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

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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

 

 

All the places I’ve lived, and a favorite memory from each

coast-guardMy dad was in the Coast Guard, so that meant a lot of moving around. Before I was born, my family had already been up and down the east coast, and spent some time on the west coast, too. My oldest sister was born in Key West, next oldest sister was born in Monterey, CA and then my brother in Virginia. When it was my time, the family was back in Key West. I was there for a short time before we moved out west. Here’s the list!

born: Key west, FL (December 26, 1978)

Hawaii – I was just a little guy here, about a year old, so I have three memories: attending a luau, going into a building, and going under a bridge (or tunnel?) on the way to a beach. I guess the luau is my favorite because I remember looking across and seeing my baby sitter.

Hollywood, FL – Started my academic career here at Sheridan Hills Christian School. Favorite memory: Our family took a lot of boat trips. We went down to the keys, spent nights on the water, I got sea sick for the first time, and still, these trips are easily my favorite memory!

me as 4th grader 2St. Petersburg, FL –  Attended Maximo Elementary School for 2nd and 3rd grade. Favorite memory: At school I met a friend that made me laugh so hard all the time. To this day, I measure everyone else against him. He was so funny. One of my least favorite memories: My funny friend was not at school one day, then not there the next day or the next. A few days later, his mom came in and picked up his things. I never saw him again!

Newport, RI – This is where I attended 4th grade at Underwood Elementary. Favorite memory: touring all the mansions, like these.

the-breakers

The Breakers. 62,000 square feet! 

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Rough Point. 39,000 square feet and 105 rooms!

A tie for favorite: all the lamborginis. Not sure why there were so many, but it was somewhat common to see one driving around the city. And Saabs. Lots of Saabs.

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5th grade at Widewater.

Stafford, VA – I was a 5th grader at Widewater Elementary School then moved to Stafford Middle School for 6th and 7th grade. These are my favorite years from growing up. I made great friends that I still have today. One favorite memory: trick or treating on Halloween one of the years. Somehow a friend and I got separated from our group of friends, but he and I still went around to so many houses. That was a fun night! Also, our house was situated on a golf course so we’d go out there to play football, capture the flag, flashlight tag, and hmmm, maybe hit some golf balls. I also came up with a list of things that happened in middle school that absolutely would not happen in today’s world. Here’s a link to that:

[11 Things You Can’t Do In School Anymore]

Miami, FL – Westminster Christian School for 8th – 10th grade. Favorite memory: being on the JV basketball team. And it was in 10th grade I had my first kiss. I know, I was late to the party! 🙂

New York, NY – Curtis High School for half of 11th grade. Favorite memory: I got to see a taping of David Letterman. It was really fun. We lived on Governors Island, so it was nice to have a place with grass, and trees, unlike most of New York City back then! Also, riding a ferry past the Statue of Liberty every day on the way to school was pretty neat.

Tallahassee, FL – Finished 11th and 12th grade at Leon High School. My dad retired from the Coast Guard in 1996 so we moved back towards family in Florida. Favorite memory: this is getting difficult because with each place, I have more than one favorite! But to name a few, I’d say my aunt’s lemon squares, my grandfather driving 120mph in his Isuzu Trooper to get me to school, pb and j lunches at The Brown Bag Express, basketball with friends, and graduating from the same high school my mom graduated from.

Note: I stayed in Tallahassee for college, as well. I have so many great memories in those 4.5 years. Too many to pick one!

Nashville, TN – This is where I’ve lived since the mid-2000s. Also too many great memories to pick one at the moment. So I’ll go with the lame answer: My favorite memory of Nashville is all of them. 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

Nashville had a snow day

Well, Nashville had another apocalyptic snow day yesterday. I’m sorry if you were in Nashville or nearby and had to deal with this traffic:
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I was determined to stay home, although how long do you have to be in one place before it’s officially called cabin fever? I had only been home since mid-afternoon Thursday and I’m only slightly exaggerating when I started looking like Jack Nicholson from The Shining.
jack-from-the-shining
kinopoisk.ru
But all in all, we had a fun day. My dogs and I romped in the yard, chased frisbees, wore our Christmas presents…

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Asia chased her frisbee, something she’ll do no matter the weather.


I wore my new pea coat I got for Christmas from my parents and I gotta tell ya, I will forever wonder what life was like before I had this coat. It’s so warm. It’s so classy. I just need to figure out how to use the pockets. They’re still sewn up, I think??

