Sunday, December 30, 2012

My 30s Timeline


I self taught myself Microsoft Visio. The pic above is a timeline highlighting and lowlighting some of my events and moments since I turned 30 years old on Aug 2008. The timeline is my first project to practice Visio. Not too bad. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Most Interesting Man In The World Dec 2012

The Christmas Most Interesting Man In The World radio commercial was released a few days ago. I'm not sure if these quotes are repeats. Jonathan Goldsmith is the actor who portrays The Most Interesting Man In The World for the Dos Equis beer commercials. The narrator is Will Lyman from Frontline.

*He received more than 40 partridge in a pear trees last year alone.

*The star that tops his tree is recognized by NASA.

*Women have been known to keep mistletoe up until Aug, just in case he drops by.

*If he were to re-gift, it would be a much, much better gift.

*His gingerbread house is equipped with central air.

*He speaks reindeer.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Black Friday 2012

I want to review and share my Black Friday 2012. There is something for everyone on every Black Friday. I find some money to take advantage of the once a year deals even though I'm unemployed. Like past Black Friday's, I choose whether to buy a good based on a combination of convenience, necessity, must have, and long overdue. None of my purchases are on impulse. Here are the items I purchased:

Breaking Bad and Burn Notice Season 1. I hear positive and favorite reviews and opinions on Breaking Bad. I watched one episode of Burn Notice in Los Angeles on July 2009. I was addicted. Best Buy sold them for $10 each.

Amazon sold Breaking Bad and Burn Notice box sets for $10 on Cyber Monday. I missed the $10 when I logged on Amazon Monday evening. I was interested in purchasing the second seasons for both of those series.

The Expendables, The Terminator, and Gone With The Wind. Two action movies and a classic movie for $4 each at Best Buy. I have the opportunity to watch The Terminator unedited. I watched it on television edited obviously.

External Storage. I missed Amazon selling a Seagate Barracuda 2TB, 7200rpm 3.5 inch HD for $70 and NewEgg selling a Seagate 3TB, 7200rpm 3.5 inch HD for $90. I have an empty HD enclosure. I ended up purchasing a Western Digital 2TB My Book Essential for $70 at Fry's Electronics.

Compact Flash. I purchased a SanDisk 16GB, 60MB/s for my camera at Amazon for $50.

Flash Memory Sticks. Costco sold a three pack of 16GB for $20 or $6.67 each. Toys R Us was the cheapest selling for $5 each.

T-shirts. Threadless' Black Friday sale included $10 tees. This year, there was no free shipping. I purchased one t-shirt. However, on Tue Nov 27, the day after Cyber Monday, the store offered free shipping. I emailed a complaint they should offered free shipping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I received a $5 store credit. A few days later, Threadless sold $8 tees.

I was satisfied with my Black Friday 2012. I saved lots of money. There were lots of great deals on TV series and movies. Black Friday 2012 convinced me that if I can wait for Black Friday 2013 to purchase TV series, movies, external storage HD, flash memory sticks, and t-shirts, then I wait. For example, The Dark Knight Rises was recently released. I'm confident I can purchase the movie in BD under $10 next year. I don't need the movie now. I have other movies and TV shows to watch.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

My All De Anza Review Blog

Blogger's note: I wanted to blog my all De Anza review when I found a job. Unfortunately, I haven't found a job. The timing is appropriate to post my review. I use a Q&A interview format pretending 60 Minutes' correspondent Steve Kroft is interviewing me. My favorite articles were the financial crisis and real estate bubble.

The blog entry is unedited for grammar and content. 60 Minutes is represented by "60M" and I'm represented by "RM".

Introduction

60M: It's been 18 months since Raymond Mar attended De Anza College. Mr. Mar earned an AA degree in Accounting. His contract job at a telecommunications company was terminated in 2008. The financial crisis and real estate bubble bursted at that time. "I knew family and friends who lost their jobs," said Mar. He chose to go back to school rather than look for a job in a bleak job market.

We sit down and ask whether going back to De Anza was worth his time from Mar. 2009 to June 2011.

Interview

60M: What inspired you to go back to school?

RM: Actually, my first classes were ballroom dancing, strength training, and beginning Japanese. I dropped Japanese because the instructor, the sensei, taught too fast. I asked my friends who took Japanese at other colleges. All of them agreed I must drop Japanese. I saw a classmate in another class the next quarter. She said half of the class dropped before finals.

60M: What about ballroom dancing and strength training?

RM: My sister encouraged me to take ballroom dancing. She competed in amateur ballroom dancing competitions. She also went to school, and she didn't have time to teach me. As for strength training, I wanted to take a class to learn how to lift weights properly.

Ballroom dancing was fun. I met lots of people and made lots of friends. I met my girlfriend, too.

60M: In Fall '09, you choose to take an accounting class.

RM: Accounting was one of my majors I wanted to change after quitting majoring in Mathematics at San Jose State. I choose Economics. I thought I take the first accounting class and see what happens. If I liked it, I continue and work my way to earn an AA degree. After all, nobody was hiring during the financial meltdown. I had lots of free time.

As it turned out, I liked accounting and continued taking accounting classes, as well as taking ballroom dancing.

60M: You were a little careless taking your accounting classes.

RM: I admit I was a little careless. I took a couple of classes I didn't need to take. It turned out those couple of classes were taught by terrible instructors. One class was a complete waste of time. I should have dropped it when that class had too many students. That Spring '10 quarter I took that overcrowded class was the busiest quarter in terms of homework and studying.

Yeah, I should have planned out what classes to take. On the other hand, I wanted to take that overcrowded class when the first opportunity came to me because I never know when the next time the class was offered considering budget cuts.

60M: What were the biggest mistakes you made?

RM: I start with two mistakes I corrected. The first mistake was taking Japanese. Fortunately, I dropped the class. The second mistake was taking Advanced Accounting, a class I didn't need to take.

60M: It sounds like Advanced Accounting was required.

RM: It wasn't. I took the class out of self interest after I earned my AA degree. The professor was the worse professor ever, and that includes San Jose State. He couldn't lecture and couldn't explain the concepts just to save his life. We played games.

60M: Games?

RM: Yeah, games. Once a week, he brought these buzzers. All the students were divided in teams. The professor asked questions and the students answered them correctly to earn extra credit. You don't need extra credit because his grading was easier than high school exams.

Another game was the professor show an image he took in campus. Located and identify the image and you earned extra credit. Likewise for movies. The professor showed a clip from a movie related to accounting. Identify the movie and you earned extra credit.

Anyways, the third mistake that I failed to correct was taking a singing class. I took singing after playing Beatles Rock Band. I was inspired to learn how to sing better because I was the singer in the video game. There was nothing wrong with the instructor. It was just that the class didn't meet my expectations and I wasted gas and time driving to campus for just one evening.

The lesson was sometimes its okay to quit. There were more important priorities and better uses for my time.

60M: What were the lessons you learned? Of course you learned accounting.

RM: The lessons were everyone is human, go with the flow, timing is everything, and use it or lose it.

60M: Those four are life lessons.

RM: Yup, life lessons. Going back to De Anza was a second chance in my life. It was my mulligan card. I wanted to correct my mistakes or don't repeat my mistakes I did at San Jose State. I wanted to experience life as a college student again. I wanted to be a college student the right way.

60M: What was the right way?

RM: I wanted to meet new people and make new friends. (Thank you Facebook.) I wanted to experience new experiences and seek new adventures. For example, there was ballroom dancing I mentioned earlier. Others included hiking, visiting the Charles Schulz museum, playing Starcraft 2, visiting Monterey and Carmel, and much more. I didn't want to take college seriously like I did at San Jose State. Have fun, relax. Complete homework and projects last minute. Don't study too hard. Open myself up to something new from the simple try new foods to the first time moments riding a San Francisco cable car, and dating.

60M: Fall '10 was your best quarter. Why?

RM: That quarter I met the most people and made the most friends. One class everyone worked in teams for in-class work and for group presentation. I was lucky my group was the best in teamwork and presentation. The rest of the other groups experienced problems. The downside was the instructor was a bitch.

60M: Lol

RM: The downside of Fall '10 was I had to attend classes four days a week instead of two days for all of the other quarters.

Another best was the movie of the week checking out a DVD from the library. All of the DVDs I checked out must be from the American Film Institute Top 100 list in 1997, not 2007. *looking at the list* Some of the movies I watched were Midnight Cowboy, Citizen Kane, On The Waterfront, Singin' In The Rain, Some Like It Hot, Chinatown, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Philadelphia Story, Vertigo, The French Connection, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. I also watched Rosemary's Baby.

60M: Some people say you should not have gone back to school. Instead you either find another job despite the bad economy or take a class on a specialty skill such as a software program. Further, even though you have an AA degree in Accounting and a BS in Economics from San Jose State, you're having problems finding a job now since many jobs want relevant and/or recent job experience. How do you respond?

