Thursday, July 31, 2008


And this makes 60!

I am noticing a trend, I dont have many random pics of Sarah on my phone. Mental note to self, must remember to start taking more pics of Sarah

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weight loss

It seems as though the weight loss thread on the board has lost some steam and nobody is interested currently in posting on it. So I figured Id discuss my weight loss journey here.

I decided at the first of the year that I was going to set a goal of losing weight. I weighed in at 204 lbs to start the year. I want to weigh 175 lbs by my 37th birthday which is December 18th. In order to do that some things had to change and I needed to break down my goal into smaller attainable goals. First off I, I needed to cut down or cut out the soda intake. Second I needed to make better food decisions and include more fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet. Third by breaking my weight loss goal into two segments I thought it would be easier to attain.

With a starting weight of 204 and a goal of 175, thats 29 lbs to lose. Well Im not ocd but I needed a round number. So I opted to go with 30 lbs. The first small goal was to lose 15 of those lbs by June 18th. Well with some of the things that transpired in the early part of the year ( primarily my grandfather being diagnosed and dying of cancer ) eating and drinking right werent a priority. Still I managed to lose 7 lbs by June 18th. Not quite the 15 I wanted to its better than none. Since June 18th I have proceeded to get back on track and lose an additional 9 lbs ( 8 of it coming off since June 30th ) Im a little behind but I am remaining optmisitic.

Ive seen some major changes with the loss of these 16 lbs. Im needing to wear a belt in order to keep my shorts from falling off. The belt is on its last notch were as just 6-9 months ago it was on the second notch in from the end. My tool belt at work had to be cinched up as it was trying to fall off and my wedding band wants to fall off my finger now. Of course im too cheap and bit apprehensive to go buy new clothes because there it always the lingering fear of if I gain the weight back my clothes wont fit anymore. But at this rate im going to need to do something . Plus as Debbie says, I need to wear stuff that shows the weight loss off. We shall see.

I also know that I need to start doing some cardio work because at some point ( as it has in the past ) without exercise the weight loss will plateau. Plus if I want to return to running at the first of the year, I need to get my cardio back up.

So tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel for the next update on my weight loss journey.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Welcome Home!

My long time friend ( and more recently my biggest heckler on my blog :) ) Merry, her husband Mitch and kids R.J. and Sara are returning home today from the year long adventure in Japan. I know by reading both Merry and Mitch's blogs that they both had an enjoyable and memorable time while living and working in Himeji, Japan. Im sure it was hard to leave the friends that they made over in Japan but I know some of the sadness will go away once they see their family and friends here in the States. I know Debbie and I are looking foward to seeing them all at some point here soon. Itll be good to see them and hear some of the stories they have to share about their time over there.

Welcome Home Mitch, Merry, R.J. and Sara!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This Week On Surprise Ink

Well after much thought and deliberation I finally went and got my first tattoo. Its something I had been thinking about for sometime. I honestly didnt know if I would be able to deal with the whole process. As it is I dont claim to have a huge tolerance for pain and I hate needles. Well I went Friday night to a shop recommned to me by Stacy ( Dankinia on the 30s ) and got it done. It took three hours with a couple of breaks thrown in. I dont know what hurt worse the tatooing or my hip after having my leg twisted for 3 hours. It actualy wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. The outlining of the tattoo was the worst part of it. I got it on my right calf. There were some exrta tender spots as Warlock ( the artist ) got near my shin bone and near the middle of my calf. Well here it is.

The tattoo is my two kids astrological signs combined. Sarahs's sign is Pieces and Tyler's is Aries. When I came up with the idea and the design of the tattoo I thought I had better do something for both kids at the same time in case I really hated the process and wouldnt go back.

Im sure the question I will get asked for a while is did it hurt and will you get another one. As the homepage of Sketches Tattoos says ( the shop I went to ) Fuck Yeah It Hurt. As for will I get another one? Right after I got my tattoo, I wouldve said no. 48 hours later, yes I will get another one. I already have some ideas of what I want. Just got to sit down with pencil and paper and put down a good design. Although I have to come up with a design for Debbies second one first.

Speaking of Debbie, I know some of you have been checking out her blog. She has a request, if you check her blog out, she asks that you leave a comment of some kind please. Even if its just every once in a while.SHed like to know who is stopping by.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reminiscing and things that me make...

