Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Life's Cardinal Rule #2

Yes, I am skipping #1 for now.

In my office, I have a print out of the 7 Cardinal Rules in Life.  This list is a reminder for me to live "my" life and not the life others want me to live.

Cardinal Rule #2:  What others think of me in none of my business - What is important is how much I value myself and how important I think I am.

Hmmm- this is not a rule I follow.  I always feel people are judging me.  I cannot take a compliment.  I have low self-worth.  I don't think I am important at all.

My challenge to myself in May is to work on following this rule and rejecting the negative self-talk (I know it is just April 30th but I am starting early).

My Motto for May - 
"Be Inspired, Be Inspiring"

I saw this on the internet and liked it.  I am going to inspire myself to be the best I can be for myself everyday.  Those words can focus me on me - the positive me.  They will keep judgement out of my life.  All I have to do is look for inspiration from others and strive to inspire others.

Here is an inspiration for all the snake people out there.  Be inspired by my recent success and inspire someone else to do the same.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Good Day

This short video clip says a lot about my day - a longer and more educational video to come soon.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Big Dog Play

I have always loved dogs.  In particular I am very fond of big dogs (65lbs and bigger).  I tease anyone with a small dog by telling them they have a rat instead of a dog.  In secret though, I still like their little rat - I just prefer the big dogs.

We adopted Bailey from a friend last August.  She was almost 2 years old when we got her so there is still a lot of puppy left in her.  Regardless, Bailey is one of the most loving, playful, and snuggling dog I have ever had.  She loves us with everything she has.

I took her out last Friday for a walk in some openspace where I could look for snakes and she could run free and sniff out mice and voles.  I only had my iPhone with me but the video opportunities were excellent so I took video anyway.

Here is the result of our short walk:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Speak Greatness Into a Player - CSA President Jon DeStefano

I cannot take credit for this blog but the information and message is worth sharing over and over.

I recently was reading Goal Post Scripts, the bi-monthly publication produced by the Colorado Soccer Association, and was extremely pleased with the "President's Report".  In this issue, the CSA President, Jon DeStefano, simply lists 101 ways to "Speak Greatness Into a Player".  Here they are and they are applicable to ANYONE you meet or interact with.  Use these words daily!

My New Toy

I got a new toy yesterday.

The Garmin ForeTrex 401 is a GPS unit that you wear on your wrist.  I have had GPS units in the past but they get put away in a backpack and forgotten - never to be used again.  This wrist-worn GPS unit is front and center, records tracks (where I walk), and can record waypoints with the click of one button.  No bells, no whistles, just tracks and waypoints.  Perfect for me.

You are probably wondering how I paid for it.  Work contributed $100, REI dividend contributed $46, and I contributed $32.  Yes, work contributed $100 to a personal GPS unit for me.  Each year during March Madness (NCAA basketball tournament), work sponsors a bracket challenge.  The whole company breaks into teams (typically 10-12 teams) and each team fills out a bracket.  My team (Warhammer - Gods of Thunder) came in second place which had a $100 prize for each team member (first place is $250 for each team member).  My team came in second last year as well and I used my $100 to buy my first FitBit.  This year I bought the GPS unit.

When will I use my new toy?  I will use it on all my Snake Hikes and Runs.  With the capability of recording where I go and where I find snakes, I can begin to look at snake distributions in the places I go.  In addition, I am a super nerd and want to know how many snakes per mile I find this summer.  Do I find more snakes hiking or running?  What species do I find most and where?  What time of day and year have the most snakes per mile (bang for my buck)?  The possibilities are endless.

Snake Hike on 24 April 2014 with 2 gartersnake hibernacula waypoints


3 Photos and What They Mean To Me

I caught a little photo bug this morning.  This created the need to post a few of the photos I took here.  All three of these photos were taken within a 30 minute time span.  The first as I was putting on my shoes, the second as I was feeding the chickens, and the third as I was trying to steal some sleep on my bus commute.

Photo 1:  Soccer Gear in a Row

Lately I have REALLY been enjoying my youngest's soccer team.  I coach this team and if any of you have ever tried to coach a group of 6 and 7 year old boys, you know that this can be a challenge.  You have to be careful not to push too hard but you also cannot let them pick flowers, play with sticks, touch each other, or build dust castles in the bare patches that are ever-present in a recreational soccer field.

Back to enjoying the team - they are GETTING it!  They are beginning to understand the game.  Soccer is growing in them.  I recently heard from a parent that their son is heading outside just to kick the soccer ball - this is a huge success in my mind.  When a child goes from soccer at practice only to soccer on their time, I have done my job - they are learning to love the game.

The picture below is near and dear to my heart.  It shows how much love my youngest has for the game.  As I was putting on my shoes this morning, I saw all his soccer gear (boots, guards, and socks) lined up and ready to go.  I smiled and felt amazing - Ashton is ready for his game on Saturday.

