Theresa Cox–Advice for Hobbyist Filmmakers

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is Theresa. Sometimes my friends just call me “T”.

What do you do for a living?
I am a self-employed hairstylist. It’s how I have fed myself for the last 20+ years.

How old are you? (You can lie if you want to.)
44. I don’t lie about my age. I am sure it is written on my face.

Where do you live?
Mills River, North Carolina

Any internet presence?
I have a blog but it’s just a place to vent. My Twitter account is woefully inactive. But I love showing off videos I have done over the years. Click here or search for ladyzahl on YouTube.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
San Francisco, California.

Your favorite meal?
The meal I don’t have to cook, but some steamed asparagus sounds good right now.

Pet peeve?
My pet peeves are highly inconsistent. What doesn’t bug me today just might irritate me tomorrow.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
My favorite book is “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. My favorite movie is “Starman” with Jeff Bridges. My favorite television show is Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…….?
My nephews. They have me as their guardian and I may not know what I am doing.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Grandkids? Pets?
I was married until I got traded in. No plans for other marriages are in the works. I have one daughter and 2 granddaughters, 8 years old and 2 months old. Sadly, they live in Alabama. I also have a cat that believes he is a reincarnated Egyptian god. He thinks he should be fed anytime he meows. I keep having to remind him that we aren’t in Egypt and that the Egyptians rang the cats’ necks and mummified them. Thus far, my words have no effect.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Most people don’t know that I speak two languages, English and Spanish. Three if you count pig Latin.  I also can play clarinet.

Where did you learn Spanish?
I am self taught. Many Hispanic clients would come to the salon where I worked with a translator. The translators never seemed really comfortable with telling me what the clients wanted, which made me nervous, so I decided to learn their language so I could communicate with them myself. I bought books from the college and when I had a working knowledge of the language I immersed myself in it. I would watch TV in Spanish and would go to online chat rooms where people spoke Spanish, made lots of embarrassing mistakes but they helped me learn. I still make mistakes and construct sentences weirdly sometimes but I could get by in a Spanish speaking country if necessary.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I would either create things or film things or sleep.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I am an amateur actor, and director. I directed “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Miracle Worker.” “The Miracle Worker” thus far is my favorite. I also film and edit videos. I don’t have fancy cameras and such but I make do. I love to do all kinds of crafts from polymer clay to painting, crocheting, paper crafting, etc.

What sorts of things do you do with polymer clay and papercrafts?
I do all sorts of things. With polymer clay I usually use it to cover other things like bottles and such. I bought a silhouette cutting machine and I have been busy making decals and such. At times I crochet doll clothes. It all depends on the mood.

Can I show my readers this sculpture you made?

You can use whatever pics you need.

Thank you!  I enjoy your videos. Anybody interested can check out a lot of them here or your previous link. Can you give us some advice for hobbyist filmmakers?
Hmmm. Be open. Don’t be afraid to ask opinions or share credit. Don’t get boxed in, be willing to bend, particularly when working with actors. Also, keep it short and sweet. I have watched hour long videos that could have been trimmed down to five minutes and could have made more of an impact. Beyond that, don’t film your neighbors unless they want you to, keep it clean, (that way more people can watch it), and keep it safe.

Thanks much, Theresa. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little. Stay creative!

Carolyn Angel–Advice for Nurses

What is your name? Carolyn Angel.

Any nicknames? Not since childhood and we’re not going there. “Trouble,” maybe. That’s one I’ve had lately. That’s one they call me at Carpenter’s Hands.

What is your occupation? Retired from hospital nursing.

How old are you? Sixty-six.

Where do you live? Mills River, North Carolina

The most interesting place you’ve visited? Probably Alaska.

Why is that? We did four mission trips there with Carpenter’s Hands. The first one was in 2004, 2005, then I forget exactly how the others fell. Also, Alaska has beautiful scenery!

