I really upped my game on the job today. I've been struggling with removing old patches that were leaking, for replacement. I've been using my fingers, with a little help from pliers once I got a corner up, and then the old glue was impossible to remove fully.

I bought a dispenser of denatured alcohol that Daniel recommended and a bottle of DeSolveIt he loaned me, along with lacquer thinner, to no avail. So before work this morning I dropped into True Value Hardware, told the boss man my issue, and what I was using. He said those were my best options and couldn't recommend another product.

Then he suggested something that became a game changer. He said buy a hair dryer! It's great for melting the glue, allowing it to be removed. Brilliant!

Then I picked up a mid-sized Conair 1875 watt dryer at Dollar General for $15. First thing I do now with an old patch is to heat it up from a couple inches away for a minute. Then, with the glue melted it peels right off.

I spray denatured alcohol on the reamaining glue and let it soak in, then I heat it up some more and wipe it off with lacquer thinner. Slick as a baby's ass.

I also bought a tool from Amazon last week that allows me to apply a hard textured roll to the new patch, that works amazingly well. I then let the new patch sit for a while with weight on it. As a result I knocked out an impressive number of repairs today, ran out of tubes to fix, and went home at 1230.

How about that shit!

My mechanical genius neighbor Daniel conceived a method to hang my bird feeder between the house and the tree, and to make it squirrel proof with a couple of cones, that will spin and make them fall off.

We've been buying the parts over the last few days, and hooked it up this afternoon. Here's a little video of it:

Riley and his family are down on an Oregon beach for a little vacation time. This photo just warmed my heart so much, I had to share it!

Busy ass day! Our tubing parking lot looked like a big used car lot by midday. And consider that each vehicle carries a group of people! I did a walk around for the video below.

My commute along the back roads is just under two miles, takes five minutes, with no stoplights. Man, how fortunate am I to find a nice little summer gig, with those commute numbers.

And I'm tired and sore, which is alright...

Did a walk around of my new working space at Crockett Shoals Tubing.

I encountered Melissa and Michael at the gym today. They were on the treadmill as I walked in, and wouldn't make eye contact. I saw my favorite machines open and started my workout.

After rotating around the gym, Melissa walked by me, and I came up behind her and called out her name, three times. She totally blew me off and kept on walking. It was impressive. I said OK, and backed off.

I finished my workout with a good treadmill session, and split.

What I wanted to say to her, was that I was sorry for everything. I'm an old asshole who gets his feelings hurt easily. I regret my reactions, I wanted to shake her hand and tell her good luck in life.

Instead I got ignored, like a worthless piece of shit.

Ok, I get it. There is no reconciliation here, they hate me so much. Steph watches the kids while they work out, and then goes to work. I guess it's time to finally move on from Summertown, and get on with my life.

And just pretend they don't exist at the gym...

Update from Mellisa:

Checked your blog. Sorry if it seemed like I ignored you, I wear wireless headphones and cannot hear with them in. I told you I wouldn't bother you, so I let you be. Apologies if it seemed like I was Ignoring you, I did not hear you. Look, I forgive you. Shit happens and we can all do things in life that hurt other people's feelings. I don't hate you. I am extremely protective of my children and what happened with dillan made momma bear come out. He's an amazing young man despite what we went through with Chris early in his life... he's not perfect but I love and cherish him. As far as what happened, it's water under the bridge. You can be at peace with that situation.

Thank you for the kind response. Sorry I mis-understood.

I was buying my regular bag of ice at the tobacco store today, and an Amish dad and his three kids were set up there selling vegetables from their buggy.

As I drove by I made eye contact with one of the young girls, about five, in her little Amish outfit, and waved at her. Her face lit up, she smiled broadly, and waved back.

Sometimes you get ignored in life, and sometimes small victories occur!

I busted my ass today! Showed up at 8:30 and the boss man Ricky and I started patching tubes. He showed me the tricks of the trade as we begin moving through a backlog of flat tubes.

The work area is between the office and the storage area, and the sun was moving in a straight line directly overhead. By noon I was drenched in sweat and then Rachel (Rickys daughter and manager) showed up with a big canopy and a fan. Wow, what a great difference.

Rachel told me that they were looking for a tube manager, and me showing up yesterday was perfect timing. I really feel like they're glad I'm back.

Things have gotten automated from two years ago, with a great little phone app where you clock in and out, and your pay goes straight into your bank account.

So I got me a summer job, how about that!

btw: We launched 269 people down the creek today.

It looks like I have a new summer job. I dropped into the tubing company I used to drive for, to see if they needed a driver, and they said no. But, they needed a tube patcher.

Now I've had some interesting jobs in my life, but this is different. I'll be working when they're running, Friday through Monday, so I get to be in on the action, just sitting in the back maintaining the tubes.

I've never patched a tube before but I used to live in Michael Cottens house, the keyboard player for the rock band The Tubes, when he was on the road. That counts!

Update: Ricky the owner just dropped by my house and we sealed the deal, start tomorrow. We also talked about a wine touring bus driving job that would require me to re-up my CDL. I said I'm on board.

Today, June 30, for the first time in quite a while, I managed to not drink, walked a lap around the path, and got 20 reps each of my core workout routine.

The goal for tomorrow is the same, two laps around, add one rep to each routine every day, and hit the gym. Then continue until I'm healthy again.

I know it's only one day, but I have to do this, work through the Parkinsons, and stay alive!

Wish me well...

Update, July 1, met my goals! 21 reps each routine, two laps, and got back to the gym. And no booze one drink in the evening.

I figured out something, that I could either be killing myself with alcohol, before Parkinsons takes me out, or get my body in shape to fight it. I guess I'm choosing the latter...

A funny thing happened while I was walking a lap {1 mile) with Daniel. I told him he should hit the gym, then he smacked me hard on the shoulder and said I just did! :-)

Update, July 2, 22 reps, 3 laps, gym.

Update, July 3, 23 reps, 1 lap, gym.

Update, July 5, 24 reps, 4 laps, light gym, dry.