Monday, December 24, 2012

Help a loving husband out...

The wonderful husband of this awesome Oahu, Hawaii-based portrait photographer is raising awareness of his wife's Facebook business page. How about we give him a hand? If you are a Facebook user, go over to her page page on Facebook, and consider a "Like" for her page.
Even if you are not a Facebook user, you can find her:
Thank you for your consideration. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Day of Thanks...

Another year, another day of thanks. After all this time, it would be easy to think of something new to be thankful for. But no one ever said it had to be new...

I am thankful for the family I have.
I am thankful for having real friends.
I am thankful that I still have a mind to think with, and the opportunity to use it.
I am thankful for my health. Yeah.
I am thankful that I still have a job.
I am thankful that this nation has survived another divisive national election, and hasn't torn itself apart over petty things like politics. Yet.
I am thankful that there are people that are still passionate about their country, regardless of how different their beliefs or reasons are.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to express this in a manner that will hopefully reach people's hearts.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to make a difference.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, America. And have pity on the turkeys; make it quick.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another leap

Leap of faith. Gonna try and do a digital download/upgrade of my desktop to Win8Pro from Win7Pro. As a technologist, it's something I need to do, if only to speak from experience, good or bad.

I am backed up. I do have a notebook on Win7, so it's not quite a blind leap. *deep breath* See y'all on the other end.

And "Temple of Syrinx" popped into my head, haha. Praying to the wrong gods...

Update: Upgrade finished. About 2.5 hours, for my stuff, which included migrating files, settings and applications. Not bad, if anxious.

This will take some getting used to. Just about all the applications I have are considered "legacy" to Windows 8, so it keeps hopping over to the what is now "classic" Windows 7 desktop. Rather annoying. And that whole Tiles thing? That's the Start menu taking up your whole screen. I still need to find out how to reach my Programs listings, since there is no longer a flyout menu system.

For those that are stuck in the Windows XP (or earlier) world, this transition is going to hurt bad. If you were considering a platform move, to OSX or some Linux distro, now would be a good time. It's that different from XP, like "falling off a cliff" different.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A leap. And some help.

I seem to have lost my senses. Or what little sense I had left. I know I've wanted to move more into film. I also knew that, although less expensive, and lighter, and easier to deal with in general, 35mm film would only take me so far in my "seeing."

To that end, I picked up a 645. A used Mamiya AF, in this case. I can't afford Hasselblad, where I am not sure where I am going to be with MF film thing. Went looking for a Contax, but they seem to be hard to get; something about some famous photographer using it. Oh, and Ken Rockwell mentioned it was his preferred of the 645s, so I guess that makes it gold. So I "settled" on this. But Mamiya is no slouch.

The metering is iffy, literally. The only thing I see on the viewfinder display is the focus indicator. But I had planned to use a handheld meter, anyway, so not an issue. The focusing is slow. And NOISY!!! Sounds like a tank turret coming around to bring its weapon to bear on a squirrel.

The important thing here is AF; I have a Mamiya C330 TLR. Works pretty well, even in the hands of a klutz like me. But it's manual focus. Manual focus. In the hands of an old, blind guy. Even with the split-prism, spend too long focusing; the subject falls asleep. But the focus is quiet, and then you trip the shutter...ka-CHUNK! Hehe...

I know. Gear shouldn't matter. But I seem to be stuck. Not only on my butt, but also in my head. I "see" things the same way. Yes, more crutches. I is broken.

So. The thought is, get something that, in MY head, is purpose-built for, say, portrait work. (I know, you can use it for nature/landscape, too! Just don't tell that to my head; it's a S.E.C.R.E.T.). Maybe I'll start to "see" like a portrait photographer. Yeah, keep saying that, haha.

Adventures in camera-owning... onward.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts... the folks on the East Coast of the U.S., residents and visitors alike. Thoughts to those whose lives have been torn by deaths as a result of this storm. See you all safely on the other end.

