Aug 31 2012

Day 1238: Technically, Officially Stranded (but it’s OK)

by andrew

Sitting here sipping a beer and thinking how funny it is that I used to day dream about one potential outcome of our throw everything to the road (and YHWH’s loving care) life on the edge, traveling with minimal resources… and I used to wonder if we’d ever break down in a tiny little community that Father had a purpose for us invading, with no money to fix the truck and get stuck indefinitely. Well, things aren’t quite that desperate, but it’s kind of starting to take on some of that flavor. And although I’m confident our stay here will be temporary (well, at least exactly as long as YHWH desires), it certainly is starting to stretch on longer than I had hoped.

My diagnosis and efforts to swap the crankshaft position sensor this morning (though the procedure itself was a success) turned out to be quite┬áineffective. But like every good story, the replacement sensor itself – as the next piece in my attempt to solve the puzzle – led to the next piece of the plot. It turns out that the parts place I bought it from – 10 miles back west along I-70 in Flagler, CO – also has a full-blown shop and a couple diesel mechanics. They also have their own wrecker, and Shane came out to pick up our truck. I turned it on for him and let him see what it was doing. He just shook his head and smiled. I could tell he shared my appreciation for the magnitude of the puzzle. Here it is getting loaded up:

So, I guess at this point our plans are on hold and we’re having Sabbath here. We always say that our Father’s plans are far better than ours, and I guess we’re getting to walk that out in this tangible way. With labor day approaching I’m hoping they figure it out quickly and that it’s something simple / easy and they can get it done before the holiday. But no guarantees. And it would be really nice if they could even tackle the leak in the steering system (hopefully it’s not the gearbox) as well as the alignment + 4 tires that we’ve been overdue procrastinating on with such limited resources available. Shane was looking at our front passenger tire (you can kind of see it in the pic) and thinking it’s a blowout waiting to happen. I’m pretty sure it would get us at least to PA, but maybe better safe than sorry.

I feel completely tacky doing this, but I’m just going to throw myself out there and slap a donation button on this post. If you know me at all you know how self-reliant I like to be and how hard it is for me to ask anyone for help. I’d much rather be on the giving end than the receiving end, and so maybe Father is also using this situation to kill more of my pride. Oh yay ­čÖé I still want to figure out a way to ask without asking ­čÖé but I will say it this way: if our heavenly Father puts it on your heart, any tiny amount towards our truck repair fund would be a massive blessing. We still have other repairs sitting on our credit card from before. But please do not feel obligated in any respect. Father will provide, and your prayers are even more valuable.





Even in the midst of all this I’ve been realizing how much we have to be thankful for. We have electric and A/C keeping the inside of the trailer about 79 F (26 C) while it reads 102 F (39 C) outside – YIKES! So – shelter: check. We have water. We have food. We have internet so I can post this and work and stay connected to find out about things like crazy Hurricane Isaac hitting seven years to the exact day that Katrina struck (if that isn’t a wake up call I don’t know what is, but how many will notice?). There’s a playground close by. Jim (the Shady Grove Campground owner) has been super helpful: he gave me a ride to Flagler this morning to pick up the sensor, provided a tour of the town, said he’d just open up a tab and we could settle before leaving when the time comes, and told me to ask if we needed anything). And the kids finished school today in really good moods. Even though it’s hard work, homeschooling our children is a bigger blessing than we normally pay attention to.

For example: I was talking with Shane and Jim after Shane had the truck all loaded up on the wrecker. They were briefly comparing notes about changes that have been happening in the school system here. I’m not sure if this is Colorado-wide or maybe even the whole country, but among other things the government has capped calorie consumption for children at school and it is a fixed number for all kids regardless of build, metabolism, athletics, etc. This is enforced primarily through the lunch portions, which are now very small. Shane and Jim said their kids always come home really hungry. Of course, some parents don’t do enough to manage healthy amounts of the right kind of calories for their kids. But government stepping in and regulating it is an entirely different thing. And the more sinister aspects of this that come immediately to mind:

  • How closely is this related to the current food shortages and famine in this country (which you probably won’t hear about on mainstream news nor get an impression of by walking into a grocery store)?
  • What are the impacts of caloric shortages on a child’s learning capacity? This will
  • What about other implications like a child’s energy level, vulnerability to suggestion, etc. when they aren’t getting enough / proper nutrition throughout the day?

There’s probably more thoughts that should be probed there, but this is really just another area where we see the┬áerosion of all things as we used to know them. I shudder to consider what my children’s generation is facing, but I also get excited to think about and anticipate what their Creator will do in their days!

Well, here’s to the adventure! Looking forward to continuing the exploration of WHY we are here and posting updates about what we discover as well as (hopefully shortly) recording our epic departure.


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:┬á┬áhttp://www.ancient-hebrew.org/index.html –┬áIt 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 ColoradoFCS.com and TrainFightWinFitness.com. 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!