Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Health and Encouragement

I'm the worst person to tell people how to get healthy from the standpoint of a successful track record. But I can research and I can tell you what hasn't worked. I can tell you, your answer isn't the same as the person next to you. I can tell you that most of what "pop culture gurus" tell you will work only works for some people and they only show you the results of those that do.

Anything worth doing is going to cost you. You're going to pay with effort, confronting fears, discomfort and pain. Mostly pain. You've got to be willing to have things change, and you've got to keep trying even when things don't seem to be working. But before you can pull a "never, ever, ever give up," you need to be ready to change at any cost, and you need to have a plan you can believe in.

Every big project must be achieved one inch at a time, and that means planning. Planning I can do. Better than anyone I know.

My next phase in becoming healthier will involve HIIT & Intermittent Fasting, Thrive by level, and sitting less. Here's the short description of each, with more detail on each in the coming month, along with results from my attempts. (Journaling is another success factor.)

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)--Working out full speed for 30 seconds, resting for 90 second, for 10 to 20 minutes.

Intermittent Fasting--either reducing to 1/3rd calories for 3 days a week or compressing my eating to an 8 hour period. (The method I'm going to try)

Thrive--Capsules at waking, shake 20 to 40 minutes later, wear a patch all day.

Not sitting--I'm going to get up every hour and walk around when writing or watching TV.

Here's more detail on not sitting.

Story at-a-glance

  • Evidence shows that prolonged sitting is devastating your health. It actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight and type 2 diabetes, even if you are very fit
  • As a general guideline, if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve sat too long. At minimum, you should not sit for more than 50 minutes out of every hour
  • Better yet, try to keep your sitting to a minimum; the less the better. I personally strive for less than an hour a day of sitting
  • Studies looking at life in agriculture environments show that people in agrarian villages sit for about three hours a day. The average American office worker can sit for 13 to 15 hours a day
  • Beneficial molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your bodyweight upon your legs. Those cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells
  • I also recommend challenging yourself to walk 10,000 steps per day with the help of one of the newer fitness trackers. This is over and above your regular fitness routine

Monday, September 22, 2014

What happened to the dollar?

If you haven't read "The Creature from Jekyll Island," you may be hunting bear without a bullet in your gun. Just saying.

Thanks inflation watch! 

Rejoice is a choice

Rejoice as Choice
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 19, 23 – 24
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound[f] and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Rejoice in every situation? I’ve only recently come to see this as a cornerstone of life. I kept waiting for my circumstances to reflect the changed reality inside me as I grew as a person. Sometimes I found myself in just such a situation.

Once I took up weightlifting with a friend and ended up taking a step aerobics class. I wouldn’t have chosen to do the class, but I really enjoyed the break from college and the combination of both workouts caused me to drop weight without a great deal of stress and will power. Eventually an injury caused me to give up weight lifting and I got out of the habit of hitting the gym.

Now in my 40’s I’m taking up health, both diet and exercise, and though I feel my stamina and strength returning I’m not dropping pounds at all. I can even see results in the mirror—I look and feel better than I have in years. I have more energy. BUT the scale doesn’t move.

I can choose to believe that the first time I exercised I was doing the right thing because it worked. I can look at what I’m doing now, which takes way more effort and I can get down on myself because it’s not working. If I do that, I’m unseated from the place of peace that is mine in God. I lose connection to God and soon I give up entirely, or worse.

Clearly I can’t take my self-esteem from the situation around me. It’s got to come from inside. I think the reason I was so challenged by this in the past is because it seemed like a command. “No matter how bad it get’s Andy, you’re Christian duty is to put on a brave face.” It was so inauthentic I couldn’t believe it was from God. We’re assured that all good things come from God (James 1:17). So my very reason for rejecting the notion that I’m to suffer with cheer is the very reason I am able to do it now—it’s all in how you look at it. God doesn’t command ME to be cheery in bad times, He’s offering to give me joy despite any circumstance.

My wife has a saying, “happiness is an emotion: Joy is a choice.” It’s very true. Our situation can impact whether we are happy, angry, sad, depressed, etc. but if we live from inside out we can choose to be thankful and joyous no matter what’s going on externally. Joy is part of the character of God, along with Love, Peace, Understanding, Long Suffering, Gentleness, Kindness, and Meekness/Humility. Any of these things are yours for the asking. They are your inheritance.

As a bonus, when we remain true to the inner reality despite our external situation we become increasingly more impactful on our external circumstances. When we live from outside in we can never know peace, love, joy or any of it for longer than a second or two. If we live from inside out, relying not on our own strength, we can experience a centered, aware, peace and joy that confounds any attempt to take us out.

In the movie Click, Adam Sandler’s character is given a remote that can fast forward through the tough relationship areas of life. It starts skipping anything emotionally difficult times automatically, which jumps further and further ahead into some really rough situations. The character eventually learns to appreciate the bad with the good because if he avoided it he lost opportunities for relationship with the people he cared about. That’s exactly what’s going on in our lives with God. If we try to zone out the hard stuff we lose connection with the one who loves us perfectly.

Rejoice is a choice at all times. Have a great day…or not, you decide.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

HD Mini-copter you control from your cell phone.

This thing is totally cyberpunktastic. I love it and am creeped out by it at the same time. Gotta check it out.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Amazing typewriter art!

It's Friday and its time to see something amazing. Check out the video below.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My newest book is out and doing well

I eat meat!

I'm a meat eater. I grew up SDA (Seventh Day Adventist, which is not Mormon, or Jehovah's Witness). About 50% of SDAs are vegetarian. It's an interesting story to look into--Kellogg, Post and the lot at Battle Creek Michigan, but not the topic of this post.

I grew up eating meat some and not-meat whenever we were around other SDAs. So I have some experience on both sides of the fence. I've known my share of Vegans, etc. as well. But I still believe in eating meat. We eat too much meat in our society and we're too far removed from the act of killing, which is probably why. Another side effect of paying others to do our killing is that we are wasteful. I've caught fish, killed and ate them. I've mercy killed a couple small animals and my friend and I once bought a goat and BBQ'd it. I'm not a big hunter but only because I've not found time to take it up among all the other hobbies I've got. I didn't enjoy killing any of the animals including the fish.

There's a relationship between death and life. It's not something that can be commuted from one person to another. It's an unwelcome lesson we must learn along our journey. Washing our hands of the acts that bring us our meat has created a stunted maturity in western adults. Worse than that, its created an environment of ignorance about how animals are raised. So most mass produced meat is not healthy for us. I can't compel anyone to go face the realities of death as a factor of life--I can only make a suggestion and move on, but I am making that suggestion.

In an interesting twist of fate, the meat substitute market has also fallen to greed and created unhealthy monstrosities in the pursuit of an alternate to killing animals. Watch the video for more information. Thanks Dr. Mercola.

At a glance:
  • Quorn is a fungus-based ferment used in food production as a meat substitute. It was originally developed by one of the largest chemical companies in Great Britain
  • The fungus Fusarium venenatum is first grown in large fermentation vats. Once the water is removed, what is left is a paste-like biomass, which is then processed into various food products
  • Since its launch in 1985, several studies have raised concerns about Quorn’s safety—especially in people with food and/or mold allergies
  • Reported adverse effects from Quorn include nausea, cramps, diarrhea, forceful vomiting, and anaphylactic reactions
  • While factory-farmed meats are best avoided, organically raised, grass-fed or pastured animal products provide valuable nutrients that have no equivalence in the plant kingdom

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A couple things you need to know about dreaming, from a life-long dreamer

I'm not sure if this would be better as a series. Maybe I'll write it up and see.

Dreams are just the first step in a journey to discover your hearts desire. They're often heavily influenced by the circumstances we've experienced. We enjoy doing something or like a person who does something and our imagination begins to develop a desire toward doing that. In reality its only one expression of a deeper thing which you might be truly attracted to. 

Anther aspect of dreams is that what we desire to be/do is often not how we'll make money, or even how we'll have our biggest impact. Teachers may desire to impart ideas, but ultimately impact the world by touching young lives. 

Remember the movie "Patch Adams?" The title character discovered a desire to help people in a mental institute. He also discovered that the accepted way to do things was not the most effective way to do it. His desire to help others didn't ultimately lead him to become a medical doctor not a psychiatrist, although his understanding of the human mind influenced his practice of medicine. His unintended impact (beyond the people he helped directly) was that the institutions of medical training had to confront their own inadequacies. 

It's a natural byproduct of coming alive. People who are not alive will try to extinguish your dreams or drown out your impact on the world. That's the battle.

This leads to the third aspect of dreams. When our dreams are opposed, often by well meaning people giving us a reality check, its easy to see those people as our enemies. They aren't. There reality check is an opportunity to refine and deepen our dreams into desires. 

In my case, people kept telling me I'd never make it as an author. I'd need to have a "day job." They were right and I hated them for it. It took years to figure out that I needed something I didn't hate to pay the bills day to day. But I also needed to understand the desires underneath my heart for writing. 

I saw them as sabotaging my efforts and unconsciously I sabotaged there efforts to make me "grow up." A better response would have been to refine my desire.

More to come.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The 3 considerations of living life...or what do I need to pack for this adventure?

In her upcoming book, "Reflections," Jan Narvel makes the case that change is good. That the cycles of life help to refresh us and prepare us for what's to come. In times of rest we recover and in times of output we grow and expand.

Jan goes on to make the case for cleaning out clutter in order to move, saying, "I was raised by a packrat. You know the type.  For these folks who either lived through the Depression or experienced many years of poverty, anything and everything is saved, just in case it might just be needed later."

I'm fascinated by that statement, for another reason. I've been aware for sometime that I struggle to get rid of some of my clutter, which endlessly annoys my new bride. I've spent a great deal of my adult life struggling with finances. I've thought, "if you've got money, you can just run out and buy a replacement, or the next model up, etc. You don't have to worry that the things you are throwing away because you don't use them right now, you'll need again and never be able to replace."

