As another day drags along I realize I've lost something, it's called meaning. I'm not sure when or where I lost it, but it's definitely gone. I derive a small bit of pleasure when I feed the ducks in the morning, but for the rest of the day, there is none.

I've given up on the road trip bullshit, traveling alone while feeling like shit, with a right arm that's falling apart, is foolish.

Now I just sit around, watch NetFlix, drink and cry. It's pathetic, really. I sure have come a long way down from the man I just wrote about, the dynamic lead paratransit supervisor guy.

The Holidays are coming up, again. I managed to spend Christmas on a cruise boat recently but I can't remember if it was last year or the year before. I'd love to take another cruise with my dwindling savings, but I'm just not up for it. Hell, shopping at Krogers is my big event.

I'm sorry for this pathetic post, but I needed to get it written. I don't expect anyone to swoop in and rescue me, nor do I want it. I've landed in this space as a result of the decisions I've made, and I take full responsibility for it. If you've read this far, thanks, but I think I'll take a break from blogging for a while...

...

My son Riley's five man auto body shop, Monarch Collision, placed second in the Seattle Times Best of the Pacific Northwest awards. This is very cool and I'm really proud of them!

Speaking of Seattle, I was telling Ricky yesterday about the paratransit outfit I worked for there, but I didn't elaborate. I forgot to mention ATC Vancom was the largest paratransit company on the west coast and one of the largest in the country. I won the very first employee of the year award and went on to become the lead supervisor. I wrote the manual and trained six new supervisors from our driver pool. That's were I met Steph, she was the receptionist.

The point I'm trying to make is that winning an award can bring recognition and great things down the road. For these guys to place second in a huge auto body repair market is amazing!

I tried to make it to Decatur, GA today, made it as far as Huntsville, AL before my body and my mind said turn around. When I got back home I saw my friend and Tubing boss Ricky head down to Steve's mobile home setup at the end of the road, which as his contractor, has done an amazing job with.

He parked his truck out front and came in and sat in the chair for almost two hours and we talked about everything.

We talked about his Tubing company and he told me he would love to expand it to local wine and whisky tours during the off season. I told him that if my health was better I would jump all over that business and make it happen. But I can't.

Ricky is the main contractor for the biggest property rental turnaround guy, and my landlord, Steve Kilburn. He's amazingly busy.

Our chat today was great, he's got way more cruises under his belt than me, but we both did the float thru the big caves of Belize.

I called the ducks in from the middle of the lake the other day. They obviously didn't like the spot I chose to feed them at and made me get up and move.

If the video fails to load, click Here.

I reached out to the Indian restaurant Chai Pani down in Decatur, GA about dishes that would work for an old man with no teeth. I said I can eat a lot of things but crunchy don't work. What would you recommend?

Here was their response:

Hi Jim!

Thanks for reaching out. The main items I would steer you away from are anything with puri (flour crisps), poha (Indian corn flakes) or sev (chickpea noodles) in their ingredient lists... this is primarily going to be items on the chaat menu.

The Vada Pav, Kheema Pav, Butter Chicken, Saag Paneer, and Uttapams would be good choices. If you like a little bit of spice, the Pav Bhaji is my favorite dish! As an Indian vegetable hash, I think the texture would be perfect for your preference.

Please let me know if you have any other questions! Hope you can join us soon.

Cheers,

Kat

Wow, Customer Service don't get better than this, I have to get down there now and eat some Pav Bhaji!

I wish I had someone to go with me, and order a few dishes on that list...

...

Human skin is such a fragile thing, a really thin layer that holds everything in. It's kinda like our planets surface, holding the fire down below, but volcanos can pop up anywhere.

I don't know what's going on with my body, my earth, that causes eruptions. But they are occurring. I don't know if it's internal or external. I have a big long dark brown area that stretches out from a recent skin cancer removal on my left arm.

I've had a lot of blood work done in the last couple of years, examined by great doctors, and nobody mentioned the C word. But I'm really curious about this shit.

How am I going to fulfill my wish to enjoy a women's body one more time before I die, with sores popping up on my skin? I suppose the solution would be to keep my skin off of hers, and I have hands and a mouth.

Is there any decent woman out there that would be willing to lay down on my bed naked on a warm Fall day with the door open, and be made love to? Just lay back and relax, let me do my thing. I have decades of wonderful sexual experiance under my belt and I can possibly get you off.

No penetration, I could, but thats not the point. I just want to enjoy a woman one more time. Old man sex, close your eyes and fantasize away!

Hey, this blog don't get more real than this...

...

I was watching a teenage werewolf movie this morning when I decided to have breakfast at Square Forty, before I fed the ducks. Drove over and they were closed. Oh yea, redoing their floors or something.

So the only other option is Pat's Cafe on the other side of town. I've never figured out their schedule and I've been burned. So I decided to call them first, and I got a recording giving me two options. Neither one gave me the ability to talk to a person, or find out if they're open.

So I said what the hell and decided to just go there. Driving through this town at 0730 is crazy, people going to work, school busses, utility trucks.

I knew as soon as I pulled around the corner and saw an emerging empty parking lot, that Pat's Cafe was closed. Then I started to lose it.

Words began gurgling out of my mouth for the first time since last night. After the third time the words began to get clearer and louder, finally I was shouting at the top of my lungs "I Hate This Fucking Town". I really don't, but on that back road leaving Pat's, I lost it.

There really was no place to get breakfast here this morning, so I drove back across town and up to the park to feed the ducks. I had a feeling when I came around the corner and didn't see them in their normal spot, that I was going to get burned.

Sure enough, got out of the truck with the feed bag and walked up and down the dock looking for them, called out into the lake for them, and they were gone. I even slow cruised the lakeshore down to the dam looking for them. Burned again.

I told Daniel last night that I was road tripping to Decatur, GA today. I am so full of shit, hell I just spent the last hour driving around in bullshit traffic for nothing, and there was no way I was going to get my act together for a trip today.

So I came home and cooked myself up some eggs. I was just starting to get back into that werewolf movie, when my friend pulled up front. He decided to smoke a big fat one with me before going to work. Man, it's been a while and I said "hell yea", and that fatty got burned.

My miserable self loathing morning attitude has changed to mellow. The only road trip I'm taking today is up to the Park at noon to look for ducks.

Living life on the floor and having said Fuck It is interesting. I'm near my front door so I can watch my bird feeder. I saw this cute little bird hanging upside down from the wire, waiting for the beautiful red bird to finish eating, then he swooped on down.

Birds and squirrels and chipmunks all get along on my front porch. They respect each other, no squabbles, and the human species should be embarrassed.

I have a pretty good setup here on the floor. Vodka, water and ice are within reach. No food, but that's good, limit the amount of shit I will eventually be laying in. I have my TV clicker here so I can watch it until I can't.

My 77 years of life is replaying itself in my head. Memories that I had long forgotten are popping back up in full HDR.

And the underlying emotions are regret and sadness. What a wasted life! I deserve to be laying on the floor waiting to pass on, to whatever...

To all of the people I loved, and loved me back, Thank You! To all of the people that I hurt and disappointed, I'm so sorry...

Inserting the shotgun into my mouth now, finger on the trigger!

Ok, maybe not... I'm not really laying on the floor, nor am I suicidal. But if I was, this would be my final post.

btw: Three people take their own lives every day here in Tennessee...

...

I like to eat dinner around 1530, but sometimes I'm so far gone, I forget to eat. I've got one TV dinner in my freezer, a Swedish meatball thing. Hopefully I remember it.

I've got weird skin issues going on, open sores breaking out, certainly wouldn't attract a woman. That's done.

Watching the Titans getting their ass kicked by the Browns, when Daniel comes over and says there is a Pickle Ball game on channel 32. I don't get channel 32 so I'm stuck with Titans losing football.

I can't believe another week has gone by. Nothing has changed with my lifestyle, and it's apparent that nothing will. When nothing changes you fall into survival mode.

But what if your survival skills suck? I'm not taking care of myself, motivation is shot and sometimes I just want to lay down on the floor and say fuck it...

...

I have a few people that love me, not many. There is nobody In Love with me and nobody I'm In Love with. I miss that emotion terribly, and I'm too old and too far gone to do anything about it.

I really miss young kids in my life. I sat with a little guy at Lake Lindsey the other day and I got the ducks to eat from his hand. His dad was standing way back with his fishing pole in hand, letting his son experience it.

I miss the great-grandkids I will probably never meet.

I fell in love with Steph's grand-daughters, Lily and Lyla, up the road in Summertown. That relationship fell apart and they're all grown up now...

I made a loving connection with the amazing R E Ella last month, my flaming red haired two year old grand-daughter, who lives in Washington State.

I bonded with the sweet baby girl Shelby tried to adopt. It hurt me hard when she lost her to the system. Prudence was her sisters daughter.

I love spending time with my nine year old friend Madeline, looking forward to it in a week or so, but I'm talking about having little kids around you all the time.

It's a wonderful energy and I understand why Steph chose to live the life she did.

Went to the Fair today, alone. Parked next to Legends Express to give some business to the locals. It's $10 outside or in. I tried to get in at the children rate, ended up paying another $10.

I walked around and shot a few photos with my Sony. I forgot my DJI video shooter and phone in my truck. I didn't last long at the Fair.

On the way out I passed my young buddy Hudson who had an entourage of cute teenage girls on his tail, I guess that long hair pays off!

So, back home, thinking about letting my hair grow out...

...

Daniel mentioned chicken and dumplings to me and the memory of my mom making my favorite dinner when I was a kid, flashed into my mangled mind. It was an amazing dish with big round two inch dumplings, big chicken pieces, and the classic sauce to die for.

I've only found two options for chicken and dumplings in this area. Striker's serves it once a week on Thursday at their early lunch, or I could drive down to Florence, AL to a Cracker Barrel.

Yea me, the cool old guy who was going to road trip hundreds of miles for an Indian meal, is considering driving 80 miles round trip for chicken and dumplings.

I like Florence Alabama. It's the big city next to me, where I go when small towns don't cut it. I love crossing the Dam and hanging out along the Tennessee river. Weather forecast is for 84.

The problem is, the chicken and dumplings at both locations look like shit. This may be the South but they fail on this one! Here's the Cracker Barrel version:

Lame! It looks like a TV dinner. Thanks guys, you saved me a trip.

I found an image of the Strikers plate, (and lost it) but it looked similar, in a bowl with flat dumplings. The South does not know how to make Chicken and Dumplings!

This is what I'm talking about, only with a bigger bowl and lots of chicken.

Some may wonder how I feel about Riley's new family. Raising him knowing I was not his biological father was an honor, an adventure, and some of the finest years I have spent alive.

I held him in my arms at the hospital, straight from a c-section on his mom. I fell in love with him and did everything I could to remain in his life, and I pulled it off!

Now he gets to meet a family he may of dreamed of. Real blood relatives of his father, a very dashing man that went by JP.

They live in Indiana and plans are underway about getting together for a big family reunion in Auburn, CA.

I just talked to Riley and I mentioned that I have a connection with Auburn CA, my grand mothers sister lived there, and I've been there many times.

btw: I'm invited!

A while back, my boy Riley's wife Jessica found his biological father, who had died. But he left behind a great large family, and the kids are now family with them.

Riley's oldest aunt and her daughter, his cousin, visited them at their home in Washington state. These two awesome women represent his new family. No more empty space with his real father.

The family resemblance is amazing!

Why am I still here? What do I still have to offer this existence called Life?

I offer a place for friends to drop by, I write stupid words on an old mans blog. I forgive people their weakness, because I have my own.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the hell out of life, I just keep having to ask the question, why?

Being retired and having the freedom to go anywhere I want to is cool, until I can't, because:

 • My body isn't working right, I walk like I'm drunk, sometimes I am. My right arm hurts.

 • Addictions have their hold on me.

 • I'm not motivated, my one self has not been able to produce any motivation, sadly.

Wishing my passenger seat was filled with a vivacious woman. I've been lucky to have Shelby and Mystery Woman ride shotgun with me recently, now it's empty.

The initial question was, why am I still here? I'm here because I was meant to be, to look you in the eyes through this screen with my words, and say hello.

I woke up this morning at 0500, planted my feet wobbly on the floor, and mumbled road trip. As I sipped my hot lemon drink I realized that I needed to shutdown this laptop and put it and all connectors into the back area of my old extended cab pickup truck.

Then ready my travel bag, gather up my beds top sheet and blanket, put them in the back of my truck. Swing by the bank and get some travel cash, breakfast on the Square, gas at Krogers.

Then drive five and a half hours to North Carolina to eat Indian food.

I was weighing the options on my laptop (Chai Pani is also in Decatur, GA), while watching a sappy movie I rented on Prime as 0700 approached. I wasn't packed, hell, I wasn't even dressed!

Still in my robe and a little sleepy, I laid down on my bed for a bit, until the phone rang. My first guess was friend and I was right. I knew he was off Wednesday.

He was headed to Square Forty to storm in over my breakfast and wish me well on the road trip. Instead, he came over here and got me stoned at 0806 in the morning.

I remember looking at my watch and knowing that I wasn't going anywhere today. As the minute hand rolled around the South end of 0800 heading North, I was making my first drink of the day.

Friend and I hung out and had fun for about an hour. I watched YouTube beach walking videos on the big screen while he scrolled through his phone.

So here I am now at 1000, friend is gone and I'm writing this pathetic post instead of doing, something...

Insert song: Poor Poor Pitiful Me.

I've already changed my road trip itinerary to, drive straight to Asheville, NC. I've found a cheap little motel for $69 plus tax next to a Red Lobster with a bar inside.

It's within a couple of miles of downtown Asheville, NC, where my Indian restaurant is.

Here's the plan, have breakfast at the Square at 0700. My bags will be packed in my truck and my house will be shut down. Hit my bank and grab some cash.

The route directly to Asheville is 371.88 miles long and takes 5 hours 51 minutes, running Northeast of Nashville. If I gas up after breakfast I should be there around 1400.

Check into the motel then drive to the Indian restaurant and fulfill a goal. After which, I will drive back to the motel, park my truck, and write a blog post.

Then try out the lobster appetizers at the bar.

If anyone would like to sit in my passenger seat for a few days, let me know quickly and I'll work out a different hotel. As it stands, I don't give a flying fuck where I crash for the night, as long as it's not in jail.

I was watching Colorado coach Deion Sanders in an interview. I'm almost pretty sure I think these words come out of his mouth: It is what it is, it was what it was, it is what it was, and was what it is.

I discovered that I do a good rap version of this phrase, in Deion's style. maybe I'll do a video one day.

We have a nice stretch of weather coming up. A normal guy in my condition would consider a day trip to Chattanooga, followed by a meal at Chai Pani in Asheville, NC. Straight shot back on Friday, make the County Fair on Saturday.

Sleep in my truck at Chattanooga, get a nice downtown hotel in Asheville.

Wish me luck getting off my old sore depressed ass!

Back when I was driving the Paratransit Bus at the base of the Grand Tetons, Idaho side, I started transporting a young man named Charley. A very handsome kid, always with a big smile on his face, and he was non-verbal.

His parents were Wallace and Abby Couch, an attractive and smart young couple from Tennessee. They bought a great spread down near Tetonia, and were working it. Wallace was a Civil Engineer and Abby had some mysterious professional remote job. Charley had two younger brothers.

They had a long circular driveway off a dirt road out in the sticks of nowhere. Since our elevation was 6500 feet at the base of a ski resort, it used to snow a lot.

Getting from the main highway to their place in the snow was tough, going down that driveway was brutal. One frozen afternoon I was trying to drop Charley off and got stuck near the entrance. They saw me and came out to my bus, Abby got Charley, but Wallace had a bottle of good whiskey in his hand and invited me in for drinks.

I had to decline, sadly, for many reasons, but my main responsibility was to unstuck that bus and get back to base. Always regretted not getting to know them in off time, they were great.

I got Abbys email address somehow a few years back and we stayed in touch. I just got one today, it's been a couple of years, and she mentioned she had quit her job and Wallace was picking up contract work to make ends meet.

Why would a vibrant smart lovely woman in her prime, mid to late thirties, quit her job? It could be illness (god I hope not), pregnancy (ahh, I doubt it) or just to be with her family (I hope so).

They also have an invite to drop down here to see me if they ever get home to see mom and dad.

It's a beautiful 72 degree lunch hour in the Park, and Fall's almost here, once again. The trees are shedding their leaves slowly and on time, while the Sun lays lower on the land.

This is a pain free zone for me (unless I stretch my arm). Parked at Shelter Six as the disabled folks and their clients have Seven. Sitting in my truck, pain still neutralized, master of my own direction and destination, wondering what happens next...

Telling myself to be real, speak honestly, and turn my fucking filters off!

I had a great time with family up in Nashville last month, but life has been on a steady decline ever since. Painful seems to be the dominant word to describe it.

The pain in my right arm has not declined and I just manage it now. Knowing I will die alone, lost love, lost friends, lost faith, pains my old heart.

Accepting the fact that I'm not capable of changing any of that, is the heaviest pain of all. And, like my arm, I just manage it.

As it stands right now, my faith in humanity, friendship and love is teetering on the brink, and I don't know where I'll land when I fall over it!

I discovered a cool thing on my Samsung Android phone. I use the voice command "Hey Google" all the time for finding places and web sites. Today I wondered if it could send a Text to somebody in my Contacts list by just asking it to.

Maybe everybody knows this already, but it was a pleasant surprise to have it work! I asked Google to send a message to Daniel. She said "Got it, what's the message?" I said "and the potatoes were amazing". She generates it, reads it back to me and then asks if I'm ready to send it.

There's a Cancel and a Send button that you then have to Press, but it's a great trick to know. My hands were all greasy from opening shrimp and crayfish shells.

Daniel and his wife Jennifer were partying down in Huntsville, AL this weekend with her company, and they ate a lot of seafood. Today they were trying to finish off a big foil pan of leftovers, they couldn't, so they gave it to me.

Seafood lunch!

I was listening to a song called We Can Learn To Love Again which pretty much sums up the concept, but at seventy seven, I don't buy it. Hell I can barely make male friends, much less find a lady to hang out with.

Nobody is going to hook up with my sorry old ass in this small house in this small town.

The only woman I had any feelings left for, skipped town without telling me, and blocked my phone. We've since talked via email and it sounds like she's landed OK. She still won't tell me what happened or where she is, but she appeared happy and content.

There is not another man involved, she is not in Washington State, and she is still connected to her grandkids, somehow.

So, I'm giving up on the Steph thing! I totally accept that I will never see her or her family again. It's time to move on, down the rabbit hole of life...

...

The five year mark for this blog was met last month. Every memorable event and most of my daily ramblings (some trashed) are here. My previous blog back in Idaho covered more years than this one.

The truth is, the blogs exist for my benefit really. No one probably cares what I did on a particular summer day three years ago. They might have at the moment, but now it's archived.

I don't know why I feel compelled to write about my life, take pictures of it and then plaster it out to the Internet. It's what social media addicts do using Facebook etc...

Maybe I'm looking for recognition, where I need to keep people interested in what I have to say, otherwise I become irrelevant.

Or is it because I want to transform memories into words and images before they fade and die within the confines of my abused mind.

It's probably both.

btw: I have my Post notification issues under control, thank you. Only my boy Riley and grand-daughter Shelby receive Texts with a link to each new Post. On occasion, if a Post relates to one my very few friends, I'll send it to them.

A bright green stripe has appeared on my phone screen, from top to bottom. Or bottom to top, depending on which way you swipe.

This phone is five years old and I'm expecting possible battery issues, but not a display problem. I wonder if Samsung added a snippet of code to start a screen falling apart after five years. They want to sell me a new phone!

Is there an agency that monitors Android code for these big players? I'll bet not. Companies like Samsung and Apple have proprietory code bases that could contain anything.

Code can operate the electronics down to a binary level. What if code was included to go online after five years, and start extracting random phone issues from a company database.

And them implement these issues in a random manner. Self destruction of a solidly built computer, to get you to buy a new one, in a way that is untraceable. They don't want your phone to last!

I was walking down a trendy Miami street called Ocean Drive this morning. It was wide and on the beach. There was a sidewalk opposite the beach with outside seating restaurants and a steady crowd of people flowing in all directions.

It was mesmerizing as it streamed in 4K from the big TV screen while I stood directly in front of it. My surround sound system was rocking and it felt like I was right there.

The footage was smooth, probably shot from a gimbal based camera, held in front of them while they walked. As people approached I found my body shifting to avoid a collision.

So I have a new exercise! Swaying left and right to avoid pixels pretending to be people.

I just realized that I write, like I like to read. I skip over a ton of content on the net because I don't like the style.

I love a writing that states a fact or position right away, dives down into it creativly, then carrys it to a smashing conclusion.

Talk real, inform me, be provocative and make me want to read more!

I met Beryl at one of my IBM Sys-3 accounts in Monterey, CA, in the seventies. We had dinner in town, then hung out in my large enclosed hotel hot tub, drinking and smoking until they kicked us out. We consumed the obligatory sex thing that night and there was no chemistry.

We never tried that again and became lifelong friends. She would rent big beautiful homes up in Carmel Valley, a very hip and cool place, with the Carmel by the Sea beach lifestyle twenty miles down the road.

She would get roommates to split the rent. When I was down there for business, I would stay with them in the current place. She also had a teenage daughter named Judy.

Carmel Valley was an experimental pot growing community. Many farms were scattered all over the back woods, learning how to grow bud without seeds, by killing the males.

One night Beryl threw a growers party at our house. Best party I've ever been to in my life. About forty growers showed up with their partners, all packing their crop, rolled up into giant joints. Show off and check out the competition, Willie would have been in heaven, probably would have played...

One grower left a bag of leaf from his crop at the house. Thanksgiving was upon us and as we prepared the turkey for her family and friends, I suggested putting the leaf in the stuffing.

The leaf still had a lot of THC in it, and the guy just gave it to us if we needed something to puff on. Beryl, for some strange reason, said sure, and we mixed it up into the stuffing.

I could very easily pull a TikToc here and say Wait for part two, but that ain't my style.

Judy got a new video game that she was playing on the TV after dinner, surrounded by the guests. There came a magical (possibly criminal) moment when I looked around the room and realized everyone was really stoned.

We never copped to it, nobody knew why turkey dinner at our house put them in the zone. Everyone made it home safely.

I recently talked to Beryl back in Idaho, she was a happy grand-mother living in Hawaii!

I think this is a grand-daughter:

I told a friend today that I wished I had a coin older than me, as he scrounged thru my laundry Quarters. All of a sudden he stood up, pulled out his stuffed wallet, and presented me with a Buffalo Indian Nickel with a 1929 date, and it's way older than me.

It was the oldest coin he owned, he carried it in his wallet, and now it belongs to me. As soon as I grab a photo, it's going into my wallet.

Hopefully my son Riley will carry the coin when I'm gone.

It's been an interesting day in Southern Tennessee. I fed my ducks at 0815 and we're perfecting the two handed technique, where I feed two ducks at a time from each of my hands. The two shy ducks hang behind, and I throw seed back to them during the frenzy.

Then I came home and watched NetFlix. A friend of mine texted me, saying he was trying to bail his woman out of jail for being unable to pay child support, and he wanted to borrow some money.

I called my bail bondsman and he said he doesn't take child support cases. You are basically just paying the support amount. He remembered me, he and his Philippine wife came by my house one evening.

I wasn't comfortable with the amount of money, and I turned my friend down. No matter the friendship, I can't be a bank. Then he found a way to gather most of the money, and was $250 short. I can handle that, and his woman should be free by this evening.

Then I went to the Park and hung out at shelter seven. There were a couple of friends there and we swapped stories about helping people out around here.

I stopped by the tobacco store for ice, plopped a five in front of Annie, and she smiled and gave me three back. Ice is $2.14 but I always pay $2.25, so over the last five years I've built up credit.

It's not even 1400 and I expect to get a hug from our little jailbird, when they drop by later...

...

My neighbor Daniel is finally back to work after foot surgery. I miss his morning visits but now it's late afternoon before he ends his job with the School District as the head Maintenance Guy.

He has to be cautious approaching my door, down the path. Not knowing what he's facing, he's a bit on edge. It's tough having an old cantankerous friend next door!

I love my friend Daniel. It's been five years now that I have been fortunate to have him as a friend. He is also the weapons guy on the block, squared.

Speaking of relationships, Daniel asked me last night if my current State had to do with Steph and I said maybe...

...

All you really need these days is a good solid connection to the Net, a decent Pipe, and Protection.

Install a top tier VPN and change your Name Servers to point to CloudFlare's DNS servers (1.1.1.1) for Protection.

For the Pipe, have one that will stand up straight, and present those goodies with style! (a triple entendre, btw...)

I have seen our Internet world from it's infancy. I hooked up three new items called modems for San Francisco based Interocean Steamship, to communicate shipping data with their subsidiaries in Long Beach and Seattle.

This was two years before the IBM PC came out in 1981!

I do remember the pivotal moment clearly. I was standing at the end of the hall, between our two bedrooms at our home in the Idaho mountains.

Steph and I were packed up and ready to move on from there. She was heading to Tennessee to be with her daughter, I was considering several destinations, somewhere in the South West, start a new life! Steph and I were pointed in different directions.

Finally she said, in that hallway, You need to decide!, and I told her I would follow her to Tennessee. I could have gone anywhere with a small U-Haul towing my truck! But I chose here...

I drove all of our trimmed down possessions in a mid-sized U-Haul to Summertown, TN, unloaded her stuff to a storage locker and my stuff to this house. Then I took a fucking Greyhound bus back to Idaho. Then Steph and I with our cat Piper drove back here to Tennessee. It was a fun road trip actually.

I can't say it was a mistake coming here, since I've had some amazing times, but my relationship with Steph and her family was off from the moment we arrived. It finally dissolved into sadly, nothing...

I've dwelled on this topic before, about how a single decision can impact your life and your future. I don't believe in the concept of fate driving us to our destiny, instead, we are behind the wheel.

I started this blog within a week of arriving here. Got me some Internet, bought the OldManJim domain name, then installed the Joomla! platform as it's base. My previous blog was a WordPress, with comments, and I wanted something new. You notice this blog does not allow comments, a decision I'm very glad I made.

Who knows if the same domain name would have been grabbed in Arizona? I guess the decision to come here was good, meant to be! Oh wait, that's called fate...

We need to realize the possibilities, and the possible disasters, of every important move we make.

Then take responsibility for the decision, and just go for it!

I would define my once brilliant mind as cognitively declined and declining. One can only subject themselves to so much substance abuse, without consequences. That's the problem with being alone, there's no motivation and no motivating.

To sum it up: Declining motivation fuels substance abuse which causes cognitive decline.

I call it the DAM problem, Declination = Abuse - Motivation. There is medication for this, called Fentanyl. It's powerful stuff and it doesn't take much to fix the problem.

I just made myself a drink and set it on my table. Then I thought I needed to hit the bathroom so I stuck the drink in my refrigerator then closed and locked the front door.

Then, a bikini beach walk video on my big TV screen caught my declined mind for a couple of minutes. Then I opened the door, wondering why it was closed, and started walking around the house looking for my drink, wondering if I had actually made one?

Just a moment in the life of old man Bob...

...

I lived in Southern CA, Albuquerque NM, Salt Lake City UT, Floriston CA, Ivanhoe CA, Visalia CA, and Paradise CA by the time I was a Junior in High School. I didn't make many friends up to that point.

At Paradise High, I was an odd ball. Kind of an outcast socially, but I had developed musical and athletic skills along the way, which I applied for some reason, to High School.

I played first trumpet, I sang, I set three track records, I played all-star first base. I got kicked off wrestling for aggressiveness. I was rebellious and confused about life.

I dropped out of High School in my late Senior Year when an English teacher gave me an F on an oral book report that I gave to my class. I had written it from scratch, presented it well, and she accused me of plagiarizing it.

I discovered later that I was really smart. Thank god, because I wouldn't have made it this far. I spent the first years as a young rebellious hippy kid, hitching Route 66 back and forth across America, landing back in the Haight Ashbury.

Then I had the opportunity to apply my smartness, at Merritt College in Oakland CA, and I took it.

So here I sit, a formally really smart seventy seven year old man! I have no interest in coding, music, athletics or anything smart. I just want to live, take photos along the way, and be real.

I've been thinking a lot about 22 years ago today. I was 55 and I had driven my Paratransit Supervisor Van up to my South of Seattle apartment for an early morning break.

I turned on the TV and watched both planes crash into the WTC towers, then watched them collapse. I immediately went back into the field.

I was the only Sup on duty that morning with about fifty routes running around the South County, and they were quickly falling apart. Drivers were calling me on the radio saying they were too distraught to continue. A bunch of them were sobbing.

I contacted my boss and he gave me approval to bring them in, if they needed to. One driver, who had friends working in Manhattan, couldn't even drive the bus back, I had to go get her.

We ended up bringing the day to an early close, people needed to go home and process what had happened.

I mentioned in an earlier post about holding up my grandfathers giant flag to traffic coming up the hill that afternoon, but I didn't mention that I didn't even know the guy holding up the other end. And we stood there for an hour...

...

I just received a pair of shoes from Amazon called Hey Dude. They're really light weight, memory foam insole, cost $40.

I'm impressed! Usually I kick my shoes off when I come into the house and put on my slippers. I put these things on when they arrived this morning, with a pair of low cut socks, and haven't taken them off yet.

They're kind of like gloves for your feet.

The flag inside a triangular wooden frame that hangs on my wall, has a story.

It was given to me at my World War One Veteran grandfather's funeral in Sacramento, CA. I'm not sure why they gave it to me, or how I managed to keep it, as my crazy life evolved in the late sixties.

But I did. It's a huge flag and a neighbor of mine and I in Kent, WA held it up to the evening traffic coming up the hill on September 11. That was a special moment, I was a para-transit supervisor, it had been a horrible day and many of my drivers had bailed mid-route. I got home and we held that flag out high!

Then I folded it up respectfully and held on to it. Years later, I bought a frame for it and Steph figured out how to mount it.

She did an amazing job and now it hangs on my wall, proudly!

As 9/11 approaches, this is the story.

There once was an old guy that followed his lover from the Idaho mountains to her daughters family in the deep South of Tennessee.

He thought he had a chance of establishing a family connection with them, and for a while it was working out.

One day he did a kind thing, but it turned out to be the end of everything there. His lady's grandson was out of work so he got him a job as a tube handler at the place he worked and loaned him a hundred bucks.

He had known this seventeen year old boy since he was a baby back in Washington, and loved him like a son.

The job situation got messed up, which pissed off the boys mom, and suddenly the old guy was out of the family. His relationship with them died, and his lover gradually faded away, gone from Tennessee without him knowing.

Sadly, he had fallen in love with her two young grand-daughters, and it broke his heart. They went on to grow up and get into sports and he would have loved to have been there, taking photos and bragging about them on his blog.

He's still living there, still heart broken, and just a sad lonely old guy.

The x-ray of my right shoulder showed no fractures from that fall down two flights of stairs. Just a lot of arthritis. I've been waiting for the pain to subside but it has spread down through my entire right arm.

I'm right-handed and I need that arm! I drive a shift stick, I move a mouse! If it goes South on me, here in the South, I'm done. The clinic said take Ibuprofin and it should get better. Umhuh... I am taking it and it dulls the pain for a while, until it doesn't.

I'm thinking about stopping all meds, like the two I take for Parkinson's, then just sit back and see what happens. I'll stock up on vodka, lock my front door and hunker down in my man cave. Pissin and moanin online all the way to the paupers cemetery!

This is Stephs beautiful grandaughter Lyla a few years ago up in Summertown. I lost them too.

When I reached retirement age, I really had no hope of getting on Social Security. I had a major run in with the IRS back in Washington State, from past sins of the late seventies. I figured me and the Government were at odds for good.

Steph convinced me to apply anyway, so I did, and got it. I owe her for that. If I didn't have that money coming in every month (currently at $1,391), I would have blown through my savings and been on the street long before now.

The IRS grabbed an amount off my first check back there in Idaho, but they changed their mind, and have grabbed nothing since. I ended up in this magical state where I don't file taxes on anything I bring in. Sometimes it pays to be old.

So I can live off of SS, until I'm gone. If I did nothing other than survive, like pay my rent, pay for utilities and services, and buy food and gas, I could make it.

Anything above that, like travel and toys, comes out of my fixed stash, which will eventually run out.

You know, I piss and moan about my life, but I really am lucky. I answer to nobody but myself. I can do whatever the fuck I want to do, whenever I fucking want to do it. How many of you can say the same?

So I'll keep on going until I can't, drive my stash down to nothing, and then just survive...

...

Ya know, the only thing that keeps me living, is the trauma that my not living would cause to the few people I love. They would have to come here and dispose of my remains, disperse the remaining crap I have in my life, and it would totally disrupt their lives.

That's why I live, to avoid all that happening as long as possible. A hell of a reason to keep on ticking, but there it is.

I have pulled over for many long funeral processions here in the South. To have that many people care about you, and loved you, and honored your passing, is amazing.

So I guess your life is defined by how many folks would actually care that you're gone! My count is just a few, and that don't warrant a procession, hell, that doesn't even warrant a funeral.

I remember when I came down from Seattle to my mom's funeral in the Bay Area. My sister was handling everything and asked if I wanted mom's stuff. I was barely staying alive up there and told her no. I don't know where it ended up.

I guess I feel the same way about my stuff now. I have a Will that designates my belongings to certain people, but if it disrupts your life in the slightest, please don't come! Stuff is stuff and it will be cleaned out of my little house somehow, life goes on, and my landlord will find another renter.

I will be cremated, hopefully from whatever stash I have. Or I could end up in the paupers cemetery here in town, that would be cool! I would love that actually, it's a great little place I drive by all the time.

God it's tough planning your passing. I want it to be as painless as possible to the few people in my life. That's all I ask for.

I have lived the life I've lived and I take full responsibility for it. Send me some flowers and I will see you on the other side!

Whenever you find the one, devote your life to them! Or you will end up at the bottom, like me...

...

I think back on all the love I have squandered, and now I'm way over the hill. That opportunity is gone, and it's a sad reality to face. So, it's time to cook a fried stuffed bologna sandwich and make it through Labor Day alone.

Update: I drove by the shop today and saw they were slammed, so I jumped into the yellow bus to do a tube drop, and picked up some folks at the pickup spot. This is the last day of the season for Crockett Shoals Tubing and it was fun to be their backup driver!

Internet bandwidth is a fixed entity, you get what you got. Today I brought my Garmin GPS into the house for software and map updates, it's been a while...

I fired up my mainframe in the back, hooked the GPS up and started the updates. It was downloading at a good rate, said it would take a couple of hours, so I decided to jump back into a sappy Prime movie called Barefoot.

Boom, the download speed started dropping rapidly, my Roku was sucking up most of it, so I turned it off. Two hours had turned to five. It has now gradually climbed back up to 2MB/s and time remaining is at an hour.

The moral of this story is that streaming movies is a big time bandwidth sucker!

Wow, it just jumped up and there's 18 minutes left, I may be able to get back into that movie shortly!

Daniel just cooked up some Smoked Stuffed Bologna on his smoker up at his wife's house. I was running around with him the other day as he was trying to find a 24 inch stick of bologna along with a tube to cut the middle out.

He settled for a few five pound sticks and bought a two inch by three foot stainless steel pipe, food grade safe, from Amazon and cored the middle out of them.

Then he scored them and rubbed them down with yellow mustard and Dano's green top original seasoning.

Scoring them allows the mustard binding agent to get down into the smoke ring, followed by the seasoning. Then let them cook until they get dark, about four hours.

The stuffing consists of pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, fresh cilantro, fresh chives, one fresh jalapeno pepper with seeds removed, and bacon bits.

He cut me off a slice which I'm waiting to eat tommorrow, can't wait!

I'm going to fry it up slowly in a pan with butter, toast a couple slices of bread, along with two eggs in my airfryer, put mayo on the bread and make a sandwich out of everything.

Thinking about Jimmy Buffett dying from skin cancer, that turned into lymphoma. He was a year younger than me, I loved the guy, and often wonder if that's the way I'm going to go out.

I told tubing manager Elizabeth my infamous tan story last Friday. It was back in the late seventies, I was making a ton of money and took a month off one Summer.

I spent two weeks in Hawaii, working on my tan, then I flew to Acapulco and tanned for another two weeks. As I walked across the tarmac to board the plane home, I was pulled off the line by security.

They wanted to know why I looked like a dark skinned Mexican, but had an American last name! I eventually made the plane.

I've had three skin cancers removed since I've been here in Tennessee, and a few before. You never know if one of them will metastasize...

...

The leaves are starting to fall, slowly. The seasons are approaching, once again. Another, just like the last ones. Depression is sinking in, rapidly.

I was at the Wishy Washy doin my clothes for a trip, the other day. There were a couple of dogs tied up on the property in the back, very sad. Why have animals when you relegate their lives to being tied up in the back yard?

I made friends with the dog, and then bought crackers with some stuffing from the dispenser. I walked back and began tossing crackers to him, pretty soon he was catching them in his mouth.

Then I heard some howling from the left and realized there was another dog, tied up. While I waited for my laundry, I fed them both.

Today I was bopping around Huntsville, AL when I got a call from my young friend Hudson. His sister had a dog emergency and wanted to know if he could hook her dog up to the setup I used for the lost dog Jack a while back. Which was a rope tied to the bird feeder line.

I said sure, gave him the code to get in my house to get the rope, and told him to advise Daniel of his intentions.

I got back to the house at 0200 and found the big ol dog stuck under my canopy with the rope wrapped around a pole.

I didn't know if this was an indoor or outdoor dog, but I untangled her and brought her inside, as I brought myself inside from the trip.

She ran around, jumped on my bed, which I pulled her off from, and eventually pissed all over my office floor. Ahhh, she's outside now...

I don't think my pet karma is good anymore, and I will probably die without one.

Update: This whole thing wasn't working so I had Hudson come over and grab her. Her name is Sissie, she is an ouside dog, and she spent the night here...

...

Elizabeth contacted me last night and asked if I could pull a tubing shift today. She was in a bind and I said sure.

It was a fun day! It was just Elizabeth, Nathan my tube handler, and me. We had one reserved group of ladies up from Alabama, and they were a lot of fun.

They wanted to know if we served cocktails, and I said sure, then pointed out my house as we neared the drop and told them cocktails served there. They said "Yay, party at his house!" I wish...

I gave them the special treatment and walked them down to the creek, where I took pictures for them, and a couple for me.

Pulling a short shift tomorrow, the following two days are covered, and this season is a wrap.