Having dodged an albeit small bullet in the Pacific, awareness is heightened. Be safe, all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Went to a birthday party

A very dear friend's son celebrated his 6th birthday with an all-day picnic. Lovely time. I'm happily exhausted.

It was at a beach park. Got there early enough to greet the sun. Only had a smartphone, so that is what I used. Without eyeballs, so the images were not up to par. But it was pretty amazing to watch, and a reminder of some rather important things. Appreciate what you have, and what is there.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not right

Tired. But worked up. Body is dozing off, but the mind is racing. Chest hurts, like it's been working extra hard. Odd that I haven't felt the pounding. Have not seen the tunneling effect, but there is the tingle. Hmm, wonder if I missed a dose.

Felt like this before, but not as intense as before. I guess that's a good thing.

I should dose myself down and just wake up "whenevers," but I have a super-early wakeup scheduled. It's a special thing. Assuming I survive the day, I will certainly be toast. I hope.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Little Introspection

Fulfilled, yet alone. That is where I am at the moment.

That sounds like a Facebook or Twitter post. But this is a web log. This is where these kinds of thought belong.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lucky Belly

Asked the lunch partner where she wanted to go for lunch; food is always a pleasant distraction from work. She mentioned NonStop Honolulu's column on Lucky Belly, and that she wanted to go back. Okay, but I figured it will probably crowded if we go during her regular time...

She checked. We left early. By the time we got there around 11:45, it was already filling up. But we got seated right away, as we accepted counter seats. Good thing we both like counter seats.

For those that don't know, Lucky Belly occupies the space where Mini-Garden used to be, on the corner of Hotel and Smith Sts. Door is on the Smith St side.

Took a look around. Remembering what the old Mini-Garden was like, they definitely changed the place. Remember the back wall? Gone; more seating back there.

The artwork was...interesting. Girls with phones was the motif, I guess.

The menu. Lunch menu was rather sparse; assuming it was built for speed of delivery. The blog post said the portions were large, so we decided to share. Picked the Duck Lumpia from the appetizer menu.

Geez, I need to learn how to take better pictures of menus...

  From the Plate menu, I/we picked the Ku Chu Jung Braised Brisket Tartine. Mostly because I didn't feel like chicken or shrimp. Next time, whenever that is, looking at the Karaage Chicken Sandwich. And maybe the Shrimp Kim Chee Bowl. The Tempura Shrimp Tacos looked good, too.

By the way, the bowls they use for the Ramen are HUGE! Like, stick your head in it and feel like Alice Down the Rabbit Hole huge. The portion is somewhere at the bottom; it was kind of amusing watching the lady next to me on the counter having to wave her elbow in the air to get down into the bowl. Almost chin-high...

Since we were sharing, they gave us plates. Square plates. I guess they have a problem with dishes rolling away on them...

Duck Lumpia. With Orange Sesame sauce. Menu said Bing Cherry. She forgot to tell us they were out. Pity; I think the cherry sauce would have made a difference. The lumpia was hefty, the duck was very nice. Good crunch. The orange sauce was... okay. Almost forgot to take a picture; her hand was almost in the frame, haha.

The Tartine came out in a very large serving bowl. Couldn't turn it on the counter, so I had to maneuver around to find something. This was the best I could get before getting slapped for being too slow. I kid; she's a sweetie.

It is a sandwich; there is another piece of toast underneath. Don't try to eat it like a sandwich, though. Too large, too messy. I tore it apart, and we made it a knife and fork lunch. Well, I used that to get it to the plate, then switched to chopsticks. The hands were getting quite confused, uncoordinated person that I am.

Flavor. It was there. Just not enough of it. Needed a boost. Salt would do it, but then, it is salt. I don't know. And then, there was the lack of zing; with Ku Chu Jun in the name, you have expectations. We found it as the bottom of the bowl, at the very end, still a little weak. And then there was the serving temperature. It was not hot. Rather disappointed, could have made a big difference in the reception. But the portion is very large, the meat was tender, and maybe we need to go in forearmed with some knowledge on how to attack this beforehand to help the experience along.

