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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—
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I’m thinkin’ this was the entire clan in 2014?(Click on pics to enlarge.)10253849_10152642095434254_1132655158881258983_n

It was an arousing, disturbing time, a tale of two camps fraught with desperate devotion to the diversity of character. But, before the frolicking could start, there were reading lessons to give.

Our plan was to work slowly with the new readers, first by way of picture and really large print.

Our plan was to work slowly with the new readers, first by way of picture and then really large print.

The Kingdom, the king and queen,  had serious business to consider.

Blue Jeans were new to the realm so I wore the pair to perfection.

Blue Jeans were new to the realm so I wore the pair to perfection.

But would the Ne’er do wells learn? We sent out our number twelve and one half scout….

12 &1/2 scout who in truth was our number beaver and a bunch of other things.

12 &1/2 scout who in truth was our number one beaver and a bunch of other things. He’d get to the bottom of the mug.

The place was crawling with bounty hunters……

Black as night and under a full moon sometimes ,too.

Black as night even under a full moon. They call him, Ben the Mysterious.

And dang, we had to work around the cops, too. The Northern kind, cold, cunning, always cooking up something.

A badge toting hash slinger....

A badge toting hash slinger….

There were stories about those who could not read, the cops, the ‘body’ hunters….they all to be told to those who might listen.

Only a few, like one, believed it all.

Only a few, like one, believed it all.

Of course, in the middle of the grueling learning process, there was the , “Everyone Stand on a Boat Trailer,” day..

Exactly what?

Exactly what?

..All hands were on deck, but for the few snookered pirates who wore dangerous hats.

Don't ever let the grin beat cha....

Don’t ever let the grin beat cha….here or from the other wanna be dangerous hat person.

Aye----

Aye—-

We set our sails out to see what the he*l?

Ship off and drink up, though maybe it's the other way around, not sure.

Ship off and drink up, 2014, though maybe it’s the other way around, not sure.

And who could remember, trying so hard to forever forget, the famous, “Wear a Sticky Note on Your Nose,” day?

The Universe is full of mystery.

The Universe is full of mystery.

Very little had been planned, but still subjects lined up to walk the plank/dock?10547644_10152641130119254_2725586665697732552_n

The Princess called for a retrieve…we had a dog.10527489_10152641107679254_3109956687433018332_n

A woman named Rachel plotted on how to escape-but could she make it?!?!?!10527338_10152641098749254_5162423330591262251_n Shadow and bearded wonders came in one fall of a swoop to do even less than anticipated.

Shadow, the life guard.

Shadow, the life guard. And two wonders with beards….

completely saved the day

completely saved the day

Order had been restored in a pantry.

Order had been restored in a pantry.

If truth be known, I took every order from a person so important that to this day there shall be no mention of him…..

He who will be never mentioned....

He who will be never mentioned…. So wise; so inspiring….

No this doesn’t end it for 2014, the Bonaparte Mistake. There are so many other pictures I meant to leave out!  Here’s to Meagan,,a random guest who secretly took the pictures….

Every load of disaster has worth-here, in 2014, we learned that the kayaks really belong in the water. There was the testing process, hard to the knee work, rowing, rowing, rowing…..whew!

bright side---we all learned a thing or not about boats and water.

bright side—we all learned a thing or not about boats and water.

For now from then until we meet again, I squish you ado. For now from then until we meet again, I squish you ado.

Franque23 loves the lake-


The tide went out by afternoon and left the standing on bare ground.

The tide went out by afternoon and left the Torii gate standing on bare ground.

​It wasn’t too far from my daughter’s home in Kitsuki….a quick hour train ride-several hundred miles-and then a ferry over to this famous Island spot -the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyagima–We’d just arrived when a helpful person took our picture, and we would spend the entire day there–Kelly and I climbed up a steep path cut in stone to the top of a mountain higher than the one in the background…We had about 300 more yards to go to reach the top when we both decided to turn around and go back. The view was fab.

One thing-there’s a strong tide here–by afternoon the famous shrine stood completely on dry sea bed,,,people were everywhere digging up clams…we walked under the shrine that has stood in place since 1875. There had been a series of others in its place before then. The structure is made entirely of camphor logs…way thick, maybe fifteen feet around at the bases, and that thing stands about fifty or more feet tall……

Wild, miniature deer were everywhere to pet, feed or just enjoy.

soft and warm....

soft and warm….

