Paid Advertisement: Sherrill Tree Equipment – Not just for the pros anymore.

This is a paid advertisement for Sherrill Tree Equipment.

Yeah, I’m big time now.

Way back when, in a state far far away, Jersey to be specific, me and two of my closest friends decided to do my mom a favor and cut down three tall pine trees she wanted removed from the back yard. It was going to be pricey to get a pro to do it. So we said, “Well, can’t be that hard.” Turns out it wasn’t. Trees will generally fall to the ground once you start cutting into the base. The issue quickly became where were they going to hit, how much damage would they do, and how maimed and mangled would we get in the process.

You don’t have to live with that uncertainty anymore. Sherrill Tree has been in operation for 50 years. While they cater to the pros of the tree cutting business, they now provide a great website for us civilian types. They have it all, from instruction, to safety equipment, to the essential tools needed to take down a tree. For me and my buddies, the safety equipment would have been nice, as well as a little instruction on how to direct a tree away from the house.

I think the cooler feature about Sherrill Tree is how they also equip other types of tree enthusiasts. It’s well known we at Frank’s Place digs smarts. Well Sherrill Tree deals with tree care professionals but also connects quite frequently with other tree-climbing enthusiasts including educators, scientists and fun climbers.

That’s just smart right there.

Sherrill Tree: tree equipment

Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Anatomy of a Deck

Been a while.  Been a long while.

Since I had the clothes folding and kitchen cleaning down to a science I decided it was time to tackle something else.

I’m rebuilding my deck.

By myself.

Well, not exactly by myself.  A good friend, Tom, came over to help with what we thought would be the hard part: reframing, re-digging, and pouring concrete to frame out the deck.  John was also there for the framing and also for the laying of the new deck boards and the momentous task of digging and laying the footer for the stairs.  That little event almost finished us.

Of course my neighbor Mike is to blame for all this.  When we were discussing this last fall he said, “man you can do that yourself, it’s not hard.”  Mike underestimates my age and feebleness, and overestimates my abilities.  He’s also been there with some serious equipment, which in fact has made the job easier.

This is all building up to the lame excuse as to why it’s been three weeks since my last post.

Anyway, here are a few shots of the destruction and put back.  It’s still a work in progress.  Deck boards are down.  Rails and stairs should be going in this week, as well as the wiring for the lighted rail posts.

Brain trust doing the footing math.

Brain trust doing the footing math.

What construction would be complete without some fast food debris on site

What construction would be complete without some fast food debris on site

We added a "few" feet to the size of the original deck.

We added a “few” feet to the size of the original deck.

Unsinkable.  Oh crap ICEBERG! Dead Ahead!

Absolutely Unsinkable. Oh crap ICEBERG! Dead Ahead!






















If I survive to the finish, and my hands still function properly I should be back to a regular posting schedule.

Podcast coming up this week over at Unfiltered & Unfettered.

It’s our 10th anniversary episode.  Don’t miss it.

Kathy’s Krew: Cause good causes never stop being good.

The dollars, always the dollars: Kathy’s Krew

Joe Pesci had it right in Casino. Ultimately it always comes down to money.

Yeah it’s a beg for money. Not claiming I won’t say some funny or wildly inappropriate crap on the way to the big ask, but at the end of the day, I’m asking for a donation. The beauty in this deal is I won’t be calling you at dinner time, hiding behind a caller ID that masks my true identity as a solicitor, and I’m not some obscure charity.

Nope this one is all too real and all too personal.

The Warden getting her walking papers from the radiation team.  Nice robe bro.

The Warden getting her walking papers from the radiation team. Nice robe bro.

This is my little sister Kathy. We call her The Warden. She’s the youngest of the 8 of us but for some reason when you say, “You’re not the boss of me” and she replies “Yes I am” – you believe her. Hence The Warden. Anyway, she is a breast cancer survivor. So far she’s kicking cancer in the ass. Even though I used to beat her ass when we were kids and would act out the WWF Wrestling we watched from The Spectrum in Philadelphia way too long ago, she’s tougher than me.




The kid whisperer with Frank and The Warden's son Nicholas

The Kid Whisperer with Frank and The Warden’s son Nicholas

This is my brother-in-law Bob. He’s one of the nicest, kindest guys you will ever meet. Never stops working. Works a little too hard if you ask me, but hey I think we’ve established my laziness already. Bob is also a pet/baby whisperer.  Not kidding. Bob can calm any animal, any baby. They all take to him immediately.  He really is a regular Dr. Doolittle and whatever the equivalent for kids would be. Bob was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (ALL) in 2010. He has been kicking cancer’s ass for a while now. He is a survivor too. He’s tougher than me too.

Now beside the cool nicknames and the survivor thing, they have another thing in common. They are the Lilliputians of our family. They’re tiny. Those pictures aren’t to scale, they’re life size. (not really) As it turns out, the smallest amongst my giant family, (8 kids, 7 spouses, 10 grandkids) happen to be the biggest ass kickers.

This small person/big ass kicker thing might be a new evolution of the human species. Read Lisa Haffner’s blog for an incredible story of a another pint sized woman who has been beating cancer about the head and face since she was like 11. Lisa Haffner is something special. She lost her leg as a child and is still kicking cancer in the ass. I continue to be amazed by this women’s will and fortitude.

Celebrating a deuce.

Celebrating a deuce.

Update Feb 28 2014: Lisa has since gone terminal but you would never know it. She was told she had 6 months to live…. 13 months ago. The picture to the left is of Little Lisa Lollipop and her husband Juan. That ain’t a gang sign they’re throwin. It’s to celebrate her first normal poop in quite some time. Yeah cancer struggles and victories come down to the smallest of battle fields.

Life’s not fair. Some people are just blessed with more grace and more smarts and more toughness than the rest of us. Lisa is one of those people who just squeezes every ounce out of life no matter the circumstances. Do yourself one favor this morning and read her blog. little lisa lollipop

The other commonality The Warden and The Kid Whisperer share is they both decided to take their survivor-ability on the road. They started a team to raise funds and awareness.  Their first Relay for Life event is June 13th in Linwood, New Jersey.

And yeah we have arrived at the moment.

The big ask.

The squeeze.

The pimpin.

The gratuitous beggin for your hard earned greenbacks.

Now do yourself another favor.


Go to my sister Kathy’s Relay for Life web site and donate: Kathy’s Krew  If you see the same picture of her in that smart looking hospital gown, you’re in the right spot.  She has set a goal of 5 large, or $5,000 for you non street people. They are making progress but they are not quite half way there. This reminds me, she’s also a Bon Jovi stalker so you might see her quote some of his musical offerings on her page; another indicator you are on the correct web site.

Frank’s Place has already ponied up 50 bones, (again, a street term for money). Don’t be left behind. Drop a few nickels in the tip jar and join two of the smallest ass kickers I know in the fight against cancer.

They ought to put that on the t-shirt: Kathy’s Krew – Ass Kickers for Hire.

I’d wear one.