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It's a good time to appreciate one another.

It’s a good time to appreciate one another.

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

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

At times things don’t work out as planned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

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

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

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

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

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

So many of us pray for World Peace.

So many of us pray for World Peace.

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

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

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

Peace. It's a wonderful bloom.

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

Franque23 hopes you’ll forward this glob. Cheers

Thanks for being you.

Thanks for being you.

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To list a few….

Obamacare

détente

Give Me your tired and your poor

Women’s Rights to equal pay

Women’s right to have abortions in most cases

Current Social Security retirement age

Some amount of Social Security Check

A major part of the funding for the EPA

Emission controls for cars a business(The Clean Air Act)

A better, standard minimum wage

Wall street regulations

Union Rights to organize

Defined Pensions for Workers

National Park funding

Alaskan Pipeline resistance

Taxes on the Rich

 

What we get in return?

A President who is inexperienced in the field of World-Wide politics

A President who  seems unaware of people’s constitutional rights and the workings of the U.S. Government

The NRA ( A gun in every closet)

A President who has called some women pigs, dogs and worse.

A President who gloated after 9/11 since the event would make him money

A President who mused how the housing crash and economic crash in the U.S. several years ago would make him money.

A President who is against environmental protections

A President who has gone bankrupt numerous times.

A President who will soon address in court accusations of Fraud (Trump University) and rape charges.

There will be a Wall we will pay for

A First lady who has posed naked for tabloids. ( Not a crime, but is this appropriate considering the stature of the position?)

One more takeaway

You can only squeeze the middle class workers so much and for so long via both political party’s actions before that electorate is willing to shoot themselves in the foot rather than vote for an ongoing economic travesty. 

The day is done; our country’s course is set for the foreseeable future.

Advice for President Obama: 

Sign as many (a thousand or more) Executive Orders between now and January. This might slow that foreseeable future of a beast down.

Franque23.

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The day is done…for now.


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 recently read that ten heads explode everyday from not reading at least three Meme’s per day. It’s a fact; I’ve already gone back in the bathroom and checked on that wall again. However, there’s no mention about the size or shape of the Meme-that’s troublesome.

What?

What?

To compare me to what I once was you’d simply have to have a very good memory and a bunch of mirrors. Looking back, my fellow employees once asked if they should nominate me for Survivor. Now, that show might consider me if they needed a drift wood prop.

Often, learning a bit of history can teach an ear -full.

Once, there was this guy….

I'm saving my expanding hand made paper hat we bought in the Bahama's for tomorrow....

None of this should be allowed…WTH happened?

(In case you missed the lead up..this post from 2010 is funny-promise. …https://franque23.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/40-in-a-25-mhp-zone/)

Decaying, ruinated, defunctafied, squishated, flatasided, finishatored and donered-that’s me at 67 going on 100. If my asthma gives me a breath, my splitting fingers still find the sharp end of a hook. My eyes can’t see the stairs I fell down and my bursitis-afied knees feel almost better for the fall. I’d duck to see this all coming-as if. This bent over twig of a frame of mine would snap in two at the thought. Then there’s my center of gravity belly issue-what the hell is that? Some alternate dysfunctional bizzaro universe has landed upon me and absorbed the middle of me.

wife pointing to he middle of the problem

wife pointing to the middle of the problem

Thought may be the worst problem of all, if I could remember one?  Somewhere in my house is a drawer full of dusty, moldy ol’ thoughts that are completely deadified. But there’s a bright side for those who are not yet 67: you’re not yet 67, end of story…*

Oh, I’m not bitter about being this old. Please don’t get me wrong. Harsh, haggard, burnt to beyond crispy, horrified by old pictures, I used to wear turtlenecks not be them, a craggy, draggy,  bottomed butt roast with skinny chicken legs, a funny mole farm with no hair, no grip but ton’s of gripes, a loose cannon of dropping balls and feet that wouldn’t feel a rhino step on them, yes, I’m all that ,but not ever bitter. Bitter would be way extreme.

Turkey neck for sale....it took two to hold me up for the shot....

Turkey neck for sale….it took two to hold me up for the shot….

So all you new fangled people under 67-don’t say I didn’t write on the wall-check the three-way bathroom stalls-it’s all there. Simon once wrote, “It’s all happening at the zoo.” There’s a sense of humor for ya. My zoo is sorta centralized like my weather report-hazy, foggy, unwanted precipitation, cold, hot, random gusts of flatulence accompanied by belching sounds all out of tune with my ringing ears.  Head’s-up! Those ding-dong sounds on the T.V. are actually words-go figure.

It really isn’t that bad; once you’ve lost about everything, then your mind goes. What’s to worry when every day’s a new day and every face, place, word, thought, fart or burp is  new, too! Greetings to my old friends who ever the hell you are! Let’s party, dance, maybe romance (try to remember those kinds of September) or maybe, just party-skip the dance- or sit on the couch to talk before we need the potty, or even better, let’s nap. Yes, stay home and nap at 67-it’s easier than trying to recall how to dress.

I remember being able to tie my shoes and stuff

I remember being able to tie my shoes and stuff( Lake Bonaparte.) I could even go out in a boat and make it back by myself!

Example: I once knew a guy (me) who went to the beach, like three days ago, and pulled down his shorts to go swimming before recalling  he meant to wear his suit under his shorts….if only. Fortunately, there were no witnesses who didn’t see.  Remember those dropping balls I mentioned? I signed autographs most the afternoon-no wait, were those police and lawyers/ I forget-**

Franque23

Me! In another life with a big fish.

Me! In another life with a big fish.

*Of course, I couldn’t leave turning sixty out……enjoy- https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/60-my-speed-limit/

** Okay, I did have my boxer’s on so even asking to sign autographs didn’t work. People are soooo demanding these days.


The bugaboos in America’s health care system are unexpected expenses, catastrophic loss and/or cost as we age, plus the way our health care industry separates the haves from the have-nots in our society. Inherently, by design, our health care system creates another way for us to hate one another, or think of ourselves as better or worse than the rest.*

But, I  should start from the beginning, from a conversation we had in small waves…

We hit Cocoa Beach early this past Saturday just before the crowd arrived. It was a calm morning; no waves, no wind, the heat index would be high later on for sure.

The beach we prefer in Cocoa is one filled with tourists from all around the world-and you see people doing about everything on the sand.

The beach we prefer in Cocoa is filled with tourists from all around the world-and you see people doing about everything. We did have someone doing hand stands in front us, but  I’d no idea that I’d hear something this day that would turn me on my head as well.

My wife had already struck up a conversation with a Canadian by the time I’d waded out to her side, standing in ripples of waves beneath clear blue skies, the ocean horizon so easily seen.

People could stand anywhere they wanted, while big shrimp boats, cruise lines and others tanked their way well off shore...

People could stand about while big shrimp boats, cruise lines and others tanked well off shore…

It's a casual beach where people wear what they want-but mostly the college crowd goes further south to Coconuts...

People wear, or not, what they want-but mostly the college less-dressed crowd goes further south in Cocoa to Coconuts…Here, the beach is somewhat conservative, but internationally accepting of fashion and preference…I like the meeting of diverging cultures.

The surf made it easy for people of all ages to stand around in chest deep water, others did crawl strokes, or paddled a surf board. Beginners road there first ripple.

Calm waters have the advantage of teaching the young or novice how to ride out those waves.....

Calm waters can help the young or novice to learn how to ride out those waves…..

With no big swells to  body-surf, I was all ears as my wife stood in the sea and talked to her new-found Canadian friend. The man hailed from Toronto, a ‘coincidink‘ since that is the only Canadian city my wife and I have ever spent time visiting. In his late fifties, a business man, the Canadian talked about the guns in America as opposed to those not often carried in his country, but what I wanted most to hear about was his take on his country’s National health care system…

He pays a lot in taxes, but stressed what a relief it was to not worry about end of life expenditures that are bound to come, and those costs related to being a father of two and an aging man.  He remembered various family health issues, ER visits, broken limbs etc.(his son plays Hockey) that were taken care of quickly and at no additional, unexpected cost to his pocket-book! He added, Canadians have a prepaid world-wide health care system! Canadian citizens can seek health care anywhere in the world for treatments not given in his country, or for those procedures attended to better by other providers world-wide, and Canada pays for  it ALL  but for the airfare it cost Canadian citizens to get to where ever they need to go.

He poo-pooed the idea that there were long waiting periods or waiting lines for health care in his country, but he’d heard that was the rumor. I decided that anyone could come up with thousands of examples of people dying in U.S. waiting rooms if they wanted, anecdotal experiences, but that wasn’t the norm in the U.S.  And, I guessed rumors in our country were the same when it came the truth about the Canadian health care system-just anecdotal crapola.

They have secrets......American health providers, and one is that they spread endless rumors, fear, into the hearts of Americans that national health care doesn't work...especially for them, that is. Think about, where are there lines of Canadians dying to get into America????Not.

They have secrets……American health providers I mean. Their industry spreads endless rumors, fear, into the hearts of Americans that National health care doesn’t work…especially for them.

Not that I draw my conclusions from one conversation, but from many readings on the subject and simple observation. Think about it, where are there lines of Canadians dying to get into America for health care, or for any other reason????Not-!

Thing is, it gets worse, for the U.S. workers……

The man’s job, like most professional business jobs in Canada, has a paid for non contributory pension. As listed, his employer pays one-half each month of his pension cost, and then his employer also pays the other half of his liability which he can claim as a tax deduction! (In effect, he pays nothing, but gets to claim 1/2 of his pension contribution cost on his taxes as a deduction as if he had paid it! )This is routine in Canada-a working man’s benefit.

The small ocean waves rolled by as I thought this over. The man has paid for life health care for his entire family, no worries there, and a routine, run-of-the-mill pension in Canada that ensures his well-being in retirement. I started to think about the Canadians’ I’d met while in Toronto and how relaxed they all seemed-happy. No wonder.

To be fair, housing in Canada is something like California’s housing market on steroids, but those snow hounds can afford the prices, and sit back as their pensions add up, and the people are covered for every medical emergency. This is a far cry from what it’s like to be a working American. Sad, for us.

So about those waves that eased on by-I thought I’d glide with one for about ten feet to get the nothing of a thrill.

No one was worried about the big waves coming, but bobbed about in the easy up and down drift of the day's ocean current.

No one was worried about the big waves coming as we all bobbed up and down in the easy drift.

I launched off my feet to hit the top of a two footer when something completely unexpected happened!  I hit some sort of vortex, not a rip tide mind you, but a weirdness that sunk my relaxed body straight down through the water and smashed me face-first along the ocean’s bottom. The non-wave then pushed me along the sand, scraping my nose and, actually, I’d thought I’d possibly broken it. I stood up in calm waist-deep water where children played nearby and couldn’t fathom what had just happened. It was all too shocking, and that small wave made me totally get the power of the ocean-it all starts with small waves.

The thing is, society usually starts to bring about powerful change with small conversations that build between people as waves do in the ocean, as one small wave builds to the next. Eventually, those conversations can become a roar that is heard nation wide, one that can’t be ignored by the leaders anymore. The Vietnam protests are a perfect example of a powerful wave of change. That protest didn’t start with hundreds of thousands of people in Washington, D.C. It started with small, connected conversations. Maybe, like this one.

Start or keep talking about the wave of changes you think America needs to go through in the coming years. Voices have ways of echoing, expanding, and if we continue talking, eventually our leaders will have to listen.

Franque23

*Result of listening to my wife think out loud…..

Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.


Though I may agree with some of Forbes’ top 25 picks for places to retire, I still think they’re trying to kill us. They just can’t decide if  retirees will look better stuffed in a refrigerator or buried in a sand box..  There’s at least three desert towns in the mix plus Pittsburgh is ranked 19-and Fargo is number 13!!!!

Someone caught this gal practicing for retirement .

She'll fit nicely.

She’ll fit nicely.

Home-sweet- home can't get much quieter !

Home-sweet- home can’t get much quieter ! And, apparently, there may be golf!

Really? Fargo! Where dead bodies roll like snowballs across the landscape-I mean, that movie was real, right? If not, then the winter temperatures out there are cold enough to kill thermometers. People? They’re the negative sense of toast.

freeze your whatevers off.

freeze your whatevers off.*

For me, the older I get the more guys sitting on park benches make sense.It’s not like those park benches will be there forever, and some one has got to use them.

Oh man–have I got an idea for retirement …..

images (23)

I can move up to Forbes # 13 on the list , Fargo ND,….and sit on a bench!

They write Fargo has cheap housing and low crime! No worries, mate!

They write Fargo has cheap housing and low crime! No worries, mate!

Retirement comes down to this-there’s no perfect list of places, dates to keep in mind or reason to retire ; it’s personal. Some want to ski tandem with the Abominable Snowman while others want to swim with sharks.

I just love the ocean...

