Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beer, Snakes, and Dogs - WTF?

WTF is right!  Beer, Snakes, and Dogs???  These are 3 things that should NEVER be mixed at the same time but they are also 3 of my favorite things.  Hmmmm - I guess this means trouble at my house.

The Showdown of beer, snakes, and dogs

Daydreams

I daydream.  I daydream a lot.  This is probably just a side effect of my ADD but my mind wanders and wanders and wanders and dreams about things I want, fear, like, desire, or just about anything else you can imagine.  That is it - I just imagine.  I imagine myself in so many different places other than the one I am in right now.  There is one daydream in particular that I need to make come true.  It is my snake dream.

What do you daydream about?

Daydreaming with a snake friend

Friday, December 5, 2014

Forgive Me, Forgive Me Not, Why Can't I Forgive Myself

I have always said that music finds a way to penetrate my soul and speak to me.  I think we all feel this way at times so I am probably preaching to the choir with this blog post.  But please let me ramble and talk to myself today - it has been a while since I REALLY wrote.

As I crossed the pedestrian bridge over HWY 36 at 6:23am this morning, I plugged in my headphones and searched for an iTunes radio channel to listen to.  My fingers quickly choose my "Unforgiven" channel which told me right away that the Universe needed to speak to me through music.  I NEVER choose anything quickly when it comes to music or movies but it took all of a full second to make my choice this morning.  Heather teases me when I spend 15 minutes trying to find the right movie to watch that will help me turn my brain off so I can fall asleep quickly.  I will admit to being very indecisive with movies and music which is why the Universe must have made the choice for me this morning.

The first song was actually crap so I just fast forwarded it.  The second song on this morning's playlist was a Nirvana song that went in one ear and out the other.  Then came Metallica - the reason I made this channel.  The song that played for me was The Unforgiven III - a song I had never heard before despite it being several years old.  Instantly the song spoke to me and speaks so true to my life RIGHT now!



The song describes a person that has a mission but keeps getting distracted and of course.  The person then cannot forgive themselves.  I am STRUGGLING with forgiving myself right now.  I keep allowing "resistance" and other distractions keep me from my life's goal and purpose - SNAKES.  I then BEAT the living shit out of myself and NEVER forgive myself for the things I meant to do.  This sucks but what else is new - music spoke to Cameron; Cameron can't forgive himself - big deal.  Well, it is a big deal and here is why.  In addition to the song, I saw the quote below on my Google+ feed (all I can say is my G+ friends are very similar to me - dirty minds and insightful quotes).  This quote is important to consider when trying to forgive yourself.


Read the quote again please.  We all do this to some extent.  We certainly act differently at home than we do at work.  What about with our friends?  Do they really know us?  I have written previously that the person I show outwardly is very different than the person I hide behind walls, fences, and sand dunes (yes - with the help of my therapist, I did soul guided and deep soul-searching and found sand dunes blocking my core).  Despite that, the quote above really spoke to me because I don't think I have been very good to myself lately.  I am doing Snakespiration which is the REAL me but I hide myself at work, home, and with my friends.  I am much more open and happy that I have ever been though so I know I have made HUGE progress in allowing myself out - I just need to do it more.  I want to find a way to bring that Snakespired Cameron to all facets of my life.


So back to the Unforgiven...

When I got to the office, I YouTubed (did you know that YouTube is the largest information transfer site on the internet?) Metallica and listened to The Unforgiven, The Unforgiven II, and The Unforgiven III.  I strongly encourage you to do the same so I embedded all the songs below just for you. 

Now - what did I learn?  I learned that I still do not forgive myself very easily.  I learned that I am MUCH better at controlling my mood and depression although yesterday did suck until I got home and did my daily Snakespiration episode.  I learned that these songs still ring true in my ears but that I can rationally listen to them and use them as a tool for moving forward.  In other words, I am no longer STUCK in the past.  I also learned that I am still hiding my true self from myself and others (this needs to change).

I am excited for the future but I still have a lot of work to learn how to make the future what I want it to be.  I still procrastinate.  I still hide.  I still allow anxiety into my life.  These things will probably never really go away but what I do know is the following:
  • I am a better person
    • I am nicer to myself
    • I am a better husband
    • I am a better father
    • I am a better friend
  • I can see a very bright future
  • I have more confidence
  • I feel happier
So - while I still change to meet people's expectations of me, I am doing amazing inside my mind and soul.  I am learning so much with my Snakespiration - now I need to learn to forgive myself so I can move forward into my very bright future.



Forgive Me, Forgive Me Not, Why Can't I forgive Myself?



The Unforgiven



The Unforgiven II



The Unforgiven III



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Take It Easy

I know I said I was going to use the time stamp style of blogging.  Whatever - something hit me today and I need to get it out - NOW.

GoPro Bus Selfie with the Blue Light Special
As I was walking from the RTD Union Station to my office this morning (6:28am for you time stamp people), The Eagles started playing in my ears.  I really wasn't listening or even registering the music until after the first stanza.  Then it hit me...

"Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don't even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy."

The crazy thing is that I have been preaching this my whole life - take it easy.  The trouble is that I don't know how to follow my own advice.  I don't take it easy.  I get all uptight with my panties in a wad.  I pretend that I am "taking it easy" but in reality, I suck at it.  

I am a procrastinator - this is my attempt at "taking it easy" but in reality this just makes it harder on me and then I stress and kill myself with anxiety trying to catch up.  Procrastination is a very skewed way to think about taking it easy.  It doesn't work.

GoPro Bus Selfie Video when the bus driver turned on the lights.
I have started following some internet bloggers and they are really good at "taking it easy".  Well at least they make it appear that way.  These individuals make a living traveling the world and blogging.  They also freelance write when they need money but the important thing is that they are doing what they WANT to be doing.  They are not following anyone else's rules or template for success.  They are taking it easy with their own expectations of success - the key being that it is "their" expectations and not anyone else's.  I have always tried to meet someone else's expectation of me which is NOT taking it easy.

Okay back to the song - I want you to really listen to it.  Can you agree with the lyrics?  Pretend Don Henley is singing to himself and not to some scorned lovers and a new woman.  Now do you hear it?  Can you hear the sage advice being spoken?  It screams at me to slow down, take a close look at myself, forgive myself, and live my life taking it easy.  This doesn't mean lazy - it means a life full of compassion, forgiveness, and positive vibes everywhere.

TAKE IT EASY!

Monday, November 17, 2014

17 November 2014

2:33am - I can't sleep. Not even close. Anxiety for work slapped me hard and then dug its nails into me making sure I stayed awake. Fuck - this sucks. Why do I stay at a job that impacts me so negatively?  Oh yeah - the money. We need the money. Well this has better change real soon. I have been saying this for years now wondering when I will actually do something about it. Enough for now. I need to try and sleep.

5:59am - I just made the sprint to catch the HX bus into Denver. My hamstring screamed the whole way - damn I wish I hadn't pull it. I did finally fall back to sleep after my anxiety awakening. I was able to turn my anxiety into annoyance.  I cannot believe I let something like work interrupt my sleep. It took a long time (I remember seeing 4:00am on the clock) but I succeeded. So well in fact that Heather woke my up to tell me I needed to roll over - I must have been snoring.  The 5:13am alarm startled me but I was able to get out the door and catch the bus I needed to catch. Now I need to survive the day.


6:21am - still on the bus.  Decided to look up what "bae" means.  Turns out it means "poop" in Danish but people use it in social media to mean "baby".  I guess people are calling their loved ones shit.
Flies on Bae
7:11am - My "Transform My Life" app just changed.  It is a good assignment today:  "Today, as you dismiss the conditioning that 'insults your soul,' replace it with that which uplifts your soul."


7:24am - BREAKFAST at the office - enough said.



9:20am - I made a short video blog explaining my Monday Blues:


11:41am - I just finished lunch.  Not much of a lunch - a whole chicken breast. All I can think about is how I shouldn't be here.  Mondays are always bad.  Actually, my work anxiety starts on Sunday afternoon and normally dies Tuesday afternoon.  The time between is me fighting being here.  I resolve to finish out the week on Tuesdays for some reason.  I am working on my exit plan but it still sucks not being able to focus on snakes all day and being forced to think as a consultant for an industry lead by greed.  Photos like the one below make it all worth it though!  :)


1:38pm - I made a trip to the 7-Eleven for a quick afternoon snack.  I make this trek about once every 2 weeks and each time I get giddy with excitement.  The trouble is this feeling is followed by self-disgust and loathing after I eat those horrible Cheetos.  Tough shit - I put the crap in my body so I better learn enjoy the crappy feeling afterwards.

video


3:22pm - The dream machine is cranking away.  I have to move on and the sooner the better.  I have a project for the Center for Snake Conservation that has been churning in my brain for a while now (an actual facility) and it is time to bring this project to the crowds.  I will be working on building a crowd funding project this week to be released in time for the holiday giving season.  I need money to bring snakes to people.  I will make this happen.  Stay tuned for more on this but I just wanted to let you know that my brain is churning...BIG TIME.

