Category Archives: Journal

My personal blog chronicling my life experiences!

Lawson / Walker Wedding

On a beautiful and sunny day, my incredible wife and I said, “I do!” and started a new chapter in our lives! That wonderful day was Sunday, October 15th, 2017! Our wedding took place inside a beautiful log wedding chapel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, appropriately named “Little Log Wedding Chapel“. The ceremony was just as gorgeous as my wife, with our family and friends in attendance. Laurel and Wes, of the country duo The Young Fables performed at the wedding. Ben and Scott of Knoxville’s house band, K-Town played our reception, and both made our wedding memorable! Both of their musical abilities really set the perfect tone for both the wedding and the reception, Most importantly, everyone had a great time celebrating our marriage with us!

To say that I am an exremely blessed man is an understatement! No words can accurately describe my wife and the love I have for her. She is truly my better half, and she is the answer to prayers sent to The Lord. I waited all my life to find her, and I look forward to memories we will make in this life we have built together, and what our future holds.

Below are pictures of our wedding and reception which captured our celebration! Our photos were taken by Jon Henry, who is a friend and an excellent photographer. He can be found on Facebook at Jon Henry Photos & Graphics .


Mac Terminal Command Tricks, Games & Movies

Greetings everyone! So this article is going to be a hit for all the Mac users out there who enjoy using Terminal for fun and games! Recently I wondered what types of Terminal uses could be had for a little fun and games. To my suprise I found quite a few answers and decided to share them with you all!

Please if you see something you would like added, send me a message and let me know!


Okay so the cool thing about playing games in Terminal on your Mac is they are already installed, you just have to know how to access them! So below is a list of how to access these games.

First you have to load Terminal. Once you have loaded Terminal, in the command line enter emacs to access GNU Emacs, then press Enter on your keyboard.

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 10.54.54 PM.png

Next once you see something like this (see below), hold Esc and press on your keyboard. This will prompt at the bottom of Terminal M-x.

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 10.56.09 PM.png

From there you can enter the name of any number of games below, then press Enter on your keyboard.

  • 5×5
  • animate
  • blackbox
  • cookie1
  • decipher
  • dissociate
  • doctor
  • dunnet
  • fortune
  • gamgrid
  • gametree
  • gomoku
  • handwrite
  • hanoi
  • landmark
  • life
  • meese
  • morse
  • mpuz
  • pong
  • snake
  • solitaire
  • spook
  • studly
  • tetris
  • yow
  • zone

To quit the game, press Ctrl and X then Ctrl and Z.


You can also watch Star Wars Episode IV in Terminal! To do so is rather simple. In terminal enter the following command.

curl telnet

After tpying this command, press Enter on your keyboard.

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After pressing Enter, the movie will play! It is downloaded via the internet and played in Terminal, altohugh I have no reaosn to believe the data needed for this is extensive. So for all you Star Wars fans, SET BACK AND ENJOY THE SHOW!

Tail of the Dragon

Today is the first opportunity this year to drive what many around the world call The Tail of the Dragon! While off work today I took the chance to take my Honda Civic to Deal’s Gap store inside North Carolina, and turn around. A good friend of mine, Al otherwise known as WA4HSM, has a photography business called Moonshine Photo, and he sits on US Hwy 129 near Calderwood Dam, and snaps photos of cars and motorcycles on the Dragon. I recommend checking out his website at and see what pictures you can find of yourself!

Al told me about the old community of Calderwood, where people who worked at the dam lived. I took a moment to drive through the delapitated community, which is open Monday – Friday until 3 pm, and viewed where the old houses and churches stood. A few buildings are still standing and they are quite remarkable. This also happens to be a nature reserve and the wildlife is bountiful! I had the chance to see deer and turkey, and while no bears were spotted, beware if you are in the mountains as many live in the woods.

On my way back towards civilization I took a moment to stop and marvel at the Little Tennessee River. Currently (as of today, Friday, August 12, 2016) repairs to Calderwood Dam have forced the company that owns the three dams on the river to drop the water level. I rememver when this was initally done the police found a bounty of cars and other items discarded in the river, that some parties probably wish were still underwater. Ha who knows, maybe Jimmy Hoffa is at the bottom of the river.

