Do You Want To Be a HERO???

Life is grand, don’t you think?  Every day I wake up, I have to thank God for ONE more day; EVERY DAY!  One day, I was in a great conversation about a lot of different things, and I mentioned that, and I was asked, “Do you really do that EVERY day?”.  Umm, yes; and by doing that,  it shows so much Thanksgiving to really have another day.  I’ll recap what a lot of you know about me.  I’ve had three brain tumors, (Meningiomas, Type 2, Atypical).  I’ve taken pretty good care of my physical being, for most of my adult years, having my business for over 35 years in doing so, ( well, as you know ,too, I do enjoy a few beers!).  I think that I did a pretty great job, at my job, but I still was the recipient of three brain tumors.  I watched my diet, (ok, a sweet desert once in a while),  but my philosophy still is, 75%-80% eating strict, and 20%-25% vice.  That’s a livable life, but I got three brain tumors.  My training regime, since I was in high school, has always been 5-6 days of training, but I still got three tumors.  I still have that training schedule, and I still thank God EVERY day for giving me one more day.


Why am I saying stuff that most of you know about me?  There’s an event this November, 11/17/19, called “Heroes of Hope, Race for Research”.  It is a 5k/10k walk/run event for brain tumor research, and as most of you know, I’m very passion about anything that affects the brain.  This event is being held at Dockweiler Beach, in Playa del Rey, Ca., which would be where I live.  It’s a beautiful run/walk beside the beach, and proceeds go back to UCLA for brain tumor research, and to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for research for these wonderful children of childhood cancer.  I’ve been involved in this event for four years now, included this year.  This will be the 12th running of this event, and in the previous 11, the proceeds exceed $800,00,00!  If you’ll excuse my language, piss on cancer, piss on brain tumors, anything neurological with the brain, piss on you!  It’s not that I’m so upset about what I’ve been through to feel like this, but I don’t want others to go through what I went through.  That’s why I do a lot of my hours up at UCLA neurological trauma hospital ward at Ronald Regan UCLA Hospital, speaking to people, (some would call them patients, but they ARE people).  I know what’s going through their heads; frustration, anxiety, doubts, personal agenda…  and maybe I don’t know the percentages of each of those, but I definitely know a little bit of each, and I try to be a little compassionate to their day.  It means so much to them, when I walk into a person’s room, introduce myself, and if it’s appropriate, inform them of my situation, and especially if we have the same surgeon, they generally have an interest in me, and my story. I rehabbed myself after my surgeries, (because that’s my business), and they really want to inquire about that topic, even more so to their support people who might be in their room, so that they can help our person, after leaving the hospital.  If I see a Bible in their room, we’ll probably have a conversation in their spiritual beliefs.  As you can see, it’s all about caring, caring about something that we are all so passion about.


So many of UCLA doctors, nurses, administrative persons, the L.A. Sheriff Dept. sends at least 20 or more of their time and donations, people who are ridden with brain cancer have teams set up, they have a canopy/table to explain their sons/daughters/husbands/wives situation; these stories can go on, and on.  As each year goes on, some of those that were here last year, have passed.  Two years ago, I met the team of Team Joey, (Joey was maybe 12, maybe 13, I really don’t know exactly), Joey had a bald head, and was going through chemo.  Last year, Joey had a full head of hair!  Talk about emotional!.. Stories go on and on, as I said before.  Bottom line, all kinds of emotions are getting their fill to others’ situations.  All kinds of outside venders are at the camp, different types of water, electrolytes drinks, food trucks, energy bars, different teams, UCLA booth; let’s just say that all kinds of different businesses are there, also.  It’s fun, it’s emotional, it’s exciting, and with all of that, there is some humor that is presented.  I’m writing this, because I’m also looking for money!  Each entry is $40.00, and different teams can be set up, with sponsor opportunities available with the amount of money that your team would like to contribute, from $100.00, to $5,000.00, or more.  As I said before, over $800,000.00 has been raised, and a lot of people have donated so much of their time, and passion, for funds to stimulate research for brain tumors.  I would love to have so many of you that I know donate, show up, and you don’t even have to run if you don’t want to!  There is also a kids/toddler run, so they can feel like they contributed to saving someone’s life, and guess what?  They did!!!


Contact me if you would like to be a part of this wonderful event, or do a donation if you are not in this area.  For more info, contact www., or call 1-866-48-4cure.  This event was set up by Lisa Kaminsky 12 years ago, as a tribute her brother who passed on, at UCLA of a brain tumor.  This is a 501(c)3, so all donations will be deductible to the fullest extent of IRS law.  If you would like to make a donation, and live out of the area, you can mail a check to The Brad Kaminsky Foundation/ Re:Heroes of Hope for Research,   20227 Catlett Place, Asburn, Va., 20147.


I hope to see so many of you on 11/17/19 and if you can’t make, a few bucks makes me smile!  Sorry for a little bit of the language above, but I guess that I got a bit of excitement going on!  Think about this, give a thanks for this wonderful day, and give a personal  feel for someone’s trouble, and just smile for them, you’ll get your love back.


You, also, can be a HERO!


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A LOT OF NOISE…(or little)

Radio’s, T.V’s, coffee grinder’s, airport’s and planes, traffic, of course CELL PHONES (!), people, pets, shake machines, construction equipment, vacuum cleaners, outside noise, people talking on cell phones with speaker’s on, disgusting news(on all levels), people crying on at something that doesn’t go their way, protesters with no protest; how long do you want me to go on, (or should I have stopped after 2???)?

