brought with them the attitude of everything is going great and no need to worry about messing up to training camp in their sophomore year. These overconfident players' attitudes were wrong.

If you have a great first year at something, then keep the momentum going in the second year and beyond because it's the second year that counts. Continuing innovating to be better and innovate infinitely.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 Las Vegas Trip: Third Day and Epilogue

Day 3: Going Home

Steve and I woke up at 8:00 A.M. Steve took a shower and I packed and watched ESPN =__= We arrived at the taxi departure area to the airport and we split a cab with a person who was on a business trip from Phoenix who stayed a Treasure Island with a buddy. It was the first time I split a cab with someone. His name was Scott and he lived in San Diego. My apology to Mr. Scott because I incorrectly calculated his share. I said 50/50 because I was paying for Steve. The correct share was 33/33/33 for which I pay 67% and he paid 33%. I did the math and Mr. Scott paid an extra $2.00. I hope Mr. Scott forgave me paying more than his share XD

All three of us arrived at the airport at 9:45 A.M. The taxi driver took the freeway for which seemed longer; however, he avoided the strip traffic and signal lights. At the airport, I choose to skip breakfast and I purchased a Baby Ruth candy bar, bottle water, and a copy of the Los Angeles Times newspaper. I purchased the newspaper to compare car prices in the Los Angeles area and the Bay Area. My uncle told me prices in Southern California are cheaper than Northern California, and the information is useful to negotiate.

Steve ate a piece of pizza for breakfast and his lunch :-) Our flights departed five minutes apart. My flight departs at 10:55 A.M. and Steve's flight departs at 11:00 A.M. Our gates were at opposite ends of Gate C. The LA Times newspaper contained useless information for me and I placed the newspaper on a chair and I picked up a Wall Street Journal to read on the airplane. I kept the LA Times auto classified ads.

I boarded the airplane and sat at the last row on the left side aisle seat. There were 90 passengers including 8 passengers from the 9:45 A.M. flight to San Jose which was canceled. The flight departed the airport on time. Midway through the flight, I read the evacuation procedures because if an emergency occurred, I was responsible for opening the door and inflating the emergency ramp `__* I arrived in San Jose at 12:10 P.M. and my Mom picked me up.


The vacation was a lot of fun. I have positive experiences for the three days in Vegas. Sure I won $149.00 on the one hand and on the other hand, I wanted to do more activities. Timing was in my favor with the hot Crap table at Tropicana and the Bellagio outdoor water show technical problems earlier in the evening and viewing multiple shows in a short amount of time during my stay. And, for the record, if I was in the losing end of my gambling, I gamble up to my stop loss of $200.00.

I like to thank Steve for choosing and organizing the Treasure Island hotel reservations. Good choice. And thank you for coming to Vegas with me. Sorry about the gambling losses $-{

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 Las Vegas Trip: Second Day

Day 2: How Many Miles Did I Walk?

Steve wanted to sleep as long as possible. No problem with me. I woke up around 8:30 A.M. and watched TV . . . mostly ESPN -__- Steve and I ate breakfast at 9:50 A.M. at the Treasure Island buffet. The price was around $15.00 including tax and tip. Good breakfast. Worth the money.

At 11:30 A.M., we went to Casino Royale. Steve played Blackjack and Craps, I played some Craps. The Crap table was $3.00 minimum, a first for me at Vegas. I played $20.00 for about 40 minutes. I walked away with $19.00 for my final net winnings $149.00. The table never got hot and after the 40 minutes, the table became cold. The Come bets saved me big time.

Steve and I left Casino Royale and went to Harrahs. We separated around 2:15 P.M. Steve continued gambling and I walked the strip and went shopping. I visited Paris Las Vegas for 10 minutes walking around and remembering the 2003 and 2004 visit briefly including the deli Steve and I ate for lunch in 2004. At 2:35 P.M., I purchased a Bellagio, Treasure Island, and Mandalay Bay deck of cards for $3.25 at a gift shop. My next and last shop was the Bellagio gift shop where I purchased a picture magnet of the Bellagio at night time with the water show for $3.25.

