Hey Ricky and Rachel, thanks for hiring me on this summer! I have enjoyed working with your fine crew, and you.

It was an interesting process learning how to maintain a variety of tubes, some three years old with up to eight patches on their ass.

But I got the game down, just began flowing into some solid patches with my new tools, liquids, and techniques, and now the season is ending this weekend.

I had a good time back in that hot little space. I loved the interaction with the staff, and the crowds, but it was hard ass work.

I told you I would take the job, and I'm glad I did. If you commit to a job, you do it till the end, no matter how hard it is.

But I won't do it again. If you want me to drive next season, hit me up :-)

The potential new owners are coming by to assess my little space, as a function of buying everything out from Steve.

He was telling me that they are not going to do inspections, or any of the normal things you would do before buying a property, they just want to know what their getting, for cash.

Unoccupied property has had Goggle 360 degree cameras installed, which lets the buyers examine each place in detail. Steve swung his monitor around and showed me one, impressive stuff.

So, I'm going to have strangers walking around my place, takin pictures. I'm proud of my little living space, it's perfect for an old retired guy like me. I cleaned most everything up the other day for movie night, now all I got to do is mop the kitchen floor.

I ain't going to put on a facade, my place is what it is, and if they don't raise my rent, I'll be here until I expire, like Piper. Otherwise they can overhaul it, raise the rent, and I will move on.

I'm sure we'll take a walk behind the house and I will show them my well maintained planter, and the cool ivy growing up the back of the house, that's starting to cover my shower window.

This is a wonderful piece of property, that survived the nineties flood. Steve pays $120 a month in flood insurance for our duplex and his spot down on the creek. This is deducted from the rent from Drew and I.

He could charge us so much more, but he doesn't. I admire Steve, for whatever has drivin him to do this.

Cognitive decline is a bitch.

Do you ever have those occasional moments when you do something spacy, like putting your phone in the refrigerator, or forgetting where you are for a second, or what you're doing at the moment?

Happens to me all the time lately. I suppose, as a man who's expiration has expired, and one who has enjoyed, used, and abused his brain for decades, I should be grateful that anything is left up there at all.

And to my lovely grand-daughter Shelby, who suggested that maybe it was time to put web development back on the table, my answer is sadly still the same. No.

After fifty years of writing code, I officially retire, due to cognitive declination.

I still have a bunch of my web apps out there, that I use frequently. I never tried to profit from any of them, just a gift to the world, like this, and this.

I paid my rent today, and walked back to my landlord Steve's office and chatted for a bit. He's doing very well!

A Nashville group has made him an offer to buy all of his well over 150 rental units around here (I think he said 174). He's also behind the new storage units being built north of town, and of course his used car lot.

I drove for him a couple years ago, bringing cars from up North down to his lot, and he told his contractor Ricky about me and that's how I started driving the tube bus.

Anyway, I asked if my rent would go up substantially under the new group, and he didn't think so, maybe $50.

I told him hey, I'm a grown ass man and if they did drive me out of my range, I would just move on to the next adventure somewhere. Besides, the new U.S. life expectancy number is now at 76, and I'm one month past my expiration date.

On the way out, Steve's office lady said the potential buyers are doing an in home visit tomorrow between 9 and 12 to photograph my place. Really, glad I paid my rent a day early, now I better go mop that kitchen floor.

Ok, it's that time again, to clean up my act and get in shape for a Northwest adventure. Working out at home, laps around the walking path, and hitting the gym.

We've got one more tubing weekend coming up, then one more week to work on my self.


Drunk and stoned, again

Livin life at the shore

Waiting for the moment when

I can't walk anymore.


Love is elusive, I can't touch it

My heart is empty and lost

Waiting for the moment when

Someone finds my quiet spot.


I was talking to a man named Pat today, and he said his younger brother (around 50) was having issues and kept passing out. He ended up in the hospital and when Pat went to see him, they told him his brother tested positive for Covid, and they just assumed everyone in the family must all be positive, and they kicked him out to the street!

Shocked, the guy then had to contact all the family members who were going to visit this guy in the near future, and tell them that they wouldn't be allowed in.

Here's the kicker. The next day they called Pat, and said they made a mistake. Two tests were taken that day, and the results got swapped in the lab. So, then he had to contact the family, once again, to say they could go visit.

I forgot to ask him what hospital, but he's a local guy, and we only got one.

Hah! I just realized that naming this post Hospital smacks of clickbait! Sorry :-)

As I look back on my seventy six years, one thing stands out strong, I was an amazing computer programmer.

Hell, I wrote assembly code for the airlines black box (actually red) for Sundstrand!

I developed scanner drivers for PC PaintBrush at 5k a pop.

I set up an entire accounting system for the makers of Uncle Sherman, a flasher doll made famous by Johnny Carson.

