June 9, 2007: Frankfort Days

Dominica and I rolled into Frankfort just after midnight last night (this morning) and everyone was still awake several people having just gotten in themselves. The drive went pretty well. We didn’t run into any problems the whole way. As always we take the eastern route now going to Frankfort which includes going north on the Garden State Parkway to the NY Thruway (i87) up to Albany and then west on i90 to Herkimer, NY. It normally takes just under four hours.

We were concerned about hitting some bad thunderstorms on the trip but we only ended up getting a few minutes of rain the entire way and nothing to worry about. Having the Treo 700p was great, though, because we were able to email people while driving and get regular weather updates and weather radar maps. Very handy for things that I would not have thought of on my own at all.

It was probably two in the morning before we got to go to bed. Dominica and I, Francesca and Madeline all camped out in the air conditioned living room. It was incredibly warm out last night and Min and I would not have been able to sleep in the dining room where there is almost no air flow at all and no air conditioning whatsoever.

This morning Dominica and I slept in nice and late. It was around eleven when we finally got up. Dominica made some cheese & eggs for breakfast which were very yummy but it would have been better if I was allowed to have toast with it.

We pretty much just hung out all day around the house. We got to meet Gizmo, Francesca’s new dog who just showed up one day in their garage. They were never able to find an owner looking for the untagged dog and were not willing to take him to a shelter so they have been keeping him. He is a small but very healthy and happy Pomeranian and pretty young by my estimation. He is a very nice dog and the most “normal” of any dog that Francesca has ever had.

This afternoon I had the first of my Isopure Zero Carb protein drinks made with whey protein. It wasn’t actually all that bad. But they suggest using a motorized blender to mix it as it is very difficult to mix it properly by hand and I agree. We were totally unable to get it really mixed and it was a little gross.

This evening we all (sans Joe) went to the Frankfort Fire Department’s Frankfort Days up at the Herkimer Country Fair Grounds right in Frankfort. I did a Technorati search on Frankfort Days and discovered that there is nothing talking about it anywhere which I find very strange. I did find a Topix page on Frankfort Days, however. It is hard to believe how little people are talking about any single event like this. Tiny, sure, but someone somewhere must have been there and written about it or something.

Frankfort Days used to be held down at the Frankfort Marina on the canal but this year they have moved it up to the Herkimer Country Fair Grounds. Apparently a lot of people aren’t happy about that. Personally I think that it was a bad decision simply because the fair grounds were far too large and it made the tiny event seem even smaller. There was so much open space it was really weird and uncomfortable. You really felt bad for them for having organized something so unpopular.

We went up before it got dark so that the girls could ride some of the rides. Rides included the tilt-a-whirl replacement (that doesn’t tilt) called “Bear Affair” and instead of traditional tilt-a-whirl whirlies you sat in a big bear. Weird. And there was a itty-bitty roller coasterish thing for very small children that I didn’t see move once the entire night. In fact, pretty much every ride was turned on just for Madeline and Emily. For the most part they were all just stationary and it was quite depressing.

There were a couple of “activity booths” on the “fairway” – three I think. One of those shoot water in the clowns’ mouthes things and a ring toss and maybe something else. I didn’t see a single person go to them all evening nor did any of them have anyone visibly operating them. It was awful.

A band called “The Main Event” played in the band shelter thing in the middle and were pretty decent but it was still depressing to see them playing to almost no one. Most everyone who was at Frankfort Days was in the band stand watching them but it was hardly anyone.

There was some food there like “Big Willie’s” Pizza from downtown Frankfort and the regular assortment of “Carnie” food like french fries, fried dough, funnel cakes, cotton candy, candied apples, fried Oreos, hot dogs, burgers, etc. The food was the only real draw for the whole event which was really bad for Dominica and I since we aren’t supposed to be eating this kind of stuff. We ended up breaking down and getting some bad food and sharing it including some funnel cake with cherry topping, fried Oreos and a slice of pizza. “Big Willie’s” pizza is some of the best anywhere.

Going to Frankfort Days was a very Keilloresqe experience.  Small town American at its strangest.  It is hard to believe that anyone is able to make enough money in a venue like this to make it worth it at all.  I have no idea how they manage to pay for the people to work there.  There was no one spending any money anywhere except for a few people at a couple of food stands and when we went to buy a funnel cake they looked honestly surprised to have a customer.  Same thing at Big Willie’s stand – they practically fell out of their chair when I asked for a slice!

After it got dark there was a short five to ten minute fireworks display.  Nothing like I am used to back home.  Back home at York when we did fireworks (which my family went to almost every year throughout my childhood) it was standing room only at a rather large, open venue.  If you wanted to have a blanket on the ground to lay on you had to get there early and stake your claim.  But at Frankfort Days there were about fifteen people standing by one of the rides watching the fireworks.  It was so short that you didn’t even think of looking for a place to lay down.  It was a completely different type of experience.  And there were barely any people watching the fireworks at all.  I think that that must have been the smallest fireworks display turnout I have ever seen in my life.

The entire Frankfort Days experience was quite surreal.  We had things like this back home, of course, like the Mt. Morris summer carnival or the York Fireman’s Day were we went to the field behind the firehouse and had a parade during the day and ate hot dogs at night but the venue was much smaller then and all of the local kids would go there and hang out because we didn’t have a real village so any event that brought everyone together was a big social occasion.  But in a well integrated little village like Frankfort where the entire population can walk to each others’ houses having an event like this does nothing to draw the local kids together as a place to hang out so it becomes a sad affair.  At least there was plenty of easy parking.

After we got back they all played a little “Guitar Hero II” on the XBox 360.  And then we broke out Francesca’s karaoke game and we all played that for several hours late into the night.  That was a lot of fun although not nearly as fun as actually doing karaoke.  The song selection was tiny and a lot of it was not stuff that was well suited to actually doing karaoke but is based more on selling the game rather being actually good.  But we all had a lot of fun doing it.  We didn’t get to bed until probably two in the morning again.

Weight Lost So Far: No Weight In, Estimated at 18lbs

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