RM: If I went back in time to Mar 2009, I still go back to De Anza, or at least Sept 2009 when I took my first accounting class. The experiences, the people, the memories, the lessons on life, everything from Mar 2009 to June 2011 made me a better person who I am today. I mentioned earlier about the mulligan. Everyone deserves a mulligan. I used my mulligan on going back to school.

Going back to De Anza was like a time out in my life, a long time out. Going back to De Anza was a life refresher, to rediscover who I am, to find who I wasn't. Slow down, relax, don't repeat my past mistakes again. It was a time to be a grown up, a mature person. Everything, everything I experienced I apply for all my present and future relationships, my careers, and my daily living life.

I'm optimistic I find a job. I was interviewed seven times this year. I received calls from recruiters and hiring managers. It's a matter of when I find a job and start my life after college part 2. I need a little luck and timing in my favor.

60M: What was your worse quarter?

RM: I say Winter '11, technically my last quarter. I got sick and missed a week. The instructor for my Intro to Business was boring. Oh, BTW, I still remember the videos we watched and that opening theme song.

Spring '10 came in second. Listening to Beatles, classical music, classic jazz, and Vocaloid music helped me study well.

60M: You choose to continue taking an accounting class in Spring '11, the quarter after you graduated. Why?

RM: I enrolled in Auditing and Advanced Accounting. I dropped Advanced Accounting as mentioned earlier. Auditing was a hard class. I actually learned a few things I apply when I hear business news about disclaimers, security breaches, fraud, and embezzlement. It wasn't a waste of time. I was in survival mode for most of Spring '11, yet I didn't take the class too seriously such that I spent hours and hours studying. I had a life.

Auditing was a class to complete the full circle of all the accounting classes I took.

60M: In the Auditing class, you met a classmate who graduated at a CSU school with a business degree. Tell me what information she gave you.

RM: That recent graduate was smart and a quick learner. I remember one class meeting she arrived late. We had an in-class assignment. She opened the chapter, read a few pages, and then answered the questions correctly. She never took auditing as an undergraduate.

The information she told me was clarifying graduating with a BA in accounting. There was no such thing as an accounting degree, at least at the CSU schools. Business majors graduated with a business degree with an emphasis in accounting, or finance, or marketing. We went to the library, went online to compare an AA degree in Accounting and a BA in Business-Accounting. There was little difference. Most of the classes for an AA degree were the same classes for a BA. The major difference was two or three classes not taught at junior college. Further, if I were to transfer, I had to retake at least my two quarters of Intermediate Accounting because those credits were non-transferrable.

The bottom line was I could have a BA in Business-Accounting should I count my GE classes at San Jose State. It's those two or three classes that made the difference between an AA and a BA. How about that. Something to think about. I bet most BA or BS majors don't know just a couple of classes makes the difference between another BA or BS and an AA degree.

60M: How were the instructors overall?

RM: Overall, the instructors were good. Most of the part time instructors were good. Some of them really cared and some took time to share life experiences. The full time instructors were so-so. Having said that, students going to community colleges, I suggest you favor part timers.

60M: Timing was in your favor. You got all your classes at favorable times, with the exception of Fall '10 when you attended school four days a week. The friends who still attend De Anza said it's worse now.

RM: It's one of my life lessons I learned. Timing is everything. All my friends told me overcrowding is at the worse and classes are harder to get. They're seeing older age people unemployed going back to school.

60M: Share some little tid bits.

RM: I remember World Cup '10 was huge. The cafeteria had big screen projectors. I remember a group of card gamers moving all the tables together and playing card games. They're a perfect example of geek gamers. Do I want to meet them? No.

The cooks who worked the grill gave lots and lots of fries when people ordered the burger combos. Even their breakfast menu was decent. Prices were all reasonable. No refills on fountain drinks.

The only time I cut class was when I was sick. I never cut class just for the heck of it. To be honest, there was no reason to cut just for the heck of it.

There were three rooms I attended classes two or more times. Two of the three rooms I earned A grades all the time. Moreover, all my classes took place in two buildings and the computer lab, with the exception of the singing and ballroom dancing.

I ate lunch outside De Anza two times, and they were all on the first day of school for the two quarters.

60M: Compare the students at De Anza to when you were a student attending San Jose State.

RM: De Anza students had cell phones and smart phones. San Jose State students a few had cell phones, and you needed either a land line or pager to communicate. Email was spreading slowly. De Anza students could buy books on the web or at the bookstore, or buy a cheaper .pdf copy. San Jose State students bought at the bookstores only. The short answer was technology and communicating.

De Anza students could take tests and submit homework online. San Jose State students all work were done in class. And De Anza students had portable mp3 players for music. San Jose State students had walkmans.

De Anza students registered online. San Jose State students register by phone using a class scheduled printed hardcopy.

60M: Raymond Mar continues to think about De Anza occasionally, much more than San Jose State. He believes college students today have an easier time than when he attended San Jose State. Students today use technology to help with their assignments, keep in touch with friends and instructors, register for classes, and get their final grades. On the other hand, he fears that the technology today can make more people being alone and too independent.

The biggest mistake when he attended San Jose State was meeting very little people. That should be life lesson number #5: always meet new people.

Mar has experienced recruiters and hiring managers not considering him because of his lack of recent job experience and going back to school. What you do being unemployed can be just as important as what you did at your recent job. Right now is the best time to hire Mr. Mar because he's a better person who's more professional and more mature than ever.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Beatles Songs

The Beatles are my favorite band. Many of their songs and messages are relevant today. I listen to The Beatles when I work out at the gym, cook, browse the web, and for background music. The Beatles are a good cheer-me-up music. I played Beatles Rock Band at a friend's house in 2009. I was the singer, hehe. I attended a Paul McCartney concert at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA in 2010. The last time McCartney visited San Francisco was their last concert as The Beatles.

I admit I started listening to The Beatles in 2004. My parents didn't introduce me to The Beatles and even 1960s-70s rock when I was a child. Contemporary music became unappealing to me in late 2003 to early 2004. I started listening to classic rock, especially The Beatles. I continue listening to classic rock as one of my favorite music.

Here are my top ten favorite Beatles songs:

10. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. This song is a top favorite when I sang playing Beatles Rock Band. The song is about the drug LSD--Lucy Sky Diamonds. BTW, "Got To Get You Into My Life" is about marijuana and "Day Tripper" is about acid.

9. Yesterday. McCartney thought of the melody in a dream. He talked to people in the music business to make sure nobody else wrote a song similar to "Yesterday" before writing the lyrics.

8. Get Back. The song was performed three times as part of the rooftop performance on top of Apple Studios in Savile Row, London. Police interrupted their performance because of noise complaints from office workers.

I heard the song for the first time in 1991, and, sadly speaking, I didn't know The Beatles sang it. It was good.

7. Here Comes The Sun. George Harrison wrote the song when he visited Eric Clapton's house. John Lennon was not present during the recording because he was recovering from a car accident.

6. Ticket To Ride. The song reminds me to take care of my girl and never take her for granted.

5. Two Of Us. I like the acoustic guitars which McCartney reworked after an early performance in a guitar-driven rock style. The original title was "On Our Way Home", which was dedicated to his fiance at the time Linda Eastman.

4. Lady Madonna. I like the piano which was inspired by rock/blues pianist Fats Domino.

3. Hello, Goodbye. The single was released in Nov 1967. McCartney was interviewed explaining the song was "The answer to everything is simple. It's a song about everything and nothing. If you have black, you have to have white. That's the amazing thing about life."

2. Hey Jude. The first single released under Apple Records. The song was about John Lennon's son, Julian, during his parents' divorce. It was written to comfort Julian from the stress of divorce.

I enjoyed the McCartney live version when the audience sang at AT&T Park. I sang it, too.

1. Let It Be. I realized the wisdom in 2008, weeks before I realized I must grow up. I found the answers I needed.

Honorable mentions: Something, I Feel Fine, Getting Better, and Blackbird.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Me Versus My Sinus Infection IV

I blogged "The Best Life Time Out Or Distraction Is Being Sick" when I got sick starting with a sore throat on Thur Nov 15. I post a follow up blog if my sickness became the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). I didn't get the RSV; however, I did get sick with common cold symptoms sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, and congestion. The coughing was mild as phlegm dripped down my throat. Phlegm is good because it removes toxins from your body.

I choose to title my latest sickness "Me Versus My Sinus Infection IV" for consistency in blogging my sickness. I'm happy I got sick twice this year compared to three times last year. I hope the rest of Dec is a healthy and strong me. Here's the timeline:

Wed Nov 14. I woke up with a sore throat. I took three sore throat lozenges. I had a runny nose in the afternoon. I ate frozen yogurt.

Thur Nov 15. I made Jell-o. My runny nose became stuffy. I ate frozen yogurt ordering a small size instead of a child size. I went to bed applying expired vapor rub on my throat and chest.

Fri Nov 16. I purchased a new bottle of vapor rub (and new first aid items). My sore throat was gone. I had congestion. I applied Vanicream moisturizer on my nose and new vapor rub before I went to bed.