Photo 2: The Girls in Their Bedroom

The chickens were still in their coop this morning when I headed out to feed them.  We feed our chickens all of our table scraps (everything!) from the day before.  If you haven't ever fed chickens before, you need to stop by our house at first light when our chickens get their daily ration of table scraps.  They go nuts and fight over the best pieces (spaghetti is a favorite).  This morning the girls were still asleep.

Our girls crowd together in one of the nest boxes in their coop when they sleep.  It is a funny sight to see 8 chickens crammed into a small 12"x12" space but they manage it somehow.  This morning I tries to catch them all crammed together but they were ready for me.  As soon as I opened the nest box the girls fled.  It was like I caught them naked in their bedroom - just like a human caught naked, the girls rushed away to hide.  It was too funny and the photo below shows their surprise and their rush to get out of there and cover up.  Except for the two blonds - they just stayed there (hmmm).  :)

Photo 3:  My Bus Sleep

I was in a complete funk this morning despite the soccer and chicken experiences.  My bus commute is becoming a chore for me and a 25 minute self-loathing session.  I am working on mitigating the self-loathing by listening to music and trying to sleep.  It is working a little.

The first song that came into my ears this morning was "Master of Puppets" by Metallica.  I listened to less than 30 seconds of this song - it just wasn't right for me today.  For some reason I found myself clicking on the P!NK iTunes radio station and the first song that started playing was P!NK's "Try".  Although this song is about relationships, I can manipulate the lyrics to fit my struggles with my work, my life, and getting the Center for Snake Conservation flying.  This was a perfect song for me this morning and the photo below is of me trying to catch some sleep while embracing the lyrics of the song.

"Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
When there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try, and try, and try
Gotta get up and try, and try, and try
You gotta get up and try, and try, and try"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

17 April 2014 - Cameron Raw and Unedited - Video Blog

Enjoy and watch it in HD.

New Snake Data Sheet

In the past, my inability to become organized and manage data has hurt my attempts to develop credibility in the snake world.  This has really hurt me with the Center for Snake Conservation's work with the City of Boulder.  We are (I am) always scrambling to complete data requests and there are still giant gaps in the data.  It sucks to have to eat my pride and say I suck at data management (but I am good at finding snakes).

So what do you do when this is the case?  For me I think back to mentors who were extremely organized and could manage HUGE quantities of data without much effort.  They ALWAYS had a paper data form that was completed in the field and then filed away when they got back into the office.  The trouble is that we are now in the electronic era and paper is disappearing from our work lives.  My bigger trouble is that I am not electronically savvy enough to build an electronic database that can be used in the field. 

What do I do then?  Well - I use my creativity to create a unique Center for Snake Conservation Snake Data Sheet.  I will just have to not lose them and get them filed away properly.  I am starting this season off RIGHT!  

Here is my new data sheet:

Gartersnake Chase

I posted this in my Snake Track blog but I want to share it here too.  I am finally getting the hang of my GoPro and where it is looking (no viewfinder).  Now I just need production help.  I have HOURS of video that I haven't put into videos yet.  Can anyone help?

I made this video last night using some footage I got last week.  It turned out well enough for me but I know someone out there could make this look really professional.

Gartersnake Chase

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

16 April 2014 - Cameron Raw and Unedited - Video Log

Today I headed out during lunch to see if I could turn up a snake or two.  Actually, I knew I could find some snakes - the temps were in the 50s with bright sunshine.  Perfect gartersnake weather.  Yep - I found a bunch of snakes.  

I normally don't catch snakes anymore unless I have to but today I caught two male wandering gartersnakes.  They participated in my Video Log.


A Snake Selfie for the Hell of It!

Just because I got out for a walk at lunch and caught some snakes...

Snake Selfie

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Bother?

My therapist asked me to answer this question this week.  Can you answer it?  Why Bother?  This is seriously a VERY hard question for me.  I know it shouldn't be but when you REALLY think about everything the question begs to be answered.  WHY BOTHER?

You tell me...

Here is a photo that represents one reason I bother:

A very misunderstood snake in a bucket - all I see if fear but others see aggression.  There is no aggression towards humans from snakes.  This is why I bother!  It is my passion and purpose to change the minds of humans.

15 April 2014 - Cameron Raw And Unedited - Video Blog

ENJOY!  Don't forget to watch this in HD.  :)

Tax Day Sunrise - 15 April 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

11 April 2014 - Cameron Raw and Unedited - Video Blog

A couple of days old but better late than never.  I spent most of Friday in the field again - it is SO good for influencing the positive energy inside me.

Remember to click the little cog in the right hand corner so you can watch it in HD.

Blog Commitment - A Post A Day For 30 Days

I haven't been blogging much lately and I miss it.  So - starting today, I am making a commitment to publish at least 1 written blog a day for the next 30 days.  I may dig deep into an issue that has been bugging me, celebrate a recent success, describe something I saw during the day, or a single word such as "SHIT!" but at least I will be posting something. 
This post does not count so look for something fresh later today.  :)
Can you see the bullsnake peeking out at you?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

9 April 2014 - Cameron Raw and Unedited - Video Blog

I am going to write a blog about my adventures yesterday in addition to these short video blogs.  I had an AMAZING day in the field looking for snakes.  I need more days like this one.  Today's vlog is in two parts - remember to watch them in HD.  :)



Friday, April 4, 2014

Dinner at High Speed

Yesterday I was on a mission - a mission to find out how long the battery in my GoPro Hero 3 would last.  Turns out it lasts almost 1.5 hours of continuous recording.  Not too bad considering the high quality of the film.  During my test of the battery life, I filmed myself making and serving dinner.  This was after filming a spirited basketball game with all the boys (video coming soon) so I only had about 45 minutes left of record time. 

