Friday, December 12, 2008

The Holidays Are Not Just Another Day

Anyone who asked me how I feel about the holidays from 2000 to Oct 4, 2008, my answer was, "It's just another day. It's just another day in 365 days of a year." Today, my answer is, "The holidays are special days. It's a time to take a break for the ordinary daily days, spend time with family, and spoil myself having fun with activities I do only on holidays or activities I rarely do. Holidays are remembering old traditions and doing new traditions!"

I was stuck up in past holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween, Labor Day, etc. 2000-2007 July 4th are an exception because I attend Anime Expo, and some Anime Expo I acted naive. Another exception is Valentine's Day. I don't have a sweetheart for Valentine's Day, and I'm glad I didn't because I'd be a jerk. I'm growing up today and I'm looking forward for a Valentine's Day with a sweetheart :3

Thanksgiving 2008 was the best holiday I experienced in a long, long time. I watched "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" movie starring Steve Martin and John Candy. The movie has been a tradition the family watches on Thanksgiving. We stopped watching for a long time. I brought the tradition back. I felt the emotion compared to when I laughed at the jokes. My family and I spent Thanksgiving at my brother's house. Everyone was talking, including me. I rarely talked at holiday get-togethers. Thanksgiving 2008 was different. I talked. Everyone talked. The mood was relaxed, no tension, and no holding back. The food was good. I tried apple cider for the first time.

I'm looking forward for Christmas 2008 including bringing back the family Christmas movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." One of my uncle's from Southern California is visiting from Los Angeles. I'm going to go for it and convince my aunt to have my two cousins stay up longer to play games, play video games, and watch anime since they rarely visit ;) Little gifts are exchanged because of the recession, and that's understandable and accepted among us ;-$

I'm looking forward to the 2009 holidays and my 2009 birthday. Nothing happened on my birthdays since I don't remember the last time I did something with my family and with my friends. I plan something with my family and something with my friends. My birthday is my personal holiday where I spoil myself and celebrate with my family and my friends. My birthday is a day to celebrate another year living and reminds myself to do better for my next birthday XD

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, December 07, 2008

300

Number 300(!*300) Here are some number 300s: The Spartans who fought at the Battle of Thermopylae, a perfect score in bowling, car Chrysler 300, a baseball pitcher with 300+ career wins, and a baseball hitter with a career or season .300+ batting average.

The 300th blog is my top 30 blogs. I like to start with the notes:

*10% of the top 30 blogs are in Oct 2008.

*The longest date range no blog in the top 30 is Sep 26, 2007 to July 9, 2008, a span of 287 days or approximately 9.6 months.

*The shortest date range two blogs appear is Apr 28, 2007 to Apr 30, 2007, a span of two days.

*13 blogs are separated less than 10 days apart (3 blogs are within eight days).

*Common themes some blogs shared: how to live life including take it easy, finding your purpose, and keep on
fighting; learn from your failures; be patient; always meet new people; and actions portray who you are.

*11 blogs are in 2006 and 10 blogs are in 2007.

*There are 4 blogs in 2005. Innovating Common Knowledge started in August 2005 consisting of five months. In 2008 with eleven months passed, there are 5 blogs. In other words, 2008 had one more blog than 2005 even though 2008 has six more months.

The timing is perfect for my 300th blog. I declared myself lost on Tue Sep 2, 2008. I list my top 30 blogs to remember who I am. Seeing no blogs in the top 30 Sep 26, 2007 to July 9, 2008 reinforces I forgot who I am. Further, I was not myself between Mon Mar 19, 2007 and Fri Oct 3, 2008. I was a different person :( Terrible :< I forgot the real Raymond Mar—the guy who innovates his life, a patient person, a person everyone enjoys my company, a charming gentleman, modest, and a "there he is" person. Almost all the people who look at me and almost all my friends think of me as a nice guy, but I have a bad and naughty side ^.^ ^.^ What happened between Mon Mar 19, 2007 and Fri Oct 3, 2008, the days I forgot who I am? I ponder what happened: *Working at Cisco. There were struggles, frustrations, and adjustments to a new commute and a new work environment. I had a dreadful work attitude between July 2007 and Dec 2007. I found the perfect commute in Dec 2007 that ended my dreadfulness.

*No vacation. Attending Anime Expo '07 doesn’t count as a vacation. I'm talking about visiting places without wearing a costume ^__-

*Inconsistent workouts. I went weeks without working out at the gym. In Mar 2008, I was sick for a month that turned out to be allergies. I could have taken allergy medication and recovered days later.

*Playing Team Fortress 2 (TF2). Is it true playing video games lower a person IQ? Maybe for me =p I started playing TF2 in October 2007, my first game I play online. I played Monday nights, Saturday nights, and sometimes on Friday nights. I stopped playing in September 2008.

*Learning how to sew for the first time. My Chrono cosplay was a difficult choice to learn sewing, and sewing is a patient hobby that took time—more time than I anticipated. I was behind in other responsibilities.

*My readings were terrible. Most of the books I read were boring I dozed off (-,-) zzzZZZZ . . .

*I can say the best short answer from the above bullets is being a stuck up asshole. Moreover, the days must have sucked for me from Sep 26, 2007 to July 9, 2008, the days no blog appears in the top 30 X__X

I thank everyone with highest and sincerest appreciation for those who remained my friends during the time I was somebody else ^___^ I apologize to the people who met me for the first time between Mar 19, 2007 and Oct 3, 2008. I was not myself. I'm not a creep, idiot, and a jerk. I'm remembering myself. I'm growing up. I'm opening myself up. No more holding back. I'm gaining courage. I'm better now and I'm aiming for the best. I'm sorry no more—the apologies are over. The fight continues indefinitely to grow up and to mature. For those who believe I'm still a creep, idiot, and a jerk, I'm not asking for a second chance; instead, I earn your second chance to give you a better reason to accept me honestly and sincerely.

I want to make an impact. I don't know what I'm going to do. I continue to think what to do. I continue to find and to innovate my personality, my presentation, my likes, my dislikes, my heart, and my soul. Finding what I want to do is a struggle. I press forward, continue my journey, and find my future career, my future education, and my future way of living my life. I innovate my beliefs and my values. Love, connect, grow old, die.

The 300th blog is my first blog I post at Innovating Common Knowledge and Finding Raymond Mar. The 300th blog reminds me to act, behave, think, and portray myself as a grown up man. I purchased new clothes, started listening to jazz, visited new places, and took a vacation with my friend who lives in Washington. I'm the Raymond Mar people must know. I'm not the Raymond Mar from Mon Mar 19, 2007 to Fri Oct 3, 2008 who took life for granted. It's time to go back to the past and remember. It's time to relearn the lessons I learned. It's time recall the meaning of Innovating Infinitely. It's time to grow up.

Here are the top 30 blogs sorted by date latest to earliest. The blogs include the title, date, wisdom gained, and an excerpt. Click on the title for the entire blog.

Point A to Point B. Where's Point C, D, E, F, G, . . . (October, 26, 2008)

Wisdom Gained: Never take anything and anyone for granted.

Excerpt: Never [take] anyone or anything for granted. Most of my successes and most of the people in my life I have taken for granted. I sincerely apologize ^^

I do a great job going from point A to point B when it comes to meeting new people, keeping my relations with family and friends, learning new hobbies and new interests, and accomplishing my assignments, responsibilities, and personal projects. I fail to continue to strengthen myself, to innovate my skills and knowledge, improve my relations, and to embrace change in my life (i.e., go with the flow).

Continue finding and accomplishing point C, point D, point E, point F, point G, and so on. Never stop innovating life! Never take life for granted!

Straight From My Gut (October 18, 2008)

Wisdom Gained: Trust my gut feeling.

Excerpt: My gut, my intuition, my instinct takes over me when I’m in fear or when I don’t know what I’m doing. Almost all of my instances and situations I’m scared or I’m clueless my gut feeling takes control of my thinking, my actions, my movements, and my speech. Sometimes I’m correct and sometimes I’m incorrect.

I consciously realized yesterday my gut feeling has saved my ass many times, and I never realized most of the time. I just live life without thinking my actions and my gut feeling has taken control of my life for better or for worse.

I believe my way of going through my life is my gut feeling. There is a well known saying “Trust your gut feeling.” Today, I’m giving maximum trust to my gut feeling.

New Daily Top Five (October 2, 2008)

Wisdom Gained: I updated my daily top five rules for living.

Excerpt: I updated my daily top five rules for living. Here are the updated top five rules:

1. Don't criticize, condemn, and complain, and don't compare with others.
2. Don't act like a jerk or bitch.
3. Always speak calmly and be calm.
4. Don't daydream when driving.
5. Keep your head up high . . . make eye contact when shaking hands.

What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life? (July 23, 2008)

Wisdom Gained: Continue to live life finding what you want to do.

Excerpt: I believe there is always a better life. One may see a husband, wife, and their two kids walking in the park smiling happily. Most people think they’re having the best time of their lives. Who knows, perhaps, the [husband or the] wife is thinking in the back of [the] head, “This life stinks and I want more?” I walk around my company campus, I see different people when I shop, I see families when I watch a movie or walk in the park, I think either they’re having a [content] life or they’re having a good life and want a better life.

I admit I ask myself the question quite a few times. Who [has] not ask themselves the question? If you have not ask yourself the question, then ask yourself the question and answer honestly? My answers vary. One day I have a different answer. Another day, another different answer. Timing is everything.