7:47pm - watching Monday night football and brainstorming.  Almost time for sleep.  New day tomorrow.

Sunday - 16 November 2014

9:02am - Checking out video cameras that I want for Christmas.

Sony HDR-CX900/B - This one has a 1" sensor for AWESOME video recording.
9:35am - just published my Christmas Wish List blog. Time for breakfast.  


Two Egg Open-faced Breakfast Sandwich - I ate well today

10:26am - listening to iTunes radio while doing dishes. Aqualung by Jethro Tull starts playing.  This song has some of the best lyrics...

"watching as the frilly panties run"


10:45am - Time to clean the basement - guests will be here in a week.

11:55am - watching the Broncos game while cleaning the basement.  Broncos are having a bad game so far.

3:22pm - Cleaning off the key shelves.  Holy hell did we keep a lot of shit on these!  Just look at all the membership cards we have!

Membership cards that I haven't decided to throw out yet

4:23pm - It is already getting dark.  I hate winter...I really, really do.  No snakes, short days, and cold weather make Cameron a sad man.  Actually I like snow and the crisp beautiful light of a sunny day after a fresh snow.  I went out earlier today and played a little with the dogs in the snow.  The dogs have a blast and I smile.  :)


4:27pm - I made myself an interesting vodka martini (if you can call what I made a martini).  I made a simple sugar - lemon juice mixture to mix with ice cold vodka.  It isn't too bad.

4:38pm - Skid Rows's Rattlesnake Shake just played on iTumes radio - THE UNIVERSE SPEAKS AGAIN!



5:29pm - Chicken is on the grill.

6:45pm - Chicken is off the grill - time to eat.  My parents got me a chicken leg holder for the grill for my birthday.  This was my first time using it and I like it.  It was a no effort grill.  I put the legs on the rack, set it on the grill, and came back when they were done.  NOT TOO BAD AT ALL.  I am going to have to see what else I can cook with it.  :)

Chicken legs just basted with sauce - 30 more minutes until they are ready to eat.
8:30pm - Alarm went off for me to finish my blog and get to bed.  Watching the Patriots dismantle the Colts.  Good Night!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas List - The Real Wish List

I want a video camera.  I have 2 GoPros (a Hero 3 and a Hero 3+) and a Sony HDR-CX100 HandyCam but it isn't enough.  As I explore video, I am learning very quickly that quality of the camera matters.  My cameras are AWESOME - please don't get me wrong.  I love them.  They are amazing but they are not of the quality I need for upclose and personal quality snake videos.

The GoPros are really fun to play with.  I have two because I dropped the Hero 3 into my coffee once and it killed it.  Well, it actually just killed the battery charging mechanism which I learned when I put a fresh battery into it after I got the Hero 3+.  I am just glad I didn't throw it away before I tried a new battery in it.  But GoPros are action cams, the are not made for creating quality educational videos about snakes.

GoPros are great for making action videos...


My Sony HandyCam is great too but it is old.  Video has come a LONG way since 2008.  I need an upgrade.

So what do I want for Christmas?  I REALLY want a Sony HDR-CX900/B which is a low level professional video camera.  It has a 1" sensor which is huge for handheld video cameras making for rich and crystal clear HD videos.  Unfortunately, it is also $1,300. 

The Sony HDR-CX900/B

The video camera that I will settle for is the HDR-PJ540/B. This is a high-end consumer camera with a steady shot feature to enable handheld filming.  No more tripod.  This camera is $700 - still out of reach without planning and saving.  It will make excellent and sharp videos of snakes in all types of light.

The Sony HDR-PJ540/B

So - this is my Christmas wish list.  If you wish, dreams can come true.  If you don't, you will be stuck in the same place forever.  Video is a great medium for reaching people about snakes.  I can show people their true nature and behavior.  Photos are amazing but they can't relay how incredible snakes are.  Snakespiration!

