Thursday, December 24, 2009

File #90020221

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Go home to your families! Eat cake and enjoy that snowstorm!

I haven't updated in a long time, now that I'm on a very short vacation I think I'll spare a little time. Been busy, holiday season does that. I found it funny that I'm busier during vacation than during regular work times.
Anyway, I've been playing a lot of games during my vacation, a little new ones, but mostly old ones. Modern Warfare 2, still plenty fun. I still find it rather to believe that I enjoy it so much even though I'm so noob at it. Went back to Dead Space for some unknown reason. I thought it wouldn't be scary the third time, I'm glad it isn't. It's not exactly replay value, but I think it stays creepy every time I play. And that's awesome. There is a little time for Team Fortress 2, but I don't think I played enough to actually talk about it. Fun though, damn you spy!
But now for what I've been playing the most, Command and Conquer 4 Beta! It's still in beta, but its more fun than I expected. I totally expected the game to flop, especially since EALA is getting all fired. But the beta was fast-paced and fun. Challenging, but the learning curve isn't steep like the other C&C games. If I had to say so, so far it looks like World in Conflict, Empire at War, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, games like that. I prefer the old base-building RTS that C&C was known for, but I think with a little tweaking this game could be real good. And, everyone knows how much of a C&C fan I am, more specifically, a GDI fan.


Return of my favorite bald guy!


Besides that, I've been playing a lot of console games, like ODST, BlazBlue, SF4, and such and so on. I think my 360 is a little happier now that I'm paying it some attention.

In the world of TV, I've been watching a lot more American shows because the anime season's slump lately. Mainly watching Fringe and Lie to Me, both amazing shows. Fringe is all about the fringe science, it gives that nice WTF feel that people get when they first watched Lost. And Lie to Me is all about reading people, and we all know life is about reading people. lol
Also, I think its funny that every time a natural disaster comes around, view ratings jump for the Weather Channel. I for one, can say I watch the Weather Channel all the time, not just during the peak seasons. lol

Talking about anime, I really don't see a lot of good shows coming out in January. I'll probably pick a few for laughs, and that's about it. The best show this season, Seitokai no Ichizon, is finished, leaving me with nothing to wait for each week. Railgun has just past the first arc, and I somewhat enjoy watching it. Unfortunately, having read the manga ahead, it feels like I'm watching a recap or something.



Most of all, I want to see the East of Eden movie, King of Eden. It looks so exciting! And it has Takizawa! That's all I need. Wait... something's not right...



I've also been reading a lot of manga, tons of it. It's like I've been catching up on months of not reading any. If I had to buy all the manga I've been reading, I'm certain I'd be broke.

Last and least, update on my personal stuff. Atlanta isn't as cold as last year. I remember when I came in December last year it was nice and cold. Now its just kinda of cool. I like how the sky turns grey in the winter here, like it did last winter. But the sun seems to appear every morning more this time around. So it's not so great. And it hasn't snowed, but I hope it does. I also hope I can find an ice scraper so I don't have to dig my car out with a quarter or my bare hands.
Traffic, is well... something I'll never get used to. Seriously, I was born on Hawaii, no traffic there. It's like I was raised to not like traffic or something. On another note, are there people who enjoy traffic? Odd question worth finding an answer to. I like to drive, especially at night when there's nobody else and I can just relax. Night driving ftw.
It's also Christmas, the time I let go of a lot of money to buy presents for family and friends. Unfortunately the family part is a little one-sided, but I got a lot of things from my buddies across the country. I have to say though, everyone uses the USPS flat rate shipping boxes. Those are really popular it seems. Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year!
And also a nice vacation too! My vacation is somewhat short because I got called back to work because someone decided to "crash their car"... I really believe that... yeah right. Oh well, more money for me.
And speaking of new year, I have no idea if things are going to be different next year. I have a feeling though, things are going to change greatly. I wouldn't be surprised if I move again. I'm getting a little tired of this town, time to pack up and move on.

Now to melt your brains with complete WTF randomness.

LOL Danny.

Laser Eyes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

File #90025211

Lolz R Us - Disclaimers
I really don't know what to say about this. It's between Sieg and T(respectively), two friends of mine. And I'm briefly mentioned somewhere. I think its a disclaimer for the future, because I have to agree, we do sound like that. Here's to (a very short) Lolz R Us episode 1! Cheers.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

File #90021301

In Memory of Bill

We'll miss you, Bill, we'll all miss you. For your exemplary zombie killing services, excellent field medic record, and for always getting to the chopper. You might not have been as godly-awesome as Chicago Ted, but you're damn close. And we wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. We salute you, Bill. Rest in Peace.

That said, L4D2 Demo was officially released after days of delays. I've moved on from office boy Louis to Coach the big guy. The demo is quite fun, albeit short. I thought L4D2 actually wouldn't live up to the hype, but it can prove me wrong as much as it wants. Looks like I'll be playing L4D2 and Modern Warfare 2 all holiday season(unless I feel like joining in on Borderlands).
In other news, I just upgraded to Windows 7. I like it, it's great. The installation was quick and easy, and the GUI appeals to me. If I didn't know any better, I would say Vista was just a beta for 7. Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly approve of Windows 7(as if it really needed my approval).
Moving on, I don't remember talking about how disappointing this fall anime season is. I expected Railgun to be mind-shatteringly awesome, it isn't. I don't see why people like shows like Nyan Koi. I find myself watching shows that continued from the previous season, like Brotherhood, which is really great. But I cannot say I completely dislike this season, solely because of Seitokai no Ichizon. That show floors me everytime I watch it, everytime. (And if you think I'm even going to mention Kampfer or that Inuyasha ending thing, off with you.)
Also, I just watched the Detective Conan movie: The Raven Chaser. It was a nicely spent 2 hours, I think Detective Conan is my only favorite long-run show besides FMA and Monster. And if you haven't seen either of those, what are you doing? Go now.
And speaking of shows, I've been getting into American shows a lot again. Watching South Park again, and catching up on American Dad. Friends loaded me with recommendations like Dexters, Burn Notice(Don't know why I never watched it before), Fringe, and even Weeds(I think that's what it was called). Alongside those are other shows like Supernatural, which are all surprisingly good. Either my standards have fallen, or American shows have stepped up their game. I'm fine with either.
Last, what happened to everyone? Save a select few, it seems everyone else died two months ago or something. I expected to have to catch up on months' worth of blog posts, but left with just a few to read. Oh well. Fair game, I suppose. It's not like I've been writing the most fascinating posts myself.
Well that's it for now, Kai out!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

File #90024001

What? What? What?
Update? No. Way.

School.
Lunch.
Work.
Work.
Study.
Fall asleep at desk.
That's the routine, life is great.

In other news, october anime season has started. And Q4 gaming season is about to roll as well. Gaming +1, Anime +1, Time I have left -2. I think I need to officially switch to the 30 hour day.
You know what? I had much more to say, but I forgot all of it. Short attention span = FAIL. OTL.

and a friend keeps sending me these as if I'm interested... Okay, I'm slightly interested.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

File #90022280

Update
Because I haven't for so long.

I realized I haven't kept up with posting/informing people and friends what is actually going on in my life. Through IMs, all I really say is "oh, same old", or "just the usual". I've also noticed I've been steadily withdrawing from society for the past few months. Could I be on the road to becoming a hikikomori? Now that's an entertaining thought.
I've been buying a lot of games through Steam to pass the time these days. Call of Duty: World at War was better than I gave it credit for. But mostly for the zombie mode. And it is still nothing compared to Modern Warfare. I'm searching for some games to waste enormous amounts of time on(without becoming addicted to WoW, NEVER) like a good MMORPG or an entertaining RTS. Keeping away from Maplestory, as my only playing buddy is too busy having a social life. Dived back into Supreme Commander for a while, back into its awesome level of scale and detailed plans of attack. Truly a game years ahead of its time. The only problem is that because its years ahead of its time, my computer can't run it on its highest settings. How the heck did they know what the highest settings looked like before release? Someone out there must have a computer brought from the future through Stargate of something.
Speaking of Stargate, in my effort of finding ways to way time, I've actually been watching a lot of television shows(on my computer of course!). Shows like Lost, Scrubs, Stargate: Atlantis, SG-1, CNN, and the Weather Channel.
In terms of anime, the season is still chugging along slowly. Haruhi is slowly, but not adequately, redeeming itself. Tokyo Magnitude 8 is rather too laidback to be called a disaster. Detective Conan releases are few and far between. The seventh Kara no Kyoukai movie was nice, I enjoyed it. FMA: Brotherhood is finally getting interesting as its beginning to branch off from the first one. Hayate the Combat Butler is entertaining as always. Tears to Tiara is continuing to be awesome, regardless of how many times I question the name. and Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, which I shall just reduce to Umineko from now on, its bloody hilarious, bloody hilarious. And I discovered that Valkyria Chronicles is actually more entertaining if you: (a)played the game, (b)watch it out of order and have idea what the heck is going on, or (c)watch it backwards, as the story seems somehow more effective or something. And needless to say, Bakemonogatari is still number one with its wicked sick jabs and cutthroat jokes.
Aside from all the time spent in front of my computer, I've been at work. It feels like I'm at work from dawn to dusk some days. But in return, I feel like I get entire days of nothing to do. So I think it levels out in the end.
Classes start again soon. I'm not looking forward to it, but its only a little longer before graduation so I'll do my best to hang in there.
I've also been randomly hearing the radio every now and then. Horrible. Songs get stuck in my head too easy. Is that just me? Too easy? I guess so, I'm easy like that. But honestly, getting song like that stuck in your head all day? Not fun.
Lastly, I am spending at least an hour a day trying to improve my literary skills by writing a chapter or freewriting, maybe people will get to read it someday. Who knows?
Had Starbucks Coffee for the first time in forever, felt so good. I knew there was a reason I was a Starbucks Loyalist. How do you wake up in the morning?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

File #90029170

Nothing to report...

Work, work, work, and guess what? Work! Oh, I almost forget, there was also work. And after that, a little more work. With some work on the side. And to top it all off, a heaping giant pile of, you guess it, work.
In other news, the new anime season is kicking into gear. Spent any time I was able to not work watching Bakemonogatari and the other not-as-memorable shows. I remember saying Eden of the East was last season's best show, Bakemonogatari(or Ghost Story) is this season's. Go ahead, look for yourself. And also, beware of staplers, its a sign. (Side note: getting stapled in the hand kind of hurts, just an FYI. Don't try it at home kids.)
Second Opening

Oh right, the first opening, with no staplers in sight.

Anyone else notice this stapler fad lately?

But still my favorite song from K-On! is...

And I just wasted all my material for the XanaNet's next post, sigh. lol

Thursday, July 9, 2009

File #90029070

Random Update
Because it had to be done.

I really haven't posted anything in so long, and there's so many things I want to talk about to! Too bad I've been too busy working. Playing a lot of games: Left 4 Dead, Team Fortess 2, Star Wars Republic Commando, and Star Wars Battlefront 2, among others. Watched some movies but Transformers 2 was the only one I still remember. Watching anime: Haruhi 2, Canaan, Detective Conan, Hayate 2. Don't even need to tell you how awesome the ending of Eden of the East was, but I will(someday). Also, Clannad...I'll miss that show. I've also worked on my literature a ton, you know where to go to check that out. I vaguely remember saying I was going to post my year-end project, that idea was fail. I need to cut out pieces when I post things here, but when I cut out some pieces from that... it just doesn't work. Sigh. Oh well. And upgrading my computer soon, and getting a camera soon, and getting a life soon. Okay, maybe not the last one...
Well, time for me to go! Zombies are hot on my heels and I need to git to da choppa!
(and because I always do vids...)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

File #90020350

This stuff is actually quite old, but with the sequels less than a month away I figured it would be worth seeing it again!

Dead Fantasy 1 and 2.


Previews for 3,4, and 5.



"Why am I here?" I lol'd there. hard.



And some other stuff by tge awesome that is Monty Oum.
Haloid


Icarus


Seriously, I could watch that stuff all day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

File #90021250

There's a zombie on your lawn!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

File #90020340

Notice!

The File Cabinet and the Xanadu Network are now on summer schedule! That means that I'll probably post once a week on either here or the other. Why? Because its summer and I want to go out more, that's why. But, because I can't let go just yet, results of my last project will be posted in segments every Sunday. For those of you wanting to know what I was so busy doing for the past month or so, this is for you. Well that's all for today, I'm going back to playing Left 4 Dead: Survival Mode.

Oh wait a minute...

It's not me in there, but this'll give you an idea of how awesome it is.
Oh yes, I also have twitter now! See what boredom does?

Friday, April 10, 2009

File #90020140

Finals
Filler!

I'm busy with papers, projects, tests, and work. I have a few posts planned for after I'm done, but for now I suggest you anime fans go watch Higashi no Eden. Roughly translated to Eden of the East, I think it was a real good watch. It has the same director as Ghost in the Shell(Kenji Kamiyama), the music producer from Fate Stay Night(Kenji Kawai, all these Kenjis!), and the art from Honey and Clover.
The voice actors are relatively new, but that not a minus. Anyway, I'm not going to say too much yet, as I'm planning a more detailed post for Xana Net.
So instead, here's the OP and ED!
Falling Down! - Oasis(Oasis? Hey, sweet. This is their first anime collaboration.)


Futuristic Imagination - School Food Punishment(what a funny joke! lol)


Those just blew me away, I daresay this will be the best show this season.
Kai out!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

File #90029040

Types
Rant!

