5 reasons drivers can’t just chhiiiilllllllllllll

If you live in a big city (think Atlanta, NYC, Los Angeles, etc), you probably already know exactly how this blog is gonna go. Traffic is the worst, right? Afternoon rush hour has turned into afternoon rush afternoon here in Nashville. Especially if you throw rain into the mix, or, ya know, just the threat of gentle spring shower. FREAK OUT!
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And don’t try to pick up bread and milk at a grocery story, because the shelves will already be empty! But there’s more to the traffic problem and no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than just precipitation. Here in Nashville, we have the problems a lot of growing cities have: construction (some say the state bird is the crane), school zones, plus area population growing by more than 100 people per day.

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Cranes, cranes, and more cranes! (credit: Nathan Morgan – Nashville Business Journal)

My top 5 reasons traffic is the way it is…

Bumper to Bumper the avenue was packed.
-Vanilla Ice

1. Construction. If you visit downtown Nashville anytime between 8am and forever, you’re going to get stuck behind 30 cars, a dump truck, and a lane that’s closed off.

2. Population growth. As mentioned, the population is growing by over 100 a day. Most are folks moving here, so I guess some are babies being born. They don’t account for the bad traffic, but give it 16 years and watch out.

3. Weather. Lots of this makes lots of traffic.

4. Hello road rage. People are angry. When bottlenecks, slowdowns, and stupidity happen on the road, people get mad. Mad people make quick decisions. This often leads to mistakes. I give you, Exhibit A. Watch the dark sports car in the far left lane. This accident was caused by a dump truck abruptly slowing down for no apparent reason.
People making decisions out of sheer rage can often lead to even more traffic problems. This also leads directly into the next cause…

5. People think rules don’t apply to them.

These drivers might not directly cause bad traffic, but when their driving leads to wrecks, police involvement, or when they cut ahead of people, traffic is affected.

So here are the takeaways:
1. Everyone just needs to chhillllllllllll. It’s all gonna be OK.

2. Stop moving to Nashville. It’s not that great and the traffic is horrible. 😉

3. If you live in a city or town where traffic gets bad, leave earlier than you originally planned.

-Out of the Wilderness

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Who was your first crush? Mine was…

In reality, this post will most likely be about music. But I’m just going to keep on typing and see where it goes. So you had a crush, did ya? Well, who was it? Mine was an icon of the 80s and she’s still around, though she’s probably in her 80s now.

Before the big reveal, it was a song called “Iko, Iko” that’s sort of led to this post. The song (originally from the 60s) has been performed by a billion and a half people since then, including this fun and charming take from Sia:

Sia’s version of the song was used for a dance routine by my 11-year-old niece which reminded me to look up the song on Spotify. Well, I couldn’t find the Sia version… dadgum it! On the bright side, the billion and a half other versions are on Spotify, even one by my first crush… Cyndi Lauper. She made me want to swing from the chandelier.

Then it dawned on me why I like Sia. She reminds me of Cyndi. Their voices on “Iko, Iko” sound very much alike and something could also be said about their style choices, too. Time after time, their look is spunky, they like creative and colorful costuming. All things I gravitate towards. What can I say? I like girls who just want to have fun. They’re the greatest.

Sooo I’ve shown my true colors so why don’t you do the same? Who was your first crush and why?

-Out of the Wilderness

Adventure to Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee

If you’re looking for a great place to hike with a long, beautiful payoff, consider Fall Creek Falls. Between all the hiking trails (and the bike trail, if it accidentally happens) you can get a good amount of hiking in, and maybe even a free ride back once you’ve gone too far in one direction on aforementioned bike trail! Take a look at the pics below and then go see it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed…

The earth has its music for those who will listen

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Jarry Lee / Buzzfeed / Thinkstock

On the mornings I can do this, I love taking my camping chair, setting it up where the rising sun can pass along to me its warmth, open up a book to read, and enjoy birds conducting the soundtrack of chirps, whistles, calls; piping their signals to each other that a new day has dawned and it’s time to sing.

After recording the video below, I’ve come to recognized the song of the cardinal; a couple of the different calls, at least.


