Monday, November 30, 2015

Black Friday 2015

My Black Friday 2015 was another boring busiest shopping day of the year. I felt the deals were worse compared to last year. The big discounts were really not big. Many Black Friday items were the same as previous years. I felt many retailers scaled back their items for sale.

My shopping started at 7am. I purchased Castrol motor oil and Purolator oil filter at Pep Boys. The Black Friday sale price must be redeemed via mail-in rebate. I purchased Inside Out on BD, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I on BD, and A Christmas Story on DVD at Target. Head & Shoulders shampoo was on sale at Walgreens with an on-line coupon. I purchased Rite-Aid's Black Friday buy 1, get 2 free bath sponges; Belvita; a two-liter of 7-Up from their $.99 all two liter sodas, and Nivea and Eucerin trial size hand lotions.

I finally used my $4.86 Office Depot gift card I held since Sep 2011 to purchase a SanDisk USB 3.0 64GB and two Crystal Geyser 24 pack bottle water.

My Black Friday online shopping was at I purchased ten Vanicream soap bars and Dr. Scholl's Moleskin.

Side notes: (1) Rite-Aid sold Head & Shoulders shampoo at the same price as Walgreens on their Sun Nov 29, 2015 ad. (2) I returned A Christmas Story back to Target.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

40 For 40: My First Visit At Google

Introduction: I start a new blog series titled "40 For 40." I share moments and experiences I lived in my 40 years. The ESPN 30 For 30 inspired me to create my 40 For 40 blogs. The sport documentary series detailed people, sport teams, moments, events, and controversial situations. The same ideas apply to my 40 For 40.

My fifth 40 For 40 blog is my first visit at Google campus for an interview.

I felt good interviewing for a contract data analyst position at Google in Nov 2012. I interviewed for six companies during the latter half of 2012. Six interviews were not bad for someone job searching after graduating from De Anza. I felt foolish afterwards which lasted one year.

The building was located a few blocks from the main campus. Google leased an industrial building which was converted to a call center. The call center went live in Jul 2012. I was surprised Google needed a call center. I joked someone calls for instructions how to use the search engine.

Some of the workers parked blocks away because there were not enough parking spaces. I was lucky to find a parking space. My contractor company should have informed me the parking situation.

One sign the interview was going to be bad when my contact person didn't answer my call. I waited past the scheduled arrival time outside the lobby. My contact person went to the cafeteria to bring lunch. The action was unprofessional in my opinion.

The inside of the building was laid back. There was a pool table and foosball table past the lobby. The break room was stocked with drinks, sodas, fruits, coffee, cereal, and snacks. There were showers in the restrooms. The bulletin board was written with positive comments and peer-to-peer complements. The workers' cubicle walls were a little above the height of their desks. It was easy for workers to talk to other workers. The working environment was relaxed, loose, and fun.

My interview was divided into two sections. The first section was an IQ test and a personality test required by Google. I was assigned an empty desk with a computer to complete the tests. The tests took an hour total.

The second section was the interview. It was a Google video chat. My webcam was obsolete which explains why I interviewed at Google. The hiring manager was on vacation. The position must be filled immediately. The person to person interviews after her vacation were too late. I became foolish during the interview. I asked the hiring manager ridiculous questions during my portion of the interview. I asked such as, "Tell me something you discovered recently?" "What is the last book you read?" "What is your dream car and why?" Most of the questions I asked were unrelated to the job. I corrected the clock before I walked out of the conference room because it was one hour behind. Did someone forget to switch the clock to standard time or was the wrong time a test?

The foolishness continued afterwards. I adapted the laid back lifestyle. I lived life having too much fun. The people I observed in the call center were having fun. They were conversing. They were laughing. The person I talked after the tests told me everyone was happy working at the call center. I dropped the fun attitude in Oct 2013. I realized the people were having too much fun. They were bored. There was no work. There were no calls.

The foolish life lessons were learned. I lost my focus on the most important priorities. I failed to prepare for my next job opportunity. My job searching was ineffective; for example, I found an error on my resume I sent to job openings for months. I reviewed my existing job skills poorly at a website. I should have reviewed watching YouTube tutorials. I didn't learn new job skills. The bottom line was I took life too lightly.

Side note 1: Another reason I didn't get the job was I submitted incomplete references. I believed the contractor company called my references. It was the first time a prospective employer called my references in my job experience.

Side note 2: I have knowledge from former Googlers working at Google is overrated. Free meals, free drinks, free snacks, gyms, bicycles to travel around the campus, a liberal dress code, etc. However, the work environment is no different than other tech companies. There are politics, workplace drama, and incompetent workers.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Growing Up Too Late Was Not My Fault

I can't blame myself for growing up too late. I finally grew up on Sat Oct 4, 2008. I'm happy I'm grown up. I continue growing up and catching up what I missed in my younger years. There are people older than me who haven't grown up or never grew up. I hope more people wise up. It's never too late to grow up. Life changes forever for people who grew up.

Dumb parents. My parents were not dumb intellectually. They were dumb raising and nurturing. I have few childhood stories to share involving my parents. The stories are short, weak, and embarrassing. Passive, lazy, and weak are adjectives describing how I was raised. They ignored my problems hoping they disappear for which it worked most of the time. My dad never taught me football and baseball. My mom never taught me how to cook and vacuum the house. Thank goodness my cousin introduced GI JOE and Transformers to me and my brother. I forgive my parents.

Fell through the cracks. My grade school education started on a high note. I learned first grade math in kindergarten. Thereafter, I was in remedial classes for reading and English. I didn't know what happened starting in first grade. My grade school intelligence was below average. My cognizance and comprehension learning skills were behind my age. I pulled through from seventh grade to twelfth grade.

Dumb luck. Dumb luck was in my favor throughout my K-12 education. Some of the teachers passed me either for participation, a good heart, or didn't care. I believed the latter happened many times.

I could include falling through the cracks being part of dumb luck. Challenges were avoided. There were no opportunities learning lessons on frustration. For instance, I was never a student body representative in grade school. I came close in fifth grade. I was never a senior cadet officer in JROTC. My high school I attended for three years closed because of budget cuts. I ended up being a squad leader in my senior year at another high school. And I registered for classes on the first day of registration when I attended San Jose State University. My English II instructor had me tested for a learning disability. Students with a learning disability registered for classes on the first day. I never experienced being on a wait list and never experienced being denied a class because it was full enrollment.

My life was riding on easy street. Life told me I was to live easy. Easy life was my fate. I took the easy life for granted. I was naive.

Too much fun. The easy street included stops having too much fun. I watched too much television. I daydreamed too much. I lived life indoors with no social life. I was weird. There were no opportunities to learn, to grow, and to enrich my life. I didn't have the motivation to live a normal childhood. My summer vacations were literally a three month vacation. I didn't know what to do. Where were my parents?

Childhood life lessons learned in my 30s: I learned on my own: it's okay to fail, learn from my failures; meet new people and make new friends; earn my successes; be responsible; and don't take life for granted.

Afraid of dogs. I was afraid of dogs. Not anymore. I believed my fear of dogs translated to being a coward. I was afraid. I was a worried ward.

The broken electronics set is more of a story. My parents were cheap. I admit their cheap consumer attitude influenced me to buy during sales. I'm not a cheap person for the record. My dad purchased an electronics set at a garage sale. I was eager to try it. I opened the box, took out the set, and opened the learning manual. I plugged in the battery. I started the first lesson. Success. I started the second lesson. Failed. What did I do wrong?

The electronics set convinced me I wasn't a smart child. The trauma lasted throughout my childhood. Why didn't I ask my dad for help? I never thought about asking him. I feared I didn't want to expose my poor intelligence. I believed I could handle everything myself. Moreover, my dad and I had a weak relationship. We rarely talked. We rarely bonded.

I realized decades later as an adult the electronics set was broken. I wasn't a dumb child. My bucket list includes completing a child electronic set. Learning basic electronics is also in my bucket list.

In conclusion, I'm responsible for myself. I'm a mature adult. I'm still a beginner in life catching up what I missed. I'm still new. I'm still fresh. Growing up too late is giving me a reason to life live by finding childhood and age 20s experiences and adventures. I accomplished reading childhood books such as Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, reading young adult books such as Forever by Judy Blume, peeing in the forest, camping outdoors, ice skating, sneaking food in a movie theater, and drinking alcohol. I'm looking forward to fulfill more experiences and adventures.

Side note: I acquired knowledge the number of students with learning disabilities doubled in my final year at San Jose State University. My thought was more students took advantage of registering for classes on the first day.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

All The People In My Life

2005 was the year I started to meet new people, make new friends, and create new circle of friends. I failed the three when I was in my 20s. People come and go in my life. It's life. People change. I change. People move on to new lives. I move on. I continue to welcome new people.

I'm part of a group of people moving forward opening new chapters. I seek new adventures. I experience new experiences. I continue getting stronger, smarter, kinder, and wiser. I'm creating chances to live a better life. I have confidence to say I'm a better person today compared to the last time someone knew me. I want to be part of something great. My next great moment is being independent.

