Saturday, September 29, 2012

Junior Trivia For All Ages

Take a deep breath. Think carefully. Good luck!

What shape is a raindrop? Starts out round, gravity pulls to teardrop shape
What is Bert's hobby on Sesame Street? Collecting paperclips
What do you call the posts at the ends of a football field? Goalposts
Where would you find a "Jib"? On a sailboat
In what country is the city of Berlin? Germany
During the Jewish Passover holiday, what do you do with matzos? Eat it
In the book "The Little Engine That Could", what could it do? Climb over the hill
What number do opposite dies of a die always add up to? 7
Where is a person's sense of balance located? In the ears
Hans Christian Andersen wrote a fairy tale about which duck? The Ugly Duckling
What is the symbol on the Canadian flag? Maple Leaf
What is the first number with "a" in its spelling? One thousand
What color is the submarine that the Beatles sing about Yellow
In what sport is the slap shot, wrist shot, and screen shot used? Hockey
How do most bats sleep? By hanging upside down
What is a timpani also known as? A kettledrum
What is the capital city of the United States? Washington DC
In the Bible, what was the occupation of Mary's husband, Joseph? A carpenter

Those questions above are level 1 for ages 5-9. Take a deep breath. Here are level 2 questions for ages 10-13 and adults:

Who films the seas in his ship "Calypso"? Jacques Cousteau
Where does the "next batter" wait for his turn at bat in baseball? The on deck circle
What is the common name for the disease "Hydrophobia"? Rabies
What was one of the most famous violins of all time? The Stradivarius
What does a spacecraft use "retro-rocket" for To slow it down
Which U.S. Presidents are not buried in the United States of America? The ones still living
What did Dorothy's 3 friends in the Wizard of Oz want from the Wizard? A heart, courage, and a brain
How many points do you get for using all your tiles first in Scrabble? 50
The auto instrument that shows the number of revolutions per minute is called what? A tachometer
Where is the nape on your body? The back of the neck
Where is Yale University? New Haven, Connecticut
What is the purse that is hung in front of a Kilt called? A Sporran
Gene Tunney and Joe Lewis were famous for what sport? Boxing
In a certain winter sport, you use a luge. What is a luge? A wooden toboggan
What is sodium chloride better known as? Salt
Who wrote, "I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me? Robert Louis Stevenson
How many stories in the Empire State Building? 102
How long is four score and seven years? 87
What is the Statue of Liberty made of? Copper

I begin this blog posting trivia questions because trivia is necessary to communicate, to meet new people, to begin a conversation, to continue a conversation, to break the ice, and to end silence in a room full of people. Trivia brings people together.

I was a fan of trivia when I was a child. Trivia games were one of my favorite board games. My first exposure was my uncle's Trivia Pursuit board game. My brother, cousin, uncle, aunt, parents, and I asked each other random questions from the cards. All of them asked my questions on the television show Leave It To Beaver. I answered all of them correctly.

I falsely realized trivia was useless when I started high school. It didn't help me get good grades. Why did I waste time and brain space with useless trivia. I ignored information and facts outside school. I realize now trivia could have helped me in terms of getting along with friends, classmates, and teachers. Trivia could have connected me with more students with conversations and social situations such as a birthday party or sports competition. I could have more friends. Furthermore, I believe trivia makes a person human smart. Human smart is not necessarily being smart like science, engineering, computer, law or rocket science smartness.

I welcome trivia today. Knowing trivia keeps my brain active learning and retaining knowledge. I receive a trivia question every day on my Twitter account. I listen to any conversation talking about any subject. There is always something new to learn. Listening to others is a good way to get along with other people.

I own four trivia board games. The first is Junior Trivia, a card game I fell in love with in junior high. The second is Perplex City, a trivia board game from Great Britain. The third is The Simpsons Trivia Game, a board and card game to represent my Simpsons fandom. And the fourth is Beyond Balderdash, a bluffing party game filled with obscure trivia. I'm looking forward to play trivia games soon.