I took Foothills Parkway back to Maryville and enjoyed the drive through the mountains and nature. I do recommend careful driving as some drivers choose to drive recklessly, but law enforcement stay on the Dragon to keep them in proper check.

Another reason for driving the Dragon was to see how well simplex radio communications were received a distance away in Philadelphia. To our surprise and joy it received quite well! The only place that had difficulty via simplex and repeater was at Deal’s Gap store, located just inside North Carolina. Transmissions were still readable, although with significant static and difficulty. But along the Dragon, radio communications to the W4YJ, 145.250 MHz and KK4DKW, 145.270 MHz repeaters were nearly full quieting the whole trip, and with minimal difficulty. A note to other ham radio operators in the area, these two repeaters can be of assistance while on the Dragon, and all of US Hwy 129 from Tennessee into North Carolina.

Take a look at the pictures below!

30th Birthday Celebration

My 30th birthday was this past week, and Jaime and I chose to celebrate by visiting Cherokee, NC for the night! We had dinner with my family in Knoxville, then traveled US Hwy 441 through Gatlinburg, into Cherokee! The drive was beautiful and we were grateful to see all the wildlife and scenery along our route -including a few black bears and Newfound Gap.

Once in Cherokee we checked into our hotel, then visited the casino. Side note too, if you have never been to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino they will provide you with free money to play with in the casino on their slot machines; although you can “cash out” and use the money at card tables. Although the penny slots were fun, Blackjack is an amazing game! One of the dealers was kind enough to show me how the game is played and although rigged, the best chances of winning.

Before heading home we stopped by the EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) Justice Center, where the Cherokee Police Department is housed, across the street from their Emergency Operations & 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center. I was able to do some department patch trading, and added a Cherokee Police Department patch to my growing collection.

Our return trip home allowed us the opportunity to visit Clingman’s Dome and while a pretty steep hike the scenery and breathtaking view was worth it! We ate lunch at Johnny Rocket’s in Gatlinburg, and I must say that experience was grand as well!

Turning thirty years old has exciting and fun! I am thankful for the many loved ones in my life who has made these three decades so amazing, and I look forward to the many more still to come! Below are some pictures of this year’s celebration.

The Piano Guys

To say that I am a blessed man is a serious understatement. I have been blessed to have an amazing woman in my life whom I care for with an insurmountable amount of love. I thank God above for placing her in my life, and I want to share with you what she chose to do for me.

Next month I turn a page in the book of decades I have had the opportunity to walk upon this Earth. April 10th will mark thirty years of age, thirty wonderful and happy years of knowledge, lessons learned, and times of joy. April 21st brings Jaime and I one year of true happiness, one year of wonderful memories made together, one year spent hand-in-hand by one another’s side, one year of building a Christ-centered relationship with one another, one year spent and one year of the most beautiful love for one another building a future together to last a lifetime.

To celebrate these two milestones, Jaime surprised me with a “weekend” trip to an unknown destination, for an unknown event, and last October she only told me to take a few days off in March. Unbeknownst to me she had planned for us to spend two days in Nashville which is one of my favorite cities, and an evening at The Ryman Auditorium attending a once in a lifetime live performance by my favorite musical group, The Piano Guys! When she and I first met she quickly learned about my love for this group, one pianist, one cellist, and two “behind the scenes” guys, when bought together became The Piano Guys -and have still yet to sell a piano. When she found out they were playing The Ryman Auditorium on March 15th, she ordered us front row tickets, complete with a meet and greet after the show!

Meeting The Piano Guys was such an amazing experience, as was viewing their performance from the best seats in the house, with the most incredible woman by my side!

You make the world a brighter place. I love you sweetheart.

Here is a rundown of our trip, complete with pictures.

