Author Archives: trk2n

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We’re No Longer on the Way to Being Homeless

I know many of you were around for the start of my 40 Days to Homeless series. For you and any new list members, I’d like to do an update.

To get the entire story, be sure to check out…
40 Days to Homeless
39 Days to Homeless
38 Days to Homeless

On the situation, I have some really good news and some really bad news in equal parts. On the bad news front, I don’t want to strangle you with the whole story here, so I published a more complete version on my blog. What you’ll read there is part of the reason I’m only going to give you the good news on this update.

The good news…We’re not going to be homeless!

I landed a huge client back in South Carolina that is financially worth it to move back there from Chattanooga TN. Not that I want to leave the mountains and rivers, but I feel it’ll be a big step for easing our ‘big family’ housing situation in TN. It’s hard to find room for a married couple and 5 kids in rental housing, but we’ve managed to already secure housing there at the beach.

Aside from the big new client, work is also picking up in other areas as well…

I just wrapped up a 2 week speaking tour in the New England area that included 5 lectures at the Connecticut EMS Expo. My 10yo went with me and joined me in some of my video reviews.

As I wrote this, I’m currently in Nashville TN doing corporate training for Delta Airlines and the TN Treasury Department. This left me with some free time during the day to shoot video for several reviews at area state parks and hiking trails.

And the best news of all…

My 12yo son has just published his first book. His book The Kids Guide to Salads began as a homeschool assignment and morphed from a family experiment into a full book complete with photography. You can order your own copy HERE on Amazon, but if you want an autographed copy, get in touch. He gets really excited and has been working on his signature.

As always, your help is much appreciated in spreading the word, so please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.

Thanks!


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I Screwed Up by Asking for Help

I screwed up by asking for help.

I hate saying that.

After all, I’ve been teaching my Pre-TSD program to vets and public safety folks for years, and the first piece of advice I give them and their families is to ask for help early and often.

My family hit a weird rough patch recently, and I was determined I wouldn’t be too proud to ask for help. I even set up a Go Fund Me page.

Boy was it a mistake to seek help.

I don’t want to repeat the whole issue. You can read about it by scanning back the past few blog posts. Basically, without warning, we were refused housing and a lease renewal by a number of places because we have 5 kids. All this was happening as our current lease was expiring. Basically, we were headed straight toward homelessness.

Friends and family are weird in a situation like this.

You’ll have a few friends and family members who really care about you and will try to help, even if encouragement is all they can offer. Several of my friends even opened up to me about their own struggles so that we could pray and talk together. I appreciated this. But you’ll often have a larger number of friends and family who will smell blood in the water and see this as an opportunity to tear you apart. And they did.

Here’s a few things I learned during this struggle and my plea for help…

  • Many people’s reactions will go against standard teaching regarding stress and pre-suicide.
  • Don’t ask for help or at least be very careful who you ask for help from.
  • Everybody hurts, but not like the REM song where they eventually come together.
  • Luke 11:11 became very real to me- “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”
  • Your closest friends and family will question every decision you ever made before offering any help.
  • Christians aren’t the only ones to step up and offer assistance (although we’d like to think so sometimes).
  • Only post regular updates and happy posts on the blogs and e-mails if you want people to read them.
  • People like you as long as you don’t need anything from them.

During this struggle, I started watching the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. In retrospect I shouldn’t have. It made me consider things I shouldn’t be pondering. I guess what I’m saying is that this struggle and what happened because I asked for help are, in my 42 years of life, the lowest points of my entire existence. The things some of my friends said to me made me want to escape in any way possible from being hurt anymore.

Also during this time, a good friend of my dad’s, a guy that I’d known since I was in elementary school killed himself. The thing that I kept kicking around in my head was that there was just so much going wrong that he couldn’t take it anymore. I kept asking myself if I was near that point as well. Imagine someone you thought was a good friend saying things worse than this to you.

To be completely open and honest, it was thoughts of my kids that brought me back to a safe place. “Life insurance doesn’t pay out in a suicide” was my mantra. I knew doing something extreme and terminal would just put them in an even worse position.

I’m over it now, because the situation has been resolved and things are better. But this issue took me to a bad place that I know I’ll never forget. I’ve purged some people from my life that were toxic. I restructured some routines and tasks in my daily life. I’m getting closer to God. To quote from a Clive Cussler book I read recently, “Mistakes were made. They’re being addressed.”

With all that said, I’ll leave you with a quote from Brian Dixon-

“Your failure is not something to be embarrassed by. It’s a springboard to launch off from.”

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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38 Days Until We’re Homeless in Chattanooga

In 38 days my family might be homeless in Chattanooga TN.

*For the whole story you can start the series HERE.

I got an e-mail today in response to this series that made me sick to my stomach. As soon as I read it, I messaged my buddy Ryan McRae, my best friend in the world.

I said, “Am I doing everything wrong? I just don’t want to be too ashamed or prideful to ask for help.”

His simple response was, “You’re doing fine and the right thing. And you’ll always have haters.”

Ryan made me feel better, like I’m not a total screw-up, and still have something to offer the world and my family.

Let me sum up what she said to me in an all day series of e-mails…

  • “You have accomplished nothing of value.”
  • “A little challenge and you’re freaking out?”
  • “You made your bed, not I, so lie in it.”
  • “I have more debt than you and I’m battling Lyme Disease, vocal cord dysfunction, Bartonella, IBS, GERD, and Optic Nerve Atrophy.”
  • “Life can be shitty at times.”
  • “No use pointing out birth control.”
  • “How about you spend the next 39 days reversing the decisions that put you in debt?”
  • “I filed for bankruptcy. You could do the same.”

Her words bothered me. Don’t think I’m not saying some of the same things and worse to myself anyway. You know what, though, I’m just gonna keep pushing on. I have to. Another thing Ryan taught me was that if I slow down too much or give it too much power, the Dark Passenger will show up and convince me I’m truly worthless.

In honor of this lady’s e-mails, I’ll mention a series of short stories I wrote about a husband living a truly crappy life where nothing goes right. It’s called The Diary of a Crappy Husband. I’m in that kind of mood right now.


The best way you can help me is by spreading the word. Please forward this e-mail on to everyone you know. I need as many people as possible to know about this in case they can help us or know someone else who can.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Please connect with me if you have any questions.

A GoFundMe page has been set up HERE.

Here’s a link to resources where most of my business is conducted.


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39 Days Until We’re Homeless in Chattanooga

In 39 days my family might be homeless in Chattanooga TN.

For the whole story you can start the series HERE.

Since the first e-mail yesterday, I’ve been getting some questions. I’ll answer them here, because I’m sure many of you are wondering the same things.

“What about your business?”

It’s a fair question. It’s a polite way of asking if I’ve just been sitting on my ass all day or if I should try a different job. But that’s okay. I don’t mind telling you what’s going on.

Business is going well. I’m actually leaving tomorrow for an assignment out of town that’s one of my highest paying yet. Successes like that give me hope. I need it, because I’m almost out.

It’s the mountain of debt and other circumstances that are killing us.

  • I lost a $35K a year client, and I’m still feeling that impact. That forced us to put almost 2 years of apartment rent on credit cards.
  • My 2mo baby has kidney problems, specifically hydronephritis.
  • I just got two letters from different agencies telling me that property taxes were screwed up in 2015 and 2016. Together those two letters are asking for over $10K, payable within 30 days.

Then there’s still the whole getting kicked out of our apartment because I have too many kids thing.

There’s a lot of other stuff going on too. I’ll elaborate more as this series goes on.

Here’s one way you can help. Support me with your shopping!  Here’s a link to resources where most of my business is conducted.

One of my income sources I want to tell you about is a horror book written by my mom and published through Amazon. You can find it right HERE. Buy a copy. Buy a thousand. It’d make me and my mom really happy.

I’ll be sending out quite a few e-mails in the coming days that will give more info and show different ways you can help. I’m going to be hustling like I’ve never hustled before.

The best way you can help me is by spreading the word. Please forward this e-mail on to everyone you know. I need as many people as possible to know about this in case they can help us or know someone else who can.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Please connect with me if you have any questions.

A GoFundMe page has been set up HERE.

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This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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40 Days Until We’re Homeless in Chattanooga

In 40 days my family might be homeless in Chattanooga TN.

Me, my wife, and our five kids make a family of seven, with kids ranging from 12yo down to 2  months. We’re getting kicked out of our 3 bedroom apartment because we go over the 2-person-per-bedroom rule, even though one of the kids is just an infant. That also means we can’t rent another 3 bedroom place and local 4 bedroom houses are out of our budget.