The smell of easy to eat nibbles- skewered veggies and various meats-drifted through the air. A bunch of shops and vendors selling wares of every type lined the land side of the ocean walkway—As in many of the places we saw in Japan, there was an abundance of finely made china for sale, cups, plates, every kind of bowl. Most places offered to ship either for free or for  very little cost.

.205749_1996168028892_3412203_n

Kelly’s home in Kitsuki was flanked by large bamboo….

The streets were crowded with open fish markets and veggie stands in some parts of Beppu.

207470_10150568019070548_6312731_n

We strolled by thermally heated smoking land vents that hissed in many places about the town.

This pic is taken at a local park,, but steaming vents like this one is common around town.

This pic is taken at a local park,, but steaming vents like this one are common around town in Beppu.

Most memorable was lying in the naturally heated black beach sand by the ocean-quite the thing. Dale noted that after that hour-long rest, and quick shower, the heated summer day felt remarkably cool. The process was simple enough.

Someone shovels the heated sand on you...

Someone shovels the heated sand on you…

Then you lay like a heated lump on the beach for about an hour.

Then you lay like a heated lump on the beach for about an hour.

 

205626_1996162468753_7543855_nOf course, we had to go to the famous Gion district of Kyoto where Memoirs of a Geisha took place. We saw several Geisha impersonators,,posing for pictures as if they were Geisha’s, which our daughter explained would never happen. Then, by stroke of luck, we came upon a gang of paparazzi who were wanting in the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of a real geisha as she excited her apartment and fled into a waiting taxi… But best of all was the, “All my favorite things,” (omyyakamomy -maybe) pancakie thingy I ate in some off-street food joint that served beer as well…really fun,,,and the whole scene(abstractly written) is in my second book of Avatar Magic-The Code of Avatar Magic-*

The sakura, cheery blossoms, were in full swing that May-

The sakura, cherry blossoms, were in full swing that May-

We were lucky to hit the Sakura bloom just right. The land blazed light pink and cherry colors everywhere. While this riotous season is happening, the Japanese talk among themselves as if reporting the blooms like a weather event….It’s not a 90 % chance of rain, but rather, “The Sakura is at 85% south of Kitsuki.” Another might respond, “No, I think it’s more like 90%.”

The shrines, the Sakura, tha mountains and ocean, all of it made Japan a magical place to see.

The shrines, the Sakura, the mountains and ocean, all of it made Japan a magical place to see.

Kelly lived in Japan for five years teaching English to middle schoolers.

Kelly lived in Japan for five years teaching English to middle schoolers.

I loved every minute we spent in Japan--you really should go.

I loved every minute we spent in Japan–you really should go.

One of our first stops that visit was the Emperor’s palace and garden grounds…Hello…really? Disney can’t touch this.

I believe this is where Dale and I saw a wedding taking place on the Emporer's grounds....

I believe this is where Dale and I saw a wedding taking place on the Emperor’s grounds….

The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura....

The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura….

So yeah, even though I’ve previously posted three other globs covering our visits to Japan, there’s still so much more to tell. The last samurai castle to once have actively guarded a place in Japan, Kitsuki; the one million monkeys of Monkey Mountain; Oita and the walk on my back; ground zero at Hiroshima and the real beef of Kobe that I got to eat ON MY Birthday! Wowowow….Tender gains a new meaning.

We really need to talk this over in an onsen. There’s nothing like a Japanese hot public bath house….I’ve completely covered the procedure to follow in one of these houses* in another blog/glob so you won’t be freaked when we meet there…

The Japanese Onsen-a better part of our world.

The Japanese Onsen-a better part of our world.

You can go men/ women or separated-up to you.

You can go men/ women or separated-up to you.

But I have to say, going to men only and then bowing to a cleaning lady/girl while standing butt naked felt a bit off…

Cheers from the beautiful memories of Japan….

Franque23.

 

Exactly how to do an Onsen in Japan…https://franque23.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/onsens-for-a-clean-life/

 


Did I always love hats? How do I know? But I do remember way back, and loving those ear flap hats my mom plopped on my head during winter…. At work we sometimes wear hats to help cheer us up, or maybe scare patrons so they tow the line…”No running!” Said the Library person in the weird hat.(BTW-don’t miss link at bottom to a bunch of hat sayings..*)10431400_10204057350304255_8831791732302296920_o Hats serve many functions. Here, below, a woman is hoping to help the bee and bird population. 3-Fashions-For-Spring-Washington-D.C.-1952f This woman may feel there are too many birds-can’t tell. But she needs wide doorways which is good carpenters.

