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.

Brian Robinson–Advice for Mountain Bikers

What is your name? Brian Robinson aka BaldPastorGuy. Often called Bald Dude.

What is your occupation? Wrangling Kittens on Crack. (I’m a pastor). Or, more seriously, setting before people Jesus as beautiful, pointing them to Him and saying, “Let’s walk this road together.”

How old are you? 53. It’s an adventure. I wake up every morning not knowing what will hurt. Sometimes, it’s something new that hurts. Which is like a reverse serendipity. I’m in a race to not have a total mechanical body failure before I live at the beach so I can still enjoy it.

Where do you live? Wherever I am, usually. In other news, people who answer these things aren’t alive? I’m in Roanoke, Virginia, praying for a move one day to the beach. Because I want a beach body. And it makes sense, right? If I put my body on the beach, I have a beach body. The six-pack, though, may have to be Cokes or something.

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you?  www.LaymanChurch.com
@Baldpastorguy
www.facebook.com/baldpastorguy (settings are open to everyone)

Most interesting place you’ve visited? The top of a water tower while police below swarmed to the school to find out who might have broken in. There may be a story behind this. It could go like this (hypothetically, of course!)… my buddy Bruce and I were in our late teens. We were out jogging at night. We came to an elementary school and, just for fun, I checked the side door. It was unlocked. We went in, walked around, then heard sirens. We left quickly, but the lights were flashing nearby. We had nowhere to go (flat Texas land). So we climbed up the ladder to a water tower. Laid on the inclined roof, hoping no one would look up. They didn’t. But it was cold on that metal for 45 minutes or so. I mean, if something like that were to have happened. And I’m not saying it did. Or that it didn’t.

Your favorite meal? Homemade manicotti. With ground beef, ragu sauce and plenty of cheese. My mom made it for us as kids.

Pet peeve? If he’s OK with it. Or…discourteous people in traffic. On cell phones, endangering lives. Driving slow in the left lane. Pulling out in front of me so that I have to hit my brakes. I think I prefer petting Peeve.

Wait, what? Oh, I get it. You’re talking about petting an animal named “Peeve.” You ain’t right.

Favorite book? Two books: “The Summons” by Dennis McCallum. It’s not particularly well-written, but the Biblical teaching in it challenged so much of what I believed at the time. And set me free in so many ways. Always, “Wisdom Hunter” by Randall Arthur.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….? The empty nest years that begin just months from now. That my wife and I will grow into those in a way that brings more closeness and deepens our love for one another.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Pets? Married with seven kids. One of them is human. The rest are cats. Now if my son would stop using the litter box…

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Spend it on mountain biking trails for days on end. Coming home to my wonderful wife at the end of the day energized, recharged and ready to spend time simply being with my wife and my son.

Great! Can you offer us some advice for mountain bikers? Choose your line and stick to it. There are tree roots, rocks, rivulets and such, just looking to lay waste to your precious bike and the body you happen to be using at the moment (and will probably need for quite some time). Look ahead, plan, choose where you need to be. Then head that way. And never ride past your ability and the quality of the bike you own. Otherwise, you may just find that there be monsters in those woods. As I did last summer. First with a flip over the handlebars that nearly took my head off, messed up my leg and took me out for a couple of months. And then with a tree that moved right into my path for no good reason at all. And broke two of my much-needed and irreplaceable ribs. But…get back on the bike. The peace and the exercise and the fresh air are worth it. Even if you’re not the fastest anymore…for fear of serious injury and/or death.

Sounds like you’ve learned some things the hard way. Thanks. Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered?

I used to be a bodybuilder. (If you’ve seen me in real life, go ahead and laugh. I understand.) I took steroids and was pretty big at one point. Worked at a gym as a trainer. Then I became overweight. (Pastors eat their feelings. It’s not right, but it happens.) I became a runner and athlete in my 30’s and into my 40’s, running races, doing triathlons, etc. A hip injury stopped most of that.

I used to deliver pizza in Houston. As a believer. Our regular clients included strip clubs and “working women” at cheap hotels. I had great opportunities to talk about Jesus during those times.

