Volume 5: Teaching Dog To Respond Favorably.

My dog is over a year old now. For whatever reason, OK, I was intimidated by the task, I never taught my dog to come to me when I call for her.After teaching basic commands like sit and shake, I mustered up the courage to overcome my fear of rejection or failure and teach her the ‘come’ command.We are in the back yard. She is running around. When she runs towards me in an almost full sprint, I think to myself, “this is a good time to use the command since she’s already coming my way.”I could have said anything else and she would’ve continued running right up to my feet and sat, but when I used the new command, she froze where she was and stared at me.I said it again, “Piper, come!”Then I stooped down and offered her a treat while expressing the command. She walked to me. We celebrated the success with a belly rub (and the treat, of course). I was very happy with the progress we made in the first few days.Having treats ready for consumption was a big part of this command being taught successfully. Knowing that it takes consistency was key also. I have not broken her of her hunting rabbit instinct, but we’ll get there. For now, I’m just happy she knows “come” doesn’t mean freeze in place.Having a dog is a learning experience for me, too, not just her. Hoping for success when delivering a command depends a lot on where I’m standing. If I’m standing near door that goes inside, she’s less likely to respond favorably.If I’m near the fence, she’ll come to me, thinking I have a rabbit to show her or something.Resorting to tricks works, too, but most of the time I feel bad about it.Parenting a puppy is fun and tough. But at least now my dog will answer most of the time I call her.
Volume 1: Sharing A House With Dog.

Volume 2: Sharing A Car With Dog.

Volume 3: Sharing A Yard With Dog.

Volume 4: Sharing Problems with Dog.

205 Days and Counting

No, the title of this post has nothing to do with car racing or lines that are funny if you add “in bed” at the end. Driftwood Detectatory, II has reached a milestone- over 20,000 post views! A huge thanks to you, the reader, for clicking on my posts, commenting on them, and passing them along to your friends (see Where Are All The Men). Also a big thanks for passing them along to your enemies (see You Aren’t Awesome).

The site would not be where it is today without these top five posts:

Chris Lambton’s Tattoo Pictures
(from Ali’s season on the Bachelorette)

Boney M In A Green Taxi

Home Page
(takes you to my most recent post)

Episode 10 of The Bachelorette
(from Ali’s season on the Bachelorette)

Chris Lambton’s Birthday
(from Ali’s season on the Bachelorette)

Here are a select group of my favorite posts:

Sharing A House With Dog

Satellites and Captains

The Three-Star Spangled Banner

And here are some funny search terms from the 205 days this site has been active:
1984 barbie
dolphin tramp stamp
barbie vs. firecracker
a girl keeps checking my online profile
awesome dog
I don’t eat dogs
Chuck Norris xs
weird guy droid

Thanks, everybody!
Ben

What Faith Is

It just takes some time,
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine.
Everything, everything will be alright, alright.
“The Middle” -Jimmy Eat World

During a discussion a few days ago this question arose, “What is faith?” The answers varied but most included the themes of trust, belief, and God. It’s true, when the word “faith” is spoken, it’s most often in the context of spiritual behavior. But in it’s simplest form, the word means confidence or trust in a person or thing. You have faith in the chair you sit in at work. You have faith when someone calls you that your phone will ring. Those are examples rooted in proven results. You believe your phone will ring because that’s what it’s done in the past when someone called. That’s a learned faith. There’s a second kind, blind faith. I like to think of blind faith this way: trust without experimentation. Without any testing or experiences to rely on, you still choose to believe.

During the conversation, the word “unnatural” kept coming to my mind. People that accomplish big things do so by having faith in the work they put in, faith in the operating system, faith in their ability, faith in something. But to have faith in anything is counter-intuitive. It’s not natural because we, as humans, typically don’t trust first. We experiment first. We stick our toes in to weigh if the experience will hurt us or help us. We want the best for ourselves, and having faith in something else means giving up our own comfort, or more accurately, giving up the control over our own comfort. Faith is self-denying, or else it’s not faith. And to deny yourself is not natural.

