Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As we close 2013, may we put aside the stresses and strains of life and the pursuit of the perfect gift, to take a little time to reflect on what is really important to us.

Family. True friends. Love them fiercely, as there is no more valuable gift.

Merry Christmas, folks. And a Happy and Safe Holidays. See you in 2014!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This past Thanksgiving, I celebrated by shaving off the end of my thumb with a peeler. Just enough to get below all the skin.

Blood everywhere, but I could staunch the bleeding myself, so no trip to E.R.

But that's not what I'm here about. You see, the section of thumb I lost was rather insignificant, size-wise. Bleeding stopped, life goes on. Right?

Sort of. I no longer have any padding there; the nerves are unprotected. That insignificant little piece of thumb just happened to be where I pick out DVDs from the player. The pressure point when tightening laces. The point where the band sits when tying up my hair. The point that bumps against the dashboard when turning the ignition, or releasing the parking brake. The running point when putting on my underwear. Oops, TMI?

Anyway, seems everything is important, no matter how insignifant it seems. It plays a role that we only realize when it is gone. Pretty much took my thumb out of commission for awhile. Ever go without a thumb? It was on the right hand. Acute realization how right hand-centric our clothes are. Buttoning and zipping without a right thumb Go ahead and try.

It is scabbing over now, and new padding is slowly growing in. Not nearly as thick as it used to be. That section is still visibly...flat. I am adjusting to life without this formerly insignificant piece of flesh that was once a part of me. And I miss it. Sorry for taking you for granted, little guy. You were important to me.

Can't even imagine what those that lose whole body parts go through. So, belatedly, I am thankful for still being whole. It's a new normal. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monkey Bread!!!

 Was informed by the fabulous Roni that we HAD to make this wonderful monkey bread recipe that the Pioneer Woman posted. With revisions. Like using 2 Grands instead of 3 of the regular biscuits. And add chopped pecans. And add some of the dusting sugar to the butter. Zero-calorie treat, right? Holy moley...

Well, being sick in the head, I stayed out today. And quickly got bored. Since I wasn't contagious, I went shopping, quick-kine. And...they didn't have Grands! Oh no, stuck! But they did have those Cinnabon Grands. This recipe has cinnamon. And sugar. Instant recipe revision revision! And I decided to use chopped macadamia nuts instead of pecans. We're in Hawaii, right? And I have people that don't like pecans. Oh, well.

Anyway, put everything together as directed by everybody, and it came out like this:

Smelled so good! Waited the prescribed 30 minutes, and dumped it out on a plate. Required in-your-face shot:

Then I added a little of the cream cheese Cinnabon frosting to a quarter of the pile:

 Holy crap. That is some awesome stuff. Especially warm. The cream cheese frosting is really sweet, so definitely optional. Maybe on the side for dipping.

Thank yous to Ree Drummond  and Ms. Roni! Ono kau-kau!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Ah. I wasn't going to do this
post. Then some things happened that made me rethink that position.

So. I am thankful for my family, and everything that means. That I have a job. That I have a roof over my head, and food in my tummy.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be there for people. And my closest friends.

I am thankful to those that put their lives on the line so that I have the freedom to live as I do, at the possible expense of their own personal freedoms.

And I am thankful to still have my thumb, in spite of myself. So far.

Hope you all had or are having a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Peace, all.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oh, Dear. It's almost Thanksgiving...

...and it seems I've disappeared.

Quick catch-up. Nothing is happening. That's actually a good thing, in my case.

Although, one of my sore points is getting freakin' itchy, and I don't think scratching is going to do anything about it. However, I am learning, slowly, bit by bit, to ignore it. Yes, it is still there, but I am learning to deal.

I will probably explode at some point, but that time is not now. Not yet. I have a personal mission that I must see through. Once that is done, whatever happens, happens.

Until then, keep laughing. Right.

I'll think of something to be thankful for, later. Really.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Uncranking the cranky machine...

Windows desktop has been rather cranky for at least a year. Or so. To the point where, 9 out of 10 times, it would blue-screen within 15 minutes of starting up cold.

