Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meet Jonathan Goldsmith

Men’s Health Blog Andrew Del-Colle Interviewed Jonathan Goldsmith who plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials for Dos Equis beer campaign. Click link below for the interview posted Fri Nov 19, 2010:

Jonathan Goldsmith | The Most Interesting Interview

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Childhood Lowlight

One of my parent’s failures when they raised me as a child happened during the summer. They failed to encourage me to continue learning outside school, growing, exploring, and finding new adventures. My mom believed summer vacations is the time for children to relax. That’s true to an extent. I shouldn’t relax, stay at home, and have little to do. I should be having fun . . . fun learning outside school, growing, exploring, and finding new adventures.

My mom forced my brother and I to learn swimming and playing the piano. Ironically, my brother and I hated those activities. We showed mom our anger and disapproval. My mom had the idea of doing something in the summer. She failed to be open and to help us explore other choices.

In particular, my kindergarten through eighth grade summers were watching television, playing toys, playing video games, and sitting around doing nothing. I rarely hung out with my friends. I didn’t participate in sports, clubs, camps, or even an activity or summer kids program in a community center. I didn’t read any books at home. On the other hand, I did attend summer schools; unfortunately, thinking back, most of the classes were a joke and the teachers didn’t care. I don’t remember learning anything that helped me in the upcoming school year.

I can’t change my past. I wonder what if I had an active summer. I might be a better person today: better social skills, more knowledge of everyday life, more friends, a better career, and more childhood experiences. Moreover, I might have been a better high school and college student. I’m lucky today I have been catching up what I missed when I was young such as reading books, visiting new places, meeting new people, and trying new hobbies. Also, I’m lucky I realized I must grow up on that day I remember forever.

I encourage parents to keep their children active during the summer. Have your children do something, anything. There are more choices of summer activities and programs than when I was a child. Even reading books at home is better than watching television all day. Have them get out and do something, anything, as long as they’re keeping their brains and bodies active and growing.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, October 21, 2011

Go To Sleep With A Smile

I was called for jury duty on Wed Oct 19 and Thur Oct 20. My panel was assigned a criminal case involving multiple felonies. I listened to potential jurors answering questions to determine if any were accepted to be a sworn juror. Some of the questions were personal. Some of the answers were sad and depressing. Most of the excused jurors had a traumatized past. The most common answer was they experienced or knew a close family member involving domestic violence. A few of them cried. This was the first time I realized how broad domestic violence around the county. The domestic violence stories I heard included boyfriend and girlfriend living in the same household. One juror said two of his friends filed restraining orders. I’m fortunate nobody in my family and none of my friends experienced domestic violence. I sleep tonight with a smile.

Another juror was convicted of fraud. Think about being convicted of fraud. If I was convicted of fraud, then it’s difficult for me to be trusted. Banks, insurance, and accounting companies don’t want to hire me. My ability to conduct business is very difficult because nobody trusts me with a fraud conviction. I’m fortunate I can be trusted. I sleep tonight with a smile.

The most depressing juror has a family experience of felonies. She was the victim of domestic violence. Her boyfriend attacked her. Her oldest son is incarcerated because he was convicted of grand theft auto. And her husband was murdered. The murderer was caught and is in prison. I’m fortunate I’m not a victim of felony crimes. I sleep tonight with a smile.

However, my family and I had close calls with felony crimes. My dad’s subwoofer speaker was stolen from his car during the late night hours. The speaker had a small value at the time it was stolen. My dad’s truck was vandalized, burglarized, and stolen. The vandalism damage and lost property from the theft had little value. Regarding the truck being stolen, fortunately, the truck was found one month later in good condition. All of the property was missing. I sleep tonight with a smile.

The closest call being a victim of a felony crime was an attempted burglary that took place in February 2011. If I didn’t investigate the noises downstairs and scared the two burglars, then they invaded our house and stolen portable and valuable possessions such as a laptop, jewelry, and blank checks. Police arrived minutes after I called 911. My family and I made changes to safeguard our house immediately. I sleep tonight with a smile.

