I wish I had a dog. I also wish I had a partner in life who would either support me, or challenge my thinking.

I still mourn my sweet cat Piper's passing. The idea of another pet, is daunting. I want the companionship, but hell, I might die before the dog.

I used to pick Piper up, hug her up to my belly, with my arm under her butt, and we would do a walk around my little house. She got to see things differently, from my perspective, and she loved it.

I offered some advice to a friend of mine today, here it is:

I am so sorry you are going through a rough time. I understand, I've been there at your age, and it was crazy. And you know what? All the shit that came down the road after was equally fucked up. It's called life. My best advice to you is to step back, look around, soak up everything meaningful, and be thankful for what you have at this moment.

Patching holes on seams is a bitch. Today I ran into one that kicked my ass, on an older pink tube, named Martha. Yes, I name all my babies.

It was on the seam between the body and the headrest, backside, and I swear the seam must be plastic, not vinyl.

I just could not bond a vinyl patch, that I carefully cut out from a dead pink tube, on to that seam, with vinyl cement.

So, the first thing I did when I got home today, was head to Amazon looking for a solution. I found this, arriving next Thursday:

I'm also sending this post to my boss Ricky, if he objects, I'll find some other use for it :-)

Ok, I need to put air in a tube, where's my nozzle, where's the last place I dropped it, did Rocco come by, top a tube off and hang it somewhere (he likes to do that). If we hired Maddie on as my assistant, all I would have to do is say "air".

I could then focus on finding small gnarly pinholes, large rips, and patching them all, if possible. When they were ready to be tested, all I would have to say is "soap".

If they failed the damned test, I would send her up front, and say "what the fuck".

Her eyes are better than mine and when she finds a pinhole, all I can say is "thanks".

And then buy her a treat...

I drove the TRPTA bus in Teton Valley, Idaho for 10 years, along with my driving buddy, Karen Huff. The company was based in Idaho Falls, about an hour and a half away, and we ran the show in the valley.

It was an on-demand service, if you needed a ride, call dispatch down in IF and set it up. In the morning as we started our busses, the onboard computer would come on and show us our route for the day. Very slick.

One of our regular runs throughout those years was the Teton Valley Community School. It was a charter school located at the top of the valley that took in kids from all over. We had a fixed morning and evening run between the school and downtown Driggs, the center of the valley.

The grades ranged from kindergarten to 8, and over the years I watched these amazing kids grow up. They were priveleged to be living in a special place, with cool parents, and a few of the parents were my friends.

The runs between Driggs and Victor were the highlight of my day. I love kids, I love their intensity, and lately I've been missing that.

Recently, my manager Liz, brought her niece to work for a couple of days, and Madeline gravitated back to my patch tubing area. I liked her immediately, vivid blue eyes, obviously had her act together, and smart.

She became my little assistant, and we worked great together! Liz said she might drop by today, but I guess I left too early.

Hanging with Maddie reminded me so much of my interaction with the Victor school kids. These young people are amazing and they should learn good values in life, self appreciation, and the tools to excel in the future.

My monthly rent is $450.

My utilities average around $110.

My internet, TV and phone run about $125.

About half my social security goes to these basics monthly.

I think that's a good balance, leaving the rest for food, gas, insurance, vehicle maintenance, Netflix, Prime, the Mozilla VPN, etc....

But what about living? I've been to Belize three times and Roatan twice, since I moved here four years ago. I'm lucky, so many folks in my position are barely getting by, or not, as the economy crashes.

If not for the choices I made as a young man, to be successful, rich, and loved, I would not be here today!

And that's about as thick as the bird shit on my board. I made terrible decisions, fucked up at every angle, and yet finally turned it around, and survived.

So here I sit, broken hearted, tried to hit, but only darted...

I wonder if dried bird shit is a protein source for chipmunks. They share the same board and sometimes the shit mixes in with the seed, and the board is eaten clean often.

I accept full responsibility for the small animal obesity problem in my little neighborhood, but everyone is looking happy and plump.

I've run out of peanuts and I can't keep Chipper from running around my living room demanding nuts. I could close the screen door, but then I wouldn't be able to see the feeding board.

And yes, that's my biggest issue going on today!

Heading back to work tomorrow, hopefully. We got rained out 3 of 4 days last week. I've had way too much time on my hands, beginning to feel retired again.

Oh, and the Tennessee elections are today. What? I thought next Tuesday was the day. I have decided to not vote. I could go vote straight R but I don't know these local people, just not right...

I'll save my vote for the presidential in two. I cried with joy when I woke up to drive a bus in Driggs, ID, and learned that Trump had won. Steph can attest to that.

I remember when he announced an interest in the job after a brilliant radio interview with Sean Hannity, many years earlier, and I liked him then. When he ran and won, the world became better.

There is a lesson to be learned from my previous post. If you suspect that you have given your card number out to a scammer, check your bank transactions online and survey the damage.

If it shows scam items, call your bank immediately and cancel the card. Then ask if they have the ability to recover your loss. In my case, the lady offered the advice and sent me the documents I needed to print and scan, tell them what happened, sign, and then email them back.

The whole process has taken less then two weeks. I don't know if this is just the down home Idaho way of doing their customers right, or a nationwide thing, but it's worth remembering if you ever get scammed.

You do need a scanner and a printer though...

So, I was talking about getting scammed over the phone recently, and it's now resolved.

My bank in Idaho accepted my request to investigate those charges made against my account, and they found my claim to be valid. Then they put the ninety three bucks back into my account.

I'm impressed! I'm not sure what fund they use to finance this sort of thing, but I'm glad for it.

The scammers got $3.99 from me. That was the authorized charge I made with them, thinking I was dealing with an associate of my health care plan, but I had mis-dialed. They subsequently signed me up for four monthly ripoff subscriptions, and this was the amount refunded.

The card was killed immediately and they will never get another dime from me. And, an investigator for my health care provider is tracking them down.

Not all stories like this end well, just thought I'd share.

Wilson Dam is located on the Tennessee River, between Florence and Muscle Shoals in northern Alabama. It was completed in 1924 and named after president Woodrow Wilson.

It's been closed to traffic for months now, but I was pleased to see it open yesterday, and shot a bit of video on the way to Fishermans Trail.

A good blog post is one where you can capture a thought, an incident, your daily life in general, and then string together words, paragraphs, and media into a concise, enjoyable journey.

I've been blogging for 4,076 days (June 6, 2011) and I still love it. To encapsulate your day into a post that you share almost daily, is an amazing thing.

Old blog posts, from busdriverjim.com, to oldmanjim.com, are like a beacon into my soul when I wrote them. I allowed comments on Bus, composed in WordPress, but suppressed that in Old.

When I created the second blog I wanted something new, and created it with Joomla. No comments, slick tools. I understand that not many of my readers have the skill set to pull this off, but Facebook provides the alternative.

Talk about your life everyday, we want to know!