Review: Financial Peace Revisited

Financial Peace RevisitedFinancial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"I get it. Thanks."
That was my overall feeling while reading Financial Peace Revisited. This book is a near copy of the other books pushed out by Dave Ramsey. His book "Total Money Makeover" had been suggested to me and then read and reviewed before.

Financial Peace Revisited had a few extra insights in it that I enjoyed, but I probably wouldn't have done anything more than flipped through it were it not for my reading group.

I might reference his categorical generalizations of the financial decisions people tend to make throughout life, simply as a way to remind myself what to be aware of. Other than that, my overall advice regarding this advice-giving book: if you've read one of his books you've read them all. Take a look at the table of contents, see if there's anything that catches your eye, skim it, and then put it back on the shelf. Who knows, maybe the simple act of not buying the book will empower you with a little extra "financial peace".

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Privacy and Social Media

Remember, remember the fifth of November.

Three years ago, I wrote about "Privacy and Control", discussing topics of privacy in a world driven by data-collection and how "our gadgets have or will be taking on qualities commonly associated with gods: omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence". Today, I'd like to remember and reflect on those topics and check-in with how privacy is holding up under the current surveillance of our technology, most especially social media.

Photo: GETTY IMAGES, found here.

The maelstrom of data and information has grown in strength as technology develops. New venues for self-promotional social media pop-up everywhere; we have networks for where you go, what you're doing, what you're reading, what you're watching, who you're with, who might be nearby that you might want to meet, there are even services that enable you view and share the "as-it-happens" actions and location of your pets. For some, this is an exciting exploration of new territory. For others, it's a decent into terror.

The relentless march of technology presents society with an unending series of thin red lines, boundaries beyond which the future of our familiar comforts are uncertain. We seem well aware that data is being gathered. Since publishing my initial article on this subject, there have been a number of controversies, revelations, and even revolutions having to do with privacy and data (e.g. PRISM, Vodafone report, RSA encryption backdoor). Have these events changed our view of technology and privacy? I think the events have certainly made more people aware of a long-existent situation. That awareness has sparked a new surge in privacy-positive actions and services, but I posit that the arms-race of information and privacy is nothing new. The previous surge, on the opposite side, was made in 2001 when the public feared terrorism more than surveillance (e.g. PATRIOT Act, TSA).

The digital and physical worlds continue to blend. New "smart technology" brings more convenience to our households. Some people shy away from these new developments, preferring the safety of familiarity. Personally, I enjoy the forward progress of technology. In fact, my opinion about privacy and technology remains much the same as it was three years ago:
I am unafraid of the omnipresence of technology because I am more than the facts and data amassed. I choose not to attempt to hide the cataloging of my data because I try to never act without intention. Let me be entirely clear about another opinion I have of data and surveillance as it relates to freedom. There are those who would choose to use the gathering of data as a way to prevent others from having the freedom to act of their own will. This is never OK. In my opinion, a person should be allowed to act however they choose; as long as those actions do not prevent another person from making their own -- possibly opposing -- choice.
Social media presents us all with a challenges to our current paradigms. Where do we draw our own personal lines? How much is too much information? Each of us must establish the boundaries of our individual comfort zones [INDY Blog: "Experience the Challenge"]. Much like the differing opinions on personal space within societies around the world, communities may find themselves interacting with individuals with differing social media "personal bubbles". While I often find myself comfortable with a very large social media bubble, you might be inclined to be more private.

Today is the day that you define your boundaries and understand the lines which you are uncomfortable having others cross, whether governmental or social. Once you find those lines, stand up for them firmly. I respect your right to make your own choices. My choices might be different than yours, but I will still advocate for yours as long as they don't impede on the rights of others. Remember, remember the fifth of November.


Return to writing

Writing these blog articles is only a hobby and the rewards are merely self-gratification and the organization/sifting of personal ideas. Therefore, it ranks lower in my priorities and significance than life priorities with greater meaning and enrichment. However, the organization of personal ideas eventually becomes more meaningful as those ideas pile up. And, recently, I've been sitting on a few writing ideas and allowing too many opportunities to write pass me by.

It's time to write down some of the thoughts that have been baking in my mental oven and free myself from the pressure building up in my mind. So, I'm going to begin publishing these articles and, if necessary, back-dating the ones that should have specific events associated with them. I'm not sure how they will appear on my social media and RSS feeds, but I'm hoping I can arrange the impending tempest to be more of a drizzle than a hurricane. Either way, the storm is coming so grab your umbrellas and maybe even get ready to swim.


Review: Kiss or Kill

Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial ClimberKiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber by Mark Twight

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Overall, I found Mark Twight's compilation the way I expected it to be. It was satisfactory and I'm glad to have read through it. Although I found some parts bland, other parts were significantly remarkable. Much of that range can be attributed in his development as a writer over time throughout these compiled writings; some of it can be attributed to his development as a person through his adventures.

For a book to which I'm currently only giving two stars, it's odd to write a full review. However, there was an underlying sentiment in Mark's writing that I share and I would like to echo here:
Outsiders ask us why we encourage death, why we act like we want to die young. When I'm especially cynical, I play devil's advocate and counter, "Why prolong life? Why imagine what I'm doing is anything special, that I'm contributing rather than breathing air and eating food another might need? Everyone dies, equalized by it. At least the dead are spared the embarrassing antics of those left behind groping for some meaning." I use those words to antagonize, but I don't believe in them. I'm as interested as the outsiders are.

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Review: The Longest Walk

The Longest Walk: An Odyssey of the Human SpiritThe Longest Walk: An Odyssey of the Human Spirit by George Meegan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

George Meegan decided to take a walk. Not just any walk; he wanted to walk from the tip of South America to the arctic shores of Alaska. The book in which he chronicles his journey is as lengthy a read as was his walk, but I found it worthwhile to read his experiences throughout his journey and try to glean some understanding that I could apply in my own life.

One passage that stood out to me:
How dreadfully the fear of consequences can stifle so many valiant potential deeds, I thought, a fear threatening like a black hole to annihilate the star of one's soul, sucking the very matter out of an idea until it collapses and disappears, leaving nothing but a memory, a dream unfulfilled.
It is so important that we overcome the hesitation caused by fear, so that we might embrace possibility. The author described his life-changing walk in detail. And I think his final reflections are universally paramount:
I gave thanks for the opportunity to share my fellow human beings' laughter as well as their sadness, their love as well as their misery, and for learning to love this frail, endangered, yet still magnificent planet that had borne me safely and in harmony with my road. I had found the essential, if flawed, goodness that resides in everyone, everywhere.

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Review: Between Dog and Wolf

Between Dog and Wolf: Understanding the Connection and the ConfusionBetween Dog and Wolf: Understanding the Connection and the Confusion by Jessica Addams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Between Dog and Wolf is an enjoyable overview of the behavioral differences between wolves, dogs, and wolf-dogs. Andrew Miller attempts to address the misconceptions and resulting problems that can occur when someone misunderstands the nature of the animal they are trying to have as a pet.

The book is written very well as a introductory overview of animal-human interaction and, as such, provides a reasonable foundation for a better understanding of what wolf and wolf-dog hybrid behaviors can be. The lesson that I think is most important to share with others is that of the difference between "tame" and "domesticated". Any animal can be "tame", it's a trait of personality and conditioning, but "domestication" is a human process that only certain animals have undergone through many generations.

It can be difficult to educate others and change the misconceptions about animal behavior and human interaction, especially when it comes to pets and what people think they can "handle". I found the elephant comparison very enlightening and useful:
Imagine walking into a pet store one afternoon and finding an adorable baby elephant in the window.... It's tiny and friendly and follows you anywhere you go....Then your elephant starts to get older.

It is too big for the children now and sometimes scares them. When they get scared, so does the elephant.... It doesn't understand 'doors' and keeps walking right through the walls. You try to train it, but it is hard to get the animal to listen to you.... It's too heavy for your floor and falls through into the basement. You chain it up outside.

