Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So... today was a pretty good day. It's my oldest granddaughter's birthday, she's 11 today! (Happy Birthday Tay!). I heard rumors that she is playing her Wii American Idol game today (her present from me).
Work was work... typical. My group didn't have as many participants as I had hoped, but that just meant I didn't have as many notes to write. I was able to get out of work relatively on time and I went to the gym. I *did* send the *final* offer email to my supervisor with a date of the 7th (drop dead date *smiles*), for the response. Which reminds me.. I need to get busy & fill out the paperwork to send in for the other position, so it will be ready to mail on the evening of the 7th.
Oh yea... and my middle daughter got some good news, she was selected to present a paper at her national convention/workshop in Vancouver, BC.... how cool is that?
Okay... time to so sign off... I'm watching "Biggest Loser" and the first hour is already over and I want to get on my gazelle for at least a 1/2 hour while I watch the 2nd half.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Hello... what a long day! And a busy day. I saw 7 clients today, including a couple intakes (which always take a little longer for documentation) and then, because our docs have been so busy... there was one client that I didn't get out of my office until about 12:20 (so... cutting into MY lunch hour), and then I had a walk-in at about 3:40pm... I should have just told them to have her come back tomorrow morning (she wasn't in a crisis). I told the front desk that if I took her, I probably wouldn't get out until at least 5:30... and I was wrong... it was almost 7 before I got out of there (because in addition to the documentation, I needed to prep for my group tomorrow).
Then... being the "super" counselor that I am... I drove down to the hospital to see a client that is in the hospital and it was after 8 before I left there. I wouldn't do it for just anyone, but I've got the longest history with this client and she's having kidney failure and it doesn't sound like they know for sure why. She had called me about 4:20 this afternoon and after talking with her for a little bit, I told her I would come down to see her if I could.
So... other than work... not much else going on... so I'm going to sign off & go make some Peanut Butter cookies (the rest of my recipes are on my other computer & I haven't put the printer software on the desktop yet... so I can't print out the recipe I wanted to use anyway (I was going to make cornflake cookies).
P.S. I ended up going online & finding the recipe for the corn flake cookies (with nuts & coconut) and I am making them... I guess it will be another late night, as it is almost 11pm.
Also, I've drafted an email to my supervisor with the following conditions for consideration of staying:
1) I want the amount proposed added to my base pay (not after the COLA).
2) I would like the final determination in writing by October 7th, with a statement that the pay increase will continue annually with pay raise considerations based on appropriate work performances annually.
3) I would like a determination on the student loan repayment.
4) I want to know that I will be allowed to attend the upcoming trainings for PTSD (PE, EMDR) and the Suicide Prevention workshop
Sunday, September 28, 2008
After church, I picked up my "Gazelle" from my friend Michelle... and brought it home & lugged it up the stairs. Sometimes I don't like living on the 2nd floor... especially when it comes to lugging groceries, but then I remind myself that I am burning a few extra calories each day. I also loaned her my Office software, she had to get a new hard-drive or something. I guess I'll have to get it back, so I can put it back on my new computer.
Yes... new computer. I'll come back to that. I went & got my nails done, I get acrylic & gel, but I don't like the gel they used today, it didn't harden like it is supposed to , so now my nails look all funky.
Then I went up & picked up my old computer. I did ask at "Best Buy" about buying a new motherboard & processor... and it just sounded easier to buy a new CPU tower. So... I got a new Dell, model i530-110B. It has a 2 Q6600 Quad-Core Processor (8MB L2 cache, 2.4 GHz), it has a 6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM Memory at 667MH-4DIMMS (whatever that means), it has a 640 GB Hard Drive, it has a DVD +/- RW (plays & creates DVDs & CD's... I didn't really think I needed Blue Ray capability at this point), it has an "Integrated Intell Graphics Medial Accelerator 3100, and it has a 19 in 1 Media Card reader (so I can put the card right in from the computer rather than run it through a cable, if that's what I want to do). I think I'll be happy with it. I also bought a battery back-up for the desktop. I used to have one when I lived up in Alaska (where power outages were fairly frequent).
So... after watching "Extreme Home Makeover" and almost falling asleep in my chair, I finally got up and went to my spare room/office & spent a half hour or so sorting through cables. I'm not sure I have my speakers in the right plug-in yet, but at least I got the computer & battery back-up hooked up and they seem to be working (I'm typing this on my laptop). Right now I'm copying the stuff off my old Vaio (via my external hard-drive), so that takes awhile. I had a LOT on it. Hopefully I won't be up too late, it's already past my bedtime... it's almost 10:30 (I'm watching the last of the 10pm news). Which reminds me... I need to go put my leftovers from dinner into some containers and put them in the refrigerator. I got a Lasagna dinner thing from "Sam's Club"... it was good. (One that would serve 1-2 people will serve me for 4 meals... I'm thinking they will make a good lunch option for the rest of the week... or at least 3 days this week).
