Shyna And Me… Freshly Pressed


Shyna And Paper

It was a little bit more silent on my blog over the days. There were some bad and good news that kept me busy but today I only want to talk about the good news. The good news is related to my blog. I have a new photo of my cat for you that you can see above! Ok wait, that happens regularly (laughing). There is something else. One of my posts got a lot of attention as it got featured on the front page of WordPress, or Freshly Pressed as it is called here. I researched some funny cat quotes, created a list of my favorite quotes and published it at the beginning of the month together with a photo of my cat Shyna. Last weekend it surprisingly happened, the post got hit by a wave of attention and that kept me busy for some days.

Even if my blog got already a lot of traffic over the past anyway (mainly Google visitors), I was quite happy when I found out that one of my posts got featured. There are also some major differences between traffic that comes through Google and the traffic that comes from the Freshly Pressed section here. If your blog is somewhat established on Google, the numbers will be pretty stable but this doesn´t mean that every visitor will drop a comment. With the Freshly Pressed section it is the other way around as the additional traffic spike period just lasts as long as your article is on the front page but the key difference is that the visitors are bloggers and social media enthusiasts who use the whole tool set that is available to us. That means they commented, shared and liked until my provider and email client worked hard to deliver all the email notifications.

That was clearly a fun experience but also a lot of work. But I would lie if I would say that I didn´t enjoy it. I think most of us share our ideas and thoughts because it´s an activity we started to enjoy. Most longtime bloggers probably did enjoy it in both cases, with zero attention at the beginning and with increasing attention over time. I think this is the right approach because if you like already the activity alone, some extra attention will just round it up. I am very thankful that this happened. I am not only thankful that WordPress featured one of my posts, I do also want to thank those who came here to take a look on my blog, and I want to thank those who already supported and socialized with me since some time.

It´s exciting what our technology makes possible and I am really glad that I can meet so many interesting people even if they are far away. While it is sometimes hard to maintain a balance (spending time on the own blog to create content and spending time on other blogs to read there), especially if you follow several blogs, I found already a lot of interesting stories and media that I enjoyed pretty much. So, I don´t only thank those who came here, I do also thank those who entertained me with their stories, photos and other content. That all makes me want to stay and be a part of the community for a long time.

Talking about the luck again that one of my posts got featured for a moment, I think the comment frequency seems to decrease now back to normal. If you are regular visitor, you know what you can expect next. If you are new follower then be prepared, there is no other way to explain what you can expect, it´s higgledy-piggledy. If I am highly inspired it could be a roller coaster ride through all kind of subjects that I find interesting or even things that annoy me. But it could also happen that you see photos of my cat for weeks but that is her fault (laughing).

I think this introduction fits very well. But it is also a good point to end my article here.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy


Dreamy Cat

My last participation in the Weekly Photo Challenge is some time ago. The reason is that they don´t send out new emails anymore when there is a new challenge. It´s really some time ago when I contacted them about this issue and they said that it is a small hiccup of their servers. This is months ago. Yes, I could still find their challenges in the WordPress reader but if you follow a lot of blogs, you´ll miss some posts.

Anyway, I saw another person posting an entry today and thought “Right, I should do that again too!”. The motto of this week is dreamy, and as always it is up to us how we interpret it. I though the photo that I did attach to my post would really fit. My cat Shyna looks a little bit dreamy on the photo. Or she looks as if she would daydream. She probably did heck out new plans!

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A Red Flower


Red Flower

Yet another photo for my flower collection. It´s some time ago and I think my mother shot this photo with her phone. This is a very beautiful photo and I like the flower. I guess she did take the photo in her garden. Needs to be in my collection.

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We Had A Frightening Weekend, My Grandma Came To The Hospital


I was quite frightened this weekend. On Friday I got a phone call and my mother told me that my grandma came to the hospital. She does have too high blood pressure at times but this time it was extremely high. Grandma was away from our city when this happened on Friday. The emergency service had to decide if they bring her to the nearest hospital or to our city hospital that was more far away. They decided to drive to the nearest hospital because she has been at risk to get a heart attack if it takes too much time. That was a shock for the whole family and we all were frightened.