Sat Nov 17. Best sleep of the week. I turned on the humidifier between 4am-7am. My phlegm caused minimal coughing. There was minor stiffness. I was very hungry in the early morning because Fri night's dinner wasn't healthy; moreover, I had a big pimple below my chin.

Sun Nov 18. Woke up sweaty at 3am. I was too hot. The humidifier seemed to not work. I think it aggravated my phlegm with coughing. My body was confused whether it was too cold or too hot. My right leg felt weak. I ate snacks at 3:15am. I applied vapor rub. I fell asleep at 5am and woke up at 10:45am.

I had mild coughing and stuffy nose throughout the day. I blew my nose fewer times. My ears started to open up. I opened the window for fresh air. I felt better going out. We had an impromptu game night. I went to bed wearing a Breath Right strip.

Mon Nov 19. Nine hours of sleep last night. I wore a Breath Right strip for the second night.

Tue Nov 20. Minor stuffy nose. The coughing with phlegm was occasional. I ate frozen yogurt.

Wed Nov 21. Lots of rest, drank lots of fluids. Coughing and stuffy nose was random and occasional.

Thur Nov 22. I vacuumed the entire house. I could breathe again. I even vacuumed the edges behind my bed to remove the dust.

Fri Nov 23. I started drinking warm water to soothe my coughing.

I continued to cough with phlegm occasionally. I was still sensitive to the cold and the dust. I knew the recovery was slowly and surly. The keys to recovery were vacuuming the house and drinking warm water. I didn't take any over-the-counter drugs and I didn't see a doctor. My body welcomed Jell-o, Coke, and frozen yogurt. Vapor rub and the Breath Right stripes assisted my sleep very well.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Growing Up Part 2

I realized I must grow up on Sat Oct 4, 2008. I was in Los Altos walking to my car from an arts festival. The lessons I learned and the changes I completed were immediate and impacted my life. Some of the big lessons I learned included:

*Grow up. I'm an adult. Stop acting naive and being a child.
*Don't take life for granted. I did take life for granted. Nothing bad was going to happen in my life. I was an all-star. I was successful and I didn't need to work hard.
*Earn it. I learned this lesson the hard way. Schools didn't teach it to me. I must earn it to get it.

Here are some of the changes:

*Read fiction books. I read non-fiction books including business, self-help, and investments. I learned more about life reading fiction books than non-fiction.
*New clothes. Goodbye to polo shirts and sweaters. I purchased new sports shirts, jackets, and outdoor clothing for hiking.
*New gym workout. I downloaded workout schedules from Bodybuilding.com.

I experienced another grow up moment on Wed Nov 7, 2012. I was in Mountain View interviewing for a contract analyst position. The employees inside the building were loose, joking around, having fun, smiling, socializing, yet there were professional and mature. Nobody complained. Nobody was a jerk, a bitch, and an asshole.

The employees were friendly everywhere I walked including the outside entrance, lunch tables, and the bathroom. A few greeted me and asked how I was doing. It was like everyone was interviewing me to see how I acted and behaved. They were asking the question, "Is this an employee I'm comfortable having a beer with?" The beer test never fails.

The lesson I learned is personality. Begin in a friendly way. Smile. Shake hands when greeting new people and congratulating people. Look at their cute faces when communicating. The employees all had positive, cheerful, kindness, joyful personalities. I believe a good person has a good personality who socializes and communicates. The employees set the bar for me to achieve.

I have been improving my personality since Nov 7 which has been paying off. For instance, my girlfriend and I were shopping at Best Buy. I small talked with an assistant manager for 10 minutes as he prepared for Black Friday. We had a good conversation about Black Friday, movies, and television shows. I ended saying I let him get back to work, said my name, and shook his hand. That's a good example of meeting new people.

There is a new change in my life following the personality lesson. The change is business on Mon-Fri and pleasure on Sat and Sun. I'm approaching the chapter in my life when my playtime is over*. I concentrate on job searching, learning new job skills, working out at the gym, doing the house chores more often, cooking more delicious and healthy foods . . . essentially my weekdays are like working at a job. My weekends are pleasure days.

I elaborate more about my Growing Up Part 2 blog at my Finding Raymond Mar blog The State Of Raymond Mar.

*Read my blog "Chapter N: Playtime Is Over" here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

SOMT: When A Supermarket Was Just Buying Family Groceries

Blogger’s Note: SOMT stands for Sign Of My Times, an occasional blog sharing my thoughts how time changes life from when I was young to today.

I was inspired to write the supermarket SOMT when Raley's and Nob Hill union workers went on strike for the first time in the supermarket's 77 year history against the parent company Raley's Supermarkets. I didn't shop at Nob Hill during the strike. Fortunately, the strike lasted a little over a week.

I remember shopping at retail stores for their primary goods when I was in elementary school. My family and I shopped at a retail store to specifically buy their primary goods. We bought groceries, milk, meat, and produce at a supermarket. We bought toilet paper, toothpaste, over-the-counter medicine, tissue, and soap at a drug store. We bought hammers, nails, glue, soil, plants, and wood at a hardware store. We bought oil, oil filters, and car batteries at an auto store. We bought clothes, bed sheets, ties, and shoes at a department store. We bought cakes, donuts, and pastries at a bakery. We bought pens, paper, and erasers at a stationary store. We bought footballs, basketballs, tennis balls, bats, gloves, and fishing supplies at a sports store.

There were overlaps sometimes. We bought school supplies at a drug store's back to school sale. We bought diapers at a grocery store when my mom didn't buy enough at the drug store. My brother and I bought toys at a department store because of their sales instead of a toy store. And I bought tennis shoes at a department store instead of a sports store. We rarely shopped at nurseries, meat stores, outdoor equipment stores, and hobby stores.

I didn't have a Target, Wal-Mart, Price Club, and Costco. I was in junior high when I entered a big box store for the first time. It was Price Club in San Leandro, CA. We got our first Price Club membership in my freshmen year in high school.

Forget The Drug Store

Today, some retail stores have a huge overlap in goods and services. Safeway is the best example. I could shop at Safeway for groceries, order a birthday cake in their bakery, deposit checks in their sponsored bank, fill up gas at the gas station located in their parking lot, eat a sandwich for lunch in their deli, drink hot chocolate in their sponsored coffee shop, buy roses for my girlfriend in the florist, buy fresh seafood for dinner in their full service meat department, get my prescription drugs in the pharmacy, rent a movie in the DVD machines. If I drink alcohol, Safeway has a section devoted to fine wines. I don't need to visit a bakery, bank, gas station, fast food restaurant, florist, and drug store. Shopping and errands are completed in one stop.

I have no opinion on big box stores, comparable medium size stores, and ma and pa stores. I still shop around and I still shop at multiple retail stores for their goods and services. There is no one stop shop for my errands, bare necessities, entertainment, desires, and wants. I spread my consumer spending around because the best goods and services are from different stores.

To end the blog, raise your hands if you remember the check out registers without scanners. The cashier manually entered the price and looked at the tax table to enter the tax. In particular, grocery cash registers entered the price and press the tendered button as grocery, meat, dairy, or produce, etc.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Philosophies Of Raymond Mar

Today is a good day to share my life philosophies. The timing is good because I need a reminder to refocus and reset. I'm still recovering from being sick the week before Thanksgiving. The recovery is slowly and surly. I live a consistent day of job searching, cooking, workout out at the gym, and taking advantage of the extra time being unemployed soon.

I refer to my philosophies as a loose term. I share my daily rules, my Innovate Infinitely philosophy, how everyone should live, and more. Don't expect deep thoughts, long essays, conversations, and quotes from famous philosophers such as Plato or psychologists such as Sigmund Freud. Enjoy.

Innovate Infinitely. Never stop innovating life. The theme of my webpage is Innovate Infinitely. Always find ways to do something better. When you achieve it, innovate it again and again infinitely. There is always another way to do something better. Never stop changing. Never stop innovating.

Get up and do something, anything. There is always something to do. Seek new adventures. Experience new experiences. Meet new people. Make new friends. Open your eyes, listen carefully, taste new foods, smell new scents, and feel a new thing.

Relationships. I believe everyone can find love. The odds increase the better person you are; in other words, men are gentlemen and women are ladies. Strong, intelligent, wise, communicative, kindness, tenderness, and embracing life.

I believe timing and luck are part of life. Everyone including myself has experience being in the right place at the right time and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The jobs I was hired, the classes I got in college, the friends I met, and the good deals in stores are some of my good timing and luck. I haven't experience any significant wrong place at the wrong time, and I hope I never experience those.

Never stop meeting new people. People are important to be successful. People are necessary to live a good life. People help other people. I know this person and he can help me. I know that person and she can get you in. We live in the information age where it's easier to keep in touch with family, friends, acquaintances, and professional relationships.

My six daily rules of life:

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 their cute face when talking.
6. Breath with your nose and stand up straight.

Everyone must have a cell phone. Communication is important. I like to communicate and talk. Cell phones are necessary to communicate with people especially for events, finding people, and emergencies.

Growing up. Everyone has a chance to grow up regardless of age. There is a time and place the person pause and says, "I must grow up." Congratulate yourself if you already have.