Can you tell me about the Carpenter’s Hands ministry?
It’s based at Mud Creek Baptist Church but it’s not limited to Mud Creek. I go to French Broad church and some of the other members do too, but it’s not even limited to Baptists. We have a Methodist and some others who go. In the summer we go on a mission trip; this summer it’s going to be to New Hampshire to work on a girls’ camp so they can reopen it. The week after Christmas we do a mission trip as our birthday gift to Jesus. That may be in another state, or this past year it was in the county, helping out with a building for people that are rehabbing from drugs, for them to have a place to go on the weekends. Sometimes we work on people’s homes, that sort of thing. Sometimes we have training and participation in disaster relief.

Your favorite meal would be? Steak, baked potato, and salad.

Pet peeve? People following too close when driving.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show? I like NCIS. I read the Bible, of course, and I like mysteries.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for……? Wisdom.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets?
One dog that thinks he’s human. I’m widowed and have two children, grown, and a daughter-in-law.

Tell us about the dog that thinks he’s human. He came to us because of our son, who we told couldn’t have him. He’s become a part of the family, his name is Timber, a good-sized dog. He can pout and then he can turn around and make sure I make it to bed okay. He’ll walk in front of me sometimes or follow me but he won’t go to bed until I’ve gone into the bedroom. I’ve got lots of stories, well, you know Timber.

I do know Timber. Can you tell us one thing that many people don’t know you can do? I can paint some, whenever I take the time to. I like to do landscapes.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Take off somewhere for two or three days, just by myself and just relax and read.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. I have no ear for language, I have found out, although I would love to learn Spanish. Years ago I found out that mission work can happen here in the United States–it doesn’t have to be overseas. Over the years that’s one way I’ve grown, and now I’m at the point where if God would call me I could do mission work overseas (with an interpreter, of course.) I’d love to travel more. One of the things for me that God has given me, it’s not so much witnessing to people as being there, maybe for Christians. I have had the opportunity to witness but it seems to be more being there for people sometimes, which kind of feeds more into the nursing, too.

What advice would you give for nurses? If you go into nursing, go into it because you want to help people and not just for the money, and go into it thinking about helping the younger nurses. When you’ve been in it awhile you want to help the younger nurses as they come along. Through the years I’ve realized that God used that as part of a ministry. It does have its challenges, too. And do it because you want to and not because someone else thinks you should.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Just having lost Clyde over a year and a half ago, take it day by day and allow yourself to grieve and don’t put a time limit on yourself. For each person grief is individual and it can catch you unawares sometimes. And one thing as I’ve gone through it it’s been good to be there for someone else who’s grieving. And I’ve been very grateful to my church and Carpenter’s Hands who’ve been there for me through that. God is good.

Thanks, Carolyn, for sharing with us and letting us get to know a little about you. God bless.

Mary Thompson–Advice for Research Historians

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is Mary V. Thompson (I never changed my name when I got married, because I was 41 at the time and everyone in my field knew me by that name–it was too late to change it). My dad sometimes calls me Dolly; my brother used to call me Sissy. In high school, I was known as “the little dynamo.” My next-door neighbor in grad school called me “Masha” or “Mashinka,” which is my name in Russian. My husband has always called me “Catwoman” (sometimes I wonder if he remembers my real name).

What do you do for a living?
I am the research historian at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which is located across the road from Mount Vernon. Started working there in 1980, as I was finishing up a master’s degree in history at the University of Virginia. I spent 18 years in the Curatorial Department and have been part of the Library staff for 19 years now.

How old are you and where do you live?
I’m 62, but still feel about the same as when I was in high school (only physically creakier), and I live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Where can people find you on the Internet?
They can find me on LinkedIn.

Most interesting place you’ve visited?
Egypt. I’ve been there twice and would love to go back.

Favorite meal?
Meatloaf, macaroni & cheese, and green beans. Next favorite would be a really good burger.

Pet peeve?
The fact that the world is run by morning people.

It sounds like you’re not a morning person. Can you tell us what that’s like?
I enjoy the night, because it is lovely and quiet. Can get a lot of reading or writing done without interruptions (or watch movies that my husband doesn’t like). Working 9-5 (or in my case 9-6) is very difficult–I don’t really wake up until about noon, even if I am at work. I tend to get a second wind about 4PM and often work until about 7PM.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
Favorite book: There are too many, but let’s say “Jane Eyre.”
Favorite movie: Again, so many I love, but I guess it would be “The Trap” with Oliver Reed and Rita Tushingham.
Television show: I Love Lucy.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….?
Better health.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets?
I’ve been married for almost 21 years.

