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A July 2009 photo of Jim Zimmerlin Hi there!  I'm Jim Zim...  and this is my home on the web.   My full name is James Allen Zimmerlin, but I like my friends to call me Jim Zim.  My initials have a ring to them, too...  they're JAZ.

I live in Pasco, Washington, one of the Tri Cities in Southeastern Washington state. I moved here in September 2020 after living in California for almost my entire life before that.  I live with my wife, Kellyn, who I've been married to since 1981.  It was our goal for a very long time to get in to a much larger home, so it was kind of a big deal when we finally were able to have our dream house custom-built just for us.  We chose Washington in order to live closer to my sister and her family, and also because of a much lower cost of living and abundant water supplies for a hobby of mine:  gardening.

I'm mostly a homebody.  I spend most of my free time at home...  working in our yard, enjoying movies or television shows on our big 85" HD TV, or fiddling around with my computer.  You don't find me out at bars, or attending sporting events, or hiking and camping.

I've been through a lot of phases in my lifetime.  There was the phase where I was "the baby" in a family of four kids...  the phase where I discovered that I liked girls...  the phase where I discovered that I really didn't like college classes...  the phase where I learned about all the freedom that comes with being a single young man on his own in his early 20's...  the "honeymoon phase" of the first few years of married life with no kids...  and a long stretch of about twenty years where we raised our two kids.  There was also the phase where I was a disk jockey...  the phase where I was a salesman...  the phase where I started earning big bucks working in a "real job" at a nuclear power plant...  and 15 years where my hobby was breeding American Cocker Spaniels.  Now, at the age of 64, I've transitioned to the best life phase of all:  retirement!  But I've also developed a following on YouTube, and have become a licensed commercial drone pilot, too!

Jim Zimmerlin on a Carnival cruise ship vacation Things are comfortable for me these days.  I've been married for 40 years...  I don't have to worry about money...  and I'm always planning the next vacation!  For quite a few years, my favorite vacation was visiting my sister's farm in Washington state.  Getting there was always half the fun...  it was a 1000 mile drive each way from where we used to live in California...  but we did that drive many times with our kids.  I learned to love Southeastern Washington so much after all those visits that it felt very natural to want to retire here.

For the last twenty years or so I've tended to spend almost all of my vacation time on cruise ships.  I've been on 62 cruises so far!  Cruising is such a big part of my life these days that I could write an entire web page just about it.  In fact, I have!  Take a look at this page, with a complete rundown of all the cruises I've been on.

Recent years have been so good!  Kellyn and I have been enjoying some GREAT Caribbean cruises.  You just can't beat swimming in 80 degree water at a beach in the Caribbean!

Up until 2013, most of our cruises had been with Carnival cruise lines...  but in 2014 we started branching out a bit...  and now we've had some great cruises on Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking Ocean Cruises, and American Cruise Lines, too.  I've achieved platinum status in the loyalty programs of Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean.  There was a time when I thought of Norwegian as my main cruise line of choice because I love staying in their V.I.P. area known as "The Haven".  Then I went back to Carnival because I totally love the Guy Fieri food they have onboard.  Lately, however, I've been cruising a lot with American Cruise Lines...  because they keep inviting me to cruise with them for free, in exchange for the great publicity they get from my YouTube videos about the cruises.

It's been fun to experience slightly different flavors of cruising on the various cruise lines...  and especially fun to cruise on each cruise line's newest ship, where you see incremental improvements over what they offered in their previous generations of ships.  There's no where else I'd rather be than on a cruise ship!  I'm just completely relaxed and comfortable there, without a care in the world.   Recently, during one of our cruises, Kellyn snapped a photo of me where you can see quite clearly that this is true...

Jim Zimmerlin on vacation 2015
This is me in "totally relaxed" mode...  just staying cool and having a good time
in the adults-only swimming pool onboard Royal Caribbean's "Independence Of The Seas"
(April 2015)


This is another photo of myself on vacation that I really like...
This was taken at the turtle farm in Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman Turtle Farm

My Viral YouTube Videos

In 2012, during a Mexican Riviera cruise on the Carnival Spirit, I shot a video of people going down the ship's newest attraction...  the Green Thunder waterslide.  The Green Thunder slide had just been added to the ship...  and at that time, no other cruise ship had anything like it.  Instead of the traditional twister-slide design of most cruise ship waterslides, this one starts off with a straight-down vertical drop.  You get in to a chamber, they close the door around you, and then the floor drops out from under you and you fall straight down.  It's the scariest two seconds of your life!  Then it turns in to a normal curvy waterslide and before you know it, you've splashed down in to the end of the ride.  It's the craziest, scariest, and most-fun waterslide at sea!

So, when I got home from that cruise on the Carnival Spirit...  I edited together my little Green Thunder waterslide video, uploaded it to YouTube, and didn't give it another thought.  To me, it was just another in a series of many cruise ship related videos I've posted to YouTube over the years.  I literally forgot all about the video and went on with my life for the next couple of months.  Completely unknown to me at that time...  the video went viral on YouTube!  And I didn't even realize it.

One day, a couple of months later, I was just goofing off at my computer and I decided to take a look at the statistics on my YouTube channel to see how many people had been watching my videos.  Up until that point, 1,000 or 2,000 views would have been really good for one of my videos.  Imagine my surprise -- no, that's not a strong enough word -- imagine my total SHOCK when I discovered that my Green Thunder waterslide video had over 2,000,000 views at that point!  That's two million...  and that's a LOT of views for a YouTube video.

The day that I discovered my video had gone viral was the day I started becoming a much more serious YouTuber!  The first thing I did was to learn how to monetize my videos.

Monetization on YouTube is the process of allowing YouTube to run ads along with your videos.  By allowing YouTube to run ads with your videos...  you earn a portion of the advertising revenue generated by the ads.  That's what monetization is.

I didn't really have a clue what kind of advertising revenue I might be able to earn by monetizing my YouTube videos...  and I knew that I had really blown it by not monetizing the Green Thunder Waterslide video BEFORE the first two million views...  but all I could do was to monetize it at that point and hope that two million views was just the beginning.  And that's exactly what it was.

Before I go any further with this story...  let's take a look at my Green Thunder waterslide video...  the first one of my videos to go viral on YouTube:

As it turns out, the first two million views were indeed just the tip of the iceberg.  It boggles my mind to be able to say that my little video has now been viewed over 96 MILLION times!  Is that crazy, or what?  Just to put that in to perspective...  if you go to YouTube and do a search for "Carnival Cruise" and then sort them by the number of views, you'll find that my video is -- by a wide margin -- the most viewed YouTube video about a Carnival cruise that there is.  In fact, don't just limit it to Carnival.  Do a search for "cruise ship" and sort by number of views and you'll find that my little Green Thunder video is the #1 YouTube cruise ship video of them all!

Now, let's discuss this a little, shall we?

First off, you're probably wondering...  have I made a ton of money off of it?  The terms of my the monetization contract with YouTube forbid me from discussing the specifics of that aspect.  Let's just say that thanks to all the YouTube advertising revenue, I've been able to go on a LOT of great cruises.  Per the contract, I can't say exactly how much money I've made from YouTube...  but I can honestly say that it's been a LOT of money, and it has totally changed my life.  And yes, the I.R.S. gets their share, for sure. 

Second, you might be wondering WHY the heck that video has had so many views.  I honestly don't know!  I wouldn't really think that a video like that would be anywhere near that popular.  It would make sense if something hilarious happened in the video...   like at the end of the ride, the water slide dumps the people out in to the ocean.  Hey...  wait a minute...  that's a great idea for an alternate version of the video!  Take a look...

After my little video went viral on YouTube, and the advertising money started rolling in, I spent a lot of time wondering if lightning can strike twice.  In other words, could I come up with a second viral video?  Well, believe it or not, I did!  And I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that it was another video about a waterslide on a cruise ship.  Here's the story...