Time For A New Way Of Blogging

It is time for a new sort of blogging.  I haven't blogged much lately because I think I have to write something spectacular but it just isn't in me. Maybe I will "write" again and maybe even frequently but I feel I have been trying to force it which is exactly against my nature.  If you try to force me to do something that I don't want to do, I am going to dig a hole, climb inside, and bury myself so you can't find me (shit - I won't even be able to find myself).  This is EXACTLY what has been happening to me at work and home lately.  I have found myself hiding instead of thriving.

Yes - I have been having great fun with the Snakespiration vlogs but those are literally 6-7 minutes of vlog, 5 minutes of processing, and then 30 minutes of YouTube uploading.  Plus I WANT to do these - they are tons of fun.  I just wish they were interactive with an audience - maybe it is time for a daily Hangout-on-air but those take a lot of time (planning and engagement with viewers).



So what is my solution - it is simple really.  I am going to post a timestamped account of my day.  I am going to log into blogger and write short snips of how I am feeling, what I am doing, what I am thinking, and what I want at that moment.  What a great way of capturing my day!  I am already doing this with short vlogs and instagram posts.  I will just be adding words and timestamps.  I think this is a brilliant way for blog, vlog, and just have a TON of fun instead of the stress of writing that amazing blog again.

Don't understand?  Here is an example:

7:13am - Hanging out with the dogs on the couch by myself.  I am beating myself up pretty badly right now for all the things I haven't done.  It is an incredible day out and I should be blogging.  What should I blog about?  The dogs?



7:53am - the boys have joined me on the couch with the dogs.  They are in a mood.  a crazy mood and I need to feed them to end it.  I need to finish this blog first.  :)

webcam snapshot of me blogging
You get the point from here....(I hope).  I will still write the other blogs - I just need a way to focus my life and see where things aren't working (dig hole and bury myself).


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Snake Talk - The Official Newsletter of the Center for Snake Conservation

It is TIME!  Time for a weekly newsletter of the Center for Snake Conservation.  Please fill out the simple form below to stay up to date with what is going on at the CSC.  :)

SnakeTalk will be published every Friday with special editions scattered throughout the year.

SIGN UP TODAY!

SNAKE TALK!





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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Snakespiration Episodes 3-5

Snakespiration Episodes 3-5 we are finally getting to the good stuff - sexing snakes, snake myths, and number of snake species.  ENJOY!  Be sure to watch them in HD!






Thursday, November 6, 2014

Snakespiration!

Snakespiration – A Daily Video Blog with Me

What is Snakespiration?

Snakespiration is my personal daily challenge to inspire as many people as possible to really think about snakes, their natural history, and how they benefit a healthy ecosystem.  I am going to shoot for 30 days with this challenge but will gladly keep going as long as YOU keep asking questions.  I can always talk about snakes but I want to know what you want to know.

SNAKESPIRATION!
How will this work?  I will draw a question or activity out of a hat and have 24 hours to think about how I want to answer the question.  I will answer your questions unscripted and unedited.  You may see things that make you laugh, cry, angry, sad, or happy.  If you feel an emotion, I know I have succeeded to Snakespire you.  So send in your questions either through comments (YouTube, Google Plus, Facebook), tweets, or email (contact information will be at the end). 

My goal is to inspire you to think, talk, and appreciate snakes so my responses will not just be boring old facts regurgitated to you but instead be based on interactions with LIVE snakes. 

I will use a GoPro to film all episodes so everything will be in High Definition video.  I am hoping that the GoPro will give us a unique and interesting perspective that is interesting and engaging.  The plan to try to keep each episode under 10 minutes (ideal range is 3-6 minutes long) but you never know because once I start talking about snakes, it is hard to get me to stop.  If you have a question that pops up that I do not answer in the time allotted, send me a note and I will try to answer it in the next episode.


Okay – let’s make this happen.  Time for some Snakespiration!


Friday, October 31, 2014

I Stepped In Dog Shit This Morning

I can't believe I stepped in dog shit this morning!

The dog shit I keep smelling in my office.
The good thing is I got to eat leftover pizza for breakfast. 


Leftover pizza warmed nicely in the toaster oven.

I Hate Halloween

I hate Halloween pumpkins 2014
I hate Halloween!  Yes, I really do!  I can hear you now judging me and saying, "No.  You don't hate Halloween.  It is such a fun holiday and is the day before your birthday.".