Day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse Featuring: Atmosphere Where: Ascot, United Kingdom When: 19 Jun 2013 Credit: WENN.com

Day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

Back in 1916 in Union Square-every man,woman and child wore hats…..What the hell happened to all those hats? I know. Sometime, a while back, a cowboy lost his hat and the sun burned his brain. Thing is, since he was the only one not wearing a hat, women went wild over him and had a bunch of his kids. Those kids had others, and before you know it, no one was wearing hats! This is a history most don’t know. You are welcome. emma-goldman_custom-582dd7d26710d1cc8524e8f94667bc36a1fdbf96-s1100-c15 (1) I love hats, and may have gotten this love from my mom who always looked great in hats-even silly hats. My wife’s mom was no stranger to hats, as well. Mom and Annette My supervisor has a knack for hats, too….( I have to write this-she’s my supervisor.) 1965012_786280751406619_7639099478551129472_n Me? I’ve worn a lot of different hats in my life,,,but that’s another bunch of stories, some already in this blog over the past 6 years.. 58070002 (500x427) I think people look good in hats. Hats can make a man hungry. !B9R9zD!EWk-$(KGrHqJ,!hYEze!PSTv6BM5VspRw1w--0_35 Maybe, crazy. Who wants mustard on their hot dog hat–that is just nuts. Funny_hat Boys will be boys like hats……Oh boy! Can I wear one of those? bearskin-hats They fit almost any fashion and attract attention. 6a015391975ac3970b015391e715db970b Men and women look good in hats…… al-capone some better than others. My workmates kill hats, Boom, excellent hat people. I love it! 10500375_842057679162259_7780775909333439958_n Some hats mean a lot….. 550728_10151712308875548_543007003_n Big Wigs gave way to Tall Hats Isambard_Kingdom_Brunel_preparing_the_launch_of_'The_Great_Eastern_by_Robert_Howlett_crop This is a special hat I bought in the Bahamas…It’s made of paper, and expands to any shaped head…The wind passes through it so it stays on any head, shades, and it’s very light weight…plus, it almost passes as a sculpture. 10438149_785794914788536_8051223962885830439_n Too bad I look like cow dung in it. Gotta love that hat. And a small collection others to my right. Told you-I like hats. securedownload (7) This is a gentleman’s hat, a beautiful hat, but this pic doesn’t do it justice. However, catch the stove top hat I made from paper on left of shot…. securedownload (8) securedownload Some hats just work. lisa-fonssagrives-lilly-dache-hat-irving-penn-vogue-feb-15-1950 Please don’t back up into me….. 10003197_10202770694244049_1669300592_n Another normal hat extravaganza at work- mom on the lake Told you my mom looked good in hats… snowmanwithdad Everyone should have a hat, saith the snow man. Even my brother loved hats, and he was super smart.1385356_10151989437744133_493973661_nHats about it for now….cheers to you and your hat. By the way, there’s a book called, The Man who Thought His Wife Was a Hat..(I think)..but it’s not so funny, since he really did. Anywho….byeee. Got any pictures of you in hats.? I mean, not just in hats-please. And, now that I brought this up…why is this last picture coming up on google when I search for people in hats?????-Bonus(or some other word here) picture,,,download (9) Honest,,this came up in images under the search….so I keep looking for a hat in the picture…looking,looking,looking-no hat?

Franque23 is a hat guy

*http://www.villagehatshop.com/content/40/hat-isms-hat-sayings-and-phrases.html

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.

Bobcats catch sharks off the coast of Florida.

This makes perfect sense, but I'd never imagined it happening.

This makes perfect sense, but I’d never imagined it happening.

Deer occasionally eat rabbits and birds…delanoes03-06-07-S1541 http://io9.com/field-cameras-catch-deer-eating-birds-wait-why-do-deer-1689440870 The next time you see a really big deer-run away…..Have to laugh about Monty Python’s attacking rabbit…

Broccoli seeds grow in pods….and the bunch in my garden will/do have one bazillion seeds on it—

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

The seeds are small.

The seeds are small.

I will never tire of swimming in Alexander Springs.

