I haven’t posted for a while mainly because I am still not riding. Into my 8th month of recovery from my motorcycle accident back in October 2015, I am regaining strength and flexibility day by day. Yet, as hard as I have worked especially since March 21st, 2016-the day I became weight-bearing, I feel I have such a long way to go.
One thing I find interesting? ADV riders seem to have in common is the love for their pets and life. I have no real tangible evidence but I would say many of us who ride have dogs. Having said that want to find my soft spot? Loving my dogs and then having to say good bye. I work in an industry where death and dying happens everyday. Human beings I mean. I cope with that professionally but I feel that perhaps witnessing all that pain and suffering comes out in me when I lose a dog.
Over the last 3 years I find myself grieving the loss of a dog I cherished. In June 2014 it was my crazy Beagle, Cruizer. Continue reading “A DOGS love & the pain saying good bye”
MAY 25 2015
Sierra went to sleep forever! June 6th 2002 – May 25th 2015
Cruizer April 28th 2004 – June 10th 2014
My little one Xander, age 15 is the only dog I have left.
March 14th 2015 (videos included)
If you LOVE dogs like I love mine then you will understand why I feel compelled to do an entire post about saying good-bye to my best friends. One of the hardest things over the year has been knowing that life changes comes with many consequences.
Since I am picking up and moving to the USA it may appear I am deserting my dogs or somehow I let Cruizer my Beagle down when I left for my X Country therapy ride after my separation. Continue reading “Saying Good Bye is NEVER Easy…”
A dear Virtual friend writes from his heart about a topic not many talk about. I congratulate George for taking the time and having the courage to share his own personal story and journey.
Please visit George’s blog by clicking the below link….👍
I’ll get straight to the point—I’ve been going through a rough patch. In brief, my last remaining grandparent, my maternal grandmother, is quickly reaching the end of her life. Combined with a very busy and stressful time at work at the moment, this has caused me to re-evaluate my own life—doing so has caused depression and anxiety (D&A) to bubble up after so many successfully years of keeping it under the surface. This has caused some apathy and a loss of focus on the things I normally love doing, such as motorbiking and keeping my blog regularly updated.
Many (and I will boldly say the majority of) people suffer D&A to varying degrees. I believe genetics play a part in being prone to D&A, as I can trace it up my family tree on my mum’s side. Because D&A is an ‘invisible’ illness, there is a stigma associated, and I feel the need to share what it’s like, from my perspective, to live with this, in the hopes that it will be of value to someone else. Doing so makes me feel exposed and somewhat vulnerable, but the stigma needs to be broken one person at a time.
In my own words:
- Depression: When you don’t care about anything.
- Anxiety: When you care too much about everything.
Like many people, for me these come as an ironic, vicious circle of a package. D&A leaves me conflicted—getting into a rut means I start worrying that I don’t care about anything, escalating into my mind running a million miles an hour. This triggers the fight-or-flight response meaning frequent adrenaline highs (butterflies in the stomach) and preventing wind-down at night which means really shitty sleeps—compounding everything.
My D&A causes me body/self image issues. Those who know me casually or professionally would likely say I am a confident, self-assured person holding my head up high, but in reality I have simply mastered the ability to project this image, or mask, or ‘gloss’. It’s what people expect—they don’t want to know what’s going on under the surface… and rightfully so, they have their own things to deal with.
In my own words:
- Self image: When you can’t see yourself the way other people see you.
- Narcissism: Seeking approval from others for your appearance, then hating yourself for doing it, then doing it again, over and over.
I fight with my self image every day. At its best it might be wishing I didn’t have dark circles around my eyes—at worst it’s coming to a realisation that other people love me more than I love myself. At the same time I recognise how stupid and illogical it is to suffer from this ridiculous condition.
Like a lot of people, I post far too many selfies of myself (aka gpoys, headshots etc). There is something oddly comforting about having people on Facebook or Instagram say nice things said about you and it gives a ‘quick fix’ to self image problems. However, it’s like opening Pandora’s box—do it once, and you want to relive the ‘high’ of the experience, so you do it again. My D&A then causes me to worry: “What if the next time no one likes the photo?”
Selfies allow so much control through lighting and angles that they are really an idealised image of one’s self. They give you the ability to present what, in your mind, is the perfect image of yourself—but they are not how other people see you. In essence, they are frauds—everyone knows this. So they don’t actually help improve self image issues in the long run.
Seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes, however, does help.
The photos at the end of this post were taken by one of my closest friends Andy, who has little photographic experience. I knew he was taking them but not *when* he was going to start snapping away, so there is an element of candidness—they are not posed. As a photographer, I know when people pose, they are attempting to form themselves into what they believe is their best look—facial expression, posture, angle etc—but this is almost never the case.
These are rare photos I can look at and not pick myself apart so much—I feel like I look a confident and sorted person for once, and I feel good about myself. I believe changing my appearance by growing out my beard to the ‘big’ stage has played a part as well. The picking is still there a little bit, bubbling away just below the surface—my shirt is one or two sizes larger than it should be, my beanie is turned up on one edge, I have sweat marks where my camera bag’s padded strap was pressing my shirt onto my skin (we’d just briskly walked more than 10 miles). Nevertheless, this is a huge step forward for me.
I completely understand that self/body image issues are ‘only in my mind’—yet I can’t stop it. Others may look at the photos and think ‘how could this person have body image issues’, or ‘he looks intimidating, I wouldn’t want to run into him in a dark alley’, or ‘he looks cuddly’, or ‘what a bruiser’—everyone applies their own preferences, tastes and biases to photos.
But for once, I’m ok with my appearance… ok that my Nordic/Viking genes have made me a barrel-chested, stocky-built person… ok that my Mediterranean genes have given me dark circles around my eyes… ok with the person I’ve become after 40 long years on this earth. And that makes today a good day.
One step at a time. For the minute I’ve moved forward with my self image—next is to move a step forward with my D&A. When my grandmother’s time comes, the funeral will help provide closure to that particular source of D&A. Spring is coming which means trips out to the byways on my bikes—one of my favourite ways of distancing myself from my troubles. Motorbiking requires 100% concentration—no time to dwell on other things.
I think the most effective way to deal with D&A is to believe that you will come through it. This
empowers you to make the changes required to choose to be a happier person. For some people that means changing a job or school, moving to a different city, removing the negativity from their lives. For others it is distracting themselves with activities they enjoy and not allowing themselves to get bored to the point that the D&A resurfaces. Everyone is different and there is no single answer.
Once things get better again—and they will get better—I will be in a good place to make regular blog entries again. Right now I’m taking some much-needed ‘me’ time. Until then, I continue to appreciate all the people who have read and commented on my past entries and hope to welcome you back soon. As always I will be monitoring and replying to comments, and I would be particularly grateful for your thoughts on this entry.
As a final note, thank you to Leslie from Advgrrl for encouraging me to publicly post this entry in the hopes that others may find benefit in reading it.
Okay SET BACK…On December 22nd, 2014 I spoke to BMW USA about importing my bike…they made it sound so easy and I have been waiting for my letter of compliance. Now, this morning I called BMW USA AND because it’s a MOTORCYCLE AND NOT an AUTOMOBILE, I have to use an importer. I was asked about this by a blog reader and I though I knew the way…he was correct…it’s not easy and I was misinformed. It’s a bike and I AM FRUSTRATED. They should have told me this back in December. I have a call out to an importer to see how much this is going to cost me. I have a feeling $1000. UGH! I am going to go on my trip anyway…worry about this crap later. 😉
1. The orphaned gorilla and his warden
Patrick Karabaranga, a warden at the Virunga National Park in Congo, sits with an orphaned mountain gorilla in the gorilla sanctuary.
I LOVE THEM ALL! Leslie
2. The deer escaping a wild fire
A deer jumps through a fence along U.S. Highway 24 while escaping the Waldo Canyon Fire in June.
3. The 10-day-old elephant in Sumatra
A ranger inspects a 10-day-old baby elephant at Sarah Deu conservation response unit in Indonesia. There are fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild, a 50% drop since 1985.
4. The cat cafe kiss
An employee kisses Dyushes, a Don Sphynx cat, at the “Cats Republic” art cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia. The cafe has an exhibition area, a library, and a hall where cats live. Visitors can pay $5-10 to play with the cats.
5. A woman and her kittens
Tammy Lance of Payson, Utah, cries after finding kittens alive under a burned-out truck.
6. The Shanghai tiger cub
A tiger cub rests at a nursery room at the Shanghai Zoo in China.
7. The elephant funeral
A villager offers flowers to a female adult elephant lying dead in a paddy field in Panbari village, India. The elephant was hit by a train and killed while crossing railway tracks with a herd of wild Asiatic elephants.
8. The dog and the water buffalo
A dog sits on water buffalo that were cooling off in the Ravi River in Lahore, Pakistan.
9. The goatobomb
An ethnic Uighur man takes a nap on a board as his goat stands next to him in western China.
10. Japanese snow monkeys enjoying a hot spring
Japanese wild monkeys enjoy an open-air hot spring at the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan.
11. The world’s first cloned pashmina goat
Noori, a cloned pashmina goat, stands inside a sheep breeding center at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in India. Scientists at the university successfully cloned the world’s first pashmina goat, prized for its fine wool, according to news reports.