While on my way back from a late lunch yesterday I happened to glance down at the clock on the dash and noticed it was around 2:35. I was driving north on 43 rd ave. It dawned on me that I used to make that drive on that same street around that same time every day for a year working at my part time job while a senior in HS. I shoulda turned off the a/c, rolled down the windows and had a smoke and a coke going and it woulda completed the whole memory. Uh not. I gave up the occasional smoking more than 10 years ago and I got a/c in my car, im using it =)

Between my hour long commute each way every day and random observations, there are many times when the things I see remind me of people I know

Crane plumbing products
Litchfield Road
Wachovia Banking Centers
Loop 101 North
OSU license plates and frames
Minnesota license plates
Parrothead license plates
Parker and Sons Air Conditioning

Those are just some things that come to mind that I see on a regular basis that reminds me of friends. Want the asnwers? Leave a comment =)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Try To Hard

I cant help but think latley that I try to hard to be a friend or more specificaly remind people that I am there for them. Not so much my friends here in town but my out of state friends. I need to remind myself at times that I have only known some of then for short periods of time. The majority of them have life long friends, friends that are close to them location wise or just dont have someone who smothers them.

I cant put my finger on it as to why I get like this at times. Maybe its the fear of rejection, or that I didnt have a whole lot of friends growing up. If Im not there for my friends Ill lose them.

None of my friends have ever said anything to me like I need to back off or they dont need me or my advice, I just get this way.

This too shall come to pass.

Sorry for the downer post. Was alone at work and there are times lately that I dont like being alone.

Ill have a much brighter post the next time

Friday, July 18, 2008


Couple more shots I came across while looking at my phone....

Jazz hands you say? Not quite, these are peanut butter hands =)

Storm brewin' sunset for Kris =)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is Spinal Tap, Finis

I went Tuesday for what I hope will be my last epidural injection for my protruding disc. The first two brought my considerable relief in the pain and symptom department. I hope as time goes on this third one will rid me of the occasional spasms I have in my left arm/hand. About the only other thing I have noticed after the first two shots besides the spasms is a dull ache between my shoulder blades on occasion. I sometimes wonder if thats the actual discomfort of the two verterbraes being at different angles. I have a follow up appt in two weeks. Thats one of the questions Ill have for the Dr.

Im hoping that this will all be just a memory in the not too distant future

As always thanks for stopping in and reading!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wish they all could be PA girls....

Ok, I got called out on my own blog by a friend from Kick. I wont bring up any names and I doubt anybody will take the time to look for it. I just thought that I would do a little something to make up for it in some way. I guess you could say this is just an extension of Friends and thier blogs.

Alrighty then... To lead things off we have Heather ( sauconRunner ) . Shes been a part of the gang for quite some time. I met Heather, her hubby and their beautiful little girl Avery last year in Philly. I actualy sat next to the three of them at dinner on Saturday night ( well that is until Avery wanted to go across the table to Auntie Alexis =) Heather has been doing real well with her running and took the plunge and will be returning to Philly this year signe dup for the full 26.2. Go Heather!

Next up is Jill ( Off the Couch Gal ) My first recollection of her in the group was her running ( and winning some AG hardware I think ) a race with her dog. Pretty cool deal. We dont have many if at all of those races at all here. Again one of those fine folks from Kick that I got to meet in Philly. The first interaction I had with her at dinner was "Hi Frankie, I have something for you" Jill got all of our matching shirt taken care of for us. ( they are still talked about and used to this day ) Jill is yet another one taking the plunge into the deep end of running by signing up for the full in Philly. You both will rock Philly.

Kate ( Praecipua in Pink ) is my final friend being talked about in this installment. Just recently getting her PhD and accepting a job in Missouri, Kate was a PA girl when I met her last year in Philly. I had a great time meeting her in Philly and spent some time chatting with her at the after party. I am embarrassed to admit I didnt actualy know Kate's real name until I got to Philly. Sometimes for whatever reason you might not catch or know a presons real name from the board. Most of us dont use any part of our name as our user name.

Three great ladies who I enjoyed meeting and getting to spend what time I did with them. Im hoping to get back that way next year for a family vacation and hopefully get to see them again. Only time will tell.
This pic is just prior to the start of the 8k that the some of the gang ran in Philly. Pictured from left are Norah, Maria, Kate, Heather, Tim and Jill

Monday, July 14, 2008


Im going to start a new weekly installment. Some of you used to get my RandomCam pics as I would take them with my cell phone and send them to friends and family. Im not doing that so much anymore. I thought I would just post a weekly pic and go from there.