EXACTLY!  It is the day before my birthday and therefore I have shared my birthday with Halloween 39 (make it 40 tomorrow) years in a row.

What is a birthday?  The celebration of a birth.

What is your birthday?  The celebration of your birth.

What is my birthday?  The aftermath of Halloween.  Candy.  Spooky stories and decorations being taken down.  How is that any fun for anyone?

Grow up Cameron - enjoy your birthday and Halloween.

Carpet python and mask
Why should I do that?  Do you share your birthday with a holiday?  Do you know how that feels?  I feel horrible for anyone that shares their birthday with Christmas.  Can you imagine how it must feel when everyone is celebrating and getting presents but it isn't their birthday?  I can't but I am guessing it is HORRIBLE.  

Now that my boys are older, I am working VERY hard to swallow some of my distaste for Halloween.  Heather (June birthday) is an amazing partner to have because she has always loved holidays so she makes sure the boys celebrate adequately (excessively).  She decorates the house as I mumble how much I hate Halloween.  She makes sure the boys have costumes as I wallow in my own shit.  She makes trick-or-treating plans as I find another beer.

I surprised everyone this year though.  What?  Did you think this was another "poor Cameron blog"?  Hell no!  I am learning to be happy.  I am doing exactly what I should have been doing for 40 years.

Yes.  I turn fucking 40 tomorrow.  Yes. I still share my birthday with Halloween (not exactly but still).  Yes. I still don't like holidays.  BUT....



I had a blast carving pumpkins last night.  I had fun making the short "Happy Halloween" video above.  I have enough video to make a REALLY cool memory for my boys (and Heather/me) of the carving session.  I had a blast dressing up as Shrek and connecting with my Fiona at the Halloween party last weekend.  In short, I am making this Halloween fun for myself.  :)

Shrek and Fiona
I am determined to not let a stupid commercial holiday ruin my mood anymore and especially not let it ruin my birthday.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tired - I Am So Tired Today

Last night was hell - sleeping wise at least.  I didn't sleep. Well that isn't entirely true - I did sleep just not very well.

Tired at the office
I fell asleep pretty fast after the last out of the World Series - there is something about baseball that puts me DIRECTLY to sleep.  I watched the game only because it was a big moment in 2014 - I didn't care who won or lost.

The last out in the 2014 World Series - Giants Win.
I slept until 3:00am - then hell happened.

At 3:03am I was awake.  I was stressed.  I was hating myself with every bit of my power.  I was dreading work the next day.  Why I do this I will never know but I am guessing it is the resistance in my body trying to keep me in the same place - afraid of change.

Chasing my dreams are for me - no more staying in the same place

I was in and out of sleep until 5:13 am when my alarm finally went off.  Yes, I set my alarm for strange times.  I just read about someone else doing this too - how cool is that!  My alarm on my iPad goes off daily at 5:13am and my alarm on my phone goes off at 6:16am just in case I am ignoring the iPad.  Don't ask me why but I have always set my alarm for strange times.


The only alarm on my phone at the moment.


I got out of bed at 5:33am and took a shower.  I got back into bed until 5:56am after my shower thinking that I could actually fall back asleep.  Oh well - I tried.

So - that was my night.  I spent it chasing sleep but never really finding it after 3 am.  

So I am tired today.  I am sure that some caffeine will try to make it better.  I am not going to be bitter about my night last night.  I am going to embrace my day and enjoy what is left of it.  My "Transform My Life" app pinged me at 7:10am tell me not to be angry today.  Since we do EVERYTHING that our phones tell us to do these days, I am going to have to be happy all day now.  


Just to add to this blog here are some photos from my day so far.

The bridge/tunnel of hell.  This takes me to work every fucking day.  WAIT!  I am not going to be angry...

I am beginning to resent my sunrises because they lead directly to misery at work.  I will try to see them for what they are though - BEAUTY!
Early morning view and reflections from my office taken with my GoPro

Monday, October 27, 2014

Announcement - Cameron Is Lost

I am a little lost right now.  Maybe it is because I am turning 40 in 5 days or maybe it is because I look back on this last year and realize it has been one hell of a roller coaster.  I have learned so much about myself that I am a bit scared of who I am becoming.  I have changed.  I am learning to REALLY fight the demons and depression inside of me.  I have built new relationships and also lost old relationships.  I have been stabbed in the back by someone I thought was very close to me and shared my same vision for the Center for Snake Conservation.  This hurt and was extremely painful - it shut me down for months.