In the video below, I play all 45 minutes at 8X normal speed to condense the video to about 6 minutes.  It is pretty fun to watch.  I suggest watching the video several times with each viewing focused on a different subject.  Interesting subjects are the fat chef, the big bee dog, the little dog, and the yellow old dog.  Once the boys join me for dinner, they are all a blast to watch.

Enjoy! (oh yeah, I suggest watching it in HD if you can - look for the HD button in the bottom right hand corner.  If it is filled in, you are watching in HD.  If not filled in, click it.)

Dinner at High Speed

Thursday, April 3, 2014

3 April 2014 - Cameron Raw and Unedited - Video Blog

Today's Vlog

GoPro Photo Play 2

I took the GoPro out on another lunchtime walk and just tried a bit of everything with it.  This camera is very different than anything else I have used (no view finder for starters) but it takes unique photos.  I will keep playing until I get comfortable with it.
For all the photos - go to this album:  GoPro Photo Play 2

Here are few teasers:

Wherever It May Lead, Run Your Own Path

I sincerely hope that the woman does not mind that I took her photo today.  I was on my lunch walk and practicing taking stills with my GoPro again.  I saw her coming and thought to myself that I had a great opportunity to get a running photo when she passed me.  I put my hand and GoPro behind my back and snapped a photo as soon as she went by.  It turned out to be a great photo (considering the environment of a trashy greenway trail).  The behind the back shot.  I will have to try more of these.
I added the caption just because I thought the photo needed one.  If you can think of a better caption, please let me know.

Wherever It May Lead, Run Your Own Path

Woodpecker Nap at the Office

Some days just aren't worth getting out of bed for - today was one of those days.  For some reason, I found myself in the shower staring up at the snow covering the skylight in the bathroom.  I knew then that I should just get back in bed.  I didn't though.

As I got ready for work, I looked outside.  The snow was still coming down.  It had completely covered the porch and yard but it sounded like the roads were okay.  Sounded?  Yes, from our house you can here the car tires and we judge the snow by listening.  If it sounds wet, we know that the roads are just slushy or even just wet from the snow.  If there is no sound except the occasional plow scraping by, we know there is packed snow on the roads.  This is a handy observation as you can prepare yourself for extra travel time if the roads are snow-packed. 

Snow Piling up on the back porch this morning

I knew I would have to scrape the snow off my car (Heather gets to park in the garage) before I headed to the bus stop.  Not a big deal but still a chore.

Halfway done scraping the windshield with more snow falling.
Needless to say, I arrived at the office about 10 minutes later than normal.  This isn't all that much of a delay considering the snow.  Actually, Denver only had a light dusting of snow - this is typical in Colorado (I live closer to the foothills which produce more snow).  Everything was going fine until I realized that today would have been better spent in bed. 
That brings me to my woodpecker nap.  I was the 2nd person in the office this morning which is typical unless I take the earlier bus.  I say good morning to my co-worker and then head into my office.  I boot up my computer, check email, eat breakfast, and then bam, I realize how freaking tired I was. 
What do I do?
I turn off my lights, prop my feet up on my desk, turn the woodpecker track on my Nature Sounds iPhone app, and watch the snow come down outside my window.  The woodpecker track has amazing sounds for me - I am put back into the woods in early spring listening to the birds.  I can imagine myself walking a creek or forest edge looking for snakes.  What more could I ask for as I watch the snow fall outside my office window?  Oh yeah!  Sleep.
Woodpecker Nap
The next thing I know, I hear my co-worker say, "Where did Cameron go?".  He was talking to the 3rd person in the office.  She responded, "Is he even here?  His lights are off.".  This jolts me awake and I respond quickly, "I just turned out my lights to watch the snow falling outside".  I had dozed off and was out cold just like my lights. 
Yes - today would have been better spent in bed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2 April 2014 - Cameron - Raw and Unedited - Video Blog

Time for me to learn how to video blog - every day in April (and maybe beyond), I am going to record a short video of my day.  Obviously I missed yesterday but it was April Fools' Day anyway. 

Hopefully these will become easy to do and can record a part of my life that I cannot get in my blog.  Just a different form of creativity - CAMERON RAW AND UNEDITED

You Better Stop!

You better stop!  Crossing guard duty serious selfie from this morning.

2 April 2014 Selfie

I made this collage yesterday but I thought I better post it here.  The photos included aren't "real" selfies because they were taken by other people.  That said, since I made a collage of myself, I am going to count it as a selfie.  HA!
Snake Selfie

Soccer Golf

Just another video blog post today: