Friday, October 18, 2019

16 months as a Field Service Engineer

Wow!  It has been almost a year since my last post.  So much stuff has happened!  3 trips to Germany, airline status with United, American Airlines, Southwest, Alaska and Delta.  Status with Hertz and Avis.  Status with Hilton and Marriott.  Lots and lots of travel. 

I have bought a house as well in Azusa, California the Canyon City!  Making new friends, in a relationship, life can't be better.

The girls have grown up.  13 and 11.  Very mature and faces stuck on their phones. 

I'll try to post picks whenever I get a chance.  :)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

How I'm Making New Friends after Moving to a New City

In the 626 area code, has numerous meetup groups.  I have recently joined a network of board gamers where geeks like me can hang out and play board games.  At these meetups, a lot of people come together with the determination of having fun and meeting new people.  One couple came to me and said that they met through meetup and eventually got married.  Another couple was handing out wedding invitations.  It was crazy interesting to note that people actually hook up here.  Regular people of all races, different backgrounds, different occupations all converging to one location to eat and have fun.  It makes for a really great time!  I'm so glad to go.  So far the meetups I've participated in:

-Crazy Rich Asians Dumpling Party
-Steak Night at Steve's with Karaoke
-Taco Night at Steve's with Board Gaming
-Board gaming at Bruce's (when I arrived, I was surprised to find out that it was my upstairs neighbor!!!)
-Board Gaming at Tony's Potluck Halloween Party
-Salsa Dancing Lessons

Good times! 

Monday, October 22, 2018

I saw my father in my reflection.

Last Friday night as I got off a lengthy 5 and a half hour flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, I headed straight to the bathroom.  As I was washing my hands, I looked up into the mirror and saw a glimpse of my father in my reflection.  I looked down and right back up again and he was gone!  It was really crazy feeling, yet intriguing.  Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me.

I have a strange feeling that my dad is watching me, protecting me and bringing me good fortune.  Somehow, in the spiritual world, he is making things happen for me.  I feel it.  Do you feel the same feeling?

Friday, September 21, 2018

My New Job

I have been working at Leica Microsystems for 4 months now and my life has changed!  I really love my job being a Senior Field Service Engineer.  Going from the medical industry to the research industry is very rewarding because I feel like the contributions I make in science is helping the future of humanity.  Everything I touch makes a difference in the development of new technologies from carbon fiber nanotubes to stem cell organ farms, the things I get to see and do is so incredibly fun!  It is really nice to get compensated appropriately for my brain and my skills rather than how accurate I can shoot or how many pushups I can do.

So when I did my job search, I didn't go for the highest paying job.  I went with location, culture and finally pay.  The guys I interviewed with were pretty awesome and were prior US Navy Petty Officer First Classes like me.   I knew if I were a Chief, I would've been doomed at the interview because everyone knows that to make CPO, you have to be backstabbing and semi-useless. 

I am at a very happy point in my life right now.  Now, I feel like I need to pay it forward.  :)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Takes on Business 101 for Transitioning Military

Recently, I took a 3 day course on business for military members that are in senior positions (Staff Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) and Officers).

Here are some things I have found interesting and noteworthy.

1.  Jobs are like duty stations.  It is normal for people to bounce around every few years until they settle for something they really like.

2.  Companies are organic living beings.  They constantly grow and shrink. 

3.  Employees with tenure with companies can be resentful or threatened by the new skills and talent that you may bring to your new job.

4.  Keep your deployment/sea stories to yourself.  It is like a camping trip that no one went on.  Consider your stories completely unrelatable to those who haven't served.

5.  Large time gaps in your work history can HURT you!  Complete college while you are active duty if you haven't already.  Never stop going to school.  Don't stop until you have reached PhD.

6.  If you start your own business, you need to be different to be competitive.  "Know that the Riches are in the Niches."

7.  If you apply for a government job, while it may be normal to make counter offers, negotiating your step level can be extremely risky since it is typically unknown to hiring managers how to get a new hire bumped up to another level. 

8.  Your social media accounts should not have you in your military garb.  Nobody cares about your medals except for you.

9.  Never stop learning.  Spend an hour each day learning something new.  Boost your vocabulary, learn some new phrases in another language, learn managerial accounting, research your companies website, etc.  There is nothing wrong about making yourself smarter about various things.

