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My New Year’s foolslution this year was to re-gain my six-pack. So, I went out and started buying them, but they turned into a keg-belly, not a ripped torso. Odd. It seemed the more I tried the worse it got!

My self image was growing.....

My self-image was growing…..

Thing is, I’d wrestled most of my earlier years, beginning in second grade with my first official match in sixth and then on through high school.  I was flexible then, muscular for my age and quite successful at the sport( my entire lifetime record was 62ish wins and 2 losses). I had a six-pack then, and I’d never drank a single one! Go figure.

Being young has it's advantages....

Being young has it’s advantages….(Not me pictured.then or now..)

It’s April, and I’ve officially started to do yoga again daily, kicking in leg lifts and fifty stair push-ups as well. Who’d want to start in January!?!?! Ha! Anyway, it’s a start-moving from round to fit, maybe. I play Lisa Lynn Harp music as I workout every morning-love that music- but I have to say this repetitive tune thing I have going on drives my wife nuts, and now my dog scoots up the stairs to escape the morning barrage of lets feel good music, too.  Let’s face it, Shadow’s in shape at 1 and 1/2, and he’d rather be listening to squirrels chomping up in his jaws than me huffing on a mat.

But it’s all good, and since there’s ten thousand things I’d like to recommend, doing Yoga is one of them.

This is me leading a yoga session up at our Lake House-about four years ago.....sigh.

This is me leading a yoga session up at our Lake House-about four years ago…..sigh.

I started yoga in earnest at age 55 and did it nearly daily for seven years. The routine made me feel ten years younger and much stronger than the 54-year-old me I’d been when I started. Do yourself a favor-start any yoga routine that suits your fancy and stick with it to see what happens.

Random note(and picture):

Idea! It's a miracle I survived......

Idea! It’s a miracle I survived……

Robin and I would be first out in the water at Alexander Springs back in 1970ish.  Not sure, but it seemd Gators were sleeping with their faces pointed toward the spring until we disturbed them-they'd swim on down river....

Robin(my cousin) and I would be first out in the water at Alexander Springs* back in 1970ish. Not sure, but it seemed the Gators we often swam over were sleeping with their faces pointed toward the spring until we disturbed them-they’d swim on down river….I never felt in danger–hahahah…..So there are also disadvantages to being young.

So why did I ever stop doing yoga? Well,  one-off day easily leads to the next, and what once was time to do the routine becomes time to do other stuff. Plus, there’s ice cream, cakes, chips, crackers, spreads, jams, barbecue, not soda fountains, parties and those six-packs.

Not soda bars....

Not soda fountains….

It's really very simple-a person can work out or pass out....and then dream he's working out!!!! Wowowowo/.

It’s really very simple-a person can work out or pass out….and then dream he’s working out!!!! Wowowowo/.

In fact, when you compare the few things yoga does for a person-makes them strong, more fit, happier, thinner-to all the other reasons not to do yoga, well, it’s a no-brainer. Did I mention Football season and beer? And ice-cream cakes….the choice is simple.

I'm thinkin' this guy watched a few too many games.....

I’m thinkin’ this guy watched a few too many games…..

Find some simple stretches you like doing, and remember to hold your positions for 30 seconds. Don’t worry about how far down your hands go, or knees bend, just do what you can. Bend don’t break, that’s the rule. Quickly, the body regains its elasticity and a person becomes more flexible.

I spent Saturday at Alexander Springs snorkeling at my favorite Florida spring.

Ah--Alexander Springs....I'd like my cousins, etc. to one day see this place.

Ah–Alexander Springs….I’d like my cousins, and readers to one day see this place.

But I completely missed this! Jeez/Geeez...

But I completely missed this! Jeez/Ge’ez…

It was crowded, being Easter Weekend, but I couldn’t help notice one well chiseled young man who walked into the water up to his waist. He stopped, turned to face the beach head and started cupping water in both hands and pouring the water over his head and, yes, letting the water drip down across his six-pack. “What an a-hole,” I thought. It was as if he was anointing his body with water for all to see.”Show off,” I scoffed.

Now, if I can only get to look like that guy! Many think I’ve already 1/2 of his routine down with only one body to go.

They say every successful endeavor starts with a workable plan...I be alone and must think-

They say every successful endeavor starts with a workable plan…I must be alone; I have to think-

Cheers and Beers, and yoga, too. Good luck. And really , I might not have started this whole thing again if my sister hadn’t noted during her recent visit that I looked like a half-dead, soggy donut of a snail. So go out and challenge someone(should be someone you know)-do them the favor. And no, I am not a snail. My sister’s so off:-)

Franque23-

* I wrote about this spring before—-please enjoy!https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/heart-pine/

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

The Lake Bonaparte amp 2/1/2015

The Lake Bonaparte Camp 2/1/2015

Follow the road at the bottom of the first shot below that veers right until you pass one point, and then a second. Now you’ve reached our small nook of a bay, and past our bay around a third point is a large bay that forms the right side of the lake(right side of picture)-that’s called bull rush bay. .. go back to our small bay and move left and up a bit across the water and you’ll see an Island that looks like an inverted ‘T’…that’s Birch Island, the one my ex-brother-in-law owned for many many years until this year. Moving past that Island you’ll see way to the left and at the top of the picture, the outlet of the lake-that’s called Mud lake, and that’s where I most often fish….the fifth shot in this series is one Dale took in Mud lake.

the lake from above

the lake from above

no roads in sight....Lake Bonaparte-mid summer

no roads in sight….Lake Bonaparte-mid summer(not!)

same shot as above...different season.

same shot as above…as the ice moves in.

mud lake-the picture works right side up of upside down!

mud lake-the picture works right side up of upside down!

​In all, there’s 22 miles of shore line…and the lake is ninety feet deep(deeper) in places….When I was young, I was told that divers claimed the lake was 300 feet deep–but , I think invasive weeds have lessened the readings–Mud lake stays shallow–4 to 15 fifteen feet deep.

A yoga dock class,,, and my small fishing boat is behind us. We built the dock, our family/relatives in 2004, and now my sister has bought a party boat, so we will be redoing the dock in the next two years to allow for more docking space.

Yoga at the lake-fun times.

Yoga at the lake-fun times.

Our set of sixty steps down to the lake from our camp has a 1/2 way dock-seats, resting, great view….this shot of the sunset and Birch island out in the lake was taken from this place of tranquility…

Our docks face the sunset...The lake calms down to a glass top nearly every evening....

Our docks face the sunset…The lake calms down to a glass top nearly every evening….

These are the dangerous people…..some are bark eaters*…but I say they’re misunderstood. They mean no harm, and they don’t bite-not often.

But don't worry-you don't usually run into them all at once. And a lot of them sleep in.

But don’t worry-you don’t usually run into them all at once. And a lot of them sleep in.

Right now, I’m fishing through old shots you’ve seen if you read my blog(as if-right!)

Not in the lake......not up there.

Not in the lake……not up there. These big boys swim around with us down here in Florida.

It's hard to have fun up there.

It’s hard to have fun up there.

I've known some people up there for over 60 years!

I’ve known some people up there for over 60 years!

Others are gone, though they live through my memories, especially when I’m around the lake.

Time is a funny thing. For me, when I'm up at the lake, the days feel eternal, and way too short!

Time is a funny thing. For me, when I’m up at the lake, the days feel eternal, and way too short!

Ed and Chris had just returned from  Peru for a visit, while I stayed put dreaming of lake time.

Ed and Chris had just returned from Peru for a visit, while I stayed put dreaming of lake time.

Here’s two Morgan bark-eaters from way back!

For all I know, these two could be Vampires....(BTW--This subject, Vampires, draws over 2500 hits on the catalog of the library where I work!)