I was talking with some friends around Valentine's Day this year, when we came up on the topic of significant others and types. Two of my friends are in relationships, one guy and one lady. My other friend(also a guy) and myself are single. The first guy(I guess we'll go with lettering - "A") comments that his girlfriend wasn't exactly his "type" but is happy nonetheless. The only female in our party "B", says her boyfriend is probably as close to her preference as she can get and it quite content. The only other single guy (Mr. "C") in our group says he just wants someone he can have fun with and be happy(and keep his wallet lol). When it came my turn to 'fess up, I just said I didn't care. Ohhh, big mistake.
After Mr. C makes the one-shot "2D girls" joke, which he can only make because he is also an anime fan, we talk about what exactly creates our preference for a significant other. I read a long time ago that we tend to look for someone who is similar to whoever was the opposite sex parent in our lives(I'm a dude, so that means my mother). That sounds kind of awful doesn't it? I'm sure people who had "bad parents" don't do that, so there's more to it I guess.
Miss B brought up the popularity side of the study, how Hollywood crams the "ideal woman" down the throat of its viewers. Now that actually kind of makes sense. But on the other hand, that's just horrible. Apologies to all celebrities beforehand, but I'm sorry, celebrities are some of the most stupid and horrible people out there. They're right there next to filthy, rich, snobbish people.
After finding out that C watching a few episodes of 90210 and laughing about it, I brought up the idea hat it was mostly just personal experiences put together. For example, if you had a disastrous encounter with a redhead, you probably wouldn't like redheads anymore. That's stereotyping, right? And that's how emotions work, irrational, illogical, and doesn't make any sense. That's why psychology's so fun!
We reached a consensus that all these factors are responsible for molding our views for a partner.
Taking it an intriguing step further, Mr. A began to talk about how certain people become the type that people like. Obviously, celebrities have to do it all the time, they have to set the trend. They have to have the traits to make them popular, and they have to keep having it or else their career is over. That's rigorous, I suppose.
Anyway, we tossed around the "chance" theory, where people just happen to meet their type. To support the theory(very backwardly I might add) was the fact that most people do not meet their type as their preference is too high or unrealistic. We all have that unrealistic preference at one time or another, except for me of course lol. But reality sets it straight sooner or later.
We also tossed up the geographic possibility. Now that was hilarious. Northerners get along with Westerners, and Southerners stick to themselves. Obviously not true, but it was funny thought. But it makes a little sense in that Westerners are generally more accepting of Asian people, and Southerners more accepting of Hispanics, statistically.
Well, leave it to Miss B to come up with the most popular and sensible idea, the "trial and error process". The notion that we go from one relationship to the next in search of our ideal, while changing our views after each respective relationship. We not only change our ideal, but also ourselves to maybe match another. I've heard of people who quit smoking after they broke up because their ex didn't like it.
And then we came around full circle on me on how to NOT have a preference. By all that we've been talking about proves the fact that you cannot "not" have one. It was actually just a little fun to see them trying to make me a preference through questioning. "Glasses?" "I wear mine out of necessity." "British?" "I like their comedies." And so on. They never got anywhere with that attempt.
So it proves the point that there is a possibility of having no ideal. By ignoring one's surroundings, by remembering people by their names instead of faces, not watching TV, and being a completely insensitive, apathetic person who actually likes staring at stock tickers all day.
Wow... that's one good-looking stock...

Monday, March 30, 2009

File #90020330

On Dreams
Rant!

I'm working on a massive economic project right now, so I didn't get to review any of my old papers. But I'll post some material as I progress through the research, I'm finding lots of informational tidbits that are very interesting, or disturbing which way you look at it. But that's a post for another day, now it's time for a filler!
If you read my other post, then you already heard me talk about dreams once before. And if you've attended some of the classes I'm in, you've probably heard it even more. But I'd like to talk about it a little more today. This time, some tips that are a little more... "concrete", I suppose.
1. Milestones. There's a reason they're called milestones. Don't make them too close to each other, yet don't make them too far. For example, if you aim for a million bucks like me, don't set a milestone down at each thousand. And don't set one at half a million either. Also, make them concrete and exact, so you know when you passed it. Once again an example, "I want to live in Hawaii". An applicable milestone would be, "I bought a lease on a apartment in Honolulu." Get it? (And that's an example, although it is what I'm going for.)
2. Save a little for your goal. Sure, money's not everything, but it helps you get there. In the current economic situation, it can be a little hard to save even a little, but that money saved will come in handy down the road. For example, I saved nearly all of my earning I made during high school, a few years later, that money helped me pay for college and my monthly living expenses while I concentrating on studying and such. Nowadays, I try to save at least 50% of my paycheck by placing it in some form of investment. That'll help me buy that apartment, you see?
3. Your dream is not only your dream. There's others who share your dream, find them! Not only will they give you important information of what you might experience on your road for goals, but you won't feel as alone. And trust me, that's an important feeling. I met many Hawaiians whose goals are to return back to Hawaii after college, most of them have family there, so it's a lot easier for them than for me. But thanks to them, my goal doesn't feel as impossible as it would if I were alone.
4. Do your research, it's always better that way. A little research can go a long way, and even save you quite a bit of money and time. I like to spend a little of each day researching a little on my goals, a while back, I got a hold of a real estate agent in Hawaii to talk about average prices of homes in Honolulu and such. Now I know what to look for. I'm not an expert yet, but at least I'm not a complete noob. Get the point?
5. Reward yourself. I know I mentioned this before, but I can't stress this point enough. Without rewards or breaks, you will burn out. Period. No matter how long you think you can last, you will burn out eventually. And sometimes that crash can cost you. Take a break, go on a little vacation, spend some time with your family, or spouse, or kids, or whatever. Go watch the game, go play a game. Do something that isn't goal-oriented and is something you enjoy doing. Because no matter how grandiose your goal may seem, even you'll get tired of thinking about it day after day.

And I hope those tips were a little more "tangible" than the ones I talked about before. And as always, if you have any further inquiries you know where to reach me.
Oh yeah, on my own record, I've added some goals to my list of dreams. I've added:
1. Visit Canada. Come on, it's Canada! It's easier than Europe and Japan, and there are quite a few sights I'd like to see. The Falls, Vancouver, Toronto, The Canadian Rockies, Ice Truckers, and snow. Real, thick, fluffy, white snow. I think monetary-wise, I can already accomplish this goal. I just need the time.
2. A vacation home. I already established I want to live in Hawaii, but I'm also a snow-lover, so I think I need another home somewhere. I was thinking Seattle. Go Seahawks!
3. Make a scrapbook of my adventures. I want to take a picture of everything, make it into a record, so I can show others. Then it wouldn't be just me talking, I'll have concrete proof that I have done what I said I have. And sometimes to get people to believe(in both me and themselves), it takes just that.
4. Publish! I'm getting a lot more closer to writing the stories that I want to write now. Finishing a story actually feels like a goal I'm slowly reaching. It would be nice if I could get this story out, even if I have to start small.

Those are a few more goals for me that I thought I'd share.
Passing that, I want to talk about the other dreams. Like the ones you have in your sleep. I've been sleeping a little longer recently, and I actually get to dream much more and much longer. Unfortunately, I get a lot more FEAR-related dreams, which are a mix of FEAR, Doom, Dead Space, Silent Hill, and Resident Evil. I used to think of it as quite scary, but I think it's finally sinking in on me that this is usual. Lucky for me, more sleep means that I stop getting crazy hallucinations when I'm awake and I stop hearing whispers(I'm not crazy...).
Also, I've been having many "past dreams". It's like I see memories of my past, some of which I thought I had forgotten. Now these dreams are somewhat scary. To think that I've been forgetting my past, even manipulating them to suit my happiness. It's kind of scary what time can do to one's memories, all the more reason I've started to write everything I remember down. Something written down is harder to manipulate than memories.
And last, and probably the worst dreams that I have, are the recurring ones. From what I've researched, the dream(or my brain) is trying to tell me something. But I don't know what it is. I can never finish the dream, sometimes I see more, sometimes I see less. I'd rather have prophetic dreams or epic dreams, but no, I get stuck with recurring dreams. I say they're more recurring nightmares, than dreams, they're much too frightening. I'm beginning to get the feeling that it's rather urgent I figure it out, because I'm getting some pain when I wake up everyday. I should go see a doctor or psychiatrist or something.
All I can say is that it feels like I'm running and confronting something. I say "confronting" because I can't tell whether I'm running from it, or fighting it. It's rather dark, and a lot of it doesn't make sense to me at all. Like at one point, I was running on an elevated walkway. Look down, and there's more elevated walkways. Kind of like the view you get when you look downward in a multi-level mall. The only time I ever saw this was in LA, and I hated that city. so seriously, wtf.
Anyway, I guess I'll talk about that when it starts making more sense to me. Or maybe when it drives me insane. You know, either/or situation(lol).

and since I absolutely cannot leave without posting a vid.

I really like the lyrics on that one, chrous and all. Yep, War Fanaticism. And the instrumental sounds pretty good too!
and this too.
and for the record, yes, I love self-referencing, makes me feel awesome(lol).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

File #90029130B

Change
Rant!

