It's Monday morning, last day of August, two-thirds through the year 2020. I'm there, as opposed to here, which is fine because I have no desire to have direction anyway.

A birthday shoutout to my brother, currently captive in a west coast mental hospital, love you man. Hey, at least you know what's coming tomorrow but I have no idea what happens to me next.

Most people have a plan, I have none, unless Staying Alive is considered a plan, which ok, now that I think about it, why not...

I woke up this morning with a code-on. It's been awhile and it was very persistant until I opened my editor and brought up my mobile template which is currently in the form of Brian and Rileys auto body shop in Federal Way, WA.

I'm awaiting content on that site from the boys but I decided to tackle the Title. What I've come up with is a software generated font with cool shadows on an upward pitch. Whatever I plug into the title will inherit the effects and it floats around nicely based on screen size. Click the image below to go there...

Update: That cool effect I used to generate MCC's logo won't run on Android so I had to capture each word as an image from my desktop and present them as floating objects in the header as opposed to generating them on the fly. They align themselves perfectly as the size of the screen changes.

I also changed Riley's picture...


I took this shot down by the creek today. The roots have been stripped bare by the hot summer rain and the leaves are turning to Fall. I've seen this before as I float into my third winter in Tennessee and I feel oddly displaced by it.

I don't have anyone here to hang with as the holidays approach. It's not the first time in my life by far, and I always survived. That's really what holiday bullshit comes down to, survival. We party at the end of the year simply because we survived.

I'm 74, and I've had a hell of a life. For most of it I was successful enough to live it fully. I made a lot of mistakes, but somehow a degree of integrity helped me land better each time, and here I am now.

I really hate taking life and I messed up again. I discovered a mouse in my house yesterday so I picked up a couple of sticky traps thinking I could safely remove him. Nope, found him this morning hopelessly stuck to the trap so I had no recourse but to drown him so he wouldn't suffer. Damn.

I left the water running 15 minutes then pulled the bag up by the handles. The water ran out the bottom but the sticky pad stayed inside, while I took it to the garbage. Piper? Absolutely no help whatsoever...


There is a lot of knowledge, tempered by experience, stored in my old bald head and it amazes me that I still remember so much. I have had one hell of a great life! There was always shit going down somewhere, lots of regret, it bounced both ways and I always landed on my feet.

My slide along the edgier side of life slowed down when I became Riley's dad and after almost 34 years, I think I have finally landed.

Every experience, good or bad, is stored in the core of your brain and every instant of your life runs through this filter. When the filter is your friend, guiding you to be the best person you can be while still enjoying yourself, you have landed well.

Otherwise you end up like, you know, that person.

I have finally found a goat cheese approaching my friend Marianne's, back in Idaho. She loved her goats and I sense the same passion here at Belle Chevra in Elkmont, AL.

It was a great little one hour drive this morning down to country I've never seen before to buy goat cheese. These guys are world-renowned, award winning and don't sell locally except here in their little cheese shop and they make all of their stuff in the creamery behind the store.

So how is it? Hell ya!

An 0930 screen video capture of weather brewing here in the South. That's the front tip of Hurricane Laura lower left, my place upper right.

Meanwhile, all is well on my porch...


My little truck is running great! I took it up to Spring Hill today for a Discount Tire rotation and it was the first time I've flexed her muscles since the rear-end job, and I was stunned! There was alway an engine rattle that rolled around in her straight pipe as I approached cruising speed, and having just completed a 5k+ mile cross country jaunt, I knew it well.

It is now gone. Replacing a loosy-goosy, near death rear-end with one that appears to be solid, changed everything. The new axle is of unknown heritage, has fresh fluid and it's applying way more torque back to the engine. The vehicle gods are on my side. Thank you.

I'm heading to a secret location on an unspecified day, next month. I would love to discuss it here but surprise is at the core of the trip and maybe she reads my blog.

And that's it.

I have absolutely no plans for the rest of my life. There are hankerings, like a week at an all-inclusive Cancun resort, or a Club Med, do those still exist?

I also have catback which is the situation where you have your cat back in the house happy and also being taken care of while you're gone. (Steph, or the Vet@$25day)

The truck is running great! A new old rear-end, fresh oil-lube with a tranny fluid refill, clutch slave cylinder replaced and my EGR delete job is solid.

My passport is ready with no restrictions and I could go anywhere in the world. Instead I'm hunkered down in a little house on a dead-end street in a little town in southern Tennessee writing this shit instead of code.

So, what can I say but, stay tuned...


Those that know me well, and there are only a few of you, know that I always carry around a pale blue ceramic cup as my primary drinking utensil. I've had that cup for many years, bought it off Amazon and it was all hyped up as the best long lasting ceramic coffee mug you could buy. They were right.

I've just added a new guy into my hand: sexy and black, shorter and squatter, same pedigree, and I'm going with my red straw. Meet my new cup!

That's all condensation btw, the cup is smooth.

Walked down to the creek to reflect on life.

The Scale is missing some obvious categories which I will try to address as Saturday unfolds.


I have to say that my health is amazing for a 74 year old guy. I still take no meds, period. No pills, no liquids, no nuthin. I eat healthy, only consume meat when I'm desperate for protein, yet currently concerned about my 162 weight which is ten pounds over my ideal. Need to walk more.

I have Parkinsons but it's not getting me down, I just deal with it. My stomach muscles are sore, which is weird since I'm not working out. From the web: Stress and anxiety can cause stomach soreness or muscle pain that feels remarkably like the soreness you'd experience from overworking your stomach muscles through exercise. Your nervous system connects your brain and your gut in ways that scientists don't yet fully understand, and stress or anxiety can slow down your digestive system, especially in particularly sensitive people.

Health score: 8


This is a tough one for me to quantify. What should be my motivation as an old guy, another trip, another job? I know most folks my age would just simply say stay alive, but I need more than that.

Motivation score: 7


How do you share yourself with the world? I started dumping my soul to blogs that few people read in June 2011 and haven't stopped yet. I have a few close friends and family that I text with, I have a neighbor who likes to come over and drink, and Steph and I get together on occasion. So, not much going on.

Social score: 3

Mental Clarity

It's important to see everything around you clearly and honestly. I have the ability to do that, and more. Sometimes I see people beyond what they present to the world, which is my secret skill that is no longer secret now.

Mental Clarity score: 8


I consider this one of the most powerful human traits. Do I have empathy towards others in need, most definitely. Do I respect, and avoid taking, the life of all other animals? Strongly. Do I think insects have a right to exist? Hell no.

Empathy score: 8


This is what you define it to be. For me it's honesty, character and doing what you say you're going to do. It took many decades of drama to learn what it meant and a couple of decades to get it right. I ain't perfect yet, but I'm getting better every day.

Integrity score: 8

My current overall Scale average, rounded down, is 7.

I need to expand on that secret skill. It usually happens after talking with a person for a bit, they move sideways, always facing to my right and offer me a profile of their face and then bam! It's like an acid trip where I've slipped into another dimension outside my body. Their face lights up and I see their true self, like all the veils have dropped away and the hidden persona emerges.

A few examples:

Steph and I had Piper at the vet ten years ago. As we were leaving and chatting with her she turned and I saw a face emerge that was contrary to her demeanor. She wanted nothing more to do with us and wanted us out the door. Got it.

One time I was standing in our Driggs kitchen having a drink with Karen, my bus driving partner in Teton Valley. She was chatting with Steph and she turned right and there she was: my wonderful, proud, dyke friend. Glowing brightly with her new dyke haircut she emanated gay pride, and I was proud.

Then there was the time I took my regular old senior to her lunch at the center. She was ninety, the embodiment of sweet old lady and everybody loved her. As she was going up the ramp with her walker I told her I would be a little late picking her up and it happened. What emerged from that kind old face was the face of a witch, the kind you see in movies, as she demanded to know why I would be late.

Sometimes I wonder if it's a skill, or a curse, but it is out of body and it's real.

The Zero to Nine Scale project:

This is a work in progress and open to category suggestions.


Hard to quantify, affected by everything. I guess the only way to measure it is to compare this moment in time with other moments in your life and when you're my age, that's a lot to compare. I've been to zero and back more than a few times and I've probably approached nine a time or two.

Happiness score: 7


Your ego presents your self to the world. How do you feel about yourself? Are you proud of your positions and do you defend them. How pleased are you in what you present?

Ego score: 8


Have you ever thought about your sexuality on a scale? I guess the question would be: are you happy with who you are as a sexual entity, do you accept who you are, and is your sexual appetite, if any, being satisfied.

Sexuality score: 5


I wrote my first computer program in 1969 at Merritt College in Oakland, CA at the age of 23, and I wrote my last one a few days ago at the age of 74. Fifty years writing code and I've covered most of the big languages and a lot of the small ones.

I created complete IBM-PC applications back in the eighties using pure assembly language. Trust me, It don't get much nerdier than that. There were also years in there that I didn't write a single line of code, just trying to stay alive. Now I just dabble in web stuff using Visual Studio Code.

Specialty score: 9

The Moment

You have to be able to factor in the now. This afternoon I was sitting in my blue chair on the porch of my little place on a quiet street with only one exit, surrounded by lots of open grass and a cool creek, buzzed and stoned with my cat asleep in my lap, and I was content.

The Moment score: 9

What is it about life, that makes you land where you do. We live it as destiny but I believe our path is being influenced by loved ones on the other side. Our souls remember life and love and become part of the big family collective when we cross over. Souls have identity and influence here. I feel them around me all the time.

Sum your entire current existence, everything that defines you, everything you love and everything you don't, into a one digit number (that would be 0 to 9). I'll wait...

Now, does the other side treat you differently based on that number? I believe so. The higher the number, the more they just kick back and smile. If your number is low, they get to work and try to help you get back up.

And sometimes they present themselves! Nothing like a midnight drive through the heartland of America under endless stars, with the window down...

Where am I? Well, since I'm using a zero based scale with 9 highest, I'm going with a solid 7. You?

btw: The formula is: why(0 - 9) = zero is real, single digit

I've been handling a big piece of metal all morning. The new rear end is installed and I hauled the old one back to Alabama and got my $40 core deposit back. I could barely drag it along the bed of my truck but a couple of good ol southern boys handled it like it was a hocky stick.

One hundred mile round trip and the new axle is purring like it should. I tried to get some pedigree from the salvage guy but all he could say was these things are getting really hard to find. Ok, I'm really happy I'm able to give my truck continued great life, and as a consequence, my own. It all is what it is and welcome aboard Axle, join the ride known across the land as the Jim & Jill Show.

My truck is up at a little shop, with a guy I know nothing about, getting a new rear end. I decided that I was not going to sit around and stress over someone else's work so I got a little buzzed and made a video. I'll be at his place first thing in the morning, whatever the result.

I stripped the bed and baseboard out of my truck yesterday so I can transport my old rear end back for a core refund. I had no other place to put it so I plopped it down on my bed, and slept on it last night.

My neck is turning red and I really need to do something about those cans out in the back.

There is nothing quite like a northern Alabama junkyard. My first impression as I wandered into it was huge. I tried to keep up with the guy driving the large machine flipping cars around trying to find a Mazda B2200 as he faded deeper into the huge yard, but gave up.

Maybe because I drove an old school bus around this summer, I was drawn to an area of buses and metal, and took some shots.

The rear-end on my truck is shot. It came on out of the blue yesterday and I've been scrambling to get her fixed. I found one at an auto salvage place down in Athens, AL for $106 bucks. Everyone knows the place and it has a good rep.

Steph drove me down today and we got it. My regular mechanics couldn't get to the job for a week so I'm going with a small little shop on the main drag right up from my house who quoted me $135 for labor. Damn, $240 total is less than the shipping charge a big parts house wanted for shipping from Oregon.

We unloaded the rear-end there and I'll bring the truck up at 0800 tomorrow. I just might have a fixed truck tomorrow afternoon and I shudder to think what would have happened out on the road. She waited till I got home.

I've discovered a cool hole in the ground down by the creek. It's about a foot wide and supported on three sides by tree roots. I sense magic.

I made eye contact with a pig on a truck heading to slaughter in the middle of Iowa recently and it made me sad. The look was piercing but the eyes were blurred as if it was drugged. The turn of it's mouth showed sadness and resignation.

I renewed my vow to avoid eating pork and then ate barbecue with Steph the other day. Just not holding firmly to my convictions lately. I am proud of rescuing Piper though, the situation was fucked up, and I fixed it.

Just shot this and titled it Covid-18.

Leaves, goat cheese and Piper, thats all that matters...

Here's a cool video I also just shot, down by the creek. Find a quiet place and meditate to this one:

Drove down to Florence, AL this morning to buy some Belle Chevre at the Publix Market, and there was none. I asked why they didn't have any of that world class chevra that's made about 40 miles away and they had no answer, so I bought some cheese anyway. I really like this store though, makes Kroger look like a Dollar General.

Nine bucks for these two, while a log up at the Amish store is way more cheese and only eight bucks. The crumbly stuff on the left is ok, good for cooking, and the soft one is actually quite tasty.

No animals died in the production of this cheese, or this post...


I have a couple of goat cheese road trips planned. First up, I've discovered that one of the most prestigious goat cheese (chevra, pronounced chev ra) makers in the country is only 41.4 miles from me, down in Elkmont, AL. They're called Belle Chevre and I just called them to say hi. I can't get there today and they're closed Sun and Mon so I asked where I can buy locally.

Which brings up tomorrows road trip, the Publix market down in Florence, AL. which sells their product. At 36.18 miles it's an easy Sunday jaunt, buy some cheese, and then see if I want to go to Elkmont next week. Retired life is tough...

Here's a Montrachet style log:

How about a goat cheese cheesecake. This thing is an award winner:

Kinda like me, sexy skinny and smart.

I lived in Kent, WA back in the nineties helping Riley grow up. The Aldworth family lived in the same apartment complex and we became friends and the oldest boy Andrew became Riley's best bud. Brad and Sheila had two other kids while I was living there, Lisa and Alan. Years went by, everybody moved on, but I still saw them at Rileys major events like graduation, marriage and the occasional backyard party.

Sheila passed away recently, way too young. I am honored to attend her memorial service today, remotely. RIP my friend.

Piper's had a rough few weeks and I've felt the strain drain from her body as she slept on my lap today.

Contentment goes both ways. My mind has eased on down as she settles in. When I drove to town for supplies earlier I spotted the yellow bus unloading tubers on the creek. No regrets on leaving that job because I have more time to take pictures of leaves.

Meanwhile, back in the chair...


Piper got herself a tag, now I need to get her a collar. I assume that if we got separated anyone could call the vet, give them the number and they have my address. She's also got a chip in her neck so I should figure out how to point the thing here.

I despise most insects with the same passion I love animals. What purpose in the world does a flea serve other than to torment and suck the blood from animals?

My house and yard are free from the little bastards now and I'm bringing my kitty home tomorrow morning. I haven't seen her motel room yet, looking forward to it. I'll place her cleaned little body on my cleaned floor, and point her towards her food. Can't wait to get her home...


I managed to get Piper in last night after promising her she wouldn't have to walk on the floor. The exterminator guy is coming tomorrow morning to totally deflea my house so in the meantime she spent the evening on my living room table where I set up food and water. We had great quality time while I watched NetFlix with her sleeping on my lap off and on and lots of kisses, and she stayed on the table all night.

This morning I drove her to the veterinary hospital where they will get her vaccinations up to speed, give her a flea bath and totally deflea her, then put her up in a room for a couple of nights until the house is ready. Just taking care of my baby!

There were no fleas at 6500 feet in Idaho, btw...


You need to enjoy life now because eventually you can't. I was sitting on the porch last evening texting with my granddaughter Shelby who is currently in California helping out family. I told her I wanted to go to the zoo.

Shelby said she would talk to Homer and make it happen, and maybe he can come along. There was no question we were referring to the new Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and to enjoy it with the guy that designed it, would be amazing.

I need a new road trip and my rejuvenated truck is begging for the road. I'll have Piper inside and flea free shortly and I told Shelby to pick a date and I'll make that easy 6.5 hour drive to Pensacola in a heartbeat.

After getting my clutch slave cylinder replaced at Jerry's Automotive I drove up to Spring Hill to get my free tire rotation at Discount Tire and picked up Steph in Summertown along the way so we could catch up. The tire place's walk-in wait time was 2.5 hours (they didn't mention that when I called) so we just had some great barbecue and split.

It reminds me of our Rexburg runs from Driggs. If you needed a service that you couldn't get locally, you made the drive. It got me to thinking so I used my OMJRoute app and plotted both. Home to Walmart in Idaho was 46.69 miles while home to Discount Tire here is 49.49. Both of them are lovely numbers with symmetry, the kind you want for your phone, know what I mean?

Tomorrow I meet the pest control inspector, we will set a date and Piper hits the vet on the same day. Being pro-active beats the shit out of resignation. Home on...


I've lost my cat. Oh, I can find her, she's laying in the next door neighbors driveway, but our connection is fading fast. Not only has she stopped coming inside my house, she won't even come in my yard. She will get up and let me pet her when I walk over bringing food and water, which she barely touches, and that's about it.

I've been really close to this girl for many years now and it breaks my heart to lose her this way. The flea infestation in this neighborhood just must not be quite as bad next door. I never should have brought her here from Idaho, but nobody there stepped up to take her. It's too humid and the fleas have harassed her since we got here.

I don't know what's going to happen next.

Update: I'm going to have my house and yard defleaed by the local Kirkland Pest Control. That same day I'm scooping Piper up and taking her to Northside Animal Hospital to be bathed and defleaed. Then I will bring her home and lock her up, with lots of love and good food.

I just installed that EGR Delete plate that Riley cut out from a gasket for me. The process was a bit glitchy as the top edge was a little too big which forced me to approach the lower right thread from an angle. The thing is air-tight as far as I can tell and what do you know, she runs better without the valve, surprise, surprise.

I'm putting together a web site for Rileys Auto Body business. It looks great on a phone, very pleased. Still needs images and content tweaking...

I'm hosting it here for development but can move it to their domain and server when they choose. You can try it if you like by clicking the image below.

Working on video from the road trip today.

• First up, bees putting rocks into a hole at the kids house:

• Here I hit The Twilight Zone under the pale blue sky of the South Dakota Badlands:

• Just following Brian somewhere at Lava while Nadia and I giggle like school girls.

I recently hung out with Brian and Nadia at the backside of their motel which looked right down on the Portneuf River in Lava Hot Springs Idaho. Brian made dinner, Nadia entertained and I shot video. I have combined over twenty clips into one fun little video of people from all walks float this particular stretch in the river. Set aside five minutes, and enjoy...

I used to be addicted to local grown goat cheese back in Idaho. Marianne was my dealer, she raised the goats and grew the food she gave them. Nothing can compare.

Now I buy goat cheese from the Amish Market here and it's pretty good. Back in Washington, Riley picked up a couple different types but they were hard and funky. It should be soft and squishy and crumble when squeezed. If someone told me at a young age that I would still be alive in 2020 and a goat cheese snob I would have laughed out loud.

Update: It's at Sams Club

Member's Mark Fresh Goat Cheese Log is made with American goat milk and has a soft yet crumbly texture, and a mild tangy taste. Goat cheese is rich in protein along with a powerful combination of calcium, phosphorus and copper that is essential for bone health. Plus, it also provides healthy fats that improve satiety and support weight loss. Our fresh goat log is the perfect accompaniment crumbled on salads, sliced on a cheese board with crackers, and versatile enough to be used as a culinary aid for baking or stuffing.

While hanging out at Brian and Nadia's motel backyard, which looks right down on the water, I grabbed a ton of video that I will convert tomorrow into one take.

My fun little two week 5,484 miles across countless States in my 32 year old truck road trip, is successfully complete. Here are some take-aways:

• Grateful to survive and make it home with truck and possessions intact. If your vehicle craps out you have to figure how to gather up your stuff on the side of the freeway and then deal with everything else from there, saw it happen twice. My truck had one issue in Montana but otherwise, she's my baby.

• I didn't get sick. I never wore a mask unless I was absolutely forced to when services were required. One afternoon somewhere out in the middle of nowhere I pulled over to check out a scenic view. Inside the only other car there was a woman with her windows up, playing with her phone, and wearing a mask. That pretty much sums up all the true madness I've seen.

• I didn't lose anything. Money, wallet, shades, phone, all that stuff you use and stand the risk of it parting your possession, especially while you're having a good time, know what I mean?

• I'm very satisfied with the trip. You never know how something like this is going to turn out when you pull away from your house at midnight, anything can change everything! You just need to have faith that good things are going to happen, and not worry. Occasionally I made a bad decision like choosing the wrong road or the wrong State, but hey!

• It was great to see family, my heart is warmed.

Here's that lookout:

Some tubers:

Steph told me I spend more time driving than adventuring. I don't put everything I do for road trip fun on this blog and my driving vs adventuring ratio is quite good actually.

This is my last night on the road. I am currently at an undisclosed location (see above) and will be home tomorrow. Thanks for following along, and rock off...


Northern Wyoming is gnarly, tough and sparse. The early settlers named their creeks with things from their life like Wild Horse Creek, Dead Horse Creek and Crazy Woman Creek. I was just thinking about a discussion I had with Riley and Jess about his mom when I passed that last creek. I laughed out loud.

Wyoming has also shut down all of it's Rest Areas, at least along I-90. I heard it was because the State is broke and can't afford them. What about no state tax and all of the rich folks living in Wyoming because of that and, hell, lost my train of thought...

Rolling into South Dakota was like having a dark veil removed, the lights came on and this beautiful state unfolded. Everything was spaced out more, the grass was greener, the sky was a soft pale blue and Sturgis was just down the road.

Shared the road East with a lot of bikers, some looking like tourists in a motor home but the covered bike in the back of the truck gives them away. Every cool biker in the country is bearing down here and the air was electric as I drove right on by.

I am now in a Rest Area somewhere in the Badlands of South Dakota. It is day twelve and I will probably be home by Friday. I'm road weary but still having the time of my life. Rock on...


Stayed at a nice place here in Billings called the Dude Rancher Lodge and after a $5 breakfast special here at 0600 I'm hitting the road. I have an itinerary, sort of.

From Billings down into Wyoming (Sheridan, Buffalo, Gillette), over to South Dakota (Spearfish, Rapid City, Chamberlain, Mitchell and Brandon) then abandon I-90 and head south on I-29 through Sioux City, Iowa and hit I-80 just North of Omaha, Nebraska to head East to Des Moines or continue down I-29 to Kansas City. That's as far out as I can plan.

Sitting on my tailgate backed into the last spot in a wooded rest area stoned with a drink in my hand and I get it. I kept thinking I wanted to go South but as I rolled past Mt Rainier this morning the reasons were nowhere to be found.

I flipped a bitch East at Yakima without even a hitch in my giddyup and merged right into I-90 as if I had planned it. East along the northern corridor was always my goal, I just needed to bop over to whacked out, glad I'm out of there, Washington so I could spend great quality time with my boy. Now I'm back on course.

I've never driven East on 90 past Billings, at least not in decades. There are memory patches that suggest I might have but are now totally irrelevant. I used to bop up into Billings often when I lived in Idaho but always returned home. This time I'm rolling straight into uncharted territory and since this rest area has no cell or internet service, I can't plan it out.

I'll spend the night in Billings tomorrow because I can and it needs to get done. I'm sleeping here tonight and should be there mid-afternoon. Rock on...


Saturday. Riley took a rare day off and we hung out all day. Friends and neighbors dropped by for a fire pit. Quality time with my boy. Hitting the road again this morning.

There is great mystery surrounding a video I shot of Brian and Nadia interacting in the hot waters of Lava Hot Springs recently. The question is, what in the hell is she saying?

I asked Brian and he said: No that was casual. You got a good look. Something lke that. She does speak French though.

One thing I've learned about myself after all these years is that I am a man who respects and maintains well the older vehicles that I have owned.

This morning I decided that my living space deserved a redo so I pulled everything out, swept it and rebuilt it.

btw: Those are magic blankets, both prized posessions of my grandmother and now mine. They help me make the connection to my other side.

Hung out with the kids well into the evening last night, great to be here. Here's some shots and no, Riley doesn't sit around flexing, but the subject of his biceps did come up. :-)