Sunday, April 22, 2012

Great Day for a Bike Ride

This week Kelly and I learned about a monthly activity put on by the city of Phoenix. It's called Silent Sunday. One Sunday a month when it's cool they city closes all of the roads in South Mountain Park. The roads for the day are only open for bikes, strollers, wheelchairs, skateboards or any other human powered vehicle with wheels.

The day was fun for Kelly and I because of the non-profit organization known as Daring Adventures. They were on hand to offer bikes to people who needed them. For a donation to charity they will let you borrow one of their bikes. Kelly and I went for the three wheelers. We biked through the park for a little more than an hour and probably did about five miles through the hilly park.

Next week the group is offering free kayaking at Lake Pleasant.

Enjoy the pics and remember to live life. Even when money is tight, you can still find fun things to do. You just have to LOOK.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life Changing Moment

Kelly and I at Scott and Lisa's wedding (No scratches)

Have you had a life changing moment? What did you do after that moment. I had a moment like that last year. It has driven me to work harder and do the best I can to experience life.

Last year, Kelly and I had a life changing moment. We were taking our first cross country road trip.

We would drive from Arizona to Ohio for my best friends wedding (I was the best man). After the wedding we would drive from Ohio to South Carolina to see my grandparents. From there we would head west. We would stop to see my father in Louisiana. They stop and see Kelly's parents in New Mexico.

Our trip was going well until we got to Oklahoma. Just outside of Tulsa we ran into some thunderstorms. We checked the radar on my phone and it looked like the worst has passed. I was so wrong. While Kelly was driving, strong winds and rain popped up without notice. The road went from dry to slick. Next thing you know, our car was spinning out of control.

Kelly was driving and I was just starting to close my eyes when I heard her say "uh oh." We weren't speeding, but anything over 50 miles per hour is fast! I looked up to see the concrete barrier the separates the highway coming at us fast. I grabbed onto the JC or the "Oh Sh!T" handle and looked at Kelly. I expected to see the car flip, air bags go off, or at worse, an explosion. Kelly kept control of the car and spun it just enough so the side of the car hit the wall.

At this point, the car bounced off the barrier and we went back across the highway. We came to a complete stop when the car hit the metal guard rail straight on. We were ALIVE!

Some how we didn't flip, explode or get hit by other cars or semi-trucks. After we stopped, I looked around to see if Kelly was ok and survey our situation. I smelled something burning, so I got out of the car to see what was left. I didn't see any smoke or fire, but I noticed the trunk was wide open.

In the middle of the highway were our bags, clothes and some of my speaking materials. It started to poor rain as I ran into the middle of the interstate to collect our stuff. I really wasn't thinking, I was just reacting. I grabbed everything I could and got it back to the car. Kelly was still buckled in the car. I checked on her before getting out of the car again. This time I waved cars out of the way. Our car was still in the highway. We stopped just past a blind turn and I didn't want anyone to hit us. I was also waiving for help.

Countless cars drove by without stopping. Finally two nice men stopped to help us out. They let us use their cell phone and they called the police for help. They barely spoke English, but that didn't matter. They had a heart and helped us. I did get their contact information and wrote them a long thank you note. I also told their employer how great they were.

While waiting for the police, I told Kelly how my head and ribs hurt. That's when we discovered what the burning smell was. The airbags on my side of the car had gone off. They kept me from slamming into the door and hitting my head on the window. The force of the airbags gave me "rug burns" on my head behind my ear, on my arm and on my ribs.

The police and tow truck finally showed up and took us to town. That's when we learned about the other accidents in the area. We also learned that it hadn't rained in over 45 days and we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Highways are slickest when it first starts to rain. It's even worse with all of the oils in the road from tires and vehicle fluids. The officer and tow driver said we were luck to be alive and said Kelly did a great job handling the car.

The car was totaled, but we were alive. Thank you GOD and thank you Honda Civic.

We would finally get a rental car and finish our cross country trip.

We learned that day that life is short. We made the rest of the trip the best trip possible. It was a tough time, but we worked together to make things work.

We're still a little nervous when driving in the rain or windy days. But, we're getting better and communicating when things make us feel uncomfortable (just like the weather that day.)

Everyone is going through tough time or will experience tough times. Just remember, no matter how tough things get, at least your still alive. After you do that, thank GOD for giving you life and make the most out of that gift.

Here are some pictures from the accident.

The rain stopped when the police showed up. Notice the big dent in the guard rail in front of the police car.

Felt a burning feeling on my arm. Air Bag Road Rash.

Never saw the side curtain air bag go off. So strong it ripped the ceiling of the car!
Asked Kelly if her laptop was safe in the trunk before we left the hotel. She said it would be fine. A few hours later, it got ejected from the trunk onto the highway. Amazingly, her dress for the wedding was fine. No trucks ran over it.
The side airbag left a nice mark on my head and ear.
Side airbag came out of my seat to protect me. Left a nice bruise on my ribs.
Thank you side air bags! Thank you Honda! You have loyal customers for life.
We replaced our civic with a Honda Accord a few weeks later.
Back quarter panel. Lucky we hit that and nothing else.
Scene of the accident a few hours later. No rain and barely a mark on the wall. Police told us these walls are designed to flip the cars so they don't go into on coming traffic. We got lucky.

Minimum Wage is not enough!

The economy is crazy right now. Everyone says things are getting better, but are they really?

There are people looking for work and can't find anything, even if they are qualified or over qualified. If you do find employment, the hours are terrible or not enough.

There are a lot of people who are working two or three jobs. That's a tough balancing act, but something that has to be done to pay the bills.

I have personally experienced jobs asking me about my loyalties or priorities when they find out I have other work.

To be honest, I've worked up to four jobs at one time to make only a percentage of what I made in the past. Minimum wage sucks and it makes you feel very "minimum." It's not even enough for you to pay your bills. And we know the bill collectors don't care.

I was recently directed to an interesting diagram on a website. It show's how many hours a person would have to work to get an apartment if they made minimum wage.

I really think the government should take a "true" look at the figures. They can talk about creating jobs, but what type of jobs are they creating. Just like I said on CNN a few years ago, people don't want any job, they want good jobs.

Click on this LINK to learn more!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BAD BAD Apples Newsletter

Every Quarter, Rodger and I will be writing a newsletter to share with our family and friends. Here is a photo copy of this quarters edition of "The Slice!"

Speech Coaching

“Selling your Apple” – Delivering Speeches with value and impact!

Weather you are preparing yourself for a Wedding Toast, Work Presentation, Acceptance Speech, Award Ceremony, Graduation Speech or a Keynote Performance, Glossophobia can strike…the fear of speaking in public. Public speaking is the number one fear of people worldwide.

Apples are like speeches. They have value and impact. That value and impact are recognized when presented clearly and passionately.

Speaking in public can be very rewarding. To have a great experience, you need the proper tools, practice, time and engaging teachers. You need someone to take you from fearing public speaking to enjoying the sweet success of presenting.

The BAD BAD Apples have traveled the world delivering messages that have inspired, educated and entertained thousands. They will design and customize a program that provides you the opportunity to shine the next time you deliver a speech, lecture or presentation.


Karen Boswell

My name is Karen Boswell. I have worked with Frank Kitchen at the Phoenix Zoo for over 2 years now since 2009.

Frank was asked by management to help observe and train the Trail Guide staff. When my turn came up he was smiling while I gave my talk on Elephants. When I was done I asked for his comments. He smiled wider and said "Karen your content was excellent. No problem there, but what I saw surprised me. You are shy! You are not comfortable promoting yourself! The public needs to know why you are here, who you are, and where your next talk is!" I laughed too, because he was SO right! I was not aware of my shyness, but when he brought it to my attention he was spot on!

I am your Experience Guide at the Phoenix Zoo! My name is Karen Boswell! After we talk about Elephants I will be available to answer your questions! My next talk will be at the Flamingo exhibit at 11 AM. See you there!

Thanks Frank, your advice was so simple yet so effective!

Frank Kitchen CAN help improve your public speaking skills! I highly recommend him!

Oloho Delano

I remember when I first started college, I didn’t really know what to expect. When I was in high school, I believed that college was something for the really smart kids. For me, going to college to accomplish my dream of being a doctor seemed impossible, because I stuttered. I was raised to work hard, get a factory job, and pay bills, and ultimately that’s what I did. I got into a great company, making great money, with great benefits, but there was one thing wrong, I wasn’t happy. Deep down inside I knew that the factory life wasn’t for me. It was great work, but it didn’t utilize the skills that I believed I had somewhere inside me. I knew that I had to go to college, but how do you quit a great job? Where would I start? Could I do it? I didn’t know, but something drove me to figure it out. I told myself that if I was going to do it that I was going to give it my best effort, and whatever happens, happens, and I went for it.

One of the first people that I met was Frank Kitchen. Here’s this tall, slender guy who was always smiling and always positive. I was like, what’s wrong with this guy no one can be that happy all the time! But there was one thing that really drew me to him, his genuine love for people. And that gift that Frank has inspired me to perform my first speech ever in my entire life. Actually it was a speech that I wrote for him to speak, but he wouldn’t do it. He told me, “You wrote it, you have to do it,” and he just stood there smiling. And I’m thinking, “what an ass! I don’t do public speaking.” But deep down inside I really did want to do it, but I conditioned myself so well to fear speaking because of my stutter that I really believed that it was impossible. But Frank worked with me, coached me, and told me to go do it! Well, I did it, and then went on to do several more speeches, and today I coach and inspire high school students to be all they can be.

