I saved $20 a month today and more than doubled my internet speed. My previous provider ATT was charging me $50 for 15M. I switched to Spectrum today and I'm now getting 34M for $30. This is an unadvertised rate that the salesman I was working with yesterday gave me because he was beginning to lose the sale. Install was free and it looks like no monthly router charge. More for less, yes!

Update: I just shut down my wi-fi, completely. I've been concerned for a while now about the effects of a constant bombardment of wi-fi, and after more research, I've decided to turn it off. My new router cranks out hi-powered 2G and 5G signals and it has a toggle switch on the side.

Most of my stuff is hard-wired but it means the end to my Echo and smart home. I can live with that if it means wi-fi signals are not blasting through my body 24/7.

I snapped a shot of my little groundhog buddy in his hole this afternoon.

After touring the Zoo, Shelby and Homer took Brian and I to a secluded location in Alabama that only the locals know about. It's not marked from the road and most everyone shows up by boat.

Their was something magical about Pirates Cove, besides being the rumored place where Jimmy Buffet wrote Cheeseburger in Paradise. Pulling up to the pier with your friends in a boat with the sound system blasting out country music, is a lifestyle I could get used to.

Grabbed some of Shelby's photos for the blog:

I've put together three video clips of our Pensacola trip. The first has Shelby dancing with the girls, the second one is about the beach and the third has some exerpts from our tour of the new Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo (by the guy who designed it, I might add).

It all started when we rescued the dog Sunday morning. Brian and I were walking around the Fairgrounds while waiting for our laundry to finish up when we spotted a small black dog stuck in a holding pond, too exhausted to pull himself out. I rousted him near the bank and Brian grabbed him by the scruff and pulled him out. We noted the good Karma and continued on.

This morning we were walking around downtown Nashville after breakfast at the Sun Diner, and I noticed my truck getting a parking ticket from a motorcycle cop. Karma led us back to the truck at that moment. I said good morning to the officer, asked him if I could try to talk him out of that ticket, and he said sure. A moment later I shook his hand and we drove off clean.

Click the photo below for some more shots...


Brian and I just got back from Pensacola Beach with 174 photos, several videos and great memories. Click the photo below to see the set.

Brian and I were driving through Davy Crockett park this morning, when a turtle crossed the road. I got up close with the old guy and now I'm listening to Pearl Jam, thus the stupid post title...


It's been a long road for Piper to acclimate herself to this new neighborhood since moving here last August. The next-door neighbor had a dog and a cat, and if Piper can't be the queen of her yard, she just stays inside. Well, the neighbor moved and gradually Piper has come to realize that she's free to roam about now.

Lately she has just been going outside and hanging out in the bushes next to the house for most of the day. The big backyard was just something she kept an eye on from the perch of my desk. Today I saw something walking down by the edge of the creek and I grabbed my glasses and sure enough, there she was. I was so proud!

I snagged a couple of nights at what Shelby refers to as the "locals favorite" hotel in Pensacola for next week. Brian and I will be heading down for some sun, family time and great food. The place has it's own bar & grill with live music, and a private beach. It's also surrounded by all the cool places that make up the Pensacola Beach area so I can leave my truck in the parking lot for a couple of days.

My grand-daughters will be hanging out with us, Homer Jolly I hope, and maybe some of Shelby's friends. Should be a great time!

I found the old groundhogs hole today down by the bend in the creek and watched him shove his big ol body down into it. Speaking of old bodies, I had a profound thought during one of my walks today that I have two vehicles: my old truck, and the entity that carries my brain around, and I maintain them both very well. All I do these days is eat healthy, bump my exercise reps up a little bit more each day, and write code. I guess I'm just the old health hog...

The hole is there on the bank in the center, great view!

I've been a Flickr Pro member since 2006. I store all of my photos there (currently 10,078) and they provide the images for my old blog (BusDriverJim) as well as this one. I use a technique called hot-linking where the link to each image goes directly to Flickr's server. This technique is normally frowned upon if you don't own the photo and pay for the service, which I do in both cases.

I have continued to pay Flickr $25 bucks a year for Pro even when the free service started blurring the lines, but I felt it was the right thing to do. Two years ago they doubled the rate but I didn't have to pay $50 bucks until now as they let their Pro members grandfather in.

Flickr was owned by Yahoo! and has now been bought out by SmugMug. They are currently in the process of moving billions of photos and over 100 million accounts over to AWS (Amazon Web Services) which is the biggest and baddest cloud service on the planet. When done, everything should be faster and more secure.

The service will be down on May 22 for about 12 hours while they flip the switch, which means that neither one of my blogs will have photos. No big deal I suppose and I'll be traveling down to Florida with Brian during that time. My only concern is that links to the images might change, at which point my blogs are toast. I can't imagine they would do that, but I'll find out on the 23rd.

Always a bittersweet holiday for an old guy like me, but my sweet grand-daughter Shelby is having her first with my great-grand-daughter Prudence, so all is well...


Piper's getting really comfortable with the neighborhood. Sometimes she just lays on the sidewalk flat on her back and sometimes she uses the vehicle that brought her across the country to scan the neighborhood.

My new Passport arrived today. It's the full book, unrestricted, and valid for ten years.