Source of trivia questions: Junior Trivia, Trivia Games Inc., 1983

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Top Five Mistakes I Learned On And After Oct 4, 2008

I realized I must grow up on Sat Oct 4, 2008. My life has been changing for the better since. I have more friends today compared to four years ago. I'm smarter today compared to four years ago. I'm more physically fit compared to four years ago. I have found new adventures and experience new experiences compared to four years ago. I'm wiser today compared to four years ago. I'm many steps closer to find who I am.

I learned from many mistakes I committed before Sat Oct 4, 2008. There are mistakes I still need to learn, and mistakes I'm going to commit to learn. There are weaknesses I need to get stronger. I want to share my top five mistakes I learned.

1. Grow up. The first lesson was immediate. It was time to grow up. Wise up. No more acting like a child. The immature attitude stopped.

2. Never take life for granted. The second lesson was also immediate. I took life for granted. My life was good. I always had a job. I always had a car. I always had friends. I acted, thought, and behaved like nothing bad happened to me. I just had to be me and everything in life goes my way. The world followed me. I was smart enough to be an all-star and everything I did, and I expected everyone to like me. I criticized and complained when life went another way.

3. Earn it. The third lesson continues from the second lesson. I failed to learn I must earn everything in my life: job, car, and friends were good examples. If I want something, anything in life, I must earn it.

4. Always meet new people. My life consisted of few friends for most of my life. I started to meet new people and make new friends since 2006. I realized people are important to live a good life. Spouse, friends, family, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, managers, students, classmates, teachers, professors, professionals, clients, advisors, networking, and anyone you have an association with are important. They help me when I'm in trouble, they spend time with me for leisure, they communicate with me from casual to professional, they help me know who I am as well as I help them know who they are, they share knowledge with me, and they know I'm a good person.

5. Get up and do something, anything. I missed out most adventures and experiences I should have done in my 20s. I needed to catch up. I created my personal motto "Get up and do something, anything" that reminds me to find a new adventure, experience new experiences, and meet new people. Sitting on a chair and watching television waiting for life to come to me is not the way I live.

What have I done to catch up what I missed? Here are some examples off the top of my head: learned ice skating, played Mahjong (Riichi), traveled to Canada, read fiction books, hiked on Angel Island, walked on the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the San Francisco cable car, ate a Ghirardelli Sundae, listened to classic jazz, dating, learned ballroom dance, played Starcraft online, attended a professional playoff sports game, visited Monterey & Carmel, attended a concert who was Paul McCartney, watched classical movies, got treatment for my acne, shaved with a razor instead of electric, wore t-shirts (not plain white shirts), drank new soft drinks, watched a movie outdoors, and snuck food inside a theater.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Numero Uno

I want to share a dream last night. I'm really good remembering dreams for a long time. Here's last night dream:

I was in senior in high school. I took the Marines JROTC class. All of the JROTCs cadets in the high school district met once a year at the high school where the JROTC office was located. My rank was Cadet First Lieutenant.

The buses arrived at the high school. It was an early first Saturday in the month of June just after 8am. We felled in and formed squads to march to the campus. All of the cadets formed lines horizontally. I suggested the officers like me were the squad leaders, the first person on the lines. Two of the officers were reluctant and said it was a bad idea behind my back, but they followed my suggestion (orders).

We marched from the school bus parking area to another part of the high school were the Marine Instructor and Senior Marine Instructor gave orders that all of the squads were separated into various activities. I remembered during the march we turned left. It was a big left with at least six squads. I was squad #3 from the left. Squad #1 and #2 turned left and sped up intentionally leaving me and my single file cadets squad row behind.

My squad was ordered to occupy the stage inside the auditorium. The auditorium resembled my actual library in first grade; however, it was much bigger for high school students. I led the squadron inside the auditorium. I approached the stage while my squad sat down in the audience section. The audience section consisted of 1950s school tables and chairs scattered around the section. I said that we have the stage for three hours. The time was just after 9am. Then I asked for suggestions on what to do. Nobody cared. They were quiet. It was like they didn't want me as the squadron leader.