I have shut people out and invited new people in.  I keep telling myself that I just need to process everything and let things happen but I am very impatient.  So the end result - I am a little lost right now.

One thing that I am processing and really thinking about right now is the Power of Engagement. The "engagement" that I am talking about is defined as having emotional involvement or commitment.  I believe that engagement is my key to bringing success to the Center for Snake Conservation - this is my primary and only goal at the moment.  All else is secondary and it has to be.  I have a deep emotional involvement/commitment with my passion for snakes so naturally my happiness is going to be tied to this passion.  So I am going to have to step WAY out of my comfort zone as an introvert and learn to engage people on an emotional level in order to get them to commit to snake conservation.

Put me in front of a group with a few snakes to talk about you you would never know I am an introvert - I SHINE!
I am good at coming up with social media content that is engaging.  However, I have learned that social media is lousy for fundraising or any other real conservation effort.  Social media is about getting "likes" and "shares" - it is not about changing human perceptions about snakes.  Even though the Center for Snake Conservation Facebook page is fast approaching 10,000 likes - it is nowhere near an effective means for snake conservation.  I need to find a few key people and engage them -then I will see the snowball start the avalanche.

An example of a successful Facebook snake post
I am learning about engagement and how it works on Google+.  Yes, I know G+ is social media but it is very different from Facebook.  Facebook seems to be about outdoing the previous post and G+ is about community and support - at least this is what I am finding.  I have found a group of thinkers/counselors/therapists who thrive on engagement.  I am learning about how to turn my passion into my commitment.  The trouble is that it is going to take me WAY out of my introvert comfort zone in order to succeed as they teaching.  The other trouble is that I believe them and know that engagement will work.  If I could just get away from all this fucking RESISTANCE!

Resistance - there is a word that has been haunting me for a long while.  Resistance is brutal and comes at us from all angles at all times.  I feel resistance constantly but I have been learning to battle the demons in my head that keep me from being creative.  My creativity is my best defense against resistance.  If you want examples you can read this short blog from last month - Creativity Is My Key To Happiness.  

Well shit - reading what I have written so far makes it seem that I am not lost at all.  I have learned a lot about myself, how to combat my depression (even writing this blog right now is helping), and have a plan for moving forward.  NOPE!  I am still LOST, LOST, LOST!  How many seasons were the cast of Lost lost?  :)



As a part of my struggle, I read and view what others are doing a lot.  Just this morning I was going through my G+ feed this morning and someone posted the photo/quote below from Michael Jordan.  It is a very good reminder that I even though I am still very lost, I cannot quit looking and trying.  I KNOW I am going to find a way to bring my passion for snakes to the world and make a huge impact.  I practice almost daily with photographs, blogs, and videos.  These are all practice for engagement but clearly lack true engagement.  I am putting myself out there for others to see and judge (yes - I struggle with the thought that EVERYONE is judging me ALL the time).  I take and share selfies all the time because this is helping me thicken my skin and prepare me to engage the world.  I am putting my creativity, passion, and commitment out there - NOW it is finally time to find myself and learn to ENGAGE.


So I made the announcement - "Cameron is Lost" but is it really true?  Yes - I am lost and all of you that have had any interaction with me in the last year know that I am lost.  Some of you think I am crazy.  Some of you hate me for it.  Some of you have no patience for me.  Some of you forgive me for it.  I have been extremely selfish and done many things in this last year that I should NEVER have even considered doing but I did them as I tried to find myself.  I am not proud of these things and there is no excuse for many of them.  but I think I am supposed to be lost right now.  I am supposed to try, fail, try, fail, try, fail, try, fail and I know I will eventually succeed.  Don't ask me how I know but success is in my very near future - the very near future.  I have a rare and unique passion for snakes and speaking about snakes in a way that most people understand.  This is my gift (and I accept it) and I am going to try (and fail) until I find the right people to engage and we all rise together making a difference in this world.

I want you to watch this video of me opening a package full of snakes - snakes excite me and if I can learn to stretch my passion into true engagement, you will see a new Cameron on a clear path to happiness.  This video is of me "trying" and I know I am no longer failing because I can see the spark inside myself.  I can feel it!




I am good at finding snakes (very good at it).  Now I just need to keep working on learning to engage others in my conversations and passion for snakes and their conservation.  Just like the ringneck in the field below - I will find myself.