Every day we all deal with these, and there is something we can do; go on the road, visit friends, camping, sitting in a hotel room, meditating, etc..,

I saw something that I think is wonderful:  It’s called “Before you speak, THINK”.






I guess I added that word, because I have observed people speaking with emotion, not dialogue.  We all have emotion, and we should be affected by some of that “noise” that’s out there, but if we can modify our responses, with regard to “THINK”, I think we’ll all have a little more peace to a situation, or to friends, or to strangers who just want to converse.

I had that in a situation last week; I visited a high school buddy in Phoenix.  I had my brother with me, and we stayed at his house, and in his back yard was  a great pool.  In their housing association, there also is NO street lamps!  Talk about silence, and darkness of night!  It was great, because so much of our conversation was about the past, (always is!), and about things that is our reality today, and I’m sure that none of us thought about that word ‘THINK”, but to tell you the truth, we all were observing it, and respecting it.  It was great, and real.  We all shared our thoughts, and after a few drinks, (we were high school friends, who wouldn’t show their “young” selves?), their were a lot of laughs when we didn’t have the same thought pattern.  How can that be so different from our everyday living?  Very confusing to me.  We did one night on the town, and way past my bedtime, but all of the other time was at the pool, having adult beverages, and laughing at each other, and it was so QUIET!  I guess that I’m used to noise, because I live near the airport, I live along a very busy street, construction throughout the neighborhood, but I’ll tell you, that silence was nice.  I used to be a very active camper, and backpacker.  To wake up in the morning, maybe before dawn, and to hear nothing but birds, streams, and wind blowing, THAT was what camping was all about.  To just admire what has been given to us, to everybody, is something that we can all appreciate.  I know, when we’re in the city, and we have all of that “NOISE”, what are we to do?  THINK.  Think about all of the positives in our lives.  I also know that ALL of us have a day, or days, when things just don’t go “right”, as it is said, but there are things that have happened to us previously, that put a smile on our faces, that put a little part of peace in our soul.  You don’t know how many times I’ve had to turn to that, to keep an open mind, so that I can THINK.  My spiritually wants to take over, and I let it.  I won’t try to be on a religious stage right now, but I do think that the majority of people believe in their version of a “higher power”, and mine is God, and Jesus Christ.  I know that I’m not alone, in my thinking, and to put my “bad days” into Glorious hands, that takes any bad day, into a day that is not stressful to me.  I can’t do stress, and that is an order from my Dr.  It (stress) can easily stimulate a seizure, and who wants that?  It sounds easy, I know, to say ” Don’t be so stressful”, but there is a way out of it, and to throw that positive thing that DID happen to all of us, into your head, and think about it numerous times during a day, and I hope you can trust me when I say, we can start to breath in a quiet place.

I also know that our world is a noisy world; lots of confusion, violence, bad tempers, etc… but there’s SO much wonderful things in our lives, we just have to recognize what is right in front of us.  So many people put that disgusting “noise” in their brains all day long, (since I don’t have MUCH of a brain, I can minimize that!),  so that their only sight is narrowed down to a slice of our world right in front of them, rather than opening up their mind, so that they will see, any peripheral vision, (for lack of better words),  and know that there is peace and quiet in their world, too.  Know that, just know that.  I say this, because of my medical history, which I wouldn’t call on anybody else to experience, I’ve had to put on myself, a “new” self.  A THINK self.  Know that whatever you say, it cannot be taken back, it’s “out there”.  So let’s try to be a little more careful in our lives, say what needs to be said, but in a dialogue, not from an emotion that needs to be shoved down my throat.  As I say this, people are wonderful, some just need a little word to help them out, THINK.

First things first, go visit old friends, speak stories with a lot of embellishment, (that’s all we did in Phoenix!), open your views to things given to us, and enjoy the quiet!


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My New Video Exercises

What do you think?

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Hip Replacement Rehab; 8 Weeks In With a HAPPY HIP!!!

I last wrote a blog after my first week post surgery.  It’s was a bit challenging in the beginning, but in the big picture, I’m SO glad that we did this; replacement of the left hip, (which I’ll refer to as the “bad” hip/leg).  As I’ve done most of the strength movements, in the past 6 weeks, I think that we all know that you shouldn’t over-train that hip; and if you try to, well, you’ll know quite immediately what that “bad” hip is telling you, “STOP”.  As  I wrote before, I wanted to push, and after a few weeks, I also knew what that hip was telling me, and also what it was telling me to DO!  I think we did a pretty good job on the latter part of that equation.

I was never in pain, not even right after the surgery, (even though I was given pain meds in the hospital), so I wanted to push to the limit, without going into pain.  Here’s what I found out: my thinking was that this “hip replacement surgery” is nothing compared to what I experienced before, with my brain tumors.  Wrong.  When you have a 5 inch scar, closed up with 23 staples, and they go into your hip socket and burr into your hip to take it out to put in a new hip, and at 8 weeks, (now), I can still feel what my limitations, I would say that I have to follow my common sense; be careful and be smart.