Okay, so originally this post was supposed to go to the Xana Net because it was purely rant, but I decided to get it here because there was a few things I felt belonged in the File Cabinet. So anyway, yeah. Enjoy!

Change is something we all deal with, everyday in fact. From a small change in our morning commute to the large change in the time we sleep at night. Some changes are larger than others, and some are more felt than some less noticeable ones. We deal with some changes better than others, there are even changes that don't affect us at all(is that still called a change?). Now where am I going with this? Easy, change is the easiest way to derail someone's perfect plan. I've seen it too many times, a good person ruined by the unexpected change. To make it worse, the disaster could have been avoided or minimized by taking steps.
For example, I'll use myself. Back several years ago, I used to run on rather a rigid schedule everyday. Wake up, class, work, study, sleep, repeat. There was not a lot of extra time in my day, and a simple change was disastrous. I almost had my schedule down to the minute, eating was timed and sleep was obviously controlled. My friends all warned me how bad I was going to pay for my packed day later, but I did not listen. After all, I had been fine up to that point. I crashed halfway in my first year of college, I couldn't do anything for weeks. Couldn't study, didn't feel like going outside, felt horribly sick, didn't even feel like playing games or eating. Looking back, I think it was more gradual than it seemed. Over time I lost my sense of hunger and fatigue. And everyone knows what happens when your body and mind is fatigued. You lose interest in things that you used to like, you can't eat well and so on. Surprisingly,I was never irritable. Friends say I got more apathetic, which to them was a good thing(lol).
Anyway, I learned from my crash, there's plenty of spare time in my days now. But I still don't sleep much. I figured now would be a good time for a change. I've been 21 for a while now, and sometimes it feels like life is going anywhere. And when you feel stuck, nothing helps better than a little change.
I am changing my schedule once again, to better suit a larger sleeping schedule. It's being moved up from 3-4 hours to 5-6 hours a night. This should help get rid of those strange FEAR-esque hallucinations that has plagued me for years(I say it again,I'm not crazy!) and other things I believe are caused by my voluntary sleep deprivation. Not surprisingly, most of those were horror-related like hearing voices, seeing shadows move when alone, and feeling like I was being followed. Hopefully, more sleep will put these crazy things to rest and leave me in peace(no pun intended).
Getting more sleep was the first change. The next change is work-related. People call me crazy, but I love my job. All three of them(1. Office paperpusher 2. Financial Advisor, 3.my stock portfolio). But I have decided to slack off a little, stop to smell the flowers if you will. Before, I wanted to accomplish my dreams as fast as possible. But recently a friend asked me, "Why? What would you do when you're done?" Since I couldn't answer, I'm taking his advice and slowing down. Unfortunately for the people in my office, that means my NERF offensive campaigns are going up 200%.So I'll take more days off work, shoot the breeze at the lounge more, and take time to personalize my desk space.
And third, time for school! I've always relied on my genius genes to pull me through. Only scanning material once then taking the test and passing with flying colors. My methods are crazy, and I'm not sure they'll work soon. So I'll start seriously studying for once in my life. Who knows? Maybe I'll get even smarter(lol). And for those you from class reading these, yes I'm still tutoring on any subject even if you bring in something like Calculus IV you jerks.
Finally, attention to friends. My number one problem is my disability to stay in touch. Long distances are impossible for me to handle because I really like going face-to-face. But I'll change that. As a start, I finally updated my cell phone to have all my friends on speed dial. But I still won't do texting, you can't make me pay that! I used to spend a lot of time and resources for my friends, traveling to go see them, even buying a plane ticket every now and then. I'll do that again, I even have my passport ready this time(For those friends interested, I'm planning a cruise to the Bahamas this summer in place of my Eurotrip, email me!). The original reason I wanted lots of money was to support my friends anyway, it's time I followed through on that.

That's changes for me, there's many more, but we'll save those for another day or as discussion topics. Now for me to help you!
1. View changes as good! In this day and age, most people see changes as bad, that's wrong! Depending on which way you look at it, a change can be better or worse, and I know we should all prefer the better.
2. Make some changes yourself! If you're getting that "everyday's the same" feeling,its time for a change. You're not a robot, why act like one? Do something you don't usually do, or do something completely new. Talk to new people, visit new places, eat something new and delicious!
3. Don't expect the unexpected! That saying is outdated anyway. Why expect something that is statistically proven to have a slim chance of happening? Sure, it's nice to plan for the worst, but that proves you're a pessimist. Have fun, enjoy what you're doing, stay within the bounds of common sense,and you'll do fine.
4. Change yourself! We always say we're going to do it tomorrow, do it today! Better yet, do it now! "I'll be a better cook", get practicing. "I start reading the newspaper everyday," it's on your front lawn. After all, why feel good tomorrow, when you can feel good now?
5. Don't rush! Yes, I put this under #4 on purpose. Many changes are gradual, start now but plan accordingly. For those of you exercising, don't make the mistake I did. You're not going to get stronger by killing yourself for three weeks straight. Take it slow and steady, you'll be impressed at the result.
That's my tips for today, it's all common sense, but you'll be surprised at just how easy it is to forget in today's hectic society. And don't forget to take you time chillaxin'(Thanks to my Hawaiian friend for that one)!

Now I'm going back to playing Tom Clancy's HAWX, great game. Kai over and out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

File #90023220

A little post before midterms.

With midterms a little while away, I got to concentrate on other things than this and that other blog for a while. There's also a lot of work to be done with taxes coming up. I figured I should at least post another paper, but the papers I've reread lately all sucked hardcore, so I decided to not post any. I haven't been watching The Onion lately either, so nothing there.
But for those who need something to do, go find FillerBunny! It's from the same guy who made Invader Zim and its one hilarious comic. And I've also been reading Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning. I know I'm a sucker for detective stuff, but this is an entertaining read. I'm going to go and try and buy it at the bookstore now.

Well, I'd feel kinda empty if I left with just that today, so I decided to talk about a little where the story I posted a while ago came from. I've always been fascinated with war, the technology, the politics, the emotions before, during, and after the war. War is just so complex and there's so many things to investigate. A war isn't brought about by one single reason, and the result of one changes everything. Therefore, I wanted to try and write about one, encompassing all these different aspects of war. I went through many textbooks studying past wars, like the world wars, the "interventions" during the Cold War, and even dived into history a little to study things like the Hundred Years' War between France and England. Going further into history, there were things like the Napoleonic Wars and Crusades.
It was all good information and insight into the wars of the past, but I didn't think I could write about a modern war with information from the past. That's where movies and games came in.War movies, spy movies, and even documentaries helped in this aspect. I drew a lot of inspiration from movies like Spy Games, The Kingdom, Band of Brothers, and a bunch of others that I can't remember at the moment. Games helped a lot with the "first person aspect" that I wanted to portray in my story at times. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was one of the games I played recently that really aided me with its realistic modern war story. And also it was really genius story with awesome gameplay. (Captain Price, I salute you!)
But of course, the greatest aid to my story was indeed, other stories! I went through most of Tom Clancy's novels, as he's supposedly like a god in the genre of modern warfare. Another book I read recently that I got a lot from was Empire from Orson Scott Card, it was interesting with its idea of a second American Civil War in the modern age.
Well, for some reason, I can't leave it with just text today, so here's some things from one of my greatest inspirations, a game called Ace Combat. All about war and things that surround it. The Ace Combat series embodied everything I was looking for, a war, a hero, and stories about both. And it mixed into the gameplay really well to boot. The Ace Combat series are some of my most favorite games because of that.
Here you go. This first one is from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. And yes, that's Blurry from Puddle of Mudd.

Second up, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.

And finally, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation!

