Friday, November 30, 2007

Dress down Fridays...


Well... *after* I got to work today, I found out that they "dress down" on Fridays. So... on Fridays I can wear jeans (can you guess which day of the week I will be most likely to ride my motorcycle?). I spent ALL day... or at least most of it... learning about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (Remember that reward system? LOL). I think I've gotten through about 18 modules, (there are about 26 I need to go through)... and then I get to learn about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). There's one manual (online) to read through that has 177 pages and a test with something like 33 questions. All-in-all, today went well... I did sit in on the first session of a 6 week group on "Coping Skills" this afternoon... and I got out of there as soon after 4:30 as I could. And I did get my time sheet faxed in... so all-in-all it was a productive day.

Tomorrow is the UH football game. I can't remember how much we are supposed to win by, I think about 15 points? We are playing the University of Hawai. It's going to be a zoo tomorrow over by the stadium... but I'm going to drive. The parking lot opens at 2:30... but you can bet there will be 10,000 cars waiting to get in about that time.

Let's see... what else? Janis comes tomorrow afternoon. Because I have the football game tomorrow afternoon/evening, she may see if she can sleep in the recliner at Dan's apartment, that way she and Tom can hopefully look at some apartments on Sunday. (Dan & Tom are brothers). She's hoping to come see me Sunday afternoon/evening. Which means I need to get busy tonight and get my apartment cleaned up! I'm still trying to work on cleaning out my closet a little.

And I got a call from my fomer co-worker, Julie... her son is supposed to be coming home on December 10th... she was tearful when she talked about him being home for the holidays. Her son was the one stationed in Afghanistan for 18 months, right after High School. He has severe PTSD. It will do him well to come home where he will have plenty of loving and support.

Okay... I'm going to sign off, finish watching the news... figure out what I want for dinner... and then hopefully spend the night successfully getting my apartment clean! *smiles*

Aloha!

- Kris

Thursday, November 29, 2007

uh-oh...

(This picture was taken a few weeks ago with my cell phone, I can't remember if I posted it or not. It was taken from Ala Moana beach park, looking towards Diamond Head).

The Uh-oh, is because it is 10:30 and I should be in bed and I have not prioritized my night like I could have. I skipped going to the gym, came home and watched the news, then talked at length with a friend who recently started as a Case Manager (not my former co-worker)... and she's struggling with the change in duties and structure and one of her clients. I *had* planned to exercise when I got home while watching TV... BUT... I decided to see if I could access the VA PTSD online education site... and I could... so I went through 3 1/2 modules (and these are about an hour long each!). So... you read through the materials (or listen to the speaker and do the slides... but I've found that reading the transcripts is easier... at least for testing... I can search for key words to help me when it comes to answering the questions). And... one nice thing about these... is that they qualify for my LCSW continuing education requirement (and may count towards my Substance Abuse Certification continuing education requirements). SO... I should knock out about half of my CEU (continuing education units) with just this one course on PTSD. For Substance Abuse, I also have a six contact hour training that I took. I also have some other materials that I'll get to looking out before too long, that should count for one or both of my license/certification requirements as well. So... remember me? Reward motivated? I got more certificates! *smiles*

The Sargeant in charge of our unit came up today once I got my ID card (that allows me my own computer access), and I was asking him about trainings... he started to pull up the one I did yesterday afternoon (which was rather lengthy) and was surprised to find out that I had already done it. (over-achiever...huh! *smiles*).

Speaking of the ID card... dang... I went over to get it about 7:45 (I walked... it was about 1/2 mile each way) and it took 4 hours of sitting. Of course... I didn't expect it, so the only thing I had to keep me entertained was my phone (I have a couple games on it). I was number 72 on the list and they had only seen about 5 when I got there... but I had no way of knowing how long it was going to take... so didn't want to leave the vicinity. Then there was a problem printing my card, so she had to re-print it after getting it un-jammed from the machine. So... I got back just in time for lunch.

Then I had to get my card activated by our computer people (on the other side of the courtyard), so I did that... then walked with my supervisor (back) over to meet some of the people in the other mental health clinic (which is kind of an umbrella for our unit). After that I was free to start the training on PTSD. I only got one done (because by then it was 3pm). As it was... I didn't leave work until almost 5 and was the last one to leave. I need to remind myself and grant myself permission, to leave work on time now! I guess some habits are hard to break.

Okay... I'd better get to bed... it's going to be a short night... and I haven't even figured out what I'm wearing to work tomorrow!

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Whew...

Well, I got a lot of online training done today. I meant to count the "certificates" that I got at the end of the day before I left, but then I forgot. The last course I took was a FEMA course which I thought was really interesting, but it was long, it took most of the afternoon.

Tomorrow I get to go get my "government" ID card, one that will also allow me computer access, finally. Up until now I have had to use someone else's access card. I'm slowly, but surely making progress. *smiles*

I also have an "extracurriculum" assignment to do... I have a Christmas stocking that I need to decorate. Hmmmm... (I wish I were a very creative, crafty person... I mean... I love artsy things and I can do a lot of things... but I just don't feel very creative).

Other than that... work went fine. I *am* tired. I did make it to the gym to do some exercising. I'm trying to establish a healthy routine with the change of jobs... eating wise, I'm not where I want to be yet.

Okay... time to sign off... I have to get my stuff ready for work tomorrow.

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My office...


