Siri-usly?

•December 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

What did we do before cell phones and the Internet? Even now, I’m writing this on my iPhone 4s. This is my second iPhone. I’ve become something of an apple fan boy. Over the past 7 years I’ve owned 3 different iPods, two iPhones, an iMac, and two MacBooks. There is a camp out there who believe that apple products are overrated and over priced. I’ll admit, you do pay a premium for that apple logo. My new iPhone ran me $400. Worth it? Yup, every penny.

Over the past month and a half I’ve been working on an indie film in Concord NC. I could write a novel about the things that happened on this show. It was the busiest and craziest that I have ever been. I was getting three hours max of sleep a night. By the third week of production I was full blown delirious. Our production office was at the Home Towne Suites hotel in Concord and one night, as I was wrapping things up for the evening my MacBook pro went missing. I remembered having it my messenger bag at the hotel and then putting it in the back of my car and then running back inside to grab something. When I got back to my apartment in Charlotte my bag was nowhere to be found. Being as out of it and sleep deprived as I was I thought that I had just left it at the office. I called one of my crew who was still there and had them search around for it, but it was not there. At that point I started to panic. There wasn’t many other places where it could be. I started to entertain the possibility of my bag being stolen. I searched everywhere that night, but came up empty.

The next day all I could think about was how screwed I was. Not only was my $2,500 dollar computer gone, but also my petty cash bag with receipts and money, along with a few other things. I called my insurance company to discuss my options but I hadn’t gone as far as to file a police report. I didn’t really have much to go on, and as tired as I was, I couldn’t really remember what I had actually done with it. I was still hoping that I might have misplaced it. I got the idea to ask the hotel staff to review their security footage to see if someone had taken it, or if I had even had my bag on me in the first place. As the day progressed I got no answers. I did my best to retrace my steps in my head and I must have called the hotel a dozen times to see if they had discovered anything. As the day was coming to a close and we were packing it in my phone received the following message. “Glenn Peison’s MacBook Pro has been found”.

If you have the latest OS on your Mac or iPhone, might I suggest turning on the find my Mac or phone feature. If you have lost your iPhone you can log on to apple’s iCloud site and ask your phone to send you it’s location. I had activated this feature earlier in the day but unlike my phone my MacBook is not equipped with GPS. It requires a WIFI signal in order to give its position. Since I hadn’t received any notifications I figured that either the MacBook was off or not around wifi.

I was stunned when I saw the message. It meant that someone did indeed have my MacBook and was attempting to connect to a wifi source. I opened the link in the message and sure enough it gave me a location in small neighborhood in a neighboring city. At that point I knew it had been stolen. I was already halfway to the hotel at this point in the giant art department truck. My car was still back at the shooting location and I was working out a way to get it to me or me to it. Time was clearly of the essence though. I needed transportation stat, and something a little more discrete than an enterprise rent a truck. I ran into the production office and fortunately someone graciously let me borrow their car and I tore off to rescue my beloved computer. On the way I received another message. Whoever took my MacBook was using it, and what’s more, using it at the same location. I let my phone guide me to the location. The “location” was the stereotypical sketchy house. There were a half dozen cars parked on the lawn and people were constantly coming and going. I was sure that my MacBook was there. As luck would have it, there was a police officer parked in the adjacent bank parking lot. I tapped on his window and gave him the lowdown. It took a good amount of convincing on his part to keep me from running into that house right then there. He advised to me to just sit tight and let him make some calls. I returned to my borrowed car and did just that. My anxiety grew as I say there waiting. I just knew that my MacBook was there and now I was waiting on the “system”. I thought for sure that this whole matter would just get filed away and I would never see my computer again. I’ve watched law and order, I know police can’t just go barging into any house they like.