As we all know, the largest piece of information that the doctors/nurses give you, from pre-surgery, to post surgery, is to walk.  Try not to rest, keep range-of-motion going.  Believe me, I WALKED!!!  After about 1 week, I walked with my brother, (who was walking my dog for about 10 days), who came down with my mother, to tend me.  By the way, I milked that!  My brother is a B-B-Q king, he has a big time smoker, and two grills in his back yard; has them going at least every 2 days, if not about every day.  I was always saying how hungry that I was, and believe it or not, he really loved to hear that, so he get on the grill!  Great set up; hungry, get fed!  So, as I was saying, I walked a lot, but so much that my leg started swelling, from my hip, working down through my quads, down through my calves, and into my foot; and I mean a BIG left leg.  Started icing the leg, from the hip to the foot, at least 4-6 times per day, right after each walk.  Took about 3-4 days, bet we got that swelling down.

I started feeling good enough to start a little movement action.  I put a tension strap on, around my ankles, to walk laterally to regain my strength in my hip flexor, ( groin muscle). I still do that, now with the extra heavy tension, due to the progressive strength we’ve built up.  That led to mini squats; going only to the depth that my hip would allow; from about one inch, to now doing a set of squats on a bench, so now I don’t have to use my arms, to help me get up from a chair!  To me, very exciting, ( I’m a simple person!).   I then was starting  to use 1 ankle strap, connected to a tension strap connected to a heavy, steady frame, which allowed me to swing my leg forward, hold, and let it slowly go back, and repeat.  This helps me strengthen my hip flexor, a very small muscle group, but one of the strongest per it’s size in your body.  With this same set up, I could then turn myself to a side,(90%), and start to kick my leg out to the side, to engage my hip, on the outside( the outside of my leg).  Same set up, turn another 90%, and work the hamstring by pressing my leg back, under MY control, no momentum allowed!  Now, once again, I turn another 90%; and very tenderly, work the area below my hip, my hip flexor.  So you see, 4 different movements without changing any positions.  Life is great!  The next thing I wanted to do, was to actually see what strength I was starting to get back, so I started doing a 1-leg step up off of a box, about 6 inches high.  When I first started, I only had about an inch drop.  Now, we’re hitting the ground, and this week I started using additional weight, a 25 pound dumbell.  How good do you think I feel when I added that?  Stroooooooong!  The next move was challenging, and I needed something to balance me, a simple lunge.  With 1 leg forward, and 1 leg back, and never coming out of this stance, I lowered myself down to the floor, touched the floor, and brought myself  back up to my starting position.  This was very hard at first, I had to help myself back to a standing position, with a little help from my arm.  This would also start to strengthen my hip flexor, which just had no strength!  Oh, you might want to know how we’re doing today; 15 reps, no hands, smile on face, success.

So as you can see, most all movements involve my hip flexor, but no upper body.  That then, started about 3-4 weeks ago.  I was actually pleased, didn’t loose too much by inactivity.  Started to get back into my so called “routine”.  The best was still coming, slight stretching of the legs; and I do mean SLIGHT!  We’re still tight down there, and I don’t want to go to fast on the stretching.  The hip tells me what to do, and NOT  to do.  It certainly does feel good on my good side, my right side.  I do, and always did do, a lot of stretching.  A lot of this, was using a very tight roller, to loosen up my legs, ( some know about I.T. bands).  Felt so good last week, when we could start using this roller, on my new “hip” side.  I still  had a little swelling around the cut, and this roller starts to loosen, which then has taken the swelling down.  I’m a happy man, still a little tender, but happy!

I’ve written about a few of the things that I’ve done, but we’ve done so many others, and with so many more to come, as the hip tells me what it can handle.  The one thing that I can tell you,  work it EVERY day; some days light, meaning 2-3 exercises, and other days, do more.  Remember, this is my hip, and if you have to do this, do what your PT tells you to do.  I did my own, that’s my business; but you can do your own too.  By staying consistence with your rehab, you cut down your “down time”, and you will feel so much better, and your self-confidence will rise, and rise!  Make yourself proud, and then tell me about it!  Have a HAPPY HIP!!!!

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Today is June 6, 2019, which is exactly one week after May 30.  So what is the point of interest in this one week?  Seven days after having my hip replaced; progression from day one.  Santa Monica’s UCLA did the surgery, and sure, I’m a little biased toward UCLA, but they (once again), out did themselves on professionalism, courtesy, smiles, and pre-op appointments, (I had 4 before surgery!).  I could go on, and on, but they were just unbelievable in EVERY part of this surgery; from their protocol on surgery, to constant communication for the three days leading up to the cut, to the after post-op procedure afterwards, to the home care, and to the PT at the hospital, etc…. unbelievable.

I went into the hospital at about 8:30, surgery at 11:00.  Everything was right on time.  Surgery was longer than I expected; I was thinking about 90 minute cut time, ended up being about 3 hours.  I know how I treat people who are in the hospital, I was treated like a king while I was there.  My question to all of the doctors (pre-op), was always “when will I be able to go back to work”, as if they haven’t been asked THAT hundreds of times!  Answer usually was about a month, or so, depending on how I felt.  Also in that answer, was never sit to long, the more you walk, the more you start to train that hip, and everything around it.  Also, I talked to at least 15 different people who had at least one hip replaced, if not two, (at different times).  Pretty much everyone said that after 3-4 days, you’ll see your progress, and you will be very pleased on doing this surgery.  They were all correct.  Here’s the timeline:

Thursday May 30; arrive at 8:30, surgery at 11:00.  Woke up about 3:00-3:30, saw my brother, and mother.  They rocked, staying at the hospital all day, and were ready to go home, until the Dr. came into the room and said that I’ll be walking with the nurse in a couple of hours.  Brother says, “I got to see this!”  He has a video of me walking, down the hall; this was all pretty cool.  I was up through the night, so I kept asking the nurse to walk with me, and we did another 3-4 walks.  I think because I had so much pain meds in me, everything felt great.