The most frightening moment involved one of my cousins who lived in Los Angeles. She was walking to her car in the parking lot after work. A man attempted to kidnap her. Fortunately and with the best timing of the world, her co-workers were walking to the parking lot, saw them, and the kidnapper ran away. Everything is okay.

Some of the potential jurors I heard in the courtroom were victims of crimes that affected their lives. My life is good I can’t complain about the small little imperfections. The next time I walk in a mall, especially during the upcoming holiday season, I think for a moment all the people I pass. Some of them are victims of crimes; in particular, domestic violence. Some of them are domestic violence victims they don’t report to the police. Moreover, some of them have restraining orders against their boyfriends or girlfriends or significant other for any abuse.

I sleep tonight with a smile, and perhaps you should, too.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Read Books For Your Life

One of my childhood regrets is I didn’t read outside school. I watched too much television. I’m happy and lucky I started reading books in 2002. I started to read business and investment books. In 2008, I started to read fiction books. I currently read fiction books including classic and juvenile with an occasional business book.

Most of us are busy and have little or no time to read. I have some understanding for the busy people. I have a suggestion for those who want to get back reading books. I have a suggestion for those who have no interest reading books and have the thought in the back of their minds they should read. I have a suggestion for those who have poor reading skills. My suggestion is read juvenile books. Start easy and start simple. There is no shame for adults reading books for 5th graders. I read juvenile books. If you feel comfortable reading an adult book later on, do it. Ernest Hemingway books are an easy adult level.

Reading is one of the best ways to keep your brain active. Reading newspapers and Where’s Waldo books don’t count. Go to a library and start reading. If you have to start reading Disney books, then do it. There are online stores and many bookstore selling used books at lower prices. Pick up a book, activate your brain, and read.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Connecting My Dots Backwards

The late Steve Jobs (1955-2011), CEO of Apple Computer, spoke at the 2005 Stanford Graduation. He shared three stories of his life. One of his stories inspired me to connect my dots backwards. Let’s see how the dots connected to who I am today and where it connects me tomorrow.

I start the dot on Sat Oct 4, 2008. I realized I must grow up on that day. Don’t take life for granted, wise up, take your head out of your butt, stop acting naive, and earn it. I started making changes in my life. I knew growing up and becoming a man take time. The following events and activities impacted my changing life immediately after Sat Oct 4:

*Fiction books. I avoided reading fiction books. I thought reading business, leadership, and self-help books were the best way to be a better person. My first fiction book since The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger a long time ago was The Choice by Nichols Sparks. I followed that book with The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Forever by Judy Blume. I learned more about life reading a few fiction books than many non-fiction books I already read. I read 80% fiction and 20% non-fiction today.

*New clothes. I wore polo shirts and plain white t-shirts for 10 years. They’re gone. I purchased buttoned down sports shirts, new casual shoes, new pajamas, and a new jacket.

*A legitimate workout plan. Thank you punkbuster for recommending to download gym workout plans.

*Movies. I watched The Godfather trilogy, Mad Max, The Graduate, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and The Dark Knight. Those movies calmed me down and cheered me up when I needed it. I also watched The Place Promised In Our Early Days and Voices Of A Distance Star in the anime genre.

I visited my Washington friend Thundercloud for my Washington Canada ’08 trip from Sat Nov 15 to Thur Nov 20. The timing was perfect because I was experiencing changes and struggling to find who I really am. The vacation was one of my all time best. Vacations can refresh a person, act as a time-out to daily life, and help refocus a person’s life. The vacation successfully accomplished all three. Highlights of the trip were winning $180 at craps, visiting Seattle, visiting Hurricane Ridge, climbing the REI indoor wall, walking around downtown Victoria, visiting the Rock ‘n Roll museum, and buying books.

My last day at Cisco was on Sat Nov 22. My contracted was terminated. Cisco was cutting expenses throughout the company. I remembered the one-on-one meeting when my manager told me I was being laid off. I remembered my last day I was escorted by an administrative assistant in another department for security reasons. My job was too easy, unchallenging, and I had lots of free time I chatted online. All departments were fighting for funding from the executives. There were lots of politics which was not a surprise.