So... this is my current office... rather sparse... but you can't tell how stained the walls are. I did get permission to paint it if I want... but am debating the merits of it, if we will only be in that building for another 6 weeks or so. It probably wouldn't take too much paint and it probably *would* make it look a lot better. I can't do it this coming weekend though, because Saturday is the BIGGEST football game of the year for us UH Warrior fans and then Janis will be here Saturday night and I'll want to spend time with her on Sunday. I don't think I'll want to take a day to go up and paint my office. So... painting is something I'm thinking about.
Other than that, my day was spent doing online training modules. There is one called "Birth Month" something or nother (BMARS is the acronym) it's something that you have go to through when you get there and then in your birth month every year. It covers general knowledge things about working in a hospital setting (I'm not in a hospital, but the clinic I work for falls under the umbrella of the hospital). There were 19 modules in the BMARS. And then I did two more trainings. I was really getting motivated to complete them because after each one you get a "completion" certificate. I work well under the reward system! *wink*
I think I'm going to like working at my new location... it's nice to work with other Social Workers. I had one former co-worker who used to really bad-mouth Social Workers and I didn't work with any other Social Workers (at my location anyway... the two Social Workers we had at another level of care just started in July). I also like that my current position requires extensive training (even if some of it seems worthless... the kind that makes you roll your eyes). Other than the absolute minimum mandatory training at my previous location, there was virtually no training. I've missed having training opportunities. Another little thing that makes a difference to me is that I have a supply locker I can go to and get whatever supplies I want out of. Before, in my old position, I had to beg for any supplies, to the point it was just easier to buy my own supplies rather than to ask for them.
Oh... and I *did* go to the gym after work! (YEA!) I did 36 minutes on the Ecliptic machine. I originally set it for 20, then 25, then 30 and then there was a 5 minute cool-down... but then if I stuck it out for one more minute, I would burn 400 calories (an even number... see... I told you I work well on the reward system! *smiles*). My hope is that I will go every day after work. I saw that they have rowing machines there... that is another favorite piece of exercise equipment that I like. I just wish my knees were doing better... they have been really sore and feeling swollen for the last week or so. The other thing that concerns me is that when I exercise (on my gazelle, or today on the Ecliptic machine), my toes start getting numb and tingling after about 20 minutes. I'm hoping that as I start taking weight off, that it will go away. (And as I get into a more regular exercise program). By the way... I'd like to say kudo's to my oldest daughter, she's been really good about trying to exercise 20 minutes each morning.
Okay... time to sign off... "Biggest Loser" is on and I need to go wind down and get ready for bed.
Aloha!
- Kris


Monday, November 26, 2007

1st day...

You can't really get an appreciation for how tall these mountains are... but they are pretty tall. It was off of these mountains that the hang-glider had tried to jump from yesterday, but because there wasn't much wind, he ended up falling about 500'. As I said yesterday, it sounds like he is doing okay.
This is "Rabbit Island" from the beach where I went to the Baby Shower yesterday.



Well...

Today was my first day not working at my old job (*smiles*). I spent most of it inprocessing at the hospital... got my hospital ID card and managed to get everything signed off on my check-in sheet. Then I headed up to Schofield after grabbing a short bite. I got to meet with my new supervisor (who is NOT leaving... whew!)... and from what I understand... his biggest problem is always being late (at least a half hour). I spent some time with him and was shown my new "temporary" office. I have to say... the office leaves a LOT to be desired. I don't think anyone has been in it for 9 months or so (there were Christmas candy bars from LAST Christmas) and it's pretty dirty. Even the computer had cobwebs on it (and I'm not exagerating!). Fortunately, in about 3 weeks they are supposed to move to a newly renovated building... a floor of all new offices (that are under major renovation today). So... I'll be in that yucky office for about 3 weeks... and then will get to move into a nice office. SO... I don't think I'll be moving any of my stuff up there yet. I *could* personalize the office, but why bother. I certainly don't want to move a bunch of stuff in and then have to move it again.


Anyway... tomorrow I'll be back up there at 8 (although my normal duty hours will be 7:30 - 4:30) and will be doing more inprocessing. Hopefully I will get my "Contractor" ID tomorrow. I'm scheduled for 2 days of orientation at the hospital next week (Dec 3 and 4) and then some other computer training for a half day on December 5th.


There are four new LCSW's. And apparently they lost several of their Social Workers a couple months ago, to the point they finally closed the department I will be working in. The four new LCSW's will be working together in the department that was closed (they were "downstairs, but when we move, everyone will be on the same floor... that should make it easier for my supervisor). One of the LCSW's has already started, and then there are two more that will start about December 10th (one guy and a woman from Chicago).


"After" work, I went over to the smaller gym on base to check it out and part of what I want to do today, is to get a gym bag together so I can go to the gym after work tomorrow. At least I know where to go now and how it's set up.


I also mailed off my oldest daughter's Christmas present today (and her hubby's and daughter's), I tried to call her to let her know... because I don't want her to open the envelope until Christmas (although I guess it really does't matter). She reads my blog though... so she'll know my intent tomorrow. And, I mailed the Goji berries to my friend Susanne. She'll reimburse me for the cost of the berries and the cost of mailing them. I *do* need to email her and let her know that they are on their way.

Okay... time to sign off... I need to get my stuff ready for tomorrow (including getting the gym bag ready).

Aloha!

- Kris

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Sunset...


Okay... I thought it would be appropriate to put some sunset photos from tonight Tonight was the sunset on my life as I have formerly known it and tomorrow I will wake up to a new day, a new job. *smiles* It was another beautiful Sunday sunset... (as you can tell).

