The Fab 3 Strike Again

My son, Austin, has released his third video in the series of five he must do as his Senior Project in high school. This time, he went for a classic (at least in my opinion). He chose The Beatles’ tune Come Together. Enjoy!

Herculean Tasks – otherwise known as Senior Projects

My son, Austin, has a task he must undertake. Like any ancient hero of old, this task must be completed in order to advance “beyond.” In his case, it’s called a Senior Project.

Students at Shallowater High School, here in Shallowater, TX, must complete a project their Senior year. This project must be something that they would not have done otherwise. Something that will stretch them a bit. Something that educate them in a new field… and they must invest at least 18 hours into the project.

In her Senior year, my daughter chose to turn the animated movie Mulan into a staged musical, complete with full cast, props, arrangements of the songs from the movie and sound effects. Her project took over 250 hours and was a big success.

My son also chose to venture into the arts. Being a child of the millennial age, he has grown up watching more YouTube than broadcast television. It came as no surprise that he wanted to create a YouTube channel of his own music videos. Voilà! A senior project is born.

Each senior must enlist the help of a mentor in the process. Austin was able to recruit one of YouTube’s more popular artists, Justin Robinett, as his mentor. Justin has been very helpful and as I write this, Austin is finishing up the mix on his 3rd video. He has two more to go to complete his project.

You can find Austin’s videos on his YouTube channel – ProbablyNotAustin. But for your enjoyment, I present his 2nd video in the series… Don’t Worry be Happy by Bobby McFerrin.

Swade’s Big Facebook Fast

Swade MoyersMany of you have wondered where I’ve been and why I’ve posted so little over the past month. The following will explain. On March 2, 2013, my cousin Swade Moyers entered the following status update on Facebook. “I’m taking a break form Facebook! See y’all in a month!” Yes, he said “form.” I felt obliged to keep him up to date during his absence. The following is a mostly day-by-day account of my replies to him on Facebook. I think the day count got a little messed up toward the end, but that’s not the important part. Enjoy…

Day One:

Swade has left Facebook. I think it’s a Facebook fast. I hereby commit to chronicle his absence on a mostly daily basis. On this, the first day of Swade’s Facebook fast, hereafter referred to as the big FF, Obama’s sequester has gone into effect. Facebook is buzzing with stupid graphics talking about how this is or isn’t a fiscal apocalypse. When Swade returns in a month, we will know one way or the other.

Day Four:

I must admit that I forgot days 2 and 3. I guess I need to take a break from Facebook as well because I seem to be way too busy to do any comments. You haven’t missed much, except for the crazy graphics going around saying name a city that doesn’t have an E in it, or name a color without a Q in it. Everyone makes a comment about how stupid it is. Before you know it, it has several thousand comments. Then they sell the page to some company who will use your name in their advertisements because you commented on their page, even though it wasn’t their page when you did it. Its the new golf rush on Facebook. Sell your comments and capitalize on everyone’s stupidity. Enough for today. Enjoy your big FF.

Enough for today except that my autocorrect changed the word gold to the word golf. FOUR!

Day Five:

A major snowstorm is hitting DC. The news is going nuts reporting the storm. But when it hits here with I-27 closed and I-40 closed from Albuquerque to OKC, we only get a passing comment on the national news. In other news, the stock market is pushing an all time high. Probably has something to do with the death of Hugo Chavez yesterday. All in all, the day five post is way too serious. Day six will be better.

Day Six:

Since yesterday was so heavy, today’s bigFF post is a touch lighter. 6 knock knock jokes for day 6.

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Statute of Job Limitations


I suppose this blog entry is more of a personal side note than anything else. It’s the morning after Christmas and I’m up alone, sitting in front of the fire before sunrise, just me and the dogs. I finding it a good time of personal reflection.

As of this week, I have officially been “unemployed” for a full year. I’ve applied for more jobs than I can remember and I’ve only been called in for two interviews. The status of my job search seems to be a constantly recurring theme in almost every conversation I have with friends. It’s growing very tiresome to keep giving the same response, “no, nothing yet,” and see the same look of caring and worry in their faces. I won’t even go into the amount of sleep I’ve lost because my mind won’t shut off at night, or wakes up too early thinking about it.

