Father Figure: n.  a man who has or seems to have the qualities of an ideal male parent, inspiring in others the feelings, attitudes , and behavior of a child towards its father.

2008This is my father; whatever attitudes, feelings, thoughts, knowledge, wisdom that I have, would be that which my father suggested to me.  In sports, he gave me all that I know, due to his coaching, (aside from being a policeman, and ALWAYS a 2nd job), his “suggestions”, and I understood he might have a few, after being drafted by the New York Yankees as a pitcher, as his dad was, with the St. Louis Cardinals.  In my line of work, the love and support that he gave me, always humbled me, because I thought I “knew it all”, but I remembered where he came from, and how he raised all of us kids, and it made me think that I need to listen to someone who was my idol, my mentor, my dad.  My dad sometimes didn’t speak all the time, but I also found out how silence can be golden.  When I was in the hospital for my first operation in 2008, there was a lot that all of us, (family, friends, etc,,), didn’t know about my condition, and dad just sat by my bed and held my arm; silence is golden.  Once the doctors did know, he didn’t change his attention towards me, he just intensified it.  He was my protector, my strength; He will always be with me, strength and all.

For those that don’t know of my dad’s condition, he was fighting two different cancers, Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s Disease.  This was given to us as a family near the end of 2016.  I started going home to spend time with my family, especially mom and Dad, every 2 weeks, and then when these cancers started getting aggressive, I started going every week, and toward the end of his days here on earth, I would come home for a few days, work for 2-3 days, and go back to Vegas to help wherever I could; to help mom, to help dad’s caregiving, whatever was needed.  One might think that that’s a hard way to spend my time, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Why would I?  He raised me, why can’t I do the same for him, after all he had given me?  He was my Dad.

TuleI would like to explain how he had passed, not for anything more, than to express his will, and fight to the end of his days here.  I was supposed to leave L.A, early Tuesday morning, after being home for 3 days, and I got a call from my brother Monday afternoon; he told me I should leave right now, in an hour, to see dad.  It’s funny, I had cancellations through the day, so I had nothing to reschedule, that was the first time in LONG time for that to happen.  After I had gotten to Vegas, I looked into dad’s liquor cabinet, (I always did that, to see if I might “borrow” a little!), and I saw this bottle of Cognac, (which is what dad always loved), but that bottle was never in that cabinet before, I definitely would have seen it, and by the way, it was a huge bottle, and it was never opened.  My brother had never seen it before.  We poured a snifter, took it into Dad’s room, (he had been bedridden for 2 days, with morphine at that time), put some Cognac on his lips, had a prayer of a Hail Mary, and Our Father, and he passed.  He saw his family, had a drink, a couple of prayers to ease him, and the Lord took him home.   So fitting of Dad, his family was everything to him.  As in Proverb 19:21; “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”.  Dad was content, and he went home.

VeteransHis funeral was his celebration of life.  It was exceptional.  Dad was a vet, he had gone to Korea in 1953.  One of Dad/Mom’s neighbors was also a vet, and when I told him about Dad’s passing the morning after, Bob (neighbor), was also a biker, and also to a group called Patriot Guard Riders.  This was a group of veteran riders, whose motto was: Duty-Honor-Country.  Bob asked if we would like the procession to be escorted by the VA bikers.  What a tribute, both to them, and us.  I lost count, maybe 40-50 riders, guiding the procession to the VA cemetery, cutting off drivers whom, these days, do not have the courtesy to pull over, and let honorability drive on.  Well, let me tell you, these guys were not having any of that!  They would pull in front of a car, slow down, and let the procession smoothly ride on it’s course.  The way that they honored their brother in arms, it was humbling.  They were, Brothers who served.  When we exited the church with the casket, the riders all had flags, and a line up that we had to pass through, what a chill.  When we got to the chapel at the VA cemetery, there was another line up that we, the pallbearers, had to go through for the audience.  There was a live Taps, not audio.  Then we had another line up at his burial site.  Another chilling moment, God had blessed dad that day; he deserved all of that.  We had cousins and friends from Illinois come out for their love, and respect for my dad.  As I said earlier, to my dad, family is, and always was, the most important to him; so to have all of our family to fly out for this, it is fitting for dad.  My brother is in the food business in Vegas, and he knows a LOT of casino chefs, and they put on a party after the burial, and no one wanted to leave.  Started at around 2:30, went until about 11:30, and no one WANTED to leave; pure love in our family.  The celebration was for the honor of Dad, but the unity of our family was beyond words.  I was blessed to be of this family. and I can’t thank my Dad enough for being a brother to his 2 sisters, a husband to my mother, an uncle to all of his nieces and nephews, a grandfather, and a great grandfather.  I have been blessed, Dad, and I will see you soon.  You’re  not over the Rainbow, you’re sitting ON the rainbow!  I love you, and I will miss you, you always were my strength, and will always, still, watch over all of us.

(Oh, by the way, Dad, you were never to young!)

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How does a person describe a Mother’s love?

