The Life and Times of Jim
Hi, there. I'm Jim. Welcome to my phlog!
This site was written for Las Vegas, then LouisVille. Now, it seems to be about anywhere. In these phlogs, you'll see a lot of my personal notes and pictures. I like to post my observations here to remember life and celebrate it. I'm not religious. I don't pray for good fortune. I'm ecstatically grateful for the gift of life and I think our time should be remembered and not taken for granted. I'm not a writer. I think pictures tell stories so much better than words. I love just about everything in this life, and, I guess that would have to include you. So, if you've seen me, don't be surprised if your picture is in here somewhere. Of all the critters, people are absolutely the most interesting. 
<< 02/2005 < 01/2006 Calendar 03/2006 > 02/2007 >>Sign InView Other Logs
02/20/2006 15:55:34
 Jim  Ah - Back in Vegas
And my internet is working! Yea!!! Here's a few things I missed talking about.
Sedonia, Az
The 6,000' altitude, medium sized pine trees with slightly red rocks set off this place. Sedonia is a popular tourist attraction for the stars and many claim it has spiritual properties (vortexes). Dionne Warwick used to pitch it a lot. The town has some very unique shops and its growing, but probably not as fast as Ms Warwick would have hoped.
Cottonwood, Az
An old town, Becky lived there for 2 years. I didn't see much that liked, but I suppose if I ever lived there, I'd see everything in a different light. To me, it was just another small desert town.
Becky saw a cashier at a Safeway where she once worked.  I grabbed $4.50 worth of berries and told her to buy them through her line (so I could take pictures). Not only did the cashier say she didn't know Becky, but she charged her $13. I asked the cashier, and finally the manager, WHY? They said because I didn't have their little card, and the manager and his assistant said I didn't have a Safeway card, there were no Safeways in Las Vegas, and they don't have a card to swipe if you don't have one with you. I got a refund, and they lost my business. hmmm. The highlight of Safeway was how Becky's face lit up when a customer recognized her. She smiled so BIG!!!
Phoenix, Az
Dusty, big, with tight traffic. We looked for Becky's house(s) and couldn't find them. It seemed like we saw 400 houses all with the same layout, but different window dressing. I still remember the layout: carport, window, door, window, window.
Grand Canyon, Az
Amazing views. Interesting features. The South Rim is a lot more commercial than the North Rim. It was in the 20's there, so hiking was out. The lodges were nice. They had the Grand Canyon Railroad, and I still don't know where it goes.
Flagstaff, Az
Nice little tourist town. It's central to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon.
Laughlin, Az
Its amazing how far away Becky and I thought Laughlin was from Vegas. We stayed at the Pioneer for $25 a night. The room was very nice!
02/20/2006 14:11:01
 jim  Vegas,NV-Wash
02/20/2006 14:11:01
 jim   (Reply)Vegas,NV-Wash
02/17/2006 10:45:34
 jim  LaughlinToVegas
02/17/2006 09:33:26
 jim  Laughlin,NV-Jim
02/17/2006 09:23:51
 jim  Laughlin,NV-Strip-EdgeWaterRoom-Becky,Jim
02/17/2006 09:23:51
 jim   (Reply)Laughlin,NV-Hotels
02/17/2006 01:13:58
 jim  Laughlin,NV-GoldenNugget
02/16/2006 22:45:06
 jim  Laughlin,NV-EdgeWater,Strip
02/16/2006 22:45:06
 jim   (Reply)Laughlin,NV-Room EdgeWater
02/16/2006 16:57:52
 jim  GrandCanyon,AZ-Day is Done
02/16/2006 15:36:58
 jim  GrandCanyon,AZ-MuleDeer,South Lodge
02/16/2006 14:35:24
 jim  GrandCanyon,AZ-Jim
02/16/2006 14:04:04
 jim  GrandCanyon,AZ-Becky,Jim
02/16/2006 13:28:34
 jim  GrandCanyon,AZ-A Natural Artwork
02/16/2006 13:17:18
 jim  GrandCanyon,AZ-
02/15/2006 18:37:50
 jim  Scottsdale Bridge
02/15/2006 16:54:04
 jim  Phoenix,AZ-downtown
02/15/2006 11:50:34
 jim  Cottonwood,AZ
02/15/2006 11:26:56
 jim  Sedona,AZ-RedRock
02/15/2006 10:49:18
 jim  Sedona,AZ-
02/15/2006 10:40:26
 jim  Sedona,AZ-On the Rocks
02/15/2006 10:19:00
 jim  Sedona,AZ-Sliding Rock
02/15/2006 09:32:08
 jim  Sedona,AZ-Switch Backs
02/14/2006 09:57:02
 Jim  Truck driving is calling me.
I've been noticing the truck drivers along the way.
Many are older, male, caucasion. Some are couples.
Though they are professional drivers, many of them aren't paying attention.
A lot of them drive while on the cell phone.
It looks like there's plenty of room to be the best in this field.
Yesterday, we watched two movies coming from Oklahoma City.
It makes the time fly by.
Its easy to pay attention, because most of the time, I'd just be listenning to the movie.
We have surround sound in the truck.
I think my plan will be
- Get a CDL. After being in Missippi and talking to these guys, I know it isn't rocket science.
- Buy a truck outright.
- I want 500hp, 70"s headroom, Laptop station, GPS. It just makes sense.
- A rear view cam and an approximity monitor would be a good, cheap investment too.
One of the things I did right after deciding my Programming career
Was to investigate what was needed to become the best. Taking typing and accounting seemed obvious.
The same thing should be true with driving.
I think at this stage of life, I just want to fade away. I don't want power, advancement, or any of the things I wanted when I was younger. I just want back some of the life I missed while being a cube dweller.
02/14/2006 09:38:49
 Jim  Albuquerque, NM
Very pretty at night. The downtown buildings glow with pastel colors.
We got lost (intentionally) for 2 hours last night. The driving was pretty wild here. People seem to be in a hurry everywhere. The roads are pretty wild too. We've run into several places where, to go straight, you have to make a right and two lefts. We can't leave the Econolodge and come back the same way. When we leave here, we want to go north. To do that, we'll have to drive East (make a U turn), then West, then South (Make a U turn), then North. Very strange!
Here is a traffic violation waiting to happen, since the signs say not to do the most logical things.
Right now, we're 8 hours from Vegas, and 4 hours to Flagstaff.
Becky wants to see Cottonwood, and I want to see the Grand Canyon again.
02/12/2006 22:33:11
 Jim  The funny thing about these travels
I feel like every place is a lot like Florida and California. There's thousands of people for every mile you drive.
Not true on this trip. America seems to be largely unpopulated.
Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, and Arkansas are just barren.
Colorado, Utah and Nevada are vastly barren.
There's a lot of land in this country thats just wasted, not growing food and barely supporting life. Its just wasteland.
I've always thought of the USA as being a land of opportunity. It is, but not where we've been.
Most of the little towns have multitudes of empty buildings.
So far I've seen 26 states
Indiana,Iowa,Kansas,Kentucky,Louisiana,Mississippi,Missouri,Nebraska,Nevada,New Mexico,
I haven't seen these 24 states
Alaska,Connecticut,Delaware,Maine,Maryland,Massachusetts,Michigan,Minnesota,Montana,New Hampshire,
New Jersey,New York,N.Carolina,N.Dakota,Pennsylvania,Rhode Island,S.Carolina,S.Dakota,Vermont,Virginia,
What I've noticed about our technology and the population
Chronologically, cities have sprung up around trails(horses), rivers(boats), railroads(trains), highways(cars), and finally, Interstates.
I wonder, in the next 100 years, which cities will rise and fall from our next transportation era.
If teleportation is every achieved safely, the world will change.
02/12/2006 20:21:13
 Jim  Springfield, MO
An ancient town, and it's especially closed on Sundays. This area is rich with Covens and Babtists. It almost seems like there may be a quiet war going on here.
Tulsa, Ok whizzed by it.
Oklahoma City, Ok
A little less than Ok. We drove along Route 66, which was in better condition than I44
Clinton, Ok
We stopped at the Clinton Motel here for $31 a night. Taxes brings it up to $38. They have wireless internet, cable TV and a bed, plus a hot breakfast, and that works for me!
02/12/2006 08:40:05
 Jim  We ate at Bransons Outback last night.
I don't think its affiliated with the franchised Outback though. It was a nice experience.
The food and lodging in Branson are extremely reasonable. I guess that's what makes this place work.
However, we ordered a prime rib and a steak. I also told them I wanted an oyster appetizer.
They delivered it in the same order we placed it. It was funny, getting the appetizer after finishing the meal.
Also, I had potato soup. The last thing we got, after finishing our meals was
I still left a 15% tip, but I thought the service was very strange.
We ate downtown at the Branson Cafe.
$1.99 for egg, bacon and toast. It snowed a lot when we were there.
The restaurant was open 9am to 3pm. I thought that was strange. Most of the shops were closed anyway, due to it being the off season.
I would love to live and work in Branson Missouri.
They work 9 months out of the year then get laid off. Most of the work is entertainment related.
The cost of living here is very reasonable. Hotel rooms for $210 a week are available. And they're decent.
02/12/2006 08:22:29
 Jim  LVDude security - being hacked
I changed access to these logs because someday they'll be used for classified ad communication. They should be private.
If someone is reading this entry, its because:
- I wrote something to them,
- they wrote something to me and I responded
- I passed them my link
- Or they hacked my log link
This will change when I get the time. Security is my last concern on this site.
I know I have huge holes in it right now, but its hardly an issue.
This site is only visited by people I know.
02/11/2006 11:57:14
 Jim  We never got that close to the Gators
Those lazy guys can move FAST! They take minutes to:
1 - realize a hot dog hit them.
2 - realize its food.
3 - turn their head to grab it. They have to roll their body to get something off the ground.
     One grabbed a hot dog and got 3 pounds of dirt and algae with it. He ate it all!
02/10/2006 10:03:43
 Jim  Branson, Missouri
Table Rock Lake in the OzarksHome to 6,000 locals, this town has over 7,200,000 visitors every year!!! Andy Williams, Ray Stevens, Glen Campbell have homes here. Neil Sedaka, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Regis Philbin, BB King, The Gatlin Brothers, and The Lennon Sisters are slated for on going shows. The lodging in Branson is extremely reasonable. It has 30 theatres with over 70 shows. This place is known as the "Live Music Entertainment Capitol of the World".
And I'm beginning to believe it!
The Ozarks
This land is renowned for its fall colors, lakes and mountainous country side.
The Ozarks is also home to the Wicca religion, which is a newer form of Paganism. The Pagan beliefs predate Christianity,  but had been deemed a "false religion" by Evangilistic Christians. They worship the male and female divinities, and the earth. They kind of sound like the Indians (who were called Pagans).
In the old days, without weapons of steel, how would you fight a powerful enemy?
My guess is, fear. You might use the knowledge you have to try to fend off powerful invaders. 
You might use magic and folklore.
If you knew a medicinal science, you might poison an enemy's water or food supply, then approach their camp and say you're casting a spell on them knowing they are about to get sick.
And you might tell them you have special powers.
Isn't that what almost all religions claim to have, special powers?
02/09/2006 10:08:19
 Jim  Bloomsdale, Missouri
It snowed four inches this morning. I love the snow. The lakes, ponds, trees and roads all show a different personality. I like the towns in Missouri. They seem to be better organized than the little towns in Kentucky.
We're on our way to Branson, Missouri this afternoon.
It's interesting how much cities change from state to state.
02/09/2006 05:52:07
 Jim  Cairo, Illinois
Once a booming river town, now the remains of the racial riots back in the 70's. I knew of the riots that wiped out this place, and was told to stay away if I valued my life. Apparently, I was told right. This town is full of cathedral churches, tall brick buildings, and a gas lit downtown. Run down victorian mansions that are over grown by foilage can be found almost any street, mostly homesteaded by vagrants. Hate and prejudice destroyed this jewel of Illinois, but its history can be seen along its cobblestoned streets.
Cape Girardeau, ILL
I guess this would be the big city between Paducah and St Louis. Its got a decent, but semi scary downtown area. We didn't stop here, haha.
Festus, ILL
The exits along the interstate are peppered with small towns having interesting names. We ate at a Ryan's buffet here. Festus has all the stores you'd find in a much larger town. They even have a Super Walmart.
02/07/2006 08:44:13
 Jim  I got lucky. I connected!
We've been in Paducah for two days now. They said they have wireless internet, but it rarely works.
Here's a list of our adventures:
Livingston County - 3 Rivers Rock Quarry
The land where our trailer was is all quarry these days. The roads are gone too.
I wanted to see Sweet Potato Cave and the civil war cemetary. Also, there's a wall thats in the woods that was erected during the civil war, for a battle that was fought there, but you have to know where to find it. We missed all that. No road.
Livingston County - The Blue Hole
We stopped by the Blue Hole (a quarry thats now filled with water) along the Cumberland River. The road was blocked off to it, but we did get to see the old ghost town. A hillibilly looking guy with his coon dog came up and told us we wuz trespassing. Now here's the neat part - I told him who I was, and next thing uall knowd, we wuz talking bout old times. His name was Tom Joiner, and he knew the Cowans, Ruckers, Harmons, Leblancs and Ramages. Small world ain't it.
Things haven't changed at all in this backwoods country. People in the sticks still have affairs, shoot each other, and get crazy on moonshine. It was a neat conversation. I can't imagine what Becky was thinking...we talk to a hillibilly in the sticks and we know the same people.
Livingston County - The Waterfalls
Once again, you have to know where it is to see it. We drove up one lane roads to burnett and stopped by a wooden bridge. Becky and I made a path to the stream and finally made it to the falls. The waterfall is about 80' high, quite gorgious and maybe 100 people know about it. It was my treat to Becky.
Livingston County - Burna, Kentucky
On the backroads to Burna, we passed a family cemetary right next to the road. Several houses had side yards packed with old vehicles. Barns were everywhere. I can only guess what kind of crops they harvest, but, Kentucky is known for its high grade marijuana crops.
Livingston County - Burna, Kentucky (the crash site)
Back in 1971, there was an auto accident that plowed down a gas station with 7 people in front of it. I was there. Several people died. One guy was screaming with an engine on his chest. Terry and I got lucky, we were waiting in Neil Cowans car, waiting for him to take us home. Neil got hit. The car's bumper ripped half his leg off. He gave me his wallet and told me to call his wife, before he bled to death.
The restaurant/house across the street was closed. The gas station was closed too, but apparently, someone had repaired it. Ramages grocery store was wide open with two guys installing windows in the front. Old man Ramage died from a heart attack while putting wooden walls up over the blocks. They were turning it into a local flea market. We talked to the two guys, they said come on in.
Now, I wasn't looking to buy anything, BUT, on the wall, there were 5 swords that caught my eye. I bought them all, plus a decorative knife for $55, and I can't wait to sell them on EBay.
Land Between the Lakes - Grand Rivers
We drove down the backroads to Land Between the Lakes or as we liked to call it, land between the legs. It used to be proclaimed as the best area to retire. The cost of living was cheap, golfing, boating, fishing, and nice cuisine was available. That...was in a different time.
The town was quaint, but the only restaurant we found was all non smoking. Four of us walked when we heard that (almost everyone in Kentucky smokes). It was funny though, we were the only customers, and they put us on their waiting list/register.
Most of the marina's had hundreds of huge yachts. Kentucky Lake is the second largest manmade lake in the United States. However, its allure must have fallen when I24 was completed. Most of the businesses in the area are empty shells of a time thats long gone. Its hayday has past, but, I'm sure with all of this countries growth, it will be revived some day.
Back to Paducah - Calvert City
Once home to Western Kentucky's richest people. The golf range and min-golf course I helped built was levelled, however, there is evidence of it. Someone had built a barn over it, which is now a gym. I didn't go all the way to the country club, but, I believe its gone too. Highway 60 is a has been, once again, from I24 openning up new channels for commerce.
Paducah - The BBQ Buffet
Starving, we stopped at a BBQ place. The 18 y/o waitress talked with a thick Kentucky accent "They haven't learned me how to use the register yet", "Bye Yall", "See Ya Hon". The food was local and delicious.
02/07/2006 08:33:14
 jim  Paducah,KY-TearDropSleeper
02/06/2006 11:04:58
 jim  Burna,KY-Death Gas Station,Restaurant
02/06/2006 10:19:40
 jim  Burna,KY-Waterfalls
02/04/2006 20:09:36
 Jim  Memphis - but where?
Tonight, we're staying in Memphis...kind of.
There's a Memphis in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. We picked Memphis, Arkansas. We're just across the Mississippi River from the real Arkansas. The Motel 6 we're in is supposed to have wireless internet, however when I called the desk manager, she said they have it, but its not set up yet. LOL. The jokes on me. har har
02/04/2006 07:17:27
 Jim  Trip Chronicles
We spent four days at Charles Kelly's place in Forest, MS.
Every one was friendly, and I was recognized right off the bat. Oddly enough, everyone there was drinking in the morning, and everyone asked me if I quit drinking. Its strange, to hear my ex tell me she's glad I quit drinking, while driving off at 10am with a Vodka Smirnoff between her legs. Life is full of ironies. Anyway, everyone there starts drinking at 9am.
Outside of that, we mainly sat around for 4 days at Charles's place. Charles and Renee are really nice people!
Ruth and Ricky finally came over, and we had a GREAT TIME! Lot's of laughs and smiles.
02/02/2006 08:10:53
 Jim  Forest, Mississippi - We’re vagrants
Amongst all the hastles of packing and moving...
I missed noticing my ATM card expired on February 1st. That means I'm cash broke.
Thats going to make this a VERY interesting trip.
Technically, we're vagrants right now.
01/31/2006 22:32:58
 Jim  Forest Mississippi - Where we got stuck
Finding Charles Kelleys place turned out to be very difficult. The one lane backroads were difficult to see at night, then my GPS went on the fritz. I pulled off the road to fix it and got stuck.
After a few minutes, I was dug down deep. I fellow pulling a trailer came by and offered his help. We unhitched his trailer, but still couldn't pull my truck out. Some one else came along. Then an off duty volunteer fireman came by. Then an off duty police officer came by. Before you could say grits, there was about 14 people there, all offering their help. I thought that was so cool.
We called Charles from a churches parking lot a quarter of a mile from where we got stuck.
The drove by us and asked us if that was us at the black church. I thought that was funny.
We followed Charles and Renee to their 7 acre plot of land with a double wide on it.
01/31/2006 19:00:00
 Jim  Florida, Alabama and Mississippi
The coast in Florida was beautiful. Crystal clear ocean, with the whites sand beaches that I'd ever seen. We stopped at a convenience store and for the heck of it, I got some of their gumbo in a to-go cup. It was GREAT!
Who'd guess, that the route would take us through a highway that averaged 20mph. The houses along the route were extremely dingy. Maybe there's more to Alabama than what we saw, but, I'd never go back.
The road improved A LOT, going across the state lines from Alabama to Mississippi. It seemed like everything changed. Meridian looked like it could have been a nice town to hang out at.
01/30/2006 21:29:21
 Jim  Tallahasee, Florida
Monday, we stayed in Tallahassee, Fl at an interesting motel for $40 per night. In the parking lot, there were kids swinging sticks around and I thought it might be unsafe...BUT, they were students studying martial arts. Their swords were dull, 12 pounders. Walking around, I found a Sasha, Tea, Coffee house with wireless internet and a belly dancer. People buy a bowl of aromatic tobacco, and smoke it for an hour in an opium pipe. Pretty strange, but it seems to work. LOL.
01/30/2006 00:41:16
 Jim  And by the way, it is whether you win or lose that
The only people that say "it's how you play the game that counts", are losers.
Unless I missed something, the scoreboards are full of scores, not ratings or opinion polls.
If you play by the rules, you either win or lose. If you don't play by the rules, you are cheating.
So, If you stink at golf, don't play Arnold Palmer to win.
If you play for the fun of it, play Arnold Palmer and waste his time.
01/30/2006 00:34:27
 Jim  So do we have a destiny, or are we like feathers f
I like Forest Gumps answer, that he thought life is a little of both.
Then again, I like Skip's answer, that he didn't give a f.
Whether on not we chose to thinks so, we pick our paths in life.
01/30/2006 00:08:29
 Jim  I don’t know what to think when I dream I can’t sl
Just woke up from a dream of me laying down, not sleeping.
A car alarm was triggered outside, and I realized I was in a pool of sweat.
Why does the temperature in this apartment vary so much?
01/29/2006 09:38:18
 Jim  I love you Becky
We're taking off in maybe around 18 hours. Wow...I'm all jittery!
I hope this will be a great adventure. Too much snow could ruin it.
01/29/2006 09:16:21
 Jim  Hi Renee
Great to see your alive and kicking!
Did you know calling our cell phones is a local call to you and its free to us too? Remember 20 ducks? lol
We've been either feeding our neighbors (the alligators) or getting bit by ants, or poisoned by poison ivy.
We haven't been saying much on this blog because nobody ever seems to go here anymore.
Becky and I are getting ready to visit some friends in Forrest Mississippi. They want to market this site.
I really like Mississippi for some reason, but we'll be going through Alabama and Louisiana on the way.
It should be fun!
01/28/2006 09:52:50
 Jim  I’m going to miss Orlando

The things I thought were Excellent:
- Places: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Pleasure Island, the Cruise, Epcot, Key West, downtown.
- Terrain: trees, rain, ocean, lizards, alligators, swamps. The plant live, animals and insects here are widely diverse. 
- People: Most are very laid back. Everybody seems to treat you like a friend.
- Food: There's a restaurant on every corner. The BBQ is actually smoked meat, not just sauce on brisket.
- Businesses: A thimble collector could have a lucrative shop here.
- Driving: No one honks their horn here. Drivers here don't pay attention to the road, but they are laid back.
The things that need improvement (sucked):

- The phone system. You may have to dial phone numbers four times to satisfy the phone system.
- The news is stupid. If what the news has said is true, justice doesn't work for poor people.
  Its very irrelevent. A truck driver snoozed, rear ended some people, and the news mentions he's a sex offender. Why?
  The news was showing weapons retrived from a gang at a park here. They were knives you can buy at a 7-11.
- The justice system: 
  A sober, poor immigrant landscaper hits a 4 year old who runs out into the street. He runs.
  They catch him and give him a public defender.
  The public defender pleads him guilty. He gets life in jail for hit and run. Why weren't the parents charged?
  Any immigrant who has an accident here will have to run. They will be afraid of American justice.
  His life was ruined by the parents who let their 4 year old run around unsupervised.
  He would have gotten charged with criminal negligence no matter what he did.
- The roads, street numbers and street names are a mess.
- Most of the lakes are accessable only if you own a house on the shoreline.

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