Steve contacted me on cell phone around 3:40 P.M. He was going to be at The Mirage and he wanted me to meet him. No problem. I arrived at The Mirage at 4:00 P.M. I had trouble finding Steve because The Mirage was filled with gamblers. The table game environment was a dark, yet impressive gaming condition. Steve said his Dad and I were calling him on cell phone. When he wanted to answer the cell phone, he must remove himself from the Blackjack table. He lost his seat immediately after he removed himself :-(

After a few additional cell phone communications, we found each other. Steve wanted to check out Caesars Palace. I followed. We arrived at Caesars and the table minimums were $10.00 and over. Steve thought about what to do because he wanted to play $5.00 minimums. He chose to gamble horse racing. Steve gambled at horse racing before and has some experience. He said gambling horses is a social activity because people talk between the races. While Steve gambled, I went back to the hotel room to get a new SD memory card for my digital camera and drop off the deck of cards and magnet. When I arrived back, Steve said he wanted to finish the horse racing schedule. No problem. I went to FAO Schweetz to get my ice cream and brownie. I got the ice cream and brownie for $8.00. Honestly speaking, it's the last time I pay $8.00 for ice cream and a microwave warmed brownie *__* Steve took a bite of my ice cream and brownie and loved it. I agreed. The dessert was good.

Dinner Time

We skipped lunch and we ate at Chipotle at 7:45 P.M. We ordered burritos. The burritos were big I failed to eat the entire burrito. It was the ice cream :-< LOL! We talked about a lot of random topics. After dinner, we went to Imperal Palace. Steve played Let It Ride. After watching Steve played for five minutes, we separated at 8:20 P.M. I went to the Bellagio to take pictures of the indoor Christmas garden and recorded the water show for my YouTube. I was lucky to watch a batch of the Bellagio water shows because there were problems earlier in the night. Bellagio played a bunch of water shows in a short amount of time and while I was at the Bellagio. Good timing :D After Bellagio, I walked to New York New York to walk off the burrito. I saw a group of guys getting the prostitution pic cards and trading them like baseball cards. I choose to get some myself >.> I arrived at New York New York and saw the location where I first gambled in my life in 1997. I watched a few Craps tables for a few minutes each. On my way back, I got more of the hooker pic cards <.< I videotaped one more Bellagio water show on my digital camera before going to the hotel room.

I arrived back at the hotel at 11:00 P.M. I was surprised to see Steve in bed. He arrived at the hotel around 9:30 P.M. I showered and watched Colors staring Robert Duvall and Sean Penn. I went to bed around 3:00 A.M.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2006 Las Vegas Trip: Introduction And First Day


My friend Steve and I took a vacation in Las Vegas Monday December 11, 2006 to Wednesday December 13, 2006. We stayed at Treasure Island for our hotel and we saw Folies Bergere for our show entertainment. We gambled playing slots, Craps, and Blackjack and walked around the strip. The trip was fun and we had a blast. I arrived at McCarran International Airport at 8:05 AM and Steve arrived around 2:00 P.M. We flew back home at 10:55-11:00 A.M. on Wednesday.

Day 1: Patience Is A Virtue

My flight departed on time from San Jose to Las Vegas. My dad gave me a ride to the airport. The flight totaled 50 passengers. Southwest told everyone to just line up and enter without following the A, B, and C groups. Everyone got either orange juice or coffee. No peanuts :-( I sat on the left side next to a window. I saw snow on the mountains and lots of residential development at the outside of Las Vegas.

I arrived at McCarran Airport at 8:05 A.M. I walked around the C gate looking at the restaurants. I choose to eat at Burger King. $7.50 for a sausage and egg bagel combo :-P After breakfast, I walked to the ground transportation. I saw the security line which was long. McCarran airport is the best airport I have visited. Those passengers should pass by security quickly.

I took a shuttle from the airport to Bellagio. I wanted to stop at the Bellagio first to view the indoor Christmas garden. The shuttle fare was $5.50 which was good. Waiting 20 minutes for the shuttle was bad. There was no rush. The shuttle made a stop at Aladdin first. The second stop was Bellagio at 9:40 A.M.