I developed two systems (Sys 3/10 and 15) for Interocean Steamship, allowing them to become the premier west coast shipping company. Folks, I was billing my time out at $65 an hour, sometimes more, in the late seventies.

I then created PC software that was marketed around the world. I attended ComDex down in Vegas for several years as a coding rock star.

I developed the graphics for a 16 bit PC killer company called MindSet. And on and on...

Now, it's all over. I've been developing web sites for a while (since the internet evolved), but no more.

I haven't written a line of code in months. I had the html, javascript, jquery, css, php thing down! And then it suddenly died in my heart.

I miss it...


I got an email today from a guy named Chris Jennings, as part of a service I've signed up with, to send me sample email newsletters matching my interests.

I liked his writing, talking about VR headsets and Meta. Went to his site showing his previous posts, and I discovered substack.com. I've checked them out and here's what I found:

His email is named Iterate and the web address is https://iterate.substack.com/

Substack is a service that hosts people that love to write and create content, then share it with the world as a newsletter.

You can also make money in the form of paid subscriptions. If folks want to read your stuff they can pay three or four bucks a month to do it. Substack handles all the details and drops the money into your PayPal.

I have a blog where I dump my soul out to the world, just because I thrive to create, and I don't make a dime on it. Actually, I pay to have it hosted.

Maybe I could start a substack and then feed it content I've created over many years of blogging. Get some subscribers and...


It's movie night at OldManJim's place tonight. Never done this before, should be fun. The neighbor I share this duplex with, Drew, is on. My crazy ass neighbor Daniel, is on. I'm sort of sure, when my neighbor Jeff across the street gets home, that he's going to be on.

Tony down the road, who Daniel describes as eccentric, is on the fence, but I got a chair if he arrives.

Top Gun Maverick, blasting out from my setup! I invited three women over, all turned me down. I guess hanging out with four or five interesting men was not on their agenda for a Saturday night, oh well...

I've swept the floor, scrubbed the john, and I ain't mopping the fucking kitchen floor, sorry Daniel.

Cheers to that radical Tom Cruise, make my evening!

I'm Netflicking a documentary about John McAfee, the antivirus guru who left his company with 110 million, and moved to Belize. As one who has been to Belize three times, and the offshore islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker, I understand why. It's amazing down there.

I could have been John. Well before antivirus software became a thing with PC's, I was approached by my Israeli backers to create one. They were already pushing my PC software around the country, and conceived it as a viable product. I turned them down for some reason.

I despise antivirus software in general, never met John or Peter Norton, but I was at Pete's office down in Los Angeles with my partners, and he was out of the office.

Remind me to tell you about hanging out with the folks from Digital Research down in Monterey. This was the company that IBM first approached for an operating system for their new PC. The owner, Gary Kildall, was out of town when they arrived, so they headed north to talk to Bill and Paul. Oh how different computer history could have been!

But I digress. I need to sweep my floor for movie night at 1800, because the housekeeper is out of town...


Back in mid 1971 I was living in Oakland, CA and finishing up my third year of a two year college.

I was Merritt College's audio/visual guy for the first two years. Then IBM delivered the ground-breaking IBM Sys-3, Model 10 to the school. I was the computer geek there, I took over the lab, and stayed for one more year.

I learned a lot. My knowledge of the hardware, and the ability to program it to do what the user wants it to do, was the best in the Bay Area when I hit the street.

One of my first gigs was setting up a Sys-3/10 for the mafia, (Golden Grain, San Leandro) who were selling pasta worldwide and investing. That's where I met my lifelong friend, Skoge.

Then I met Ralph Key, who became my agent. He leased me out to the biggest bidders, from Monterey, to Sausalito, for a percentage of the take.

Then I moved on from Ralph and just pursued the best projects the Bay Area had to offer, and their were many.

IBM was promoting their Sys-3 systems to the area big time, I'm talking flat out hard. I had developed a name and a reputation, and I was on IBM's speed-dial list.

So I did that for a decade. Then they invented the PC, and I have been their bitch ever since...

I just want you to know, that I am way more than what's currently been hanging out on the end of Lee St.

I have this great idea to line up as many co-workers and bosses as I can in front of our office and tubes. Everyone is in work mode, tee shirts blazing, and then I would shoot a video.

I would notify them all in advance that I would be walking up to each of them, move my little DJI Pocket 2 into their space, and have them tell me their first name, what job they did, and their story, in 30 seconds or less.

Then I would upload that video to YouTube, and post it to TikTok and Facebook, with Crockett Shoals Tubing Company, in Lawrenceburg, TN, splashed all over it.

We already have people coming in from around the country, in fact the pushpin map in our office has a pin right over Teton Valley Idaho, my former world.

What if the video went viral, and tens of thousands of people from around the world descended onto our little town, just to float down Shoal Creek.

We would be screwed, for a while. Then, trade along the creek would boom, property prices would go crazy, and CSTC would enlarge to a thousand tube per hour facility.

That's assuming the creek will stay high enough to float on it...


It's been a good day, so far. Went to O'Reilly and bought some Purple Power and an extendable brush that hooks to the hose, with a switch that determines how much water comes out of the brush.

Than I washed my truck. I have neglected this important old truck owner duty, for years, and today she got all scrubbed up.

My free Garmin power cord arrived, within 48 hours I might add. It works great and my GPS is now going into the electronics travel bag, that I just bought on Amazon for $15.

My sandals have been funky since I used them to move rocks in the creek with Ricky, so I ordered some new ones from Amazon.

Then I went up to the Square to get myself cleaned up. I've noticed the Beauty College there and a bunch of nice looking young people in black uniforms, are always hanging around outside.

I walked in and the energy was great. A pretty young lady named Abby gave me a great haircut. The cut was seven bucks and I tipped her ten.

Then I went to Legends and ate catfish, with sides. All before eleven.

My four neighbors on this dead end street are single men, living in their own houses or in a duplex such as mine.

I'm thinking about inviting them all to a party at my house next Saturday evening to watch the new Top Gun movie on my big screen with killer sound. It's just been released to Prime, and I can stream it for twenty bucks.

They have all been to my little man-cave on multiple occasions, except Tony, so everyone just bring a chair and supplies.

I think I'm starting to get this southern thing down, and if you would like an invite to this event, hit me up!

I shared some time in the park today, with an old encounter. We had met, back a couple years ago, talking bikes. And today he shows up on a 2022 Indian. Very sweet bike, speedometer tops at 200.

The truth is, I will never get on a motorcycle again, period. I had a wipeout in front of the Tacoma Dome when I hit a patch of spilled diesel fuel. Done...


I've had my Garmin Nuvi 2797LMT GPS in my truck for years, and I love it. We've had great adventures together and she has never let me down.

I want to take her to Seattle next month, and use her in the vehicle Riley is setting us up with, because I don't use my phone for navigation, and there's nothing like a good GPS.

But the power cord is now integrated into my wiring from the three way adaptor, and I don't want to tear it apart. I need a second power cord.

So I called Garmin today and was met with superb customer service. Told Bill about my situation and he found me in their system.

Then, he gave me a power cord. It's a $25 item, but he said it was on Garmin, and they would handle the shipping. Wow!

Good things continue to come my way. Thanks Garmin.

I'm really independent for a seventy six year old man, and I don't ask nobody for nothing.

Considering all of the possible outcomes from my tormented deranged life, I'm more than fucking happy to be here!

I am who I am, I've landed where I've landed, and it's all good.

This is an important self realization, which accepts fully the outcome of the decisions that landed me here.

People, we are all now, what we were...


My Trinity natural gas well down in Oklahoma is doing well. Prices are up and she's still pumping strong. Of course I don't own it, or I wouldn't be sitting here writing about it. But I do have shares.

This all started when my dads grandfather, Joseph Simpson, leased out land that he owned, to be pumped for oil and natural gas.

I really have no idea how it all works, but I am a descendant and a percentage holder. As a result I have received royalties from Trinity for well over a decade.

We're not talking big money here, there was a few thousand built up when we first hooked up, but the checks were finally down to a hundred or two, every three months. Then they stopped after I got here. I did get one, so I know they had my new address, I just ended up in a questionable address queue.

We worked it out and the other day I got a nice little check for $130. I took it to my bank, convinced the lady that the Riza name on the check was really me, and stuck the cash in my pocket, fun money.

I was sitting around the house this morning with my lazy neighbor Daniel who decided not to go to work today, when the cute mail lady drove by. We both have a crush on her.

She stopped and left me some mail, and it turned out to be another Trinity check for $329.19. Now I ain't a wealthy man, I'm on SS, with a bit of a stash. This is like mana from heaven, I don't think I made this much in the last three weeks patching tubes, between days rained out and short hours.

I really believe that your entire family before you is watching down on you, and giving you every bit of support they can, along the way. These checks are a gift from my fathers side, and I am grateful.

I have a creative energy inside me, that wrote computer code for decades, web sites for a couple more, and now I don't code.

So, that energy has transitioned to writing. Words, sentence structure, delivery.

My brain is constantly writing a blog post in the background. At least once a day the words start to come together in my mind, swirling around, and finally written down when I reach my laptop.

Sometimes I can't wait, hunkered down in the park, I bring up an app I created that lets me write my thoughts down, save it locally to my phone, and email it to myself later. My life is a blog post ready to happen.

Blogging captures your day, your year, your life. Want to know where your head was at last summer? All I have to do is revisit my blog around that time and discover I was on an island off Belize, with pictures!

I have eight years of posts from Teton Valley, ID, where I posted nearly every day. It was an amazing blog, and I allowed comments.

The ability to drop down into a precise period of my life and relive it, makes me really grateful I took the effort to record it.

I have a creative energy inside me, that wrote computer code for decades, web sites for a couple more, and now I don't code.

So, that energy has transitioned to writing. Words, sentence structure, delivery.

My brain is constantly writing a blog post in the background. At least once a day the words start to come together in my mind, swirling around, and finally written down when I reach my laptop.

Sometimes I can't wait, hunkered down in the park, I bring up an app I created called BText. It lets me write my thoughts down, save it locally to my phone, and email it to myself later. My life is a blog post ready to happen.

Blogging captures your day, your year, your life. Want to know where your head was at in the summer of 2021? All I have to do is revisit my blog around that time and discover I was on an island off Belize, with pictures!

I have eight years of posts from Teton Valley, ID, where I posted nearly every day. It was an amazing blog, and I allowed comments.

The ability to drop down into a precise period of my life and relive it, makes me really grateful I took the effort to record it...


I've been thinking about the ramifications of losing your phone, like I almost did leaving it on my roof as I drove to work.

Ok, assume you can't find it anywhere, it's gone. One of these things will occur.

1. It's lost in the grass of the earth, never to be seen again for 1,000 years.

2. It's been found by a human, and one of two things will normally occur.

  2a. The person goes out of their way to figure out how to get it to you. I leave my phone unlocked because of this. I figure I got a fifty-fifty chance of it being found by a good human, as opposed to a bad one.

  2b. It's been found by a bad person, who will either hack it themselves, have somebody else do it, or just sell it.

or... The worst situation would be, after you've shut down your financial accounts, the bad one, pretending to be a good one, brings you your phone.

You are so grateful, and bouncing around, offering hugs and rewards! Alright, I can bring my accounts back online again.

Meanwhile, bad person has your phone totally hacked, probably has a duplicate that see's everything you do.

bottom line: DNLYP. Do Not Lose Your Phone!

The best return outcome for me would be a hot suburban soccer mom with a bunch of kids in the back of her mini van, with big boobs so I can enjoy the hugs.

The other day, I was coming by the funky thrift store, that used to be a church, right down the road from me. I saw a guy with a backpack, carrying a bag, walking near me and I yelled over and asked him if he needed a ride.

He stopped, looked at me, and said yes. Turned out, he was just heading to the town square to meet up with other homeless people, to decide how they were going to spend their night.

I said hey, come to my place, take a shower, eat some food, and we'll talk.

All of that occurred. Then, sitting across me in Daniels chair, was a freshly scrubbed man in clean clothes that he had in his backpack.

I made him a cocktail, or two, got him stoned. He just beamed and we chatted through the evening. I let him sleep in my truck, with the memory foam mattress. He did, gone in the morning...

The simple act of giving someone the space to feel like a human being again, is so valuable.

I had a very productive day at work today, short lived as it was. First off, the tubes I patched yesterday with the new technique inflated solidly, passed the leak test and looked great. Then I rolled them into the hands of the boys as they were handling a big Girl Scout group.

Then I cleaned and organized the dingy little container that has served as the dumping and storage area for everything since Crockett Shoals Tubing Company started. The place I call My Office.

Then I went home, kept my CSTC staff shirt on, and walked down my backyard to the creek, and watched them float by from above.

It's fun to watch people deal with float tubes in shallow water and by the time they reach my house, which is a few hundred feet down from their launch spot, it opens up. So I just stand on the edge of the bank and give them encouragement that deeper water is right here. You can now get into that tube that I may have patched, and hopefully have an adventure.

The key thing here is, the multi-colored CSTC Staff tank top. The folks floating down below, recognize who I work for.

Hell, unless they had seen me slaving away over patches earlier, they might have thought I was the boss, checking up on everything. Sorry Ricky :-)

No pictures or video, I can't be invasive that way, but you would have enjoyed the interactions today!

What do these two photos have in common?

I just entered them into the Flickr Photo Contest for 2022. I'm not sure why really, I have 13,083 photos on their site and these were the ones I chose to present in the Animals and People categories.

I have also wasted an entire afternoon looking through those photos trying to find a cool shot I took of some Tetonia haybales, with the Grand Tetons in the background. Still lookin...

I certainly don't expect to win anything, it's just fun to participate, and maybe one or two people will pause and reflect on my photos, thats good enough for me.

There's a back story to both those images, of course.

Piper, dealing with snow and saying, Really?

Lyla, I shot thirty closeups of this sweety in her Tennessee home, in the evening of a busy household, with my Sony and Sigma lens. This shot captures a young beautiful girl, with flawless skin, and blue eyes reaching out into the room, for the truth.

I'm upping my tube patching game.

Currently, we place a patch over the hole and draw a circle around the patch with a pen. Then we put cement on the patch, then put cement in the area inside the circle on the tube, let both sit for a few minutes, then apply the patch to the circle on the tube, and rub it down.

I've been putting bricks on the patch for a bit to get a good seal, then inflate the tube, check for leaks, and put it back into service.

After some extensive research, I believe this is the wrong approach. Often the patch will reduce as the tube inflates, leaving exposed glue and the circle line. They work, just not pretty.

Here's what the experts say:

Partially deflate your float tube, leaving just enough air inside so that the inner walls don’t touch. Applying adhesive to a totally deflated tube risks having the glue drip inside, causing the inner walls to stick together.

Then apply adhesive to the air leak, and then to the patch. Wait five minutes for the adhesive to become tacky, and then apply a second coat to the patch only. Stick the patch directly over the air leak and press down with the palm of your hand to get rid of bubbles underneath the patch.

Do not take your float tube out right after the patch job. Wait at least 24 hours for the adhesive to cure before you try to inflate it again.

This makes sense, after 24 hours the patch has bonded to the tube as if it was part of it, and expands out normally.

This morning I drove out to the tractor store north of town, handed them a patch, and asked for a washer that would match that inner diameter. The best they could do was a tad smaller, but that makes it perfect.

So now, I'll just place the washer over the tear, use a pencil to draw the line, which will now be inside the patch and not visible, and since it's a washer, not a patch, I can center everything perfectly!

As I apply the cement I'll make sure it gets over the line perhaps 1/8 of an inch.

I really do think this approach is going to a game changer. The first thing I'll do when I come in the next morning is inflate the previous days tubes, and get them going. Then I'll just start stacking up newly patched tubes for the next day.

As a reference to this overlap for future patchers, I will draw the outline on this red patch, cut it to size, then center it and glue it on to a blue patch. Right now it's just a paper mockup.

I'm really liking this, it's a new critical tool in our arsenal, that shold lead to more professional patching.

One final thought. The texture of the patch on each side is different. One side matches the texture of the tube, while the other side is smoother. I believe this is intentional and by putting the cement on the smooth side, the upside blends right in.

Here's a cute little video from one of the treat pulls that occurred on my Idaho bus.

I ran across this two dollar bill in my drawer today, and the memories came flooding back.

I used to love giving gifts to my bus full of kids, and Steph was always up for creating the package, no matter what the occasion. There were some memorable ones!

In the case of this bill, I went to my Bank Of Commerce in Driggs, ID and asked for some two dollar bills. I told my friend behind the counter that I was going to give them to my kids, and she ordered me a bunch of uncirculated two dollar bills. Pristine!

We put them in envelopes and I told the kids to save them. My hope is that some of them got the concept, and saved them as a memory of the old guy who used to drive them around.

And maybe some day they will have some value.

Not so much for my un-enveloped, beat up bill.

Here's some gift related old blog posts, if you're interested:

Two Dollars

Valentine Treats

Gifts Given

Daniel asked me the other day if I was happy at my tube patching job, and it got me to ponderin.

The job itself is hard, and it's outdoors, it's hot and I stand a lot. I mangle those dead tubes around and get glue all over my hands and brake cleaner in my eyes. It's not fun.

But the best part of the job is that I have integrated into a smooth running organization of great people, that I really enjoy working with, and nobody has to patch a tube this summer!

Yesterday my little container was jammed with flat tubes, the customers are being rough on us, and the creek is down.

This would have been hard for the staff to deal with, between doing their own jobs, and patching tubes, so my effort is worthwhile.

It's also great to be around a bunch of happy customers, in their bathing suits, ready to enjoy themselves on a Shoal Creek adventure.

We are now down to three weeks of three days (Fri, Sat, Sun), ending with Labor Day.

I can handle ten more days, and the answer to your question Daniel, is a solid Yes!

I jumped on board as an early user of another big AI project from OpenAI called DALL-E. It generates original images based on the text you type.

I've generated a bunch so far, here's an example: "The statue of liberty, an american flag, standing in waist high water".

A couple more:

A cool dog in an old sports car. In watercolor.

A bird feeder with a bunch of birds.

I've been trying to figure out who the hell I am.

I'm old, 76.

My weight is OK, 160, prefer 150.

I live alone. I survive on SS.

I work part time patching float tubes.

I battle demons, you know, the ones that want to rip your world apart! So far I'm winning, sort of...

Obviously, I want to live as long as possible, and I thrive on what comes next.

Bring it on!

I was done early today, just ran out of meaningful tube projects. I'm bummed, because Maddie was there and we had a great time. She found another pinpoint hole and earned herself another Reese’s.

I could have easily stayed there, working on tubes with marginal survivability, enjoying Madds company, but that would be an abuse of the clock, and I ain't built that way.

So I drove up to Crockett Days in the park, where a bunch of people dressed in pioneer clothes set up camp once every summer, and sell their hand crafted goods.

I ended up buying a sweet porcelain item for my table from a guy my age sayin he's been making them for 50 years.

He gave me his business card, it referenced one of those free web page links, and I tracked down this photo. Obviously as a much younger man, but look at this couple! Two people, dedicated to the same thing, and living a great life. Enjoy my ten bucks!

He's the artist, the craftsman, she's the partner, the organizer. They both have a smile that says don't you wish you were us.

My boss responded to my blog today. I belive she gets it, how cool!

Wow. I'm so sorry to read about the passing of your brother. I can't imagine what it must have been like being unable to track him down and then finding out that he was gone. I can't say that I know exactly what you're going through because I know my experiences with my brother aren't the same as yours (and we didn't get to share as much life together), but my brother also lived a tortured life and succumbed to his demons a few years ago. I don't know if what you need is time to grieve or to stay busy, but whatever it is, feel free to take it (as far as work is concerned). Personally, I think writing is a great way to process things and it only makes sense to express it the same way you feel it, regardless of how raw it is. I think if I had a blog, I would treat it like a private journal (even if public) because it's not my responsibility to decide for others what they choose to read. If they don't like it, they don't have to read it! I myself enjoy/appreciate getting an authentic glimpse into someone else's thoughts and feelings. Next time I see you, I wouldn't mind hearing more about your camping story (unless there is nothing more to tell). I've heard two similar stories...

And I wrote back: You write well. You need a blog. One day I visited my brothers house in Sacramento, CA. He was just coming back from an extra-terrestrial visit and his wife said he was laying unconscious for three days. His first words to me were, "You wouldn't believe the places I've seen!" I have no doubt that this is real!

I was looking at my photo storage Flickr stats today and discovered that 103,528 views have occurred.

Flickr was created in 2004 and I've been with them from the beginning. It's a cloud space, to serve up my photos to my blog.

It cost me about $60 a year, my blog and various websites, another $250.

So, because of these immense expenses, I've decided to get a full-time job, as soon as I finish my part-time job, and my Seattle adventure.

I'm going to become an IRS agent! They're hiring 80,000 people, and what a fun job that would be.

You get to carry a gun, and truck loads of 9mm Sig Sauer's are currently on their way to DC.

Then you would get to play bad ass and harass your fellow Americans to make sure every penny the IRS can extract, gets extracted.

Heck, you might even have the ability to destroy a family or two. Damn, what fun! Heading to IRS.gov now...


I celebrated last Christmas on a cruise boat in the middle of the Caribbean ocean.

In the meanwhile, my brother Dana lay dying in a Sacramento, CA hospital, until he passed away a month later.

I don't know what to say, when usually I do...

Wow, what a cosmic meltdown in the fabric of family. How can we drift so far away from this value?

Now, I'm going to tell you a story.

My brother was abducted by aliens at the age of eleven.

Ok, get your laughter and derision out of the way. Done?

Lately I can't remember what I did the night before, but I remember that night vividly. I was three years younger than Dana and one day we decided to go camping up in the woods.

Two young boys with no restrictions gather up our jungle hammocks (which had a roof and netting), our dog, and hike up into the high mountains of Floristan California.

Floristan was a town on the side of a Sierra Nevada mountain, thirty minutes west of Reno Nevada, consisting of maybe thirty houses. My step dad was a trucker, so I guess he figured that this was a good place to raise a family.

It is what it is. That night we hiked for miles and set up camp at the top of a cool mountain.

We made a fire, strung our hammocks between trees, and settled down for the night.

Around midnight, I was awoken by a very bright light in the sky overhead. I looked up through the netting and saw this circular white hot disc hovering overhead.

I looked over at my brother's hammock and it was empty, and our dog was howling. Suddenly, a mountain lion walked under my hammock. I have since learned these are a diversion. I went back to sleep.

The next morning my brother was back, but never the same.

He lived a tortured life, a good man, with demons not of his own making. He saved my life a couple times, but I never saved his.

Rest in peace my brother, love, Jamie.

I apologize to anyone I spoke with yesterday, after finding out my brother was gone, I was a mess.

My blog is a window into my soul at any point in time, so I went looking to see what I was doing around January 15, as my brother lay dying alone in a California hospital.

Turns out, I was in the middle of a major depression. The day before, I wrote this little shut down post, which usually means I had written a bunch of sad stuff, that I quickly trashed.

When I resurfaced five days later, I wrote this.

I was mourning the passing of my brother, and didn't even know it.

I've been trying for years to locate my older brother Dana. The phone number I had for his conservator within the California system was bad, but I finally obtained the right number, from the nursing home he was in.

I talked to a guy named Raheem, identified myself as Dana's brother and he said "Oh my god, we've been trying to track you down!"

Turns out my brother was in a California hospital with advanced Parkinsons and Schizophrenia.

He died Jan, 15 of this year. Goodbye brother, I loved you.

I recall when I checked in on my dad down in Texas one year, with my uncle John, and he told me that ET had died six months ago, they tried to get a hold of me...

I asked Raheem if there where any legal obligations, and he said no.

So this is the end of a long chapter. I have wonderful memories of my brother, along with some tortured ones. It's called life.

Maybe we'll all meet up on the other side, that would be nice! I guess we'll never know until we get there...


I've been working on a little project to improve tube inflation, and I've finally got it. The rubber tip on our air chuck is too small for the large inflation receiver, so we've had to wrap electrical tape around it, to fatten it up for a better fit. It worked ok, but never got a good seal for fast inflation.

So I gave one of the removable tube receivers to Daniel and he found a rubber tip that matched perfectly, except the inner hole was too big for the insert.

Mike at True Value hooked us up today, with three adaptors, and it's perfect. I'll wait until Daniel gets home to show me the proper way to connect them together with thread tape.

As I was setting up my workstation this morning, a beautiful black butterfly with amazing markings started swirling around, trying to get into the container, and I kept shooing her out of there.

Finally she landed on the compressor and when I stuck my finger out, she stepped on board. I brought her up to my face and said hello, eyeball to eyeball, and she was just content to sit there.

After we chatted, I set her down, and she continued to flutter around for a while. I made a few trips to my truck, where the windows are always down, and I think this butterfly hitched a ride.

I know, it sounds crazy, but after I had been home for a bit I walked outside and there was an identical butterfly sitting on my slippers out on the porch. No other butterflies around anywhere, I felt it was the same one.

Suddenly she wants to come in my house and I let her. She lands on the table, I extend my finger, and she accepts it. Then I shot a video and am posting to YouTube now. There was also a second encounter where she was sitting on the welcome part of my porch mat, climbed on my finger, and I shot another video.

Hi everyone, this is Ariella, OldManJim's grand-daughter in Orting, WA. I have hacked his blog to show you the birthday present he just gave me. It's actually next month, but he insisted we open it yesterday.

It was my first bike! A funky little pink thing with four wheels, a cool seat, and handle bars that fit my arms.

My dad, the amazing auto body guy, put it together, and my talented mom put my name on it! Here you go:

My first thought when they set me down on it was what the heck is this thing and how am I going to handle myself here, to not disappoint my doting loving parents.

Then I kind of got it, a seat to hold me up, handles I can grab on to, and it moves me around if I try. I like it, maybe one day I will have my own Harley!

Thanks grandpa, can't wait to meet you next month!

I wish I had a dog. I also wish I had a partner in life who would either support me, or challenge my thinking.

I still mourn my sweet cat Piper's passing. The idea of another pet, is daunting. I want the companionship, but hell, I might die before the dog.

I used to pick Piper up, hug her up to my belly, with my arm under her butt, and we would do a walk around my little house. She got to see things differently, from my perspective, and she loved it.

I offered some advice to a friend of mine today, here it is:

I am so sorry you are going through a rough time. I understand, I've been there at your age, and it was crazy. And you know what? All the shit that came down the road after was equally fucked up. It's called life. My best advice to you is to step back, look around, soak up everything meaningful, and be thankful for what you have at this moment.

Patching holes on seams is a bitch. Today I ran into one that kicked my ass, on an older pink tube, named Martha. Yes, I name all my babies.

It was on the seam between the body and the headrest, backside, and I swear the seam must be plastic, not vinyl.

I just could not bond a vinyl patch, that I carefully cut out from a dead pink tube, on to that seam, with vinyl cement.

So, the first thing I did when I got home today, was head to Amazon looking for a solution. I found this, arriving next Thursday:

I'm also sending this post to my boss Ricky, if he objects, I'll find some other use for it :-)

Ok, I need to put air in a tube, where's my nozzle, where's the last place I dropped it, did Rocco come by, top a tube off and hang it somewhere (he likes to do that). If we hired Maddie on as my assistant, all I would have to do is say "air".

I could then focus on finding small gnarly pinholes, large rips, and patching them all, if possible. When they were ready to be tested, all I would have to say is "soap".

If they failed the damned test, I would send her up front, and say "what the fuck".

Her eyes are better than mine and when she finds a pinhole, all I can say is "thanks".

And then buy her a treat...


I drove the TRPTA bus in Teton Valley, Idaho for 10 years, along with my driving buddy, Karen Huff. The company was based in Idaho Falls, about an hour and a half away, and we ran the show in the valley.

It was an on-demand service, if you needed a ride, call dispatch down in IF and set it up. In the morning as we started our busses, the onboard computer would come on and show us our route for the day. Very slick.

One of our regular runs throughout those years was the Teton Valley Community School. It was a charter school located at the top of the valley that took in kids from all over. We had a fixed morning and evening run between the school and downtown Driggs, the center of the valley.

The grades ranged from kindergarten to 8, and over the years I watched these amazing kids grow up. They were priveleged to be living in a special place, with cool parents, and a few of the parents were my friends.

The runs between Driggs and Victor were the highlight of my day. I love kids, I love their intensity, and lately I've been missing that.

Recently, my manager Liz, brought her niece to work for a couple of days, and Madeline gravitated back to my patch tubing area. I liked her immediately, vivid blue eyes, obviously had her act together, and smart.

She became my little assistant, and we worked great together! Liz said she might drop by today, but I guess I left too early.

Hanging with Maddie reminded me so much of my interaction with the Victor school kids. These young people are amazing and they should learn good values in life, self appreciation, and the tools to excel in the future.

My monthly rent is $450.

My utilities average around $110.

My internet, TV and phone run about $125.

About half my social security goes to these basics monthly.

I think that's a good balance, leaving the rest for food, gas, insurance, vehicle maintenance, Netflix, Prime, the Mozilla VPN, etc....

But what about living? I've been to Belize three times and Roatan twice, since I moved here four years ago. I'm lucky, so many folks in my position are barely getting by, or not, as the economy crashes.

If not for the choices I made as a young man, to be successful, rich, and loved, I would not be here today!

And that's about as thick as the bird shit on my board. I made terrible decisions, fucked up at every angle, and yet finally turned it around, and survived.

So here I sit, broken hearted, tried to hit, but only darted...


I wonder if dried bird shit is a protein source for chipmunks. They share the same board and sometimes the shit mixes in with the seed, and the board is eaten clean often.

I accept full responsibility for the small animal obesity problem in my little neighborhood, but everyone is looking happy and plump.

I've run out of peanuts and I can't keep Chipper from running around my living room demanding nuts. I could close the screen door, but then I wouldn't be able to see the feeding board.

And yes, that's my biggest issue going on today!

Heading back to work tomorrow, hopefully. We got rained out 3 of 4 days last week. I've had way too much time on my hands, beginning to feel retired again.

Oh, and the Tennessee elections are today. What? I thought next Tuesday was the day. I have decided to not vote. I could go vote straight R but I don't know these local people, just not right...

I'll save my vote for the presidential in two. I cried with joy when I woke up to drive a bus in Driggs, ID, and learned that Trump had won. Steph can attest to that.

I remember when he announced an interest in the job after a brilliant radio interview with Sean Hannity, many years earlier, and I liked him then. When he ran and won, the world became better.

There is a lesson to be learned from my previous post. If you suspect that you have given your card number out to a scammer, check your bank transactions online and survey the damage.

If it shows scam items, call your bank immediately and cancel the card. Then ask if they have the ability to recover your loss. In my case, the lady offered the advice and sent me the documents I needed to print and scan, tell them what happened, sign, and then email them back.

The whole process has taken less then two weeks. I don't know if this is just the down home Idaho way of doing their customers right, or a nationwide thing, but it's worth remembering if you ever get scammed.

You do need a scanner and a printer though...


So, I was talking about getting scammed over the phone recently, and it's now resolved.

My bank in Idaho accepted my request to investigate those charges made against my account, and they found my claim to be valid. Then they put the ninety three bucks back into my account.

I'm impressed! I'm not sure what fund they use to finance this sort of thing, but I'm glad for it.

The scammers got $3.99 from me. That was the authorized charge I made with them, thinking I was dealing with an associate of my health care plan, but I had mis-dialed. They subsequently signed me up for four monthly ripoff subscriptions, and this was the amount refunded.

The card was killed immediately and they will never get another dime from me. And, an investigator for my health care provider is tracking them down.

Not all stories like this end well, just thought I'd share.

Wilson Dam is located on the Tennessee River, between Florence and Muscle Shoals in northern Alabama. It was completed in 1924 and named after president Woodrow Wilson.

It's been closed to traffic for months now, but I was pleased to see it open yesterday, and shot a bit of video on the way to Fishermans Trail.

A good blog post is one where you can capture a thought, an incident, your daily life in general, and then string together words, paragraphs, and media into a concise, enjoyable journey.

I've been blogging for 4,076 days (June 6, 2011) and I still love it. To encapsulate your day into a post that you share almost daily, is an amazing thing.

Old blog posts, from busdriverjim.com, to oldmanjim.com, are like a beacon into my soul when I wrote them. I allowed comments on Bus, composed in WordPress, but suppressed that in Old.

When I created the second blog I wanted something new, and created it with Joomla. No comments, slick tools. I understand that not many of my readers have the skill set to pull this off, but Facebook provides the alternative.

Talk about your life everyday, we want to know!