We talked about the meal as we returned to work. Agreed that the temperature needed a bump. The Tartine needed work, as mentioned. But we also agreed that there is promise, and would like to go back in a few months. And then we got distracted by a certain t-shirt shop...

All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 4s. Noise Reduction with the Noise Master app, processed with the Nik Snapseed app.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


writer's block
Need to set some goals. You would think I would have a whole pile of them at this point in my life, but, other than surviving long enough to retire, not really.

Surviving. That thought has been at the forefront of late. Not even surviving the day-to-day drudgery. But just staying alive. Not like I'm trying to die or anything, just feeling my mortality.

Yes, it's morbid. And at times, it wonder if I care. I mean, to "live," you need something to live for. Living for oneself is rather narcissistic. No partner, no kids. You know, meaningful life stuff. Because, if I have no life, what's the point of retiring? But that thought (not retiring out of a corporate-type job) can be rather depressing. Not in the "depression" kind of way, but definitely a buzz-kill. If there was any buzz to kill.

Dragging my head out of that gutter (because my head is forever in that other gutter, haha), I should look for some short-term goals, get those done, then try for something harder.

So. Short goals.
  • Camera-stuff: Get off your fat ass and get out to shoot. And not with the phone, either.
  • More camera-stuff: Get going on your Dragon project you said you were going to do.
  • Food: You know you are a "Live to Eat" type. Look for more things to wrap your tastebuds around.
  • Crowds: One of your bugaboos. Have to find a coping mechanism. Deal with it.
  • Dealing with your head-case: Get yourself a new head.
  • Work: Hmm...
Other than the last two items, this is doable. Just have to make it happen.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nikki Jennifer Photography Promotions

Nikki Jennifer Photography has opened their End of Summer and Holiday Promotions. A great opportunity to get work done by a good "natural light" portrait photographer. Locations are Oahu-based, only.

Please go to their blog post for details

A Good Dinner, with Good Friends

The "Yokohama," AKA "Kalama Oof." A calamansi-based cocktail. Dangerously easy to drink.

I mean, good friends. Real friends. People you can depend on being there for you. Amongst other things.

Dinner was a catharsis. Talk about things that would take far too much effort to even discuss over the phone, much less texting or messaging. The good food helped to carry the conversation, inserting needed breaks and sidebars, and filling "dead air." Not to mention the sound in my own head of the juices flowing, haha.

Good for the soul. Good for your health. Really need to do this kind of thing more often.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Step back. Look around.

Some recent events have led me to believe that I need to reassess the circles I run in. It is tearing me apart, but, at the same time, the path is not that difficult.

Find those that genuinely care about you. Are concerned for people. Have good character. Not about "things." Keep them close.

Then comes the harder part. Letting go...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grand Finale of the Nikki Jennifer Photography Anniversary CelebrationGiveaway!

First order of business: The Winner of Part 1 of the 2-part Week 4 Giveaway has been announced. Please check, if you entered

And now...the Grand Finale of the Nikki Jennifer Photography LLC "Oh My Lord I Survived 2 Years" Anniversary Celebration Giveaway! A session with the fabulous Nikki herself! I understand she's pretty good at this photography thing, by the way.

Go to the blog posting for the Anniversary Celebration, Week 4, Part 2.  READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Enter! Good luck!

**MAJOR UPDATE** Whoa, upped the ante! If you can get her to reach some goals, she will sweeten the pot! Read about it at her blog!

Spread the word! Tell your friends about this! Tell your family about this! If you know someone that can use this (who can't use a totally awesome set of pictures of themselves?), tell them about it! Please?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 4: Final Week (x2!)

Okay folks. Final week of the Nikki Jennifer Photography Anniversary Giveaway. Please spread the word!

For Part 1 of this weeks Giveaway, a photo package from the fabulous Simply Baby Photography. Wow!

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's the 4th!

Happy Birthday, America! And a fun and safe 4th to it's people!