She is still in the hospital in the other city but the good news is that her blood pressure is now back to normal as they could intervene with medicine right away. They still need to monitor her but she can laugh again. Today in the morning they told her that she is in the bed since some days and that she can already walk as this is important for her circulatory, but as I know grandma, she did take the words too serious and walked five floors up and down and that four times in a row (She always enjoyed walking fast and much). She got a higher blood pressure again and the doctors told us that they didn´t say she should do sport, they meant she should just walk a few meters to get the circulatory back to normal. That means she must be still a little bit careful, but grandma probably thought “I can walk again? Cool, let me walk some miles up and down in the building”.

Even after the incident today, she is not in a critical condition as she had been on Friday, and we are very happy that she recovers. We just had to tell her “Slowly, don´t overdo and please listen what they tell you, ok?”. While they said they need to monitor her, we talked already about the alternative to transport her to our bigger city where we have a very specialized hospital. The doctor said that they probably manage that but she should be at least another week in that hospital when she arrives. Our city Lübeck has one of the best cardiology clinics worldwide. A lot of things were researched here. In general, we have a top clinic that is basically like a city in it´s own (It´s really as large like a city district). Also since grandma suffers from a congenital cardiac valvular defect, it´s probably the best place to examine her latest problem further.

While she is already ok now again, I really must say that Friday was one of these days that knock you immediately down to earth. What can happen, or what could happen, that is something I usually don´t think that much about. It´s because I don´t have much experience with it as there were not too big health problems in my family. As I didn´t know everything about the incident on Friday and my mother didn´t have that much details in this moment as well, we all were in panic. You maybe know what I mean, we just heard the words “Heart” and “Blood pressure” until we got more details from family members. This made us very afraid because you think about all kind of scenarios then. We are so happy that it didn´t came worse on Friday. Anyway, it´s that time when you think a lot about your loved ones, life, and the valuable time we all are allowed to spend together. What I experienced on Friday, I think that might be called fear of loss. When everything is good, we sometimes really forget that this is not taken for granted. These thoughts make me afraid. Anyway, now I just want to be happy that grandma feels already much better.

I had to get this out of my head anyhow.

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Ladybug On The Pavement


Ladybug On The Pavement

Above is one image that I shot this summer but as I have a hilarious amount of images, I am not always able to upload them in time. But I think this is a beautiful photo that shouldn´t be absent in my ladybug photo collection on my blog.

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The Roudmap To The Nikon D7100


Savings

One of the things that my blog taught me is that I pretty much enjoy taking photos. When I remember right, everything started when I noticed that I can glam up my articles with photos. I began to add photos to my articles in an ever-increasing rhythm. At some point, I didn´t know anymore what exactly I wanted to highlight and share, thoughts or photos? Today I know, both, words and images. It didn´t take me a long time to figure out that my interest in graphic design did benefit from my huge photo folders too. I had my own material now, my own work that I could edit whenever and however I wanted to, but I noticed the technical limits of my camera pretty early. I got the idea to save money for a decent camera that is both, technically and qualitatively superior to my point and shoot or smartphone camera, and secondly also complex enough to give me more freedom to create what I want, beautiful digital work. That is a plan I am working on since some time now.

Usually I dislike to show photos as the money image that I attached to my article here. Simply said, because I dislike to appeal like a prole. But my intention is a different one. I want to motivate myself, I want to remind me that I am not too far away on that route to a decent camera. I save money since some time to make my idea come true. There are other costs in my life so that it takes some time. But I am patient and I do believe that you can achieve things with persistence. Watching into my money-box, it seems I am right. It motivates me even more.

Some people did suggest that I could do it on easy terms if I am truly into photography. But I never liked the idea to get me something that I can´t pay here and now with hard cash. My philosophy is that you can´t own something that you got with a settlement made in instalments. I prefer to put money into a box that is remaining by the end of the month. That is something that I really own. I prefer to calculate how much I could save. That is something that is called realism. I don´t need banks to help me out, because I know they want me in that trap. I strongly believe that they don´t want to do you a favor, all they want is to milk you out, which is why I do it on my own.