I just love the ocean…

I figure life will catch up to me soon enough...now it's time to play, snorkel some, or paddle around in a kayak.

I figure life will catch up to me soon enough…now it’s time to play, snorkel some, or paddle around in a kayak..or not.

Thing is, the word retirement should really be spelled-you don’t have to hurry anymore-but Webster was too busy to write all that out. To me, it figures retirement is like walking out into a huge pasture filled with other people who don’t care if they’ve stepped in it.

who really knows what's been in that field?!?!

who really knows what’s been in that field?!?!

No one sees as well as they use to; no one hears or cares; smells are more like guesses and the muffled voices that belong to cartoon characters keep rasping from cracked faces that croak the sounds.

Speaking of croaking. Retirement is not the same as being dead.

It's time to wake up and smell the flowers-

It’s time to wake up and smell the flowers on that misnomer.

Heck, I know plenty of people who have lived days past their retirement date-a few even longer. But there are plenty of so-called guides to help people with retirement that are heck-bent on making sure that doesn’t happen for long. Everyone who’s ever thought about retiring has heard the adage: keep yourself busy. SAY What!?!?! Wait! That’s what I’ve done my whole life! Maybe, what those who spew this mockery of retirement’s real spelling-U don’t have 2 hurry anymore- mean for us to keep busy shoveling.

Keep in shape; you're almost there....

Keep in shape; you’re almost there….

Some guides even try to appeal to the frugal retirees…

My dad was from Iowa and saved even hte shadow of his money, so he might have thought this  a deal of a ,errrr,,lifetime....

My dad was from Iowa and saved even the shadow of his money, so he might have thought this a deal of a ,errrr,,lifetime….

Okay then, my bottom line and last-ditch effort to make this all up to snuff is I don’t think Forbes had a young guy writing this review..what old people need to move to where water’s running out and it’s 100 degrees in the shade? And who ever heard of retirees wanting to get comfy in blocks of ice for beds? Yeah, no

Franque.  I’m too busy to retire …..who’s got time for that?

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

* Actually this is a a true reading from Upper New York State near our lake home…


1)I love the smell of the tomato plants as I tie them to the fence to help them grow tall. Fresh citrus has a strong smell. I picked several Valencia today and left them by the front door as I worked in the garden picking lettuce, green beans and herbs and peppers. I’d forgotten about them when I went to go inside. The smell was like a fragrant flower-my nose reminded me of their presence.  Cutting fresh oranges fills the room with the scent of orange.

2)The most important idea I can share with anyone, especially with those under forty, or not, is this: If you are thirty-threeish to 36(or younger) and you put $300.00 into a mutual fund per month FOR ONLY SEVEN  YEARS AND THEN STOPPED ENTIRELY, BUT NEVER TOUCHED THE MONEY,  you will have one million dollars in that fund when you turn 65. Just seven years of pain, or a second job. This assumes an 8% gain over the course of 35 years(stocks forever average). This is not based on an outlandish assumption rate-trust me. Sure, things could happen. The US may fall into the ocean, or the world may blow up. But if not, then the world and America will grow, so will the world economy, and even considering an inflation rate, you’d be set for life and maybe your children’s lives will be set as well. It comes down to making a pretend car payment for just seven years while you are still somewhat young. Start later on in life, say in your forties or older, then the effect is not as dramatic, but it still works to a degree.

If you only can put in 150.00 per month, do it. At sixty-five you will be so happy.

3)People are beginning, or continuing, to post stupid political stuff about Hillary. Screw the facts-the blasting goes on regardless. But what I learned(read) this week was about Katherine Harris…she absolutely forged the election return numbers in 2004, and no one to this day has called her out on that crime. (?) And there is this link for those who enjoy reading history about US elections that is laden with facts and truth.*

4)For the first time in nearly two years upon examination my eye occlusion has held its shape. Of course, I’ve developed a side effect from the treatment but, still, I may be coming out of the woods on this.

5)I loved watching the film, I Am, and realize that I’m the type of person who never stops loving someone-the years don’t matter; lack of contact, unseen ever again, beyond distance, my heart never does let go. It’s interesting that in the Japanese culture it is believed that people come and go throughout your life as they should, and there is no need to hang on to memories and wish life were different. I agree with that intellectually, but, emotionally I never let go. It’s a new week, with more to learn.

Franque23

*https://prospect.org/article/ghosts-ballots-past

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

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