As I sat their steaming, another cruiser rolled into the parking lot, followed by another, and another. All told I think there were at least five. Curious. One of the officers approached me and I gave him the same story I gave the other. I showed him the app on my iPhone and explained that the only way my MacBook could have sent me the message is if it had been connected to wifi. I showed him the map. My phone had nailed it down to the exact house. He then huddled up with the other officers. Something was up. Usually this type of incident just ends up in a file drawer but here I was on the scene with a half dozen very excited officers.

By this time a crowd had gathered on the front porch of the sketchy house. I assume they all thought they were watching someone get busted. It turns out they were right. As all five of the officers made their way towards the house I think they quickly became aware that it wasn’t me. I watched the scene unfold from afar. Two officers were questioning some of the people on the porch. The other three began moving from car to parked car on the front lawn and driveway. One officer paused for a moment at a large SUV shinning his light in back area and peering inside. I saw him click his light off and begin walking at more than a brisk pace back to me. As he approached the apparent owner of the SUV moved towards the car and started to climb in the drivers side. Another officer prevented him from leaving. I stepped out of my car and the officer asked me if my computer had been in a bag. I told him it had and I described the bag to him. He then escorted me over to the SUV, where the owner, a rather large individual, was going on about how he was late for something or other and had to leave. The officer shined his light inside the car and sure enough, there was my bag sitting in plain view. Without a seconds hesitation they spun the guy around and started reading the him his rights. It was surreal.

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The officers told me go wait back by my car, but I had to get in one little dig before I left so as I walked away I turned around flashed my phone to the guy and simply said “don’t mess with my iPhone bro”.

I did a silly little dance in the parking lot and chalked one up for the good guys. It was great and completely unbelievable. I never thought it would actually work. Wifi location triangulation isn’t guaranteed to be exact. I thought it would give me the rough whereabouts of my computer. I didn’t expect to nail it down to the exact house.

I gave a little grin and salute to the now stunned crowd on the front porch as I drove off to the station to pick up my precious. I actually got to speak to the thief and it turns out the dude has a rap sheet the length of a marathon. It kind of dawned on me then why I got the entire police force to come out and help me. They wanted to nail this guy, they just needed cause, and I gave them that. I actually have to appear in court in a few weeks and give some sort of testimony. I thought about doing it through FaceTime on my
iPhone just to rub it in his face a little bit more.

It turns out that he did actually erase pretty much everything on my hard drive. He wasn’t the fastest of processors though, clearly, and rather than format the hard drive and wipe everything he emptied out individual folders. Very annoying, especially since I had not done a time machine backup anytime soon. All of my info for the show I was on was gone, as well as a host of other personal files. My petty cash bag and receipts were also long gone, which caused all sorts of problems. But I had my computer back. I could manage the rest. I also had a look at what he was doing online.

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Really? You steal my $2,500 dollar laptop and the first thing you do with it is tried to get laid on the cheap? Really? Oh and sorry bro, it can be tracked.

So, the next time someone asks me if apple is worth the money, my answer will be APPSolutely.

My deepest thanks to the Kannapolis Police Department, my
iPhone, Siri, and Steve Jobs. Thank you for providing the world with wondrous pieces of tech and for making me feel like I need every single one of them.

Neighborhoods

•September 29, 2011 • 2 Comments

After 8 long blinkless years, the guys of blink 182 are back with their new album Neighborhoods and dare I say that it’s near perfect, perfect for blink anyhow.

I know we can all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing that dark Tuesday after noon in late February of 2005.  Who would have known that the world was about to change in a very drastic way. I was sitting in class at Youngstown State University when I got a text from my friend Jessica. “Did you hear about blink?!?” You have to keep in mind that these were the days before facebook, twitter and push notifications. If you wanted to find out about something you had to do it the old-fashioned way and actually go to a website or search for something. Kids today don’t realize how good they have it. The news rocked my foundation. Blink-182 was splitting up. The band I had followed since the days of Dude Ranch and who I had seen no less than 6 times was going their separate ways. It took everything I had to keep my composure for the remainder of class. I went home later that day and wrote to my girlfriend of the time who was spending 6 months as an exchange student in Australia. She of course didn’t get the significance of this blow, and I quickly found myself with no one to turn to for comfort.