Friday May 31; Kept my walks up, then met with hospital PT  for them to educate me on what I should do to help myself when I got home.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them what I do, and that I did my rehab after my brain surgeries!  They were very nice, and respectable, which is what every patient wants.  It’s all called courtesy with a smile!  So it was time for me to go home, about 4:00, and THEN I started to feel a little uncomfortable; the pain meds were wearing off!  The one thing I couldn’t do, was to turn my knee inward, it would start pain because that new hip hasn’t been on super charge for recovery, so I had to sleep on my back only.  Unfortunately, I’m one of those guys who like to toss and turn!  So my nights were not with  lot of sleep.

Saturday June 1; I started to think that people were not telling me the truth about my recovery, steps were hurting me in each stride, and I was a little grumpy about that, I mean, I was pushing myself, but I certainly wasn’t feeling like I thought I would feel.  I think I went to bed at 6:00, and slept good, until I tried to move around, not a good idea.  Keep in mind, since I had surgery, in my mind, I’m thinking, give it 4-5 days, then go back to work.  I think I was tossing that that idea out.

Sunday June 2; Couldn’t believe how much better that I felt!  Went to church, walked a lot to see other people, went home and iced the left quad, and felt so much better.  I thought, ok, let’s see what we can do, I’m feelin’ good!  Did a lot of lateral rotations, up/back extensions, everything felt good, until later in the night when I couldn’t even lift my knee up.  Some say I overdid it; maybe so.  Ask me tomorrow.

Monday June 3; even after yesterday’s activity, (but having about 8 hours sleep because of it), I felt great!  I was able to actually start getting into my truck, scooting that leg around, picking my knee up, laterally rotating my foot left to right; getting my hopes up on my recovery schedule!  After every day of activity, I would get to a point where I had to stop, pain was coming back; by the way, no pain meds went down, Oxy????  No Way.

Tuesday June 4; Had my brother take me up to a clients house, to train him, from a chair!  Talk about a funny scene, bossing someone around from a chair, and sipping coffee!  I have a great job.

Wednesday June 5; Two home nurses come in, and I tell them about my swelling in my leg, and they didn’t seem to be too concerned, due to swelling will be there after 6 days; so I worked another 2 clients.  Got so tired that I go to bed early, just to give the leg a rest until tomorrow.  Today, I took a few steps without the walker, that I use regularly for my balance, thrilled that I could do that.

Thursday June 6; Felt great today, and worked 3 clients, and then, (like Tuesday), I went to my client’s house, sat down, bossed him around, and drank coffee!  My brother did a video on me with several steps without the walker!  What a day it’s been; one week later, (to this day), I might be too optimistic, but I think this ol’ hip replacement might just be what the doctor ordered!  On the record, though, I know how to treat other people, clients who have an injury, those that are trying to recovery, I am pretty good at what I do,  but treating myself?  Let’s just say, I’m an impatient patient, but I don’t exceed the Dr.s orders!

Treatment technologies have become so progressive these days, that a hip replacement these days would resolve in my one week of pain vs. results; what a week!  Follow the Dr.s orders, AND be the PATIENT’S  PATIENTS, not the IMpatient’s patient, and if you’re in pain, get that hip replacement!


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“Healing humankind one patient at a time by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness.”  UCLA  Health Vision


What a powerful vision.  Think about it, it seems so simple, and sometimes it is; other times it can get to be complicated.  When you think about every minute, (or every second), of every day, and every instant of every moment to do nothing but helping others, well, it can be difficult in our lives.  This UCLA vision doesn’t allow that type of thinking.  Think about that!  The only people that come into a hospital, are people in need; every one of them.  Think of the doctors, the nurses, the technicians, the administration, the counselors, the service workers, the blood/platelets workers, the behind-the-scenes people, (security, researchers, interns, etc…), you have to ask yourself, “Who is the last person to be put on this list?”.  Guess what?  the “end of the list” never ends.  It involves all of us; you, me, everyone; we ALL have the ability to decide each and every moment to help someone.  How about opening a door for someone, or stepping behind a car that has their phone on the hood and let them know that; these are so simple, yet can be so effective in someone day, (or moment).  Last week, I stopped a car pulling out of a parking space, because I saw something on their roof.  I started by honking my horn, and they got a little upset over the honking, and got out of their car to find out, in their terms, “what the f##k are you doing?”.  Well, it turns out that this folder was full of documents, probably work wise, and when they saw it, they came over and gave me a big hug, continuously thanking me.  All I did was honk my horn.  Just delivering an act of kindness; honking my horn.

I think that we need to analyze this vision.

a)   HEALING: v; to make healthy, whole or sound; to restore to health/ to effect a cure  This is what a hospital is all about, but what about you?  I’ll bet that throughout a day, you have done something that has affected someone, either good, or not so good.  How about doing something really cool?  Give each day the thought of doing just one thing for someone, even if they don’t even know that you created an act of kindness for them.  The difference; you knew.

b)     HUMANKIND: n; the human race, humanity/ making kind, or gentle acts towards            humans.  