I don’t know what we’re going to do.

Basically, I need to make a year’s worth of income in the next 40 days to pay down debt and afford a place.

I need your help.

I’m not asking for a handout. I’m just asking you to support my business, buy any of the stuff I’m selling to downsize, and tell everyone you know who might be able to help in some way.

I’ll be making a lot of posts in the coming days that will give more info and show different ways you can help. I’m going to be hustling like I’ve never hustled before.

The best way you can help me is by spreading the word. Please forward this e-mail on to everyone you know. I need as many people as possible to know about this in case they can help us or know someone else who can.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Please connect with me if you have any questions.

Here’s a link to resources where most of my business is conducted.

A GoFundMe page has been set up HERE.

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This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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Resources for My 40 Days to Homeless Thread

If you’re following my 40 Days to Homeless e-mail thread, below are the resources I mentioned.

If you didn’t get here from that thread, please check out my GoFundMe page to get an idea of what’s going on.

Thanks!

Ebay is where me and the kids will be selling a lot of our toys, comic collections, and other stuff.

Most of my book collections will be sold on Amazon.

I sell a lot of digital products on Gumroad and Fiverr.

My written works in print and for Kindle are sold on Amazon.

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This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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What is Adventure?

Dictionary.com defines it as both a noun and a verb.

It’s an exciting or very unusual experience, participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises, a bold, usually risky undertaking, a hazardous action of uncertain outcome.

It’s also to risk or hazard, to take the chance of or dare, or to venture.

Those all sound very exciting.

They also fit well in line with what we consider to be proper adventures. Most of us only look at adventure in the stereotypical way…

  • Dangerous, risky, or hazardous
  • Risking life, limb, or marriage
  • Involving animals with big teeth and claws
  • Happening on mountains or in jungles, caves, or underwater
  • Something we saw on TV that we really shouldn’t do

But it doesn’t have to always be that way.

These days most of my adventures revolve around my kids and my work. Sure, some of them involve caves and wild animals, but many of them also involve Disney princesses, burping contests, and fail videos on Youtube.

Every Saturday morning my mom and dad have adventures going to garage sales. You wouldn’t believe some of the treasures they find. They’re like modern urban archeologists!

So, I have a question for you…

What’s one of your recent adventures?

You can e-mail me back with your answer or feel free to add it on any of my social media outlets.

The reason I want to know is that many of my keynotes and training events are geared toward energizing and outfitting folks to embark on their own adventures. I want to learn from you so I can make my work even more powerful and help more people.

Coming soon…

I have several interviews lined up with my Choose Your Own Adventure series, including an actress from The Walking Dead, a former CIA agent turned sci-fi author, and a PhD economist who works as a stand-in for big Hollywood stars.

I’m working with Skillshare on a series of video classes on several topics, the first of which will be Rapid Skill Development for Professionals.

Talks are in progress for a new podcast I’ll be involved with that is set in a fictional post-apocalypse world. Imagine the movie/book The Road but way more cheerful. I swear, that movie made me want to hurt myself it was so depressing.

As always, feel free to forward this along to anyone and everyone that needs some adventure in their lives.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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I Look Like a Big Hairy Chicken in the Bod Pod Egg

Check me out in the Bod Pod! I look like a big bearded chicken.

David-Powers-Bod Pod-2

I first read about the Bod Pod device in Tim Ferriss’ book 4 Hour Body. He praised it as one of the most accurate body fat measurement devices around. I’d done the caliper thing before, but always wanted to try the pod. When I found out that Coastal Carolina University, a local school, had one I immediately made an appointment. After doing so, you’ll never see me playing with the calipers again. The test was crazy cheap considering what the device cost. It was only $35 and less than an hour, and I was done.

For the skinny (pun intended) on what a Bod Pod does, here’s the verbiage from the COSMED website

“The BOD POD Gold Standard Body Composition Tracking System is an air displacement plethysmograph which uses whole-body densitometry to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass) in adults and children, and can accommodate a wide range of populations. A full test requires only about 5 minutes, and provides highly accurate, safe, comfortable, and fast test results.”

Basically, it tests your mass and density using air instead of water or calipers.

Before I show you my results, let’s first look at some photos.