It cannot be understated how instrumental blink was in forming my musical tastes and stalling my maturity. My old punk rock friends always gave me shit for liking them so much. They called them “sell-outs”. Basically a band lost its cool factor the more people know about them and the more they became “main stream”. Yup total sell outs. I mean any band who improved their quality of recording and expands their audience might as well just put their soul up on eBay to the highest bidder. I never got it. Wasn’t the point of being in a band to get your music out to as many people as possible? Well blink did just that, taking the pop punk rock scene by storm, and not just any storm, but like a Category 5 I will destroy you world storm. They sold millions of albums with Enema of the State and their subsequent albums and toured the world over a few times.

So many of their songs resonated with me and really guided me through the often tricky waters of adolescence. If anything, blink just represented fun. At any of their shows or anytime they were in front of a camera the guys were always cracking jokes, and usually bad ones at that. It’s probably where I got my sense of humor. Over the years I drove as far as 6 hours one way and paid anywhere from $45 to $1 to hang out with the trio for an hour and a half.

All of these memories were now running through my head. The thought that I would never see another blink show, or buy another album was too much too bare. The next couple of years were a dark and lonely time with only Green Day to turn to make the days somewhat bearable.

In 2006 I was beginning to come to terms with a world without blink. Then Tom Delonge’s new project, Angles and Airwaves, came along. I actually really dug their debut Album “We Don’t Need to Whisper”. It was a definite departure from blink with a big grandiose synthy stadium rock sound. My only real problem with the band was that it looked like Tom really thought they were Angels sent here to save the music industry. Then came Mark’s response to AVA, +44. The name apparently came from a discussion Mark and Travis had in England about the future of blink when things were really starting to go south. The international code you dial for the brits is +44. Ya think Mark was still upset with things? Actually, long before +44 released its first and only record the song “No It Isn’t” was released. It featured  the vocals of Carol Heller, Vocalist from Get the Girl, who was originally the third member of the band in its early days. The released coincided with Tom Delonge’s birthday. Suffice it to say the song is a brutally honest in telling of Mark’s feelings about Tom and the breakup. At that point I thought for sure that Blink was done and dusted for good, and then tragedy struck.

Travis Barker, drummer extraordinaire, was involved in a near fatal plane crash in South Carolina where he suffered severe burns along with his good friend DJ AM. The crash actually claimed the lives of four others on board. It’s unfortunate that sometimes it takes a tragic event to bring people together and bring out the best in them, but that’s exactly the effect it had. I remember reading the article on Twitter, oh how the times have changed, and thinking to my self, “Thank God he’s alive, and I bet that Tom is going to give him a call”. As 2009 rolled around rumors started to circulate around the web that guys were in fact talking again. You can imagine that I was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I was filled with hope, excitement and anticipation. Could it be? Then this happened.

and just to confirm that they really were

Yup the first 17 seconds was enough evidence for me!

The old blink was back! Except it’s not the old blink. Mark, Tom and Travis have all been through a lot over the past 8 years; kids and family, new projects, near death experiences, the loss of friends (namely DJ AM, and blink’s old producer Jerry Finn, both who died suddenly and unexpectedly) and a 5 year hiatus. From all of these experiences blink-182 is not quite the same band, in fact they’re actually better and their new album “Neighborhoods” is their strongest effort by a clear mile and then some. It seems that a break might have been just what blink-182 needed, not that we need another one. Please for the love of all the small things we don’t need another one.

When blink released their self titled album in 2003 it was a vast departure from the toilet humor and sing songiness that people came to expect from blink. It showed a different side of blink, a more serious side. To this day it remains my least favorite album. It’s not that it’s bad, because there are some really strong songs and it was nice to see the guys take a new direction, but it just seemed like they weren’t quite comfortable with that new direction. Listening to the album kind of felt like wearing an uncomfortable suit. Even though It might look really good, something just feels off. With Neighborhoods the guys have settled into their “suits” and I’m happy to say that they even have a quick change of dickies  shorts and T-shirts standing by.