For all I know, these two could be Vampires….(BTW–This subject, Vampires, draws over 2500 hits on the catalog of the library where I work!)

Until my next visit….

I'll be dreaming about the lake.

I’ll be dreaming about the lake.

Sans the snow!

2004 vintage....white out!

2004 vintage….white out!

It’s been fun—-I’ll keep you posted with some new shots, later.

*Bark eaters are all explained(exposed) in a previous blog.-this one…..https://franque23.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-morgan-low-down/

Cheers and More.

Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

I’d almost think I had that double chin, cracked canyons around my eyes, a turkey neck gobblers would die for, and hair in my enlarging ears and elongating nose if I didn’t know better. My mirror’s so off.

Still, I decided to lose 30 pounds by April 1st of this year and misplace my beer. Not that I believe my mirror–oh, no-

Clearly, the simplest reason I can think of is the cause for my mirror’s mistaken image.  Any fool would realize that UFO’S had landed, broken into my house-kinda drifted through the walls like they do- and pumped one million tons of flab into my chin, neck and belly last night as I slept. Of course, there’s no trace of evidence(but for my body) that this dastardly deed took place since the blubber platoon from Mars mashed  any leftover lard they had into my ear lobes and sinking eye lids. And all for a stupid Holiday laugh! Some people/Greys will go to any distance…

 Mr. Idea man strikes again....

Mr. Idea man strikes again….

Idea! I’ve decided to change out my bathroom mirrors for fun house mirrors-that should have a drastic effect on those dang Space People pranks. Anyway, about those 20 pounds and beers I intend to lose by May 31st…

I’m passing up on my usual New Year Resolutions for this new one: lose 18 pounds by August or bust, and a beer or two can go. Why? My old tired and used up resolutions were like shooting for the moon-too impossible to keep. Speaking of shooting, my usual first go to New Year’s resolution, don’t shoot the neighbors, is getting riskier by the year, so much harder to keep, so it’s done, over, fini, kaput. The second one, quit crossing in the middle of the block unless the corner is, like, really far, and it’s raining or sorta cold, seems lame cause I am, at least I never make the corner. Not driving through too many yellow lights is just stupid, and my last resolution, no starting movies past midnight without getting popcorn and stuff ready first, is an easy work-a-round. A stale bag of chips left behind the couch works for stuff being ready. Roll the film please. NO! This year I’m up for a new me, and it all started with two pictures, and the mistaken image my mirror photo shopped on my face this morning…

First, I happened to find a picture  of me taken one thousand years ago-

It started with a picture of the ol' me....

My new, Improved New Year’s resolution started with finding a picture of the ol’ me….

Then, I saw a Holiday season picture taken of both of me this year!

Of course, you can't tell i"m wearing a tire around my middle-that's just for affect.

Of course, you can’t tell I’m wearing an inflatable tire around my middle under my shirt-that stomach bulge is just for effect, plus I’m a Gemini.

It was an easy shot to call. My wife’s brother and sister-in-law had arrived and I’d oozed myself down by my wife for the picture. You can tell my wife is hoping I don’t pick this moment to explode. I feel good about my chances while my in-laws seem less certain.  But, I’m saying-I can do this. 15 pounds by next September will be a piece of cake, or several that I’ve walked away from more often than not-but forget that part about losing the one-half beer. They say drinking one-half a beer is good for a person as long as they don’t break the bottle getting it.

Being in shape, losing weight, is all in the mind.

I am thin; I am thin; I am...

I am thin; I am thin; We are…

Most importantly, the whole premise of losing weight is an environmental issue. The trick is to not lose too much weight, since energy is never gained or lost but only converted. Lose too much weight and you’ve put that whole mess out there to run a muck -in a way, dieters trash up our environment with globs of invisible fat they lose, or all of that weight loss ripples through our society in other, more nefarious ways. Maybe, one dieter stops eating twelve pounds of chocolate every night and as a result some small chocolate factory goes bankrupt. The employees are let go, and one fired worker who’s driving like a madman to a bar  runs over your neighbor’s pet snake-that’s never good. Now, your enraged next door block mate may start believing the horns he sees on your head are real. See? Weight loss goes round and round and encircles us all.

