Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blog Two Doubleheader: Like A Losing Pitcher, It Was An Off Day Yesterday

Yesterday, my gym workout was incomplete. Around the second minute on the treadmill, my mp3 player froze. I didn’t have a suitable object to reset the mp3 player. And my left leg and my stomach started to tighten.

I choose to leave the gym and call it a bad workout just like a pitcher having a bad outing. I used the free time to get gas for my car. I arrived home a little bit early. I did 100 sit-ups, then I took a shower, brushed my teeth, washed dishes, and put away my work clothes for the last three days on the floor and in the closet. Finally, I read two chapters on “The Age Of Turbulence” by Alan Greenspan. I made the best I could from an off gym workout.

Taking the off gym topic further, the last two weeks at home have been boring and lazy, two words I avoid in my lifestyle. The lunches and dinners have been the same and boring meals. The last five days we have been eating leftovers and burritos. I managed to last my burrito for three days because I’m tired of the leftovers and there is no new food to cook in the refrigerator. Yesterday after work, my Mom called and asked me to get milk and chicken at Costco. Don’t ask why I had to do it because I don’t want to know what she did yesterday afternoon.

Today, I eat my leftover burrito for lunch. Other than yesterday’s Costco, my Mom didn’t shop for fresh food and vegetables. I don’t know what’s going on. She has been lazy when it comes to helping taking care of the house. I don’t know if she watches a lot of TV in the afternoon. It’s not worth contemplating. I’m a person who eats fresh, cooked, and healthy food at home. The last two weeks at home have been off weeks. (For the record, I do help around the house such as cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry.)

I can take charge and do the grocery shopping myself. The problem is what if my Mom went grocery shopping the same day I did. As a result, my house has too much food and no room in the refrigerator—well, most of the time the refrigerator is full because of the leftovers. I can grocery shop after work. The problem grocery shopping after work is I have less free time after dinner for personal time including reading, learning Crystal Reports, and going to the gym on gym nights. I must plan ahead if I must grocery shop.

Add one more problem in my house. There is too much junk. There is too much clutter my room has stuff that belongs to my Mom and Dad. Does anyone want an unused curtain? And we have computer hardware incompatible to today’s PC. Anyone want a serial mouse?

My Dad has been telling my Mom to clear up the junk. In defense of my Mom, my Dad has lots of junk in the garage. Both of them have junk in the attic. In defense of both of them, just being fair and objective *___*, some of the junk and clutter are my sister’s who moved back home after graduating in 2005 and her stuff are still in the house and some are my grandmother who past away in August 2006.

Regardless, junk is junk and clutter is clutter. My Mom subscribed for daily newspaper delivery for the price of Sunday’s edition. The newspapers are piling next to the front door. Nobody reads the newspaper. Why did my Mom subscribe to the newspaper? I’m not cleaning the newspapers up.

For the rest of the week, I’m thinking about taking it easy, not working out at the gym, and calling the week an off-week. My mood is somber since yesterday. I don’t know what to do at home. Ironically, the boring and lazy problem and the junk and clutter problem are two problems some families wished they have because there are far worst problems for some families.

Blog One Doubleheader: Sharing A Barry Bonds Moment

On Wednesday September 26, Barry Bonds played his last game at AT&T Park. Last week, the San Francisco Giants officially announced the ball club is not going to sign Bonds for the 2008 season. Bonds was close to hit a home run on his final at-bat in the bottom of the 6th inning. He went 0 for 3 and was removed from the game at the end of the 6th inning. The TV and radio broadcasts shared the best Bonds moments. I share my Barry Bonds moment.

On April 2002, my family and I went to Pacific Bell Park, the name of the park before AT&T purchased Cingular, to watch the San Francisco Giants vs. the Florida Marlins. My brother got free tickets from his company. We sat behind home plate and on the second deck. The view was terrific seeing the ballpark and the Bay Bridge.

I ordered soda and garlic fries at the concession stand. My family didn’t want to buy anything because the food was expensive. Good point; however, the garlic fries was worth it because Giants garlic fries were the best I ever tasted. We brought sandwiches and bottle water at the supermarket. Bringing food and bottle water were acceptable.

My Barry Bonds moment was he hit two Splash Hit home runs. It was awesome to watch the home runs hit from the park to McCovey Cove. It was different to watch home runs on TV and watch at the stadium. The two home runs Bonds hit were Splash hit number 19 and number 20 and Bonds career number 581 and number 582. The Giants won the game. 2002 was a good year to watch the Giants because they were the National League Champions.

