Friday, January 29, 2010

What did I get myself into?

I've always wanted to write, and blogging seemed like a great way for me to do it. But I'm almost wondering if I should have started this at all. I have very little extra time and energy to do things other than what I have to do. Work, kids, household chores, excercise (I have to because I'm diabetic)...all take a toll on my energy and free time.

Oh and having a bout of "lazy-itis" does not help!

It's been a few weeks since my last post. I have a few blogging ideas in my noggin' but sitting down to type them out is hard. What makes things harder is that I also want to include pictures with my posts, however capturing and editing them also take a lot of time. It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist and I often don't stop until I get the image just how I want it. If it does not turn out how I want it, I'll reshoot and edit again.

I have started a Project 365 Photo Blog at New Years. I'm struggling already with that and the first month is not quite over yet. Either I'm going to become a better photographer or give up!

Today (Sunday) I have 3 letters and a handwriting contest entry to write. That will be a challenge but I want to got those out this weekend. I also have a new pen, my first one on a few years. I will use that pen to write some of the letters and I'll try to post some pictures and blog about it.

I just want to thank you for being patient with me, and I hope you will keep on reading this blog.

Oh change of subject! I've been thinking about the term "grease monkey". I was told that term went out in the early eighties when computer controlled engines started to appear. I was there and I remember. A week or so I took this picture as I had to update the operating system for the naviagtion system on a car I was working on.

My work bay still looks a little grease monkey-ish, but with the addtition of a desktop PC, a laptop based scan tool, a interface for the navigation systems. Also I have my personal laptop on my tool box along with my iPhone.

Oh that iPhone is a recent acquisition that is also stealing my time! With all of those high tech gizmos, I still try to keep my "old school" gizmos around.

A fountain pen, bottled ink and a Moleskine noteook. Old school keeps me grounded while high tech builds my craft of old school ways.

There's a place for everthing!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I've been thinking about that a lot recently, expectations. When I write a letter, I feel that the recipient, especially if they know me, expects it to be written in a nice script. I feel as though I would disappoint them if I don't write in a nice script and just write and not "draw letters", which sometimes causes me to lose focus on composition.

I feel the same way if I post a non pen or writing related story here on this blog. I feel like I will disappoint readers if I do not write a post about pens or writing, especially when the followers of this blog are well...interested in pens and writing. But this is not a pen or writing blog! There are others who do that very well, I cannot and choose not to. I just wanted a venue to get my thoughts out although I will likely be blogging about pens and writing most of the time.

This week a pen person I follow on Twiter tweeted about a blog entry that was not about pens. He added a disclaimer that it was not about pens, and there was a disclaimer on his blog post also Was that because he was expected to blog only about pens?

I really like pro golfer Michelle Wie's blog. It was this blog that made me decide to blog. I like her quirkiness, blogging about anything from her art (which caught my attention) to "blinging" shoes to building a tiki bar. Fun stuff!

Then I read a guest blog post on Tranquility Du Jour by Samara O'Shea: author, letter writer, blogger and my friend. The post was about journaling, but the paragraph "Great Expectations" really stood out for me. It was perfect for me, as though she was writing to me in that post. One of my first posts here was about my attempt and failure at journaling because I'm worried about how it will look! Samara's words really hit home! Samara also has her own blog which is the first blog I'd ever read and responded to.

So if I want to write a post to this blog about something other than pens, I will without feeling guilty. If I want to write a meaningful letter and not worry about disappointing the recipient if it's not in a nice script, I will break out that nice comfortable large fountain pen without the flexible nib. Heck I may even use a good ballpoint pen as long as it is nice to look at and feels good in the hand like these older celluloid Visconti ballpoint pens.

They help to make my writing experience more enjoyable.

With that said I need to write a thank you note. So I will ink up my big fat Mont Blanc 149 fountain pen and start that note

without any "fancy writing"...

And Just Write!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

High School Memories Razed

I don't want to bore you with stories of my past, but bear with me! During my senior year of high school, I did not have many friends of the same age. Most of my friends were a few years older, some had been married and divorced. We had one thing in common, cars. More so everyone hung out at Paul's garage!

We met everynight. Played Space Invaders and Asteroids, watched TV, played canasta and fixed cars. I think I got started in my career there. I bought my first car from Paul. I met my best man there and his now wife (and my cousin-in law). I remember on the night before my graduation Paul said, "eh, we go torching". So we went and caught a tako (octopus). I remember very well the next morning two sad sacks sitting in the garage around the hibachi cooking our catch...the sun was coming up and the garbage truck came rolling around the corner. I then went home, slept then woke up to go to my graduation.

Ok enough boring high schoool days stories!

Last October I was home on vacation. In the morning I heard the sound of heavy equipment and lumber crushing. I walked around the corner and, Oh no!

They were tearing down Paul's house! Oh the memories...Paul, Gary, Byron, Lani, Alan, going to Victoria Inn enjoying smashed cow (hamburger steak), my 67 Camaro.

I took a few pictures, this one stood out. It's as if I was looking at the destiny of Paul's house through it's eyes...the front door!

As I write this post, there is the steel frame of a huge two story house being built on the lot. That is typical of new houses here in Kapahulu. No more quaint cottages, mango trees are disappearing to make room for zero lot homes.

I guess nothing lasts forever and it's time to move on. But the memories will remain of Paul's garage for a very long time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I was made aware by a post on Twitter that today January 7, 2010 is Thankful Thursday, and that she would be mailing out thank you cards. I am one who firmly believes in handwritten correspondence especially when it comes to thank you notes. I think you can e-mail a thank you message, but if you do, it should also be followed up with a real handwritten thank you note.

In a display at work where they post comments from our customers, there is a thank you letter that exemplifies what a good thank you note should be like.

Well written but what makes it stand out, it is handwritten with nice penmanship on stationery. Oh an e-mail message or a word processed and printed page can get the message across, but the beauty of a note written in a nice hand just adds that extra warmth to the author's expression of gratitude. It is visually appealing.

Please don't just send a store bought thank you card and just sign your name. Make it personal to the receiver. There are guides to writing thank you notes out there you can read, but just let the recipient know how grateful you are even if it's just sentence or two.

Though I profess to be passionate about handwritten letters and notes, I've been rather slacking in that area. That letter served as inspiration and motivation to write more often.

So with that said...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Belated Happy New Year

Busy busy busy!

New Years went off as usual. On the eve we go to a friends home and have some traditional Japanese New Years food and a really good sweet sour pig feet that my friend cooks every year on the eve. The recipe is from a Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) at Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Back at home of course there were fireworks.

No that is not a professional pyrotechnics show but our neighbors down the street. These photos are taken from my front porch. Yes they are illegal in Honolulu except for professional shows!

On New Years Day I cooked ozoni (mochi soup)

and served it along with the kazunoko (fish eggs on kelp) that I had prepared the day before and kuromame (black beans) also cooked the day before.

All of these are traditional New Years foods and each have meanings to them, but I don't know what they are. I guess I could Google it, but that's not what this blog is about.

Moving on into the next decade...

I really wanted to "simplify" my life on 2010, and what do I do...start a photo Project 365 ( and open a Flickr account. Sorry I have to figure out the "insert link" thing. Now I have more things to do on the computer along with Twitter, e-mail, surfing and this blog.

That's pretty amazing for someone who once said...

Computer???? Ahh no need...waste time!


Happy New Year...Hawaiian Time!