I am compelled to discuss here my position on the consumption of animals by humans. Fair warning if you choose to click the X. I've been developing a strong position on the sanctity of all life for many years and it's now affecting me directly as I no longer consume meat, period.

This is a moral issue that goes to my core. The animals that we share this planet with have just the same rights to be here as we do. We should not raise them or hunt them, just so we can slice them open, harvest their bodies and eat them, period.

The criteria I use to define an animal is that it has two eyes, a nose and a mouth. A lot of them are good stewards of the earth as they eat the same things we should be eating: grains, fruits and vegetables. Sure, lions eat deer and ravens eat road kill when the land is covered in snow, but they do that to survive. We have a choice.

All I have to do is look deep into my cats eyes as she nuzzles my nose with her's, to know I'm right. I've been to many state fairs and I've seen the same awareness in the eyes of the caged chickens, pigs, and cows. They don't deserve to die at our hands just so we can eat them. That's my old man position and I will carry it until I die. Maybe I could then be ground up and served at McDonald's, I am just another animal after all.

On that note, let's go for a drive...

I've been putting some long overdue new and updated code into my Place app due to it's popularity. A lot of folks have been landing on this fine piece of code (228,369 as of this moment), so I might as well make it shine.

Fixes and Additions:

 • Due to a code-packing issue, my Info Boxes weren't working. They are now.

 • Clicking on the Lat/Lng in the upper right corner copies it to your clipboard.

 • Quick zoom now works.

 • Map attribution is damned slick, nobody has seen this.

 • There were three map modes available, now there are twelve, with labels.

 • Numerous cosmetic changes...

My cat Piper and I are really close. Last night I knew she was in pain from the arthritis so I said you're getting the medicine and she scrambled out of my office. I loaded up the plastic oral dispenser with liquid from the vet and carried her 18.6 pounds (she loves to stand on my electronic scale and watch it light up) to my desk, and the battle began.

Years ago I taught her to never hurt the daddy. When she would scratch or bite me and draw blood I would stick the wound in her face and let her know this was not acceptable. The guilt in her eyes was apparent, and she learned. She hates the medicine being squirted in her mouth (who wouldn't) and as we wrestled furiously around on my desktop not a single claw or tooth came out. Have I mentioned I really love my cat?

Update: I've decided that's the last time I do that, unless she's really hurting bad. I don't do medicine and Piper is making it clear she doesn't want to either...

Steph recommended liquid Ibuprofen for pain, the Dollar General has it she said. Well, I live a couple of blocks from one of those so I went out and started my truck. Then I just sat there and again told myself hell no and turned it off.

I realize that I don't take any man-made pharmaceuticals at all, period. I've had the flu a few times in the last decade and I just ride it out, none of that liquid cold medicine crap for me. There are just some things this old man doesn't do anymore like eat meat that's been murdered by humans (I did eat some fish the other day, regretted it...) or consume stuff with high-fructose corn syrup in it.

For example, my dinner last night was a half can of organic lentil soup, an avocado, and a sugar free one calorie yogurt with fresh blackberries, for dessert. Slept pretty good, pain is fading. In the meantime my blog tools are approaching a quarter million hits:

And since it's so popular, I turned Place into a stand-alone app.

I kinda wish I hadn't taken this photo, it hurts just to look at it, but for the sake of full disclosure, and if you're going to share your life on a blog, what the hell. This is day two...

That squamous cell on the left is due for slicing next month.

Five years ago I went to a doctor in Idaho because I had lower back pain really bad. I was driving a bus and could barely walk from the pain. Instead of trying to figure out what was wrong he prescribed some heavy duty pain pills and muscle relaxers, which proceeded to clog my gut up and send me to the hospital. I swore off of pills from that time on.

A year later I dried myself out and the pain went away. I have determined the problem was leaky gut syndrome, excessive alcohol was leaking out of my intestines causing inflammation. I can prove that to myself now by simply drinking.

Last night as I tossed and turned trying to find a way to lay my head to ease the throbbing pain from yesterdays surgery on my head, I thought of the two left over pain pills in my bag of bathroom stuff, and I said to myself hell no. It's been five years since a single pill of any kind has crossed my lips and I'm proud of that fact.

I'm going to a doctor tomorrow for surgery. Yea, I don't do doctors but I'm making an exception here to get some skin cancer removed from the top of my head. I could blow it off but then it would seep down into my brain and that would suck.

There are multiple issues up there but they can only tackle one at a time due to insurance bullshit, and I'll have to go back to get the stitches removed, which I find amusing. The skin on my bald head is really thin and stretched tight, how are they going to cut off a section, pull it together, and sew it up? Why not just scalp me, get rid of all of it at once, and then implant a plastic wig with hair? Yea, I'm all for that!

Update: The Mohs surgery went well, now cancer free on that basal cell with another one (a squamous cell) to go next month. He actually pulled the skin on my scalp together and stitched it up, pretty cool. Still bald though...

This morning I watched torrential rain blowing sideways at 75mph from the window of the Taco Shack in Iron City while I ate a great breakfast with the owners Randy and Pam before the power went out.

I was supposed to meet some new friends there but I messed up the day (it's tomorrow) so it was just me and the owners. Randy told me the reason Iron City had a bad rap as a dangerous place was because of the Ford plant south of here in Alabama, the iron ore was here, and Alabama was dry. Ford found better iron in Michigan and the rest is history.

His place has a pool table, a stage for live music and great food. Summer time is hopping with kyakers on the creek, a campground and it's 420 friendly. All twenty five minutes from my place and I can see myself sleeping in my truck down here a few times come summer.

I drove home in the middle of a major tornado warning, turned on the news and heard about roofs blowing off and downed trees on the special weather segment happening on channel 2. Ahh, good to be home, and I have power...

This is a story about computers and cats. Back in 1983 I was living in a house along the Sacramento Delta, right down on the water, with a boat ramp. I had a cool big cat who liked to sit on the edge of the dock where he attracted boaters to swing by and say hello. Sometimes he would walk on board a boat and be gone for days, but they always returned him.

I was writing graphics software at the time for a Silicon Valley startup called Mindset who were creating a slim IBM PC 16 bit clone and the prototype box was this big aluminum chassis thing that sat in my office. One day it stopped working so I called the company and later that afternoon a helicopter landed in the big yard and two techs got out and brought a replacement box into my office. They swapped the hard drive out so I didn't lose my work, took the old box and flew away. Venture capital money at work and you can't make this shit up.

Making friends with, and driving cars for, a used car lot whos owner is also my landlord, has great perks. They had a Buick that had been in the family since it was bought new in 2003 by the parents and wanted it to go to someone they knew. That would be me, and I just bought it for Steph for a great price (she will pay me back with payments).

It's a very sweet ride, click below for more shots: