Category Archives: Mastering the Art of Living

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My Experiences with the Pinhole Gum Surgery- 3 Weeks After

This is a departure from my usual leadership and awesomeness fare, in a post that will delve into my personal life more.

I just had a pinhole operation done on my gums last week. Before the surgery when I was doing my due diligence and looking it up, reading about it, and looking at alternatives I found plenty of information about the operation itself, but none from patients. All of it was from the point-of-view of the dentists.

I thought I’d put my own experience out there so others could judge for themselves and know what’s what with the procedure.

Even though this post might be dated when a reader finds it, the information will be even better because I’ll have a longer experience to refer to. If anyone has questions, be sure to ask.


The biggest news to update…I can drink Mountain Dew again, so I stocked up! The rest you can see on the video.



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’s the Best Way to Break a Promise?

I had to break a promise to my kids the other day. Have you ever had to do that? Or maybe break a promise to a client?

Is there a best way to do that?

Me and my wife gave a neat present to each of our kids for Christmas last year. It was a weekend trip of their choosing. You can see from the picture below what it was. Basically, we typed up some specs, gave them a map for reference, and wrapped each one’s sheet of paper in a box or bag.

They thought it was pretty cool. Like enterprising kids can be, they started plotting how to join their trips together for a longer trip somewhere further away. My two older boys were scouting out the middle of Florida where we could do a bunch of freediving in freshwater caves, play with alligators, and go mountain biking.

Then, all of a sudden, we had to take it all away. Our whole family just got on the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt and some big bills came due to get our house ready to sell. We could no longer afford the trip without stacking more debt on the credit cards, and we couldn’t justify doing that.

We sat the kids down and explained things to them. The older ones understood because they listen to Dave Ramsey a lot, but the younger ones just feel jipped for losing their Christmas gift. I feel crappy too. I feel like I just handed them a new toy, let them play with it for a minute, and then took it away so I could smash it with a hammer in front of them.

I guess what I’m saying is this. There’s no good way to break a promise. It’s like a pulling a tooth. If you don’t have to do it, don’t. If you have to do it, do it fast and get it over with. If you can find an alternative, do that.

So, what about you? What promises have you ever had to break and how did you do it?

Dr. Dave

PS…I just released a new book on using science fiction for education. I originally produced it under contract for a publisher, but it’s been cleared for me to release it on my own now. You can find it HERE if you’re interested.


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My Experiences with the Pinhole Gum Surgery- 1 Week After

This is a departure from my usual leadership and awesomeness fare, in a post that will delve into my personal life more.

I just had a pinhole operation done on my gums last week. Before the surgery when I was doing my due diligence and looking it up, reading about it, and looking at alternatives I found plenty of information about the operation itself, but none from patients. All of it was from the point-of-view of the dentists.

I thought I’d put my own experience out there so others could judge for themselves and know what’s what with the procedure.

Even though this post might be dated when a reader finds it, the information will be even better because I’ll have a longer experience to refer to. If anyone has questions, be sure to ask.

Prior to the Procedure-

I actually delayed this thing for months because I just wasn’t keen on an operation in my mouth. I hate anything to do with dentists, mainly because I’ve had a few horrible experiences to taint my view of anything dentistry-related.

I finally did it because I wanted the majority of the healing to be over with before I travelled to a couple of high profile keynote speaking opportunities.

My dentist was great on advising me about the procedure and the aftercare, which is quite extensive, with the exception of one thing. She didn’t tell me beforehand about the no soft drinks thing. This floored me when she told me after the procedure. Instead of weaning myself down (i.e. drinking a 12 pack of Mountain Dew the day before!!!), I had to go cold turkey.

Hint- buy this one week prior and enjoy with my blessing.

I have a weak bladder when I’m nervous (i.e. at the dentist), so I overhydrated the day before and drank almost nothing the morning before the operation. The procedure lasts about 2 hours, and there’s no getting up to go pee pee once she starts.

Mine was scheduled after lunch, which worked great. Consider it a last solid meal for a while kind of thing. Whenever you schedule your procedure, eat a big meal first. You won’t want to eat for a while.

During the Procedure-

My dentist has those cool noise cancelling headphones for patients. That and two episodes of Property Brothers got me through most of the operation. However, if you can go the full sedation route, do it.

During the procedure, there was a lot of grinding, tearing, and ripping kind of noises, which pretty much raised my stress level. A couple of times, she pretty much lifted my head up off the chair pulling on my gums. The noises aren’t that bad, as long as you don’t mind the kind of noises that are on the Saw movies while people are being torn apart.

The procedure itself didn’t hurt too bad. Not as bad as a sharp stick in the eye, as Jack Reacher often quips.

After the Procedure-

Afterward, it hurt like hell. I’ve been in a lot of fights in my years, and I’m talking full on people-trying-to-kill-me fights with my time in the Marines and Homeland Security. My face felt worse after this than any of them. A week later and  I can’t touch that side of my face without wincing.

My face is still really swollen, and if I didn’t have my legendary fierce red beard to cover it up, you’d see bruising all over. This is me prior to the surgery all flowers and happiness…

I’ve not eaten on the right side of my mouth for a week, which limits what I can eat and how big my bites are. I can’t eat anything crunchy or sticky for a long time, so it’s mostly soups and tofu for me.

Facial movements are really inhibited because I can’t stretch the gum area until it heals longer. That means no popping my jaw, spitting, blowing on anything, laughing, or even working out. If I grimace or smile too big, I’m afraid my face might fall off. I feel like a really grumpy looking robot.

Oh yeah, no soft drinks for a long time either. Did I already say that? Oh well, it bears repeating.

The Results-

The dentist showed me pictures of the before and after shots. She did this because I’m not even supposed to look at it. Pulling my lip down to look will stretch the gum. Do you know how hard it is not to look now that she told me not to? It’s crazy unbearable. It’s like when the guy at a restaurant tells you the plate’s hot.

The pics looked good though. My gum area on that side was recessed really bad, mainly because I’m such a crazy strong brusher, and I’m left-handed. Now it looks like it should.

I’m getting used to the new eating protocols. The way I look at it, I’ll probably shed a few pounds, in the sense that you usually lose about 10 pounds if you get the flu. I’ll lose my ten because my face hurts, and I can’t eat.

With all that said, the whole thing isn’t unbearable. It’s better than a tooth implant as far as I can tell. If my gums got much worse, I might’ve lost three teeth because of the exposed roots and such.

I’ll continue to update this series of posts as time goes on, and the healing continues. In case you’d like to hear me talking after the procedure, check out my video explanation below.

Your non-smiling friend Dr. Dave


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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Have You Ever Been Through a Rite of Passage Event?

Whew! One done and four more to go.

We held a Rite of Passage event for my oldest son Abishai this year. After him I have three more boys anda girl to plan and hold them for. Another great reason to space out your kids as best you can.

We had a blast at the event and did our best to honor his passage into adulthood with…

  • Feats of strength
  • Huge amounts of carnivorous food
  • Gifts and challenges from other men
  • and Fellowship

As we planned and then held his event I tried my best to find a book that would tell me what to do. I couldn’t find one. There are articles and research into rites of passage for other cultures, but not modern America.

I found how some people groups and cultures do the following to welcome manhood…

  • perform a circumcision
  • have their young men build their own house and move out
  • turn over the care of their cows
  • and other painful, interesting, or outrageous activities and lessons

I found some neat ideas, but nothing that helped my planning, so I wrote a book about it.

If you want to plan a Rite of Passage for your young man, I hope it’s a great resource that will help you.

You can order a Kindle or print version HERE if you’d like one. Since you’re on my list I’d also love to give you something more if you order one. Just send me proof of your order by replying to this e-mail or at drdave@redteamgoals.com, and I’ll send you a PDF copy of the book to share with your spouse or Pastor.

Thanks,

Dr. Redbeard

PS…If you have any questions while you’re planning a Rite of Passage, be sure to fire them off to me. I’d love to see what you’re coming up with that’s different from the one I did.

Here’s my boy at his event…


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My Compass for the Year

 

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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Do you know a parent who has one of THOSE kids?

Ugh! A parent walked over with her kid at the playground. My first thought was, “What’s my kid done now?”

But no. She walked him over to apologize in person to my kid. You see, her kid is on the autism spectrum, and she was helping him to learn social skills. It’s not even that he did anything bad like throwing sand or rocks (yeah, my kids have done that).

She was just teaching him how to do something better.

This interaction turned into a great conversation with her, and my wife and I made a new friend.

Not many parents have THOSE kids.

Many parents have THESE kids…

  • No idea what responsibility or consequences mean
  • Free allowance for nothing
  • Get whatever they want
  • Obese
  • Never venture outside unless forced

I feel bad for THOSE kids. The saving grace is that they’re kids, so there’s still time to unleash their greatness!

Here’s an example of two awesome kids I know…

Of course I have to mention one of my own. My oldest son of 13 years just turned one of his homeschool assignments into his first published book about salads for kids. It’s funny too- he even thanked The Rock in it for inspiring him.


Another impressive young kid is Clara Isabel Logsdon. I know this 8yo artist through her grandad Dan Miller. She completely illustrated a published book based on interactions between her and her grandmother Joanne Miller.


If there’s a kid that you have some influence over as a parent or some other reason, how about you do your best today and tomorrow and the next day to inspire them to awesomeness, even if it feels like torture to them right now.

Disclaimer- My kids are in no way perfect, nor am I. If you want to hear any stories or advice about mistakes they’ve made, things we do, or mistakes we’ve made as parents, just get in touch.

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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Vitamix is Why You Should Pay for Quality

Years ago my wife bought a Vitamix blender at Costco for what I thought was an outrageous amount of money. As a matter of fact, she paid for it with her own blow money just so she could prove it was worth it.

Wow did she!

That blender has been the single biggest improvement in healthy eating for our family of 7 ever (5 kids!). We have so much fun with our veggie and fruit smoothies.

Disclaimer- Even though Tim Ferriss and Chris Young at Chef Steps explained over dinner one night how nature wants to kill us, including our spinach. A story for another time.

The other day I noticed a chipped blade. I worked up my angst and called Vitamix ready to fight over making them replace it. They sure messed up my prepped argument.

I barely got on the phone and explained my issue before she said, “Oh, that’s still under warranty. What’s your address? We’ll ship you out a new one immediately.”

Here it is, all nice and shiny…

And that is why you should save up and pay for quality the first time instead of paying over and over for a long list of broken whatevers.

It’s the same way with my business. I do keynotes, breakout training sessions, and coaching. Right now I’m coaching a small construction company that has been ‘buying’ (so to speak) low quality employees for years. It’s greatly affected morale, profit, and their checking account. I just discovered thousands in unpaid and late bills that slipped under the radar.

Buy quality the first time and it will pay off in the end.

I just noticed after I posted this pic that there’s a glob of smoothie on my shirt.

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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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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