I had a relaxing morning and then went to a baby shower for a former co-worker this afternoon... This is Becky and her husband Ramsey. I've never seen this done before, but apparently for some, it's a tradition to dress up the parents like babies, using gift wrapping paper. They were cute and Ramsey was a ham! *smiles*

When I got there, I noticed a helicopter hovering in the mountains across the road, come to find out there was a hang-glider that was injured. He went to jump off the cliff and apparently there wasn't as much wind today, and he ended up falling about 500' down the mountain side. It sounds like he's going to be okay, but it looked to be a risky rescue. Of course, I didn't have my SLR camera with the telephoto lense... go figure. But... alas... all is well that ends well.
Not much to write about today, I've got to finish getting ready for tomorrow (I think I know what I'm going to wear, but I need to iron it). I guess there are 3-4 new LCSW starting with the company I will be working for (not sure if we are all in the same department or not though). One other is starting tomorrow and then the other is going to start next month.
Oh yea! And UH Warriors are ranked #12 in the BCS poll which means if they can maintain that spot, they will be participating in the Fiesta Bowl or the Sugar Bowl... that will be a "first" for our UH football team. It also means that our school stands to get a GREAT financial gain from playing in a "Bowl" game. Our athletic department could benefit from that!


Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quiet Holiday weekend

Hello... I'm having a quiet holiday weekend (well... sort of). Today was busy (but quiet if that makes any sense). I got up about 8, then ran errands from about 9:30 - 3:30. I got a lot done... went to the exchange to get the refund on the over-charge from yesterday. Managed to buy a couple more things while I was there (of course). I did get my oldest daughter's anniversary card (she & her DH will be married 10 years this year!)... and then even got it mailed after I left the exchange. I had to get gas, and at the cheapest place, it was 3.24 a gallon. I stopped in Chinatown to pick up some Goji Berries. Here's some online information about Goji berries:

Other Names: Lycium barbarum, wolfberry, gou qi zi, Fructus lyciiGoji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family. Goji berries are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins.

Why do people use goji berries?Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to:
protect the liver
help eyesight
improve sexual function and fertility
strengthen the legs
boost immune function
improve circulation
promote longevity


Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin's key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65. In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Companies marketing goji juice often mention the unsupported claim that a man named Li Qing Yuen consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Marketers also list extensive health benefits of goji juice, even though there are few published clinical trials in humans.

My friend should be set... she asked me to pick up two bags and I think they are about a pound each.

I also did my "Mystery Shopping" today... had to buy "fertilizer." I'll return it later this week.
And I had to return an adaptor for my phone (so I could use regular ear phones). I bought it, but really wanted something "hands-free" and I just don't think the guy knew what he was talking about. Oh well.

After all that, I headed to Ala Moana, the largest Shopping Mall in Hawaii (and on the West Coast of the US, if I recall). I did some Christmas shopping (in the form of gift cards), dropped off a video to Block buster, and rented 3 more (two for the price of three). I got "Away from Her," "Reign Over Me," and "I now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry." Should be good to watch. I have to return Chuck & Larry by Monday, but the other ones I get to keep for a week. Our clients watched "Reign Over Me" this week and it sounded like an interesting movie (that starts off a little slow).

Let's see... from there I headed to the bank (but it closed at 3, so just missed getting there... will try again tomorrow), went to Kinkos and made good copies (on the same type of paper) of my new License (Certificate) and then laminated my pocket card.

Last stop was Safeway... where I got a little frustrated. I was actually looking for some Amazon.com gift cards... and I know Safeway's has a huge selection of cards... but they didn't have that one. So... next best thing was a Chargeable Visa card... but only one would ring up. So... I had to go to Customer Service... and there they wanted to charge me a $4.95 service fee to buy one of the cards... so I said skip it (but they let me have the one for the rate on the card)... and I just hope that through all the process, that the card actually works (its a Christmas present). I'm a little leary of buying gift cards since I bought one for a neighbor last year and they didn't use it for about 6 months, by then I had thrown away the receipt... and when they went to use it, they were told it was never initialized (validated or whatever). GRRRR!

Anyway... I got my daughters and granddaughters basically taken care of... and that's all I'm going to worry about this year (I can't afford to worry about anyone else without a December paycheck!).

So... I came home... pooped... and laid in bed and watched football. Undefeated Kansas State was beaten today by the University of Missouri, which means that the University of Hawaii football team is the ONLY undefeated college football team. AND... I mentioned yesterday that UH is playing UW next week... and UW was beat by WSU (Washington State U). YEA! (I'd root for WSU over UW anyday... WSU is closer to my hometown).

Which reminds me... I called my oldest brother and he got his surprise package... just miscellaneous "Marine's" stuff that I picked up at the air show. It's stuff that he wouldn't normally have access to getting (like bumper stickers). He spent his time as a Vietnam Marine. He's probably the main reason I went into the military (but I went into the Air Force).

Okay... time to sign off... I've got about 4 loads of laundry to get through tonight. Ugh. But... every time I've tried to do laundry in the past week and a half, someone else was already doing theirs.

Aloha!
- Kris

P.S. the picture is of one of the Mokulea islands on the windward side of the island

Friday, November 23, 2007

WAC CHAMPIONS!!!!