First, this happened. I think Stacey, lab coordinator extraordinaire accidentally hit the Matrix button. Oops!

Matrix-pod-Bod PodOnce we left that ‘verse and came back she made another wrong turn.

Mork-Mindy-pod-Bod Pod

Finally, we made it back to reality.

David-Powers-Bod Pod

Before I show you my results, I’m going to admit that they’re not at all flattering. I’m okay with that. Not happy, but okay. I’m big on transparency and group accountability in fitness and nutrition. I know so many obese people that stay that way because they hide everything they do.

I’ve been on a big tear lately to lose some weight. I hit my highpoint of piggishness at 252 pounds last year. I carried it well, but I felt like crap. Just kind of heavy and clunky all the time. Now I’m thirty pounds lighter. I feel much better, but I’ve not hit my happy point yet, as you’ll see from the results.

Bod Pod-results-March 2015-001

That’s right. 28.9% body fat. It’s high, and it’s all my fault. I own that. Most of it is pasta and burgers and Mountain Dew.

In case you’re wondering why it’s worth it to know stats like this, I’ll tell you what it means to me. The last time I measured my fat, it was with calipers, and I came in at 24%. With the error variability potential with calipers I’m going to just say that I’m still at the same level, even though I’m 30 pounds lighter. Knowing these stats now means that I need to radically change my workout and weight loss profile. Essentially, I’ve burned off nearly 30 pounds of muscle with my calorie restriction diet. I knew I was doing that some but not this bad. My original plan was to burn down to 200 pounds and then beef back up to a muscular but way less obese 220 pounds. I’m going to alter my plan now to focus exclusively on fat-burning and lean muscle building in my workouts and eat foods that support the same. Calorie restriction with moderate exercise gave me a jumpstart, but now it’s time to change.

Here’s an interesting fact about the Bod Pod. Hair holds air and can therefore alter the results slightly. The mere fierceness of my beard likely swayed the results somewhat. Not enough to make me a lot less porky, but it’s still pretty cool to know that my beard has its own presence.

Thanks to Dr. Darden for the use of the lab. Thanks again for coaching my son’s baseball team last year as well. Folks, keep your eyes peeled for the name Darden in a few years. The Dr’s son is an amazing baseball player and will likely be making headlines at some point.

Thanks to Mrs. Stacey Beam for administering the test and scoring me an awesome parking spot on campus. Thanks also for not making fun of me too much for being fat.

As an added bonus I also got the chance to see the always wonderful and supermodel beautiful Sara Wise, who works at the school. Guys, I won’t post a pic of her because she is already taken.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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David-Powers-Bod Pod-3


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CT EMS Expo Resources

Welcome!

This blog post is for attendees that attended the 2017 Connecticut EMS Expo.

*If you didn’t attend, but come across this page otherwise, you are still more than welcome to the resources.

The Future of EMS FREE Book Offer…

If you’re interested in a Kindle or paperback copy of my book The Future of EMS, click HERE. The FREE offer is only good the week of the symposium, so if you’re clicking any other time, it is still available, just not for free.

If you want a FREE PDF copy of it, just sign up for the e-mail list HERE or in the box on the right side of the page. I’ll send it right over.

For any of the resources I mentioned during my seminars, just check below…

 

Boy Scout Merit Badge Class- Public Health

Bloodborne And Airborne Pathogens 6th Edition by Amer Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Amer College of Emerg Physicians (ACEP)

Introduction To Public Health 5th Edition by Mary-Jane Schneider

Merit Badge Series- Public Health by the Boy Scouts of America

 

Boy Scout Merit Badge Class- Safety

Safety Professional’s Reference and Study Guide Second Edition by W. David Yates

Merit Badge Series- Safety by the Boy Scouts of America

 

Boy Scout Merit Badge Class- Signs, Signals, and Codes

You Talking to Me? Discover the World of Words, Codes, Emojis, Signs, Slang, Smoke Signals, Barks, Babbles, Growls, Gestures, Hieroglyphics & More by Catherine Ham

Merit Badge Series- Signs, Signals, and Codes by the Boy Scouts of America

 

Ninja Skills for Good Presentations

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery 2nd Edition by Garr Reynolds

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

 

You Don’t Have Time to Waste Time (Rapid Skill Acquisition)

