Sunday, February 28, 2016

Throwback Blog: My All De Anza Review Blog

Blogger’s Note: Throwback blogs are blogs from my past. I start posting past blogs reflecting what I wrote. It's like my "A Second Look" blogs for which I give myself feedback.

Today's throwback blog is titled My All De Anza Review Blog in Dec 2012. I blogged a self Q&A discussing my experiences at De Anza College. I reread my review blog. There was one answer I questioned today. One of the reasons I started taking Accounting classes was companies not hiring during the great recession. I know two people who found jobs in 2009. Time will tell whether my two years at De Anza pays off which currently has not.

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".


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.


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, February 27, 2016

Do The Little Things To Get Better

The extra electrical wires are useful to hold something together. Improve your numbers trivia, be funnier, learn from the late Yogi Berra, and Car Talk discussing leaky sunroofs to save money. Bacon lip balm doesn’t save me from the burnt tater tots taste. Christmas started early in Sep thanks to capitalism. Capitalism motivated a Big 5 store to be neat and tidy.


Friday, February 26, 2016

No TV For Me

I watch a little television honestly speaking. Watching TV is a low priority. I don't have cable. I don't have satellite. I don't have Netflix, Amazon, and Apple entertainment subscriptions. Our TV stations are through the airwaves.

My top leisure choices are working out at the gym, reading books, playing board games, and listening to music. These choices improve my life physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. If I want to watch a television series, then I buy the DVD box sets. The only television series box set I own in its entirety is Breaking Bad. Moreover, I own a small collection of DVDs and BD movies. Furthermore, if I'm interested in a television series broadcasted over the airwaves, then I prefer buying the DVD box set for two reasons. The first reason is the timing of each episode broadcasted for which I have other priorities. I can watch the episodes on my own time. The second reason is I can marathon watch episodes avoiding weekly cliff hangers.

The highest priority sports event is the Super Bowl. A high priority is nationally televised sports game I'm interested broadcasted on the airwaves such as the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants. Another high priority is football, baseball, basketball, and sometimes hockey playoff games.

My daily life is not revolved around television. Television becomes an activity when I have free time and my immediate priorities are satisfied. Some people say they can't live without television. I challenge those living a life revolving around television. Take a break. Catch up on your to-do list. Do something different you always thought about doing for a while. Do something physical. Learn something new. Your life may change for the better.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Top Ten I'm Not Me Ten Years Ago

We live life doing our best. Each day we grow stronger, smarter, hopefully kinder, and wiser. There are moments we experience a change to be a better person. It's time to stop being naive. It's time to be mature. Wake up. Child's play ends today.

Ten years ago I was immature. My emotions were underdeveloped. I had no spiritually. I was a wimp. I took life for granted. I got the job done at my full time job; however, thinking back deeply, I was irresponsible.

Today, the Raymond Mar ten years ago disappeared. I don't take life for granted. I'm no longer naive. I must earn my successes. No more complaining. The hard work never stops. Living life intelligently gets better. I'm looking forward the day I'm independent controlling my life. I'm a good guy. Here are the top ten I'm not me ten years ago:

10. My Own Car. Ten years ago I drove my parent's cars. I purchased my own car in May 2007. I could say my own car was my first step towards independence. It's taking longer to achieve step two.

9. Strong Raymond Mar. Add courage, solid self-esteem, believe, faith, and maturity. I continue to stay hungry and stay foolish.

8. Retired From Anime. Thank you Japanese Anime hobby. I met lots of new people and made lots of friends. My Sep 2014 retirement freed me to spend time on more important priorities today such as preparing for my next full time job and working out at the gym four days a week.

7. Board Games. Gone are the days of Monopoly, Scrabble, UNO, Life . . . the games I played in my childhood. I welcome board games gamers played such as The Settlers Of Catan, Dixit, Pandemic, Dominion, Puerto Rico, and Ticket To Ride. I even play Mahjong Chinese, Hong Kong, and Japanese styles.

6. Clothing. Gone are the days of dressing lazy back in 2006-2008. No more white t-shirts and 1990s shorts. No more polo shirts. I make some effort dressing with some taste. I admit I have little money for a four star wardrobe. My clothing attire is suitable for many social outings.

5. Reading Fiction Books. I used to read non-fiction books such as investment and self-help. I started reading fiction books in Oct 2008. I learned more about life reading fiction than non-fiction. Today's book reading is 75% fiction and 25% non-fiction.

4. Working Out At The Gym. My workouts were inconsistent and ineffective. I took my workouts serious in Oct 2008. Going to the gym is one of my priorities. I feel good from head to toe inside and outside my body.

3. Never Stop Learning. I'm choosing the jobs skills I learn wisely. I learned XML, DHTML, and Visual Basic incorrectly. I'm learning SQL, Oracle, VBA, Salesforce, and Tableau for which these skills are relevant to my next job. No more reading books mostly on theory. I'm learning on a practical level watching YouTube videos. I'm genuinely practicing what I preach. I'm innovating infinitely.

2. New Feelings 2011-Present. I discovered the importance of will power when I hiked at Mission Peak in Fremont, CA. The trail included steep sections with elevation change over 2,000 feet. I backpacked and visited Zion National Park both for the first time. I truly experienced quitting for which I didn't. I completed the 23 mile two day backpacking hike with my party. I dated a woman for two years and nine months. It was the first time I experienced being in a long relationship. And I enrolled in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training seminar. It was an experience coming out of my comfort zone.

1. Growing Up. Saturday Oct 4, 2008 was the day I realized I must grow up. Living life from a mature point of view changed my life forever. I remember the day for the rest of my life.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

What Is My One Superpower?

My answer is the ability to fly. Flying represents independence, freedom, inner peace, an escape, and happiness to me. I see life from infinite perspectives when I'm up in the air. I help people travel riding my back. I rescue people in danger. I transport myself from point A to point B in a straight line. There are no traffic jams and accidents to worry.

There is no stress in the sky. I close my eyes and breathe above the clouds. My entire body feels the wind. There's sunshine in the day. There's a moon in the night. Flying is a good superpower. I never do anything evil such as drop bombs or spy with a camera. No cape, tights, and mask required. I wear my everyday clothes. I see everyone up in the sky.


Friday, February 19, 2016

My Thoughts On Boring

I'm breaking one of my daily rules which is comparing myself with others. I live a life not being bored. There's always something to do. I do my best to live a dynamic life. I avoid living a routine schedule. Doing nothing is not one of my leisure activities. My life is different every day. I'm hungry for new adventures and new experiences. I compare myself living a boring life. Today's blog I live a boring life.

I realized there are advantages living a boring life. I have plenty of money in my bank account for emergencies. If my car's transmission failed or the radiator leaked, then I have the money to hire an auto mechanic. If my home's septic tank is clogged, then I have the money to hire a plumber.

My meals are plain. I eat cereal for breakfast. My lunch or dinner is like steak and potatoes. My meal isn't fancy. I have a meal. I eat fruits and vegetables, too. I plan ahead the meals I eat. I don't choose my breakfast, lunch, and dinner spontaneously.

My home is either non-materialistic empty or hording full. I can keep the house clean and healthy or dirty and dusty. There is nothing modern. Every doors, sinks, showers, light fixtures, and toilets are the originals. There are no upgrades or replacements. Maybe the walls need a paint touch up. The bottom line is I have shelter.

I make the best of anything leisure at home. I don't need cable. There are plenty of television stations even though some shows are reruns from the 1980s. I have internet. I have free time YouTube surfing. I find books to read at the local library. Likely my friends are boring like me the activities we engage are quiet. We get along well we hide our differences. We avoid arguments. There is no friendship drama. Some people say we're socially awkward.

My weekly schedule is set. I know what do to. The surprises are minimized. I work five days a week. I relax two days a week. I wake up at a set time. I sleep at a set time; moreover, my boring life allows me to sleep eight hours resting my body and my mind. I set aside days for errands. I set aside free days for personal events. I'm comfortable knowing what I'm going to do. Everything is mostly the same. There is no worry nothing bad happens. My routine is my happiness.

