I created this image from a recent visit to the tractor repair place. It sums up my mental state pretty well.

I'm still mourning over my kitty, it ain't getting better. Trying to get motivated to get back in shape and start riding my bike, or hop in the truck and road trip, but the weather has been crappy and I can't seem to get a grip on my drinking.

Man, you never know how your days gonna go. At 1130 I was sitting around the house when my phone rang. It was a local 931 number, so I answered, and a woman's voice with a strong country accent asked me for a ride.

Turns out, she found my number online through the rideshare app I wrote last year called RideQue. She said she was out of food, she and her roommate hadn't eaten in two days, and needed a ride to the local food bank called Gods House. I explained to her that I was a programmer, not a rideshare, then asked for her address and told her I would be there shortly.

She was really close, just over off the old highway and as I was approaching her street a good old boy was walking and stuck his thumb out, so I pulled over. He was going about a half mile down the road, I told him it was my afternoon to help people out, and took him there. This is a really poor neck of the woods by the way. He said his dad just died and he was walking home from the funeral parlor.

When I arrived back at the lady's run down little trailer, a big ol boy came out and said Marie would be right out. She told me her story as we drove to the food bank, they wouldn't get a check until the end of the month and they had completely run out of food two days ago. She hoped that the paperwork she clutched in her hand was good enough to get some food. What I didn't tell her was that if they turned her down I was going to drive her to Krogers and fill up her cart.

She was a sweet older lady, a bit disabled, and I liked her. The food bank came thru and on the way home we talked about where we came from and places she wanted to go. Montana was tops on her list.

I helped them get the food into their trailer, shook their hands, and felt damn good I could help them out today.

I drove out to Weasly Creek Nursery this morning and talked with the young guy that grows all the stuff there. I said I wanted a perennial flowering plant that grows big and strong, with deep roots, and likes the sun. He recommended a Gardenia Daisy, and I bought one.

Then I dug down to the blanket Piper is wrapped in, and planted it right over her.

Cleanup on aisle five. I decided to clean up my act today and dug out all of my grooming tools and then realized I needed professional help, so I went up the road to the local barber shop.

There are just some things you can't do by yourself, and the 81 year old barber named Raymond did a great job. He told me about losing his wife last July and I told him about Piper. He said it was the hardest thing he's ever gone through, but it get's easier with time. Now he's just lonely, and I understand.

I think I may have talked him into taking a cruise by himself. Then I went and got an oil change, then stopped at Walmart looking for a flower I can plant out in the bed. They were too busy but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Update: As the day has progressed, I marvel at the transformation. The barber trimmed off all of that side beard I've been growing since Belize last summer. I had hair growing out of my ear an inch long that was just blending into my long hair, so nobody noticed. Zapped! Eyebrows trimmed, back of my neck shaved.

My prescription shades have needed an alignment badly, so I finally went in this afternoon to the eye doctor and got it done. As the nice little old lady is fussing around the fit on my ears, I thought, thank god...

On the flower front, Crissinda recommended Peony or Hydrangea. Jessica wanted to know some more details, so I said I want a perennial, big growing plant with deep roots to reach my baby below, in a three foot by two foot space. In the sun all day long. She's working on it...

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One does not understand the true grief of the loss of a pet until they experience it firsthand. My family and friends have lost pets and all I could do was feel compassion, and try to understand their loss.

Well wow, I sure get it now. Grief is a tangible thing, that floods over you like a wave. Especially when you have to put them down. You second guess yourself, did I make the right move, did I do everything I could? Should I have tried to extract a few more moments with her, but at her expense?

It's debilitating and I find myself crying often. Thank God I haven't lost people close to me lately, but the feeling would be the same.

They say time heals all wounds, I suppose. But in honor of Piper, I will not have another pet in my limited lifetime.

I am half the man I was when I arrived in Tennessee 3.5 years ago. Here's my first Post when I started this blog. Steph and Piper defined me, and I have lost them both.

Yea, I've had some great adventures since I've been here, but that's different. I was driving around today, went to the skin doctor, Krogers, the bank and paid my rent for next month in advance. All the time I had this feeling that part of me died when Piper did. Then I realized the same thing happened with Steph. I am half the man I was.

I ain't looking for sympathy, it is what it is. I'm a grown ass man and I will find a way to handle it. Hopefully better than last night when I dove into that bottle of homemade moonshine sitting up on my shelf. That shit fucked me up! I woke up this morning and I couldn't hold stuff in my hands. Hell of a way to approach a skin cancer session with the local doc. But I did...

Not sure what the future holds. I put a bunch of money on my debit card, and filled my wallet up with cash. I may just head out into the world and see what happens, all one half of me...

My baby is gone, she died in my arms. r.i.p. Piper Hamilton.

Here's a Piper Link from the old days in Idaho:

Life goes on... and my heart is broken.

God help me, I don't know what to do with my kitty, my baby, my partner. She's relapsed again, even worse than before I took her to the vet. I'm going to call them tomorrow and see what they say, but how long can this go on. I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to save her, but my gut is telling me she's too far gone.

She's miserable now, I see it in her eyes. What is my responsibility at this point? Do I continue to let her suffer, or do I let her go?

Update: We had a special moment last night that I wish to share. After I made this post, she moved towards the door letting me know she wanted to go outside, so I let her out onto the porch. She just plopped down and enjoyed the afternoon sun. I kept checking on her every five minutes, and one time I checked she was gone.

I found her out under the car-port by the back of my truck, sitting up proud and strong, staring out at the highway. Just like she did when she introduced herself to us eleven years ago, on our deck in the Idaho mountains. As I approached, she started to waddle down towards her secret spot along the creek, a place I've never found, and I swooped her up and brought her inside.

She drank a little water and then landed on her heating pad. She was laying on her side and I got down next to her, putting my arm under her head, and began loving on her. Suddenly she did something she never does, she put her arm up on my arm and left it there. It's like she was saying thank you for loving me. I went to bed thinking she might pass in her sleep, but she's still with me this morning!

She is now not eating, not drinking and barely moving. I just got off the phone with the vet, I told him I thought it was time, and we are ending her life today at 1445. I make this decision three days sober, I couldn't live with myself otherwise. But my heart is BROKEN!

I was walking along my creek today and spotted this. The folks that live at the top of this little beach are a husband and wife and their young son. I've chatted with them before and their very protective of their small spot on Shoal Creek.

But for the life of me, I can't figure this out...

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Well, my little project is ready. It's called BText.org and it's purpose in life is to accept your text entry, save it locally, then format and send it to your inbox.

So here's the concept: You open the webapp on your phone and save the link to your desktop as an icon. Then, whenever you need to take some notes when you're out and about, or keep an ongoing list, you can use this app. Change the email subject to match your needs.

The beauty of this approach is that your email is common across all of your devices. Instead of writing stuff down inside your phone and then figuring out how to get it to your computer, laptop or tablet, email solves the problem.

Of course you could open your phone email and send yourself some text, but you have to go through all the steps to send it to yourself with a subject. BText automates that and allows for your content to be an ongoing persistent entity.

So give it shot if you like, no ads, no bullshit, and no privacy invasions since your stuff is saved locally. Peace!

I often find myself out and about with a blog post in my head, and nothing but my phone in my hand. So, I decided to write an app for that. I've been hunkered down for the last couple of days writing code and it's coming along good.

It's a short little domain name (nine letters total) with a .org extension and cost me eight bucks. I'm not ready to share it because it ain't ready, and it would just load your browser cache up with development code anyway.

The endpoint is to write some words with it, and then have those words sent to your email address, where you can do with it what you want. Like in my case, copy and paste it into a blog post.

Thanks for dropping by...

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Rode out to Hohenwald, TN this morning with Daniel in his service truck, to work on an ice house. Saw some new country and a new town.

There was a little joint next to us called The Store, so I went over and checked it out while Daniel did his thing. When I walked in, I was met by friendly women and the overwhelming smell of barbecue. They explained to me that the pork meat is cooked on Sunday, simmers overnight, and served on Monday.

We were going to eat at Junkyard Dog, a very popular local joint, but they were closed. So I ordered up a couple of pulled pork sandwiches with all the trimmings. While I was waiting, the lady kept getting phone calls saying "barbecue?" and then she laughed and said the entire sheriff's department would be here shortly for lunch.

Needless to say, it was great. Daniel had some issues with the house, and after a while he had to bail and drive to an electrical supply store in Columbia. Along the way, he pointed out big homes with horses and barns that he worked on as a kid.

Leaving Columbia and heading home, he showed me sprawling southern plantations with rock walls built by slaves. He pointed out a tunnel where the South hid their slaves as the North approached. Battles were fought here, and the place just emanates history.

Russia's invasion is not a war, it is a terrorist attack. There are more than twenty biolabs in Ukraine containing viruses that could finish us off, if bombed. More Russian soldiers have died in the last two weeks there, than the U.S. lost in twenty years in Iraq. I don't know about you, but my butt is tightening up more every day.

The Lawrenceburg Animal Hospital has brought Piper back from the brink. They're not sure what was wrong with her but she's back to her old self and I'm picking her up shortly, after the vet does a couple more things.

First off, Piper is responding to treatment at the vet. Eating and drinking and the prognosis is good. Not sure when I can get her tomorrow, and snow is coming in, and they close at 1200. At the worst she would spend the weekend. I walk around the house wondering where she is, forgetting, can't imagine when she's really gone.

I ran across one of my previous cool cameras in a drawer the other day, it's a Sony DSC-RX 100/B that I bought back in 2005, and took on many adventures. It still had a charge and works great. One of the first small cameras to have a 1" sensor, with a great menu system.

I just watched a video running through all of the features and realized that back then I just shot in Auto Mode. Now I shoot in Aperture Priority mode with ISO Auto, unless I need a 100 ISO with a tripod. The guy in the video I watched was running full manual, adjusting ISO and Aperture on the fly, too much for me, but I did discover the control ring on the front allows for Aperture adjustment. Suddenly this little camera is my new, fit in my pocket, friend!

It has a Carl Zeiss lens and still sells on Amazon for $300.

I went with a new vet this time. Piper has been to Shoal Creek and Northside, and I never once met the vet.

This time I went to the Lawrenceburg Animal Hospital, down on W Gaines heading out of town. I actually got to stand in the exam room while the cool old guy examined my cat. Just like the old days in Driggs, ID.

He determined that Piper is diabetic and wanted to keep her for a couple days and treat her. I asked how much, he said a couple hundred bucks, and I said yes.

So here I am back at the house with no Piper, but at least she ain't in the hole.

I laid on the bed most of the morning with Piper, talking to her face to face and softly petting her. She was purring and seemed content. It's been a rough four days, not eating, hardly moving, and I'm taking her to the vet for an exam this afternoon.

The other part of the morning I spent digging out a spot in the flower bed in case she needs to be laid down. As I got up to write this she left the bed and ate a little gravy I had given her for lunch, then headed to the heating pad. First time eating anything in days...

I don't want to lose her and I don't want her to suffer. If the vet says her time is up, I will make the hard call and bring her back home to be buried. Otherwise, she will have a fun hole out there to play in.

I went to B&W Auto Parts this morning and bought a $32 bumper adaptor for my $25 Craigslist bike rack. Then I drove down the street to the tractor repair place and had a good old boy weld it on to my bumper for $30 cash. Total investment in the whole project: $87.

He did a damn fine job!

Slid my bike on and fastened her down.

Looks pretty sexy from the back.

And the best part is, I can still open up my rear end!

Now the only question is, legality. A lot of states, including Tennessee, make it illegal to block the license plate, and rear lights. My setup is not bad, but I'm heading over to the State Patrol office tomorrow to get their opinion.

I saw my grand-daughter Ariella in real time today, via Zoom!

I realized this morning that with gas prices spiralling up to an unknown height, travel this year by any means, is going to suck.

I thought about investing in a better camera setup than my outdated little Logitech video cam, but than I decided to explore how to hookup one of my Sony cameras to the desktop. I discovered that Sony has a driver called Imaging Edge Webcam, downloadable from their site.

I tried it first with my little RX100 but that's a 2005 camera, and out of date. So I went full bore and hooked up my Sony A6500, selecting it from the list of approved cameras, and it works! Combined with my beautiful Sigma 16mm lens, it delivers a stunning video image, and it works great in Zoom.

Unfortunately, the operator on the other side looks like a wild-eyed, unkempt, long-haired hippy, but I is who I am...

Now maybe I can that see that new grand-daughter in real-time.

My cat Piper, my partner, is not doing well. She slept most of the day yesterday, and didn't try to get me up this morning at 0400 for treats, like she always does.

Now she's barely moving and not eating. I really don't know what to do, take her to the vet to be poked and proded, or just see how it plays out over the next few days.

I emailed the vet about the procedures involved with euthanization, just in case, and haven't heard back.

Meanwhile I got chewed out by my sister for waking her up early this morning with a post update. I just assume everyone turns their phone volume off when they go to bed. I wonder how many other friends and family have experienced the same thing, but just didn't tell me. Time to stop that...

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My other favorite guy of course, is my son Riley. Thirty five, married to Jessica, father to Ariella. Home owner, master craftsman at a popular two man auto body shop, all around great man of character. I love him deeply.

I just got off the phone with my friend and nephew Brian. He told me he was six months sober and that I was his insperation. Damn, he is now my new insperation.

We have great history, I remember him at my mom's house as a baby, handsome to ths day, and now turning 40 shortly. If y'all remember I was with him down in Belize last summer.

Brian is my buddy, I love him.

A funny thing happened today. I decided that I needed a bike rack on the back of my truck so I went shoping on CraigsList, and found one for $25 here in Lawrenceburg.

I made email contact with them and eventually got an address of 1293 on a subdivision street 7 minutes away. But, for some reason I wrote down 93 on my sticky note, not 1293. When I got in my truck to head there I typed 93 into my GPS and it couldn't find it.

So I just went with the subdivision street and hoped for the best. All the numbers were 1200's and when I got to the end of the street, I turned around and noticed a family sitting outside looking at me. I figured I would just ask them if there was another street with the same name, and when I got out of my truck they said Are you Jim? I had stumbled on to the place, despite my critical geolocation error.

I bought the bike rack. Now I need to go shoping tomorrow for an adaptor to replace the ball hitch on my truck. Stay tuned...

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I bought a Dexnor case for my Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G, with a built-in screen protector and a kickstand, from Amazon for $17.

I love it for the most part but it has one small defect in the screen cover down by the fingerprint reader. Not a deal breaker for me, but I did discover something very cool.

I decided to set up fingerprint recognition on my phone, so when the screen toggles off I have to press the little circle to log in. The cool thing is I don't have to press the side button to wake it up, I just press the circle that I can see against a black screen, and the phone comes alive!

Daniel said that's easy to defeat by simply cutting off my finger. I suppose so...

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My new bike bag arrived from Amazon today, and I mounted it on top of my saddle bags. It has roomy internal storage with pockets on each side. That makes a total of seven zippered compartments sitting on my rear rack.

Sometimes a photo of Riley and Jess's baby girl comes across my screen, that I just have to share.

I got to wondering how old Piper really is, so I called our old Vet back in Driggs, ID and spoke with Page. Piper was micro-chipped as a kitten by her original owner Megan at that location and we continued taking her there once she became ours.

Piper showed up at our door on Friday, June 17, 2011 (it pays to have a Blog). According to the records that Page just emailed me, she was born 16 years, 5 months, and 2 weeks ago on Sep 12, 2005. So she has been in my life for almost eleven years.

I have hundreds of photos and videos of her but here's one I found after she had been around for a year: Pipes Under Jack.

Life is what it is, I am where I am, I know who I know, I love who I love. My body is my soul, if I worship and respect it, I will experience life longer. It's as simple, and as complicated as that.

In the meantime, my pajamas are falling apart...

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I picked up a great set of saddle bags for the bike from Amazon for $30. They fit the rack perfectly with two straps each, front and rear, along with bottom attachments down to the frame on each side.

There are two compartments on each bag, one large and one smaller. I put my lock into one of the small compartments and it fit perfectly.

With gas prices bumping $4 I'll be doing a lot of grocery runs with this setup, and leave the truck at home.

I just bought another bag to mount on top of this for $27, be here Saturday. Pretty sweet!

Don't need no trailer!

On a clear night from the deck of my home in the Oakland, CA hills back in the late seventies, I could watch jets circle around SFO fifty miles away. Now I rarely see any aircraft overhead. The hospital helicopter flies over on occasion and today I spotted a high flying jet trailing a white exhaust, but that's it.

Now all I hear is the roar of traffic out on Hwy 43 with the occsional jake break of big trucks. It's an interesting life living on a little dead-end street off a major highway in the deep south.

I really wish I could afford to live in a Florida beach town, with no hills, and a vibrant downtown. Or South Carolina, I was there a couple of years ago and I liked it. Lawrenceburg, TN has a creek and one downtown restaurant that serves crappy food.

I will embrace this area for one more summer, get tan, get fit, and see what happens. I'm meeting up with my friend Crissinda and her kids for a walk around the path tomorrow, it will be great to catch up...

In the meantime:

Did my first real ride this morning, up to Krogers and back. I stayed on the sidewalk all the way north with traffic whizzing by my back at 40 mph. Ran into a few sidewalk blocking obstacles like a garbage can, a construction crew and a truck unloading, but managed to maneuver around. I had my little red rear flasher going and it's pretty visible!

Swung around to the back of Krogers and over to Springer Rd which for the most part had nice wide accessible sidewalks. They eventually gave way to a decent bike path. Hit E Gaines St heading into town and made it home the back way.

A pretty good first ride I must say, I've got saddlebags coming tomorrow from Amazon so when they arrive I'll do a little shopping and then hit Anytime Fitness which is a couple blocks north of Krogers.

Buyer's remorse is a real thing, I've experienced it many times in my 75 years. But I have absolutely none as I gaze on this beautiful piece of bicycle engineering siting in my living room. Hell, I've spent more money on a Sony camera and lenses!

If you want to achieve a goal, you have to go for it full out. Life is most definitely short, and we could all die tomorrow. Don't sit on the fence, waffeling!

I drove to downtown Florence, AL this morning, met a couple really nice guys at the Spinning Spoke, and bought a new Trek bicycle. It's a 2022 Verve 3, top of the line and sweet. I had my eye on the LowStep without the middle bar but it was just too big.

I also had them install a rear rack, front and rear lights, a rearview mirror, a kickstand and a water bottle holder. I also bought a lock which is strapped to the rack. This thing also has a cushioned ride on the seat and the front end, with disc brakes front and rear. Price out the door: $1,215.39

When I got home, I hoped on and headed to town and the first thing I ran into was the big hill on Hwy 43 heading North. Heck this thing stresses my truck out but once you get to the top it's relatively flat. I dropped it down into a granny gear and by the time I reached the top I realized I wasn't anywhere in the shape I thought I was. That will come over the Summer.

Rode around town for a bit and I love it. Here's some shots I took when I got back, click the photo below to see the set.