Underground (July 10, 2008)

Wisdom Gained: The video does a better job explaining what I learned. Watch it!

Excerpt: Check out the video “Underground”, a short film by Kristen Dehnert & Aimee Lagos. The film is 11 minutes. Continue to watch after the credits for the lesson ^__^ Enjoy. If you choose to watch the video at Yahoo website, click the link

Learn From Failures, Too (September 25, 2007) Wisdom Gained: Remember to learn from you failures as well as your successes. Excerpt: One of the ways to be successful is to model from the successful people in business, entertainment, government, and sports. 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.) Patience To Earn Relationships (September 9, 2007) Wisdom Gained: It takes patience to learn who a person is for long-term family, friend, business, and romantic relationships. Excerpt: 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.” Hate Something? Do Something Else (August 20, 2007) Wisdom Gained: Do something else to take your mind off something you hate. Excerpt: Don't sweat the small stuff. If something happens and it's not going to matter one year later, then forget about it. If someone cuts you off driving in the freeway, forget it. If you spilled milk, clean it up, and forget it. If you didn't win a contest, forget it. If a stranger said something insulting, forget it. Find something else to be productive. When you accomplish something else, you feel good and the bad feelings from the hated something or hated someone is forgotten. A 12 Year Mistake (August 12, 2007) Wisdom Gained: Meet new people and make new friends continuously. Excerpt: My 12 year mistake was I failed to continuously meet new people and make new friends. In September 2004, I attended an anime convention. I wore a costume for the first time and participated in a gathering where I met people. The event was a wake up call. Nobody can ever have too many friends. It’s a small world. Since 2004 when I started to meet new people, some of the new people I met knew others and those others I met them at another event. It’s the circle of friends. My circles are overlapping and I’m creating new circles. I’m re-learning how to meet new people, to make new friends, and to be a popular person. A popular person is not being the “Big Person On Campus.” A popular person is a person who is being liked. If you want to be liked, then be helpful to others, present yourself with positive character, possess the charming attitude, influence others to be better and to take the next step forward, be a good listener, smile--in short, have a friendly personality. You’re not going to make new friends every time you meet new people in a social instance; however, it’s a small world and you may see them in the future for which you may become friends at a later date. Who you know is more important that what you know. Schools fail to teach the lesson. Lonely And Cheerful (July 24, 2007) Wisdom Gained: It's OK to be alone. Excerpt: When I feel lonely, I want to be alone. Take a break from work, take a break from hanging out with family and friends, and take a break from your daily routine. Turn yourself off from the outside, take a breath, and think about your present. There is a benefit to the lonely feeling. The lonely feeling assures the world revolves around nobody. The world is part of us and we are part of the world. Nobody is the whole entire world. If a person feels happy, sad, angry, depressed, or lonely, the world goes on. The sun rises and sets everyday. If anything good or anything bad happens, the world goes on. Fourth Of July Double Fireworks Blast: Schools Get An F For Excluding The Letter E (July 7, 2007) Wisdom Gained: You must earn what you want in life. Excerpt: There is a lesson in life school[s] and college failed to teach me. My schools and college earned an F for failing to teach me the word "earn." Life doesn't give you your life on a silver platter. You must earn whatever you want, your desires, and your goals. If you want to be a friend, you must earn their friendship and their respect. If you want your special person in your life to be with your for the rest of your life, you must earn their love. Successes must be earned. Everyone must work and earn. Work and earn. Get up from the couch. Get up from the computer. Go out and earn your life. Want a new job? Earn it. Want to meet new people and find new friends? Earn them. Want to buy your dream car? Go earn it. Want to get promoted? Earn it. Want your children to respect you and trust you? Earn them. Want to be a starter in football? Earn it. Want to influence others and be a leader? Earn them. Want to be part of an elite group? You must earn the group's respect and their acceptance. Anything you do, any goals, any desires, any achievements, any wants, you must earn it. A Lesson On Life Yesterday (May 5, 2007) Wisdom Gained: You are responsible for yourself. Excerpt: You are responsible for yourself. At Cisco, I talked to a few co-workers, and many of them worked at Cisco less than six months. They told me nobody is going to sit down and teach you. You must learn it yourself. You are given an assignment, here are the guidelines, now do it. You Must Create The Endings (April 30, 2007) Wisdom Gained: Schools have summer vacations; life doesn't have summer vacations. Excerpt: Most of today's USA public schools year starts in September and ends in June. June to August is summer vacation. Schools have endings and college have endings. The ultimate ending is graduation. Unfortunately, schools following the June to August summer vacation schedule create a false sense of what life is about. Life doesn't have two and a half months summer vacations. Life doesn't give you an ending. You must work on your ending. If you want a bright ending, then get up the couch and create action. I Promise To Keep My Age Positive (April 28, 2007) Wisdom Gained: Age is just a number. Excerpt: No more telling stories about what I failed to do [when I was younger]. No more telling people my regrets. No more stay young stories. Age is just a number. Release The Cherish (March 14, 2007) Wisdom Gained: Have courage to say goodbye to anything precious. Excerpt: In our lives, we cherish many people, places, and things. Only a few are cherished forever in our lives. For the rest, have the courage to release the cherish and move forward in life. As time moves forward, we encounter new people, new places, and new items. There is a moment where we must make a choice to keep an existing cherish or choose a new cherish. And sometimes we must say goodbye to a cherish and find a new cherish to continue living. It's The Second Year That Counts (December 31, 2006) Wisdom Gained: First years, first impressions, first go-around, and first successes are equally important as second years, second impressions, second go-around, and second successes. Excerpt: The second year, the second go around, the sophomore year determines how good someone or something is. 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 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. 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. Quad 4 of 4: Every Human Has The Right To Be Happy (October 24, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Everyone has the right to find happiness. Excerpt: New happiness can be anything including hanging out with my friends more often, make new friends, meet new people, get a new job, learn a new hobby, read more books, travel, visit a new place, anything happiness goes. After you read the Blog, go find happiness. Good luck and smile happily! *:) One Lesson Of Life Cosplaying (August 28, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Be patient. Never rush. Excerpt: The lesson of life I learned cosplaying is to never rush. Making a cosplay takes time. There is research, purchasing the materials including fabric, and labor. When I created my Edward Elric, I purchased art books to get pictures, researched for tips and suggestions on how to make the red jacket and black vest on the Internet, researched boots styles on the Internet, researched how to find a leathermaster to make the belt pad, asked co-workers where I get a custom made clasp, shopped around for a wig, and shopped on eBay for the white gloves. Lots of work to make the cosplay? Absolutely. The same applies to my Syaoran and Hitsugaya cosplays. Never rush success. Never rush a goal. Goals and accomplishments take time. The Edward Elric cosplay took lots of free time after work and on weekends which debut at Japantown Anime Faire 2004. I have been receiving positive feedback XD Complete a goal slowly and keep the goal in focus. It’s a matter of time when the goal is accomplished :] [My thanks to my Mom who sewed my Edward, Syaoran, and Hitsugaya cosplays XD] Whoever Though Of The Word "Rush" Lived A Short Life (June 11, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Take life one day at a time. Have fun, learn, and enjoy. Excerpt: In Herbert Simon’s writing “What We Know About The Creative Process”, he said it takes 10 years and 50,000 chunks of knowledge to become an expert. To expand on the idea, it takes 18 years to become an adult. Don’t rush success. Don’t rush being an expert. Action Speaks Louder Than Words (June 2, 2006) Wisdom Gained: If you talk the talk, you must stand by your talk. Excerpt: Action speaks louder than words. Straightforward example: a couple loves each other and says, “I Love You.” The couple must demonstrate, must show, and prove their love using action for “I Love You” to have meaning, to have creditability, to have faith, and to have sincerity. The common actions are hugs and kisses, gifts, love letters, and being together and sharing life. Think about famous people using action. Dr. Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests. Barry Bonds hitting home runs and chasing Hank Aaron’s all time career home run record. Bill Gates founded Microsoft. Martha Stewart and her Martha Stewart Living business. Albert Einstein, Time Magazine’s person of the century, contributions to science using action. Today’s school teaches student to behave quietly and learn from the textbooks. The famous people above found success learning outside the classroom and outside the textbooks. Give First To Receive Later . . . Wrong (April 16, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Do something to receive something. Excerpt: If you want to receive later in life, then you must give first. Give first, receive later. Give something to receive something. Correct choice of attitude, wrong choice of words. Do something to receive something is the better phase. Substitute give with do. The word do is a stronger word because it makes the person do it. It’s like Nike’s phase “Just Do It.” If you want to receive something, just do it. Do first, receive later--not give first, receive later. Using $$$$$ To Help Others, Create Action, Show Appreciation (April 8, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Money is a way to help people, create action, and show appreciation. Excerpt: *In my Dad's company, the company matched dollar for dollar up to a maximum (I forgot the maximum) to help the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in September 2005. All donations for Hurricane Katrina regardless of taxable income are tax deductible for the 2005 tax year. *In a Florida high school, a junior purchased 500 roses for his classmates on Valentine's Day. The junior saved his money since December and paid $900. Unfortunately, he was 100 roses short :-< *A long time ago, Donald Trump was in Los Angeles to attend a function. His limo broke down. He was able to get a ride from a couple heading towards the function. Trump arrived at the function on time. In appreciation, Trump paid the couple's mortgage in full. *Antonio Esfandiari, one of the youngest professional poker players gave $400,000 to his parents after winning his first million dollar championship poker event. Before playing poker, Esfandiari was a professional magician at private parties. *A pregnant waitress in Virginia received a $973.65 tip from a couple they paid $1,000 for a $26.35 meal. The widow left the tip because she “didn’t need it.” The waitress was crying with excitement. The above examples demonstrate there are people who know how to use $$$$$ to help people, create action, and show appreciation. These people really know how to use money $-)) Life Sucks? Why Live? (March 16, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Fight the pain, the suffering, and the struggles to keep living. Excerpt: If life is bad for us, why live life? Why live a life full of struggles and mishaps? Isn't life supposed to be good for everyone? Isn't life supposed to treat everyone fairly to a good life. Why do bad things happen to good people who try their hardest? When are the rewards coming? Why do we sufferers of the bad side of life still live. The reason is to fight, fight, fight. Without the suffering, without the pain, we don't have a life. We live to fight and conquer these bad sides of our lives. We fight to live. Without the fight to win attitude, there is no point in living. Continue the fight. I am. When the day is bad, remember tomorrow is another day. When a job is loss, it may be a blessing in disguise. When the night calls for sleep, dream the victory. Good luck, everyone! Don't See With Your Eyes, See With Your Mind (February 18, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Use your mind to see. Excerpt: Obi-Wan: I suggest you try it again, Luke. That time, let go your conscious self . . . and act on instinct. [Obi-Wan places helmet with blast shield on Luke.] Luke: With the blast shield down, I can't even see. How am I supposed to fight? Obi-Wan: Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. The scene is my all-time favorite scene. Why? For many of us, we are told to use our instincts or our gut feelings. Learn to trust gut feelings. Our instincts tend to be the correct choices. When Obi-Wan said eyes can be deceiving, he is correct big time. Many people depend on their eyes too much. They fail to think carefully whether what is seen is the truth. To correct the error, they must think with their minds. See with their minds and the truth is exposed. Time Will Tell (January 28, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Time is the ultimate judge. Excerpt: Everything we do in the present, right now, at this moment, and anything done today for the future time will tell. We are given the moments in the present and must be proactive in the moments to make the best choices. The ultimate judge is time. Time choose whether our actions today affects tomorrow in our favor, against our favor, or nobody’s favor. Think Of Future Consequences And There Is No Future (January 16, 2006) Wisdom Gained: Live the present. Live the moment. Excerpt: Live the present. Live the moment. For some of us, one moment in time—the present time—is going to last a lifetime and brings us to a higher level in life never dreamed of before. Don't think about the future consequences. Think about future consequences and nobody is going to move on. Create memories today . . . create a ton of memories today for the future. Use the present today, right now, for a bright future. Cherish the present days. Don't waste today. Nobody knows the future. Nobody. Everyone knows the present. Today, we live the present and know what's going to at this time. If nobody knows the future, why worry about it? It could be good or bad. Never worry about tomorrow. Live today . . . live right now to the fullest. Life is more value when lived today with full mighty. 24/48 Rule (November 27, 2005) Wisdom Gained: Wait 24 hours for goods or services less than $100 and 48 hours for greater than $100 to avoid the urge to splurge. Excerpt: The 24/48 rule is 24 hours and 48 hours. When the consumer has the urge to splurge, the 24/48 rule activates. The consumer must wait 24 hours to purchase an item less than $100.00 and 48 hours to purchase an item $100.00 and greater. The 24/48 rule dollar amount threshold is a judgment call. The rule works for me because the next day or two, I lose the urge to splurge. I think to myself, "Did I really need to buy it?" Say Hi and Smile Goes Miles (October 20, 2005) Wisdom Gained: Do the little things and they add up in time. Excerpt: One little thing is to Say Hi and Smile to co-workers, family, and friends. Doing Say Hi and Smile is an impression—an impression people remember. In my workplace, the people who Say Hi and Smile are the top workers, the top professionals who knows their line of work, have lots of knowledge and experience, and are open. (Well, most of them anyway. There are a few exceptions. Hee, hee.) Say Hi and Smile can also be the little things that gets you the promotion, the job hiring, the contract, the sale, meeting new people and them remembering you, and the something special you always wanted. If there is competition for a job, I bet Say Hi and Smile is the little thing that makes a difference who gets the job. I’m sure the level of knowledge is the same for all the competitors; however, the Say Hi and Smile is the difference and whoever Say Hi and Smile, the person has a higher chance of getting the job. Good luck! Epilogue: Finally, Finally, Finally!!! :-)) Epilogue is completed. (October 15, 2005) Wisdom Gained: Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Excerpt: On the first day of the vacation, Steve drove around Hood Canal. He wanted to take the scenic route from the airport to Lilliwaup, Steve’s home city. During the drive, I paid attention to the homes facing the waterfront. Most of the people I saw are in their retirement age, have middle class cars (in other words, no BMWs, Mercedes, and Lexuses) parked on their driveways, and wearing clothes that likely were purchased from Old Navy or Ross. These people didn't earn the money to buy these homes to live for retirement and/or for a vacation home overnight. It took years for these retirees to make money. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. These people won their marathons and are retired. It takes time to become successful. I should enjoy the marathon. That is the inspiration from the Washington Canada Vacation. *Hooray, hooray, hooray* It's An Example Of Going Back To The Basics (August 7, 2005) Wisdom Gained: When you in a jam, go back to the basics. Go remind yourself the basics which is what I'm doing :D :D :D Excerpt: My cousins and I played Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo Game Cube. I rarely played the game and I stink. When my cousins went back to the hotel, I practiced for two hours. I did the training mode, I re-read the instruction manual on basic movements and special movements for the Pikachu character. After the practice, I remembered many of the moves and basic strategies. When you are in a jam, go back to the basics. Read some books, remember the successes, call people if needed, do something basic to remind you and/or to learn something new to get out of a jam—to solve the problem. Here is a summary of the Wisdom Gained: *01. Never take anything and anyone for granted. *02. Trust my gut feeling. *03. I updated my daily top five rules for living. *04. Continue to live life finding what you want to do. *05. [Observe people who they are and not what we think they are.] *06. Remember to learn from your failures as well as your successes. *07. It takes patience to learn who a person is for long-term family, friend, business, and romantic relationships. *08. Do something else to take your mind off something you hate. *09. Meet new people and make new friends continuously. *10. It's OK to be alone. *11. You must earn what you want in life. *12. You are responsible for yourself. *13. Schools have summer vacations; life doesn't have summer vacations. *14. Age is just a number. *15. Have courage to say goodbye to anything precious. *16. First years, first impressions, first go-around, and first successes are equally important as second years, second impressions, second go-around, and second successes. *17. Everyone has the right to find happiness. *18. Be patient. Never rush. *19. Take life one day at a time. Have fun, learn, and enjoy. *20. If you talk the talk, you must stand by your talk. *21. Do something to receive something. *22. Money is a way to help people, create action, and show appreciation. *23. Fight the pain, the suffering, and the struggles to keep living. *24. Use your mind to see. *25. Time is the ultimate judge. *26. Live the present. Live the moment. *27. Wait 24 hours for goods or services less than $100 and 48 hours for greater than $100 to avoid the urge to splurge. *28. Do the little things and they add up in time. *29. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. *30. When you in a jam, go back to the basics. Go remind yourself the basics which is what I'm doing :D :D :D I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Daylight Standard Time '08

