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Rehash of 2018 and whats next

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There really isn’t a logo for the J-Dudes (My term not theirs) so I found this online. photo from yahoo


Hey Ya’ll,


There is no doubt that I feel hard off the social media train. I lost my blog dog status and turned into “That Guy.” Very sorry about that, I totally understand that all of you needed to move on with life. No one likes to be in a one-sided relationship. Of course, I will not make any promises about the future, but the good news is that I can’t give you less than zero. It is all uphill from here.


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Oh Waaaahhhh! Cry me a river, its not like any of you called to check on me. photo from yahoo.



This past year I was involved in a fairly intensive leadership class that focused on turning men into better leaders within the family, the church and their world. There was a group of seven of us with two group leaders and we were required to read twelve books and do a special project each month. In November 2017, on a Sunday morning while the preacher was talking, I was thinking that had fallen into a rut in life and was thinking about a challenge to take me to the next level in life. After services, one of the group leaders, Matt Y, asked if he could call me and talk about this leadership group called Joshua’s Men. Before he could finish telling me about the upcoming year, I said yes. He laughed and told me that this was serious and that I probably should talk with my wife about it. I told him just to put me on the list.


I knew two of the guys in the group fairly well and two others vaguely. The other three were new names and faces. The first month was a weekend retreat which was pretty intense. Not physically or even mentally but emotionally. Our group formed quickly and we were off. During the year, the toughest challenge for me was a three day fast but there never was an easy challenge. We had to do a fifteen-minute speech, a couple of interviews with our spouses or with people we had never met, we kept a budget for a month, develop a vision for life, write encouragement letters and a couple more that I have repressed. Ha ha.


I am in a much better place today than I was this time last year. Being in a relatively intense study with other highly motivated men was invigorating and I highly suggest everyone seek out a group like this to join.


It was directly because of this group that I started iOverflight with two other friends. My goals for iOverflight are different than my business partners and while I am not ready to talk about them right now. I promise that my goals are stupid big and will surely fail if I am not blessed by God. Because it is God’s will not mine that I go down the road. I only know one way and that is at max forward speed, recklessly flying into the unknown. ROCK ON!



Gratuitous product placement. Check them out at photo from iOverflight.



On the writing front, I totally ditched “The Book of Lot” because it sucked. It was easy, select all…delete.

I started writing “The Book of Judas” in January, getting in sporadic hours during the year.  Right now, I think I have a solid story line and about 80,000 words. I am going to get a good edit and run through and maybe there will be something there. If nothing else, I love the title. So at least that is something.


This past Spring, my daughter played high school softball. It was fun for me. I don’t think she liked it and there is a real chance that she has retired from volleyball and softball. She changed schools this fall and is doing amazing. She is so much like I was in high school except that she is nice, mostly listens in class, never skips, hasn’t gone to see the Principal and she has all A’s. She really is blowing up right now and I couldn’t be prouder.


I think this is more of a tackle than a hug. I like the form, head up and wrapped up. photo from rob akers

My son started playing Middle School sports this Fall starting with soccer and now basketball. It is tough to compete as a 6th grader when your playing 8th graders but he is holding his own. He is nothing like me except that he gets in trouble with the teachers and the Principal, he doesn’t like to listen in class, his grades leave lots of room for improvement, and if he could skip class he would in a heartbeat and not feel an ounce of guilt. Unlike me, he is a great kid and like his sister, he is blowing up and I couldn’t be prouder. Of course, it is my Mom’s fault because she wished that I would have a son just like me.


All things being equal, I have never been more blessed. I lay in bed every night and wonder what I did to get a fantastic life. But my heart breaks when I think of what Haitian Rob would have been like living in a world where there was no hope. We got to fix that.


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I can’t fix this. But God can. Time to get to work. photo from yahoo


Until next time, keep on rockin!


This isnt all the books. I am missing two but you get the idea.



Great Book. Written with a loving heart. photo from rob akers



Easy to read with simple explanations. Why do we make money so complicated? Of course, the things that are important should be easy to understand and hard to do. Good read. photo from rob akers



I have a tough time being constantly reminded how good a leader the author is and that I should be like him without concrete examples of what makes him a better leader then I am. Maybe one thing is that he actually has written a book. photo from rob akers



Another book written with a loving heart. Good book but I think I remember it being tough to read. photo from rob akers



Not a leadership book but it taught me more about leadership than Maxwell and Scroggins combined. Hard to read because it is so intellectually deep (consider the reader here) but it is still very impactful to me. Yes! photo from rob akers


