Can I Be Frank?: Running is Stupid

With the Marathon approaching I am dusting off this one for your reading pleasure. The subject of the Marathon has become a very touchy subject due to the tragedies of 2013, but let’s try to bring a little levity and some laughs to the whole subject of running.
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March running martial art23, 2012

With The Boston Marathon just around the corner I wanted to offer a comprehensive review of the “sport” of running.

I can sum it up in 3 words: Running is stupid.

Whew. I feel better just writing those words down.

Let me backtrack a little bit. Running, for the purpose of exercise and general health is, I suppose, a positive and productive activity. Of course, running improves your cardio-vascular health, relieves anxiety, and certainly keeps the pounds off. But guess what, I don’t care. Running – just for the sake of running – is stupid.
Think back to when you were a kid. You ran for reasons. You were playing tag. You were running in a race against your friends. You were playing (real) sports. You were running from your Dad because you opened your big, sarcastic mouth one too many times (maybe that was just me?).
But, to run just…’because’. I’m all set.

Well, I can already hear the “BOOs” from all of you running rebels that live and breathe this horrific hobby. Several of my closest friends and family members love running and a few have even completed marathons. My Dad, my cousin, my college roommate to name a few. Listen, good for you guys! Congratulations! WOO HOO! Job well done! Yippie!

Running is stupid.

Which brings me to a more specific aspect of running; marathon running. Are you freaking kidding me? Why on God’s green earth would ANYONE want to run a marathon? Anyone? Bueller? Come on! Forget the actual act of running a marathon. I can almost understand the satisfaction of having thousands of fans cheer for you as you trudge through 26.2 grueling miles. I get that. But, how about the incredible amount of training and preparation that goes into it all? No thanks. Months of work. Millions of miles (maybe not millions, but it’s called alliteration, folks). Hundreds of hours of your time.

Really, people? Sore muscles. Achy joints. Bloody nipples. Odd bowel movements.

Wow, that sounds fantastic…where do I sign up?

OK, bring on the counterpoint, Bill Rogers and Uta Pippig. I’m waiting.

“Running alleviates my stress.”

“I don’t feel right unless I get a run in.”

“If you have never experienced a runner’s high, then you should not give your opinion.”

Too late and here it is: Running is stupid.

Well, I think I have clearly relayed my standpoint on the subject, but I am going to offer you a chance to get back at me. Perhaps there is a more personal reason for out-of-the-blue attack on all of you jogging jackasses?

I started running this week.

Yes, yes…I know. Laugh all you like. Not sure what inspired me to start this week. Possibly because of the 87 pounds of corned beef and cabbage and 105 pints Guinness I have ingested over the past few weeks. Could be that I have been lacking any exercise program in my life for a while. Entirely feasible that I was feeling guilty that my wife has recently decided to taking up jogging with the rest of you imbosiles. Could be all of the above? Doesn’t really matter, but I woke up earlier this week and took to the street.

Mrs. C.I.B.F. leaves for work at 6:00AM and, with a busy day ahead; I knew I should just get this out of the way early. So, at 5:32, I laced up the Asics and hit the road.

I began my first jog in a very long time at a slow and steady pace. I am not looking to break any records. I have no goal or end game in mind. I am simply out here to feel a little better about my health and possibly drop my blood pressure down to a normal range. What I soon learned was that it would not be the actual act of running that would cause me issue; but rather…panic.

As I made my first turn down a side street I realized how damn dark it is at that time of day strictly reserved for the newspaper kid and insomniacs. Suddenly, I felt an overcoming sense of fear. A dog (90% positive it was Cujo) barked from its yard and I nearly jumped up a tree like a Tom & Jerry episode. I smelled something? Oh God, it’s a skunk. Where is it? Christ, he is going to spray me right in the face! Who‘s that coming at me? Crap! I bet it’s a serial kill….nope; it’s another one of you stupid joggers.

“Hey man” I huffed at him like a 80 year old, chain-smoking asthmatic as I am trying to play the role of neighborhood Kenyon. I was completely thrown off my game. All of these distractions and empty fears were actually adding stress to this supposed stress-reducing activity. My pulse was not racing from the intense aerobic workout. It was because clearly there was a madman (or a blood thirsty, rabid animal) tracking me through the neighborhood. A Boogey Man (quite possibly Boogey Men?) was surely on my tail. That I know for a certainty.

Before I knew it, I was actually sprinting – not jogging – in one direction; back towards home. I am not going to risk my life over this silly pastime. I will not be maimed by some psycho or wildebeest for the love of this game. Just not worth it. I have a family to think about for crying out loud.

