Friday, May 13, 2011

Ladybug and Babies - Backyard Macro Photography

Location: Greenville, SC, USA

Ladybug and Babies | Backyard Macro Photography | Greenville | SC
Nikon D90 | f/16 | 1/60 sec | ISO 500 | 50 mm Nikkor Lens | Opteka HD II Macro Lens Attachment

Dandelion - Backyard Macro Photography

Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Dandelion Backyard Macro Photography Opteka HD II Nikon D90

Dandelion | Backyard Macro Photography | Greenville | SC
Nikon D90 | f/9 | 1/60 sec | ISO 500 | 50 mm Nikkor Lens | Opteka HD II Macro Lens Attachment

Monday, March 21, 2011

iPhone Macro Photography

The majority of these photos were taken by placing a lens that I removed from an old JVC Compact VHS video camera. The lens actually had five component lenses within when I removed the main housing. I placed the lens over my iPhone lens and got in as close as I could.

The other lens I used came in a set that includes a Fisheye, Macro, and a Wide Angle in the set. The lenses are made specifically for mobile phones and well worth the price if you're into stuff like this. I ordered mine from the PhotoJojo.Com store. They have some fantastic camera goodies

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Science Says I'm An Ideal Champion

Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Oh Mr. Keirsey, how you know me. 

Keirsey Temperament Theory, a close relative of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, states that there are four basic temperament groups which describe human behavior. Keirsey’s four temperaments are referred to as Artisans, Guardians, Rationals and Idealists. These four temperaments can be further subdivided, often referred to as “Character Types”. There are four types of Artisans, four types of Guardians, four types of Rationals, and four types of Idealists.

So here are my evaluation results from the 70-question test.
  • My Group Summary: Idealists (NF)
  • My Title - The Champion (EP)
  • My Type Summary - ENFP
  • My Score - 91% I to E; 37% N to S; 43% F to T; 63% J to P

About Idealists
Idealists (NFs), as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.

All Idealists share the following core characteristics:
  • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
  • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
  • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
  • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. Idealists dream of creating harmonious, even caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together for the good of all. Such interpersonal harmony might be a romantic ideal, but then Idealists are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. The real, practical world is only a starting place for Idealists; they believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be understood. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the "not visible" or the "not yet" that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Idealists than the world of material things.

Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or insincere. More often, however, Idealists are the very soul of kindness. Particularly in their personal relationships, Idealists are without question filled with love and good will. They believe in giving of themselves to help others; they cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; they strive for a special rapport with their children; and in marriage they wish to find a "soulmate," someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.

Idealists are relatively rare, making up no more than 15 to 20 percent of the population. But their ability to inspire people with their enthusiasm and their idealism has given them influence far beyond their numbers. [source]

About The Champion
Like the other Idealists, Champions  are rather rare, say three or four percent of the population, but even more than the others they consider intense emotional experiences as being vital to a full life. Champions have a wide range and variety of emotions, and a great passion for novelty. They see life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil, and they want to experience all the meaningful events and fascinating people in the world. The most outgoing of the Idealists, Champions often can't wait to tell others of their extraordinary experiences. Champions can be tireless in talking with others, like fountains that bubble and splash, spilling over their own words to get it all out. And usually this is not simple storytelling; Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions. Their strong drive to speak out on issues and events, along with their boundless enthusiasm and natural talent with language, makes them the most vivacious and inspiring of all the types. Nothing occurs that does not have some deep and ethical significance in your eyes. You see life as an exciting drama. You are very charismatic, yet tend to be too harsh on yourself for not being as genuine as you think you should be.

Fiercely individualistic, Champions strive toward a kind of personal authenticity, and this intention always to be themselves is usually quite attractive to others. At the same time, Champions have outstanding intuitive powers and can tell what is going on inside of others, reading hidden emotions and giving special significance to words or actions. In fact, Champions are constantly scanning the social environment, and no intriguing character or silent motive is likely to escape their attention. Far more than the other Idealists, Champions are keen and probing observers of the people around them, and are capable of intense concentration on another individual. Their attention is rarely passive or casual. On the contrary, Champions tend to be extra sensitive and alert, always ready for emergencies, always on the lookout for what's possible.

Champions are good with people and usually have a wide range of personal relationships. They are warm and full of energy with their friends. They are likable and at ease with colleagues, and handle their employees or students with great skill. They are good in public and on the telephone, and are so spontaneous and dramatic that others love to be in their company. Champions are positive, exuberant people, and often their confidence in the goodness of life and of human nature makes good things happen.

The Champion - On Occupation
People naturally confide in the Champion (ENFP). That's why they make such good mediators, counselors, teachers, consultants, and reporters. Any position that outreaches to others can fit the Champion. They can be columnists, journalists, publicists, copy writers, advertising account executives. In the arts they can be character actors, cartoonists, art educators. If they choose jobs such as restaurateur, be sure that their business sites will be unique and designed for a particular type of customer. Don't be surprised to see them as an inventor. This type of personality wants to experience the whole of life and may change careers more often than many other types.

