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( I include allllll the links for those readers who want to  know.)

The ol’ swimming hole is an American tradition, if not a world-wide keepsake memory. Thing is, there’s a new kind of swimming pit in town….

Nearby neighborhood fracking pit. Swim anyone?

Nearby neighborhood fracking pit. Swim anyone?

Me neither. There’s something about these frackin’ radioactive, carcinogenic waters that have turned me off to diving into the hole, but not the story. I’d claim to be muckraking if I could, but that isn’t the case. The story of fracking isn’t a hidden unknown, waiting to be exposed in a column written by me. The truth is out there for all to read. Thing is, some proponents of fracking-i.e. everyone and only everyone who stand to make money off the deal- say the complaints about fracking wear no clothes. I guess, big oil doesn’t believe the naked truth.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned by living this long it’s this: nothing talks louder than money in a room.

There was an opinion posted on CNN last year that I’ve thought about ever since I first read the article. It was in favor of fracking.

The opinion is here if you’d like to read the entire thing:   http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/19/opinion/carl-fracking-new-york/index.html

And, since this article seems to be an iconic example of the stalwart thinking done by advocates of fracking, I thought it best to go thru some of the less than perfect building blocks of boondoggle disastrous thinking that are so eloquently presented in this work of fiction.

There are a few glaring holes in the arguments presented in this opinion piece that’s linked above. Unfortunately, those holes are almost as large as ones often found in the pipes depicted in the diagram below.

We should get people to put their fingers in these leaking pipes.

We should get people to put their fingers in these leaking pipes.

I must add—-the good news, as many pro fracking articles point out, is that government oversight can correct the constant leaking pipe syndrome associated with fracking that will end up poisoning our populace if it isn’t stopped. Oddly, I’d say most of those in favor of fracking also believe that government can’t do anything right……..but I digress. Back to the article of questionable value.

Point one(in the article): Fracking causes few problems, and this process is the major reason gas prices having fallen in the US.

Real Answer:  America is now the fourth largest producer of oil and gas due, at least in part, to Fracking in the US. However, Fracking is NOT the reason gas prices have fallen recently. Read this-

“A central factor in the sharp price drops, analysts say, is the continuing unwillingness of OPEC, a cartel of oil producers, to intervene to stabilize markets that are widely viewed as oversupplied. Prices of OPEC’s crude benchmark have fallen about 40 percent since the organization declined to cut production at a late Novembermeeting in Vienna.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/business/energy-environment/oil-prices.html?_r=0

Why is OPEC willing to keep oil prices low? That’s in another blog I wrote( believe it or not, the low bench mark price on oil has to do with terrorism.(https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/fact-check-on-name-calling-on-face-book/)

Point Two( of the article in question): The air is cleaner now because we are fracking-

Answer: Ha-how-die and a ho ho ho….”Yet one study found that only one quarter of the four percent drop in U.S. CO2 emissions between 2011 and 2012 is attributable to shale gas. Efforts to increase energy efficiency had a more substantial impact, reported InsideClimate News.”

Yes, American’s air is cleaner than is has been in the past, but this is mostly due to lower emission standards set in place for power companies, and due to the expanded use of alternative car power. But don’t take my word for this:

“When it comes to air quality, the Environment America report estimates that drilling and fracking natural gas wells in the U.S. created 450,000 tons of air pollution in 2012……..”

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130730/efficiency-drove-us-emissions-decline-not-natural-gas-study-says

Who will be next! Real estate speculators wanna know!

Who will be next! Real estate speculators wanna know!

Point Three: Again, frracking is worth the risk.

Answer: No, it isn’t.  Just saying, when the Earth starts swayin’, it ain’t dancing.

“The scientists, from the University of Miami, identified 77 earthquakes of varying size in the Poland Township of Ohio, all occurring between March 4 and March 12 and all located near a group of oil and gas wells. The quakes ranged between magnitudes of 1.0 and 3.0”

“According to study co-author Robert Skoumal, that magnitude 3.0 quake was “one the largest earthquakes ever induced by hydraulic fracturing in the United States.””

http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/09/first-time-scientists-prove-fracking-caused-earthquake-strong-enough-felt-humans/

And you know what? There’s nothing like a good quake to make a person feel right at home.

Just ask the person in that car who was out for a spin........

Just ask the person in that car who was out for a spin……..

Point Four:  Fracking is not a threat to ground water.

Answer:  According to studies fracking in the US is something akin to America taking a huge Cosmic bucket of radioactive, highly toxic chemicals and dumping it on its head.

U.S. fracking operations produced an estimated 280 billion gallons of wastewater in 2012, the report notes. This is enough to flood all of Washington, D.C. in a “22-foot deep toxic lagoon,” according to the group.”

This is really someone's tape water.......

This is really someone’s tape water…….but very few explode.

“In Colorado alone, the amount of water used for fracking “was enough to meet the water needs of nearly 200,000 Denver households for a year,” according to the report.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/fracking-by-the-numbers-report_n_4037295.html

Despite the opinions of those who support fracking, and their belief that fracking has an upside that’s worth the environmental risk the process imposes upon the planet, entire countries and some US states disagree and they’ve ban the process from their land. Many people, states and countries speak out against fracking-join the chorus. We can bring our world back into harmony with Nature.

“The bottom line is this: The numbers on fracking add up to an environmental nightmare,” Environment America’s John Rumpler said in a press release. “If this dirty drilling continues unchecked, these numbers will only get worse…..”

This is a world-wide list of countries and states in America that have bans on fracking. Please get a cup of coco, curl up with a blankie-it’s a long read.

http://keeptapwatersafe.org/global-bans-on-fracking/

Fracking begins with an F, that’s appropriate, but it really should be a four letter word. It’s important to speak out continually against this mind-boggling threat to our lives, and to the lives of all those who follow us. Please tell your representatives to stop fracking now.

Franque23……..hmmmm..maybe I should change my name?

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.
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(click on pictures to make them larger.)

No, the country didn’t land in our lap, our daughter and family flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa to help pick and eat our oranges.  My daughter has been picking oranges all her life, starting with my dad’s trees in Satellite Beach, Florida. She’s an absolute pickin’ pro, and when she heard about our crop this year, she had to come( She may have had one or two more reasons for making he two-day flight.) About that orange crop in our yard this year! Boom! Smash, whoa-what a doozy, who could count all of them? Well, me-almost down to the last orange-those are still left to pick.

We've picked over 1200 oranges form our property since Nov. 1st*

We’ve picked over 1200 oranges from our property since Nov. 1st* This tree has about 200 more on it, the Valencia will ripen now through February …

We have so many oranges, I’ve started throwing them for Shadow to chase instead of using tennis balls—it’s all good!

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits bye

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits by.

Then, I fling an orange and wait for its return.

At first, I didn't think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything....

At first, I didn’t think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything….the oranges are fine to use after double tasking as balls

Speaking of eating, like I said, Kelly and her family came to eat.

The plane flight was worth it

The plane flight was worth it—-her daughter didn’t fall far from the tree! She’s not letting go of that orange.

But, it wasn’t all about eating oranges. Reading was a foot!

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning....

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning….Shadow, however, only wanted to watch his ‘T.V.’

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

Of the 1200 hundred we’ve picked so far, only about 55 have gone to waste, thanks to our daughter’s families appetites, our neighbors, church groups and workmates got bunches, too. Heck, even our doctors got oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

So it was an orange you glad to see me kinda of Holiday this year. Next season-who knows?!?! It’s mostly all in the weather.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit form Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit from Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It’s such a joy to see family, and to grow food, too.  See one another whenever you can, and plant those trees and seeds as well.

Cheers from Florida! 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.

Tooth brushes don’t brush teeth–people do.

Anyway this whole ruckus about the Right to Bear Arms is a simple misunderstanding.

These are the arms our Founding Father's were talking about.

These are the arms our Founding Father’s were talking about.

You have to get into the mind-set of the people who wrote that phrase-then interpreting the phrase comes easily. More, our tough-as-nails Forefather’s also meant these arms-

They were all about strength of will, courage and fortitude.

They were all about strength of will, courage and fortitude.

But, as usual in America, there’s a debate about this issue. Some say, intelligentsia four eyes insist, that the problem we’re having today about murderous people with innocent guns was brought about by a simple spelling mistake….

Our forefather's felt it each person's right to bare their arms...

Our Forefather’s felt it was each person’s right to bare their arms…they were, after all, roll up your sleeves and get the job done kind of folks.

They didn’t give a squat about totting around heavy weapons….as if.

Remember-our Founding Fathers were visionaries.

Remember-our Founding Fathers were visionaries.

images (23) images (23)Here’s the idea. Maybe, two ideas. We could expand the right to bare arms….

(Picture, or google , a nude beach in Europe…and no, I can’t post that here. Thing is, those Europeans knew what our Forefather’s were talkin’ about, and got it right the first time!)

And bar arms in bars…..

Drinking and shooting people don't mix...just ask Dick Chaney.

Drinking and shooting people don’t mix…just ask Dick Cheney.*

So yeah, no, guns have little to do with the issue.

Likewise,  poisoned food is not a problem,  it’s the loony’s who make it, or serve it, or spread it out by the billion tons who cause the problem. Root those nasty’s out, or educated them so they’ll give up making fortunes, and we’ll be left with nothing but a few gazillion mountains of chemicals.  We can dump all of this in the ocean or put it in the same holes we use to store Nuclear waste!

Nuclear waste is not a problem–people just don’t know how to handle the 81 million tons of highly radioactive waste nuclear power plants generate world-wide per year.

Just don't lie in the stuff...follow directions...

Just don’t lie in the stuff…follow directions…

(See? I’m learning!)If people could only be trained about nuclear waste, educated, then the toxic stuff would become harmless-as safe as a purring kitten.

Fukushima is still purring.

Fukushima is still purring.

Of course, it all follows that guns don’t kill people–people do. Shoot, here in the U.S. only 10,000 children per year go to the ER suffering from gunshot wounds! Better yet, only 3,000 of those children die per year from their injuries. If we just educated that three-year old how to properly hold a gun, things would turn up roses in Gunville of America.

Thing is, some people don’t think education will stop people from using tooth brushes on their teeth. Some say, getting A’s in class won’t make poison less lethal, nuclear waste a good companion or guns friendly in the hands of people. Take this downer of a guy, Daniel Webster, as an example.

“Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told NBC News. “We have an extraordinary health burden in our youth associated with firearms injuries.” Webster pointed out that the United States’ rate of mortality from firearms is about ten times higher than the rates in other wealthy Nations.”http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/01/27/3206581/kids-gun-violence-killed-injuries/

Look, America’s a free country, and if I want fifteen loaded Uzi  in my pantry, twelve thousand pounds of leaking poisons in my garage, really big tooth brushes and a stock pile of nuclear waste in my backyard I should be allowed to have it! And, if some God Fearing company wants to frack my land until my drinking water rots my teeth-I don’t want some big government fella complaining about that-this is a free, open, no holds barred economy.

this saves on hot water bills , too.

Fracking saves people money on their hot water bills , too.

No holds bared and the right to bare arms are both easy to grasp.

No holds barred and the right to bare arms are both easy concepts to grasp. What in the freakin’ heck happened?!?!

Heck, it’s all about education. Even a dumb-ol’ bear knows that!

Bye-bye and may your guns always be loaded and your home fires burning....

Bye-bye

May your guns always be loaded, and your home fires keep burning….

If I remember right, God said to go forth and multiply your gun collection until the earth tilts….or was that, gum collection-I forget.

Franque23

*Our then Vice president, Dick Cheney, of these US of A gun loving land shot a fellow hunting pal while on the prowl for game….he wouldn’t see investigators for 24 hours. Rumor is Dickie was toasted, liquored up, howling at the moon, dead topsy drunk at the time of the accidental shooting.

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.

It’s said that the rainbow is God’s promise to us that it won’t rain again too badly ever again.

a sign that we are in the clear

a sign that we are in the clear

Thing is, he gave us another sign, too. That sign is called snow.

favorite picture of number two daughter

favorite picture of number two daughter standing in God’s second sign….( taken at Natural Bridge, New York.)

Yeah, that’s right. The white covered trees, snow-covered roofs and crystal white ground is a clear message sent to us from above. It’s God’s way of putting out a white flag, covering areas of the earth with the flag of surrender, as in give up on this place. He begs us each year with a blanket of freezing white to heed his warning and go forth, go to the light, and prosper. But do we listen? It’s no accident that the word snow has the word “no” inside it.

I did have fun building snow men.....

I did have fun building snow men…..

Few know that the word snow stands for, “Sweet Jesus, no one will live here.” This is because the original, S.J.N.O.W. L.H., group, back in bazillion BC , or twelve years ago, received the message but didn’t listen. Not that they were Hebrews, but doesn’t this sound familiar? I mean, we have a whole book about those gifted with knowledge who didn’t listen. Anyway, this S.J.N.O.W.L.H. group went forward into the land of snow and froze their gonads off. Soon, the entire race perished-no off spring, (no surprise here).All that was left of the entire disobedient race was a simple fragmented wall etching that read ** S.N.O.W.** What I’m thinking is that snow is frozen water, and people are made up of over 50% water! Hello, which half of you would you like to freeze off today? See? None of this I’m gonna live in a frozen tundra makes sense. Plus, who the hell shovels a driveway and then goes to work?  No. Me? I go back to bed-‘Honey the driveway is clear’.

A friends house up  in Northern New State near our Lake house.....

A friend’s house up in Northern New State. Sometimes, I think people up North haven’t noticed that it’s cold?

Fact: the word slosh first came into our vernacular once brain surgery became an item.  It was then, when surgeons, and scientists like Frankincense,(not the weird-o Frankenstein-geez, that’d be lame) where opening a frozen northern person’s left and right brain lobe that a pizza delivery boy said, “Wow, what would you call that? Slosh?” The term stuck on through sleet and snow and objections from the House of Representatives. In the end, snow days aren’t worth loosing appendages. It beats me why people would stay in a place that God has already plainly marked a no unzip your fly zone, throw in the towel cause the water lines are rock solid frozen zone, and a look out, that roof might collapse catastrophic set. I wonder as much as the Hebrew’s wandered about all of this-but at least that lost tribe was in a desert, so they had it good.

our home up north.....but a summer home.

our home up north. (Lake Bonaparte) ….but a summer home.

There’s  a reason they call a joke a snow job. You know what? Come to think of it, I agree with you Northern shoveling people-why sell your homes? Why leave your snow plow behind and buy cheaper homes down south were your heating bills won’t matter and your back won’t hurt? There are so many puddles down here, and that dang ocean nearby is full of water.

Having a terrible time down here....it might rain tomorrow!

Having a terrible time down here….it might rain tomorrow!

Plus, our empty roads are such a sleeper. You’ve got it good. Free ice, too! You know what they say; numb toes still add up to ten if you have them! Cheers. Franque23 is cold at fifty degrees-who’d like that?

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.

It’s a big house, we have so many rooms.  They all seem full. Our daughter and family from South Africa will stay for many days, but never enough.  Added, we have more family visits-a montage of cousins, their parents and relatives happily shuffle in and out. Some days, I cook for thirteen, other days, just for  five.

rockin- around the Christmas tree...rooms full of crumpled wrapping paper, toys and people.

rockin- around the Christmas tree…rooms full of crumpled wrapping paper, toys and people.

Of course, the stay means more than just having numbers of special people in our house. My two daughters and their children light the moon and beyond with their glow. My ears hear their laughter and the children’s mischief-rocking, rolling, young ones banging against banisters and struggling to open outside doors we have locked for security.

The ruckus really starts outside. So many riders-rolling plastic look-a- like cars, peddle pushers and simple gliders-wheels roaring down our block of a hill as our grandchildren swift by while beaming smiles through their cheeks and eyes.

(I think if you log into FB you can watch this one minute clip.)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10205477937698786&set=vb.1561249536&type=2&theater

There’s no sense of urgency; no bills to pay; no time to keep. Today is forever. For a brief moment, my daughter from Africa can share a face to face laugh with my daughter who lives a mere thirty minutes from our house. We can can make faces, laugh, and even touch one another.

There is a world full of sand to discover and mold in our hands!

There is a world full of sand to discover and mold in our hands!

Cousins  best teach one another how to slide through life!

Cousins best teach one another how to slide through life!

Heaven arrives in many unexpected ways.  Now, part of that light is gone. Our house, the halls and the rooms feel empty, maybe forgotten?

Our oldest daughter has left for Africa.

It's time to cross another bridge.....(Kelly and Hiro in Africa)

It’s time to cross another bridge…..(Kelly and Hiro in Africa-Swaziland , I believe.)

The company is gone, and my wife and I are back to two.  We sit tonight in such a house, full of empty halls and unused bedrooms.

It was a great Holiday for us.....

It was a great Holiday for us…..

Our home feels as empty as my work place a few days before the holidays.

Tonight our home feels as empty as my work place was a few days before the holidays.

The road doesn’t thunder with the sound of fun that should never stop. Life, or maybe the lack of it, is back. My wife and I sit together as two grandparents on a couch once more…waiting; loving; hoping; and praying for safe journeys.

Safe travels as our loved ones take off into the sunset or motor back home.*

Safe travels as our loved ones take off into the sunset or motor back home.*

Franque23

*This is Cassie Anderson’s first acrylic painting. She gifted me this painting. It depicts my cousin and I fishing in the sunset-a favorite pastime of ours.

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.

We’d all like to be saints, souls without fault and unblemished records, but not many of us fit that bill precisely. Stuff happens in life.  Thing is, not many of us get strangled to death by a policeman, either. Eric Garner did.  Was this man a saint? No. According to Wikipedia-

“Garner had a criminal record that includes more than 30 arrests dating back to 1980 on charges such as assault, resisting arrest, grand larceny. An official said the charges include multiple incidents in which he was arrested for selling unlicensed cigarettes.[

See? Not a saint. But others, a neighbor and his wife, have things to say about Eric Garner as well-

“Everybody that knows him will tell you that he’s a wonderful person,” said Charlene Thomas, 64, who knew the victim from when she worked in a deli a few stores down from where Thursday’s incident(his murder) occurred.“I would hug him every day. He was like a big teddy bear,” she said.*

“He(Eric Garner) was a great dad — he’s just a warm guy,” said Jewel Miller, the mother of Garner’s newborn daughter.” Ms. Miller( Garner’s EX-wife.)*

Eric Garner with his new born daughter.....

Eric Garner with his new born daughter…..

So, there are conflicting histories about this man. On the surface, he is at best a repeat criminal; on a personal level, he was well liked.

But here’s what matters today-

The truth about his murder is evident; the fraudulent claim by the grand jury that this case  need not go to trial is a disgrace, and it must be challenged.

Every policeman present at the time of the act is guilty of complicity to commit murder. You don’t think so? Try this test- Imagine, as you watch the video clip from CNN,(below) that the man killed, Eric Garner, is actually a policeman, and the policemen who committed the crime are actually five citizens, all friends who share mostly the same values and beliefs. In this scenario, the group of five friends tackle a cop who is standing on the street, knock him down, and then hold the cop down and strangle him to death. Now-should the five men who killed the cop  be charge with murder and go to trial or not?