The main catalyst to weight loss is relaxation.

This technique involves drinking eight glasses of wine first, then using those glasses as suction cups to drag the worrisome weight out of a person. Absolute genius.

This technique involves drinking ten glasses of wine first, then using those glasses as suction cups to drag the worrisome weight out of a person. Absolute genius.

When you think about it, next November is way far off, like my mirror, so who couldn’t lose 3 pounds by next November fifteenth?!?!?! Ha! And let’s not get nit-picky about my starting resolution to lose 30 pounds by whenever. 30 pounds or 3 pounds-there’s very little difference between the two, if any at all! Only a simple zero went missing from one number to the other, and zero is zip-nada-nothing, zilch! Ya can’t collect zero, or weigh it for that matter. And time is relative to, hmm, actually nothing. Anyway, this is why I suggest that true weight loss comes down to determination, a bunch of random numbers. uniquely distorted and romanticized self-images, plus a bit of fuzzy math.

One question keeps pounding my brain: is weight loss matter? Though, I’m dyslexic, confused, and a bad speller, so the question could be completely different, something like-does lost weight matter? I don’t know either way.

The great news is my resolution for 2015 is set. I’m losing three pounds by the night before next Thanksgiving, November 25th, period! There, I’ve written it* so there’s little chance I’ll be turning back on this resolution.

Free secret: this may be the easiest way to lose weight-

Pile family, neighbors, anyone you can find in front of you for picture moments......voila! The new, almost invisible you!

Pile family, neighbors, anyone you can find in front of you for picture moments……voila! The new, almost invisible you!

Franque23-Merry 2015!

*I never signed anything.
here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Frank sings the blues

Frank sings the blues

Death never leaks its plans to the press, but it always leaves a calling card. It’s completely unwanted, but people flirt with it all the time.

“Hello, Gerald.” Frank had the friendliest way of saying hello, and he did it all by voice inflection.

“Everything okay?” Of course, I knew it was. I called Frank at least once a month since he rented one of our places, but over the nine years I’d known him we’d both come to know we were friends. He’d played at my house for two parties, and we’d jammed at his place and mine. No one had a stronger blues voice than Frank*.

*http://blueslightning.com/

“Sure. I’m playing this weekend. We’re a lead off band on a big concert and the chickens are layin'”.

Frank loved those chickens-he had about twenty-five and had named them all. Pets and eggs; it’s all good. I can’t help but cheer-up when thinking about his Colonel Sander’s look, his beard and smile.

the man's eyes twinkles and his soul glowed.

The man’s eyes twinkled and his soul glowed.

Some say they’d like to die in their sleep while all too many times I’ve heard people say that at least a terminal diagnosis gives people a chance to say goodbye. Either way, death is never good company-it’s most like a monkey on the back of the living no matter how distracted we keep ourselves as we go about our business.

Fallen soldiers, friends, family, random shootings in schools, movie theaters and malls, all serve as constant reminders that death doesn’t block the sun or cast a shadow. It just comes to all of us in good time, and at the worst of times.

Frank  Whitenack was a friend of mine**-a good man who died too soon like so many. I’d met him nine years ago after he’d gone through a recent divorce. His two children, a son and daughter, were so young then, maybe three and six. Then, as now, I’m so thankful we could help this man.

Thing is, Frank had his ups and downs, but he never let that affect how he treated others, or fathered his children. His cell phone always answered, “Hello, this is Frank Whitenack of Blues lightning. Please leave a message, and if this is Jonathan or Andrea, your daddy loves you.”

Frank rolled the blues out on the porch of the house I'd raised my family in, and I know those ol' house timbers loved the tunes.

This picture is taken in front of the house where Dale and I raised our family. Frank loved that house as we had. He rolled the blues most Sundays out on the porch of the house -practice time- and I know those ol’ house timbers loved the vibes.