No kids (was told at 33 that I wasn’t able to have any; thankfully I found someone who didn’t care about that).

Pets: Currently have a 15 year old calico Persian cat, who is my baby and incredibly sweet.. A few years ago, had a dog (West Highland White Terrier) and three kitties, but we lost one kitty about four years ago from congestive heart disease at 13, and last year lost the dog (3 weeks before his 18th birthday) of kidney failure, and about five months later lost another kitty (age 17) from kidney failure, as well (he never really got over losing the dog, who was his best friend). Will be getting a new puppy once I retire.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Belly dancing.

Oh, that’s a wonderful mental picture. Where and when did you learn to belly dance?
Started learning in high school and then took lessons here in Alexandria at one of the local rec centers.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
When I retire, I’m looking forward to doing more at church–I’d like to sing in the choir and/or play in the orchestra; would also like to do more cooking at the homeless shelter (have done that some with my Sunday School department and love feeding people).

Can you tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered?
I play flute, recorder (alto and soprano), dulcimer, and one-handed piano. I make really good: scrambled eggs with cheese; green enchiladas; and chili. I’m addicted to gummi bears.

Can you give us some advice for research historians?
It’s really important to be interested in everything. Sure, you may love history, but historians now are expected to produce tables and charts to quantify their findings, so you have to be good at math. Reading in fields like sociology and anthropology can be really helpful, because those books and articles might give you an idea for a new angle or approach that might be useful for a history question you are investigating.

One of the fields I’ve worked in for several decades now is historic foodways, which has involved trying to make foods based on 18th century recipes. It’s a lot of fun, but knowing how to cook prior to taking on this project was really important. So just keep open to other fields and new ideas.

Thanks much, Mary. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little bit.

Greg Tipton–Advice for Alaska Sport Fishermen

What is your name?
Greg, GT at work

What is your occupation?
Air Traffic Control

How old are you and where do you live?
49 years old and Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
Alaska, what a breathtaking place in the summertime. Daylight till after midnight and the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever encountered. The fishing was incredible. Sockeye salmon fresh out of the Kenai River can not be beaten. The wildlife is incredible. Rivers, ocean, mountains, icebergs, glaciers, the list goes on and on.

Favorite meal?
Sockeye salmon from the Kenai River.

Pet peeve?
People who drive slow in the left hand lane on the interstate and refuse to get over but speed up when you try to pass them on the right.

Favorite television show?
Last Man Standing

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for……?
Good health.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or grandkids? Obnoxious and demanding pets?
I’ve been married and divorced twice, I have seven kids, all but one adopted and all but two have special needs, and I have two beautiful grandkids, and absolutely no pets.

Can you tell us how it came about that you’ve adopted numerous special needs kids?
I was born with spina bifida and my mom always made sure I had the best medical care possible and pushed me to do everything I could even when I didn’t want to. I hoped to one day pass that on to my kids. After numerous miscarriages during my first marriage a friend introduced us to adoption. When we figured out how long it took we investigated special needs adoption, which took over two years the first time, but was quicker than a traditional adoption and felt like where God was leading us. After the first two it was almost like an addiction; we wanted to help as many kids as possible. After losing our daughter Janet in 2004 it was really hard to consider anymore, however, we did manage not only one more adoption, but we ended up with temporary custody of two more. Thus the seven we have now. Only one remains at home but they have been and continue to be a huge blessing in my life. Right under my nose God gave me a ministry that I will always cherish.

Thanks, Greg, and that’s an amazing story. If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I love to travel. Nothing like a good road trip.

Can you describe what you would consider the ideal road trip?
A good road trip for the weekend would be a journey through the mountains down roads you’ve never traveled. Seeing places you’ve never seen. Small towns are full of history and culture. Talking with people who have lived a totally different life.
The ultimate road trip would be across country to the Pacific Ocean. Over on a southerly route and back on a northerly route. Probably taking two weeks at least, each way. That’s a retirement trip that is on my bucket list.

