Sometime late at night I go to the fields…

I wrote this in February of 2007 right after my friend was killed in Iraq.
I don’t know, I guess for those I have talked to today or talk to my family expect me to write about Jen.  I am not sure what to do here.  I remember being in my bed as my alarm clock went off this morning and thinking to myself….”damn I don’t want to get up today”.  I dragged myself out of bed and got into the shower.  As I was in there I heard my apartment phone ring.  Only 3 people call me there, my mom, my dad, or Aqila.  I didn’t think anything of it because maybe one of them wanted to tell me something.  Of course I worry anytime I get phone calls at weird times, but I was wet, naked and it was cold outside the shower.Then in the middle of shampooing and soaping up I heard the phone again, Ok, it must be an emergency.  I run out wet and soapy and pick up the phone, next thing I hear is my mom crying and I hear the word …”died”.  I immediately felt the adrenaline in my body and said “WHO! Who Died?”  Then I heard her say Jen Harris.  My heart sank.I got back in the shower and finished up what I was doing……the funny thing is the first thing I thought about was how we used to make Jen carry the gas tank for the whaler from the gas station across the street and all the way down the pier.  We kept telling her that if she wanted to make it at the naval academy she would have to be able to do stuff like this.  Yeah, like we knew what it took to make it at the naval academy.

She certainly did, when I was at Maryland she would come visit me from the Naval Academy in Annapolis.  By that time she had far proven herself as an individual and could teach me  a hundred and one lessons on being tough.   The last time I saw her we were sitting at the island in our kitchen in Swampscott and she was showing us pictures of her flying as a marine aviator.  You could tell she was proud of what she had done.  Who wouldn’t be, she was a fucking pilot in the marines!!!

I can still see the frustrated look on her face when I would beat her in sailing and I can still feel the pain in my gut when she beat me in sailing.

Is it a waste to have someone of her intelligence and kindness die in war? Sure is.

My mom sent a picture of us when we were receiving sailing awards back in 1993.  I was of course wearing a reptile shirt and Jen had the same look she had in every picture, Jon Keiser was hamming it up for the camera and Brian Hurley was looking to cool to even be receiving an award.

I became sad, not just because Jen died, but because I missed those summers as a teen walking up and down the dock, sailing with my friends and being young and care free.  I missed getting excited for windy days and curly fries at the Corinthian during raceweek.
I missed sitting with Brian, Jon and Jen on the whaler, teasing Jen because Jon, Brian and myself were guys so we had an instant bond.
I miss the dry salt on my skin, clothes, and hair.  I miss the smell and taste of saltwater.
I miss going to white hen and buying a big ugly thing for breakfast, sitting in the loft of the fish house eating with the lingering scent of bait and salt air coating your tastebuds, swatting away flies under the “Slow Chiedren” sign that hung near the window.  Hitting each other with spinnaker poles and falling asleep on the sail bags when it was raining and we had to cancel classes.
I miss knowng exactly where every nail and spike stuck on the pier, I also miss how I wouldnt  pay attention and stub my toe while walking down it, I miss the sound of the sea gulls and the sight of 4 widgeons across the harbor.  I miss the slow transport of bringing in each boat at the end of the day from mooring to pier, mooring to pier, mooring to pier, then putting away the whaler and rowing in.I was so young, my hair shaggy and crusty from the salt, my ideas big and my dreams new.  I had the world in front of me and I lived a sheltered life in the town of Swampscott, where the huge expanse of the Atlantic came to a slow lingering stop along the main street where chapels and barber shops peppered the landscape adding a hometown feel as you drove along the road of this postcard town.  The largeness of Egg Rock looming on the horizon and the high bows of the lobster boats perpetually pointing into the wind, the gulls gliding on the breeze before they finally settled on terra firma for the evening.I miss my days of youth, when the biggest deal to me was that few hours of driving around with my friends and maybe, maybe talking to the girl I liked and trying to find out if she liked me.  It was simpler back then, so much simpler, cliche I know, but it is cliche because it is true.  It is strange how things start to come full circle in your life.  Recently I came in contact with a friend of mine from middle school, we began talking about way back when, now this.  Is my life trying to tell me something.

I am struck with an intense sadness right now, it is strange.  I am surrounded by so many people and I feel so alone.  I can only assume it is because I am around people who have only known me for a few years.  I was with Aqila tonight and I felt a million miles away from her, she could sense it and could only assume it was because of the stuff going on.

I don’t know, I just want to shake this feeling I have.


Me,  John Kieser ,  Brian Hurley  ,John Sherlock , Jennifer Harris

Ten minutes, two stories.

This is the one where I was accidentally involved and almost ruined the Kobe Bryant “Black Mamba” campaign. You have all seen it. Now here the story behind it.

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The Kobe Bryant sneaker is not a Black Mamba but a harmless Mexican Milk snake.

 

The second story is one no one really knows. It is the story behind the only commercial flight allowed to fly over US soil on September, 11th 2001. The reason behind it is quite unreal. Here is a link to one of the only stories about it. I remember this because I was involved in the phone chain on 9/11 to help this guy.

Only commercial flight on 9/11. 

I promise I will get these on iTunes soon. Still working on it.

Fucking Cats

Took a picture of my cat  Elroy’s ass on my keyboard and he immediately turned around and gave me this look when it popped up in the screen.

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Slow day on the Franco Farm today. Honestly the most I have done is put on pants to go to the door to get the boneless buffalo wings I will slowly eat as I watch Netlflix.

Video of me trying to get an RSS feed today for a podcast.

It is precisely why I am not going to post the Kobe Black Mamba sneaker store. It deserves a better platform than what I currently have, which might qualify for outsider art.

