About Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 8-year-old beagle and a 6-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!

5 things that might blow your mind

 

I love a good list about, well, anything. So here’s one for you today… it’s a list of things that might surprise you. I know they throw me for a loop if I think too long about them. Do you have anything to add? Comment below!

5 things that might blow your mind…

  • Only 11 years ago Michael Jackson, Prince, and Whitney Houston were all still alive
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image source CBS News

  • 15 years ago there was no such thing as an iPhone
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source Apple.com

  • Will we ever think of Facebook the way we now think of MySpace

[After however many years, I was able to sign in to my old MySpace account and my head hurts from trying to figure out what MySpace is now]

 

  • President Trump is the 45th president of the United States. The 50th president may not have even been born yet

 

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-Out of the Wilderness

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Freeze frames of lightning bursts through dash cam video

Nashville had a doozy of a storm come through the other day, and of course I was caught driving in it. Not fun! But! I did manage to capture beautiful lightning through my dash cam video. Take a look!

Nashville 10/06/2019

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Student loan forgiveness could be the best thing for everyone

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There’s a trendy political debate in the US lately about college students being forgiven for the debt they’ve accrued over the course of their higher education. Some say the overwhelming debt must be wiped away for those that need it most. Others aren’t so hot on the idea.

I understand why it sounds like a good idea. Not having the burden hanging over your head for what could be decades might free a person up to get ahead in life. I also understand why free education is so attractive. Heck, anything free sounds good.

I once spent an entire freezing cold night in a mall parking lot for a $50 gift card. I also have about 10 zipper wristband thingy’s because Publix was handing them out for free. Do I need them? Maybe. Must I have them? Yes.

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But my dad told me something decades ago that I didn’t understand at the time. He said, “Son, nothing is free.” Now that I’m older, I get it. Even if I get a fanny pack for my arm from Publix, or 10, and they are free, they aren’t really free. Publix fronted the cost to make these convenient little zipper packs. And I gotta say… thank you Publix, these are awesome! 🙂

So with that said, I want to declare my stance on student loan debt forgiveness. I approve, support, I rally for, and I applaud a blanket, all-inclusive cancellation of all current student debt for anyone and everyone… under one super-easy-economy-boosting condition.

Based on the idea of forgiveness to help free people up to pursue things they love and enjoy, to spend money which boosts our economy, I would like my home loan to be forgiven as well. I still have over half owed to Regions Bank, but if it was wiped clean, just imagine the things I could buy!

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Who’s coming with me?

-Out of the Wilderness

The racist and sexist remarks Pres. Trump has said

I’ve gone ahead and put together a list of all the sexist and racist things U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken since he’s been president. So with these lists, it should help you save time in looking them up for yourself. Enjoy!

Racist comments from President Donald Trump

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Sexist comments from Donald Trump

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-Out of the Wilderness

Prince, another boring performance

It’s late at night. There’s nothing to watch on TV. If you’re like me, this means you fire up YouTube and check out… well…. anything! I lean towards political videos lately (Slightly Offensive and Fog City Midge are entertaining!), but the other night I stumbled across Prince’s Super Bowl performance from 2007. From there I went to Purple Rain covers by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffet and others.


A YouTube suggestion brought me to Prince’s live performance during the 1985 American Music Awards show. Honestly, I thought, this is going to be tame, possibly boring (how I feel about most music performances at awards shows). Boy was I wrong.

I’ve watched it over and over since then and there are so many points in the performance that I love, and a couple that make the hate list.

Love list

  • The stage setup. While boring (see below), it also is so bland that you can’t help but focus solely on Prince and the music. So the unentertaining stage and background actually is a good thing, I guess.
  • The emotion on his face. He’s not just singing a song. He’s giving you a show, a performance full of feelings.
  • The high falsetto he goes to at 1:47. I’ve heard the song so many times, so this variation was unexpected and amazing. It’s one of my favorite things in music, the falsetto with a nice vibrato, and makes me think of Jack White, who does it well.
  • His choice on when to start playing his guitar. It’s strapped around him through the whole first verse and chorus, but he doesn’t play a single note until just before “…it’s such a shame our friendship had to end.” Puts a great emphasis on this part of the song, and sets it up as the most meaningful part of the lyrics.
  • Women playing guitars and keyboards, always one of my favorite parts of a band.
  • AT 2:41 and 3:44, nice to see a cameo of Nicole Kidman 🙂 (kidding, it’s not her but looks a lot like her!)

