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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.)


(Click the pic for a larger view)

It can be fun to see what people have done with snow over the decades…

Ski-cars?

so let’s take a look…..

Like way before I was a tie wearing sixth grader in Meadow Drive—(I’m the 6th from the right in the back row)

Way before our house on Long Island, N.Y. was often buried by nor’easter’s during the winter. Here’s a pic. of our home in Roslyn Heights. My room was second floor on the left.

Long before I built this snowman to my father’s delight and Mom gave me the carrot for the nose…

Gal’s used to,’shovel sled,’ as it was called. I think these gals were having fun! 

Here’s three actual Olympic champions sharing the limelight….about 1928–all three were medal winners-1st thru 3rd in figure skating.

Boys will be boys; girls will be girls- this group decided to dance in the snow in what was called ‘ underwear’ back then. 1926…so this photo is extremely risque …..

Here’s New York City in the 1920’s. (I’m guessing the man ‘breaking his neck’ thought one of the ladies was a ‘looker.’)

Whoops, here’s our lake house at Lake Bonaparte, New York, just in the foot hills of the Adirondacks. Thinking this was taken about three years ago. It went down to -25 this year up at the lake. Our camp is in the background.

It can snow a bunch up there- people have landed planes on the ice of Lake Bonaparte and often drive cars over it during the deep winter months.

Speaking of driving….all sorts of methods were developed in the past to glide cars over the snow.

And, at one time, Santa lived in the Adirondacks…People could go meet his reindeer!

Some Europeans are very used to the snow. Here they bask in the daylight warmth at a restaurant!!! I don’t imagine I’d visit unless I’d been served on ice.  Or, as a customer, “Please, may I have five gallons of hot tea, like now….”

Okay, this is interesting…These two gals were sisters and a successful dance/comedy routine in the flapper era…they worked under the name, The Dolly’s….hmmmm,, Hello, Dolly anyone?

Through rain, sleet and snow–they really meant it and still do.

I’m thinking this boy’s love for this doggie has nothing to do with the keg on the dog’s neck.

Do policemen always get it in the end? Nah, they’re just all havin’ fun.

Why am I thinking this isn’t the best way to test the ice? Unless I’m the guy on the far left…

Here’s the deal, people like to do just about anything in the snow. Making snow angels, snow balls as big as a car, snow ball fights are huge, sledding, sliding, rolling on the snow and making snow forts as I did as a kid-it’s all fun! People ski naked, run and jump into snow naked and have a ball(no pun intended) naked* in the snow.

Snow is truly a winter wonderland but for driving. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I love to drive in the snow…” Nope, not once.

But still, snow fall can be magical. I could watch snow fall from my bedroom window as a kid in the street light located on the corner of our property on Long Island. Soft and whirling, silent but so real, the piles of snow upon the trees, yards, cars and street filled my eyes with delight. It all meant that tomorrow there would be no school, and in the morning I’d run out onto the unblemished lawns of blanketed snow to be the first to step across the pristine, smooth snow-fallen landscape. Those foot prints have remained in my heart forever though my red boots have long been cast aside.

There’s magic to life, and snow is part of the wonder.

Now, I’m more than forty years a Florida boy, but I’ve never forgotten snow. Never will.

Franque23

bye 

*you’ll have to google that yourself….

 

 


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


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

To begin with, as an America, once you’ve been to Europe it’s easy to want to go back. There’s a breeze blowing in the minds of Europeans that escapes most Americans.

Almost all visits to Europe will start off, go through or lead to Paris. There’s the Louvre, the ever present Eiffel Tower, the Seine, the food, the wine, women’s underwear-art nouveau, Notre Dame and more.

The light of Paris is The Tower, the fancy pants the Louvre and Notre Dame the ‘rock’.

Notre Dame: a world of History to browse.

 

We entered Notre Dame just when a singing mass began…that gal’s voice was shipped from heaven.*

My thoughts drifted back to this historical shrine many times during our visit to Paris while my eyes fell upon the Eiffel Tower as often. This massive structure is taller than you think.

Here’s a shot of construction.

 

(May, 1888.)

The Tower looms over the city’s skyline and by night it beams lights for five minutes upon the hour to demonstrate Parisian’s will to survive any test.

Thanks to my wife for catching this unforgettable moment.