So if you are like me and need to punch things when you are angry let me offer you a solution. Watch these two videos. I made them to remind myself I can create things, and to be honest, they are just flat relaxing. The footage shot at Muir Woods and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Seriously you can’t watch the Aquarium and stay in a bad mood. To be perfectly narcissistic I don’t know how I got such good, steady, fluid shots in a crowded aquarium. The jelly fish at the end is just otherworldly.

This was just extraordinary lighting in what I could swear was Endor.

 

 

From Stuffing Reptiles Down my Pants to the Allure of a Belly Dancer’s Snake.

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Young Franco rollin’ like a mother fucking pimp. Ignore the tape around the mouth.

 

 

So this sort of scratches the surface of  absurdity of how reptiles are the single most guiding and influential thing in my life. Don’t worry even if you aren’t into reptiles you will like this. I focus more on reactions and situations I got in due to reptiles. Some examples of what you will hear about.

  • Putting frogs in my pants
  • Befriending drug dealers to find snakes
  • Mistakenly being accused of growing marijuana
  • Hard wiring my college dorm (illegally)
  • Belly Dancer keeps my attention for the wrong reason
  • How I invented parkour, nay, hardcore parkour
  • Losing a Komodo dragon in a city
  • Idiot steals a viper then rides the DC metro
  • The existence of snake alarms
  • Mambas reenact Jurassic Park’s raptors escape.

 

 

Soundcloud Link For Franco Files and Reptiles

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Hey lets leave an alligator in front of Franco’s table so when he comes to the convention center hungover he will have to step over an alligator.

When the alligator research group leaves an alligator in front of your stable as you stumbled in the convention hall hungover.

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Prime snake and drug hiding spot in Philly
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Walking the tracks in west Philly looking for snakes but finding mostly heroin.
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Recording location and number of snakes in West Philly
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Flipping boards, will there be a snake or Hepatitus?
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Just a shady, off the grid, abandoned cemetery in Philly. Full of snakes and packs of wild dogs.
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Fuck, this is going to take a long time to get through.
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Did not find a snake, however I did find Tetanus
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Full grown breeding pair of Storeria dekayii. This was what we wanted to see.
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Took me  25 years of looking to find my Holy Grail, the Timber Rattlesnake.
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South facing granite slide. Found 5 Timber Rattlesnakes there. Need to watch your step.
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Not easy to find this one, had to climb chest deep into a small rock nook.
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The time I crossed two different species to make hybrids. Waiting list 25 people long before eggs were laid.
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Just snuggling with tortoises
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You don’t have a “Daytona Venomous Expo” shirt?

 

The Worst Probable Situation

I have kept my head in the sand for a lot of this political back and forth. Like a true American I am not going to take a direct stance, but will  make sweeping generalizations of politicians and their parties.

Before reading this know that I was the prime age for the outbreak of the AIDS virus not in contraction, but in education. I was in the first middle school class where they were required to teach us about AIDS. I remember how uncomfortable the teachers were talking about it. I also remember how comfortable I felt because it was still widely accepted that gay intercourse is the primary way you contract it.

This is about the Reagan’s. Most people remember them in fond light, or read about them in and how they were great for America.

Wrong

They set us back decades. I realize that people reading this might not have been born before AIDS was “discovered” so let me put it very bluntly. The Reagan administration directly refused to acknowledge it, provide funding for, or making it a priority because it was happening in the gay community.

It was first discovered in 1981, and patient zero had the worst probable job to try and follow a chain of infection. He was a gay international flight attendant. Imagine being in the CDC and seeing it pop up all over the world with seemingly impossible speed?

Move to 1983 there were 1,025 cases, by 1984 there were 4,177 cases. Yet not a word from the government, well I shouldn’t say that. Reagan’s director of communication Pat Buchanan said it was revenge for being gay.

The Reagan administrations first acknowledgement of AIDS was that it was punishment for being gay.

The Reagan’s didn’t acknowledge AIDS, even though the CDC was screaming and waving their arms saying “HEY WE ARE ABOUT TO HAVE AN EPIDEMIC HELP!” But the administration did not want to drop a dollar to help their own citizens because they were gay. They only acknowledged it when famed movie star Rock Hudson contracted the disease.

The worst part is that it was still believed to be gay related when young male hemophiliacs were contracting it through blood transfusions and were treated like sexual abuse victims. Destroying families because according to the news it was only affecting homosexuals.

In the movie “And the Band Played On” Matthew Modine gives a passionate 20 second speech to government officials. They were only meeting with the CDC because now you males were contracting it through blood transfusions. The sad part of this is that cost benefit argument has only grown larger in the medical field.

Oh, the correct answer to his question is one.

Un-Fucking_Believable

If you want  immediate and factual response to this disease just look where miseducation gets you…people in various countries of central Africa believe having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. When I was in Kenya their were signs in the airports and in cities that said “AIDS IS A PROBLEM USE A CONDOM” to warn visitors how rampant it had become.

If you want to get the best representation of how this epidemic occurred but don’t want to read? Watch “And the Band Played On”. It the most factual representation of the debacle.

I am dumfounded that people legitimately think AIDS started with a man having sex with monkey and/or chimpanzee. No, it is called the “cut hunter” infection. We share a lot of diseases with apes because we are so closely related. A hunter was most certainly butchering and infected ape and had cut himself in the process allowing blood to blood transition.

Now don’t even get me started on Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign.

 

Fuck it, after 6 attempts this is the pilot Franco Files. Yes I jump right into the DoD.

I have about 6 pilots attempted. Not sure if this going anywhere, but I have been up for a couple of days. Working on getting it on iTunes. Feel free to tell me to fucking kill myself or maybe give a thumbs up and head nod, fuck it, go crazy with some finger guns.

 

 

Franco Files Soundcloud link

 

Pic of a 19 year old Franco and a Komodo Dragon. 2913_71720254899_268141_n