One day, while you are not home, your elephant accidentally injures a neighborhood child who is trying to feed it an apple. The elephant is so excited to see the child that it knocks him over and breaks his arm. The child's mother says the animal is vicious and attacked her child with no provocation and demands it be put down."
It's easy to see how a similar situation can occur with other animals. In point, it's easy to see what might happen when someone does not understand the behaviors and personality of wolves and wolf-dogs. It's important to recognize the difference between a domestic pet and a tame wild animal. This book is a useful resource in clarifying that difference and equipping readers with an understanding that can be shared with others.

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Review: How to Speak Dog

How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human CommunicationHow To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication by Stanley Coren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication is a masterfully written reference on the topic of canine communication. Stanley Coren thoroughly describes the many methods and messages of canine behavior; he also illustrates those behaviors both literally (with visual references) and anecdotally with personal stories and scientific studies.

I have casually explored canine communication for a number of years, even doing a handful of science projects on the subject as a child. Recently, I have been spending a great deal of time interacting with wolves, wolf-dogs, and dogs, so I found my underdeveloped understanding of canine communication somewhat limiting in practice. Coren's book has given me the opportunity to strengthen my relationships with the animals I regularly interact with and has allowed me to efficiently communicate with new animals I meet.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning how to communicate and understand our canine companions. I'm not nearly fluent in this new "language", but I feel like my vocabulary has been strengthen by this is an invaluable resource. As the author says in the book's preface:
Understanding how dogs communicate allows a much greater ability to know what they are feeling, what they are thinking, and what their intentions are. It also provides more ways to tell them what you want them to do and to control their behavior.

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A chapter ends, the story continues

Hi, friends

If life is a story, then I want mine to be an adventure. I want to journey into the unknown, discover my challenges and overcome them, share my story with other adventurers, and find out more about myself along the way. My story is certainly still being written and I would not be who I am without every line and every chapter. If there's one thing I know, it's that every challenge contains opportunity.

Each of you reading this has helped me to write some part of my story. Some of my chapters are stained with tears, while others have been highlighted and bookmarked forever. You have journeyed with me through my darkest chapters, you have enriched my story by interweaving it with yours. You might still be helping me to write my story or maybe you are simply reading your favorite passages.

No matter what role you have had in helping me to write my story, I hope that I have and will always help you to write yours. I hope I can be an inspiration to write a bit of adventure into your life, a listening ear when you hit bottom, a voice to call you out of the darkness, or just an embarrassing goof that makes you smile and roll your eyes. My story, my adventure, means more to me because it's written with you.

It's never easy to turn the page on the chapters which mean the most. They say that all good things must come to an end, but sometimes I wish I could reread or rewrite what has been written. I know that every experience adds another line to the page and even the most exciting adventures eventually become stories of the past.

Life is nothing without the people in it, the experiences we have, and the relationships we form through each chapter. Always remember that you are the author of your story and you define the content of your character. Embrace adventure, face your challenges, and always remember to smile. Because your smile might just write the passage that changes someone's entire story. The page you turn today might just be the one you bookmark forever.
Yours truly in the story of life,


Review: The First 20 Hours

The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything...FastThe First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything...Fast by Josh Kaufman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Josh Kaufman successfully captured my interest and attention in his book The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything...Fast. Josh is a kindred spirit; we share the same city, we're both active, we're both dads, we have an interest in technology and writing, and we even have like minds when it comes to our hobbies and interests:
Personally, I’ve always had a “Renaissance man” sort of temperament: there are hundreds of things I want to learn at any given moment, in hundreds of different areas.
-- Josh Kaufman, The First 20 Hours.
I pick up hobbies and interests in the same way as Josh, but sometimes I'd find myself overloaded. For example, last year, I managed to achieve a dozen or more goals and aspirations I've had for a long time. It was fun, it was intense, but it was crazy. I took on too much, too fast and I crashed hard.

In fact, it took a literal bicycle crash to make me realize that I had taken on too much last year. I was spreading myself thin and not reaching what Josh calls the "target performance level" in many of my interests. I managed to keep my life-priorities always in order, but my personal hobbies and interests had started to become draining to me.

The First 20 Hours presents some great approaches to "rapid skill acquisition", something I'd always done -- not with intention nor focus. Josh provides a framework that the reader can use to focus in on a skill and reach a desired level of achievement quickly.

