Sunday, March 13, 2016


I usually have a nifty anchor image. But I haven't been doing "real" photography for years. Well, I have been using my phone. And, occasionally, the big camera comes out for those that I give a shit about. An ever shrinking group. But yeah...

I usually have a nice opening statement, positive and forward-looking. But I am not feeling that.

This will be a year of transition. I have already found that my PC (politically correct) bucket is pretty dry. I have been saying things that I never thought I would say, out loud. And it will get worse.

I think the velvet gloves have come off. No more nice, everyone is a fucking adult. Fucking handle it.

Work-wise, moving away from the work I've been doing for the last 20 years. Back to office work. Dealing with people. With unique issues. Unique personalities. And, unlike machines, I can't yell, scream, cuss at, or kick them. That would be bad. So I need to learn how to deal with humans.

Humans. You know, I expressly avoided retail, just so I could avoid them. But, at least, there is a degree of anonymity. You are the non-person tasked with catering to the customers wishes. Process them through. They walk away happy. Next.

Not so much with back-office work. You see the same humans, in an endless circle. When you get a call from them, the autonomous thought is, "Now what?". You have to develop relationships, cater to the individual, be their go-to answer guy, sounding board, leash puller, wall to stand behind when they have to give answers they don't understand. To be sure, there are a few bright lights out there, but they are few, and disappearing quickly.

On the other hand, I need to be the "expert." They are looking for pat answers. Which I really loathe. I am attempting to lead them through the thought process, whether it is just to be a sounding board so they can hear themselves think (I can very much deal with those!), or those that need direction and/or hand-holding (I am concerned about those). Rather old school; we all had access to the same shit, we should all be thinking the same way. I am very concerned, And rather stressed.

I really hope that I can fulfill the duties I need to due, beyond the fucking job description. Because a loved one's sanity is involved. Major reputations.

On top of all of this, a certain dumbass (been designated DA, by agreement) is making life very complicated.

A bright spot. My drinking levels having dropped. A lot. On the other hand, my blood pressure is cranking pretty hard. Body happy, head explodes. So much for that. Hopefully, not at a "bottle a week" rate.

You find out who you actually give a fuck about. Who you love. By the amount the blood pressure rises when you see them in distress. And I have found out I have a very small group. And they have been under stress. Under attack, actually. And I have been turning purple. And I will love these people no less. I will be there for them. Hell or fucking high water.

I don't know if I will make it out of this year alive.

In any case, those that in that small circle.... I LOVE YOU. I will die before critical mass happens to you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


No longer doing I.T. for this employer!

Well, sort of. Transitioning back to my former existence. Like in 20 years ago. Damn, wonder if I can find that part of the brain in the back of the freezer. And I have to work with...people. *Shudder* Actually have some doubts on whether or not I can do this.

Still got lots of baggage to drag around for the next year. And it will be painful to sit back if situations arise that could have easily dealt with in the now prior life. Have to learn to let go.

And it's not like no technology is used in the office. It's how I fell into I.T. in the first place. "Show aptitude and die," as a now-retired co-worker used to say. And I actually enjoyed the work. Spreading the gospel of technology, and enabling co-workers. Felt like I was contributing where I could do the most good. Then the darkness came...

But, moving forward! Fresh attitude! 6 more years! I need to requisition a new brain!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Holidays, stresses, glimmer of hope

christmas lights

The holidays. A time for celebration. Fellowship. Friends & Family. I do hope you are all doing well, out there.

I. Am stressing. Wake up to 148/94. And I haven't even gotten out of bed, yet.

You see. We are in "project mode." It's constantly in the forefront of my mind. The deadline is all we are seeing in our vision. End of calendar year. Because of politics. It's okay. We'll make it. I trust my project manager, and she says we will.

Still. Me being the type that obsesses over all the "what ifs" and "oh shits." Over-thinking all the ways things could go wrong. I think I've done all I can to prepare us for foreseeable contingencies. It's the unknowns that have me tied up in knots. The unpleasant surprises. Finding out that those we thought we could trust to get it done, bailed. We've had enough of those to know more are coming. And the pleasant surprises, those that were questionable stepping up. And, of course, those we knew we couldn't depend on, but were hoping against hope, didn't disappoint. Through all, we've been able to deal, so far. Scrambled. Lots. But we hit our marks. 

Makes for a very bad rollercoaster ride. Which is why I believe I need to get out. Move on. Soon. Not yet sure how this will happen. There are some plans. But they are as set as hot Jell-O.

To be sure. I am grateful to be involved with the team I am currently slogging through the muck with. Everyone knows what they are doing, I really only have to be concerned with my areas of responsibility. Sad that this will be the last time through with this group. We are breaking up after this. Because reasons.