What Frank did for me, he can do for anyone who attends his coaching seminars. Whether or not you believe you can do it or not, just show up, and let Frank do the rest. If you really have a desire to get better at public speaking you won’t be disappointed! Just show up, smile, and start speaking. Like Frank told me, just do it!

From a lifetime friend,


Danny Fortes

I was scared to do a Best Man's speech at my friends wedding. After watching Frank give an awesome speech at an event I attended. I asked him for a few pointers because I was dreading the whole experience the wedding was less than a month away. Frank gave me a half a dozen solid pointers from start to finish. From there I drafted my speech and implemented every tip he gave me. My speech was awesome!!! I got so many compliments from people who were in attendance. He has now given me the confidence to do public speaking. Thanks Frank you have a talent for teaching.

Emily Awbrey

Ever since middle school I have had a fear of getting in front of people to present information or give a speech. I even avoided taking speech class in high school.

Now, as a business professional, I have been requested to give presentations and I would continue to pawn it off on someone else to avoid the spotlight. Naturally, I have an outgoing personality and believe I could actually be good at public speaking. I was ready to face this fear and give public speaking a shot, so when I was asked to participate on a panel discussion at a state-wide conference I felt it was time to step up to the plate.

About a month prior to the panel discussion, I discovered Frank Kitchen, a friend, was a professional speaker and coach, and kindly asked for assistance. Frank was more than happy to help me and actually got me excited about the event.

He worked me one-on-one to discover my root issues with speaking and designed a plan to conquer these issues. Working through this process allowed me to properly prepare myself and deliver a thoughtful, informative discussion with no voice quivers! It was a great success and I really could not have done it without Frank!

Thank you Frank for your encouragement and determination in seeing me through this process!

Monday, April 16, 2012

End of the Line

Kelly and I have been spending more time lately finding interesting documentaries to watch. It's fun to learn about other parts of the world.

This past weekend we watch the documentary "End of the Line." It focuses on how we are over fishing our oceans and how greed and looking at the short term will hurt future generations.

If you're looking for something interesting to watch. Click on one of the links below.

End of the Line Website
End of the Line Movie (FREE to WATCH)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I'm have a long list of goals I want to achieve and experience.

I call my list, my Grocery List. Its a life time list of wants and needs. It's a cool feeling to cross off items on the list.

One of my goals this year is to play more golf. I moved the golf mecca of Phoenix about five years ago from Ohio. As soon as I moved here I stopped playing. One reason was golf is expensive. The other reason wadi had no money. No money no golf.

I'm working on both situations this year. My grocery list has a several golf accomplishments on it. One is to score a "birdie" on a hole. That means I score one under par on a given hole. Which means it takes me one stroke less than what is expected for that hole.

Last week at the Mountain Shadows Golf Course in Paradise Valley, Arizona the golf gods smiled on me. After not playing golf for almost two years, I scored my first birdie ever. I've come close before, but nothing.

My friend Ryan and my father-in-law were there to witness my triumph. They also saw me loose about 6 golf balls, hit a hotel, hit two streets, hit a wall, hit a ball on the driving range when I wasn't practicing and double hit a ball. All the bad shots went away when I accomplished my dream in Hole #15.

Good Luck achieving your dreams!

Best Buddies R-Word Video

Last month I got a chance to shoot a video with my friend Dakota. The videos educate people about the use of the R-Word. Watch, learn and enjoy!

Inspring Review

I get the opportunity from time to time to inspire and motivate people. I encourage them to achieve in creative ways. It 's a passion and something I enjoy doing.

I recently had someone ask me, who do you go to for inspiration. I go to my wife, family members, friends and I read interesting stories. Hearing people say thank you or showing signs of appreciation are very inspiring too.

This weekend I was inspired by an e-mail I received from a young woman in Arizona who purchased me book. We used to work together, but hadn't seen or talked to each other in about a year.

We met at a local Starbucks to catch up and for me to give her a signed copy of my book. We didn't have much time to talk, but she thanked me for the book.

To my surprise, I found a nice e-mail waiting for me the next day.

Here's part of what Sara wrote:

I read a lot, and the thing that keeps me most interested in a book is when it speaks to me on a personal level. I sense that your book has done that for a lot of people. You speak the truth in a way that isn't harsh or condescending, and instead gives hope that life can improve, and that the reader is more than capable of making the necessary changes on their own. It's fun, honest, and heartfelt. I feel privileged to know you, and grateful to have my very own copy of Fresh From the Kitchen! I hope that you are able to take the path you want in life, as I'm certain you've led many to their own desired path. Take care, Frank, and stay in touch.

If you ever feel like you're not going in the right direction; something will appear to let you know which way to go.

For me, I'm going to keep using written and spoken words to assist people find the right path and head the right direction.

Thank you Sara.