I came away from reading the book with a lot of good advice in mind, most especially: "Pick one, and only one, new skill you wish to acquire. Put all of your spare focus and energy into acquiring that skill, and place other skills on temporary hold." If you find yourself interested in picking up a new skill, I encourage you to read Josh's book and give his rapid skill acquisition advice a try. Afterall, "World-class mastery may take ten thousand hours of focused effort, but developing the capacity to perform well enough for your own purposes usually requires far less of an investment."

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Review: The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide

The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the TrailThe Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail by Andrew Skurka

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be a dumbed-down overview of only the basics or, worse, an upselling of gear over training/experience. This book was neither; better, by far, than what I'd feared.

Andrew Skurka does a great job of linking his own experiences (both positive and negative) with the advice he gives in the book. Furthermore, he goes beyond the limits of his own experience and brings information and guidance from other sources.

I also think this book is laid out very well as an effective reference manual. In fact, I recommend this book not only to novice camping/hiking enthusiasts, but also to experienced mountaineers. I am not an expert mountaineer, but I have a great deal of experience for a nonprofessional mountaineer, yet and there were still a number of times reading this book that I thought "Huh. That's a good idea." or "Oh yeah! I'd forgotten about that technique."

Overall, I was impressed. If you're curious about hiking, thinking about getting started, already trekking often, or essentially living on the mountains, I recommend having this book on hand and flipping through it before your next adventure.

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Review: Sleeping on the Summits

Sleeping on the SummitsSleeping on the Summits by Jon Kedrowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with Jon Kedrowski and he has an exceptional skill at telling a great story; he pulls you into his experiences with his enthusiasm and positive outlook on life. Sleeping on the Summits was no exception to Jon's skill at story-telling.

The book is very well put-together. It's much more than a coffee table book containing photos and descriptions, it's an artistically arranged presentation of Jon's many experiences on the summits of the highest mountains in Colorado. He includes details about the weather, text messages with his friends, and anecdotes on his thoughts during his adventures.

Having hiked many of these summits myself, I was easily transported to the locations described as I read his words. However, you don't need to be a mountaineer to enjoy this book and find yourself whisked away to these summits. Jon's story-telling skill will effortlessly allow you to share in his experience and appreciate the adventure.

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Put your heart into it

Today marks a day on which many people celebrate Valentine's Day, the current incarnation of "Lupercalia" (The Wolf Festival). I'm still blissfully ignorant as to whether anyone uses the bloody flesh of a goat in their Valentine's Day celebrations, but I do know that society does put a focus on matters of the heart today. (Read my Wolf Festival article, if you're confused about my goat reference.)

Love is a prominent element in human culture. Our bodily systems physiologically reward us by and for the exchange of love. In fact, the neurological system that is keyed to that deep-set physiological response is the limbic system; the same system I find myself absolutely fascinated with in my studies of fear.

Fear and Love are tied very closely physiologically and they both have rippling effects on many other aspects of our lives. In my other psychology-related articles, I've talked about how fear can affect the mind and how we can begin to benefit from our attempts to "experience the challenge" by stepping outside our comfort zone. The comfort zone exists in love as well; in fact, it is love within that defines the boundaries of our comfort zone.

Love manifests itself in the form of many emotions: caring, comfort, empathy, intimacy, safety, security, sharing, and most of all trust. If you invert those emotions, you'll see some that are recognizable as a manifestation of fear or a subset of it: aggravation, danger, doubt, hate, neglect, selfishness, and vulnerability.

Managing and overcoming fear is a significant challenge and a commendable effort and process. Building a loving relationship also presents a similar emotional challenge. Reflecting on my discussion of challenge, you'll remember that I've established that each person's challenges, their fears, are their own. Some people may be challenged by different things than others, but that makes them no more or less significant to the individual facing them.

As we journey through our lives, hopefully savoring every bit of its deliciousness, we have opportunities to face our fears and to find ways to embrace love.
"The best proof of love is trust." -- Dr. Joyce Brothers
Love is not limited to a form shared only between you and a romantic partner. Love is the bond that unites us with those aspects of our life that we value most: people, places, hobbies, pets, our world, everything. Most of all, love is a bond we should build within ourselves. By freeing ourselves from fear and exposing our vulnerability, we are exercising trust. We are giving ourselves and others an opportunity to choose freely what bond they would like to form with us. In so doing, we open our hearts and minds to truly experiencing love.

