Shelby is hanging out with the girls tonight at Mardi Gras in Pensacola, and sent me a shot.
The previous night she sent me this:
It's her with Pensacola's resident artist Homer Jolly. I know she loves that town, she and Homer cooked me Thanksgiving dinner before a swanky party one year. The next year he escorted us through the Alabama State Zoo, that he designed.
Hey Homer, looking good!
As I was looking at that shot of the krewe I thought how nice it would be to zoom in on any face and see details about them, using a worldwide facial recognition database, implemented by AI.
Of course the tech exists, it's just not available to us. Do you ever just have peanut butter for dinner?
Actually, I just did. Kept the jar on the counter with a kitchen knife hovered over the sink, as I wrote at my laptop.
I jokingly told Shelby that I would jump in my truck and join them all down there for Mardi Gras, and she thankfully said we should shoot for a quieter weekend in March, instead.
I'm doing good just getting to the peanut butter and I couldn't concur more!
Shelby is heading to Mardi Gras in Pensacola, FL. She used to live and work there, joined this Krewe, recently did a Christmas event with them, and now she's headed back.
She didn't go into detail about all the events that were planned, but I sensed a slight concern at keeping up with all these beautiful women, at the 2024 Pensacola Mardi Gras.
My favorite grand-daughter Shelby called me today as she road trips down to Pensacola, FL from Tampa.
With her dog Zinny.
She's going to be hooking up with her Mardi Gras krewe again and Josie, Shelby's lovely Brazilian friend will be there.
Even Andy, Shelby's ex Navy Commander boyfriend stationed in Italy is going to be there.
It should be a wild and fun time, high everyone!
It's been an interesting Wednesday morning. I decided to have breakfast in the Square and as I headed out I thought why not do my laundry at the Wishy Washy, after. So I gathered almost everything up, grabbed quarters and detergent, and drove to the Square.
Every spot around Square Forty was taken and I had to park up the street. When I staggered (I don't walk anymore, it's a Parkinsons thing) through the door at 0830, the place was full and rocking. I mentioned how busy they were to Shana as I headed to my back table, and asked Sue along the way, what's up?
Over the dull roar she said Pat's Cafe was closed today, which is the only other place in town to get breakfast. Shana told me they close every Wednesday, for some reason.
Then, as I'm doing my laundry, I realized that combining this with breakfast, was not a good idea. I didn't grab my coat hangers when I left the house, and I was wearing my favorite warm pants, which really could have used a wash.
My mind and my body are going out together, like an old married couple named Deme and Park.
My memory bank is a swirling vibrant separate entity, where fragments of my entire life float around in there, wrapped up in visual bubbles. Switching it on and presenting those bubbles to my mind randomly, and quickly, is my entertainment.
Who am I, this old man right at the beginning of being really old, bumping up against eighty, asks?
Around 1963 I discovered that I was smart. I was also a star athlete, musician, and an overall outsider in high school. Hit the road in the summer at sixteen, graduated high school later on at night school.
In the late sixties I was into everything. The seventies brought me through college and into a brilliant computer career, that extended on to a couple of years ago.
Now I love to write and share my words with the world. I still have so many memories that will never be saved, but I will record as many as I can.
The bottom line is, life is a document. If you don't record it, it's gone, as are you.
Finally, my little truck is running good again. My mechanic Thomas did a great job on the engine and the carb, but she needed new plug wires, which I installed myself this morning. Two of them had fallen apart at the plug.
I also found a compression plug missing it's tip and the engine was sucking air. I could put my finger over the hole and feel the suction, then listen to the engine quiet on down. Daniel's home and he helped me fix that.
My truck manual states you should install a new timing belt every 60K miles, to avoid engine damage. She's got 250K and I put a new belt on well over 100K ago, back in Idaho. So I ordered one from the parts store when I picked up the plugs.
My parts guy was quite supportive of this decision, saying if it breaks it would twist the valves, destroying the engine. Besides, he wants to sell me a $60, part. I know the guy and like him, and that's his job.
Then I called Thomas, to tell him the problems have been solved, and to inquire about a timing belt job, dreading how much this would cost. Then my friend made my day. He said the timing belt looked in good shape when he had the engine torn down, if it had any issues he would have told me.
He said cancel that order Jim and get your money back, also tell your parts store friend he's wrong about the valves twisting. This particular engine style would not, it would simply stop.
Then I drove to Napa and canceled my order. Al was very gracious and gave me a credit on my card. I told him Daniel says hi, he did the B&W Auto Parts store lighting a year or so ago, before Napa bought Al and them out.
So this is where small town trust comes in. Most of these people around me were born and raised here. They work and live together, and if you don't maintain your honesty and integrity, you're done.
I trust and respect my mechanic, and friend, Thomas. He's done great work on my old truck, with passion and integrity. I think he's become fond of her, they have bonded.
I told Al at Napa that my mechanic said the valves wouldn't twist, just stop. He said Who's your mechanic? and as Thomas's name left my lips he smiled broadly and said Ahh, the black guy!, I didn't even have to name the shop. Respect is earned and maintained around here.
I started my modern blogging almost thirteen years ago. I spent decades before that creating technology and sharing it, but I wasn't sharing my life with the world every day.
Back in 2011 I was living in a beautiful log home at the base of the Grand Teton mountains in Idaho, driving the local TRPTA bus around the Valley.
In my beautiful office, with a great PC, I created a blog using the best platform on the market, WordPress. I learned how to host it, maintain it, and I named it BusDriverJim.com.
The first post was called Vegas Notes One on June 6, 2011. I had driven down to Las Vegas from Idaho to hang out with my boy Riley, and his girlfriend Jessica, who is now the mother of his two girls.
Blogging is an amazing process, I kept living there and writing, shooting photos, and publishing it all to the world, untill September 30, 2018.
It was a glorious site on PC's and laptops, but once it ended I had to bring it down to phone size, for retirement.
If you truly wanted to follow my life in Teton Valley, either forward or backward, you still could...
Then I moved here and started this blog from a Joomla platform. I didn't miss a beat and my life in Lawrenceburg, TN, and the world, is documented here, in excess. With some really crazy shit sitting in the trash :-)
I've been seeing a TikTok promotion for a Social Security food supplement of $3,300 a year. It was one of those click a few button sites to see if you qualify, before it expires. And it was not from the Social Security department.
So I mossied over to our local Social Security office to see what's up. I waited forty minutes in their lobby before talking to a nice lady through a window.
She confirmed my suspicion, that Social Security has no such supplement. Who knows what the scam is, but this old man ain't buying it. It's sad to think how many folks do fall for this stuff.
I did sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan from a local outfit when I first moved here, best thing I ever did. A couple of nice ladies showed up at my house, sat in my comfy chairs, and took over my Social Security Medicare.
Since then, I've been living in the land of $10, and occasionally $35, copays, for high level visits and procedures! It's been excellent medical care on many levels, where I can just lay $10 down as I leave, or hand them my card for a $35.
I've had skin cancer removed, my few remaining teeth removed, major examinations of everything, from the speciality places up in Columbia, TN.
Blood worked, brain scanned, and in return I once bought my local FastPace Clinic friends some fresh donuts from the best bakery in town.
The bottom line is, somehow with the insanity of my life, I've landed in a space where my health can be maintained, at a price I can afford.
Major shit would blow it apart, I'm sure. I've had a couple of dealings with our local hospital and they don't play within this 10/35 copay world.
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