Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Spring Cleaning...Err Summer Cleaning?

Summer finally arrived in Cleveland this weekend! We had temperatures in the 90's (30 C for my Aussie readers) with high humidity. Thank you Air Conditioning! I tired doing the fan thing, but blowing hot air on yourself doesn't cool you off.

I have a lot of things I want to do/need to do this summer but it's tough to start new projects when you don't have things in order. I'm a big believer that you can't help yourself or others until you have your house/stuff in order. I was out of town during Cleveland's 3 week spring, so I spent this weekend doing my late "Spring Cleaning." I'm not really an impulse buy type of person, but man do I have a lot of uneeded and unused stuff in my place. I took time to make three piles of unused stuff.....#1 Stuff I can sell and get a few $$$ back (vacation/holiday/pay the bills fund).........#2 Stuff I can give to Goodwill.........#3 Trash! My feeling is, if you have something that you haven't seen or used in a year and it doesn't have sentimental value, it's got to go! Why hide stuff in a closet!

After sorting through things, it was nice to just go clean up a lot of the dirt and dust that build up over the winter. Wow, I never knew how dirty my outside windows can get. My place never really gets that dirty, but after cleaning up things this weekend, I'm definately more motivated to start working on new things. I'll be painting the walls in my place this summer, so if anyone wants to help out, please help! I'll be sure to post before and after pictures.

Toyota Commercial

I'm keeping busy as usual. Last night I shot a commercial for a Toyota dealearship here in Cleveland. From what the director told us, the commercial will be shown everywhere starting next week. Here are a couple of behind the scenes photos from the commercial for Premier Toyota of Northeast Ohio.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. This has been a national holiday since the late 1800's. This public holiday is meant to remember all the brave men and women who have served and/or died in the United States Military since our nation was founded.

When I was in Australia, I went to a ceremony called ANZAC Day. It's the Australia's Memorial Day. The ceremony started at sunrise (5:30 AM) and the ceremony I went to had almost 800 people. It was great to see the pride the people had in their country and the people who fought to protect the freedoms their citizens have. A couple of the Australians I wanted me to thank our military for helping their country in World War II. I was told "If it weren't for the Americans, we wouldn't be here today!"

That brings me back to today. I usually try to make it to as many ceremonies as possible, but I missed one last year. After going on my trip and seeing how much national pride other countries have, I said I would show the pride I have for my country when I returned. We have a lot of freedoms here in the United States, and after traveling internationally, I've realized how many of us have taken these freedoms for granted. A lot of our major holidays have been turned into shopping holidays and times to have barbecues and picnics. Sometimes I ask myself.."Do people really know why we have this holiday?"

I went to a small ceremony that only had about 40 people in attendance. It was my way of showing respect to the people who fought and are fighting for the freedoms that I have today and also to show respect for my cousin in Iraq and the US troops. You may not agree with the military and actions, but it doesn't hurt to show respect for the people who believe enough in their country to put their lives in danger.

I understand people are "busy" and can't always get to ceremonies, but the next time Memorial Day, independence Day, Veterans Day or any other National Holiday comes around, remember what the meaning of the holiday is. Even if you can't make it to a public ceremony, make sure you do something to help show you remember why we have that holiday.

And on Memorial Day, remember....while we're complaining things in your life, remember this...if the millions of men and women who have fought and died for our country didn't do what they did, then we wouldn't be able to complain.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Baseball Heritage Museum

Key Center - Downtown Cleveland
Museum Exhibits
More Displays

This weekend I got the chance to stop by a friend's museum. It's called The Baseball Heritage Museum. The museum specializes in the history of the baseball, especially the Negro Leagues, Carribean and Latin Leagues and Women's Baseball. Over the years, I've helped with events, fundraising and bringing former players to town. The museum used to be located in my friend's store, but now it has it's own dedicated space. For more information, click on the link below. If you're a big fan of baseball, stop by the museum when you get a chance and if you have the time, they're looking for volunteers to help out anyway possible!

Fashion Show

Me and my friend Marissa
Serious Look!
Normal Frank
Sponsor Models
After party

On Sunday, I agreed to work a Fashion Show for charity. It was called "Rock Sushi Rock." The show was to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I haven't been in a show for awhile, but they're always fun to do; plus you get to wear expensive stuff you normally wouldn't. My shirt is Dolce and Gabana ($400) and Diesel Jeans ($150). Thats a vacaton right there! Some people wore more some people wore less. The less would be the ladies who were wearing some super expensive jeans and some latex paint. Sorry everyone, but I don't have any pics I can post on my page!

Above are a couple of pics from the show.

Cavs go down!

There is a term called "OIC." It means "Only in Cleveland!" The Cavaliers were on the verge of making it to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, but after the town got all excited, they lost 2 games in a row to Detroit and the season is over. So, people are left to say "Wait until Next year!"
That seems to be the saying for this area..."wait until next year!"

Hopefully the Cavs will go out and get some help for LeBron and the fans won't have to keep making either of the comments typed above.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Go Cavaliers!

The Cleveland Cavaliers play the Detorit Pistons tonight for the right to play in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. "The CAVS" were big time underdogs to start the series. I admit I thought they'd loose the series 4-2, but now their up 3-2 with the chance to close things out.

Go Cavaliers and THANK YOU for LeBron James!

DaVinci Code

I went to see DaVinci Code today and I have a couple of words to say....."Critics don't know anything!" I'd love to see a critic go write or direct a movie. How can you really judge what entertains people? Yes, movies are not real. No the movie isn't just like the book, you can't have 10 hour movies!