As I read this book, I couldnt get past Bill Hybels constantly bringing up how he was approaching women to share the Gospel with them. I kept thinking about where is his wife was and what my wife would think if I “witnessed” only to women. Probably on the not cool side of the equation. I mentioned this to one of the guys in the group when he asked what I thought of the book. He asked if I knew about Bill and his issues. I dont have a clue because Im not the guy that is connected like that. Apparently Bill has been accused of inappropriate conduct around women. After reading the book, I am not surprised at all. photo from rob akers


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The others didnt care for this book, and it had its issues. But overall, if you want to learn how to speak in public. It is a good place to go. photo from yahoo



Most motivational book I read all year. But I would debate that it was more God and less Andy. photo from yahoo 


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First book I read this year. That is the best thing I have to say about it. If you read it and got 20% good stuff out of it. Then you are a better person than me. photo from yahoo


Finally kicking over a domino…


Hey Y’all,

I know I have been promising that I was going to set off a string of dominoes into motion and we finally got one to fall. We can take a short trip back to the future. In July, I had a conversation with a couple of friends and we decided that the environment was ripe to start a small business.

Six months later, we can finally announce the public launch of iOverflight. The three of us are all professional pilots and we will conduct aerial photography with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) if you are in the industry of drone if you prefer. We all have completed the FAA requirements to the Part 107 Commercial UAS License, we have a business license, a Federal Tax Identification, a bank account, insurance, an accountant, a logo, business cards, we have a presence on Facebook and Instagram and something else…

Oh yea, a real website.

I would like to ask a favor of all of you that have been so wonderful to check in on this site for the past five years. Please hit the link to the new website. Poke around and even submit the contact information. I promise that we will not blow you up with anything. For the next month or so, the web-developers will be working with us as we stress test the website and if there are issues, it is best to find them now as it just went live today.

The website is

Until then, I will leave you with a couple of photos that we have taken during the last couple of months. Thank you again for the help and I will throw out something in the near future concerning my work in progress. “Firmus of Yahweh…The Book of Judas”

Until next time…keep on rockin!







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photo from yahoo


Hey Ya’ll,


I know I said I would be cranking out new material on a more regular basis, but that hasn’t happened the way I anticipated. Lots of things going on here on this corner of the internet. I am still finishing up re-write 3.0 of the yet to see the daylight book, my son just finished up his first soccer season playing for his school and he is gearing up for his first official basketball season, my daughter is two months into her Freshman year of high school, my work is still very time consuming and since there isn’t enough, I am in the finishing phase of starting a new project and in the beginning phase of starting a third project.


I’m not ready to talk about either of the new projects yet, but that will happen soon enough. It is enough to make my head hurt which brings me to this. Think about all the time it takes to set up a few dominoes and how fast they fall. I am deep into the setting up phase of all my projects. When I get the courage to push the first one over, I will let you know.


Until next time, keep on rockin!


Major Pain…


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Major James “Jimmy” Stewart. Photo from yahoo


Hey Y’all,


Not a lot of time tonight but I remembered that two weeks ago I promised to do a better job of writing. You all know what you can do with my promises, but here you go. I am really motivated to complete a series that I started on Sept 11, 2012. It has taken me longer to document the stories from 2003-2006 that it did to live them and relive them and relive them. Anyway, there is one final rotation left to document and we can put that chapter to bed.


For all the new folks who have shown up since, 2012 I am writing these stories down as I remember them so that one day my kids can know why their old man acts the way that he does. It hasn’t really been fun to remember all these stories but there is a cathartic release that comes from opening my mind and releasing the demons.


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Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. photo from yahoo


When I left the military in 2007, I was a Major. Most people get promoted to Major because they are highly deserving of the promotion. Believe it or not, I am not like most people. Following the last set of stories, I had returned home and was trying very hard to put the wheels back on my marriage. It was tough but we were making progress. I was still alive.


Donetta and I talked about the next rotation and neither of us wanted me to leave again. Anyone who thinks the constant rotational cycle of a deployment is easy is someone who isn’t mentally all there. No one liked it but we had one more until we were done. However, I was technically not activated at the time and my commitment was up to the military so I could leave anytime. Donetta and I talked about it and decided that we would press to test the button to see if I could get out of the military. The next morning, I marched myself into my boss’s office and laid a piece of paper on his desk. It said that it was my intention to put my papers in for separation from the military. Lieutenant Colonel Tony B, looked at me and asked if I was serious. I told him that I was.