Steve Jobs' Connect The Dots Backwards. The late Steve Jobs delivered the 2005 commencement address at Stanford University. One of his stories was connecting the dots. If it wasn't for Jobs taking a calligraphy class after dropping out of college, computers might not have the typography today. In Jobs' words:

"If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

The three day weekend. I prefer the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday three day weekend compared to the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The reason is I can stay up late on the Sunday weekend day instead of going to sleep at a normal Sunday weekend day to go back to work on Monday.

Finally, my top 30 blogs from my first 300 blogs:

01. Never take anything and anyone for granted.
02. Trust my gut feeling.
03. My [earlier] daily top five rules for living: (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 [their] cute face when talking.
04. Continue to live life finding what you want to do.
05. Never judge a person by their appearance.
06. Remember to learn from you 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.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Best Life Time Out Or Distraction Is Being Sick

I woke up with a sore throat yesterday. 9 times out of 10 a sore throat is a prelude to being sick. I had a sore throat, runny nose, and congestion going to sleep. I applied a Breathe Right nasal strip and rubbed Vicks Vaporub on my throat to combat the congestion. As of the blog entry, I have a sore throat and mild congestion. The next 24-48 hours determine if I have Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV. Feb 2012 was the last time I became sick with RSV. I hope it's just a common cold which very rarely happens to my body.

The frustration getting sick was the same earlier this year. My life was starting to be consistent: going to the gym 3-4 days a week, job searching, catching up with emails . . . moving forward again. Also, family distractions affecting me were ending and my dad purchased a new laptop with wireless capabilities so we both can be connected to the web instead of one waiting for the other. My life was ready to press play instead of a combination of slow motion and pause.

Everything that caused me to be sick happened. Everything that went wrong did. Everything beyond my control caused me to be sick. Nobody was to be blamed. The events leading to my sickness:

*Some of my breakfast, lunch, and dinners were incomplete and unhealthy. I should have been more proactive in eating enough foods. I ate two meals on Sat, ate a poor breakfast and a light lunch on Sun, and ate a weak lunch consisting of Sat's leftover food on Mon.

*I helped my uncle, aunt, and cousin with their laptops and set up their wireless printer last Sat. My aunt was sick.

*My brother's family was staying over the weekend. My nephew was sick, and he coughed in front of me.

*I wore shorts instead of long pants going to the gym Tue night. The night was cold. I plan to buy another long gym pants and, maybe, long sleeve gym shirts during the holiday season.

*Also, I didn't drink enough water because I felt bloated. That should have been a sign to skip the gym. I worked out at late hours because I really wanted to get back in shape. I tried too hard.

*And I rushed out of the house to the gym for a quick workout neglecting the cold weather. I didn't turn on the car's heater, and it was my mom's car I drove to save a minute from backing out my car from the driveway. My mom's car took longer to heat the car. I should drive my car to the gym permanently.

*Cold days and evenings meant getting sick was in the air.

*My body failed to adjust the cold days and colder nights. My area had record breaking warm temperatures last week.

*I slept with one less blanket the night before I got the sore throat because the house was too hot. My parents didn't turn off the heater. I woke up when the heater turned on. I turned off the heater and didn't sleep with that extra blanket.

Time Out, Raymond

Perhaps, the timing getting sick is good. Forget my life frustrations and anger I can't control. My life is stopped. My focus is recovery. My body is telling me to stop, rest, refocus, and do something different. It's time to hold off living life do something every minute, every second. Time out, Raymond, for keeping your mind occupied with something you must do. It's time to be bored. I may just read books like I did in Sept 2011 when I had RSV. Reading books is an acceptable time out.

Job searching, watching anime, reading emails, anything that frustrates you when you don't complete it, anything you need to catch up are on hold. Just relax. Take it easy. Stay warm. Eat Jell-o and yogurt. Drink coke.

Side note: If my sickness becomes RSV, I write another blog detailing my recovery. I re-read my past RSV blogs to remind myself how I recovered.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top Ten Late Bloomer Moments

It's never too late to (fill in the blank). Live the present. Life is too short. The Most Interesting Man In The World commented on life: It's never too early to start beefing up your obituary.

I'm a late bloomer. Since Dec. 2010, I did the following for the first time in San Francisco: rode a cable car, walked on the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Crissy Field, ate a sundae at Ghirardelli Square, shopped at Union Square, visited Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill, urban hiked on The Embarcadero, and hiked at Angel Island. I should have done most of those during my teens and 20s. The sundae, however, I should have done when I was a child.

I went back to college to earn an AA degree in Accounting. Going back to school gave me an opportunity to correct my mistakes I did while an undergraduate at San Jose State. It was a redo, to experience the experiences, to create college moments I failed in my 20s at a school environment. My biggest mistake I corrected was meeting new people and making new friends. I used social networking to keep in touch with my friends. I met my girlfriend in the social ballroom dance class, number 2 in my top ten.

I continue to catch up what I missed in my 20s. There are more memories to create. I want to have more "I did this", "been there, done that", "did it before", "met that person", etc. Here are my top ten late bloomer moments:

10. My Gaming PC (2008). I wanted my own PC with the latest, greatest, long lasting hardware I could afford. My dad provided the family PC with decent hardware. He could have done better. My first built PC is shared with the family. Thank you appu, gmontem, and my dad for their assistance.

9. Cosplaying At Anime Conventions (2004). I started attending anime conventions in 1997. It took me seven years to wear a costume (cosplaying) for the first time. Thank you mom for making the costumes. I have worn my costumes to Halloween events and gatherings outside the convention.

8. My First Retail Job (1996). I didn't work in a retail job in high school. Bad mistake. I believe everyone should have the experience working at a retail job. You learn a lot about life and people not taught in the classrooms. Blockbuster Video was the retail business I worked. I have stories.

7. My First Video Game Played Online (2007). I'm a casual video gamer who started playing video games with the Atari 2600. It took me years to play a video game with other players online for the first time. I was introduced to Team Fortress 2 (TF2) from the guys. I remember having Monday Night TF2 when the game was the most popular game played. I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep on work nights sometimes.

6. My New Face (2007 & 2009-2010). I wore braces from 2007-2009, well beyond my high school and college years. I took Accutane to treat my acne from 2009-2010, well beyond my high school and college years. I have a better smile and acne rarely appears on my face like once in a blue moon.

5. Reading Fiction Books (2008). I started reading books in 2002. I read business, self-help, leadership, and investment books. I had no interest in fiction books. I read my first fiction book since Les Miserables in 1995. I learn more about life reading fiction books than non-fiction books, especially almost all those self-help books.

4. Meeting New People (2006). I had a few friends before 2006. I started meeting new people and opening myself up. Today, I know more people and I have the most friends ever in my life.

3. My Own Car (2007). I purchased my own car from a neighbor couple who moved to the Eastern United States to be closer with their family. I take care of my car the best I can with good parts, quality oil, and Chevron gas. There have been many adventures. There are more coming soon.

2. Dating (2010). I met my girlfriend in a social ballroom dance class at a junior college. I never dated in college and afterwards up to the end of 2010.

1. Grow Up (2008). I was in Los Altos, CA. I spent the day playing board games with a friend. He had to leave early. I walked across the street from the library to the downtown. There was an arts festival. I walked around browsing the booths. I ate a teriyaki chicken rick bowl for lunch. It seemed I was the only person alone. I didn't have a girl with me. I didn't have a family. I didn't have a group of friends with me.

I walked back to the library parking lot. I crossed the street. I said to myself on the sidewalk, "Oh, my god. I have to grow up." Life has been the best for me since 2008.

Honorable Mention: Visited Canada in 2005, ate sushi in 2008, hiked in 2009, ice skated in 2010, snuck in food in a movie theater in 2009, and online chatted in 2007.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Let's Play Japanese Mahjong (Riichi)

I'm a beginner Japanese Mahjong (Riichi) player. I played Mahjong for the first time in 2007. I hated it. The guys challenged me to learn Mahjong and try again in 2009. I accepted. I love the game today even though I won a total of three games since my first win in July 2010. Mahjong is a social game for three or four players. The game requires thinking, predicting, and strategy. I see myself playing the game in my senior years because it keeps my brain active.

One of the ways I learned Mahjong was searching on the web for setup, rules, basic strategy, scoring, and hands. I was disappointed to find few resources. I created a beginner's guide to help me learn the hands. I want to share the list. Click the link below to download.

My Riichi Hand's Guide

Contact me if there are errors. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact me and we see about meeting up. My group is looking for players. I included a scoring chart on the last page to assist with scoring. Source of the pics are from Gamedesign.jp's flash version of Mahjong.

I own two Mahjong books that teaches the Chinese version. These books provided little help for the Japanese version. There is an offline mahjong game Saikyo no Mahjong 3D translated in English. I provide the download file link and a glossary guide below. If the download link fails, then Google "Saikyo no Mahjong 3D" to find other hosting websites.

