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Ah cranberries! Life is too short! Soon, I’ll be rollin’ out of here so I butter have fun before it’s gravy time. Eventually, I’ll be nothing but soggy leftovers wattling my way to de-boned. Life isn’t a piece of cake no matter how it’s sliced.  But can I have seconds?

On second thought….

The more years pass, the more I look like a Thanksgiving turkey.

I’ve grown a turkey neck and a nice plump belly along with a nibble, gobble face. Gizzards! Life is moving at break-neck speed. I’m still walkin’, but maybe without my head! (My dad used to talk about seeing chickens and turkeys run around after their heads got chopped off!)

If I’m not gobbling while stuffin’ my face, I’m wobbling on ancient toes—the ones attached to what my wife used to call,’perfect feet.’ Please pass the bunion; I’ll have another: two just isn’t enough.

Ever see a turkey’s knees? Never mind, just look at mine in beach shots for a quick overview. Turkeys like me are essentially bald but they have feathers. Me? I have a feather duster.

Racing to the bathroom is when I strut my stuff.

 

And about that famous roasted turkey smell as it wafts through the house. Here’s the yin-yang of this turkey-talk: if only a whiff of me smelled that good after doing garden work!

Nope, my flowering youth has been turned upside down and slowly roasted in the sun by years looking for scratch.  My young self has been basted and tented; my clock has been cleaned but for a smidgen of a second left before that big timer in the sky goes off. But, is there pie in the sky? Yep, soon I’ll be car-soul-rolled and placed into a container to be stored until moldy.

Wait! I’d like more seasoning! Another sprig of a spring with more summering would do nicely.

Cheers-I hope you had a good one!

Franque23

 

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(Click the pic to enlarge.)

A thread on Face book today got this going. The points went back and forth about whether or not American’s should be off work on Election day. Would this help bring out voters? Is it necessary to close businesses when we have early voting or mail-in with even prepaid postage in some states?

You know what? Screw work on election day.

Either call-in on Election Day, take the day off or have it off as a National Holiday. It doesn’t matter if being off on Election Day would increase voting tun-out.  We have to stop the madness in America; we have to throw off this, ‘work until you drop,’ yoke American Big business has used to harness American workers.

American companies and big business have come to value profit more than life, and it’s wrong.

American’s should be off on Election Day–it shows and teaches respect for the process; the same for President’s Day. Businesses should close and Americans should use President’s Day to remember the leaders that have helped shape our country and World. Someone once said that actions speak louder than words. It’s true, our children watch what we do at least as much as they listen to what we say. Look both ways; it’s bed time; eat your veggies: how’s all that jabbering working for you as a parent? No, leaders, parents, teachers, workers and politicians should show the way, walk the walk as well as talk the talk. We all need to stop making work the point.

The work ethic in America is bonkers, and we should keep all our Holidays and add Election Day and President’s day to them. We should also throw in four, ‘ the weather is too nice to work,’ days to boot. Farmer’s knew their horses needed to rest; American workers need a rest, too.

What’s nuts about having election Day off? Here’s what’s nuts: we used to not have just President’s Day off when I was young, but Jefferson’s, Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays off! It’s true! These three days used to be school holidays and many businesses closed as well. More, every business, but for a very few, closed EVERY Sunday! That’s right—just about no one worked on any Sunday—not ever.

The sky will not fall if America stops the madness and gives workers more time off during each work year.

The workers will drop if we don’t give them more rest, not the sky.

Think! Our American society used to give workers more days off than it does now and what happened? America boomed; that’s what happened. American workers were happier, they were better educated and they enjoyed our society.

Sixty years of decreased earnings (when adjusted for inflation), multitasking nightmares, skinnier staffs with additional work to do, the loss of pensions and less time off has reduced American workers to what we are now: an over worked under paid discontented work force.

The rulers, owners and greedy big businesses have been flushing American workers down the toilet for over sixty years now and it needs to stop.

Let’s turn things and us around.

Let’s take Election Day off so we can elect the right people to office. It’s often said that change comes slowly. You know what? Maybe not.  Maybe change is right around the corner; maybe the sun will come up on America. Maybe American voters can stop the madness.

I hope so.

Franque23


When you can eat it all now? But wait! The Weight! The weight gain, that is. Yes, the holidays are a smorgasbord of food for pounds.