Tony is a great man and a wonderful boss. He was on leave from Delta Airlines and dealing with his own issues in his life. He knew what I was going through and we talked very briefly about my motivations and he got it. He signed the paper and gave it back to me. Honestly, I was shocked that it went that far and that told me that when I turned it into the personnel group that he was going to activate me for the remaining ten months of my time and send me over on the next rotation and leave me over there until my time was up. When I got back, then I could get out.


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Chuck Norris was Maj Scott McCoy in Delta Force. photo from yahoo


I just nodded because I knew that he could do exactly what he threatened. But to my surprise, he asked if I had completed my course work to be promoted. Squadron Officer School was more commonly known as SOS and was one of the metrics that the Air Force used to determine when someone could be promoted. The other was straight time in grade. If the normal Captain was promoted at the six-year mark and the minimum time to be promoted was four years, I was hardly into the fifth year of service as a Captain. To promote me was not outrageous but something totally not necessary. My SOS was complete and I was eligible for promotion. Tony told me that if I tore up the paper and went on my rotation as scheduled, then he would hold a promotion board for me the next day and I could go over as a Major with a pay raise.


My choices were to get promoted and do what I was already scheduled to do or to go over immediately for ten months. Tony was under no obligation to do a promotion board for me and really no obligation to do anything other than kick me out of his office. But I couldn’t just walk out of the office that easily. I told him that “I wasn’t going to wear my Blues” which meant that I wasn’t going to wear my official uniform.


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Damon Williams played Major Payne and his uniform was always perfect. photo from yahoo.


Park of that was being ornery but the other part was that I didn’t have a uniform ready to wear to a promotion board. The last time I had worn it, I was a Lieutenant so it had the wrong rank, it was not updated with the correct medals and ribbons and to be honest, I wasn’t even sure where it was. I was all a mess but I couldn’t just admit that. I had to pop off to someone who was trying to do me a favor.


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Of all the characters, I am closest to Major Frank Burns. photo from yahoo


I went home and told Donetta what Tony said. She was disappointed but there were lots of things that disappointed her during that time so it was just another day.


Tony just laughed because he understood. He gave me permission to wear my flight suit to the unscheduled promotion board. The next day, I sat in a room with Tony and two other guys and we talked for a little bit. They asked me questions about how they could make things better, they asked about what was wrong with the Squadron and what I would change if I was in charge. It was a pleasurable conversation and one that we had informally had sitting at the wagon wheel in Qatar or flying from one place to another.


I walked out of the promotion board an undeserving Major select and went about getting my stuff together to go back over there.


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Me and Tony and the boys. Im on the left. Photo from yahoo


Until next time, keep on rockin.



Dude, where have you been?

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Yea, I kind of went into hiding. sorry. photo by yahoo


Hey Ya’ll,

I saw a friend at work last night. It had been a long time since we last saw each other, something like five days. It seemed like forever, anyway it was his time to walk out of the building to go on his trip and he asked me if I had stopped writing, I didn’t even know that he was a reader of the words I put here. I told him that I had been busy and he gave me that look, you know that look. The look when the words and actions don’t really match. So, you all can thank your lucky stars, that he busted my chops a little last night.


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Tom was really not impressed. photo from yahoo


So, what I have been doing? That is a long and complicated answer. Last November, I was invited to join a small group of men who were doing to do a one-year, intense journey of leadership, Bible study and personal growth called Joshua’s Men. After, I asked my friend Matt if he had the right guy I checked my calendar and it was clear. Or so I thought, how tough could it be so I said yes. Eight months into the study, I am whipped. We read a different book every month and then have a project to go along with it and we have a study guide to complete and all that is before the self-assessment questions and other associated readings.

Reading eight books in eight months is hard. Over the last twenty years, I might have really read eight books. And those eight books were all fiction. And those eight books didn’t have a study guide attached to them. And those eight books didn’t have a monthly five-hour meeting to discuss the readings and complete the homework attached to them. And those eight books didn’t have a regular accountability meeting with one of the other men in the study.


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Now this is a truth. I’m going to steal it and make it my own because it is awesome. photo from yahoo, meme from now on, rob


To make matters much worse, I didn’t realize what a slime ball I was until I started reading these books on spirituality, accountability, leadership, vision and planning for the next step in life, leading your family, how to give a presentation and this month is about money. Each month, I keep trying to tap out and call “no mas” but my guys just shake their heads no and give me another book. In February, we did a three day fast as our special project. If you have never fasted, I will give you the cliff note version. You get really hungry and then you begin to notice that every commercial on television is a food commercial. Then when you go for a drive, you realize how many restaurants there are in your local Mayberry town. Then you stay inside and shelter in place hoping that it will pass, then you realize that your family still wants to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I learned anything from the three day fast it is that, we as American’s, like to eat to excess and that is probably why we are all overweight. After the fast, I spent all of March grazing like a cow. If I saw it, I ate it. Then the grazing continued into April, May, June, July and now August. I keep thinking that I should go back and do some one-day fasts, because they were actually enjoyable. But I can’t make myself do it, yet.