Please take a moment from your daily lives and quibbling for internal dominance to reflect on what it is to be an American. Give a moment to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the rights and freedoms we too often take for granted. Give thanks to the few places that have given up their holiday to stay open for YOUR convenience.

Then...HAVE FUN!!!

(Reprinted from my Facebook page)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Making the rounds...

(photo from ljholloway photography)
This statement is making the rounds on the Interwebs. You may agree or disagree; you have that right.

I am posting this not so much to agree or disagree, but to make a point. It's about making a living. It's about "no free lunch." Basic economics. Opportunity costs. It's about "freedom is not free." It's about "value." Competition. It's about business.

When you decide you desire something, you put a price on it, a value. Likewise, when you work and produce something, you expect to be fairly compensated for the effort, a value. So, before you complain about how much something costs, and that you can get it somewhere cheaper, consider what you are getting. If you still think you can get a better deal elsewhere, fine. Go for it. Just remember, you get what you pay for.

Related posts:
Towel Day, and things less fun
Professional photographers: they are people trying to make a living, like the rest of us

Monday, July 2, 2012

Okay, Week 3 at Nikki Jennifer Photography is On!

C'mon, folks in the Hawaii area. Especially if you are on O‘ahu island. Good stuff, fun times!

Week #3 of Nikki Jennifer Photography's Anniversary Celebration Giveaway is in full-swing!

Ola at Turtle Bay. Killer food. On the North Shore. Oh my. Get out there

A Little Bit of Everything. Great shop. Freakin' awesome owner. Check it out.

Read the instructions. Follow the rules. Have fun! But the clock is running; Saturday is the closing for this week! Good luck!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Fireworks Meetup, and a First Time IRL

A friend arranged for a picnic meet-up at Magic Island (Ala Moana Beach Park). Had the pleasure of meeting some online friends for the first time; always exciting. And now, I get to hear her voice when reading her posts, haha!

Nice meet-up. Some photo-geek chit-chat, general catchings up. Oh, and the Friday fireworks from the Hilton. It's summer; should do these more often.

And a lesson learned. Seems my body doesn't appreciate being chilled. It reacted badly. :/

Otherwise, a nice evening. :)

(The image is an iPhone image. ProHDR > Noise Master > Snapseed.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Looking back at an pretty odd coincidence...

(A conversation with a friend made this memory bubble to the top...)

When I was in school, one of the classes was with Marion Kelly. She dragged the class down to Land Court, in the Kapuaiwa Building, look up our home addresses, get the tax map key, and check the history of the land that the house sat on. Our house was on former Crown lands, one of the royals being Princess Ruth Ke‘elikĊlani.

A few years later, I got my first job with the State of Hawai‘i. Wanna guess the name of the building? Weird, huh?

Monday, June 25, 2012


(2 posts in one day! World's gonna end!)

Had to get out of the "house," both for sanity and to check on the weather. Weather has turned out okay, by the way. Still blowing something fierce; watch out for wind tunnels in alleys and between buildings!

Anyway, lunch from Leo's Taverna (Bishop St., Union Mall). Greek food, by Greek owners; whodathunk? Anyway, been going here for years. Quality food, ethnic food Downtown prices. Got the Chicken Kabob; expect a wait, as it is cooked when ordered.

Followed that with an Almond-Peach tart from Downtown Coffee (Fort St, Mall, Pioneer Plaza); yummy!

Mandatory kanakatak after that...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Small-kine Status update

I had a sign yesterday that the body is not as "haddit" as it could be; I experienced a "normal" at-rest blood-pressure reading (averaged across 3) of 112/68. So the body is okay and capable of "normal." Just need a head transplant; make the neck bolts pretty, please.