Before the cold day came to a close, I managed to get the car out of the driveway and down the semi-steep and icy road and I went dancing. Nothing will warm you up on a cold day like dancing with your friends.

Stay warm and stay cool!

-Out of the Wilderness

Sand volleyball for the win

I’ve been playing sand volleyball probably an average of 4 times a month since the summer started. It’s quickly become one of my favorite things to do here in Nashville.

vball

photo courtesy of Brandon Sommers

I was first introduced to it by my friend Bill who played a lot of sand volleyball here in town. I only went a handful of times in all of 2014 and 2015. But this year I’ve fallen in love. It’s so fun to play, though I’m probably only slightly above average as far as skill level goes. I think a big part of what makes it fun is the attitude of most of the folks that play there. It’s a friendly environment. Most disputes are settled with some sort of joke and laughter coming from both sides of the net.

If you’re in Nashville and have a hankering to get on the court before winter sets in, do it! You won’t regret it.

-Out of the Wilderness

LG360 camera reviewed by a normal guy

I recently picked up the LG360 camera for a few reasons, which I’ll share with you now.

    1. It’s one of a handful that are currently available. I’d also like to try out the Bublcam and the Giroptic 360cam degree cameras but both those brands are currently on “pre-order.” I’ve heard the Bublcam won’t ship till December 2016.
    2. The low price point! It’s only $199 and while that’s not pocket change, it’s still quite a bit less than pretty much any other piece of technology, am I right??
    3. The video quality is better (allegedly, based on my research) than the Ricoh Theta S. Both good cameras, but at the end of the day, I want picture quality to be as close to the 21st Century as possible, and again from my research, the Theta S looked blurry and not HD. Here’s a video I shot yesterday on the LG360.
    4. Convenience. This tags along with availability… I was able to drive to a nearby Verizon store and pick one up. Perfect as I’m planning to use it next week during a family reunion. I got the camera yesterday and I’ve already posted 4 videos on YouTube.
    5. It works with YouTube and Facebook… and the process to make that happen scared me based on user reviews. But it was a sinch. I haven’t imported footage into an editor program yet, but I plan to this week.

I highly recommend this camera, even for the simple idea of practicing with it until higher quality cameras become available. But even if you end up sticking with this one, you could do a lot worse! Also, shameless self-promotion: use the link below to take advantage of Prime Day (Tues 7/12), buy this camera, and I’ll get pennies just from you using the link. Thanks and I hope you enjoy the camera as much as I have so far!
//rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?o=1&p=12&l=ur1&category=prime_day_2016&banner=03B3NN163S3K2776YW02&f=ifr&linkID=a1988ff69630ca0994b5db1997e5bad7&t=outofthewild-20&tracking_id=outofthewild-20

-Out of the Wilderness

An open letter to the Nashville family who recently lost their home

In my neighborhood a few days ago I came across a relatively new home that had the roof torn off, and everything inside was scattered about. Utterly destroyed, it was. I could tell a lot of effort went in to building this little home. I know what you’re thinking: it was a tornado, right? No, that’s wrong. It wasn’t a tornado. Nashville’s been having pretty great weather.

The victims weren’t anywhere in sight, although just a few minutes before I came across the destruction a female flew by me as if she were being chased by a monster. As it turns out, she was being chased by two monsters! I was right on two assumptions: 1. She was the homeowner as I’d suspected, and 2. Those monsters were my two sweet docile loving cuddly dogs!

OK, they were  not being cuddly at this particular moment. They were being savages, as wild as wolves, howling like sirens. They were in hot pursuit of the female… rabbit! Yes, a rabbit. Despite their best effort, though, they didn’t catch her and once they realized she was out of reach they snooped around and found her home. A rabbit hole. They began to sniff and dig. Dig and sniff. Rabbits make their homes by piling up sticks and leaves and their own fur, and usually do it in plain sight as a way to trick any wild animals that might prey on them.

I entered the story (besides the bunny fly-by) when I caught up to my dogs doing the sniffing and the digging. I saw a bunch of fur an thought, “Did they catch the rabbit??” Then as I got closer, I realized they didn’t, but that they’d found the rabbit’s home.

Fur, debris, and an empty hole. That’s all I saw. I’m going to assume (for my own peace of mind) that the baby bunnies, if any were tucked in there, scurried away safely before the monsters arrived.

Next time, I hope mama bunny doesn’t make her home in the middle of a dog park!

-BW