I took this in Tyler's babysitter's front yard. Even though Ive been a life long desert dweller, Im not sure what kind of cactus this flower is on. Who says there isnt some beauty in the desert =)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Im bummed

Before I start, this is my 50th post woo hoo. I think most of the 50 have come since the first of this year.

Ok back to me being bummed. The group from the 30s got together and pitched in money to buy our friend Joe a gift certificate. Why the gift certificate? Well a week ago Joe did a very noble and heroic act. He donated bone marrow to help a little girl in her fight for life. He'll downplay as it was no big deal and anybody wouldve done it. Well most people might but not everybody is signed up for the National Marrow Donor Program ( I have been since '06 )

I read the thread that Joe started on the board about him not knowing what to say in response to the kind gesutre that the group did. The same day I read the thread, I got the email about donating to Joe's gift. Gee Im so glad I got an email after the fact. Sure the "group" mightve done this but "I" wasnt able to donate so therefore I dont feel that I did my share. I consider Joe a friend and I feel bad that I wasnt able to contribute. Ive always contributed when I could to peoples gifts when I was informend about them before hand. Maybe Ill just do something on my own for Joe. The least I can do is buy my buddy a beer the next time I see him. Ill get over this but it just kinda sucks!

Sorry this was such a downer post but if you read it, thanks for taking the time to read it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Just a quick random thought...

I had a lot of fun putting together the Friends and Their Blogs segments, I found out a few things while doing them. First I have a few more readers/visitiors than I knew of. Second I really need to not do blog entries after 10 pm. Not that I claim to be a great speller but I did notice that my spelling goes to shit after 10 pm. I definately need to check my spelling before hitting the "publish post" button =)

Oh and after being called out in the comments section, Im coming up with a little something here in the next couple of days....

Until next time, thanks for stopping and reading!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Friend, my love, my wife ( and her blog =) )

Remember in the 3rd installemt of Friends and BLogs I said one of the last 5 would get their own installment, well here it is....

Were do I begin with this one. At the beginning I guess. I met Debbie ( Thoughts, Rants and Rages ) through some friends of mine over 14 years ago. I was working at a speed shop here in town at the time. I became friends with quite a few of the customers and one of those friends had a cousin. That cousin was Debbie. She also happened to be dating one of my customers that I had known for a long time. I saw Debbie from time to time at the store or at the ceramics store that was next to the shop I worked at. One night I decided to leave her a note under the windshield wiper of her truck. Well unbeknownst to me, her truck had an alarm on it. Out of the ceramics store she came to find out what was up. We wound talking for a while that night. One thing led to another and I wound up dating Debbie later that year ( 1994 )

While dating we were there for each other during some really tough times in our lives ( her grandfather becoming ill and passing away, my brother and all of his stuff etc ) We grew really close during that time and I knew she was the one I wanted to marry. I proposed to her on Christmas Eve 1995. We got married in February of 1997.

Its been an interesting 11 years. Like any couple weve had our share of ups and downs. Definatley topping the ups list was the birth of our two children Sarah in 2001 and Tyler in 2004. The downs, well they were there but we made it through them. Ive known people who have had it worse in their marriages. Im very fortunate that I have the wife that I do. Id be the first to admit im not the easiest person to get along with at times. Im surprised she has stuck around as long as she has =) I do worry though that with her sleep deprivation issues I could be in trouble one night and Id never know ;) This pic was taken last year on our 10th anniversary cruise in the Carribean

In all seriousness, she's the love of my life and I wouldnt trade her for anyone.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Friends and blogs 3

The third installment in this series. Im going to change it up a bit. Two of the last five people on my list arent from Kick. Amazing isnt it. One of these last 5 will get their own installment

Tonya Parker ( Onward and Upward ) is first up. Tonya is the lovely ( and extremely tall ) wife of the previously mentioned Kevin Parker. As with Kevin I met Tonya last year at the Flying Pig marathon. Tonya wasnt running the race, she was there in support of KP. I didnt get to talk to Tonya much at the meetup. She was fairly new to our group at that point so I dont know how many of the gang at the meetup interacted with her. I actualy got to talk to Tonya quite a bit more at the Madison race over Memorial Day weekend. Its kind hard not to talk to someone when you are sharing a room with them. Madison was Tonyas first HM and I was glad I was there to see it. She did a great job! The pic I am putting up I stole off her blog =) Its one of the awesome shots that Chris O'Brien ( HighHeat ) from our group took. It is Tonya about a tenth of amile form the finish line at Madison

Next up is Mitch Hammes ( Our Japanese Experience ) . Mitch is the loving husband of my friend Merry. While I have only been around Mitch a couple of times, he was very genuine and all around a nice guy. Both he and Merry and thier two kids are currently in Japan> Merry has been teaching over there for a year. They are just two weeks away from coming home. I really wish I couldve made it over their for a visit but the finances just wouldnt allow it. They are already talking about possibly take another teaching job in Australia in a couple of years. We might just have to make a trip down under happen.