Saikyo no Mahjong Download English Version

Saikyo no Mahjong Rules Explanation

Here is an online version of Mahjong. The game is difficult for early beginners.

Mahjong Flash Online

These websites below provide resources and information. Osamuko's terminology source is daunting for the early beginner, yet has lots of definitions.

Mahjong Made Simple

European Mahjong Association

Japanese Mahjong.net

Japanese Mahjong

Osamuko's Mahjong Blog List Of Terminology

Finally, the Wikipedia resources.

Japanese Mahjong

Japanese Mahjong Hands

Japanese Mahjong Scoring

Friday, November 09, 2012

Friday November 23

Black Friday 2012 is on Fri Nov 23. The retailers are happy because there are more Christmas shopping days. Google "Black Friday 2012" and you preview retailers that released their Black Friday deals early.

My past Black Fridays were a combination of convenience, necessity, must have, and long overdue. I rarely purchase on impulse. My self control for impulse purchases is excellent. I'm picky when it comes to prices. I shop around. There were some Black Fridays I felt the prices were not low enough. I avoid purchasing goods I feel I can find lower on Cyber Monday or in the future.

My 2012 wish list satisfies the four combination above. Here is a sample:

*Computer chair. I'm sitting on one of my dad's computer chair that randomly lowers itself. There is another chair our family got free years ago. It's too big and uncomfortable. It's time for a new chair.

*USB memory sticks. I have a 128MB, 510MB, 4GB, and an 8GB. Go figure. It's time for more memory sticks.

*External backup drive. The guys have a point. DVD backups are old school. Prices for external backups are really good. My 500GB I purchased in Oct 2008 for $100 is full. It's time for a bigger backup drive.

*Blu-ray drive. I built my Gaming PC in 2008. Prices for a BD drive was $120. I see prices today between $50-$60. I have six BD movies. It's time to watch BD.

In 2011, I purchased Glee Season 1 for $12, Family Guy Vol 5 and Vol 6 for $34 and Firefly for $13. The last time I purchased Family Guy was in 2007. I also purchased a USB power outlet for $16 at Monoprice.

In 2010, I purchased a Sandisk mp3 player for $55. The last time I purchased a mp3 player was in 2006, and it crashed such that I lost half of my songs and I couldn't upload new songs.

In 2009, I purchased a leaf blower for my family, GPS for vacations, and 2.1 speakers for my PC all at cheap Black Friday prices.

My 2009-2011 purchases satisfied the convenience, necessity, must have, and long overdue combination. Good luck, be patient, shop around, and happy Black Friday shopping.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Steve Jobs And Tomorrow

I combine two short blogs into one blog entry. The first is Steve Jobs and the second is tomorrow.

If I had an opportunity to meet someone, who is the person? Dead or alive.

My answer is Steve Jobs. I watched the Steve Jobs documentary on PBS and Steve Jobs on 60 Minutes after he past away. I want to know how he became successful. How did he discover up his vision, his genius, his overcoming of fear. He must have feared something. I know some people thought he was a jerk. How did Jobs' connect the dots from his past experiences and acquired knowledge to create what Apple is today? The products are simple and intuitive. He changed the world. He had charisma and a great salesman personality. His biography book is on my wish list.

Tomorrow's Plan

I like to plan ahead for the next day, next weekend, and next big activity. Planning ahead gives me assurance I prepare for everything going smoothly, checking off my to-do list, and anticipating anything that may hinder. I have a backup plan with alternate choices for those hindrances.

However, sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow. Sometimes an adventure, a new experience, a surprise moment happens. I welcome those three situations because life is not 100% planned by the book. I believe a surprise, a mystery, an unknown makes life exciting. It keeps me focus and reminds me anything can happen. Anything.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

One Game At A Time For The San Francisco Giants, One Day At A Time For Me

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning the 2012 World Series. The Giants won two World Series Championships in the last three years, and their second in San Francisco franchise history. The 2012 theme was never quit, don't give up, believe in themselves, play for the name on the front of their jerseys and not the back, and determination. In comparison, the 2010 championship team was a band of misfits and castoffs who got together and clicked instantly--an excellent example of team chemistry.

Outfielder Hunter Pence said a pre-game speech on the first of six elimination games the Giants won to reach the World Series, "Look into each other's eyes. I want one more day with you. We must not give in. We owe it to each other. Play for each other." The "one more day with you" was what I took from the championship season. Some of the broadcasters from the Giants flagship radio station KNBR 680 AM said the Giants took their six elimination games one game at a time. Focus on one game at a time. Here's a recap on the six elimination games the Giants won:

*Game 3 National League Division Series (NLDS) vs. Cincinnati Reds. Pence started his pregame speeches and team huddling that continued for the rest of the Giants' postseason. The Giants won in 10 innings 2-1 when eight-time Gold Glove third baseman Scott Rolen committed an error from Joaquin Arias' grounder.

*Game 4 NLDS vs. Reds. Angel Pagan, Gregor Blacno, and Pablo Sandoval hit home runs in the 8-3 win. Tim Lincecum earned the win in relief.

*Game 5 NLDS vs. Reds. Buster Posey hit a grand slam. Matt Cain was strong enough to defeat Giants nemeses Mat Latos in the 6-4 win. The Giants were the first time to win three elimination road games.

*Game 5 National League Championship Series (NLCS) vs. St. Louis Cardinals. Barry Zito pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in the 5-0 win for his first postseason win since 2006.

*Game 6 NLCS vs. Cardinals. Ryan Vogelsong struck out a career high nine batters as the Giants won 6-1 back at AT&T Park.

*Game 7 NLCS vs. Cardinals. Pence's broken bat that struck the ball three times double started the 9-0 decisive clinching "The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series" win. The NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro's TV shot of the rain pouring down was memorable.

I believe that's how we should live our lives: one day at a time. We live in the information age we are stimulated with information every minute. Slow down a little and take each day of life one at a time. I'm unemployed and I'm job searching. I still have a life. I send resumes and cover letters to job openings. I read books for leisure and to keep my job skills fresh. I write blogs. I workout at the gym. I spend time with my friends. I listen to music. I cook. I pay my cell phone. I do laundry. I wash dishes. I write blogs. I shop for groceries. I'm always looking to meet new people. I find new adventures and new experiences to experience. My life continues to the next day, and the next day is lived one day at a time.

2012 San Francisco Giants Notes:

*The team ERA was 1.46. The last time a winning team had a ERA under 1.50 was the 1966 Baltimore Orioles.

*The Giants were the first team to win six elimination games in a row to reach the World Series in Major League Baseball history.

*Adversity in the regular season: Sandoval was on the disabled list twice for a strained hamstring and broken hamate bone, Brian Wilson needed Tommy John surgery; Melky Cabrera suspended 50 games for performance enhancing drugs; Los Angeles Dodgers' multiple blockbuster trades bringing in superstars.

*The last National League team to win a World Series via sweep was the 1990 Cincinnati Reds defeating the Oakland Athletics.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Succeed Without Trying

My college education and most of my career I succeeded without trying. I studied and read books in college. Those were it. I succeeded. I graduated. My GPA was above 3.3. I had my best classes earning A's and my struggling classes earning C's. I changed majors from mathematics to economics. My GPA never went down afterwards. I honestly didn't try 100%. I'm confident if I went back in time and tried 100%, my GPA could have been higher and I could have a better college life including more friends, more activities participated, and more experiences I should have experienced in my 20s.

My jobs as a research analyst and business analyst continued my success without trying. One of the major reason I succeed without trying was my jobs were unchallenging. The solutions to problems were easy. My daily responsibilities were too routine. Why did either nobody call me out or I fail to realize I was too good and needed a change? I believe the reasons were my immaturity, my no confidence, my take life for granted attitude, and/or my behavior as a naive adult. I completed anything that was my responsibility, and almost all of the time I accomplished without help.

What Is Trying?

My life has been a collection of successes and accomplishments on the easy road. Life drives me on the short and straight routes no matter what I do. My childhood was one and either move on or done trying. If I liked it, I continue. If I hated it, I quit immediately. Nobody, I repeat, nobody, encouraged me to try again, try again, try again. I'm the master of easy. I start at level 1, then rise quickly to levels 2-4, and then I stop at level 5. If I try really hard, I can continue up to level 10. I don't. I stay at level 5.

My most recent try and quit was Mahjong (Riichi). I played Mahjong for the first time in 2007. I was interested. I researched online to learn more and purchased a book days later. Learning took too much time to learn in detail. I quit. I played Mahjong again in 2009. I liked Mahjong. I practiced online, read better online instructions, memorized the hands, and even purchased my own Mahjong set. I won my first game in July 2010 and my second and third games in May 2012. I learned from my mistakes finishing last too many times between those dates. I didn't quit. I should not have quit in 2007. I missed so many opportunities to play with my friends and maybe meet new people between 2007 and 2009. Mahjong is one of my all time favorite board games today.