Fishing in Alaska figures into your favorite meal AND your most interesting place. Can I ask you to give some advice to Alaska sport fishermen?
Fishing in Alaska is a tremendous adventure. There are many types of fish and many types of bodies of water. River fishing for salmon is the best type by far. Be prepared to get wet because it rains quite often in the summer. Be prepared to run into all types of wildlife including moose and bears. Bear spray and a gun to scare them away is not a bad idea, or when you go make sure you take someone you can out run LOL. If it’s your first time, a guide would not be a bad idea. There are so many places to fish and so many ways to fish, if you’re not familiar with the area it might be frustrating. Take lots of pictures because you cannot describe the beauty of it all. So a good pair of boots, rain gear, and a good guide will make your fishing experience in Alaska more enjoyable.

Thanks much for sharing with us, Greg. God bless.

Brett Hargis–Advice for Costumers

What is your name? Brett Wahab Hargis

What is your occupation? Former college professor, professional theatre nerd and, right now, retail.

I like your “Shironuri” picture. But I don’t know what that is. Can you tell us about it? Shironuri is a type of Japanese street fashion. There are many types of Japanese street fashion, like Lolita, Decora, Gyaru, Shironuri, Fairy Kei, Dolly Kei, Mori Kei, Visual Kei. Kei means style, basically. And all of these cover a vast range of fashions. Sometime they spill over into different categories. If you want an amazing example of Shironuri, look up a lady named Minori. Her style is ethereal and beautiful! Have fun googling all these different types of style. They’re awesome!

How old are you? I just turned the big 4-0.

Where do you live? The mountains!

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you? Nope! I don’t like random people finding me. I do have a Facebook page, though. I mostly lurk around the internet.

Most interesting place you’ve visited? For my 40th birthday and our 17th wedding anniversary, we went to JAPAN! I’ve also been to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales several times.

Can you tell us about a highlight of the Japan trip? I just recently got back from my first (but not last) trip to Japan! I think my favorite thing was the Fushimi Inari Taisha. It is the main Inari shrine, at the bottom of a mountain. Inari is a god of rice and metalsmithing. His messengers and shrine guardians are foxes. The big shrine is at the bottom and there are torii gates everywhere. You walk up a path that is covered with thousands of reddish orange torii gates. We took a side path that took us through a bamboo forest and a much less traveled path to the top of the mountain. There are around 32,000 shrines that dot the hillsides and are just stacked on top of each other. They’re everywhere! It’s really quite an amazing sight! We also had inari sushi and kitsune udon for lunch. It was delicious and the view of Kyoto below was not to be missed.

Favorite meal? I really like well cooked sukiyaki and inari sushi. A good steak can be nice. Man…it’s like choosing your favorite song or something… I can’t pick just one thing.;

Pet peeve? PEOPLE WHO MISPRONOUNCE MISCHIEVOUS.

Can you give us some advice for costumers? I’m not a professional costumer, but I’ve worked many an hour in a costume shop, while pursuing my Master’s in Theater. My advice would be to start working on things as soon as you can!! I’ve been in that shop that was sewing the costumes on the actresses as they were walking up the stairs to go out on stage. It’s usually full of stress and craziness! No one wants that!
Another bit of advice is to stand back and let yourself enjoy your work. Not just the finished product, but a particularly good hand stitch, or really getting that button in right. I worked on a Shakespearean play once, and we sewed all the costumes from scratch. I made so many ruffles… We didn’t buy any ruffles, we hand scrunched each one. I got darn good at doing a ruffle, let me tell you!
Oh, and always get good fabric. Don’t cheap out on it. It always turns out better if you spend a little more to get a better quality. Usually, it just cuts and sews up nicer.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show? That’s like picking a favorite child. Not a fair question. If you could give me genres or something… The Dark is Rising Sequence is a great series of books…. I’m really loving Legion right now for TV. Movie…hmmm… I love the Captain America movies. Especially Winter Soldier. Avengers was good. The Lord of the Rings movies were great. Labyrinth. Man. Could I be more of a geek? I haven’t seen a non-nerd movie or animated movie in forever. I didn’t go into anime series, to spare your readers… Would you consider that tv?