This is what we are all about.  As I mentioned earlier, we all do so much for everyone during our days; how about we keep this concept in our minds, all through the day, and multiply our kindness more than we thought we could; because we can.

c)     ONE:  adj; being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing; being a          particular, unique, or only individual item.

Wow, think about that!  That singular word, ONE, means so much, especially in this vision that UCLA adheres to.  I guess the team that made up this wonderful vision, meant ONE PERSON AT A TIME.  Out of a hospital that brings into their building thousands of people per year, they are interested in only ONE person at this person’s time.  WOW, WOW, WOW!  Guess what, you also can do that; no matter what your environment  you might be in, one person, or a roomful of people, you can do one,(or more) wonderful act of kindness.

d)     PATIENT   n; a person who is under medical care or treatment

Each person, ONE patient, is on the mind of any recovery center.  That’s could be on your (and mine), mind.  It all goes back to your morning commitment, doing an act of kindness, in any way, to whoever it might be, known or unknown at any particular moment of that day.  (Lot of words there!).  All of these words, though, means observing what is around you, rather than, (how should I say it), keeping your nose to your phone all day!  (Oh, I said it!!!).

e)     AT A TIME  adj; at the specified time, punctually

“At a time” means right now, as this person needs us, in this moment.  I know personally, that my agenda has me doing and thinking about something else, but here’s is NOW a situation where I can be of service to someone else.  This decision is now up to me; is my agenda more, or less, important than someone else’s  needs?  Something to think about.

f)     IMPROVING  v; to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition; to make better

One time, as I was having lunch at the hospital doing my rounds, a lady approached me.  She said that I had stopped in her room when she was a “patient”, and she was back for a Dr. return visit.  I see a lot of people in a day, and really, that’s no excuse to forget what we had talked about, but I didn’t have a clue about our conversation that we had in her room, but that’s not the point, here.  The point is, we spoke of something that was very important to her at that time, and it stuck with her, and I found that it’s ok if  I don’t remember what I said, or did, because I addressed her concerns, and hopefully it affected her in a positive way.  That happens to you too.  Staying focused on someone, and their concerns aren’t about you, it’s about them, and giving your output for them could make their day, whether you know or not.  I sure didn’t when that happened to me, and good for her.  Good people make good thoughts.

g)     HEALTH  n; the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness             vigor.

Part of this definition is “body or mind”.  It is SO important to be observant to what a conversation does to someone.  As we know in general, the mind certainly controls the body, and sometimes  a simple line that we say, or even a word, can mean so much to someone.  It’s like sometimes we’ll hear a person say something 20 times, and the 21st time that you hear that some line again, you finally get it!  You will be that person, at some point, and know that what you say, really does mean something to someone.

h)     ALLEVIATING v; to make easier, to endure

Look what we can do!  We can make someone’s life easier by doing an act of kindness.  Kind of simple, isn’t it?

I)     SUFFERING n; the state of a person or thing that suffers

Even though I see word this a lot, so much can “alleviate” someone’s sufferings.  If you have experienced something similar to what someone else is suffering from, you become their answer, which is great.  Sometimes though, we aren’t in that position, and that’s ok.  Showing up to their door, showing concern, or just being there in just a silent state means so much to them, and somehow, just being of concern for them can easily help their suffering.  Know that; and by all means, don’t feel bad about approaching someone who just NEED something, or someone, for comfort.

j)     DELIVERING v; to disburden oneself of thoughts , opinions; to service for goods and         products.

Now we’re talking!  Now we are giving one act of kindness!  Know it or not, you are doing that every day; just put that in the back of your mind, so that it sticks there, and you’re aware of it, and it pushes you even further than you thought you could be pushed.

k)     ACTS OF KINDNESS ///  you, me, us, everyday…ACTS OF KINDNESS!!!

“Healing humankind one patient at a time by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness.” UCLA Health Vision

Enjoy helping someone, because you already are!







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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, (and memories), DAD….

Two years ago, today, was my Dad’s last birthday; 84.  Seems like yesterday.  It’s funny, in the past when I read someone’s writing about one of their parents passing, I’ve always feel for them, but even more, now, because I HAVE experienced the passing of my Dad, and he pops into my thoughts so many times in the most inopportune occasions.  It’s amazing. For those that didn’t know my Dad, and if you’re interested, I’m writing about some of the memories that are still fresh in my mind, from my younger years until present.

I’m sure that there are so many people out there, where their Dad, or actually their parents, literally saved their lives, in one, (or more) situations.  I can’t even start to count all of them; in physical, mental, and spiritual ways.  My family was very Catholic, and my parents spent some time explaining to us kids, (brother and sister),what and how they believed in the Trinity, and how their beliefs were in our reality.  Little did know, (about that reality?),  how that would be in my life, and I didn’t even know what that meant back then! My pop was always there, how he rescued me in some situations, I couldn’t even start to put it together.  I’ll tell a story that wasn’t in my mind, until a few seconds ago; again, dad just came into my mind.

