Reflections and Expectations: A Long Summer

Greetings, friends. Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend.

As August comes to a close, let’s look back at the month that was and look ahead to September.

August

Graduate school – On Aug. 4, I started my second semester with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.

The current class I’m taking covers the fundamentals of transportation management, serving as a beginner’s course for students pursuing their Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) degrees through the program. Lots of reading and a few written assignments so far. However, I’m off to a cautiously optimistic start.

Labor Day weekend in San Diego – There was an added bonus to this occasion.

On Thursday afternoon, I had a job interview in Downtown San Diego. While I won’t divulge much about where or what it entails, I am still grateful for the opportunity to be considered for an opportunity there, regardless of the eventual decision that I will receive.

After the interview, I stayed put in the area by spending the rest of the weekend with family down here — an increasingly common occurrence on holiday weekends throughout the year within the last year or so. I’m always glad to be down here to spend time in a great part of the state with some pretty wonderful people. There was definitely more to love about this visit in particular.

#EverySimpsonsEver – Yes. I took part in that marathon on FXX although I didn’t watch all episodes that have aired so far. I mainly watched my favorites from earlier seasons of the series — “Marge vs. the Monorail,” “Homie the Clown,” “The Springfield Files,” “Last Exit to Springfield” among others.

The marathon runs through Labor Day although I have since largely stopped watching. I look forward to re-watching older episodes some more later in the year when Simpsons World launches, a site that will stream full episodes of the complete series.

September

  • OC PRSA Luncheon – It’s the only major event that I can highlight for now. I’m on the planning committee for this event. If you’re in the area, register today.

How was your summer? What are you looking forward to this fall? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.

On This Sunday…: #EverySimpsonsEver

Since Thursday, I have been watching #EverySimpsonsEver, a 12-day marathon on FXX that airs all 552 episodes that has aired so far of The Simpsons as well as The Simpsons Movie. I have only watched select episodes since, watching only my favorite episodes of the series’ earlier seasons.

Here are some of the screenshots and accompanying quotes and comments I have tweeted or posted as of today at 9 a.m. PT. A more comprehensive recap will be posted next week. Have a wonderful week, America.

The Last Four Movies That Will Star Robin Williams

Simon Oh:

On This Sunday, Robin Williams’ legacy never ends. Jon Negroni has more.

Originally posted on Jon Negroni:

By now, you may have learned the tragic news that celebrated actor Robin Williams tragically passed away today at age 63. One of my personal favorite actors growing up, Williams is best known for his wide range of talent as both a comedian and dramatic powerhouse. The word to best describe him, honestly, will always be memorable. His films simply left a lasting impression.

Films like AladdinMrs. DoubtfireGood Will HuntingGood Morning Vietnam, and of course, Dead Poets Society will be remembered as some of Williams’ best work. But there are still four more films to be released that feature the deceased actor. Here they are:

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

The third film of the Night at the Museum movies (about a museum where the exhibits come to life) will see Robin Williams reprise his role as Teddy Roosevelt.

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Winners and Losers: Australian Commuters, Adriana’s Insurance

It’s been a while since I’ve profiled my last set of Winners and Losers. It’s time now to start that up again where, as always, I provide praise and gentle scorn to the heroes and zeroes out there deserving of their respective honors.

As a test, I’m going for a weekly format as a trial run in hopes of making this a more regular feature. In this run, I’ll profile one winner and one loser each week.

Here are this week’s nominees.

Winner: Commuters in Perth, Australia

On Wednesday, commuters onboard a commuter rail train in Perth, Australia came together to rescue one of their own who got himself into an unfortunate mishap. Here’s the story from 9 News Perth in Australia.

It is definitely an unprecedented act that you would not often expect. Passengers are normally not obligated to help people around them that are in need. In this case, authorities and ordinary folks came together for an act that helped restore our faith in humanity. Well done, Aussies.

Loser: Adriana’s Insurance

Photo: KNBC-TV

Photo: KNBC-TV

This week, a 76-year-old man in Los Angeles made news after receiving his settlement money from a recent lawsuit in buckets of coins instead of simply a check.

This all stemmed from a lawsuit two years ago after Andres Carrasco was allegedly assaulted by an employee of Adriana’s Insurance. The company decided to settle the lawsuit, as you saw, in a very unusual way by having its employees deliver $21,000 worth of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in buckets to Carrasco’s lawyer’s office.

Although Adriana’s Insurance has not responded to any media outlets’ inquiries, we can already tell just by this gesture what great scumbags their representatives are for issuing tens of thousands of dollars in coins to an elderly man who is suffering from hernia. Also, what if this is also a backhanded ploy by the company to pay him less than what Carrasco deserves? It is a massive undertaking to get these coins counted, which officials at his banking institution are planning on doing.

I don’t know much about Adriana’s Insurance to form an opinion about the company. I have seen bus ads around town for the company; it certainly lacks reputability or the kind of advertising budget that giants like State Farm and Geico command. It is pretty obvious from this story that the company and the representatives behind this stupid gesture don’t appear to have a heart.

That’s my two cents.

Those are my picks for Winners and Losers this week. What do you think about these two nominees? Who else should I nominate in the future for Winners and Losers? Share your thoughts and suggestions below. I would love to hear from you.

On This Sunday…: Aug. 3, 2014

Beginning with last week’s edition, #Read3 is now On This Sunday…

Instead of highlighting my top three articles each week, the content on the revised series will be an “anything-goes” kind of format. It could include me sounding off on current event stories in a given week, observations about pop culture, something notable going in my life among others. No matter what, it will be short, simple and sweet. Easy to digest as a Sunday morning breakfast…hopefully.

Since I’m under the weather this weekend, I am forgoing the usual format with this edition simply explaining the change to this weekly series.

Have a great rest of your week, America!

Reflections and Expectations: Is it August yet?

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

July has been a pretty dull month.

No major trips, no new job yet and hardly much noteworthy or groundbreaking developments to report on.

Still, there’s always a few things here and there to pick out and highlight.

Let’s see what those were as we look back on the month that was and look ahead to August.

July

Fourth of July in Los Angeles – Although I did not have any major plans this year unlike the last two, I went to Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles for the Fourth of July festivities and fireworks show.

I showed up several hours early at the park that day. Everything up until the fireworks show at 9 p.m. was pretty dull although I did my best to make the most of it. The end of the festivities did not disappoint.

Griffith Observatory – Of all the years I have lived in Los Angeles, I had not visited the Griffith Observatory at all until July 5. It is an amazing place with a great view of the L.A. skyline from the outside of the observatory and fantastic planetary exhibits on the inside. Great use of time on that beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Mineta program (graduate school) – On July 9, I was formally admitted to the Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) program, administered by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.

The MSTM program will serve as a continuation of the Certificate in Transportation Management program I started off with in January. If all goes well, I have eight classes and two years left until I earn that master’s degree. I’ll get there.

August

  • Second semester of graduate school – Now that I will return as a student pursuing a master’s degree, I am getting ready for the start of the Fall 2014 semester Monday with the introductory MTM 201 course on the fundamentals of transportation management. Now, I’m really getting started.
  • Job search – It might finally come to an end…I hope. Better sooner than later.

How has your summer been so far? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.