SNAKE!  



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Can't Stop The Sun

First things first - before I get into the heart of this post, you have to watch this short video (less than a minute).


Now that you have seen my short video, let's talk about it.  If you didn't watch, well, you aren't very good at following directions, are you?

In the video above, I start off very sad.  I don't know why but I was SAD!  Fucking miserable kind of sad.  A sadness had taken over my body and mind and was dragging me down to the depths of Tartaras (Percy Jackson reference to the darkest, deepest abyss of the Underworld).  But my year plus of therapy kicked in and I started to question my sadness.  Where was it coming from?  Why was it there now? What did I need to do to start the long climb out of Tartaras?  

I find myself smiling in my selfies when I am dreaming and planning my future!
I needed to take a few selfies! I knew that if I took a few selfies, I would find my smile before too long.  I hate looking sad in selfies regardless of how I feel inside.  I quickly powered up my GoPro but it was hard to turn the camera on myself right out of the gate so I filmed the HWY 36 construction.  I then made the first SAD selfie video.  I didn't know I was so freaking sad until I watched it later - wow!  I am surprised I made it to the bus stop this morning being that low.  

WAIT A SECOND!  I can hear those of you that actually watched my video yelling at me now.  The first clip in the video is of me - not the construction site.  Yes.  You are right but I never told you how I put the video together - just how I filmed it.  Can I get back to my story now?

10 minutes pass and I decide I need to do another selfie video.  I tell myself to smile and look happy.  Did I fool you?  Is the second selfie clip happy?  Certainly it is MUCH happier than the first clip.  I then filmed the sun at the end of the video as we sped along at 70 mph in the HOV lane.

My goal then switched from taking the selifes to finding a way to use the selfie videos to really change my mood.  I uploaded them to my phone and started putting them together until I ended on the order you see in the video.  The video was great but it needed music.  I searched my phone and Can't Stop The Sun by Tom Petty was the first song I put to the video.  The song fit the video perfectly so I used it (no copyright infringement intended - YouTube makes you put that on your video if you use music that isn't yours).

Selfie Video Done and Most Importantly - SMILE Found!

Tom Petty NAILS it with the lyrics of the song I use in the video.  His words transformed my CRAP day into something I am learning to believe in.  Here are his lyrics:

Can't Stop The Sun
Tom Petty

Well you may take my money
You may turn off my microphone
But you can't steal
What you can't feel

Can't stop the sun from shining
Shining down and down and down

And you may think you control things
But there'll be more just like me
Who won't give in
Who'll rise again

Can't stop the world from turnin'
Turnin' round and round and round

Hey mister business man
Be sure to wash your hands
Be careful where you stand
'Cause life goes on and on and on
Life goes on and on and on

And you may think it's all over
But there'll be more just like me
Who won't give in
Who'll rise again

Can't stop a man from dreamin'
Dreamin' on and on and on
  

I am beginning to believe these words about myself for the first time.  There has always been doubt that stems from my low self-esteem about my future and pursuing my dream.  Yes - I was fucking sad on the bus this morning.  Of course I wasn't smiling; I was headed into my paying job that goes against every bit of me.  It sucks away and destroys all my positive energy.  You try being a consultant for the oil and gas industry for last 15 years.  I survey for and permit "take" (killing/destruction) of plants and wildlife including endangered species.  Worst of all, no regulatory authority or agency out there gives a shit about snakes which are killed my the thousands each year because of what I do.  It sucks!  It kills you.  It literally kills who you really are.

I won't go into the TRUE impacts of oil and gas exploitation but you need to know that it doesn't just end with the ugly view like the one below.  Maybe someday I can let you in on all the dirty secrets but not today.

Oil well drill rig in Wyoming - this one well pad has altered the world in a way that can never be repaired.  Multiply this by the millions of other wells across the globe and think about the impacts.  It will kill you slowly...
I am FINALLY coming out of my cloud.  I can change my sadness into a least a smile right now.  I am learning how to turn off the self-loathing part of my brain.  I can see the "sun shining down and down and down" - now it is time to learn to FEEL and let it energize me to greatness.

Well - this post is about my success at turning my mood around today.  I look forward to the post where I can tell you I am no longer depressed and doing what I was meant to be doing on this planet.  Until then, I will keep writing these progress blogs.

