About Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 7-year-old beagle and a 5-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, dog boarding, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

How to tell if someone is left-handed, and other information on left-handedness

watch on rightIs there a way to determine if someone is left-handed without asking them? Yes! Just check which wrist their watch is on. In general, left-handed people wear watches on their right wrist, and righties will wear it on the left wrist. There are a (left)handful of explanations for this:

  1. It’s easier to do things with the dominant hand (write, throw, etc) without wearing a watch on that wrist
  2. It’s easier to read the time on the wrist not already doing something.
  3. A person would probably use their more dominant hand (more skilled, more comfortable, etc) to do the work of strapping the watch on the opposite wrist.

I know for me it’s easier to latch a watch on my right wrist, using my left hand to work the clasp, than using my right hand to latch it on my left. Oh yeah, I might as well tell you now, I’m left-handed! I know there aren’t a lot of us around. Statistics show that only 10% of the world’s population are left-handed… so you’re welcome, world, for gracing you with our presence! Just send cards and gifts to me directly, you should already know my address.

Just the other day I was playing sand volleyball and was 1 of 3 lefties on a 6-person team. It was awesome! We won every single game, even the games we lost! I love being left-handed. Partly because it draws attention, and because I feel like part of an exclusive club. Other members of the club include Prince William, Angelina Jolie, Kurt Cobain, Keanu Reeves, Terry, Nicole Kidman, Mary-Kate Olsen, Lady Gaga, Ben Stiller, Ava, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, former President Obama, Jim Carrey, Paul, and Deion Sanders, just to name a few.

But it’s not always glamourous. Can you imagine Ben Stiller searching for a lefty-friendly desk in school? Deion Sanders going to three different sports stores to find a baseball glove? Mary-Kate not knowing which thumb to raise when she said, “You got it, dude!”? President Obama finding a smooth-writing pen to sign all his executive orders? It’s so sad to think about.

To be hated cordially, is only a left-handed compliment.
-Herman Melville

There are a couple of dated words that represent lefties, as well. The word “southpaw” is thrown around on baseball fields, referring to left-handed players. The term is still used today, although the origination is up for some debate, as stated here. Another word, and this one might surprise you, is “sinister.” It’s incredible to me that a word now mostly associated with horror movies, evil characters, and harm had anything to do with left or left-handedness.

We can’t help it, we were born this way!

sinister
-Out of the Wilderness

*Terry- my mom, Ava- my niece, Paul- a guy who plays sand volleyball on Tuesdays.

 

 

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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:

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