WHOOOPPPEEEEE! UH beat Boise!!! It's the first time in something like 5 years, and it was the first time in School history that UH has won the WAC championship outright (whatever that means!). But... UH is at 11-0 (11 wins, no losses). They played to a sell out crowd tonight and it was another awesome game to watch. We have one more game... next week... against Washington (I'd say I'm a Wazoo before I'd say I'm a Husky!...) I'm glad that I got to be there for this game... it was really nice!
Let's see... my day started off at 4am... courtesy of our local fire department who needs to run their sirens, even if there is NO traffic out. I don't know why they responded, but they responded to the building behind me (just 1 fire truck... didn't smell or see any fire). But, that was okay... I was planning to get up early anyway, to head over to the Navy Exchange to pick up a couple things. One thing that I felt I desparately needed was an external 500 gigabyte hard-drive. My hard drive on my computer is 160 gb, and was down to 18gb of free space... not much. And I think when it gets down to 15, it just kind of stops working very well. SO... I got a new 500 gb hard drive for $100. (good deal). Then... since my little canon cameras haven't been working for awhile... I decided I desparately needed a new "pocket" camera (I have the larger SLR, but I'd rather not carry it everywhere)... so I got a Sony Discman 7.2mb camera... for $100. The other thing I bought, which is probably pretty frivolous, was I got a digital picture frame for $60. I'm looking forward to putting it up on my new desk when I start my new job next week.
My neighbor Michelle went with me this morning, I enjoyed having her company and her help in battling the crowds! The guy ringing me up though, must have been using a very sensitive scanner and kept ringing up things twice! I caught most of it, but there was one thing that I need to go back and have them credit me on. I wasn't about to try and go back into the store this morning... parking was a nightmare... and the crowds were horrendous. So... guess where I'll be going back to tomorrow... yep. But... I do plan to get a 2 gb memory card (SD card) for my new digital picture frame... I think they had them for about $15 and I think the sale on those is through the weekend.
I made it to work on time... and it was a busy morning. I had to re-create the last couple pages of a client's online file that somehow got deleted. I got it done. I felt like I was probably the only one that could do it. He was my former co-worker's client. My current co-workers wouldn't have a clue as to where to start. Then I got all the online documentation printed out so that I could sign as much as possible before leaving. I'll probably need to go back and sign one or two in the next week or so.
Today was rather anti-climatic... there was no big good-bye to the clients or to the staff (I had my good-byes last month *smiles*). My supervisors did come over to wish me well (and to try and talk me into staying one more time)... but other than that... as usual, I left about 45 minutes later than I had planned. (Why does it always seem to work out that way). The female co-worker left at lunch time for a doctor's appointment and wasn't coming back... so I changed the online documentation around so that my replacement could sign for them (it would have been easier had she signed the paperwork before she left... but, that's another story). I guess she's having a problem with a rash... from stress. And she wasn't too happy when I informed her that her supervisor wants her to start faxing over the daily contact sheet after they enter the NAPs (because it will show that she is struggling in that area). Oh well... not my problem now. (thank goodness). There will definitely be parts of the job I will miss... and parts that I *won't* miss.
Monday will be my first day of inprocessing to my new job... but I probably won't be up there to my office until Tuesday it sounds like.
Oh... and I just caught a "football express" bus from Kailua to the game (it's only $3 each way), but that meant I had to return to Kailua to pick up my car to drive home. (no problem... really).
Now it's late... and there is still one thing I want to do before I go to bed (see if I can load some pictures onto my digital frame!).

Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy THANKSGIVING!

Gobble, Gobble...
Inside appetizers...

outside food...
Good food, good friends... what more can you ask for?
I went with my co-worker to the house of some friends of hers. I had a great time... I got to meet a wonderful bunch of people. We had a great time... getting there shortly after 1pm and we were there til about 7:45pm. Long day... but we never tired of conversing and sharing and getting to know each other. One of the people whose house we went to is a Psychologist at the VA, another is flying out tonight to MN where he is taking a new job... his wife teaches English at UH. And... I got to meet another (neighbor), who is now teaching at the UH School of Social Work.
Anyway... it was a great time!
I'm going to sign off now... because I want to get to bed early... I am getting up for "Black Friday" tomorrow and plan to be at the Navy Exchange for the store opening at 5am. I'm wanting to get a 500 GB external hard-drive... this computer I'm on is almost 90% full... pretty soon I won't be able to use it any more. So... I've got to do SOMETHING!
Anyway... Happy Thanksgiving!

Aloha!
- Kris



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finally here!


And I'm not just talking about Thanksgiving! *smiles* I got my LCSW Certificate and my pocket card! Whooohoo! Finally! It made my day!


Overall, the day went well... It wasn't as productive as I had hoped (or as it would have been had I been there by myself). We had three of us trying to do online documentation this morning. I was training my replacement again today... as I've said before... I love the guy & his wife... they are an awesome couple! He did say that he wishes I were staying, that he thought he and I would make an awesome team there at work. He has a long way to come with his computer skills, but seems to pick things up fairly good. He is the type to hunt and peck for typing though. He has a substance abuse intern working with him, she's going to come over and work at our program with him... THAT shold be interesting... she can't type any better. (I was hoping she would be able to help him out with the online documentation). Anyway... we spent about 2 1/2 hours just dealing with one client. His PO came by today and we all met and talked (at least his PO was able to witness the behavior we were talking about). Anyway... it was an okay day at work... the time went by way faster than I had hoped. And Friday morning is promising to be busy.


After work, I treated myself to getting my nails done (it's been a LONG time), and then I went and got a hair cut (more like a trim). Getting all gussied up for Thanksgiving, I guess... but really, its in preparation for my new job. It's easier to feel positive if you feel like you are looking your best.

I think I've mentioned that I'm going with one of my co-workers and her husband to some friends' of theirs for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It should be fun... I always like meeting new people. My neighbor Michelle is hoping we can spend a couple hours on the beach in the morning (before she heads her direction and I head mine).


Other than that... My youngest daughter (along with her new husband and her daughter) is getting settled into her new apartment in Washington, that's definitely something to be thankful for. I got to see my oldest granddaughter's school picture today (she's 10 now... and growing up fast). My oldest daughter posted it on her own blog.


