I secure my truck with a big chain and a badass lock wrapped around my steering wheel and bolted under the seat, when I'm in shady neighborhoods. I was debating yesterday between a similar setup for my upcoming bike or just a traditional bike lock, and decided to run it past my neighbor Daniel's experienced brain. He said, let's test it out.

He took the heavy-duty bike lock off his Harley and proceeded to cut it within seconds with his big bolt cutters. Lock ruined, question answered. Then we went to my truck, and he tried to cut through the last link with the same tool, and it barely made a dent.

He then got out his handheld grinder with a diamond tip blade and cut through the link in about twenty seconds. He also noted that a bolt cutter could cut through the steering wheel easily, and remove the chain.

The bottom line is: bike locks and chains are deterrents, not security.

I'm re-considering a bicycle. I've got my eye on a Trek Verve 3 Lowstep hauling an Aosom bike cargo trailer cart. The bike is the top model in this line and sells for a $1000 at the Trek shop up in Columbia and the trailer is less than $200 on Amazon.

The trailer hooks up to the back of the seat assembly and can haul a lot. I envision using this setup in the upcoming Spring and Summer to get me through town along bike friendly sidewalks to Anytime Fitness for my workouts and Kroger for supplies. Fuck the gas prices.

I will be very fit, shirtless, and tan. I see a few eccentrics walking these sidewalks lately, some are druggies, some are homeless, but I will be the exception that people talk about at church. My beard and hair are getting long and scary, I look like a wild man, with abs.

Summer is approaching, and I am embracing this southern world I have chosen to live in. Rock on...

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Back in the early nineties, my boy's mom moved him to Washington State, and I followed. I got a job writing assembly language code (the base language of processors in those days) with Sundstrand Data Control up in Redmond. My code went into the airline's black box, which was actually orange.

I got a call one day from Mark Zachmann, the founder of ZSoft and the creator of PC Paintbrush. He wanted to know if I was interested in writing printer and scanner drivers for his product, and I said sure. So they sent me a printer, this thing was fresh out of Japan with no docs, and I wrote a driver. Sent them both back to Atlanta, they liked the results, and I went to work for them. Over the next year or so I did a bunch of them for $5k each.

Mark and his CEO flew into Seattle one day for a meeting with Microsoft. They had a day to kill and chartered a fishing boat for some salmon fishing in Puget Sound, and invited me along. This was the first time we had met in person and had a great time while Mark whipped out a joint on the boat and got the three of us stoned.

The next day they went to their meeting and I picked up Riley from his mom's place to spend the day with me at my nice apartment in a community around a lake in Kent, WA. After the meeting, they came by my place and installed some proprietary software on my computer, given to them by Microsoft. It was the beta version of Windows 3.1, the multitasking beauty that changed personal computing forever. PC Paintbrush went on to become Microsoft PC Paint, a very popular program in those days.

Then they asked me if I could get them some pot, so I called my dealer friend and she said sure. I left those two guys alone in my apartment watching Riley for an hour while I went off and scored. How they got that ounce of bud back to Atlanta on the plane, I don't know, but it was more lax thirty years ago.

Found this old picture of ZSoft back in those days, they were bigger than than I thought!

I got creative today and breathed new life into the old code of my tool Tifits. First off, I grabbed the domain name tiwats.com from my host for $10. It stands for "things I want at the store". Then I updated all extensions with the most current versions: Jquery, localForage, Magnific and FontSpy.

It functions just like Tifits (see previous post) but is has it's own domain name and the name makes sense. So, if you added the Tifits tool to your phone, thank you! Now delete it and add this:

Update: It's now at version 1.2. Fixed the focusing so your phone keyboard will pop up when you enter a store or item. Also added a comment email link under credits and Google search handles multi-word items better and includes the store. This version is much better than Tifits.

I also noticed that Facebook adds a bunch of tracking data to the end of the url when clicked, so I added code to remove that garbage upon loading :-)

tiwats.com

I put together a list of things to buy at the store today, to make smoothies, and I used my old tool Tifits. It used to have it's own domain name but like many things I've created, it got moved into my tools directory. Steph used it all the time and was quite crushed when I let the domain go, but it works just fine now as a tool.

It's really simple to use on your phone. Click the Add button to add a Store, click on the Store name to add an Item. Click on an Item to Google it. Click the X next to an Item to delete it.

You can put together shopping lists for multiple Stores and as you drop an Item in your cart, delete it. Leave the Store name there for your next shopping trip.

It uses local storage on your phone or computer to store everything, so you can shut it down and then reopen it when you go shopping. I updated it today with a couple of tweaks to the Credits section on the bottom, and it's working as great as always. Click the photo below and and give it a try!

As I look at the name Tifits now, it's pretty silly (Things I Forgot In The Store). It's really about things you want to buy at the store...

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I started my mid-morning off with a couple laps around the park path and it felt great to be walking again. When I got home I fired up my new little Chromebook, saw an article about Google Search being dead, and dove on in.

The premise was all about the crap around the returned results, but what caught my eye was the tweak. By appending reddit discussion to the end of your Google search it will drop you down into the Reddit discussion about that topic.

So I searched for "chromebook os flex reddit discussion" and followed it down the Reddit hole. I love Reddit, been using it for years, but this was cool.

Then I posted my latest experience, and suddenly I was part of the community around this OS. Here's the post. I don't know if you can see it if you're not a part of Reddit, but I think so.

Whipped up this little video today. Shot the footage last summer up at David Crockett State Park.

I try to live by one of my favorite mottos: Never do unto others anything you wouldn't want done to you.

That was the case today as I almost bought a bicycle off Craigslist, down near Huntsville, AL. Talked to a nice old guy who bought this three-wheeled thing for his wife, who said it was too fast. Tomorrow seemed like a good day to drive there, so I said I would drop by around 1300 to check it out. This is an hour and a half drive, mind you.

Later on I got to thinking about the reality of owning a bike right now, especially one with three wheels, and talked myself out of it. Besides, it's going to be raining its ass off tomorrow anyway.

The moral of this story is that I went strongly out of my way to let the guy know I was bailing, via text and finally a phone call. Otherwise he would be putting off another possible sale because I agreed to look at it first.

He was very appreciative, and we parted as new acquaintances. He said his ancesters were here back in the settlement of this area. So were mine.

A lot of people just brush other people off in these situations, very sad.

Still totally enamored with my new Chrome OS laptop. Just discovered some tweaks that turbocharge it because it's running on an Intel processor with graphics acceleration, which was originally required for the demanding Windows 10 environment on this little computer. It's now amazingly responsive.

I have set up this little box to do everything I need to do, in a stylish and fast way. I enjoy it so much more than I did as a crippled little Windows laptop. I know you're tired of hearing me rant on about this, but this is a major game changer.

Google bought the software, integrated it into their universe, and now supplies it to the world free. There is nothing wrong with living in this universe, it works. Of course, they may eventually fuck us over, but I'll be dead by then.

Think about all the old Windows laptops out there, they are about to see a new life, if people choose to do so.

A funny thing happened this afternoon. I spotted what looked like a large cockroach sitting on the base of my living room lamp. Upon closer inspection I saw it was just a roach and I laughed. A friend brought a joint over last Saturday, and I've been wondering all week where it ended up.

I was into my second day sober and running a little tense, but that thing smoothed me right out. Within thirty seconds of finishing it, my boy Riley called me fron Washington.

Had a great chat and enjoyed two gifts at once. We talked about where he's going to be in less than five years as he turns forty, and how he lives his life getting there. He's in a rock solid place now, enjoying and loving family, friends and work. We love each other.

I really love my new computer that didn't cost me a dime. It's so different than windows yet esthetically lovely. I keep it near me throughout the waking day.

I've been sharing one cheap mouse between my new chromebook and my desktop in the other room, and it's become comical. So I drove to walmart this morning and bought each one of them a quality logitech wireless, both black and slick. I put the cheapie in a drawrer...

Feeling a little better every day.

This is a test post from my new little Chrome laptop (formally Windows 10). There's a lot going on here, and it's a proof of concept with a bunch of functioning parts.

First, I took two photos of Piper with my phone on her little warming blanket in quick succession. Then I had to figure out image transfer between phone and laptop with a USB cord. Got it, and then transferred the photos over.

I then used the built-in photo editing features of Chrome to resample, resize, and visually tune them. This works great, no need for a standalone editor.

I store photos for this blog in two different places. Most of them are stored on my paid Flickr account in the cloud, and this was simply a matter of logging in and transferring the first photo up via the browser.

I also store photos in a directory on my host server, which required an SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) connection to be established, which was complex and successful. Here's the second photo from the OldManJim server:

Finally, I had to log in as Admin to my blog and write this post. A lot of interesting challenges met, and overcome.

Update: Just pulled the card from my Sony camera, plugged it in to a USB reader and had full access.

Well, now I've gone and done it. I've had my little 4 gig Asus laptop for years now running Windows 10. I take it on all of my travels and I've written many posts and uploaded a ton of photos with it. I also use it for banking and other stuff.

The problem is it's running an old unsecured version of Win 10, because the updates always fail. So today I decided to turn it into a Chrome book. I saved all important stuff, created a bootable Chrome OS Flex boot USB stick, and installed Chrome.

Man I forgot how non-multitasking Chrome is, but it looks good and it's fun. For anybody with and old laptop laying around running Windows, that they don't use because it's crappy, I highly recommend this option.

I can read my mail, sync with my phone for text messaging, watch Netflix and Youtube, access the web, a whole bunch of apps and it's even got OK Google!

For me though, I've run into a serious issue. It does something to secure passwords and I can't do online banking with it. It's a beta version that will continue to automatically update, so we'll see it that gets fixed.

It's also free!

Update: When I first wrote this I couldn't post to my blog, but I fixed that! This update was performed on my new OS :-) It's also a better multi-tasker than I thought!

I got my four free Covid tests from uncle Joe today. I put my request in online the day they were announced and that was about a month ago.

I haven't opened them up because I don't need to. I feel my Covid protection is pretty high with three jabs and an Omicron, and I feel fine.

So these are the governments free tests. I'm sure the distributer, iHealth Labs in Sunnyvale, CA made a ton of money. And I'm sure the folks that manufactured them profited even more. Where where they made? China...

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My neighbor Daniel took the day off from his job as maintenance man for the school district, to work his side job fixing ice houses, and I went with him today.

First stop was the Pulaski unit. I've driven around the edge of this town but never made it downtown, and I was smitten. I'm definitely coming back to spend the day with my camera. My buddy Crissinda lives here, maybe we can hook up.

Ice houses are a trip. The ice making unit is on top and it falls down into the house where it's conveyed and bagged out to the consumer for a couple bucks. It's been down and empty for a while and the owner has been begging Daniel to fix it up.

The next stop was the ice house in Lewisburg and I'm riding along in countryside that I've never seen before. We passed the little towns of Brick Church and Cornersville and a strip club off of I-65.

After fixing the Lewisburg house we stopped at Captain D's and I gorged out on catfish. Then we headed back to Pulaski through Lynnville and more country I've never seen. We even stopped at a couple pawn shops along the way and I found a five dollar bill on the floor of one of them.

Fun trip! Click the photo below to see a few shots I took along the way.

I'm just a sad old man living with the consequences of his reactions to hurtful words. Within the last five years there have been two such life changing events. I wish I could go back in time and react differently, but that's not possible so I sit here on my little porch on a deadend street in the deep south, and regret.

My cat may die soon and she is the only thing keeping me here. I would post a house sale on Facebook, sell all my shit, and move on down the road. The nice thing about being old is that you've lived a life, everything else is gravy.

I need some place warm, maybe south Texas, New Mexico or Arizona. Party until I drop then check it in. I certainly don't see myself growing older in a fucking nursing home. I need to keep one of my folding chairs, sit back with the sun burning me black, extend my middle finger to the sky, take one last drink and...

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I'm sitting on the little block of concrete called my porch, sun's out and warm, classic rock blasting from behind me. I've disabled all electronics and I'm getting drunk. Wish I was stoned, wish I had some peyote! I can't see what I'm typing on my little laptop because the sun is blaring everything out.

My place is pretty cool with a couple big screen TV's hooked up to everything, it's a perfect place to survive anything. I have a computer you all would envy, just because I am who I am, and a kitchen full of stuff from a past life.

So what to do? I'm writing this shit in non visual mode, on the porch of hell there is no visibility!

btw: This marks the 1,018th post I've done since moving to this dead end street three and a half years ago. Way short of my last blog, still, a lot of sad old crap to dump on the world. My apologizes...

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I have come to the conclusion that the mobile template I've used for several web projects, must suck. Nothing I create seems to stick or create enthusiasm. And the fact that I thought it was good makes me seriously consider what the hell I'm doing.

I guess I've passed my programming prime. I've also been checking out local driving jobs but christ, I'm seventy five, wtf?

Oh well, things could be worse, I have a roof over me and supplies. But I have no partner and no life so I need to head out into the world for a bit, and rediscover myself.

On another note, I've been dropping into my old blog on a random basis. I started that blog, busdriverjim.com, back on June 6, 2011 down in Las Vegas and ended it September 30, 2018 as Steph and I were leaving the Valley and moving here. Between those 2,673 days I wrote 2,232 posts. I have no idea what I was doing those other 441 days.

I travelled a lot, usually taking the summers off from my bus driving job and focusing on the western states. I had some great adventures along the way and bloged every bit of it. Sometimes I would just talk about my crazy past life.

Now it sits as a fun archive that I drop into occasionally with the random function. It applies a random algorithm to those 2,232 posts and displays it, I never know what to expect and most of the time it's pretty entertaining.

For example, here's a look back post that showed up an a recent random click: Carmel Valley

I was laying in bed last night on my left side, quieting down my mind and relaxing my body preparing for sleep, when something happened.

I felt a soft tap on my left shoulder and my older brother Dana's unmistakably deep voice came floating into my left ear and he said What is that?

I bolted wide awake and a chill went down my back. My brother had just spoken to me. I sadly don't know if he is dead or alive, we have lost touch, but damn.

We all make choices that dictate how we end up in life, and death. I take full responsibility for mine but Dana was dealt a bad deal when we were kids. He was abducted by aliens from a Sierra Nevada mountion at the age of ten. They chose him because he was older and they tried to wipe the event from my clear eyed seven year old brain, but I remember a lot. It fucked him up pretty bad and his life was never the same.

Now I need to figure out what he meant last night...

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