As a child, you have faith your parents will feed you because why? They’ve fed you before. In religion, whether you’re raised to believe in God, that there is no God, or anywhere in between, it could be said that all belief systems have this in common: faith is trusting something you can’t prove. When a person is asked to prove God is real, they could very easily turn the question around and ask you to prove He’s not. I’m sure both sides of that argument could produce strong evidence on why God is or isn’t real and it takes faith to believe either side. I believe God created the earth, the universe, and everything in it. I can’t prove it. But it’s easier for me to believe that than to believe little tiny particles crashed together millions of years ago and now as a result mankind (products of that crash) created something as mysteriously wonderful and technically advanced as the Motorola Drrrroooooiiiiiid. Let’s face it, Droid phones are phenoms like we’ve never seen. iPhones don’t even have a physical keyboard or free built-in navigation. I’m just saying.

People claim the earth is millions of years old. I have no doubt that carbon dating and various tests are probably accurate. But could it be true that God created the earth to look like it was millions of years old? Afterall, He created Adam as an adult male. Any test you did on him would tell you he’s an adult who’d been alive for decades, yet it may have been only days since God created him.

Adam and Eve in the garden

Those with faith in what the Bible says believe that while they are sinners, they are saved from Hell. Martin Luther expressed this quite well in his phrase: Simul justus et peccator. At the same time just and sinner. The faith that they are forgiven and justified even though they are sinners. To turn around and live that as if you’re life depended on it, that’s faith. And that’s really what faith is all about. Putting action behind what you believe.

Afterall, what good is faith in anything if it doesn’t change everything you are about? An unnatural choice to trust first.

Have you ever stared into a starry sky?
Lying on your back you’re asking, “Why?”
“What’s the purpose?” I wonder, “Who am I?”
If you’ve ever stared into a starry sky.
“Have You Ever” -Brandi Carlile

Ben Wilder vs. Nick Shell: A Facebook Battle of Backhanded Compliments and Popular Recipes

Ok, forget about the recipes. If you know me, you know I don’t cook, and if you know Nick, sorry. This is a Facebook wall-to-wall conversation with Nick Shell of Scenic Route Snapshots. For chronological order, start at the bottom and read upwards. PS. it’s all in good fun, and proof that even though we are busy people, we do have a little too much free time.

 

 Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I read your Tweet. Twice in the same day? That’s too bad you had to learn the hard way, as an adult. From now on, just remember to do a little research first by asking around and looking for context clues before asking when the baby’s due. Too bad it was your boss at work and also the preacher’s wife that you said that to. Good luck on that.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I’m sure I’m the last person you want to hear from right now. I didn’t know the cops were going to take action immediately after I called you in as a stalker. Honestly, I thought you and I could’ve worked it out privately, but last night when I caught you staring in my window–again–I had to call the authorities. I hope you understand (given the circumstances) that lunch on Wednesday is off.
Britney Grayson likes this.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: You know, I have to admit, I’ve never heard of a guy selling Mary Kay, but if anyone could pull it off, it’s you. Just think, you do enough Mary Kay parties and you can have that pink Hummer in about 7 years. But I know that’s cool with you anyway since pink is your favorite color- because you constantly write about it on your website. I’m like, “I get it, I get it”, you like pink.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: No, don’t stop writing him letters! Just because he’s going to get the final rose tonight doesn’t mean you have to discontinue writing to Roberto. He’d probably appreciate maintaining your friendship. Just my two cents.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: That is a pretty good deal- that you bought a year’s worth of tanning bed visits and got a month’s worth of visits for a friend as a bonus. What a generous offer, but I think I’m gonna have to pass on the free month of tanning, this time around.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: So how much have you made from your “nashville just got flooded and I’m going to sell shirts about it” t-shirts?
View Feedback (1)
Nick Shell: Just $20 from the shirt you bought from me.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I must admit, you’re the first person I’ve ever known to buy a sidecar for your motorcycle. I’m just surprised you bought it so you could ride in it while I drive the bike. And yes, I saw the pictures you tweeted of the t-shirts you had made for us when we go driving tomorrow. The one for me that says “The Boss” and the one for you that says “Santa’s Little Helper”. And you said your t-shirt is Bedazzled?

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I didn’t know it mattered. Sorry. Next time I’ll walk with you to the men’s room. Usually girls go to the bathroom in groups, sorry.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Thanks for the tip! I did what you said. Good news: I was able to get your Taylor Swift lunch box autographed for you. Bad news: I sold it on Ebay for profit. Good news: I used some of the money to buy you a plane ticket to “crash” at The Bachelor Pad. And yes, I made sure, both Wes and The Weatherman are going to be there.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Hey sorry I missed your call last night. And no I couldn’t get her autgraph for you. Try commenting on her myspace page, I think its myspace.com/taylorswift.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: What can I say? Of course I feel honored that you so highly live by the teachings of my writings- in particular: “How to Wear Pink, If You’re a Guy”. I just think for your own safety, though, it’s not the best idea to go around ripping off the shirts of guys you see wearing pink with khaki pants, declaring, “You’ve been Nicked!”
View Feedback (4)
Pam Price Williams: You boys are funny, and I’m glad I know you…both of you!
David Stanley: I think we have a new saying…how many people have you “Nicked” today?
Nick Shell: I think we should incorporate “Bunny Bucks” into the system somehow.
David Stanley: for every 2 people you “Nick”, you earn 1 bunny buck.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I can’t make it to your instructional seminar tonight. Actually I didn’t even know you had a “Crochete Certificate for Instructors.” Makes sense though, because your crocheted scarf patterns last year were the talk of the retirement community. Glad your sharing your skills now. I’ll be at the Hard Rock tonight.
Flood Benefit feat. Creed | Hard Rock Cafe | Rock | Nashville Scene
www.nashvillescene.com

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: That’s a good question. I’m not really sure what all it takes to get licensed to drive an ice cream truck. I mean, officially, at least. I know you’ve been practicing the last couple of weeks just for fun, but, yeah, I don’t know. Good question. Good luck with that, though.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Did you win your eBay bid? If you end up winning, congrats! I know much you’ve always wanted Bob Saget’s autograph. Now once you get Uncle Jesse’s you’ll finally have autographs for the whole cast of Full House. Awesome.
View Feedback (1)
Nick Shell: Hey… Cut, it, out!.. How rude!

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I would never have said “it’s as easy as taking candy from a baby” if I would have known you would make it a game to see how much candy you could literally take from babies (mainly in grocery stores and church picnics) then brag about it in your blog. Wait… do you have any Three Musketeers in your stash?

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I know. You don’t have to explain it in detail, and actually I’d prefer it if you didn’t. But use the cream the doctor gave you. That’ll dry up the rash.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Well, I know, but just because it’s something you do in the “Internet world and not the real world”, you can still actually be arrested for it. I agree, acting like you were from England to get people to send you money through their hotmail accounts may have been an easy way to make a few easy bucks, but it’s still actually illegal. Don’t worry though, I won’t say anything about it to anyone.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: you’re kidding me right? If you’re telling the truth, I think it’s kinda cool you used to be a choreographer. Do a lot of people know this video is a dance you choreographed? 00:58-1:00 the dancers in the background definitely look like your work.
Arsenio Hall Show – Color Me Badd – All For Love (1992 Live)
www.youtube.com
View Feedback (2)
Nick Shell: Yes, it’s true. I’m that talented. The most impressive part of this: I turned eleven years old in 1992.
Ben Wilder: You were Justin Bieber before Justin Bieber was cool.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I’m really interested to learn more about how you ended up teaching yourself to spay and neuter animals while you were in college. You kinda left things vague where you mentioned it under “info” on your facebook profile. Like was it part of an elective course or just a hobby?

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I am a Droid.
I find Nick Shell’s pocket and hide there.
Every time he hears “droooiiiiiid” he says, “what? where!?”
Because the noise was either me in the front pocket,
or in his underwear, a droid droplet.
Droid.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: No, not really. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily “wrong” or even illegal to marry your 2nd cousin. You might even be able to keep that part a secret since you both have different last names. But like you said, maybe it’s just a crush.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: That’s hilarious! I thought you would’ve got Slater, but the quiz said you have a Screech personality? Wow. Do you think they’re right?

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Hey thanks for returning my hair clippers so quickly- you know, the ones you borrowed last week… Though I’m a little confused why they’re all jammed up and smell funny now. That never happened before when I used them to cut my hair…

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Did you ever catch the train? Ohh, did you mean you were buying a training bra? I thought you said you were buying a train ticket. Sorry.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I’m no specialist, but I would say that eventually your 8 year-old nephew will grow out of his bedwetting stage. But it may help if you… oh, I mean… if he doesn’t drink as much soda pop while playing Dungeons and Dragons after dinner. That’s really the best advice I can give you. Oh… I mean him.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: you WOULD join “Team Jacob”. Come on, Nick. This whole time you had me believing you were siding with Edward.
View Feedback (2)
Rhonda Walsh Hendricks: I knew it. Traitor.
Ben Wilder: You had us all fooled, didn’t you, Nick? If that’s even your real name.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: So look, I appreciate you dropping off the box of Amway cleaning products at my house. They were indeed successful in getting out the stains in my carpet which you made in your demonstration, though I’m still not quite sure what that brown stuff was in that jar your poured out. Nonetheless, I’m gonna pass on becoming an Amway sales rep with you. Sorry, but good luck on that. Maybe you should use your facebook status update to try and recruit more Amway salespeople. No?

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Hey Nick!! Dude, I can’t believe I found you on Facebook. Last February I randomly saw your name scribbled in a bathroom stall at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama so I wrote a note to myself to try to find you on here. Four months later, I found the square of toilet paper in my jeans pocket and remembered to look for you! Gosh, man, what have you been up to all these years???

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Well I must say again it was really wonderful having your parents visit church this past Sunday. And no matter what funny looks your mom thinks she may have received, we are very accepting, no matter how a person comes dressed. Though I will say, it may be the first time a woman has ever worn combat boots to our church.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I need to send you a private message about something. I’m pretty upset about it. Remember that poem you submitted a few years ago to the “Nashville Has Poets and Knows Its!” competition? Did they ever find out you plagerized? I had no idea till this morning when I read the lyrics to Red, Red Wine (by UB40) and low and behold, the verses are the same as your poem. Not cool, man. You shouldn’t have submitted a poem anyway, it was for elementary-age kids. But I’ll send you a private message about all this.
View Feedback (1)
Nick Shell: No, they never found out it was “plagerized”. But they did find out it was plagiarized.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I feel kinda awkward about bringing this up, but my niece is starting to ask me where her DVD is. You know the one- Hannah Montana: The Movie. Are you finished burning it to your collection yet? If not, I might be able to delay, but just for a few more days. Also, I hate to be a nag, but… do the words “Justin Bieber” mean anything to you? Yeah, you’ve had that CD for a while now. I need to return that to the public library. Overdue fees are adding up…

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: well, that’s why she called the book Pride AND Prejudice, because Elizabeth struggled with prejudice and Darcy struggled with pride. So they both had to work through their issues before a relationship could work. It’s funny what you said about Mr. Collins though, how if you were a girl, you would have been a cougar on the hunt for him.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I kinda feel bad about my initial reaction. The truth is, I’m really happy for you. It’s just that I’ve never known anyone that has done the whole mail order bride thing from Russia. Really though, it’s cool. Have you and Henka set a date for the wedding? P.S. Does she speak any English?
View Feedback (2)
Britney Grayson: ummm I am a hysterically laughing member of your studio audience! These things crack me up!!!
Jennifer Moore: I agree with Britney! …totally just laughed out loud!!

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: got your message. Can’t make it out to the “Lecture On Skid Marks: On The Road and On Your Undies” today but have fun. I hope there’s no scratch & sniff exhibits there.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: So I read Chris N.’s Twitter about your trip to Orlando last week. You two were college roommates? Why didn’t you say something sooner?! Anyway, that’s cool that you finally got to check out his favorite “guilty pleasure” Mexican restaurant that he mentioned on the show. And… Congrats on getting to try out for the next season of The Bachelorette. I hope they pick you! Maybe you can be “Rated G”?

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I can’t believe you went through with it! When you said,”I want to be a man, I want to be a man for that woman,” I didn’t know that meant you were getting a tattoo on your lower back! Can’t wait to see it!
Joe Hendricks likes this.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: So listen, I won’t be able to make it to the Captain Planet party you’re hosting tomorrow night at your house. I wish I could see you dressed up in costume. If anyone can pull off a blue mullet, red underwear, and an exposed midriff, it’s definitely you. I’m really impressed how you take “going green” to a whole other level!

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: hey, I have an answer for your question. Turns out IBS medicine is supposed to be taken orally, not rubbing it into your skin. Hopefully this problem clears up for you soon, though.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: So look, the pink My Lil Pony bedspread you ordered is actually only available in purple right now. Is that okay? Or is that too masculine? Anyway, just me me know…
View Feedback (3)
Joe Hendricks likes this.
Ben Wilder: I’m more upset at Joe than Nick. How could you like this Joe, how could you?
Joe Hendricks: It brought back memories of me beating up My lil pony’s with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But, I know how you feel…. My sister wanted the pink…. purple sucks.