Barry Bonds By The Numbers:

*762 career home runs, all-time home run leader
*7 MVPs
*13 time all-star
*13 seasons 100 or more walks, tied with Babe Ruth for all-time
*1 of 4 players to reach the 40-40 club (40 or more home runs and stolen bases)
*73 home runs in a single season (2001), a record

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Learn From Failures, Too

One of the ways to be successful is to model from the successful people in business, entertainment, government, and sports. Bill Gates, John Chambers, Tom Cruse, The Rolling Stones, Benjamin Franklin, Hilary Clinton, Ronald Regan, Lucile Ball, Michael Jordan, and the list goes on. Learn from these successful people how they achieved success. Use them as models, as guidelines, as sources for knowledge and experience. Follow their examples and success shall come in time.

Another way to be successful is to learn from the successful people’s failures. In Bill Gates’ book “Business @ The Speed Of Thought,” Gates devoted half of a chapter on failures. He shared his failed businesses and what he learned from the failures. Observe your daily life and take note how other people live their lives, how businesses conduct daily operations, and how you live your life. Find your failures and learn from them. (And be aware of your successes and innovate your successes.)

For example, in my last company, in 1997, the company was supposed to have a new database. It’s 2007 and the company has a database which still has problem. The company went through at least 7 failed databases. The company should have learned something in the 10 years.

Keep your eyes open, ears listening, nose smelling, hands feeling, and mouth tasting success and failures. Take your successes and innovate them. Take your failure and turn them to successes.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Six Months At Cisco

Wednesday September 19 was my six month anniversary at Cisco. I met lots of new people including outside my department, learned new skills and strengthen old skills such as Crystal Reports and SQL, and experienced working in a multi-billion, tech company. I never experienced those three working at my last company. Working at Cisco was a good parallel career move choice.

I’m happy working at Cisco for better and for worse. In my second week, I attended an off-site meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The first 4 months at Cisco was frustrated learning. There were lots of trial and error, lots of experimenting, and lots of making mistakes. I finished an assignment and then I was told to make modifications. All workers must learn on their own and correct their mistakes. Assignments must be completed at highest expectations, mistakes learned and corrected fast, and the managers and above want the information quickly without the “what the heck am I reading” questions. There are politics and bull shit which every company has. I have become a better worker.

In my last company, I completed the same assignments, performed the same responsibilities, and worked at the same cubicle, I mean, wall for years. My last job was boring. The work environment at Cisco is a new breath of fresh air, a new workplace I sought for years. In my last company, the office manager and managing partner did nothing such that if they worked at Cisco, they were fired immediately.

I experienced new hires and people leaving the company. Some workers transferred to another location. And some were laid-off. Good news is news the public know. Bad news is news kept internally. I’m getting used to the flexible hours. In my last job, hours were set. As long as the work is done, workers can come and go anytime. Some workers work at home telecommuting. I’m old school. I have to work at work. And using instant messaging is vital to keep in touch with co-workers and even family and friends.

It took me eight years since I graduated San Jose State to work in a tech company. As a geek, Cisco is my daily cup of tea. I have my security badge, I have a laptop, I have a commute, I eat in the cafeteria, I have my cubicle, and I have access to the Cisco network. I’m working in a Silicon Valley tech company.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

There Are Too Many People Here

On Friday September 14, I read an article about global warming and population growth at The article talked about reducing the birth rate for future generations to raise their children in today’s Earth-green awareness. China instituted a mandatory reduction birth rate which failed. The article stated the United Nations predict the population reach 9.2 billion in 2050 for which most of the growth in developing countries per capita emissions are the lowest. Developed countries emissions increases and birth rates decreases; however, a child born can impact emissions. Regardless, innovations in agriculture technology assures there is plenty of food.

In short, technological advances reduce emissions and save the Earth from any global environment crisis. The population increase has little to do with the growing emissions problems because our lifestyles change as we live to be greener such as fuel efficient cars, energy saving appliances, and LED technology.

My thoughts on population growth involve something else. Looking at the population growth from a supply and demand point of view (in other words, my economics point of view =__=), as population increase, there is more demand. If the supply stays fixed, prices increase. For example, are there going to be enough public services to handle to increase in population as new families are born and cities and communities grow? I hope cities receive enough tax money to pay for the services.