Christmas 2008 was the best Christmas my family celebrated in years. I couldn’t explain why. Everyone was happy. Maybe my happiness and my smile spread to everyone else. I brought back the traditional family movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We didn’t watch the movie for the last 3-4 years. And one of my uncle’s family from SoCal visited my family and we took a day trip to Stanford and U.C. Berkeley.

The last week of 2008 my dad and I built my new Gaming PC. The hardware was purchased in Nov and Dec. I want to thank my dad, Appu, and gmontem for their assistance. My Gaming PC made life easier for myself.

I started taking classes at De Anza for Spring ‘09 quarter. I took Strength Development which is a weight lifting class, Social Dancing which is ballroom dancing, and Beginning Japanese. I dropped Beginning Japanese on the third week because the instructor was terrible. I consulted the guys who took Japanese classes; in particular, Chun and Dev. Most of them recommended I drop. Dropping Japanese was the best decision I made in 2009. I found free time to help my mom make a new costume for Fanime ’09 and continue improving my gym workouts. Fanime ’09 took place on Memorial Day weekend and it was the best anime convention I attended.

I choose to take an accounting class for Fall ’09. If I liked the class, I earn an AA degree in Accounting. I liked it and I continued taking accounting classes. I was lucky most of my accounting classes were taught by good instructors. If I had terrible instructors, especially for my fundamental accounting classes, I might have switched majors or dropped out.

Fast forward to the end of Fall ’10, I was one class away from earning an AA degree. The class was offered in Winter ’11. During Fall ’10, I rented one movie a week in the library. Most of the movies I rented were from the American Film Institute Top 100 1997 version. I met the most new people out of all the quarters. And I started dating alien_cat.

On March 25, 2011, I earned my AA degree in Accounting. Today, I’m finding a job and living life one day at a time.

The following are a selected events, moments, and activities that influenced and impacted me from 2008 to today:

*Classic jazz. I developed an interest in classic jazz on Oct 2008. I have about 12 classic jazz CDs.

*Ballroom dancing. I want to thank my sister for starting me to learn ballroom dancing on Jan 2009. Alien_cat and I met at a ballroom dance class in De Anza.

*Accutane. I started the treatment to stop acne on Feb 2009. I completed my treatment on April 2010.

*Hiking. An easy hobby everyone should do. There are many easy hiking trails including urban hikes. I started hiking on March 2009.

*Social Networking. I can be found on my blogs, Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter. I created my Yelp on Feb 2009, Facebook on March 2009, and Twitter on Nov 2009.

*Mahjong. I tried and quit playing Mahjong in 2007. mDuo13 challenged Spiritsnare and I to learn Mahjong in 10 days on Oct 6, 2009. I’m happy I accepted the challenge. Mahjong is a great game. I read Mahjong is good for old people because it helps keep the mind thinking.

*Paul McCartney concert. I watched a Beatles legend in concert on July 10, 2010.

*The 2010 San Francisco Giants. World Series champions. I remember where I was when Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz.

*Visiting new places and seeking new adventures. I visited the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the San Francisco Cable Car, hiked new trails, visited Pinnacles National Park, and more.

What Is The Connection?

I believe the connection is my second chance. I was given a second chance to go back to college as a student and live life as a student—live life what I should have done when I was a student at San Jose State. Being laid off at Cisco was a blessing in disguise. I took accounting classes with the goal of earning an AA degree. I met new people and made new friends on campus and off campus. I found new hobbies, visited new places, and experienced new experiences. I made mistakes just like a young student must to learn life. I continue to improve expressing myself and let it all out. I have done everything with a mature attitude throughout my second chance.

What Is The Next Dot?

Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward . . . trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” I don’t know what kind job I work for and where I work for. I may find an interest in another subject and go back to school for more education. The future is unknown. I know I continue to grow up, learn something new, and find new adventures.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Here Are Some More Pictures

I finish the year 2010 picture blogs. I comment on my daily life. The pics are taken from my old cell phone. Enjoy!

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, October 02, 2011

A Consistent Reminder My Daily Life Rules

I want to remind myself my daily life rules. I follow these rules daily to be a good person. We’re human and we can forget. It’s time to review. Here we go:

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 . . . look at the cute face when talking.
6. Breath with your nose and stand up straight.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar