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 As my dear friends, Marc and Ali, named it, today is Blursday. It’s not a day like another, it is the other day.

It’s all about retirement in a locked down Nation full of people equipped with the skill of the steel ball that’s trapped in a pin-ball machine.

A Pinball Language Glossary - The Morning Call

Work life stopped and America went on tilt. Yikes, “Mask or ventilator; mask or ventilator… hmmmm, so many choices.”

coronavirus, COVID-19, ventilators | National Post

Thing is retirement can bring many things but time is not one of them! Heck, I’m retired and don’t have much time left! My fuse is burning fast as the clock ticks double time while I dribble on my shirt what food doesn’t manage to get down my sporting turkey neck.

Vultures wear stop watches as they circle above.

Vincent van Gogh - Wikiquote

Something’s flying overhead so I’m wearing my hat….

Mail persons knock to see if they still need to deliver to my address.

Creepy Door Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

The good news is a Wednesday morning can feel like a Saturday and a Monday like Friday. Tuesday usually sucks retired or not. Tuesday has very little to say about anything; it’s not Friday, no better than a Monday and  not related to any weekend at all whether you’re moth balled or under the work master’s lash. Nope, I’m telling ya, I’ve looked at Tuesday from both side now and Tuesday’s a dump of a wannabe day. Maybe this is why I picked Tuesday to post this glob—what could go wrong? Or worse….actually, it’s Blursday.

Adam Lupton's paintings show the passing of time as a disorienting ...

Anyway…

While working, I never answered the home phone when at home. I told people to text me because, well, I don’t text.

Now? I answer so many calls from travel agents offering deals that might kill me if I go on them I feel I know the solicitors personally. “Hey, you’re the person who offered me that trip to see Head Hunters last week aren’t you? Well, hows the kids?” Okay, honestly, I feel sorry for anyone calling trying to sell travel packages right now… “Hey! We have a great deal for you driving from Gainesville to  Orlando in your own car! Free coupons on the interstate at the interstate stop!!!”

Holiday From Hell Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from ...

Okay, no ones going anywhere if you live in Florida unless you’re extremely suicidal or just count on your co-pilot, God, a bit much.

Life couldn’t be better for me. Telemarketers call all day long and some campaigning phone calls are starting to light up our dial. Everyone is so sweet. The Fed Ex man rings the bell and stares as I answer wondering if I’m dead or alive. My dog sounds viscous and I swear the delivery people look like they’d rather be attacked than to have to stand near me for another minute.

I stopped by a take out window and the food nearly flew in my face as I signed the receipt  Alfred E. and drove off.

Seriously, I have a friend who is a grave digger part time. Does Randy think this might be some sort of bonanza year?

Argentine city digs hundreds of graves amid pandemic even as curve ...

I mean, I guess there’s a bright side to even in the worst happenstance. Like I’m on the track and that train’s coming but my wife divorced me, I’m about to lose my house, I have covid-19 , syphilis and I think a coral snake just bit me, the Sahara dust full of pathogens is upon us and the hurricane season is here…maybe, just sit tight and wait for that train? BTW, why are trains in America never on time? In Japan, where they outlawed suicide, the trains are always on time? So, what’s up with that?

Here’s to the Blursday’s of retirement and frankly, my dear, I’m hoping for a hell of a lot more of them. I don’t care how blurry.

Franque23 is retired and continually never bored. In truth.. I’m Lovin it… Cheers.

 


( some pictures enlarge by clicking…like the papaya tree.. Oh my)

Dale wants to know why I count everything? Well, clearly I was once an Australian Shepherd—she must not know?

Anyway, I am a counter; I count on good luck, good friends, good times, good weather and good reads. The beautiful thing about being an optimist is I’m never disappointed. Life is a roller coaster and every bottom leads to the top of the next plateau—that”s what I count on.

But what could this have to do with these 48 tomatoes in our kitchen today? (There’s a few more you can’t see…really about 61 in all.)

Well, that’s simple. A few weeks ago I counted over 314 tomatoes in our garden and hoped the crop would make it—note: I refuse to count cherry tomatoes. Anyway, the tomatoes started becoming randomly ripe here or there without rhyme or reason throughout the garden. In that the plants are often over 6 feet tall, I had to hunt for tomatoes as if they were Easter eggs.  Eventually, after boiling down about 31 tomatoes to freeze into 3 or 4 quart baggies of sauce per day, I think the tomato bunny is leaving my yard.

Today’s pick included a 17 green beans, a mess of collard greens and about 18 1/2 tomatoes.

However, please note the six large brown bags on the table behind today’s hunt. These bags are the secret to reaping in ripe tomatoes in Florida’s early heat and before the 4,129* bugs here that use infrared spyware and well coordinated attack plans can sting the fruit…Dang, I dislike everyone last one of them…(NOTE: for the first time in, no joke, 42 and 1/2 years of gardening in North Florida, I haven’t seen but two fruit stinging insects in my garden! I’m not sure if this is due to the air quality improvement, the normal season we are having weather wise here for the first time in ten and 1/4 years or random luck. But, for whatever the reason, I’m getting worried about not seeing the insects I hate to see… so I’m going to a shrink about this,)…

This is our first child and my wife, Dale, back in 1982 in our Micanopy home. The garden is about 27 feet left of her.

Bonus picture: this papaya grew as a volunteer from our compost I spread last August. It’s about 25 feet tall; so far, it has had 33 papaya’s on it. In all, 17 papaya’s grew in the garden from our compost but I transplanted the others thinking, “Who needs 17 papaya’s growing in a veggie garden?” Good thing. Apparently the trees live up to five years.

Anyway,,, back to those 6 brown bags—they held 56 (plus three rotten) tomatoes in different stages of ripening and four papayas… So, the deal is to pick most of the tomatoes in the garden as they just start to ripen, especially if the tomato has splits or rings on its top which means they’re likely to split open or rot on the vine if you leave them outside. There’s a trick to this picking called timing, but why go into that when your mind is already blown by the  128 tomatoes I’ve made into sauce and frozen in 18 baggies so far? Plus, every recipe leaves something out.

Above: 73 tomatoes plus three rotten ones.

The three rotten ones….

Here’s the fifty-six tomatoes from the brown bags.

Of the 56 tomatoes in the bags, 36 were ripe.

It can take up to four or five days for tomatoes pulled from the garden less than green but turning white or red in spots to ripen in the bags. I check them every day as one that goes bad in the bags makes a mess. Some tomatoes may ripen in one to two days,,, it all depends on how ripe they are when you pick them.

I hope this helps. But here’s the thing: you don’t need hardly any space at all to grow tomatoes. You can grow them in pots on a balcony if that’s what you have to use. Or, since tomatoes are the best thing coming out of just about any garden, if you have a 3 foot wide, ten or 15 foot long space that gets at least 1/2 day sun, dig that soil up. Add good soil, put up a straight fence down the middle of that row supported well by stakes that are at least four feet high. Now, buy 9 starter tomatoes from Lowes (if you only have a ten foot row–one planted every 3 feet on either side of the fence) and plant them. Be sure you have a watering source… hose, sprinkler… something….

This type of set-up might yeild you 100 tomatoes…!?!?

One more thing,,, stay away  from Big Boy or Better Boy tomatoes if planting in Florida. They’re size is spectacular to see but the top ridges in these varieties tend to split open in Florida’s heat.  Plant around Feb. 15th or August 15th in Gainesville and cover if we get a weird cold night or two.

And, if you have a backyard, plop a pool in it if you can—there’s nothing like a swim after a day of picking 18 and 1/2 tomatoes.

Cheers from tomato land.

Franque23 is counting on you.

*I will admit to having never counted the insects…maybe.

 


(some picture enlarge when clicked , others don’t) ..working on this.

Hippies, who needs them? Imagine, all stoned and thinking we shouldn’t hate anyone for their color of skin, that pot should be legal and that war should end—a bunch of crazy losers, right?

And Hippies believed women were equal to men, and if they didn’t want to wear a bra, okay…. just crazy stuff…right?

I was home on Christmas break about 1970 watching the Nixon/Nam reports with long hair that reached my shoulders or more. I was a musician at heart and singing the protest songs when I could, but my dad was a staunch Nixon supporter…basically, I was an alien in my own home ideologically, but Dad never leaned on me; Dad gave me space.

As lost I was in those struggles to right the wrongs of humanity I felt sure were the savior of mankind, I never once noticed how much my dad had given me without the back of his hand. No, Dad, to my unsuspecting delight had given the love of flowers, the birds, the trees and love of life to me.  I never knew…

I’d hauled in a gardenia bush for Dad from outside and in upon the season while we lived on Long Island because Dad was crazy. Oh my gosh…that planter got to be a hundred pounds and the plant filled a ten by 8 high room on the window side….What on earth…?

Likewise, Dad had those mysterious asparagus patches…those were poison if eaten—I knew.

His basic replica of mid west apple orchards stood in our 1/4 acre back yard to torture me with the picking… but, I admit, I ate about 4 apples per day at least.

Now, of course, Dad is long gone. The last time I held his hand was in 2001…He passed as I sat near by laughing about old times with my sister and mom. In a second, he died.

 

Now, I grow a gardenia we inherited when we bought our home in 2000. The bush is a monster… about ten feet long and 6 feet high, at least… this year we have had over 300 blooms on it…

I’ve no secret about this bush…it just grows,,, but maybe our neighbor’s friendly chicken, Lucy , who loves to live underneath it can’t hurt?

It makes a great way to reach our front door…I always say “hello” to this bush because, yeah, I love the plant.

In fact, Dad taught me to not only notice flowers, the roses and planting he had around our yard on Long Island, he taught me to love them as he loved me. There was something huge about my Dad I never really understood but somehow took inside.

I’d like to think that all the prejudices that passed so easily among white Americans born in 1911 as he was have not stuck to me. Times have to change. I think I’ve shed those bad marks and raced ahead with the good points. Certainly, the love of flowers has bloomed within me…Go ahead, ask the flowers in our yard who I say hello to as they bloom…they will tell you.

The shrimp plant will spread and fall to the ground unless you stake it—butterflies of all kinds and hummingbirds love it.

There’s nothing like taking a early spring drive out to Alachua north of Gainesville to see the roadside flowers the county hasn’t insanely mowed down:-0

This year, Alachua didn’t mow roadside flowers and as a result there was about 5 miles of beautiful flowers along 331 north see as we drove by…

Here, at home, I plant marigolds along our garden fence line and in the garden to help with aphids…but dang, if the birds didn’t help me plant this beautiful Sunflower!

We just love flowers here.  And the red, single hibiscus, though not as flashy as other hibiscus, is a strong, reliable and hearty bloomer.

There’s nothing like having a papaya volunteer out of the compost we spread in our garden launch twenty five feet high…

yummmm papaya…

I really don’t know if Dad liked papaya… but he would have loved all of this…

Thanks to Dad, I do know how to garden. It was a torturous lesson back then while 14 years of age,,,, but how could I know it would lead me all my life? Dad’s can give us so much when they just do take the time.

It’s been a great year here in North Florida for growing a garden. I think we have seen normal weather patterns for our area for the first time in ten years! Odd.

I have to go; Shadow wants to run after the ball.

And then swim in the pool

You know, energies, knowledge and love, all of it transfers many times in ways we don’t know. Dad, thanks for everything…and for those living in Alachua county who want to grow food, I will come help you do it…

It’s about loving life. So thanks Dad, for all that you hated, you taught me how to love so much more. Born in my time, you would’ve been a hippie. I feel certian.

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 


 

Here’s some interesting tidbits on PBS…. The Chronicle of Philanthropy  did a study in 1994  that found PBS ranked 11th among 100 of the most popular and credible charity or non-profits in the US. More,  38.2% of Americans over the age of 12 choose “love” and “like a lot” when given a chance to rate PBS.

More……when PBS.org went on line by 2013 its traffic had risen from a starting audience of 2 million to a quarter-billion! That surpassed CBS, ABC and NBC web sites!

PBS has won more Webby awards than any other media company in the WORLD!

Trump asks in his budget to cancel government funding for PBS? Why? It’s recently circulated that when Winston Churchill was asked by Parliament to cut funding from the arts during World War ll he replied, “Then what are we fighting for?” Thing is, Snopes rates this  quote as fake news, but the point remains well taken. Who wants a society void of the Arts, the Humanities, social welfare security and accessible education and  health care?

It’s important to understand that PBS is not solely run by government funding, but has a huge donation based backing from working Americans, businesses and from corporations world-wide. Added to this, our government is meant to help provide American’s services we want, like PBS and the postal system to name two.

Our government is not a business based enterprise charged with making money off the backs of our citizen’s preferences. No, like the U.S, postal system that was never meant to make money but to cost money while providing American’s with mail service, PBS is a non-profit that provides many American’s with a well deserved service.

America is all for one and one for all. Thereby, if so many citizens enjoy the services rendered via PBS then it is reasonable that some monies from the government’s tax collection be used to keep the service up and running.

I say to our government-relax, fund PBS and thank God Social Security checks can still come in the U.S. Mail!

One more little point…..I’ve long heard the notion that PBS is a liberal based broadcast-nothing could be further from the truth. Show’s that talk about global warming are not points but discussions, many  try to be factually based though opinionated. Here’s the deal—if the right did think global warming was true and the Left didn’t, PBS would still run those programs. Get it?

Just because PBS may run programs you find offensive, too liberal for your liking, or just plain wrong doesn’t make the station liberal based. No, most times PBS shows are informative with regard to the facts as stated by science, whether those facts be right or wrong.

The bottom line on PBS: If Democrats everywhere started pooping in the streets, PBS would air shows about it and may even present ideas based on facts about how unhealthy this habit was for America—no matter how much stink they got from some segments of our society because pooping on streets may be healthy for our run-off ground water and good for the economy.

PBS doesn’t lean left or right, but merely presents points of interest in ways that are most often educational, and American’s love their PBS stations….

Them’s the facts. There are no alternative facts about it. None, zip-zero, nada, no how, anything left to say than Trumps’ call to defund one of America’s most popular TV shows is a wrong way turn on a dead-end street.*

Click-off for now.

Franque23.

*2017-President Trump’s budget slashes support for funding of NPR, PBS and public radio stations …

 

 


If you read on you’ll realize we are all in the same boat on this Mexican deal-crowded-cruise-ships

The President’s idea to add a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to finance the Great Wall of America doesn’t really fly with me-not so much…Why? Well, if you’ll lift a glass with me we can get on to that. sombrero

I get the feeling that most American’s are in the same dark I am in when it comes to understanding the actually workings between Mexico and America. We hear or read each day about the drug cartels and illegals crossing our border, but what else goes on between America and Mexico?

It turns out the flow of goods and services between Mexico and America are Huge.

America and Mexico  interchange 1.6 billion dollars worth of trade everyday! (2015 stats) See? That’s a bit of pocket change. On the world-wide stage Mexico is America’s third largest Import/Export partner.

I keep thinking about the idea of building a wall between us and our third largest trade partner. Honestly, I’d no idea! But, maybe, it’s important to see what we trade back and forth? I mean it wouldn’t hurt the US if Mexico’s major export  to us was, say, Twinkies, right. Don’t get me wrong, I loved these as a kid, but I could’ve lived without them.

This brings us to a quick run down of what actually passes hands between America and Mexico…

Here’s a short list of what the US imports from Mexico

  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: vehicles ($74 billion), electrical machinery ($63 billion), machinery ($49 billion), mineral fuels ($14 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($12 billion).

U.S. imports of agricultural products from Mexico totaled $21 billion in 2015, our 2nd largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories include: fresh vegetables ($4.8 billion),other fresh fruit….

  • ($4.3 billion), wine and beer ($2.7 billion), snack foods ($1.7 billion), and processed fruit & vegetables ($1.4 billion).

Hmmm…I like fruit and I drive to stores to buy fruit. Wait!?!?! Does this list “2.67 billion per year in wine and beer!” See? Screwing this trade up just isn’t gonna get it for me.feature-mexican-beer-tecate-modelo-dos-equis-vitoria-ambar

There’s something about this Great Wall /Tax Mexican imports 20% that doesn’t quite fit.cocktail-dogs-two-funny-drinking-cocktails-bar-beach-club-party-ocean-view-45230354

Here’s a short list of what America exports to Mexico

  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: machinery ($42 billion), electrical machinery ($41 billion), vehicles ($22 billion), mineral fuels ($19 billion), and plastics ($17 billion).
  • U.S. exports of agricultural products to Mexico totaled $18 billion in 2015, our 3rd largest agricultural export market. Leading categories include: corn ($2.3 billion), soybeans ($1.4 billion), dairy products ($1.3 billion), pork products ($1.3 billion), and beef products ($1.1 billion).

So if all this back and forth were to be disrupted it seems a few workers might be out jobs in the States… Actually, to be specific, 1.1 million American workers are employed solely in providing the goods and services we export to Mexico…This seems like a lot of jobs, a lot of mom’s and dad’s livelihoods depend on trade with Mexico. Should we let the building of the Great Wall between our two country’s screw this up? Plus, er, there’s that wine and beer thingy stat.

One more I’m the most interesting man in the world thought—

Isn’t that Super bowl thing coming up, ya know, the one where American’s consume enough wine and beer to sink the world? Can we just maybe put off this Great Wall add 20% to cost of goods and drinks from Mexico for about another 100 years? Let’s re-think this deal.

Maybe we should think about taking another course?

Maybe we should think about taking another course?

Okay, one more idea or two. I’ve got the nagging feeling that our President’s main attraction to building this Great Wall of America is that it will stand as a testament to his Presidency whether it works or not. AND–when Paul Ryan says the Congress can find a way to pay for this wall isn’t he really talking about our tax dollars paying for it? It doesn’t matter what name the Congress gives the funding, right-it’s still our money paying for it. ”

McConnell estimated it(the Wall) will cost $15 billion at most — he cited a range of $12 billion to $15 billion.” (Other agencies estimate the Wall to cost 25 billion.)

Here’s one bottom line-when Trump manages to have Mexico call off their meeting with him today I think about running out and buying a truck load of Corona’s, Dos Equis, Negran Modelos and a few Tecates’ and Sols. Heck, I’ll be saving at least 20% on each bottle!

Can we maybe rethink this Great Wall idea? What do you all say?

Cheers…

Franque23


It's a good time to appreciate one another.

It’s a good time to appreciate one another.

I have to say that John Lennon’s song, So This Is Christmas- War is Over, often runs  on the background hard drive of my brain during the holiday time. The promise of peace looms in my soul somewhat like those three-day work weeks my generation was told we’d live to see, and all due to technological advances that were to come.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

At times things don’t work out as planned.

Today, this glob writer has much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for readers in 82 countries who have clicked in almost 6 thousand times this year to check out what’s banging thru my head on a weekly basis. I have a home, and a lake home, a beach home and rentals to boot, and all from once having hitch-hiked 30 miles to a flea market with all the wares I had to sell on my back. I could go back to even worse times in my life, but I won’t. The simple truth is I’ve been lucky to live the American dream-moving from very little to something that is more than enough. And I have good friends. My job? Being a children’s librarian is about as good as it gets, but at 67 I can actually see the switch on the light at the end of the tunnel so, with luck, I’ll retire someday too soon for me. I’ve five books written. three are on Kindle and a fourth is about to come out -if I can just let go-and that’s all a blast.

This year could go head to head with any other I've had and come out well.

This year could go head to head with any other I’ve had and come out well.

It’s difficult at times for me as an American to realize much of the world’s people don’t have enough to live. It’s easy to look away.

It’s easy to forget the Lakota and other tribes still stand in freezing temperatures hoping to stop the pipeline.

I try to envision Isis truly being stopped, or morphed into a place where negotiation is possible. I still dream of massive food airlifts like the kind America ran in WW II being broadcast throughout the middle East as a huge international peace effort. Food, not bombs. I’d rather police use tranquilizer bullets when shooting people who are running away or held upon the ground by other police. Of course, our law people need to be safe as they go about their job of helping our society function.

At this point, American politics is a mosh pit of speculation. Is a boom or bust coming? Will the next four years or so be a drat splat dump we will wish to flush away in the future, or will these coming years be an awakening of a whole new kind of world-wide détente?Is prosperity our future?

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Some things are certain; the sand-hill Crane still fly south in the winter; migrations continue all over the world. Species extinctions are too prevalent and the sea levels are rising. Whether or not we have global warming, we all know CO2 emissions are not the way to go for the future of Mankind-so why the debate about global warming when the issue is emissions/pollution? Sometimes, I wonder-what’s up with the misdirection.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health - contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health – contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

In the end for now, we did just have Christmas, and we can hope for a happy New Year. Let’s hope together that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Let’s hope those who want to move forward in a kind, loving way that ‘s good for all species, the Earth and it’s people win the day.

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

So many of us pray for World Peace.

So many of us pray for World Peace.

Kindness, Truth, Justice and Life has to prevail. We can make it so-that’s the great part.

I looked different at 23 than I do today at 67, but I feel about the same inside, my hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

23 doesn’t look like 67, but I feel about the same today inside as I did back then. My hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

Peace. It's a wonderful bloom.

Peace. It’s a wonderful bloom. Let’s plant that flower.

Franque23 hopes you’ll forward this glob. Cheers

Thanks for being you.

Thanks for being you.


Owning a pool in Florida can bring on a number of problems…

but we haven't had this one, yet.

But we haven’t had this one, yet.(We have had baby ducks…?)

Our in-ground pool isn’t covered, and it features lots of plantings around it as well as over hanging orange trees and palms….therein lies the rub.

lots of plants around the pool

lots of plants around the pool

It’s about the ton of sand in my backyard swimming pool. Ours is an in-ground, standard 10,000 gallon one, and it gets plenty of use. Five grandchildren from ages eight on down have finessed the beginning art of swimming in these waters, and our 2 and 1/2 year old Catahoula Leopard has invented one thousand ways to dive bomb the heck out of the place.

dive bomb 101

Dive bombing,  101

family crowds

family crowds

About that dog-of course-it wasn’t always this way. No, the first year of his life or so he’d run around the perimeter of the pool refusing to so much as touch a toe in the water. Then, the damn broke and now I’m thinking he’s about to learn how to scale the privacy fence so he can take a dip when we’re not around.

And sometimes the our five grand children, the dog and us makes it a bit crowded

And sometimes our five grand children, the dog and us makes it a bit of a crowd

What all this means is sand-the four letter word of pools. Sure, I clean the pool often, skimming, vacuuming, changing filters, whatever, but still, the dreaded sand build up has happened over time. It all makes me glad I don’t have to clean the bottom of Lake Bonaparte up north.

You're hired, fella!

You’re hired, fella!

We have to care for the lake, but not clean it.

Anyway, about the sand at the bottom of your pool, the stuff you vacuum continually and watch as it seeps through your filter basket, your skimmer, your whatever to return back into the water. There’s hope.

simply leave the keys in your front door and walk away--there, you're done cleaning the pool.

Simply leave the keys in your front door and walk away–there, you’re done cleaning the pool.

let the dog have it.

Let the dog have it.

I’d watched that fine sand dissipate and stream through my cleaning basket long enough. This year, the year of the Meme, was gonna be different. download (4)

I immediately called the local pool supply stores or went in person to ask what could be done? Could I sell the fine sand and retire with the profit? Beside the mention of back washing sand filters, something the salespeople talked about as though it was the kiss of death that would , in fact, never work, I came away from my quest with one thought in mind: nothing was gonna help solve this problem.

What to do?

What to do?

I turned to U-tube video’s and began to read links and comments on the subject- that’s always comical. One guy writes,,,,’Problem with sand? Try vacuuming your pool, duh!’ The response was something like: ‘Hey nut-ass, if people could vacuum up the sand, why would this thread exist-you dart brain.’

After laughing, I got back to work and watched several really stupid ideas like buying one million dollars worth of stuff that might do the job. Then, THENNN, I came across this video put out by a Zen like foreign Kung-fu guy. Here was some soft spoken whack-job telling me not to spend anything, just about, and the sand would be gone… Ha haha hahahah….yeah-no, was my first reaction.

taped on hose to rod; floaty cut off for siphon tip end---

Taped on hose to rod; floaty cut off for siphon tip end—

It was only desperation that lead on to re-me watch the, ‘I can solve this sand problem free’ guy.’ Here’s the link.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVusj7KjnI0

I followed his brain dent idea to a tee. Riggin’ up my hose, I first selected the length of hose I thought I’d need to do my pool-it’s seven feet deep on one end. I cut part of a floaty off and taped it to the hose siphon end.

I cut about a six inch piece off

I cut about a six inch piece off

and taped it to the end of hte cut hose to make the suction end...this way I could push it against the bottom of the pool without hurting the  fiberglass.

and taped it to the end of the cut hose to make the suction end…this way I could push it against the bottom of the pool without hurting the fiberglass.

Because I hadn’t paid attention in kindergarten, it took me almost two hours to drop this hose and contraption rigged vacuum end into the pool so it became water full-this was, in some ways, the hardest part of the operation….I had to wait until all the air bubbles were out of the entire length of hose.

Two days later, I had the time to try the crazy free idea out. I screwed on a hose pressure  nozzle onto the the submerged  hose end opposite the rigged up siphon end while it was all still all underwater….I lifted that nozzle end up and out of the pool,,,and dragged the hose out so this nozzle end was lower than the surface level of my pool. I unscrewed the nozzle and the hose started to siphon water.

well, shoot, you can't see how much sand came out of the pool--it was about a pound

well, shoot, you can’t see how much sand came out of the pool–it was about a pound

In a delirious shock, I ran to the pool and grabbed the rod I’d tapped to the siphon end of the contraption. Slowly, the key word, I started to run the siphon over the fine sand and it vanished up the hose and out into the yard. S-L-O-W, that’s the task at hand….move too fast and that fine sand you’re trying to siphon up merely turns to dust and escapes into the pool water around and away from your siphon. So yeah, It took me three hours and about no money to completely eradicate my pool of sand…..

Weeeee, time to dive in!

Weeeee, time to dive in!

How long will this last?

It lasts at least a day. I waited this long to write this glob.

Patients is key

Patients is key

when the time's right-dive in...

when the time’s right-dive in…

Meanwhile, I’ve kept my dog out of the pool and I’m pretty sure he’s called several shrinks in the area, even the dog catcher to see if anything can be done about me.

 but hey, for free but for time and work, my once sand crusted covered pool bottom is super clean....

but hey, for free but for time and work, my once sand crusted covered pool bottom is super clean….

I mean Super Clean....

I mean Super Clean….

so cheers to Florida pool owners who put up with the sand…you can rid your pool of it for about free…go figure.

 

Franque23 loves a clean pool


When I think about it, maybe I should just stay home and stick fish-hooks in my fingers instead of going north to do it.

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

Up north or down south, hooks hurt like any other. And why go through the trouble of driving 22 hours north to spill gas or oil on myself as the boat rocks? I do that servicing my lawn mower here at home.

 A body tune-up

A body tune-up

I can sun burn out back in our yard or slip on these steps here-who needs a dock. Sure, I don’t have 49 steps in Florida, but falling’s falling, peeling’s peeling.

Florida burns like any other.

Florida burns are like any other.

I have a choice: reel in weeds from the lake or pull them from my yard at home.  One hawk’s cry echoes any other, and my neighbors here shoot off guns from time to time with almost the same regularity as Fort Drum’s boomers shake the windows up north. Of course, the Lake has those magnificent jets flying around now and then, but Gainesville has an old twin prop plane that fly’s overhead occasionally.

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky...it's s-l-o-w..

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky…it’s s-l-o-w..

Traffic cops here; traffic cops there. The bugs are about the same. Used to be the beer brands were different up north, now, not so much. The traffic jams home give me time to think while New York State RT 3 is one long country road populated by drivers who wave as they go by. Oy Vey, the arm strain up north is almost as bad as the back pain you get from visiting Japan.

What is a stop sign?

What is a stop sign? NYS RT Three.

If that friendly clerk at the grocery store asks me one more time how I am….down here there’s no time for a polite hello; we’re all busy, in a hurry and completely bummed out by searing heat, too many lunatics and raging jobs. Crowds and one million fast food joints-that’s more like it!

Harrisville's version of a New York City deli.

Harrisville’s version of a New York City deli.

We have no internet connection and choose not to hook up our TV up north. Basically, there’s only morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night, one day after they other. Pesky, friendly neighbors say hello and every one smiles, plays cards, fails at puzzle making, swims, fishes, boats, floats, and laughs the time away. It’s a crap load of fun, day in and day out, always the same, tireless, never-ending, on and on, repeated mirrored days that reflect in the lake*.It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day-people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night...oh the fun!!!

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night…oh the fun!!!

The air itself, purified by the Adirondack trees and the lack of major industrial pollution, is much purer than the air found almost anywhere else on the planet-it’s work, breathing the fresh air in and out-improving health takes some adjustment. The energy you feel up at the lake is one big pain in the ass…who needs energy when they could’ve stayed home and melted into a couch while flipping TV channels.

Nothing comes free, and nap time up north cuts into daily pleasures. That’s pressure right there. You can catch people power napping all over the lake trying to hurry up the process so the day doesn’t slip by too fast. Even blinking seems a waste.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

Ho-hum, the day is done...

Ho-hum, the day is done…

So why go north when I can sweat at home? Hmmm,,,ya know, thinking about it all, maybe 22 hours driving with a wife, two grand kids and a dog isn’t really that long of a trip.

There might be a way to have a good time...

There might be a way to have a good time…

Maybe, I would survive the fun, live through the air-breathing task and haul in some fish with those weeds?!?!

Come to think of it, my bags are already packed, and why not? We leave for the lake in 108 hours and 14 minutes. The boat’s callin’…

Let's get a move on!!!

Let’s get a move on!!! The ears have it!

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them.....but that was long ago.

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them…..but that was long ago.

Cheers.

Franque23

*Dale, my wife took these amazing shots of Bonaparte…

From the 1/2 way it's 30 more steps to the lake bottom---but what if I rolled down from here?

It’s 30 more steps from the 1/2 way dock down to the lake—but what if I rolled down the steps from here? Giant slides and elevators come to mind.

 

 


April showers have already brought April flowers-(Click on the pics for a much better view)

The red single Hibiscus is a simple reliable bloomer---I find the different varieties of this plant amazing.

The single red Hibiscus is a simple reliable bloomer—I find the different varieties of this plant amazing. The petal is extremely soft to the touch.

With American’s declaring war on about everything, drugs, immigrants, poverty, crime, being fat, too thin, a commie, cop, black man, social security recipient, slacker, rapper or street walker, etc….I thought a reconnaissance of my yard this spring was in order.

Our Hibiscus flanks a walkway now surrounded by twenty foot high Oranges trees, a Valencia, a red seedless navel plus one grapefruit.  I bought these on the same day about 8 years ago….at the time, they all fit nicely in my back seat.

We've nine oranges trees of differing variities but only six are yeilding-three more have to age a bit more.

We’ve nine oranges trees of differing varieties but only six are yielding-three more have to age a bit more.(Shadow stands in for a size comparison.)

I open the front door and love this sight.

The path less taken steps by the bird bath, roses and our Old Man's Beard Tree...currently in full bloom.

The path less taken steps by the bird bath, roses and our Old Man’s Beard Tree…currently in full bloom.

I remember this rose as being a Tea Rose, but the size of this year’s blooms have me scratching my head…..

The not Tea Rose plant?!?!

The not Tea Rose plant?!?!

See?

A handful for a Tea Rose.

A handful for a Tea Rose.

Nearby, underneath the Old Man’s Beard Tree, we have a number of pineapples growing. This year’s warm winter seems to have started the pineapples bearing about 6 months early…

I've nine pineapples coming, but I suspect they may be on the small size-we'll see!

I’ve nine pineapples coming, but I suspect they may be on the small size-we’ll see!

See last years pineapple came in large, and of course, I planted the tops.

See? Last year’s pineapple came in large, and of course, I planted the tops.

Over all yard view….

a bit of trimming and upkeep, but I like the feel. It's a reason to get out and listen to the birds and Hawks above.

It takes a bit of trimming and upkeep. Thing is, I like the feel. Landscaping, planting gardens for food or flowers and random trees to flower or fruit, it’s a reason to get out and listen to the birds and Hawks above.

Our “Victory Garden”* is located to the left of shot above. Beans, tomatoes, egg plants, herbs, yellow squash, zucchini, lettuce. peppers-yellow, green, red-and banana peppers, everything is coming along fine.340

My buddy stays close at hand and helps me routinely patrol the yard for squirrels…

Shadow is my backup,,or am I his,,not certain.

Shadow is my backup,,or am I his,,not certain.

Shadow reminds me each morning to check the pool for snakes or unwanted stray cats.

Shadow reminds me each morning to check the pool for snakes or unwanted stray cats.

Speaking of monring....our yard has several spots where lovely Mexican Juniper blooms appear anew each day,,dropping most pedals by night only to burst forth more blooms by morning.

Speaking of morning….our yard has several spots where lovely Mexican Petunia blooms appear anew each day,,dropping most pedals by night only to burst forth more blooms by morning.(drought resistant)

 I love these, though they last only a few days…the Amaryllis Belladonna, or Naked Lady plant…Great thru droughts, a delicate bloom in clusters. And, at the risk of turning this into a drought resistant plant blog, I have to add the wonderful Plumbago-

Just breaking out in bloom

Just breaking out in bloom

 

It's another no brainer.....a hoax head's up!

It’s another no brainer…..we should ask politicians running for any office not how a subway card works or how well the know how to eat pizza, but what they  know about growing stuff-just saying…

Just the idea of politicians planting more than BS got Shadow running in circles!

Actually, Shadow does this-if we don't run him, he runs himself like a madman/dog

Actually, Shadow does this-if we don’t run him, he runs himself like a madman/dog

 

We've three Myer's lemons planted, and they seem to bloom nearly year round, and yeild often. Plus, we have one Ponderosa Lemon,,,the kind that gives fruit as large as a person's face!

We’ve three Meyers’s lemons planted, and they seem to bloom nearly year round, and yield often. Plus, we have one Ponderosa Lemon,,,the kind that gives fruit as large as a person’s face!

The place would be perfect is I could just keep those roadsters from buzzin' the joint.

The place would be perfect if I could just keep those roadsters from buzzin’ the joint.

three children, all grown up1

My three roadsters long ago.

Now, more about the Ponderosa….

My grandson standing next to a few Ponderosa Lemons

My grandson standing next to a few Ponderosa Lemons

A meyrs next to Ponderosa

Our Meyers’ next to our Ponderosa Lemon

caught my eye this morning.

This caught my eye this morning.

It’s true, I’ve left out a lot, like the Indigenous Jasmine that towers by our front door each year( fifteen feet or higher) to scent the entire yard for months only to die back to the ground every winter,

This unusual clumping bamboo-type Jasmine blasts fragrance over at least a 1/2 acre each night.