I could see the squadron has no confidence me leading. I wasn't hated, disliked, and the least popular cadet. I wasn't a jerk. I was too quiet, expressed little enthusiasm, and naive. I was a graduating high school student going to college next year. My wisdom was a sixth grader. I just studied and got descent grades in my classes while having no high school life.

I persevered. The cadets made fun of me playing harmless physical jokes. They just wanted to tease me because they were bored. I found a guest speaker to talk about something for 30 minutes to pass the time. I didn't know how. The speaker just appeared magically. The cadets found another guest speaker seconds later after I announced to the squad. I wanted to be fair and let both of them speak to avoid any conflicts. I let my guest speaker speak first and the squad's guest speaker to speak second. The second guest speaker flirted with me which actually was more teasing.

The squad continued to be bored and fooling around with each other afterwards. I continued to be ignored while I spoke on stage. Then I played my trump card. I sang on stage like karaoke. I couldn't sing. I was prepared to sing up to noon. I knew plenty of Beatles songs. I downloaded the lyrics to my smart phone. I scrolled down with my left thumb holding my phone on my left hand. My right hand held the microphone. The melody for all my songs were played like the television show Glee. Somewhere, somehow inside the stage the music theme for my songs were played. There was no live band. I didn't even check the clock and my watch.

The singing and karaoke worked. My squadron was into singing like we were the Glee Club. Other squadrons entered the auditorium. Some cadets offered to help sing. A few cadets set up actual karaoke equipment. I didn't ask for help for singing nor asked for the equipment. I got all of the JROTC cadets, the company together inside the auditorium. I even got other high school students and some grade school students inside. A couple of grade school students offered to sing, and they sang well. One of the grade schoolers wanted to activate the raised shakable stage for him to sing and dance and move. There were two star singers from Japan who sang. One of them wanted a duet with me.

The rest of the dream the students and cadets sang. I just watched from the side of the stage alone. Then I sang Beatles songs. I sang one Beatle song I forgot the title followed by Lady Madonna. Everyone in the auditorium sang Lady Madonna with me, including the grade school students and the Japanese singers.

I went outside after I sang. The time was after 5pm. A cadet who was, of course, a female junior and a cadet non-commission officer, approached me. She said I did a good job. My strengths were a quiet leader who brought people together, a strong cadet officer who continued despite criticisms and teasing, and avoids confrontations. I find solutions to satisfy multiple parties. She affirmed the entire company liked me. I was numero uno.

There was an ending theme song played at the scene outside as if my dream was a television show. The song was titled "Nyan Nyan Special Service Medley (Toku Mori)" and specifically the first "Lion" song from the Japanese Anime series Macross Frontier sang by Megumi Nakajima and May Nakabayashi.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

No Online Grocery Shopping For Me

One routine I continue for the rest of my life is grocery shopping. Going to the grocery store is a reason to leave the house. I breath fresh air, get my vitamin D from the sun, and blend in with people in my neighborhood.

I want to see and touch my groceries I can't do online. I read the Sunday ads and the grocery ads from the mail for sales. It's fun buying groceries on sale to save money. It takes 5-10 minutes to read the ads. Moreover, I see new products available for the consumer.

I feel good physically going shopping. Grocery shopping is a time out from daily life. I enter the store, browse by walking the aisles, and buy my groceries. I take ownership what I buy because I want to buy the best to live my best. The grocery store is like a peaceful zone. All of life's troubles stay outside the store. I see many foods and drinks. I purchase my favorite foods and drinks for a good life. I try new foods and drinks that interest me. Good food and drinks are a key for a happy life.

I can't experience all this buying groceries online. Read my thoughts on grocery shopping for anyone who hates going to the grocery store. Try it. A little effort and a smile may change your mind shopping for groceries.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Multiple State Of Mind Everyday

Suppose I fill up my gas at a cheap gas station. People who know me knows I fill up my gas at either Chevron or Union 76. Some of them may think, "Raymond's senses are coming to him. He now realizes gas is gas. There is no difference." It's true experts say gas is just gas. The price differences are the additives, marketing, and brand name. Others may think I'm going crazy putting (supposedly) crappy gas in my car. Both ideas make sense. What conclusion my family, friends, and acquaintances make depends what we think at the moment. I say even timing and luck are factors whether the conclusion is correct, incorrect, or incomplete.

