Sony SRS-XB41 review

I picked up this bluetooth speaker a few years ago, and I’ve loved every minute of it. For it’s size, it’s loud and heavy. I use it for music and also as an external speaker when I’m watching Hulu or YouTube on my Sony Xperia tablet. I also brought it with me to the Bahamas earlier this year and while it was flagged by TSA, it still made it through OK.

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If you’re looking for a nice, hefty, loud speaker, this one will suit you just fine! There are times I wish it was louder, but for the size, it’s still really good. I can’t think of any con’s except for those moments I wish it was a giant speaker, and the “live” mode is something you’ll probably never use. I turn it on every once in a while to test the sound, and it’s just weird sounding.

Sony also claims the speaker is waterproof but I have yet to be bold enough to test that. It does get sand on it somewhat regularly and so far that hasn’t affected it at all. But submersing it under water hasn’t happened yet.

For more info, you can check it out on Amazon here*

*as an Amazon affiliate, I get a small commission for any purchases through the link above, at no extra cost to you*

-Out of the Wilderness

Is Lauren Daigle dead? No– it’s just her new music video

My sister sent me a link to Lauren Daigle’s new music video for “Rescue” and I’m so glad she did. Thanks, Edin. I’ve loved the song for a long while now, ever since I created my own little lyric video for the track.

In Lauren’s official video, which is pretty much as good as mine ūüėČ she is performing her song in Heaven. As I watched, I thought, “Oh Lord, Lauren’s done gone up to glory to shoot this video. Look at the backdrops, all that’s missing are streets of gold. Didn’t get the permit, I guess.”

“Dear Lord, take care of our sister Lauren, she came up there to do a thing with her song and a video and the crew and the crafts service and send her back when you can. Amen.”

Wait, wait… Lauren’s supposed to be in a city near my this coming fall? But… but… how can she be down here if she’s up there? Huh, that WASN’T Heaven? Well, then where on God’s green earth are these¬†stunning, and I mean, STUNNING, locations?

I’ve been to a handful of amazing places in my lifetime (like here and here… and that yummy¬†Indian¬†Restaurant¬†on Nolensville Pike) and I’ve seen beautiful things, but as I watched this video, this is the first time I can ever remember actually becoming short of breath from what I was seeing. This is NOT the first time I’ve been short of breath this year, though, thanks again to the meal AND leftovers from that delicious¬†Indian¬†Restaurant¬†on Nolensville Pike. Cascading snow-covered mountains, streams through snow landscapes, rocky almost lava-like ground that goes on for days. Words truly can’t do the video justice, so why am I even trying?¬†

But if you’re like me, you have questions. Mainly, where is this place in the¬†video?¬†

Here’s what I dug up.

According to an article on People’s website, the video was filmed on Knik Glacier in Alaska. And I thought Tennessee was God’s country! Dang you, Alaska, you beautiful rascal.

The video was directed by John Gray, who you might recognize from other stuff he’s done. Right? I’m sure he’s done other stuff.

Ok, back to Alaska… this Knik Glacier is one we can enjoy too, it’s not just for the famous people. A group called Knik Glacier Tours will… well, they’ll take you and your son on a tour of the glacier. Not just your son, anyone you bring, really. And yes, I provided a link to their tour page but I’m not getting any kind of commission unless they happen to see this post and feel like Venmo’ing me some funds ūüôā @BenWilder615

PS. that Venmo thing goes for you too, delightful¬†Indian¬†Restaurant¬†on Nolensville Pike. ūüôā

You can also see lots of wildlife there at the glacier. Bears, wolverines, sheep, goats. But the goats can’t be as adorable as these.

Later folks,
Out of the Wilderness

 

 

Freedom in Eleuthera, Bahamas

I recently went to the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. If I had to describe this lesser known tropical destination in a few words: amazing, authentic, natural.

Why those 3 words? Well, if you’re like me, you are planning on Googling how to pronounce Eleuthera at this very moment! Real quick, I’ll save you the time…

It’s¬†ee-loo-thur-uh.

When I first found out about the trip I was going on (it was a church mission trip to this island), I thought, “Where???” I Googled it and YouTubed it just to try finding out how to say it, much less where it was or what I should expect when I was there! So because it’s pretty much still under the radar as far as vacation destinations go, it’s very natural and undisturbed by commercialism (for the most part!).