This unusual clumping bamboo-type Jasmine blasts fragrance over at least a 1/2 acre each night.

The Mulberry and fig trees,,,you’re welcome, squirrels are very important to us.

We've two figs-the one I water regularly is twice the size of the other....

We’ve two figs-the one I water regularly is twice the size of the other….a huge Mineola Tangelo is in background(honey bell)

The side 1/2 acre features three types of orange trees, a blueberry and several invasive lantana’s the butterflies love.

a look at Shadow's 1/2 acre run, petunia's and a Chinese mandarin and Satsuma in the background.

a look at Shadow’s 1/2 acre run, petunia’s and a Chinese mandarin and Satsuma in the background.

Invasively neat.

Invasively neat. (Can’t leave the mailman out of the fun)

The beauty of Florida is not just the weather, the ocean, springs, lakes and rivers, but what a person can grow  in the smallest of yards if they would like. It’s a jungle out there, and we can nurture it so it nurtures us.

Cheers during Spring in Northern Florida.

Franque23

 

 


One More Meeting to Decide the Fate and Future Alachua County
Thursday, February 25th, 5:00pm * Eastside High School

A Phosphate mine in florida

A Phosphate mine in florida

It used to be that about everyone understood the meaning of this saying, a pig in a poke, but not so much now. Thing is, this so-called Plum Creek plan as presented under the guise of Envision Alachua is exactly a pig in a poke, something many Alachua County citizens are buying into without really knowing what they’re getting.

The pretense of this plan is that it provides for better development of the East side of Alachua County.  The claim is that it will preserve green space, eliminate the use of septic tanks in the new project area, provide for work centers to enhance employment in the region and create an environment that might attract further, progressive community building  in the area.

Very little of what is said to be favorable about the Plum Creek plan is true, while much of the plan is truly bad.

Though preserving 50% of the area as green space and the exclusion of septic tanks are two parts of this provision, the rest of the favorable blathering about Plum Creek is the “poke” that’s hiding the “Pig” in this plan.

The only major change in the provisions of land use not already provided by the recently voted in Alachua Forever plan is this:  Plum Creek Envision Alachua allows mining in the East side area.

To understand what this means, just check the Keystone area of Florida and search for the lakes that were once there before mining came to the region…..

by removing large volumes of phosphate from the ground every aspect of the environment becomes at risk(this mine is in Florida.)

By removing large volumes of phosphate from the ground every aspect of the environment becomes at risk(this mine is in Florida.)

Simply put, plum Creek is a mining bill that opens up Gainesville’s East side to phosphate mining-that’s the sole purpose of this plan in a nut shell. Speaking of nuts, who in their right mind would want a five acre property located near a phosphate mine? Especially when they had the pristine NW side of Gainesville to choose for a home site? Can you imagine the citizens of the North West side of Gainesville approving a phosphate mine in their local community?

It would never happen that the NW side of Gainesville would allow a phosphate mine near their homes….

The projected employment gain by this plan ranges from 2000 new jobs down to 200 jobs-the latter is more likely a true estimate at best. Why? Mining has never produced an environmental sound,  booming community nearby its mining site. In fact, mining has left environmental disasters all around the world in their wake.

Put a phosphate mine on the East side and you’ll never see people who are first moving to Alachua county choose that area as a place to settle….never.

The county has already stated that the proposed Plum Creek land does have abundant supplies of phosphate beneath the ground. Why is this important?

Another part of the Plum Creek plan that’s a Poke hiding a Pig is in its name. There is no Plum Creek anymore-Weyerhaeuser has bought the entire Plum Creek company. This is important since, although Weyerhaeuwser has glowing reviews on its timber management, Weyerhaeuser has perhaps the world’s worst record for causing or leaving behind environmental disasters when it mines anywhere.

 Yes-the new owners and developers of Plum Creek, Weyerhaeuser(pronounced ,ware-howser), is currently on the US Toxic round-up list, Canada’s Toxic violators list, and being sued in at least three countries in Europe for creating toxic waste sites.

Is this the type of company Alachua County citizens want to let mine in our county? No, is the only answer.

I remember hearing the then director of our Alachua County Library district, Ann Williams, as well as commissioner Charles Chestnut discuss the need for further development on our East side as far back as 1996. It is a struggle to develop the East side as quickly as we would hope to, but at least the beautiful Cone Park Branch of the Library district has come to fruition and fits the bill for progressive, advantageous development.

Our East side needs much more, but the last thing the area needs is mining. That would be a death knoll to future, more attractive development in the East side. This Plum Creek plan that allows mining is a slap in the face to all those who have worked to improve the East side for so many years.

Envision Alachua-The Plum Creek plan-is a pig in a poke. Don’t buy it. Please attend the final meeting on this issue at East Side High  school and ask the commissioners to check the true price tag of this proposal-mining- and ask our commissioner’s to turn down the Plum Creek plan.

One More Meeting to Decide the Fate and Future Alachua County
Thursday, February 25th, 5:00pm * Eastside High School

Thanks,

Franque23

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