“I don’t care if I have to play for free-I’m gonna play my music.” He made this promise to me eight years ago, and kept it. One thing I loved about this man is how he self-actualized his dreams. He stayed focused, and worked to make them come true.

No one worked harder at getting out there or being seen and heard than Frank. He’d play during a blue moon to mice on mars if he could book the date, and all for the money his hat might collect. His voice  was always on target from the get-go, and slowly, over the years, he emerged as a classic blues guitarist. The money started to come in; his first and only album was just the start. A serve case of hydro eczema on my finger tips eventually kept me from making music with him but we’d agreed on a course: I’d write books; he’d make albums. It was fun sharing our progress with one another. And, as bad as being robbed of my finger-tips is after playing guitar for forty years, losing Frank is as painful today. I just have to deal.

Frank never smoked; he didn’t drink. He had diabetes he managed well, but sometime four days ago things got complicated and after his short hospital stay, I got the news. Isn’t it odd how so much is going on all the time in our world with work, family, fun, or not, bills and appointments, but still this all can turn empty in an instant? Hollow time. Heavy air. Done and past. Over.

We’d made plans. Oh yeah, we were gonna lay down a few originals soon-no later than by the first of the year-that was our promise to each other.  Death has slapped us in the face with an abrupt end to a friendship that neither of us saw coming. It’s tough, this thing called life. You know, flat out Frank was a diamond of a man, and never in the rough, but always well polished.

Missing, hurting, plans turned sour, I hope Franks’ passing is worse for us than it is for him. I like to think there’s a peace to be found in death for those who pass, that there’s a light to follow when it happens to us, and that Heaven is now enjoying the best blues it’s ever heard. If that can be true, Frank will find a way to make it so.

Peace my Friend-I’m thinking an A chord works best, here. It’s the key  the universe makes as it hums along, and you fit in so well…Me? Rust is what I feel. Just when the world needs a tune-up, you leave us. Dang it, and worse.

Death, you have a crappy calling card.

Gerald-franque23.

** Dave Van Ronk, a classic Blues singer, recorded, He was a friend of Mine, around 1964. Frank’s voice had the same perfect blues quality-he would’ve killed killed this cover, hands down…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=754sRFIHIrA

links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

No slick-trick words here. I’m freakin’ sixty-five.

In truth, sixty-five feels ancient to me.  I see what I see and trip over the rest. Oh fart, sixty-five. WTHeck?!?! Great, I need softer seats and a truck lift to get me up out of them.

I didn’t start this way……

That's me towing my sister and brother.....

That’s me towing my sister and brother…..

And, who put my feet way down there? People really need to have expanding arms for pickin’ up stuff or for tying shoes? What was God thinking? And speaking of God, it’s no secret I’m a Peter Pan sort of fellow. Enough already with the aging crap, splat, whoops, zonk-hit my head again, wham didn’t see that branch, lost my remote, keys, wallet, address book, bills, where’s my coffee cup? If I find my glasses on top of my head one more time…..And now my mind is going, maybe, but how would I know?

Here’s a tip: 65 is ,like, twice as old as 32 and 1/2.

Dang, my life has either gone by quickly, or so slowly my childhood seems like four lifetimes ago. Of course, I remember everything about my life, but for what I’ve forgotten. Here’s a challenge for you if you are over fifty….or not. Try to remember everyone you’ve kissed! Ha! I took that challenge and spent several days remembering people I’d forgotten about when I’d first started making my list! I finally stopped when I got to number 3, whew!!!!To be fair, I left out teachers, girls who I’d tackled first, then kissed, all my pets and my sister’s dolls. So the number could be much larger, anyway….

This isn't me, and the shot has no business being in this blog, but for hte fact that this guy's holding a perch, a fish rarely seen on our lake in the past twenty years.....

