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(click the pic for a better view)

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

I’m a nut for body surfing-the riding the ocean waves kind- more than once going out into tropical storm waves that towered over my head just to catch that ride. I’d rise and fall with those powerful waves so I might stroke at their top and slide down their belly, dragging my left arm in the water so I’d lift to the top of the same wave to slide down it once more before being smashed to the ocean floor or tumbled head over heels until my body met the bottom. My head full of salt water, my legs wobbling to straight, I’d dive under the next breaker and head out to do it over again, sometimes for hours on end.

WAVES UP!!!

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As a six-year-old, I spent glorious summer mornings on a beach blanket with my family at Long Island’s famous Jones Beach. There my sister and brother taught me how to body surf the shell stuffed, crashing waves.

The beach view stays in my head, that dazzling dark blue water line that meets a lighter blue sky so often dotted by white puffy clouds. My brother chose to live much further from the shore and once asked me what I liked most about the ocean. This view was my answer, though riding those waves…

Looking at the shrimp boat

Looking at the shrimp boat, this is the day my brother asked me about my love for the sea.

During my twenties I lived with my wife on North Tropical Trail near Cocoa Beach, Florida, swimming every morning while she and I started work in the mid-afternoons. My parents owned a house in Satellite Beach just south of Cocoa for over 35 years-that stood three blocks from the Atlantic.  We visited often with our family in tow.

 

Mom's last day at the beach....

Mom’s last day at the beach….at her home by the sea in Satellite Beach

14495454_10210068251967873_7571947101147003435_n If  you get to Ormomd Beach enjoy the Beach Bucket chow-14433094_10210068251527862_6345061734774287213_n Dale and I hung out and ate right on the beach side-standard fish place fare with a most spectacular view…

It wasn’t until this past weekend while spending three nights ocean side in Ormomd Beach that the question came to my mind once more: why do I love the beach so much?

the mornings are incredible at the beach,, and I did catch one--my wife took this shot.

The mornings are incredible at the beach,, and I did catch one-but my wife took this shot.

the balcony gave a great view....

The balcony gave a great view….

The sky trumpeted a light, bright fluorescent blue amusingly streaked in wispy white strands of clouds;

14502877_10210069047427759_894359846325182830_n the birds flew by in numbers I hadn’t seen for years; the waves, still driven by a recent tropical storm, crashed the even sandy shore making thunderous rumbling sounds one after the other, again and again.  I fell into a trance with my next sip of coffee.

I felt the warm sun, the breeze blew by feeling like a comforting newly washed bed sheet. Children’s laughter, the calling birds, waves crashing, all of it combined to even my breathing and still my head. Suddenly, as if I’d slipped, I felt as though I was inside the womb of the world, a startling place, a living, breathing , pulsating place of life so large it contained the entire earth.

That’s when it hit me.

I imagined myself back in my mother’s womb, resting comfortably with little to do but listen to the ongoing sound of blood rushing through my Mother’s veins and arteries as she breathed. One wave of rushing blood after another, and each with a slight pause before the next loud roar of life-giving blood and oxygen rattled my senses. This was the first I knew, maybe all I knew, and if I’d a thought, it would’ve been that this would go on forever since it had all come without rhyme or reason.  Does a newly conceived fetus decide to stay or go back? No. They stay inside within the ever flowing sounds of life.

Those same ocean waves, their crashing foam, their retreat only to smash the shore line once more has always tingled my ears and thrilled my being. Is it because they resonate so much like the first sounds I’d heard while inside my mother’s womb? To me, the likeness between the two lined up so well that the thought fit. I came to from my trance sitting in a place I’d always been. Yes, I’d arrived and walked away from my birth, but maybe merely from one womb into another, a much larger all-encompassing one; earth. And one sound the earth makes while breathing is that of the crashing sea upon any shore.

Up, down, in, out, over and under, swirling left or right, the waves move on and they’re never as far away as they might seem. The world is ever connected, including us. We are born to be born to be born. If we are not in our mother’s womb, then we romp in the womb of life. It’s nice to see it all now-the sea and life.