At the beginning of this increasingly lengthy post I said that the album was near perfect, at least for blink, and I stand by that assessment. I’ve listened to it a few times over now and my first listen was on my bike during a spectacular thunderstorm last night. The album is a well-balanced blend with all three members translating their experiences over the past 8 years into song. The big 80’s synth sound from AVA is ever-present and actually opens the album’s first track “Ghosts on the Dance Floor”. The driving fast guitar rhythms laced with electronic elements from +44 are well represented on tracks like “Natives” and “Heart’s All Gone” and Travis attacks the drums like the creative mad scientist genius drummer he has always been. The lyrics are some of blink’s strongest and most profound. It showcases the growth and maturity level that was present on their 2003 release but this time around they’ve struck that perfect balance between being serious but not taking your self so seriously. You won’t find any sing songy happy-go-lucky songs or toilet humor on this record, but I don’t think anyone really expected that. Blink has been through a lot and the guys have earned their serious suits a few times over. Still, the songs are catchy as ever and though the subject matter is serious, there is still a sense of that light-heartedness of blink of old that was missing on band’s last album.

In summary blink-182 has come a long way and I hope they still have a long way to go. “Neighborhoods” is a near perfect progression for blink-182. It represents where they’ve been, where they are and where they want to go next. Admittedly, I’m a little die-hard and biased. But I really think you would be doing your ears a disservice by not giving this record a listen. Blink-182 is back and better than ever.

Run before you walk

•September 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

For the past 1 1/2 years I have been plagued with injuries, the biggest of which being a severe ankle sprain, but I’ve had shin splints, groin pulls, bike crashes  you name it. I’ve gone through months of physical therapy, and chiropractic work. I’ve had shots, x-rays, a couple MRI’s and 4 different doctors and therapists work with me. To say it’s been frustrating would be an understatement. There were a few times when I was ready to put up my running shoes for good. Several of my friends can attest to this from late night depressing phone calls. In April I ran the Palmetto 200 relay race, and after that I was done. It just became to uncomfortable and too painful to run. It got to the point where even just walking around and standing became difficult. On set I was having to take sit down breaks every 10-15 minutes. I was really at the end of my laces. I felt like I had tried everything, and after very nearly doing just that, I finally saw Dr. Eric Bassett, and physical therapist Yves Gege. I give 100% of the credit to these two men for getting back in my shoes where I quite frankly belong.

Dr. B runs a chiropractic clinic, Harbor View Chiropractic, on James Island in Charleston SC.

I was skeptical at first,  and he can definitely attest to that, but I felt almost immediate improvement after just the first visit, which was…..painful. Over the years a good deal of damage had been accumulated in my lower extremities and which had been neglected by me and the ankle sprain didn’t help matters. If I hadn’t been my usual stubborn head strong self, my rehab would have probably been much shorter but consequently, I’ve been dealing with this for 1.5 years. Lesson learned…the hard way.

Of course after the first visit the pain and discomfort returned just a couple of days later. It took many more appointments before things started to stick.

At the same time I was going to PT with Yves at Imagine Physical therapy.

I began this program much like I began everything else, a skeptic. But after a few weeks I was finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve moved to Charlotte now so I haven’t been able to see either Yves, or Dr. B but I’ve been keeping in touch and following my therapy routine religiously. I have about an hours worth of exercises and stretches that I do every other day and directly after finishing any long run, ride, or long day at work I take a 10 minute foot ice bath followed by 5-10 minutes of massage work. I have also been getting a massage once a month focusing on my legs and left ankle. I have a lot of time and money invested into this and just like any investment I expect a reasonable return and that is finally starting to happen.

I’m not really superstitious but I didn’t want to post anything until I really felt good. I’ve been training hard since the beginning of August and as of today my weekly running mileage is 40-50 and cycling ~150. Not bad for 1 1/2 months worth of work. My legs and body seem to be responding well and I’ve been feeling stronger each week. Ironically, I feel like total crap as I write this. I’ve come down with some sort of bug that has just completely sapped my energy. I ran 8.5 miles on the greenway trail Wednesday evening. It wasn’t a particularly strong run but that day had been kind of disappointing so my head just wasn’t in it. Then I woke up thursday feeling like death. I’ve been feeling light-headed, fatigued, and I’ve got more drainage than a gutter in downpour. (sorry best I could do on that one) I have no idea what I did. It was like someone flipped a switch. I was feeling great one day, and then like crap the next. I went out for a group ride today and felt tired and winded. A couple of friends were nice enough to hang back with me and help pace me through because I was just bonking.

I don’t feel like I’ve over trained but I’m going to try backing off for a week. It could also be stress. I will say that unemployment, as good as it is for the body, is not so good for the wallet. I really haven’t had a full-time gig since the end of July on Homeland. I came on that show as the On Set Greensman in June, but was more or less downsized out of a job but the end of July and since that time I’ve just been day playing. I’m not exactly at the point of eating Ramen every day (today I had seared tuna with a spicy dry rub and lemon juice drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette in a tomato basil wrap with romaine lettuce, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with some sweet potato fries and sautéed broccoli and musrooms……I like to cook) but still, I got student loans to pay down. I’m aiming to have them completely paid off by my 30th birthday which is about   1 1/2 years away. Right now I’m about 55% there so it’s completely possible if I work steady for that year and a half. The rumor mill is chock full of productions coming to North Carolina so hopefully I’ll land something soon.

So, up until these last few days I have been feeling  great. Great enough that I’m relaunching a little project that I started in 2007 but was unable to complete. Yup, Running for Walking is back. I learned a lot the last go around and I’ll use that experience this time to see it through. I’ve got a new website in the works, promotional and publicity materials, a new and improved route, and a simpler more streamlined donation system. I’m not pushing Running for Walking out to that many eyes and ears just yet though. I first want to make sure that I’m physically fit. So, for the next year training is going to be my focus. Barring any more injuries, my goal the fall of 2013. So I’ve got two years, but like I said first things first, I’ve got to turn myself back into a running machine. I’ll still be updating everyone on my progress and as the date gets closer I’ll be pushing it out there more and more. Though, please feel free to tell whomever you’d like about what I’m trying to accomplish. Any support at any time is always welcomed.

Thank you to my friend Patrick Bullion for lighting the fire under my ass to get going on this again. This run’s for you man, miss ya.

 

Let’s stay in touch

•September 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

A comment was posted a few days ago about Patrick’s death. I just wanted to share it. Let’s make sure that when we say “stay in touch” we mean it. Alright? You just never know.

Hi.  I don’t know you, but I wanted to thank you for your kind words about Patrick.

Patrick and I were friends many years ago.  In fact, he was my dearest friend when I was in college.  We wrote letters and called each other  off and on after I left Virginia and I had moved back home to Atlanta.  But  then I moved to Colorado and, after a year or two, we fell out of touch.

Once I felt like my life was back on track, I tried to reach him several times.  I wrote a few letters, but I don’t think they ever made it.  All I had was his old address in Roanoke.  Every couple of months, I would search for him on the internet.  I could see that he had finally followed his heart and gone  to film school and I was very happy for him.   But I never saw an address or a phone number.  All I could see were links to “social” sites, and unlike most people I know, I have been too scared, too private, to actually sign up on one.

Instead, I would think of Patrick every time I’d hear a great new band or see a weirdly wonderful film and I would wish that I could tell him about it.  I would search for him again and I would -almost- get a Facebook account because I just wanted to talk to him again.