It is Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks to all the hard work that went into bringing the birds to so many tables in America.article-2236949-162a7f74000005dc-370_634x560

(this is Norma Jeane Mortenson doing the hard work–later known as Marillyn Monroe.)

Thanks to all you hunters and farmers.

turkey-leg

I’d hardly put down the last remaining Thanksgiving Turkey drum stick when the Christmas’ lamb (who may eat ivy-not sure) mairzy doats into my mouth.*  A person’s body can only take so much stuffing, and I was about to find out exactly how much. About that stuffing-orange wedges, cinnamon apple slices and almond slivers helped.

A mosh of smashed candied yams smothered in marshmallow, steamed, salted asparagus, ripe olives, cranberry sauce, too many Hawaiian rolls way over come by how many pies(I forget- burp) -all the remains from Bird Day- had cleared out of my pie hole just enough to make room for the next feast. I think three types of ice cream, homemade orange jam and lemonade helped wash it all down.

I need a body image checkup

I need a body image checkup

This is when my scale started going screwy. “Nah, it can’t be!” To be fair, the cold does affect those floor step on scales, and our floor doesn’t appear to be exactly flat, as it was last week. “Do these things run on batteries?”

So the lamb dinner did a do-si-do  into my life. The gravy thick, chunked chock full of garlic, peppers, onion-eastern Mediterranean sea salt, parsley, rosemary, thyme, pepper, orange peel, paprika-more-clung to the herb crusted  meat. Mashers, creamy, so good ask my daughter how, a salad made of everything, fresh frozen garden green beans from last fall, the loaves of garlic bread and don’t forget the olives, applesauce and the green mint jelly or the carrots and sweet potatoes cooked alongside the lamb basted in the hot juice-it all decorated my plate. Two for one Edward’s pies was a no brainer-an all appetite type of thing-covered in mounds of ice cream seemed so logical.

Have you ever noticed there are more types of chocolates on your table than grains of sand on a beach during the Holiday of Light?

Though, I may have never seen this....

Though, I  have never seen this….

 

chocolate everywhere

of chocolate everywhere-

people do stuff with chocoalte

people do stuff with chocolate

Light, Dark, 30% to 90% cocoa, round, square, kisses, triangular shapes next to chocolate Santa’s, reindeer, orange chocolate balls, I love the coconut filled mounds, and the foreign jobs-those real creamy chocolates, Ferrero’s, more. Not that I ate any of these, but all of them.

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)**

You’d think my scale would self correct like computers reset if you unplug them,,,,but not mine. “Stupid thing has me five pounds too heavy!”

Because I could still roll over and get out of bed, still stand and open my mouth, the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration jollied its way  through my palate next.

New Year’s dinners only come once per year, and why-oh-why so soon after Thanksgiving and Christmas meals?!?!?!See? Someone got this all wrong-we need to spread these meals out a bit more throughout the year.

A rare Roast Beef is a pure joy-and Vegan’s hell, I know, but this is all part of the Yin-Yang of life. A thinner gravy is called for, and this time the sweet potatoes needed chopped up Nestle crunch bars mixed into the marshmallow topping…Vegetables? I’m sure there were some, but those, the cakes, pies, breads and drinks all mix together in my jumbled head.

The Holiday so long to come and too soon over; the loved ones gone and some so far away.

some so far away

some so far away

The laughter, cheers, smiles, hugs and hopes we shared rattle my skull. My brain chases the images as if they were shadows in the night in hopes of experiencing them once more. But the shorter days are growing longer. Time has a way of saying goodbye and hello all at once.

4 grandsons pickin green beans before they eat chocolate

4 grandsons pickin’ green beans before they eat chocolate

Funny thing-even with the new coming light of day, my scale is still completely out to lunch.?!?! “This scale is 7 pounds off if not a slim ounce more!”

I weigh my alternatives and realize some things need replacing this New Year. Thank goodness I’d lost 14 pounds over the course of last year!  Thing is, I found a few of them back, and I know just how and where.

More is less-my new year resolution.

Cheers and Beers

Franque23

  • I always enjoyed that Mares eat oats… thingy song.
  • ** other ideas for chocolate.

    weigh only your feet

    weigh only your feet

or…keep clean with chocolate

maybe

maybe


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.


