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That’s right. With just a single stroke of something, Shadow has a miraculous hole in his ear flap.

A sock in my face and a hole in my ear—

“Wait! Do you mean I’ll have a hole in my ear when I grow up?”

It all started without me knowing, though my wife had noticed the small offending,’bimp,’* for a while. It wasn’t big enough to be called a bump and not so big to think it wouldn’t go away. Of course, I hadn’t seen a thing since I use, ‘Guy-eyes,’ 100% of the time. Guy-eyes have the unique talent of selectively not seeing when it comes to things like dirty floors, dishes, walls, cars, yards, holes in dog’s ears, just about anything that relates to work or trouble or spending money. Any wife will tell you that, ‘Guy-ears,’ work about the same way. A dripping faucet becomes part of Beethoven’s Fifth symphony and a sink full of dirty dishes is no less than abstract art to guy-eyes. Yard trash is merely a small replica of a Burning Man exhibit in the works. No, my guy-eyes and ears didn’t see anything until Shadow’s special spot started to dazzle spinning disco lights and play sirens that could drown out an ambulance’s song.

Once, my wife called firemen to check on a smokey smell in our house. They searched around as I slept through the whole thing. It’s all about mind-power. I’m on guard 24/7 with this stuff.

More, guys like me have incredible tolerances when it comes to doing very little until we want to get going.  So Monday a week I fell into noticing this spot on Shadow’s ear flap that had now earned the name, ‘bumple’.

“Tick.” I ran upstairs to get the magnifying glass and tweezers.

Leafing thru random news today……

Just a, err,  head’s up! Did you know that  John Boehner  ex-republican speaker of the House is now a CEO of a, Pot, as in weed, company?

Of course, there is this. Shadow is the best dog, the most obedient dog, a polite eater, a perfect beggar and a relaxed, no jumping-up dog who constantly does jump-up with a smile. Except, that is, when my wife or I notice something, a scratch, a tiny piece of dirt, a bit of tree lice, an embedded minute twig or anything else on him.  Exploring the most teeny-weeny, infinitesimal speck of nothing becomes an all-out no can do with this dog. Once our fingers start to investigate anything on Mr. ‘I’m so good,’ he goes into terror mode—his eyes, oh how wide; his tongue now a flashing dart so merry; who knew a dog could twist his neck in so many directions with a paw beside his nose? The body wiggles’ attack any probing finger making the entire dastardly exploration nearly impossible!

“How is any of this going to help me swim better?”

I managed to discover that the offending spot was not a tick but a true bump of a spot!! In aggressive guy fashion, I put off thinking about this for another day, or four days until it was time for our Friday afternoon car ride. That’s when an uncontrollable force drove me and Shadow to the vet who said, “I don’t operate on Saturdays so bring him in at 7 AM Monday morning…”

Gulp!

We have so many more gardens to grow together!

You’ve been helping me weed for four years….

Monday came after a weekend of my mind trying not to construct a gallows or grave for my dog. Dreaded what-ifs became many bowls of ice cream; he’s gonna be fine became my version of the Chiffon’s, “He so Fine.”** Worse, we had to wait a week to hear the biopsy report after Shadow survived the operation. No matter, Shadow’s worth one week of distracted thought and his clown collar gave us plenty of laughs as he banged into walls, chairs and doors before he learned to navigate with a head the size of a huge watermelon.

Ol’ Clown collar face was not happy with his new arrangement at first, but check out his newly manicured toe-nails?!?

“Why do you keep looking at my ear?” Well, first off, it’s the other ear, Shadow. Nice try though.

Drum-stick roll……

Shadow’s fine as it turns out, but for the hole in his ear. Will it heal and close? The jury’s still out but I think he will weigh one hole less when this is all done. But the pills he’s had to take have brought him a boat load of treats and Shadow’s happy about that.

Jump for joy! “Will  I get to wear a clown collar one day? Look at me go!!!”

Sometimes, I almost think he likes wearing that clown collar?!?!?

This last operation episode puts Shadow in the—most expensive dog we ever owned—category.  This is due to his propensity to charge after squirrels through brush, trees, fence and field in random directions with a hurricane force of will. The facial cuts keep coming.  In the end, I imagine Shadow will resemble a boxer, not the dog but the guy in the ring. Speaking of rings,  if Shadow retains his ear flap hole it will be tempting to place a ring through it! But he’d just get that caught on something and rip his ear flap in half.  Sigh.

We not only have the best dog in the whole world, but one with a hole in his ear flap, too! How special is that, baby?

Cheers from thank-goodness land.

And of Thanks, these broccoli, collard greens and kale have been yielding since last October!!! I picked more broccoli today, 4/11/18?!?! Does this give you seed for thought?

Franque23

 

 

 

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3UP2FraDCU

**https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rinz9Avvq6A

 

 

 

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I got up so late this morning I almost missed my nap!

Yesterday, Friday, I drove across town after work with my cone-head wearing dog* to get pool supplies, drove home and got the pool cleaned and mulched the garden for the second time this spring,

This is how I mulch the garden-I drive around and pick up other people’s yard rakings, haul it back in my car and dump it on my garden. This works well as long as I off-set the acidity of the leaves with lime.

Then,  I fertilized 17 citrus trees and replaced a cracked mower blade and mowed until 7:30 PM. It was a great start to what would have been a productive wkend until today, Saturday.

 

I ‘arose’ feeling so unlike the tea roses in our yard…

Today, I’ve a bad case of stuck-in-a-chairitush as I wonder if I should move to the couch.

Nah, the couch is like two rooms away and they say it might rain Tuesday so why bother to move now? Plus, there’s a 60% chance of raindrops today; that means going outside would risk getting hit by one. I might as well stay in butt-put mode.

Actually, here’s the deal. In my world, if it rained on Saturday all workers would get Monday off. Being off wkends is a hard-fought for union negotiated right! All the other work days of the week are just a bunch of made up crap—and there are soooo many!?!?!

So yeah, our wkend’s deserve payback from the week days if it rains on Saturday.  But what about rainy Sundays? Of course, to keep in line with our Judeo-Christian values rainy Sundays means workers should get two days off that following week. Why? Obviously, any rain sent on a Sunday came from God and who’s gonna mess with Him? If God makes it rain on Sunday then  he’s all in with us getting the two days off. Period.

But I have questions. Does God like to play golf?

And I have answers. The real reason for not paying my newspaper subscription is so I don’t have to go get it off the lawn right now. First off, this would entail me getting out of my chair, that’s iffy. Plus, the wind is out there; wind and sun, but I just know there’s also a raindrop or two out there somewhere and it might hit my head.

Go ahead laugh, but only bald people know about raindrops hitting heads. “Hats!” You say? “Bats wearing hats!” I say. It’s your turn.

But, being bald has advantages, too.

Dad’s WWII hat might help?

BTW, Kerry, a wonderful person to work around, hmm, I mean not to work around as avoid but, with, anyway, she had a dog named, Mookie, who retrieved the newspaper each day from the lawn! See-that’s good genes, but have you ever weighed your jeans?

I’m talking about the real kind of blue-jeans, not those thin stretchy things people wear over undies no one can tell you have on. No, this is about the good ol’ regular kind of jeans real cowboys wear–they’re freakin’ heavy!! So, no, I’m not wearing jeans today, just shorts and paisley patterned undies.

That should about do it though there is one more little thing. It’s great they have food service deliveries to the house door now, but who’s gonna feed me the food?

This day is gonna be full of work.

Franque23

*

Shadow has a cone-head today, but that’s another glob.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Eating ribs tomorrow means there’s no point in dieting today! Why create a hole now only to fill it later?

Really, I may have been a bit literal in my younger days—like yesterday back—cause I thought I was what I ate. I’d sit at the dinner table as a kid and feel my legs and arms fill up first as I ate; it was super important to leave my hands empty for dessert.

BTW—I own typo’s, and as a wirter ( whoops…see dyslexic, too ) I can’t spell, either. So, I invent ways to remember things like how to spell desert or should it be dessert. No, just learning that dessert you eat has two S’s won’t work. This works: desserts are sweets (See=2 S’s in sweets.) There, it only took me 68 years to figure this one out and I’ve about, oh, a zillion more word spellings ot nail down. Oooops… there’s another typo I make a living offering. Ot=to.

I took a class on Excel yesterday and realized I don’t misspell words, I just write in Excel type formulas …ot=to; ti’s=it’s; htey=they; these are just a few formulas I type by. Then there’s that nagging form=from. Of course, there’s a way to pick one’s often misspelled words and set your computer to auto-adjust those to the correct spelling. But form=from or vice versa would be a never-ending (typing) nightmare, right?

Thank you for asking what keeps writers up at night or daydreaming during the day.(Okay, this part is made up. Please someone ask me a question—I don’t care how random…)

 Sixth grade graduation shot. I’m in the back row, the sixth boy from the right. I started writing stories in fourth grade. My teacher accused me of not being the author of my first submission, (maybe I wasn’t?) The story was about a man wrongfully accused of murdering a woman but who, none-the-less, was hung for the crime. I went into great detail about the wood box the falsely accused man stood on before being hung. My mom had to write a letter saying she knew I wrote the piece. Thing is, the process for me was like being told what to write by a voice I heard in my head, a voice that didn’t seem like or sound like me speaking at the time.

Did you know there’s a huge debate going on about adverbs—you know those LY endings along with long, hard, quick type words. Stephen King hates them while Mark Twain rowed the same boat ‘Yinly’….but the Yang side of the debate is loaded with good writers, Bigly.

Point of view is subjective but simple for me.  I’m always right and you’re wrong should we disagree but none of this is really about the Point of View writers work on.

POV is a whole different animal.

The question is, should the story be written in First person, even if that of a dead person, Third person Omniscient or limited, Second Person so rarely used or does it all flip-flop by chapter?  And how about using the unreliable narrator technique?  Writers may write one passage or book in different points of view to see which works best and, if it all sucks, then just throw out the work but not before they hammer out a past and present version, too, just to see.

How long does writing take?

This varies by writer, times and situations. I’ve finished four full length novels now and see the approximate time frame for me between starting a book and then having it on Kindle pages is about 2 years per book.  I always start writing by staring off into space while typing away. I might type out one paragraph, or a page or a long story that ends up being several chapters before reviewing the work to correct obvious errors in spelling, grammar, etc. Then I re-read the work for syntax, a better expression or word to use. Quick or slow; good or bad: writing takes time.

Here’s a good example, and remember I’ve written this glob about once per week (more than 500 times) over the past nine years, plus four books are finished with another done but not corrected and two others started, so I do write.  Why I write is due to some sort of brain damage but forget that—. Recently, I wrote a one page prologue that I may or may not use.  My wife likes it and my first writer said, “very good.’  Still, I don’t know. Thing is, I spent about five hours getting that one page done and I feel certain I’ll work more on the wording if I read it over again. That’s the key, a writer is never really done with anything they write; a book just ends when the final editor is done and the book is put on Kindle, or in some format, or published hard copy.

So the very long answer to how much time writing takes has to be one word: forever.

Sunflowers growing from seeds dropped by birds at our bird feeder reach for the sky. It feels like forever.

To me, writing fiction is like living in a perpetual dream-like state that runs as a background to life 24/7 until the story is written. Then, in time, that story fades as a memory. Any disruption while writing, even an act of kindness,  can knock a writer’s angle to the story out of whack and it might take hours or sometimes days to get back on track, if ever!

My money’s on the dark place writers must go when they write. It’s called the soul. Whether they slip, slide, run, jump or dive head first, all writers have to get to the core issue of what they write if they hope to pull something good out of it. It’s a dark place full of fire; a tiring breath of fresh air. That’s where the stories take place.

I’m not ribbing you.

Cheers,

Franque23

(Writing time here was 46 minutes. Endless corrections and pictures about another hour.)


I’m gonna start wearing a mask during Girl Scout Cookie Season. It’s the only way; I can’t stop eating those things so a mask just might do it! Why not? Many wear masks during the pollen season and right now it’s raining cookies out there. Not just at supermarkets, Wal-greens, Wal-marts or on any corner where people walk, but those cookie sellers are in my dreams as well.

I can’t sleep unless I’ve money in my pocket, like at least enough dough to buy four boxes of girl scout cookies that might pop up in a dream or two.

The women and girls started this mess and they better not stop. I know, we have four seasons but really, Girl Scout Cookie Season (GSCS) is the most important one. Chocolate Valentine’s Day Season is huge and so is Marshmallow Bunny Hop Season during Easter. And who can over look Halloween’s Reign of Candy Season but Girl Scout Cookie Season!?!? Now that, THAT is the mother of them all.

I really don’t like those cookies, I just can’t stop eating them. It’s not the cookies’ fault, it’s my mouth’s fault. The good news is that I know there has got to be a limit on how many GSC’S one man can eat. The bad news?—I’m gonna hit that limit.

Worse, I can’t think when I hear Girl Scout Cookies chirping.

Oddly, and this is the truth, the scale doesn’t say I’m gaining weight eating these GSC’S because, well, I

 

haven’t been on one in a month.

See? It says I weigh zero.

. The answer to the question is not to ask. We all know that.

Plus, shh, why wake up the scale? Give the scale a rest. It’s quite a step up onto that scale, too; I don’t want strain anything.

Listen, I’m not obsessing over these cookies but I do wonder how they might taste fried, over easy for breakfast, or scrambled. Of course, the Girl Scout Cookie hash browns potential comes to mind.

Back to the cookies of, OH My Gosh!, do you see how many choices there are to buy!!! It used to be, back in my day,  the only  choice I saw was thin mints since my face remained buried in those boxes for two weeks. Now, I’ve matured. I look over the collection of great choices and pick, Thin Mints…Plus those coconuty chocolate thingys called, Samoas…See? I now eat twice as many kinds as I did as a kid.

I could’ve retired five years ago if it weren’t for these babies.

 

I do not, and never have, swear, multitasked and eaten two different kinds of Girl Scout Cookies at the same time, not that I remember. Sure, maybe one cookie got in my pie hole before I’d swallowed the first, but technically this isn’t eating two GSC’S at the exact same time. Even if one cookie is well wedge against the right cheek as another is smashed in to the left cheek, that’s not like eating them both at the same time. Clearly, the tongue creates a dividing safe zone for discriminating tastes.

This may be her third box…

Here’s to the cookies of our lives!  So easy to download, right?

In truth, I didn’t eat one cookie today—-you know how this ends right? Like, I’ve eaten five that I counted. Some don’t count, clearly, if I’m too rushed to chew but just mash the thing in order to swallow it, that’s like not a cookie; whole different deal there.

Cheers… dang, I’ve completely lost my mask.

franquecookie.

 

 


Listen up you fat gobbler. Sure, you had good intentions for 2017 but that all went zip when the stuff-your-face holidays arrived. Look at you; you’ve redefined the meaning of,’Extra wide load’. You’re a red eyed, stumbling person who went to the fridge to get broccoli and came out with two popped beers and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Heck, you needed the drinks to help wash down that box of chocolates you just couldn’t give away! No matter, rotten veggies work better in the compost then beer bottles.

Face it, if your butt sagged anymore you’d have to roll from the bed to the kitchen to slurp up breakfast before going to work.

And when you get to work what what do you see? It’s those eight blurry tiny reindeer that have oddly appeared throughout your days since Christmas plus several workmates who give you the look—the look that darts from your drippin’ jowls and turkey neck to your eyes and says, “God, how can you still walk?”

 

It’s so bad showers are scary.

You’d wash but how many bars of soap would that take? Besides, balloons don’t take showers.

Thing is, two towels clipped together with clothes pins easily wrap around your belly so what’s to hate? I’m certain that looking down after showers reveals nothing of toes, and nothing of anything else that might protrude either but why worry? It just one gigantic sloppy view of lumpy fat that makes you think about skiing, or how you’ve gone down that slippery slope of second helpings. Just deal with it, right?

It’s true, your dog doesn’t even know you. The tail wags as he runs behind a chair.

Hmmmm, okay, let’s get real…

Look, you obtuse slurping low life chomper-this is about more than the spiral ham you sucked up, the pulled pork barbecue you smeared on your belly or the steaks, roasts, lamb and turkey your diet slipped on. NO, this is more than just about the honey carrots—just add more sugar, dear— the smashed, buttered potatoes or sweet potatoes—pass the brown sugar—the twelve pies, apple, cranberry, key lime and pecan all topped with ice cream, the enormous amount of cheese melted on the cauliflower? or the bacon burgers served with anything that can be fried.

No, that’s just a thin slice of the reason people must wonder how your elongated ear lobes can hang on either side of your over stuffed skull.

This is what it’s about: I know you and your New Year’s Eve resolution to stop eating with both hands at the same time.

I promise!

Let’s be honest.  This is really about holiday peer pressure. It’s all too much. Basically, you’re innocent; just another consumer who never had a chance. I know you meant to be good this holiday season—think of the mosquitoes just waiting it feast on you— but things happen. I bet you blame the women around you who peddle sweets for a living or all those chocolate factory workers whose jobs depend upon your consumption of their nefarious means of earning a livin’. Oh, the guilt brought on when passing up all that hard work stacked to buy in the shopping isles!

See? I know you.

You’ll probably try to diet again in 2018. Ha! As if…

I also know if I keep talking to the mirror this morning I’m gonna be late for work!

Cheers….good luck.

Now where’s my toothbrush? Wait! It’s under that half eaten chocolate bar. Odd? Gosh, I hate to waste food, and this may be some of that no calorie or extra light chocolate I’ve never heard about?!?!

It’s a brand new year, baby!

Franque23


what you wish you didn’t want to know. But the facts of life are fascinating since the minute you hear about them as a kid. Wait! There are facts?*

So, yeah, here’s another ‘fact’ to mull over while shopping  in the holiday crowds or waiting in line for, well, anything. Silent butt deadly is never friendly fire, but it all comes down to a few specific scientific findings. Mind you, these are not alternative facts-just the plain ol product of investigation facts….

What Is a Fart Made Of?

PRINT

Fart

 

Anders Bundgaard / Getty Images

“Farts are the common name for flatus or flatulence. Have you ever wondered what farts are made of and whether they are the same for everyone? Here’s a look at the chemical composition of farts.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF FARTS

The exact chemical composition of human flatulence varies from one person to another, based on his or her biochemistry, the bacteria inhabiting the colon, and the foods that were eaten.

If the gas results from ingesting air, the chemical composition will approximate that of air. If the fart arises from digestion or bacterial production, the chemistry may be more exotic. Farts consist primarily of nitrogen, the principal gas in air, along with a significant amount of carbon dioxide. A typical breakdown of the chemical composition of farts is:

Nitrogen: 20-90%
Hydrogen: 0-50% (flammable)
Carbon dioxide: 10-30%
Oxygen: 0-10%
Methane: 0-10% (flammable)

LIGHTING FARTS ON FIRE – THE BLUE FLAME

Human flatus may contain hydrogen gas and/or methane, which are flammable. If sufficient amounts of these gases are present, it’s possible to light the fart on fire. Keep in mind, not all farts are flammable. Although flatus has great YouTube fame for producing a blue flame, it turns out only about half of people have the archaea (bacteria) in their bodies that are necessary to produce methane.

If you don’t make methane, you may still be able to ignite your farts (a dangerous practice!), but the flame will be yellow or possibly orange rather than blue.

THE SMELL OF FARTS

Flatus often stinks! There are several chemicals that contribute to the smell of farts:

  • skatole (a by-product of meat digestion)
  • indole (a by-product of meat digestion)
  • methanethiol (a sulfur compound)
  • dimethyl sulfide (a sulfur compound)
  • hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor, flammable)
  • volatile amines
  • short chain fatty acids
  • feces (if present in the rectum)
  • bacteria

The chemical composition and thus odor of farts differs according to your health and diet, so you would expect a vegetarian’s farts to smell different from those produced by a person who eats meat.

Some farts smell worse than others. Flatus that is high in sulfur-containing compounds is more odiferous than farts consisting almost exclusively of nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. If your goal is to produce stinky farts, eat foods that contain sulfur compounds, such as cabbage and eggs. Foods that lead to increased gas production increase the volume of flatus. These foods include beans, carbonated beverages, and cheese.

SCIENTISTS WHO STUDY FARTS

There are scientists and medical doctors who specialize in the study of farts and other forms of intestinal gas. The science is called flatology and the people who study it are called flatologists.

DO MEN FART MORE THAN WOMEN?

While women may be more discreet about farting, the truth is females produce just as much flatus as men.

The average person produces about a half a liter of flatus per day.

FARTS VS. FLATUS

The gas that is produced and released through the rectum is called flatus. The medical definition of the term includes gas that is swallowed and that is produced within the stomach and intestines. To produce an audible fart, the flatus vibrates the anal sphincter and sometimes the buttocks, producing a characteristic sound.”

There you have it! This is all you need to know for that perfect dinner conversation when the dreaded lull sets in around the table while visiting relatives!

Cheers!

Franque23

  • Thanks Barbara for the ‘facts.’ And what about dogs—and other animals we blame for farts?

My wife and I visited Japan two times while our oldest daughter lived and worked in the country for five years. We went up, down, around and across the country, in and out of big cities, small cities, to islands, to tourist places, local bars, Mount Fuji and more. We struggled to learn how to use the toilets once we found them, how to catch the wrong and right trains and how to bow the correct amount for almost every occasion. It’s a wonder I didn’t see more signs for chiropractic help but, then again, how would I read them? Anyway, if you’re looking to experience a spaced out feeling while traveling but can’t afford a ticket on the ship to the moon, Japan might be your best option.

Liking sushi and/or soup (Miso, or the egg laden, Udon) is a plus when tramping Japan, but there’s so much more on the plate there. Of course, I can’t tell you what half of it was or is, but if you have a daughter like mine you might find yourself enjoying Saki while ordering a second helping what seemed a delicious casserole only to later find out it was composed of fried cow guts. Bon appetit, and enjoy the stronger Shochu if you like Saki…it will help you forget.

Okay, discount some of the eye-ball foods or still alive squid. Concentrate, instead, on the millions of types of shoes the Japanese wear or the clothes that range from traditional Kimonos, New York City tight, expensive high style to the ‘metal’ look. Notice the street signs….

They mean no peeing or pooping on the street….just a head’s up/

And enjoy the absence of fearing you’ll be mugged (Ain’t gonna happen in Japan…) There’s a beauty in the country that is mirrored in the people’s hearts. It’s a kind, obedient society that honors others as they honor themselves and their heritage.

Our daughter lived in Kitsuki, Japan, where she taught English to middle schoolers who were strictly forbidden to chew gum in school, that a ‘high crime.’ Imagine this: if a teacher is ever caught driving after drinking the entire staff and children of the school are punished! See? It’s all for one and one for all or things get stinky real fast. Japan rows together.

My daughter left her purse on a train station bench and those attendants got her purse back to her days later though she lived in another city. Of course, her items had not been touched.

Kelly lived in a bay comprised of three cities: Kitsuki; Beppu and Oita.

Our daughter lived in Kitsuki which is located approximately where the number '10' is on this map...

Our daughter lived in Kitsuki, Japan,  which is located approximately where the number ’10’ is on this map…Swinging south by train leads to Beppu and then to Oita.

The ‘hot’ fun really begins in Beppu.. The place is smokin’-literally. The city sits on top of 3000 hot, volcanic vents (Bring marshmallows)city

beppu-original-36849

We bundled in robes and laid down in hot, black beach sand and listened to the ocean lap the shore twenty feet away as the warming effect soothed our souls. The rest of the day’s 90 degree heat felt cool.

I think it was here in, Beppu,  that I had a massage that featured a gal who actually hopped on my back and walked a few miles. Warning: don’t do this more than a few times per day-that could get like, really addictive.

On to Oita. (say it fast three times to sound like a tweety bird.)

That's Monkey Mountain behind us

That’s Monkey Mountain behind us-Our daughter’s adopted, ‘Grand Parents” in Japan put us up in this swank ocean side hotel and taught us how to take Onsens (Japanese baths) and how to eat some of the food.

Monkey Mountain is a famous place near, Oita, Japan. It’s teaming with wild monkeys, but a visit to Monkey Mountain doesn’t start that way. No, it starts at the base of the 2000 foot high mountain where a quaint train station painted in bright primary colors nestles among a dense jungle greenery-not a monkey to be seen, only a few signs and attendants that understand English who direct people to the train. Of course, this is a jungle train, something you might expect in a Disney safari ride- open air, no glass windows, small cabs that slowly rattle along a twisting, mountain climbing train track.

We finally stopped at the ruins of an ancient temple that looked out over the vast ocean. Again, the ‘monkey mountain’ thing seemed hardly unique with nary one in sight but for a few, small, cute monkeys. I had to wonder why the signs said, “Do not look monkeys in the eye?”

Jus’ a few cute ones….

“What monkeys?” I had to ask. Then someone hit a huge gong.

The entire landscape that I’d mistaken for jungle turned out to be made of monkeys!!!!

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A few thousand monkeys…

Me as a monkey!

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“I’m not looking; I’m not looking; I’m not looking….” Not a time to play, Peek-a-boo.

All of this was hysterical-like my wife. Still, we survived but as much as I enjoyed this my wife says, ‘Never again,’ and she hardly appreciated the monkey beaded small change purse I’d secretly bought her while there-go figure!

Japan is a beautiful country for Americans to visit. Their society has  so much to teach us. For one: respect, respect for the land, ourselves and others. I grimace to realize how much we as American’s have missed as I count the cigarette butts in the beach sands of Florida. The world isn’t really our ash tray. But I digress…

Somehow, in the vast scheme of things Japan has realized as a country that they were as responsible for Hiroshima as the United States was, that World War is a ‘no one is innocent’ thing. “All are punished.”* The people here hold life dearly, and respect every step they take.

The beauty of Japan is truly unbelievable.

cheers

Franque23

*Shakespeare

 

 

 


It’s a bit hairy, but it is a sport, or competition and it’s all about beards…

I warned you last post that we’d get back to Erwin Butsch, this years World Champion in the partial beard category in the World Beard and Mustache Championships! Thinking, more specifically, he won the Musketeer Partial Beard Category, 2017.

There really is such a thing-A world Beard and Mustache Championship. Erwin travels around the world every two years to participate and had previously won the 2013 competition as well. There’s a panel of judges for each category and margins of victory can be as slim as hair, like .03 points can make the difference between Champ and considering shaving.

I believe this is Erwin’s 2013 championship picture.

I thought he had a special look the moment he stepped up to us to help guide our tour around some of our ancestor’s castles. This encounter really started when a Eberhard Schauer, (a man who has studied the life of our ancestor, Karl Eugen, for over twenty years now), needed more car seats than his had to run us around Germany. Erwin-Eberhard’s long time friend- offered to help out so we met.

Before we get to more castle stuff, let’s step back and appreciate that Erwin is a normal guy who supervises many for a firm that develops  better glass to use in car wind shields-see,? A normal sort.  Thing is, I can’t imagine the upkeep involved in the look but other’s in different beard categories do more.

Some looks seem so dignified.

A bit long with a sense of formality

Here is this, the 2017 World Champ of freestyle beard category…warm and snugly, right?

buddies

Why are people staring at me?

This guy knows why…..

Here’s our friend, Erwin Butsch, laughing it up behind stage during the 2017 competition…

It’s all a good time, and I bet by the contest’s end more than one ear gets poked by a beard.

Not sure about the middle guy, but this is all hair-really. I guess he just got a wild hair and went for it.

Oh there’s so much more to see….

In the end, these guys love what they grow and work hard at it. Athletes of a different sort. Some will say they are hair brains…Me? This is fun.

And thanks to Erwin Busch for helping to show us around our ancestor’s castles….

Dave Berry*, me and Erwin Butsch at Karl Eugen’s hunting lodge-all for one and one for all.

Cheers…..and Happy Thanksgiving!

Franque23

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

I’ve seen London and I’ve seen France, plus a whole bunch of ladies underpants-in store windows that is. Thing is, oddly, the most risqué undies I’ve seen while traveling London, Paris-should I mention Ireland- has been right here in Ludwigsburg, Germany, but I’m not gonna split hairs over the matter.

Once I tore my vision away from the panties it became apparent that a city lined by low buildings with low profiles of less than six or so stories high gives light to the people who live there. I’ve no good answer, not for now, for those who protest about the agonizing cost of transport should cities sprawl beyond reason via low profiles not to mention the pollution caused by the added miles of commute.  Example: how could New York City be spread out? The countryside would morph into houses, roads and gas stations? How could any low city profiles work? This is the question mankind must answer if you ask me.  Why, you might ask? I’ve seen the light after visiting London, Ireland, Paris and now Ludwigsburg, Germany: that’s the answer.

 

This is Dublin, Ireland.

A low profile is key for any city. The trick to a happy populace is to not have high-rise buildings blocking the sunlight, flat-out period, end of story. It’s an abstract concept but real. Urban streets  lined by four to six-story high buildings allow the sun in, the trees to grow and the people to breathe easy. Many consider themselves ‘Urbanity,’ but I say most of those who do have truly forgotten or never experience the freedom vast open skies and spaces can give to the human spirit.

In honor of my cousin, Jed Franquemont, who says I take 1/2 of the globs to get to my point, I will now.*

Think I’ll get off this horse and ride another: my family’s castle. We went to Germany to see it.

It’s a bit large…160 rooms, and kept up by Germany as a come look-see attraction.

Thing is, every man needed a hunting camp so this Duke, Karl Eugen of Wurttemberg, my ancestor, built one. We toured this place of opulence and splendid countryside view.

How is this related to me? Quick and dirty, around 1750 Karl Eugen (1728-1793) became king of the Baden-Ludwigsburg-Wurttemberg region at age 16. This region included much of what is today Germany as well as a small section of France(Alsace). Karl Eugen’s arranged married worked for 3 years before this couple in power decided to part ways forever though not divorced. Karl’s wife moved out of the country. This left Karl Eugen immensely powerful, rich and, well, young for what turned out to be his next ten years of  foot-loose and fancy-free life. This sort of perfect storm that ensued entailed Karl’s money, his power, his love for Italian Opera singers and dancers and the lack of condemns…all this participated the birth of many illegitimate children-sometimes as many as 3 children by one woman- and all of them lacked the real title of heir. Karl looked throughout his kingdom and found a vacant royal title(one whose heirs had died leaving the title and name open.) In 1660 the Von Franquemont castle still stood in Baden but by the mid 1750 it was in ruins and the Von Franquemont’s deceased. Karl Eugen as Duke of the land bought this vacant title and gave the name and title, Von Franquemont, to all of his illegitimate children along with the proclamation of Nobility.

Many statesmen back then thought Karl Eugen, Duke of the Wurttemberg region, was young, wild and crazy, inappropriate, wasteful, a womanizer and fan of radical dance and music.

 

Me? I think it was sorta like the old calling the up and coming(no pun) youth names…Like producers did to Elvis. Did you know cameras were forced to not show Elvis move-wiggle- his legs on TV in fear  that impressionable young ladies might go mad?

anyway…….

Boom! Those with my family name, sans the ‘Von,’ are, in fact, nobility. All by proclamation. How cool is that? But I don’t let it go to my head….

I hardly even think about it….

….unless my toes haven’t been washed or the service is slow. Only the little things get to me.

And my children don’t harp on about being the off-spring of a great-grandson so many times over of a German Duke.

e

My daughter wearing her every day ol’ crown.

The entire extended family rarely lets people know unless they don’t ask that we’re Nobility-it’s all kept on the down low.

This is why the next post will be more shots of our ancestor’s castle(s)—as in five— it’s all hush-hush. However, touring one of them with Eberhard, his wife, and with this man was quite unique….

This man! You’ll never guess his claim to fame. All of this and that soon…

Cheers, your humble servant and Great, Great, waaaay Great Grandson of a Duke-

Currently, I have a three book series, The avatar Magic series, published on kindle.

  • This is Jed Franquemont’s review of book one—-
    Everybody knows that I spend inordinate amount of time reading fiction. What I like best is scifi, spies, and sex. My cousin, Gerald Franquemont, has written a novel with me in mind. Avatar Magic is a wonderful read and is available on Kindle for $4.95. Cuz

    has really amazed me with his first novel. I can’t wait for the next one.”  2013

Bk 1-https://www.amazon.com/AVATAR-MAGIC-Avatar-Magic-Book-ebook/dp/B00B0NYO80/

Book one-

Bk 2-https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXMIIOK/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Book two develops the characters, defines their motives and worth, and moves the plot onward to Book three-the final book.

Bk 3-https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018RX67BW/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

The trilogy makes great holiday reading-a nice Romance and Sci-Fi jaunt around the world

 

Cheers from my bulletin board to you!

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(Of course, click on the pic for a larger view.)

I’d be cutting zzz’s right now instead of writing this glob if hair-head Shadow paws hadn’t decided my two-hour nap as planned was too long. But no, one hour pushed hocker I’ve-been-eating-grass face over the edge and illegally onto my bed. This found me clutching three pillows to my face as four paws  clomped all over my body. This criminal activity happens every morning and once my eyes open I see this:

Ol’ tail-cut-like-a-knife butt-head doing the two socks are stuffed in my face shuffle.

Morning, afternoon, evening, heck anytime at all finds Shadow with one sock in his face( only my socks are allowed-he knows.) He holds it there to protect us from his happy snapping jaws. But two socks in those jaws means we’re about to have extra fun throwing the ball or, as in the case of the picture above, that he’s been secretly foraging for treats in the laundry room….

This is Shadow under his mother—he’s that little black smidgen of a puppy on the right. Surprise! He’s eating!!(Shadow as pup, some weeks after this shot, was found inside the dog food bag.)

Shadow’s an all around I’m-here-for-you-pet-me great dog; he knows all the rules by heart and only breaks them as necessary: “there’s a squirrel on the feeder so I gotta bark and stretch way up high on the window,” is one of Shadow’s favorite moments of freedom from the rules.

Shadow is watching his “TV”…and for a ‘hint’ of a squirrel.

Of course, there’s more. That neighbor in our doorway has no idea how many times we’ve said, “No jumping…” because Shadow is not technically jumping with his paws on the new victim, but only springing up three feet high in every direction as if he were on a Pogo stick.

“I wasn’t really jumping.”

“Consider that I can fly before passing judgement.”

“Really.”

It’s amazing that Shadow never begs, not technically. He has unearthly powers of knowing when we have finished eating and it’s time to come over to us; that’s nice. No, Shadow does remain away from us while we eat but for one glitch in his near perfect manners. We about need to mop the floor after we eat anything Shadow loves-“I’ll stay in place with my jaws droolin’ like a turned on faucet as you eat; no problem.”

“Promise.”

Dogs live in a contagious zone of happiness unless they are abused, sick or hurt. To be clear, dog abusers-whether they can play football of not- should be hung-up to dry for several weeks while random passer’s by get to whop the criminals with sticks. The only question is how long?

  “About twelve years.”

When you get down to it, dogs know right from wrong better than most people.

Toby toes knew not to open a present until he got the green light.

Sometimes dogs just can’t help themselves when it comes to smelly garbage cans, open refrigerators, a left cookie, a neat stuffed pillow to rip apart or other tantalizing components to life. Dogs will even try to steer their companion dog away from trouble, but often to no avail.

 

 

Right from the get-go they know right from wrong.

“Well, that might have been a bad idea…..”

“Okay, it was a bad idea….”

But who can say…

 

If shadow does make a mistake, chasing a squirrel that looks like our mailman’s truck,  he might try to ‘offset’ his slippin’ paws with humor…

and see if he can’t dig himself out…

Relentless Digging….puppy’s new American Native name.

In the end, it’s all about a dog’s tail.

You’re about to feed me, right?

The tail wagging give-away speaks volumes to those who care to listen. Seize  the day! It’s time to play! Thank goodness you’re up; it’s time to pee! How can you sit there on a day like this? These are the question that face dog owners everyday, question too hard to brush aside. If you try to ignore a dog’s truth then the ears get involved, the cocked head turns as an exclamation point and the, “I’ll sit and shake,” comes into play.

Dog is God spelled backward but in essence they are both about goodness. Go snuggle that here’s-my-tummy-to-rub  doggie face of yours…These are the great times.

A dog is Man’s best friend, and maybe teacher, too.

Franque23.

 

See ya…

 

 

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