A visit from a neighborhood squirrel is a bit more rare, mostly because of my canine companions that seem to have a taste for the furry critters. Yesterday I kept the dogs inside for a bit to record this squirrel taking advantage of a late afternoon snack.


All this to say, if you have a chance to escape into the wild, even for a few minutes, and even if it’s just your back yard, get out there and listen to the music. It’ll do your body good!

-Out of the Wilderness

The woman in Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know”

1Brett Young seems to be making waves in country music this year. He’s got a couple of music videos out and the one for “In Case You Didn’t Know” is simple, and yet matches the mood and feel of the song really well. Sometimes less is more, right? Anywho, Brett is singing to a girl who doesn’t exist, although when they shot the video, there clearly was a girl on set. She played the  part of the “imaginary girlfriend” but who is she in real life?

Well, so far it seems as though she actually doesn’t exist! I can’t find out anything about her using the normal channels I go through to get this info. I’ve done research like this for Keith Urban’s Blue Ain’t Your Color, Bruno Mars’s fresh jar of SkippyOmi’s video Cheerleader, and the guy in Adele’s Hello video, but Brett Young is proving to be a real challenge! So I’ll go ahead apologize that I don’t have any answer for you… yet! This very blog post will be updated as soon as I have more info about her. If you care to share info you know, please do so in the comments below!

Till then, enjoy this mystery woman in Brett’s video for “In Case You Didn’t Know.”


-Out of the Wilderness

I’m just standing here watching airplanes…

When I played Little League, I’d say a conservative estimate of all the airplanes I looked at when they flew over the fields was all of them. I remember coaches telling me to pay attention. I was paying attention. To the airplanes. I can’t say what it was that captured my attention so wholly, but they did.

And they still do.

I’ll be standing on the mound about to toss an underhand lob to an eagerly waiting batter in adult league co-ed softball and I hear one. I look up to see the lights flickering overhead.

Or like today when I was mowing my front yard for the first time this year. Standing still, mower running, glaring into the blue sky as a plane that just took off screams overhead.

I don’t know why I do the things I do. Maybe I was a pilot in a previous life. Or an airplane. But one thing is for sure… I WAS PAYING ATTENTION, COACH! Whew, sorry. I’ve had that bottled up for 20 years, I guess.

-Out of the Wilderness

Brief encounters

I’ve discovered that there are quite a few people you’ll come in contact with that you might only see once…ever. In fact, scenarios like that are so common even Craigslist has a part of their website dedicated to these casual encounters, as they call it. While I’d recommend scanning those for entertainment purposes only, there’s obviously a need they’re filling, or trying to fill.

Time has distanced me from the college years where I might’ve seen hundreds of people a day and a lot of times see those same hundreds and a hundred more all the time. And now, depending on your job, your weekly activities, you might see just a sliver of that amount on any given day.

I’ve never really been brave or outgoing when it comes to dating, even to this day, so I’ve realized these brief encounters with a woman I find interesting are, or could be, something to act on. Because it might be the only time I ever see this person.

There was that girl when I worked as a photographer’s assistant at a wedding.

 

Then there was Brooke from a local tattoo shop.

Once I talked with a girl at Kroger.

One and done, that’s what those were. Because I wasn’t really thinking past the moment. A buddy of mine had an experience like this recently. He was at Pinewood Social here in Nashville and was sitting in a sort of common area; a long couch, a table, basically a section you can chat with a friend or group of friends, and still order food and drinks. A pair of girls were sitting near him and because of where their computers where plugged in, he and at least one of the girls had to communicate. Afterwards he told me that he found one of them to be very attractive. The full story is that both were, but one had a ring on. 😉

So chance encounters like that do happen. But the older we get, they’re just not as frequent. If I’m being totally honest, most days I couldn’t care less about talking to anyone. Give me a chair in the backyard with my dogs and a cool breeze, I’m pretty much set! But every once in a while there will be tattoo shop Brooke. Or Kroger girl. Unfortunately for me I come up with great conversations I could’ve had about an hour or a week after. Lame-o!

So today I’m asking myself, “What am I doing about it now?” When the next Brooke comes along, or the next Pinewood Socialite sits down next to me or my friend, what shall be done about it?

-Out of the Wilderness