Our thinking and state of mind are fluid. It fluctuates. Wherever, whatever, and whenever we're doing, thinking, saying, seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, smelling influences our state of mind at that moment in time. There are situations I communicate my thoughts. Sometimes I'm correct. Sometimes I'm incorrect. I miss a few details. I misunderstood information or there is a miscommunication between me and the other party. Sometimes I don't know this and that, and someone communicates me the information I miss.

I believe I have a clearer and consistent state of mind as long as I remember my favorite scene in Star Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi taught Luke Skywalker to see with his mind, not his eyes when they were in the Millennium Falcon. Take a deep breath, think before you say, and share your thoughts. If you think this blog entry makes no sense, then you need to change state of mind.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Make Every Happy Day In Life With Value

Imagine dinner is the same every night consisting of potato, steak, and broccoli only. A few people accept that because they rather have some food than no food. Food is food. That's another blog topic. Imagine the potato, steak, and broccoli are cooked with limited cooking methods: bake, broil, or steam. No stir-fry, pan-fry, and deep-fry. A few people are lazy to clean the stove and exhaust. They accept that because they hate cleaning and want minimal mess. That's another blog topic.

I believe the best way to live life is add value daily. You do something, anything that makes you happy. One of the best ways to live happy is cook delicious food. Bake, broil, and steam are legitimate cooking methods; however, eating foods cooked the same ways daily are bland and boring. There are many ways to cook delicious food. Limiting your cooking methods means you're short-changing your life. You're holding back on a happy life. Why? Open up and enjoy one of the best happy moments in life. Eat good food.

My point is think of your life as a never ending life resume. Create bullet points on your resume daily. You're earning achievements. Add value to your resume. Make an effort to do something positive, something happy. Find a new adventure, experience new experiences, and try something new. I finished reading a book today. I finished a major project at school or work today. I ate a new meal today. I visited a new city today. I met a new person today. I lifted a record bench press today. I helped my friend finish his garden today. I vacuumed the house today. I cooked a good weekend lunch today. I solved a puzzle today.

Live the present. A happy life doesn't come to you. Stop being miserable and join the happy people. The happy club always have open memberships. Live a happy life.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Open Cover Letter

Blogger's note: I choose to post my open cover letter at both my blogs to increase my chances of someone who's interested in hiring me. My resume is available to prospective employers.

September 17, 2012

Dear World,

I worked as an analyst for over 10 years: 8.5+ years in commercial real estate and 1.5 years in technology. I was the proactive worker solving problems. I made the working days easier with my positive attitude and the stability such that I was missed working somewhere else. My experience and background:

•Statistics. I calculated statistics monthly and quarterly using Excel, Access, Crystal Reports, and MySQL.
•Analysis. I studied them, interpreted them, and communicated the results such that anyone could understand--the bottom line in plain English.
•Reporting. I extracted the data to create marketing reports for the clients. I created internal reports for management and stakeholders. Ad hoc reporting and last minute presentations were easier with templates.
•Research. I find information for the brokers. I researched on the internet including subscribed information databases and online resources. I choose relevant information for their client's requirements.
•Database Administration. Data entry and database maintenance were a daily responsibility in the Research Dept. I maintained my Proposal Experts' internal database.
•Audits. I audited the internal database between the data and my team's individual records. I checked their information with the database followed by verifying and correcting with them. I sent a monthly report of all the contracts and account managers we supported.
•Never Stop Innovating. I always find ways to improve. I do it better continuously. It's second nature.

My highlights working at my technology company were cleaning up the data, sending weekly and monthly audit & ad hoc reports, and publishing quarterly reports. I was responsible for extracting the data, calculating the statistics, and analyzing the results. I used Excel, Access, Crystal Reports, PowerPoint, and SQL. I increased the number of surveys submitted for the satisfaction survey every month instead of every quarter.