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….? To find a job I love. Good health.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets? Seventeen years, two fur children currently.

One thing many people don’t know you can do? Sing opera.

I didn’t know that. If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Travel, go outside, read, play video games, volunteer more.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. I’m a terrible writer unless it’s fanfiction (lame). I love to sing and dance. I am allergic to dust. I’ve never broken a bone. I took piano lessons for 12 years and can barely read music.

Great, Brett, and thanks.  We appreciate you taking the time to let us get to know you a little.

Bryan Byrd–Advice For Visitors to Hendersonville

What is your name?  Full name: John Bryan Byrd; Family nickname: Pee Wee (yes, at 6’2″ / 240 lbs I am the runt of the family); Known to my friends as: b2 (b-squared)

What is your occupation? CURRENTLY SEEKING NEXT ROLE – Customer Cultivation Professional, Sales Executive, Operational Efficiency Consultant

How old are you? 46

Where do you live? Hendersonville, North Carolina (aka – Paradise)

Do you have a website or a blog where people can learn more about you? http://b2publishing.blogspot.com/

The most interesting place you’ve visited: Hendersonville, NC – seriously, five years of living here and it still intrigues me……still so much to explore, learn, and do.

Can you give visitors to Hendersonville some advice?  Any given visitor to Hendersonville, North Carolina (aka – Paradise) must be wary of the warning I was given by the first real estate agent I encountered when I rolled into town in April of 2012, (read this statement to yourself as if you are Scarlett O’Hara) “We don’t have comers and goers, ….we have comers and stayers.”

There are many reasons why this is the case, including but not limited to our incredibly charming main street. That April day I first arrived I was unable to meet right away with that southern-belle of a realtor because I approached her downtown office during lunch hour. They were closed. How charming.

There is also the fact that you cannot go five miles in any direction from Hendersonville without entering protected land of some sort: National Park, National Forest, State Park, State Forest, County Wetland, Village Watering Hole, and last and certainly least, Neighborhood Watch Memorial Park Bench.

When I think about what really pulls all of these features together to make for a travel destination, and eventually a home, for so many from all over the universe, it’s gotta be the ‘tude.

The ‘tude, or attitude for perpetual landlubbers, is closely related to the fact that from the day that Charles Barring arrived from Charleston and realized that his wife Susan might be able to breathe easier here in the summer this area has been a place for “foreigners.”

Then Charles’ buddy Mr. King came up and eventually played a part in writing the charter for the city of Hendersonville which says among other things that Hendo would always have a main street wide enough to do a U-turn with a six horse carriage.

This town has always been a place of escape for folks from other worlds, and as a result has always been a haven for characters.

So please,…be sure to be one. A character that is.

We like that.

Great, and thanks much. Describe your favorite meal. Grilled chicken breasts, grilled asparagus, fresh spinach salad, tater tots, and dark chocolate mousse for dessert……..shared with friends outside on the deck

Pet peeve? Pet peeves……they really get on my nerves.

Favorite book? “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch — have given away at least 20 copies and re-read it at least every 3 years.

What is “The Last Lecture” about and why might we want to read it?
Living out your childhood dreams is the subtitle, and exactly what the book will inspire you to do. Any excuses that you can come up with, and I can be pretty creative when it comes to excuses, will sound lame and ridiculous when you immerse yourself into the story, life, and legend that is Randy Pausch.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…..? Patience in my latest career discernment

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets? Was married to my first love for 23 years. Two beautiful teenage boys, who have two rescue pups (Genuine Pure Bred Carolina Ditch Dogs).

One thing many people don’t know you can do? Wiggle my ears.

I didn’t know that.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Write one of the 18 books that are spinning around in my head

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. The first time I was in the paper it was a pic of me and The Captain, from Captain & Tennille, sitting on a piano bench together when I was 4 while and was wearing his famous greek fisherman’s hat.

Great, Bryan. Thanks so much for sharing with us. We’ll be praying about the career discernment.