At the time I shot the video, the Green Thunder waterslide was the only one of its kind on a cruise ship.  But it was so successful that Carnival added a Green Thunder slide to another one of their ships in 2014, and Norwegian Cruise Lines put similar vertical-drop waterslides on three of their ships.  Kellyn and I decided that we just had to try the Norwegian Cruise Line version...  so, in September of 2014, we did a 7-day cruise on the Norwegian Getaway...  which features not just one, but TWO vertical-drop waterslides.  They call them "Free Fall" slides.  When we got back from our cruise, I edited together a little video about the Free Fall slides, and posted it to YouTube.  Take a look...

It was a little slow to catch on, but by August of 2015 it finally passed the one-million-view mark and now it's past 11 million.  It was my second viral video, and it created a nice increase to my advertising revenue!

As if I wasn't already the luckiest guy in the world, a THIRD video started to catch on in January of 2016...  and this one didn't have anything to do with cruise ships or waterslides or girls in bikinis.  About a year earlier, I posted a video to YouTube of model trains running throughout my house.  Just like viral video #2, it got a very small number of views for the first year, and then it just started to take off!  It's now been viewed over 70 million times...  making it my second most-watched video.  Take a look:

In June of 2016 I decided to shoot a slightly different style of model train video, in hopes that it would catch on with the YouTube crowd.  All of my previous model train videos simply featured the trains.  Using a technique I learned from 2015 YouTuber-Of-The-Year, Casey Neistat, I stepped out from behind the camera and talked directly to the viewers about my trains.  The video, which I posted to YouTube on June 11th, became an almost immediate hit...  getting over 100,000 views in the first 15 days after I posted it.  Recently, it passed the four million view mark...  my FOURTH video to go viral.  Take a look at my Casey Neistat inspired model train video:

Another one of my model trains videos joined the one-million-views club recently...  although it did it quite a bit slower than the others.  It took it about 15 months to finally reach a million views, but that makes it my fifth video to do so.  Here it is:

With the experience of having created multiple viral videos for YouTube, I think I now have an understanding of what works with the YouTube audience.  One of my most recent model train videos became a hit almost from the very beginning...  reaching a million views in less than two months!  So, if you're counting, that made it my 6th video to get over a million views.  Take a look at it:

In June of 2016, I achieved a new personal best with a new model train video that got a million views just 11 days after I posted it to YouTube!  It's a video that I suspect appeals to a much younger audience than a lot of my other YouTube videos, because it's about Thomas The Tank Engine.  Have a look at my 7th YouTube video to get at least a million views:

I had no intention of ever adding Thomas The Tank Engine to my collection of model trains...  but one of my subscribers suggested it to me, and the more I thought about his idea, the more I came to realize that a video about Thomas would probably be very popular with the YouTube crowd and would end up generating a lot of advertising income.  It turns out that the guy that suggested it is quite a character, and he actually made his own YouTube video about how I ended up agreeing to his idea to add Thomas to my collection.  I think you'll get a laugh out of his video about me:

As an experiment, I created some videos in 360 degree virtual reality.  I bought a Samsung Gear 360 VR camera, after I noticed they severely dropped in price.  (Perhaps a new model is coming out?!?)  Check out this video where I attached the 360 degree camera to one of my steam trains, and created a video that allows the audience to control their viewpoint and look all around in any direction.  This one is best viewed on a smart phone running the YouTube app, but will also work on a desktop or laptop computer.  On a smart phone or tablet, physically swivel the device up/down/left/right and the view of the video will change with the movement of your device.  On a desktop or laptop computer, "grab" the video with your mouse to move the point of view.

By 2018, I felt like I had really hit my stride with YouTube and had a good feel for what was working with the YouTube audience.  It was getting easier for me to create videos that got a lot of views.  As of this writing, I've now had 27 videos pass the one million view mark on YouTube!  And my new personal best was a video that got a million views in just eight days!

If you think my model trains are interesting, take a look at this page where I talk about them in a little more detail.

Another way to measure success of a YouTube channel is by the number of subscribers.  Over 479,000 people have subscribed to mine.  I think that's pretty cool!  Anyone that reaches 100,000 subscribers gets a neat little recognition gift from YouTube...  a special plaque known among YouTubers as the "silver play button"!