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one of my nieces on an early Bahamas morning

It’s authentic. The northern end and central Eleuthera is where people who are vacationing end up, but if you travel further south past Governor’s Harbour, you’ll quickly see that almost the entire island is made up of small communities, local schools and stores, a few churches, and that’s basically it. Oh, and lots of dogs! So when you meet folks there, they’re the real deal. Not looking to upsell you on necklaces, trinkets, braiding your hair, or other things you might encounter in the more touristy areas of the Bahamas. I will say this, though… a normal-sized package of adult diapers was around $64! I’m not going to tell you why or how I know that, let’s just move on ūüôā


It’s quite natural. We went to beaches where people probably hadn’t been in months, if not years. It’s kind of crazy that such a beautiful place can still be like that. I have a feeling it won’t always be that way, a strong feeling — because of this. Yep, Disney will be cruising there in a few years.

For now, Eleuthera (which means “Freedom”) remains a beautifully and relatively undisturbed natural wonder you just gotta go see for yourself. From the caves to the blue water, giant spider-like trees to the kind people, colorful fish to colorful personalities, rugged terrains to pink sandy beaches…

It’s all amazing, authentic, and natural!

-Out of the Wilderness

The Reawakening: Part 10

I’m a few months into being laid off and a lot of people have been asking…

“What are you gonna do? Have you found work yet?”

The truth is, I have been idling. Don’t get me wrong, the engine is running, but it’s kind of like I’m at the starting line waiting to take off. Other people that were laid off or left CMT around the same time I did have found work, and that’s awesome. In the back of my mind, I think to myself, “Should I have jumped right back into the workforce as fast as possible?” But then I remember the plan. The plan was to actually enjoy the time off with a kind severance from CMT because it’s so rare to be in your mid-30s with time and freedom to pursue other interests… and travel.

I went to Missouri to volunteer at a Christian sports camp where I worked when I was a wee little college student. I’ve been to Florida a few times for time at the beach, time with my family, and this.

 I also went with my parents and 2 oldest nieces to the Bahamas. That never would have happened if I was still working at CMT.

I’ve been kayaking, hiking, dog-sitting, rewatching A Different World, so many things that have reminded me how much fun life can be. I needed a reminder. I was in a routine, and I love routines so that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was living the cliche of “going through the motions.” Now it’s impossible to go through those same motions.

So what’s next? I’m excited about the idea of pursuing a couple different opportunities. I know I prefer to stay away from the traditional form of making money: going to a job, clocking in, clocking out, wearing a uniform. In the next few weeks I’ll be brainstorming and writing down a plan to make the rest of this year as good and exciting as the summer has been.

Thanks for following along on the journey!

-Out of the Wilderness

Vacationing in the Bahamas…WITHOUT a GoPro

For anyone who knows me, it’ll probably be a surprise¬†that on my recent trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, I made a specific decision¬†not use my GoPro. It’s part of an overarching theme I’ve been clinging¬†to lately, to be in the moment without trying to preserve it in any other way than old-fashioned memories.

You know, the brain. The original data bank.

I could have put together a quick highlight video similar to a few I’ve done in the past, like a trip to Orlando to see my brother’s family, Disney vacations, or a recent beach workout video.


But I’m currently of the mindset that if you’re not here with us, then you wouldn’t get it anyway. So the camera stayed in my bag untouched for entirety of the trip. And honestly, it’s been so nice not to be carrying it around looking for the best angle, trying to record the unforgettable moments, repeating actions that were missed, hoping certain fish do things that are more entertaining than just snorkeling and¬†watching them swim around their little homes. It’s being in the moment. It’s knowing that anything I see can be special because it happened once, I got to see it, and no one else ever will. It’s a part of history that will be talked about, exaggerated on, acted out, or thought of fondly, but like the barracuda I swam near today or the sand castles my nieces and I built today, there aren’t any pictures. No video.

Just great memories.

Do you want to see sharks? Do you want to see the colorful fish at Cove Beach? How about someone you know kissing a dolphin? Then go do it! Make some memories that you’ll be sad to forget when you’re old!

-Out of the Wilderness