Lady screams at the inauguration

I’ve been having a little too much fun trying to come up with ways to use “lady screaming at the inauguration” in completely unrelated ways. Just something to make me laugh, so here are my top 3 favorites.

-Out of the Wilderness

Into the woods we go

There’s something special about being in the woods. Not looking at a forest from a distance, not flying over a bunch of trees, or thinking about the woods. You gotta be in it. Immersed in the quiet mystery of nature. That’s where I love to be especially with my dogs. It’s there I can think clearly, breath calmly, pray genuinely, and one of the best parts is watching my dogs be dogs. They like to chase squirrels, rabbits, and moles (after they dig ’em up). Here’s a video I put together today, a short poem featuring a nearby trail through the woods.

-Out of the Wilderness

Being black in America

On that one characteristic alone, being black in America, I can’t relate. I’ll never be able to because I’m white in America. But! with what has been broadcast across the country lately between law enforcement and communities of black people I can finally say that I understand, even if it is only slightly. The specific aspect I’d like to address is that of a black person on any typical day feeling singled out, “profiled”, and/or targeted for no good reason. To explain how this happened, I need to include my Nissan Versa.

It’s a beaut, Clark. A beaut.

I’ve had this Versa for about 10 years and she’s a real beaut. However, she’s taken a licking or two over the years, and most recently got into a scurfuffle with a Chrysler. Here’s the damaging footage (impact is 29 seconds in):

What you can’t see in the footage is that the Chrysler basically dismembered the front left side of the Versa. My bumper is detached but barely hanging on, the cracked headlight now points a few feet in front of the bumper, etc. It’s the headlight that taught me today’s lesson.

img_20170111_210044313Because it’s cracked, moisture got in and the bulb went out. So in the evenings, I’ve been driving around with one headlight. Not a problem, right? That’s what I thought, too, but then bam! Hello, class c misdemeanor! I’ve been stopped by the police 3 times this week. F your i, I wouldn’t drive at night, except that some days it’s required for a job I have. So as the sun sets I’m driving around nervous, eyes darting here and there, heart beating faster, strategically positioning myself in traffic, always wondering where a police car is and how I can get past them without being a bother. Then I think to myself, “So this is how it feels to be Odell Beckham after he scores a touchdown, no wait, this is how it sometimes feels to be black.”

In my case, the police are doing their job and I thank them for it. But sometimes (at least the stories reported in the news), the police are singling folks out without cause, not what their job is.

The nerves, heartbeat quickening, doubt, feeling targeted, now I know a little of what that’s like and quite frankly, if it were about my skin color and not just driving with one headlight at night, I’d never want to leave home. It’s not fun, it’s not fair, and if it doesn’t change, that’ll be a gigantic mistake.

If you’re curious about how it feels, disconnect one of your headlights and drive around a few nights with a single beam. It’s a rush!

-Out of the Wilderness

Little Big Town sing the National Anthem

I wasn’t able to catch the college playoff championship on TV, so I listened to some of it on the radio. I happened to catch the national anthem performed by Little Big Town and wow, did they sound good. If you missed it, here it is:

Since my days of working at CMT, I’ve been a big fan of the group and I continue to be. Their harmony is just crazy. Go on with your bad selves LBT!

-Out of the Wilderness

The woman in Keith Urban’s video “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

Keith Urban’s latest single is #1 on most of Billboard’s country charts, but besides the song, the video stars one of the most well-known supermodels.
screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-30-49-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-31-28-pmHer name is Amber Valletta. I remember her most from her role in the movie Hitch, starring Will Smith and Kevin James. She played a likable character, though that character was a famous actress (hard to believe they’d be as down to earth as her character is). Here’s a great scene from that movie:

She’s been in other movies, tv shows, and various projects.
-Out of the Wilderness

Nashville had a snow day

Well, Nashville had another apocalyptic snow day yesterday. I’m sorry if you were in Nashville or nearby and had to deal with this traffic:
I was determined to stay home, although how long do you have to be in one place before it’s officially called cabin fever? I had only been home since mid-afternoon Thursday and I’m only slightly exaggerating when I started looking like Jack Nicholson from The Shining.
But all in all, we had a fun day. My dogs and I romped in the yard, chased frisbees, wore our Christmas presents…

Asia chased her frisbee, something she’ll do no matter the weather.

I wore my new pea coat I got for Christmas from my parents and I gotta tell ya, I will forever wonder what life was like before I had this coat. It’s so warm. It’s so classy. I just need to figure out how to use the pockets. They’re still sewn up, I think??

Before the cold day came to a close, I managed to get the car out of the driveway and down the semi-steep and icy road and I went dancing. Nothing will warm you up on a cold day like dancing with your friends.

Stay warm and stay cool!

-Out of the Wilderness

Nature’s lesson on: Gun safety

I’m starting this post off with a little information about roadkill, but hang with me because it’s relevant to the topic of gun safety.

So there isn’t a centralized datasource on what the most common roadkill is, but according to this map deer, possum, raccoon, squirrel, and armadillo are up near the top. On the interstate, I’d guess deer as the most common.


What don’t we see on this map? Any sort of bird, and the one I want to focus on here is the crow, or vulture (because on the interstate specifically, these are the birds most commonly seen).

crowMy theory is that the reason we never see dead crows on the side of the interstate is because they’ve learned what to do and not to do, not by avoiding the interstate altogether, but the exact opposite. Hanging around and becoming comfortable and aware of the danger. Familiarity.

I think this kind of behavior can be applied to gun safety as well. The more you’re around these weapons, learning about them, shooting them, the more comfortable and aware you’ll be of their danger. Familiarity. To avoid them altogether is like a deer approaching the interstate. Unaware, uninformed, unfamiliar with the danger and risk.

The example of the crow can be applied to other areas of life as well. I’m thinking about sex education (the more you know, the better decisions you can make). Instead of ignoring the topic completely, talk about it, discuss it, become familiar with what sex is and isn’t.

Sports. The more you’re immersed in a sport, the more you’ll know, maybe the better you’ll be at playing. If you avoided watching football, reading about it, hearing about it on TV or radio, how familiar will you be about it? Not very.

There are all kinds of real-life applications of the crow on the interstate story.

There is no mystery to the crow about the interstate because where there is mystery, there is mistake. And I can’t recall seeing any dead crows (or vultures) on any interstate I’ve ever travelled on. They don’t make mistakes.

For gun safety, become familiar with them and in that way, you’ll be aware, informed and avoid the mystery that can often times lead to mistakes.
sigsauer-Out of the Wilderness