Friday, June 27, 2014

There Is No Going Back Once I Hop The Fence

Google+ is to thank for this blog post.  Every morning as I ride the bus from Louisville to Denver, I play on my phone.  I may post a new photo on Instagram, cheer on my FitiBit friends, check my horoscope, or even listen to music.  I rarely visit Facebook anymore nor will I check email.  I do sometimes scroll through Google+ posts since these tend to be positive and can lead to a good start for my day.

Today's Instagram post showing my Backyard Dinner
This morning was a Google+ day on the bus and one post nailed it.  What a way to start a Friday!  The post was simple - just a .jpg with words.  The words read:

Three Simple Rules In Life

  1. If you do no go after what you want, you'll never have it.
  2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
  3. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.

It seems that everything this week is pushing me to do something (and I know what that something is).  Since yesterday's horoscope also alluded to a change (I can't believe I am putting stock into horoscopes...), I had to check today's horoscope.  Guess what - another push towards making a change in my life.  You can read yesterday's horoscope here and today's in the photo below.

Can Horoscopes Really Help?
I haven't been excited for the Center for Snake Conservation like I am today in a very long time.  My goals and aspiration to push forward with my non-profit have been stagnant.  My feet have been stuck in deep muck with a foul sulfur stench oozing up through the water for months.  Since I like the smell of muck, I stopped trying to move forward.  I have been wallowing in my own shit.  It is time to hop the fence to see if the muck on the other side smells even better.


Hopping the fence means huge changes for me.  It means that I am going to have to turn my back on an excellent and well-paying job.  It means I have to embrace my weaknesses and force myself to organize, plan, and attack my goals of success.  It means I can no longer wallow in my shit when a small setback occurs or I start to feel failure setting in.  These feelings will push me harder than ever towards success.  There is no going back to the life I am currently living.

The positives far outweigh the negatives in this decision to make the Center for Snake Conservation my focus 100% of the time.  I will be doing what I was born to do.  I will be happy and that alone will make all the difference in my life.

Me with two very special snakes from the southeastern United States

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Horoscope - 26 June 2014

I read two different horoscopes today - both are telling me similar things.  Change is in the air for me - now I need to tackle it with grace and dignity.

Let's throw in two shadow selfies for the fun of it.  Shadows are like snowflakes - they are never the same and everyone can tell you something different.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

3 Selfies

There is a stigma about taking and posting "selfies" but you know what, I really don't give a shit about that stigma.  My selfies help me document my days and life.  If people don't like them, well then, they should ignore them.  I post my selfies in my blog here and on my Instagram page.  I avoid posting selfies on Facebook (or anything else anymore really) because Facebook has turned into a negative world for me.  Sure, I would get lots and lots of positive comments but there is always at least one jackass that makes a smartass comment on everyone's posts and comments.  This just ruins it for me.  We should all be celebrating our lives - not tearing down someone else's.

I actually don't like my selfies.  I think I take horrible photos and that the camera really does add 10 lbs just to my face alone.  If someone else has a camera, I avoid being in the photos as much as possible.  Even so, I still take selfies.  My selfies are for me to capture my mood in a photo but they are also something I use to explore my creativity.

Examples:  I just took the 3 selfies below this morning.  The first one was taken at the bus stop in Denver where I catch the bus to Cherry Creek for my brain appointment.  The second selfie was taken on the bus and the third was taken at Cherry Creek when running back to the office.  

Cab Reflections

On the Bus

I run in amazing places

Now look at my face.  The first selfie shows a person that is disinterested and potentially unhappy. The second selfie (modified using an Instagram filter) shows someone with the potential to smile and engage with others in a positive way. The third selfie is of someone outside, exercising, and happy.

Selfies are fun.  Selfies are personal.  Selfies are creative.  Selfies are informative. So...


Horoscope - 24 June 2014

Find center, strategize, and things will come. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chalk Graffiti - What Defines Us

As you know, I carry a camera everywhere I go - sometimes it is just my iPhone camera but it is an excellent little camera for documenting what I see and experience.  Yesterday, I went for a quick 2.5 mile lunch walk to make sure I got out and enjoyed at least some of the beautiful day.  The walk wasn't the greatest but I did see some chalk graffiti that I had to take a picture of - someone had written a statement that definitely warrants some thought.  

"What Defines Us Is How Well We Rise After Falling"
I have been trying to define myself through the eyes of others.  This is an impossible task and should never be attempted.  There is absolutely no way of knowing exactly what others want of us.  We cannot guess what they are thinking about us.  We cannot trust that they will tell us the absolute truth about what they think of us (who cares anyway?).  No - there is no way to define yourself through the eyes of others.

So how then do I define myself?  I have a screwed up and skewed view of who I should be because I have spent so much of my life worrying about what others think about me.  I live in fear that I am upsetting those around me because I cannot meet their expectations.  This fear has kept me from taking chances and risks for success.  This fear has led me to create an expectation of failure so that when I have a small success or don't fail as bad - I can look good in the eyes of others.  WTF - that is like getting a box full of rotten bananas in the mail - just wrong and gross.