What about medical care? Working parents add their children to their medical and dental benefits. I wonder the true reason the increase in medical care costs is there are more people to insure. How about garbage? I hope technology find ways to recycle more than cans, bottles, and glass. I fear we are going to run out of land in our dumps for our garbage.

I don’t have numbers and I don’t have published facts to support my opinion population growth create problems except global warming and famine. I’m speaking from my intuition. I live across the street from a school. I wake up on a Saturday mornings hearing the soccer and t-ball families getting together with their children. I look out the window and I see so many children. For the record, I’m not against couples starting families. It’s just that I fear a family having four or five children. I don’t know how parents can raise at least four children financially and keeping their relationship. Really, I don’t. And when the children get married and choose to start a family, there are more people in the world.

The world is getting crowded. I see lots of people in shopping malls, libraries, anywhere outside my house. I fear with so many people crimes go up, more garbage, roads need more maintenance because families are required to drive more, and our personal space shrinks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My First Pop Tart

Yesterday, I went to the supermarket and purchased a box of strawberry and strawberry with icing Pop Tarts. The price was $2.00 per box. I’m guessing the cheap price because the store wanted to sell the old Pop Tarts. The boxes had American Idols Live Tour 2007 and the tour is almost over. Thank you to preservatives =D BTW, I compared the nutrition percentages. If I read correctly, it seemed the strawberry with icing is more nutritious than plain strawberry. Makes no sense. I believe the strawberry with icing has more sugar.

For breakfast, I ate the strawberry today. I heated the strawberry Pop Tarts in the microwave for 30 seconds. The instructions said 3 seconds on high. My microwave is weak. I took one bite and my impression was the pop tart tasted plain. I tasted more of the pastry than the strawberry jelly. Biscuits with no butter tasted better, IMO. Perhaps, toasting is better. I try the toaster tomorrow for the strawberry icing.

I’m confident I’m not going to eat Pop Tarts for a long, long time. I eat healthy breakfast consisting of bread, cereal, milk, oatmeal, and fruit. The Pop Tarts is something I say I ate a Pop Tart in my life ~~

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hong Kong Victoria Harbor

A co-worker sent the link to my department. The picture is Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. Move your cursor up and down. Enjoy XD

Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Patience To Earn Relationships

Everyday people meet new people in business and leisure. People converse with other people to get to know each other. Some people are more open to talk about themselves. Some people, including me, like to ask questions to start conversations and want to get to know as many people as possible. In my opinion, nobody can know too many people. Always meet people and know many people.

If the people you’re going to meet are going to be long lasting relationships whether it’s business, friends, companions, partners, acquaintances, or personal, it’s going to happen in time. Be patient. It takes time to develop, earn, and strengthen relationships. The relationship grows when you and your group participates in more events such as working on projects, taking a trip, attending a concert, playing poker, and eating at a restaurant which results in the more everyone knows each other a little at a time. Nobody is going to tell someone or a group of people his or her life history in one social event or one instance. It takes months, even years, to truly know a person or people. True and long lasting relationships say, “I know *insert name(s)* for X years.”

Be discreet when asking questions to get to know the other people when meeting for the first time. Avoid questions such as, “How old are you?” and “How much money do you make?” and “What’s your sexual orientation?” Don’t start a conversation with weak questions such as “What time is it?” Be tactful, discreet, and interesting.

Remember the other person’s name. I’m bad at remembering names. When someone approaches me and tells me we met before, I ask sincerely to remind me where we meet. And don’t laugh consistently to respond to someone’s comment, opinion, or ending a topic. It’s bad. It’s still a personal problem for me and I continue to break the bad habit. Laugh when someone makes a good joke or sarcastic remark.

Finally, some people are less open to talk about themselves. You must be more discreet and tactful when you meet and converse with private people. Don’t assume you’re a friendly person the private person opens up quickly. Ask fewer direct questions about them. Slow the conversation down. Ask questions happening at the moment such as, “Did you try the spinach dip? It’s really good.” or “Heard what happened recently *insert current event*” You must earn their trust for private people (and most people in general) to open up to you; likewise, for you are you going to reveal personal aspects of your life to people you met in an hour? Likely, the answer is no. To repeat, you’re not going to know a person’s history in one event or one instance.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Wednesday September 5 was the worst driving commute ever. My usual work hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Nobody in my company has fixed hours. The hours are flexible.