I stayed briefly at the Bellagio indoor Christmas garden because viewing the garden at night time was better looking. I took a few pictures. I noticed there were more shops opened on the backside of the garden and the polar bears were at the left side. The 2004 visited the polar bears were at the left side.

I walked to Treasure Island and arrived at the check in line at 10:40 A.M. Check in time was 11:00 A.M. I was the fourth person in line. When check in opened, the line grew big time. I got my keys and room and walked to the room on the 14th floor. Fortunately, Treasure Island devoted elevators to specific floors. Steve and I waited seconds for the elevators throughout the vacation. The room was similar to Bellagio in 2004. Bellagio is still my all time favorite hotel room because the room and bathroom were bigger and more elegant. After settling in, I went to the gift shop to buy bottle water, Lay's potato chips, and cookies. I watched TV mostly ESPN while I wait for Steve to arrive. I saw two window washers at the Venetian hotel washing the windows floor by floor.

Steve Arrived

Steve arrived at 2;30 P.M. He called me on cell phone he arrived at the airport. I was watching Viva Rock Vegas, a Flintstones movie. Coincidence ^^; I told him to come straight to the room because I got his keys. When he knocked on the door, I was surprised because I expected him to arrive at a later time. The reason why Steve arrived quickly was because he took a taxi ^^ Steve relaxed for about 15 minutes and settled in. Then we walked out of Treasure Island. Our first destination was the Greek Isles.

Along the way to the Greek Isles, we stopped at Fashion Show Mall Food Court at 3:00 P.M. for lunch. I ate at Taco Maker and ordered the number 1 combo which was three tacos, potato wedgies, and a soft drink. Steve ate Chinese. We ate there for 30 minutes. The food court reminded me of the Washington Canada trip because the food court was at the top floor and there lots of windows. Steve made a toast to the Las Vegas trip. We walked down the stairs outside the food court and visited the Wynn hotel for 10 minutes. I saw the waterfall by the outdoor restaurant and the main lobby decorated with trees.

After the Wynn, we saw the Stardust gated and closed. Steve found out the Stardust is going to be blown up and torn down for a new hotel and casino. I saw a Las Vegas Police Department station. I watched CSI briefly from time to time and I joked whether the show is filmed at the location. And I wanted to see some Las Vegas police cars because I wanted to take pictures for my webpage XD

At 3:50 P.M., we arrived at Greek Isles. Wow! Wow again! The Greek Isles was the smallest casino we ever saw. Fortunately, we stayed at Treasure Island. After staying for three minutes, we headed back to the strip. The plan was to walk to Treasure Island to get the tickets, visit Luxor because our favorite Camel Ride machine might be back, and then Tropicana to watch Folies Bergere. We stopped at Frontier casino for some gambling. I played Craps and walked away ahead $10.00. The table was cold and I considered myself lucky. Steve played Craps and some Blackjack. After Frontier, we walked to Treasure Island and got the tickets.

Steve and I were ahead of schedule. We stopped at O'Shea's casino. Steve played Blackjack. I played slots. I lost money $-( After O'Shea's, we walked to Luxor. I asked Steve about New Years Eve on the strip. He visited Vegas on New Years Eve one year. He said it's worth visiting on New Year's Eve once in a lifetime. One year, I'm going to visit Vegas on December 31.

We finally arrived at Luxor after me screwing up the Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay tran at 7:10 P.M. Steve saw a deli and made the call to eat dinner. I agreed and we ate. I ordered the roast beef sandwich and Steve ordered the corn beef sandwich. After dinner, I lost $20.00 on a slot machine :-\

Bam, Bam, Bam Waiting For The Hot Table For Action

We arrived at Tropicana at 8:00 P.M. The Folies Bergere started at 10:00 P.M. The plan was to arrive to our seats at 9:00 P.M. If anyone of us were having a hot streak at the tables, we seat at 9:30 P.M. I played Craps and Steve played Blackjack. The Crap table was hot. One of the shooters made his point three times in a row. The table remained hot throughout my stay. There was a pause for casino staff to restock chips. And there was a brief pause to change the minimums from $5.00 to $10.00. It was the first time I saw a change in minimums and the second time the table paused for chip restocking. I started with $40.00 and walked away at 9:30 P.M. with $186.00 for a net winning of $150.00. I kept $1.00 in a Tropicana chip for souvenir.

The Folies Bergere show started a little after 10:00 P.M. I missed the opening act getting bottle water at the bar. A couple of people were joking on ordering a cola. A cola is a cola they say whether it's Coke or Pepsi. The show was entertaining. Loved it. BTW, the show was topless O__O *Hee, hee, hee* My favorite scene was the last scene which was the Can Can and the dancing acrobats doing their acrobat stunts. Did I mention topless??? ;-) The dancers were very attractive 8-)

After the dance, we walked back to Treasure Island. On the Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard bridge between MGM Grand and Tropicana, I saw a Las Vegas Police car at a distance. I took a few pictures. I hope one of them turns out good to post on my webpage ~~ It appears the officer pulled over the car because the license plate was missing. We stopped at Walgreens to purchase snacks and bottle water. I purchased a bottle water, Fritos corn chips, and a Twix candy bar. I wanted to get an ice cream which I choose to get tomorrow. Steve made a joke saying I wanted ice cream on a cold night.

At 12:30 A.M., we arrived back at the hotel room. I showered, watch some of the original Blue Brothers movie and then went to bed. I realized if I want to buy a used police car, I must buy a California Highway Patrol because most of their miles are freeway miles.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Speaking Softly

Just random stuff to let everyone know I’m alive and O.K. <3

On Wednesday, I got a sore throat. It became worst in the evening. What caused my sore throat? It could be the leftover Costco chicken for dinner, someone at the checkout line at Safeway was sick, dozed off and slept without blankets (although my Mom kept the heater on all night) all three on Tuesday, or fatigue from Sunday’s Sacramento trip catching up, or more than one of the above. Today, my sore throat is gone. I don’t know what happened??? Could it be drinking two cups of green tea, taking vitamin C supplements, drinking Coke, sprinkling salt down my throat, sore throat drops, or more than one of the above? I consider myself lucky. I hope I don’t get a double whammy of soar throat and then bronchitis ^.^ I have been sick too many times in 2006 :-\

I just checked my YouTube account. Six people viewed my first VBlog. People are reading my Blogs ^__^ Thank you <3 Currently, I’m figuring out how to convert my VBlog from .wma to .avi because YouTube recommends videos in .avi and in 320x240 resolution. My Logitech webcam saves the video in .wma. I tried using Windows Media Player to save in .avi for my first VBlog. There is one .avi option in 720x480 and 30 frames per second (fps). I record more VBlogs after I learn how to convert .wma to .avi. Thanks for waiting.

My priorities for the Christmas break are update my webpage, continue learning Crystal Reports, update my webpage, start reading Business @ The Speed Of Thought by Bill Gates, update my webpage, write more Blogs, and update my webpage `__*

Also on Wednesday, the managing partner treated the staff to a surprise lunch. *sighs* Yeah, a surprise. When the staff carpooled to the surprise location, the lead car got lost. It could be the driver didn’t know how to get to the freeway or the passenger gave wrong directions. It was both bad and embarrassing since most of us live in the South Bay. When we got to the surprise location, we were less than joyed and we were polite. The restaurant was Dave & Busters. I never been there before because I heard the place was expensive. It’s expensive $-( The food, at least my order, tasted terrible. When everyone was talking, the managing partner looked at his PDA twice to check his email =P I said a few words. I wasn’t in the mood to talk. I keep a low profile at work @__@

Furthermore, nobody knew the restaurant when we met at the front desk. Bad move. What if someone got lost and needed to take an alternate route to the restaurant? Well, we did get lost. Fortunately, we were together.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My First VBlog

Yesterday, I uploaded my first Video Blog or VBlog on YouTube. Yay! Check it out. Thank you.

My First VBlog

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1% Geek? 10% Geek? 100% Geek?