So when I look back on the past year, what is the reality of it all? Well…

  • I’ve had an extraordinary amount of free time to be able to do what I like and help people out with whatever they need.
  • I’ve been able to explore areas of interest that I didn’t really have time to indulge previously.
  • I have increased my knowledge, skills and abilities in the art of web design and social media (which is a good thing since that’s apparently what I’m going to be doing for a while).
  • I had the chance to work for Broadway Church of Christ as a part time media guy for several months, which I enjoyed very much. I even had the “big office” for most of that time.
  • I was able to confirm, thanks to my good friend Kit Mullins, that I am really not gifted at sales. Her patience and generosity, while not her sole intent, helped me better understand myself. Thank you Kit.
  • I was able to be home almost every day when my kids came home from school, as well as the entire summer. I estimate I gained an extra 442 hours of available family time.
  • I found that I have a host of friends who are very generous in their support. There have been a number of times when I didn’t know where the next bag of groceries would come from, only to find an anonymous gift waiting for me. This alone is a very humbling thing.
  • My love and respect for my wife has greatly increased, which is hard to do since it was so high already. As with anyone unemployed, there were many times when depression and anxiety held sway in my life. She has continued to be supportive and positive, as she always has been. Oh, and she has a job with insurance (hehehe).

I’m sure there is more, but that’s enough for now. I need to stoke the fire, literally, It’s getting low.

So here’s what I’m thinking. The statute of limitations on being unemployed should be one year. One year of constant job applications, regurgitating the same old information for people who most likely already have someone else in mind, is enough. God has provided what I’ve needed for the past year and he has promised he always will. If another job comes along and presents itself, praise the Lord. Until then, I am not unemployed. I may be underemployed, but that’s different. I will concentrate on doing what I do best… web design, graphic arts, writing and music. I work for Moyers Design, which happens to be me.

As I’ve been writing this, the sun has risen. Somewhat poetic, eh?

The Power of a Personal Relationship

WTAMU CapMy daughter is a Buff. And I mean that in the most kind way.

By saying that, I mean that she has chosen West Texas A&M University for her college career. As far as I can tell, her choice was made largely due to the fact that the folks at WTAMU understand the power of personal interaction. Let me explain.

My daughter has always been an artist… musician, thespian, singer, etc. She’s always been attracted to and talented within the area of fine arts. Her main instrument is, arguably, the trombone. She started playing in elementary school and has always done well when she put her mind to it. Therein lies the rub. Her mind was not always put to it.

Last summer, the summer of 2011, she went to WTAMU’s 2-week band camp. It was an event that, I believe, changed the direction of her life. The trombone took center place and she started pursuing excellence. In the past year, she has received several honors, including a seat in the Texas All-State Honor Band. But I digress…

The Best Way to Recruit

As a salesman, I have been particularly impressed with certain segments of WTAMU’s School of Music. Since the Band Camp was held at WTAMU, Ashley had a chance to meet the head of the trombone studio and learn a bit about their organization. This is natural and part of every University’s band camp experience. What followed, I believe, went above and beyond the work of most other Universities.

Within 24 hours of her return from camp, she had received a Facebook friend request from the Professor of Trombone at West Texas A&M. This was impressive. It did not stop there. Within the next week, she had received friend requests from several other WTAMU students from the trombone studio. My first thought was, “wow, someone’s on the ball over there.”

Throughout my daughter’s senior year in High School, the Professor and all her new FB friends from WTAMU were actively following her comments. They interacted with her on a weekly basis. They would congratulate her on milestones and accomplishments. They would give advice on instrument purchases. They were genuinely involved.

Needless to say, my daughter was reeled in – hook, line and sinker.

The Wrong Way to Recruit

Initially, she had expressed her interest in several other colleges. They knew of her musical ability and what she might bring to their program. Only one other college came anywhere near the level of WTAMU, and that was Wayland Baptist University. But even at that, their interest consisted of a generic snail mail/email deluge and a couple of calls from the band director. Oklahoma Christian and Abilene Christian put her in recruitment rotation and she received a few calls from recruiters, never from anyone involved with music. I’m sad to say my alma mater, Lubbock Christian, never even tried to contact her, short of post cards (Ed. note – see responses for correction).

I’m sure, if you spoke to my daughter, she would express other reasons that also influenced her decision for WTAMU. Still, you have to agree that it’s hard to beat the personal attention of a director and 6-8 peers for over a year. My daughter will be a Buff because fellow Buffs took an interest and maintained a relationship with her.

There are all kinds of lessons in that.. practical, social, business and spiritual. What do you think? Can you make any comparisons? Have you ever been influenced by the power of a personal relationship?

Beauty of Shallowater

Since we’ve moved here, I’ve had several people ask me why we chose Shallowater. I always reply that we were looking for two things: a small community close to Lubbock and a good school system. Shallowater has definitely provided both for us. As an added bonus, it’s also a pretty little place.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and you may have to be from West Texas to see it). Not many people run around taking pictures of alleys. But you tell me, do you think Shallowater has some natural beauty? What’s our best feature?

Enjoy this gallery of Shallowater, TX. Click on a picture to make it bigger.