10.  Learn how to interview by going to Youtube.  Practice answering basic questions about yourself and be able to translate your military experience into skills worth having at your next job.  Be original in your answers, recruiters are bored of answers that are cliche.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Job Seeking with the Federal Government

Since my last post, I got two notifications from my applications for job positions within the federal government.   I applied for two separate blue collar jobs that at a minimum requires a high school diploma and 2 years of experience and some type of formal schooling or nationally recognized accredited certification.  I applied for the jobs about 5 months ago and since then, I have applied for numerous others and eventually, I got hired by a large private company that has a global presence.

What is interesting about the government jobs is that they are required to inform you of the reason of not getting hired.  Although, I had a valid Bachelor's Degree from a technical school, certification and 20 years of experience, they still told me I was lacking in education and/or experience.  Does this mean that my last post was correct?  Are other people more qualified than me applying for the same job?  That is simply amazing to me and further confirms that the market is over-saturated with qualified candidates.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Master's Degree is the New Bachelor's Degree

Getting a job is probably one of the most stressful things that anyone has to do.  It may be easy for some, but typically, if you want a decent wage earning job that doesn't require working yourself to death, you're going to need a lot of time and patience.  These days having a Bachelor's degree is like having an Associates.  The Master's Degree is the new Bachelor's degree.  The job market is over saturated with over-qualified candidates, it is extremely competitive and when people are in extreme financial debt due to college, people will do whatever it takes to compete for the top earning jobs.  Therefore as humans, we are in constant competition with each other. 

In my next post, I will discuss the trials and tribulations of my job seeking.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Military Humor

"Know what controlled rage is, controlled rage is yelling at someone and smashing someone's head against a concrete wall. Uncontrolled rage is when you do all that and then pee on yourself." - GYSGT D. Smith, USMC Ret.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Last 7 Months on Active Duty

The last 7 months of active duty prior to retirement is reserved for setting yourself up for the civilian world. That's when you have to start calling people by their first names and learn to relax more. The military's operations tempo is so extreme, people in it are addicted to drinking coffee and energy drinks to stay awake. Physical and mental disorders are the result in some cases.  Military people are always on the go and try to accomplish everything at one time, usually ahead of schedule.  So to alleviate getting an anxiety attack or something, I  have laid out a calendar that is planned day by day. So here is what I have.  If I am missing anything, let me know in the comments below.

Month 7:

  • Keep going to medical to get your stuff documented
  • Attend TRS (transition classes, a.k.a. TAPS or TGPS) 
  • Attend CalVet class Attend Boots 2 Business by the Small Business Association 
  • Start drafting and sculpting your resume
  • Make a Linkedin Account and begin to make it look like a resume

Month 6:

  • Keep going to medical to get your stuff documented. 
  • Go to legal to update your will 
  • Begin to throw away everything you don't need on a weekly basis 
  • Attend a Business Career Seminar 
  • Take some Microsoft Classes 
  • Finalize your resumes and make a "master resume"
  • Start exploring
  • Start exploring CalJobs (or whatever state your wanting to stay in)
  • Make 2 copies of your medical record and get your AHLTA notes put on disc

Month 5:

  • Do your CAPSTONE. 
  • Visit the DAV to get your medical record screened 
  • After your Medical Record is screened, setup and appointment to submit your VA disability claim 
  • Do your VA Disability Claim 
  • Begin giving away all manuals and military stuff you no longer need 
  • Change your Linkedin Profile to "actively seeking a job"
  • Begin your job search and start applying.  
  • Begin Interviewing with companies

Month 4: 

  • Submit your 30 Days of Notice to Vacate 
  • Start closing your cable account 
  • Get your check-out sheet and start the process of checking out 
  • Turn in your weapons card 
  • Turn in your combat gear and gas mask (CIF) 
  • Schedule multiple interviews
  • Keep job searching and applying.  You're not hired until you sign a contract offer.

Month 3:

  • Do your Pack Out and put your stuff in storage. 
  • DoD will pay to store your stuff for 365 days. 
  • Find Apartment where you want to live. Start moving. 

Month 2:

  • Retirement Ceremony 
  • Begin your 10 days of job hunting/10 days of house hunting 
  • Get your DD214 and make a lot of copies 
  • Go to legal to certify true copy all your DD214s 
  • Go on vacation or begin working your 2nd career. 

Month 1:

  • Terminal Leave 
  • Go on vacation or begin working your 2nd career. 
  • Last Paychecks 

Month after you get out:

  • Sign up for VA 
  • Re-enroll in Tricare

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Kids Nowadays Want to Become Famous YouTubers

Posting videos on YouTube has become a profitable trend for many people.  My kids tell me that most of the kids in their class want to become YouTubers.  Okay, well.  I asked if they wanted to become one and they said 'yes'.  So I took it upon myself to create a YouTube channel for them.  With the existing cellphones and tablets they have, they have the tools to create their own stop motion videos, especially the Minecraft videos.  And so far their videos started out kind of awful, but as they got more experience, their videos continued to get better and better.

Minecraft Stop Motion Studio

Now, they are making videos with their toys and my youngest daughter started a series "Cooking with Pinkie Pie".  The kids are so creative!

All of this can be created inexpensively too.  All the kids need are toys, a tablet or phone that can download apps and a little bit of creativity.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Why it is Important to Read Everything No Matter the Topic

Sometimes, I come across articles on Yahoo that I truly don't care about.  I ran into one article that was about a journalist that was bashing another journalist, which quite frankly seemed like a huge waste of time.

But I got something out of it.

The article was full of words that I was unfamiliar with.  All of the sudden, the article became interesting to me and I took fascination with the difficult words that the journalist was using.  Now that I know how the words were used within a sentence, I wrote down the list of words I didn't know in a notebook.  The next thing I know, I was looking up words up on Google like "excoriation" and "decommodified".  I unknowingly increased my vocabulary by reading stupid articles that I normally wouldn't read.  There was this feeling of satisfaction that I have learned something on Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Want to Burp but I Can't

Recently, I had an episode where I felt like I needed to burp, but no matter what, I couldn't.  I could swallow air, but it felt like air was being trapped in my esophagus.   I tried to drink water, but it only made it worse.  It felt like water would only go down a certain point and stop as if it stopped at the sphincter that enters the stomach.  The pain was excruciating.  I didn't know what it was.  I had a co-worker drive me over to the emergency room.  I told them that I had chest pain and immediately, they took an EKG on me.  I told the technician that it wasn't my heart!  I had pain in my esophagus area!  My EKG turned out to be fine.  My blood pressure was through the roof though.  It was 200/100.  A normal BP is 118/50 for me.  People could tell that I was in extreme pain, my face was red and I never felt so horrible.  I sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half and they finally called me in.  The staff did a turnover with the night crew and I saw a triage nurse.  About 30 minutes later, I spoke to the Doc and I told him my symptoms.  He said, "what helps with the inability to burp is a carbonated beverage like 7-up."  He left and I didn't see him again for another 3 hours.  Between that, I got a couple of chest x-rays and they turned out normal.  A nurse gave me a "G.I. cocktail" which numbed my mouth and throat and I would assume that it did the same for my esophagus.  I didn't fell better though.  I just waited and waited.  Eventually, someone came in and verified that my blood pressure went down and then I was shortly released.  They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.  My diagnosis was "gastric pain".  I almost yelled at the doctor.  I asked why they didn't scope me to see if I had some kind of tumor or something.  He laughed and said, "scope in the ER?!?  I need you to go see your primary care provider and he can give you a referral to the GI clinic."   My visit was so disappointing that I left pretty pissed.  I wasted five hours of my life just to find out it was confirmed that I had gastric pain.

I figured that I had something called heartburn.  When I was sitting in the ER,  I had plenty of time to google all my symptoms on my phone and all signs were pointing to heartburn.  Next time I have heartburn, I'm going to take Alka-Seltzer or drink some carbonated beverage or something.    

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to See the International Space Station

If you watch the night sky, on occasion, you can catch a glimpse of the International Space Station.  NASA has a website where you can put in your location and you can find out where it passes over and in which direction to look.  You can even sign up for text notifications when the ISS is about to pass over day or night.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hacking the 2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition/RTL-E

When I first got my truck, I was amazed with all the tech that comes with it.  This is the only truck thus far that has in-bed audio.  It is really great for listening to music while you wash your truck or tailgate, camping or whatever.  However, this feature is disabled when you start moving your truck above 10 mph.  Yeah, once you go a little bit fast, it shuts off and the music you hear in the bed will be transferred to the inside cabin.  I have figured out a work-around.  Just click on the video above to see what you have to do.  If you want to blast music while driving down the road and get a ticket, that is totally up to you.  But still a super cool feature!