Someone told me I "fell through the cracks" throughout my careers. I mastered all my entry level positions I worked, yet I never advanced. I believe a big reason was I didn't try to move upward. Another big reason was nobody gave me a chance or opportunity to move upward that was beyond my control. Regardless, I take responsibility for failing to try harder to advanced my career, open new opportunities, and learn new job skills and knowledge. The lesson is try, try, try. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. There is no more try and quit immediately.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Invite Me For Foods And Drinks

I believe one of the best ways to get people together is food and drinks. We all know how alcohol brings people together. The same applies to food. Prepare good food, provide a variety of choices, and people in a social gathering are going to be happy. Food and good people complements each other. The food doesn't have to be top chef professionally prepared. The food must have heart. It's okay to purchase food from a store or restaurant sometimes.

If you need an activity or a theme to do something, anything, then think of a food and/or drink and a location to bring people together. Think simple. It can be a cookie gathering. Bring cookies and milk. It can be a soda gathering. Bring two bottle sodas from Beverages & More or Cost Plus World Markets and cups to share. It can be a toast gathering. Everyone brings different breads and different jellies. Wine and cheese in somebody's home is a classic. Or it can be the standard lunch, dinner, and pot-luck. There are many food and drink themes to bring people together.

Once people are settled in with good food and drinks, then good conversations, jokes, and laughing starts and continues to the end. There are new people to meet. There are games that can be played with food and drinks. Expect more laughing and smiles. Eat well and drink plenty.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Anime Conventions

Been there, done that. Those four words summarize my experience attending 38 anime conventions since 1997, except that I didn't sing in karaoke, staff or volunteer, dance in the rave, and sell in the dealer's rooms. However, I danced in the black & white ball and I sold in the swap meet. I walked at the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival's grand parade for six years.

I attended anime cons in colleges, small hotels, a retail mall, and convention centers. I attended anime conventions from the three digits to the five digits 50,000 plus attendance. I remember dealer's room sold anything anime and video games from Japan. Today's dealer's room sell mainstream goods since anyone can buy Japanese goods online. And I remember there were waiting lines to enter the dealer's room.

I experienced my share of good conventions and bad conventions. I attended Anime Expo 2000 at the Disneyland Hotel. Worse anime convention ever. I was lucky one of my friends worked at Disneyland for an internship. He had a car and drove us to restaurants and grocery stores. He knew the park and saved our asses. And I was lucky to watch the anime music videos at the standing room only section. To be fair, Disneyland was mostly at fault, not Anime Expo staff.

One of my favorite anime conventions was Fanime Con 2005, number 4 in my top ten. It was the first time I wore a cosplay (i.e. wearing a costume), hosted a panel, attended a cosplay gathering, and met new people and made new friends. Some of those new friends are still friends with me today. Most people thought Fanime Con 2005 was terrible. I agree. I was in the minority. It was a good con for me. It all comes down to what you make from the convention.

Times have changed. Those who attended conventions in the 1990s to the mid 2000s know what I'm talking about. There are more rules and bigger crowds. Gone are the days of do anything as long as nobody got hurt. The organizers are justifiably concerned about lawsuits. Where are those 1990s anime fans today? I think they still exist. Few attend anime conventions because they have new priorities. Am I implying something reminiscing my favorite moments? Here are my top ten favorite anime conventions:

10. Anime Expo 2011. I place Anime Expo '11 at number ten because I want to tell everyone I attended the Mikunopolis concert. Otherwise, I was sick throughout the con and I met very few new people. Almost all the costume gatherings were terrible.

9. Fanime Con 2003. The only complaint was the event took place two weeks before Anime Expo. There were no lines entering the dealer's room.

8. Anime Expo 1999. My first Anime Expo. It was memorable. The dealer's rooms was huge. I watched the debut of Cowboy Bebop. I attended the charity auction. My friends were cool in my hotel room. The Anaheim Hilton was beautiful. It was my first and only time I entered the old Anaheim Convention Center.

7. Fanime Con 1999. My first experience with 24 hour video programming. I slept for two hours on Sat and Sun because I wanted to watch lots of anime. I didn't have a hotel room meaning I drove back and forth from home. I ate with my family for dinner on Sat night. I told them to pick me up because I didn't want to lose my parking spot in front of the hotel. Thanks goodness I had a cell phone.

6. Japantown Anime Faire 2004. I debuted my cosplay Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. It was the first time I wore a cosplay in an anime convention.

5. Fanime Con 2004. I watched 17 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist during the Midnight Marathon. I stayed awake during the entire marathon. I said, "I'm going to cosplay Edward Elric" after episode #8. Furthermore, Fullmetal Alchemist saved me from quitting anime.

4. Fanime Con 2005. It was time to open up and do new activities: cosplay, talk to people, make friends, host a panel, play poker, and attend a cosplay gathering. Fun, fun, fun.

3. Anime Expo 2006. One of the last opportunities for anime attendees to goof off at the convention. The dealer's room occupied two exhibit halls. CLAMP was a guest of honor. Membership badges were mailed. It was the last time the cosplayer Man-Faye was able to attend officially. He was banned in 2007. 2006 is my all time favorite Anime Expo.

2. Fanime Con 2010. Another good convention from start to finish. The fun times from 2009 continued in 2010. I stayed at the Fairmont for the first time. I earned the most money at the swap meet. The black & white ball was bigger than 2009. I spent a good amount of time with all my friends.

1. Fanime Con 2009. The perfect convention. It couldn't get any better. Cosplay, being with people, photoshoots, making new friends, cosplay gatherings, perfect weather, black & white dance, swap meet, etc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The San Francisco Giants Are Going To The World Series

Raise your hands if you thought the San Francisco Giants are playing in the 2012 World Series? I should see no hands up. Brian Wilson was injured for the season during the first week of the season. Pablo Sandoval was on the disabled list twice. Melky Cabrera was suspended for performance enhancing drugs. Tim Lincecum had the worse season of his career. The Giants played and won their playoff elimination games against the Cincinnati Reds down 2-0 in a best of 5 and the St. Louis Cardinals down 3-1 in a best of 7. The Giants persevered, didn't give up, and find ways to win. Congratulations to the Giants for winning the National League Pennant and playing against the Detroit Tigers for the 2012 World Series championship.

I want to share my highlights and lowlights the Giants appeared in the World Series and also winning the National League Champion Series (NLCS) to win the pennant during my lifetime. I always said "The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series" since the 2002 season.

1989. It was my first year I started collecting baseball cards. I picked a good year. The baseball talk and baseball card conventions buzzed around the Giants and the Oakland Athletics. Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell were popular.

I watched Game 1 with my family and uncle's family. My uncle said the Giants had no chance. He was right. Dave Stewart pitched a complete game win. I watched Game 2 alone. I studied Algebra because I was behind in my homework during Game 3. The Loma Prieta Earthquake magnitude 6.9 happened at 5:04pm on Oct 17. I skipped Game 3 ten days later. I watched Game 4 alone.

The Giants lost to the Athletics in the Battle Of The Bay 4-0.

2002. I was in the family room watching Game 5 of the NLCS. I lied down on the floor and jumped for joy saying, "The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series" when David Bell scored from a Kenny Lofton single in the bottom of the ninth. The 2002 season started that winning statement.

The Giants lost to the Anaheim Angels 4-3. Why did Dusty Baker give starting pitcher Russ Ortiz the game ball as Ortiz went to the dugout? Another question, why did Baker use Felix Rodriguez?

2010. It was magical. The team was a bunch of guys, misfits, players from different teams last year, players released from their former teams that season, and rookies and veterans coming together to create instant team chemistry. The pep talk Edgar Renteria making everyone in the clubhouse cry was a great rally during the Chicago Cubs series. Rookie of the year Buster Posey led the way.

I listened to Games 1 and 2 of NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies on the radio because I had to study for two mid-terms. When Cody Ross hit a home run, I ran from my desk to the television to watch the home run. The FOX broadcast had a 7 second delay. I said my winning statement, "The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series" when Brian Wilson struck out Ryan Howard in Game 6. I twittered the statement a minute later.

I watched Games 1-3 and most of Game 5 of the World Series on television. I attended a Halloween party on Game 4. I drove to my ballroom dance class during the last inning of Game 5 hearing Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz. I honked my horn several times and said, "Woooorld Seeeeries!!!"

The Giants defeated the Texas Rangers 4-1 for their first World Championship in San Francisco franchise history.

2012. I listened to Game 7 of the NLCS on the radio and watched the game on the television. It was like hearing the game live on radio and watching replay on television.

I was on my phone's Twitter account on the top of the ninth inning ready to tweet my winning statement. I said "The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series" and then pressed sent on my Twitter immediately after Marco Scutaro caught Matt Holiday's pop up for the final out.

The 2012 World Series starts tomorrow. Go Giants!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SOMT: Call Me On My Cell Or Text Me

Blogger’s Note: SOMT stands for Sign Of My Times, an occasional blog sharing my thoughts how time changes life from when I was young to today.

I rooted my smart phone and installed Google Android 4.0 also known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) earlier this week. The time learning how to root and learning how to install ICS was worth my time, and I'm an average PC user with average technology knowledge. I installed all of my apps and customized my settings.