Okay-watch the clip–(and remember the black man is now the only cop in the picture) http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/justice/new-york-grand-jury-chokehold/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

And no, the policemen were not merely doing their duty-cops aren’t paid to kill people.

Yes. This was murder…and I don’t get it. Why did none of the other police at the scene of the crime stop the action? Did they have reason to want this man dead??? I have to wonder. Or, was this a senseless crime committed by a cop and his gang?  Many say  the policeman who administered the fatal choke hold should be put on trial for his actions. I say-that’s not enough. All of the policemen at the scene should be , at least, charged with complicity to commit murder-regardless of their motives.

Gang of four kill Eric Garner

Gang of four kill Eric Garner

Have none of the police involved in this crime heard of pepper spray, or simple physical restraint? How could all five or six of these armed officers fail to realize that one man who is handcuffed is no longer a threat? Word is that Eric Garner died in the ambulance from a heart attack while on route to the hospital after his mugging. But this isn’t what the Corner found….

“After the incident, city medical examiners concluded that Garner was killed by neck compression from the choke hold, along with “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police”.  Wikipedia

My two centsMost police are good people, just like me and you..Some make mistakes, others never do. But America is about fair trials, and too many times the process is being circumvented by authorities who do America an injustice by their rulings to not hold a trial….Let the cases be heard; what can be the harm in that?

Here’s someone else’s take on the murder of Eric Garner.* “Look, being a good person doesn’t mean you’re not accountable for your actions. I could be Mother Teresa, but if I commit a crime I have to pay for it – that’s the basic premise of “being a good person” in America or anywhere else. A good person pleads guilty and does the time for the crime, because whether you’re a cop or not, killing someone in an altercation is a crime – unless you can claim self-defense. And when you’re facing an unarmed man who is backing away from the fellow police with you, and you jump him from behind and kill him, and are caught on camera…well, you should have a pretty f–king difficult time proving self-defense.”

Cops, like most citizens, don’t like the violence in our society but, Jeez, let’s not join in on it! It’s said you fight fire with fire, that helps draw a line in the dirt that the fired can’t cross. Thing is, in these matters of civil unrest, fighting fire with fire just makes for a larger blaze. If a man doesn’t have a cool head, then I don’t want him packing, period. And, if five people watch one of their buddies strangle a man, I want them all brought to trial. A Lynch mob wearing badges-not America.

Franque23

*Wikipedia… **http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/he_was_a_great_dad_says_family.html

here’s 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.

People on the Right often say, “But the Unions did this or that…” Well here’s the thing–every union right was agreed upon at a table that joined business owners and union people together-so how is it that only one group at those negotiations is held responsible for what is accepted by the joint business/owners/union meetings and contracts? NO one brings guns to negotiations… it’s a give and take process…if the outcomes from contractual agreements are bad, then both owners and worker unions are to blame…it’s a two-way street. The trash talk on unions is baloney…and the Republicans can’t stop lying about this process. Their agenda is to enrich the powerful top 2% of Americans, little else.

Deregulation of wall street and the sub-prime lending push, both sponsored by the Republicans, led directly to America’s last economic crash—-the Republican refusal to raise the debt ceiling so that America could pay off debt it ALREADY owed was a disaster for our country as well. You know, while I attended Gettysburg college, I used to , on occasion, eat lunch with Ex-President Eisenhower. Surrounded by secret service, he’d laugh, joke and talk to us about  America once a week. Some Republicans in the past(not Reagan) were good leaders….this group we have had since Reagan are hell-bent on breaking the back of the working class for the sake of big business. Though the party offers a few good ideas about too many Medicaid checks/family services checks-their other agendas do not favor anyone but the top 2% income bracket in America. Of course, well-to-do Americans-upper middle class-think the Republicans help their economic standing, but they don’t….and won’t.

