I almost had trick or treaters tonight! My door was open with a bowl of candy by it when three little kids in costume, their dad and a dog came running by. They obviously didn't know it was a duplex and they headed straight to my neighbors door. So I'm standing at my door thinking they'll come back by because it is a dead-end street after all, but they crossed the street and disappeared towards the big houses up the creek. Oh well.

I've been thinking a lot today about the frailty of life as I almost lost one of my very few friends to an ectopic pregnancy. Thankfully she's going to be ok and my grand-daughter Shelby said she lost a good friend to this horrible condition. So you can take all of my pissin and moanin here on this blog and throw it in the garbage. It don't measure up...

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I carry this fear, that I'm just another stat,

a man with regrets, he can never take back.

Dying from living, wouldn't be so blue,

if only I could speak, to the ones I knew.

I'd say I'm sorry, from the depths of my heart,

and pray for forgiveness, for my pathetic part.

I'm not a bad man, just abused and confused,

and I will love you till life, serves me as used...

...

I was walking the path this morning and writing this in my head, so here you go, if interested:

I was born seventy five years ago in Long Beach, CA to a pretty young lady named Janice and a Texas born WW2 Navy vet named Gene. I was their second, preceded by my brother Dana, and I was premature so they stuck me in an iron lung for a week.

My dad bailed to Texas shortly after, and my single mom of two hooked up with and married a guy named Paul Hamilton. My sister was born and then we traveled all over the West: Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, god knows where, and landed in a tiny town on the California side of the Sierras outside of Reno, named Floriston.

I spent the ages of five to nine in that fucked up little town, climbing giant pines to their top, swinging in the wind for hours, escaping everything. My sexuality was formed there. Then we moved to south central California: Ivanhoe, Visalia, where I excelled in track, raised pigeons, and was generally just a messed up little kid without a father figure.

Paul was a long haul trucker and construction worker by this time and he moved us up to Paradise, CA to work on the Oroville dam. I was a sophomore at Paradise High when JFK was shot, still doing track, flunking everything else. I hit the road that summer and hitchhiked all around, nobody cared. Got my diploma at a night school down in Chico.

I knocked up a girl named Jenny there and we had my daughter Becky. Things started going downhill when about a dozen teenage boys from the bowling alley came over and fucked the shit out her. We left there and moved to the Bay Area.

Madness, drugs and homelessness ensued, Jenny faded away, and I ultimately ended up going to Merritt College for three years and graduated with honors.

Life finally improved because I was making great money as a computer guy. Lived all over the Bay Area from Berkeley down to Carmel, mostly around Oakland, many relationships, married Marci for eight years. Shit finally hit the fan, lost Becky as her road to fourteen kids began, and moved up to the Seattle area to be with Colleen and the little guy I loved, Riley.

Lived in Kent for twenty years and was Riley's dad. Once again craziness ensued but I found a way to move beyond it and had a successful career as a transit supervisor. I met Steph, Riley went off to Wyotech in Laramie, WY to learn his career, and Steph and I were offered a life down in Teton Valley from my sister, which we accepted.

We lived a nice life for twelve years in Driggs, sweet log home ten miles from the ski resort, family, good jobs.

We left there to move here in Tennessee three years ago. I never see Steph anymore, I've had a few good adventures and now I just walk the path, workout, and eat pig and potato salad when I can...

...

Daniel invited me up to his wife's house in Amish country today for a brush burn and some southern cooking. He smoked a pork shoulder and a big round thing with kraut, made some potato salad and I checked out the house next door where no one has lived for fifteen years. Family and friends came over later, we had a fine time, and the food was amazing!

My breakfast: oatmeal, golden flaxseed meal, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. No sugar, no milk, no bs.

"Life isn’t easy. Most people drink to forget, or drive for hours trying to get away from what they can’t let go of or leave behind. Work takes it out of you. Love falls short or destroys you. Disappointments stack up. But still you have to keep going – and how you do that says everything about the man that you are."

Aaron Lewis - Frayed At Both Ends

Wow, the responsibility for the care of my cat is complicated sometimes. She lives the life of a feline princess, her next move always anticipated, and what she expects is usually there.

I love her completely and she is my partner, a process of many years together. Sometimes I feel her end is near, other times, hmmmph.