For a short period, I was homeless in Austin.

I’m incredibly OCD about the chairs in the worship area of the church I pastor.

Suicide and mental illness has permeated much of my life. From my mom and her side of the family. My greatest fear for years was that I’d become mentally ill and lose touch with reality- as I saw in family I knew. Pastoring has also showed me the brevity of life. I’m committed to enjoying the moments I have and living a life of influence toward Jesus.

Thanks much for letting us get to know you a little, Brian. We appreciate your time.

Chris Harbin–Advice for Substitute Teachers

What is your name?  Chris Harbin

What is your occupation?  Missionary, seminary professor, pastor, author, finance professional, interpreter, substitute teacher

That’s a very impressive resumé.  Okay, how old are you?  Batting at 50

And where do you live?  Davidson, NC

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you?
http://www.theotrek.org/about_us/contact.shtml
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-harbin-0366a39/
https://christopherharbin.blogspot.com
@PrChrisHarbin

What’s the most interesting place you’ve visited?  Iguaçu Falls in Brazil, the Scarlet Ibis Sanctuary in Trinidad, and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico.  

Your favorite meal would be?  Groundnut Stew

What’s groundnut stew?  Stew made with chicken and peanuts, served over rice with diced fruit, tomato, onion, bell pepper, & dried coconut. I’m attaching the recipe from Karen’s dad’s first cousin who was a missionary to Nigeria.  

Great!  It sounds delicious.  I’ll include the recipe after this post.

Can I ask you to offer some advice for substitute teachers?  As a substitute teacher, you are in charge of the classroom for the day/hour. The students look to you as the person in charge unless you convince them otherwise. Depending on the plans set for you, you should feel free to add to the material from your personal experience. Tangents in education can be useful for helping students connect to material being presented. If you are not comfortable as the material is new to you, it is also new for the class you are teaching. There is no reason to be afraid to say, “Let’s learn together.” After all, college professors must continue learning in order to teach the subjects in which they are already experts. There is often a student in the class who readily understands the material. There is nothing to be lost by asking them to help explain material to others.

Favorite book?  “Out of Poverty” by Paul Polak.  Movie? “Dead Poets Society.”  Television show?  “The Librarians.”  

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…..?  Completion of my discipleship cell group material series.

Family and/or pets? Married for 26 years, two kids nearly grown, three exchange students over the years.  We have a dog and a cat and we used to have chickens.

Pet peeve? Discrimination against immigrants and other minorities.

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

Can you tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered?  I performed lead roles in high school plays, I led a barber shop quartet in college, I cook creatively, but don’t follow recipes closely at all, I’ve studied eleven languages and speak three of them fluently, and I’ve lived half my life outside the United States.

What languages do you speak and which ones have you studied?  I speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese.  I’ve studied German, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Aramaic, Latin, & Ugaritic (a dead language from Ugarit, on the Mediterranean coast near Tyre).

You’ve had some amazing experiences, Chris.  Thanks for sharing with us.  Following this is the recipe for Groundnut Stew, which I’m going to have to try some time.  

Marian’s Nigerian Groundnut Stew
Ingredients:  6 pounds fryer chicken, 3 cups peanut butter, water, flour, 1 t. cayenne pepper, and a dash of black pepper/

Toppings:  

Banana, sliced
Pineapple, chunks or tidbits
Salted, roasted Peanuts
Onion, chopped
Tomato, diced
Grapefruit, canned
Mandarin Orange, canned
Green Pepper, chopped
Coconut, grated
Raisins

Collard greens, sautéed

Directions:
1. Stew chicken in water with 2 cups peanut butter until cooked.  
2. Remove chicken and put aside. Measure broth so that enough flour to make a medium white sauce consistency can be added to the broth.
3. Add 1 t cayenne pepper and dash of black pepper.
4. Add 1 cup peanut butter and reserved meat. Simmer.

Serve over rice with one or two tablespoons of each topping item.  Each item should be used unless the person is allergic to something.

