I'm a few days shy of being here three weeks. I can definitely say that I don't want to leave, at least not anytime soon. I don't think I've felt quite this happy in a very long time. Even Bridgie is noticeably smiling more. I don't know what we'll do if I don't get hired at the sanctuary, but I've begun formulating a few backup plans. Most of the jobs in this town are seasonal so I'll have to get creative in order to stay.

I did a shift this morning in Dogtown and got to spend time with four pooches I'd met the week prior. Two of them are a touch on the shy side and required extra care while the other two were beside themselves at seeing me again. It was great seeing and spending time with them all again. One in particular is a total sweetheart, but extremely shy. Rumba. She seems like she really wants to open up but doesn't know if she can trust again. I began just talking to them like anyone else while we walk. Sometimes it's about what's going on in my life or things we see on the trail. She seemed to have responded well and was much more relaxed after the walk as you can see in the pic below. She's a very sweet girl and I'm hoping she'll find a permanent home soon.

The revelation struck me on my drive home that I wasn't simply happy, but had managed to find some inner peace in life finally. The day prior I was placed in a room while the caregiver fetched a dog that I was to sit with for a bit before taking her out for a walk. Her condition and status were explained to me before we were left alone for a few minutes. I sat with this dog and didn't acknowledge her during that time. When the caregiver returned she mentioned that that was the calmest she'd seen her with someone new. She said I was giving off a good energy. That was a nice vote of confidence for me, but it's hard not to have it when you're surrounded by so much natural beauty. I see (below) that and better on my drive in and out every volunteer shift.

I don't wanna go.

Simple Life by The Weepies on Grooveshark


after birth day

And it also happens that today is mom's birthday as well. I called her after my shift this morning to wish her a happy one. Sissy is treating her to a meal at Mrs Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, and I'm bummed that I don't get to be there to tag along. It's what it sounds like. A really great old fashioned fried chicken dinner with biscuits, rhubarb pie, and steamed veggies. Hmmm, think I'll see if one of the local eateries here has some fried chicken for dinner tonight.

Yesterday I hitched a ride with one of my Ingress teammates. We cruised up to a place called Jacob Lake to collect some keys from a portal located there. When we got back we met up with another local teammate and kind jokingly stalked him with a drone while he was at work. The friend who came up owns it and I gotta say RC toys have come an incredibly long way from when I was a kid.

Stalkee friend was one of the few people who knew it was my birthday yesterday. He surprised with some cupcakes his daughter made for my birthday, complete with candles no less. Bridgette did not get to have any and what you see below is what I had to watch while I devoured them. They were delicious! Sorry B.

The RV park I am staying at threw a pot luck BBQ to celebrate memorial day. The weather was cool, the company was warm, the food great, and the perfect end of a birthday day for me. The beagle and I climbed into our bunk, watched some Scrubs reruns before crashing shortly after. It was a good day!



It was Thursday May 26th 1966 @ 3:15pm EST when I was born. So in about three and a half hours of my writing this, I will turn 48. I certainly don't feel it. Many of my closest friends would say that I don't look or act it. Well, they're not saying that I'm immature so much as I am very young at heart. Today also marks my second week in Kanab which has been both fun and productive.

I was expecting things to take a little longer towards my ultimate goal of getting hired. No, that's not happened yet. However the staff has taken notice of me, know what I"m hoping for, and are helping guide me towards achieving it. My fourth day is when they took notice and the ball really started to roll. I've reapplied for two possible positions. The first is the one I really want which is a Dog Caregiver positions, and the second is for a Volunteer Coordinator position. My prior skills with people and especially computers makes me a strong candidate for the latter position. I was told that once in, transitioning to another position is much easier. My fingers are crossed!

The organization has a process for hiring where you're invited to come and work (paid) on a two week evaluation period. There are three possible outcomes of 1. An offer is extended and you accept, 2. An offer is extended and you decline, 3. You washed out for various reasons. Some who get the job wind up leaving later because they can't handle small town living. Yes the town is small and the people are very nice, but some people just can't handle it. Sometimes it has to do with things. There is a larger town about an hour away if I really need "things" I can't find here. A list and once a month trip takes care of that. I'm hoping my move, and gradual assimilation here will speak to my level of commitment.

In the meantime I am continuing to volunteer while learning anything they're willing to teach me. Over the past two weeks I've volunteered for a total of seven (morning/afternoon) shifts. Everyone in this place is smiling and generally happy. I guess it's hard not to when so many animals appreciate what you're doing for them. Some arrive here in bad shape, but realize over time what you're doing for them.

The place is gorgeous. I mean breathtakingly gorgeous. It's the high desert where things are kind of gritty but no less pretty. I spent the first couple of days here getting adjusted to the higher elevation so I could handle the manual labor, while volunteering, at the sanctuary. It was a good move on my part because I was definitely ready for what they threw at me. I weeded a large outer run on my first day, and it was a hot one. Everything has been progressively easier despite the heat and elevation making what I did a good call.

I'm off to play a little Ingress with some of my teammates out this way today,so I'll leave you with a few highlights from the last two weeks.


johnny come lately

Time to come clean about where I've gone and what I intend to do. I've landed in Kanab, UT and am staying here for at least two months. I decided to try to land a job first, work for however long I can, and save as much money as is possible. Since I decided on a career with animals I chose Kanab because of Best Friends Animal Society. My plan is to volunteer for the duration of my stay in hopes that they'll hire me on. Providing we like each other and it's a good fit. If that happens I'll simply stay put and do it until I feel it's time to move on. If I don't, well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. At best I get to make money doing something I'm passionate about, at worst I take away a lot of valuable experience which can be useful elsewhere. Tomorrow will be my first day volunteering. I'm starting out at Dogtown and am really looking forward to it. I can't wait to get the hands and feet wet!

So I've been here here almost a week and have a pretty good lay of the land. It's kind of hard not to since the town is less than 14 square miles. The scenery is breathtaking and the people are very nice here. I was told that this is the kind of town where people leave their doors unlocked. The local police blotter seems to confirm that. There are many hikes and mountain biking trails around that I as well as the beagle are looking forward to taking on.

There isn't exactly a night life here, but that's alright with us. We prefer making and eating tasty dinners while taking in a good show or movie. I've also finally gotten around to tackling several years of backlogged books stored up in my kindle. I've also gotten in touch with Ingress players in this region. The other team is putting up a pretty good fight so gaining another senior player helps.

New Kid in Town by Eagles on Grooveshark


the road so far

A little after breakfast and a much needed shower yesterday morning we were back on the road. We filled up at the local Costco paying only 3.37 per gallon. I paid 4.11 in Irvine two days prior.

Once we cleared the city I got my fair share of scenery therapy in and enjoyed for all it was worth.

However nature isn't without her critics. Bridgette seemed to care less about seeing what was out there and more in viewing the insides of her eyelids.

I could not have asked for a better trip so far, and it was precisely after snapped the pic above where a few things went wrong. The highway I was supposed to take was closed which forced me onto an alternate route. The new route wasn't bad in of itself, but the area it cut thru is prone to high winds. My nemesis. What happened was my awning had somehow switched from the close to the open position (or possibly was that way from the start). The result was that it started unraveling after a few good wind gusts. There weren't many pullouts on this highway forcing me to drive a while as it flapped around. I managed to get it back into place while fighting the wind and noticed some tearing at the base of one of the ends. Damn! I really didn't need this now. The other thing the wind didn't help with was gas consumption. This is why I wanted to drive the other route. A gas station was found with highway robbery prices. I put in enough to make it to the next town and filled up there.

Later that evening we arrived at our destination. I setup, paid the bill, had a nice dinner w/Bridgie, and we settled in for the night. We were beat from the day before and slept in pretty late this morning. Today we're gonna explore the town and pick up some much needed groceries. Carry on!

Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas on Grooveshark



Prior to leaving I had to appease mom's god tax by making sure her gift to me (the year prior) was present and in plain sight. I swear, the things I do to keep that woman from crying. She still cried before I left. This departure also marks Bridgette's gazillion'th road trip with me. As such here's my obligatory "Driving Miss Bridgie" picture.


I left a little later than intended and I paid the price for it. On our way out we were greeted by almost every driver Orange County had to offer. To make matters worse it seems the drivers were crashing into each other at regular intervals along the freeway slowing our departure to a crawl. Eight hours later we arrived at (my friend) Barry's house. The gate was opened and we pulled into the compound that is his family's domicile. The family was sound asleep but that didn't stop us from having a few drinks and catching up before finally heading off to bed.

I woke up around 8am and it was starting to get warm. I fired up the AC and proceeded to make Bridgette's breakfast. By the time she was happily scarfing down her food I had noticed that things hadn't cooled down and were getting warmer. I thought I had mistakenly turned on fan and not cool. I was distressed to learn that my AC was on cool which was blowing out hot air only. This kind of put me in a small scale panic. I followed the instructions on the AC unit and made a few calls. The mfg wasn't any help so I called a repair guy whom I sadly didn't do business with. I like to reward honestly when I can since it's kind of rare these days. I only say this because he was completely honest about what my options were after giving him the details. His main suggestion was to simply replace it with a new unit based on their short lives. After that I made my way to the house and had breakfast with the clan while explaining my plight. Barry is and has always been that one friend of mine whose "never say die" attitude has never ceased to amaze me. I did learn from him and do my best to put that into all facets of my life. I am a work in progress and know I've plenty to learn. Long story short his confidence brought me to the following picture.

We removed, took apart the old AC unit, and tested all the potential problems areas before drawing the same conclusion as the AC repairman. I shopped around online, made a few phone calls, and found a possible replacement. Turns out it was just a bit too large, didn't fit, and we had to return in. Before coming to that conclusion Barry had offered a myriad of possible solutions which I'd almost went for. We spent at least an hour or more proving it out. In the end it turned out there were a few critical structural issues which prevented some of the more creative solutions devised. We wound up returning the AC unit we picked up in favor of another that Barry had found. It took the mistake of the first attempt to lead us to the second solution which solved the problem. We found the right AC replacement at Sears no less. It was a perfect fit. The installation took less time than was spent removing the original dead unit.

It was a perfect fit! The time to install the new unit was far less than it took to remove the old one. The experience helped to rekindle a few of my earlier personality traits that I'd lost touch with. I used to be open and willing to try anything, but have become less willing in later years. Experience is a great teacher but it can also make you unreasonably rigid when you don't need to be. The old me, is/was leaning toward just waiting a few days. My original thought was to wait until l I could bring it into a service shop where a proper repair crew would've done a great job in replacing it. It would've also costed me more than twice what I paid for (without Barry's help). Instead of spending 2-3 extra days in Phoenix, my plans were delayed only by a day.

Thank you Barry! Your graciousness and hospitality will not go unrewarded. Either by my own actions, or life, or both.

Passing Storm by Ottmar Liebert on Grooveshark


we're leaving

After almost a year here (actually two days shy of eleven months) we're finally leaving. The last bits of packing are turning out to be harder than expected. This is due largely in part to my mom's OCD version of housekeeping. Many of my non critical items sometimes get put away in places without my knowledge. So I'm having to turn over the house to find them. To be fair to her some of the delay is attributed towards clean up. Mom was kind enough to allow Bridgette to cohabitate with me in the only way she knows how (everywhere I am). Mom doesn't allow Oreo (niece's dog) access to all of the house because of issues with shedding. However Bridgette knows how to make grandma give in with just a look. So some cleaning has to be done at the last minute before we're both gone.

The drive to my final destination can be done in a day, but I'm breaking it up into two days so that I can visit a few friends who are on the way. Am I excited? Yes. Did I leave the oven on? I don't own one. Am I a little scared? Yes, but I know it'll pass once I'm on the road. Any regrets? Absolutely not! This is what I've been wanting to do and it simply took a longer than expected detour.

Time to bounce

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day on Grooveshark


digital prey

Due to the recent advances in mobile computing, staying connected without having to carry an arsenal of gear is now a convenient reality. While most of us are generally good at keeping track of, and not losing our toys, some of us will inevitably either misplace or have them stolen. A few years ago I read a news story about a guy who recovered his laptop with the aid of an app named Prey. I began using it immediately and realized I should share it with you guys as it is a huge benefit to anyone regardless of stationary or mobile lifestyle.

Prey offers a base plan which is free as well as monthly subscription plans. I'm using the free plan which covers my needs The base subscription plan starts at $5 which allows you to utilize a few extra bells and whistles (none which I really need at this time). This app is supported on all major platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS), and starts at a 3 device limit for both free and pay. This worked for me since I have only laptop, tablet, and smartphone. The website has a pretty thorough FAQ along with a fairly long list of recovery success stories which should answer anything I didn't cover here.

Here are the basics. You download and install the client on your device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone), and configure it. The configuration is straightforward enough that even the most technically clueless will figure it out in a matter of minutes. At this point everything simply sits in standby until the unfortunate day arrives that your device is stolen or misplaced. Let's pretend your tablet was stolen. The first thing you should do is file a police report, and the second thing is to login to your account on the Prey website, go to your device, and enable the missing switch. As soon as the thief uses the device on the internet, Prey will connect, and transmit a report back to the site. The report consists of the GPS location, screenshot of what they're doing on said device, and a picture (via the device cam) of the thief while they're using it. This is the info you'd provide to the local authorities to recover your property.

Hope this helps!



I'm on the eve of my departure which is anywhere from a few days to a week to be exact'ish. I've been doing my homework and believe I've got a pretty good lay of the land. If not long term at least for a few months. I've been spending my days enjoying the cuisines I won't in a small town. I mean before I leave here. I had sis place an amazon order using my remaining credit for a few things to make life easier which arrived today. However I do have some credit left and my worst crisis now is finding something else I would really need.

I'm as excited as I am nervous about my next embarkment in life. I've got this covered might sound a bit overconfident, but I really do. What this next chapter boils down to is whether I and/or it are right for each other. Whatever the case ... soon.

Nobody Knows Me at All by The Weepies on Grooveshark