I'm thankful for my friends... many of whom help keep ME sane! (although tonight I was helping another friend stay sane... she recently took an unstructured job as a Case Manager and is struggling with it... so we talked for about an hour). I'm thankful that my friend Janis is still with us for Thanksgiving this year and cherish our last Thanksgiving that we shared together.


I'm thankful that my LCSW Certificate & license came today.


I'm thankful that my daughters are all doing well and for my adorable granddaughters.


I'm thankful I've been able to remain employed while I've waited for the bureaucracy to resolve with my new job.


I'm thankful for my new job that I will be starting next week and the challenges it will bring. I pray that I will be able to step up to the new challenges in a positive way.


I'm thankful for my health.


I'm thankful that I have an apartment in Paradise and that I have a job that allows me to remain here in Hawaii.


I'm thankful for the internet that allows me to reach out and touch so many of my friends! (LIKE YOU!).


There's just so much to be thankful for. I hope that you are able to find a lot of things to be thankful for during this season of thanksgiving.


Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

wow...




What a day... First... the above pictures from beach walk (my last one?)... it was so-so... it was windy, overcast, but at least it didn't rain, and at least the kite surfers were out making the best of it.
I didn't get half as much done today as I had hoped. I did beach walk and that's about it. We had a couple clients that took a LOT of our time (one in particular). And I have one client that is there voluntarily, she has so much potential, but she is going to leave and plans to go live in a "condemned" building. She's not supposed to leave til tomorrow, so hopefully overnight she will change her mind... I doubt it, but I can hope. My guess is that if she leaves tomorrow, within 3 months, she will be back hospitalized in a psych hospital. That's unfortunate... without her mental illness impairing her, she is a very intelligent woman.

So... tomorrow we still need to meet with three more clients (one of which we've dealt with a LOT today), and I need to try and have everyone get there notes in so I can print them for one last time (hopefully) and then get them all signed. My replacement was there again today... and it should be interesting. I love him (and his wife) dearly... but he'll have to do less "talking story" and work on time management (how many times have *I* been told that in that position?).
Oh yea... and I *did* call down to the licensing Division today... they said my license and certificate went out in the mail yesterday (so hopefully I'll have it next week?) [sarcastic smirk].
I'm actually keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have it by the end of this week. It would be nice to have it to take up to Tripler for in-processing on Monday.
Time to sign off... not much else to add.

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rainy days and Mondays...

Eh... what can I say... not the best photo... after all, I had been hanging out at the sandbar all day playing. This is along the road I drive/ride every day to work... the mountains are beautiful and the reason they are green... is because they are consistently getting watered. *smiles*

Today went okay, my (new) replacement came over about lunchtime and did the afternoon group. We had one client acting up over the weekend. I did do several individual sessions today... and got out of there before 5 (I'm supposed to be off at 4). I rode my motorcycle today, and got pretty wet coming home (I have a rainsuit though). I've just been on the computer tonight after making dinner... I had currywurst and pommes fritz (German for Bratwurst with curry and French fries). Tasted pretty good.

I finished up the last of my Christmas cards tonight (a couple I had to write a more personalized letter for). So... Christmas Cards are "pau" (Finished, in Hawaiian). I'll mail them out on Friday or Saturday. I've got some of the inexpensive Hawaiian calendars that I'll need to get into the mail soon and then I'll be getting my own calendars (the ones that I made through Costco that have my own photos) before too long. I'm only having 8 of them made (I screwed up the order and it ordered it twice... I was only planning to order 4 of those calendars).

Okay... time to sign off... I've been really tired lately... I keep blaming it on the low iron (which I *know* I have), just hope that's all it is. I've been increasing my iron intake to compensate, but so far it doesn't seem to be doing much good.

Ta ta for now...
- Kris

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Relaxing Sunday...




Hi,
I thought I would post a few more pictures from yesterday. The picture directly above is of the Kaneohe Marine Base Marina, the others were taken out at the Sand bar. It's just hard to fathom a sand bar in the middle of what seems to be a deep ocean area... a place where you can hang out and play. (It's also supposed to be a sacred place). I'm looking forward to taking my "snowbird" friends out there when they come down. Guy & Nikki are coming down December 13th and Walt & Bette are coming down the end of January (I think, right??).
Not much to write about today. I went over to Costco and picked up my "Christmas" cards. I usually try to send them out about Thanksgiving, I'll wait to mail them, but I've made good progress on getting them done today. It's another picture card, but this one has two pics, the larger one is of my motorcycle *smiles* and the smaller picture was taken at the same time, and it's of me in front of Chinaman's Hat (a very small island off the NW part of Oahu). I've also gotten my "Christmas letter" done (whoohooo!). That's just kind of been my focus today. I addressed envelopes and signed the pictures, and stamped the cards while watching an interesting movie. The name of the movie is: "The Secret Life of Words" click here to see a summary of the movie. I'd highly recommend it to my daughters. Michelle, I think you'll enjoy the music.
I went and bought a "blue tooth" thing for my phone, so my goal for tonight is to figure out how to use it. That's one of those wireless devices people use behind their ear to talk and then don't have to worry about holding the phone. And... I went and got more vitamins. I take quite a variety and I want to make sure I've got enough to get me through the next month and a half or so, when my income will be limited. I had to order one of my vitamins online, but I get something like 400 of them, so I won't need to order any more until 2009! *smiles*

Other than that... not much going on... just getting psyched up for another week at work, my last week.

So... I'll say Aloha now... have a great week!
- Kris



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kaneohe Sandbar





First, I thought I'd post some pictures from the pontoon boat ride out to the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar. We had a good time, my next door neighbor, Michelle went with me when they had someone cancel at the last minute. I took my digital SLR camera along as well, but since it's almost midnight, I'm not going to stay on the computer very long tonight, if I can help it.