Mindy Weldon–Advice for Amateur Electricians

What is your name? Melinda James Weldon, but I go by Mindy

Can I use the playpen picture from your college days? Yes, use that one! I completely forgot about that one. I have also included a current one.

What is your occupation? I have the title of IT Applications Manager/Project Manager. That is what is on my badge, paycheck, and email. However, I prefer to refer to myself as a Cat Herder. If I get one or two kittens in the box then the other one or two jump out. My degree is in Religion/counseling !?!?!?! Information Technology just seemed to be my thing. Too bad I could not have figured this out $80,000.00 ago.

Sadly, between the initial interview and this being published, Mindy was laid off. She’s already had one phone interview and is hoping for a face-to-face soon.

How can people pray for you?  They could pray that I will find creative ways to show God’s love to the people I encounter. Friends, co-workers, strangers and people in need. And, update, for God to open a door for employment and income for me soon.

How old are you? My birth certificate says I am 52, born Nov. 9th, 1964. However there is a saying: “Growing old is not an option, growing up is.” I feel and act like I am 18. Except when Arthur Itis reminds me of my actual age when he kicks me in the knees in the mornings.

Where do you live? I live in Huntersville, North Carolina, near Lake Norman. I would like to live on Lake Norman, but my bank account reminds me weekly that is not an option. A pop-up tent in the rich people’s back yard is not an acceptable form of living arrangements.

One thing many people don’t know you can do? Plumbing and wiring and general house repairs, upgrades, etc.

“Advice For Amateur Electricians”–So when your daughter walks out of the bathroom and asks “are sparks supposed to come out of the electrical socket?” it is time to spring into action. I mean, how hard could wiring be, right? First of all, you Google “how to replace wiring,” then you head to Home Depot or Lowe’s or the home improvement store of your choice. Buy all the necessary needs. Be prepared to go back one hundred times because you will forget stuff. Go home, get all your tools, open up the door to under the house after you have run off all the rolly pollies and earwigs, etc. Open the door and stand there and try to be brave due to all the spider webs and darkness and Lord knows what else is under there. Take one step in, realizing you almost gave yourself a permanent perm in your hair because you forgot to turn off the power. Go back, take another brave leap. Decide you cannot do this. Take all supplies back for a refund. Call your neighbor who does this stuff, offer to pay him. While he is in the dark, spider-infested abyss, stand at the doorway and ask him every ten minutes if he needs your help. Praying and hoping he does not say yes.

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you? NO, I am very personal. Working in IT security can make you very jaded and cautious. ( Some people call it paranoia, not that I have anything to hide………..)

Most interesting place you’ve visited? FUJI Film Plant. You would be amazed at all the things that go on in that place, from robots delivering film to the process of pictures being put on T-shirts, metal, etc. It really is an amazing process.

Describe your favorite meal? Steak, cooked medium, baked potato (butter and sour cream), salad and lobster tail with lemon and drawn butter. Nothing out of the ordinary but this is my comfort meal.

Pet peeve? Which one……. People that do not get up and walk but scoot in a chair with wheels. Grown people in an office situation doing this. UGH. Drives me nuts

Favorite book or movie? The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Pets? I am divorced, with a wonderful 23-year-old daughter. I am footloose and fancy-free. No pets (but I love them) and nobody suggesting what I should do with my life!

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? I would learn to play every musical instrument that exists on the face of the earth.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. People beg for me to make my famous spaghetti sauce for them. Some have even suggested I try to sell it. I volunteer on a regular basis for Habitat for Humanity and I LOVE it!!!! My love for my Lord knows no bounds and He has given me an amazing testimony of how He can heal, provide and show Himself to me through others. He has even used nonbelievers in my life to the fullest capacity. God is amazing and His love is amazing. He brings the prodigal back and comforts us after he disciplines us from our hard headed ways. Amazing Love how can it be!!! I am amazed every single morning at what He does for me!

Thanks, Mindy.  We appreciate the time.  We’ll be praying for you about the job situation.  Keep us posted, okay?

