Lens mount for iPhone 6+ and Dodger Blue Magpul case.

So, I’ve had these nice, but inexpensive lenses for mounting onto my smartphones for quite a while. I used them back on my Nexus One. Since then they’ve expanded what they offer, and you can spend up to $99 for a huge set. They came with this little package of peal and stick metal rings, that you put around the camera lens on the back of your phone. I’d carry the lenses in my front pocket, they came with a plastic cap for the lens, and a little metal plate to snap onto the back. The lens has a magnet build into the back of the lens. They are great! Each phone I upgraded to worked just fine. I’d grab a new metal ring from the large package they came with, and add a new one to my new phone. This continued through several Androids, until we switched to our first iPhones when T-Moble added them. We got iPhone 5s, and they worked great, because the design was flat to the edge. I could hide the metal ring inside the Magpul case I used, and it was great.

Fast forward to my very nice iPhone 6+. It’s a beautifully designed phone, with gorgeous curved edges. I love it. But the moment I went to stick a new ring onto the camera I realized I’d have a problem. I’d be able to get it on there, but it would protrude off the edge. If I bent it down, it wouldn’t seal well with the little lens. So I set the idea aside, to wait for a new idea.

Now to a small problem a friend introduced on my new Fujifilm X-T1 and the solution presented itself. You see, on my new camera the “D-pad” or the 4-way toggle buttons on the back the buttons are quite small. I have large hands and fingers. A problem for me indeed. Noel Kleinman made the suggestion to get this sweet little product called Sugru. It comes in all sorts of colors. Since I wanted it for my black camera, I got a package of black. Basically, it’s putty and soft. You form it onto whatever you want to reinforce, and let it harden over night. It’s like impenetrable rubber in the morning. I just used some to repair my son’s iPhone charging cable. It’s ghetto, but repaired.

Let’s get on with it! Below I’ll highlight what each numbered photo is showing you. Hopefully my geeky DIY will teach you something, and or you may find your own uses for some of that Sugru!

Customizing the lens mounts for the iPhone 6+ and my Dodger Blue Magpul case.
Customizing the lens mounts for the iPhone 6+ and my Dodger Blue Magpul case.


#1 These are the lenses. I actually had the smaller set, of just the Fish Eye for a few years. It did the job. Then I picked up a 10x zoom, and that was awesome. But I lost both of those. And these came up on Groupon for a super cheap price last year, and I picked them up. These are a Fisheye, Wide Angle, and a Macro. The wide angle screws off it’s front lens and the macro is what remains. And you can see the small package of metal rings for future iPhones.

#2 This shows easily how the sticky metal ring protrudes beyond the camera lens, over the curved edge. That is the biggest issue I had to overcome. That’s where the Sugru came in. I used a toothpick and my fingers to wedge just enough Sugru into that void, so that when it hardens it will provide the sturdiness that the metal ring will need. By tomorrow morning, it’ll be rigid and perfect.

#3 A better look at the necessary area I needed to reinforce.

#4 Now this is a whole separate issue that I had to address. I use a Dodger Blue Magpul case for my iPhone6+. It’s great! Just the right grip. The perfect color. However, that newly installed metal ring and this case will not get along. That’s clear just from looking at it. So, I used a tool I’ve used for customizing handguns, to make them more grippy, called a stippler. Basically on polymer framed handguns you heat up this special pointy iron and use it to poke dimples into the side of your handgun, giving you increased rough grip. The first place many people do this is right where their trigger finger rests, when it’s off trigger. Having a nice rough spot grabs your finger, helping you keep your finger off the trigger until the time is right. Many others stipple other parts of their grips, making the whole thing more grabby.

Anyway, continuing on with #4. I needed to burrow inside the case, making room for the larger metal ring and the part that now protrudes above the phone. The beauty is that I have plenty of polymer to work with, and if I go overboard with the case, I’ll get another one and try again. Lessons learned.

Detailed Update…

Many of you know that I had a bit of a setback over the last few months. I’ve had two re-admissions the the hospital, and they kinda beat me down. Below I’ve had Deanna write down a nice synopsis of my status as it stands now. This is after several tests while back at UCLA and a few after. I did a nice large round of testing, that gave us a bunch of results. Some of it is a little alarming, but don’t fret. I’ll give you my feedback and where I believe the Lord is within all of this.

The neurologists conclusion is that Trev’s brain issues are most likely due to chemo toxicity. That means some permanent damage. His brain has actually shrunk which is why there is more liquid surrounding it and that explains why pressure may be an issue. When he is tired the confusion, loss for words and short term memory is worse because his reserves are so much lower in his brain. They are having him take what’s called a neuropsych test in July that will determine him being put on permanent disability. These were the risks of high doses of chemo. So his LP yesterday didn’t have any chemo in it because they don’t want to further damage his brain.

Trev seems ok by it all. He says he will just be a different kind of man and  has faith in God’s plan for all of this.

His labs were good and they continue to bring the prednisone down.

that beardThis does not alarm us. However, we know that God is in control. That’s not a flippant comment either! We believe that.

It’s amazing how clearly the Lord has watched over me through this whole process! He comforts me on sleepless nights. He’s brought the most amazing brothers and sisters to care for Deanna, the kids, our dogs, and me! When we’ve been the most desperate He sends the right help. Disability is not for the faint of heart! Yet we make it.

You know, these changes do not cause me fear. I know my Lord cares for me, and is empowering me to not waste my cancer. We’re not afraid of the term “brain damage”, that’s now a part of my journey. I see this change as an integral part of my sanctification and a primary tool God is using to change me into the man he desires me to become. I am blessed.

2015 Challenge, Week 10: NUMBERS – 50mm

2015 Challenge, Week 10: NUMBERS – 50mm

This one is truly titled…

“I just unbuttoned”

Tonight I ventured out for kinda my first evening, with the fam. We had dinner with this lovely couple, whom I’m not sure I could share more deeply with these days. They’re a part of a larger group of wonderful people supporting and loving upon Deanna and I as we struggle through this slow part of my journey right now. They truly bless us.

On the tech side, my Fujifilm X-T1 with the wonderful 35mm lens, just fits the 50mm requirement. See the EXIF data on the image, and you should see that after my crop is calculated, this image is a 53mm image. I pray you’ll permit such closeness. :-)



Bamboo Gardening

I know many of you detest bamboo. I forgive you. I have a special place in my heart for it! It’s smells great, brings the best green colors to a California Central Coast sand garden, and can really make the windy areas more palatable. (And it also makes for a possible alternate resource in a wide variety of situations, oft referred to as SHTF scenarios.)

A lot of the time detesting the bamboo has stemmed from not understanding how to grow and cultivate it. I’m not super interested in reeducating, to be fair. I’d prefer to just give it a gentle try, and let the results speak for themselves. I’d prefer to trial and error, and share all the results. 

Bamboo is just grass. Some of it is invasive, and spreads like weeds. Tends to be less desirable. You have to protect from it, wall off, raised bed, etc.

In spite of the fact that I’m misrepresenting the facts, there are basically two kinds of bamboo; fast growing (you must control and be prepared to deal with), aka spreading.

Second is the slower growing, oft more decorative and uniform to enjoy. I think cultivation is more of this gardening.

Horrible descriptions, I know. 

One thing I love about the series of tubes we call the internets, is how much I can share, be wrong, yet still learn something, and grow nice bamboo! And Pinterest can get all the glory it deserves and doesn’t!

The racket!

Clearly I’m not new to this racket. My diabetic loved-ones have been dealing with it much longer than I. 

But what the heck!

Those dadgum test strips are a racket! I think I’m in the wrong business. 

For those who don’t know, one of my meds makes me temporarily diabetic. So I had to pick up a monitor, test strips, and a bunch of the insulin pens. Normally, it’d just be another med I gotta endure. But this crap I gotta check numerous times a day, so those strips add up!

Those little strips of paper/plastic are actually somewhat expensive. 

** This is mostly just a rant. **

Back to 6 East…

To my 6E nursing director,

I write this the early morning after getting my first rest on “our” floor.

I want to start with what a great confidence I have in your staff, and the rest of my teams, to work hard and diligently to provide me with comfort and hands-on-care.

I also know that my God has once again put me in your collective hands, to give me His most precious and gentle care.

I can say these things based upon my personal experiences with you all, and the hope my God continues to provide.

Just last night, as I entered the floor, I felt elements of Him…

“…makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭2-3‬ ESV)

Arriving to 6E has an element of the calm of green pastures and the calm of still waters.

As I arrived I was greeted warmly by faces who added to the comfort. If I had a short list of preferred nurses, they were all from that list. I look forward to seeing the rest!

If I have to be so yucky right now, there’s no place I’d rather be, getting what I need. You folks will get me home the most comforting and efficient ways.

Love y’all!
Trevor Carpenter