This a view of the Pali mountains, I pass these every day going to and from work. They were reallly pretty today with the little bit of cloud cover at the top.
After we got back home (and cleaned up), Michelle & little Kaleo went with me while I did my "mystery shopping" and then we went to a co-worker of Michelle's - house for a birthday party. We got there about 6 and didn't leave until just after 11pm. It was a long time... but I met many very nice people and had some things in common with some (one is working on his Doctorate degree in Social Welfare and one of my Grad Program instructors is his advisor). The woman whose birthday it was is from Samoa, and I have a former classmate from American Samoa and they knew her. And the husband (relatively young... at least under 30)... was talking about how they did this thing about four people putting their hands over one person's head (that was seated on a chair), then removing them (put them on and remove them in sequence over the head of the person sitting), then each of us was to put our hands together (individually) like we were making a pretend pistol, then use those two index fingers to lift someone up. It was rather confusing for some... so since I understood the concept they were trying to do, I was asked to participate (I was one of 2 people not drinking... so that probably played a factor into it). Anyway... suffice it to say, with the four of us, with our two index fingers placed together, lifted a 200 pound man about 2 feet off his chair. It was an interesting experiment. Michelle got it on video tape and said she's going to put it on YouTube.
Anyways... nuff of that.
For those still reading... please pray for my friend Janis. She got the results of her bone marrow aspiration. When they did the aspiration here last May, she had 15% of cancer in her bones. Now she is at 59%. She had hoped (as we all did) that she was in remission. So, the medication that she has been trying has not been working. SO... she's going to try something else (Revlamid & and Methadexamine(? something like that). It's not sounding too hopeful for her right now though. So... keep Janis and her family in your prayers. She just had her 52nd birthday this past week.
Okay... time to sign off and hit the sack.
Aloha!
- Kris





Friday, November 16, 2007

GO BOWS!!!

WHOOOOWEEEEE! UH just beat Nevada in football! It was a nail-biter to the end. UH (28) vs Nevada (26). It's the first time UH has ever been Nevada on their home team. Our Quarterback did NOT play (he got a concussion in last week's game, so they kept him out... I guess planning only to use him if we got very far behind). So... our second string Quarterback, Tyler Granke played and came through for the team. Last year he actually had a better completion rate than Colt (our Quarterback)... this year he hasn't played quite as well, but he's still done pretty good.

I think this is the 10th game we've won this year. Kansas is still undefeated, they play Iowa State tomorrow. But... Hawaii's dream of a possible BCS bowl berth remain alive!

Okay... time to sign off... I need to return some movies to Blockbuster.

Tomorrow I get to go out to the Sand bar in Kaneohe Bay! It should be fun, I'm going out with some of the "meet-in" bunch.

Oh yea... I had a good time catching up with friends at Rumours (and watched the game there), and I met a new friend, her name is Dorothy... wow... I could talk to her all night... what an amazing and smart woman. She's very multi-lingual (grew up in NY). Let's see... I know she speaks Arabic & Greek, she also learned Latin growing up, she speaks German, French, and a bunch of Central Asian languages that I don't recall. She's done a lot of traveling too... and now teaches "English as a Second Language." An amazing woman.

Okay... gotta scoot!

Aloha!
- Kris

GO BOWS!

CREDENTIALED!

(Another beautiful day in Hawaii Nei!)
Whoooeee!

Finally! Although it now has to go through the routine processes of signing off... I was informed today that I *have* been credentialed! YIPPEEE! So... it looks like I will start my new job on November 26th. Murphy's law says what can go wrong, will... so I'll believe it when I am actually on the payroll.

Other than that... a rather typical day at work... our intern called in sick (she got halfway and started puking... hopefully NOT at the thought of coming in!). So, I did beachwalk and group today. Fortunately, I have all of my materials for groups readily available, so I was able to look through and decide what to do the group on and proceed. It wasn't like a last minute panic... like "Oh no! I don't know what to do!" I got a LOT done this afternoon... all but one thing that I had hoped to do... and that's even with a couple things that came up on the spot that had to be dealt with.

Okay... I'm going to sign off so I can head down to Rumours to hang out with some friends and see some people I haven't seen in awhile.

Aloha!

- Kris

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not much to write about today either...

Not much to write about today. We had our Clinical staffing this morning, but a couple of key people were gone (one was sick, one was on another island, and I don't know where our Clinical Director was). Still, it was a long staffing, but part of it was informal training for some of our new counselors. Then we got back to work and found out that some of our clients had been acting up today (just manini (small) rule breaking stuff... and attitude issues...), so we did a process group this afternoon to go over the rules (again)... and to process with the clients why they are there. I participated in the first hour, but the 2nd hour I was meeting with a client for an individual session. I keep thinking of that song "I'm not Lisa... my name is Julie..." but in this case... it's I'm not Julie, my name is Laura (referring to my old co-worker and my new co-worker). I know my new co-worker can't hold a candle to my former co-worker... but still... it's all I can do to hold my tongue and just not be totally impatient. Just like this afternoon... she's in there with her shrill voice increasing the tension in the room. She really needs to learn how to de-escalate situations, instead at this point, she tends to escalate it as she attempts to talk louder and over top of everyone, instead of getting control. She's rather short (sorry Kati... not meant to be a *dig*), and so I think she thinks her volume has to be louder to make up for it. And often times it just makes it worse.

I had hoped to leave at 3 today (and had my work done)... but she ended up keeping the clients an extra 20 minutes in group, so it was about 45 minutes later that I left (I left about 3:45). I went and got some gas, then did some grocery shopping (I cleaned out my pantry a couple weeks ago, but it looked TOO empty now! *smiles*).