I did put certain amounts into the box each month and I do now have saving of 450 Euro. There are additionally 150 Euro that I did lend loved ones that needed help and who will pay back. That means I basically saved 600 Euro (should be around 760 US Dollar). I have been in the inner-city last week to buy me a new jeans but then I saw a photography store and went in to take a look. I saw the Nikon D7100 that is on my radar since some time. They sell them for 950 Euro including a kit lens. That means I am just 350 Euro away to reach my goal. But I have a few things at home that I don´t need anymore but that could be worth 200 Euro and I might sell the stuff at some point on Ebay, I am just not sure yet. However, it would catapult me a few steps further and I realized that I could achieve my goal soon.

But as I am a realist and patient, my roadmap is calculated different. I think that the beginning of 2014 is a realistic deadline. It doesn´t even matter for me if I get the camera in February or two months later. I am that patient and know that this is not a long time anyway. And if I reach it earlier, it won´t disappoint me. That´s why I calculate with more time. But enough talked about the savings.

How I found out about the Nikon D7100 and why it might be the camera I want? I thought it is wise to research a lot before I throw that bunch of money on the table. One of the achievements of the internet is that you can now research on your own. Remember the time when you went into a store and all you could do is trusting the statements of a salesperson? Fortunately, this time is over. It´s so great that you can find many product related reviews or comparisons with Google. YouTube and all the video reviews make it even more perfect. There is so much you can do and it is no problem at all to dig deep into the subject if you spend time. That´s what I did and still do. I didn´t only research about photography hardware I did also research a lot about photography.

I regularly watch videos of experts who share their knowledge. I know quite a lot about DSLR photography and it is somewhat funny because I don´t even own a DSLR camera yet. It´s some months ago when I had a talk with a photographer and he asked about my camera. When I told him that I just have a smartphone and a point and shoot camera, he stared to laugh and said “Wow, cool bro! You seriously should get you a DSLR, why to hell do you know all that stuff already without even owning one?” and I answered “That´s my plan mate, that´s my plan” and he said “Well, to be honest, that is much better than the other way around!”.

I saw a lot of reviews not only about Nikon cameras but also about Canon, Pentax and others. I think they all do build great cameras if I believe the reviews but to nail it down, I had to ask myself what I want from a camera. It´s not easy but that´s basically how I found the Nikon D7100. Talking about Nikon, I know, with my money I could already get me a D5200 but saving for a D7100 is possible too as I mentioned. The D7100 is technically better than the D5200 to make it short. It´s often mentioned that you could just start low as a beginner but that´s not how I do think.

I know already that I like photography and I know that I will demand more at some point. I would regret it if I notice too early what I could have if I would just have spent some more money. To be honest, this happened to me several times for example when I started playing guitar. I still do that today and sometimes I think “Why did I buy so many cheap guitars, why didn´t I just buy a good one that cost a little more?”. I don´t want that to happen again. Back to photography, the D7100 is in my price range while everything above would be just way more difficult to save for. The D7100 as a enthusiast’s DSLR is a compromise between an entry-level model like the D5200 and the more professional and more expansive gear that is available for even higher prices. After watching so many videos and reading so many reviews, I do think that the D7100 is a real good compromise.

The main reason why I rather want the D7100 that the camera has a faster shutter speed and better burst mode and that is really something I want from a camera. This camera also has a faster auto-focus and more auto-focus points. Image quaility is noise free up to ISO 6400. Also it comes with way more features. Then the camera has two memory card slots that you can use to split or mirror files (RAW, JPEG). The D7100 has an optional battery grip. The D5200 is build with plastic while the D7100 is more solid due to the magnesium alloy material. The D5200 is more user-friendly but that is nothing positive and tells me that it will limit me at some point as it will be probably harder to get to the more advanced options (There is a reason why more expansive gear is more complex).

I probably forgot a lot of reasons why I would prefer the D7100 but it´s just clear that the D5200 is a beginner model and the D7100 more something for enthusiasts. The price of the D5100 got me tempted a few times but at the end I stayed strong. As with other interests, I am quite sure that I won´t be a beginner for a long time as I study my interests and that might make me an enthusiast, which means I could demand more then. The D7100 leave a little more margin here and fits too when I talk again about my savings roadmap, even if it takes longer. Talking about the reason why I would prefer a Nikon D7100 over a Canon D600 for example, that would just expand my article too much. Both cameras have their advantages I found out with all the reviews. Fortunately I have still enough time to research more or to change my plans. But at the moment everything looks as if I would have chosen the Nikon D7100 already. Let´s see when the time has come. At the end I should also have all the cameras in my hands once to see if I like the handling, that is a factor too. As said, it´s still some time to check that all out.