Rapid Skill Development 101- The One-Sheet Easy Way to New Topic Acquisition by Dr. David Powers

The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! by Josh Kaufman

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

 

Good Medics Gone Bad

When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction by Beth Moore

 

Here’s a message from the Expo folks as well…

“Thank you for attending CT EMS Expo. Don’t forget to download this year’s mobile app. You can find the app in the app store by searching “CT EMS Expo” or point your browser to the download link: core-apps.com/dl/ctemsexpo17
Your feedback is important to us so this year we have created session ratings to help us learn which sessions and speakers were the most valuable to you. Sessions ratings can be found within the app in the session listing. Simply click on the clipboard icon on the left hand side found in the session listing and leave us your feedback. We hope you enjoy the CT EMS Expo!”
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This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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Choose Your Own Adventure- The Mystery of the Homebrewing Beekeeper

Welcome to the first installment of the Choose Your Own Adventure profiles I’ll be doing at drdavidpowers.com.

My focus in life and business is to seek adventure, but that may not mean what you’re thinking. Most people think adventure only refers to danger and excitement, but it doesn’t have to. My intent with these interviews is to show that adventure can be wherever you find something new and different.

Meet Jim Cunagin.
The first time I met Jim was on a deployment to New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina. He was an ER doc back then and actually ended up running all the medical operations by the time we left. A lot’s changed since then, right?

“I was actually a Family Medicine doc and had just completed my second residency in Psychiatry. But, if I left the impression that I was an ER doc, then I’ll take that as a compliment. Not because ER docs are better than family med docs in general, but it was a very ER-centric sort of thing we were doing, so if you thought I was an ER doc, I must have seemed competent.”

So, what’s changed since then? Didn’t you leave the medical profession? A lot of people would think you’re crazy leaving the medical profession after all that time in school for it. What would you say to those folks?

“A lot of people would think that I’m crazy for several reasons. But, I haven’t left medicine yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever pull that off completely, or if I’d be happy if I wasn’t in some sort of helping profession. I’ve given up on primary care/family medicine, and have limited myself to just psychiatry.”

“Explaining that alone could take some time. The short version is that I am at least trying to move to a more independent life/career path. Psychiatry offers a lot of flexibility and, in general, an easier lifestyle, compared to family medicine. Not that I’m looking for easy. But I’m looking for some balance, and the formal career needed some more easiness in order for it to balance better with the rest of my life. I might stay in family medicine if I could just hang out a shingle saying “Doc Cunagin” and go to work. But that sort of behavior isn’t exactly encouraged amongst docs these days.

“But back to the question. Yes, I’ve put a significant chunk of my life into medicine. I don’t know that it was the wrong path at the time, but it became the wrong path. Is someone crazy for turning around once they’ve discovered that they’re on the wrong path? It seems to me that they’d be crazy to continue down the wrong path for some piddling reason like “I’ve already spent a lot of time on this path”.

What brought about all the changes?

“Well, the short-ish version is that I needed some more professional autonomy. I had worked for an academic medical center for a few years and hated it more every year. Then I tried working in a community setting, owned by one of the large medical centers in Cleveland. It was supposed to mimic a private practice, and on paper, it did. But, I joined an established doc with some very firm ideas about how we should be working that were not at all aligned with my own. Result? Net zero increase in professional autonomy.”

“It’s a cliché to say that I don’t want to work for “the man”, but I don’t. Especially since most of the time (at least in my experience), “the man” doesn’t know what he’s doing.

I feel like I need to interject right here that when Jim and I met, we both worked for “the man” at the Department of Homeland Security. At least at a disaster site we had quite a bit of autonomy, mainly because there was no one around to watch us.
Didn’t you spend time at a prison somewhere or work in a prison or something?

“After I left the community family med job, I just did inpatient psychiatry. That wasn’t working for a number of reasons, so after a few years, I got out. I didn’t have a back-up plan, but had a little financial cushion, and had decided to just do something called locum tenens for a while. I think that’s Latin for temp worker. There are a number of agencies that will hire you as a contractor for relatively short term (3+ months) gigs. After working at several “permanent” or “long term” positions, and hating them, I decided to give the locum thing a try. It’s not very glamorous, but I didn’t care. I wanted something that would put bread on the table that wouldn’t make me dread waking up and going to work in the morning.”