I'm reposting the blog from '07 that today begins Daylight Standard Time. All clocks moved backward giving everyone one extra hour. On the other hand, we lose one hour when all clocks moved forward for Daylight Savings Time. The two days are the days we must check the smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and batteries in flashlights. If your residence is missing smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and flashlights, you’re smoking something. After you read the Blog, go to the hardware store and buy these lifesaving items.

First, check smoke alarms. Check the batteries by using a battery reader. If you don’t have a battery reader, buy one at an electronics store. Make sure the smoke alarms are clean such as no dust and no spider webs. Each floor must have a smoke alarm including one near the kitchen. Replace low charged batteries.

Second, check the fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers must be clean. Check the gage. The arrow must be in the green. Each floor must have a fire extinguishers including one near the kitchen.

Last, check flashlights. Check the batteries by using a battery reader. Replace low charged batteries. Have spare bulbs because flashlight bulbs do burn out. The number of flashlights equals the number of people or number of floors whichever is greater in a residence. My house has two floors and we have seven flashlights.

Important Note: The blog entry is #299. Blog #300 I'm going to post the top 30 blogs. It's going to take time. Thank you for being patient.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Wed Nov 5, 2008

Please vote on Tue Nov 4. The next President of the United States is huge given today’s current events nationally and internationally. I vote absentee. I complete the absentee ballot and deliver my ballot to my local voting poll. I avoid the lines. I remember a few elections I waited a long ass time. No more :D

I wrote in a Sept blog people have been bitter. The economy, the election, and the anxiety level in our lives are some factors to people being bitter. I can’t recall every being bitter at someone else; however, I’m sure I was bitter I forgot.

Wed Nov 5 is a day of relief as the election is over. The day after election brings closure for the elected government officials and propositions. People begin to go back to their lives with family, friends, school, and work. And the day after election people begin thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I realized recently holidays are not just another day. Holidays are days to spend time with loved ones family and/or friends. Holidays are days to slow down. I can elaborate more on my new feelings, attitudes, and thoughts on holidays; however, it’s another blog subject. There should be a holiday on voting ~~ Happy voting, everyone!

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Point A to Point B. Where's Point C, D, E, F, G, . . .

I walked to my car from work Friday night and I realized almost everything and everyone in my life I have taken for granted. One lesson I'm learning while growing up is never taking anyone or anything for granted. Most of my successes and most of the people in my life I have taken for granted. I sincerely apologize ^^

I remember a few moments in life I took for granted. The best examples were in high school and college:

*In my sophomore year in high school, I slacked off French II. I barley passed with a B grade. How did I pass with a B grade? The reason was the teacher looked over most of my homework and gave me credit just for attempting. I had good relations with my French teacher. Also, I failed to continue learning and reviewing French I during the summer vacation. I had too much fun and I said to myself, "I got an A in French I. I remember my French next year." =p I took for granted my A grade in French I and the teacher for giving me credit I really didn't deserve.

*Fall Semester 1994 I took Discrete Math. My professor was the same professor I took for Calculus I. I had good relations with my professor. He gave me an A grade in Calculus I. I said to myself, "He was not going to fail me. He was going to give me a good grade regardless if I don't understand everything." I struggled in Discrete Math. I took for granted my good relations with the professor such that he was not going to give me a C grade as long as I completed the work and show effort. My final grade was a C.

I do a great job going from point A to point B when it comes to meeting new people, keeping my relations with family and friends, learning new hobbies and new interests, and accomplishing my assignments, responsibilities, and personal projects. I fail to continue to strengthen myself, to innovate my skills and knowledge, improve my relations, and to embrace change in my life (i.e., go with the flow); although, many times new priorities happen and I make choices whether to continue something new or stop.

Here I am talking about innovate infinitely and I fail to actually innovate infinitely my life. Pathetic! My reason I fail is I forgot who I am. When did I forget myself? I say March 2007 when I got my new job at Cisco. I took everything for granted since I felt I was an all-star, a person who can do everything, and having the wrong attitude nothing can go wrong with me. I'm wrong >==<

Continue finding and accomplishing point C, point D, point E, point F, point G, and so on. Never stop innovating life! Never take life for granted!

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Party Game

Here is a party game for work, family, and friends. The game is called “How Well Do We Really Know [insert person of honor]?” The person in charge passes a piece of paper with questions about the person of honor to everyone. Everyone completes the questions. After everyone is ready, the person in charge tells everyone the answers to each question one by one. I suggest a prize for the person who answered the most questions correctly. Two tie breaker questions should be a number answer. The person with the closest answer without going over is the winner. If all of the answers are over, then the one closest is the winner. I provide five sample questions of myself plus two tie breakers XD

*True or False? Raymond has been living in San Jose all his life?

*What was Raymond’s first paying job, a job with a paycheck?

*How old was Raymond when he scored his first touchdown playing football in recess?

*Name one of Raymond’s favorite places to visit besides anime conventions?

*What was the first movie Raymond watched in a movie theatre?

*Tie Breaker: How many years did Raymond work at Colliers International?

*Tie Breaker #2: How many games Raymond played online?

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Straight From My Gut

Author note: I’m writing the blog late night because the topic is in my mind and I’m more focus on the content and less focus on grammar. Pardon any grammar mistakes. Thank you ^__^

Who is afraid today given the economic and political current events? I must see lots of hands raised. My hand is raised. There are more fears in me I’m fortunately controlling such as losing my job, being alone, family members losing their jobs, and never finding who I am.

I like fear :3 Fear keeps me going. Fear keeps me up my toes. Fear helps me learn. Fear forces me to act more on instinct and less on reason. Sometimes my fear is clearly shown by my actions and my facial expressions :O And I hate my fear being shown because it’s subject to misinterpretations and miscommunications. I’m one of those people easily misunderstood, and I’m still seeking a solution >.>

Anyways, getting to my gut. My gut, my intuition, my instinct takes over me when I’m in fear or when I don’t know what I’m doing. Almost all of my instances and situations I’m scared or I’m clueless my gut feeling takes control of my thinking, my actions, my movements, and my speech. Sometimes I’m correct and sometimes I’m incorrect. I can say confidently if I thought about the instances and situations logically, I’m screwed =/ I could have scored lower grades in exams if I didn’t have a good gut feeling.

I consciously realized yesterday my gut feeling has saved my ass many times, and I never realized most of the time. I just live life without thinking my actions and my gut feeling has taken control of my life for better or for worse.

I believe my way of going through my life is my gut feeling. There is a well known saying “Trust your gut feeling.” Today, I’m giving maximum trust to my gut feeling. For example, is today the best time to buy stocks? My gut feeling says no ;) I’m no financial expert.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, October 17, 2008

Courtesy In The Men’s and Women’s Bathroom

Here is a tip to practice courtesy. Some public and workplace bathrooms have automatic paper towel dispenser. The automatic paper towel dispensers work by waving you hand in motion at the front of the motion sensor. The dispenser releases a piece of the paper towel.

The courtesy is while you’re drying your hands or you’re done drying your hands, wave at the motion sensor. The dispenser releases a piece of the paper towel. Leave the piece hanging on the dispenser for the next person to dry his or her hands. Simple and a good idea ^__^ It’s a reminder to practice courtesy.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Monday, October 13, 2008

2007 Was Actually A Bad Year

Sat and Sun I thought about the year 2007. 2007 was the fastest year for me ever. I didn’t mention in my 2007 Year In Review that 2007 was a good year no matter what happened because I worked at Cisco starting in March. Apr-Dec 2007 could be bad months and I still have a good 2007. I’m going to be honest. 2007 was a bad year.

Why was 2007 a bad year? In all honestly, I had no big goals in 2007 other than working at Cisco and owning my first car. The year included a false sense of accomplishment. I had no motivators from calendar 2007 to calendar 2008. There were some good moments. Overall, 2007 was a bad year. The Summer Sabbatical was a joke. No excuses :< And I was supposed to build a new home PC at the end of 2007. I’m researching on the new home PC today and I finish before the end of the year.

Moreover, I forgot who I was. I was not myself in 2007, and the false personality, false attitude, false Raymond Mar carried over to 2008. I was lucky to realize the full of falseness last weekend and especially realizing I must grow up earlier in Oct. I felt ashamed of myself being a person I was not. I acted, behaved, and thought process were not being myself. I apologize to everyone who hung around with me and thought of me as a freak, creepy, weird, dumb, slow, jerk, coward, and impolite person. I’m not. I’m growing up and I’m wasting no time catching up to my age.

Side Note: I want to review my new daily Top Five.

1. Don't criticize, condemn, and complain, and don't compare with others.
2. Don't act like a jerk or bitch.
3. Always speak calmly and be calm.
4. Don't daydream when driving.
5. Keep your head up high . . . make eye contact when shaking hands.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It’s Friday Night, No Curfew For Grown Ups

It’s Friday night. What are you doing? Nothing? If you’re doing nothing, then do something. It’s time to relax and take a break from life . . . especially life today with the current events. Do something. Do whatever it takes to have fun.

Are you alone? There is nothing wrong being alone. Being alone is good XD Watch a movie. Watch a DVD. Workout at the gym. Watch TV (if you have cable, more power to you considering Friday’s primetime network entertainment is meh). Play video games. Cook a new dinner. Read a book.

Are you with friends? Go to a coffee shop. Go to the movie theatre. Play miniature golf. Play board games. Eat dinner at a restaurant. Go to a bar. Go dancing. (I’m not into bars and raves XD) Attend a concert or sporting event.

There is so much to do Friday nights. A little effort to find something is plenty. If you’re working, hang in there =) If you’re a kid, be patient and you earn your freedom. Nobody can tell you there is a right way and there is a wrong way to spend Friday nights. Just do something yourself or with your friends to make yourself happy :)

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stressed, Worried, Concerned About The Economy?

It takes a no brainer to realize recent economic current events. Dismal is the word. We are in a recession. Be honest. We are in a recession. The next question is when are we experience an inflation with the government and the Federal Reserve releasing too much money in the economy almost everyone is saving because many people are scared, including me. They are making the economy worse $-(

I admit I'm stressed and I'm concerned. I'm also relieved because I knew the economy is heading to another recession. It just doesn't make sense after the dot com bubble burst in 2000 the recession that followed was brief and we experienced strong growth thereafter because of the real estate market. It didn't make sense to me. It was a question of when the next and deeper recession is going to come.

We need the recession. We need an economic check for better or for worse. I'm not worried personally. I'm prepared when I lose my job. I'm ready to go back to school. The tech sector is also going to be affected. Everyone is going to be affected directly or indirectly. Lessons must be learned. The best way to learn lessons is the mistakes and the bad experiences. Good luck and best wishes when the economy recovers ^__^

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, October 03, 2008

Serving Rock-Hard Ice Cream

Taken fresh from the freezer, pint-sized containers of premium ice cream are often too hard to scoop. We solved this problem by slicing the ice cream right in the carton. Place the container on its side and cut off slices right through the cardboard with a serrated or an electric knife. Just peel the cardboard off the sides of the ice cream disk and serve. The lid will sit flush up against the ice cream left in the container for easy storage.