Now, it's not the manufacturers fault. It was working fine. Thing about Windows machines, you can touch them. Inside. Not always in a nice way. But, this desktop is old enough to have no native USB 3.0 ports. So I dropped a card in. No problem, right?

And there weren't any, for quite awhile. Started adding things to the USB chain. Still okay. Cool! The speed difference is quite apparent. Then, bit by by, I started seeing lockups. Nothing moves, unresponsive, no errors. Hard restart. Always cringe when I have to do that. And it started to get worse. BSODs were saying that I had that ambiguous driver issue. Also started to see "Display unresponsive" errors. Ding! Replace the display card. Nope. Even tried the Windows 8 upgrade, hoping for some relief. Got to the point where I wouldn't shut the machine down at all. Could restart. Just could not let it shut down and sit.

Finally, it dawned on me that it could be that USB card. Got a replacement, with auxiliary power, and popped it in this weekend. So far, so good. Knock on wood.

If it remains stable, it means I won't have to replace my desktop for at least another year. Maybe 2. By that time, I may be ready to hop the fence to the Apple side. Or even let the desktop go altogether, depending on what I am (not) doing. Situations change...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Goals, or the lack thereof

It may be a mid-life crisis. I've told told that by those I love and trust deeply. Not sure how that works, haven't done that before. Hopefully, it only happens once. But I need to dig myself out of this hole I seem to have dug myself into.

During this current period of personal crisis (which is usually a lot smaller than it's made out to be), I've been asked "So, what do you really want to do? Go do that."

The answer? After some long and deep reflection... I don't know. And thinking back, I don't know if I've ever wanted to do something for myself. My decisions and goals seem to more about where I don't want to be than where I do. Go to college (don't want to be in x job forever. Ironic, that one.). Graduate (Don't want to be in school anymore. Which was probably the easiest period in my adult life.). Get a job (Don't like empty pockets.). Get a different job (Run away from baggage.). Etc.

Even picking food and clothes. Unless there is some pre-determining factor, it becomes a process of elimination. No like this, no like that, I guess I do/get this.

And then, even when I initiate something, it is to enable others. Any self-enabling is a consequence of that. Build a system to let others work. Build a site to enable others to communicate more efficiently. Build processes so others can pick it up and run. Which is pretty tricky when the people it supports run an exception-based system. And when those in inmediate charge don't care

Maybe it's time I sling burgers. Food. Mmm...

Yes, it makes me happy when others are made happy, or at least less unhappy, by my labor. Or acquisitions. Especially if it means that they can keep going if I'm not there, for whatever reason. Which is an interesting conundrum, as the immediate need for me diminishes until something breaks. And we really don't want things to break, do we? Which usually happens when you are occupied working on " The Next Best Thing."

Sounds like I am working for accolades, huh? But the quiet "thank you" in passing in the hallway means a lot more to me than some company award/recognition. A "Thank you" hug from friends and loved ones is priceless. Being there for them is what I want. But the powers that wish to take things in other directions are getting in the way.

I guess my place in life support. Assist. Push others to their places. I can live with that.

But I am tired. Need to find another way. Maybe it is time to move on. If I can find a place to land...

This post took a while to write. Days. Weeks. So if it looks like a diary entry over time, it is. Like a weblog, sorta. If you got this far down the post, thank you for bearing with me.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Oh, by the way...

In that state of inebriation where there mind is fully aware, but the body is, frankly, pretty floppy. Thanks to mobile technology, I can do this while prone. Haha. C'mon, thumb, don't fail me now...

Thanks to a valued member of my personal support circle, I announced to my employer my egress intentions, including the possibility of leaving said employer. It was difficult, given my age and service. Granted, those plans could change as conditions change. But, at this time, I committed myself to those points that I feel obligated to complete, before moving on. And, I  have yet to determine my career/life path beyond that. 

I promised I would tell my employer the rest of my plans as they solidify, starting with mulling over some offered options, this weekend. Yes, there is some stress involved. I am not yet of retirement age or service, so I am leaving things on the table. 

I have always considered myself a loyal employee. However, I have come to realize I am the beaten dog that keeps returning to its master, and master is is abusing that behavior. No more.