I wa slucky to have been in the park when it first opened-often only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

I was lucky to have been in the park when it first opened(1970ish)-only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

Okay, it was more than a week ago when I mentioned to a son-in-law that I thought it was a bit odd that-generally speaking-most designer’s of women’s  apparel were, well, seemingly gay men.* I mean, they like men, right!?!?  He turned to me and answered, “If heterosexual men were the designers, all women would be naked.”

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Clothing’s appeal is completely situational-a product of the mind…**(this link to a neat blog on the history of sex and fashion.) A black bikini composed of a thong bottom and single strap wide top is acceptable at the beach, water play ground, rivers, lakes or springs, but outlandish on a sidewalk.

case in point.

case in point. A 1970’s shot.

Ho-hum, another day at the beach.....

Ho-hum, another day at the beach…..2015.

Learning can be fun! Franque23 *http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/08/fashion/thursdaystyles/08FASHION.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 **https://franque23.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/a-determined-lot-of-sex/

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.

Blink-o and Nuttily

Blink-o and Nuttily

Up at the Lake in the Adirondacks. These two nut cases think they live in the house in the background, but really they live in our hearts. My cousin’s daughter’s children make them what to me? Err… neat kids, cousins removed whatever, and oh,  we look forward to stuffing them full of cookies. ( The all important water pump is far back on left-a quintessential strength test all our kids take as a right of passage.).

long ago

long ago

Like really long, long ago. If my head serves me right,,, the baby is my Dad who was born in 1911.His mom, my grandma, and then my great-grandma stand next to him. Baby boys wore dresses back then. It wasn’t until about he 1940s when baby boys were starting to get dressed differently from baby girls.

Grandpa Franque

Grandpa Franque

I grew up in a reading family. My Grandpa Franque died young, a victim of a drunk driver. He’s reading, maybe, the Presidential something….-he was an outspoken man, active in labor and politics. It figures I get this part of my being from this guy. Plus, no one can break their nose on a table top like he could.

Grandma Franque

Grandma Franque

Grandma Franque-she survived having four boys serving during WWll-so did they. She wrote the Rubber Fairy Tales and read them to all her grandchildren. They’ve never been published, but should have been. I hope to have better luck with my books, two of them are currently out on Kindle*. Of course, my sister, Sharon Franquemont, has had a book, You Already Know What to Do, published in eight languages that sold world-wide.  Other’s from this side of my family have been published as well. So yeah, reading and writing runs in the family.

Mom....natural blonde

Mom….natural blonde

I remember a day, I must have been about six. My mom had plopped me up on the new washing machine to examine a bee sting I’d gotten while running barefoot  thru the clover. I stared at her hair; this hair. I told her how beautiful she was( I knew even then, and my friends had mentioned this fact, also). I can see her smiling back, telling me my foot would be okay.

Dale in her sunday best

Dale in her sunday best

Everyone agrees, my wife could only make it with me by having the best of humor….she does. No one makes me laugh harder.

We love the sea. I couldn't resist adding this photo of my wife-

We love the sea. I couldn’t resist adding this photo of my wife-

Mom and Dad on their wedding day

Mom and Dad on their wedding day

This was an important day for me:-)!

Kelly's a Mom; Maya.

Kelly’s a Mom; Maya.

Kelly is our first daughter, a strong, good hearted person. She’s an achiever, a go getter. My dad always woke me up saying, “Up an at em!” Kelly took those words to heart. This is all great news for her first child; Kelly just about makes a good anything, especially a mom.

Ed carrying Joey Sherman on his back.

My brother, Ed, carrying Mary? Sherman on his back.

Is it 1956? Maybe. Hard to tell if this is Joey, or Mary, sisters and both our friends. Thing is, I’d try to carry Dave, my cousin, around on my back too, but sometimes I’d fall down. We were much younger. This horse-back ride thing was all the rage at the time. Lake days for my family; bonding days forever.

completely understandable wink????

completely understandable wink????

President John Kennedy had just been shot in the head. Lyndon Johnson, VP, walks along with Jacquelyn Kennedy just after the shooting and takes a moment to share a wink with Congressman Albert Thomas. Odd timing, huh? Recently this was published in a book:

“Lyndon Johnson’s mistress Madeleine Duncan Brown, on LBJ telling her on the day before JFK’s assassination “after tomorrow those SOB’s will never embarrass me again – that’s no threat – that’s a promise.”**

I think this one photo says more than the entire Warren Report  ever did.

The two of us enjoying Nagasaki at night during one of our visits to Japan.

