“Around The World . . .”

 

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

You know that “Life Is Just A Moment” … and as the lyrics to this jazz classic by xylophonist Roy Ayers continues … ” … you better enjoy it!”  I am retired, so to speak, though I do little side jobs to enjoy the “little things” in my life like an occasional lunch or dinner out, a night out at the club(s) … or an afternoon at the beach.  I am not “high maintenance”, especially to myself!  Now, I don’t settle for less either, when it comes to certain things like self esteem or basic human pride, but I don’t need to have the latest of anything to feel like I am worth my own weight in gold … so to speak!!  I have been staying in “bed and breakfast” places in order to pay off my last bills and save funds to travel abroad.

Some of you may know that my short term plans involve spending my birthday in Barcelona, Spain, which is July 13th when I turn 63 years of age.  Many of you have helped me along this journey when the patch work was getting weak and I needed to keep an apartment or keep a car on the road to get to work though I couldn’t stand the most recent jobs that I have held in call centers ranging from generating leads for diabetic supplies to debt settlement programs.  I had a few arrests back about 10 years ago … one was serious (aggravated assault with a deadly weapon) though I was found “not guilty” by a jury of my peers for defending myself with a firearm.  The other was ridiculous as I was placed on probation for “discharge of a firearm in public” when a vagrant threatened to hit me with a crow bar and I fired a warning shot into the ground.  Since the jury had found me not guilty of the previous more serious charge, this was “Broward County court system’s” way of finally getting me incarcerated for a year.  I had a disagreement with my ex-wife while I was on probation.  She chased me as I ran away from her, fell entering our car … and I fled in the other car (we had “his and hers Jeeps), knowing that the authorities would try to violate my probation.  They did!  She had a panic attack in the courtroom during the trial and left when being questioned about the “complaint”, which was highly engineered by the Oakland Park Sheriff’s for Broward County, as she was Romanian and didn’t understand all the questions that were “fired” at her in the heat of the moment.  I was sentenced to serve one year in jail for violation of probation.  I was teaching English and reading at a small career college in the FTL and served as the “international student adviser” at the time and was fired … and “black listed” by the VP of the college after I appealed their refusal to pay me unemployment benefits … and WON!

I have had enough of the “system” and “the courts” and have managed to stay away from any charges for over 10 years now here in SoFlo!  Here, like in many places in America, an African American male can expect to be incarcerated or at least be arrested and racially profiled several times in “his” life time!  How scary … but true!  Of course, there are “disbelievers” of this concept of “racial profiling” whom I encourage to do your research … I won’t have this conversation with you EVER!!  Go study the facts and learn something today!  It is a time in my early retirement that I have been using to get my health checked out before I travel to Spain and hopefully other parts of Europe … who knows! … Maybe even Africa!  I want to travel and see other places that I haven’t seen or visited.  It seems that life is less expensive with my retirement benefits abroad than it would be here … in my own country!!  There are a lot of “ex-Pats” who live abroad!  I have done some research and found that Ecuador would be a pretty cool place to retire.  When I lived and taught English in Cali, Colombia, SA, I had a chance to visit several cities in Ecuador.  It is my second choice of places to retire and I am very familiar with it.  I do have a long time good female friend who lives in Germany who has agreed to meet me in Spain for my birthday … and we will see what happens after that.  I do want to write and finish my third manuscript and travel around the world a bit …

Wish me well, as I get closer to finalizing my tickets to travel to Spain as well as with my health.  I am up for a biopsy on my prostate next week to make sure that I don’t have cancer … I have been diagnosed with “degenerative osteoarthritis” in both hips and am planning to see an orthopedic specialist before traveling.  My yoga practices and sits in the jacuzzi as well as swimming have been excellent sources of relief from this condition as well as a medication that I take for pain and swelling.  I do not want to “travel” the hip replacement realm as I do not like surgery and stuff!  So, I continue to count my blessings!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director
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