I grew up in a smaller town, Peoria, Illinois.  I don’t know the population, especially back then, but every neighborhood had families that knew each other, and it wasn’t unusual for my dad to send me on a little errand, for whatever he needed, even at five years of age.  There was a little market about a block away,  “Jack’s Market”.  At that time, dad smoked Camels, and wanted me to run up to Jack’s, and pick some up some smokes; back then, the neighborhood was full of kids my age, and my brothers age, and all of us were running errands, up to Jack’s Market!  So I went into the store, got the smokes, and  instead of crossing at the corner, like I told to do, to go home, I ran between two parked cars on the side of the road, without looking, and got hit by a car.  Basically, my big ol’ nose got hooked on the handle of the front door, and it carried me 10-20 yards.  Jack came running out of his market, and I guess he called my folks and described this, and they came up immediately.  One piece of info; before my mom went running out, she was cooking, and left all of the burners on.  Boy, we were lucky at home, too!  Dad got there first, and he cradled me to his chest, (as you might suggest, blood was everywhere), and the police got there before the ambulance, and since I had lost so much blood, we went to the hospital in the squad car.  Dad kept blaming himself for what I DIDN’T  do, follow their instructions on crossing the street, and it really wasn’t a busy street.  Long story short, I was in the hospital for about 3-4 weeks, had a little plastic surgery around my nose, and I asked my parents why did they have to come to the hospital every day?  My thinking was, “didn’t they have two other kids to worry about, go home!”  As most of you know, sometimes I don’t think about the most correct thought pattern!  Dad, though, held me so tight on the way to the hospital, I could hear his heart beat, and I just knew I was safe; nothing could break that armor, that was my first recollection of knowing that God was with me.  It’s funny, I remember EVERYTHING about that event, except the actual body/car moment.

Dad was a policeman, so as we all know, we weren’t wealthy, and he always had a second, or sometimes a third job.  Whatever it took, we had food, a roof over our heads, and FUN, lots of fun!  With all the jobs that he worked, somehow, and I certainly didn’t know how he did this, he always coached my basketball, and baseball teams.  How does that happen???  As I said, he was our baseball coach, and ironically, our team was sponsored by the Peoria Police!  In all of my Little League years, dad went to the police benevolent meetings, and asked the department to sponsor the cost to take the whole team up to Chicago, and see a Cubs game, all expenses paid!  How cool is that??  We stopped  at a restaurant called White Fence Farms; family style chicken, and whatever else we wanted.  When we got to the ballpark, all the soda, hot dogs, peanuts, anything we wanted, we got.  We got this, because Dad wanted us experience a major league baseball game, each season.  Don’t know how proposal worked from the police department, but us kids felt so special due to my dad’s efforts.

So, so many events like this happened in my life with my dad, but these are just two that just “popped” into my head.  Speaking of my head, when I had my first tumor, it obviously was a shock to my parents when my brother had to tell them about my condition, (I was in the hospital).  At that time (with my tumor), I really didn’t  have a memory about how all of my family found out, but later on I found out that my brother worked up a plan to”soften” the story, (that will be another story!).  They came down immediately, and throughout my life, when my dad was in a stressful situation, he really didn’t have much words, but that was when I found out that his presence, and spirit, carried me.  I do remember, though, when I was at the hospital, that he sat at the side of my bed, and just held my arm; no words, just belief in what God can, and did do, and it came to me through his connection with no words; I’ll never forget that.


Now I understand those words, when I read other people’s writings, when they said that they think of that parent every day.  I do, multitude times of my Dad, everyday.  It made me think of how all of these “little dots”, (events, as I call them),  have connected my life, and all of those people that have fit into my world.  If A didn’t happen the way it did, then we couldn’t have gotten to B, and onto C….etc.  That was my way of learning that my plans for my future didn’t take precedent over God’s plan, it just became;h and as He said, I AM.  That’s all I needed, to acknowledge His way over mine.  It wasn’t just me who recovered from surgeries; Him, my family, and my belief led to me from my dad, family, and a lot of LOVE!

Remember your moments in your life, that changed your life, and accept them, because your are where you are supposed to be.  I DO miss my dad, and I DO think about him every day; Happy Birthday Dad, 3/08/33.




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This might sound a little funny to a bunch of people out there, (or those that don’t!), but I was going through my old-time luggage trunk.  This is a trunk that was bought by my grandfather in 1917; over 100 years old!  The story is, my Mom wanted to throw it out, because it was taking up space, and it’s not attractive, (and I’ll vouch for that), but my grandfather bought it, and had put a note inside of the trunk, stating that he, and his brother bought it.  I said, quite definitely, “I’m taking it!”.  No way was I going to let something like this, (in my mind, a family classic), to be thrown out.  I brought it home, did what I could do to recondition it, and had a beautiful piece of tainted glass made up to the trunks size, and set it up as my coffee table, where it became my “chest” for trophies, medals from high school, grade school, and college, and also uniforms from the sports teams that I was involved with as I was growing up.  Even my letterman’s jacket from high school, ( of course with all of my “letters”. not enough space on the jacket for all of them!).  In between the glass, and the top of the trunk, is the letter from my grandfather, and now, because of my Dad’s passing, his obituary is with His fathers possession.  I think it is so cool!