A couple of weeks ago, I moved again.  Still in Colorado, but a new town.  I had finally just decided that I would bite the bullet and get a social account of some sort so that I could find my friend.  Today, I got an alumnae letter from college, which reminded me to look on the internet again, and this time I was determined to do something about it.

Of course, the first thing I saw was his obituary.  I am completely stunned and  indescribably  sad.  And of course, I am devastated that I am too late.  Too late to talk to him again and too late to even say goodbye.

If it hadn’t been for your words, all I would have was an obituary.  But instead, I have a picture and your confirmation that Patrick was the same man that I remembered.  Clearly, his soul had not changed over the years.  He was the kindest and most generous person I knew.  He was creative and smart and funny.   I have met very few men who have measured up to Patrick.  Knowing that he is no longer with us leaves this huge hole in me.

I am so sorry that I have missed the last ten years of his life and I can’t believe that I will never see him again.  We have suffered a terrible loss.

I know we don’t know each other, but thank you for giving me the chance to say this to  someone.  I am very grateful for the time that I got to spend with Patrick, but I am so unbelievably sad that his time with us was so short.

I miss him.

Thank you for sharing Jen. Let’s remember that Patrick is only as gone as we let him be. Unfortunately we don’t have him with us in a physical sense any longer, but he can still live on through us. What he stood for, what he believed in, his energy, his compassion,  his creativity and his general zest for life, these are all things that we can exude ourselves and pass onto to others. In that way, he becomes immortal. It’s what I plan to do. How? That will be revealed soon.

Stealing

•July 29, 2011 • 2 Comments

I’m happy to say that my friend Austin Jennings surgery went well. Actually it went better than well, as he found out that the tumor that was removed was benign! Bingo!! Yeah…sorry terrible joke. More than enough money was raised to cover his surgery and treatment. In fact, over $20,000 was raised in the span of just a few days. I think that should be testament to the kind of guy he is.

However, as one friend averts a possible curtain call, another has not been as fortunate. Early last week I learned that my good friend Patrick Bullion passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I actually found out via facebook. This makes the third death of a friend that I have learned about in this fashion.

I was shocked when I found out. Patrick was a fit and vibrant guy. The dude ticked off 10 miles a day at times. He was a gifted runner and could quite honestly leave me in the dust. Regretfully, we never actually went on a run together. Patrick was a great friend and has passed on entirely too early. Patrick was actually one of the first friends I made when I moved to NC for film school. He was a bit older than I, being in his mid 30’s at the time, but you would have never known it. I’ve always said that age is merely a number and that was true for Patrick more than anyone. Here’s a guy that when year number 35 rolled around he decided to completely change things up and go to film school but because it was his love and his passion, and it was what we wanted to do. That takes courage and guts. Patrick was a passionate and courageous guy. I am not a high energy, positive, motivational person by nature. I’m lethargic, and often pessimistic. Anything positive that lies within me has been borrowed and outright stolen from those around me. I surround myself with people I aspire to be like in one way or another, so thank you Patrick for letting me steal a couple more things.

He was such a likable guy. I can’t remember not ever laughing whenever I was around him. He was so witty and quick on his feet. He had a punch line for everything. He had a way with words, that I will never have, if that already isn’t clear at this point in this post.

Just to further illustrate to you the type of guy I’m talking about here, back in 2008 when I was graduating and Running for Walking was falling apart Patrick was there. I was really really down because I had put so much behind this project and it was falling apart right in front of me. As I started sending out notices to all of my supporters that project was on an indefinte hiatus Patrick sent me a big chunk of change. I insisted that I couldn’t take it because at that point I wasn’t confident that it was ever going to happen and I didn’t want to take anyone’s money without knowing the future of RFW. Patrick said “Don’t worry, I know you’re good for it, don’t give up”. Thanks Patrick, now I have to run 500 miles seeing’s how I have a dead man’s money. I still have that exact same amount of money tucked away in a separate account. It’s always been a source in motivation and hope.