Napoleon’s Tomb was a shocker; a golden dome repeats the sun outside and inside floors of intricately cut marble boggle the mind. Napoleon’s tomb is no less astonishing to see and informative as well.**

These columns, everything, is different colored marble or gold gilt.

 

The marble floors are seamlessly joined as if they were interwoven threads of a Peruvian rug.  

And the inside ceiling dome is no less enthralling.

Paris is art to the heart. A never-ending display of what might be done if only mankind would.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a doll house? Streets are lined with bigly baskets of floral arrangements as though a wedding was taking place on each one.

If your hustle causes you to miss a statue you’re sure to catch the ones on the next corner. And about those fountains…there are one million of them, all enhanced, again by more statues.

The Eiffel Tower looms over your wanderings as they take you to the Louvre.  (Hot tip: First-go to Paris in September; second-go to the Louvre when it’s closed so your completely bummed like us…then, be nearby on the next night when it’s open and go! No one is there to speak of, and you can walk right up to the Lady.) The Mona Lisa is more than you will expect. I promise.

 The entrance to the Louvre is a grand, striking glass pyramid that provides the correct ambiance and protection its holdings deserve.

We meandered around and past ancient Roman and Greek statues, even those that predate the periods,  ones we could walk up to as though a conversation might ensue. Soon, we came to a wide stairway blessed by The  Winged Victory of Samothrace masterpiece.

The absence of people contrasted the magnitude of people who flock to this same spot everyday of the summer. I don’t know how a marble statue can appear to have flight, but this one does. I longed to see the missing head and arms–sigh.

Steps by works I can’t describe with any astute justice frame the route to the room where the Mona Lisa waits. Truly, I’d expected the work to be small, and that only an inquisitive adherence of my attention would bang against this canvass. Oh, how wrong…

We entered a room almost void of tourists and took our place centered before the Mona Lisa only three rows deep. I’d cleared to the front of the line within minutes and stood but fifteen feet from the herald painting. I stared at this painting and within one minute it felt as though I was communicating with the portrait. The brow was different from so many others I’d seen in paintings just prior in our walk-a-bout, a bit shaded upon the upper right from my view, a touch that gave a cerebral hue to the work. The background to each side held a stream to the left and a montage of floating sky and movement to the right. The smile, as so well drummed, had an inescapable ambivalence that lay open to so many interpretations.

It seemed I could talk with the Mona Lisa.

It caught me that my lips were moving with my silent thoughts and in a glance I saw the guard, a women in her younger years who sat by the painting, was watching me with some concern, or was it interest. I retreated back though those who waited to be first in the line but then stopped. I eagerly returned to the crowd and ventured off to the left side of the painting, the guard aware of my every foot step. I once again stood in front of the line but far off to the left of the painting. Mona Lisa’s eyes were staring at me  with the exact intensity I’d experienced while standing in front of the portrait!

Mona Lisa’s eyes remained on me from all viewing angles and this sighting etched my head forever.

I ventured into a street shop selling wine: “I’ve no idea about wine, but I want a red that isn’t’ too expensive, and I’m only here for three nights.” The shop owner showed me a 5 dollar bottle of wine that turned out to be excellent, even by my world-traveled sister’s standards. So get a hunk of cheese, crackers, wine and grapes for breakfast while there-it’s great fun.

We stayed in an Airbnb centrally located within the city. The back featured a two level outside porch surrounded by plantings and fresh air, the perfect place for us to enjoy along with my sister, my wife’s cousin, Anne Claude, her husband Noah, and my brother-in-law and his wife.

Ahhh, Parie…..La Ville des lumieres…

Go to Paris; chomp on a baguette. See the Mona Lisa and, if you’re like me, Life may never exactly seem the same after you do. How odd, the force of art and love!

Franque23

*Thanks to my wife for most of the pictures.

** I’d no idea how important Napoleon had been to the development of almost every aspect of  the Paris we now know. The street lay outs, the government, the law, and so much more is attributed to the work of this man done over a span of a few short years. So, the magnificent tomb makes perfect sense.


(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…

 

 


London is where bustle got put into hustle.

Let’s start with the Crown Jewels( so easy to fancy) but, then again, don’t let the elevator doors hit you on the way to see them. Yes, it’s hard to imagine those jewels on anyone’s head but my own!( I claimed to be , Gerald the Great, as a kid, like two years ago.)

This is worth a few pounds that are  upgraded by 20% more in American dollars.

