I Cried During Dolphin Tale

I just finished watching Dolphin Tale again with my boys. And, yes, I cried again. The whole family was right there in the living room too, so I kinda just looked to the side to wipe away a stray tear or two. Movies like that get me.

Dolphin_Tale_2

We watched it again to kick off a special homeschool curriculum that we’re doing next week to celebrate the release of Dolphin Tale 2 this weekend at the movies. All next week my kids will be studying dolphins for science class. They’ll focus on marine biology, ecosystems, and anatomy and physiology. And you know what…they’ll love it.

We’re going to go see Dolphin Tale 2 on Sunday to kick it off.

Why am I telling you this? It’s because I want you to know just how much fun it is to homeschool for both the parents and the kids. I’d love to encourage everyone to do it. You didn’t become a parent just to pawn them off on someone else all the time.

If you want to try out this dolphin curriculum with us, here’s what you’ll need to do. It’s cheap and easy.

  • Watch the first Dolphin Tale movie.
  • Go see the second one at the theater.
  • Download a free curriculum guide HERE from my friends at Homeschool Movie Club.
  • If you have Netflix, check out Eye of the Dolphin and Dolphins: the Ultimate Guide on instant play.
  • Have fun!

If you’re really into it, go visit dolphins at an aquarium, marine animal hospital, or in the wild. Call it a homeschool vacation.

For inspiration, here’s a video of me and my 10yo son playing with wild dolphins in Hilton Head SC…

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

I Hate Chris Guillebeau and His Wandering Ways

Not really. I am so excited that I’ve had the opportunity to read after Chris Guillebeau, to meet him, and to become an alumnus of the first two World Domination Summits. I often wonder how people got to know Chris. I met him through a blog post by Tim Ferriss, followed by a post about him by my friend Dan Miller, followed by sending him an e-mail and buying his first book The Art of Nonconformity.

I can tell you that he’s an awesome guy. If you meet him, he may seem kind of quiet and laid back, but there is so much going on with him that you just need to sit back and wait for the awesome to come out.

That’s why I hate him (sort of). He keeps challenging me. I just finished reading an advance copy of his new book The Happiness of Pursuit that came out today. It’s all about quests and the purposeful journeys we take in life. Chris’ last two books and manifesto were great, but, more than ever, this book is a call to action.

Chris Guillebeau-happiness of pursuit

One chapter in, I felt sad that I had no quest. Two chapters in, I decided that me and my boys would become ninjas. Three chapters in, I called a family meeting, and we all sat down and planned a round trip across North America. The rest of the book served as motivation and affirmation not only that I needed a quest, but that my choices were right.

Before I tell you about my quests, let me say that if you feel lost, aimless, or distracted in life, you need this book. Read it as therapy and be open to change.

My quest to become a ninja…

All of my adult life I’ve been involved in various martial arts beginning with hand-to-hand combat in the Marines all the way to my black belt in Oppido Dolens. But ever since I was a little kid watching all the uber-awesome ninja movies of the 1980’s, I’ve wanted to be a ninja. One of the questers in Chris’ book mentioned this same goal, and that’s what galvanized it for me.

I’m now studying ninjutsu under a 10th Dan practitioner of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and starting at the bottom as a 9th Kyu. My boys are also doing this with me. My goal for this quest is to test for my ninjutsu black belt within 3 years. I know it may seem fast, but my previous martial arts experience makes the experience a little easier. My boys’ goals are to achieve their ninjutsu black belts at the age of 18.

IMG_4977

My quest to travel North America (again)…

I went on a three month journey across North America in 1999 before I got married and it was an experience I will never forget. I want my wife and kids to have the same experience. Our family quest is for me, my wife, and our 4 kids to travel across North America up to Alaska and back across.

So far, we’ve planned a rough route and a few of our stops, but we don’t have a formal date or budget for this one yet. Consider this one still in the planning stages. I even have it planned to stop in Portland to see Chris.

north america-road trip-drive

So, with all that said, what’s your quest? Not sure, go buy the book, and it’ll drive you in the right direction.

PS…what’s your favorite ninja movie of all time?

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

 

Who’s Using Your Brand? a Study on Swisher Sweets in Ferguson MO

We all work hard on establishing brands, but do you pay close enough attention to who is using your products?