The Champion - On Work-Related Stress
Since Idealists tend to work for a better future for all, if things keep going badly and they lose hope they become stressed. When Idealists experience great stress, they can have muscle or sensory problems. The Champion is usually a bundle of energy, but they can become exhausted if they are overloaded with work. They also will experience stress if their values and principles are violated and they see others in the company being hurt by policies that kill the human spirit. Then they become hypersensitive to what is going on around them. Facts become exaggerated. They have feelings of paranoia and may withdraw. To regain their equilibrium, meditation will help. Kindness and support by others, but not patronization, will help them get back to normal.

The Champion - On Romance
Idealist men find it relatively easy to express tender feelings, sympathize with others, and have female friends. Some even enjoy shopping. Many women find this intensely appealing while others view them as effeminate.

Idealist men are the most likely to provide romantic dates, an empathetic listening ear, and kindness. Women are likely to appreciate their ability to simply listen without trying to solve problems although they are likely to need to share the stage with the Idealist man who also wants to be heard. Along with sensitivity, Idealists are the most likely type of man to be moody, responding to the moods of those around them.

As a romantic partner, you need to talk about what is going on in your life. You are a strong supporter for your partner's efforts to grow and change and be happy. You need to feel that same support from your partner. Expressive, optimistic, and curious, you are eager to enjoy new experiences with your partner, whom you wish to be your confidant and soul mate, as well as play mate. You are uncomfortable sharing negative emotion, though, and tend to withdraw from confrontation and process your feelings privately. You feel most loved when your partner appreciates your creativity, accepts your uniqueness, and sees you as the compassionate person you are. You need to hear your partner tell you how much you mean to them and would love if they did thoughtful spontaneous things to demonstrate it.

The Champion male never lacks for female companionship. Women seek him out because he's cheerful and believes in them. His tendency has been to have very intense relationships which burn out quickly. He's decided that it's probably best to date casually to avoid flash-in-the-pan romances. [source]

This is where I would put my closing paragraph, extolling the worthiness of taking this test and providing a link, but I hate being predictable.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye Dear Friend

It was a new phase in my life, in our lives. My future wife and I decided to move in together. The year was 1996. We'd been dating for two years, we were in love, and we were both at that marrying age. One of the first things we did was get a puppy. As first-time dog owners, we did our duty and went to the pound. It was the slightest ting of red in her black fur that set her apart from her eight or so siblings. The lab-looking little girl was to be the puppy of choice.

I wanted to name her Woody -- Go Bucks!!! -- but P would have none of that. Cooper was my next suggestion. Had I known then what I know now about former Buckeyes head football coach, John Cooper, I would have just let P name her. Alas, Cooper stuck.

As the little girl grew, her body morphed into something I'd never seen. She had the head of a lab and the body of a whippet. It didn't take long to discover that she was a great Frisbee dog. She was fast, sleek, and could jump nearly four feet with a good sprint.

Smart was an understatement. She was a brilliant dog, easily trained and very docile. She also came with all of the pain-in-the-ass stuff that accompanies a dog. She ate shoes. She peed on the carpet. She ate my hamburgers when left unattended. But she was my puppy, the first I had since Scamper "ran away" when I was about five. As a side note, my grandma slipped up about 15 years later and divulged that my parents had helped Scamper run away by giving her to someone else.

I could go on and on about the joys and frustrations of Cooper, but I won't. What I will say is that she was a true friend. She was never selfish. She never blamed. She wanted nothing from me but love. And as she grew older and her eyes, ears, and hips began to fail, she wanted nothing more than love.

No one should ever have to experience what I did on Saturday.

Coming home from a motorcycle show, I slowly pulled into my driveway. I was moving extra slowly because both my daughters, P and Cooper were in the yard. As I put my truck in park, I heard the cry. I didn't even feel the bump it was so light. Cooper must not have seen my truck. When I got out, P screamed for me to back up. I did, hopped out, and ran to the other side of my truck.

There was my 15-year-old buddy, crying, bloody and pink. The accident had de-gloved her of her fur. It ripped her skin off her body, attached only at her legs and face. The impact probably broke her hip, too.

What had I done to my dear puppy?

I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I broke down.

Finding a sheet close by, I wrapped Cooper up and loaded her into my truck. P and I raced to the emergency vet.

I didn't take long before the vet came to see us. With only a sight evaluation, the vet compared her injuries to a third-degree burn over three fourths of her body. This was without doing an X-ray. Who knows what else had happened.

The vet said Cooper could have surgery, it would take at least three months to recover and would cost "thousands and thousands" of dollars.

They gave her meds to make her comfortable and brought her in to see us for one last time. P and I cried. We talked to Cooper and pet her and told her that she was a good girl. And we cried.

It didn't take long for the pink juice to work, almost instantly.

As I sit here looking at my blistered thumb from digging her grave, I can't help but think about how a puppy is so representative of true friendship and love.

Goodbye dear friend. I will never forget you.