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  • Loving the long guitar solo, so amazing.
  • Prince kicking down the mic stand. YES! Why not, ya know?
  • Lionel Richie (in the intro) says Prince is music you can watch. Couldn’t agree more on this performance!

Hate list

  • The stage setup (yep, it’s on both lists). This might just be how the style was back in the 80s, but wow it’s boring.
  • At 4:10, really director? You’re going to cut away right as the guitar solo starts? Come on, man!

So yeah, I’ll admit I was so far away from being right with my prediction about this music awards performance being forgettable and boring. Oopsy.

-Out of the Wilderness

“12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You” by Tony Reinke

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 6.43.08 PMAt my church last week the pastor spoke about how smartphones are affecting our daily life, or possibly even running it. It was a great sermon, and very much needed! He also offered 5 free copies of a book called “12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You” by Tony Reinke. They’d be on a small table towards the front of the sanctuary after the service was over, and first come, first served. I was sitting in the back (shame! shame!) so I thought the books would surely be gone before I got there. Darn! On the way out of the church (before turning airplane mode off on my Nokia 6.1), I shook the pastors hand and after telling him I loved the sermon, he mentioned the book again and to go grab a copy. By this point, I figured anyone who wanted one had their chance, so if any were left I’d take one. I rushed to opened up Waze on my phone to help me navigate through circles of people chatting, through pews, ignoring any opportunity to talk to anyone face to face, to quickly get to that little table in the front. OK, OK, not all of that is true. My phone actually doesn’t get reception in the church building. Thanks a lot, AT&T!

At last I was there and got a copy of the book. I started reading that very Sunday and so far so good! Lots of insight, info, stats, and Scripture references and I’m only through the forward, preface, and introduction! It’s Thursday. What can I say, I’m a slow reader. I also have a book from the library that’s due back today. Guess how far I’m into that one?

I’m excited to read further and find out how to be the boss of my phone, instead of the other way around. Christian or not, it’s easy to see how technology and smartphones can so quickly and almost undetected rule our lives and I don’t want that to be the case with me. Although I do have a TikTok account and there were a few weeks there where I was obsessed with uploading and watching videos. I couldn’t help it! I mean, have you seen the Git Up dance? So entertaining.


Sadly, I’ve already failed this week at a goal I set for myself with my smartphone.

The Goal… phone goes off at 10pm and turns on at 8am.

The Results… lasted literally 1 day.

By Tuesday morning the rule was impossible to obey because I had a trip to Memphis, leaving the house at 545am. So there went the 8am thing! I don’t feel bad about it because, like a lot of people out there, my phone is so integrated into work I do, from the Tuesday job in Memphis, to Amazon deliveries here in Nashville (100% of this work is on the phone). It’s simply a tool I need to have on most of every day. But there are other ways to master this smartphone thing, from limiting time on social media like Facebook status scrolling, TikTok watching, etc. so I’m going back to the drawing board to work out a schedule for my employee (the Nokia).

I think it’s awesome the church, at least my church but I’m sure there are more doing this, is addressing the issue of technology and how it affects our life every second of every day. There’s definitely a spiritual element to it, and how to not let it become an idol. I mean, the iPhone cost $1,000 and I saw recently (on Facebook, whilst scrolling endlessly through friends statuses [crying emoji]) that the entire menu of Cracker Barrel costs somewhere around $880. THE ENTIRE MENU! I think I’d rather have Cracker Barrel hash browns for a month than an iPhone anyway. #NokiaLikeIts1999

-Out of the Wilderness

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Sticking my foot in my mouth… again

Nepal. That’s where he was from. Awesome. Cool. That’s great. “I’m so globally aware. I’ll talk to him about Nepal,” is what I thought as my Lyft driver brought me home a few days ago. “Oh nice. I have some friends who live over there in India but I’m not exactly sure where,” is what I said. He responds.

I go further explaining it might be in Nepal, but I know for sure it’s somewhere in India.

I’m thinking to myself, “Nepal is the capital city of India, right? RIGHT???” Why am I getting the vibe that I’m a total idiot? Oh man, what am I doing? He kindly mentions that Nepal is close to India, he must’ve realized I was thinking Nepal was in India.

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Google maps

I try to play it off but I’m sure he was thinking, “This crazy white guy is clueless.”

But I’ll say this, I’ve watched Hotel Mumbai. Great movie. I know Mumbai is in India. When Nepal comes out with Hotel Kathmandu I’ll be a lot more geographically sound! Until then I’ll just try to keep my mouth shut!

-Out of the Wilderness

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