“A lot of normal, “permanent” doctoring jobs include some form of soft indentured servitude, anything from multi-year contracts, non-compete clauses that can cover most of the local area, or to forcing the doc to pay up to tens of thousands of dollars to cover their own malpractice insurance if they want to leave. Locums jobs don’t have any of that. They are sort of one night stand/no strings attached sorts of jobs. If you like it, great. If you don’t like it, no problem. There are more fish in the sea. “Permanent” jobs in Big Medicine are more like marrying someone whose brother happens to be a divorce attorney. If you like it, then good for you. If you don’t, and you want to get out, then there will be some hassle involved, and it will likely cost you.”

“But I like the simple, straightforwardness of contract work: you do a day’s work, you get a day’s wages, the end. But, after taking a month off and half-heartedly looking for other work, I only had a little financial cushion left, and I needed to get into some sort of paying gig. A lot of locums jobs still need some advanced notice to get you into, because wherever you’re going to work, they need to get you on all of the local insurance panels. The locums recruiter I was working with pointed out that none of that is an issue with prison work. The State is paying for the patients’ care, so I just need to pass their credentialing procedure. Considering that the State needs to job filled, they have an incentive to move the credentialing process right along. So, prison work ends up being great last-minute temp doctoring work. I never intended to be there this long. But, my wife ended up getting hurt, and couldn’t work and needed to be taken to frequent doctor and physical therapy appointments, and the flexibility of the prison gig couldn’t be beat. If you work at an office practice, and cancel, lots of patients that made appointments are going to be unhappy. They took time off from work and scheduled in advance and etc. No one is thrilled if you call off from a prison psych clinic day, but as long as you can make it up sometime in the near future, it will work out. It’s not like the patients are going anywhere.”

Tell me about your non-medical hobbies. You know, those things that make you want to work hard so that you can go home and have fun kind of things.

“I started homebrewing beer in maybe 2006. I think I saw Alton Brown do it on Good Eats, and had to do it myself. From homebrewing, I got into gardening. Guys on homebrewing internet forums were raising their own hops and other ingredients. I have a weird mental hang-up about self-sufficiency. So, I had to do that too. From homebrewing and gardening, came beekeeping.”

“Again, some guy on one of the mead-making threads on a homebrewing forum asked about how many mead-makers were beekeepers. And the rest was history.”

“I’ve also said that I keep bees because after the zombies come, I’m going to need something to ferment.”

And 3-D printing too?

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm for 3D printing amongst libertarians. Oh yeah, that hasn’t come up yet, but I’m libertarian. Ron Paul doesn’t want to shrink the government enough, in my opinion. Part of the appeal of 3D printers is that it puts production into people’s homes. If only a handful of companies/factories are making gizmos of some sort, then it’s fairly easy for government to regulate or tax the production of gizmos. If regular Jim’s are able to make gizmos in their basement, in every home in America, then regulating or taxing gizmos becomes a lot tougher.”

“This is another example of one interest of mine meshing synergistically with others. Brewing meshed with gardening, and they both meshed with beekeeping. There is some work being done out there to use 3D printers in beekeeping, but I’m only peripherally aware of it. Open Source Beehives is one such example that I’m aware of. But, there’s plenty of room for more. A lot of beekeepers are woodworkers. I am not. But, I’m getting to be fairly competent at designing beekeeping gear on Tinkercad.com.”

“Again, I like being self-sufficient. (Yes, I am on the grid… for now.) Being able to design and print my own beekeeping gear is really appealing to me. I don’t plan on printing out one of Cody Wilson’s 3D printed Liberator handguns, but I know where to go find the files if I want to.”  <insert evil laugh here>

What would you call your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th career if you could put a label on it?

“Works in progress. Yes, works is plural on purpose. Is what you’re doing now a placeholder of sorts for something coming in the future?”

“I doubt I’ll ever get out of medicine altogether. Though I have some fantasy idea about getting ordained through the Chrysippus School of Theology, so that I can do pastoral counseling without having to worry about all of the bureaucracy that exists in modern medicine. Getting that is about a two year process, though. I also need to look into the legal details of pastoral counseling. I’m certain that if it is done in a way that involves money changing hands, that the State has some involvement.”