And there ends another chapter of my storied athletic career. Sneakers are retired. Wind pants are doing just that; blowing in the wind. I am hitting the proverbial showers for good.

Running is stupid.

Best of luck to all you marathoners!

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Light It Up BLUE

Today, April 2, is Autism Awareness Day. A day when we continue to offer support and spread awareness about this disorder that impacts 1 in 66 children. My guess is this ‘spectrum disorder’ impacts all of us to some degree – child, friend, niece or nephew.  To show your support, splash a little BLUE in to your wardrobe. Share this information on Facebook and Twitter using in the hashtag #LIUB (Light It Up Blue)

These children, and adults alike, need so much support but more important they need UNDERSTANDING from society. This affliction is a very confusing landscape and, as a parent of a child that is severely impacted, I pray that people always simply treat him as they would treat anyone  else they encounter.

Much appreciated…

Can I Be Frank?: April Fool’s Gone Evil – Children’s Edition

As I helped get my three children get ready for school this morning, they reminded me that today was April Fool’s Day. Each was looking for some type of prop to bring to school that might trick their small brained friends and it got me thinking how cruel of “holiday” this could become with a little thought and preparation. Specifically, I could absolutely haunt and destroy my children’s mental welfare if I wanted to…all in the name of April Fool’s.

nelson haha
Here are a few I am debating attempting later on at home.
(ALERT: If you have children than can read, but also still believe in the Easter Bunny I suggest you send them outside to play while you read on. Of course, what do I care? Harden them up.)
• Disney Dummies
Tell your children they are going to Disney World TODAY. Make up an elaborate story about where you are staying, the plans you have made, the plane ride, etc. Pack their suitcases. If you have time (and are completely sadistic), give them each one of those Mickey Mouse Ear Hats. Tell them to go out to the car with their bags and when they get outside…
“April Fool’s suckas! We’re not going anywhere. And I am pretty sure Goofy is a pedophile. Now go back inside and do your homework.”
• Dinner Diss
Inform the kids that you are making their favorite dinner tonight EXCEPT substitute the main ingredient with sawdust/cobwebs/drain hair/Ipecac/body parts of their favorite dolls/whatevs. This really works best in they like soups, stews or pies. Right after they take the first bite…
“APRIL FOOLS! You just ate your American Girl doll’s eyeballs!”
• Santa Claus Ain’t Coming Town
Draft a letter from Santa Claus announcing his incredible discontent in their behavior and regardless of what they do for the next 9 months there is no way he is coming to their house this Christmas. Once they finish crying…
“April Fools! But yeah, Santa isn’t coming because well, we made him up.”
• Tooth Fake
When your kids get home from school, inform them the dentist called and it appears as if each has some major cavities and they need a tooth/teeth pulled today. If they are dumb enough to believe this, drive them to the dentist office, lead them inside reception area and then leave them there needing to figure it out for themselves. As you drive away scream…
“April Fools! Walk home! And P.S. – there is no Tooth Fairy either!”
• Toy Story
Hide all of their favorite toys/games in the garage/shed. That’s it. Don’t explain anything or console them. Give them back on Labor Day. Say ‘April Fool’s’ then. They won’t get it but will be SO mad. Epic.
Just a few friendly ideas to make this a fun day for the whole family.

Can I Be Frank?: Chinese Food & Me: A Match Jade in Heaven

mai taijade

Bottom line: Chinese Fooood is awesome.  Just ask Austin Kuchar…

The variety. The spice. The convenience. All of these things and more are what make dining Chinese-style simply awesome. Traditionally, when we think about Chinese we think “take out”, but dining in at your favorite Americanized-Western version of the Orient makes the whole cookie that much more fortunate.

As I frequented one of my favorite spots of all time – the world famous Jade East – this past week I got to thinking about all of the great little details of what make Chinese chow down so great in my book.

10. Remember to tip your waitresses!

Yes, many of the larger Chinese restaurants work double duty as comedy clubs for local up-and-coming laugh makers. I mean, after all, who among us does not want a boat load of belly laughs after inhaling the all you can eat buffet? It makes perfect sense. Ingest 2-3 pounds of heavily fried, generously spiced, and sodium-fueled deliciousness (couple with several ‘what the hell is in this thing?’ cocktails) and prepare your innards to burst with some good old fashioned knock-knock jokes.