Now that I've vented; I'm one of the few people in the world who hasn't read the book. So, I guess I had no expectations and didn't know what to expect. No movie is ever "just like" the book. After watching the movie, I'd like to read the book now.

I won't give anything away, but if you like movies with a good storyline, require you to think, aren't over done with special effects, has good actors and lots of twists and turns, go see the movie.

On the Frank Kichen scale of movies, I give the DaVinci Code 3 stars out of 4.

Rating System
4 Stars - Buy the movie
3 Stars - Go see the movie
2 Stars- Discount Theater, Rental
1 Star - Don't waste your time or wait for free TV

Sunday, May 14, 2006

More Australian Friends

Me and Kevin

My Cairns party group (L to R Sue Ann from Canada, Sonya from Holland, and Justin from USA)

My Rotary teamates with host family Colleen and Bernie in the middle
Keith and Joan

More pictures of the people I stayed with.

New friends from Australia

Me and Gidget - She calls herself my "Aussie Mum"
Max and Helen
Jenny and son Tom - I had a great time with their family!
Jenny and her husband Peter (he gave me great golf tips...I need more)
Teamate Dave and Mike

I met a lot of great people in Australia. The people above are the people who were my host families during my stay. These are some of the people who I made lasting friendships with.

You've got to live life!

Me on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean
Me scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef
Bat Fish on the Great Barrier Reef (About 2 feet/1 meter long)

Hello Everyone,

I haven’t had much time to type this week. I’ve been spending time trying to adjust to being back in the United States. I came back and my body wasn’t used to the “American Germs” I hadn’t been around in 6 weeks, so I’ve been beating back a cold. I’ve had to readjust to being back at work. And finally I’ve had to get used to sleeping in the same bed for over 4 days in a row. Including home, Australia and multiple airplanes; I’ve slept in about 16 different places in the last 6 weeks. That’s a new place about every 2.6 days. That might explain why I’ve woken up several mornings this week and wondered “where am I?”

The trip to Australia was great! In many ways, it was life changing. I learned a lot about myself and I also met lots of great people. Many of them I told me when I return to Australia, I have stop and visit them again. I plan on doing that. Many of my friends feel like family and I feel like I’ve added some new family members in Australia. I plan on seeing them again. If anyone gets the chance to visit Australia, you have to do GO!

Some of the things I’ve taken back with me are the following:

#1 I met an amazing couple (Colleen and Bernie). We were talking and they talked to me about how life is about experiences and relationships. I believed that comment before I got to Australia, but the trip further established that feeling. Great experiences and establishing a lot of great relationships is the best way to describe my trip. I can’t possibly tell all the stories about the people I met and what I experienced. I was only in the country for a little over 5 weeks, but I squeezed in a years worth of “life.”

That brings me to the pictures you see above. I had the great experience to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef. I was going to just snorkel, but one of the people on the boat came over to me and said, "Would you like to scuba dive?" I didn't think I would be allowed too, because I'm not certified, but how could I pass up the experience or opportunity? Yes the dive cost me money, and I could have worried about that. But you have to ask the question? How many people have the opportunity and experience of swimming with Sea Turtles? I swam/chased down 3 of them, one the size of me!

By going on this trip, I truly feel I was “Living Life!” Life is so much more than just working yourself to death. So many of us say our work is our life. I believe and learned on this trip that you can use your work to live life or achieve things you want to get out of life. We have to do things we enjoy versus just “work!” I had long hours on this trip, but I enjoyed what I did, I learned a lot, I grew personally and I enjoyed it!

I was exposed to a lot different and new things while in Australia. I also realized there are a lot of talents and hobbies I have; I’ve put a lot of these interests on the side over the years. I had a lot I wanted to do before the trip, but now I have even more things on my “lifetime” to do list. Some of the things I plan to pursue are: being more of “me,” learning more about food, cooking and wine; traveling more; reading more; pursuing more photography opportunities; learning and playing more golf; spending more time with family and friends; and learning and enjoying life as much as possible.

Thank you everyone for reading. I’ll be sure to post my best pics up on this site over the next week. I took over 1500 pictures and over 40 videos on my camera.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I'm back!

I'm back in the states everyone! I got back around 5 PM on Saturday. I have to thank my welcoming committee. Scott, Amber and Christina were there waiting for me when I got of the plane. Thank you Thank you, you three are GREAT!

I'll be catching up with everyone soon. I actually think I'm adjusted to the time change already. More pics and stories from my trip to come soon.


Friday, May 05, 2006

I'm heading home!

The Baron Falls in the rainforest near Cairns (Pronounced Cans)
A few people call me the chocolate bald man. I saw this sign and had to publish!
"Scuba Frank!" I saw sea turtles, bat fish, a shark , several manta rays, schools of fish, giant clam and a whole bunch of other stuff I don't know how to pronounce.

After 40 days away from home 38 of them in Australia, I'm heading home. I could stay here longer, this is a beautiful country, but I'm running out of money and I do miss my friends and family. I leave in about 12 hours from Brisbane. I just arrived from Cairns.

I had a great time in Cairns. I went out to the Great Barrier Reef and scuba dived for the first time ever. Spent my time chasing down sea turtles and taking pics with my underwater camera. I'll post the pics when I get home. After visiting the reef, I took a trip into the Australian Rainforests. Amazing is all I can say. Once again I will post more pictures.

If peope get a chance to travel to the land down under, or you're thinking about it, DO IT! I've met a lot of great people and many have told me I can stay with them when I return. Thank you! I saw a lot, but there is so much I didn't see. One word of advice, bring some good walking shoes. I've walked over 50+ miles this week!

I'll see or talk to everyone later this week! More stories when I get home!