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!

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!

GoPro Wide Angle Still Photo

Friday, September 26, 2014

100 Different Photos - Challenge Completed Part 1

What a day yesterday taking photos!  I didn't think I would make it to 100 since I had been stuck in the office all day.

Photo #1:  Sunrise from the RTD parking lot in Louisville
This is just the short blog post to report on my day.  I will write another post later that elaborates each photo and why I took it.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

100 Different Photos - Challenge Accepted

Today's creative challenge is to take 100 different photos with the "real" camera. 100 photos!  Yikes!!!!  The question becomes do I share these photos as taken or do I crop and adjust color...

But before I put away the cell phone and it's camera, I thought I would share this morning's first light. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creativity is My Key to Happiness

I am working HARD to take action to make sure I find and stay happiness/happy.  This means shoving the negative thoughts that surface constantly back into the ground where they belong.  This may sound like an easy task but it really isn't - at least not for me.  Actually, it may just be one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do in my life and I suck at it (wait a second - I was just negative towards myself again - see what I mean, it is hard!).


Leg selfie taken at the bus stop this morning to combat my self-pity negative bullshit.
I am learning some very cool things about myself in this process and tricks to stay positive.  My most successful technique is for me to get out of my head and do something creative.  This isn't always easy to do but it is possible.  My phone and other electronic toys are gets tools for creativity.  Here are several examples from today (Remember to watch all videos in HD - you have to change the resolution yourself in YouTube for some reason):

1)  Missed bus - back in August, they tweaked the bus schedules to account for traffic, passenger load, or maybe something else they consider when scheduling.  Well, this really sucks for me on Wednesdays because I am a on crossing guard duty at the school until 8:05am.  You can learn more about crossing guard in this old blog post:  Crossing Guard.  The new bus departure time is 8:13am so I miss it and have to wait another 24 minutes for the next bus.  I was feeling sorry for myself this morning because of this crap that is completely out of my control until I saw a pill bug (rolypoly or wood louse) streaking across the sidewalk.  I quickly got down on my hands and kneed at the bus stop to film his race against the sun.  I was happy.

2)  Crappy meeting - I had a large project meeting today during which I felt a little lost.  This is a large project and so I should not expect to be included on all the little phases considering for once I am just the senior biological review person (normally I get saddled with a whole shitload of boring stuff I hate doing).  I left the meeting feeling pretty low.  When I get depressed, I eat.  I eat a lot.  I found myself in a zombie run to Subway where I got a foot long sandwich to stuff myself with.  Instead of wallowing in my crap, I found a way to smile as I ate the sub.  I videoed the whole meal then processed it at 8 time normal speed.  It was fun and just plain silly but it completely changed my mood.

3)  This blog post - enough said.

So - I guess I am learning.  I am finding a very positive counterattack to my self-negativity and loathing.  I have always been creative but I have suppressed it in fear of judgement.  I think all creative people deal with this fear every day.  It is those that break through the resistance that are happy.  I am crushing the resistance.  :)  Yes - I have been reading too.

Suggested reading for all Artists no matter what your art is...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sunflower Kind of Day

Yesterday wasn't just about getting my catalytic converter stolen - it was about sunflowers as well.  I took a short walk at lunch to get away from my desk.  I started seeing sunflowers right away and then the switch flipped in my brain that I needed to start taking photos.  Here is what I came up with:

Overhanging Sunflowers

Sunflower - Denver Skyline

Sunflower Selfie

The Lonely Sunflower

Ever-changing Light

My bus commute this morning was surrounded by ever changing light.  The sun and clouds played tag as I cheerfully rode into Denver.  Enjoy!

First light was pink, yellow, and gray

Clouds quickly smothered all the color as the sun rose

The sun found a gap between the horizon and clouds to shine brightly on my bus

The clouds stood firm and covered the sun

Denver reflected the muted early morning light.