I ask a question to all the people I had any relationship including friend, family, acquaintance, or co-worker. Are you living a better life today compared to the last time we met? I haven't seen you in a while. I hope all of you are living better lives today compared to when we last met. I hope all of you are getting stronger, smarter, kinder, and wiser. Maybe we see each other soon sharing successful stories. We're part of a group of people living better lives.

Moreover, I hope to meet more people in the good human beings group. You're going to meet a good Raymond Mar. I'm working hard to catch up what I missed from my past. I help you live a better life. You help me live a better life. I look forward creating new relationships. I look forward to reestablish existing relationships with some people in my past life. I assure the world I take no relationship for granted.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

1,000th Blog

I achieve a personal milestone. I never thought I write one thousand blogs when I blogged My First Blog on Aug 4, 2005. I realized I had been blogging less in July 2012 when I wrote 75 blogs in 2011. I was on pace to write 70 blogs in 2012. In comparison, I wrote 100 blogs in 2010 and wrote 131 blogs in 2009. I created a personal goal writing nine blogs per month to achieve my one thousand blogs in Nov 2015. Why nine instead of ten? I have other life priorities. I must live a life to think of blog ideas.

My life changed forever when I realized I must grow up on Sat Oct 4, 2008. I blogged my Top Five Mistakes I Learned On And After Oct 4, 2008. I retired from anime sharing my Top Ten My All Time Favorite Anime Series. I shared my mistakes including 2007 Was Actually A Bad Year, The Correct Growing Up Part 2, and I'm No Longer Nice. I shared my Washington Canada 2008 vacation which is number two in my Top Ten Vacations. I give life advice such as 100% Success Rate To Keep The Toilet Seat Down, How I Buy DVDs, shopping for a mattress My New Mattress, and Think With Your Penis.

I say with high confidence eyeballing my past blogs I have been getting better. I'm getting stronger, smarter, kinder, and wiser. I believe more about myself. I connect the dots backwards later what I'm doing today rewards me tomorrow. The blogs I write today I read them tomorrow learning, reflecting, and improving. For example, the work blogs Work Sat Nov 15, 2014 and Work Nov 23, 2013. Another example is my second look blogs such as A Second Look At 2013.

I continue my common theme blogs Top Ten such as Top Ten Favorite Beatles Songs, Sign Of My Times (SOMT) such as SOMT: Transitional Kindergarten, and pictures from my smart phone such as Nostalgia Atari 2600 And Wine Pallets.

I successfully wrote one thousand blogs and nine blogs a month. I reward myself lowering my writing blog requirement from nine a month to five or six a month. There is more life to experience. I must learn more. I must meet new people. There are new adventures to seek. There are new experiences to experience. I do my best writing nine blogs a month. I introduce flashback blogs. I repost a past blog because I want to evaluate what I wrote. Was I correct? Do I have an update? Reposting is a good way to remind myself my past blogs. I can't change the past. I can change my opinion. For example, a future flashback blog is Finding The Missing Pieces. Do I find my missing life pieces? Another future flashback blog is Happy Life. Is a happy life relative? And school districts begin The Five Year High School.

There is no top ten blogs or top 100 blogs. I have no time. I have more important priorities. I sincerely thank you to everyone who reads my blogs. I hope I made a difference to someone. Never stop innovating. Innovate infinitely.


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Top Ten Fast Food Moments

There are stories told every day. We live each day one day at a time creating stories anywhere and anytime. Today's blog is sharing stories at fast food restaurants. The food is crap. The memories are good. Here is my top ten fast food moments.

10. Jack In The Box, San Jose, CA (1998). I was depressed as a recent college graduate looking for a job. I splurged on a Jumbo Jack combo upgrading to curly fries. It was the first year Jack In The Box served curly fries. The meal tasted good. I felt hope. I can't believe I'm saying a combo meal cheered me up.

9. McDonalds, Los Gatos, CA (2014). My third shift at the company's second store I ate lunch ordering two McChicken sandwiches and a Chicken McNugget combo.

Side note: My first shift I ate at Chipotle. My second shift I ate at Erik's Deli Cafe.

8. Jack In The Box, Campbell, CA (2000). It was the first time I ordered the Jumbo Jack combo with an ice cream shake. My friends and I played RPGs and watched anime the entire night. It was the closest restaurant opened after midnight.

7. McDonalds, Fremont, CA (2001). I drove from our Pleasanton, CA office to our San Jose office after a meeting. I stopped to eat lunch and play the Monopoly contest. I won a Playstation 2 video game. I didn't redeem because my social security number was required. I didn't own the console at the time.