Have Republicans no sense of recent history? Nearly all of America’s wealth has shifted to the top 2%-actually, the top 1% since 1980. Everyone knows,  every chart shows, middle class earning in actual dollar’s value has gone down since the mid 1980’s……Big Business doesn’t need our governments handouts or help—the working families in America do! But Republicans continue to campaign for more deregulation, fracking-a known environmental disaster, the end of social security, and harp that business should have the same rights as people in our constitution! 72% of Americans polled think this last gem of an idea is wrong, and an affront to basic humanitarian rights. The phrase is, We The People, not we the business. These are some of the reasons the Democrats have won during the past two Presidential elections, and why they will win in 2016-unless, the Republican Party can somehow stop trying to dismantle a National Health Care system that 28 million people have joined and favor, along with ending their worn-out, tried and failed pro-business platforms.

Bernie Sanders put forth some good ideas the Republicans might want to look over and consider adopting as part of the political platforms for 2016.

Bernie Sander’s page…..

a bunch of ideas I favor....From Bernie Sander's FB page...

There’s much more to say about the mistakes of the Right–but that can wait. Thing is, if the Republicans want to win in 2016, they shouldn’t wait to make big changes in their political agendas. Americans didn’t vote in numbers in this past 2014 mid-term election, but they will in 2016, and in the past two Presidential Elections we’ve made our preferences clear.

The majority of Americans are pro-environmental protection; pro alternative energy;  pro worker’s rights; and pro National Health care. Get a grip Republicans; listen up.

Franque23


People on the Right often say, “But the Unions did this or that…” Well here’s the thing–every union right was agreed to at a table that joined business owners and union people together-so how is it that only one group at those negotiations is held responsible for what is accepted by the joint business/owners/union meetings and contracts? NO one brings guns to negotiations… it’s a give and take process…if the outcomes from contractual agreements are bad, then both owners and worker unions are to blame…it’s a two-way street. The trash talk on unions is baloney…and the Republicans can’t stop lying about this process. Their agenda is to enrich the powerful top 2% of Americans, little else.

Deregulation of wall street and the sub-prime lending push, both sponsored by the Republicans, led directly to America’s last economic crash—-the Republican refusal to raise the debt ceiling so that America could pay off debt it ALREADY owed was a disaster for our country as well. You know, while I attended Gettysburg college, I used to , on occasion, eat lunch with Ex-President Eisenhower. Surrounded by secret service, he’d laugh, joke and talk to us about  America once a week. Some Republicans in the past(not Reagan) were good leaders….this group we have had since Reagan are hell-bent on breaking the back of the working class for the sake of big business. Though the party offers a few good ideas about too many Medicaid checks/family services checks-their other agendas do not favor anyone but the top 2% income bracket in America. Of course, well-to-do Americans-upper middle class-think the Republicans help their economic standing, but they don’t….and won’t.

Have Republicans no sense of recent history? Nearly all of America’s wealth has shifted to the top 2%-actually, the top 1% since 1980. Everyone knows,  every chart shows, middle class earning in actual dollar’s value has gone down since the mid 1980’s……Big Business doesn’t need our governments handouts or help—the working families in America do! But Republicans continue to campaign for more deregulation, fracking-a known environmental disaster, the end of social security, and harp that business should have the same rights as people in our constitution! 72% of Americans polled think this last gem of an idea is wrong, and an affront to basic humanitarian rights. The phrase is, We The People, not we the business. These are some of the reasons the Democrats have won during the past two Presidential elections, and why they will win in 2016-unless, the Republican Party can somehow stop trying to dismantle a National Health Care system that 28 million people have joined and favor, along with ending their worn-out, tried and failed pro-business platforms.

Bernie Sanders put forth some good ideas the Republicans might want to look over and consider adopting as part of the political platforms for 2016.

Bernie Sander’s page…..

a bunch of ideas I favor....From Bernie Sander's FB page...

A bunch of ideas I favor….From Bernie Sander’s FB page…

There’s much more to say about the mistakes of the Right–but that can wait. Thing is, if the Republicans want to win in 2016, they shouldn’t wait to make big changes in their political agendas. Americans didn’t vote in numbers in this past 2014 mid-term election, but they will in 2016, and in the past two Presidential Elections we’ve made our preferences clear.

The majority of Americans are pro-environmental protection; pro alternative energy;  pro worker’s rights; and pro National Health care. Get a grip Republicans; listen up.

Franque23


It might seem we were in the nose bleed seats-but it never felt that way in the sold out venue.

It might seem we were in the nose bleed seats-but it never felt that way in the sold out venue.

(note-today, Nov. 5th, is the last day both of my books can be downloaded for free on Kindle-links below.)

Smashing, second-splitting, rocking, socking, thoroughly engrossing music-Paul knocked out three hours of terrific tunes. He nailed old songs like, I Want to Hold Your Hand, on up to, Valentine, a release from the 2012, album, Kisses on the Bottom.  He interacted with the audience between almost every song, and I never once saw him take a break-though he may have sipped water once or twice.(His band members took two short breaks while Paul sang alone.)

McCartney's presence made the room feel small.

McCartney’s presence made the room feel small.

This  seventy-two year old man is a freak, period. How in the hell the guy can yell out Helter-Skelter, as a madman might, and then sing, Yesterday, as an angel would, is all way beyond me! And this singer’s been rocking for more than fifty -five years! NO way vocal chords are meant to do this. Plus, how many hits has this man written?!?!?! Sir Paul played three hours of straight hits, and Dale and I realized as we drove home that he could have played for another three straight hours-all hits he hadn’t preformed that night.

Dale and I both agree the concert was everything we  hoped it would be...

Dale and I both agree the concert was everything we hoped it would be…

Sir Paul remained a soft-spoken, humorous, gentleman throughout the night.  He said the signs people were holding up in the audience caused his mind to repeat, “Don’t read the signs; don’t read the signs,” lest he forget the words to his songs! One sign asked if Paul would, “Sign my Back.”  He brought the young girl up on stage to do just that, but first he asked her mother who was in the audience if it was alright. Can’t you just see KISS doing that-not!

McCartney’s message has always been one of Love, a call for World peace, and an expression that we are more alike than we are different from one another. Those same themes ran through all the music Paul performed during this recent concert. But on another note, and of special interest to me, Paul brought out  a different guitar before many of his songs and announced that this guitar was the one he wrote the next song on.

Paul mentioned that the Beatles were the first rock band to perform in Russia’s Red Square-

Paul rocking in Red Square.....

Paul rocking in Red Square…..

-and that on that occasion the Russian Minister of Defense had slipped back stage to tell Paul that he’d learned English while listening to the Beatles and that the Beatles song,  “Love Me Do” , was the first record he’d ever bought.

Light shows galore, three-D over head effects, and a blazing PyroTech show that accompanied the tune, Live and Let Die, blazed my eyes throughout the night. I wish you’d all been there, rocking along with us and the rest of  the crowd. Most amazingly, even thirteen year-olds in the audience rocked right along with us older folks, knowing the words to most songs as well as we did.

Live and Let Die featured 3-D over head, lights and fire.......Boom!

Live and Let Die featured 3-D over head, lights and fire…….Boom!

McCartney’s music spans decades, and reaches several generations-what a wonder.

The smoke started to clear-and the Band Rocked on-

The smoke started to clear-and the Band Rocked on-

After playing six songs over two encores that followed the three-hour concert, Paul said he had to go home: it was late; he was tired. We all shouted-NO!!!!! The concert still lived in my mind as we drove home that night. I’ll never forget these wonderful moments spent with Sir Paul, and his music has touched my heart forever.

Wow, what a wheel in Time seeing Paul McCartney this past week was for me. I first saw him live back in 1965 in Shea Stadium. Then, I was sixteen, and with my very first true love! Now, 49 years later, I got to see McCartney again with the love of my life, my  companion for the past 42 years and my wife for the last thirty-two years….And I Love Her.

Franque23(special note; my two books on kindle, linked below, are free to download tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 5th.)… I’ve two books out on Kindle. Please spread the word and share the links!

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

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