David Keim–Advice for Ice Cream Makers

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is David Keim. Many people call me “David,” many others call me “Deacon David” or even (gasp!) “Father David.” A few call me “Dad.” I’m pretty flexible: I answer to anything that isn’t flagrantly derogatory.

What do you do for a living?
I am an attorney, working in house for a large software company. But I’m also an ordained deacon in the Eastern Orthodox Church (hence the “Deacon David/Father David” thing). Being an attorney pays better, at least in the short run.

Can you tell us your age and where you live?
I am 51 and have all the gray hair to prove it, and I live in lovely Cary, North Carolina.

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you?
I do have a website — http://www.noeticspace.com — but it sometimes goes months without any care or attention. Right now, for instance, it still has some Christmassy stuff going on because I just haven’t had time to update it. But there’s some cool stuff on there (said a distinct minority of people, mostly liturgy nerds). I have an Instagram account (@dbkeim) that some folks enjoy.

What does “noetic” mean?
“Noetic” (νοητικός in Greek) is the adjectival form of “nous” (νοῦς). “Nous” is a technical term in ancient Greek philosophy that means intellect or speech/reason. St. Paul uses the term in this classical way in his epistles. However, the Church Fathers repurposed the term to mean, specifically, that facility of the human spirit that yearns for God. It is sometimes called “the eye of the soul.” So, in Orthodox Christian writing “nous/noetic” is distinct from intellect. I use it in this way.

One of our contemporary Orthodox bishops, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, has written a really great summary that can be found here: https://thoughtsintrusive.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-function-of-the-nous-the-noetic-faculty/

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
This is a hard question! The Scottish Highlands. St. Peter’s Basilica. Bookseller’s Row on Cecil Court in London. Hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia. The stone farmstead that my immigrant grandcesters built in the mid-1700s in Berk County, PA. I cannot choose just one place.

I love the word “grandcesters” and will have to work it into conversation. Can you tell us what your favorite meal would be?
Now, this one is easy: that would be barbecue. Specifically, of course, NC barbecue (viz., pork cooked slowly over smoldering wood coals, until all connective tissue has rendered into collagen, bathing the meat in lipsmacking goodness, then pulled, chopped, shredded, etc., and anointed with a sauce made primarily of vinegar). On the important ancillary question of whether I prefer my NC ‘cue in the down east style or in the Piedmont style, I will confess that I am an ecumenical bi-ritualist on that point. I love both when they are executed with care and charitas.

Pet peeve?
Grammatical errors in formal writing — in particular, folks who insist on not using the Oxford comma. Madness.

Favorite book?
I love Tolkien. “The Return of the King” (vol. 3 of “The Lord of the Rings”) may be the greatest prose fiction written in the 20th century. (The movies were good, but can’t hold a candle to the books.) I also enjoy reading philosopher-theologian David Bentley Hart. His book “The Beauty of the Infinite” is a game changer. No movie for that one, yet. But my favorite book of all may be “Wind in the Willows” (Kenneth Grahame). That is really a perfect book. Oh, yes, and Homer’s “Iliad.” Good grief, you’ve snagged me in an endless loop again. Did I mention “Peter Pan?”  P.G. Wodehouse?

Why is “Wind in the Willows” the perfect book?
If you think about it, all of the best stories — The Iliad, The Æneid, Peter Pan, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings — are about finding one’s way home. “Wind in the Willows” may be the best exemplar of this ever. Plus, Grahame is a master writer; he really knows his craft. Every sentence is perfectly sculpted. The chapter “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is filled with perfect sentence after perfect sentence. It is a joy to read.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for ….?
The wisdom to know what is right and the courage to take action on it, once known.

