Nov 9 2009

Day 211: Our Incredible Life

by andrew

You can’t even imagine what I’ve been up to these last couple weeks… I can scarcely believe it myself. If only income was based on how “interesting” one’s life was, we’d be insanely wealthy by now. But our Creator continues to provide for us faithfully even as we stare down the bottom of the savings barrel. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nor would I trade all the money in the world for a life even one bit less interesting.

I will work backwards and try to remember the most noteworthy details.

  1. I just started a course in the Ancient (pictograph-based) Hebrew language
  2. Bennah slept outside in low 40 F weather by himself
  3. I’m currently working on editing a training DVD from the footage a buddy and I shot of a seminar at a Filipino martial arts class
  4. Renee and I became founding members of a company that offers every media service known to man (from video production to web sites to marketing to traditional print, writing, and editing, to technology consulting, and more).
  5. I went dumpster diving with the boys to find materials for the airplane they are building to escape to Pennsylvania. I am not making this up. They are convinced they can pull it off.
  6. I took Renee and the kids to visit the Air Force Academy (where I graduated in 1999)  and told them a few stories at the places where the adventures actually occurred.
  7. I was on the video crew and manned the lead camera at a big Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event in Denver.
  8. I started submitting photos again to the stock agencies I’m with and also ramped up video submissions significantly.

I thought the list would be more fascinating without extra commentary, but here are some additional details about each item with resources and links for those with time for chasing fun bunny trails:

  1. The course is offered on-line here: – It turns out that the modern Hebrew characters represent at least 3 or 4 evolutionary transitions distant from the original pictographs that would have been inscribed on the tablets of the Commandments at Mt. Sinai and used in the original writings of Scripture. Not only this, but the original pictographs also restore the grounding of the language in its original, agricultural, cultural, concrete, and practical-every-day-life base. Not only does Hebrew (ancient and modern) read from right-to-left, but the original meanings and understandings are often completely opposite from our modern interpretations. For example, we think of the past as behind us and the future as in front of us. Not so in Hebrew thought where the past is in front of us (after all it is visible and completely known) and the future is behind us (for we cannot see it and do not know what it will be). How can we correctly interpret the Scriptures when we approach it with our backwards modern thinking and expect it’s meaning to conform to our cultural biases and preconceptions.
  2. Actually, all the kids wanted to sleep outside the other night. They made a tarp “tent” in the back yard and bundled up in 10 layers of clothing each. One by one they all came in… except Bennah. He toughed out the whole night. I was so proud of him. I wanted to go out there and sleep through it with him, but I knew that he had to handle this one by himself – he had to know that he could do it without any help.
  3. The instructor of the seminar was Rico Cortes of Filipino Combat Systems hosted by and It was an awesome class. I’m looking forward to getting the DVD ready for sale and am seriously considering going back to the great folks at the gym there to continue my own training.
  4. The name of the company is Garlic Media Group and we’re in the process of spinning up the website now. I know the name sounds a little funny, but it’s good for you! And it encapsulates our character and emphasis: we can offer a spectrum of media services and packages to any company, but our forte and mission lands squarely in the arena of health, wellness, and wholeness of body, mind, and spirit whether we’re generating marketing material for another business or creating entertainment for diverse audiences. There are 4 primary couples involved at this point and among the 8 of us we have: an award winning director / producer / editor / filmmaker; a published author / nutritionist; a chiropractic doctor; musicians; a programmer / technology consultant; a connector (marketing and PR genius); artists; a graphic designer; writers; editors; our own private think tank; several children; videographers; photographers; …and… someone who has worked at the White House… sorry, just had to throw that in, as it makes this COMPLETELY TRUE list even more outrageous. We’re excited to see where it goes.
  5. That about speaks for itself… I actually interviewed my 8 yr old, 4 yr old, and 2 yr old boy and they told me all about their plans for the airplane. If I ever dig my way out of all the video I have to edit, maybe I’ll post some stuff from that project.
  6. The Academy has and hasn’t changed much. The SMACKS still run on the strips at least. The cadets took the hill at noon meal formation as army helicopters flew over and dropped thousands of little “go Army beat AF” slips of paper (the two Academies were playing each other this weekend). You can still get pizza and watch movies in Arnold Hall. But now all the cadet areas are secured by gate-fences with keypads and there are new id badges. I’m guessing that all went into place after 9-11. The pay phones in the back of Arnold Hall – the ones I used every weekend as a freshman – are gone. And it seemed somehow much quieter from the outside looking in.
  7. The MMA event was my first time shooting with high end equipment. I had to learn how to shoot with a shoulder-mount full manual camera, walk backwards, track the fighters making their grand entrances, and somehow not trip over the 250 feet of cable I was tethered to all that the same time. For starters. Then, after the fighters were in the cage, I was up on the platform mounted to one of the posts, shooting right down into it. Yes, these were cage matches. I was on one of three cameras and our director was switching between them live, giving us instructions and heads-up as necessary in our headsets; the feed was going to the massive screen for the event and streaming live over the internet. The 3 hour event evaporated in what felt like about 30 seconds of adrenaline.
  8. Starting to have to get serious about every potential revenue stream… I had a pretty good couple months with my stock video work and wanted to invest a lot more time and energy in that since it was starting to pay off. But it’s a massive ship and slow to accelerate. Photo efforts have an immediate affect, but on a much smaller profit scale. So, it’s all a balancing act. And I’m still LEARNING what works and what doesn’t.

There’s more, but that will have to wrap it up for now… I have to get back to work editing video. Stay in touch!