The crowns at Buckingham dazzle the eye. You pass a row of crowns thirty feet long as you stand on a conveyor belt. I went back three times.

Is it a perfect fit?

Trust me,,, you can’t imagine the size of this diamond and more. It is a minted life for sure.

The barney ace diamonds set between emeralds and ruby’s, crown after crown, but about those elevator doors.

No automatic door is going to retreat if you’re too slow shufflin’ in for the ride in London. There’s no safety bumper mechanics working in England; it’s either get in the elevator, stay out or get chopped in half by the closing door. Really, I saw my brother-in-law(a six-foot four guy) get body slammed by a closing elevator door so from then on it was run for your lives into the booth.  Tell ya, if you survive the weird wrong way traffic while crossing the streets as a pedestrian then the elevators are waiting to pounce.

About those elevator booths, they have phone booths too!

But this post isn’t only about London jewels, the everyday rain, the brown tones of London or the old tradition that stands so firm it has a grip on every angle of the city.

On the bright side of the rain, the daily washing brought rainbows.

No, I’m not even gonna blather on about staying in Chelsea,  a quaint part of London offering everything you could want via location, low, cute building structures, convenient nearby shopping in local markets, wine, cheese, bakeries and more. And why mention the Airbnb we stayed in with the naked woman crucified upon a cross that hung over the master bedroom, or the  avant-garde plaster naked torso of a woman hanging by the only flight(s) of stairs or the Queen’s hologram portrait with eyes that followed you as you passed by. It would be stupid, the eclectic array of art in this walk up flat worked in an imaginative why to keep your mind wandering as you ate breakfast to start the new day or sipped wine at  night to end it.

 

RANDOM PHOTO alert

Here’s John and Robert Kennedy flippin’ thru law books with Marilyn Monroe. What else did they end up having in common?!?!?

This whole mess with Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy’s may be a load of cobbler-not sure anyone knows and I suspect it will be a donkey’s ear before anyone does..

London is a peddle to the metal. Unless, of course, you’re buried at Westminster Abbey. Then things slow down.

West Minister Abby is waiting to amaze you.

I’ve got to say, the cast of humanity buried in Westminster Abbey is a ton to take in: you could spend more than a life time researching the history of those buried in West Minister Abby, some in magnificent tombs while others are beneath your feet as you walk.

The most splendid experience is to the see the ceiling, Mary, Queen of Scots, beholds from her resting place. You can’t imagine the beauty of this architecture.  The burial room for Mary seems to scream, Queen Elizabeth 1, how could you? (She was  imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth 1 for twenty odd years before being decapitated for plotting against the queens life.)*

Mary, Queen of Scots has a beautiful view.

The ceiling speaks volumes about her rank with the society. Take a closer look:

Even closer…..

But this sordid part of history isn’t the first or last we’d come upon during our London visit. Who  could forget the Shakespearean-type guide telling us how Anne Boleyn had her head cut off at the Tower of London-that was all the rage back then- and how she  kept praying with her lips moving as her executioner held her head in the air for all those gathered to see. There was no TV back then so public executions got excellent ratings, still it wouldn’t be my cuppa tea.

In the end, London has its place. Kensington Palace is a bit dark even with the special celebration of Princess Diana taking place while we visited; Buckingham palace was certainly more,’Royal’. Big Ben was silent for our visit but the under current of London’s history still rings a bell even without its chime.

You can’t help but notice you’re standing in London, England, the very seat of power that once ruled so much of the world-America, too. The pavement here feels like accomplishment under the soles of you feet. And even today, the city seems to hum, We Have to Hurry.

One more thing, I’m from just outside the Big Apple, New York- I had the subway down pat when I was in high school. I knew the rush of New York City streets like the back of my hand and I’m telling you: Londoner’s will make the train. On guard; on time.

Here’s to knees up then in London. Cheerio.

Franque23

 

*Not to throw a spanner in the works,, but Mary’s first husband died a few days after her marriage, the next was found either strangled or buried-not sure- after several years of unhappy marriage…Then Queen Elizabeth thought Mary, Queen of Scots, might be plotting against her?-go figure Mate.

 

 

 

 


Basically, keep it in mind when you sign-up for jet lag that Europe’s a spider’s web of death traps for Americans. Flat out simple, if you do survive being squashed alive in your seat or poisoned by the-this is not food- on your plane, London is waiting for you. There you’ll encounter a million cars ready to run you over as you step off the curb and look left for on-coming traffic as you might in America*…..Thing is, somehow, someway, the English still insist on driving on the wrong side of the road. It all makes sense if you accept that this wrong-side-of-the-road custom dates back to the 1700’s and therefore should be continued. It seems horsemen busy dueling for any reason they might conjure up were mostly right-handed so they needed to pass their foe with swords drawn and their enemies on the right side of their horse for better body piercing.  Today, the English continue to charge ahead the wrong way.

Another warm greeting awaiting you in London is the plethora of pelting rain drops that will anoint your sun-searching eyes should you look up from the puddled streets.

In truth, it doesn’t rain everyday in England once, but many, many times per day. But don’t worry if you leave your umbrella in that last cab you took-you’ll find someone else’s umbrella in about the exact same location on the back seat of the next cab you get.

Be forewarned: those four dollar umbrellas offered for sale in London last about as long as it takes to buy them…

Moving on, bypassing the flood gates of England, you may find yourself swilling in Ireland, Dublin, to be exact. This country has a completely different slant on how to undo the American. It’s called Guinness. You may have tried what you thought was Guinness here in the States and that would be all wrong. No, in Dublin where Guinness has submerged an entire country it’d be wrong to think of the drink as anything but a prelude to another and then ten more. Not that I had so many-I don’t think, maybe.

Typical roadside stop in Ireland**.

So, you missed Ireland completely but for unloading a bunch of money between random trips to the loo. Now it’s on to France with low expectations of seeing lots of underpants. The Follies were not showing during my visit and it was Fall so the sexy part of France was underwhelming- a minimalist’s expose’ of very little, a slip-up with regard to this undertaking. And if you’re hoping to make friends in any of these countries or amends for two hundred years of American warfare forget it. The fact is most people I almost saw as we passed one another along the street had their faces glued to whatever electronic device they held in hand. Those sparkling eyes of all those I’d hoped to meet in foreign countries had converted to bent down heads…

France, or what I imagined to be the land of lingerie, turns out to have its own angle on killing Americans that doesn’t involve deploying undergarments. Yep, it’s the French in Paris with the baguettes-mystery solved. You can’t imagine unless you’ve been, but there’s a quality to French pastries, breads, heck even hamburger buns that will drive even the most savvy American palate crazy. Figure on gaining weight and ordering a larger coffin as you decide what desert to devour next while in France.

I’d once heard the Eiffel tower was erected to reflect the state of most men while in Paris, and that it was fittingly a temporary construction to boot. Now, I don’t know.

History records that the Mongols invaded Paris and ate the baguettes which caused them to run to Ireland and jump off the Cliffs of Moher.*** Those Cliffs are renowned to this day for this reason-I heard this while in Ireland but only truly understood the history once I’d eaten various breads in Paris. I didn’t even care about the missing underwear after that.

Random idea:

The Cliffs of Moher have very little in common with the sunflower fields of Tuscany

Mind you, I loved Ireland so much there’s at least an entire glob coming on that country-and London and Paris and Germany as well.

It’s time to move on to Germany but first I have to end this glob….see you next time through a vat of beer and what about those Oktoberfest outfits!?!?!? New Orleans’s Mardi  Gras has nothing on German’s celebration– honest.

I found the size of the Oktoberfest beers distracting.

cheers

Franque23

  • Sadly, this has happened.
  • A cab driver explained that ten was the magic number of Guinness-just enough to make you forget the night before as you awake the next morning so you have to investigate Guinness all over again the following night. See? It’s the circle of life.
  • This matter is still debated in pubs.

My friend and first reader, Barbara, sent me this a few days ago. This week with so many extremely bad things happening around the globe I think it’s best to step back and see who’s on second, or what might have come next if Abbott and Costello were alive today!

You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on…

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, ‘Who’s on First?’ might have turned out something like this:

COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks I’m setting up an office in my den and I’m thinking about buying a computer.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: No, the name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don’t own a computer. I want to buy one.

ABBOTT: Mac?

COSTELLO: I told you, my name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don’t know.. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: For my office?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let’s just say I’m sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

ABBOTT: Word.

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue ‘W’.

COSTELLO: I’m going to click your blue ‘w’ if you don’t start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That’s right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What’s bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn’t it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!

(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on ‘START’….. ……..

Thanks again to Barbara for this. laughter can help.

Here’s to all of us.

Franque23

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