All the riots, looting, killings, and other problems occurring in Ferguson and St. Louis MO are started because a hooligan stole a box of Swisher Sweets cigars. It makes me wonder what Swisher thinks about all the attention they’re getting because of this.

Now, make no mistake, Swisher has always marketed to the inexpensive cigar crowd, but do they want to become known as the chosen brand of hooligans or as the most often stolen cigar in the convenience store? Maybe they do. Maybe this will up their sales.

marketing-branding

After all, it’s worked for other brands.

Cristal was made famous by rappers.

The AK-47 became the choice of guerrillas and armed thugs worldwide.

Back in the day, gangsta rap made the ’64 Impala the most desired ‘hood car.

Has Swisher Sweets become the fave cigar of thugs or was it already?

Who is responding to your branding? Is it the audience you wanted? If it’s not, you probably need to change your brand strategy or just accept your new but originally undesired customers.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

swisher sweets-thug-tattoo-Ferguson-MO

Meet a Fellow Marine and Future Paramedic Joshua Alexander

I’d like to introduce a friend and fellow Marine Joshua Alexander. I met Josh through the geeky pursuits that we share in common, like comics, beards, and kilts.

I wanted to tell you about Josh because I was intrigued by his efforts to go back to the military and further a career within the armed services. As we enter a post-war military and the drawdowns and budget crippling begins, you’ll hear more stories like his.

I also wanted to do my bets to put his name out there in case a job opportunity is just waiting for him from one of my readers. If anyone would like to get in touch with him, you can find him at jbalex26@gmail.com or on Facebook at Joshua Alexander.

And now, in Josh’s words…

Joshua Alexander-Marine

In high school, my brother Jeff joined the Army. He wanted to be an ELITE, so he became an Army Ranger. I didn’t understand what this meant. I looked up to my brother. I wanted to join the military because of his war stories and the brothers he fought for. He said, “Josh, what do you want to be?” I said, “I wanted to be an Apache Pilot and if I couldn’t fly, then I wanted to be a SEAL in the US Navy. He gave me tips, told me to swim, do good in school, and never leave a brother on the field, or a war veteran who is struggling.

My brother deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 and lost half of his unit in combat. He saw his brothers pass and got in trouble and was later discharged with a General other than Honorable. He got released due to misconduct. He sought help but couldn’t find it. He became addicted to alcohol and nicotine. I watched him struggle with his job, girlfriend, and his VA shut him down. He went to prison for five years and is now off parole seeking a better life. My brother is still a hero. He fought the good fight. He never left his brothers. He served his country with honor. He screwed up because there was no help. He asks, “What has my country done for me?”

Towards the end of high school I joined the Utah National Guard 19th Special Forces Support. My recruiter put me in for NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Warfare). I was going to fix gas masks for Operators, go to jump school, speak a foreign language, grow a beard, build a country and don the John Wayne Green Beret. After 9 months of drill, the option to go to boot camp was upon me. During a career fair, a Marine recruiter approached me and said,” What do you want to be.” I said, I don’t know. I want to be like my brother, an SF Operator. I want to go where others wont. The Marine Corps said, “We have Force Recon and we have to get you out of the National Guard.” I said, Let’s go and, by the way, nice uniform Marine!

The marine recruiter and myself went to the national guard. My Army 1st Sgt said, ” What do you want to do Alexander, the choice is now!” Being impatient, I want to be a Marine. I choose the Marine Corps. During the rigors of the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, I trained hard. Never gave up and lived with my depressed brother. He motivated me with stories, the things I will see. He put check points in my life that I needed to achieve while in the Corps.

I took my ASVAB. I chose radio operator. It was the closest to Infantry. I went to boot camp in 2003. I came from San Diego not the Island. I pushed hard to pass, struggled with Marine Combat Training, and then to Comm School. I loved the radios and stories of air strikes. I learned what potential I could have. In boot camp, recon indoc happened. I should of raised my hand. I stepped into my unit and deployed to Iraq 2004. I was attached to an Army grunt unit and provided base security and patrolled every three days. I saw the enemy and never fired because America didn’t want us too. I did radio watch for 12 hrs a day and led good units back to base so they can call their families back home.