Third on this list is Mary McDonald ( Running Away/ Traveling Around My Head ) McT or the Mayor as she is known on the board, she is quite the character. She had been lurking while we were still at CR and decided to join us right before we moved to Kick. She fit right in the with the hijinx, comreaderie and the support that we have all grown to love. Somehow amongst all the hijinx it was determined that Mary needed a imaginary poolboy. Well I won out over several other canidates. Still not sure what the job entails but I enjoy the title =) I got to meet Mary and her husband Bob in Madison. As much as we interacted on the board and PMed each other, I was a bit shy and nervous to approach her. All that went away when I got a big hug from her. I enjoyed talking to them both at dinner Saturday night and was glad I got to see them both finish their first HMs. THe pic of Mary and I was taking at the after party in Madison

Melissa Heaton ( To China and Back and Beyond ) is the last in this installment. Yet another member of our group, she's been MIA for quite some time. With good reason though. Last year Melissa traveled to China to complete the adoption process of adopting her daughter Mia. As part of that process, she missed the race the Flying Pig and my best opportunity to meet her. Although in pics she was sending some of us in her travels to China she was wearing the tech shirt from the Flying Pig so she had to at least made it to the expo. Oh well, hopefully there will be a time were I will get to meet Melis and Mia in person down the road.

There is one more blooger on my list but that installment will come tomorrow

Thanks for reading !

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Friends and their blogs part II

Let me give a lttile give an little explanation to those who read my blog that arent familiar with the 30s Somethings from KickRunners. The 30s are a tight knit group of men and women from all across the country and parts of Canada. Our common bond is running. SOme of us are fast, some slow and some are middle of the pakcers While I might not have met them all in person, I feel like I know all of them really well. As a group, weve been there for one another in victory and defeat, sickness and health, babies coming into the world, family and friends leaving this world. We have faced alot together. Lifelong friendships have formed within this group and we all know that if need be, any one of the group will be there for us.

Ok moving along.....

My friend Kris ( Life To The Power of Kris ) is up first here in the second group. All four of the folks in this group are members of the 30s. Kris has been a part of CR/Kick and our group for quite some time. Kris and I seem to do a good job of being supportive of each other at times when its needed. I met Kris ( and her friend Nick ) in person for the first time time last year in Cinncinati at the FlyingPig Marathon. I have since seen Kris at meetups/races in Philly and Madison. Kris is working on expanding my horizons when it comes to beer =). The pic of Kris and I was taken in Madison Memorial Day weekend

Kevin Parker ( Michigan-Yeah Were Staying ) is up next. Kevin ( and his lovely wife Tonya ) is another one who I met for the first time in Cincinnati at the Flying Pig. Even though he doesnt see it, we all think he bears a resemblance to Mark McGuire. Being the shit starter that I am, I walked up to Kevin at the PIg expo and asked him if he was Mark McGuire. I could tell he was a bit bent and I introduced myself to him ( as I could no longer hold a straight face ) Kevins line of work is an athletic trainer and I have asked him on several occasions for help wtih some of my issues. He has always been obliged to help. Seems like every pic I have of Kevin he is in a crowd. This is the only one I could find were he isnt in a crowd. This is Kevin and Melissa ( Cranegirl ) at dinner in Madison. Ironicaly its one of only two pics I have of Melissa were she isnt hiding from the camera.

