A list of my top 360-degree videos

I’ve been trying to shoot more 360° videos because I think it’s magic. How in the world can a camera record all angles all the time? Actually, I don’t want to know the technology behind it, I’m just glad it exists. It’s amazing. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve recorded, plus a surfing video that’s not mine, but it’s pretty awesome. Note: best viewed on a computer that shows 360 video, your phone, or a VR headset. Enjoy!
President Trump’s motorcade:

New Year’s Eve Countdown:

Kayaking downtown Nashville:

Surfing:

Advertisements

Has anyone ever told you…

There are many ways to finish the title of this post. Has anyone ever told you…

…you look great tonight?

…you look like Keira Knightley?

…you’re smart?

Those are just a few, and they’re all compliments. Of course, there are also less positive ways to finish the question…

you smell?

you have a “kick me” sign on your back?

you need a haircut?

Well, I’ll let you guess which of those happened to me this very weekend! Here’s how it went down. I attended a local church yesterday morning. Whilst chatting with a couple of friends, forming a triad not easily penetrated, a churchgoer clutched my shoulder. This person was outside the triad of trust so she was clearly determined to deliver her message. I turned to her and, along with my two friends, heard these words from her mouth:

Has anyone every told you you need a haircut?

Who does that? This woman was older, maybe in her 70s so my explanation for her actions was that she was just being a grandma. It’s something grandparents say to their grandkids, right? The thing is, I’ve no recollection of ever seeing this woman in my entire life, much less being her grandchild! I thought it was funny. The rest of the triad was taken aback by it and had a few ideas of how I could’ve responded. I’m never good in the moment so I think I remember just laughing and admitting it’s a little out of control.

We probably could’ve had a longer conversation about it, but she had to prepare for her role as choir member.

Awesome!
-Out of the Wilderness

Jesus saved a bunch of animals, too

I’ve had a recurring thought over the past few years and it makes me love the story of Jesus even more. One, because everything I learn about him or experience with him usually makes my heart skip a beat. He really was a hero. Two, I love animals.

So most people reading this will know at the heart of Christianity is Jesus’ death saving mankind from our sins. He died, now we live (spiritually, eternally, etc). The thought that keeps coming back to me is this: when Jesus died, the need for an animal sacrifice was Jesus_Lamb3aeliminated because his death became the payment due. Animal sacrifices were no longer needed. Of course, not everyone back then believed Jesus’ message, so I’m sure sacrifices continued, but for a whole lot of animals then and from then on, they get to live. Sheep were like, “Baaaaaaaa!!” Rams were like, “Woooooonkkk!!!!” Doves were like, “Someday I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dyyyiiinn’!”

But seriously, in a more literal way than Jesus’ death bringing life to humans, in fact, in a very literal way, his death meant life for so many of God’s creatures. Right there on the spot. That day.

I think that’s pretty cool! I also came across this blog post that gets into the details of Jewish sacrificial history, and it’s an interesting read. Take a look when you get a chance!

-Out of the Wilderness

Tax time: A poem.

April is coming, that’s tax time.
So I recently sat down to finish mine.

Sure, I’ll give “the man” what’s due.
We all should, including you.

My computer fired up, my spirits spiraled down.
“I owe how much?” I asked with a frown!

Sad trombone is what I think I heard.
Why do they want so much of what I earned?

To fix the roads. To fix healthcare.
OK, OK, you got me there.

I filled out the lines, line after line,
Then I felt a tickle, and not the good kind.

I began to sweat and feel hot.
I knew right away what it was and was not.

It wasn’t nerves, nor temperature or gas.
Ol’ man winter was here to kick my …butt.

I haven’t had a cold in many moons
But now I guess my time was due.

Day one seemed to last forever
with a throat like new sandpaper.

Day two was a lot like day one
but add in a fever, lots of fun!

Today is day three, a cough and some sniffles.
That tickle never lead to any giggles.

Yet it’s funny that taxes made me sick.
“Wait,” you say, “not so quick!”

I know, I know, I probably shouldn’t blame taxes
But that’s the story I’ll be telling to the masses.

-Out of the Wilderness

PS. I actually do have some gas.

Jain in Nashville, Tennessee

This will most likely go down as my biggest regret of 2017… Jain played in Nashville last night and I wasn’t there! Very disappointed. I’ll admit I don’t know much about her as an artist/person yet but I really like her music, her stage presence, her charisma.

Instead of staring for an uncomfortable amount of time at Jain on stage, I was in my car delivering packages to my lovely neighbors in Nashville. That’s right, I drive for Amazon Prime Now. So as luck would have it, Lightning 100 broadcasted Jain’s concert live on-air. Major silver lining there. I listened to what I could of her set and it was awesome! I already knew I liked her song “Come,” but now I’ve found a list of others that I like. You need to delight yourself by taking 15 minutes to listen to and watch the following, in this order:

1. “Come”

2. “Makeba” (the editor in me thinks this video is incredible with the effects, timing, and choices of how they put it together. “Come” is a lot like this one, too.)

3. “Hope” (tops the list of my favorite songs at the moment, and in this video you’ll get to see her free and charismatic style.)