Source: Notes from the Test Kitchen--Recipes and Kitchen Tips That Work‏, America's Test Kitchen (cooksillustrated@americastestkitchencorp.com)

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Daily Top Five

I have a daily top five rules for living. Here are the top five rules:

1. Don't criticize, condemn, and complain, and don't compare with others.
2. Don't act like a jerk or bitch.
3. Emotional stability (i.e. control your emotions).
4. Don't daydream when driving.
5. Keep your head up high . . . make eye contact when shaking hands.

Yesterday, I talked to one of my SoCal friends Arashi by phone. Arashi observed when I get angry or frustrated, even when I'm not angry and frustrated, my voice goes up. I speak loud and coarse such that I scare people :< Not good. I took action later on. I updated my daily top five rules for living. Here are the updated top five rules: 1. Don't criticize, condemn, and complain, and don't compare with others. 2. Don't act like a jerk or bitch. 3. Always speak calmly and be calm. 4. Don't daydream when driving. 5. Keep your head up high . . . make eye contact when shaking hands. I make sure I never raise my voice. I want to avoid misinterpretations when I feel angry or frustrated, or sharing my dissenting opinion towards others. I'm not disrespecting them personally and I don't have a mean personality. I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Terminate The Yearly Reviews

In my last company, the staff was given yearly reviews from the office manager. Most of the staff including me the yearly reviews were the same such as finding ways to improve your job, get training, always showing up on time, and the brokers appreciated the hard working attitude. We didn’t care about the reviews. We were not even listening to the office manager review our performance.

The best way to motivate workers to work at the top of their performance is to influence them. Influence does works. Change doesn’t work. Yearly reviews don’t work. The reviews must be done daily to influence workers to improve, to innovate, and to come to work everyday with the happy attitude of coming to work. Every day is a review day for the managers evaluating the workers and the workers evaluating the managers.

Never be passive. Be proactive. Create action. Find the courage to encourage everyone to strive for maximum output, work efficiently, and complete more work in less time daily. The work environment must be fun with the attitude to grow and become efficient.

Yearly reviews are a waste. The reviews are done daily in an environment where everyone helps each other innovate their jobs, their responsibilities, and their lives.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Be True To Yourself

Warning!!! The blog entry contains swearing—lots of bullshit ;)) How many times do we bullshit? Admit it. Be honest and no bullshit. We have bullshitted in our lives. I bullshitted. I bullshitted a final I took at night I crammed on the day of the final. I bullshitted a few reports at my current job. I bullshitted many times in 8th grade which I didn’t know bullshit when I was 13 years old =P 8th grade was an exception because I was young and an idiot, LOL

Bullshitting work, exams, homework, reports, presentations, speeches, deadlines, lectures, and sales are nothing. If nobody catches your bullshit or somebody keeps quiet, then the bullshitter has no worries. One bullshit I despise is bullshitting one’s own soul. I hate fakers. I hate people in social situations who bullshit to get attention or meet new people. Fakers are nobodies :<

Be honest. If you’re in an argument with a special someone, be honest. Honesty strengthens a relationship and strengthens the forgiveness. Likewise in work situations between co-workers and co-worker and manager. And likewise in family conflicts. Everyone be honest, be true, and the family grow stronger and be closer together. Conflicts can be positive at the end when everyone works together, be honest, solve the conflict, and bring closure. Be true to yourself is no bullshit XD

Addendum: There are people who think I'm a faker. I want to know why some people think I'm a faker, a nobody. I want to know their thoughts and I consider whether they speak the truth and I find ways to correct my fakeness or whether they speak bullshit and are cowards toward me.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Monday, September 29, 2008

2008-2009 Goals

On Monday August 4, 2008 I evaluated my 2007-2008 goals. I evaluate my goals yearly on my birthday August 3. I’m expressing disappointment because I forgot some of the goals resulting in failure. Another disappointment is I have four goals for 2008-2009. The goals are learn mahjong, read three books, maintain a consistent exercise schedule going three days a week, and build a PC. Having goals is better than no goals; however, the four goals are easy to complete. The last goal is supposed to be completed in 2007-2008; however, a blessing in disguise as I expect bargain prices for PC hardware with the slowdown in the economy.

I can include Meet Another 100 People goal which I exclude because I’m at the level where it’s easy for me to meet new people in many social situations. Looking forward 2009 might be a bad year since 2004. Perhaps, I include goal number 5 which is Find Who I Am. I’m still lost and I don’t know what to do. Finding who I am takes more than one year to accomplish. Perhaps a five year goal? *sigh* Where’s my courage?

I digress. 2008 is the “Year I Prepare For The Big Break Part II.” So far, the preparation is satisfactory. I’m thinking 2009 is the “Year With Everything To Gain And Nothing To Lose.” 2009 is the year to take risks, expand my experiences, and no fear to make mistakes. For the record, 2009 is not an excuse to take drugs or drink alcohol. Today, I have been taking a few small risks.

Review your goals regularly at consistent times such as once every two or three months. Add, remove, and/or revise goals. Keep your focus. Use your goals to become a better person. Goals help a lost soul move forward. Innovate infinitely. Never stop innovating life.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meme Post

I got the post suggestion from Punkbuster. It seems some already play the game. First time I heard the game. I spread the game. If you know me and read my Blogs which are probably the few of you out there, LOL, I answer the questions about you below ^__^ Email me webmaster@innovateinfinitely.com with subject header "Meme Post"

Comment and I'll

a) Tell you why I friended you.

b) Associate you with something -- a fandom, song, color, photo, etc.

c) Tell you something I like about you.

d) Tell you a memory I have of you.

e) Ask you something I've wanted to know about you

f) Tell you my favorite userpic from your (LJ) list [or any pic I know]

g) In return, you need to post this on your own

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Mood After Labor Day 2008

I posted a blog entry earlier about September being the beginning of the end of a year. Here is another blog on September.

My observation since Labor Day is many people are bitter and whatever. The mood is so-so meh, wanting to be alone, fatigue, avoiding responsibilities, forgetting (which has been me), doing sub-par work, being a jerk or bitch, worrying about the short-term future, and/or pessimistic. I remember seeing cars running red lights, co-workers submitting reports late, too much optimism with the current economy and financial crisis, people arguing in public or in a retail store, and people treating each other bad.

The recent current events with elections, economy, new TV season, and schools and colleges starting another year many people are still adjusting. The Olympics are over. Have the courage to keep smiling, treat others with respect, avoid arguments, move forward, and be optimistic the current problems eventually are solved. If a bad event or moment is happening, make lemonade out of sour lemons.

The current mood reminded me of January 2005. 2005 turned out to be a great year for many of us. I see the end of 2008 brings good momentum for 2009 regardless of who the next President is and whether we are in a recession or not. We are in a recession now even though the economic definition says we are not ~~

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Tip To Kill Insects

Here’s a tip to kill insects such as bugs, flies, and mosquitoes if you don’t have a fly swatter or don’t want to use your hand. Hold a stack of paper, magazines, or section of the newspapers with two hands. Keep the stack together and unfolded. Why? The reason is you drop the stack on top of the insect. When the insect lands on a solid surface such as a table and you have no objects near the insect, you drop the stack on top and smash the insect like a plane dropping a bomb. You are going to have a dead mark on the stack `__* The good news is the insect is dead XD

To repeat, hold a stack of papers with two hands and drop the stack on top of the insect when it’s on a surface. Don’t roll the stack into a cylinder shape like a baseball bat. Keep the stack unfolded to maximize the area to smash the insect. The stack must have weight to be an effective drop and smash ^^

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back Up Your Files

You don’t need to be a techie or geek to know the importance of backing up your computer files. Buy an external hard drive or flash memory. Use rewriteable CDs or DVDs. Install a second hard drive. Partition your primary hard drive. Any suggestion works well from small files to big files. Memory is getting cheaper. Back up your files before you turn off your computer. Back up your files after you’re finished with your session for those who keep their computers on activate the stand by or hibernate mode.

At work, I backup my files using CD rewriteables. I have five CD rewriteables, one for each working day. I overwrite some files every seven days. If my laptop crashes, then I have my backup files and I’m ready to go the next working day. My co-worker’s laptop crashed twice; fortunately, her files were recoverable.

At home, I use flash memory and external hard drives. My Dell laptop and HP laptop have not crashed. Lucky so far. My home PC crashed. The PC files were backed up using flash memory and a second hard drive. The family lost no important files.

There is no excuse to avoid backing up your files. Back up your files constantly.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, September 19, 2008

Best Way To Feel Happy

What is the best way to be happy? What is the best way to be in a state of happiness? The answer is people. My number one value is always meet new people. Anytime a person feels sad, lonely, and despair, there are people who help the person feel happy, wanted, and the feeling of hope. Everyone wants to be wanted and needed. Charming, darling, and sincere people want to be with charming, darling, and sincere people.