You've helped make our day, year-life.Way young but my shirt says it all….never far from the sea.

securedownloadPeace….we all love peace.

Franque23

My books are on Kindle…. The Avatar Magic series, by Gerald Franquemont..I hope you’ll read them….

 

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The library district I work for, The Alachua County Library District in Florida, has made the national news? Usually when this happens we make feel good, happy days, we’re one of the ten best libraries in the country type of news. Not today.

To be specific, the story about our library district refers to a patron who claims our buying preferences are bias, tainted with a prejudice, a mess of a heap of spending that leans towards liberal material  purchases while giving the thumbs down to books or media that favors the conservative right.

The book in question is, Clinton Cash, the graphic novel version.  The headlines on the matter state that “A Florida Library Bans book….” Below is the actual immediate follow-up to the headline.

The Alachua County Library District denied Alachua County resident Ann Lhota’s request to make Clinton Cash: A Graphic Novel available to borrow.”

Let’s be clear—Not buying a book for the library shelves is a far cry from  banning a book, but there’s so much more that goes with this story, and none of it is being discussed in the news stories.  Not only has our library district not banned this book, we own ten or more copies of the book, just not the graphic novel format. The Alachua County Library owns this book.

It is relevant to note that only 60 libraries nation-wide have bought this book in the graphic novel format. Why? This  I can’t answer, but it’s clear that 99% of library purchase departments country-wide deem buying this book a poor use of tax payer’s money. This basically means the purchase departments for libraries across the county don’t think the graphic novel will circulated enough to be worth its cost. In our case, the hard print version of this book has not circulated well up to this date-that could change with all the commotion this so-called news story has created.

It’s also important to note the Alachua County library has actually bought 35 of 39 purchase requests this patron has made over the past two years. Actually, this is an astonishing number of purchase requests for any one patron to make within a two-year period. I think it nice that she is so motivated but it’s even more mind-blowing that our purchase department has bought such a high number of her book request! Why this one book is stuck in her craw I can’t say…but her complaints on this matter have been as highly motivated as her interest in submitting purchase requests.

Ann Lhots has complained to town commissioners,  to newspapers and to library officials about this decision to not, at this point, pick up one of her 39 purchase requests. Fellow sympathizer’s for her cause have sent e-mails from around the nation, some flat-out rude, laced with name calling, crude expressions and vile wishes. Why? We house over 250 thousand books in just one of eleven locations comprised within our library district-the issue is over one format of one book that we do own in another.

More to the point, why is this story national news? How bizarre.  Tsk-tsk to the papers that ran this story. Of course, the fuel to this over blown story lies within the motivation of those who wish to portray libraries as national hot beds of radical, liberal thinking.

It’s a common core belief of many on the Right or conservative side of politics that libraries should not be funded by tax dollars. Case in point.  Texas had the nation’s lowest state funding for its public libraries  when George Bush Jr. was its governor.  So yeah, people who might like us to carry the graphic novel version of, Clinton Cash, a book that leans ‘right’ when it comes to embracing Hillary Clinton’s downside, may well be among those who think libraries are ill-suited for the public cause.

The bottom line is pubic libraries have no agenda but to exist and to provide free and open access to any type of information-factual, entertaining, trendy, now or then, to every edge of knowledge or furthermost out there speculation. It’s all good if it’s information, that’s any public library’s unspoken motto.

Please go out and visit your public library; we love seeing patrons. The materials we provide are free to access and librarians across the country are available to help you locate what you hope to find. As for Ms. Lhota’s complaint, I would have expected a “Thank You for buying 35 of the 39 books I requested you buy,” instead. Or, at least a smile.

The papers running this story should have taken a broader look at the story before spending their hard-earned money on the ink it took to print.

See you in the public library.

Franque23–I’ve been a library Specialist for the past twenty-two years.


I’m there, at that age, and I can tell you- every middle class , upper middle class and anyone below these classes needs to have the benefits of their hard-earned paychecks(investments), a pension from the jobs they have served long-term, plus social security when they age. Really, getting old is not a walk through white daisy fields-the ones we will one day push up

download-5— but a daily struggle of will and body that differs for each person who gets to ripen with age.

It's a journey-we all needs hats and safety nets.

It’s a journey-we all needs hats and safety nets.

It’s not that things fall off when you get older.

Hey look! It's not me!!!

Hey look! It’s not me!!!

Heck, in some ways at 67 I’m as strong as I ever was, maybe less distracted, more focused. The early years are swamped with wonder. The middle years filled with responsibilities, trials, tribulations, too many bills, phone calls, the ‘What the hell are my kids doing?’ moments, booze, parties, I’m  absolutely positive thoughts, mistakes and breakthroughs, couches that need to be replaced and ‘If only’s’.

It's the year of the Meme...

It’s the year of the Meme…

Welcome to the inner sanctum

Welcome to the inner sanctum

The older years are when things start to slow down though Grandchildren, if you have any, can keep things spinning but not, usually, twenty-four seven like immediate family chores. Older years give a person time to reflect, hear the birds, feel the breeze, garden,  and finally take time to sit in that rocker bought so long ago. It’s a great time to read and to forget the worry-a silent apprehension that things may not work out. Heck, if you reach the older years, things have worked out. Congrats.

You've won.....

You’ve won…..

Sure, everyone should count pennies as they go but this shouldn’t be a full-time job when you reach retirement, not unless you’re some sorta mathematics savant who loves the pastime. This is why every American should demand a pension from jobs they have held for long periods of time, and a social security check. Oh, I know, I know-owners, the ruling class, and some workers clamor on about investing  in stocks rather suffering through Social Security paycheck deductions. The thing is, I do think workers should have an investment scheme going on for their lives, but also Social Security. The stocks can wobble up or down, and sometimes down for long periods of time just when a person reaches an age when they need them to wiggle up. Social Security stands now as a constant income as should be.

The notion that Social Security should be disbanded or its funds stolen for other government programs is a trash heap of garbage that stinks for workers.

Dumping Social Security and eradicating pensions smells fishy--don't go donw that road.

Dumping Social Security and eradicating pensions smells fishy–don’t go down that road.

What a load....

What a load….

Those opposed to Social Security keep flappin' their jaws spewing crap.

Those opposed to Social Security keep flappin’ their jaws spewing crap.

Don’t buy into that premise.  Invest in stocks-go high or low risk as you like- work your ass off when you can during your life  in pension rich jobs, and demand Social Security. Do this and you’ll not only hear the birds but have time to learn their calls and name them during old age. The Life scheme as it was set for workers and running so well in the 1950’s still works.

Don’t let the politicians steal, erode or flim-flam your mind with gobbledygook.

Americans should expect and demand a Federally insured, defined benefit pension option for every job…Social Security with viable health insurance and a healthy investment market-that’s government by the people, for the people and security.

Cheers-keep up the fight. Slough off the crap and sling the truth.

 

Franque23

Diversity of incomes helps...

Diversity of incomes helps…


I’ve seen the rain in Africa, once in Johannesburg. Now, I only see it thru my wife’s FB messages-she’s spending some time there with our daughter and her new-born boy. A lot of my heart is in Africa, not just because I have family there but the truth is I’ve always been fascinated by the animals of Africa. How different! And then there was the constant noise I heard in grade school that we all came from Africa.

 

turning the world, maybe right-side up?!

Turning the world, maybe right-side up?! Say what?

You know, as a kid, I always assumed what I was taught in school was basically true. I was never a doubting Gerald. No, give me the facts and I’d write them down for test grades, then I’d go play ball free from the confines of those four walls and imposing blackboards…

Thing is, it turns out some of what I was told about Africa wasn’t true. I remember twirling globes to look at our world; that was the real deal. Actually, not so much. The picture of our world and it’s continents is really a product more of fancy, preference or economic goals than a semblance of fact.  Forget about the size of elephant’s ears; have you ever seen the size of the continent? Maybe not.

Time to listen up--Africa is way larger in comparison to other continents than we ever see it as drawn on any map....

Time to listen up–Africa is way larger in comparison to other continents than it is ever drawn on almost any map….It’s scaled down to fit what?

The bottom line on Africa is simple-calling it gigantic, colossal, bigger than huge, behemoth, gargantuan, elephantine, monumentally mammoth, prodigious or Brobdingnagian would all be insults to its true size.  Basically, you can fit many of the world’s countries inside the size of Africa and still have room to squeeze in most of your dreams comfortably.893ff7359157d3832529bc47799e8854
Example=
See? That’s American and China, oh yes India, and few random handful of European countries, hello Spain! all fitting within the one continent…. hmmm…
Example number two=

On a typical world map, Canada is  vast, a huge land area that covers a large part of the northern half of the globe. But, three Canada’s would comfortably fit inside Africa??? In our world’s nut shell— the world maps we see or the globes we spin are misleading. I read the Geert De Kremer may be the one responsible for the twisted geography we all memorized to pass tests….about a zillion years ago this European cartographer drew Africa  in scale to its importance at the time, not in proportion to any reality that involved the earth. Oddly, this misrepresentation has been happily recreated by globe manufactures and map makers ever since?!?!? Even today, google maps does no better,, ,and by the number of places google map’s bubble in Africa, you’d think most of the continent wasn’t there at all.

 

I've and idea! How about we makes maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled....

I’ve and idea! How about we make maps and globes that represent the true size of all the continents!!! Just call me brilliant and puzzled….It all seems so twisted.

Here’s another quote I found who knows where….
“The 1569 Mercator projection was made for navigating the seas — drawing the meridians and parallels as straight lines that cross at right angles helped sailors to navigate some of the their first treacherous voyages around the world. Mercator initially made globes. Later transferring his map from a three-dimensional curved surface to a flat sheet of paper was problematic. Taking the equator as the logical map center left big, confusing gaps near the poles. Mercator’s solution was to stretch out the northern and southern extremities of the globe to fill those gaps, producing an elegant and usable map. While a revolutionary tool for captains and explorers, the projection distorts the relative size of the continents, to the advantage of the West. The repercussions of this are still being felt today.”
Yes, but I’ve a question- did this down play of the continent’s size also go hand-in-hand with people’s prejudices? I think so—and it is all so amazing. I read one article that expressed how different the world might be seen(and be) if map makers admitted they’d no idea what’s up or down when it comes to our universe and had drawn the world with Africa on top!

Now, as the world spins, Africa’s true worth in terms of today’s dollars is coming to light. The powerful countries all jockey  for position hoping to tap into this amazing continent’s wealth….one map is worth a thousand words…

 

Oh,,, China, Russia and America all rush to Africa's shores

Oh,,, China, Russia and America rush to Africa’s shores

 

While the world moves in Africa’s direction my mind drifts there as well.  I loved visiting Johannesburg and will one day, with luck, get to Cape Town. These places are  found on a map, but they should be much easier to locate. The size of this place escapes description-the one we were never taught.

 

Cape Town---Table Top in the distance...

Cape Town—Table Top in the distance…

Not Cape Town

Not Cape Town

South Africa...

South Africa…

people(my daughter's family) sunbath next to the happy penquins

people(my daughter’s family) sunbath next to the happy penguins

My daughter walks through time in South Africa--long shadows.

My daughter and child walk through time in South Africa, casting long shadows.

Cheers.

Franque23

 My Avatar Magic Trilogy can be found on Kindle; I’ve a fourth book coming out soon. Gerald Franquemont.
Ps–you really should visit Japan(see my globes on that country) and Africa—

 

Mom takes a look....

Mom takes a look….My first born has her second born….

It got me thinking…

Gainesville back in the day

Gainesville back in the day-you tell me when? Anyway, it was at least a simpler time, call it a slower moving time? in some ways …

Of course, the grass always looks greener-back then there was no internet and maybe three stations on TV. Calls were made through operators; there were no fancy coffees but for Maxwell house which  even Millionaires couldn’t buy …

But some things don’t change…like having babies and keeping that eternal on going string of humanity going, or not… Lots of great people, some we base our thinking upon, chose for whatever reason not to have children—* Way too numerous to list,,we can just remember Newton, Mother Teresa, both Wright Brothers, Beethoven ,Chekhov and Poe to name a few who didn’t have children.  It’s not mandatory that a person have children, but how people have avoided that  DNA driven push to go on I haven’t a clue–I couldn’t.(of course, some couldn’t have children) I was 30ish when a brick like feeling hit my head and said, “Have children,” so I proposed and, thankfully, my wife did have three.

 

Home sweet home-

Home sweet home-way back in the day….(1750)

It was back in 1750 when the man who lived in this castle sired all the Von Franquemonts/ Franquemonts that are in the world today—err, I bear the name. He liked having babies…and his 50  or so kept women gave him plenty. His name was Karl Eugen, and at the time, I guess his legitimate wife(s) didn’t mind the flock.

I’ll be going to this castle soon,,,and then to the outer rubble of what is left of the Von Franquemont castle–something to look forward too.

Thing is, and why this post is about children,, is my first-born just had her second born, Kai Louis Bhaca Shiohira was born yesterday 8/15/16 in Cape Town…He’s our 7th Grandchild.

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing!

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing! Parents for the second time… Maya and Kai are lucky to have them as leaders.

The string of humanity is amazing…and the push all parents make to get children grown up is even more mind-boggling. Children are a worry and love that is never forgotten. It was when our children reached 12ish that I realized,,Hey-this isn’t for 18 or 21 years-this is forever… and it’s  great, the forever.

Trouble is, America completely misses the point. Ruled by most businesses who seemingly care not one iota for life, families, children and education of the young, American’s struggle to raise families with shrinking incomes, devalued dollars and the poorest of Family leave benefits when children are born…

In fact….as my cousin’s son flies through the skies,, his photos remind me that this family benefit/leave policy prevalent in the US is upside down….

32271_1446662118859_4151214_n Ross does a flip in the air.

Thing is, if you look at this world-wide graph of benefits given to new moms and dads, you’ll see American’s get the short shaft when it comes to having time off, paid time off mind you, to bring their children into this world in a loving, home giving environment..

ct-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world-20160-001http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/ct-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world-20160815-story.html

So, Basically, America as it is now stands to give no credence to the new family, the new child, the new life-the one the entire world depends upon if we are to continue.

Babies are legacies

Babies are legacies, and so much more,,,the future.

It's a growing world

It’s a growing world..How could the United States be one of just nine countries to offer no set leave time to new moms and dads as a National law?

the generations before and after us are the point

Our generation and the generations before and after us are the point.

The laws in place for Family Leave after birth in America, or more aptly put, not in place, are just sick. Personally, I find this more than appalling as an American-it’s disgusting. Big business only cares for money; why work for them; why support anything they want when they don’t even give a hoot about new life, the life that will push us forward when we are gone?

Here’s to the children, our new hope for humanity. Right now, I hope maternity leave for both parents changes here in America…isn’t that due?

My generation went to Woodstock because we believed in change--when will we get it?

My generation went to Woodstock because we believed in change–when will we get it?

Our family want to know--When will America change?

Our family wants to know–When will America change, and value children-families?

Franque23 loves his children and Grandchildren…don’t we all.?

*http://brianhassett.com/2010/06/people-who-dont-have-kids/


Okay, so my wife has taken off for Africa for a while, but this post isn’t about that. No. It’s about being gone from Lake Bonaparte  for a year now, or , actually, it’s been three weeks. Thing is, time is relative, or is it irrelevant-I forget. Anyhow, it’s been a heck lot longer than a day since I last watched my puppy leap about 22 feet thru the air off the dock*. How did he do that? It’s all about the back monstrous legs on this dog…

hey muscles....

hey muscles….

click on the pic for back leg muscle shot....it all came to me yesterday as I watched him leap to the top of a six foot Sheppard's hook trying to get a squirrel...

click on the pic for back leg muscle shot….it all came to me yesterday as I watched him leap to the top of a six-foot Sheppard’s hook trying to get a squirrel…this Catahoula Leopard dog really is a bit like a large cat.

Okay, so about that Lake up north…not sure I’ve mentioned this, but it’s way cool, and not just the temps. It’s got just about everything-swimming, boating, majestic sunsets, crazy Loons(the bird-not people)**, almost deep dive potential, bluffs to jump off, and for fisherpeople it has 22 miles of shore line to plug.  But, as they say, I can’t take it or leave it. Wait. Did someone ever say that?

I'm sick of puttin' up with the good times day after day....

I’m sick of puttin’ up with the good times day after day….

What ever happened to misery? It’s a fact, you find people up at the lake roaming the roads looking for something bad to happen. The non-existent nearby Hospital is full of people suffering from cracked, smiling faces…

Nothin' to do outside forces kids and adults to interact inside...it's down right nuts.

Nothin’ to do outside forces kids and adults to interact inside…it’s down right nuts.

If I go back it won’t be too soon enough-I’m warning ya. If I hear one more whisper of fun I’m gonna go fishing, swimming or canoeing…I promise.

Go ahead, dare me to go fishin'

Go ahead, dare me to go fishin’

We have the poles to do it.

We have the poles to do it.

I know you think I'm just put up with this and keep the home fires burning...Ha!

I know you think I’m just gonna put up with this and keep the home fires burning…Ha!

But, I’m telling you-enough fun is enough. I’m Fini, kaput, done with the crazy fun,,and for what? The Fourth of July? If I see another beautiful firework display up there at the lake I’m gonna puke, though, maybe that was for some other reason,,I forget.

Parades of fun-it all makes me a bit nuts...okay, a lot nuts...or nuttier.

Parades of fun-it all makes me a bit nuts…okay, a lot nuts…or nuttier. Please pass the s’mores-thanks Mary and Joey…

I may see a doctor about all of this. Why? Why the Lake? If it’s sunny one day it may be raining the next, and if the fish are biting it means I need to rush to the hospital for those wounds. There are steps-so many I might one day get in shape-nah, squash that. It’s the stars that keep me up at night, and the ever elusive Northern lights…(I did too see them).

Actually, all people do up at Lake Bonaparte is crash..

 My sister is one hundred and fifty years old today--here she is trying to figure out how to read....

My sister is one hundred and fifty years old today–here she is trying to figure out what’s in her hand….sad-like the lake.

NO, he's not tired....

NO, he’s not tired….

In fact, this lake thing is such a downer, a condom tomato post from this past spring is in order–wait,, I mean , Random tomato post….gosh.

from my Florida yard....

from my Florida yard….

Hmmmm,,, still not out of the slump? How about a pineapple….

this year we have 11 coming or already eaten....some small, some large...I expect about 30 next year.

this year we have 11 coming or already eaten….some small, some large…I expect about 30 next year.

So why go to the Lake of Fun and be miserable when I could stay here and pick pineapples,,,Doctor? Shhh, I’m practicing and mediating.

this is the exact sunset I once told Cassie could never happen...Hahha...sock and foot in mouth.

this is the exact sunset I once told Cassie(family) could never happen…Hahha…sock and foot in mouth.

That’s it. I refuse to go back until I do. There’s no middle water about it. I’m not gonna get all slobbering and sob on about it. Heck, I wouldn’t be caught dead up there- not with so much livin’ to do around them shores.

132Oh splat…..I guess I’ll go mow in the 95 degree heat with 150% humidity summer day here…that should help. Like I’d wanna be up at the lake right now, as if.

Go ahead, make a splash, see if I care.

Go ahead, make a splash, see if I care.

sob.

Franque23

*

Shadow road the wind....now about 8 feet past Craig....

Shadow road the wind….now about 8 feet past Craig….

**Many would disagree-the looney’s are at the Lake..

 


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


The Lake seems like a dream.

There are so many great shots of our Lake posted on the Bonaparte site-this one is an aerial view of our camp in Porter's Bay, East shore road. Follow the road as it forks left and it leads right to our camp-the roof and yard is fully visible. (click to make larger)

There are so many great shots of our Lake posted on the Bonaparte site-this one is an aerial view of our camp in Porter’s Bay, East shore road. Follow the road as it forks left and it leads to our camp

Now, I can’t watch those morning  Lake water’s mirror the day to come. The easy, breezy mornings, the why am I so hungry noontime meals, the peaceful afternoons and cooler, crisp nights have whisked away into memories. The Lake’s wind and clouds that stretch to the horizon beyond reason are gone from touch and sight. The calling loons, their sounds so audible above the whining motor boat engines or belly splashes made by air-borne people during the day, the same calls that preside with a magical presence throughout the evening hours and echo off the distant hills, no longer nudge my imagination.

Our camp has always had one of the best views on the Lake....sixty feet up, facing the sunset....

Our camp has always had one of the best views on the Lake….sixty feet up, facing the sunset….

Lake Bonaparte’s sandy shore has once again slipped between my fingers.

dang it! Even the Loons are flappin' goodbye

dang it! Even the Loons are flappin’ goodbye

It was a year of do’s and do nots. My sister and I sat one night and  listed the things we’d planned to accomplish on our stay but hadn’t as this year’s vacation came to a close. I’d so looked forward to reading but had hardly opened a book. (Fart)I planned on fishing every day but only got out once by myself and only three other times with my grandchildren-hardly a record pace.(Splat) I knew I’d pause on the dock, rest, but always seemed so busy!(Oy Vey!) I hoped to catch up with relatives and friends but was lucky enough to share a meal with most of them. (My time was gobbled up!) Long drives were in order but, though there were some, none went to the heart of the Adirondacks; the mountains stayed on my horizon. (Heeellllo over thereee) I’d get stuff done, right? I remember all the record keeping, re-organization, the strategic planning I’d hoped to get done.(Whahahaha.as if-whiplash on that wishful thinking.)

I’m thinking I had a smorgasbord of nothing getting done this year.

Lake Bonaparte-great place to get nothin' done.

Lake Bonaparte-easy to get nothin’ done.

It was, however, great to bring two grandchildren up to meet some of their cousins and for us to see our own relatives and loved ones. Those meeting pushed the clock. The weather did not disappoint, always offering a wide variation in temperature, skies clear to rainy, and a wind fierce enough to top the lake with whitecaps or so still that a feather could stay in place on shore. Looking back, the three consecutive days of a still lake-a rarity-seems a miracle. Was any of it real?

Dale enjoys her morning , worship time....

Dale enjoys her morning worship time….

It's as silent in the morning as if the snow had just fallen

It’s silent in the morning, as if the snow had just fallen…

There were exotic evening boat rides that appeared to hold the sunset up in the sky as we raced to the opposite east shore with our motor churning to ‘save the day’. The Clue games left me without one; playing Go Fish was the luckiest I got at that sport.  Yoga on the dock was matched well with filling boat gas tanks. The Lake water stayed warm and oh so clear. I didn’t twist, strain or break a single bone while rolling down our stairs or slipping on the dock. Our only night fire was spectacular and helped fend off the black fly and deer fly hatch we’d hit just right during our stay.

"Mornin'! Are the flies gone?"

“Mornin’! Are the flies gone?”

BTW-what the hell is the black fly and deer fly hatch doing coming out mid July at the Lake? Don’t I remember that as being an early June nemesis type of a thingy?

I kinda like The Lake...

I kinda like The Lake…flies or no flies…..

I haven’t mentioned the crashing down of a six-foot long-range of dishes off the wall in our kitchen on purpose. First off, memories have privileges and, when the 100 or so broken dishes and glassware were all cleaned up, we had about just the right number of dishes left in tact to run the camp. It’s called God’s grace that no one was hurt and collecting if you take the high road on the amount of glassware we had.

The high road....thanks to Mary S for the pic,,I think,,actually, I forget....

The high road….thanks to Mary S for the pic,,I think,,actually, I forget….

I saw Pat and Sue who I haven’t seen in eight plus years and Kate McGraw(sp) who I haven’t seen in forty-five or more! Good neighbors were there, too. Hi to Bill, his crew with mighty Max the 2 1/2 yr old, Laura, and Mary and Joey plus the cool dock crowd! Tom Morgan stopped by this year; Paul and Meta look great. The Fourth was a real kick….thanks to everyone for those fireworks around the Lake. Boom..it’s all fun.

The dream will keep until our next visit. Then, we’ll start a new one. See you…

This float lasted at least two days,,,,maybe.

This float lasted at least two days,,,,maybe.-we highly recommend the Wave Kayaks for children up to 130 pounds…..they are Gggggrreat!

Franque23 loves the Lake and won’t miss a single dish.

Psst–to the fishermen: I can absolutely tell you where the fish weren’t….


the Lake is still--it'll be a great day.

the Lake is still–it’ll be a great day.

The men chilled on the dock

The men chill at the Lake

the, Wave", kayaks went out in force

the, Wave”, kayaks go out in force

But despite it alll, something was wrong...I could hardly get a laugh in edge wise.

But despite it all, something is wrong…I can’t hardly get a laugh in edge wise.

As all dogs have that special sense when something isn't quite right, Shadow came up with an idea and intercepted me up the stairs on my way for a beer, soda, fruit juice-you pick.

As all dogs have that special sense when something isn’t quite right, Shadow comes up with an idea and intercepts me as I go up the stairs on my way for a beer, soda, fruit juice-you pick.

I try to ignore Shadow…I’m miserable; nothing can change the number of limited days I have left at the Lake.

But our Catahoula Leopard dog, Shadow, wouldn't stop cdrouching like a Leopard as the breed does often...his nose pointed to the object of his interest.

But our Catahoula Leopard dog, Shadow, won’t stop crouching like a Leopard as the breed does often…his nose pointed to the object of his interest.

So I brake down, crack the shroud that has so encompassed my head,,,,and pick up the ball…..I begin to throw the ball into the lake for the one-thousandth, seven hundred and fifteenth time this day, but something remarkable happens.

Shadow begins to run, but every watching fan knows this might be the leap, the one that clears all records and ignites the crowd into uproarious cheers.

The approach....

The approach….

Shadow ran and it was game on

Shadow runs and it’s game on

Shadow lifted to the sky while Craig( a six footer human) watched by--Craig is over 8 feet from our dock ladder.....easy

Shadow lifts to the sky while Craig( a six footer human) watches by–Craig is over 8 feet from our dock ladder…..easy

Shadow flies as fans gasp….

Shadow road the wind....now about 8 feet past Craig....

Shadow rides the wind….now about 8 feet past Craig….

His legs come under his chest as he prepares to hit the water.

You call it? How many feet was that? I've measured Shadow's jumps at 16 feet before....but this one....wow

You call it? How many feet was that? I’ve measured Shadow’s jumps at 16 feet before….but this one….wow

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As shadow comes up the ladder to the acclaim of fans, I can’t help remember how athletics has run in my family, my dad, a track runner for Iowa State and then his dad ran in the American Games in Texas during the early 1900’s.

This dog is an incredible athlete. Last year, here in Gainesville, Florida, it was not uncommon for other dog owners to clap for Shadow as he ran and jumped into the air to catch a ball at the dog parks. He has out run almost ever dog he has faced at the park during his first 3 years of life-greyhounds included. It’s hard to believe, but this little 52 pound dog is 1/4 greyhound, and he has the will to win of a giant. It’s his desire, his will, to run the fastest or leap so far that amazes me most about this dog.The crowd stayed for more....

The fans…..line up.( Shadow’s way back in the pic.)

And it went on for two weeks…..

the splashin'

the splashin’

Sundown would bring another day......perfect.

It’s good to hang…….Sundown would bring another day……perfect.

13769524_10157113592055487_2269551573294768511_n (1)

We had so many wonderful sunsets.

We had so many wonderful sunsets.

I found myself wondering if Shadow knows why people are clapping, cheering or why we are laughing our asses off as he leaps through the air, all in good faith. I smile and laugh every time he leaps….it’s all good.

Thanks buddy…..you’ve come along way….

Franque23

Let's get a move on!!!Shadow at about 6 months….

 


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.

 

 

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