Looking forward. More projects. Hope there will be a little downtime, before hurling myself unto the breach, once again.

I keep telling myself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just hope it's not the oft-mentioned oncoming train. Wait. Need to stay positive. That is the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, it is.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


You ever find yourself in those "project from hell" moments. Where you wonder why you are even involved? Because all logic tells you this is doomed from the outset?

I am in one of those. But I am in it for the long haul. To the end. Because I believe so much in the lead. I would go to to war for this person. That good. That deserving of my loyalty. Damn the torpedoes!

I have worked with this person for over 20 years. We are pretty much work siblings. Onboarded months apart. Always admired. Tenacious. Brilliant. Complete. No stone unturned. And we've always clicked at work.

Now, in a really bad place. As project manager for something that, for all intents and purposes, is earmarked for failure. Covering someone else's undeserving ass. Not happening. Failure is not an option. This person that I admire so much will not let it happen.

It is the one thing that is keeping me going. If it is possible to love someone for the work they do, For the value they bring, For the example they set. This is the person. This is going to suck so bad. I may not survive this project. But I will try. For loyalty. For this person. Fuck everything else.

Semper Fi 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Participant Observation

There is a danger to getting intoxicated, then interacting socially. Especially online. You will say what you mean, and mean what you say. And, thanks to the likes of Google, it is saved forever in the ether. Or in the minds of whoever you were tslking to.

This is a good and bad thing. If you are open and truthful, keeping no secrets, then you will be more so. If you hide behind a mask, and/or keep secrets, then the facade drops, and locks opened. The truth with be revealed.

So the saying "truth in a bottle" holds. At least for me. I have skeletons. And thoughts that really should not see the light of day. Scary. Since most of my social interaction is online. Like this post. Ha.

Rather frightened of what drunk people will say about me. I hide under many layers. Anxiety does that to you. I think, I hope, I am slowly peeling away the layers. Trying to to deal. It is hard. Mind is always cranking up new worst-case scenarios. Grateful for friends. Real ones. The ones that may not understand, but they are there for me anyway. Love them.

I hsve been told that I am a good writer. I guess I have an imagination, sufficient education and life experience, to translate my brain into words. From grade school through college. Even had a professor offer to co-write a book. Still not sure about that. Don't know what to write. Pretty much my life story. "Don't know." "Not sure." "Who am I?" What do I do?"

Crap. What was I trying to say? I forget. Gah! Next stage of my life story. Oldness.
Also. Your spelling gets better. You type slower. Just saying.

P.S. There should be an ordinance. Writing under the influence.

P.P.S. This started out intending only to write the 2 paragraphs. What happened?

P.P.P.S. Don't proof under the influence. The letters move, and it's a buzzkill.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Riding it out

You can ride out the storm if you are passionate about what waits for you on the other side.

Keep telling myself that. Yeah...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Remember. Honor. Respect

As I watch the car races, baseball games, playoffs, grilling suggestions, and faces relieved to see a long weekend (happy is good!), I pause to reflect on why we get to to do this. Why we are here. Why we are still here.

We are. A nation of immigrants. Very few get to say they are "native."

We are. Workaholics. We are working, or thinking of work, for much of our waking hours. Even if we don't think we are. Burning our candles at both ends.

We are. A nation that enjoys its pastimes. Many of our highest paid non-Cxx individuals are in the entertainment industry.

We are. Young. Very young, in world history. And we often act like it.

We are. Myopically individualistic. We often don't play well with others.

We are. Entitled. We take things for granted. Someone else will provide. We often think we are owed, demand, instead of continuing to earn our place in the world.

We are. Rich. We have things, as a group, that some others can only dream of.

We are. Paying it forward. Helping the next group move forward. Sometimes, against their wishes. Yeah, have to think about that one.

Yeah. We are pretty out there as a nation.

We are. Very strong when together, very formidable when angered.

We need to remember, always, that we get to do what we do, get to have what we have, because of the "human shield" we have put around ourselves. The shield that pays the price when our liberties are attacked from the outside. That pays the price when our leadership is lacking, and they are starved of what they need to do the job they volunteered for, to put themselves in harms way when the call is made.

Today is the day to remember those that payed the ultimate price.

Not to forget those that have died the "little deaths." Those that are scarred for life, in body and/or soul, be it in battle or by loss of a loved one.

But this day is for those that have died in service of this country. Honor and respect their memory.

And smile. That's what they would have wanted.

Semper Fi. Once and forever.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Timeout! Go stand in the corner!