YouTube silver play button
The YouTube "Silver Play Button" award
for surpassing 100,000 subscribers


I keep shooting videos and trying new things.  As of this writing, I've got over 450 videos on my YouTube channel and collectively they've been viewed over 360 million times!  28 of my videos have over a million views each!

Now let me tell you about "Jim Zim - The Early Years"...

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, but my family moved to the town of Orinda in the San Francisco Bay Area when I was two years old...  and I've lived in California ever since.  I grew up in a very "normal" family with three siblings, two Cocker Spaniels, and parents that were straight out of an episode of Ozzie & Harriet.  I really appreciate the way my folks raised me...  it was full of love and low on confrontation.  You hear a lot about disfunctional families...  well, I was one of the lucky ones whose family was functional.

Here's a picture of my family in those days...

1968 Zimmerlin family photo

And a classic picture of me from grade school...

Jim Zimmerlin with braces in grade school

on the air during the eightiesIn 1975 I moved to San Luis Obispo to attend college.  I started as a computer science major, but discovered pretty quickly that volunteering at the campus radio station (read my anecdotes here) was a lot more interesting.  This was the beginning of my career as a disc jockey...  one of three careers I've had.

At the peak of my radio career I was the Program Director of a soft rock radio station.  If you'd like to hear what I sounded like in those days, listen to this "aircheck"...  which is a five-minute clip of me on the air, with the commercials and music edited out.

My radio career came to a crashing stop when the station was sold and the new owners fired me!  But getting out of radio turned out to actually be a good thing for me, because once I got in to sales I started making a lot more money.  There's an old joke about being a disk jockey that pretty well sums it up:  what's the difference between a disk jockey and a large pepperoni pizza?  A large pepperoni pizza can feed a family of four!

My first sales job was selling consumer electronics equipment for a big chain of audio/video superstores.  Later, I graduated to selling computers, and eventually to Honda automobiles.  But being a salesman is very stressful.  There's the aspect of working strictly on commission rather than having a guaranteed paycheck like you would in a "real job"... and then there's the aspect of dealing with customers all day long.  Stressful!  Not to mention dealing with sales managers!

At work at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plantSo, after many years in sales, I jumped at the chance when I finally got offered a "real job" with Pacific Gas & Electric company in 1992.  No more career changes for me now...  this time I'm in it all the way until I retire!  The pay and benefits are excellent...  but the best part is that they give me a whole lot of paid vacation time.  That's great, since I like to take all those cruises!

During most of my PG&E career I've worked at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, although I did also spend a couple of years as a meter reader...  an experience I'm hoping to never have to repeat!  My PG&E career story is one of those classic stories that begins with working in the mailroom.  If you want to read the rest of the story, you have to take a look at my Diablo Canyon page.

It is kind of an interesting story, and it's illustrated with a lot of great pictures I've taken over the years, so do be sure to visit that page.

A Big Life Change in 2020

In June of 2020 I finally retired after 28 years with Pacific Gas & Electric company.  The end of my PG&E career didn't go exactly as planned, because I ended up getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both of my hands.  This forced my retirement to occur about two months earlier than I had expected, and disrupted my plans for an orderly handover of my duties to other people.

My first course of action after retirement was to have Carpal Tunnel Surgery on my right hand.  After I recovered from that I had a perfectly functional right hand again and was able to pack up everything we owned in preparation for our move to a brand new house that we had built for us in southeastern, Washington...  just about a half hour drive from my sister's farm.  We moved in to our dream house on September 1, 2020.

Here's a June 2020 photo of the kitchen in our dream house:

Jim & Kellyn's Dream House


To find out more about the house, check out this video:

Although I've retired from what I call "my real job" with PG&E, I won't be retiring from YouTube.  In fact, just the opposite.  Having an extra 40 hours of every week available to do whatever I want will allow me to devote a lot more time and energy to YouTube, once we get all settled in to our new house.  It's exciting to think of all I might be able to accomplish on YouTube in the coming years!

Jim and Kellyn wedding pictureJim and Kellyn in 2009Kellyn and I met in San Luis Obispo in 1980 and we got married in 1981.  OK, yeah, I realize now that the mustache in the wedding photo was horrible.  It took me about ten years to grow out of the mustache phase, but I've been clean-shaved for over twenty years now!  And speaking of the wedding photo...  Kellyn made that dress.  We laugh now when we think about our ultra low-budget wedding!  I think the total amount we spent for everything included in our wedding was about $500.

While were on the subject of the early days of Jim & Kellyn, I have to tell you a funny story about the first time that I told Kellyn that I love her...

It had only been a couple of weeks since I first met her.  I was working as a disk jockey and I got invited to a party thrown by one of the major record companies.  To appreciate this story, you have to understand that I was a clean-cut kid who grew up in a idyllic environment.  Boy Scout...  student body president in the 6th grade...  that kind of thing.  While it's true that I grew up in the 60's and 70's...  I was as far from the "let's smoke pot and protest the Vietnam war" thing as a guy could be.  In fact, I had absolutely zero experience with marijuana...  until the infamous record company party for all the local disk jockeys!

Jim and Kellyn a LONG time ago! So, when Kellyn and I went to that record company party...  and they offered me a brownie...  it simply never occurred to me that the brownie had anything funny in it!  Really, I was just a naive kid who had no clue about that kind of thing!

I had really never been a very big fan of brownies up until that point...  but WOW, that was a great tasting brownie!  Better than the ones mom used to make, that's for sure.  So, I had a second one.  And I think I might have even had a third...   I don't exactly remember, because at that point I started to feel kind of odd.  I didn't exactly know what was happening to me, because I had never been STONED before!  All I knew is that I was feeling kind of sick, and I needed to get out of there.  And I was in no condition to drive us home, so Kellyn was going to have to drive.  Which was fine, except for one little problem!  We had driven there in my Volkswagen Beetle, and Kellyn didn't know how to drive a stick shift car.  Well, she was about to learn!

So, there we were driving home...  Kellyn getting her first lesson on driving a stick shift from her new boyfriend who was now stoned out of his mind (for the first time in his life).  You can pretty much imagine how that went.  Through some miracle, my VW's transmission survived.  I do remember an awful lot of gear-grinding noises!  But we did somehow make it back to my apartment.

Kellyn was very sweet and nurturing and got me safely tucked in to bed so I could sleep off the effects of the brownies.  I felt like I had an angel taking care of me.  I was SO appreciative of the gentle way she treated me!  So appreciative of this little angel, that I just HAD to tell her.  So, as she stood beside the bed making sure I was alright...  I looked up, right in to her eyes...  and said to Kellyn:  "I love you, Terry!"

Jim and Kellyn Zimmerlin Here's a story that will probably surprise you about us.  It might even surprise you that I would share this story.  No, I guess after that last story...  you wouldn't be surprised by anything I'd write!

As you know, Kellyn and I have been married for almost 40 years now.  But for a while there, it didn't look like we were going to make it to the big 30th anniversary.  Every marriage has its rough spots, and ours hit rock bottom in 2010.

We actually filed for divorce in June of 2010.  In California, there's a six month waiting period before a divorce becomes final...  and we are a perfect example of why they build that six month wait in to the process!   In October of 2010, after a 4-month separation, we came to realize that our 30-year relationship could and should be saved and cherished.  The divorce process really shook things up for us, and ended up having the amazing effect of strengthening our marriage.  It was a painful way to realize what we had and what we wanted, but the end result was a good one.

Kellyn and I renewed our wedding vows on November 5, 2010, during a second honeymoon on our favorite cruise ship...  and (this probably won't surprise you) I've got a funny story about that, too:

The renewal-of-vows ceremony on a cruise ship is not free.  So, there's a payment involved.  When we received the receipt for our payment, we realized that English was probably not the native language of the person that wrote it...  because the receipt stated that it was for our "renewal of vowels"!

The years go by pretty fast...  it doesn't seem like that long ago since I was a girl-crazy high school kid...  but now I'm a grandfather and I qualify for the senior discount on Carnival Cruises.  Where does the time go?!?

Speaking of my high school days...  something really big happened to me back then.  No, I'm not referring to that night in the early 1970's when I experienced both my first visit to a pizza parlor and my first kiss...  all on the same night!  I'm talking about my introduction to computers.

Paper tape as used for data storage in the 1970s A 2009 photo of Jim at his desk at homeIt was somewhere around 1972 and some big company donated an outdated computer to my high school.  The computer took up the better part of a small room, and basically didn't do anything other than very basic word processing tasks.  This was in the days way before hard drives and floppy disks...  when data was stored on paper cards or paper tape with holes punched in them.  What a thrill it was to be able to save a business letter on to paper tape and to reprint that letter again later!  I vividly remember that computer at the high school...  with the jumper wires to configure, and the dozens of replacement circuit boards to use when something blew up!  Lots of fun for a teenager in a world where the personal computer hadn't even been invented yet!   Ever since then, I've been a very computer-oriented guy.

These days, my life is made so much richer thanks to computers and the Internet.  I've met so many interesting people, and had so many great experiences as a result of our connected world.  Things have sure come a long way since that first computer I used in high school in 1972 with the data stored on paper tape with punched holes!

Speaking of computers...  when we moved to our dream house in Washington, one great perk was extremely high-speed Internet, thanks to Fiber Optic cables that run through our neighborhood.  I get upload and download speeds of over 800 mbps...  which sure makes it easier to do things on the Internet than it was back in the 1990's when we used to have to dial in with a modem!  Test your connection and see how your Internet speed compares to what I get.

Jim Zim with his Canon EOS 10D camera and L series lensI also appreciate great technology when it comes to photography.  I've actually owned eleven different digital cameras over the years...  and these days I'm using a Canon EOS 80D digital SLR camera as well as a waterproof Olympus.  Check out my photo gallery, where you'll see some of the best pictures I've taken with the various digital cameras I've had over the years.  A few years ago, I took all the best Cocker Spaniel photos I had ever taken and put them together in to what I call "my coffee table book".

The Canon EOS 80D that I use is really too much camera for most people.  If you're interested in spending the money to get a high quality digital SLR camera and you're wondering where the "sweet spot" is in the compromise between quality, features, and price...  I'm here to tell you it's in the Canon EOS Rebel T6i with the 18-135mm STM lens.  For me, price wasn't the big concern...  so I stepped up to the 80D.  But for most people, the T6i is the way to go.  Just make sure, if you buy a T6i, that you get the 135mm lens and not the cheap 55mm lens.

I am totally sold on Canon technology.  Besides the awesome digital SLR camera, I also use a Canon flatbed scanner for scanning prints, slides, and negatives...  and I have a Canon Pro-100 printer that has made some incredible 13x19" prints which I have on display in my house.  I'm also lucky enough to have a lot of wall space in my office at work...  so I've posted all sorts of cool pictures there, too...  all printed on my Canon printer at home.

One of the things I most appreciate about Canon digital SLR cameras is the high definition video they can capture.  They can shoot video in full 1080p resolution...  with quality as good as what I'm used to seeing from my blu-ray disc player.  I've had excellent results shooting video with the various Canon cameras I've had over the years.  For example, I used one of them to create my Cocker Spaniel grooming videos.

Perhaps the best example I can offer of a beautiful video I've shot with my Canon camera is this one from a 2014 cruise in Glacier Bay, Alaska:

Take a look at my YouTube page for more of my videos!

Jim with Cocker Spaniel puppies One of our American Cocker Spaniels I've had Cocker Spaniels in my life ever since I was a little boy.  I literally grew up with Cockers, and after Kellyn and I were married and had kids, it was only natural for us to add a Cocker to the family.  Over the years, we've had many Cocker Spaniels in the family, and even turned it in to a hobby of breeding Cockers in 1995.  I decided in 2010 that it was just consuming too much of my time and energy and that it was making it really difficult to get away on vacation...  so Kellyn and I retired from Cocker breeding at that time.  But we sure did have a lot of fun during the 15 years that we devoted to that little hobby!

Even though we don't breed puppies any more and our last Cocker passed away in 2018...  I still maintain our Cocker Spaniel web site at ZimFamilyCockers.com

I thought about shutting down the Cocker web site when we retired from breeding Cockers back in 2010...  but it's got a lot of good information on it that I want people to be able to find.  For example, Cocker Spaniels are very prone to getting painful ear infections.  Left untreated, they can eventually get so severe that it causes the dog to go completely deaf.  One of the most important things on our Cocker web site is a recipe for an extremely effective home made ear cleaning solution.  I want to make sure people continue to be able to find that information on my site...  it's one of my biggest contributions to the world!

For many years, we hosted an online Cocker forum that was incredibly popular.  The forum was a place for Cocker lovers to find each other and converse among themselves.  Basically, it was an online community of Cocker lovers.  Later we started up a Facebook group for our little community of Cocker lovers...  which ended up taking the place of the old forum.  We retired from breeding Cockers in 2010 but kept the online Cocker community going for many years after that... until finally in 2020 I turned it over to someone else to manage it so that I could focus on other interests.

In 2019, Kellyn came up with a brilliant idea that has really brought some life to things at our house!  Our house just was way too quiet and empty after our last Cocker passed away.  So, she contacted Woods Humane Society, let them know about our 15 years of experience raising Cocker puppies, and volunteered to foster litters of puppies for them.  They immediately jumped at the chance to get us involved, and in February of 2019 we got our first foster litter.  Take a look at this video that I made about it...

In April of 2019 we fostered our second litter!  This time it was Chihuahua puppies.  Here's a video about that litter...

Throughout 2019 we ended up fostering several different litters of puppies Woods Humane Society, and we enjoyed it a lot.  In 2020 we had our dream house built for us in Washington state, and one of the best things about the house is that it sits on a fully-fenced 1/2 acre lot...  perfect for a dog.  So, these days we're enjoying retired life in our dream house and we were able to find our dream dog...  Carli, who is of course, an American Cocker Spaniel.

Our tri colored American Cocker Spaniel, Carli

Jim Zim at 12 years old

2010 photo of Jim Zimmerlin

Something that my family likes to tease me about is the fact that I've had the same hair style for at least 50 years!

Compare a picture of me from 1969 with a picture of me in 2010, and you'll see that not a whole lot has changed...

Bald as a cue ball However, there was a short period of my life where I did actually have a completely different hair style.  The picture on the right, taken of me in the Spring of 2001, shows you what I looked like while I went through chemotherapy treatments.  Do you think I looked more like Kojak, Star Trek's Jean Luc Picard, or a neo-nazi skinhead?

Why chemotherapy?  In November of 2000 my doctor discovered a lump in my neck which turned out to be a cancerous tumor.  Lymphoma, to be exact.  You can read the full story here, and see some funny photos taken while I was sporting the bald head.  Thankfully, after my cancer treatments were completed, my hair came back and I look basically the same as before.  And don't worry...  the hair came back, but the cancer never did!

Seeing that bald-headed picture from my brush with cancer reminds me of a funny story from those days...

This particular funny incident happened right in the middle of that period where I was going through chemotherapy and had a completely bald head.  It was a scary period of my life...  worrying about how serious my cancer was, and enduring all the yucky side effects of chemo.  Lots of stress!  But one morning I woke up after a really good night of sleep and I literally had (temporarily) forgotten all of my troubles.  As I got up out of bed and walked in to the bathroom, I didn't have a care in the world...  it was as if my brain had been flushed clean overnight.  I had no thoughts of cancer treatments or any of the things (like the loss of my hair) that had happened to me in the previous few months.  Until I got in to the bathroom!  Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glance of the bathroom mirror and saw some bald guy!  It scared the hell out of me!  I think I may have actually let out a little yell!  I looked in the mirror and literally didn't recognize myself.  It was like looking at a stranger, for just a split second before I remembered I was going through chemotherapy and had lost my hair.  Sometimes I still laugh about it when I first walk in to the bathroom in the morning!

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