No matter what happens, I have to mention appreciation for those that have given me the strength to take this step. Thank you, very much. At the very least, no matter what happens, I am hoping there will be a shakeup of the way things are being done at this time.

I am but a mote. Yet, even a pebble can make an impression when tossed into a quiet pond. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

An "easy" pizza roll, the hard way

A friend posted a recipe on my Facebook wall. Ostensibly because it had bacon in it. I seem to have a bacon reputation, for some reason. What got me intrigued was the 2 ingredient recipe for the dough.

This is the recipe she shared, via one of of those recipe sharing pages.

Bread Recipe: 2 Ingredient Bread

What is interesting in that it doesn't actually have the bread recipe in it. Haha. Perusing the page, I figured, I can do this. Enter roll of distant thunder...

First off, bacon. Wanted crispy bacon. Mushy bacon is a turn-off. Since it was to be baked in, I figured I should do it up enough so it would be crispy by the time it finished. So, I got my lard on...

Got that done and cooling. Commenced to the dough-making process. This one:

2-ingredient pizza dough recipe

Yes, pizza dough. I know, right? Anyway, turned to mixing and kneading. Forgot how sticky pizza dough was, dang it. In the end, I had a ball...

Worked it all out into something resembling a sheet. With lots of holes. Note to self; next time, double the recipe. And don't eat the yogurt before you make anything. And lots of bench flour; today was humid.

Covered it in the rendered almost crispy bacon and cheese. I chose cheddar, mixed mild and sharp. Lots of both. Yes, there are consequences to baking when hungry.

Rolled it up, and encountered consequence #1; no fit. Bacon and cheese falling out the voids in the dough that appeared all over. It was quite hilarious, or would have been if it wasn't happening to me. Lots of potholes being repaired as the rolling happened.

Then, the cutting step, and consequence #2. Dang bacon is hard to cut! Looks like something out of Monsters Inc. << This will so date the blog, haha.

Popped it in the oven for the prescribed time. Had to go another 5 minutes to get the color. The final calamitous product is at the top of the page.

How did it taste? Think pizza crust stuffed with cheese and bacon. Bacon needs a finer chop. The flavor balance was on the salty side. Next time, if there is a next time, use mozzarella in the mix. I can see pepper working, too.

Thank you for bearing with me on my catastrophic journey in the kitchen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reconciling "God", Science, and my head

Birds flying into sunlit clouds
Those who are my "friends" on Facebook may have seen this in my profile:

Faith is a good thing. It has to be; we're still here
A "God" day is longer than most believers think
The big eye in the sky is laughing at us futilely over-inflating our importance in the larger scheme of things

It's a part of my reconciliation regarding what some men call God, and religion in general. At the core of this is, whatever you find in your religious writings, they are written by Men, spoken by Men, based on interpretations of what someone said was told to him/her, passed down orally through generations, finally written down, transcribed and translated many times, into the form that is in front of you that others say is "the Word of God." By Men. Okay, believe what you want. Faith needs something to anchor to, and whatever works for you is fine.

But, before you try to shove your religion in my face, think about this; is my God the same as your God?

Me? My God is probably some mix of all the theologies and philosophies out there, plus some science and a few things I don't know about yet. My God cannot be contained in or explained by a book. My God cannot be jammed into Man's experiences, limitations or constraints. Just because our little brains can't wrap around a concept does not mean it cannot be. We, mankind, are just motes in the universe. We do not know everything, nor will we ever know everything, about anything. There is no impossible, just that we humans are too primitive to understand. At no point will a person ever know so much that they can turn around and truthfully say "I am better than you." The quest to know everything is fine, but the intelligent ones will realize that the more you know, the more you don't, and they will be okay with that. And they will keep trying.

And I don't worship my God. My God doesn't need to be worshiped. God is. Just that. The best way for me to worship my God be Me.

That's my Word. Please respect it. I will respect your right to yours. Have a nice day.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Call for Assistance for a Friend in Need

I am asking for assistance in spreading the word. A pretty awesome mother of a dear friend is in treatment for her 4th round with cancer, and we are looking for help to defray expenses during this tough period. Her daughter's story is posted at her blog. That's her and her mom a "few years ago."

If you can and wish to donate, the current options are 1) buying sessions at Nikki Jennifer Photography (in the blog post), of which 50% go towards the effort. Or, 2) donate at the Love for Donna page; credit card and Paypal options are now available. Any amount would be awesome.

The donation effort runs through the end of June 2013. The family will assess where they are at that time, and move accordingly.

Again, donations if you can. Spreading the word is greatly desired and most appreciated. Thank you for reading.

Have a great weekend, all.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Casting Call for Senior Reps...

frame of pretty girl and nikki jennifer photography header and logo

Hey, all O‘ahu people. As the High School Class of 2013 starts to wind down their year, studying hard and preparing themselves for the next stage in life, it's time for the Class of 2014 to consider what they are going to do to take their place as THE SENIOR CLASS.

Well, here's one thing you can do, now. Nikki Jennifer Photography is holding auditions for 2014 Senior Reps. You can get a fabulous Senior session done by a great photographer, and the opportunity at POWER-UPS! Um, okay. Upgrades to your Senior package. Great deal, huh?

All you have to do is check out the qualification requirements, and submit an application by April 30, 2013. Easy, huh?

While you're at it, please "Like" their Facebook Page, if you are a Facebook person. You may also follow their Google+ page, if that is your preference.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2014 O‘ahu High School Graduates, Attention!

Hey, 2014 O‘ahu High School Graduates! Nikki Jennifer Photography is holding a Facebook contest, just for you! But it is a short-fuse; entry closes on March 20th!

Click on the image above for details, or go to their Facebook post. And if you like their work, please "Like" their page while you are there!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


ring shaped ornament with breathe stamped on it

I need to do this. Things that have happened over the last year, things that have happened in the last few months, things that are happening right this minute. Making me kinda nuts. So I need to step back and breathe. Slow down. Assess.

For the most part, I am one that operates best with information. So not a "whatever" person. The less holes in my data banks, the better. Because my head likes to fill those holes with wild imaginings. All the worst things that could happen would happen in my imaginings. Kinda need my steps between "here" and "there" planned out. Okay, maybe not every step. But planned, in any case. Because I really, REALLY dislike having to "make do." I do that, yes, but it annoys me to no end. Because I feel like I failed.

I know, it's not a failure to not get everything. But that is what I am. So, again, the more information I have, the better. I feel like I have my bases covered, and can deal with the 90%.

As it stands, I can only assume I have 50% or less of the information I need to feel kinda comfortable. Lots of "hole" to fill. Feels like I lack control. So I need to step back and breathe. Lots. Slowly. Deeply. Get ahold of what I do control, and hang on tight. But be ready to jump, as reality dictates that the only constant is change. Yeah. Head is screaming again.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hear ye, hear ye... !!!

Nikki Jennifer Photography, LLC is celebrating, and running a promotion. If you are on or plan to be on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, please, go check it out!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thoughts on no thoughts...

So. I've been working on getting closer to that "quiet mind." Purely practical reasons; so I can go to sleep. Secondary reason; trying to get my diastolic down, supposedly because the heart needs to "rest."

So far, the difference between me trying to do it myself, and with "aid" is about 15 points of mercury. Or more. It's pretty dramatic.

But I had a lunch with a friend, and somehow the conversation strayed to the bottle. Specifically, how my consumption has increased from getting through a bottle over years, to nearly a bottle/month. And she gave me this look. Not an angry, or sympathetic, or sorry, or... I don't know. The look in her eyes said that I really need to address this.

To be sure, I have had more than a few very close friends try to steer me away from this "solution." They've been very polite, not trying to force it. Yes, they are all aware of my history. But this was the first time that I noticed a look like this.

I guess I should be looking for other means. Substitute, compliment, find a way to toss the crutch. Whatever. New year's resolution? No. How to set myself up for failure.

But. Working on it. Breathe. Relax. Clear the mind. I can get that far. Then other things intrude. I am a "stream of consciousness"type, so a stray thought leads to another stray thought, then chaos, and I am freaking out. I should be a writer, the thoughts that stray into my head would make a pretty wildly disjointed storyline.

Except all thoughts invariably lead back to what has been tapped, in the interim, as a cause of my frustrations. Maybe I do need a psychologist after all.