It takes courage to open your heart and expose your vulnerability and fear, whether those fears are of an experience (heights, depths, enclosed spaces), creatures (spiders, dogs, horses), or relationships (friends, companions, ourselves). Sometimes things won't go the way you hope and you might feel a bit of panic, as you experience the unexpected outcome. However, if we hide away behind our fears, we will never discover the possibilities that await us beyond them. We limit our life and shrink our comfort zone when we give up trust and forfeit our freedom to fear. I invite you to take on the challenge of trust today. Journey inward to discover what love you have locked behind the bars of fear. And, as with any life-fulfilling endeavor, put your heart into it.


Review: Inferno

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)Inferno by Dan Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dan Brown has done it again; with Inferno, he has taken his readers on a whirlwind adventure through symbology, mystery, and history. This time, though, there was an added twist; the story invites us to assess our own action as part of the human community and world.

I'll avoid spoilers and just leave my thoughts at what's written above, but I easily give this novel 5 stars and invite you to also descend into the "Inferno".

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Groundhog Day and Donuts

As I enjoy my Groundhog Day reflection and introspection today, a comic I recently read comes to mind. It was made by an artist named Pablo Stanley on the subject of "Life and Donuts".

One part which stands out most prominently in my mind:
"That donut is not forever, but we are given the chance to savor every bite of it."
As is my personal tradition, I enjoyed watching the film "Groundhog Day" today. In the film, the main character Phil Connors repeats the same day ad infinitum. As I reflect on the events and excitement of my year, especially those written about in my article "Panic, luck, and control", I note the significance and importance of the time that we have right here in the present. Phil's donut was never-ending, but -- as the comic said -- ours is not forever. Not everyone remembers to savor every bite of their donut, sometimes only realizing how delicious it is as they take the last bite.

I wonder what deliciousness might not be enjoyed, if one were to have a never-ending donut. Perhaps it is nature of our limited time which gives it so much value. If we remember to take the time to enjoy each bite of our donut, that effort might make the next bite taste even better than the last. Our donut may not last forever, but our enjoyment of it can increase without end if we have the right perspective to allow it.


Sharing new music after a long hiatus

A few years back, I wrote an article in which I presented my music on SoundCloud. In that article, I said:
Over the years, I've written several pieces of music, some mentioned here, some to be released in the future, and some that I keep happily tucked away in my mind or in their first drafts.
I've decided that many of those new pieces have spent far too long sitting quietly in stacks of sheet music or "tucked away in my mind". So, I determined that, this year, I would try to finish out my works in progress and start getting myself into a more comfortable process of composition and release.

With that determination, I sat down at my keys and started hammering away at the pieces closest to completion. Along the way, my fingers stumbled upon a new melody. I quickly made note of it and tried to get back to the task in front of me, but the melody kept echoing in my mind.

I wrote my best friend and musician Blendrix and vented a bit of my frustration: "Damn my ears.... I've been trying to finish some of my WIP pieces, but instead I accidentally create a new melody/theme tonight." I didn't want more things sitting unreleased, I wanted fewer!

It didn't take much convincing, but after a few more conversations Jimmy gave me the push I needed to see that I should take advantage of the momentum I had with that new melody. So, after a few more nights of composition, "lacrimis gelida hyemis" was born.

I intend to start publishing more of my music as I'm able. I'm in no hurry, but it's about time that I nudge myself out of this hiatus in publishing my music. I hope this piece is the first of many that I will release this year, but I intend to allow inspiration to take the reigns of which pieces I publish and when. Maybe if I stop trying to force inspiration, it will happen naturally.


Review: God, No!

God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical TalesGod, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales was an entertaining read, to say the least. It was easy to see that Penn Jillette had written this book with the same bluntness of intention and voice as he has with most things he does.

I could almost hear his vocal inflections in my mind as I read his words insisting on the importance of being honest by saying "I don't know" when one just doesn't know. I imagined the strain in his voice as he emphasized the anguish of an incident with a hairdryer.