This isn’t me, and the shot has no business being in this blog, but for the fact that the guy’s holding a perch, a fish rarely seen in our lake during the past twenty years…..

Okay, this is me, hoping to catch a perch about twenty years ago, before I knew I'd stepped off Never Never land.

Okay, this is me, hoping to catch a perch about twenty years ago, before I knew I’d stepped off Never Never land.

Since I’m dyslexic, I could be 56, not 65; that would be better. Or, as my wife pointed out, when caught doing 65 MPH in a 55 MPH zone just tell the cop that 65 is the new 55. That should do it. Trouble is, I’d still get the ticket and people still say I’m 65! I don’t have regrets; I’ve lost them, too. I wander late at night from room to out in the street then back to my room looking for them-gone! Like my PJ’s!

Here’s another thing. At twenty I knew ton’s of stuff. Now, I could make a turnip look smart*!* Example: at twenty I walked(marched) for a program called, Food for Peace-one that promised to drop tons of food for starving South Americans, missing the people of course, and why not!?!?! Wheat was stored by the tons beneath America’s Midwest in salt tunnels while hard-working people were starving! It all seemed so simple!!! Turns out, I read that the food drop happened. It bankrupt the local farmers by supplying free food. The farmers in turn started raising pot as a cash crop-what else could they grow? Then, they got sprayed with paraquat by our government.  Perfect; right?

“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
― John Wilmot

Some things weren't as simple as I'd thought.

Some things weren’t as simple as I’d thought.

So at twenty I knew what was right. Now, at sixty-five, I’m not certain there is a right but for FOX News, the Republican PR channel.

I guess, to be fair, I can say this picture looks right..(thanks for it , Dale)

I guess, to be fair, I can say this picture looks right..(thanks for it , Dale)

I spent many times last year, during my 64th year, thinking about the Beatle song, When I’m Sixty-Four. It’s hard to say how many times I performed that song, the hours of practice it took to get it right-  there’s no way to calculate the poundage of pot I smoked with my buddies listening to the tune back in the days I can’t remember. Thing is, I do remember thinking back then that sixty-four was near the end, a dead ringer year for what old age would be. That age was so far off I couldn’t imagine what had prompted the Beatles to write about failing eyesight, people who miss their face with their spoon or slobber on about grandchildren. Sixty-four year olds had more than one foot in the grave, their entire being was dumped in the hole. Those old people clutched with both hands to the lip of their grave hoping the digger’s shovel would break.

To sum up, there isn’t a single year under sixty-five that is as old. Not 35, 45, 52 or even 64. Nope, all of those years are younger than this squat ol’ sixty-five in your face year.

Personally, as I’ve mentioned to my wife many times, I don’t intend to age at all. People have sometimes said, “Grow up!” to me. I say: fu*k you, but in a very nice tone of voice and in different words like, “nah, I like being, acting and thinking young.”  I figure there’s plenty of time for rigamortis to set in while we’re in the grave, why push that up into the living years? Or maybe I know a quote to use as an answer:

“The worst old age is that of the mind.”

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) British essayist. Blah, blah blah….

I try to remember this whenever I make a jack-ass out of myself by acting 18 at 65….

“It takes a long time to become young.”

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spanish painter.

Hey, the quotes about staying stupid in old age could go on forever, why can’t I go on forever? There’s got to a be a loop-hole somewhere in this aging screw-up called life.  So here’s to 65! You take it , please!! I’m staying twenty-five. Okay, eighteen-would you give me sixteen?

16 was a very good year.

16 was a very good year.

I’m off—marching/sailing towards never land, hopefully.

Someone's in the know

Someone’s in the know

Have a good one, whatever year it is!

Franque23ish.

(Pssst- someone added a comment from their own blog with this link-

http://quintilluspollux.wordpress.com/–it is very funny.press the play button..enjoy!)

*!*This is a quote from book three of the Avatar Magic series I’m writing. Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are both on kindle now.

Book one:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0NYO80/

Book two:     http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXMIIOK

 

 

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