 

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I saw you filling up your “green” car with gas at BP. Not cool, Nick, not cool.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Oh man, I heard what happened. That must have been so embarrassing. I’m of course referring to when you showed up to host the dinner theatre show “The Merlot Murders” and you learned halfway through from an audience member that you had dog droid all over your pants. Ouch.

 

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Your face is a Droid.
View Feedback (1)
Ben Wilder: I’m gonna droid in a bag, light it on fire, and put it by your front door around 7pm. Cool?

Finders Keepers: An Insider View

You might wonder, as I often do, how people are discovering Out of the Wilderness. Well, I’ve listed a few of the most popular search terms that dump people here:

chuck norris xs
the driftwood guy
wise guy technological pro
resourceful is my characteristic
thrifty’s pizza wood stove

For those of you using these to find my site, I apologize. I have nothing to offer you. However, if you are curious about personality types, The Bachelorette, Droid vs. iPhone, ghost encounters, deal-breakers, Boney M, mustaches, or the sleeping patterns of Lost characters, then you just might find some worthy reading material.

Lastly, a quick sidenote: if you’re looking for pictures to use as a visual aid for the word “sleep” or “sleeping,” don’t do an image search for “big fluffy pillows.” You will not find fluffy pillows there.

Droid is the New Apple

It used to be that if you had an Apple product, you were in a select group on the outskirts of mainstream. With a firy passion, you bucked the idea of following the leader. You colored outside the lines. An Excel spreadsheet was for your dad and his friends. It’s no doubt that Apple’s introduced revolutionary products into the world, things like the iPod and the iPhone that are the benchmark of mobile connectivity. But just as Land Rover is produced for the masses and no longer for the fringes of offroad enthusiasts (don’t even get me started on that!), having an iPhone is like having a Facebook page. You have one, your teachers have one, your dad and his friends have one. No longer are you on the fringes. You are mainstream. And now you are not cool.

This is not a punch in the face, but yes Steve Jobs, you’ve just been Droided.

What In The K%!$#tchen Is Going On?

Here is my kitchen on a random weekday.

This image reveals 10 of my characteristics.

Let’s start with the obvious. You probably noticed the globe on the counter and the many bottles above the white cabinets.

Characteristic #1: Frugal and delights in the small victories of finding stuff like this at thrift stores, on beaches, or in the woods. Next is the attention-grabbing blue cup full of water. Characteristic #2: Personal health. Drinking water is a healthy thing to do (but what you can’t see is the pizza in the freezer, so this is an ongoing battle). Along the picture’s bottom edge you can see the corner of a dog crate. My beagle: I can’t control her, I can only hope to contain her…. in the crate. Ok, that’s not totally true. She’s a puppy and already knows how to “halt,” “sit,” and get in her cage on command. Bam! Characteristic #3: Leader of the pack. She’s the dog, I’m the master. And I’ll let you know when she believes that.

Now the not-so-obvious… to the left of the sink, below the cabinet, is the back end of a Maglite. This weapon is also used as a flashlight. Characteristic #4: Resourceful. Scanning down to the dishwasher you’ll see tape on the corners. I’ll take the tape off as soon as I stop buying stuff with tape on it. Characteristic #5: Procrastinator. Near the globe is a hardly-noticeable black phone cord and three, yes, three, power outlets. Characteristic #6: Powerful. With the power cord and multiple outlets, I can charge my Motorola Droid anytime and anywhere within those 4 feet. Near the stove, to the left of the wood figurines, is a small shark jaw. You’ve heard of having the “eye of the tiger”? What about having the “mouth of the shark”? Double bam! Sharp teeth are much more effective than a soft eyeball, I’m just saying. Characteristic #7: Sharp, not soft. Paper towels. The El Camino of the kitchen. Is it paper or a towel? Yes! Double threat and a triple bam! Characteristic #8: Double threat guy. Just left of the stove is a hot pad hanging from the cabinet knob. So obviously, characteristic #9: Hot. Lastly, the dishes in the sink. If you think this fits into the “procrastinator” characteristic (not washing dishes) or the “frugal” characteristic (not using dishwasher) you’d be wrong. Characteristic #10: Inclusive. See? Now my puppy can feel like part of the team.

 

“Clean the dishes! Gooooood giiiiiirl!”