Oh yeah, Ace Combat probably has the best english dub I ever heard. Ever.
Well, that's it for today, Kai out!

Monday, February 16, 2009

File #90026120

Relationships
Excerpts from an essay written for Public Speaking

Everyday, you interact with countless amounts of people. These interactions may be direct or indirect, causing major or minor changes in the lives of others. Whether you know it or not, your actions are affecting the actions of others. Direct actions involve talking or coming in physical contact with someone, direct actions can be stopped with some effort, but indirect actions are much more difficult.
Indirect actions could be anything, getting a soda from a vending machine or parking awkwardly in the parking lot. Everything you do can have an effect on others around you. For example, let's say you get a coke from a soda vending machine. Later in the day, another student might not get one because you got one earlier. Of course, this would not be possible unless other individuals also bought the same soda using the same button as you did. That was a negative example, a more positive one is buying something at a store. That's right, just buying something at the store. You just gave someone money, and that's awesome. However, it remains indirect since your money may not go to the person you handed it to.
With that said, how many of our everyday actions affect someone else? Probably everything you do outside can cause an effect on someone. Obviously, most of your actions are not going to cause major changes in other people's lives, most changes are hardly noticeable and will never come back to you. Most reactions only come from people close to you or people you came into contact physically.
Depending on the type of person you are, this information may or may not affect you. People who don't really care about others(like myself) can make decisions that affect others without much thought. However, people who have concern for those around them may have a slightly more difficult time with such decisions. Different people also react differently to different situations. In the end, everyone's connected like a web, one touch could could just cause a bounce or cause the whole web to come apart.
Now, when I first introduced myself and said I was going to talk about relationships, this isn't what you had in mind is it? Well, don't worry, I'll talk about that right now. When I say relationships, most people think of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.Now why is this? By standard definition, a relationship is defined as a connection, association, or involvement. Nothing about love there, right? But love is the most popular relationship there is, except for maybe hate.
Did you know that people are becoming more and more antisocial with every year? You can buy almost everything online, even groceries! With more people becoming shut ins, person-to-person relationships are becoming a little more rare. Many people even prefer to use the self-checkout lane at the local Walmart to skip the cashier. So in today's society, it is much harder to get a girlfriend/boyfriend, much less a friend in particular. Most people only have their small circle of friends they hang out with and talk to almost everyday. Outside of family, a person may only talk to several other individuals besides their own friends.
However, its not the same everywhere. Although it may be the case in most major cities, many small towns still retain that personal feeling. In small towns, everyone likes to know each other, one does not only now his neighbor, but his entire neighborhood.
Now why is this important? Consider this, during a disaster situation, is it not better to already know your neighbors and have that trust established instead of meeting them for the first time in an emergency situation? Trust is important in any and all relationships, even in hate. Think about it, two people who hate each other trusts the other to think they did something wrong. And with love, trust is obviously required.
Where am I going with this? Go outside, talk to some people, don't become a shut-in like some people in Japan. Social interactions are essential to living healthy. People may say talking to yourself is good for your mental health but let's face it, at least talking to someone else doesn't make you look like a retard. Talk to people outside of your circle, it may bring about new friendships, new opportunities, and maybe even that special someone. And for me, today, my greatest hope is that I've given you something to walk away with after listening to me for the past fifteen minutes.

Kai's Rant Theater 3000!
I've never really been to fond on relationships, so needless to say I didn't really like this paper when I first started it. To someone like me, relationships were like chains, holding me back from doing things, becomes weights that dragged me down. People I cared for or admired were taken from me, and people I didn't like got stuck with me. Getting a special someone is out of the question, and probably still is(laughs). That was how I viewed things growing up, cynical and realistic. I'm a little more positive now, relationships between people are actually worth keeping. Relationships between business partners, friends, and some other acquaintances I come in contact with every so often.
Writing this draft for my speech and talking to others about what they think on this subject taught me a lot. What relationships actually mean to people and how they affect people. Some people can't stand without relationships, others do just fine with only a few. Some are forced into having many, while others wish they had more.
As for me, I like to believe I can stand tall on own, but that's not entirely true. There's people I depend on everyday. My business partner and best friend, J(let's just call him that), is someone I probably couldn't do without. He helped me get to where I am today and continues to support me. Besides being a support unit, he is also my greatest rival. He inspires me to be greater(than him haha) and makes me strive for better than what I have.
And although I might be able to live on with only a few relationships, I don't want to ignore people. I accept people as friends, and accept others as fellow businessmen. I like to help people, being a helping hand when I can. I know by helping them I'm contradicting myself, but I feel that my views on life are not completely right and maybe by going against I will see a little of the other side.
The one relationship that is completely lost to me is family. The situation in my family has deteriorated so far that we hardly talk to each other. The other family member I talk to my brother, the others I never hear from and really don't want to. I say I blame it on my blood, that we are not blood-related, but there was more problems than that. In good will, I always wanted to repair the relationship. Many families are just fine, close even. Sometimes, I'm jealous of those families. But everytime I try, my efforts blow up in my face. So I give up. 'Til this day, this is probably my only failure and regret(or at least the largest one).
Because of that, I'm even afraid to get close to others. I've studied my fair share of psychology, I know that chances are high that I might turn into the people who raised me someday. That thought scares me everytime I think about it. For that reason, I will never drink, I will never get angry, and I will never fight anyone. I fear if I even give in a little, it will lead to me going down the road I certainly don't want to travel.
That said, it will probably be a long time before I find that special someone. There's many people who trust me and said it, but it will be some time before I get close to anyone. Before I can trust anyone, I need to learn to trust myself first. Until then, I guess I'll just continue being the helper/advisor. Hey it works for me.

Kai out!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

File Organizer #1

Mostly for myself, but those reading, I explained a little about each file, so its not completely useless.

File #80024210 - Research and Analysis on the Extent and Effects of Poverty on the Modern American Society.
Well, it was quite obviously from the get-go that I was watching Genshiken at the time. But other than that, this was one of "economy" papers I wrote for English 101. I wrote several papers for the topic of "economy" because I was not satisfied with many of them. This one, as it turns out, is one of them, as its just full of holes, logic jumps, convenient statistics, and a bunch of stuff I thought was rather poorly thought out. In the end, this was not the one I chose to present.

File #90029210 - Achieving Your Dreams
This file actually came out of a paper that had "significant moment in your life" as a topic. I could not just pick out one event, so I just spanned a few years instead. But as I went through writing it, it became something completely different so I didn't turn it in anyway. I later used bits and pieces of this paper for another writing with the topic of "childhood dreams/future aspirations" where it was much more appropriate.

File #90020310 - I Did It, and Here's How!
This file came from another "economy" paper, although much of the original paper has been cut out for space(and there was a lot of statistics I didn't want people to stare at and gouge their eyes out). The original paper focused mainly on how hard it is for people to save money in today's society and some ways to turn that around. I believe it was the best paper I had written thus far, and so it was the economy paper that I chose to submit to class.

File #90022020 - Hero
This one was part of the "hero" paper that everyone writes at least once in one of their English classes. I chose to write about heroes in general instead. The piece that I actually posted was from my first draft, which I honestly felt was too personal and rewrote it. The final paper was pretty long because I went into detail talking about comic book heroes, real heroes, and other heroes that one could possibly encounter(did not mention Heroes). This was the one topic that I did not write multiple papers for, simply because I rewrote the first and second draft.

