Shelby attends this Mystic Mafia Mardi Gras Krewe event in Pensacola every February. The women all wear red, get really drunk, kiss all over each other, and a bunch of them end up completely naked in a hot tub.

It's an annual event. Makes me realize that I really don't have a life, and I want to be reincarnated as a hot woman.

Had a great time at the Tampa Lighted Christmas Boat Parade!

So here's the Tampa agenda, tonight we're having dinner with Kristen and Ryan and their two girls (Katrina 8 and Kaity 13). After that we're doing the Lighted Christmas Boat Parade, something sorely missing back in Lawrenceburg, TN.

Tomorrow it's brunch at the Oxford exchange, where her world renowned pianist friend Ricky, (@rickykeys on YouTube) is playing. After that, were hitting St Pete beach on the Gulf of Mexico, also sorely missing back home.

Christmas morning is wide open, heading over to Kristen and Ryan's house for dinner and some whisky drinking around 1400. I picked up a big bottle of Proper 12, the sipping whiskey that Daniel, Tony and I drink back at home over poker. I brought my chips down and maybe we can get a game going after dinner.

Shelby goes back to remote working on Tuesday and I'll have to decide if I'm going to bail on my garage office, but you may have to rip it out of my old cold fingers...

Shelby used my truck for running a bunch of cardboard that had accumulated in her garage, down to the cardboard bin here at the townhouse complex. It specifically said cardboard only, but being my rebel grand-daughter, she added some styrofoam, and I ain't tellin.

This freed up her garage and I backed on in. We added a table at the end, some electricity, her internet, and I've got a bed and an office in there now. This means I don't have to drive in this crazy ass town, we'll just use her ride to get around.

I woke up from a great dream at 0330 this morning, at that South Georgia R/A. As I laid there, I realized what I wanted to give Shelby for Christmas.

She told me a while back that she would love to have that beautiful crocheted blanket her great-great grandmother made. I wish my abused brain cells had thought of this while I was back home, because that's where it is.

So, the first thing I'll do when I get back is get it dry cleaned, boxed up at the post office, and sent on down.

btw: I'm at your door. Come on down and give your road weary poppa, a big hug!

It's been a hell of a road trip so far. I'm now hunkered down in a Rest Area off I-75 SB, a little under six hours from Tampa. Just made my bed after throwing everything in the back this morning.

I could have pushed it a couple more R/A's down the road, but it's 1600, still light, and I found a great spot, before the Xmas travelers hit.

Shelby's expecting me around noon tomorrow, but I can beat that easily. If I get up before dawn I could grab some breakfast and still roll in early.

I left the house around 0530 this morning and drove about 12 miles before I realized I had left my wallet and cash at home. I could have driven a couple hundred miles, with no resources to buy gas and get home, and I would have been screwed!

I drove to Chattanooga and headed South on I-75. I should have known better, that Interstate thru Atlanta is always horrible, I even took the I-285 Atlanta bypass, and it was just as bad. Add in the fact that it's two days before Christmas and...

I'm going to find a diagonal route back home next week, through Alabama, fuck I-75.

I kept making contingency plans in my head if my truck broke down, then I realized all I was doing was creating negative energy, so I shifted to picturing myself backing into Shelby's garage tomorrow. She is running wonderful, cool and happy!

My nails have been a hit so far. I was joking with my nail artist Erica about handing over gas money to convenience store clerks and getting a reaction.

Sure enough, the first guy said, could I see your nails? and he said that he likes girls (ha ha) but he really wanted to do his nails like that, but his daughter said he would make a fool out of himself. I don't feel like a fool in the slightest, and told him to go for it.

The second clerk said she loved my nails, and asked if I did them myself. I told her the story.

I'm really glad I chose this R/A instead of pushing down the road. I've had plenty of light to get things done, and write this post. Tampa tomorrow!

Update: My friend Elizabeth just texted me:

To avoid Atlanta on the way home I'd head to Tallahassee, then to Douglasville, GA, then to Rome, GA, onto Huntsville then on home! That route keeps you off the Atlanta traffic and I've driven/rode the Huntsville/Rome/Atlanta route many many times and it's a beautiful drive!

Thanks my friend!

It's Thursday night before Christmas, and all through the house, no creatures are stirring, just my fingers and mouse.

Daniel has hung in my chair and stared. With visions his wife, would become his spouse.

He needed Dollar Store pizza, so badly and quick, and away to the store, he flew like a flash.

And then in a twinkling, as he rolled to his house, he knew he was lucky, that he didn't crash!

I got a hand job from the lovely hair stylist Erica at the Beauty College yesterday. After she created beautiful art work on my trimmed up finger nails, she squirted lotion on her hands and massaged mine, it was great.

This is, I assume, part of the manicure experience, and I would have never know this, if I hadn't done it. Women live a different life...

As to the haircut and shave before, she didn't cut down as low as she normally does, so I'm sporting one of those styled Stubble Cowboy looks, only the color is grey.

I thought about coloring everything, hair and beard, but I managed to get a grip on myself, avoiding massive embarrassment.

Hell, I'm 77, what old man in his right mind is getting Xmas colored nails prior to his grand-daughter's friends family gathering in Florida? Rein me in Santa!

A friend of mine had a moment the other night, as he sat in my big chair and bitched about his life.

I love the guy, but after hearing the same stuff over, and over, I tried to break through and get him to talk about reasons and solutions.

Well, apparently that was a friendship mistake. He stormed out the door angry, as my departure to Florida looms.

I'm afraid that he's caught up in this depression loop, where you convince yourself that everyone around you is against you, and that becomes your reality.

Your wife doesn't love you, her grown ass son has to leave his mom's house, otherwise it's divorce. You hate your mom, you hate your dad, you're broken because your two sons, that you love, are spending Christmas with their Mom, you're ex-wife, that you hate with a passion.

I get it! All you want to do now, as this vicious thing called Christmas approaches, is to bottom out and drown in it, until it passes.

I've been there, a couple of times since I've lived here, I understand.

I wish I could give you a spark of inspiration, like the one I've received from Shelby.

Don't die without going for it! Lose the hate, create the love, get over everything!

Meanwhile my estranged daughter sent me a Christmas card.

I was archiving blog posts tonight, from July up to October, and I see the number of hits each post has gotten. I only look at these numbers when I'm doing this, and I'm always shocked.

I tend to think of this blog as a platform to share my thoughts, photos, videos and tools, with friends and family, and the occasional person I ever mentioned the blog to. I keep forgetting that this is the Internet, and OldManJim.com is solidly embedded in the Google search chain.

I saw recent individual Posts exceeding 10,000 views, and I haven't looked at the stats on most of the older ones, so there could be some even bigger hit numbers out there.

It stuns me to think that so many people have read my wild and crazy writings. Maybe I should tame it down. Fuck no!

But I love to know that my photos and videos have been seen so much.

One of my individual tools has been used over 4.5 million times, (Place), and that pleases me. I developed them in the early phase of the blog, when I still had my coding hat on, big time. This blogging platform allowed me to use my PHP and Javascript skills, to create some very cool stuff.

I don't code anymore, I'm retired from all that, and I just document my life here now. It's so interesting though, to think about all those people out there following my strange life! What must they be thinking!