There is no reason to live outside my comfort zone. I don't need to visit Europe. I don't need to skydive. Food is food. I'm a picky eater. I have no interest trying new foods. The majority of my shopping is at Costco. I accept buying the same goods. The deals are better than the supermarkets. The world is complex. Daily life outside my house is complicated. I avoid complications and conflicts. I'm at peace living inside my world. I don't want to work too hard. I don't want to rock the boat.


Monday, February 15, 2016

My Thoughts On Today's Young People

My young people age range is 18-30 years old. I can add up to three more years to 33 years old.

I think today's young people are closed. They're harder to communicate. Most of them are socially awkward. I find difficulty having a normal conversation. Sometimes the conversation is unintelligent. Most of the youth don't want to expand their interests. These youth are comfortable keeping the conversations on subjects they know. Maybe they're afraid to talk to new people. Maybe they're afraid to talk to wiser people.

Moreover, many responses are hard to understand. Their opinions make no sense as if they're doing a poor job faking they know the topic. Sometimes the responses are perplexed to hide weakness. Sometimes the responses are intended to start a conflict; the common statement haters are going to hate applies.

I see a group of young people for which most of time they're on their phones. I rarely see a group of young people 100% off their phones having a conversation. It's okay to look up information on their phones. It's okay to communicate verbally and via text. It's okay to post reminders. It's okay to exchange contact information. Most of the time they're on their phones for a long period of time. The phone must not be used as an escape from any social situation.

A friend of mine knew a manager at a tech company. The manager wanted to help college graduates gain job experience. All of the manager's hires were difficult to work with. They had bad attitudes. They were hard to communicate. The manager no longer hired recent college graduates. Perhaps the stereotype of today's youth is making recent college graduates harder to find jobs compared to my time I graduated college.

The older people of the past generation thought we were closed people when I was a young person. We were irresponsible. We were difficult to communicate. Most of us today are better. We learned from our mistakes. We grew up. We're responsible. We matured. We wised up. I hope many of today's young people experience the moment to grow up.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Thoughts On Urban Growth Driving On Interstate 880

I drove myself and my parents to a family gathering on Interstate 880 in the Northern California's Bay Area the afternoon of Sat Feb 13. My thoughts were the area continues to grow exponentially. It's a matter of time the Bay Area becomes Los Angeles.

Sat Feb 13-Mon Feb 15 is a three day weekend. Valentine's Day is on Sun. President's Day is on Mon. There were too many cars on the Interstate 880 freeway as if a weekday commute. Yesterday's drive might be an anomaly. I always expect freeways on the weekends more open except on known freeway junctions. It's a matter of time weekend commutes resemble weekday commutes with many cars. It can be worse when metering lights are turned on Sat and Sun.

Interstate 880 road condition is poor. There are potholes, rough spots, and groves. Part of my driving concentration was avoiding these poor road hazards. The government must find more money to maintain and to upgrade the freeways. More cars are driving on the freeways. More care is required. People who complain about poor roads be prepared to open your wallets. Taxes must be raised to pay for the citizen's roads.

I saw new home projects. These are high density three story single family homes in compact neighborhoods. I also see new apartment projects. More people are living in the area. There are more people, there are more cars, thereby more use of the freeways. The population is increasing. The population growth is exponential looking from the past long-term.

I also saw new commercial buildings and I also saw renovated commercial buildings. These commercial buildings are office, industrial, and retail. There are more jobs because new companies start business and existing companies expand. Jobs attract people to live in an urban area. There are more cars on the roads to commute to and from work.

People are living longer. The medical community knows more about the human being. Modern medicine improves our health. There is more information to take care of ourselves. Technology makes our daily lives easier.