I never plan to stop Dreamin' on and on and on...

If you want to listen to the full Tom Petty song, here you go:
  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lunch In Fast Motion


Have you ever recorded your own behavior?  I know it sound a little creepy to record yourself but it is actually really interesting.  The more I experiment with making videos, the more I learn about myself.  I have already learned that I say um a lot as well as lick my licks in my educational videos about snakes.  So I decided (for the second time) to record myself eating a foot long sub.  It took just over 18 minutes for me to finish and I flip the sandwich over a lot.  Interesting Here is my meal in fast motion.



Lunch from Snakes on Vimeo.


I challenge you to record yourself doing something and see what you can learn.  Post you video somewhere and send me the link.  I would love to see it.

Waiting For The Sun

Today was an EARLY day for me.  I was out of bed before 5:00am because I had forgotten to electronically sign my timesheet.  I get a polite but stern email if I don't sign my timesheet.  I absolutely HATE timesheets even though I understand that they are necessary evils in the workplace especially when you are required to bill your time to specific projects.  Maybe I just hate being a consultant - YUCK!  

On a normal morning with a normal commute, I can see some sort of light on the horizon from the bus window.  Not this morning...I was clearly going to have to wait for the sun today.

Night view from the bus
Well, I got to work, signed my timesheet, and got to thinking about the sun again.  I didn't want to wait for it - I needed it to "wake" me up.  My office was dark and all I could see was more darkness outside my window.  The sun had better hurry up - the diurnal snake inside me wanted to escape the forced darkness it was experiencing at the moment.

I needed to take "waking up" matters into my own hand this morning if the sun wasn't going to help.   I decided to help wake myself up by making the short walk to 7-Eleven to buy a diet Mountain Dew - the caffeinated drink of choice for me.  As I was crossing Market Street, I looked east and was pleasantly surprised to see the horizon beginning to brighten.  Even the stoplight told me to STOP and enjoy the moment which of course I had to capture with my phone's camera.

STOP! Enjoy the Sunrise

On my way back from the 7-Eleven, just 10 minutes later, the sky had changed even more...BEAUTIFUL!

Looking east-northeast down Market Street

It is now 3 hours later and the clouds have rolled in to obscure the sun.  No blue sky this morning but it did make for an amazing sunrise.  I was "waiting for the sun" and ultimately rewarded with a beautiful sky in the east.

You can watch the sunrise from my office window this morning.  When I got to the office, I set my GoPro in my window programmed to take 1 photo very minute.  My camera was not fully charged but it was able to take 96 photos before dying.  Here are those photos played back at 5 photos per second.  You can see people waking up in the apartments across the street and entire floors of office buildings begin to hum with activity.  This was definitely an interesting activity for me and something I will have to do again soon.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Choices

Why are choices so hard to make?  For instance, I had my choice of 4 different beers last night. I couldn't choose so I drank them all. I guess choices really aren't that hard to make. 


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Random Musing and First Light - 30 September 2014

Yesterday was a long, dreary day.  The sun never really broke clear of the clouds and then it rained all afternoon and evening.  I didn't mind.  I actually wanted to be OUTSIDE in it all day but was stuck at the paying job.  So what did I do to survive the work day?  I goofed around with my GoPro.

My Office Duck operating my GoPro in my office window.
I learned that my work computer cannot play videos recorded at a resolution higher than 1080.  My personal Macbook can but not the Lenovo ThinkPad that my paying job gives me.  The PC will play the audio but not the video.  The video below was recorded at 4K 17:9 cinematic resolution but you can only view it at the resolution of your screen, monitor, or device.  The technology of a GoPro exceeds our viewing capabilities.  What a farse!

video

I did get outside after putting in my time at the paying job.  I have soccer carpool duty on Mondays so I use that opportunity to get out and run while the boys are playing soccer.  It was raining and boy did I enjoy my run in it.  I even stopped to smell the flowers in the rain.

Wildflowers in the rain
Post run Selfie
My day ended well but today started out amazing!  I was treated to incredible first light as I headed to the RTD bus stop this morning.  Just incredible.  I just wish I had a window seat on the bus ride into Denver so I could have taken photos of the sunrise as well.

First Light - 30 September 2014
In addition, the view from my office as seen from my GoPro today is a good one.  The blue sky makes things so much better.  :)  Have an incredible day!

video

GoPro Wide Angle Still Photo