The chalk graffiti I photographed yesterday offers another way to define myself.  I have fallen and I am finally beginning to understand my fall.  What I haven't found yet is when, where, and how to rise.  This may be where I look to find the true Cameron that no longer hides behind a veil of failure and insecurity.  My rise will define who I become; who I am.  My therapy will continue to help me create a new definition for Cameron.

Rotten Days Happen

No one is immune to bad days - it is how we respond that shows our character.  You mus be willing to let them go and move on...

Can you do this?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lottery Fail

I don't know why people buy lottery tickets - they must have better luck than I do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Turtle Dog - The Stories Behind the Legend

There are many, many stories behind this dog.  Ripley was his name and fun was his game.  Ripley was smart, very smart.  He would get himself in a lot of trouble because of it.  I have been promising myself to write a book about Ripley's adventures but it just never happens.  This post contains the table of contents for Ripley's book in hopes that something will happen.  I still haven't come up with a book title yet though.

The Turtle Dog

  1. Introducing Ripley - But First An Opossum Story (this chapter is already written - click link)
  2. R.I.P.L.E.Y
  3. The U-Haul
  4. Binaca Blast
  5. Turtle Dog
  6. The China Store
  7. Windshields and Other Car Mishaps
  8. Fireworks
  9. Night Swimming
  10. HHH Gelding
  11. The Jackrabbit
  12. Duck Hunting
  13. Pheasant (um...Rabbit) Hunting
  14. Burn Baby Burn
  15. Dog Fights
  16. The Donkey
  17. Yellow Jackets
  18. Dock Diving
  19. My Brother
  20. Jerky Treats
  21. The Fire-hose
  22. R.I.P. Ripley 
There are many more chapters but these are 22 of the best.  Time to start writing.  :)

Are you happy to see me or is that an anaconda crawling up your leg?

A twist on the banana in the pocket joke...

In The Shade

This photo brings a lot to my mind today.  Here is a rundown of some impressions I feel looking at this photo:
  • Fear - not fear of the snake but the snake is afraid of me.  This snake retreated underneath this rock ledge to hide from me.  I have retreated from the world in fear over the past month.  Fear of exposure as a total fraud.
  • Overexposed - The world is bombarding me with its demands - even in the shade, everything is overexposed.
  • Anxiety - I see a situation that has an unknown outcome for the snake.  I have this same anxiety every second.
  • Unattractive - the dirt from winter has made this potentially stunning and beautiful creature ugly and unattractive.  This is how I feel when I see myself from the outside.
  • Dirty - This snake has just emerged from hibernation and is covered with dirt.  My soul feels dirty when I look deep into myself.
  • Bluffer - Rattlesnakes prefer to bluff rather than bite.  I feel I am hiding behind a bluff of confidence and happiness everyday.
  • Retreat - If I stay under this rock, I will be safe.  I have retreated under a large rock in an attempt to shield myself from the outside world.
  • Harassed - I have been pulled out from under my rock and harassed against my will.
  • No Escape - I have been cornered and there is no escape from my situation.  
  • Hopelessness - All is lost and I am resigned to defeat.

Ledges I Have Made

I slept most of the way to work this morning.  I had my headphones on, iTunes radio playing, and just allowed myself to sleep.  Today as another one of those days where I wanted to stay in bed all day.  I didn't want to get up.  I didn't want to move.  These days are becoming more frequent in my life again which does not make me very happy.  I should be loving life right now!  

As I slept on the bus, this song crept past my barriers and ended up in my head.  I listened to it and think it fits what I am going through this week.  I am trying to learn to love myself and become the better man for myself.  Listen to this song and hopefully it will speak to you as well as bring light into your day. 

Ledges - Noah Gundersen

got a lot of loose ends

I've done some damage
I've cut the rope so it frayed
And I've got a lot of good friends
Keeping me distracted
Keeping my sanity safe 

Here I stand on the edge of the ledges I've made
Looking for a steady hand
Here I stand in a land full of rocks in the valleys
Trying to be a better man for you

But I drink a little too much
It makes me nervous
I've got my grandfather's blood
And I take a little too much
Without giving back
If blessed are the meek then I'm cursed

Here I stand on the edge of the ledges I've made
Looking for a steady hand
Here I stand in a land full of rocks in the valleys
Trying to be a better man for you

I wanna learn how to love
Not just the feeling
Bear all the consequences
I wanna learn how to love
And give it all back
Forgive me all that I've done

Here I stand on the edge of the ledges I've made
Looking for a steady hand
Here I stand in a land full of rocks in the valleys
Trying to be a better man for you

Oh, here I stand on the edge of the ledges I've made
Looking for a steady hand
Oh, here I stand in a land full of rocks in the valleys
Trying to be a better man for you

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Photos Wanted

The older I get, the more visual I become.  Whether I am focused on the visions in my daydreams or the views outside my window, I need my eyes to bring the light into my world (hell - everyone does so what is really new about this?).

