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