So what if I want to go travel? You know, pay my rent up, lock my little house down, and go?

I have two options: board her at the Vet in a cage, or have my new friend the cat sitter come by and supply her the basics twice a day while I'm gone. She hates the cage I must presume, but she always emerges intact and back to normal quickly.

In June I left her there for a week while I went to Belize, and she survived just fine.

But what if she died in the cage, or from the neglect of a twice a day visit, while I was on the road? The answer is, I'll see her on the other side!

Right now I'm sitting here at my computer writing this with the rain coming down good and my baby laying up here on the desk looking out the open window at the creek below, and life is ok...

...

As I was rolling through the town square on the way back I heard a song on WLX that knocked my socks off as I was cranking it loud through my very capable stereo with the windows down. Their station office is right here in town so it was local radio.

I never got the name of the woman that sang it, so I called the station when I got home, and asked. It was K.T. Oslin and the song was This Woman, off her 1989 album. I did a little research and learned that she died last December up in Nashville at 78 from Parkinson's and Covid.

I'm including the video here so you don't need to go digging around.

I haven't had my back washed for more than three years now. It used to be a regular morning ritual with Steph and I back in Idaho. We always showered together and washed each others backs, and I washed her tits.

That spot in the middle of my back that I can't reach has got to be needing attention, maybe I should go to Walmart and buy a back scrubber. Isn't this a magical world we live in where we can just throw money at a problem to fix it. Unless of course, the back scrubbers are stuck on a container ship off the coast of California...

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I had my kitty Piper in my lap tonight, rubbing her all over, whispering I love you into her ear, and realized I probably should be doing this to a member of my own species.

I wonder how that would work out? I have extolled my singularity here on this blog, how I'm glad to be single, my own boss, do what I want, blah blah blah...

But what if I hooked up with someone who could hang with me in this small space, while we explored other options?

I constantly watch people light up when they see me. I'm kinda unique around here: old, tan, fit and dapper.

I see the cruise line deals in my inbox showing that two people can travel together cheaper than one.

Do I need another human in my life? I don't know yet, working on it...

...

I bottomed out in front of a public library in Fremont, CA. back in the mid to late sixties. I spent the night in the bushes across the street homeless, walked in when they opened and told myself I need to figure out what I'm going to do with my life.

The acid buzz was wearing off as I walked around, looking for anything, when a book about Computer Programming leaped out at me. I sat down and devoured it, left knowing that if I ever had the chance, this is what I wanted to do.

I eventually got that opportunity at Merritt College in Oakland and departed there with skills that rocked the Bay Area IBM System 3-Model 10/15 world. IBM had this sweet machine they wanted to implement in the Bay Area, many company's wanted them badly, and I was the implementor. I completed some wonderful projects and became a legend.

Then the IBM PC hit in the early eighties and it was off to the races with another box, another life, and more wondrous code spilling from my fingertips. I've had an amazing coding career.

This image is just wrong on so many levels, but I love it. The girl used to be my little buddy, I taught her to ride a bike, and yes, she did survive this.

I'm not sorry I moved to Tennessee, but I do regret staying here. Granted I've had several adventures I probably wouldn't have had, like an eleven day cruise, hooking up with family in Florida and Atlanta, a sweet trip to Belize and a nice Easter egg hunt. I also have a little place that I like and can afford, for what that's worth.

I really want to take a road trip to see the kids and their new baby, and my truck is in pretty good shape, but that one last summer almost broke her and gas prices are crazy. I could fly I suppose, but from what I see on TV, it looks like hell these days.

So now what? I'm doing my best to insure this is not the last chapter, but I worry it just might be. Stuck in the deep south with no enthusiasm, trying to look good for that final obituary in the local news...

...

I have been dealing with Northside Vet here in Lawrenceburg, TN for a couple of years now. They have boarded her, gotten shots and things up to speed, supposedly, and I've never met the Vet. A couple of fresh scrubbed young ladies work the front and I just hand Piper off to one of them in a carrier. When I get back one of them takes my money while the other retrieves Piper.

What if it's all a scam and the animals are just tossed into a common pen until the owner comes back to get them? What if there is no Vet? It was way different back in Idaho. I knew both Vets because they always invited me to stay in the treatment room with Piper while they did their thing.

Tennessee

Idaho

Woke up in bed at 0900 with my arm over my kitty. Drove to the Square for breakfast, which I never do these days, and they had a buffet going on. It was weird to eat in public alone, almost had my first cup of coffee in two months. Think I'll go to the park and sit on the bench...

Update: That stupid buffet gave me food poisoning, miserable night, still lingering the next morning.

Just for the heck of it, I plugged "Piper" into my old blog and it brought up our entire history back in Idaho together. It caps out at some internal limit but keeps going back through time when you click on "Older Posts".

My old blog (busdriverjim) is not as mobile friendly as my current one, but you can get an understanding of how my relationship with Piper has grown, if you're interested :-)

Hell, it outlasted Steph!

Here's the link.

Update: Just remembered I had a Piper link, that shows things from the begining.

Hi folks, Jim Hamilton here. My cat Piper has been under your care for a while, and I need some advice.

She's old and fat and that ain't going to change. Lately she's moving slow and seems to be in pain over a lot of her body.

I could put her in the carrier (which she hates) and bring her up to you folks where she would probably be miserable while you tried to figure out what's going on, or just let her live the remainder of her life out being well loved by me.

So I'm torn by what to do. Is there a medicine she could take that would make her life more comfortable as she approaches the end? Or am I just being a foolish old man and you actually have a way to make her not old and fat.

Sincerely,

Jim Hamilton

I was in the middle of creating a video about my old cat, when the phone rang. My old buddy Dave's face appeared on my phone and soon I was sending back. His wife Sue slipped on in and I realized I miss these guys a bunch. They dropped by our home in Idaho for a few days, had a great time, soaked in our hottub.

Now they tell me that they have a timeshare in San Destin, FL which is right down the road from Pensacola. Maybe we could all meet up for Thanksgiving?

I was digging through old photos today and ran across a few of interest.

Proud Dad.

Steph talking to Riley's mom.

Gregs girl.

Steph and Sue in the vette.

Sue is my good buddy Dave's wife and that's his vette that goes 200mph...

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Riley called this morning to let me know that an old friend of mine back in Kent, WA had passed away. Greg Worthing was a good guy and father to a couple of Rileys childhood friends. I had just received baby pics from Jessica, so here she is. Life goes on and life ceases to be. Sad thing is I won't be able to write a post about my own death, unless I compose it within minutes of the end, and then click send. I'll name it Goodbye.

Chatted with a couple of nice girls and their disabled clients yesterday. They hang out in the afternoon at shelter seven, in case one of the guys needs a restroom. Good folks allround.

Then my all american handy man next door neighbor Daniel came over and gave my wall heater a blow out and fine tuning. It was full of dust from nonuse, I've never started it up, so he brought over his tools of the trade and she is now ready to keep Piper and I warm for the winter.

This guy could fix anything, I swear. I guess that's why he works for the Lawrence County school system as a maintenance man. He is also my friend, of which I have very few...

Winter is a strange time around here as I enter my fourth. Nothing like the mountains of Idaho from which I came. These folks have no idea what fourty below feels like.

The most powerful spoken phrase in human relationships is "it's ok...". That means you got it, and you accept it. Set your mind at ease, the truth is resolved. Move forward from there and work on the issue.

Meanwhile a little island is forming under Piper's and my view...

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I ran into my buddy Ricky at the park this afternoon, actually the last person I saw there before going on that health kick. He's a crusty old dude, biker, trucker, long white beard with eyes that have seen everything Tennessee has to offer.

He smokes Marlboro and rolls a few joints for the day every morning when he rolls out of bed. He's 57 and has pretty much given up on life outside of what he's got. He will live until he dies, with 145 proof moonshine in the evening to help him along the way.

We connected today on a deep level. I told him about quitting smoking when I turned fifty and how it changed my life. Hell, he still has time to change, but he really chooses not to, and accepts it totally. I get it.

Later when I got home I asked Alexa what 2021 minus 1967 was and she said 54, my daughters age...

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Went to the volunteer fire department fish fry fund raiser in the little community of New Prospect today. Local farm raised catfish, hush puppies, fries, coleslaw, beans and dessert.

Damned good!

Daniel dropped by as I was starting my workout so I put him to work videoing my litte core toner routine.