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That was me driving to the dinner when we broke the fast. photo from yahoo.


That still doesn’t explain, why I haven’t been keeping you all up to date on here. So here is reason number two, in April we read a book called Visioneering by Andy Staley. If you find yourself stuck in a rut or not sure what the purpose of the next few years of your like should be, then I highly recommend this book. In fact, I gave it away to all the high school graduates in our world this year. I bet they would have rather have had the money. I know I would have. Anyway, I was deep into the book, somewhere between page 6 and 10 when a thought popped into my mind. It was about Haiti and an idea of how to transform their country from where they are now, into a viable nation. I know this thought is crazy talk, and I am not sure I even want to continue to write about it on here but the thought that came into my head made perfect sense and it was a four-step process with each of the intermediate steps in-between.

I was talking to a friend about it and he described it like driving down the highway in a driving rain storm where you can’t see ten feet in front of the car and then you go under a bridge that blocks the rain. Suddenly, you can see clearly. That clear moment passes as soon as you go back into the rain, but you can’t forget what just happened. That is where I am right now. I have had five or six meetings with people who have actually been to Haiti (I never have been there) and I’m putting the plans in place to start a non-profit organization that will exist to bring the thought that popped into my head into reality. If you are a person who prays, this would be a good time to throw out a prayer for me and this crazy thought.


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Not sure if stopping under the bridge counts but at least they are dry. photo from yahoo


The end of June I was going to work and I was thinking about Haiti and the organization that I am going to start. I really feel compelled to make this organization 100% self-funded. I don’t want to have to ask for money because the thought that I had was that it would be taken care of. That is what I was thinking about and how I could raise some serious cash, because the final two steps will require some real money. I put the thought away deep in the back of my mind and went to back to the regular thoughts that normally populate the space between my ears, you know food. Literally, six hours later, I was talking to a friend and he told me about an opportunity to start a side business operating a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Just two years ago, a different friend and I talked about doing it but it wasn’t the right time. Now is the right time. I called that friend and he said yes. We called another friend and he was in so we are starting a UAV company called ioverflight. We are not up and running yet, but we hope to be going on 1 Sep. My goal is going to be to divert the vast majority of my share of the money we earn through ioverflight into the Haiti project.

None of this is an accident. The very morning before my friend asked me to join the men’s group, I was thinking that I needed a challenge in life, which led to the fast and then the thoughts about Haiti, which led to the idea to start the business and then my friend last night telling me I need to write something on here because I have been neglectful of you guys. The more that I read and the more I think about my place in the world, the more that I realize that none of this has been an accident. Lots of words come to mind as I write them down, but the two that keep popping up are blessed and humbled. I will take some more good thoughts and prayers here. Ten years ago, next month, I drove out the front gate for the last time as a member of the United States military. I was full of hate and raging with anger at the world. Today, I am just over 50% love and peace. It is not an accident that I am a work in progress and moving in a much more healthy direction.

So that is where I have been the last few months. By the way, the complete and total re-write of the novel is almost complete. It has a lot of issues to fix but it feels better the fourth time I have written it. I would like to have it to the editor lady in November. I say that because that will be the one-year mark from her reading the last one that totally sucked. Her words, not mine.

I can’t promise that I will write very often over the rest of the year. But I will, because I do really enjoy totally dumping my mind out onto all of you. For me, it is a total and complete emptying of the things that keep me from focusing on the next task. I would like to say that I will transform to shorter articles, but I can’t seem to keep this under fifteen hundred words (this article is 1597 and counting). The only thing short about me is my height.


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I think I fit the profile of a steely-eyes drone pilot. photo by yahoo


Until then, I will keep you updated on the status of ioverflight, Haiti and the novel. I might give you an update on the status of the Joshua’s Men group. If I come across some great nugget of wisdom, I will let you know.  Until then, I my daily Bible readings, a short 172-page book on money to read in the next two weeks, a weekly Bible study to lead, a monthly Bible class to teach at Church, kids that need a Dad, a wife that needs her husband and a full-time job to do so that I can do what I really like to do.




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It just ain’t right. photo by yahoo


Until next time, keep on rockin


Want to make a difference…

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Hey Y’all,


I know I have not been around much since the new year started. That was something I anticipated as I have taken on a new project for this year. That project takes two to three weeks of my monthly free time so something had to be cut back and this was the first thing cut. There have been other cut but they happened behind the curtain.


