Coke vs. Coke Zero

Good morning, folks. Just a quick question for you: if Coke Zero is advertised to taste like the real thing, then why not just make Coke with the Coke Zero recipe? The “zero” is to mean the younger brother of Coke has zero calories, making it the healthier option. But if they taste the same, why not just use the healthier formula for regular Coke? There are only 2 possible answers:

1. They actually don’t taste the same, so 2 different products makes sense.

2. Money. Coca-Cola can bring in more revenue by having 2 different products to offer customers.

I suppose I already know the answer, but if you are compelled to chime in, please do. Otherwise, enjoy this cute Coke commercial and get back to mowing the yard, ya lazy bum!

-Out of the Wilderness

The Reawakening: Part 6

gillfindingnemoA piece of advice that’s been pounded into my brain is that “it’s much easier to look for a job when you already have a job.” That definitely rings true. The problem for me right now is that I am comfortable in my routine. Yes, that’s a problem. Last night as I was showering after a killer game of basketball, I admitted to myself that I dread beginning a new job search. It takes so much effort and it doesn’t excite me to take it on. Ugh. I’m in a valley and coming in to work each day is dark and cold. Right now, I kind of get what Gill meant.

Fish weren’t made to be in a box. It does things to them.
-Gill from Finding Nemo

Not being lost, discovering an abandoned golf course, and bonding with my dogs

Rain, rain, go away. This week in Nashville has been a tough one where the weather is concerned. Most city league sports were cancelled every day, standing water all over the place, and we haven’t seen the sun in 40 days! OK, it’s not the flood, but it’s been rainy and dreary for days. Today, though, the rain held off long enough for the dogs and me to go on an adventure to a greenway we haven’t been to yet.

Like a bridge over troubled water.

The hour-and-a-half walk started off superbly. It was very scenic, including a bridge, flowers, a little stream, and more. 13 4 27 30 3111Not all who wander are lost. That’s mostly true for us. We were wandering, we weren’t exactly lost, but I was starting to think we were Lost, if you know what I mean. There weren’t smoke monsters, polar bears, or Evangeline Lilly (darn it!), but I stumbled upon an abandoned golf course and country club. 12 13 14 15 16 19 20 22 It was quite eerie being out there in the great wide open. Grass unkempt and wild. Animal carcasses along the paths. Nothing neat or tidy like typical country clubs that take pride in their visual appeal. The further we walked, the more alone I felt. It was like a scene out of every horror movie, including a guy I kept seeing, who was clearly an axe murderer. See if you notice him in the pic below. 21 If he runs, we run.

That is to say, the second this guy starts running towards us, we take off. I kept whispering it to psych myself up. I know I’d be the slowest out of the 3, dang it! Again, I wish I had 4 legs. But no, I’m sure this person was was a nice fellow just out for a stroll, but then again, so was Jin. Except yeah, he was a contract killer.

Good… good… good… good di-rect-ions!

All in all, I think we missed a turn somewhere to stumble onto this deserted golf course, which made our adventure pretty exciting. Check out the gallery for more pictures. And Evangeline, if you’re reading this feel free to comment with your digits!

-Out of the Wilderness

The Reawakening: Part 5

Please fasten your seat belts and turn off all electronics… next stop, Las Vegas!

My job comes with perks, and one of them is traveling to exciting locations, for instance, this particular work trip was to Las Vegas, Nevada. We were there shooting a couple of episodes for the show I helped create each week, and Lowe’s sponsored us at the Kobalt Tools 400.

Jimmie Johnson in the #48 car in Las Vegas.

Jimmie Johnson in the #48 car in Las Vegas.

Being at the track, hearing the loud roar of the engines, meeting rabid fans who camp out for days hoping to watch their favorite driver get the checkered flag is a really fun experience. So is staying at the Venetian Hotel and playing pai gow poker till late in the night. Even when I’m down $80 bucks and say…

“I’m going back to my room to think.”

But it was on this particular trip I again began to struggle reconciling what I do with feeling unfulfilled. I say “again” because it’s not the first time a wave of dissatisfaction came over me. The first time was actually in Vietnam with my sister and brother-in-law. They were adopting a little girl (more on that here), and I went along to capture the story on video. When I was asked by the adoption team in Hanoi what I do for work, the more I explained, the more trivial it seemed. They’re saving kids from a lifetime of poverty and I’m, well, I’m not.

Now in Las Vegas, those feelings wash over me again. I’m in a sour mood (not because of the $80 bucks), wishing I was doing something else entirely, but not having a clue what that could be. In the meantime, more pai gow poker, black jack, and casino war!

-Out of the Wilderness

Furious 7 and the U

If you have the chance to watch Furious 7, do it. The movie is action-packed and it’s quite remarkable how they kept Paul Walker in the entire film, even up to the very last scene, though he died halfway through production. I wish I read the IMDB trivia before I watched, it would’ve made the movie even more interesting. One scene that triggered a memory for me is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a hospital bed. The scene opens with him there, watching football on the hospital television. The action in the game looked familiar… I guessed it was a clip of Dwayne Johnson playing college ball at the U. When I got home I checked the trivia and confirmed my suspicions. It’s actually #94 Dwayne Johnson on defense for the University of Miami breaking loose to sack Seminole quarterback Charlie Ward. You can see the play in the video below, so watch it, then go watch the movie!

Home Improvement: My experience installing a screen door

Now, I’m no handyman. I’m somewhere between Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor and a pool float. But since I was laid off, I’ve been tackling projects around the house, the most recent was installing a storm door on the back door entrance. Thanks to the wide selection at Lowe’s, I went with the 32-inch Larson Screen-Away.

It was all paws on deck with this installation.
IMAG1096I had the instructions, all the screws and parts, almost all the right tools (I had to make another trip to Lowe’s for a 3/7 inch drill bit and a 9/16 drill bit), and a few hours to get the door mounted. At one point early on, I thought to myself,

9274384737_bf85a14c98_o“That doesn’t look right.”

But I charged on determined to finish the task with speed and gusto! Now the door is mounted but there are still a few things left to do: installing the latch frame, the drip guard, the closer, and the handle/locking mechanism. I was knocking these things out like a champ. I thought to myself,

“Dang, I’m good.”

Then I let the door close as I was standing inside the house, as opposed to outside where I had been working up to this point. Sadness. Deflated excitement. Shoulders slump at the sight of huge gaps above the door, beside the door, and under the door. Deep airy sighs. What went wrong? “Dang, I’m good” turned into “Darn, I’m the worst.” Remember the thing that “doesn’t look right”? Well, it turns out that “thing” was the door frame, and it was upside down. Who knew it mattered so much?

So after 2 and a half hours of work, I had to essentially start over. The funny part is, once I righted the wrong, it took about 30 minutes to get back to where I was. Oh, how frustrating it sometimes is to be hard-headed.

The door’s been working now for about a week, and I love it (scroll down for pictures). Although, the process would’ve gone much smoother had Al been around.

-Out of the Wilderness

IMAG1098 IMAG1097

Were Adam and Eve vegetarians?

I’ve wondered this question for a while now. Back when humanity was perfect, as in, no sin, fellowship with God, before people had to learn lessons like this, I don’t recall any mention of Adam or Eve eating meat. The story that comes to mind is the one most people have heard: the two love birds eating an apple. Therein lies the strongest case for them being vegetarians, right? If they ate meat in the Garden, wouldn’t it be mentioned in the Bible?

It wasn’t till after sin entered the world that animals were killed and as this very insightful article points out, there’s no mention of animals as food till after the flood that made Noah’s ark float. In fact, the article also reminds the reader that before the flood, animals didn’t have a fear of humans.

I brought some of this up with a friend of mine and he made a good point about the sacrifice of Jesus long after the Garden of Eden, Noah, Moses, King David, etc, Because of Jesus’ sacrifice that saved mankind, animals didn’t have to die anymore either (ceremonial sacrifices). Jesus death saved mankind for eternity, and saved animals here on earth, as far as sacrifices go, at least. Quite an accomplishment!

“For God so loved the world…” and perhaps this means everything in it, as well: men, women, children, beagles.

If God said to eat seeds and food from trees, I have a hard time believing Adam and Eve would dare go outside of that commandment. You know what I mean? For instance, if a teenage kid “borrows” his dad’s car and gets caught, he wouldn’t then lie about going to the library next weekend when he’s really going to a party. So after Adam and Eve made a gigantic mistake, and theirs was quite grand, would they really risk doing anything to draw more attention to themselves?

-Out of the Wilderness