Are you married? Children or grandchildren?
I am extremely married to the woman who has been my constant companion since we were in kindergarten. (I mean, she was more of a girl than a woman back then, but that’s a technicality.) We have six beautiful, lovely, amazing children, each of whom makes us very proud to be parents. We have no grandkids as of yet.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
My one hidden talent is that I can ride a wheelie on a standard wheel chair for an indeterminate amount of time. I suppose I could just hold it there forever if I were catheterized and someone would feed me (it does take two hands to balance). Honestly, in this small feat I am a wonder to behold. I can even do doughnuts and travel forwards and backwards. It is my superpower. Too bad it is practically useless.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
Oooooh. Learn languages. Getting fluent in Greek and Latin would be a top priority. Then Georgian. (Is there a more interesting language than Georgian? If so, I am not aware of it.) Church Slavonic. Arabic. In that order.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I am convinced to a fair degree of mathematical certainty that time is an illusion; nevertheless, I’m an avid collector of mechanical wrist watches. Check out my Instagram account for evidence. And although I am a bit of a gourmand, I do not care for mushrooms — really, any fungi, not even truffles. I enjoy bourbon. I am a strong swimmer. I make excellent, hand-cranked homemade ice cream (Philadelphia style only; no eggs involved). I love country ham.

Great, and thanks! Can you give us some advice for ice cream makers?
One secret to good homemade ice cream is ice crystal management. Most people don’t realize this. Ice crystals ruin the mouthfeel of ice cream. They add unwanted texture (grittiness) and lower the melting point so that you don’t get that luscious, unctuous melting of the fat when the ice cream is popped into the mouth. It is this immediate melting that delivers a coating of dairy yumminess in an even layer across the flavor receptors of the tongue. One should not have to chew ice cream.

There are several simple steps that can minimize or eliminate ice crystal formation and deliver the perfect mouthfeel and melting point.

One easy step is to add some specific ingredients to the base that bind with the water and prevent ice crystals. Some will use a little cornstarch, for instance. My own secret weapon is to add a little bit of commercially made peach preserves — just a few tablespoons. The peach contributes some pectin, which adds body, and commercially made preserves all have corn syrup, which helps to inhibit ice crystal formation. Win, win! (Commercial peach preserves have almost no taste and do not impart any peachiness to the final product. It’s really not good for much other than assisting your ice cream.)

Another tip is to be patient! Ice cream making takes three days if it is to be done right. The base needs to be cooked on Day 1. It needs to chill thoroughly for 24 hours in the fridge then get cranked on Day 2. DON’T EAT IT SOFT-SERVE STYLE. Pack it in a vessel and let it freeze overnight (preferably quickly frozen in a freezer that is at -10F or lower), then serve on Day 3. Following this schedule helps to quick-freeze the ice cream, which also helps prevent crystal formation. Your patience will be rewarded.

Thanks much, Dave. Now I want some homemade ice cream and I’ll have to see what I can do about that. We really appreciate you taking the time to let us get to know you a little.

Darrell Lindsay–Advice For Aspiring DJs

What is your name? Nickname?  My name is Darrell Lindsay and I have too many nicknames to mention.

What do you do for a living?
I’m retired military (Army, 20 years and 5 days, but I wasn’t counting) and now I work for an architectural firm in Charlotte, NC as a facilities manager who wears a lot of hats. I can definitely multi-task and I’ve been here for almost 11 years now.

Can I ask you what your Military Operations Specialty was? My first MOS was 19K (M1A1 Armor Crewman or Tanker) for my first 10 years in and then I switched to 71L (Admin Specialist) due to a back injury I sustained while serving as a tanker in Germany.

How old are you? I’m 48 years old, but feel like I’m still in my 30’s.

Where do you live? I live in Morganton, NC.

The most interesting place you’ve visited? This one is tough due to the fact that I’ve traveled a lot while in the service, but I’d have to say Europe. I was born there (Germany) and it was nice going back to see where it all started. While I was stationed there, I got the opportunity to visit Italy, Spain, England, France, and I’ve put my fair share of kilometers on the autobahn. Now that was fun! I’d also like to add that Korea and Japan were interesting as well in their own right.

Your favorite meal? My favorite meal would include, but not limited to, the following items: shrimp, chicken breast, baby red skin mashed potatoes with the skin still on them, sweet corn, a garden fresh salad, and a tall glass of sweet tea to wash it all down.