It feels like, only the rich have the opportunity to reduce their worldly possessions. And yet we know that the rich collect all kinds of things--multiple houses, cars, memberships to clubs they don't have time to go to, and so on. Also, Jesus didn't collect things and he wasn't rich. So the truth must be that some folks collect junk and others do not. It's a lifestyle design question that may be routed in addictive thinking (like over eating).

I once heard Graham Cooke make the statement, (para) we are on an adventure, and I like to take luggage when I travel, maybe even leave a little room to bring things back. I wouldn't take baggage on a trip. That seems like it's all the other stuff that you don't really need you're just hanging onto. It's our job to leave our baggage behind. It's the enemies job to carry our bags along with us and keep trying to hand it back to us. We can just drop our baggage in Christ and walk away, but we must be firm in not picking them back up again.

The two factors at play when deciding what to keep and what to ditch are God's heart for us and the free will of others. I can sum it up as the best case scenario and the worst case scenario. What do I need to pack with me? What you need to take on life's adventure depends on what adventure you're on. I have a big imagination and I can conceive of many terrible or great things I might encounter. I tend to pack heavy and not all of it's pessimism. I hope for the best and plan for the worst.

The third consideration is God's vision for my life. God accomplishes his goals despite the free will of those around me (or my own). If I'm surrendered to God and I believe in the vision He and I share for my life then I can safely pack according to the adventure I believe I'm on. In fact, usually the over packing results from my fears of what could go wrong.

Now, my first trip to AK as a teen I over-packed by a lot, and it turned out that I had things others forgot. I gave away everything from a sweater to bug spray. I even had the only can opener for the first half of the trip and we'd have not eaten for a couple days if not for my planning. Part of the life of a Christian is having a little capacity to share.

So the question at the heart of things you keep and things you chuck is the same one I ask about so many things in life: "Will this build intimacy with God?"

Am I keeping things that weigh me down because I don't trust God to provide? Am I packed and ready for the kind of adventure I believe God has planned for me? Do I really believe God will come through with the adventure I desire? Have I spent enough time developing a crystal clear vision of what I desire so that I know what I'll want along and what would get in the way? Have my years of poverty (physical, soul, or spiritual) scarred me in a way that makes me keep extra things out of fear?

In each new season of life I invite you to inventory your physical, emotional/intellectual, and spiritual items and prune away things. Decide what to keep and what to shed based on the adventure God has for you and this question, "would keeping this because it will bring me closer to God?"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Spiritual Health post x?

I'm not sure where this falls in the numbering system I once had. I should go back and relabel my archive, but things are chaos right now. I've just begun a season of life where my wife returns to a good paying job that no longer feeds her heart and I'm the childcare for our 4 month old daughter. I love her and enjoy her. It's not difficult, but it presents some challenges.

So I'm struggling to keep up with the things in life that are important to me. It's a theme with me, and most people I know, the tyranny of the urgent. I haven't worked out for the second morning in a row. Yesterday I was still recovering from a muscle pull but I ate like a pig all day. This is not me. I intend to change it.

Rebooting my life and my attitude is something I'm good at. Back in 8th grade a teacher made the observation about me, in front of me, in a parent teacher conference, that he's never seen anyone so capable of pulling themselves up by the bootstraps. So here's my method.

The thing we often think of last, the pinnacle of Mazlo's pyramid, is the area that has the greatest impact on us. Imagine a light at the center of a circle. You want to create a wedge of darkness in part of that circle. The closer you stand to the light the bigger shroud of darkness you cast behind you.

It's the same way with things that are troubling you. The issue is never in the physical. They are almost always metaphysical. One reason most of us fall short of truly routing out the problem is that we aren't aware of the deepest, truest part of ourselves. We think we are body and soul, or body, soul and mind. We are body, soul, and spirit.

Our soul is our emotions, our intelligence, and our will power. Yes there's something deeper. It's our place of connection to God (Or the universe for my friends who can't bring themselves to personify a deity). We are built in God's image. He intended something when he made us. The seat of God in our lives is our heart. Everything we say about heart (or in old times the gut) is essentially scriptural. We can learn something by heart. We can fight on when all else has given up from our heart. We have desires in our heart.

If you can cut through the physical, horizontal things that are going on, and then get past the soul-level issues like discouragement, you'll often find a deeper thing in your heart that needs adjustment. Fix that and you can be reinvented.

In my case today its acknowledging that I'm not under the law. Romans 7 says that if a husband passes away a wife is no longer bound to him and may remarry. Likewise, since we are dead in Christ we are not bound by the law of sin and death. I've been missing the mark--not living how I want and know that I can live. Beneath that, I've got a crappy attitude. Beneath that is pride. I really want to create in my life, the results that I desire. But I can't train and coach myself too far beyond what I've already got. I need a source of wisdom beyond my own and I need to acknowledge that God cares enough for me to fix me. I need to trust my coach and not my own understanding.

This season is overwhelming, but it's the best thing for me somehow. I can be overcome and wounded by it, or it can be an intimate adventure with God that grows me. I chose to go beyond what I know I have in me, and that's the secret to becoming renewed.

Have a blessed day everyone.