Sunset on 8th St.     Alley behind 6th St.     The Park

West of Shallowater     Biggin Hill north of Shallowater     Alley behind 8th St

Facing East on 8th St - Sunrise     Middle School Practice Field     The Corn Maze

Sunset in Shallowater     Jupiter, Venus and the Moon

6 Health Tips: Make Eating a Family Affair

I ran across some suggestions by Diana Kohnle in HealthDay News that I found to be mostly common sense – but mostly ignored by our fast-paced lifestyle. In the same vein as the advice found in Ecclesiastes 4:12 (a cord of three strands is not quickly broken), it’s much easier to eat healthy when everybody in the family is practicing the same nutritional habits. Easier said than done? Most certainly. But it’s worth looking at.

Cook meals at home, together as a family.

This suggestion provides multiple benefits. Family time comes at a premium these days. Between the ridiculously overbooked schedule of parents, electronics games for the kids, 248 channels on television and school activities, it’s getting harder and harder to find time to share with your loved ones… whatever age they may be. Involving the family in preparation of the meal provides for great conversation and, just as important, education. Teaching your children how to cook will go a very long way toward keeping them healthy as they set off on their own.

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A Secret Your Husband Keeps…But Needs You to Know

This is a wonderful article I found from a great blogger named Ron Edmondson, Pastor of Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN. Ron’s blog can be found here and he posts regularly on topics such as leadership, church, family and more. I hope you enjoy this. It really spoke to me today.

Ladies, here’s a secret your husband probably won’t share…

He needs your unconditional respect…in fact…he needs you to be his biggest fan…

Your support feeds his God-given ego…

Sure, that ego can be abused…

But just as you need his unconditional love, he needs your unconditional respect…

I realize you nor he is capable of perfectly fulfilling those individual needs…

But at least you know the secret now…

You see…

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Weird Summer

I haven’t posted much, as this has been a strange summer. We’ve found ourselves meeting ourselves coming and going. Is that possible? Probably not. I need to ask Michael J. Fox.

The last real post on this blog was a panorama shot of Pine Springs Youth Camp. That was on the morning of Thursday, June 10th. Three hours later, my wife had a little accident. Pine Springs has a big deck around the “bus stop” where people congregate. It’s sort of a flow area from the guys side to the girls side. The laundry room is at the back of that area.

The deck is constructed with 2×6 boards. In one area, near the back of the deck, 24 inches of 2×6 was missing. My wife stepped right into it. I was in the cabin working on the evening’s worship order, so I did not see this happen. After she injured herself, she got up and carried the clean laundry back up to the main hall, which is up a long stairway. How she did it, I do not know.

After we got home and had a chance to see doctors and such, we found that she had 2 fractured bones and a torn MCL. The doc did not want to do surgery on the MCL, so her best course of action was to sit and do nothing for 6 weeks and let the bones knit. Then she got to start rehab. We spent the next 6 weeks in a wheelchair (in public) and with a cane (at home). She could not drive, so I got to drive Miss Daisy around.

About three weeks later on a Sunday afternoon, my daughter Ashley was at the High School for the Shallowater Community Theater rehearsal. She decided she wanted to roost on the handicap rail around the ramp. Jumping up, she overshot the rail and went off the back side. She reached behind her to pad her fall, which allowed her entire weight plus momentum to come straight down on her right arm. Snap goes the humerus (sung to the tune of that weasel song). After eight hours in the emergency room, our house now has two sets of broken bones. At this point, my son and I are walking around on tiptoe, watching our back.

Then it’s August and our life is consumed with back to school schedules, band rehearsals, therapy for Sherri and my driving availability. So, it’s been a weird summer.

Now that we’re into October, things have straightened out a little. Ashley is healed and back to her regular schedule. Sherri is much better, though still walking with a pretty good limp… especially when she’s tired. But she has come a long way. Austin is playing tennis and drums for the First Baptist youth praise band. Things are good for now.

Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a little more. We shall see. Thanks for reading…

Elk. Nuff said.

I have no idea if this pic will come through or not. It’s a 360 degree panorama of a meadow about 300 yards up from the camp. Beautiful place.

Buddy Mills took Sherri and I up the mountain today in his honkin big truck. We traveled roads that looked as if they haven’t been driven on since last year at least. We saw some beautiful sights.

At one point, we came around a corner and ran up on a herd of at least 60 elk. There were no bulls in the packs, but I’m sure they were hanging back and watching.

The herd ran up the side of the mountain and we parked and watched. This massive herd was about 1/3 younglings (what do you call a baby elk?). As we sat and watched, the air was filled with the sound of all these elk calling out for their babies in a massive group effort to connect. It was slightly reminiscent of a dock full of gulls in Corpus Christi, magnified greatly and an octave lower. It was truly an awe inspiring moment.

Two days left, and then back to the real world.