This week, my wife is on a medical mission trip to Haiti with fifteen others from our area. Most go to our church but several don’t. For those that don’t know, my wife is a RN and works in our local Mayberry hospital in the Intensive Care Unit. She has seen things and done things that quite frankly scare me. But I am a chicken, so that isn’t much of a shock.


Yesterday, in Haiti a little girl showed up with a urgent need. This girl was suffering from a condition that was full blown and it was something that my wife had never experienced in her twenty plus years of nursing.  She had read about it, studied it, she was almost positive she knew what it was when the girl was carried into the clinic and we have friends who had kids with this condition but it always treated. But my wife was so taken back by this girl’s condition that she reached out to her contacts back home as a confirmation of what she was looking at. The doctors and other nurses on the mission trip were doing the same thing. No one wanted to be wrong. I will put pictures at the bottom of the article. Don’t look if you don’t want to see. The girl is nine months old and has a severe case of Hydrocephalus which is a condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain.[1] This typically causes increased pressure inside the skull.[1]


That definition came from Wikipedia. About 2 newborns in 1000 have this condition. In the US and other modern nations, it is identified very quickly, treated immediately and has a hugely successful rate of cure. In newborns, they wear a specially made bicycle helmet that helps the skull grow properly after a couple of years they can jump motorcycles, snowboard, and do WWE dives head first off the roof with no danger to their brain. Well not any additional danger than any other kid.


This little girl was being seen for the first time by the doctors from my wife’s medical mission team when they came to her village for the first time. The doctors are working trying to figure out how to get her to Miami or another US children’s hospital for surgery or how to bring a neurosurgeon and their special equipment to tap into her head and drain the fluid.


Here is what I would like to ask from you guys. If you are a believing Christian, toss out a couple of prayers for this girl, for her family, for the doctors and the immigration agents of both Haiti and the United States so that she can get into the proper medical treatment as soon as possible.


If you are of another believing religion, please throw out a prayer or meditation to your supreme Deity asking for the same things.


If you are antagonistic, call out to the either and send this little girl your warmest thoughts, your best wishes and do the same for the medical professionals.


If you are an atheist, please send out good vibrations to her and to the people trying to extend this child’s life.


I really don’t care what you believe or don’t believe because this has nothing to do with belief or conversion. This has everything to do with the human condition. It has everything to do with those who have more and those who don’t. Somewhere lost in the political discourse, I think we have forgotten what it means to be trapped in an environment where there is no clean water, a lack of food, no sanitation services, substandard living conditions and no access to health care. This has nothing to do with insurance, this has everything to do with finding a trained professional who can stick a needle into this 9 month old girl’s head and drain the fluid that is killing her.


WARNING: I am going to put some pictures of this girl up. I think that they are very disturbing. Don’t look if you don’t want to know. All I am asking is that you pray happy thoughts for this girl.


I am going to sign off here. I don’t think it matters what you choose to believe or how you feel about others. To see these images, tears me up. I am sure that I am not the only one. Thanks for reading, praying, thinking, meditating, and sending your good thoughts to this girl. Maybe collectively, we can encourage everyone in the chain of events to do what is right for her.


Until Next Time, Keep on Rockin.























I know who did it…

Hey Y’all,


Over the weekend, my I-Pad was hacked once again. I know several of you got multiple e-mails from me asking you to download a game called Bowmasters. Unfortunately, we have covered this ground before. A couple months ago, two rough and rowdy kids stole my I-Pad from me, they hacked my account and sent out the messages.


Here is a picture of the criminals.


Criminal One and Two. Looks like life south of the border hasn’t affected them too much. photo from rob akers


When I was hacked Sunday, I went straight to the police. It has been confirmed that these two criminals have been deported and could not possibly committed this crime. Exhausted from searching for the new criminals, I came across some evidence that indicates there may be crime wave in my sleepy, little, Mayberry Town.



Yes, that is my snow dusting the front step. That little criminal went into my house, hacked my I-Pad and left without taking the shoes that always sit next to the front door. photo from rob akers


I don’t know what you think about who this might be, but I promise you that I will find the dad of that kid. Anyone who sends their son out in the snow with no shoes, is a poor example of a parent.




Obviously the mastermind of the operation. It doesn’t look like snow there. It might take two months for me to find him. I will be looking for the guy with ugly feet. photo from rob akers



Until next time, keep on rockin.

Vern Norrgard

Agile Coach, Photographer and Video

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