One common theme in the Innovate Common Knowledge Blog is always meet new people. I continue to repeat and to promote never stop meeting new people. People are happy by knowing people. People are happy by being with people. If you can’t find new people or new friends, then keep trying. If you know people and have a good amount of friends, then continue to meet more new people and increase your number of friends. I believe there is never a set amount of friends one can have. In any social situation, there is a 97% chance you meet new people and there is a 3% chance you become at least acquaintances or friends or maybe beyond friends. The 3% is huge when successful.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September, The Beginning of the End

September begins the end of a year. Football season begins. The World Series is one month away and baseball teams with playoff hopes are playing their best. School begins for all grade levels and college. Autumn season begins September 21. Many family and friends vacations ended. And for those who commute to work in urban and suburban areas, traffic is back -__-

I think September as, “It’s September. Time for the second beginning of the year.” (Personally, New Year’s Day is just another day and not a new beginning. I mean the second beginning as the second beginning of the calendar year.) In October, there’s Halloween. In November, there’s Thanksgiving Day. In December, there’s Christmas. There is also time zone back to standard time, bringing the extra blanket from the closet, basketball and hockey seasons begin, and Christmas shopping. Cooler temperatures are coming back. Remember for adjusting clocks, spring forward, fall back DX

September 2008 is unique because the Beijing Olympics was held in August 2008. It’s like the Olympics was held yesterday. The race for the next President of the USA begins with Democratic Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. The election is historic because we either have the first black president or the first woman vice-president. Registered voters please vote because the election is going to be close. The uncertainty of the economy continues. People at work and around me have been bitter. I’m confident the bitterness is temporary. And, for me, I have been making too many mistakes and feeling depressed. For instance, I’m going through a personal identity crisis =( I’m confident I beat the crisis and become a better person and know more about me =)

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Epilogue

The weekend trip contained lots of firsts for each of us. For Punkbuster, it’s the first time she visited many places in San Francisco. Earlier in 2008, she visited Alcatraz only with a group of friends and some of them wanted to visit more places. And she visited an aquarium for the first time. For me, it’s the first time I spent a weekend going to so many places north and south of San Jose and spending time with a girl one on one.

I realized living in Northern California I’m spoiled. There are many activities and places to. Some places require money and some places require no money. Regardless, there is no excuse for staying indoors 100% of the time. There are plenty to see including parks, museums, downtowns shopping, camp yards, and historical sites. Just walking in Pier 39 and enjoying the San Francisco Bay Area is worth the walk with people. Likewise with Santa Cruz walking in the beaches. And I have never visited the Napa area north of San Francisco.

However, there is a difference between sightseeing and random walking. I realized the difference in Downtown Santa Cruz. It was good timing to cut the Downtown Santa Cruz walk short because it was getting boring. My intention was Punkbuster might have liked walking in downtown and visiting any shops she might be interested. Downtown Santa Cruz had a variety of shops. We realized and I agreed walking in Downtown Santa Cruz was more random walking than sightseeing. Think about next time you and your group of friends choose to visit Downtown or even a mall. Is it random walking to waste time or to visit stores and shop for particular goods? If random walking, perhaps it’s better to save money and gas staying at a friend’s house and chat randomly.

The 2008 Nor Cal Vacation is one of my top highlights for the 2008 year. I had a wonderful time. The vacation was like an anime convention such that we did lots of stuff, had fun, got tired, and we ate little food LOL Seriously, it’s a bad idea to skip meals XD Despite the many activities, we never rushed. No rushing. We took our time. We cancelled visiting the Santa Cruz Pier and shorten the Downtown Santa Cruz visit on Sunday which turned out to be huge so we could take our time at the aquarium. We got tired at the aquarium; regardless, we enjoyed the exhibits and our company. Punkbuster, I should have insisted I purchase a meal for you. You never ate anything after the Boardwalk T__T I apologize.

Thank you very much for the weekend vacation. I hope you had a great time and the road trip was worth the vacation in the Northern California Bay Area. We had lots of bright moments ^__^

Notes

* Here’s the song reference for the “Monterey, Monterey, It’s The California Livin’ . . .” from Animaniacs http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=-isXelPoN9M

*Punkbuster and I were on the road for 7 hours and 41 minutes

*If you want to visit an aquarium and have time in the Bay Area, go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and skip the aquarium in Pier 39

*I’m thinking about visiting Downtown Monterey before the end of the year. I anticipate it’s sightseeing because I never visited before; afterwards, I anticipate future visits are random walking *hee, hee*

*Some activities and entertainment we do alone. I mention in the notes because I forgot when we talked about the topic. We agreed sometimes doing activities and entertainment alone is good. There is nothing wrong being alone, and sometimes it’s beneficial to oneself. No fear being alone. (Just make sure you bring a cell phone and tell someone for emergencies.)

*I have been eating smaller meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since the stomach ache in San Francisco

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Day Three

In The Warm California Sun

I woke up at 9:00am to prepare for Day Three activities. I got the sunscreen, ate Saturday’s breakfast, and copied Friday and Saturday pics on a CD. I brought my laptop, change of clothes, and water. I thought about getting gas; unfortunately, I was Asian Late.

I arrived at Punkbuster’s hotel room at 10:15am. Punkbuster texted me checking if I’m OK. Punkbuster choose to wear glasses instead of contacts. Cool 8-) We took off at 11:00am to Santa Cruz. During the drive, Punkbuster told me there are very few green trees and plants in her home town and the area is mostly flat with a few hills here and there. She shared a story I vaguely remember about her friend driving on a hill and the road is so close to the edge she almost got in an accident or something. Regardless, I was scared hearing the story. And she told me the story how roads were built on hills in her home area with residential expansion. Great, residential expansion in today’s residential real estate market. Smart =p We also talked about our longest day of our lives. My longest day took place in August 2004 when my brother and his wife’s family got into a car accident in Barstow, CA going home from Las Vegas. I forgot Punkbuster’s longest day ~~ I told Punkbuster Santa Cruz has a city ban on big named retail stores. The only brand name stores in Santa Cruz as far as I’m concerned are Borders, Longs Drugs, and Circuit City. There are no Wal-Mart and Costco.

We arrived at Downtown Santa Cruz at 11:30am. We found parking in about 5 minutes. The parking garage we went was full and most of the street parking was full, too. We visited Borders, two comic book shops, and a game shop. Downtown Santa Cruz is like Downtown San Francisco. The difference is Downtown Santa Cruz is much smaller and much cleaner. Punkbuster saw a coffee shop Bad Ass Coffee and she took a picture. We walked half of Downtown and Punkbuster suggested we skip the other half of Downtown and go to the Boardwalk. Good call. We skipped the rest of Downtown and drove to the boardwalk.

Yay, Boardwalk

I drove around the other half of Downtown to complete the tour. We arrived at the boardwalk at 12:45pm. We parked across the arcade. Punkbuster saw In the Groove 2 and played one game. Punkbuster commented the games in the Bay Area are expensive to play. Punkbuster’s arcades are much cheaper.

We walked to Neptune’s arcade to play air hockey at 1:00pm. Bad news for me. I hit the puck really hard and the puck hit her left middle finger. Ouch! I was shocked and I immediately apologized. Punkbuster needed ice to reduce the swelling and I got the ice from the nearby food stand. I’m so sorry for hitting you.

After the accident, we took a walk around the Boardwalk. Punkbuster told me about the arcade hours. I said the arcade opened 24/7. Oops. Wrong answer. *takes a deep breath* The correct answer is the arcades are open year around and the rides are open seasonal. I must have been hungry =__= I asked Punkbuster if she wanted to walk on the beach. She said she hates sand. Oops. I misinterpreted her. I thought she wanted to visit the beach. I showed her the Giant Dipper, the roller coaster we planned to ride on later and the Cyclone ride which had an accident a few weeks ago. The weather was really warm, too warm. I expected cooler temperatures. I was sweating.

We ate lunch at 2:00pm with a coupon for a free corn dog with a combo purchase. Punkbuster likes corn dogs. I ordered the chicken sandwich combo. I forgot to tell the cashier to hold the mayonnaise. I asked Punkbuster to split the sandwich for fear my stomach acted up again. She said OK. When I opened my wallet to put the receipt in my wallet, I realized my Hitsugaya keychain broke. *cries* I’m happy I caught the keychain and I put the keychain in my bag.

I told Punkbuster one of my weaknesses is my guilty consciousness; however, I know when somebody takes advantage of my guilty consciousness. And it explained the continuous apologies for hitting her finger with the puck. I apologized too many times throughout our time in the Boardwalk. I realized later I should have shut up because it made me look worst saying sorry too many times ^^

At 2:50pm, we arrived at the Giant Dipper roller coaster. The ride requires six tickets or $4.50 per person. We waited about 15 minutes. Not too bad. We applied lip balm just before we seated. Then we rode the roller coaster. Full of fun. We saw our pictures at the end of the roller coaster. We looked funny, happy, and thrilly =)

Monterey, Monterey, It’s The California Livin’ . . .

We took off Santa Cruz and headed to Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 3:00pm. The first discussion was our physical turn-ons and a person’s outside is important as a person’s inside. For example, you met a person’s inside is adventurous; however, if the person’s outside doesn’t brush his or her teeth, why do you still want to pursue a relationship? The inside is more important than the outside is full of crap. We continued to talk about what size city we want to live. Santa Cruz population is around 52,000 and the size is suitable for me for a small city. We also talked about fate. Does each of us believe in fate? And are there different levels of fate from individual fate to world fate to universal fate? We also said that everyone has bright moments and that crap happens. Tell me about the crap happens ;) The weather was warm in Santa Cruz the air condition was on throughout most of the drive. Punkbuster took a nap towards the end of the trip. Punkbuster got a headache after The Giant Dipper roller coaster. She told me she gets headaches when she rides on a roller coaster ;__;

We arrived at the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 4:20pm after parking in one of the parking garages at Cannery Row. There was a good amount of people. The first exhibit we saw was watching the anchovies swimming in a circle shaped aquarium on the second floor.