Last week was one of those weeks that didn't let up on the triggers, to the point of being extra-chippy. On the advice/cajoling/prodding of a co-worker, I took last 2 days off. It was some time later that I realized that this would be the first extended (read: more than a 3 day weekend) planned time off since a certain event. And the anniversary of that event. So, thank you for the kick in the butt, co-worker friend!

First day was a holiday. Spent it sleeping, mostly. Yeah, I'm a cheap vacationer. Which is probably a good thing, since I'd probably go overboard and be in forever past retirement debt. Frankly, I've had so little practice taking time off, seems I've forgotten how. I'm not a very spontaneous person, not that "Let's go! Okay!" type. Especially when you're low on "Let's go!" funds. Have to plan my spontaneous moments. Oh, well.

So, on the fo'real kine first day off, I just did some neighborhood things. Like revisit an old eating place. Took a camera this time. A rather old one. I made ugly pictures with it. Of old places with old signs. But it was interesting to try. The small-kid times memories were good

Oh. When I was shooting the L&L Drive Inn sign, a guy walked by and asked what I was doing. He then did a short history of the place (former Liliha Bakery) and that the odd lot was that way because it used to be the trolley turnaround. Yay for living history lessons/reminders.

Liliha St, THE L&L
L&L Drive Inn, Liliha St, Polaroid 350 Land Camera
Liliha St, Marukin Market and Jane's Fountain
Jane's Fountain and Marukin Market, Liliha St, Polaroid 350 Land Camera
Went back to an old neighbor eatery. Been sometime last century, like in the early 80's, that I last went there. Probably a good thing I stayed away, or I may have been recruited by Rod Tam. Oy.

The food was good. Enough that I need to go back and remember some more. Like, I need to work my way through the nabe menu. Crap, I made myself hungry.

Liliha St, Yagura Restaurant
Yagura Restaurant, Liliha St, Polaroid 350 Land Camera
(I really do need to practice this photography thing. Bleh.)

On the second day of my summer vacation...oh, drats. Wrong record. (And if you remember that record, ho brah, you old! Even fo' remember what a record is! Hehe.)

Anyway. I knew that MW Restaurant was now doing $5 small plates menus from 2-5PM. And I've been reminded several times that I should go. Well, I got an invite to try. It's food. At MW. Okay! Hey, what happened to not spontaneous? Hmm.

2pm. I go a little early, because parking is my nemesis. Makes the anxiety meter peg just thinking about it. I even valet, because I hate to find parking. (Da buggah park 3 feet away from me. Ho, slightly futless. But 'ass okay. Smile at da guy, anyway. So he no dent the truck. Even if covered in birdshit.)

Lunch partner shows up. We go in, and are shown our seats. I got the pillar, kinda like my parking at work. And, first time sitting at a table; last 2 times, was at the bars. Stepping up!

Got the menus (3!), and order beverages. She looks at me with disbelieving eyes; I'm not drinking. Yeah, I must be sick in the...somewhere.

Green Tea and Shiso

Perused the menu. Which is what you have to do, here. Thing about Eurasion food, things are not always what they seem. "That looks good! I think." Check the ingridements; yeah, we can do that. And so on. A thing that made it difficult, for me, was I was HUNGRY. So the stomach wanted EVERYTHING. You know the adage, eyes bigger than the stomach? Fortunately, I wasn't that far gone.

The $5 small plate menu
Got the pickled beet salad off the regular menu. Still good. And actually a good appetizer to wake up the taste buds for what is to follow. It is a pretty intense pickling, so an appropriate beverage pairing is called for.

Pickled Beet Salad
That was quickly followed by the $5 plates. Appetizer-sized. I don't know what you would expect for $5 in a place like this, but I thought it was pretty much in line with the price schedule. Style of food is a matter of taste, but the quality is pretty awesome, no matter what. Fortunately, it was enough for us. Because a dessert was a requirement.

Grilled Waialua Asparagus
Unagi and Butterfish Arancini
Ahi Poke Mandoo
Okay. Fine. 2 desserts. So good. 'nuff said. Okay, maybe one note. I must have made funny face when I  ate the brulee, because she laughed at me. And I didn't care, it was that good!

(Yes, I did blow the candy bar shot. So out of practice. And/Or I was severely distracted by the subject matter. I remember the jitters. Yeah, that's it.)

Meyer Lemon Brulee
MW Candy Bar
We agreed that this was something that we would have to do again. Working through the menu, eventually. But we both are usually working till 4:30PM. May have to coordinate afternoons off...

The weekend. Nothing special. Normal stuff. So much for that.*sigh*

And so ends this episode. TTFN