Tomorrow I'm going to "Rumours" (night club). I haven't been there in a long time and a friend (Barbara) called me this week and wants me to come down and hang out for awhile... so I figured "why not." I just hope that they have the UH football game on the big screen! It'll be worth it just for that, if they do. UH is playing the University of Nevada tomorrow (in Reno) and they have never been Nevada on their own turf. So far UH is undefeated, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed so that they can keep the winning streak going!

Time to sign off...
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hawaii Superferry rides again...

The judge in Maui cleared the way for the Superferry to start operating again! Hooray! That was probably the biggest news of the day.

Work went fine... I just got home (at 9:45pm) from participating in a "focus" group on "Clinical Trials" and how to get people with cancer (or those who know people with cancer, etc) to become interested in participating in clinical trials. Unlike the type of studies I have participated in, they don't pay participants, but participants may gain the benefit of a particular study medication that they are studying (or for example, one study has women with breast cancer receive radiation two times a day for five days, instead of once a week for six weeks (or something like that) to see if the frequency of radiation makes a difference. Anyway... it was interesting. And... I'm $60 richer for having participated for a couple hours.

Time for bed now because tomorrow is my EARLY morning.

Aloha-ha...
- Kris
P.S. My supervisors were very happy to find out that I'll be with them for another week.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

another work week...


Some scenes from beach walk today. These pics were taken with my phone cam.

Work went okay... I had beach walk and then met with two clients for individual sessions and then had a "Cognitive Restructuring" group this afternoon. I had the clients watch the video "The Peaceful Warrior" because I thought it related to clearing your mind and focusing on the hear and now and your goals. It was good to watch and the client's seemed to like it. It will be a busy week this week, but I will survive it.
My supervisor is asking if I can stay through the week of Thanksgiving and so I've written to my future company to ask if that's possible. For my part, if I stay, I get paid for the holiday, if I move to the new company, I don't get paid for the holiday. So, in some ways it is to my advantage to stay another week.
Not much to write about tonight, so I'm signing off after a short post.
Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beaches and weddings

(Michelle & Kaleo walking towards the beach)... for another beautiful day at the beach! *smiles*

The beach was kind of crowded today... but still it was a very nice day to be there... spending time at the beach beats spending time at work anytime!
Wedding couple #1... (the photographer didn't even take time to straighten out her train).

Wedding couple #2, with the simplest of the dresses.

Wedding couple #3, I loved the parasol. This couple had the best, most creative photograher with them. So... three wedded couples in as many hours this afternoon down at Ala Moana beach. All looked to be of Japanese origin. By the way... I liked the gown of bride #3, Michelle liked the gown of bride #2.
Needless to say though... it was a fantastic day to spend some quality time at the beach. I did wear an "Old Navy" tee shirt with the American Flag in honor of Veteran's day. My neighbor Michelle didn't realize that I am a "Vietnam Era" vet. Yep... I made the cut-off... just barely.
Which reminds me... I wrote a letter to our Hawaiian congress reps today (I wrote them to Senator Akaka and Senator Inouye, and to Representative Hirono). I thought I'd cut and paste the letter I wrote here, I "sanitized" the letter a little, taking out last names:

Dear [Congressman's name here],
Hello, my name is Kris [
last name here] and I’m writing this Veteran’s Day weekend on behalf of my friend Julie [her last name here] and her son Joel. I’ve known and worked with Julie for a little over a year and I had the opportunity to meet Joel when he was home last Thanksgiving on leave from Afghanistan. I’ve also talked with him on the phone since his return to the US in June. I am aware of his situation and what he has been going through; I probably don’t need to reiterate that here, since I’m sure you too are familiar with his situation by now.

As a Vietnam era veteran (USAF) and as a Social Worker, I would implore you to bring Joel home as soon as possible. I truly believe that he will get the best treatment and heal the most, if he is allowed to return “home.” Home to the islands that he loves so much and home to the mother’s care that he still needs even as an adult, and to Tripler, where he can receive the type of specialized care he needs to deal with the severe PTSD that he has.

I have to say, I am appalled by the treatment Joel has received. He was a young boy enlisting to serve our country, right out of High School. He is still young. Right after enlisting and going through Basic Training he was sent to Afghanistan where he wasn’t just a combat soldier, but a medic. He lived the worst, day in and day out. He has experienced more in the past two years than most adult men ever face in a lifetime. I am appalled by the treatment he has received from his unit out there at Fort Drum since returning home. First, he was denied leave upon his return. Then after what seemed to be a PTSD related incident, he was put on double-duty (after a short hospitalization, if I recall). I don’t know about you… but I would think that would worsen anyone’s condition - to be denied the ability to return home and then subsequently do double-duty.

Please [
Congressman's name], I know your office has been working behind the scenes to help Joel, and I know it’s within your capacity to bring Joel [his last name here] home as soon as possible, that’s all I ask. Is that you bring Joel home.

Thank you,

[my name and address listed here]
So... how did I do? I thought I wrote a good letter. I'm going to fax the letters to them tomorrow. Which reminds me... I still want to make fax cover sheets tonight to go with the letters.
Okay, time to sign off... not sure if I'm going to a movie tonight, or just staying home to watch a two hour special on "The Bachelor" tv show.
Aloha!
- Kris


Sunday, November 11, 2007

North Shore Sunset

This was taken on the North Shore of Oahu, from "Shark's Cove." The sun wasn't quite setting yet, so I thought I would ride down the road a little further. Fortunately, I just barely made it to the next pull-over place to stop in time to take the pictures below.