Next up is the sexy librarian from Boston, Maureen ( Moe, For Better or Worse ) Moe has been a part of the group longer than I have. Moe and I met in Philly last year. Interesting story as neither one of us were prepared for the half marathon we were slated to run. I told her several months before that I would run it with her. She was worried about me getting hurt from slowing down. Nonsense I told her, Ill be fine ( its not like im a whole lot faster than she is anyways ) We decided we would alterante running and walking each mile. Well my buddy Joe decided he was going to join us on our little 13.1 mile journey. The three of us ran and walked every step together from start to finish. It wasnt my fastest HM ( the Pig is still my PR race ) but it was the most unique one out of the 3 I have done. I enjoyed every minute and would gladly do it again with the three of them. Speaking of Philly and the three of us, he we are at the finish

Beth ( My So-Called Running Life ) rounds out the quartet of friends. Beth joined CR sometime after I did. The first time I really remember interacting with her was when I asked her if she wanted to be my virtual training buddy for the Pig. We were both using Hal Higdons plan and I just thought it would be cool to have someone to keep me inline. Neither one of us did quite as well as we wouldve liked during our training but we toed the line in Cinci anyways. We ran together for most of the first 5-6 miles of the race and got separated in Eden Park. Beth finished about 3 minutes ahead of me in her debut HM. Not bad. I have since seen Beth in Philly and the infamous meetup in Madison =) Beth is the first Southener I have ever met and the first person to ever call me a Yankee. Kinda funny seeing as how I have never lived in the north ( her reasoning is my family is from the north, hmmm ok ill give her that ) This shot was taken at the Hoffbrauhaus in Kentucky after the Flying Pig race. She hates this pic but seeing as how I havent got the pic of her and I from Philly, this will have to do.

And this ends the 2nd segment of Frankies Friends and their blogs, hope you liked it. Thanks for reading ( that would include Heather =) )

Monday, July 07, 2008

My friends and their blogs

Well now that I am home I can work on that the one kinda cool idea I had for a blog entry. THe idea came to me sometime last week. Looking at my friends blog list I got the idea to post how I met the person, how long ive known the person and share a pic of that person if I had one. Seeing as how have 13 people listed, im going to split the group into 3. Ill work one the first 1/3 now.

The first blogger on my list is Merry Hammes ( 12 on 12 ). I met her over 20 years ago when we were teenagers bowling in the same league on Saturday mornings. I only have one friendship that goes back even further than Merry's and mine. Merry was also my first girlfriend way back then. Sadly I dont have any pics of us together or even one of her thats scanned.

The second friend on my list is Stephen Andert ( CactusTri ). Stephen and I are part of a group ( 30 Somethings ) on a running message board ( KickRunners ). He and I met for the first time in Janaury '07 at the RnR Marathon expo in downtown Phoenix. This is a pic of me,Robiah and Stephen taken in February of this year in Apache Junciton after a running race we all ran in.

The third blogger on my list is Stacy otheriwse known as Dankinia on Kick. Its rather ironic that she has been a pat of our board for over a year and she is the member of our group that lives closest to me ( 10 miles ) but I have yet to meet here\ WIth her working nights and such its hard to set a time were we can get together anc actualy meet. Im hoping sometime soon

My fourth friend on the list is Joe Arcilla ( Just Squarely Joe ) Yet another memeber of the 30s group from Kick. Joe was actualy the first member of the 30s that I met. I was running a half marathon in San Jose, CA in Oct of '06. Unbeknownst to me Joe had posted on the board that he was planning on coming down from Napa Valley to cheer me on. I was having trouble towards the end of the race when I heard soemone call out my name. I thought who in the hell knows me up here. THen Joe said who he was. Tht was the little bit of a pick me up I needed to get me to the finish line that day. I talked with him briefly after teh race but had to hurry off to catch a plane home. Joe has been there for all 3 of my half marathons in one form or another. I need to plan my retunr to half marathons with him there. I dont want to break the streak :) This pic was taken of Joe, me, Beth and Kris ( both of whom Ill talk about in the next installment ) just prior to the start of the Flying Pig Half Marathon in 07. One of my favorite races!

Well that about wraps it up for this addition, Ill share more tomorrow. As always, thanks for reading

1 garbage entry coming up

Ok, its now July 7th and this is my first blog entry of the month. Im killing my average thus far. Last month I had an average of 1 entry every 3 days. Not looking like that will happen this month. There wont be much to this one. I have things on my mind Id like to blog about but just cant seem to find the right words. I could talk about my improving weight loss, physicaly starting to feel better, friends im not communiucation with as much as I have in recent months, husband responsibilites etc. I do have one cool idea. I need to dig up some photos of some people first though.

Just dont know were to start. Guess Ill give it some more thought and hopefully be able to put together an entry here in the next couple of days. Guess thats why my blog is called Rambling, Ranting, Running, etc. Its one big ramble today.

Thanks for reading and Ill have something better soon!