Speaking of "this week"... I need to make a decision whether to stay in my current position or change positions.
One thing that will need to happen before I even consider staying, is that I want it in writing what my pay increase will be, before the end of this week. I want to know if the raise is to my base pay, or if it is after the Cost of Living adjustment. I also want it in writing that this isn't a one-time thing. And, I've never heard anything back on the student loan repayment thing I asked about when I was first offered the other job.
It's a tough decision... even with the pay raise promised. For one thing... I'm not feeling very trusting of my leaders (who supposedly had tried to do something like this before we converted and told us a day & 1/2 before that they weren't able to do it... too late at that time for us to find another position before converting). I guess I worry about that happening again.
Another thing... I've accepted a position (I haven't done the paperwork yet though) and I don't want to burn that bridge (with the other company).
Pros for going: 1) I expand my professional abilities. 2) I know what my pay will be. 3) I have heard good things from several sources about the new supervisor, everyone seems to like him, 4) I would get a free trip to San Antonio & get to see my friend Susanne, 5) I think the workload would be easier (heck... they get to go to lunch at 11:30, and it sounds like they go back to work at 1)... I'm lucky if I get a half-hour for lunch, because I'm busy making calls or doing paperwork.
Pros for staying 1) I don't have to move all my crap from my office (I'm getting tired of moving). 2) I remain Civil Service, which leads me to my ultimate goal of being able to go overseas on assignments, which I would like to do at least once. 3) I know my job duties. 4) I get a little more time off than I would in the other position. 5) I'll get to keep my old clients that I've come to enjoy working with.
Cons for going: 1) Domestic Violence hasn't been the area that I thought I would ever work in. 2) I have to move all my crap (I have a LOT of books). 3) I'll have to get used to a new set of co-workers (but at least I do know my former classmate that is over there). 4) I feel like I'll be dealing with less-desireable people... those that beat their spouses & their children. 5) I'll probably go through bouts of insecurity about my abilities for awhile.
Cons for staying: 1) Lack of trust in leadership. 2) No rest for the wicked. 3) Frustration that it feels like we only have time to do the band-aid approach for care, because we are lucky if we can see clients once a month. 4) I may burn my bridges with the company I am being hired by, and they are one of the main contract providers for jobs in my field in the area I work in.
So... there are a lot of pros & cons. What do you think? (Any constructive advice would be appreciated).
On another note, I talked with my friend Bette today, she checked into seeing if we could stay at the "Grand Hotel" while we were on Mackinac Island, but it was completely booked. I did a google search, and apparently they hold a Women's Retreat (with Tony Compolo as the main speaker) each year in October and it just happens to coincide with our time there. The 'Win-Some Women's" retreats are about 6 times a year at the Grand Hotel and have something like 6000 participants (I hope all 6000 aren't going to be there when WE are planning to be there! Otherwise Walt's going to be having his head swimming with all of those women on the island!).
Okay... past time for bed... I need to go check on my desktop & probably shut it down & look at it tomorrow. (Monday nights there really isn't anything on TV that I like to watch... so that works out).
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Other than that (my favorite phrase), they called me about my desktop today, the motherboard is fried and to replace that and the processor would be $400-500 and they suggested I just buy a new desktop computer. They did say that if I had an external hard-drive, that they could save the stuff off of my hard-drive, so I ran my external hard-drive up, I'll go pick it up tomorrow. I've been kind of looking online to see what my options are... and I'm going to check the sale ads tomorrow. I'm thankful that I have my laptop.
I had a long talk with my friend Bette today, we discussed my upcoming trip to Duluth, MN and the itinerary for while I'm there. It's going to be a busy time. I get there about 4:30 on Saturday, I will be there in Duluth all day Sunday, and then Monday morning we head down towards Hammond, IN and will stay somewhere down in that area. Tuesday we head on over to the Ann Arbor, MI area. There's a "snowbird" couple over in the area, they are friends of Nikki & Guy's. Their names are Carl & Mikki. I've met Carl, he was in my group piano class a couple years ago. I was impressed that at over 75 years old or so, he would sign up for piano lessons. We found out over the course of the class, that we had mutual friends (Guy & Nikki). Carl is a WWII vet & former POW. An interesting person. Anyway... I called them today to see if they were going to be home that Tuesday, I'd like to see them and then finally meet Mikki. They used to have a Bed & Breakfast, their daughter took it over. It's in an old Flour Mill that was owned by Henry Ford (of Ford Motor Co). I guess Carl also did a stint working on the railroad & Mikki's Dad also spent a lifetime on the railroad, so I suppose they will have a lot in common with Walt. So... it would be good for them to meet. I don't think Walt & Bette have ever met them, even though they are mutual friends with Guy & Nikki.