At my commercial real estate company, I calculated monthly and quarterly statistics, maintained the database, and created marketing reports. I expanded the Research Dept. providing technical support, training in real estate software programs, and researching companies to create a jack-of-all-trades dept. I completed up to 95% of all my broker requests in one business day because I always find better ways to complete my responsibilities.

For example, I expanded my Excel skills and I learned SQL to calculate weighted average asking rents faster and update standard monthly reports in seconds. My knowledge in graphics and Photoshop propelled me to edit building photos for the database and modify marketing email campaigns. The bottom line was I wanted to give the brokers first-class service and accurate information for their clients.

I earned an AA degree in Accounting. I learned business knowledge from an accounting point of view. I'm a better worker combining that with a BS in Economics thinking analytically. Despite going back to school, life continues every day. I started to read fiction books, learned ballroom dancing, and hiked in the trails around the San Francisco Bay Area. I visited new places for the first time including the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and Hoover Tower in Stanford University. I became interested in classic jazz, board games including mahjong, and eating new foods. I re-learned Excel, PowerPoint, and Crystal Reports. I self-taught myself MySQL and Visio. Learning new skills never ends. Bruce Lee said it best, " Even today, I dare not say that I have reached a state of achievement. I'm still learning, for learning is boundless."

I'm looking for an analyst position for databases, reporting, contracts, and analysis. I'm also looking for a support position such as supporting a sales team or supporting a dept. to let the big players concentrate on the moneymaking opportunities; in other words, I worry about the little things. My ideal working conditions include the following:

•Open Office. I like to see, hear, and talk to my co-workers. Cubicles are no problem as long as there is some kind of openness.
•Loudness. Continuing from the first bullet point, I like to hear conversations, jokes, and music, as well as work socializing. Background noise is good.
•Working With Others. I believe working together is the best way to complete responsibilities and tasks. We help each other when one of us needs help. We channel our minds together learning from each other. Moreover, we also get to know each other better.
•Music Helps Me Think. I listen to classic rock, classic jazz, classical music, and big bands at work.
•I'm Here To Work. I prefer to work at the company. Telecommuting is okay under a few circumstances.
•There Is Always Something To Do. It's hard for me to be bored. I'm doing something, anything. I'm at my cubicle working on a deadline, completing my to do list, finishing secondary tasks, or talking with co-workers.

My desire is to meet new people, learn new skills, and grow. I want to do my best for my team and my dept. to stay together for years. My working values are team chemistry is more important than a smart team, the procedure is more important than the final result, and action speaks louder than words. I never criticize, condemn, and complain. I work smarter, not harder. Businesses prosper and grow when people support each other and information is communicated swiftly and efficiently.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me. I look forward to your response.


Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

My Favorite The Most Interesting Man In The World Quotes

Jonathan Goldsmith is the actor who portrays The Most Interesting Man In The World for the Dos Equis commercials. The narrator is Will Lyman from Frontline. The commercials started in 2006. I want to see a book on all of The Most Interesting Man In The World quotes.

I compiled a list of my favorites from various sources on the web including YouTube, Google, and the Dos Equis website. I didn't find a source with all of his quotes. Here are the favorites from what I found:

*He has never lost a sock.

*He has won the same lifetime achievement award twice.

*If you didn't use your back-up plan, you played it too safe.

*His business card simply say "I'll call you."

*One should never shake his gifts, just trust me on this one.

*He's never needed lip balm.

*He went to a psychic once . . . to warn her.

*Mosquitoes refuse to bite him, truly out of respect.

*He is the only man to ever ace a Rorschach test. (

*Strippers tip him.

*If he were to give you directions, you'd never get lost, and you'd arrive at least 5 minutes early.

*Even if he were the last person on earth, mankind would still have a chance.

*If you don't have a dark secret, it's never too late to make one.

The Most Interesting Man In The World . . .

*On Life: It's never too early to start beefing up your obituary.

*On Careers: Find out what it is in life that you don't do well, and then don't do that thing.

*On Lady Luck: Be wary of a woman who only shows up when you are winning.