My foot is still giving me problems, but I guess I’m gonna have to find a way around that. I did run 10 miles out of the blue a couple nights ago. It felt alright.

Patrick is going to be missed by a lot of people. I went to his services this past weekend in Roanoke Virginia. It was mostly family members and local friends who attended and it was still a sell out crowd. Our friends are unfortunately kind of scattered throughout the country. I imagine that if everyone who wanted to attend could have, they would have needed to rent out a stadium. I think he would have hated all of this attention, but tough luck dude, I and many others are giving it to you anyhow.

He was a bit of a Sci-Fi guy like my self so I will end on this

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”

Thanks Patrick for the inspiration, motivation, and friendship.

Help Austin!

•June 28, 2011 • 1 Comment

I’ve been super busy, as per usual, and I still am. So what am I doing on here? It must be important. I’m not going to debate the merit of religion, and I’m not going to be talking about running…….so what could that possibly leave?

Friends are the most important thing we have. I know all of my friends have in one way or another helped shape me into who I am today. We lose contact with people, and grow apart but we should never forget the impact they had on our lives, and the important role they played. Furthermore, when they find themselves in their hour of need we have a responsibility as friends and decent human beings to answer the call. That time is now for my old college buddy Austin Jennings. Last week he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I’m shocked, as I’m sure he is as well. The guy is only 25 but Lance was diagnosed right around the same age as Austin. That said, if anyone can put cancer its place, it’s Lance and this guy. I have no doubt that with his level of determination and his infectious positive attitude towards life and the world that we will soon be sharing stories about how he over came this disease.

Unfortunately, determination and positivity only go so far. We live in the real world, and that world revolves around the dollar bill. As you might expect, surgery and treatment is going to run him a little bit more than a trip to the family physician. And as you might also expect (I’m sure many of you will actually probably directly empathize with) his insurance does not cover the procedure. So now, on top of having to battle cancer, he’s got to battle bills. Our health care system is wack. But it is what is, and it’s not going to change in time to help Austin, so it is now up to us to help. Many of you know him, many of you don’t. I ask for your support either way.

Visit the site http://helpaustin.com/ to learn more about his story and donate, if you have it in your means. He has raised nearly $9,000 already. His surgery is expected to cost between $10,000-$30,000

Drop him a line of encouragement on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/notes/austin-jennings/austin-has-cancer/10150682864830105

Even if you don’t know the guy, the fact that you just take a moment out of your day to say a few words means more than you know. It some ways it means even more coming from a complete stranger.

Today I was having a kind of rough day, then one of or guys on our crew came down with Pneumonia, another’s dog died, another got in two accidents and then had his car stolen the following day, and now one of my friend’s has been diagnosed with cancer. I have done some re-evaluating on the day and have concluded that I’m actually pretty good.

Again, please just take a few minutes. I really really appreciate it and I know Austin does as well.

Live strong buddy.

 

Apocalypse Later

•May 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

If you’re reading this then I guess you were left behind like the rest of us chumps. May 21st, as some believed, was to be the final act for mankind. It’s nearly 11:00 Eastern Standard time as I write this, so it’s looking and more like heaven can wait. Actually, from what I’ve heard, kickoff was to start at 6:00pm local time for each time zone in what was supposed to be a sort of rolling series of devastating earthquakes. Minor tremors were reported far off the coast of New Zealand, but none reached above a 4.0 and these little shake, rattle and rolls are a fairly regular thing for that part of the world. So, either someone got their prediction wrong, or God over slept, in which case, he’s gonna feel like a real jerk tomorrow. Obviously, I’m not the only one who’s having a little bit of fun with this. As the hours ticked by today Twitter, and Facebook were being overloaded with Rapture jokes like there was no tomorrow.Unfortunately for some, there is indeed going to be a tomorrow and that poses a significant problem.