That was the thing about this book, like its author Penn, it was direct, abrupt, utterly honest, and without any sugar-coating added at all. Some of the stories were a bit off topic (sometimes even tangential), but -- like any good performer -- Penn ropes you back in to the discussion and keeps pushing ahead. You don't have to agree with Penn's politics or his decisive desire for evidence-based fact to appreciate his open-minded and socratic approach.

In fact, I can see more than a few parallels between Socrates and Penn. Socrates had ideas that many people disagreed with. Socrates was unforgiving in his search for fact and truth. Not all of Socrates ideas were correct, not all were well-delivered.

I may not agree with everything Penn has to say, but I'd like to think that giving his ideas a voice invites discussion and critical thinking. I'm sure there are quite a few people in the world that would like to have Penn drink hemlock; I'm not one of those people.

In my blog on "Silly Superstition", I said,
Finding humor is a good way to positively influence society to see the silliness of superstition, but critical thinking (asking "Why?") is the best way to stop superstitions before they start.
Through this book, Penn brings comedy to a heavy discussion and critical thinking to taboo discussion. In the end, I think it's worthwhile because the book invites the reader to ask "Why?" and sometimes simply answer "I don't know".

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Review: Your Brain at Work

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day LongYour Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long was somewhat interesting. The author, David Rock, touches on a variety of topics about the interactions at work throughout this book.

David uses different methods to present his ideas -- effective, when you have a broad audience -- such as analogy, neurology, and demonstration. At times, this thoroughness felt too redundant for me, but I understood its necessity and was able to simply skim over those parts once "I got it!".

This book did at least one thing which I haven't seen before in others that are similar: short bulleted overviews. I read this book as part of a reading group, so these overviews made it very easy for me to refresh the ideas that the group would be discussing, even if I was already ahead by a few chapters.

Overall, I liked Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long. However, it's easy to simplify the ideas within it in a couple phrases: "Think before you speak and treat others with kindness and respect". Therefore, I'm content with having read it, but it wasn't enlightening enough to make me think I'd have missed anything if I hadn't.

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Indy's YouTube Channel

I've previously mentioned my enjoyment of certain YouTube channels; especially in how I think that many things can be both fun and educational, "edutainment", as I said in that article. Every now and then, I've captured something entertaining or educational on video. Sometimes, those videos have prompted people to say that I should "put that on YouTube". Up until recently, I've hesitated to do so; I've always thought that YouTube, like many things, has so much content that it would be a silly misuse of time to try and add something that might already exist. However, I guess we are all unique individuals with many unique life experiences and, sometimes, an uncommon idea happens in an uncommon situation.

In recent months, I've had the opportunity to offer my help and skills for the benefit of a local wolf sanctuary. WOLF (Wolves Offered Life & Friendship) has been helping "to improve the quality of life for all wolves and wolf dogs" for nearly 10 years. WOLF is not open to the general public, but I encourage you to lend your voice in the support of proper care and education about wolves and wolf-dogs. Visit the WOLF website, follow WOLF on Facebook, and/or subscribe to WOLF on YouTube. It's important that we share our understanding and love for these animals and encourage others to do the same. For most of my life, I have loved, studied, respected, and admired wolves. So, I am more than happy to be a supporting member and an able volunteer of WOLF.

During one of my recent trips to work at the sanctuary, after all of the days tasks had been completed, we took a few of the animals for a walk. Now, a "walk" for a wolf is a little different than what you might imagine; these animals are amazingly strong and energetic. So, after doing my best to take photos while enjoying a walk (translation: run) with one pair, another volunteer had the idea to use my GoPro chest harness on one of the wolves. Thus, an uncommon idea (GoPro on a wolf) occurred in an uncommon situation (a wolf sanctuary). The result was a dizzying video of a wolf running with us in the mountains of Colorado. And that result, I think, is a unique idea with which to open my YouTube channel.
I intend my channel to be largely for infrequent "that was cool" moments. I've been asked to turn some of my survival guides into videos as well, but that has already been done by others on YouTube and, therefore, I may not pursue that request. I don't intend my YouTube videos to be well-produced or well-presented. My only hope is that they will be something fun, fascinating, or informative and give a smile to anyone that decides to watch.