My left eye
My eyes have always been my prized possession.  I have had killer vision my whole life and still rely on my eyes to gather the clues to help me find the pieces of the puzzle called life (really Cameron!  WTF - don't get all touchy feely with your words here - just say it as it comes out).  Really though, my eyes have allowed me to find snakes just about anywhere and everywhere but I like to give them credit for lots of other things too.
My eyes let me spot ticks as well as snakes when in the field
I guess that is why I have used so many photos in my blog posts.  Since I am a visual person, I assume everyone else is too which leads to posting photos as major parts of my blog.  But I need more photos!  I have been strolling through my recent photos and they bore me.  They just aren't interesting.  They just don't wow or inspire me.  I need to play around with my cameras again to see what I can come up with.

Another boring beer photo
My GoPro is dead which was becoming a really fun camera to use.  I accidentally dunked it into my ice coffee (don't ask!) and it just won't work anymore.  I am getting a new battery for it just in case that is what I fried but I get the feeling I am in the market for another GoPro in the next month or so.

My imagination seems to be on overdrive these days on all fronts.  My day dreams can be especially vivid but it is what my mind's eye sees around me that shocks me a little.  Take the two photos below for examples.  I saw something and captured the situation digitally.  Unfortunately, it is not my imagination or mind's eye that I am talking about when I ask for new photos.

Buckle Up for Safety
The world's greatest futbol player honored me with this photo last week

These photos are fun but not inspiring.  They are quick and easy to take but not incredible photos.  They aren't motivating me to get crazy with my blog or my life.  I wish I could capture my day dreams on film but then I would probably not impress many people with my obscure, dirty, or completely random dreams. 

My request is for new photos.  They can come from my camera or they can come from your camera.  Send me a photo and just maybe I will write a blog about it.  Send me a photo that you think will trigger something in my brain beyond my daily Instagram posts.  Send me a photo just for the hell of it - you never know what the reaction will be.


Pretty Simple Idea

I saw this on Instragram this morning.  It is a pretty simple idea for those people who work well from a plan.  What about the people like me who can dream about what they want, dream about the plan, and dream about the success but never "write that shit down"?  I will have to think and dream about the answer and get back to you (or maybe I won't).  :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Random Photo Post - Let's See Where this Goes

I am falling asleep at my desk today still trying to recover from my work trip in North Dakota.  In an attempt to activate my mind, I am going to randomly pick a photo from the photos I have on my computer to post.  Hopefully it will be a photo that has a story behind it.

I am closing my eyes and clicking on the add photo button.  Then I will click my way through the folders while at the same time spinning the scroll wheel on my mouse to find a photo.  Here I go!

Wow!  I couldn't have picked a better photo.

This photo is of the snake that turned me on to pythons and boas.  Before this snake, I really didn't care for pythons.  I thought they were generally ugly and really didn't play much of a role in changing human perceptions about snakes.  People know what a python is so what else could I teach them about these "boring" snakes.  Boy was I wrong.

This gentle carpet python was just over 7' long (I am 6' tall - see picture above) and was extremely gentle.  She had an amazing personality that really came out when she was in a crowd.  She quickly became one of my favorite snakes to use when giving a snake presentation because of her size and calm demeanor.  Unfortunately, this gentle giant recently passed away from an unknown cause.

Here are a few more photos of her in action:

A Week On Instagram

I love Instagram because it gives me a place to post photos and videos without the judgement of Facebook.  When you post randomly on Facebook, your "friends" like you know when they don't like something.  Instagram is different - it is a place for creativity and freedom.  I enjoy using it.  If you want to follow me for more random thoughts documented with photos from my life, look me up.  I am "cayrip".

The giraffe piƱata that was destroyed at a kindergarten graduation - those 6 year old kids had no mercy with the baseball bat used to beat this poor animal.
The beautiful B.

Finally got a lunch run in instead of just walking. Boy was it a tough 7.5 miles. I wouldn't have gone this far except that I am in a Thursday 30,000 Steps for Snakes Challenge on

Soccer tennis

Looking for something.

Time to make things happen!

Birthday Lunch with Heather. Happy Birthday@heatherrea22

Bees in downtown Denver. Some had fallen to the ground overnight and were being stepped on. I hope they find a safe summer home soon.

Everyone is a pyromaniac. Charcoal getting ready during an all night pig roast.

Just gorgeous.

Upside down in Denver.

Handstand in Denver.

Enough said.

Lower leg.

The endless landscape of eastern North Dakota

Ticks! Count is at 83 now. Still more to come. [Final Tick Count Was 85 Ticks]

Snake from today's run
Snake #2 from today's run.

Dinner last night.

Bird tracks in mud. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories.
Running in the Barren Agricultural Fields of North Dakota.
Dandelion seeds in mud.
Dandelion seed with shadow.


Walking at DIA

Playing the "where's my car" game at DIA.

The world's greatest soccer player is in Denver and I got to meet him.