“I also recently found out about something called practicing philosophy, or practicing philosophers, that I need to look into some more. I dabble in Stoic Philosophy, which is something like the evolutionary precursor (by something like 2000 years) to modern psychotherapies, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. So, there is some sense to the practicing philosopher thing. It also probably overlaps with life coaching, which you’d know more about than I do. Imagine someone going to see their Philosopher for regular visits to help them live their life well, instead of their therapist because they are depressed. I don’t know enough about it, yet, but it seems interesting. Also, the less regulated a career is, the better it is, at least as far as I’m concerned.”

“But, for the foreseeable future, I’ll probably need to keep working in psychiatry, as a part time gig, while trying to get some sort of sustainable income out of beekeeping and eventually mead making. That’ll take a while. Also, ironically, the mead making part will involve more government regulation in my life. I have a wife and kids. I can’t afford to take the risk involved in the Uncle Jesse route with the mead making. There are few commercial beekeepers that are also mead makers. There was one in Vermont that I was aware of, but they got big enough to make mead year ‘round, I guess, and just started buying honey for their mead. I don’t ever figure on getting that big. If I need to hire people, that’ll mean more regulations and unwanted complexity in my life. Beekeeping is seasonal work, and I don’t see any reason why mead can’t be made in the beekeeping off-season. The two seem complementary to me.

You talk a lot about family. How big a part did they play in moving on to a second career?

“When I was in the pseudo-private practice family medicine job, my wife told me that she wasn’t going to just watch that job kill me. There’s a wakeup call for you. It’s probably one of the most loving things that she’s ever done for me. At the same time, she’s been resistant to me just going into private, solo-practice. If you go that way, you only eat what you kill, so to speak. We’ve got kids and a mortgage and I’ve still got six figures of student loans to pay off, so she much prefers I have something with some fairly guaranteed income. I think that as long as I’m able to pay for my share of the bills, and am not courting a lawsuit or criminal charges in the process, she’ll have my back. She would have liked for me to stay in academic medicine, and to become a big time researcher, but she knows that that just isn’t me.”

“My kids have a lot to do with my backing out of full time medicine. I wasn’t getting to see them. I’d go to work as they were waking up, and get home to find they were already asleep. Not every day, but more often than I cared for. My 7-year-old daughter “helps” me with the bees. She has her own head to toe protective bee suit and everything. My son wants to help, but is only 3. He’ll inherit his sister’s bee suit next spring.”

What does your wife do for a living?

“She is a fancy-schmancy psychiatrist at one of the major hospital systems in Cleveland. It’s not for me, but she loves it. She’s getting some recognition at the national level for the stuff she does, which is why I’m not giving her name or being too specific about where she works or what she does. It may just be hubris on my part to think that my antics could hurt her, career-wise, but it may not just be hubris.”

Is she the financial back up for now?

“I think we probably bring home equivalent income at this point. She’s made more than me, on an hourly basis, since we’ve been dating. But, she’s been working part time since our daughter was born, so I was making more per year, until these past few years when I really scaled back. I’m told that some guys have a hard time coping with their woman (or partner, or something else more politically correct than “woman” if you want) making more money than they do. I don’t seem to have that problem.

Please add anything you’d like to answer questions that I’m not astute enough to ask.

“I like turtles. But I like more than just turtles. I like a lot of things. It’s sort of a specialist’s world. I’m a generalist (except for woodworking, I’m just no good at it). That’s part of what first drew me to family medicine. But family medicine has been gradually watered down. Family med docs don’t do nearly as many procedures as they used to do a generation ago. There are incentives a’plenty to keep family docs working in an office, keeping to a relatively narrow range of activities. Some rural family med docs still do appendectomies, or colonoscopies, or whatever, but they’re the exception. They’re bucking the system, and good on ‘em. But, they’re a dying breed.”

“I was bucking the system by having two specialties, for a while. I sort of caved by cutting back to just one. But, I’ve opened up a lot of other things in my life by doing that. I just needed to generalize into areas of life that hadn’t been regulated or organized and bureaucratized as much as medicine has been. I’m trying to do a better job of choosing my battles.”

_____________________________________

If you’re interested in homebrewing, check out my reprint of the classic text Monzert’s Practical Distiller that covers everything from spirits to vinegar.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.callsignredbeard.com. Thanks for reading!

In the words of Starship Troopers, “Would you like to know more?”

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