It's early in the morning on Halloween and I'm hitting the road. The best gift I can give you right now is one more day to unpack your things and fix up your apartment, and handle that remote job up in DC. Thanks for everything, it's been a wonderful visit!

Thanks for letting me crash on your couch last night, it was very comfy. I'm grabbing that door dash bowl of stuff for brunch later on.

I love you lady, very much, and may the spirits of our past be with you today.

Your proud grandfather,

OldManJim

I had a hot lunch date with my sizzling young woman friend named Shelby. The old guys around me couldn't pick their jaws up off the table, it was embarrassing.

We ate at a place called BJ's and I asked the waitress what that stood for, and all she could do is blush. The food was great, I ate the tasty salmon, and we had pot-stickers and other good things...

We got Stormy off to the airport on time while Shelby pulled off mandatory video office meetings at the same time. I just rode along wondering where my glasses went to last night. I finally found them in the basket that held the poker cards.

My overworked beautiful favorite grand-daughter is still hanging chill, with everything going down across two jobs. The kitchen needs to be unpacked, but life has it's priorities. She keeps sayin we're heading to the beach, but I'm up for just hanging here at the pool today.

Life is tough down here in Tampa Bay, on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. I don't know when the fuck I'll actually head home.

I had a hot lunch date with my sizzling young woman friend named Shelby. The old guys around me couldn't pick their jaws up off the table, it was embarrassing.

We ate at a place called BJ's and I asked the waitress what that stood for, and all she could do is blush. The food was great, I ate the tasty salmon, and we had pot-stickers and other good things...

We got Stormy off to the airport on time while Shelby pulled off mandatory video office meetings at the same time. I just rode along wondering where my glasses went to last night. I finally found them in the basket that held the poker cards.

My overworked beautiful favorite grand-daughter is still hanging chill, with everything going down across two jobs. The kitchen needs to be unpacked, but life has it's priorities. She keeps sayin we're heading to the beach, but I'm up for just hanging here at the pool today.

Life is tough down here in Tampa Bay, on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. I don't know when the fuck I'll actually head home.

I had a hot lunch date with my sizzling young woman friend named Shelby. The old guys around me couldn't pick their jaws up off the table, it was embarrassing.

We ate at a place called BJ's and I asked the waitress what that stood for, and all she could do is blush. The food was great, I ate some tasty salmon, and we had pot-stickers and other good things...

We got Stormy off to the airport on time while Shelby pulled off mandatory video office meetings at the same time. I just rode along wondering where my glasses went to last night. I finally found them in the basket that held the poker cards.

My overworked beautiful favorite grand-daughter is still hanging chill, with everything going down across two jobs. The kitchen needs to be unpacked, but life has it's priorities. She keeps sayin we're heading to the beach, but I'm up for just hanging here at the pool today.

Life is tough down here in Tampa Bay, on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. I don't know when the fuck I'll actually head home.

I was born without teeth and I'll die without them. I came up with that phrase yesterday afternoon with my friend Stormy, and I had the chance to use it over dinner later.

Shelby, Stormy and I met her friends (and now mine) at a steak house for dinner last evening. This was the couple who showed up for the move and they are wonderful. They have a nine year old daughter that bonded with me over games on her phone.

He's a career marine and she was stunning in a dress from a previous event. As the Happy Hour call rolled around I ordered a double vodka water, house. I toasted the group and announced that I had been sober for eleven days, just to meet them, and present Shelby's grand-father in a decent light. They cheered, and toasted. The run is over.

Shelby, Stormy and I played Poker later on in her new living room, and I think I beat them, but I'm not sure, probably neither are they...

...

Working my way through day number eleven of sobriety. It was the goal for my real self to show up here in Tampa, unencumbered by alcohol bullshit, and I have achieved that. I've still got a couple more days before I head back home, and I am questioning myself.

I'm thinking of taking my time around the Gulf Coast heading home, maybe landing in Gulf Port or Biloxi for the night, and quite frankly I don't trust myself to do it.

I don't know where my breaking point is, or wether I even have one anymore. I suspect in the back of my mind I might. Achieving something major like beating an addiction requires motivation, and I'll be heading back to a life that has none.

This will be the biggest test of this project as I travel alone back into the real world, through the land of bars and honky tonks. Do I have the strength and commitment to make this real for the rest of my life.

As I sit here on Shelby's couch on a Sunday afternoon, craving a drink real bad, the answer to that question is, I have no fucking idea, but I may not.

It was all hands on deck this morning as we unloaded Shelby's stuff from the U-Haul. The photo below only represents the kitchen and partial living room areas, there's still a bunch of stuff upstairs in the bedroom and down in the garage.

Her co-worker and boss came over with his wife and nine year old daughter. The wife is one of Shelby's closest friends and they all chipped in with the move. Earlier the guy Shelby hired to help with the move showed up, and he and her competitive body builder buddy Stormy got the heavy lifting done.

Meanwhile the Stairs Pussy did his share of stair climbing with lighter stuff. Shelbs and Stormy are now off to Walmart to buy a big TV because her 40" broke in transit. They'll use the U-Haul to get it back here, and then drop the truck off.

Shelby is juggling two jobs, her DC job for a couple of months, and this new one as a defense contractor, along with unpacking all of this stuff to make a new home.

Later this evening were all going out for miniature golf and dinner. Tampa is one hell of a fine Florida city, everyone drives fast and lives big. Shelby offered to turn her garage into a studio apartment for me, but I had to politely decline.

Hey, they just showed back up with a 65" LG from Walmart, for $492 after taxes. It's a beauty!

I was sleeping soundly in my truck canopy last night when a text came across my phone at 0244. Lately I leave my do not disturb mode off because nobody texts me at night. So I ignored it.

That didn't last long and I started to wake up wondering who it was. Finally I turned over and grabbed my phone, it was my son Riley from Seattle. Now there's a three hour difference there to here on the East Coast, so it was 1144 his time, on a Saturday night.

He's an amazing hard working man, and he has Sunday off, so I figured he was enjoying himself with a well deserved drink or two. I picked up the phone and clicked on the text. It read:

Hey dad hope your having a good time in Florida! Question... What is the spelling for your first name? Is it Lee? Or spelled differently

I responded groggily, Leigh. He texted: Thank you! What are you doing up? Lol and I said: Sleeping in my truck

At this point I thought he was going to get the fact that I was sleeping in my truck, but no.

He wrote: Nice! Another question... What's shelbys middle name?

At this point I was awake and laughing, and replied: I don't know, I'll ask her in the morning. Love you, goodnight.

Ok love you too dad

Sigh...

...

I was laying in the back of my truck last night around 1030, in front of Shelby's new place in Tampa, when suddenly I heard her voice, and my phone went off. They had arrived!

Shelby and her dog Zinny came running at me (glad I remained dressed) and we had a big ol hug. Then she introduced me to the friend that flew up from Pensacola to help with this move. His name is Stormy (yea), real buff, tats, good looking with a great smile. Shelby has a knack of attracting fine men, and I don't think this is romantic, he's just a good friend.

I thought they were towing Shelby's car behind the U-Haul but it turns out Stormy drove the truck the whole way while Shelby and Vinnie followed behind in the car.

Shelby loves her new place, huge compared to the cramped place she was living at up in DC. She's got a garage to park her car, a view out onto a big pool, with a barbecue off to the side.

We unpacked a few basics from the back of the U-Haul, including air mattresses for them to crash on tonight, and I said good night. Today is moving day and her friend and husband are coming over to help.

The husband was going to play off of Stormy to move the big items but he hurt his arm so Shelbs has hired a moving guy to fill that position. It should be a fun day eleven and the first thing I'm going to do is set up the shower curtain so we can clean up from the road.

She has a couple of days after the big move today, before she starts her new job, so new adventures await before I head back home.

I've made it to Shelby's new apartment in Tampa, FL. Unfortunately, she's not here yet. She and her friend are pushing a big U-Haul with a car behind through the Carolinas, actually they should be in Georgia by now.

But that don't stop Grandpa Jim from getting the lowdown on the place. Shelby gave me the pass codes to the gate and her garage. I've gathered up her packages and brought them upstairs and set a new tire waiting outside for her, inside the garage.

It's a very nice upscale two story apartment and I'm sure she's going to love it. There's a big pool in the back and an outside barbecue. There are a total of thirty two steps in two levels of stairs, and I made it very clear a while back that I am Not the stairs pussy! It don't bother me at all.

I stopped at Walmart before coming here and bought a pot, a cup and some metal straws. Then I went to Publix and bought some large lemons and some peeled garlic. My drink is cooking on her stove as I write this.

I wish I had a chair to sit on, but hell, I've been sitting and driving all day and it's good for me to stand. I'll hit my canopy bed well before they arrive tonight and I told Shelby to knock on my roof.

Tomorrow is moving day but I assume we'll at least get the bed and some bedding up here tonight so they can crash, after a hell of a drive from D.C.

I climbed into my truck canopy, parked at Rest Area 22 off I75 last night, at 1900 (Eastern Time). I didn't come out until 0530, 10.5 hours in there and only used the pee jar once. I slept great, and the sound of the diesels running around me was like the white noise generator machine back home.

I've been driving South in the dark for a while now, with one gas/coffee stop along the way. The sun is finally coming up, all my devices are charged from the driving, and I've got another coffee going from a little joint along the highway.

I've been texting hands free with Shelby, Daniel and Massey while I drive, thanks to miss Google Assistant mounted in her carrier to the left of my steering wheel.

As I head into fucking day 10 sober, I have to say I haven't felt this alive in a long, long, time. I don't need a damned woman in my life, I like myself and I can hang with just me. I'm a good man when I'm sober, I'm smart, charming and I don't give a flying fuck what any stranger thinks about me!

Now to get back on the road, Florida is still a ways away and I've got a great day ahead of me!

I've set up my road office at Rest Area 22 off I70, fifty miles South of Atlanta. I've got my own bench with a canopy in the event of rain, I've got my portable power supply running everything, and my phone's hotspot provides Internet.

There's no food here, but trust me, I ain't hungry. I'll hang out here for the evening and mosey down to Tampa tomorrow. Shelby and friend won't get in until late, so maybe I'll go to the beach!

Update: Heading to the Ben T Davis Beach, a public beach in Tampa City.

Chai Pani in Asheville, NC won the James Beard award for best restaurant in America, two years ago. I was instantly intrigued and thought, "I have to try out that Indian street food"!

Thus began an obsession that I have totally worn out on this blog. My apologies. But finally, today was the moment of truth as I sat inside the Decatur, AL Chai Pani with a bit of most everything sitting inside a metal plate.

I took my first bite, hmmm spicy and interesting. I bit into the next item, hmmm spicy and intersting. The same thing happened with everything else and I realized the only difference in each was the composition, and they all used the same spice!

I decided to have the chicken over rice as a second dish but I could barely finish it. It was all sitting in my gut like a rock, and I thought WTF?

I was the second person through the door at lunch time and the place had since become packed. Folks here obviously like the stuff, but I decided that the bloom is off the rose and I'm never coming back.

It's funny how you can fantasize about something until it becomes bigger than life, then it ends up crashing and burning to the ground. That's exactly what just happened to me.

It's been a great early morning run through rural Alabama and Georgia, with two cups of gas station rot-gut coffee and a $2.85 a gallon fill up.

Pixie (yes, I've named my new phone) surprised me with her chosen route, through small towns in the dark, finally merging onto I75 South. Getting through downtown Atlanta was challenging, but expected.

My new best friend Pixie's GPS skills were impeccable. I just used my main GPS to keep track of my speed, and the speed limits.

I am now in downtown Decatur, in the parking lot of Chai Pani, in the shade writing this post. I finally made it! I'm also an hour ahead of the buffet lunch opening. If I can find someone inside I'll ask if they don't mind me parking here until they open, so I can walk around downtown.

Hell yea, day number nine!

There are a couple of ways to get to Decatur, GA. One mapping app suggests the traditional way of shooting straight East thru Chattanooga, and then South. I've done that run to Atlanta and I want something different.

The Google Assistant is wonderful. From a dark screen I can just say Navigate to Decatur, GA and she loads the map up with options. I'm a Garmin GPS guy, but I'm going to let her guide me down tomorrow.

We'll hit Huntsville, AL and then I'll sail through new country for me, on a diagonal over to I75. We'll go through Scottsboro, Henager, Hammondville, Valley Head, Mentone then leave Alabama into Georgia and hit Cloudland, Menlo, Summerville, Armuchee, finally connecting with I75.

Back roads are so much more fun than Interstates. It may take a bit longer but if I leave early I should make the 1100 buffet opening at Chai Pani. If I'm late, hey they're open until 1400.

I've been spouting bullshit on this blog for a year now about getting out there on the road, and bailing for one fucked up reason or another. It's finally happening tomorrow morning, and I'm very ready.

I got all my chores done this morning and put money in my pocket, and on my card. My new phone is rocking and ready to take it's position on my dash with the rear camera and GPS.

In the morning I'll toss my electronics into the bag and head to Indian food brunch in Decatur, GA. Finally!

My body is in an interesting place, on one hand elated that I've finally stopped poisoning it. Everything I do now is just better, and coming from a state of clarity and commitment.

On the other hand, it's pissed off. It ain't getting what it's used to, and lets me know it. I actually have mild flu-like symptoms that I know comes from the withdrawal from alcohol.

Like I said previously, the cure is Indian food. I'm going to make several trips to the buffet line, trying small portions of anything that looks like I can eat. I'm not a big buffet guy that eats too much, I just want to try it all.

I'll take pictures with my new Pixel 8 Pro and post them from Grannies Spread in a Rest Area South of Decatur, GA. Meanwhile, day eight is rocking on.

I've set up my truck bed into one of my favorite configurations. It starts with clean fitted sheets off my bed followed by what I call the Grannies Blanket Spread. It was her favorite blanket from our Pleasant Hill, CA home during the time her Alzheimer's was setting in, followed by a crocheted blanket she made years earlier.

She had both these blankets on her bed, it's the perfect combination of style and warmth, and I think of her every time I climb back there.

The bed itself is a custom memory foam mattress made and cut to fit my truck. I had it constructed in Idaho Falls, and it was pricey, but worth it.

I also carry heavy duty tools back there capable of breaking into a burning car. I love my little truck bed, it's served me well over the years.

These are Shelby's great-great-grandmothers blankets, and one day they will be hers.

I needed access to the files on my phone, and I wasn't getting it, just an empty folder. I'm used to connecting a USB C cord between my laptop and phone, then drilling down through DCIM/Camera to get to the photos I took with the phone. Then copying (or moving) what I want to my computer and blogging with them.

This was a major snag and I had to figure out how to fix it. The solution was obscure. First I had to go to Settings/About and click on the Build Number seven times to get into Developer Mode. No shit.

Suddenly new options opened up and under Advanced I found an option that lets me specify what to do when the phone is connected to a computer via a USB C cable. I selected USB File Transfer and suddenly everything was visible and available.

Now maybe I'm an exception, I take photos with my phone and I need to get them onto my laptop, or I don't blog. That was one hell of a hoop to jump through to make that happen...

These were just some test photos I took up at the Park yesterday. I can copy, move or delete them directly. I need access to my content!

Ok, now that I've thought about it, it makes sense. Most people plug a USB C cable into their phones simply to charge them. Having a dialog pop up exposing the entire file structure to them is a recipe for disaster. If you want access to the insides of your phone, you got to jump through hoops!

I just called and talked to a lady named Stephanie. She confirmed that Chai Pani has a lunch buffet on Friday from 1130 to 1430. I asked if it's the kind you can walk around and try everything, and she said yes, for $15. I told her this Tennessee boy was going to see her there!

It's a 4.5 hour run so I can make the lunch buffet easily. Then I'll have a bunch of time to explore Decatur before heading south to my layover spot. I've changed my mind about the Pilot/Flying J and going for Rest Area 22 off I75, whicht looks nice. From there it's a straight shot down to Tampa.

Take care of business and pack up tomorrow, then head South. Withdrawals were tough today, all I need to fix that is some great Indian food. Day seven on the books.

.

I was going to drive up to the Spectrum store in Columbia today and have them help with any transfer issues from my Galaxy to the Pixel, and give them my old phone.

Well, the new phone is working perfectly, I have all my old stuff, she's tucked into a new case and I just installed a screen saver film on her. I also contacted Spectrum via phone and had them email me a shipping label and the Galaxy is now all packed up and ready to go back. No drive to Columbia needed.

It's taken me a bit to learn the new gestures on the Pixel 8 Pro, quite different then Samsung, but I get them now, and they are intuitive and sweet.

The camera system on this phone is so good, I'm leaving my Sony digital with the zoom lens home on this upcoming trip.

A holster case that clips to your waist arrives tomorrow. Daniel uses one and swears by it. When I first saw it on his hip I thought he was packing. He usually is packing, but not there. He goes up and down ladders all day and needs a safe way to carry his phone.

Got my clothes clean at the Wishy Washy this morning and everything is going good.

FedEx finally arrived with my new Google Pixel 8 Pro phone. The setup process was amazing and blew my mind. First I transferred the SIM over from my Galaxy, then set it down next to my Pixel.

I scanned a QR-Code and suddenly the Pixel started grabbing my apps, wifi settings, passwords, messages, photos and contacts. It was magical.

Everything is now on my new phone, and works perfectly. So, I said goodby to my old friend of five years, and performed a factory reset. I'll take her up to Columbia tomorrow and turn her back in.

This puts my sixth day of sobriety, on to the books. Every day I become stronger of will and more empowered. Alcohol is my enemy and I'm fighting it with every cell in my old body, and I'm winning! Soon I'll stop counting!

Every fucked up thing I ever did in my life probably had booze behind it. I'm done with that, it's been hurting me bad lately, and I'm stopping it now.

I've found a great place to stay after dinner at the Indian restaurant Chai Pani next Friday. It's the Pilot/Flying J, nine miles (21 minutes) south of downtown Decatur GA. Very inexpensive, as in free. Why get a motel room when you're sleeping alone and have a sweet memory foam bed in the back of your truck?

From there the next morning it's 450 miles (6.5 hours) down to Shelby's new place in Tampa. This is country in the South that I've never seen before, so I'll take my time and explore.

Shelby and friend are getting into Tampa late, and armed with the gate code, I'll just sleep inside her complex until they arrive.

I was pacing back and front of my big TV, watching phone tips and tricks videos, waiting for the FedEx truck to roll down my street, when my friend and his woman dropped by and got me stoned.

I'm really glad they came by, we had a good time, and they distracted me from the fact that the 1000 to 1400 delivery window was sliding on by, and still no new phone.

My neighbor asked me the other day if I was going to avoid smoke, and I said I didn't know. As we smoked I told them I was into six days sober and they were both very supportive. They've seen me drink.

The afternoon turned out laid back, fun and comfortable. Bud is my friend, Booze is my enemy, and I have absolutely no desire to drive to the store.

Now if I could just get my phone...

...

T W T F . . .

Ahhh, phone arrival day, when the best new phone on the planet arrives on my doorstep (sorry iPhone 15 Pro).

The first thing I'm going to do after moving my stuff over is to bump the resolution up to high, and set the brightness to max. They're initially set lower for battery savings, but screw that. This phone is said to have the best and brightest display ever developed. The word stunning pops up a lot.

As to the battery, the worst thing you can do to shorten the life of a phone battery is to charge it to 100% and then let it sit there charging. This phone has a setting that shuts charging off completely when it reaches 80%. I love this!

AI drives everything on this badboy. The photos from the new hi-res camera array, rival and exceed digital cameras. Ok, I'll stop babbling and write a new post when it arrives and I have it set up...

btw, the weather for my upcoming road trip is going to be beautiful, eighties, lows in the fifties. And when I arrive in Tampa it's going to be even nicer!

Man did I get lucky on my new phone! Diving into YouTube today I learned that the big discounts on the Google Pixel 8 Pro have dried up.

I got $600 off this $1,000 phone right off the bat from Spectrum. Add in a $45 trade in on my five year old Galaxy with a green line down the middle, and a $100 bonus for trading in a phone, it ended up costing me $255 bucks! Yea the fed gets it's taxes, about $50, but it would have been the same if not more on the full price.

I'm also fairly confident I can do the setup, app and data transfer from my Samsung, and the sim card swap myself now, which eliminates a drive to the Spectrum store in Columbia. I have a sweet case for it, and a screen protector kit coming on Wednesday.

It pays to have a clear head, and my technical skills developed over 56 years, are still alive and well.

p.s. Click the image below.

btw: Day five is on the books.

I knocked tires rotated off my list of chores this morning, before my road trip next Friday. As I was walking into the tire shop at 0800 I heard someone call out my name behind me. It was my buddy Slim who drives this cute little Kia, and he also had an appointment at Sullivan's Tire.

We playfully jostled for position as I made it through the door first. Poor guy ended up shelling out $1200 bucks for some top of the line new tires, while my rotation was free.

Slim's a cool dude, 82, full head of hair and a beard, wife is still with him, and kids and grandkids scattered all over town. He was in the Navy from 1960 to 1964, god someone older than me, and ended up a commercial glass installer for forty years.

I'm into day five sober as 1100 approaches. This particular time was always my start time if I was sitting around the house. Now it's just the time I turn on the news. It get's a little easier every day and I'm waiting to cross over the hump.

My new Google Pixel 8 Pro arrives tomorrow between 1000 an 1400 and I've been watching YouTube videos on how to set it up and transfer everything from my Samsung S20. I may be able to pull it off, but if not I've got a Wednesday appointment at the Spectrum store in Columbia.

Movin on, one day at a time..

I had quite a history with baseball in my younger years. As a kid I listened to pro games on the radio, never saw one in person, I don't recall. When we moved to Paradise, CA I joined the Babe Ruth league and became an all-star first baseman.

I had a great arm, I could throw anybody out from any angle. As life moved on beyond High School I was heading out of Sacramento one day to try out with the Giants down in Arizona, when my grand-father died and I turned around. My baseball dreams died with him.

As Riley grew up in the South Seattle area, he loved baseball. We played catch every day and I attended all of his games. One day I wondered over to his practice and I volunteered to smack line drives out to the infield. I worked those kids hard for a half hour without swinging through a ball.

Life moved on from those days and I lost all interest in the game. I haven't watched a pro game on TV in decades.

The reason I mention all of this is that yesterday I was walking along the creek and hundreds of walnuts had fallen to the ground. I picked one up and tried to through it across the creek. My right arm is so fucked up I felt like a two year old trying to throw a ball to his dad.

I have no mobility there anymore, I can't wind up and let her rip like I used to. Quite frankly I'm glad nobody was there to see that as the walnut landed lamely in the middle of the creek.

I thought I'd give an update on my favorite grand-daughters move from DC to Tampa. Initially she was going to hook her car to the back of a U-Haul that was bigger than her stuff, then load her up and drive herself South. She even entertained picking up things for other people and making some money along the way.

The drive to Tampa is over eleven hours and she has to finish up her job on Friday, pack the U-Haul and drive all day Saturday. My beautiful Shelby does not have balls, but if she did they would be huge.

Fortunately, a friend of hers is going to fly into DC Friday evening from Pensacola, help her load up, and then drive the truck. I asked if he was a big guy and she said he's a world class body builder! They've also decided to skip picking up other peoples stuff along the way.

Sunday morning, one of her best friends husband (also a big guy) is coming over to work with her friend in getting the stuff up three flights of stairs.

Thank god. Having her 77 year old grandfather holding up one end of a couch or a king size bed going up stairs had hospital written all over it! I can handle boxes and unpacking.

Her friends are looking forward to meeting me and I'm looking forward to a great time. We'll be hitting the beach on Halloween, the day before she starts her new job.

Here's my program RouteQue's take on the run, and it's looking further than 11 hours.

btw: Day four is on the books.

My landlord Steve is my new neighbor. He's building a new house and he needed a place to live, so he put his trailer down on his property at the end of my street. The city recently ran water, sewage and electricity to it, and the whole thing was put together by his cousin and contractor Ricky, who is my ex-boss from the tubing company.

This location down on the creek is also the place where we put tubers into the water. In fact, they waited until just after tubing season ended, to pour the concrete. You see how this all fits together?

Steve's is one of the largest property owners here in Lawrence County, if not the largest. He buys houses and flips them into rental properties, and the place I live in is one of them.

He also has a used car business and I've worked for him in the past, driving vehicles down from Nashville. His main mechanic Tim has worked on my truck on the side a couple of times and my current mechanic Thomas is Tim's brother.

One of his four sons was my neighbor when I moved in here five years ago. I guess I've become embedded in his life in a small way. I see him buying his HS aged grandkids breakfast at the Square all the time and I heard he just took them all off on a big trip somewhere.

I like Steve a lot, I just hope he don't raise my rent again for a long time...

...

Heading into day four of sobriety. For those not suffering from addiction that may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me. I can't wait to get over the hump, and reach that point where I don't have to constantly battle the craving, and just live.

I have a few plans today, get in a couple laps around the Veterans park trail, hit the store for supplies, then nothing. Last night I whipped up a boiled lemon and garlic drink and sipped on it through the evening. I need more lemons.

Been looking at the cruise I visualized yesterday, waiting for the flight costs from Shelby before pulling the trigger. It's a wonderful adventure but I have to decide if I'm going to dig into my savings for one last big trip, especially alone.

I've got a few things coming in from Amazon today, a case for my new sweet phone arriving Tuesday, and various USB cables for my truck setup.

Anyway, that's my day, I hope yours is great! This is post number 1,837, not counting all of those I changed my mind about sharing, and sent to the trash.

I ran across a cruise coming up on November 25th that looks amazing. It's on the Norwegian Joy for eleven days, out of Miami, and down into the Bahamas, for $459.

Normally there's a 100% single supplement, which means if nobody want's to cruise with me, which is the case, I have to pay for double occupancy anyway. There is a 0% supplement on this cruise, which comes to $41 a day, before taxes!

Here's the game plan if I choose to do this: Drive to Tampa and have Thanksgiving with Shelby, leave my truck at her place and fly to Miami and board. Normally a cruise returns to the departing port but this one dumps you down in Panama City at the end of the cruise, after going through the Panama Canal!

All I have to do is fly back to Tampa and pick up my truck, no parking fees in Miami!

But here's the kicker, Shelby is now a travel agent, which means she could possibly get an even better rate, along with some killer flight deals.

If I'm going to do this I should pull the trigger soon!

btw: Day three on the books.

Pardon me while I use my blog to plan out my schedule for the next week:

 • Saturday 10/21 - 1100 - Fish Fry.

 • Sunday 10/22 - 1200 - Nothing.

 • Monday 10/23 - 0800 - Tires rotated.

 • Tuesday 10/24 - 0800 - Wait for new phone.
 • Tuesday 10/24 - 0800 - Swap Phones.

 • Wednesday 10/25 - 0600 - Do laundry.
 • Wednesday 10/25 - 1000 - Spectrum canceled.

 • Thursday 10/26 - 0800 - Pay my rent.
 • Thursday 10/26 - 0810 - Get cash at bank.
 • Thursday 10/26 - 0820 - Phone to PO.
 • Thursday 10/26 - 0830 - Pack my truck.

 • Friday 10/27 - 0700 - Drive to Decatur, GA.

 • Saturday 10/28 - 0700 - Drive to Tampa, FL.

 • Sunday 10/29 - 0700 - Help Shelby move in.

 • Monday 10/30 - 0700 - Hang with Shelby.

 • Tuesday 10/31 - 0700 - A Shelby Halloween.

 • Wednesday 11/01 - 0500 - Drive home.

As I embark on this current road to sobriety I realize I'm doing it on my own. No AA, no drugs from the doctor, just support from Riley and Shelby, and hopefully from my neighbor.

I hope he can hang in there, but I certainly won't think less of him if he can't. Everyone has their own path, and their own motivations.

I'll be in Tampa around Halloween and Shelby has challenged me to some Sober Poker, a reference to our card games up in Nashville a couple of months ago, where I was not.

My new Google Pixel 8 Pro has shipped, and I'm stoked! There's nothing like getting a new phone that's best in it's class. I've spent the day watching YouTube reviews of cases, found the one I wanted, and pulled the trigger on Amazon.

Everything is coming together now, picked up a phone holder yesterday and I've got the USB cables coming to integrate it into my trucks cab system. Tires are getting rotated Monday and I'm waiting to make an appointment with Spectrum next week for the change over, based on the phones arrival.

Hitting the road in one week!

I made the decision when I started this blog over five years ago, to not allow comments. My previous blog back in Idaho did, and there where days I regretted it.

Allowing comments to a platform creates this thing called Social Media where people start posting their own positions and generating more comments from that. Pretty soon a single post becomes a multi-legged monster.

This is my platform, period, and I want to use it say how I feel about anything. If someone has an issue with my words they can contact me directly, my email address is in the About section.

There have been friends that I sent Post links to, that I wanted to share with them, but finally realized that was invasive, and stopped.

My Liberal friend in California reads my blog and sends me long scathing emails about what a fool I am for being a Conservative. I don't mind, I'm a big boy and I can handle them, but I'm sure glad they ain't going out on my blog as comments!

btw: Day two is being rough, but I'm hanging in there...

...

I'm getting a new phone! I called Spectrum today to try and get my $45 mobile bill down to their advertised $29.95. I spoke to a nice lady named Miranda up in Michigan, and she made it happen.

I was telling her that my Samsung phone had a green line display issue and she said there was a great deal on the new Google Pixel 8 Pro, with $600 off, plus a $145 discount for a trade-in of my current phone, even with the display issue. Which brought it down to around $355 bucks.

I then headed off in another Spectrum direction and spoke with Phil up in New York, and bought the phone. I chose the monthly payment option of $11.11 for 36 months, which means I'm getting a free phone and saving $15 each month.

I've been reading the reviews on this new phone and it is amazing! It will arrive next week and I'll drive up to the Spectrum store in Columbia and have them transfer everything over.

And I did this whole process with the benefit of a clear head!

Working it through the day, battling this alcohol addiction and so far so good. I was thinking the other day that I really don't like the taste of booze, it just feeds my addiction.

I know how to quit and the first day is the toughest. Each day gets a bit easier and after a while your body accepts the fact that it's not going to get any more, and stops bugging you.

You also have to replace the addiction with something else. In the past it was exercise, but weights are out with my messed up arm. Hmmm, maybe it's time to get back to Anytime Fitness and figure out which machines I can use.

Establishing the mindset that you just don't drink anymore is also critical to making it last. You have to put the benefits forefront in your mind, like you've stopped killing yourself, and you're saving a bunch of money.

It also makes finding a hotel in Decatur, GA a week from tomorrow, much easier. I was having trouble finding a reasonable one with a bar nearby. Benefits!

I just got a call from Sunshine, the scheduling lady from my doctor, and I said I was really glad she called. I told her I was quitting and wanted to postpone that liver ultrasound. I have another visit scheduled in a month and we can retest my blood then. Hopefully I won't need it.

She also told me that additional results came back from the recent blood draw, and my A1C levels were normal. I am NOT diabetic, fuck yea!

Sometimes in life the shit hits the fan and you have to turn it off and clean everything up.

I had the most amazing conversation with my friend Daniel last night, about our alcoholism. We talked about how everything in our life is affected by it, and how amazing it would be to forcibly end this addiction.

I think we have had a real moment. He took the last part of his evening cocktail and threw it into the yard out my door, and I followed.

We're out of booze and now have a commitment to buy no more. This is an amazing point in our friendship and please wish us well.

I'm not going to get that liver ultrasound, and fuck A1C. I'll get another blood test in a month and we'll see how it looks.

My old friend Skoge has been sending me long emails over the last few years, basically getting on my case as a bitter old hateful drunk who hates Democrats and life in general. My motto is that I don't hate anyone, or life, and I live by that motto. I may feel sorry for myself on occasion, but who doesn't!

She recently sent me an email saying I was hateful about everything, and here was my reply:

Skoge

I reread your long email and I get that you really think I am full of hate. You are so wrong my friend. I am an old drunk, I accept that, but I know who I am in my heart. I love people and help those down and out every opportunity I get. And I can honestly tell you that I am not hateful, and I'm really sorry you think I am.

I love to write and I'm passionate about what I believe in, I love to yell at Joe on my TV, but it doesn't mean I hate him. I regret many, many things in my life and I talk about them on my blog as therapy. If some things come off as angry or resentful, well so be it, but I do not hate anyone!

It's been many years since I sat on your couch in the City and got stoned with you. I feel very bad that our friendship has drifted apart over ideology and politics. I will probably never see you again my old friend, but know that I love you.

Lopes

My daughter in law Jessica was pretty pregnant when we all hooked up in Nashville a couple months ago. She held up great as we did the events in a sweltering heat.

But today I saw this photo on their Family Album page, and I'm blown away. How can the human body expand that much? She's got to be close to giving R E Ella a new little sister.

My boy has himself a fine family and I'm very happy and proud.

Update: Jessica just told me that the due date is around Thanksgiving, and possibly into December, OMG.

I was living up in the Oakland hills back in the late seventies when I got a phone call. It was my step dad Paul and he asked me to come over to their place and get my mom stoned.

They were living in an apartment downtown, and I said sure. I had never done anything like that with either of them before, in fact they were drug free their whole lives.

Paul was on a portable breathing device that he carried around with him, after years as a cigarette smoking trucker, while mom suffered from terrible migraines.

I remember that early evening visit as if it was yesterday. We sat around their kitchen table while I put some bud into a bong and fired it up. Paul injected some vodka into his breathing rig, and I got us all stoned. I know Paul was sucking that smoke up through his nose...

My step dad and I were never close, but that night he was smiling and I genuinely felt connected to him. He was the bread winner for all those years, while mom played the dutiful child raising housewife, and was a great cook.

This was a once in a lifetime event and I was dying to see where it ended up!

They started talking about how they first met. It was a few years after the end of WW2 and mom was divorced with two young boys, living in Southern California. She left my brother and I with her parents one night and went to a bar. I had never heard this story before.

That's where she met Paul. They talked through the evening about that encounter and I got the sense that they hooked up that night. A couple years later they were married and my sister was born.

How may of you have ever gotten stoned with your parents?

My doctors office called today with the results of my recent blood work. They started out talking about that stupid A1C word. Also that my liver enzymes are elevated and they want to do a liver ultrasound up at the hospital.

How could that be? I take exquisite care of that organ and I keep it well hydrated, lubricated and happy.

Facetiousness aside, what the hell are they saying, that I have pre-diabetes and I need to start sticking needles in me, and that I need to quit drinking? Excuse me, but I'm in full denial and I call bullshit.

They obviously switched my blood with the old homeless looking guy I saw in the waiting room. Sloppy...

Needles don't work for me, period, and I drink to counter physical and emotional pain. If I follow their path I'll need to double my Celebrex intake and start seeing a shrink.

Fixing problems often create brand new ones.

I'm hitting the road South on Friday the 27th and I'll land in Decatur, GA. Looking for a good hotel there now. I'll eat a great dinner at that Indian restaurant I've been raving about, then hang out at a bar near my hotel.

It's a seven hour drive from there to Shelby's new place in Tampa, so I'll just take my time, enjoy some virgin sights, and layover somewhere and sleep in my truck.

Next morning, Sunday, I'll roll into Tampa, FL. She's got a friend driving the U-Haul and they will arrive late Saturday night. Between the friend and her Tampa buddies, we should have her stuff moved in quickly.

It's a three story townhouse with a garage, main floor, and bedroom upstairs. She knows my issues with stairs and was trying to let me off the hook by just unpacking things down by the truck, and I said fuck that shit!

I ain't driving all that way to be the stairs pussy. I'll just man up, take my Celebrex, and do my share of stair climbing.

She doesn't have to be at work until the following Wednesday, so we have a couple of days to hang out. This is the motivation I've needed for a road trip!

I was having a fight with my older brother and left the house angry. I went walking through some abandoned apartments and came through one I recognized.

There were two women in shorts sitting on the floor at a low table. There was a young girl running around, a cat and a bag of bud sitting on the table.

I realized this was the place I had stashed my expensive camera in a cabinet. I walked around them and found my camera, then sat down next to one of them. I asked if they were homeless and they said yes, soon we were getting stoned.

Some guy appeared and was having a heated conversation with the woman across the table, while passing the joint on a clip to me. I was snuggling up to the lady next to me, laying my hand on her bare leg as she brushed the back of her hand across my enlarging crotch.

We leaned in to kiss and she had these large red lipsticked lips. Suddenly two four inch ivory colored fangs emerged from behind her upper lip and sunk down into the space behind my lower lip, and pressed down twice into my jaw.

My rear view camera is installed, minus some wire taping. Daniel drilled four holes in my truck to match the requirements and I can't wait to take her down the highway. The install over the logo was a little off center but she's rock solid on the backside and I bet nobody behind me knows that camera is there.

Riley mentioned that these cameras are normally installed down over the license plate, but I wanted something higher. I wanted to look the person behind me in the eye!

Update: Moved it:

On top of working on my backup camera today, I went to see my Primary Care lady at the Fast Pace clinic. We talked skin issues first and I showed her the particularly nasty looking thing on the inside of my lower right leg. I can't go to Tampa or Hawaii with shit like this!

I told her I was anti-antibiotics and she has prescribed a powerful ointment to tackle these issues. Then we talked about my arm.

Decades of coding and blogging with a mouse have trashed my right arm and shoulder. Hey, the fact that I've lived this long and this is my biggest issue, I'm very grateful.

My recent fall down the Nashville BNB stairs just set it off, and it hasn't stopped hurting since. Ibuprofin ain't anywhere near cutting it so I asked her about Celebrex. Daniel swears by it and she agreed that it's a great solution.

I'll be picking up a thirty day supply at the Walgreens pharmacy this afternoon and if the results of today's blood work are copacetic, I'll get more.

I love my Medicare Advantage health insurance, visits to the clinic cost me ten bucks, and the care is amazing.

I've really needed a backup camera for my truck since the canopy is blacked out and all I've got is my side mirrors. I found one with great reviews on Amazon for $50 and I'm working on installing it today.

I've got it all planned out but I have to wait for Daniel to get home and drill me some holes. I'm going to run the camera wire out the rear window of my cab, into the canopy, up along the roof and down to my fold up canopy window.

I've already got the display mounted up on my dash, right next to my GPS. I used tie clips from Daniels service truck and integrated the power into my current system. It's the red button in the middle of the splitter and lights up bright red when the truck powers on. I plugged the camera into the twenty foot wire to test it and the display starts instantly, and looks great.

Next I need a hole drilled right below the taped over window clasps and run the wire into the canopy.

I've got some really strong tape to secure the camera wire up to the roof and straight back to the canopy lift.

Then I need three holes drilled right over the canopies logo. I picked up a couple bolts and nuts for the mount and the third hole will be right in the middle to run the wire through.

I also need to mount the camera correctly, not upside down as this photo shows. The little sensor above the lens needs to be on the bottom.

So that's it, can't wait to finish this project up and get some much needed visibility behind my truck!

I watched the Titans play in London this morning, the team that never wins, then I watched the ground invasion into Gaza, that never begins. In between I tried feeding ducks that never eat in the middle of the day.

I thought about not buying a bottle today, but that never happened. Daniel spent the day with his wife, and never came over.

I never thought I would outlive Suzanne Somers, whom I've had a crush on for decades and sadly died today at 76. She survived 24 years of breast cancer and never gave up.

I never thought my day would come down to so many nevers. Hopefully, never again!

I've got a bad feeling about world events right now. My gut is telling me that the shit is about to hit the fan, and splatter it all over the planet.

I was a freshman in high school when John Kennedy faced down Russia over the Bay of Pigs, and it dramatically affected my view about life. I realized we are just a button press away from the destruction of everything, and I was a sophomore when he was murdered in Dallas.

This Israeli war is the manifest of the bullshit that corrupts our world. Every fucked up war event since Vietnam has been a result of Muslim terrorism.

I hate to say it, but I foresee a 911 type event occurring here soon. Thousands of military aged men have slipped through our Southern border, and our government is completely ignoring it.

WTF! Hey, they ain't going to attack Tennessee, because they know they will die, but gun hating cities are a big target.

I also feel like my end is near, and my give a shit is broken. I will defend our little dead end street with my life, and my shotgun, but I care about my family, who still have wonderful lives ahead of them...

...

Pain and suffering are the kiss of Jesus and your body is a temple of his, if you pollute it, all bets are off and you're probably going to hell.

I have polluted my body a bunch, so I guess I know where I'm headed. And all the Jesus kisses ain't going to help a bit.

I've been trying to rationalize human evolution with Adam and his extra rib over his girl Eve, and why apples are forbidden fruit.

Religion is what drives wars, and hatred, and killing other humans who don't believe what you do. The Jewish people have a different take on Christianity and the Muslims have a different religious take on everything.

I maintain that if we just accepted the fact that we are all brothers and sisters of humanity, we could have a wonderful world, and Israeli babies would still have their fucking heads!

My son Riley and his auto body shop partner Brian recently placed second in a major Seattle Times contest called the Best of the Pacific Northwest. Today they got a plaque to proudly hang on their wall.

Customers coming in to have their vehicles repaired will see this and know that they are in great hands, and working with the best in the business.

My chest is bursting with pride! Congratulations guys!

I've been thinking about how I would like my old dead body handled when the end comes. There's a local outfit in town that will burn you up for about $950. I specified in my will that I wanted to be buried, but I think I'll change and initial that.

Daniel asked me tonight where I wanted my ashes scattered. I told him at Secret Beach, under the Mal Paso bridge off US Highway One, South of Carmel, CA. I have wonderful memories of that place and I know Riley could find it again, as he's been there.

I first found that spot traveling with a beautiful red headed girl I met working at the clubs up in Lake Tahoe. It was before the rest of the world found it and built luxury homes all around both sides of the cliffs.

We spent a week there, making love in the sand, swimming in the Pacific, and bopping up into Carmel for supplies. I don't even remember her name, but I still recall everything else about the adventure.

I strongly suspect the property owners have now secured access to the beach. So Riley, I want you to convince whomever to allow the scattering of my ashes there. Bring the family down the Coast, have a wonderful road trip, and say goodby to the man who raised you.

I just realized that I will be in Tampa, FL for Halloween, thank god. I dread the holiday around here, because I have to buy candy just in case my neighbor Drew's kids drop by, or the ones a few houses down by the highway come to my door.

If no kids show up then I'm left with a bowl full of worthless candy, because I don't eat it. The last Halloween I enjoyed here was when Steph's grandkids showed up, and that ain't going to happen again.

Granddaughter Shelby and I will have all of her stuff moved into her new place by then, and since I'm sticking around for a few days, we can buy some candy. Or go to a Halloween party.

I've had a lot of Jewish friends in my life. Most notable were my decades long friend Beryl in Hawaii, we've been in contact today. And our two investors in Hamilton Graphics back in the late eighties were Israeli tank commanders for the IDF.

They approaced me one day and asked if I would like to create an anti-virus program for the PC, which didn't exist at the time, and I said no. Hell, I could have been Peter Norton!

I flew up to Seattle with one of them as they bought our Oakland, CA business out. These guys were no nonsense, badass tough guys. He had a meeting with Microsoft and as we shook hands at the airport, my computer connection with all that we had built in California, was over.

Riley and his mom had moved to the Seattle area a couple months earlier, and when I showed up at their apartment in Kent, WA, my adventure as his dad continued. He was just a toddler, but I had made the decision to be in his life, forever.

I could have gone anywhere but I finally knew where my heart was. Dove and I had a great chat on the plane about family and values, and as Israel gets ready to roll tanks over these baby killing Hamas monsters, I think fondly of my old badass Jewish partners.

It's interesting how a perceived morning can take a complete u-turn. I called NAPA to check on my truck parts this morning and they were in, so I told them to put them on the counter and I would be right up.

Then a friend dropped by and got me stoned. Hey, I'm very happy he did, it's been a while and I was in the mood.

It's been an interesting morning as we watched war news on Fox and shared photos and videos. The bottle opened earlier than normal and I realized I wasn't going anywhere.

Around 1030 I called NAPA back and told them to put my parts under the counter, as something had come up and I wouldn't be there until tomorrow.

I made it clear that I wasn't standing them up, and the guy appreciated it. It's really important that if you make a commitment and can't be there, let them know.

And if you commit to do something for someone, you do it, unless you're laying in a hospital bed from forces beyond your control.

I'm sitting here in my little man cave at 2030 on 10/10/2023, thinking I should just go to bed, but I can't, I need to write.

I have come to accept that I have burned out most of my remaining friends and family with my incessant blogging, and then shoving it down their phone.

All I'm focusing on now is getting my truck road ready so I can get to Tampa in a couple of weeks to help Shelby move in.

Even my ducks were being weird this morning, my last bastion of animal contact, my little friends, were running from me.

I really wish I could talk about positive things here, but I'm running out.

Let me try. I've got a roof over my head, food, a bed, TV's and a truck. I have an internet connection to share this rambling bullshit with the world and two hands barely able to type it. I've had way more, and way less, in my long life.

There is nothing left to be said, but good night. I could die in my sleep tonight and this would be one hell of a last post!

I finally have the motivation I need for a road trip! My beautiful favorite grand-daughter Shelby is making a life changing trip to her new home in Tampa, FL. I have the honor and privilege to be there and help her move in.

It's a two day trip at the end of this month, and I'll be laying over in Decatur, GA to eat at that Indian restaurant I've been dying to go to.

I don't need no company, I have the money to pull it off, and maybe I'll stay a few days down there! I love Shelby and she would probably try to talk me into staying there.

As absolutely tempting as that would be, I still have a house full of stuff imbedded here. I suppose I could tell my landlord goodby and leave everything here, maybe he could rent it out as furnished!

But that's not practical. Besides, she don't need an old man in her life, she needs a roommate, a new guy, a new beginning!

A friend of mine had a rough night last night. He ran out of booze and went to his neighbors house for a nightcap. As he was leaving he stumbled off the porch and took his neighbor down with him. He fell a second time as the neighbor helped him to bed.

I'm worried about the guy. He's got a problem with no solutions in sight. We try to help him, but nothing seems to work. He's a nice person, smart, and gentle. It's a shame he has this issue going on.

Some people claim there's a woman to blame, but I know him pretty well and I know there were several. The poor guy lives alone and does nothing but watch streaming video and Fox News all day long.

My friend is a raving Trump loving conservative and yells at his TV when Joe comes on, reading his liberal script to the world, not mentioning the recent beheading of babies by terrorists in Israel.

We're trying to figure out what we can do to change this destructive path he's on, but he has to man up, take responsibility, and fix it himself.

I just got an email from Flickr that some user named whey1 had grabbed a few photos from my Flickr feed and put them into a photo album he just created. They have no photos of their own up there, but apparently liked a few of mine.

Here they are, in the order they were presented:

Steph in our Idaho hot tub.

Some chick from one of my cruises.

Some cruise couple I met along the way.

Grand-daughter Shelby and Andy on the Xmas cruise.

I think this was from my first Caribbean cruise, maybe not.

Friends from the Xmas cruise.

My party lady friends up in Nashville a while back.

It's nice to have your work appreciated!

My neighbor Drew's adorable kids were playing in the front yard today and I grabbed a quick video on my phone (which I rarely ever use for video) as they squeezed the rubber chicken that my other neighbor Daniel gave them.

I showed them how to squeeze it creatively, and they got it. I also made sure their dad knew it wasn't me that gave it to them :-)

If the video fails to load, click Here.

OMG, I'm flying to Hawaii soon. I've been thinking about my dear friend Beryl lately, a lady that I have known and loved since the seventies. We have lived together in multiple places and have had wonderful adventures together over the years.

Today I searched for her on Facebook and found her. I sent her a message with my phone number and she just called me!

She's 84, living in Hawaii, her daughter Judith is 57 with a grown up daughter, and my mind is absolutely fucking blown in a great way.

As soon as I heard her wonderful Jewish accent it was like reliving yesterday. She has a house on the big island, near the airport, and I've been invited. She's still working part time at a jewelry store, but she's going to take a few days off to hang out with me.

I'm going to Hawaii!

Update: Well, not right away. I need to go to the Clinic and get this arm pain under control with some meds, and figure out why I have these big open sores on my legs. Can't hit the beach looking like this.

I think my little 35 year old Mazda B2200 Extended Cab LX is the most noticeable vehicle in Lawrenceburg, TN. She's pretty and has a sexy black canopy with bars up on top that I bought in Salt Lake City because her original one blew off in the Arizona desert.

I've got cool stickers on the back canopy window that promote Crockett Shoals Tubing and give out a positive vibe to make people smile. I drive all around this town, all the time, and up to the Park daily. I am very visible.

I told my boy Riley that she's in better shape now than she was when I bought her off him well more than a decade ago. Emission control crap was striped off, a Weber carb and a header installed, new timing, drive train rebuilt and refreshed, and new brakes and tires.

I had a kick ass stereo system installed and a custom made memory foam bed installed in the back. The interior is almost like new. I carry tools in the back that would allow me to rescue folks from a crashed burning vehicle.

I have a sweet Garmin GPS that guides me everywhere, an inverter that runs everything in my cockpit, and two cup holders hanging off my glovebox.

I love my little truck, it defines me, it is who I am.

In my previous twenty some odd year relationship, we bought a massage table early on. We took turns on the table, but I think I came out ahead. We washed each others backs in the shower, I also came out ahead by washing her tits from behind.

It's now been many years since my back has felt a human hand holding a bar of soap. There is an area there that I can't reach, and it's probably green.

I have my truck back, parked under the canopy. Twenty four hour turn around, a correct diagnosis of a carburetor rebuild, and she's running great. It needs a final tune up and I'll bring it back to Thomas in three days for that.

Damn I like this guy! He's taken over this old garage on the highway and is making a name for himself. He doesn't even have a card reader yet but fortunately I had $225 in cash.

He drove my truck around after the rebuild and he loved it. The tow truck guy said the same thing yesterday. He said replace the front bumper where the guy backed into me in Nashville, wash her and get a new paint job, and I've got me a show truck!

My little truck is in amazing shape for being 35 years old, but today she fell ill. Some part in my clean little engine is failing and I can't keep her running. I found a mechanic here in town that wasn't swamped so I called an ambulance to bring her in.

I've had Farmers insurance for thirty years and I've only used it twice, both times for a tow. So this is free.

I was heading to the Fastpace Medical clinic this morning to talk about open sores and my arm. Maybe next week...

Update: I just got a call from Thomas, the guy that took over the little shop that replaced my rear end a few years back. Black guy, real nice, and he said the carburetor needed a rebuild, quoted me $225, said it would be ready tomorrow afternoon.

I've got me a new mechanic!

I've got a new pain med, called Aleve. First off, I hate taking pills of any kind but I've been forced into taking Ibuprofen lately for my right arm. Daniel recommended this stuff so I bought some from the Dollar store.

It's 1900 on a Wednesday evening and it seems to be working, so I just took another.

The right arm pain started a while ago and I suspect it was caused by my computer interactions over the decades. I've been using a Mouse long before anyone knew what that was. My right arm was the tool that drove my creativity.

I had been dealing with the pain for a while, until I fell down two flights of stairs at a Nashville bnb a month ago. I'm so lucky I didn't break anything else, but it brought the right arm pain to the forefront.

It has increased from the shoulder down and sometimes I just want to cut it off. But I realize I am just lucky.

I'm a 77 year old man pissin and moanin about a sore arm while I realize there are so many people out there dealing with so much more.

So, I just want to say, pain is life. It reminds us of what we have done to our bodies, and I think this Aleve shit is working...

...

It's been an interesting morning. I partied hard here at the house last night with my friend and his woman and was still in bed at seven thirty when Daniel knocked on my door. I put some nice threads on my old previously unshowered body, that I corrected yesterday, and we had breakfast on the Square.

Then we drove up into Amish country with drinks in our cooler cups and he picked up this custom cutting board that a young red headed Amish guy had built for him. It's big and beautiful and is going right next to his cooker on the covered deck.

On the way home I had him stop at the liquor store for supplies. The guy that runs the store is an uptight dude we call dick head. He is all business and doesn't interact well with people.

Until now. I asked him about some new vodka I saw a sign for, and he opened up about how great it is, and it's made in Bend Oregon. I told him I was a West Coast boy and I love Bend, OR, then he told me he was born there.

He said they moved from there to Pacific Grove, CA when he was a kid. I told him I lived in Pacific Grove (right next to Monterey) and was a computer consultant up in Carmel Valley in the late seventies.

Suddenly, our relationship changed. I no longer saw him as uptight dick head and I was no longer just the old drunk who bought vodka from him.

Sometimes you need to reach out beyond stoic interactions, and see what's on the other side.

I realized something today, that instead of fighting to live, I'm waiting to die. Which means I've given up on life.

Instead of walking and working out, quitting drinking and making healthy choices, I wallow in a world of pathetic self pity.

I feel my body falling apart, I'm in a lot of pain, I watch the open sores on my body that won't heal, and I succumb to my alcoholism, which softens the mental and physical pain but just creates more.

I know what I need to do to survive, I just lack the drive and the reason to do so. I still have a few people that love me, amazingly, and I love them, but now they have become but line items on my living will...

...

Chicken and dumplings was the Tuesday meat today at Prestons down in Leoma. I ordered the meal while Daniel just got a bowl. I should have done that, couldn't finish the sides.

I have concluded that the Southern way of fixin this dish is very different then the way I grew up with, as in large dumplings and strips of chicken you have to cut with your fork.

And Prestons was a packed full house by 1100, construction workers, families, a large group of seniors, local cops, and us.

Hey, I'm back! Daniel and I spent the afternoon at our friends house out in the sticks looking for his roommates lost gold ring that belonged to her mother, with Daniel's metal detector.

Our friend and I consumed while Daniel searched. He took me down into the woods around his place, down near a creek bed to show me some rock formations, only landed on my butt once.

We paused at the green moss covered round rock overlooking the woods, and I had the pleasure to sit down there. It was less than a foot wide and reminded me of the little curb I sit on when I feed my ducks. It was an amazing view.

Couldn't find the ring and we ended up hanging out on a swing under the shade of some great trees. All of a sudden a little white car came rumbling down the dirt road, and out popped a bubbly young lady in cutoffs who yelled out with a smile "Hey, Uncle Jim" as she sauntered on by.

Then we drove back home, with Daniel at the wheel. We are responsible guys after all. It was his first time driving my old '88 Mazda B2200 Extended Cab LX and he picked up my little powerful five-speed like the man I knew he was.

Still depressed as hell, but sometimes you have good days!