So I’m looking through it a couple of weeks ago, and I came across an “Autograph Booklet” from 8th grade graduation, and that’s really hard for me to realize that I actually had that!  There was a quote in there, from a good friend of mine from grade school, that said, “Scott, why are you always in a rush?”.  Think about that; what would a grade school kid, even at 8th grade, have to be in such a rush for?  Can’t think of why, or how, that could be ME!  I kind of think, (present day), that I try to think things through, and take my time.  I can also remember those words, back in those days.  I had to be first, had to be captain of the basketball team, captain of the school guards; remember those school guards with the shoulder belts to hoist up the American flag, and then at the end of the day, take it down, and just as a veteran would fold his flag, and so did I.  Had to rush around, and go…..nowhere.  Really, what was so important, that I had to be first, had to hurry, had to keep going like I was going to miss something, anything, whatever! How did I get past that?  Don’t have an answer for that; but I will throw an idea out there.  Sports.  Team sports.


Team sports means patience, letting the play (of whatever sport you’re playing), play out.  every play changes, sometimes within.  In the past week, if you watched playoff football, the last play of a game can dictate who won, and those that didn’t; that play didn’t happen until the last play of the game, and you had to have patience , and believe in your TEAM, not just you and yourself.  You don’t have to hurry when you get behind on points, or runs.  Believe in your commitment to your team, because every other teammate had to do that, too.  I know that I’m a little biased here, and you can ask anyone that I work with, or communicate with, team sports provides us with patience, skills to work with others, competitiveness to win, (but with others at each others side), compassion with the play of others, or their compassion towards me when I fail on a play, or a situation.  Hard work makes you be at your best, because the next guy is doing the same thing to take your position, because no one gets a break; you win, or you loose.  That last statement doesn’t mean that your life depends on winning and losing, it just means that if your give your best on a team, in practice or in a game, it could also impact your life on giving your best in everything you do.  Team sports also give you an insight on sacrifice, the moments that you have the team to think about, and prepare for, rather than other events that could be part of your life, but team comes first.  How about the fact that “team” could also mean your family; ie sacrifice, competitiveness, hard work, and commitment to your family, (it could go on and on…).  Sports can humble you, also.  In a sport, the outcome means that a team “wins”, and a team “loses”.  This is life, no one is perfect; we have all seen what we would call “the best”, come in second, or beyond.  Losing means your next time CAN be perfect, as with your life!  When we get over that hurdle that set us back, you have now achieved something that you didn’t do before, and now you have the opportunity to push yourself ahead, to use everything to get your best in front of you; and if you have given your best, well, you just won, because you gave what you could, and you feel good about what you could do.  When this happens, you didn’t take “winning” for granted, because you tried, and you tried your best.  To me, it also means that “losing” can actually mean “winning”.  We learn, we  accept losing, and try to live in giving to others, and we love others, because we gave them everything we had in sports, why not in life?  We must love others, how would we get on with life if we think that we always have to fight for our power? Doesn’t work that way.  Love, be courteous, and enjoy giving to others, and believe me when I tell you, that one way or another, others will be giving back to you in ways that you can never except.

So slow down, let the play, play out,( you can’t rush a game) and give to the team without ever excepting anything back, because you will give a “winning” game throughout your life.

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Perfection; great word, only, what is it?  Perfection by itself is being perfect.  Seems simple, but I look at being perfect, as being the best you can be.  In my opinion, how can you be better, than being the best that you can be, or provide?


PERFECTION:  n.  The highest or most nearly perfect degree of a quality or trait.


For all those times when I was an actor. all I did was audition.  That’s what that business was about, audition, audition, and more auditioning.  At some point, you actually started to enjoy it.  I remember so many times when I did my “best”, meaning I did exactly what I wanted to do, felt great afterward, felt at ease, and then I didn’t get the job.  So many things dictate whether you “get the job”, way beyond your control.  I did my best, I gave them my version of perfection, and didn’t get the job.  So how did that affect me?  What did it mean to me about the “business”?  That’s the easy part, you just move on.  When a time comes, and a person did what they thought was a perfect action, what more can you ask?  Then again, did you actually “fail”?  I don’t think so.  First of all, you learned something, and really, I’m speaking to anyone who seeks perfection.  You did your best, period!  What an experience; and who’s to say that the benefits stop there, at that ONE effort for perfection?  The results of future events could affect you in such a different manner than you could of ever thought, coming from our actions of that one event.  I certainly experienced that.

When I was in the hospital, my intentions of recovering were much different from what I had done for myself in the past.  I now had to work on ME, my rehab. I had no choice, I just had to “move on”.  Sometimes that sounds simple, and sometimes it is, and sometimes it just certainly isn’t!  You just have to move on.  You have to think of yourself, and so many of your past accomplishments, and really let them sink in.  Then, you look at how perfect your preparation was for those accomplishments, and repeat that effort; meaning that the job that you didn’t get that one time, actually gave you a push on how to move on, to just take another step.  When I was doing my rehab, there were certainly a lot of days that didn’t come out as I had hoped, but I did my BEST, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way, so I still had to count that day as MY day, because I did my best.  That’s the point that I’m putting out there, feel comfort for doing your best, even if the results aren’t what you expected,  It makes a huge difference, feeling self confidence when our results aren’t what we were expecting.