The two of us enjoying Nagasaki at night during one of our visits to Japan.

My wife and I over look the city.  A glass window catches our reflection-a favorite moment and photo of mine.

Everyone who knows me knows I love the Lake. This shot I have to call prime time me. Young, strong, I had it all then.

Everyone who knows me knows I love the Lake. This shot I have to call prime time me. Young, strong, I had it all then.

 

gotta love it!

gotta love it!

I’m a nut case for animals. If truth be known, I love people , too, or, the world in general. I never met a rainy day I didn’t like. Thing is, I’ve thought for a long time that when Disney gave life to trees, birds, bees, all sorts of things, even broom sticks, that he was, at least, partially right. I’m most akin to Native American belief when it comes to Nature. We’re only a part of the big picture, only a result of everything and everyone who’s come before us, not the end product…

Cheers-and I’ve lots more pictures to share later on.

Franque23

*links for both books in the Avatar Magic Series:

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

 

**http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/jfk_lbj_wink.html


It's time for Swamp Reading

It’s time for Swamp Reading

Of course, click on the pictures for a larger view.

 

watch out for that spider!!!

But watch out for that spider!!!

 

 

Swamps are spooky at night..I've been in a couple.

Swamps are spooky at night..I’ve been in a couple.

But before the sun could set on this swamp, I had to build it.

You have to start somewhere

You have to start somewhere

It's nice to have a dock

It’s nice to have a dock

 

Almost always, I have to start with the background, then work the base before moving up to finish the boards.

Of course, the first thing to have is a vision of how the board will look. Sometimes, I think about boards, their layout, possibilities and what I hope to accomplish  with the design for months, if not a year. This board was about four months in the planning. Some pieces are made well in advance of the set-up date. Other props are reused from previous boards.(I love to reuse stuff, making the time and effort to create the pieces more cost-effective.)

The most difficult thing in this board was to arrange a  background reflection that looks like blue water, so that straight on viewers see the grass in 3-D but still are aware of the water in the swamp. This took some effort, but in the end,  the effect came through….

This close up of the spider web gives a good look at the water reflection technique.

This close up of the spider web gives a good look at the water reflection technique. But how will this look from across the room?

The spider web is constructed(shaped) of flexible wire that’s then wrapped with translucent strips cut from  special sheets of material,  almost a thin bubble wrap type.

The blue foil paper is laid down in different angles throughout to give the right reflections. The next shot shows the reflection as seen from a distance.  Grass growing out of water and along the banks…

 

.everything has to be built in layers, one at a time

Everything has to be built one layer at a time in the right order…

Thing about the above shot is that it makes me look bald.?!?!!?Jeez, what cameras can do to a guy! But I had to go up the ladder for a special friend. Plus, you may notice, the board is calling for darning needles, right? But those went on last.

A squirrel has been in almost every board  for the past five years. this is squirrel two, the first one ran off...low pay, bad hours.

A squirrel has been in almost every board for the past five years. This is squirrel two, the first one ran off…low pay, bad hours.

Once, I was caught swamp fishing in a John Boat with my buddy, Greg, when the  fog set in so bad we nearly didn’t make our way out! That wasn’t good. Of course, him stepping into a gator hole, or me nearly swamping our boat on other occasions come to mind as well. Those moments are other blogs, but I try to  put my life experiences into the boards.

 

The beasts go on at night

The beasts go on at night……

Another look at the overall effect of the inlay-ed blue foil paper.

Another look at the overall effect of the inlaid blue foil paper. The foil is mounded here and there to enhance reflection. BTW, top right you can see how the lettering is lifted off the board with pins and lined on the backside to create a reflective back lighting for the words.”Swamp Reading”

Here's one that settled on the dock.....

Here’s a darning needle that settled on the dock…..I’m extremely happy about the water effect under the dock as well.

 

I think it’s odd that darning needles don’t wear socks.

Darning needles don't need socks

Well, finally our boards in the Youth Services Department at The Alachua County Library hope to encourage reading. A swamp is mired in subject matter!  And, there are many swamps in Florida, some small, others large. The Everglades covers 4,000 square miles! Most of us may not want to visit a swamp, but these land features play an important part in maintaining a balance in our environment. In a way, a swamp visits us every day.

Cheers.

Franque23

Avatar Magic, by Gerald Franquemont, is out on Kindle and it can be downloaded onto most readers.

 

 

 

 


(Warning:  the first review says this blogs contains the worst blond jokes ever!-so there’s that.)

 

Not sure if Americans should take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror to get this hair dye bit straight, or never look in the mirror at all-lla.

It’s interesting to me that generally, for years, blondes were said to have more fun, maybe thought of as more attractive than brunettes by the media…..but when I think of super hero’s, the first ones that come to mind, male or female,  are dark haired? Of course, there are blonde super heros, but mostly….

Sometimes I think we take the color and shape of our hair too seriously.

Sometimes I think we take the color and shape of our hair too seriously.

Some stats say only 2% of the World’s population is naturally blond. Another 1% are red-haired. The rest of us have hair of many different colors  but mostly one: Not Blond.

Not Blond!

Not Blond!

Maybe this is why over 55 million people in the US dye their hair? Reports of hair dye causing leukemia, that much of the dye we use  is made from known animal carcinogens, none of that seems to matter. And when times get tough, American’s spend more on hair products to use at home rather than go to a beauty parlor. Reportedly, 7.5 billion was spent on hair dyes in one year in the US! Maybe, it’s safe to say few of us like the color of our hair….odd to me, since I’ve about none…

I find blonde jokes to be very degrading; gross; out of line; worthless: perfect stuff for the blog. Plus, my wife has had beautiful silver hair since she was about thirty…which means nothing but that she is strikingly beautiful

Can you spot the silver haired one?

Can you spot the silver haired one? Now, try to find the guy with no hair!!! That leaves my sister, Sharon Franquemont and her daughter Meagan Carlock to be counted at the table. Not a blond in sight, so each of us could order for ourselves!

….and not one dark haired person is really blond. Period.  Doesn’t happen, which means even less.  And what about blond haired guy jokes? What’s up with that?

Meanwhile, I’m looking thru Bio’s of Rapunzel to learn if she was a real blonde….get back to you on that.

Top of the morning.....!

Top of the morning…..!

Thing is, a workmate came in with a few jokes that got us all laughing, that got me writing…..

Heard any good jokes lately????Please post in comment field-who doesn’t need a laugh?

 

A) A blonde looks into a mirror and asks rhetorically,  ” Are you a real blonde?” She’s terrorized when her reflections answers, ” I’m not even a real person and I know it!” The woman runs to her phone and calls 911.

“What is your emergency?”

“There’s someone in my house who looks just like me and says what I’m thinking!”

 

B)Two blondes walk into a bar……one is hurt badly, the other , not so much.

 

F)A blonde is speeding down the road and passes a blond woman sitting in a row-boat  in the middle of  a farmer’s field. That woman in the boat is paddling like crazy, kicking up dust with every paddle she makes!  The woman driving the car steps on her brakes, backs up and pulls off the road. She walks up to the field fence and yells to the paddling woman, “You’re just the kind of nut job blonde that gives blond haired people like me a bad name. And if I could swim I’d come out there and beat the tar out of you!”

 

E) There has never been a blond, female US President-that should tell you something.

 

D)A blond female driver is pulled over by a blond female policeman. “What’s the problem officer?”

“You’re speeding. Let me see your license.”

The driver looks through her purse for several minutes for her license, but with no luck.”

The officer adds, “It’s about three by four and it has your picture on it.”

The blond finds her compact, pulls it out and sees her reflection in it. “Here it is officer.” She hands it to the cop.

The policeman looks down at it, “Oh, I see you’re a policeman too.”

 

3) How many blondes does it take to have a thought? …wait for it.. waaiiiit…..None.

 

+)A middle-aged Brunette teacher takes sympathy on a young middle school blond girl who can’t seem to pass any tests.  She writes on a piece of paper, “What’s the difference you see between blond-haired people and brunette haired people?” and walks over to the blond-haired child.

“Alicia, if you can answer this question I’ll give you an A on today’s test,” and puts the paper on the  girl’s desk.

The blond student reads the question, looks up at the teacher and says, “Their age?”

 

10ty)Blondes have more fun since they don’t know the difference. “Hey! Is this fun?”

 

AA)“Dad! Why does mom stare into the refrigerator for so long?”

“Hon…don’t worry; mom’s blond.”

“What ?”

“She’s  reading  the concentrate label.”

 

Another) A blonde asks another, “How many blonds does it take to fill a boat?”

“Ten.” One replies.

“Why ten?” the other asks.

“It has to be past nine.”

“But I’m busy until eleven!”

“Get off early.”

“Won’t that rock the boat?”

“Yeah, hadn’t thought about that.”

 

UP)Flash-The blond hockey team drown in spring training.

 

LAST) A blonde is confused. “What does IDK mean?”

“A brunette answers, ” I don’t know.”

“OMG! No one does.”

 

Smiles and do write your own blog blonde jokes in the comment fields..that could be fun!

Franque23

Avatar Magic, by Gerald Franquemont, is on Kindle,and it can be downloaded onto most reading devices. Please don’t miss Saving Jane, by Laura Dale  Bell , it’s on Kindle too!

Laura Dale Bell, author, mother, singer, song writer, home school-er, wife, house keeper and definitely, NOT Blond! Go figure?

Laura Dale Bell, author, mother, singer, song writer, stand-up comedian, home school-er, wife, house keeper and definitely, NOT Blond! Go figure?

 

 

 

 

 


I have enjoyed creating this scene twice before, once around 2000 and then again in 2009.

I have enjoyed creating this scene twice before, once around 2000 and then again in 2009.(click to enlarge)

The Moose chills beneath the moonlight....

The Moose chills beneath the moonlight….

I figure the ice will support the Moose' weight-it's like 30 below:-)

I figure the ice will support the Moose’s weight-it’s like 30 below:-)

Of course, the odd thing is a person has to view the entire picture in their mind before the board can be created… This  time, for the first time, Gail caught the action in the making.

First I cut the trees, added glitter(they call me many names at work, and Glitter boy is one of them.

First I cut the trees, added glitter(they call me many names at work, and Glitter boy is one of them.)

Here's a "rear" view of the action:-)

Here’s a “rear” view of the action:-)

I feel a sense of relief when the board’s all done, together, and much like I’d first envisioned it might look as a finished product.

sneaking up on the moose

sneaking up on the moose

Fun to think this is all part of my job working as a library Specialist for the Alachua County Library District, one of the finest Library districts in the country.(We’ve won National awards that prove it!) Check out our web site–aclib.us on google.

The work here is never done!

There's always people to help, tasks to organize or programs to create and present.

There’s always people to help, tasks to organize or programs to create and present.

Please, visit your local libraries and join in on the fun!

Peace and Joy to you this Holiday Season. And like the bulletin board sign reads:  “Season’s Readings from Us to you!”

Reading---a special mind adventure.

Reading—a special mind-felt adventure.

Here's wishing you a relaxing Holiday, full of the best of times.

Here’s wishing you a relaxing Holiday, full of the best of times.

Cheers!

Franque23.

Avatar Magic, by Gerald Franquemont, is on Kindle and it can be downloaded onto most reading devices.


Okay. I love to people watch. As a kid in high school,  it seems like I took the train from Mineola to Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, maybe caught the E-8th ave. subway from there to  Greenwich  village-that’s a bit fuzzy for me some 50 years later.  But, sitting on the sidewalks in Washington Square with my buddies where we’d watch the people going by is clear as bell in my mind. The cost for a slice of pizza had recently risen from fifteen cents to 25 cents-it’s hard to forget that appalling fact too.

Circa 1960 Village street scene....

Circa 1960 Washington Square street scene….looks like that guy’s getting a ticket-maybe the only car in town?

Fast forward a few bazillion years and I found my wife and I visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. There, I put my people watching skills to good use.

Honestly,  an interesting, quick two-week trip to Johannesburg left me with many vast  impressions drawn from slim pickin’s when it comes to my sample size. My conclusions are much like a poll that broadcasts it showed  75% of people love whale watching on first dates and then mentions off -hand that the sample size was four people. So, in this case, we really had one happy couple and one last date. Still, my daughter’s associations in Johannesburg gave me access to  a wide and varied group of professional, local and working people but, in each case, these people were few in number.

For those who wonder about the “look” of the people in Johannesburg, only my New York City area upbringing could prepare me for seeing such an assortment of people from different nationalities in the local(huge) shopping mall. Wacko’s, beggars, sophisticated ladies, spiffy professionals, causal window shoppers, those sporting traditional African dress and your average run-of-the-mill teen clothed in black made up the crowd.

images (2)fashion showWe didn’t meet any of these Women, or see any other fashion shows like this one, but the Rosebank Mall offered  a good view of the many types of clothing worn daily in the country. The mall  was huge, the top story being multiple movie theaters. It’s size was equal to about four times that of Gainesville, Florida’s largest mall. 

images (2)spacious mallPolished walks, huge plantings, sky lights, even several grocery stores were just a few of the intriguing aspects of the Mall. Oh, and the food prices were equivalent to US prices, but for the meat-Filet Mignon ran about $2.25 per pound! I ate a little bit of meat while there, right? But this is cow country. My wife said their Constitutional Court Building was adorned with huge cow hides hung on walls and draped in the parliamentary chamber. 

lots of storiesBig, open spaces inside the Mall, though this one, I don’t recognize. Still, this huge Mall had other malls connected to it…like the African market mall where traditional wares of all types were for sale.

Two stories; vendors loved cash but took ATM bank cards as well.

Two stories; vendors loved cash but took ATM bank cards as well.

We ran into street dancers often…

Oh yeah--music, dancing, all of it for fun on the streets surrounding the Mall.

Oh yeah–music, dancing, all of it for fun on the streets surrounding the Mall.

images (2)regular joysLots of everyday folks shopping in casual dress.
hot shot dresses

 But, many shoppers were well attired, especially, it seemed, the Dutch descendant Afrikaans. Breezy is a word that came to mind as I checked-out the clothes on people passing by. Of, course, Spring had just begun, so color was all the rage.

A simple outfit that reminded me of  the many layers of clothing I saw most often worn in Japan.

A simple outfit that gives the impression that one is wearing many layers of clothing like I saw most often in Japan.

Then, to my wonder, was the multi-colored patterned outfits worn by those I thought of as indigenous to the area….

I was struck by the beauty of these types of outfits.

I was struck by the beauty of these types of outfits.

And some times I found myself thinking these outfits looked much like those worn by Peruvians who lived far away, high in the Andes.

Here, a Peruvian couple.

Here, a Peruvian couple.

This, a dress worn in Johannesburg.

The two outfits, one for Peru,the other from Jo-burg have the similar looks.

The two outfits, one from Peru,the other from Jo-burg, have  similar feels.

Usually  the colors, and always the hats!!!

Usually the colors, and always the hats!!!

Moving the motif up a notch....

Moving the motif up a notch….

  

“The people I did get to meet, speakers of English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Swahili and others languages, all seemed rather up-tempo when it came to their country’s politics-I had to laugh hearing that they all knew their presidential elections would be coming next year but the exact date of the election was still uncertain. Can you imagine:” Oh, the election should be sometime in November.” Americans, as I get it from my travels, are generally an uptight lot when it comes to things like punctuality, the time of day, day of the week, what month it might be or even what year. American’s , as a people, need to relax more. Anyway…….

And I learned during my visit, to my chagrin, that it’s politics as usual all over the world. Julius Malema, who got kicked out of the ANC (the ruling party in South Africa) for generally being an idiot and saying stupid things surprised me as I listened to him speak over the radio.  He explained that it was all true what the reporters were saying, that he’d pounded his female work associates into the mattress so hard (my translation:-)) that it was a near miracle the beds didn’t break but, he added, at least he was being honest about this. His fellow running mates, he went on to say, should not be trusted because they all do the same thing but lie about it. He is, as well, now the head of his own party (the EFF – Economic Freedom Fighters) and is running for President in 2014. Should he call himself, “Honest Julius?”*

Ha! What Ex-President Clinton could have learned from this  Julius Malema guy huh?

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Current President, Jacob Zuma, was, in fact, convicted of rape before becoming President.

I found the general populace to be politically involved and well aware, call it concerned, about the random shootings in America. More than once I heard the US described as the elephant they hoped would not roll over.  To the issue of Syria, people uniformly thought those troubles to be the result of America’s interests in oil, Halliburton’s influence in the region was often mentioned. Everyone I spoke to  said they loved Obama—

Love bloomed there too.
Love blooms there too.
And dogs still need to be walked.....

And dogs still need to be walked…..

Visiting a Jo-burg beer joint was great fun too–that and more on this fascinating place later on. Oh, and it’s a beautiful city.

The street my daughter lives on is lined with jacaranda tree, as many are in Johannesburg.

Many  streets are lined with Jacaranda trees.

Franque23.

* Thanks to my daughter who lives in South Africa for making these corrections as to the facts of the matter here.

Avatar Magic, by Gerald Franquemont, is out on Kindle and it can be downloaded onto most reading devices.

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