I asked myself, "Is the current infrastructure able to handle both a population growth and people living longer?" I hope for many days of rain. We're in a drought. We need water. The area needs to build more water storages. The new homes and new commercial buildings need electricity. I hope the sewage lines functions well during normal days and during catastrophes. The sanitation system must find ways to handle more garbage. The demand for telecommunications grows because everyone is connected on the internet.

The area continues to grow we must be proactive protecting the environment. I'm glad everyone is more aware of the environment today compared to 30 years ago. I'm glad technology, for better or for worse, has helped reducing greenhouse emissions. Minimize pollution is more important when the Bay Area becomes Los Angeles.

More road maintenance is required because more cars drive the roads. More homes and apartments are built because there are more jobs. Companies are creating jobs need commercial space to run their businesses. The infrastructure must expand to handle to growing population and living longer population. People must be proactive doing their part to protect the environment. The bottom line is expect a higher cost of living. There is a growing demand to live in the Bay Area. The Bay Area populates a fixed amount of people.


Sunday, February 07, 2016

Top Ten Table Top Game Moments

Playing board games is one of my favorite hobbies. Board games bring people together. I see myself playing board games in my old years to keep using my brain. I used to play role playing games back in college. Any games played on a table are table top gaming.

I'm not really good at playing board games and role playing games. I haven't won popular games such as Puerto Rico, Dominion playing with four players, 7 Wonders, and Munchkin. I'm getting better playing games recently. My guesses are I'm concentrating better and I'm learning from my mistakes faster.

I experienced my memorable moments for which I share in the meantime. 1997 was a great role playing game year. My regular Robotech players were together adjusting our schedules. Also, I was introduced to Dungeon & Dragons. 1997 Year Of The Role Playing Game is number 13 in my Top 40 Most Memorable Moments.

Here are my top ten table top game moments:

10. Robotech Guts (Summer 1994). My character played a win or my character dies game of Guts. I drew a card and the game master drew a card from a standard 52 deck of cards. If I won, then my character lived. If I lost, my character died. I drew a three of clubs. The game master drew a two of clubs. I won.

9. First Wins (Multiple Dates). I remember my first games won. Some of them were Mahjong (Riichi) first hand in Oct 2009, Mahjong (Riichi) first game in Jul 2010, three player Dominion in Oct 2012, Master's Gallery in Jan 2014, and Ascension player vs player in Jan 2015. I counted Ascension even though my opponent and I played on our smart phones.

8. Actual Shadownrun Earthquake (1992). I played a Shadowrun role playing game at a friend's house. There was an earthquake. We were shocked minutes after the earthquake ended.

7. Betrayal House On The Hill First Edition (Aug 2008). The first edition was out of print because there were too many errors. The game was expensive on eBay. I received an email from a friend who saw a new version at a gift shop. I purchased the game at suggested retail price.

6. Marge's Wedding Dress (2002). My friends and I played The Simpsons Trivia Game. One question was from the episode "Marge On The Lam." I guessed out of the blue Marge's wedding dress. My guess was the correct answer.

5. Chess (Fall 1988). I was introduced to chess in high school. I played chess during the lunch hour in my freshmen, part of my sophomore, and my junior years. I also learned how to play four player chess.

4. Pictionary (1987-1988). My family and I played Pictionary on Sat evenings. Fun times during me and my siblings' childhood.

3. Mystery Mansion (1986-1988). My brother and my cousin played Mystery Mansion when we were kids. Some of the games we didn't finish in the evening we continued the next morning.

2. Mahjong (Riichi) (2009-present). I mentioned my first Mahjong (Riichi) wins earlier. I actually played in 2007 for which I quit. A friend challenged me and another friend to learn the rules and hands in one week. Thank you mDuo13 for the challenge. Mahjong (Riichi) is one of my all time favorite games.

Similarly, I played Mahjong Classical Version when I was in junior high with my brother and my cousin.

1. 2007 The Year My Eyes Were Opened (2007). Forget the Toys R Us games I played when I was a child. Forget Monopoly, Clue, Life, UNO, and Scrabble. I welcomed Settlers of Catan, Fluxx, Munchkin, and Carcassonne.