Catalytic Converters On the Black Market

I had a very startling experience after work yesterday.  I had just arrived at my car after my easy 25 minute bus commute from Denver.  I open my door and was blasted with hot, foul air from inside my 4-Runner.  GROSS!  I had picked up a dead snake to make a study skin out of and forgotten all about it.  The stench of rotting flesh was overpowering so I quickly put my key in the ignition to start the car.  I turn the key and started a Harley.  It was LOUD!  WTF!  I quickly turn off the car as I shook my head trying to figure out what just happened.

I must have a hole in my exhaust system.  That was the only explanation at the time but it did NOT explain the thundering roar of a Harley inside my 4-Runner.  I start the car again and the noise was deafening.  I once again turn the car off but quickly roll down all the windows.  Regardless of how loud my car was, it was not making me forget the STENCH of the rotting snake.

I dispose of the snake carcass in some nearby bushes and then return to my bigger problem.  Why does my normally very quiet 4-Runner sound like a Harley?

I drop down on the ground and it is blantantly obvious what has happened.  Some assholes stole my catalytic converter by cutting it out with a saw!  SHIT!

Photos of the cut pipes where my catalytic converter once existed.

I turned to Google to learn more about catalytic converter thefts and was quickly overwhelmed with data.  This is a common occurrence.  I guess I have been lucky but yesterday the thieves certainly had big balls.  Actually maybe not - as I was relaying my story to the police officer sent to take pictures, he admitted that if he saw people working underneath a car in a parking lot, he wouldn't think twice about it.  NO WONDER THIS IS SUCH A COMMON THEFT!  The cops drive right by and probably say hi to the thieves!  I may just have to send this blog to our police chief to raise his awareness.  

A failed theft attempt and repair job

Thieves get up to $300 per catalytic converter.  That is approximately $150 per minute if it only takes two cuts and one minute per cut to remove the converter.  The thieves that stole from me made an additional cut that they weren't getting paid for but maybe they had to start over after saying hi the police officer that drove by while they were working.  Scrap metal dealers want the platinum that is inside the catalytic converters.  I might be in the wrong business.

This theft is so common that devices have been patented to prevent thieves from an easy payday.  The CatClamp is a highly reviewed and praised device from automakers and mechanics.  Check out these examples of theft deterrent devices - I guess I might need to get one soon.

Until I can get my can repaired, I will be driving a 4-Runner that sounds like a Harley.  Wave if you hear me drive by.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Riding The Bus - My Time

I take public transportation every day when commuting to my paying job.  I enjoy the 25 minutes of solitude even when I am in a crappy mood.  Today was no different.

Bus Selfie - Check out the Blue Light behind me
I think about a lot of things on the bus.  Random thoughts such as:
  • Will anyone sit with me?
  • Soccer for the week
  • Snakes - I think a lot about snakes
  • Naughty thoughts
  • Blog topics that I need to write about
  • Sunrises
  • Things I have not done or completed
  • Work stress and anxiety (I wish I could get rid of this)
  • Skinny dipping (oh - I already said naughty thoughts)
  • Ruzzle - my new word game addiction
  • People - yes, I love to people watch
My 25 minutes on the bus is very special.  It is quiet.  It is peaceful. It is mine.  Once I move on from this job and onto my passion (hopefully this is going to happen soon), I am going to have to find a new place for my random thoughts.  Any suggestions?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Morning Light - 16 September 2014

Here are a series of photos taken from my bedroom all the way through my bus commute which was made longer by stop and go traffic this morning.  Enjoy the Colorado sunrise.

Monday, September 15, 2014

You Must Be A Wimp

Yes - I called you a wimp.  Maybe that is not the smartest thing to do considering you are my readers but that is what you are.  Why am I calling you all wimps?  Well - you are not sending me selfies as I challenged you to do last week!  Here is my original challenge: Selfie Challenge.

Okay - why aren't you sending me selfies?  I will guess 5 reasons and five new selfies that will hopefully inspire you to send me your selfie right now:

First - you may not have seen my blog.  I will forgive you for that but you just don't know what you are missing if this is the case.

Drinking the #1 Beer
Second, you may not have read my blog.  In this case, you are not forgiven.

Chilling with a baby bullsnake

There I go again - insulting and alienating potential readers.  Oh well - I think the next few reasons why you haven't sent me a selfie yet are worse.

Third - you read my blog and ignored my challenge.  Yes, you are a wimp.  Just get out your phone right now, take a selfie, and email it to me at cayoung@snakeconservation.org.

Eating just picked plums with my youngest
Fourth - you read my blog, took a few selfies, but did not send them to me.  You are a total wimp!  What are you afraid of?  Someone might recognize you in the selfie?  Send me that selfie now!

post-run getting the couch sweaty
Fifth - you read my blog and hate selfies.  This is more of a reason to send me a selfie.  You need to do it.  I was asked over the weekend about my own selfies and why I take and publish so many if I hate the way I look in them.  My answer was simple - They make me think about my mood and myself in a positive light.  No one ever wants to look bad in a photo (this is why I avoid cameras - I think I have horribly out of shape and that it really shows on film) so we will take selfie after selfie lifting ourselves up with each photo.  Why is this uplifting?  It just is - TRY IT NOW and send me your selfies to cayoung@snakeconservation.org.

Collar popped yes I am crazy
I am posting my selfie blog this Wednesday with or without your photo.  I know you want your photo included so just send it to me.  Make it happen right now.  Stop being a wimp!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Stop Hating Selfies - Selfie Challenge!

I came across a post on my Google Plus feed that was titled "Why You Should Stop Hating On Selfies" and linked to the American Jokes website.  While the post and website were clearly a knock on women taking erotic or half-naked photos of themselves, it made me pause and think about why I take selfies again.  I came to the conclusion that selfies are a good thing and that we all should be taking and posting them.  

Before I go into my selfies, I have to make my challenge to you - 


I will include all the selfies I receive via email in another blog post next week.  My email address is cayoung@snakeconservation.org - yes, that is my real email so I am very serious about this challenge.

Why I like selfies - 

  1. They capture my mood
  2. They give me a visual for my mood
  3. They enhance my mood
  4. They save my mood for eternity
As humans, we are very VISUAL creatures.  We communicate non-verbally over 60% of the time.  Selfies are my way of communicating with myself through pictures.  Think about my list above for a moment - how can capturing my mood be a bad thing?  All those things are positives.

Now there are all sorts of selfies that you can take - here are some of my favorites:

The Office Selfie

The Bus Selfie

The Goofie Selfie

The Snake Hike During My Lunch Break Selfie

The "I Am Drunk Laying In the Flowers" Selfie

The Chicken Selfie
The Snake Selfie

 The Cooking Naked Selfie

The Shower Selfie

The Workout Selfie

The Beer Selfie

The Sleepy Selfie

The Bathroom Selfie - This is the one everyone takes

The Blue Sky Selfie

The Soccer Dad Selfie

The Dog Selfie

The Driving Selfie

The Crossing Guard Selfie

The Foot Selfie

The Pro-Athlete Selfie
The Snake Hike Selfie

The point I guess I am trying to make is that selfies are an absolutely INCREDIBLE way to document your short life on this planet as well as make yourself happy in the process.  There are No reasons not to take selfies.  Even the risque selfies are worth it because they show how you were feeling at the moment you took the picture.  We can never go back and recreate a moment in our past but we can take selfies to help us remember it. 

So, I challenge each of you to take a selfie, add a caption, and send it to me at cayoung@snakeconservation.org.  I will then collect all your selfies and publish them in another blog post.  Let's have fun!

Let me end with an example from my parents - their first selfie with their first smartphone.  My parents sent me this selfie with the comment not to post it on Facebook - they said nothing about me posting it in my blog though so here it is:

My parents' "Double Selfie" along the Meig's Creek trail