For you regular/healthy people, this may be a "so what?" thing. For me, I haven't seen that low a reading in decades, so I am a bit excited. Of course, I woke up this morning with the usual "Ah cr*p, I have to go to work" reading :p My doctor will probably give me "the look" when he sees the June log readings, haha >.<

In other news:
Nikki Jennifer Photography is continuing their 2nd Anniversary Celebration with the Week #2 Giveaway. If you haven't done so, check it  out at the blog. If you meet the terms of the "fine print" (it is location-specific), please give it a shot. And keep up; it's a 4 week celebration, with a new week opening on Monday, and winner(s) announced Sunday evening; may wish to bookmark that blog link above. And there is a ticker on the response; don't respond in time, then a new winner will be selected (Please don't make her do that! It make's her sad! And more work!). Good luck!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nikki Jennifer Photography's Anniversary Celebration Giveaway has begun!

Nikki Jennifer Photography's Anniversary Celebration has begun, Week 1! And it's a pretty sweet one to start with; a gift certificate from Fighting Eel!

Go to her Blog, get to the Week 1 post. Read. Follow directions. We're all literate adults, right? Hope so, because disappointments due to not a paying attention are so...disappointing. :(

Note the dates! Note the limitations! Note the opportunities! Go get'em!

Nikki Jennifer Photography Giveaway Week 1

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Almost here: Nikki Jennifer Photography is ramping up the celebration!

Nikki Jennifer Photography is turning 2! Still a very young small business, and this amazing natural light photographer has survived another year! And to celebrate, she is running a 4 week Giveaway for her supporters. Head on over to her blog for details.

Note: be sure to follow directions. Note the disclaimers. Note the location! Leave comments at the the post. And be sure to follow her blog! Follow her Facebook Page for good measure! Most importantly, it is all fun. Be sure to take in that spirit.

Hurry! Giveaway starts this week (week of June 18)! Good luck! Have fun!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Remember

Remembering those that made the ultimate sacrifice defending the rights and freedoms we too often take for granted.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Towel Day, and things less fun

It's Towel Day 2012! For some reason, as much as I love the writings of the late Douglas Adams and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," I never bothered to celebrate Intergalactic Towel Day (May 25). I shall remedy that oversight, starting today.

I should also reread the series. I seem to have forgotten a lot of details. If I see white mice scurrying away, however, I think I should be worried.

On a little less fun note
[start rant]
Keep seeing this question come up, mostly for others. "I love your photography. What kind of  camera and lens do you have?" Does it really matter? C'mon, the photographer is an artist, a light painter. The camera and lens are his/her brushes, which the artist uses to execute their vision.

You don't ask a chef what kind of stove they use. You don't ask a painter what kind of brushes they use. You don't ask a carpenter what kind of hammers they use. It shouldn't matter to you. The only thing that matters is the quality of the delivered product, be it food, a painting, a structure or a photograph. If you have a stove, it does not make you a chef. If you have brushes, it does not make you a painter. If you have a hammer, it does not make you a carpenter. If you own a camera, it does not make you a photographer.

If you want a photographer to take your picture/portrait, you tell them what look you want. If they can accommodate your  requirements, and you can come to an agreement to terms, you may proceed. What equipment they use or technique employed is their job, not yours. You like their art, let them do their art for you; that is what you're paying for. Your job is to enjoy the experience and the delivered product. And pay their rates; it's carefully calculated to include the work it takes to get you what you see in the end. Don't want to pay their rate? Find someone else, but remember, you get what you pay for. If you think you can do it better, that is fine; do it yourself.

Oh. And please do not ask the photographer to lie with Photoshop or other  post-processing techniques. They will do their best to bring out the best in you; your job is to bring the best you to work with.

Unless it's Mom. The photographer's Mom always gets a free pass. May get some eye-rolls, but "thy will be done."

Disclaimer: I am a camera owner. Obscenely large investment for a non-professional. It does not  give me the right to dictate to a photographer how they should work. If I wish to have my portrait taken, I will select the appropriate photographer whose style I like and find appropriate to myself, pay them their rate, get out of the way, and attempt to enjoy the process of having my visage captured.
[end rant]


(edit: related post > Professional photographers: they are people trying to make a living, like the rest of us)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rain, windows, updates.

Things are a little better with me; I am handling adverse encounters a little better, recovery times are improving. Still reacting, still popping, still need to sit down and center. Often. More work required.

Interesting week.  Getting back into the work groove, getting my head around issues the way they need to be dealt with. Unfortunately, it is that time of year when the craziness is extra-compressed and urgent. Everyone at work is on tippy-toes, they are so high-strung. And me in the middle of this trying to avoid that; *sigh.*

Due to my schedule being involuntarily pushed back, I am in the midst of rushing testing to determine feasibility of different options, depending on how much money we don't have, including benefits and consequences of the different scenarios. Loathe that; goes against my need to plan things out. And because there are too many loose ends, the anxiety level goes up. But this needs to be done.

On a more positive note, I had the opportunity to help a dear friend, one that has become a soul-sister (if those still exist) to me, to try some personal work get her creative juices going, and find her "happy place." No pressure to produce. Seeing the joy on her face, "watching" the mind at work seeing the possibilities and the creativity that is flowing is actually helping my own healing process. Between that and finally getting her to meet another friend in real life for the first time (been working on this one for awhile), and them hitting it off. So awesome. Working on the rest of her family; I get to be mento-uncle, hehe...

Major warm-fuzzies. Yes, that dates me. And sometimes, "I'm okay, you're okay."

I leave you with a new in old-kine style, kinda bassup looking picture of the top the the Honolulu Civic Center, from the window of my temporary work space. It was a nice day, that day. Now, stay raining. But rain is good. Yes.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Professional photographers: they are people trying to make a living, like the rest of us

From a professional photographer friend:
If there's one thing I could tell everyone about what I do, it's that it's NOT easy money. Yes it's fun- when I get a wonderful family who loves each other and invests the time and energy in making their session theirs. But what my clients see is only a fraction of all the work involved- countless hours responding to inquiries via email and phone before booking (I book about 20% of my inquiries, which is about the right number of sessions for full time work), editing the images shown in the client's gallery (as a perfectionist I am always editing!), placing and delivering orders and doing followup.

I do love what I do- it's incredible to be able to capture the first moments in a new family's life, and witness the bond of a parents and child in a tender moment. But no, I don't photograph my own kids often enough (and they are usually OVER being photographed before I begin!), I don't get to spend all my time with them, and I can't "leave my work at work". My prices aren't arbitrary, they're set based on what I need to earn- after taxes, insurance, equipment, supplies, and cost of goods- to pay for the mortgage and childcare. - Lisa Hoang
Folks, just because someone has a fancy camera does not mean they should be considered a photographer. They are 'camera owners.' I still consider myself a camera owner, aspiring (wishing, wannabe) to be a 'photographer.' To be a professional photographer is a whole 'nother level on top of that; it is a lot of planning, preparation, HARD WORK, follow-up, marketing, advertising, paying fees, taxes... sound familiar? They are business owners; they WORK. Hard. On top of that, they have to take your pictures, too! They pay attention to the details; minutiae can all ruin an otherwise wonderful image.

When a professional photographer quotes you a price, it is a fair deal, factoring in all the costs that go into that quote. If they allow "a la carte" pricing, that can be a great deal; accept it if it works out for you. If the deal seems to be a "too good to be true," it probably is; be careful. In this business, you get what you pay for. Put another way: before you try to bargain your way to a lower rate, consider your answer if someone asked if you would work for less pay. Same thing.

Passion drives these people. The professionals in this business pride themselves on delivering a quality product; their pride will allow no less. If they turn you down as a client, it is because they do not feel they can deliver the product you are looking for at the quality they demand of themselves. There is no such thing as "good enough."

Being a professional means they will deliver what you contract them for; they will do you right. Do your part; pay the rate you agreed upon, with the expectations you signed for. If you have any questions, please ask them BEFORE you sign the contract. And do NOT assume anything; this only leads to misunderstandings and hard feelings. Leave nothing to interpretation; they understand that contracts are scary, and should be happy to explain everything to your satisfaction. It's a part of being professional and a business person.

Oh. Unless you stipulate otherwise in the contract, the photographer owns the copyright to all the images. This is U.S. copyright law. Please do not demand that they hand over the high-quality images without appropriate compensation; it will be very steep. DO expect to pay for quality prints; printing is a complicated thing, and they will ensure you will get the best quality print for the size(s) you want.

Now, go find yourself a quality professional photographer that will deliver what you are looking for. Most importantly, have fun; they love that!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

So, why bother with a blog?

"I wish I kept a journal.  I want so badly to remember the last normal day I had." - Jen Ozawa
Anyone that is following Jen and Ryan Ozawa's blogging of her current ordeal know these words. Amazingly powerful opening line to a post. And Ryan's post today highlights how hard, but important, it is do continue doing so, with focus.

What does this have to do with me? Well, I have recently had that "life's elbow in the ribs" moment. No where near what the Ozawas are going through, but enough to make me stop and think.

I am guilty of having put off any kind of journaling of my life "to tomorrow." Frankly, I don't think I'm interesting enough to record. But it is MY life, however boring. Watching how others journal their lives, whether through a blog, Facebook, Flickr, now Google+, even Twitter... I am still not comfortable speaking about myself. I am definitely too, um, verbose, to go 140 characters at a time, though.

Catching up & Catharsis

The Event. So. It seems I am a head case. Had an event a little over a month ago. Thought it was a cold, frankly. A little dizzy, occasional cough. Fine; stay home, it will clear up and life is normal. Whatever that is.

But it never quite went away; seemed to get better, went to work, got worse, out again. For days. Rinse, repeat. Then, there was that incident where, I am at work standing in front of my co-workers, and they basically tell me I look like shit. Which pretty much matched how I felt, including the tummy doing flip-flops, a near "white-out" and the body and limbs are buzzing. Agreed that it was time to go. Interesting that the further away from work I got, the better I felt.

3 days later (Friday), I find myself at the Queen's emergency room with a rather high (is 208/115 high?) blood pressure, and they can't get it to come down. EKG indicated that I have been under duress for some time; just a little thickening of the left ventricle. Blood tests showed no markers of a heart attack. CAT scan (I have confirmed the existence of a brain-like object in my skull) showed no problems. Admitted that night. Getting blood thinners as belly shots, and not the fun kind; yellow splotches and firmness all over the belly fat for a week. Taking meds to keep the blood pressure down. "Get some rest. Oh, we'll be poking and prodding every 5 hours. Got to sleep." Oh, hey. Have to say. The floor staff at Queen's was awesome. Friendly, knowledgeable, attentive. Freakin; busy, but stopped to answer all your questions, within bounds. Forwarded stuff they couldn't answer to the attending physician. Big mahalo to them.

Attending physician wants to "blow the pipes" (induced stress test) to be sure there are no blockages, but it is the Kuhio Day weekend, and that lab is closed until Tuesday. Which kinda worked out, because I got myself worked up and they wouldn't have released me at that time, anyway. Induced stress. A "fasting" procedure; no caffeine for 24 hours, nothing by mouth after midnight. So glad she asked for that, since I don't think a treadmill would have been good at that time. Tracer and picture-taking aside, the procedure felt a lot like that incident; monster body flush, buzzing, tummy doing flip-flops; hey, I've felt this before. If I had eaten, the floor would have been a mess.

In the end, I am physically fine. My "at rest" vitals are a touch high, my cholesterol is not bad, blood sugars are fine. But my stress ("fight or flight") response seems to be on a hair-trigger and amp'd up. Annoyances, aggravation, getting lectured at, being argumentative (oh, oh!); apathy, ignorance, stupidity are my "hot buttons," and some people push them all without trying. I have to learn to control the trigger; the doc recommended a book, "The Relaxation Response" by Herbert Benson, M.D.