9. Where Are We?

Oh, did I forget to mention, Chinese Restaurants almost never, ever have windows. How pioneer is that move? We’re talking Daniel (-San) Boone type pioneer spirit. If you ever walk in to Chinese restaurant with a lot of natural sunlight, run for your life. It is clearly a trap. Otherwise, soak in the darkness. Like a bizarro-Rodney Dangerfield, “Rage against the dying of the light.”

8. We’ll have the Pu Pu

As long as I am being gross, let’s get all 6-year-old while I am at it. Where on earth, except for a Chinese restaurant, would we ever read an entry on a menu that had the phrase ‘Pu Pu’ right in its title would even consider eating it? Answer: nowhere. Guess what, they are perfect. All the favorites in one great order. Call it the Raging Crap Platter or Dookie for Two. Don’t care. It’s a never miss.

7. Yes, may I have beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, rice, pasta and the kitchen sink please?

Nowhere else can you economically order just about every acceptable form of animal on earth and have it delivered right to your plate. Not only affordable, they have discovered the formula to having them all blend in to one ridiculously tasty combination. Maybe that’s the third Mai Tai talking?

6. MSG

No not Madison Square Garden. I do not have the foggiest idea what “MSG” is or even what the letters stand for; but if it has anything to do with the tastiness of my #16 special then I don’t want to interfere. MSG is always a point of note when Chinese food is discussed, but for some reason no one really asks or wants to know; especially me. Even if I were to learn that MSG actually stood for “Massively Severe Gonorrhea” or “Minced Squirrel Guts” I would politely nod my head and affirm my interest in the meal. In fact, you can double up on mine.

5. Tastes Great, Less Filling

Like the classic Miller Lite slogan Chinese food ‘tastes great and is less filling”. No matter how much food you pile on that plate, the number of trips you make back to the buffet, you can never get completely full when consuming this Asian magic. It’s a physical impossibility. Why? Don’t know. Don’t care. No clue. Ask Confucius.

4. “Excuse me, Suffering Bastard over here”

The alcoholic drink options at Chinese restaurants are nothing short of epic. Outside of some sadistic college fraternity party where else can you order drinks called ‘Zombies’, ‘Headhunters’ and ‘Suffering Bastards’. Where else can you order a cocktail by the BOWL? Not just any bowl, a SCORPION BOWL. And guess what, you and your friends can share them or feel free to be a total and complete degenerate and suck down that lethal juiciness all by your lonesome. Rule #1 at the Chinese joint is there is no judging at the Chinese joint.

3. Do I have something on Mai Tai?

If we are gonna talk Chinese cocktails, I cannot forget my very favorite; the beautiful, delicious, sense-deadening, worry-relieving, habit-forming Mai Tai. An ingenious concoction combining…combining…truthfully, the greatest Mai Tai recipes are secret. Taboo you might say. Who am I to question ancient law? Maybe I’ll try that other great Chinese potion…what’s it called? Oh yeah, SAME TING!

2. That’s a wrap

Regardless of how much or how little you order when dining at a Chinese restaurant, there will always be leftovers for you to take home. Always. It’s like the Law of Gravity. Death, taxes, Chinese leftovers. You heard it here. To boot, unlike most leftover meals, Chinese seems to be like a fine wine…better with age (READ: 48 hour rule in effect). The marriage of Chinese leftovers and the microwave would lead you to believe they were meant to be together. Maybe that’s the Mai Tai hangover talking?

1. Have a great day!

Where else do you leave the dinner table with the promise of something good in your future? A little positive reinforcement? Some lucky numbers to count on? Of course I speak of the always present fortune cookie that concludes all Chinese dining experiences.

“Pain is inevitable…Suffering (bastard) is optional.”

-Buddha

The F n K Show’s March Madness Bracket

F n K March Madness Pleasure Brackets

Tune in to Friday’s F n K Show on 980 WCAP where we continue the Madness.  With arguably some of the best days of sports upon us – the NCAA Basketball Tournament – we have invented our own bracket.  Check out our March Madness bracket of Personal Pleasures!

Four “regions” –

1. Food

2.  Drink

3.  TV

4.  Holidays?

Fill out your bracket (above) and let us know what makes your FINAL FOUR OF FAVORITES!  You can also make your picks on our Facebook page.

WCAP March Badness

From WCAP’s Merrimack Valley in the Morning Show’s Facebook page:vote

Regular caller “Joe from Lowell” has set the field for the 980 WCAP Talk Host Tournament. And the brackets have set up an Elite 8 showdown between Morning co-hosts Teddy Panos and Austin Fontanella.