At 4:30pm, we visited the jellyfish exhibits. Jellyfish is Punkbuster’s favorite sea animal which explains why she knew lots about jellyfishes. I said the Black Sea Nettle is not a jellyfish and Punkbuster corrected me. Black Sea Nettle is a jellyfish.

Then we visited The Outer Bay containing sea turtles, tunas, sharks, and barracudas. There was an upper section with seating to relax and enjoy the view from the top. I tried to take pictures from the upper section; unfortunately, there were too many people along the bottom for a good wide shot. We walked to the first floor and entered The Jellies: Living Art exhibit. There were more jellyfish and jellyfish art. I received information the Living Art exhibit is in its last year. Lucky! The Warty Comb Jelly aquarium inside the exhibit looked like space and the Warty Comb Jelly were floating aliens, LOL.

We went to the cafeteria at 5:40pm. I was kinda hungry from the light lunch at the Boardwalk. I ordered a hot dog, fries, and soda combo. The catering company providing the food is the same company at my workplace. Punkbuster patiently waited for me to finish eating and she took a rest. Both of us feel crappy when we are hungry. It’s never good to be crappy because misunderstands, miscommunications, and misbehaviors are prone to happen. I felt better and not tired. Energize :-)

The aquarium closed at 8:00pm. We had two hours. Plenty of time. We continued walking around and headed to the Kelp Forest. We stayed briefly and then walked outside and saw the wave exhibit. Then we went to the Touch Pools. We first didn’t want to touch the sea animals. We actually did. I forgot what Punkbuster touched. I touched a manta. Very smooth and slimly like.

The Monterey Bay Habitats and the Octopus were the next exhibits. I noticed a few families were behaving inappropriately. One family the son was cranky. He was tired. And another family the parents were arguing. They were tired and they embarrassed themselves. And then we went back to the Kelp Forest. The Coastal Birds exhibit was closed. I remember the bird exhibit in my 1998 visit. It’s really good. At 7:00pm, we walked to the second floor and visited the penguins and the children’s Splash Zone. The aquarium was almost empty during the last hour. Punkbuster and I saw each other through the display window at the penguins exhibit, LOL We took the stairs to the third floor where there’s nothing. We saw the top of the Kelp Forest exhibit where there’s lighting and the water pumps. We got pictures of the fish from Finding Nemo movie as we exited the children’s Splash Zone.

The last exhibit was watching the Sea Otters. The time was 7:30pm. We talked about skipping dinner because it was getting late and we were getting tired (-,-) Punkbuster had leftovers from dinner at my cousin’s Japanese restaurant. We shopped in the gift shop for souvenirs. I suggested purchasing a stuffed dolphin for Dragonzyez. Dragonzyez favorite sea animal is the dolphin. Punkbuster texted Dragonzyez and she said a stuffed dolphin is cool. I purchased a penguin magnet for the family.

Time To Go Home

Punkbuster and I met at the exit at 8:00pm and we walked back to the parking garage. We took individual pictures of the Monterey Bay near The Fish Hopper restaurant. We arrived at the parking garage and we were looking for the pay ticket machine. We could not find the machine and we walked back to the car. I looked at the map to find Highway 1 from the parking garage. The cashier is located at the exit. I paid the ticket and we headed back to Highway 1. We didn’t get lost *__* I made a comment there was no Monterey Police or Monterey Sheriff cars for me to take pictures. Punkbuster made a joke she take pictures of police cars in her home town.

We entered the freeway entrance approximately 8:15pm. We talked about our driving habits including why people slow down and look at accidents. Coincidently, there was a minor traffic accident on Highway 17 slowing down traffic. We asked each other if we wanted to move out of our home towns. We planned to stay where we live.

We continued talking about different topics. Another topic was how people have personal bubbles and some people stay in their bubbles for security. (Days after the vacation, I thought about my personal bubble. I believe we all have bubbles. Some people have bigger bubbles meaning more secure and personal and some have small bubbles meaning less secure and outgoing. Hmmm, another blog topic here.) One way to meet new people is become interested in others. Ask questions to the other person and learn who he or she is including school or career, hobbies, and favorite food. We talked about our young ages and what we want to do with our lives. Our current careers are not long-term. We asked ourselves what we wanted to do, and we have continued to ask ourselves what we wanted to do. We have time to think about our lives, yet we continue to say we have time to think about what we wanted to do with our lives. *sigh*

We talked about cost of living increasing and raising families are getting more expensive. How can families today raise their children; in particular, lower and middle class families? Oil prices currently are dropping; however, expect prices to go back up. We shared our opinions why oil prices were record highs in late June and early July. I told Punkbuster I enjoyed her music selections she gave me and I told her the times I listen to her CDs. Punkbuster told me about the slang “junk in trunk.” Punkbuster LOL when I thought junk in trunk meant too much junk in a car’s trunk. Wrong. It meant something else which I’m not going to mention *__*

The last topic we talked about was why some drivers ride the breaks when they drive down hills. You’re not supposed to. We made the drive funny on Highway 17 as we drove down the hills. If I braked, we said break, break, break, . . . . If I coasted, we said no break, no break, no break, . . . . If I accelerated, we said gas, gas, gas, . . . . I downshifted to 4th gear or 3rd gear when going downhill. Traffic was heavy on Highway 17. If there was little traffic, I coasted all the way downhill and downshifted when there was a sharp curve ahead.

Good Bye

Punkbuster and I arrived at her hotel room at 10:00pm. I stayed for 20 minutes copying today’s pictures to CD. We were exhausted, yet we had a ton of fun. We said good bye to each other and we thank each other for a fun and wonderful weekend.

Punkbuster drove back home around 10:30am on Monday and arrived home safely around 9:00pm.

Monday, September 08, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Day Two

*Yawn* Crabby Sleep (-.-)

I went to sleep at 2:00am. I woke up at 5:45am Saturday morning. I could not go back to sleep. At 6:30am, I woke up fully. I checked the car including the oil and tire pressure. I took my time to avoid arriving at 8:00am and to give Punkbuster additional time to sleep and get ready. I got gas and washed the front windows, rear windows, and headlights at 7:45am. Never neglect keeping the headlines clean >__>

I arrived at the hotel at 8:00am. I said to myself there is no problem because Punkbuster is an early person `__* Oops. Punkbuster was not ready at 8:00am and she expected me at 8:15am. She was surprised and she was OK I arrived early nevertheless. Punkbuster had trouble falling asleep. We headed downstairs at 8:35am for the continental breakfast. Punkbuster saw the line and said forget it. She hated to wait.

I suggested we eat at Stacks in Campbell. She said OK. We talked about comic book stores including a comic book store Punkbuster used to shop where she received discounts because she knew the owner. We arrived at Stacks at 8:50am. The restaurant was full inside and the hostess gave us the option to eat outdoors. We said yes. I ordered the sausage and mushroom skillet and Punkbuster ordered the banana waffle with a side of eggs overeasy. Punkbuster got along with the waitress easily and she initiated small talk from our first orders to getting a take out box :) We talked about the ups and down of our families including our siblings. Most of our families either live in our home state or in nearby cities. Each of us has one family member and their family living out of state. We also talked about our past jobs. One job Punkbuster lasted two weeks because she was trained for a job and was given a different position. And we talked about college.

The breakfast was delicious. I ate half my breakfast because I was not hungry. I don’t know why. Punkbuster ate most of her breakfast.

WTH? No Tickets to Alcatraz

We drove from Campbell to San Francisco at 9:40am. I showed Punkbuster the nearby cities where I live and all the cities minutes away on a map. We arrived at San Francisco Pier 39 parking garage at 10:45am. We missed the parking garage closer to Fisherman’s Warf which has the early bird $10.00 all day parking special. Oh, well. I told Punkbuster the story how my two uncle’s family on my Mom’s side visited my house every Saturday when my Grandfather on my Mom’s side was in a care home. My Mom picked my Grandfather up and he, my family, and my two Uncle’s families spend Saturday evening at my house to keep Grandfather company. We did the Saturday visit from February 2005 to December 2006. I hung out with my cousins watching anime, playing video games, or playing board games. Punkbuster told me about Bug Love :3

The Alcatraz tickets and boat docking are located at Pier 36. We walked to the pier to get tickets. All tickets were sold out today, Sunday, and Monday. No fricken way :< We felt sorry for the foreigners who didn’t know they could purchase advanced tickets on the website. We knew the advanced tickets which we didn’t purchase because of the surcharge and we were not sure what day we visited Alcatraz. The extra time allowed us to visit more places.

We walked back to Pier 39. Punkbuster wanted to visit Candy Baron to purchase candy for her co-workers and friends back home. I noted the Lefty Store along the way. Punkbuster is left handed. I adore left handed people =) We stopped at Hollywood USA briefly to check out any Family Guy memorabilia. There was none. I wanted to see Brian memorabilia. The next stop was Candy Baron. Punkbuster purchased a variety of candy including salt-water. She paid with a credit card and her signature she wrote “See Photo ID.” The cashier looked at her photo ID. Smart :D Candy Baron was at the end of Pier 39. We walked to the end of the pier and took pictures of us with Alcatraz on the background. Then we walked to the left side of the pier to watch the Sea Lions.