(click on pictures to make them larger.)

No, the country didn’t land in our lap, our daughter and family flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa to help pick and eat our oranges.  My daughter has been picking oranges all her life, starting with my dad’s trees in Satellite Beach, Florida. She’s an absolute pickin’ pro, and when she heard about our crop this year, she had to come( She may have had one or two more reasons for making he two-day flight.) About that orange crop in our yard this year! Boom! Smash, whoa-what a doozy, who could count all of them? Well, me-almost down to the last orange-those are still left to pick.

We've picked over 1200 oranges form our property since Nov. 1st*

We’ve picked over 1200 oranges from our property since Nov. 1st* This tree has about 200 more on it, the Valencia will ripen now through February …

We have so many oranges, I’ve started throwing them for Shadow to chase instead of using tennis balls—it’s all good!

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits bye

Shadow knows I might throw an orange or two when I pick a bunch,,,he waits by.

Then, I fling an orange and wait for its return.

At first, I didn't think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything....

At first, I didn’t think Shadow would pick up an orange. Ha! This is Shadow-he who eats anything….the oranges are fine to use after double tasking as balls

Speaking of eating, like I said, Kelly and her family came to eat.

The plane flight was worth it

The plane flight was worth it—-her daughter didn’t fall far from the tree! She’s not letting go of that orange.

But, it wasn’t all about eating oranges. Reading was a foot!

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning....

the cousins had the best time, and Dale kept the pages turning….Shadow, however, only wanted to watch his ‘T.V.’

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

Of the 1200 hundred we’ve picked so far, only about 55 have gone to waste, thanks to our daughter’s families appetites, our neighbors, church groups and workmates got bunches, too. Heck, even our doctors got oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

So it was an orange you glad to see me kinda of Holiday this year. Next season-who knows?!?! It’s mostly all in the weather.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit form Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It was so great to have Kelly and her family visit from Africa this year, and see the cousins and sisters get together.

It’s such a joy to see family, and to grow food, too.  See one another whenever you can, and plant those trees and seeds as well.

Cheers from Florida! Franque23

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.

The Man with a Wave….
 

I first saw him very close to New Year’s day. It was early morning. He stood by the roadside wearing a tattered suit coat that hung loosely from his shoulders. To his back stretched a long dirt road that was lined on each side by towering oaks. I imagined the man to be as old as they were. He was about six feet tall, thin, and I thought at once he should have a cane to help support his stature against the wind, but his hands were free. He donned a grey, wide-brimmed crumpled hat, and then he waved.

This is the exact intersection where I first and last  saw the man with the wave

This is the exact intersection where I first and last saw the man with the wave(pictured 30 years later)

The man’s wave startled me and my cup of coffee. It was a simple wave, one he capped off with an earnest smile.  I never could have guessed I’d see him so many days from then on, standing by his lonesome along the roadside waving to me each morning, or in my memory so vividly some thirty years later.

It is a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

It’s a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

 I found myself waving back to this man each day as I zoomed on to work. I’d yell out, “The man with the wave!” and extend my hand toward the man in triumphant affirmation that life was good. The event became so important to my mental health that each morning I hoped the man would be in place to issue the new day and my life his ‘official’ greeting. If not, I got gloomy. Who’d have ever have thought a wave could do that?

The months passed, soon a year slipped by. But, he was still there by the roadside every morning, waving to me and making my day. I often wondered if he’d walked down the dirt road to the hard top just to wave to me. I thought it possible that someone dropped him off at the corner.  Maybe he was waiting for a bus or, perhaps, for another person to pick him up? Certainly, he must have realized by my return smile and wave how his simple gesture of kindness lifted my spirits! I wish I’d asked, or told him.

I never stopped to speak with this man. Why? In retrospect I can say that his wave meant so much to me that there seemed to be no need to expand our interaction! I carried his wave and smile with me all day as I assumed he would mine-or so I hoped. Then, it happened.

The first few days I didn’t see the man with a wave found me holding out hope that I’d see him the next.  More than once, I waved at the empty roadside corner, and peered down the dirt road hoping to see if he was coming along the way. This went on for weeks.

.IMG0026B

I quickly looked down the road to see if the man was there as I drove past.