Anyway... after spending Tuesday night in the Ann Arbor area (and Mikki & Carl did invite us to stay with them if we'd like)... we head up to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw Island). I'd never really heard of it before until Goldie mentioned it last night, so I spent this morning doing some research on it. Anyway... I've gone ahead and made reservations for us on the ferry to Mackinac Island & for a night at the Harborview Inn. I think we will make it there in enough time to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the island (there are NO motorized vehicles on the island). We'll spend Wednesday night there, then we have a full day of travel the next day back to Duluth, up across the Northern part of Michigan. I'll spend Thursday night in Duluth, and then I have an early departure the next morning to come back here to Hawaii.
So... a busy trip (Just the kind I like!). And I'll still have time off that weekend to recuperate before I start my new job (or stay in my current position).
Okay... time to sign off. Tomorrow's a busy day. I am singing in a small choir at church tomorrow and then heading over to Michelle's place (former neighbor). Not sure if we're going to the beach or what we will be doing.
So... Aloha for another day...
Work was busy (as usual)... It's my day to have an hour off to do paperwork & I still saw 7 clients and made several phone calls (work-related). My first client learned an expensive lesson... spent $1600 at a Strip joint last weekend, then had the audacity to blame it on a counseling service that refused to talk with him after finding out he was already involved in a clinic. (If they had only talked to me, this wouldn't have happened). Nothing like a little externalizing there! Not sure that I got through to him that he made the choices all on his own... and then made suggestions to deal with his impulsivity. I had another client that terminated her 3rd pregnancy (it would have been the 3rd child each with different fathers). That's just a sample. I spent quite a bit of time talking with our medical providers today dealing with issues, some that I was dealing with, some others were dealing with. Oh yea... and then there's the client that thinks there will be a major catastrophe on earth on October 16, so he's labeled delusional (I guess we'll know by the the 17th or so, right?).
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Hopefully you have had the opportunity to watch the edited video above, I found a free converter program which allowed me to convert the video from DVD, to something I could upload here... however... because it was free... it didn't let me upload the whole thing (because they want you to BUY the program). Anyway... the first part shows me when I got my dolphin ride... holding onto their dorsal fins, and towards the end, you should be able to see me when I get my toe push ride (where I fly across the water like Superman *smiles*). You'll see the others who were there with me, my nephew Kevin, his wife Michelle & son Riley, and then there were two young teenagers, I believe they were hispanic... nice kids!
Work was hectic today. I did take in the cookies, they didn't all get eaten, so I left them in my Tupperware container in the kitchen. I'm sure they will get eaten tomorrow. I saw 5 clients before noon (whew!)... and then had to prep for my group over lunch, group was at 1, and I had four participants. I did have a "free" hour at 2 and got about half my paperwork done during that hour, had another client at 3 and didn't get out of work until 5:30 (an hour late). I was going to head to the gym, but instead had a long phone call with my middle daughter... I hadn't talked to her for a few days, so it was nice to catch up with her (or for her to catch up with me! *smiles*).
Anyway... haven't done much since getting home... I spent most of the time trying to figure out how to convert the DVD (or figuring out what a .vob extension was) to a format that I could upload to my blog. While messing on the computer, I also watched "Wheel of Fortune" and then "Biggest Loser" - a couple of my favorite shows. The evening has whizzed past and now it's after 9 & I'm catching up on local news.
Oh yea... and since my desktop went belly-up this past weekend, I'm getting my email files set up under outlook. I can go look at each of my email accounts (don't ask... I've got too many email accounts!)... on their respective websites, but I like having most of them in my Outlook, so they can be consolidated there.
Okay... time to sign off... I'm still having a problem with my gmail... getting that to load into my Outlook, so will try to fix that yet before I go to bed.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I didn't make it snorkeling, instead we drove around the North Shore so my nephew & family could see it. That's okay... we had fun & even found a small turtle on the beach (Ali'i beach).
I'm going to keep this short as I'm dog tired & falling asleep here in my chair.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I hope you are able to watch this video, its some dolphins playing with each other, I thought it was cute.
Otherwise.. I played in the regular pool for awhile and even went down a slide. Then after I checked out of the hotel, I tried to see if I cold catch a helicopter ride.. but alas... it did't work out. So.. I headed over to towards Hilo. I went the north route on the way over & came back across saddle road... it's slowly getting improved, but surely getting better. I hiked around Akaka Falls while I ws over there. It ws fun.
But...now it 's back to work... back to the grind.
P.S... I had to come back and edit this post from last night... I was so tired when I typed it and I had taken my Ambien... so I had a LOT of misspellings... LOL!
First, I got to the Big Island this morning, arriving about 9am. As I was getting off the plane, the pilots were standing by the door & there was a friend, Bob! (We met through a mutual friend). I hadn't seen him in at least 3 years I think, nice to see he's still flying for Hawaiian... so he gave me a kiss on the cheek (Hawaiian way of greeting, it's very common here) and asked me what I was doing over here... *smiles* So... it was a nice way to start off my Big Island mini vacation!
Then I drove up around the NW side of the island, the only part I haven't been to (the one time I came over with my former co-worker Marie & we were headed up that way, there was a big fire, so we couldn't go around that side). The photo below was taken when I stopped at the Lapakahi State Historical Park and took a little 1 mile hike around the area (I was on a designated path, there's a lot of history & spirituality in this place).
So... below are views from my room. (I took these photos with my phone... I forgot my camera cable!). Anyway... I have a partial ocean view & I am right above where the dolphins are!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
My friend Karen & I.
P.S. Ooops... I forgot I had put this picture in. I took it on the way home & it doesn't do it justice, but the sun was bright red. We've had a LOT of vog today... so bad that I couldn't see the Waianae mountains from town & couldn't see Diamond Head from my apartment.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I got my motorcycle serviced today, but need to take it back in because the timing is off. When I idle, it wants to stall. I called the dealership & I'm going to take it back in next weekend.
Tonight I went & saw two highly recommended movies. The first on was "Man on Wire." It's a documentary about a French guy who comes over to the US & manages to sneak up on the World Trade towers (with cohorts) and rig a tightrope across (unbeknownst to security) between the two towers. Then, with daylight, he walks across (unprotected). It was a pretty good movie, a little slow at times. I couldn't help but think that my oldest daughter would like it because there's a lot of French (with sub-titles) in the movie. The other movie I saw was "Frozen River." THAT was a good movie! It's about two women who make up an unlikely pair to transport illegal aliens across the border. I'd recommend watching it, if you can find it playing. With all of our theaters here, it was only showing at 1 theater. It may be an "independent" picture. SO... the better part of my day was spent in front of one screen (tv) or another (theater). I *did* get my bike serviced & got the safety check done on that, and I got my laundry done. Tomorrow I'm planning to head into town to go to church where I used to go. My friend Dean is now the main preacher for that service & I haven't seen him for awhile. My friend Karen called me last week & asked me to come to the service, I'm looking forward to seeing her tomorrow.
I still need to pack for my trip to the Big Island (I fly over early Monday morning). I pretty much know what I'm going to take/wear and I still have my suitcase & carry-on in my spare room. I'm hoping to just go with a carry-on, although there's a part of me considering whether to take my snorkeling gear (if so, I can't get away with taking just the carry-on). BTW... I *can't* take any cameras or even my cell phone to the Wheel of Fortune taping. (Darn it). I *am* looking forward to having a behind the scene viewpoint... and I'm looking forward to seeing Pat & Vanna (I hear that Pat wears a girdle...hmmm???).
Okay... time to sign off... I don't want to be up as late tonight as I was last night. (So, probably no more playing with my Wii tonight).
Friday, September 12, 2008
So... hope I don't regret shelling out the $$ to buy everything tonight. I also bought a spice rack. I didn't have one.
Other than that... work was busy. I saw 7 clients today, with the majority being walk-ins. I did manage to get out of work by 3 & head down for my interview. I thought it went okay, although as I said before, it was a formality. I'm glad I've finally had a chance to meet her (the head Social Worker).
Okay... I'm going to sign off. Morning will be here soon and I've got to get up & take my motorcycle down to have it serviced 1st thing in the morning and then I've put it out to a listserv that I am on (Meet In), that if anyone is interested in coming over to watch the UH game tomorrow, they are more than welcome. I didn't set it up as an official event though... so I'm not sure if anyone will read the online note & come on over.
BTW... they have a 289 foot sailing yacht in at the Harbor. I think it's called the Maltese Falcon, it's over 100 million in cost. Wow. It must be neat to see it with it's sails open. I guess it is here until Monday... I'll try to get down to take some pictures this weekend.