On the day, there was a morning meeting. I came to work early and I leave work early. I went home at 5:50 PM and traffic was expected. When I started working from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, the longest commute time is 40 minutes. Wednesday’s commute time was 50 minutes and 23 seconds. I timed the commute home just for fun XD

What happened? There were no accidents. (Since I started working, there was one accident. At the time I drove home, the accident was in the clearing stage.) Surprisingly, I saw no cars merging incorrectly, no cars cutting lanes, and no cars tailgating. Everyone was polite. I think the reason is many people went home at the same time.

When I go home around 7:00 PM, it takes me 20-25 minutes to get home. If the signal lights are to my advantage, then 20 minutes; otherwise 25 minutes. I’m fortunate my flexible hours and nobody to take care of enables me to minimize my commute travel time.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Take Five

It's Labor Day Weekend. Time to take five and take a break from our daily lives. Or time to rethink what we are doing with our lives today. *clap my hands* Let's take five:

1. Need a blog topic and you recently ended something such as your current job, relationship, vacation, and sold your car? Was the something affected you negatively? How about a blog on what you can now say about your last company, last lover, last vacation, and last car; for example, you found a new job, now you can tell the world what your last company was like. Be sincere and positive when you grip ^^

2. On Friday August 31 around 4:45pm, I walked from my cubicle to the window line. I looked out the window and I saw very few cars because many workers went home early, choose to work at home, or took the day off. I'm old school when it comes to work. I must go to work to work.

Anyways, I looked up at the sky and saw the clouds move. There was silence on my floor and I heard the air conditioning. Combined the window line, moving clouds, and hearing the air conditioning I thought I was on an airplane. I wish I was on an airplane.

3. In May, I was stressed working at Cisco. Frustrations, mistakes, and forgetting myself in April and May. I created the Summer Sabbatical for June, July, and August. When I'm out of work, I'm out of work. I do anything except work. I'm happy to say the sabbatical worked. I accomplished a lot and caught up on many activities including my bills, my webpage, creating more Blogs, accomplishing some goals, and hanging out more with my friends.

4. The next time you fill your car up with gas, do the two minute car check. The two minutes can save money and time by preventing major car repairs. First, check the oil with the dipstick. If your car needs oil, add oil according to your car's manual. Then visual check the fluids such as break fluid, wiper fluid, and coolant. Do a quick check of the battery. Does you battery need maintenance according to the battery's specifications? Finally, check the tires. Are the tires in good condition with normal tire wear and no visible damage such as a nail stuck on the tire? If the tread is wearing out unevenly, chances are the alignment is off and needs to be checked.

After the two minute check is completed, wash the front and back windows. If you have extra time, wash the outside mirrors, and/or any windows along the driver side or passenger side, and the headlights.

Bonus: If it's night time, then keep your lights on. Check the lights. Are any lights burned out? If yes, replace as soon as possible. Check turn signals.

5. On Saturday, I went to a party. Everyone did a little of everything including playing video games such as Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, and Tetris; watching movies; playing table top games including UNO, Liar's Dice, and Texas Hold'Em; and hanging around in the pool. One of my friends wore a wet suit in the pool. That's a great idea. I'm getting a wet suit the next time a pool is involved. The reason is I'm sun sensitive and I burn really easy. We ate a BBQ lunch and leftovers, pizza, and lasagna for dinner. Around 11:30pm, some of us went to Nickel City, an arcade center. The group and I went home around 1am after chit-chatting in front of Nickel City when it closed at midnight.

On Sunday, I did morning errands. First, I got a haircut. Then I went to Safeway to purchase Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal and whip cream. Someone suggested I eat Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal with whip cream. Next to Safeway is Kragen to purchase some oil and air filters on sale. Kragen sold out on the oil case. I visit again later. And I went to Fry's and Best Buy to purchase the Heroes DVD box set. Both stores were sold out. I buy Heroes at Costco on Tuesday. I'm confident Costco has plenty in stock. For the rest of Sunday, I stayed home in the hot weather and caught up on personal errands.

On Labor Day Monday, I'm going to sign up at Napster. I have 1,010 songs on my Creative Zen Vision:M 30GB mp3 player. Recently, my random setting fails to play the songs randomly. I swear I heard the same song a few days ago. I want to download new songs.

I'm going to try Maple and Brown Sugar and whip cream. I'm going to open one pack of Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal and combine with regular oatmeal to make the oatmeal less sweet. Then I add the whip cream.

I must sleep early because I have a 9am meeting on Tuesday.