I came home and was attached the 24th MEU, the greatest group of Marines I ever worked with. We deployed to Beirut/Jordan/Dubai/Kuwait. We rescued over 12,000 Americans in Lebanon. Israel attacked Hezbolah and the Americans were evacuated. It was a good time. On this deployment, I became the Colonel’s personal radio operator and was awarded. I was completing my check mark my brother had set for me.

Well, I continued and ended my enlistment with 3rd Bn 9th Marines and we had a possible deployment to Afghanistan. I went to my career planner and I denied combat orders (I had 4 months left, family wanted me out, America was changing). I was given an re-entry code of RE-3C. I did not understand this code. I completed my enlistment and discharged Honorably. I walked out with a Good Conduct Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal, and others. My brother would be proud…

Joshua Alexander-beard-Marine

I sat for a few weeks and I found a job doing construction. I couldn’t get a government job. I guess its for special people. My friend told me of a job in North Carolina. He said, “Have you heard of Blackwater USA.?” They are hiring Comm Controllers. I applied and got accepted. I trained hard yet again and shot more weapons than I did in the Marine Corps. The Operator dream was coming true. At the end, I was cut because they lost my paper work and they said that my radio operator job was not a combat MOS. Here is your $1000.00 check. Take care.

I went back to construction and the thought of depression and sadness built in. I worked construction for five years. I sat back and looked at my choices. I chose to go to school. In school, I wanted to be a nurse (too many applicants), a cop (one job available, 200 applicants), a veterinarian (too long for school). While applying to the nursing program, I called the Navy Officer Program and they told me NO because of my RE-3C. I was denied. I chose to be a Paramedic. I want to save lives or even combat rescue. I called the Air Force, they told me no tattoos. I called the Army, they said NO to RE-3C’s and his 1st Sgt said NO. The Coast Guard said no jobs available.

WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS? I SERVED HONORABLY. I FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT! I EARNED IT! In addition, BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search and Rescue), no openings! The Border is open America. Close it for the Veterans. We would like to earn our dreams. We earned it. My friend in college, Josh Sams (Marine Corps Sniper) wounded in Afghanistan taking out the enemy. He wants to FIGHT AMERICA still! I want to still fight for him because of his story. I still want to serve my brothers. America has spoken, the answer is NO!

Today, I am 29. I own a beard and soon will shave it for my program. I know God has a job for me and even though the answer is NO, he will come back with a better YES. I have a beautiful wife and 2 kids and even though I cant be Special Forces, I’ll just be a Special Daddy Veteran Style. My children will learn of my check marks in life. 

In retrospect, I learned from a pro, swam like a SEAL, saw the Army SF, wore the dress blues, earned the title Marine, fought the fight, rescued the sick, got a 4.0. I will be the best PARAMEDIC THIS COUNTY HAS EVER SEEN. Veterans are special and by what I’ve seen, this country just covers them up. I’m ready to take this life on. “SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE!” I will don a Purple Beret!

 Once a Marine, Always a Marine. I WILL OPERATE even if the answer is NO!

 Cpl Joshua Alexander

RIP Sgt Kevin Balduf & Cpl Kyle Wilks

Beard Up!

Joshua Alexander-Marine-kilt-beard

What’s the Importance of a Name?

My kids have weird names. At least they’re weird to most people. But names are important. I thought I’d start telling you a little more about the names in my family in the hope that you’ll find a way to treasure yours by realizing the significance of a good one.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

9 months ago my little baby daughter came into our life. We named her Astrid Adalia Powers.

To name her, my wife and I chose a list of potential names and put them out there in a contest to allow other people to help choose her name. It was also a bit of fundraising contest, as we used the money for the votes to start her college fund. The names we chose for the list each had a meaning to them.

Let’s examine her first name Astrid…

Astrid-How to Train Your Dragon

The name Astrid was chosen because of its meaning and Viking origins.

Astrid, Æstriðr, Ástríðr, Aestrith or variants is a given name of northern European origin.

The name means Divine Strength.

Some famous Astrid’s…

Astrid Eiriksdottir was the mother of Olaf I of Norway, who ruled there from 995 to 1000.

Astrid Lindgren is an author and the creator of Pippi Longstocking.

Astrid Loken was a famous entomologist and prominent leader of the Norwegian resistance movement during World War II.

Astrid Peth was the Companion in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special Voyage of the Damned.

The name Astrid has also made appearances in the TV series Fringe, the movie How to Train Your Dragon, and the video game The Elder Scrolls.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!