File #90023020 - Home
The topic for this paper was "a special place", and I figured for most people, that would be their home. Most of the paper was actually about different homes lead to different people, both mentally and physically. So more than a paper on a special place, this paper turned out to be more of an analytical paper on homes. The paper itself was devoid of my personal history and such, as I tried to remain as impersonal as possible. But at the end of the week, I figured the paper had diverged too far from its topic and started another one on what is probably my special place, Hawaii. And that rant there, was definitely not there in the paper, that would have been horrible. Heh.

Monday, February 2, 2009

File #90023020

Home
Excerpts from an essay written in Freshman Year for English 101

Home, many places come to mind when that word is mentioned. A house, apartment, condo, townhouse, trailer, or even RV. Everyone's home is different, from the place itself to the people in them. From a small studio apartment to a mansion, every home is diverse in size, layout, architecture, and location. And inside them, the residents are also diversified. It could be a single college student(hey, that's me!) or a family of four.
But of course, that's what most people think when I say residence, Home, to people, means something a little more abstract. Ever heard of "home is where the heart is"? Apparently, home can be anywhere where your loved ones are. Wait a minute, then what about me? Is it saying that I haven't been living at my home for the past five years? Obviously, this idiom isn't the true meaning of home. After all, aren't homes a little more important to us than just having our families and special someones?
According to studies all over the place, a person can determine a person's psychology. People with dysfunctional homes often have a negative mindset than those whose homes are all bright and happy. It is also said that a home reflects the residents' state of being. Unorganized people will most likely have a messy home, a person who works all day will have a layer of dust is some of the more less visited places in his home. One can also tell many of the characteristics of a resident by examining his/her home. For me, it was obvious that I placed my computer and cooking above everything else because the most expensive thing in my house is my $2000 computer, and my kitchen was noticeably the best place in my home. Those aspects were prioritized over even my sleeping place, which for the longest time was a futon on the floor in the corner of the room.
Passing all that, what does home truly mean? For people like me with literally no one close, it isn't "where the heart is". Another meaning is that a home is where one grew up. Many children growing up in one home, which becomes the only place they associate with the word "home". But that doesn't work for me either, I'm 4494 miles away from my first home and I honestly don't remember it at all. But I will support this point a little in saying that my birthplace is the only place I would be willing to establish a permanent residence.(Sorry FL, you're awesome, but not as awesome as HI!)
Moving on, the mean of home I think is the the closest to the truth: home is where you return to at night. I think it fits the bill the most comfortably. After all, that holds true for me. At the end of the day, I always find myself back in my nice rented house in Atlanta, GA. There may be times I sleep in a hotel in Tampa or at a friend's place in Jacksonville, but at the end of the week I know I always sleep more at my home.
But of course, my definition of home doesn't fit everybody. For some, it may truly be "where the heart is" or where they grew up. And even for me, I have to contradict myself and I agree just a little bit. If I had a family that cared, I'd probably call that place home. Or if I still lived in Hawaii, I would definitely call that home.
I think when it comes down to it though, home is where you end up at the end of your respective day. For me, it will be this house in Atlanta, but someday it will be in Lihue, Kauai.

Stepping aside from all the abstract concepts now, I haven't done a Kai's Rant Theater 3000 on this site yet, so I'll take this time to rant about my "home", past and present. I suggest most people just leave now because this part is 100% rant.
In the past, I lived in Honolulu, HI for a while. It is what I considered to be the best city in the world. No cars in the street at night(can you imagine any other city like that?), a beautiful skyline, and an even more beautiful beach. I lived on the 10th floor of the Kukui Plaza, which was quite an awesome apartment complex.The view from the window was amazing, and the apartment itself wasn't bad. I lived with my new family(I was adopted), but the mother divorced soon after. My father was always out at work, so I don't blame him for never being around. He was providing money for my brother and I, which I believe is more important than keeping me company. My brother and I had to walk to school every morning and walk back once school was over, but I would somehow lose him somewhere along the way. He would always arrive at home before I did, but I always had to check the mail, which meant I had to go to the mail room on the first floor.
Then we moved to Kauai, Banyan Harbor, a nice condominium in Nawiliwili Bay. Back when I lived there, it was just an apartment, not a resort. It was one of the best places I felt I ever lived in. It was a small condo, but everything was superb. The view from the balcony, the cool ocean breeze, the beach only a short walk away, the pier at the same distance, and it was located in a small island town with lots of green and blue(trees and water). I told myself that if I couldn't get a house, I'd just get a condo here. That was until it became a resort hotel.
We moved around to two different house after that, and my father got remarried. Those houses were not really noteworthy, even though I loved both of them. At this stage in life, I was adjusting to having a mother in the house again, and a father who was around more because of a secondary income.
My one year in Denver was a disaster. My father forced me into band and the Gifted & Talented program, which took up all my time between studying and practicing for band class. Although I did manage to beat almost every first chair in the class, my studies didn't go as well. B's and C's weren't good enough for my father, that was the first time I really got to see my father upset.
Then it was Sunshine State time in good ol' Florida. The little town of Auburndale reminded me a lot of Lihue. My life eventually got back on track with new friends and grades improved. Until sophomore year when I went temporarily crazy over the the stress of work, study, and many other issues at the time. In the end, I was kicked out of the house and lived in a nearby park for a day until the father of one of my friends saw me walking down the street.
I lived at their house for a few weeks until I got a small apartment in the nearby town of Lakeland. I then began my new line of work in finances and finished high school. Living alone and graduating high school felt like an accomplishment at the time. I had an apartment, a car, and a good-paying job. Most high school graduates don't have that.
With all that, I paid my own way into USF in Tampa. I lived in the dorms for about a year and a half before getting an apartment of my own. It was a cheap 1 bed/1 bath apartment on the second floor in a particularly "bad" part of town. But I was lucky to never have my apartment broken into or my car vandalized. Although it did get towed once.
And now I find myself in Atlanta, GA. Going to GATech and loving it. I still love my job and I got enough money to do whatever I want. I believe I'll stay here until I graduate or find another reason to move. I don't know where I'll go, but I know where I'll end up.
Lihue, Hawaii. There's actually a nicer, more beautiful place on Kauai named Poipu, but that's way expensive. It's like the rich of the rich places. I'll settle for my hometown. Although if I move to Honolulu instead, I'll gladly return to Kukui Plaza.
I'm not exactly sure what the point of this rant was, but oh well.That was my home, past, present, and most likely future.

The rant was inspired by this song stuck in my head:

File #90022020

Hero
Excerpts from an essay written in Freshman Year for English 102

Everyone had someone they consider to be a hero, be it a cartoon character or a person in their life. It could have been their father, mother, brother, or friend. Some heroes are comic characters like Superman or Batman. These fictional heroes fill children with awe and inspiration, but as people grow older they find new and more realistic heroes. Sometimes that hero leads them to their respective future careers like being a fireman or a police officer.
A hero is someone for more than than just an idol of admiration. The official definition of a hero(or just one of them) is a person distinguished with exceptional courage, nobility, and strength. Therefore a hero is someone who is seen as not only strong, but noble and fearless in the face of danger. A hero becomes a person's goal, to become the hero, or merely get a step closer to said hero. The hero may be the person's inspiration to get through tough days, or the reason why someone stays on the right path. Or course, sometimes heroism goes the wrong way, but let's not talk about that.
When I was a child, I believed I didn't really have a hero. There were people I looked up to, but none I thought was truly a hero. To me, they were ordinary people, doing ordinary things. I believed that a hero had to be extraordinary, and that a hero had to be idolized by all, not just one. But we all know that isn't true, most heroes are those ordinary folk, doing ordinary things. But in the eyes of the beholder, that simple ordinary task becomes something more glorious and extraordinary. Something like saving someone from being bullied or just offering a helping hand to someone in need. It only takes something that simple to become a hero.
But even so, I didn't have a hero. I held onto the belief that having a hero was a sign of weakness. I thought that people looked up to heroes because the heroes had something they didn't, be it strength or courage or whatnot. I did not want to become dependent on a fictional character, much less a real person. Call me a realist, but I was a really cynical kid back then.
I had my role models though, and in hindsight, those people may have very well been my "heroes". From the childhood friend who was always one step ahead, to the person who was like an older brother to me, I had a lot of help on the way to where I am now. These people did nothing special, they didn't save my life or anything. Most of the time, they were just there. And that was all it took, they were there for me. I remember the person who appeared to be like an older brother to me was quite an idiot. I lived in Kauai at the time, one year before my unexpected departure from the island to the States. He was a clumsy person who you couldn't give anything fragile because he would break it. But he was always there, whether I just wanted to hang out or wanted advice about something. He was there, and that meant a lot to me. My parents and my own brother were never around, and if they were, they would just tell me to clean the house or something like that. Because of that, I don't actually believe he was hero, but more of the convenient outlet.
But that makes me wonder, what does it take to be someone's hero? If it was as simple as being there for someone, have I become someone's hero? There were countless people I went out of my way to help, and probably even more that I don't remember. Even only counting my job, I turned the financial situation around for many people and their families. I still get calls from them every so often. They thank me every time, and one always me invited my dinner on special occasions. Am I a hero to these people? A part of me likes to think so, the part that loves my job and wants to help people. But there's a part of me that doesn't like being a hero. Being a hero means more than being a hero for just one time, it means being a hero for life. My cynical side believes that's a huge burden. Who can guarantee that I'll be as good tomorrow as I was today? I may be getting people out of debt today, but several years down the road I might be ripping people off. And I don't even know if I'm causing damage to someone right now. And that's the other thing I don't like about heroes, they aren't universal. One person's hero maybe another person's villain.
That aside, going back to my childhood, there was probably even more people that looked up to me. Despite being a cynical person, I liked to help people, I volunteered for a lot of things and was a cub scout(later a boy scout).Maybe it's the Hawaiian side of me, but being a friend just felt good. It felt good to see people laugh and smile, and helped me stop being cynical 100% of the time. The older I grew, the more I helped people. I got a job to help my parents, and used the money to buy gifts for friends who needed that "pick-me-up" feeling. In high school, there was always people around my desk(which sometimes made it annoying), they asked me how I got so rich, or just hung out. They liked to hear my stories of things I did, although I liked to listen to them more. Looking back again, I guess I was the one who was there for them. There was one I even got into a fight for, it was not as dramatic as you see in television shows and such, but I'm sure those guys I punched in the face hate me now.
So am I a hero? I think not. I think I'm just a friend, someone who just likes to help. I do some things worthy of praise, but nothing worth any worship. I do just as much evil as I do good. There probably are people who see me as good and others who see me as the personification of pure evil in its truest form.
I like to believe I grew up by myself and not dependent on a hero, that I grew up strong and independent. And I'll keep believing that until someone comes around that will sweep me off my feet.

Friday, January 30, 2009

File #90020310

I Did It, and Here's How!
Excerpts from an essay written in Freshman Year for English 101

One million dollars, back in the day, that was everyone's dream. That was all it took, not ten million or billion. But that back then, when a nickel could actually buy you a stick of gum at the store and pennies weren't completely worthless.The times have changed, and things have gotten more expensive. But that hasn't depreciated the amount of one million dollars. one million bucks is still one hefty amount of cash.
Many people aspire to obtain that dream, but that's not everyone's dream. It sure wasn't mine, I wanted to travel. But of course, traveling takes money. Lots of it. So in order to accomplish my want to travel,I needed money. And for a high school student(which I was at the time) to make more money than minimum wage, that was sadly out of reach. Or so I thought. As it turned out, making money wasn't as hard as I thought. Let me tell you how I reached my goal and how it can affect you!
Most people know that the people who make the most money are people who own businesses or have a million dollars in stock on the NYSE. And more importantly, most of us aren't those people. In my sophomore year of high school, I was making $6.50 an hour. And since it was a part-time job, I was only guaranteed about 25 to 30 hours a week. Now that's actually great income for a high school student, but not for me. Call me greedy, but I needed more. Unfortunately, there was no way I could own a business at my age, much less run one. I needed another source of income and another job was out of the picture.
Since I was kid, one financial fact has been shoved down my throat. If you want to save money and see it grow, put it in the bank. Well sure, why not? It gains interest and I know its a no-risk investment. But now let's hit the facts. The interest rate is horribly low. The normal saving account has an interest rate of less than 1%, and the CD(Certificate of Deposit) interest rate varies from 1-5% depending on the bank, amount inputted, and the length of the period. Speaking from experience, I caught on the starting craze of the CD and made out with a little over 5% with my CD of $10,000 for a seven month period. And what did I get out of it, $365. Hey, that's much better than the 0.3% in my savings account, but really now, for seven months I couldn't even touch that money unless I wanted to be penalized for more than I would have made. It didn't work for me, but if you want to at least get some money out of your savings, I suggest heading to your bank and asking about CDs and the high yield money market.
As for me, I turned to rule #2, if you want to make money, but don't own a business, invest. Now when I say invest, what's the first thing that comes to mind? The stock market, right? But for me, that was one of the last places I went to because I was so scared of the risks. I first looked toward bonds, government and corporate. Government bonds had a smaller rate of growth, but corporate bonds had a chance of becoming void if the corporation went under. I found out that if I had invested my $10,000 in a government bond when I was 17, it would have become $1,000,000 by the time I was 40. When I found that out, I was awed. That meant making one million bucks only involved waiting and whatever I did in the mean time only added to that. I could become a homeless bum and then when I turned forty I'd be a millionaire. Instant retirement. But then I started to think, what will one million be worth when I'm forty? There's the largest and most hateful problem for investors: Inflation. And there's also the reason why investing in banks was not a good idea. According to research, inflation was at 3% and creeping higher. What was the bank's rate? Oh right, 0.3%. So you're actually losing money by keeping it in the bank. Wow. Anyway, back to the bonds, I eventually figured that I'll find another use for my 10K and moved on. (A side calculation, if you have a newborn and get him that $10,000 bond, it will be about $750,000 by the time he/she is 20. Isn't that a great way to start off adulthood?)
In the meantime, I looked for better jobs. That's when I first stumbled across the temp agency. There's great things about the temp agency, it lets you choose jobs according to your own criteria. When you want to work, whether it was at night, during the summer, or full-time. And I heard that many people find a permanent job within the first year of working under a temp agency. So I went from job to job, looking for the job with my calling.
Going back to my hunt for mad money making, I was looking into everything. The next thing that came up was real estate. At the time, the real estate market in Florida was booming, people were becoming millionaires by selling a house. I remember one occasion in a area called Champion's Gate, someone bought a house for about one hundred thousand with a little more or less, sold it, and made away with half a million. Talk about crazy. But I didn't have one hundred thousand to begin with. Then I learned of zero cash deals, where you can buy a house for no money out of your pocket. But I was still under 18 at the time, so I stored this piece of information away for later down the road.
I was down to my last option, the dreaded stock market. High rewards, but equally high risk. I explored my options and found out about mutual funds, they're like the stock market, only with less risk involved and someone else is handling your stocks. Now this was a bank option I could go with. It had a return rate of 12% and up, much more than 0.3% or 5%. For those of you looking to invest, I suggest stuffing your beginning money in here while you learn the ways of the stock market. I did just that,while a friend helped me study the stock market, my beginning investment grew by a thousand dollars.
So with my 11K, I jumped into the stock market.I have one thing to say: if you know what you're doing, the chances of losing money are much smaller.The principles are simple,buy low and sell high, the more you have the more you make. Find out where to put your money and when, and then when to take it out. Not to mention there's a lot of help out there. I never watched Bloomberg in my entire life before I started. Jim Cramer's Mad Money, I love that show. Anyway, the point is, if you invest the time, its worth it. And most people think you need a lot of money to start. Wrong, you can start with as little as one thousand dollars. That's what I did until I got confident enough to add more. and before that I practiced on a virtual stock market to sharpen my buy/sell skills. you can find it here, if you want to give it a go. It's fun!
As it turns out, the stock market was my way to my dreams. I have enough money to buy something when I want it and get all my friends something for Christmas every year. I haven't reached that million dollars yet, but at this rate, I'm not worried.