Dr. Benson is a cardiologist by practice, but explored alternatives to pumping drugs into patients for problems that patients may be able to address themselves. Boy, the pharmaceutical companies must be pissed at him. Anyway, it's the transcendental meditation variation to try and get you  to exert control over your body. A decent try at writing, but I don't find it interesting enough to hold my attention. Still, the concepts make sense, and I need to find a way to incorporate them into my lifestyle.

Lifestyle. Well, I am currently on maintenance meds, to hopefully cap my blood pressure from bursting through the roof. It still gets high, and I am learning to listen to my body, to feel the difference between a stress-response and exertion. No problems with exertion, by the way. Long walks are not an issue, once I get off my fat lazy ass. I am (hopefully) getting better at dealing with my stress response; not autonomous, and it take awhile, but I can force it back down. But I haven't faced my "demon," yet; my co-workers know what I am talking about. Soon. It  will tell me where I am in the recovery process. Yes, the big trigger is at work. And it's not as simple as "well, quit then!." Which is another part of the problem; feeling trapped. Still looking over options, and my employer has been gracious in extending help. Thank you.

Originally posted at the Todd Maeda Photography
Facebook Page
Photography. Pretty much at a standstill. The D|SLR has not left the house for over a month. Do try some puttering with lighting, or found things, but nothing serious. It has been smartphone work. *sigh*

Something that I need to get back into. Clears the head of the cobwebs and b/s at work. Maybe use the time to assess where I am in this rather expensive hobby of mine. Time to figure out what I have, and how to best utilize them. Time to figure out what MY photography is. Not someone else's perception of what my photography SHOULD be.

Food (versus Lifestyle). Food is important to me. Not in the "I'm hungry" mindset, though; I can eat one meal in a day and actually be okay with it (wonder if that's a problem.). I'm a "Live to Eat" type. But these recent events may put a little bit of a damper on the amount of that activity I may indulge in. You see, I am NOT on a dietary restriction. However, it is RECOMMENDED that I look at a lower sodium/heart-friendly diet. Um, a lot of that is "flavor." Not "salty;" that's actually a junk flavor. But salt, properly used, is a flavor enhancer. Like fat is a flavor transport. Thanks to a note dropped on me by a Facebook friend, no all is lost. I do prefer sea salt; living in Hawaii, it is my salt of choice. So happens that I can get my "salt" without adding as much sodium, Yay! But everything in moderation, so I need to to watch for times of high salt intake, and balance that. And water. Oh lordy, I feel like I slosh, now.

Alcohol! It's a food group, right? I've had one shot in 5 weeks. Sadness. Again, not a restriction, just a nod to a warning. Well, I generally don't drink to get drunk, so that is good. But I need to watch out for when I do choose to drink.


So. Where am I? Possibly still lost, and wondering if I can keep this up. I lack things to say, unless I am talking about others. Maybe promote what others are doing. Maybe I need to start baking again.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Staycation comes to an end...

(Wow, has it been so long since I last posted?)

Final morning...So my 1+ week of "stay-cation" comes to a close.

Started out with an awesome, joyful, busy(!) and blustery celebration, helping a dear friend (finally!) get married to her best friend. She planned it all, and it all came together wonderfully.

Spent the rest of the time trying really hard to ignore work; thoughts intruded, but I'm resisted reading the e-mail that has backed on me. This is a bit of a trial, to see if I can do this. Not work during vacation. I need more practice, as I am feeling the tension of going back.

The rain we have been anticipating has moved in. Tomorrow is going to suck big ones...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beware this person

Beware of the person posting images on the Web under the moniker of

rockstar8x (Facebook page is currently being reported. Repeatedly)

working out of Vietnam. He is known to take images of children, and claim them as his own. How do I know this? He had the misfortune of using the picture (2, actually) of a child of a personal friend. Love that child, and knowing that his image is being used in such a manner is INFURIATING!!!!

Can we suspect this person as a child-porn suspect? Please? Stealing pictures of children is...sick!

Please help. Trying really hard to calm down an irate mother...