Pet peeve? People who drive slow in the far left lane and refuse to move over.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show? I’ll be honest, I didn’t like to read when I was younger and that fact still holds true today. But I do like the following movies and TV shows: Big Bang Theory, Shark Tank, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Orange is the New Black, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Lucifer, Stranger Things, Hancock, Tombstone, The Fast and Furious series and yadda, yadda, yadda.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for ….? Good health

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Pets?
I am married with one adult daughter. No pets yet.

One thing many people don’t know you can do? I’m in the process of teaching myself how to DJ. My love for music has always been present since day one and I’ve been told that I have a voice for radio. Not sure if this will replace my current occupation, but at least I’m having fun while I’m learning.

Great! Can you give us some advice for aspiring disk jockeys? You gotta love music! So start with what you know and expand from there. If it moves you, it just might move someone else.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? I’d travel more with my wife, but if that was not an option, then I’d spend that time with family and friends.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.  I listen to the rhythm and feel the beat of a song before I ever listen to the words, I enjoy driving as long as it’s not in traffic, I’m still a kid at heart and enjoy a good laugh, I enjoy cooking breakfast for my wife when we have the time, I’ve been dealing with PTSD for some time now and I’m getting through it, I hate candy corn candy and the fact that they are still making it floors me, I don’t like to dress up, I wasn’t lactose intolerant when I was younger, but I am now, I golf for fun and the driver that I currently have in my bag cost me $3.25 at Walmart and it drives just as far, if not farther than the expensive ones, I wanted to be a stuntman when I was growing up, I have ten tattoos, will be getting more this year, and they tell a story.

What story do your tattoos tell? My tattoos are telling a story of my military career pretty much. My right arm depicts my faith in God, a dedication to my fallen brothers and sisters, strength, and my time in the service on dog tags, while my left arm is the complete opposite. The person that I became during war time and some of the things we had to do strongly went against my beliefs as a person, my religion as a being, and I can’t forget the rage from within that transformed me into someone I had never seen before until then. Therefore, I have two grim reapers on my left arm, a skull that was drawn by one of my brothers once we returned from Iraq, and a representation of me dealing with PTSD. BTW, I didn’t know I had PTSD until after I retired from the Army. Had some rough times there.

We’ll be praying for you as you deal with that, Darrell. On behalf of my readers, thanks for your service to your country, and thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you a little.

Mike Pressley–Advice for Drummers

What is your name? Mike Pressley

What do you do for a living? Branch Support Coordinator/Warehouse Manager

How old are you? 50

Where do you live? Charlotte, NC

The most interesting place you’ve visited? New York City

Can you name one thing about NYC that particularly struck you? What particularly struck me was the size. Concrete buildings as far as the eye could see. Also, the musicals I attended on and off Broadway were excellent.

Favorite meal? Fettucine Alfredo with chicken, salad and cheesecake

Pet peeve? People who are not grammatically correct. You to, two? LOL

Favorite movie or television show? Movie: Back to the Future Trilogy, TV Show: Counting Cars

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for ….? How to be the best husband and father I can be.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Pets? Married with two daughters. two dogs and one cat that constantly fight with each other.

One thing many people don’t know you can do? Play the piano.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Buy a vintage car and restore it.

Is there a vintage car you’d prefer, if you got to have your pick? The vintage car of my pick is a Chevrolet Chevelle since it was my first car.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. I play a mean set of drums. I like to go bowling, camping, play pool and sit by my fire pit to relax. I make awesome sweet tea. I love to laugh and make people laugh as well. I wish people could be more honest with each other in general.

Advice for drummers? I personally play the “Pearl Export Series” of drums. I’d say when choosing a set of drums, go with what floats your boat. If you know what kind of music you want to play, that can push you into a certain size range of drums.
An example is if you want to play loud rock, I would choose a little larger range like 12, 14, 16 inch tom toms and a 22 or 24 inch bass drum. If more jazz and pop music, smaller sizes would do. Get cases for your drums if at all possible. They will last longer and protect the finish and heads. Another tip as far as playing is to play along with your favorite music. Using headphones is good because you can hear the music in your ears and still hear what you’re playing on the set. Happy drumming!! 😎

Thanks much, Mike. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little bit. Here’s hoping there’s a vintage car in your future.