I remember my years attending San Jose State University. The chances of a student owning a cell phone back in the early to mid 90s was small. There was a student's cell phone ringing that disrupted class. The college newspaper occasionally published an article or an editorial stating cell phones were a waste of money. I didn't want to own a cell phone because I didn't want to be disturbed. I didn't want to own a cell phone because I didn't want to carry something heavy. I didn't want to own a cell phone because . . . .

I asked for the student's phone number, which was always their home number, to organize study groups, to get together for a project, or to hang out on a Fri night. There was no email. The only way to communicate outside school was calling from my home phone to another person's home phone. Moreover, I remember my high school days talking to friends on landlines. Teenagers can use their cell phones and talk anywhere around the house for privacy and keeping the home line free today.

I say, "call me on my cell or text me". Another way to communicate and keep in touch is "I add you to my Facebook". Email is still effective. I can chat online. I have AIM and Google+. Someone can follow me on Twitter. I use LinkedIn for professional networking. I don't need your home number anymore. I have multiple ways to communicate with family, friends, and acquaintances in today's information age.

I believe everyone should have a cell phone. A cell phone is a good communication device to keep in touch with people and excellent for emergencies. Games and gadgets are secondary to me. My top uses are communication including talk, text, and email; GPS and maps; dictionary; social networking such as Facebook and Twitter; and seeing information such as Yelp and Wikipedia. I have a .pdf copy of my resume just in case I meet a hiring manager or supervisor looking for people.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Board Games

I remember the commercial for the board game Life: "You can be a winner in the game of Life." I still own the Life board game. I lost all of the Share The Wealth cards, blue color male pieces, and pink color female pieces. I created small cards to replace the Share The Wealth cards. I created another set of cards to identify whether a player has a son or daughter. The board game was given to me as a Christmas gift in 1983.

Furthermore, my brother, cousin, and I played Life during our youthful summers. We had a ritual when of us collected at least one white $100,000 bill. I don't want to blog it because it was gross. This is an example of how board games brings people together. It was family bonding for the three of us.

My parents, my siblings, and I played Pictionary. It was the family board game when my siblings and I were children. We played late Saturday nights going past midnight. We learned a few new words. Pictionary is #7 in my top ten.

I'm an average player. I admit I get depress when I don't win, especially games I'm still a beginner. The top reasons I play board games are being with people, having the opportunity to socialize, having the opportunity to meet new people, and having to think with my brain. Winning is secondary honestly speaking. Losing games reminds me that I must learn from my mistakes just like in life.

Here are my top ten:

10. Fluxx. I want to play a game that requires very little thinking sometimes. The game has lots of randomness and luck such that anyone can win. I carry the card game almost everywhere I go. It's a good ice breaker to meet new people. The game takes minutes to learn.

9. Dominion. I continue to learn. I place last consistency since I started playing occasionally in summer 2008. I have been playing more often in the past three weeks. There must be basic strategies I need to learn. One reason I like the game is there are many ways to win. I know a couple of people who caught on the game quickly. The game is on my wish list.

8. Masters Gallery. One of the best card games I played. Some of my friends who consistently place in the top says there's a strategy and a gut feeling. I haven't mastered them yet.

7. Pictionary. A popular board game anywhere games are sold. It's a great family board game that I have family memories when I was a child.

6. Chess. The memories playing chess and four player chess in high school. I still have the chess pieces I purchased in high school and the chess boards my dad made. I own two chess sets to play four player chess.

5. Pandemic. This game requires team work. The world is infested with four viruses. The objective is to find cures. Team work and communication are key. I suggest buying the expansion set for a variety of scenarios. Another game I recommend for families with older children.

4. Beyond Balderdash. I realized one of my strengths communicating my funny side is writing. This party game is guaranteed to bring laughs nobody should care who wins.

3. The Settlers Of Catan. I saw this game one day shopping at Target. Target?!? I thought it was a game for the die-hard board gamers, not a game like Monopoly, Battleship, and UNO the general population was interested. I realized the game was also sold at Wal-Mart and Toys R Us. Learn negotiation, probability, and strategy playing Catan with easy to learn rules. There is more than one way to win.

2. Mahjong (Riichi). I play the Japanese version of Mahjong. The first time I played Mahjong in 2007 I hated it. I love it today. A social game that requires three or four people and requires thinking.

1. Puerto Rico. The board game that was consistently number one at Board Game Geek. I played it for the first time and I fell in love with it halfway through the game. Puerto Rico is the only game that has very little luck involved.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Best Way Of Learning

I believe my best way of learning should be used throughout many education institutions, academies, camps, schools, vocational training, on the job training, and instructional facilities. My best way of learning is repetition and trial and error. Someone teaches me step by step. I ask questions. The instructor answers them. I write notes. The instructor clarifies my misunderstandings. The lessons are completed. I study my notes and review my notes. I practice, practice, and practice. I think and comprehend the concepts and ideas. I continue practicing. I make mistakes. I learn from the mistakes. I continue studying and reviewing.

Repetition and trial and error are the two best ways to learn. They're not boring. They're effective. I was successful in school and college studying with those methods. I was also successful at my jobs. A senior worker trained me, watched me, and helped me write my notes. I followed my notes, made mistakes, and thought about the processes. Moreover, I thought of better ways to complete my assignments and responsibilities.

Sport camps, police academies, military training, and the arts use repetition and trial and error. The athletes, cadets, soldiers, dancers, singers, and artists practice, practice, and practice. They make mistakes and are corrected. They try something new. They make mistakes and are corrected. I took R.O.T.C. for three years in high school. Repetition and trial and error were the best ways to learn how to march, operate a rifle, and memorize leadership knowledge.

People Learn Their Way Of Thinking Themselves

I disagree with schools teaching students how to think. The last time I visited a high school was tutoring high school algebra in 1995. The textbooks were different in 1995 compared to when I went to high school in the late 1980s. These 1995 textbooks were written such that they wanted to teach the students to think and make high school learning fun. My textbooks were raw knowledge. My textbooks were written to show the students how to solve the problems step by step followed by many problems to practice, practice, and practice. Some of the problems were hard and tricky. That was part of learning. I learned by trial and error. I got the wrong answer. I thought how and why I got the answer wrong. I learned from my mistake. I was not bored with my classes. It was the teachers that made the classes boring. My learning methods helped me in math, science, and foreign language classes. English, geography, and social science were mostly memorization.

My high school didn't teach me how to think. I discovered myself my best ways to think. I believe students or individuals figure out their own way of thinking themselves. We think differently and at different speeds. Some are fast thinkers and some are slow thinkers. Some are logical thinkers. Some are practical thinkers. Some are abstract thinkers. Any school or college level institution can't teach a student how to think. They can help a student find his or her thinking methods. I believe the more knowledge, the more exposure to learning something new, the more new experiences, then the person develops, maintains, and strengthens his or her thinking and learning skills. Never stop learning. Never stop innovating.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

I watched the 60 Minutes interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sun Sep 30. The interview inspired me to share my favorite Schwarzenegger movies. I assure you End Of Days, The 6th Day, and Collateral Damage are not in my top ten. I consider those the triple bombs. However, many people add Batman & Robin, Jingle All The Way, and Eraser to the list of consecutive bombs from 1996 to 2002. Personally, I like Eraser. I was smart to rent End Of Days, The 6th Day, and Collateral Damage at my local video rental store.

I watched Batman & Robin in Las Vegas. I was experiencing a terrible vacation with my family the movie was a highlight such that I liked it. I kidded myself. I remembered selling customers to pre-order Batman & Robin working at Blockbuster Video. Almost nobody wanted to buy the movie, especially at full retail price. I think two customers pre-ordered during my shifts.

Enough with the bad movies. Here are my top ten:

10. Scavenger Hunt (1979). Schwarzenegger played a minor character named Lars. He interacted with Tony Randall's character. Scavenger Hunt is on my top ten because it was one of the first movies I watched when I was a child.

9. Total Recall (1990). One of four movies my family and I watched in theaters. My role playing group and I based an adventure from the movie. I read the short story that inspired the movie from Philip K. Dick. The movie is considered one of Schwarzenegger's best.

8. Kindergarten Cop (1990). Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. The tough cop went soft when he became the substitute kindergarten teacher. I enjoyed the humor.

7. True Lies (1994). A mixture of action and comedy. I stayed at the hotel in Los Angeles where the horse chase took place. Another movie I watched with my family in the theater.

6. The Terminator (1984). Schwarzenegger had 17 lines in the movie. One of his lines had three words: I'll be back. The rest is history.

5. The Running Man (1987). I was a kid and I laughed out loud the cheesy jokes. My brother and I based GI JOE playtime episodes based on the movie. The movie is on my wish list.

4. Twins (1988). My favorite Schwarzenegger comedy. He rocked well with Danny DeVito. My family and I watched the movie at a bargain movie theater. I could have watched it full price.

3. Predator (1987). I watched the movie for the first time in my uncle's house. I stayed in my seat the entire movie. The first shoot out with Dutch's squad was awesome.