6. Chipotle, Las Vegas, NV (2006). My friend from Washington and I ate a Chipotle after a night of gambling. It was my first time eating at Chipotle. I heard the hype being a great fast food Mexican restaurant. The mild salsa big sized burrito I ordered was spicy.

5. McDonalds, Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada (2005). My friend from Washington and I took a vacation in Canada. It was the first time I ate a McGriddle. It was the first time I saw a McDonalds which looked like a five star fast food restaurant. It was clean. It was modern. It looked like a high class diner.

4. McDonalds, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2007). My business trip on my second week in the company. The closest restaurant opened after 9pm was McDonalds less than a block away from the hotel. I worked out at the gym afterwards.

3. Taco Time, Port Orchard, WA (2008). I visited my friend in Washington. We ate at Taco Time after he picked me up from the airport. It was the last time I saw snow as of the blog entry.

2. Boston Market, San Jose, CA (1996). I was hired to work at Blockbuster Video during the summer. I ate at Boston Market for the first time to celebrate my job.

1. McDonalds, San Jose Airport (2000). I booked the first flight from San Jose to Orange County. I didn't eat breakfast at home. I ordered the pancakes combo. It was the only time I ate their pancakes.


Friday, November 06, 2015

Live For Today And Live For Tomorrow

We hear the common sayings how to live life. Live the present. Live the moment. You're going to die so do it now. You only live once. Don't worry about tomorrow. On the other hand, live for the future. Prepare for tomorrow. Go for the long run. Short-term successes are just short-term; think long-term. Think for a better life tomorrow. Don't be reckless. Don't worry about today.

My 20s was living for the future. I ignored how I should have lived my life in my 20s such as traveling, eating new foods, trying alcohol, meeting new people, expanding my interests . . . seeking new adventures and experiencing new experiences. I saved too much money for which I should have spent some to create young adult stories. I held myself back avoiding more fun. I'm catching up what I missed.
My mid to late 30s was living in the present. I was catching up what I missed in my 20s. I sought new adventures and experienced new experiences. For instance, I backpacked at Zion National Park, rode the San Francisco Cable Card, learned Mahjong, read fiction books, and ballroom danced. I finally drank wine and beer at the age of 39. I let myself go living a life not worrying about tomorrow. I created stories.

Playtime is over. Every day I live for today and I live for tomorrow in 2015. I continue living for today and living for tomorrow for the rest of my life. I discover they're important living the present intelligently and preparing for the future intelligently. What I do today affects me tomorrow positive or negative. Time will tell. A mature adult accepts and follows the life belief live for today and live for tomorrow.

For example, I'm learning new job skills. My current personal project is learning Tableau. The time is now to learn Tableau because some jobs I apply require Tableau. I can't wait for tomorrow learning Tableau. I miss my next job opportunity. Another example is working out at the gym. The time is now to stay physically fit to avoid long-term health problems. I can't wait for tomorrow when my health problems appear. I want to slow down my aging keeping my brain sharp, my bones strong, and my joints flexible. I want to minimize stress, look young, be strong, and stay sexually healthy today. In addition, I continue seeking new adventures and experiencing new experiences today creating stories and preparing opportunities tomorrow.

Find your life path. Find your road straight and winding with bumps. Find your way of living both today and tomorrow. I believe the happiest people and the successful people think today and tomorrow. What can I do today for a better tomorrow? What do I do today I may not do tomorrow?


Thursday, November 05, 2015

I Share My Feeling Snowballing

I felt humans are losing kindness, sincerity, and honesty two days ago. There is more greed, bitterness, and frustration. I share my feeling snowballing in my mind since Tue Nov 3.

Humankind is overwhelmed. There is too much happening in today's information age. I believe humankind is not tired; although, humans need more sleep. I believe the world is going too fast; although, humans must pace themselves. I believe humans must be more selective to tune out and turn off.

We're humans. Part of human beings is helping each other. Humans are reluctantly helping other humans needing help. I believe the top reason is we don't have time. We live rushing most people don't have time helping others. Most people don't want to delay their schedules.

Some people work too hard and too long. These people need to work more intelligently. These people are likely earning high incomes. I tip my hat to the high income people working intelligently. I ask why for the other high income people working too hard and too long stressing out. Following my thinking other high income people: work too many hours, earn high income, health problems result, spend money paying for pills, recover, work too many hours again, die unexpectedly early, too much money in the bank accounts making the people working intelligently earn high incomes. Life is meaningless with too much money doing nothing. The monetary value is worth nothing on the paper printed on.

