Truman likes his routines and schedule. He’s probably taking after me when it comes having a set routine for the day; when I start work in the morning he sits on his cat tree in my office and expects pets, a few tosses of a Nerf ball, and then some treats. He’s down to a minimum number of treats when it’s time to dispense treats, so he doesn’t get to be too big.

After my first round of meetings I usually head upstairs to shave and take a shower, but not until I’ve cleaned out his litter box for the day and given him a couple of his Greenies treats on the small cat tree. If I waver from this activity it is noticed.

I wonder how he manages when the treat dispensing human is not home and instead he’s contending with his other Dad. I’m sure he’s purring away being happy.

It’s just me that he has wrapped around his little paw.

Las Cruces, New Mexico.

First stop of this trip is at a Motel 6 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The drive from home across the desert to here was enjoyable. I always enjoy the open desert and at sunset it was especially nice. Interstate 10 isn’t in the best of shape, especially when you cross from Arizona into New Mexico. The desert sun can be harsh on pavement.

I plan on getting up early in the morning and continuing east. The latest forecast shows a small potential for severe storms throughout Texas. In the morning I’ll drive in the direction where the colors on the forecast map look the most dire.

After tonight’s drive I plan on staying off the Interstates much like I did on last year’s trip. There’s much to enjoy off the freeway.

Chase Discovery. Discover The Chase.

Mother Nature has decided she wants to park a high pressure ridge over the plains for much of next week. This is pretty much going to quash the chance for tornadoes where they can best be spotted. Seasoned storm chasers sometimes refer to this as the “Death Ridge”, not because it causes death, but rather because it kills the chance for tornadoes to chase.

Of course my storm chasing trip of the year starts tomorrow evening after work.

There is still a potential for severe storms, albeit a lower chance, in the likes of Texas and farther east than I would normally go. Is all of this disappointing? Somewhat, but my yearly storm chasing trip isn’t just about storm chasing. It’s also my way of enjoying a retreat, where I spend hours exploring small towns I’ve never been to, seeing sights I’ve never seen, and enjoying the vibe of a part of the country I’ve never lived in.

Yes, I’ll be heading for every little red blip that might pop up on the weather radar and I’ll always plan my destinations around the Storm Prediction Center’s forecast map, but if I only get lightning shots or rain shots or even beautiful shots of sunlit skies, I’m good. It’s a week away from the norm, and while my norm is pretty great, getting away from the norm for any reason can be great too.


Earl helped me pick out my new glasses at my last eye appointment. My prescription had changed slightly. These glasses have progressive lenses and I wanted frames big enough to make the progression worthwhile. The selection at Target Optical was a bit limited, but I’m happy with these RayBans.


Today I learned that 50% of the 10,500 employees at work are full time, remote workers. I’m happy to work for a company with such a strong Work From Home infrastructure. During the pandemic lockdowns, senior leadership discovered the company didn’t miss a beat; productivity actually improved a bit when folks were working from home.

There are plenty of roles in any company that must be accomplished in an office, but there are also many roles that can be worked from home. I have worked from home for over a decade and my career has grown in ways I didn’t think was possible. All of the people that report to me work from home. Our team earns accolades for our results.

Work From Home fears aren’t productivity based, they’re people and management based.


Fast food chain Wendy’s is working with Google to develop an AI chat bot that will replace a human taking your order at a drive-thru window. They plan on beginning their testing in Ohio this coming June. Here’s the article on The Verge with the details.

This is intriguing to me, though a fair sized part of me doesn’t like seeing humans lose their employment to computerized automation.

In the automation arena, I expect my job of writing code will be replaced by AI in my lifetime. One of my greatest skills as a developer is being able to use search engines like DuckDuckGo and Google to my advantage. Now that chatbots are able to write entire applications (mostly by stealing from work shared on the Internet by real developers), it’s only a matter of time before those of us that don’t write the chatbots are going to be replaced by the chatbots.

Smile to the human handing you your biggie meal. They might not be there much longer.

Graphic from The Verge.


My first flight in a single-engine airplane took place when I was four years old. I can easily remember the flight; Grandpa Country was flying, Dad was in the right seat (he wasn’t a pilot yet), and I was in the back seat of a Cessna 172. I was wearing a dark plaid shirt of some sort. We took off and flew around the area. I remember looking out the window to the right and seeing the ground below us and enjoying the sensation for a little bit. I then started feeling queasy. Dad looked back at me with his usual grin. I would come to recognize that grin when he gained his pilot’s certificate; Dad really liked aviation. Someone asked me if I was OK. I asked if there was a radio like in the car and Grandpa Country briefly tuned in the local country station and I think he did it over a LORAN, which operated on AM frequencies. Unfortunately neither Grandpa Country nor Dad is around so I can ask.

After a few moments of loud country music I barfed, all over my plaid shirt. I remember the airplane landing and then Grandpa Country and Dad frantically (for them) cleaning up the airplane. I also remember being brought back to the family farm and being cleaned up by Grandma Country and Mom. Apparently a clean airplane was more important than a clean son to the aviators of the family.

Luckily, that’s the only time I’ve ever gotten sick in an airplane.

Tonight I went flying with an instructor to continue getting familiar with the policies and procedures of the (new to me) flying club. I demonstrated five landings, all wonderfully graceful and impressive. We even did an engine out landing and that was a lot of fun.

I totally get Dad’s usual grin when one is in an airplane.


This is how you do marketing for Father’s Day. Even though it’s been 11 1/2 years since my Dad’s passing, I think about him every day. There’s so much I want to tell him of my successes in life, and the constant barrage of Father’s Day marketing messages makes me feel a little glum.

Hats off to Harry’s for showing a little compassion.


A geeky topic for this entry, Josh Teder at Six Months Later does a great job explaining the benefits of RSS feeds.

Quick tip: if you can subscribe to this blog by going to https://blog.jpnearl.com/feed.

Somewhere Else?

When we read or hear or see the news, the bad stuff always happens elsewhere, right? We hear of a tragedy, feel pangs of sadness, have a spiritual moment or two, and then we rationalize that while quite sad, it happened THERE not HERE. And we go on with life.

This is a picture of me in 2013 when I was working for Frontier Communications. I had gathered with others from the company for a training seminar at the Allen, Texas office.

Of course, as of this writing the latest horrific mass shooting just happened in at Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas.

I’ve been to Allen Premium Outlets. It’s 3.4 miles from the spot where I’m standing in that photo. 99.9% of the time, despite the vivid imagery shown on too many TV screens and computer monitors, I can’t picture the location of these senseless tragedies. It’s easy for me to picture this one.

We need to do something to stop these senseless tragedies. Screaming at each other is accomplishing nothing. Civil listening and discussion might get us somewhere.

We need to get somewhere else.