Jan Robbins–Advice for Grandmothers

What is your name?   Jan Robbins

What do you do for a living?   I am a procedure scheduler for Asheville Gastro. I have been in customer service management as well as operating room coordinator.

How old are you?   I am 63…going on 30.

Where do you live?   Hendersonville, North Carolina.

“Advice For Grandmothers?”  The best Grandmother advice I can give is to keep your comments to yourself unless asked! There are times your opinion is not really wanted and that can cause friction where it isn’t necessary.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?  I sang through Europe.

Can you tell me more about “singing through Europe?” It sounds very interesting.   When I was 17, I badly wanted to experience Europe, so I became a member of the chorale in high school and we spent a month singing in various places throughout Europe.

Cool! Thanks, and I’m a little envious of that. Okay, moving on. Your favorite meal would be?   Steak, salad, baked potato…I like a lot of food!

Pet peeve?   Rudeness

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?   “Shall We Dance”

I’m wanting to say that “Shall We Dance” is a movie. Would I be right?  Correct, and one you really need to watch sometime….I have it on DVD and would loan it to you.

I’d like that.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….?  Wisdom for me….I have not made some of the best decisions

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Grandkids?   I have been married twice. I have three grown sons..all married. I have four granddaughters and one grandson.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?   I can paint and do artsy things.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Visit every zoo in the world.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.   I pretend to be an actor, singer and dancer. I can write very well and I love all animals. I am personally owned by a dog who has a pet cat..who also owns me.

Great. Thanks for letting us get to know you a little bit.

Rick Anthony–Advice for New Woodworkers

What is your name? Richard Anthony – Rick to my friends

What do you do for a living? Information Technologies Project Manager

How old are you? 48

Where do you live? San Diego, soon to be Las Vegas

Who are you giving advice to? New woodworkers. I’ve made every stupid mistake one could make. Interesting to note, every project I’ve had has my fingerprint in blood somewhere…not by choice.

And the advice? Measure twice, cut once, yell and curse… next time measure thrice. Also, always clean your workstation BEFORE you realize that you just set your work on top of a paint brush that’s now glued to it.

The most interesting place you’ve visited? India

Favorite meal? An eight course chef’s tasting from L’ami Jean, Paris

Favorite book or movie? Anything James Bond

If people want to pray for me, they could pray for? Knowledge, wisdom, love, and peace

Family? Married and two cute but demanding dogs, Gus and Luci

One thing many people don’t know you can do? I learned to surf at 45.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Make guitars

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.   I’ve lived in three of the four Commonwealths, I’m an amateur luthier on the side, and I’m deathly afraid of clowns, mimes, or any variation on that theme.

Cool! What’s a luthier? Luthier – guitar maker. Fortunately, I’m Lutheran.

I shall have to refer to you henceforward as a Lutheran luthier.

Henry Styron–Advice for Supermarket Baggers

I’m starting a new feature called “Advice for Everyone,” in which we try to provide helpful advice to pretty much everybody.  Obviously it’ll take a while to get done.

I’ll start it off.

Advice For Supermarket Baggers: When you’re bringing in grocery carts from the parking lot, be careful of your hands.  If you get your fingers pinched between two jammed-together carts it can really, really hurt.  Trust me on this; I speak from painful experience.

Name: Henry Styron.  Everybody calls me “Henry.”

Age: 48

Where I Live: Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Occupation:  Associate pastor at a Baptist church and aspiring writer.  I’m a rich and famous author, except for the “rich and famous” part.

The most interesting place I’ve visited:  Probably the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.  But the “Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum” in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is really a very cool place.  Oh, and any library in the world.

Pet peeve?  People who aren’t sensitive to other people’s time.

Favorite movie?  The Princess Bride

How can people pray for you? For the grace to be an abiding-in-Christ man of prayer.

Family?  Married for twenty-seven years, with three kids and one obnoxious cat.

Anything else of interest?  I’m an amateur actor, I make good omelets, I’m allergic to aspirin, and I used to deliver bottled water to the Pentagon.