2. Commando (1985). I didn't care for the actress Alyssa Milano even though I was in junior high. It was the action scenes and the character John Matrix killing the evil men one by one and getting clues where his daughter's held. The final shootout scenes 100 vs. 1 were stupid; however, those scenes inspired more GI JOE playtime episodes.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992). My dad, sister, and I watched the movie in the theater. I wanted the laser disc on the first day it came out. The special effects were fantastic. The action came at the perfect times in the movie. James Cameron did a wonderful job. I hated Edward Furlong who played John Connor.

Monday, October 08, 2012

I'm Doing The Best I Can, Really

Look at me today. I'm unemployed, I live at home with my parents, and I have few friends. Money has been tight. Fortunately, I'm doing a good job controlling my spending. I search and apply for jobs five days a week. My life is limited living at home and little funds to pay for my expenses. Life is not in pause, rather, it's in slow motion.

I have been learning new job skills and refreshing my job skills. I self-taught myself MySQL and Visio. I refreshed my Excel, PowerPoint, and Crystal Reports. I plan to learn SAS and Google Analytics soon if I don't find a job for the remainder of 2012. I earned an AA degree in Accounting last year. There is free time being unemployed some time must be devoted to learning job skills instead of watching TV in the afternoon. I was interviewed five times. My revised resume and cover letter are generating calls.

There is still a life for me. There are adventures to find, new experiences to experience, and people to meet. I'm dating a girl. I visited Hoover Tower, hiked in new trails, ate new foods, played new board games, and read books. I continue to stay in shape working out at the gym.

I make the best of my living conditions and situations. I still create memories and memorable moments. I still find positives for the day. Ironically, the past four years have been the best years of my. I see myself having better years coming soon. Today's experiences, knowledge, new people I meet, and lessons I learn are my strengths for tomorrow. With a little luck and timing in my favor, I'm one step closer to my better life. I'm doing the best I can, really.

Monday, October 01, 2012

My 30s Is Like Developing A Baseball Player

I blogged I missed my moment I must grow up in 2002 on Jul 1, 2012. (Link: I Could Have Been An Adult In 2002) The blog inspired me to write another blog on my life. This blog is life in my 30s as if I'm a baseball player drafted to a team and starting my career in the minors. The following summarizes my highlights and lowlights by year:

2004: A Ball

Life at 30 years old started on a high note. I wore my first costume at an anime convention in Sept. I went on a mini Las Vegas vacation in Dec. I marathon Rurouni Kenshin anime series on New Year's Eve. I sold my junk on eBay. And I started buzz cutting my hair. I established a foundation for my baseball career.

2005: AA Ball

I had one of my best years working at Colliers International. I attended four anime conventions that were good. It was the first year I started meeting new people and making new friends at Fanime Con, Anime Expo, and Japan Town Anime Faire. I purchased my first laptop. I created my first blog. I visited my friend in Washington including visiting Canada, my first time in a foreign country. In Nov, I visited Oregon for the first time. I was going with the flow that was going my way. It was a good year and I was promoted to AAA next year.

2006: AAA Ball

The momentum continued. There was no stopping my good life. I attended six anime conventions. My circle of friends expanded. I enrolled in a business class at De Anza. My dad and I attended a financial expo seeing Robert Kiyosaki and Tony Robbins. Colliers International paid for my Crystal Reports XI training. My brother and his wife purchased a house. My cousin opened his Japanese restaurant. New experiences and new adventures continued in the summer and fall.

2007: Made It To The Majors

The late '04-'06 years paid off. All of my knowledge, friends, and experiences accumulated to the best of my life. I was at the top. Life couldn't get any better. I made it to the majors. Nothing bad could happen. I started wearing braces in Jan. It was time for a new smile. I found a job at Cisco in Mar. I went to Vancouver in Canada on my second week at Cisco. I purchased my first car in May.

My life went downhill thereafter because I experienced frustrations, committed too many mistakes, and stressed out. I thought I was prepared for my new life in the majors. I was wrong. My summer was terrible. There were some bright spots as if I had multi-home runs days to bring optimism for the fans: attended my first Renaissance Faire, found a better commute route, learned how to play Liar's Dice, played Team Fortress 2, and watched The Nutcracker ballet. The optimism faded as I was sent back to the minors.

2008: Back To AAA

I started '08 on a positive note hoping '07 was a fluke. I wanted to get back to the majors I did anything for a good and happy life. I started by attending a small Japanese anime convention on Jan. The rest of the first half was boring. No excitement. The bright spot was Fanime Con in May. I didn't attend Anime Expo, the first time I didn't attend since '99. I didn't lose hope.

The second half started good. I purchased a new laptop. A major slump took over my life in late Aug and Sep. I experienced an identity crisis. I was lost. I realized I was a wimp. I did nothing for a good and happy life. I took life for granted. As a ballplayer, I took my career for granted. I didn't need extra batting practice. Life was so bad it was like I was going to be demoted to AA ball.

I must go through hell to get to heaven. On Sat Oct 4, '08, I realized I must grow up. It was time to get strong and stay strong. It was time I meant to innovate my life infinitely. No more talk. It was time for action. The changes were immediate: new clothes, new PC, read fiction books, new wrist watch, new gym workout plan, second blog, new mattress, the Washington-Canada '08 trip, Nor Cal Winter Cosplay gathering, and much more. Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family brought back the family traditional movies. The only bad moment was I lost my job. To be honest, losing my job was a blessing in disguise. It was time for a life time out.

I stopped taking life for granted. I took extra batting practice. I sought help and established my support. My life was going up for the first time since early '07 the majors called me up for the Sep call ups.

2009: I'm A Starter I'm Here To Stay In The Majors

New interests and experiences started on day 1: New Year's Day in San Francisco, ballroom dancing, classical jazz, hiking, Facebook, Yelp, shaving with a razor, Nor Cal Spring Cosplay gathering, and more fiction books. I started taking Accutane to treat my acne. I attended De Anza College taking a ballroom dance class and strength development class in the Spring Quarter.

Fanime Con '09 was and is my all-time favorite con today. Anime Expo '09, a last minute choice to attend, was also good. The summer continued with new interests and experiences including playing Beatles Rock Band, visiting the Charles M. Schulz museum, opening myself to new foods & drinks, playing new board games, watching lots of movies, listening to jazz at the San Jose & Monterey Jazz Festivals, and me time in San Francisco. My braces were removed.

I enrolled in accounting classes at De Anza in the Fall Quarter. I accepted a challenge to learn Mahjong in 10 days. If I found a job, then I earned the Comeback Player Of The Year award. Finding a job was hard because of the real estate bubble.

2010: Another Good Year

I continued taking accounting classes at De Anza. Fanime Con and Anime Expo were great. I started my Vocaloid CD collection. I hiked at Point Lobos and Pinnacles National Monument for the first time. I ate at many new restaurants. I played many new board games. I saw Paul McCartney at AT&T Park. I started to watch classic movies including Midnight Cowboy, The French Connection, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I installed Windows 7 in my PC. I took an ice skating class. The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. I continued to make new friends. And Alien Cat and I went on our first two dates in Dec. I was confident in my ball playing performance my manager included me in the starting lineup.

2011: Establishing Myself

I established myself here in the majors earning respect among my teammates and the opposition. I continued to get stronger, get better, get smarter, and innovate my life. Alien Cat and I dated visiting new places and experiencing new experiences. Some of the activities included visiting the Gilroy Garlic Festival, walking around arts & crafts fairs, watching a movie outdoors, walking the Golden Gate Bridge, playing board games, visiting Berkeley, hiking at new trails, and shopping at Union Square in San Francisco and the Outlet Mall in Gilroy.

I graduated De Anza in Mar; however, my last class was in Jun. I purchased my first smart phone in Jul. I watched my first live hockey game. I found new adventures and experienced new experiences the entire year. It was another good year with better baseball statistics than last year.

2012: Soon To Be An All Star

My job search never ends. I rewrote my cover letter and completed minor resume updates. I received calls; unfortunately, no leads. I was interviewed four times. I'm ready to take training classes in skills required for some analyst positions. I learned My SQL and Visio 2007. I reviewed Crystal Reports, Access 2007, and PowerPoint 2007.

Outside the job search, Fanime Con was the only anime convention I attended this year It was much better than '11. I watched The Avengers, Traffic for the second time, Rango, Iron Man, The Hurt Locker, The Dark Knight Rises, and Bambi movies. I read The Hunger Games trilogy. I finished my first smart phone game app Quell. I tweeted #1,000. My girlfriend and I went on an urban hike in San Francisco, watched the fireworks on New Year's Day in San Francisco, shopped at many of our favorite stores, played board games, visited Hoover Tower in Stanford University, and attended Cinequest for the first time.

I always meet new people, earn support, and gain knowledge. I always get up and do something, anything. I always find new adventures and experience new experiences. I'm an example life in the 30s can be better than the 20s; however, I missed so much I should have done in my 20s I'm catching up. I'm finding who I am every day. I'm going to be an all-star.