12. These monkeys bathing in a pot
Two monkeys quench their thirst as a third takes a dip on a hot summer afternoon in India.
13. The shark and the seal
14. The cat and the gun
A cat sleeps next a Kalashnikov weapon on a Hamas security check point in Gaza City.
15. The Shar-Pei and the tiger cub
“Cleopatra” breast-feeds one of two adopted tiger cubs in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
16. The boy and his pet bear
Ghasiram Kisan feeds Buddu, a 1½-year-old sloth bear at the family’s home in Lakhapada, India. The wild bear, which was rescued by wildlife officials, wandered into the village as a cub following a herd of goats and had lived with the family ever since.
17. The two luckiest people in the world
Workers show off the baby pandas at the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, China.
18. The ducks crossing the road
Farmers herd a flock of ducks along a street toward a pond as residents drive next to them in China.
19. The leopard stuck in the water tank
A wild leopard climbs a net after it fell into a water reservoir tank at a tea estate in Haskhowa, India. The animal was rescued by the Sukna Forest rescue team by lowering a ladder and a net into the tank.
20. The whale funeral
People gather around a humpback whale that beached itself in White Rock, British Columbia. The whale, with signs of injuries on its body, was alive when fisheries officials arrived but died soon after.
21. The collie waiting to vote
A bearded collie waits under a table at a polling station while its owner votes in Germany.
22. The Shark Whisperer
Andre “The Shark Whisperer” Hartman touches the snout of a great white shark near ‘Shark Alley’ which holds the highest concentration of great white sharks in the world.
23. The sun bear who can’t take the heat
A sun bear reacts to triple-digit temperatures at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.
24. The pig on the street
A 6-month-old pet pig named “Shy” follows his owner as he crosses a street in Mexico City.
25. The dyed dogs
Dogs that were dyed red upon contact with Rhodamine B extra are seen in Jinan, China. A bag of Rhodamine B extra, which is easily soluble in water and makes the solution red, dropped on a highway and drifted to a nearby village after being crushed by passing vehicles.
26. The cativist
A Turkish woman holds her cat in front of a banner during a march for animal rights in Istanbul. Demonsrators gathered against a proposed amendment to a law that authorizes the removal of stray animals, limiting the number of pets in houses, and the termination of what is termed “dangerous” breeds. Activists fear the regulation will lead to mass killing of cats and dogs regardless of whether they are pets or strays.
27. The whale shark under the boat
A 50-foot-long whale shark dwarfs a 34-foot-long luxury yacht off the coast of the Yucatán peninsula.
28. This dog wearing a cape
A dog is decked out in in an awesome costume during a protest march against animal abuse.
29. The three baby bears
30. This terrifying interaction between a diver and an anaconda
A diver gets up close to a huge anaconda resting on a riverbank. Thankfully, its swollen belly shows it had recently eaten a capybara and would have little interest in feeding again for a while.
31. The orphaned dogs of the Philippines
Pit bulls and other breeds are chained in their steel drum cages at a coffee farm after being rescued from dog fighting gangs in the Philippines.
32. The polar bear enjoying her birthday snow
For Pike’s 30th birthday, the San Francisco Zoo brought in some snow. Her face says it all.
33. The orangutan being released into the wild after years of captivity
A young male orangutan takes his first steps into the wild after years of being kept as an illegal pet by palm oil plantation workers. The ape was released into the forest by rescuers and carers from Borneo.
34. The shark and the kayaker
A shark gets dangerously close to a kayaker in Massachusetts.
35. The world’s tallest dog
The world’s tallest dog, Zeus, drinks from the kitchen tap at his home. Standing on his hind legs, Zeus is 7 foot 4 inches tall.
36. The polar bear cuddling his keeper
Six-month-old polar bear cub Yuan Yuan hugs the leg of his keeper at Penglai Ocean Polar World. According to keepers, Yuan Yuan is like a spoiled child.
37. The sheep and his new family
Wolfgang Grensens, a shepherd, decided to raise a 6-week-old lamb after his mother passed away. The sheep fits right in.
38. The tiniest deer
This little guy was found orphaned in a forest close to Concepcion, Santiago. The Pudu inhabits exclusively in southern Chile and part of Argentina. The species is currently in danger of extinction.
39. The helpful dog
An English Pointer named Jack helps his human get a drink of water on the first day of spring in Brisbane, Australia.
40. The chill dachshund
His name is Coffe, and he’s from Mexico City.
41. The “racing” owl
Bob The Owl Reluctantly “runs” the 100-centimeter sprint before the London Olympics.