I find most job openings ironic. The job description states the required experience. How can a job candidate acquire the experience without working a job to gain the experience? It's a catch-22. I'm currently job searching. The jobs I interviewed I wasn't hired because I don't have the experience. There is a flaw. A job candidate with a 100% match is bored months later. There is no challenge. There is nothing new. The job is routine like his or her past jobs. A job candidate with a 75% match is the better hire. The 75% match is motivated to do a good job because there is a challenge. There is something new to learn. The resume is beefed up. The job hiring is messed up. Blame the system. Furthermore, the interviewers are lying when they tell job candidates their departments and teams are unique, special, everyone gets along, and everyone supports each other. All of the companies I worked my departments are the same. There is someone who doesn't do their job like Wally from Dilbert. There is someone with attitudes problems like Alice from Dilbert. There is someone ignorant like the boss from Dilbert. There are some people who don't get along with other people. Companies need balls firing bad employees.

The world didn't come to an end. There is always tomorrow. Slow down. No need to rush. Conversely, live the present. Who knows when we die? We could die tomorrow. Live for today. Make your moment now. I believe all of these statements are true. The lifestyle living the present and preparing for the future are true. The happy people live in a straight line living today and living tomorrow.

From the song "Remember the Name" from Fort Minor, "This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain, and a hundred percent reason to remember the name!"


Monday, November 02, 2015

Top Ten Life Advices I Wished Somebody Told Me In My 20s

My 20s were more disappointments and few memorial moments. 5 out of my Top 40 Most Memorable moments were in my 20s. What a waste of my 20s. I was naive. I had too much pride to ask for help; my parents taught me a wrong lesson to do everything ourselves. I played too much role playing games. I shut myself from the world. I complained too much.

On the other hand, I accepted the advice to stop watching TV on weekdays in my Fall Semester 1994 at San Jose State University. My grades went up thereafter. Ironically, higher grades turned out to be overrated which is number 10. Another advice I accepted was finding a part time job. I worked as a part time tutor at the Mathematics Department and a customer service representative at Blockbuster Video.

I blog with 100% confidence I'm grown up. There is still more to learn catching up what I missed. I ask for help when I'm in a jam. I stopped playing role playing games when I turned 27. I'm an open person welcoming the world to me. I stopped complaining.

Here are the top ten life advices I wished somebody told me in my 20s:

10. College grades are overrated. If somebody told me the reality grades are a small factor when it comes to finding a job, then I spend less time studying and more time living a typical 20s college student. Ignore college job placement advice regarding the importance of grades. People skills are more important than grades, and people skills aren't taught in the classroom. The exception is graduate school because grades are important getting in a masters or Ph.D. program. Another way to look at college grades were overrated is applying for a financial loan. Banks don't ask for GPA.

9. Seek new adventures. Experience new experiences. I didn't live the present. I lived for the future. I lived my life in my comfort zone. If I didn't know something, I stay away. I was afraid to leave my comfort shell trying something, anything new.

8. Get stronger. I also include self-confidence—believe in myself. My self-esteem was zero. I was weak. I had little confidence. I was fragile.

7. Be responsible. I failed to take responsibility for my actions. I wasn't professional when the situation called for a professional Raymond Mar to get the job done. I didn't earn my successes. I wanted entitlements with little effort. The world didn't care about me which was justified.

6. Control of my own life. I believed in fate. I believed my life was predetermined. I lived my life believing my life was already set no matter what I did. Life came to me.

5. Don't take life for granted. I lived a careful life believing nothing bad happens to me. The best examples were some of my classes at San Jose State. I took for granted classes I barley pass even though I studied with half effort.

4. Meet new people and make new friends. I created small circle of friends. The failure shows today. Many of my younger friends have many circles of friends. I have very few today. Life could have been better knowing more people.

3. Make mistakes. Making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn anything. I didn't make mistakes. I felt dumb if I make mistakes. I wasn't foolish. I was afraid to try something different. I didn't experiment. I wasn't wild. Obviously, don't break the law. Don't cause harm.

2. Move out of your parent's house as soon as possible. I was saving my money to buy a house when I found my first job. The homes started to get expensive in the late 1990s. I didn't even buy a home during the dot-com bubble burst even though my job was safe. Life could be boring living with your parents as an adult.

1. Embrace change. I resisted change. I wanted my life to be the same. Avoid conflicts. Stay quiet. My life was routine knowing what's going to happen. If it wasn't broken, I didn't fix it. There was no need to improve it. I didn't change myself. I stayed who I was.