Here are all the matchups. Vote for who you would like to see advance:

#1 Warren Shaw vs. #8 Chris Poublon
 #2 Teddy Panos vs. #7 Austin Fontanella
#3 Jack Baldwin vs. #6 Frank McCabe
#4 Ryan Johnston vs. #5 John MacDonald

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So many things wrong here.  As my colleague here at the Cabot, Tobes, stated, where is ‘Beatles & Before’ in this arbitrary ranking system?  No nominations for local rabble-rouser Tom Duggan and his Valley Patriot programming?  And how about the new Queen of WCAP, Kerry,…not even in the running?  To quote the great Vince Vaughn, “ERRONEOUS!”

And most insulting…. #6 Ranking of yours truly?!

In any case, vote your conscience…and by “conscience”, I mean “McCabe”

Here is where you can cast your votes to the Final Four in this fraudulant and flawed system.

Can I Be Frank?: St. Patrick’s Day! (AKA Amatuer Day)

irish brawl

Bostinno.com – March 17, 2014 – How Many People Were Arrested at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

The number of people arrested by the Boston Police Department during Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade could be counted on one hand.

According to a BPD report released Sunday evening, five people were arrested at the St.Patrick’s Day Parade. Two were arrested for disorderly conduct. Three were arrested for boozing in public, and one had to be taken into protective custody.

In total, however, police issued 293 citations.

The majority of the people who attended the parade, dressed head-to-toe in green, the BPD said, “did so in a fun and safe manner.”

BostInno won’t take credit for keeping yesterday’s arrest numbers down. All we did was provide some tips on how to not get arrested. Whether or not that helped doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is: The 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade was safer than last year’s.

In 2013, more than 330 people were issued citations and 26 were arrested for disorderly conduct at the parade. Yesterday, only five people were arrested.

Way to rage responsibly, Boston.

First of all, Happy St. Patricks’ Day!  As a very proud Irishman, I love this day like the other 96% of the state of that claims Irish descent.  That said, it is a little discomforting that this is the type of news that hits the wire on the most important day of the year when we celebrate The Old Sod.  Nobody loves to tip a few pints back, especially on the glorious Paddy’s Day, as much as me but let’s face it, folks, today should be called ‘Amatuer Day’.  Like St. Patrick’s Day’s illegitimate children, New Year’s Eve and Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday, today’s happenings always kinda piss me off and here are a few reasons why…

1.  Crowds

Irish bars and pubs, especially in these parts, are the proverbial Blarney Stones.  They are great; at least for 364 days/year.  BUT, today, it is a total shite-show.  Drinking a poorly poured pint out of a plastic cup while crammed in the corner between “Meaghan the Lonely Obnoxious Power Boozer’ and “Juan, Ireland’s First Mexican” is just not that fun to me.  If you can’t pull up a stool and allowed enough room for you and the Holy Spirit, move on.  Better off trying your luck at Polish American Club on St. Paddy’s.

2. Irish for a Day

Look, I am not being a snob (well, maybe a little) this is a America after all and if people want to celebrate, Irish or not, that is their Constitutional right.  That does not mean I have to like it.  Sure, join in the spirit.  Toast a Guinness.  Sip a whiskey.  Go for it.  But, if this is your first attempt at imbibing some of these Irish classics…tread lightly.  I’ll take the same advice on Cinco de Mayo when the Patron is being passed around.

3. Junior Varsity Day

Like many of the inexperienced or overzealous drinking patrons on St. Patrick’s Day, the bartenders and wait staff do not have their A-game on this day.  Due to the massive crowds of raucous revelers, the staff at your favorite Irish watering hole are forced to put out a less the top-notch product.  The pints are often puny.  The corned beef resembles the output of a shoe leather plant on strike.  The cabbage is, well, cabbage is gross on it’s best day…but actually worse during Paddys.  As Robin Williams told Matt Damon, ‘It’s not your fault“, but that doesn’t make it any better.  Again, Wayne Kowalski, the day bartender at the Polish Club, may be the best bet for your drinking needs today.

4.  Embarrassment

Pretty sure SAINT Patrick would not be overly psyched to read the above story on the arrests that went down at, ya know, a feckin’ PARADE!  Don’t really see these types of headlines after Greek Independence Day, do you?  Rarely is there a Rosh Hashanah riot?   Drunken disorderly during Ramadan?  I don’t think so.  But it’s par for the course for those sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle.  Stop it.

Alright, enough negativity from me.  Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day – but trust me, its more fun to be Irish the other 51 weeks each year.  Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get totally annihilated on watered down whiskey and pick a fight with some Polacks.

Slainte!

You can listen to last Friday’s ‘F n K Show’ where we discussed all things Irish on 980 WCAP.