I hope that helps get you a little closer to your dream, be it financial freedom or something else! May the Force be with you!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

File #90029210

Achieving Your Dreams
Excerpts from an essay written in Freshman Year for English 101

I was talking to a few friends of mine the other day about jobs and the economy and such. The little chat eventually led to each of our dreams. For safety's sake, let's get call them J and M. Being a tech college, but wanted careers in the engineering field. J is an aerospace major who dreams of working with Lockheed or Boeing and creating a aircraft of super doom and air supremacy. M is a little more grounded with what he believes to be a little more obtainable. In the current economy, M just wants a good job that pays, for both himself and the cost of going out with his girlfriend every now and then(including that in his rant made me laugh). I then realized I have no dream relating to my future career. It was not that I had no dreams or aspirations, but I already had accomplished them all to some degree that I felt satisfied.
Now, what were my dreams as a munchkin? How did I achieve them? Let me count.
1. Become a Coast Guard captain. Now this one was interesting and "achieved" faster than I could've imagined. I grew up in Hawaii, where the Navy and Coast Guard is overglorified.I could often see coast guard cutters and frigates patrolling the coast in their ever vigilant search for the illegal Chinese immigrant. As a kid, I always wanted to ride one. It wasn't so much that I wanted to be in the coast guard, but to just have fun riding their boats. A few years later, I got that chance.A school trip let us ride both the high speed coast guard cutter, and let us on board one of their coast guard frigates. I even got to sit in the captain's seat and gain an ego boost. But that was the end of that. And just to note, when I was younger, the Coast Guard Academy was ranked the #1 most hardest school in America, in both getting in and getting through. Crazy, huh?
2. Get my parents to retirement. I was a good kid, I saw my folks working day in and day out to provide for my bro and I. You see, the living cost of Hawaii is much higher than in other places. And it takes that much more work to get by. So I wanted to get a good job when I grow up and let my parents retire. I got my chance in high school. A friend of mine came out of nowhere with this crazy idea of jumping into high risk investments, I hesitantly joined in. Several years later, here I am with both a job that recognized my talent in finances and enough money to fund my parents' retirement fund. But they're still working though, since Father wants to work, I let him work. And a little tidbit of information, when I was living in Hawaii, the living cost was three times greater than when I lived in Florida several years later.
3. Being the support for all my friends. This dream stemmed from my friend's dream(the friend in #2). My buddy, let's call him N, was for all sakes and purposes, a rich guy. But he wasn't one of those snobbish and uptight jerks. No, he was cool and everyone liked him. I wanted to be like that. And of course, I got that chance. Using the same opportunity mentioned in #2, I succeeded in what I considered to be "rich" and I already had friends who liked me for who I am. And now when we feel like doing something, I can honestly say I can afford it no matter how crazy the idea is. In 2006, as a graduation trip, several of my friends and myself went to Hawaii for two weeks to relax and have fun. To this day, nothing has made me feel better than seeing my friends enjoy my hometown.
4. Live in Hawaii. Every kid wants to return home someday, whether temporary or permanent. I wanted to return permanently, with a house and all. I haven't completely accomplished this one yet, but I am close. I have the money, all I'm waiting for is the economy to improve in hopes of saving a little money on the expensive real estate I'm looking into. A little more information, the lowest price for a home in Kauai is about $200,000. Yeah, ouch.

That's was all my childhood dreams, all accomplished or about to be. Now, dreams are important to living, they provide us a reason for being. Life is much harder to live without any dreams or goals. That said, I came up with a few placeholders so I'm not vegetating and wasting my days aimlessly.
1. $1 million. Plain and simple, become a millionaire. And with my investments and job, I'm getting closer every year. Some personal stuff,at the rate I'm going, this will be achieved before I am thirty. Sweet.
2. Visit the North. I've traveled the United States and been everywhere except for the northeast(minus one time my plane had a stopover in Chicago).The next vacation I get, I'm there.
3. Europe and Japan. I've been to Japan once already when I was a kid, but I want to see it again. And I also want to visit Europe because I've never been there before. I have my passport ready to go, and I have convinced my business partner(friend N) to let me go for "business purposes". Set to go next summer.

My dreams all nice and stuff, but how can other people achieve theirs? That's why I'm here. I like seeing people happy and achieving their goals. This past year I've helped countless families get out of debt and get a little closer to their respective happiness. And through talking to all of them, here's what I have to say.
1. Probably the most important one, Never Give Up. You're state of being relies on how you see yourself and the world. Negativity will only let your mind see the negative aspects of life and block any possible "happy chances". Never give up and working hard, 'til this day, I've never seen it fail.
2. Remember your dreams. This may sound easy, but it is actually extremely hard for many people. I've talked to many couples who lost sight of their dreams because they got bogged down with the hardships of life.And easy way to prevent this is to not only set goals, but also create milestones. Reward yourself for coming so far, remind your mind and body that your working toward happiness. Back when I first started my job of financial stuff, I had to stay up every night to read textbook after textbook, talk to professionals, and handle a full day of work the next day. As a reward for getting through the week, I let myself indulge in a Starbucks Strawberries & Creme on Saturday.
3. Money doesn't talk, but that shouldn't stop you from listening. Keep that checkbook in order, do those taxes on time. Pay those bills on time. Laziness can always get the better of us, but it can cost you twice as much as what you could got away with if you weren't lazy. And if there's a problem that needs money,don't ignore it thinking it will go away! Pay it off because chances are, if you don't, it will only get worse and cost more money to fix in the end.
4. Share your dreams, thoughts, and problems. This was the most hard for me to accomplish. I didn't like telling people of myself, much less my dreams and problems. I believed that other people have enough to worry about and I shouldn't add to their problems. But it is important to share, not only do you get feedback and advice for those who traveled the same path before you, but you also feel good about yourself for telling others. I solved my problem by telling N and with blogs. Now not only do others know of my dreams and problems, but they also give me advice and wisdom that I didn't have before. Most people I've talked to were couples who could share their thoughts with each other, and for obvious reason, that's impossible for me(laughs).
5. When you need help, say so! Also one of the most hard ones for people, most people don't ask for help when they need it. Be it stubborn pride or something else, most people like to believe they can get through their problems on their own. As it may be the case many times, sometimes it isn't. People believe help isn't really help anymore because of the dreaded "payback". But what they don't consider is the possible cost of doing it alone. A simple example, a friend of mine wanted to build a patio for his new house, rather than paying for a professional to do it, he tried it himself. Normally, it would be a good idea and experience. Except in his case, he not only wasted tons of money, but ended up hiring the professional in the end. His cost ended up to be about three times what he would have paid if he had just called the professional to begin with(note: now its one nice patio).

As I would like to talk more, life calls. Good luck achieving your dreams! Seize the day!

(this rant was inspired by this:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

File #90027210

The WTF Blanket, every moron needs one.