But that were some details about my plan to get more into photography. If you are photographer, feel free to tell me your opinion. You are probably way more experienced then and I would like to hear what more advanced photographers think about my plan.

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Sleepless Night Photoshop Session


Shyna Photoshopped

Above you can see another new image of Shyna that I edited heavily with Photoshop as the original image was not that good. But I think I like what I made out of it. I really like that artistic or surreal approach because I have enough normal photos of my cat, and I thought why not creating some crazy stuff again. It´s also Photoshop exercise and good for improving.

The original had such a bad quality that I decided to delete it afterwards. But I do like the edited image anyhow. It´s definitely an image that I wanted to store on my blog. But I should take a look tomorrow again as I saw it for too long today. It´s difficult to judge if you brew on an image for too long.

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The Apple Tree Story


The Apple Tree Story

Today I want to tell you a short story from my childhood. I can get inspired by a lot of things. Today I got inspiration by a friend on the gaming platform Steam. She wrote me a chat message and apart from other things she chatted also about the meaning of different first names. She for example mentioned that there is a similar one as my name Dennis. It´s a Turkish name that is written Deniz. Dennis is the english variant of the greek name Dionys and Dionysius. But she told me that the Turkish name Deniz would mean “He belongs to the sea” and mentioned that this would somewhat fit to me as I live near the Baltic Sea.

Some memories came up when she told me about the Turkish name Deniz. That´s why I said she inspired me anyhow to write about it. I am not sure if the age is right but I remember I was 11 years old when I heard the first time that there is a similar sounding name to my first name. A friend and me were roaming through one of the local garden grounds because we were bored. We noticed that one of the many gardens had an apple tree. My friend said a little excited “Look! There is an apple tree! We can eat apples!” and I decided to climb over the fence to pick some for us.

I had the desire to eat an Apple too and it seemed as if there would be no one on the garden parcel, not even on the surrounding garden plots. I went over the fence and picked one or two apples for each of us when I remember right. Standing directly under the apple tree with a smile in the face, that smile changed when I heard a voice “Hey! What are you doing there!”. A Turkish looking old man came out of the small wooden hut and confronted me with what I had done. With my age of 11 years I was pretty worried and I am not sure anymore if I was more worried that he could scream at me or worse, or if he could call the police to make my mother mad. It had been one of these moments where you start to realize that the most heroic idea comes also with certain risks.

It went off different. After he noticed that I had stolen a few apples from his tree, he just said with a friendly mien “I don´t want to be awkward, you can keep the apples, but you shouldn´t do something like this again…” and explained that asking is always better than taking without permission. He continued that he would have given the apples to us. He also said that other people might have been angry at me, but he isn´t as I still need to learn.

He asked me and my friend who was still behind the fence about our first names. Still shy, I answered “Uhh, I am Dennis”. He replied “Deniz? Deniz Turkish name!”. As he pronounced it with Turkish sounding accent, I wasn´t sure if it´s the same name and told him. He asked me to spell my name and said “True, that seems to be another name, but a similar one!”. Without saying anything more, he went away, into his wooden hut and came out again with two plastic bags. He picked many apples from his tree and filled both bags, while I did stand there with a big question mark on my head.

When he had both bags filled with so many apples, he gave me his hand and said his name that I don´t remember anymore and “Nice to meet you Dennis, one bag is for you and your family and the other one for your friend and his family”. You know what? This was a very strong life lesson: You don´t steal, not only because people said it´s bad. You don´t steal because you never know to whom you do damage if you do so. It could be one of the friendliest human beings on earth. Even if I just talk about apples, it ashamed me and I felt so awful that I wanted to steal from this friendly man back then, that stealing never had been an idea in my head again, right, not even apples.

That is a story that came to my mind again today when a friend sent me the chat message about the first names. Also it should tell you that memories can be very inspiring too if you are writer or webmaster. If you are general blogger like I am, write about your memories. You might think they are bored, but others maybe disagree and will enjoy it. If you prefer anonymity, you don´t have to add any details that would threaten the anonymity of you or others. It´s a big suggestion that I can give you. Our heads are never uninspired, not even if we sleep. There is a lot going on, we just need to grab what the thoughts offer. Memories are one of these things. Hope you enjoyed.

