Removing Google search bar on Android

If you have an Android device like I do, first of all you’re awesome, and secondly, you may have noticed in a recent update there’s a handy dandy search bar locked in at the bottom of your home screen. As customizable as phones are, I hated to say “locked in” but that’s exactly the case! Take a look at my home screen and see what I’m talking about at the bottom.

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Something about it is just awkward. Maybe it’s too close to the 3 bottom touch buttons. Is it one of those things we’ll grow to like and then wonder how we ever survived without it being at the bottom? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure– without third-party help, SearchBarGate is a real thing and per to my conversation with Nokia support (I have a Nokia 6.1), the search bar cannot be moved, removed, or in any way fixed. Here’s the conversation.

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I have to give kudos to Nokia for having sympathy, and appearing to be as annoyed as I am with #SearchBarGate.

Also kudos to you for searching out my books on Amazon… great Christmas gifts for children you love, or even just sorta like.

Ok, there is a solution to this dilemma Google has caused. I found a message board that recommends Nova Launcher, an app that can be used to customize your phone’s home screen, apps, and most importantly, remove the search bar. I’ve downloaded it and so far so good. I’ll update more as the ongoing saga continues but until then, keep being your awesome self… and if you feel motived to make a change, voice your complaints in the social atmospheres using #SearchBarGate.

Any advice or tricks up your sleeve, share in the comments below!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Making lyric videos

In the past few years, I’ve really taken a liking to putting together lyric videos using music by popular artists. One of the first was for NeedtoBreathe’s “Multiplied” which I’ll post at the bottom. But I’m so happy with how my latest project went. Equipment used: GoPro Hero3, Roxant handheld stabilizer, DJI Mavic Air, edited on Final Cut Pro X.

Here’s my take on Lauren Daigle’s “Rescue”…


and NeedtoBreathe, “Multiplied”…

How to get involved with my new book

Cover for GoodReadsHappy Sunday! As some of you may know my children’s book, Big and Small, God Made Them All, was published a few days ago. It’s been such a fun process learning how to self-publish, thankfully having a team of talented professionals to make it pretty smooth with my illustrator, editor, and designer. Now I’m learning how to market the book. One project I came up with is an eBook campaign that draws in awareness and support for an organization in Managua, Nicaragua. The idea in a nutshell is this:

For every 20 eBooks downloaded in January, a print book will be donated to Club Esperanza.

Club Esperanza is a place where kids can get help with education as well as take part in activities like art and music. Much more about this idea can be found on my author site here, but I would be so happy if you’d consider downloading my book and being a part of the success I hope for on this project! The eBook is available exclusively on Apple devices (computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod) by clicking here or by searching the book title in iBooks or iTunes store.

I hope you’ll join in, and thank you!!

-Out of the Wilderness

Mustache Friday

Tom Selleck.   Hulk Hogan.   White Goodman.   Ben Wilder.

What do these four men have in common? A fairly common case of Awesomeupper Lipness. For seven days I wore a mustache with as much commitment as I could muster. Consider it an experiment in social acceptance. Here are a few reactions I got from people:

Nice ‘stache.

Are you trying to get on the government’s watch list? Because you’re creeping out Amber.

*applause*  I’m applauding the mustache… manly.

Oh, damn… that’s deisel!

Magnum.

Are you trying out for the Police Academy?

I think I saw you on “How To Catch A Predator” last night.

Have you been watching “Three Men and A Baby”? What inspired this?

Honey, come over here. (mother commanding young daughter near me at a yard sale)

Ben, you have some dirt— *points finger to upper lip*

You kinda look like Tom Selleck. *followed by ‘not-a-compliment’ laughter*

What are you doing? (me to myself in the mirror)

*A nod and a wave from another guy with a mustache*

I’ll still hang out with you, it doesn’t matter.

You should grow it out.

Slow down, ‘stache.

Ben Selleck.

I like your mustache.

Birth control.

The Dude abides.

This is not the first time I’ve grown a mustache, however I was more commited this time, and spent more time making it look the best it could. Suprisingly, I never heard these comments:

That mustache is hot.

Hey manly man, take me out on a date and make my whole life worthwhile.

If I said your mustache was awesome, would you hold it against my lips?

If your mustache was money, it would be a thousand dollar bill!

Wow, Tom Selleck looks like you.

Did Chuck Norris scare the rest of your beard away?

*after seeing me, girl to current boyfriend*   We’re done.

*after seeing me, girl to current boyfriend*   See? Now that’s a man.

*after seeing me, girl thinks about current boyfriend*   Am I settling?

His upper lip is partying like it’s 1989.

Does that policeman know he’s awesome?

Is he punching through glass because he can or because he can?