42. The donkey with two pink casts
Three-week-old Primose was saved by vets who put her underdeveloped legs in casts until they are strong enough to support her.
43. The world’s smallest puppy, named Beyonce
Beyonce, a dachshund mix female puppy, is pictured on an iPhone.
44. The sloth photobomb
It happened in Costa Rica to a group of student volunteers. The cameraman said: “As I looked through the camera lens I could see something creeping in to the frame. When I realized it was a baby sloth, I clicked the button as fast as I could, not that he was going anywhere fast.”
45. The lucky lady getting a kiss from a pygmy hippo
It happened at the Cango Ranch in South Africa ❤
46. The panda that was afraid of the dragon
A panda cub looks at a toy dragon, a New Year gift, in a nursery room in China.
47. The bear leaving his den after hibernation
Palle-Jooseppi, a male brown bear at Ranua Zoo in Finland, wakes up after winter hibernation.
48. The orphaned koala in a coffee cup
Raymond was found abandoned on the side of the road in Brisbane, Australia. He was named after the man who found him.
49. The orphaned elephant
Seven-and-a-half-month-old Moses was found alone and close to death in the Vwaza Wildlife Reserve in Malawi. His parents had been killed by poachers, and he has since been adopted by the Jumbo Foundation where he is being cared for and raised by humans.
50. The bear falling from the sky
A bear that wandered into the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, dorm complex Williams Village falls from a tree after being tranquilized by Colorado wildlife officials.
I find all these so fascinating…
Had to post these amazing pictures. Some say photo-shopped, I say beautiful and I don’t care and I can’t tell. Such an eye for composition, lens choice, lighting..well, overall I think talent.
These wonderful photographs by Elena Shumilova plunge the viewer into a beautiful world that revolves around two boys and their adorable dog, cat, duckling and rabbit friends. Taking advantage of natural colors, weather conditions and her enchanting surroundings, the gifted Russian artist creates cozy and heartwarming photography that will leave you amazed.
The boys in the photographs are the photographer’s sons and the animals belong to the farm she runs. “I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by my desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is” Shumilova explained to BoredPanda.
Rural settings, natural phenomena and the changing seasons seem to be the greatest stimuli in her works. “When shooting I prefer to use natural light – both inside and outside. I love all sorts of light conditions – street lights, candle light, fog, smoke, rain and snow – everything that gives visual and emotional depth to the image,” the photographer said.
Shumilova told us her passion for photography manifested in early 2012 when she got her first camera. Her most recent equipment includes the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and a 135mm lens. As a mother who doesn’t want to miss out on her growing children, she says she shoots every day and processes the images at night.
We suggest you take a cup of tea, lean back comfortably in your armchair and browse this beautiful collection of Elena Shumilova’s photographs.
“Children and animals – it’s my life. I’m a mom with two sons and we spend a lot of time on the farm,” – Shumilova told Bored Panda. Continue reading “Russian Mother Takes Magical Pictures of Her Two Kids With Animals On Her Farm”
Amazing pics, amazing places to visit…check them ALL out….
Witness a city in transformation, glimpse exotic animals, explore the past and enjoy that beach before the crowds.
1. Cape Town, South Africa Continue reading “52 Places to Go in 2014”
Photographer Alexey Kljatov takes incredible close-up photos of snowflakes in his backyard in Moscow.
“I capture snowflakes on the open balcony of my house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by an LED flashlight from the opposite side of the glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background.”
Continue reading “Amazing macro-photography of individual snowflakes [10 Pictures]”
December 17, 2013
Following on from our very successful blog “100 of the Best Street Art Images of 2013″ (see HERE), we’ve widened the net and thanks to the guys over at Sifter, we bring you the Top 75 Pictures of 2013. All credit goes to the individual photographers and their inspiring visions of our beautiful planet. What’s your favorite? Continue reading “The Top 75 Pictures of 2013”
Now that the year will be quickly drawing to a close, we wanted to remember some of the downright insane things have have happened this year. From the deadly to the triumphant, 2013 has been filled with events that none of us will soon forget. Countless people were injured by bombings, civil uprisings and natural disasters. However, within that tragedy, humanity’s beautiful true nature shone through. These are 28 photos that you simply must see before the end of the year.
Everyone’s Talking About What This Shy Photographer Did.
This is an amazing story and beautiful yet strange photography.
A couple of years ago, Kyle Thompson became interested in photography. Unfortunately, his anxiety prevented him from talking to people, so he opted to experiment with self-portraits.
He would spend hours, even days, walking alone through forests and exploring abandoned houses. He’s been to over 50 of them. After taking hundreds of photos, he posted some of his best to Reddit. From there, his life changed forever.