If you have a Ridgeline and don't have a screen protector, you should get one. I tried the cloth and I have already scratched the screen and it drives me crazy every time I see it. I highly recommend getting this:

This will also hide your scratches by covering them up.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cause of Poor Sleep

For the past year, I've been tracking my sleep using the Fitbit Blaze that syncs to my cell phone. I typically wake up in the middle of the night multiple times for no reason. Now, I figured that it was because I had sleep apnea or something. Instead, I read an article that explained everything and it caused a moment of eureka for me: "sleeping with your pets". My cat!!! Yes, my cat wakes up all the time. Every time she moves, the bell on her collar rings. She also throws up furballs in the middle of the night. Now everything makes total sense as to why I'm sleep deprived. Time to get rid of the cat! No, just kidding. I have to figure out how to keep her out of my room for now on.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Not All Psychics are Fake

On a TV show, Adam Ruins Everything, Season 2 Episode 16 Adam Ruins the Future, Adam did a brief piece on how fake psychics trick people.  He brought on a magic show magician to explain how he does cold readings.  It is actually quite fascinating to see, but it doesn't tell the whole picture.  Someone who have never gone to a psychic will see this and think that all psychics are fake.  I think everyone should see for themselves to see if they are fake or not.

Being an objective person, I did an experiment to go to 6 different psychics, get a reading and see if they all tell me the same thing.

The results were quite interesting.  The quest was to see who was real, who was fake and how they do it.

The first reading I got was incredibly interesting.  I started out with a flat out lie to see if the psychic would correct me.  And she did.  I phrased my question to make it seem I had no doubt about the event such as "why did my father kill himself?"  She closed her eyes and took a deep breath and responded with "he didn't kill himself my dear...  he died of chest pain".   She was right, my father died of a heart attack.

I continued to ask questions to test her ability and when I was happy that she could debunk me at every trick question, I wanted to know about my future.  She told me about an event that were to happen in 3 months time and she was specific about what activity would happen.  When that time came, I knew in an instant that the psychic was real.

The second psychic I went to was a medium.  I found her kind of wierd because she would look above my head and move her hands as if she were moving clouds to see images of what she needed to see.  She told me that my father was slapping me in the head and telling me to stop going to psychics.

The third psychic I went to had a broken accent.  I could tell that she must be from the Caribbean or something.  Somehow she knew how many children I had, what sex and around what age they were.

The 4th psychic had a crystal ball.  I almost laughed at the stupid crystal ball, but she used it as if she was reading pages out of a book searching for answers.  She told me a lot about my current financial situation and every bit of it was true.  She also told me about future money I were to receive and she was correct about that also when the time came about 6 months later.

The 5th psychic I went to claimed to be an intuitive.  She would give advice based on what she could feel.  I thought she was totally fake because when I asked her questions, she couldn't answer them, instead she would ask me questions so I can answer them myself.  When it came to making hard decisions, she wanted me to guide myself and she said that when the time came that "you will know the answer".  Total bullshit.  In my mind, I was thinking that I wanted my money back but she was nice and was wearing rags for clothes.  She also tried to refer me to someone else for some spiritual cleansing that I bet she would make a commission off of.  She was obviously fake.

The 6th psychic gave me mixed answers, some came true and some didn't.  She had a timer and a good chunk of that time was spent on introduction.  I wasn't too pleased because she was rushing me after the timer went off.  I couldn't conclude if she were fake, but I know for sure that she was doing it for the money and that she didn't want to talk to me anymore when time ran out.

I have found that it is a good idea to go to older more experienced mediums for psychic advice.  Mediums have a 6th sense and can communicate with spirits that are attached to you.  I find it amazing how they can tell you about yourself without you telling them.  I like to stay quiet and not reveal anything but answer a few questions without going into detail.  It's their job to ask spirits for information to give you. 

The last psychic I spoke to knew that I was about to change jobs within a few months and that I was taking "classes" in order to prepare myself.  She told me to start preparing my resume...  did I tell her I was retiring?  Nope.  Amazing huh? 

I highly recommend Hollister Rand.  I watched her go around the room speaking to spirits that were connected with the audience.  It was pretty convincing because she didn't ask anyone any questions, she just knew stuff and spit out information like a machine gun.  I recalled that she looked at one member of the audience and told them that the person that hung himself was very sorry that he ended his life so quickly...  the audience member was very amazed and nodded in confirmation. 

Things psychics use:

Tarot Cards - Psychics use these as visuals to guide the conversation.  The cards can be interpreted in infinite ways because the pictures are highly detailed.  A figure holding a box in a hand can mean anything.  Click on the link below to add it to your Amazon shopping cart.

In conclusion, based off my experiences.  75% were true psychics.  If and when you find one, it is like having a cheat code on a video game.