I know that I wrote earlier about a student, who was in the class that my surgeon Dr. Isaac Yang taught, and that Dr. Yang wanted me to be a part of that class by telling my story.  It was a success, and the student told me a very emotional take on my story, because of what she is going through right now, and how the events of my story, including the “ugly” aspect of what I went through, hit her, and gave her an inspiration to achieve her new life.   She is now, moving on.  Moving from that class from a few months ago, into last week, I stepped into an elevator at UCLA Ronald Regan hospital, and there was one person in the elevator.  The usual, ” how are you today” greeting, and I knew that face, but couldn’t place it.  It was a young doctor, and she said she was in the class that I was speaking at, and how it brought to her attention a personal part of her job from my story.  So as she’s telling me her take on my story, I’m feeling somewhat good about this girl, now a doctor, about my saying something in the class.  I then asked her about how big the class was this past October, and she said, “oh no, it was the class you did last year”!  Wow; I had no idea what I said, and of course I would never remember faces at that point, but somehow I did remember her face for some reason.  But to think that something I said ONE year ago, (or something that YOU might have said a year ago) would still be with someone this much  later in life, still amazes me. I guess that it boils down to whatever I did, I gave it my best, because no matter that I can’t remember what I said, or how everyone else reacted to it, it hit one person, and to me, that’s huge.  That’s moving on, from one person to the next.


As the great NFL coach Vince Lombardi said, “If you don’t succeed at Perfection, then you’ve achieved excellence!”  Well said;  wish I could have told him that, because if you gave your best effort on your path to perfection, and you did your best, then yes, that is excellence.  Believe that, do your best, give a lot to others, (a smile is a lot, by the way!), and know that your road to perfection is the right road, because only you know when you have given your best!


Always be at your best, that’s the true you…






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“Can’t Never Did Anything…”  Do two wrongs make a right, (grammatically)?  Yes, why not?  I’m always going with yes, and it’s a story that has stuck with me since I was in the 5th grade.  Funny story here, you can ask any and all of my past /present clients, about what this phrase means to me, my training, my beliefs, and my beliefs in people.  They hate it when I say, “Did I ever tell you about my 5th grade teacher…”


My 5th grade teacher was Mrs. (Carol) Adams; funny how it’s even hard for me to imagine calling her Carol, I mean come on, I was in the 5th grade!  She was my favorite grade school teacher.  Now, that’s what I grew up with; a grade school, high school, and college.  Never heard about pre-kindergarten, mid-school, Jr. high, and whatever else is out there right now!  Anyway, Mrs. Adams, ( who I think that I had a crush on!), would always explain something on a topic, and then would call on the class, for the answer to her question.  If anyone ever said “I can’t…” , she would immediately interrupt them, and say “Can’t never did anything!”  She would say that with such conviction, that, well it’s stuck with me throughout my years.  I use it with all of my business; “I can’t lift that,,,”, I’m too tired, I can’t go on…” “My mind isn’t in it today, I can’t …” , can’t, can’t “CAN’T”!!!  Stop, O.K???   That’s just an ugly word; any negative word is an ugly word.  Negative words are used so commonly now, it’s like the old saying, “stop crying wolf all of the time”!


I’m writing about this ugly word, because there’s so many great words, and great events in this world, and yet it seems that everybody seems to want to impress others by telling of a story, that is ugly, and a lot of times political ugliness.  That’s enough of my comment on that, please remember of all of the beauty that greets us every day, and what we’ve done, (and I mean ALL of us), that has meant something very positive to another person, and that could mean at that moment when you might be talking to someone, or a year or so, down the road and someone taps you on the shoulder, and says that you said something that has stuck with them from last year, and how much it inspired them, or changed them, or made them see the beauty of themselves, by something that you said.  What a feeling; and I’ll tell you what, sometime you never get that tap, but trust me, that tap really was there you just didn’t feel it, it has happened to all of us.


My neurosurgeon who removed a tumor from head, asked me about accompanying him to his class of speaking to second year intern Drs., and me speaking to his class, about some of my events when I was at the hospital as a patient, and that those would be some of the events that would occur to most, if not all, of them as doctors.  One hundred and eighty students, it was so cool, and inspiring even to me!  I told them of the good, the bad, and the ugly, of my experiences.  Ninety percent of mine were good events, the rest were the bad/ugly events, that will come up to every doctor, at some point in time for them.  Then there was Q & A, for the doctor, and for me.  A LOT of interesting questions, and I found out about a lot of interesting emotions that came from some in the audience.


Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing you might have entertained angels without knowing it”  Hebrews 13:2


After the class ended, an intern came up to me in a wheelchair, she had a tumor removed from her spine 2 weeks ago, and her doctor advised her not to come to class for another week, for the strain on her body.  She told me that she knew that she had to come to this class, and that she was so overcome by my story, she became very emotional, which meant, so did I!  I know a lot about the emotional aspects when someone has a surgery; the frustrations, the questions on whether a person will recover to what they “used” to be, anguish, all of that negative impulse comes in this area of post surgery.  What I say when I’m speaking to people, is simply my story, but sometimes my words come out to affect someone,  and me not knowing who that someone might be.  She told me that what I experienced was what she experienced, and that I gave her hope; simply that, gave her hope.  I didn’t even know that she was at the class.  So maybe I gave her hope, but what she did to me, made me think that she is, and will be, the angel who was entertained, because a word, a story, anything that matters to someone personally, without me aware of who is listening, is my angel.  All of you, know that, we all are affecting someone, and someone out there is affecting us.  Let’s try to be more positive, less negative stories, and know, and really know this, that you will affect someone in a positive way.  With that in mind, I came upon a story about the word “Can’t”.  Read it, and let it soak into your soul.


Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: “I can.”


Can is a beautiful word…


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