We walked to Fisherman’s Warf at 12:15pm. We were not hungry for lunch. We passed by the sourdough bread restaurant. Punkbuster likes sourdough bread and I like the regular or sweet bread. We talked about the Wax Museum a waste of money. All we see are famous people made out of wax. We saw a shinny guy available for pictures taking. Shinny, shinny, shinny XD I made a comment after the picture how could he survive in the sun and the warmer than usual San Francisco temperature. Punkbuster said he smelled :O LOL

We arrived at Musee Mechanique, an arcade museum at the edge of Fisherman’s Warf by the San Francisco Bay. Admission is free. There are classic arcade games from the early 1900s to today including pinball, fortune telling machines, and watching short movies. Punkbuster played the Indian a Jones pinball game. We played Metal Slug 3 together. We needed cheats ~~ And each of us played the old baseball games where you hit a ball at specific areas for either a hit or an out. We tied each other two out of three baseball games we played scoring two runs each on the ties. Punkbuster played softball when she was a kid.

The next place to visit was Ghirardelli Square. We first stopped at Majestic Collection, a store with expensive fine art collections, decorations, and gallery for the home. Does anyone want to pay $56,000 for a monkey statue? We shared our thoughts what if we are rich and do we want to buy these expensive antiques. We also joked what if we became art smugglers. Punkbuster eyed the chandeliers which explains why she likes shinny objects @__@ Next, we found a store selling knock off sunglasses. Punkbuster wore a big frame, white color sunglasses. The sunglasses reminded me of Sir Elton John. Punkbuster likes to make funny faces and she made plenty of funny faces. Funny! We saw the Segway tours, a place to ride Segways and tour San Francisco with a tour guide.

Better Be The Best Damn $3.00 Cupcake

Punkbuster knew a store at Ghirardelli Square selling $3.00 cupcakes. The store is Kara’s Cupcakes. The size of the cupcake is the same size as a supermarket cupcake. Punkbuster ordered the raspberry and I ordered the vanilla. We ate the cupcakes and it was good. My thoughts are the $3.00 is paying for the overhyped, rich frosting and the cake itself tasted like a supermarket cupcake. Punkbuster’s raspberry is really sweet. Both of us can say, “We ate a $3.00 cupcake.” Halfway eating our cupcakes, a bird flew in the store and was trapped. A customer took some napkins to protect her hand, grabbed the bird, and placed the bird on the outside of the store. There’s a hero.

We visited the Ghirardelli Square store where we ate a sample chocolate and peanut better square. Delicious. I purchased a 25 pack of milk chocolate. Most of Ghirardelli Square is being renovated and most of the stores we didn’t care for. We did a quick walk on the other side of the square and then walk back to Pier 39 parking garage. I realized I lost my jacket. We backtracked to Kara’s Cupcakes and Ghirardelli Square store. No luck. No worries. The jacket was an inexpensive wind breaker. We took a break from walking and we settled at Aquatic Park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge for about 10 minutes. Punkbuster applied more sun screen which she applied several times throughout the day. We saw an old ship from the colonel days.

The time is 2:35pm and we arrived back at Pier 39 parking garage. The next destination is Japantown. Anime and manga FTW. We saw the famous Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world. We talked about apartment rents in San Francisco. I didn’t know the rent range in San Francisco. I know it’s expensive likely at least $1,000 a month. We also talked about what type of city or country we want to live at. Do we want to live in downtown such as San Francisco, suburb such as Tempe, big city such as Los Angeles, or a small country? We passed by the hotel Punkbuster and her friends stayed at when they visited San Francisco earlier in 2008. And more bug love.

Konnichiwa Japantown

We arrived at Japantown at 3pm. The crowd was average for a quiet and uneventful Saturday. The first shop we visited was I think the name is Japantown Collectibles at the Kinokuniya Building. The toy and hobby shop sold anime figurines, models, board games, and plushies. We were looking for a gift to give to Dragonzyez from me. We found a potential gift which was a Super Mario Brothers 1Up green mushroom. Dragonzyez likes 1Up mushrooms.

Second store we visited was Kinokuniya Bookstore. We continued to look for Dragonzyez’s gift. We found a Naruto art book. Dragonzyez is a Naruto fan. I found a Spirited Away art and story book. We saw the Full Metal Alchemist manga Volume 20 officially announcing there is another TV season. We choose the buy the Naruto art book and Spirited Away books last. We walked to Sophie’s Crepes. I ordered the strawberry and French Vanilla crepe. After eating the crepe, I got a stomach ache. Not good T__T

I went to the car to change my shirt from my polo to a white t-shirt. The weather was unseasonably warm and Japantown was hot inside. Then we crossed the Webster Street Bridge and walked through the Kintetsu building. I showed Punkbuster the 2008 Cherry Blossom Pictures at Japan Video. We saw Lisu in the pictures. I showed her the grand prize winning cosplayers and they won six out of the last seven contests. We arrived at Peace Plaza and we took a brief rest at the Pagoda. I showed Punkbuster the location my first cosplay action pose during Japantown Anime Faire II in September 2004. The rest of the walking around Japantown took five minutes because there was nothing at Buchanan Mall and we took a brief walk through Ichiban Store.

I wanted Punkbuster to try Calpico. We went to Nijiya Market at 4:45pm to purchase a strawberry Calpico. The line was long. Calpico has no carbonation. Punkbuster is sensitive to soda carbonation. Punkbuster wanted me to try Mexican Soda which I never heard of before. Unfortunately, she forgot to bring a can. Next time ^__^ We went back to Kinokuniya Bookstore to purchase the Naruto art book and Spirited Away art and story book. Punkbuster contacted Dragonzyez and she didn’t have the Naruto art book.

The Metreon

We had extra time before dinner and because we didn’t go to Alcatraz, we visited The Metreon. We entered The Metreon at 5:30pm. The place was dead. The first store we entered was the Playstation store. There were lots of Playstation 3 demos and PSP demos. One of the workers said no photography. No big deal *__* Next, we went to the second floor and entered the arcade. Along the way we saw the games making the “walk of fame” including Starcraft and The Legend of Zelda. Punkbuster played two DDR games while I went to the restroom. Damn tummy ache w__w I returned and saw her patiently waiting for me. She said the two DDR games she played were broken.

We walked around the third floor which was the IMAX movie theatres. I saw a classic Aliens shooting game. I played one game. It was hard to see with the glare. My friends are correct. Go to the Metreon to watch IMAX movie theatres only.

Brrrrr . . .

The last stop before dinner was Treasure Island. We arrived at 6:30pm. We visited the location where the Nor Cal Cosplay Picnic took place in June. I told Punkbuster people who live on Treasure Island their utilities are free—at least gas is free because there are no meters. There is a decommissioned naval base. We stayed briefly because it was cold and windy. The weather was my favorite conditions and not Punkbuster’s favorite conditions. We took some good pictures of San Francisco as the background. Brrrr @__@

Finally Real Food

We ate dinner at my cousin’s restaurant Happy Sashimi in Pinole. My cousin is a co-owner and a sushi-chef. First, we stopped at Trader Joe’s to purchase JoeJoe’s and ginger snaps cookies for the T-Shirt gathering later in the evening.

At 7:15pm, we entered Happy Sashimi. We seated at the sushi bar. My cousin in-law came out minutes later and she met Punkbuster. Then we ordered our meals. Punkbuster ordered the Yaki Soba. I ordered the ramen and gyoza appetizer. I ordered the ramen because of my tummy ache. After we ordered, my cousin came out and talked with us. The gyoza arrived minutes later. Punkbuster and my cousin talked about the restaurant business and dumb customers including how waiters and waitresses must work during peak times. My cousin said restaurants have no reason to screw a customer’s meal and give poor service. Punkbuster agreed. Restaurants depend on repeat customers to stay in business. We also talked about broken bones and with the sushi chef, too. Punkbuster was nice to give me the fifth and last piece. Our dinners arrived. Punkbuster enjoyed her Yaki Soba including the good portions of seafood. The ramen was perfect for me and my stomach ache. I saw Punkbuster hold the chopsticks with her left hand. It’s awesome. Punkbuster had trouble with the chopsticks twice. Not awesome. The sushi chef and our waitress joked asking her if she needed a fork.

My cousin didn’t charge me for the soda and the bowl of rice. I added extra on the tip to pay for the soda and the bowl of rice. Punkbuster needed to take her Yaki Soba home. We drove off my cousin’s restaurant and headed to the T-Shirt gathering in San Jose.

T-Shirt Gathering

We arrived at Jerry’s place for the T-Shirt gathering at 9:15pm. Punkbuster had a blast meeting more new people including Felicity, Loktera, Edendreams, kandybar, Steve.Young, Amelia Seyrunn, and the sugars ^__^ She played Scategories and Battle of the Sexes. Battle of the Sexes is biased and favored for the girls to win. Punkbuster did make a t-shirt. She didn’t finish and Jerry offered to mail the shirt to her. She declined. I took a nap and participate in no events and no games. I didn’t make a t-shirt. Sorry, Felicity =(

Punkbuster and I took off at 12:45am. We talked about the time we meet for Santa Cruz and Monterey. We agreed 10:00am. Lesson learned for the day: Never skip a meal on a vacation.