Judgement Call

Last Saturday I left the Valley at 0400 and drove 10 hours to Mesquite, NV. It turned out to be a stressful run because my sweet little pickup was running rough and I had no idea why. I installed a new cap, rotor and plugs before I left along with an air filter and fuel filter. She should have been purring like Piper. At a rest area I checked the plug wire connections and after I arrived at the Virgin River Casino I tightened down my plugs. As I settled into the hotel hot tub I was hopeful for the next day.

Heading south in the morning, the problem was still there, and I had to make a decision. Do I drive through Vegas and then down into the desert towards my four night stay in Laughlin, moving my wounded truck further and further away from home on a Sunday when auto repair shops are closed, or do I limp her back north towards Idaho.

It killed me to do so since I’ve been looking forward to this desert getaway for months, but I took the first exit and turned back towards home. I ended up in Lava Hot Springs for the night, had a couple great soaks, and was home Monday morning.

Since I’ve been back I’ve managed to fix my truck (new coil and plug wires), attend a large meeting of the local Eclipse group where I ran my new app TetonPath for the crowd, and whipped up some great database editing code for it. It’s been a very productive couple of days, so why am I so damned depressed? Oh, maybe because it’s cold and rainy here and it’s 85° and sunny there. Ya think?

Here are the culprits before I replaced them:

Categorized as Travels

Travel Mix

I’ve got my ground up travel meds all mixed together for the upcoming road trip. There are eight different medications that I consume a 1/2 tablespoon of daily. So, four tablespoons of this toxic cocktail of medications mixed with a small V8 every morning should keep me alive while I travel. The container consists of equal parts:

  • Cayenne Powder (90,000 heat units)
  • Turmeric
  • Organic Garlic Granules
  • Organic Ground Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Ground Hawthorn Berry
  • Organic Soy Lecithin
  • Gotu Kola Powder

I feel like a witch mixing her magic ingredients in a cauldron.

Categorized as Travels

Last Vestige

The last vestige of a nasty Winter is clinging tenaciously to our deck. Steph brought the chairs and table out this evening and had to work around this block of leftover ice. Spring is right around the corner, but it’s long corner.

Categorized as House

Totality City

I would describe a vision as seeing something and then suddenly seeing something much more than what’s currently there. I had one of those yesterday as I was taking the gang back to Victor at the end of the day.

We were approaching 4000 and the boys were totally quiet. I was smiling inside as I watched the snow free ground roll by and images of my southern Arizona Spring Break with bikini-clad college girls were dancing in my brain. I suddenly remembered that this was the crossing point of the Eclipse and I looked further out to see what was around, and then I saw it, Totality City!

The 80 acre plot of barren farm land on my left suddenly transformed into a bustling mecca of neatly stacked motorhomes with out of state tourists here for the event. As I told one of the event guys in an email last night, it was like seeing Burning Man without the fire, and without the hippies I might add.

I saw a Fall River power line coming into the heart of it, a Silverstar wireless hotspot bathed it in communication, banks of porta potties lined the perimeter, with a special spot in the back for dumping motorhome shit.

Busses trolled up and down Hwy 33 taking people to Driggs and Victor for food and entertainment while tapping on my new app TetonPath for directions. Suddenly the valley turned dark at 11:35:12 on August 21 and the low rumble of human voices that had been building up as the sun and moon approached turned into a tremendous roar in Totality City as people stared at nature’s true majesty, in awe.

And a lot of folks fell in love with Teton Valley, at that moment…

Categorized as The Valley


My latest app TetonPath is ready for viewing. It appears to have stirred up some interest here amongst the local Eclipse folks and may end up getting promoted by them.

It’s a good one, designed to assist the millions of people who flood into our Valley come Aug, 21. Ok, maybe 10’s of thousands, but more than enough to stress our little community to the limit. Hopefully my little contribution here will make a difference.

Categorized as Site Stuff

Eclipse App

You know when the Posts are few and far between here, I must be writing code :-) In case you didn’t know, our Teton Valley lies right smack dab in the sweet zone of the upcoming Total Eclipse in August and tens of thousands of visitors are expected.

In the spirit of community service to the place I call home I did some research and gathered up some data from NASA and mapped that thing down to the second as it rolls across Highway 33 just south of 4000 S. Actually, it’s a geojson polyline that stretches from the Oregon Coast to South Carolina, but I’m just focusing on our neck of the Rockies.

I just fired off an email to the local folks that have taken enough interest in how this event will affect us, to develop a website and start having meetings.
Hello! My name is Jim and I live and work here in the Valley, in fact, I've been your local TRPTA bus driver for the last decade.

I was a software developer in my past life and I continue that passion to this day, lately focusing on mapping applications.

The Eclipse has captured my imagination, as it obviously has yours, and you folks appear to be the primary energy around this event here in the Valley. Thanks for stepping up and I'm sorry I havn't made any of your events yet.

I've been developing some interesting map applications lately and I realized that the concepts would be a perfect match for an Eclipse app focused on Teton Valley, so I wrote one. It's based on an open-source JavaScript library called Leaflet and it uses a couple of top shelf base maps from a company called HERE.

I should say at this point that the work I do is non-commercial and not for profit. I do it to benefit my neighbors and my brain.

I would like to share this new app with you if you like. If you ultimately ended up promoting it along with your efforts, that would be fine. It's 95% complete and just open to final suggestions at this point so if you could keep it among your close associates, I would appreciate it.

Also, The local business listings are expandable, modifiable and open to new categories.

So, here's the link: ........

I look forward to your thoughts!
Obviously it’s not time to share it here yet, but I sure will when it is.

Categorized as Site Stuff

The Corner

My first morning pickup at Hatch’s Corner has provided a few photos to this blog but this one is unique because my GPS is in the shot. Normally it’s not on the bus because, well, I know the Valley, but I had a run down to Rexburg this morning and wanted to be prepared. It’s kind of fitting actually because map position is on my brain a lot as I finish up a kick-ass Eclipse app, to be announced…

Categorized as The Bus

My Spit

Last Sunday I drooled saliva from under my tongue into a test tube up to the fill line. I then tightened down a special cap which shot blue fluid down into my spit. Then I shook the tube up for five seconds, put it inside a self-sealing plastic bag and then into a self-sealing small box with prepaid postage and a Utah address on it.

Yep, my DNA is heading out into the world and where it stops nobody knows. I was introduced to the AncestryDNA concept last summer when I visited my California friends Sherry and Grant. They both did it and were pleased to discover the origins of their past.

I’m doing this for somewhat different reasons. My ancestral links in this country are long and strong on both my mother and father’s side, I just don’t know how really far back they go so it should be interesting to learn. But that’s not the real reason.

I may have children out there in the world I don’t know about, in fact, the possibility is strong. If there’s someone wondering who their real dad is, and I’m it, they deserve to know. I’m also at a point in my life where I really like who I have become and I would hope that if someone say’s I think you’re my dad, they wouldn’t be disappointed.

Categorized as Various