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40 Cat Quotes That Are Brutally True


40 Cat Quotes That Are Brutally True

Today I did spend some time to search for cat quotes. I found hundreds of them but wrote down my favorite ones. What I like about quotes is that they are often so true. I wanted to create a list of the best cat quotes as I never done something similar on my blog. This is not only a list of funny cat quotes, they are additionally also brutally true quotes and some of them really made me laugh. Hope you will enjoy the list, hope it will make you smile too…

1. Time spent with cats is never wasted. Sigmund Freud

2. As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. Ellen Perry Berkeley

3. Any household with at least one feline member has no need for an alarm clock. Louise A. Belcher

4. Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose. Garrison Keillor

5. Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. Joseph Wood Krutch

6. In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this. Terry Pratchett

7. Cats have it all; admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it. Rod McKuen

8. Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched. Miguel de Cervantes

9. The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer. Paula Poundstone

10. I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days. Bill Dana

11. A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution. Hazel Nicholson

12. One cat just leads to another. Ernest Hemingway

13. Intelligence in the cat is underrated. Louis Wain

14. Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them. Jim Davis

15. A cat has absolute emotional honesty; human beings, for one reason or another, may
hide their feelings, but a cat does not. Ernest Hemingway

16. Dogs eat. Cats dine. Ann Taylor

17. Cats are connoisseurs of comfort. James Herriot

18. I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul. Jean Cocteau

19. People that hate cats will come back as mice in their next life. Faith Resnick

20. The cat is above all things, a dramatist. Margaret Benson

21. Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives. Stephen Baker

22. People meeting for the first time suddenly relax if they find they both have cats. And plunge into anecdote. Charlotte Gray

23. In the middle of a world that had always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence. Rosanne Amberson

24. I’ve met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. Hippolyte Taine

25. The trouble with a kitten is that eventually it becomes a cat. Ogden Nash

26. People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around. Susan Easterly

27. There’s no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat. Wesley Bates

28. It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I can’t see. Eleanor Farjeon

29. Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons. Robertson Davies

30. If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend, but never your slave. Theophile Gautier

31. The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat. Jules Renard 

32. You can not look at a sleeping cat and feel tense. Jane Pauley

33. The mathematical probability of a common cat doing exactly as it pleases is the one scientific absolute in the world. Lynn M. Osband

34. The key to a successful new relationship between a cat and human is patience. Susan Easterly

35. A cat will do what it wants when it wants, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Frank Perkins

36. The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way. Mark Twain

37. If you would know what a cat is thinking about, you must hold its paw in your hand for a long time. Jules Champfleury

38. A cat allows you to sleep on the bed. On the edge. Jenny de Vries

39. All cats like being the focus of attention. Peter Gray

40. A meow massages the heart. Stuart McMillan

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Yet Again one of my new Kitty Images


Photoshopped Cat Shyna

As often, I took some new photos with Shyna. I really love that because I can connect her and my interests at the same time. I mean, to put her into the picture I sometimes use her toys or other tricks and that means it is playing and activity for her as well, while I can pursue my interests, photography and creating photos that I can edit later on with Lightroom or Photoshop to experiment with images or practice certain techniques.

The photo above is yet another result of some experiments and editing. Apart from the fact that my cat is always beautiful, I thought the original photo, that I show you later, could be spiced up. So, the result above is the heavily edited outcome. To get there, I did some things that I do pretty often. First I made adjustments of the colors, exposure, levels, shadows and highlights. I also sharpened the image to make the fur really stand out more. I love to give photos a little unreal or artistic look and decided to change her eye color to a yellow or gold tone. Then I manually created a black Vignette effect around my cat to put her more into focus than the background. Finally I added a gradient map to bleach the image a little bit but I adjusted the effect so that it appears just a little.

Here is how the photo looked like before I edited it…

My Cat Photo Before Editing

While the photo is not too bad, I really wanted to play with it. There were much possibilities but I think I am happy with the image I created out of it. The edited photo that I showed you first could really be used as a wallpaper. I maybe will change the aspect ratio to my desktop resolution and take a look if it looks cool as a wallpaper.

Editing photos is really fun and good way to kill boredom. Not only for me, also for the cat when we take the photos. That is cool.

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