One must be part geek or part nerd in today's lifestyle. No exceptions. In the information age where information is exchanged rapidly, more everyday tasks are becoming automated, and basic computer skills are just as important as driving a car. Having a geek side is good. If you read my Blog, you are a step ahead because there are some people who don't know how to browse the Internet.

We are becoming more dependent on computers and technology. There are good sides and bad sides which is another subject; however, technology is everywhere including the appliances, the automobiles, our workplaces, the shopping malls, banks, entertainment, and your local government.

I'm no society expert . . . I think nerds and geeks benefited the most in the information age which started in the mid 1990s. How many jobs and companies were created involving nerds and geeks? A ton *__* How many must want gadgets do we want? A ton starting with cell phones, mp3 players, PS2, laptops, GPS, and HDTVs. Thank the microprocessor for today's tech goodies ^^

Are nerds and geeks part of society? No. Are nerds and geeks accepted in society? No. Nerds and geeks belong in our society. In the 1980s, nerds and geeks were the out crowd. Remember the movie "Revenge Of The Nerds?" *Hee, hee* If you're computer incompetent, you're glad to know geeks and nerds who can help you out XD

Yours truly is a geek. I'm a geek who works out at the gym, hangs out with friends, keeps up with the sports headlines, follows the stock market, cooks, and desires to learn more technology. And I'm looking for a new career path in technology :-) I know I interchanged nerd and geek in the Blog. We're the same `__*

Side Note: I delay following the stock market. I resume following the market after I find a new job ^^

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Fastest Week Ever

November was a fast month. October still was the fastest month ever in my life. November, though, gets a recognition. The recognition is the last week of November was the fastest week ever in my life. All of a sudden, it's Friday and Saturday and Sunday, one week after Thanksgiving weekend.

On Monday, my Thanksgiving holiday was extended because my dumb-ass co-worker took Monday off. I wonder if he enjoyed his vacation visiting his family.

On Tuesday, my department had a quick meeting with the office manager. The meeting was pointless. Nothing much was said. After work, I paid some credit card bills and quickly checked my bank statement. And my Creative Zen M 30GB MP3 player I ordered online on Black Friday arrived.

On Wednesday, I attended a staff meeting discussing the company's 2007 employee handbook. Nothing really new. And the company announced health care costs are going up 15%. All of the workers with dependents were concerned. The company pays 100% of the deductibles for the employee.

On Wednesday evening, I went shopping at Safeway. I purchased 5 one gallon Crystal Geyser water and a package of Farmer John sausage. I cooked a piece on Thursday morning and the oil caught on fire. I cooked a second piece and tasted terrible. I continue to buy Jimmy Dean sausage for breakfast.

Also on Thursday, I started to listen to my MP3 player hooking my player on my workplace PC. The player is awesome. I want to upload more songs on Saturday or Sunday. I took home my Sony stereo, CD player, and alarm clock I purchased at Costco in December 2004. I'm going to bring my MP3 player to work everyday. If I want to listen to Classic Rock, my MP3 player has FM radio capability. If I want to listen to Classical Music, I listen to a radio station streamlining on the Internet.

Thursday evening I went to Longs Drugs to visit my friend Loktera. Three weeks ago, I dropped my sunglasses and he picked them up while a group of us were at Oakridge mall. We were busy between three weeks ago up to yesterday because of work and college classes. Thank goodness he found them or I must buy another one for at least $100.00 $-(

On Friday, at work I did lots of catch up. I finished inputting a stack of closed deals which I was a week behind. It's boring I know, and it's another reason why I'm looking for another job. I must open new doors and seek new opportunities.

And on Saturday I did lots of personal catch up. I checked all my email and purchased Business @ The Speed Of Thought by Bill Gates at There were no good deals at And my Dad and I went to Milpitas to look at a used Toyota Tacoma truck for sale. My Dad is looking to buy a used truck to replace the 1984 truck.

Today is December 2006. I wonder if December is going to outpace October? Time will tell. Events in December include a trip to Las Vegas, visit Santa Cruz, and attend my company's Christmas party which is a first for me ^_^