Regretful in Nashville,
Out of the Wilderness

It’s kinda been a crazy week

It’s kinda been a crazy week… and I’m not just talking about the weather! Although, the weather here in Nashville has been crazy. One day I’m in shorts, the next day I’m bundled up to my nose in winter clothes. Then they want us to hunker down in our tornado shelters. That same afternoon I could’ve got sunburned. Crazy stuff.

But what’s most exciting and well, pretty much has me speechless is seeing both of my books on store shelves as far south as Tallahassee, Florida and out west in Branson, Missouri. Click here for a post about that on my book website.

Today is Friday, March 3rd!

The agenda today includes more work on a documentary about a boy with a rare diagnosis who, to this day, is defying the odds. He’s surrounded by a great family that loves him so much, and perhaps that love has been the most effective thing for his disability.

I’ve also recently started on another video project about the military. It’s still in the early stages as far as my involvement goes, but I think it’ll turn out to be a great project.

Yesterday I delivered for Amazon Prime, a job which came into my life at the most divine time back in 2015. It popped up after I’d been laid off from my job of 10 years (click here for more about that!). The work allows, actually it requires, me to drive all over middle Tennessee so I’m able to listen to books on CD, music on Spotify/radio, talk radio like the great Phil Valentine Show, and of course, deliver goods to happy* neighbors all over the city.

*mostly happy.

Today I also start an 8-day hosting gig for a 17-year old blind dog named Sparky. He’s been a guest in my home before and I’m excited to have him here again. I love old dogs. And to be clear, I love puppies, too. But something about old dogs just makes my heart beat more definitely.

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

All the places I’ve lived, and a favorite memory from each

coast-guardMy dad was in the Coast Guard, so that meant a lot of moving around. Before I was born, my family had already been up and down the east coast, and spent some time on the west coast, too. My oldest sister was born in Key West, next oldest sister was born in Monterey, CA and then my brother in Virginia. When it was my time, the family was back in Key West. I was there for a short time before we moved out west. Here’s the list!

born: Key west, FL (December 26, 1978)

Hawaii – I was just a little guy here, about a year old, so I have three memories: attending a luau, going into a building, and going under a bridge (or tunnel?) on the way to a beach. I guess the luau is my favorite because I remember looking across and seeing my baby sitter.

Hollywood, FL – Started my academic career here at Sheridan Hills Christian School. Favorite memory: Our family took a lot of boat trips. We went down to the keys, spent nights on the water, I got sea sick for the first time, and still, these trips are easily my favorite memory!

me as 4th grader 2St. Petersburg, FL –  Attended Maximo Elementary School for 2nd and 3rd grade. Favorite memory: At school I met a friend that made me laugh so hard all the time. To this day, I measure everyone else against him. He was so funny. One of my least favorite memories: My funny friend was not at school one day, then not there the next day or the next. A few days later, his mom came in and picked up his things. I never saw him again!

Newport, RI – This is where I attended 4th grade at Underwood Elementary. Favorite memory: touring all the mansions, like these.

the-breakers

The Breakers. 62,000 square feet! 

newport-mansions-43

Rough Point. 39,000 square feet and 105 rooms!

A tie for favorite: all the lamborginis. Not sure why there were so many, but it was somewhat common to see one driving around the city. And Saabs. Lots of Saabs.

2-me-and-whitney-williams.jpg

5th grade at Widewater.

Stafford, VA – I was a 5th grader at Widewater Elementary School then moved to Stafford Middle School for 6th and 7th grade. These are my favorite years from growing up. I made great friends that I still have today. One favorite memory: trick or treating on Halloween one of the years. Somehow a friend and I got separated from our group of friends, but he and I still went around to so many houses. That was a fun night! Also, our house was situated on a golf course so we’d go out there to play football, capture the flag, flashlight tag, and hmmm, maybe hit some golf balls. I also came up with a list of things that happened in middle school that absolutely would not happen in today’s world. Here’s a link to that:

[11 Things You Can’t Do In School Anymore]

Miami, FL – Westminster Christian School for 8th – 10th grade. Favorite memory: being on the JV basketball team. And it was in 10th grade I had my first kiss. I know, I was late to the party! 🙂

New York, NY – Curtis High School for half of 11th grade. Favorite memory: I got to see a taping of David Letterman. It was really fun. We lived on Governors Island, so it was nice to have a place with grass, and trees, unlike most of New York City back then! Also, riding a ferry past the Statue of Liberty every day on the way to school was pretty neat.

Tallahassee, FL – Finished 11th and 12th grade at Leon High School. My dad retired from the Coast Guard in 1996 so we moved back towards family in Florida. Favorite memory: this is getting difficult because with each place, I have more than one favorite! But to name a few, I’d say my aunt’s lemon squares, my grandfather driving 120mph in his Isuzu Trooper to get me to school, pb and j lunches at The Brown Bag Express, basketball with friends, and graduating from the same high school my mom graduated from.

Note: I stayed in Tallahassee for college, as well. I have so many great memories in those 4.5 years. Too many to pick one!

Nashville, TN – This is where I’ve lived since the mid-2000s. Also too many great memories to pick one at the moment. So I’ll go with the lame answer: My favorite memory of Nashville is all of them. 😉

-Out of the Wilderness