Monday, March 14th, 2016:
• Dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy with Jaime’s best friend
• Post dinner escape at The Escape Game Room Nashville


Tuesday, March 15th, 2016:

• Toured The Parthenon in Nashville, a replica of the original Parthenon, in Athens, Greece

• Toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

• Lunch downtown at Demos’ Restaurant
• Shopped at the Nashville Predator’s Team Store, located at Bridgestone Arena

• Walked downtown to the John Seigenthaler Bridge, which crosses over the river and overlooks Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans

• Attended The Piano Guys live performance at The Ryman Auditorium, and met the group after the show


Wednesday, March 16th, 2016:
•Lunch at the Opryland Hotel gardens

Vacation 2013 – Arkansas – Part Two

Greetings everyone from the beautiful state of Tennessee!! Haha, I think I may have fooled you for a minute, making you think I was in Arkansas by the way that intro sounded. 🙂 I made it back to Tennessee august 11th, after about an eleven hour drive from Arkansas.

Speaking of Arkansas though, I had a marvelous time. I spent eleven days visiting with family, doing a little work on the farm, and I did some sightseeing. Papa, my cousin Jacob, and I, went to Hot Springs and spent a full day there. We visited the gangster museum, went to the top of the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, and then managed to get a little turned around on the drive back to Grapevine. I also had the pleasure of meeting Jacob’s girlfriend, and he sure has found himself a winner; she is a wonderful woman. We sure did have a lot of fun, and pictures from my vacation can be found below.

I made sure throughout my vacation to do some geocaching. I located caches in the following states:


I am up to fourteen states so far… and counting!

In all honesty I hated to leave Arkansas. I have such a wonderful family there, and while my family in Tennessee is wonderful, it would be great if I could move them all to Arkansas. But I hope everyone enjoys the pictures, and I will enjoy the wonderful memories made.

Vacation 2013- Saint Louis – Part One

Vacation 2013

Saint Louis, Missouri

Part One

Today’s date is July 30th, 2013, my last day in beautiful Saint Louis. To say the first leg of my trip has been fun, would be a gross understatement. I have spent the past six days with my grandparents, while visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousin. I have been to many local historic sites, including some below.

Saint Louis Arch
Cardnal’s Baseball Park
Ram’s Football Stadium
Ram’s Practice Complex
Blue’s Hockey Arena
Busch Bottling Company
Union Station

Those are just a few more notible locations. We also took a day trip to the Pere Marquette State Park, just over the state line into Illinois. About an hour drive from Saint Louis, not too bad. The beauty of the park was wonderful, and I managed to get some spectactular pictures. Those pictures are below in a slideshow.

At the park they have roads you can drive and it will take you to some beautiful overlooks, with some amazing views of the Mississippi River. Furthmore, there are a few towns, (Alton, Ill. ; Elsah, Ill. ; and Grafton, Ill.) that have beautiful downtown districts, and wonderful views along the Mississippi River also.

I did see something I am not used to seeing- Illinois Department of Transportation operates a ferry service that crosses the Mississippi river, from Grafton, Ill. into Missouri. For the communters that drive from Grafton to Saint Louis, that save them about 45 minutes and about 30 miles drive one way. Kicker is, it’s all free. It’s paid by state money- suppose that’s a reason they have state income tax. 🙂

I will admit, when I thought of driving through Illinois and Missouri, I didn’t think the scenery would be so beautiful. I was wrong. They both are very beautiful states, with a lot to see. I wish I could spend more time here, but Arkansas is tomorrow.

But I will bid everyone adue, as tomorrow I leave for Arkansas. It will be around an eight hour drive, but nothing too strenious. I am packing a cooler with sandwiches and drinks so only stops will be to pit. I do have to say, I am going to miss my grandparents. Today Omi and I made snitzel for dinner- and nothing beats her Austrian cooking. I’ve been living off it for the past week, I suppose I will have to get used to my Southern foods again.

If you have APRS, make sure to look for me. I am running APRS on my trip under my call, N4AWL-9. If you’re not an amateur radio operator, use the link below to find me on APRS online. I also have started using Echolink, after the operators on the K9HAM , Louis and Clark Amateur Radio Club, told me they had the capabilities. You can find their site at .!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FN4AWL-9&timerange=3600&tail=3600!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FN4AWL-9&timerange=3600&tail=3600


73’s everyone, and God bless you all.