But, finally, I had to give up hope. His absence was a bitter loss. My heart found peace only when I promised myself never to forget the man with the wave, and how his smile and raised hand had meant so much to me. I also promised to write his story.

So, now you know.

I'll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

I’ll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

Every day around this time of year I remember the man with a wave. I smile to a stranger and raise my hand to say hello as I pass them by. I owe that to the mysterious man who gave me his wave. Plus, it’s fun to see people’s faces light up when I greet them for no apparent reason. Of course, secretly, I hope that they, too, will never forget.

Happy Holidays. Peace.

Franque23.

here are the 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.

I see your four.....

I see your four…..

and raise you seven.....

and raise you seven…..

It is fun to give and receive, but many of us live buried by a mountain of fun stuff made of things we very often can’t find when we want too. Maybe, this season, it’s time to dig out, and to keep only the one thing that matters most-love. But not, however, if you have pets or small children.

The pets and children, if you can, should be found under an avalanche of  gifts to unwrap. treats and planted kisses during the holidays. They won’t get spoiled, and pets will rip up the toys so you can throw them out, or young children will forget the next day what they got-those can get recycled to others.

Pets give us comfort year round.....they need a break!

Pets give us comfort year round…..they need a break!

Even wrapped empty boxes will do fine. I remember empty boxes. You could get pulled or pushed around in them, go outside and slide down hills of grass or snow on them, line them up inside or out to create tunnels to crawl through or wear them and become a space monster or robot instantly.

NO hidden fees here...

NO hidden fees here…wait-these children have ‘cubic’ feet? WTH?

A tunnel of love...speaking of love-

A tunnel of love…speaking of love-

Parents and small children can search together and thrash around inside an empty box to find what’s really there: love. That’s the best surprise of all!

Most of us older folks want to find the same surprise inside.

People know it’s true.  We need to let things go, or come to us; we should care but not control, at least, not too much. If we keep an open mine, relax, accept what comes and make the most of our lot, then, more often than not,  magical doors open without us knowing. We glide along without too much strife and end up sitting on soft couches. The clock-work of Life turns in our favor and we run in places we are meant to be. That seems simple enough, but it’s not.

Not sure-maybe a ruff photo shop....

Not sure-maybe a ruff ruff photo shop….

One zillion added features to the jaunt we call Life muck up our daily living. We all live as if  surrounded by shutters that keep us from enjoying a clear vision when it comes to what we should do and where we should live, or who we really are or could be. Too shy, so overly timid, easily swayed, it’s as the horses say: you can lead people to knowledge, but you can’t make them think….

For most, Life is a selection process; even happiness is a choice.

This post’s random shot.

Lovers unite....

Lovers unite….

A person could search for one hundred years and never find another of beauty if their head is turned the wrong way, and their mind lured by only what it sees and not by what it knows. It’s obvious that beauty is in the soul, and that joining with people who seek to be real, honest, caring, inquisitive and enduring creates the path that best leads to a lifetime of peace and understanding. But so few follow that road.

One sign is a lie....

One sign is a lie….

Why?  Our mind is like a crow, that collects all that glitters no matter how uncomfortable our nests get*….and when we do this, no matter what we have or who we are, we live in solitude, alone in the middle of so much meaningless stuff…Welcome to Christmas.

The Holidays. It used to be the season of joyful feelings meant a wassail drink shared with a friend,

I remember back in my college days hearing someone say, "Let's aprty til we puke!" Of course, I never did that, not weekly-that would've been soooo wrong.

I remember back in my college days hearing someone say, “Let’s party til we puke!” Of course, I never did that, not weekly-that would’ve been soooo wrong.

or warm home-fires,

Keep them burning....

Keep them burning….

a nod hello, maybe a helping hand and, perhaps, a small gift-one more thoughtful than expensive.

"psst....it's Christmas!"

“psst….it’s Christmas!”

Now? TV Land pictures new cars outrageously priced parked in driveways with bows on them. Buick runs an add today that features people who’ve been trashed-black eyes, frazzled faces- by shopping the wee hours of black Friday. They claim to have saved several hundred dollars on items they bought while their neighbor points to a new car they bought the same day during normal business hours. “We saved thousands!”, the new car owners exclaim!!! Here’s an idea—don’t buy the car at all and save , oh, about, 45 grand….Cheers!**

Life’s in the eye of the beholder, and there’s no better sight than seeing true love in another’s eye.

Love is our best reflection.....(photo: Lachan Franquemont.)

Love is our best reflection…..(photo: Lachlan Franquemont.)

Be that vision a flash from a child to a parent, a glance between loved ones, or blossomed in the rare moment when two strangers meet on the street and care about one another for just an instant, Love radiates and collects at the same time. Love is the energy, the light, the comfort and wisdom we all seek.

We all feel the force(Picture by, Lachan Franquemont, you should see his others!)

We all feel the force of Love. (Picture by, Lachlan Franquemont, you should see his others!)

Here’s to us all opening up that box  of feelings we keep so well wrapped inside us for most of the year-those innermost needs we all have to share our love and receive this gift from others. No, we can’t light up a room by opening up, but we can light up another. More. Maybe, we could light up several hundred people by the time the New Year comes!?!?! Wouldn’t that be fun? I think so.

Holiday Cheer. Tis’ is the Season so don’t tussle with the small stuff when it comes to sharing your love.  And, oh, wanna smile…check this out…

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=743472852398048&fref=nf

Franque23

* Zen-baby…

** My brother-in-laws idea…

here’s 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.

This is so much fun to do, and I find them, ‘fulfilling.’ Whaaaahaha!(You should be able to enlarge pics by clicking on them)

It's time for us all to enjoy the bounty! In just our headquarters branch of our  Alachua County library district, we will check out over one million items this year!

It’s time for us all to enjoy the bounty! In just our headquarters branch of our Alachua County library district, we will check out over one million items this year!

Hmmm…ya know-this must be my twentieth Thanksgiving bulletin board for the Alachua County Library District…. before that, countless retail window displays danced like sugar plums in my head!

Don't miss the mouse in the bowl or  the reading squirrel-my bulletin board's mascot since, like, ever.(Does that dog belong under the table?!?!)

Don’t miss the mouse in the bowl or the reading squirrel-my bulletin board’s mascot since, like, ever.(Does that dog belong under the table?!?!)

this blog’s random picture…

I can't make out the title....

I can’t make out the title….

I'm serving crow's feet!

I’m serving crow’s-feet!

IMG_1076

It was super fun building this set–and one great intern and one volunteer helped sooo much in the making…

Cheers! I've got to go back to work....

Cheers! I’ve got to go back to work….*

Anyway, from this turkey to yours…I wish you all the best of feast days–have the best time! (Special Thanks to Gail Carr for taking the shots of the board!-and to Odette Hinson for the special turkey hat-looove it!!) Here’s to you all!

Franque23

* Putting on Rumpelstiltskin was tough-but someone had to do it!

here’s 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.

Without unions, workers wouldn’t even have weekends off in this country, let alone holidays, health benefits or pensions…think on that. The biggest bamboozle, the largest line of crock, ever shoved down the American Worker’s throat is that we don’t need collective bargaining to ensure we get fairly compensated for our labor. What? Is there someone who thinks management or owners aren’t about profiting the most they can off our labor? That would be stupid to think. What does the American worker, all workers, have to use to keep workloads in line with the pay check and benefits they receive for their life’s work beside the collective bargaining process?

When I started here at ACLD people were awarded pins for 5,10,15,20 years of service and so on during our All Staff meetings. Their names were called out. The people would march up to the sound of their fellow workmates clapping. One person would recant their days, accomplishments, sometimes listing random events of their service, maybe say that they’d made a difference. The director would shake the person’s hand for a job well done. It was an anomaly when at 15 years of service my name was mistakenly not called, my pin arrived at my desk two days later.

I’d been thinking all night about that pin I’d get today after completing twenty years of service, comparing it in my head to the perpetually winding, solid brass, never stopping glass encased clock my dad got for twenty years of service back in 1968, the one that still runs in our house today- during 2014. ( There’s a good example of the paradigm shift that’s taken place within  Employee/management relations.) Thing is, pins weren’t handed out today; nothing was said about service achievements at all! * Workers who give long term service deserve better than what most of us are told to expect for our longevity of service today.

I’ve often told new employees, ones I thought were over-working thereby risking carpal tunnel problems, some good advice. For years I’ve told people to remember that a job never loves you back. I should have said these words to the mirror more often. Turns out, I’d forgotten…

In today’s world, and in most work places, a job is a deal we cut for a check, and when we’re done wanting to continue making that deal we walk. Or, if a machine or underpaid person can out work us we’re cut loose. Odd, how business and corporations are considered  to legally be as people but you can’t kiss them goodbye when you leave employment or  get the boot.

The ongoing attack by government and business upon worker’s unions, structured pension benefits and wages is a crime against workers everywhere. Some say, investing in 401ks and stock market deals is a better return for the workers money. Really? How quickly we forget the recent 50% crash of stock market values within the last ten years! So, the song-and-dance goes: oh but over the long haul the market always makes money; it moves up. Yes, that’s true, but what of those who retired one year before the last crash? What of the people who died during the ten years the market could easily take to regain its losses? You see, when a person retires, they don’t have a promised ten years to wait for their money to come back.

Unfortunately, once only a structured, vested contribution based and a set return pension ( called a defined contribution program) promised a worker anything in return for their life’s work. Now, nothing does. You see, the court’s ruling that entire cities can go belly up on worker’s pension means even that safety net is made of holes. It’s a fabrication, a fairy tale. It’s a story that speaks of commitment and a returned obligation between the working class and owners, but none of that is true any longer. First, owners robbed the working class blind over the past fifty years, reducing pay while doubling workloads. Now, our government nailed our coffins shut by not backing and insuring worker’s rights to hard-earned pensions. I ask you: how can public servants, hard-working firemen and policemen not be worth our government backing  of their pensions? Of all the crappy things our government sometimes does with our money, I’d think it could at least do this good thing  in return for our tax dollars.

No job loves you back. That’s always been true. Now, as so many Vets have learned since Nam, not even out country loves us. We the workers, the ones who helped make America great, all the workers of the world, have been left behind. Some people are full of wind. There are winds of change; winds of wars. But mostly, workers have allowed their hope for a better future turn to dust in the wind. Why? How have workers everywhere been buried alive in bullshit and been made to believe it tastes good? One thing’s certain, that message won’t stop sounding via a plethora of news feeds and smart sounding articles. That brow beating will continue until somehow, someway, workers wake up. Workers need to insist on meeting owners and their governments at a bargaining table, and then have the good sense to leave it if it’s dirty.

Franque23

I’ve two books out on Kindle. Please spread the word and share the links!

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.
*I’m told that , in fact, my administration does intend to follow this procedure in the future. Time constraints during these All Staff meetings may have been a factor in not doing so today. Thing is, this blog isn’t about just me, or just today, or just about ACLD, the agency I work for. It is about the plight of worker’s compensation around the globe.
**There is an ongoing stance by owners and managers to take the position that longevity is in itself a worker’s just reward, and that pensions based upon service time, or additional salary and time off based upon years of service are not necessary, or appropriate. This idea crept into our negotiating room when I was President of 3170 for the Library District. Our Union had to fight to retain merit increases for employees at that time. I was lucky that this anti longevity trend didn’t take over until I was out of office. This movement, a paycheck reward only policy by management, basically took hold around 1997;  but, the attitude that workers are interchangeable really began to gain momentum  in America with President Reagan’s layoff of the  Flight Control union members during his term of office.

 

 

 

 

 


What can we do with soooo much snow? Here’s a few ideas people had–enjoy! A few examples, and then more pictures in the link below*:

You have to start somewhere......

You have to start somewhere……

And finish up sometime. Are you serious!?!?!?

And finish up sometime. Are you serious!?!?!?

Okay, who’s gonna out do that?

Hmmmm,,,looks like work.

Hmmmm,,,looks like work.

But wait for it…..

These two look serious....

These three look serious….

Snow way, bro!**

I can hear the music

I can hear the music

And move in any day now.

And move in any day now.

Home sweet home. You have arrived!

Home sweet home. You have arrived!

*Don’t miss the  show here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=snow+sculpture+contest+in+breckenridge+colorado+2014&espv=210&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=oPnOUoiPF4zMkAf0q4HwAw&ved=0CEEQsAQ&biw=1028&bih=882&dpr=1

Thanks so much to long time friends and readers,(I think), George  and Corky.

See? Now we all know what to do with those long, cold snow days!

Franque23

** see previous post: Snow Way, Bro.

Snow Way , Bro.

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

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