A man by the name of Harold Camping is going to find himself the target of a lot of anger, and disappointment from hundreds or maybe even thousands of his followers. I know everyone, myself included, is poking fun at this whole thing, but unfortunately to a lot of people this was no laughing matter and they are now going to be dealing with very real consequences. Robert Fitzpatrick, the author of a self-published book “The Doomsday Code: God is Warning Us Through the Bible” spent his entire life savings in aiding Camping to get his message out to the world by purchasing bill boards, and spreading flyers, and pamphlets. There are similar stories where individuals and even entire families have put literally everything on the line for this prophecy. They have no plan-b. And my mother wonders why I’m not religious.

Before anyone get’s on my case, I’m not one of those out there that is using one uneducated and crazy man’s unfulfilled prophecy as platform from which to launch an attack to disprove and discredit Christianity as a whole. I’m smart enough to realize that this man doesn’t speak for everyone, but the people he did speak for, and the ones who listened are going to find themselves in dire straights. I only hope they realize that just because the world has not come to end, it does not mean that their faith has been all for nothing. Though, many be facing a sort of financial Armageddon. This man, Harold Camping, was just another false prophet, albeit a convincing one to some. It will be interesting to see how he plays this over the next few days. He was absolutely 100% certain that this was going to happen, and made it widely known in a worldwide multi-million dollar advertising campaign blitz. Doomsday predictions are hardly a new thing though. A New England farmer named William Miller predicted the world would end on April 23rd, 1843. Pat Robertson claimed it would be at the end of 1982, and of course there was Y2k. The list goes on and on and they all have one thing in common, they didn’t happen. What makes this prediction uniquely different is the sheer amount of money that was spent, and the number of people it reached. Now that we live in the in age of viral marketing, practically anyone with a mobile phone and an internet connection knew about this. There is nowhere to hide from this. Camping must have a come to Jesus moment…er……yeah. I hear that over the past few years well over a 100 million dollars was raised and spent in getting the word out to the masses about God’s day of wrath. Most of those funds came in the way of private donations. I hope those people kept their receipts.

I don’t subscribe to any particular religion. As I’ve said many times, there are dozens and dozens of faiths out there, and they all seem valid to me. I can’t disprove any of them, and like wise they cannot be proven. If it gives you strength and comfort and inspires you to be a better person and have a positive impact on the world and people around you, I’m behind you all the way. What I don’t like is when people use it as a crutch or wield it as a tool to discredit or disprove other beliefs. This man, Harold Camping, claimed to know, thus in effect saying everyone else was wrong. It turns out that he was wrong, because he didn’t know, and that’s just the thing, no one does. It’s called faith for a reason. Followers believe in their religion, they have faith, but they don’t “know”, just like Camping did not “know”. The problem he now faces is that he claimed to know, and now he’s still around to face the music. And worse, he’s help to ruin and shatter the lives of thousands. I’m not going to debate the merit of religion. It’s been caused a lot of bad, and a lot of good and I could go around in circles forever talking about it. Unfortunately Camping hasn’t exactly done Christianity a favor here, and has actually done it a huge disservice.

I see him playing this one of three ways.

One: Perhaps he repented on behalf of mankind and worked a deal with god to give us an extension.

Two: He apologizes but sticks to his guns as far as really truly believing that this was going to happen and that he was not deliberately misleading people in some sort of get rich quick scam and he makes efforts to mend the lives he has played a part in ruining.

Three: The man simply cannot live with it and commits suicide.

I hope the latter doesn’t happen, though maybe the world would be better off without him. Then again, there will always me deranged and misguided leaders out there who will be able effective and convincing .

So what’s next? 2012 is right around the corner. So I suppose I will see you all at the next end of the world party! Until then, lets keep all of the people who have been left shatter and disillusioned by this event in our thoughts and uhhh…. prayers? As crazy as you may think they were to believe in this, we have all believed crazy things at some point in our lives, (I mean religion in itself is kind of crazy) and we have all made mistakes. “Love thy neighbor” Matthew 22:36-40