Now.l.. didn't you enjoy those pics? It was a beautiful sunset. And a great ride. I put just over 100 miles on the motorcycle today. From my place I headed southeast, toward Diamond Head and Hawaii Kai. I realized that I don't think I have ever ridden that direction around the southeast part of the island on my motorcycle (I've come BACK that way, but I don't think I've gone that way). It was beautiful and tempting to stop at every pull-off to take pictures. But, I didn't leave until 3pm and it takes a long time to get up to the North Shore the way I went. I could have gone across the Pali and saved an hour and a half or so, but then I would have missed the scenery by Hanauma bay, the blow hole, Mokapuu lookout and Rabbit Island.
My neck is sore from riding, I'm not sure if it is just the weight of my helmet aggravating my neck from when I got whiplash a bunch of years ago or what. I sure could use a GOOD chiropractor about now. At some point I should have it (my neck) looked at again, because it also gets sore when I am on the computer too much.
Not much else to write about, I may go see the late showing of the movie "The Brave One" at the dollar theater since I don't have to go to work tomorrow. My neighbor Michelle might go with me, if her husband is home to watch Kaleo. Right now I'm eating dinner. Last night Michelle (my neighbor) had company over and she made dinner... she wanted me to have some too... so she saved me a plate and brought it over today. It was good... there was some fish (not sure what kind), some brown rice, some cooscous, some kind of starchy vegetable and some spinach. It was quite tasty, if I may say so myself!
Okay... I'm going to sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hawaii football UH (37) - Fresno (30), but at a cost

No #15, Colt Brennan is the UH Football team Quarterback. And a darned good one at that! He has set all kinds of records. AP News reported "Colt Brennan tied the NCAA career mark for touchdown passes Saturday night, throwing his 121st before he was knocked out of the game, as No. 14 Hawaii remained undefeated by holding off Fresno State 37-30." And, they said... "With top-ranked Ohio State's loss earlier in the day, Hawaii and Kansas are the only remaining unbeaten teams." Woooohheeee!
Here are some more action shots of Colt... not sure what he's doing here with his leg up in the air! *smiles*

Colt's being protected by his team-mates as he gets ready to throw the ball.
The crowd is often considered the "12th" man (there are generally 11 players on the field at any one time). The crowd was pretty much a sell-out tonight, so there were probably about 50,000 people at the game? Something like that. The section I took the picture of above, is the student section.
Vili, the Warrior, is the UH mascot. He likes to taunt the other team, but he's cooled his jets a little since he got in trouble with being too aggressive a couple years ago. He's been doing pretty good motivating the home crowd though.
The end of the game... the team gathers as the band plays the School's "fight" song. However... there is at least 1 key player missing from the crowd. The Quarterback, Colt Brennan. He was running with the ball in the 4th quarter when he took a direct hit from the opposing team. Initially it looked helmet to helmet, but then there was some question about that. Either way, he was down for a good five minutes before they got him up. Unofficial reports said that his concussion was a "Grade III". This is what I found out about this level of concussion (which is the highest, they are graded I - III). "Grade III: A severe concussion, when there is a loss of consciousness and no memory of the event." Colt's dad was in the stands and went down to the locker-room, and Colt did not make it back out to even watch the last part of the game. Coach June Jones was on the sports broadcasting program after the game and indicated that Colt was doing okay. I hope so. I imagine we will find out more tomorrow. Here's more of what the AP had to say about Colt Brennan:
"Brennan was 28-of-39 for 396 yards and two touchdowns before he left in the fourth quarter. The Warriors (9-0, 6-0 Western Athletic Conference) are off to their best start since 1925 and kept their BCS hopes alive. They have won 10 straight, and 19 of their last 20 games."
And Colt's UH webpage says:
"Warrior quarterback Colt Brennan currently holds 20 NCAA records, including the career record for most games gaining 400 yards or more of total offense. "
Other than the somber mood after the injury, the game was pretty good. We played really well the first half, but kind of sucked during the 2nd half. I thought that maybe after Colt's hit, that our team would get angry and turn that into momentum to up the ante in the game, but instead it seemed like a BIG distraction for our team. The team really likes Colt and really look up to him as a leader, so I'm sure they were worried about him and whether he would be okay.

Our next game coming up is against Nevada, and we have never won a game on THEIR turf... and that's where the game will be played, this coming Friday... so there's not a lot of time for healing.
We (my co-worker & I) sat pretty close to the Fresno section, and there were a few incidences over there that the police had to get involved in... taunting back and forth (between Hawaii fans and UH fans) and some mild skirmishes. I did complain about a couple in our section a couple rows in front of me. When the came at the beginning of the game, they each had a beer and were instructed that this particular section is the "Family" section and that no alcoholic beverages are allowed (which I sure don't mind... I hate the smell/taste of beer). Well... so they left to drink those... and then returned to their seat. A little later in the game (3rd quarter or so), he brought a beer back and was trying to be sneaky about drinking it... then his girlfriend or whatever came with another beer... so I went up and complained. I'm not very tolerant of that kind of thing... last year when I had a season ticket, the guy next to me drank like a fish... and a couple times he sloshed his beer on to me. It made me angry! So... I'm much less tolerant and if I choose to sit in the non-drinking section, then I expect those who want to drink to sit elsewhere.
Okay... guess that's about it. It's bed time shortly. (It's almost midnight... after the game gets over it takes awhile to get out of the stadium, and then I take my co-worker up to Pearl City to save her husband from having to come get stuck in traffic by the stadium. It's opposite of the way I go home, but not too far out of the way, just about 3 miles.
Aloha folks...
- Kris