MOTHER:  n.  someone that gives rise to, or exercises protective care over someone else

It should be a very simple answer, and it is; but it can be a very complicated answer, also.  Your mother gave you life; what could be more loving than that?  The reason that a mother gave birth to you, is that she wanted YOU!  A human, God-given life that she gave 9 (ish!) months to develop you, delivered you with a little pain (!), nourished you, fed you, played with you, took you on walks with her, spoke with you, read to you, prayed for you, thanked God for you; this was all in your first months with her, and the rest of your family!  This then lasted through the teenage years, and into the adult years.  This was my mother.  A woman whom I never wanted to leave her arms, when I was a child.  A woman who gave me so much love, that I learned the ability to love like her.  These thoughts bring me so much happiness, from my days as a child, to my present days as her son.  She has given more than I would wish upon her.  She has given me hope, and self-confidence to follow, but still enough pride to lead the pack, as she would say.

Thank you Mom.

I wrote an article in the last blog about the time that I was in the hospital for over a month, after being hit by a car.  I always wondered, to myself, why Mom would show up, and stay all day at the hospital, every day.  One day, as I was at the hospital, I asked her why she did that. I mean, I was only five years old, so I guess I had to ask her.  She looked at me, and her eyes filled with tears, and she simply told me, “I just love you so much”.  At the time, it was just an answer to my question.  As time moved on, that answer showed me the love that she had for me every day; how do you top that?  Mom went to all of my school events, from football, to basketball, to baseball.  When I was 10,and 11, I made the All-Star basketball team in what was called the Biddy Basketball tournament.  They would take me to the All-Star tournament in Indianapolis, and since I lived in Peoria, Illinois, I wondered why would they want to drive the four hours to Indy, since I was sure I could ride with someone else!  My parents told me that they loved me, and wanted to see me play at the tournament.  Sounded good then, but look at the love that they gave me, and the time that they gave me on those trips.  I know that not everyone received what I received, and that’s the love that I know about, the love that has no limits.

I love you, Mom.

You have given me so much, and I want you to know how much I NOW know, about how much you HAVE given me.  I remember when I was in high school, we had a house that fed the neighborhood!  Anyone that was over at dinner time, they had a meal; and if you remember, we were not a cheap meal!  Teenage athletes with huge appetites! (grocery bill=$$$!).  That happened in college, also; roommates that wanted to come to Peoria, they stayed at our house, and Mom would cook up a huge breakfast, and we took off for the day.  We took that as having a great mother, I took it having a mother that cared for me much more than I can explain.  With love, comes respect;  and we, as a family, were taught by our parents to not only have respect, but to show respect.  This came from both sides, Dad and Mom.

Thank you for showing me respect, Mom.

When I was graduating from college, I had the opportunity to come out to California.  Obviously, I took it.  After a 2 month stay, I was offered a job at Hughes Aircraft, but they gave me only one week to fly back home, get whatever I had, (wasn’t much at 21) to pack for the trip back to L.A, with my car and suitcases.  So I get all packed, and it all started to hit me, I’m leaving my family, my friends, Peoria.  I sat there, and my Mom sat there with me, and I said I didn’t know if it was good for me to move out to L.A.  It was Mom who told me to go, experience life, try something new; you could always come back if I wanted.  Obviously, I did go, and it was the right decision, but it was Mom who told me that, with tears in her eyes.

Thank you for your knowledge, and love, Mom.

Time goes on, we grow older, and we reflect on the memories that we had growing up, as a family, and what I felt as a son having so much love from my mother.  I’ll never want to replace any of it Mom, it was more than magical; it was as good as good can get.  I can’t tell you how much I love you, it’s just “Somewhere over the Rainbow”!

I love you Mom.

p.s.; (Maybe I should have waited until Mother’s Day, but I decided, why wait, I want that new experience again!)

Your son, Scott




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FATHER TIME… n. the personification of time as an older man

FATHER: n. a man who gives paternal care to others; PROTECTOR/PROVIDER

“Dad”, “Pop”, “Pa”, “Daddy”, “Poppa”, the list goes on and on, but did we ever put serious thought into what I think is the most important name and function of our Fathers; PROTECTOR and PROVIDER.  Think about that; protector and provider.  To me, that’s the most important item in our childhood, to be a protector of a child, teenager, even adult.  I’m not talking about one’s financial status, either.  That always plays out, but being a physical protector, emotional protector, spiritual protector; that’s my dad.  I can say nothing more, just “I would like to be Him”.  He’s been such an inspiration to me, from my first memory of him, to now.  He is always my mentor, preacher, go-to guy, let’s-talk- baseball kind of guy.  I think probably everyone could add to this list; to me, it’s all-in.

I Love You Dad.

When I was a child, probably under 5 years old, our family went on a vacation up to some lake in Michigan, (it could have been Wisconsin), but there was one thing that sticks in my mind.  My brother and I were in the lake to swim in a designated area, the water maybe up to our knees, and my leg got tangled up in the floating rope, (which wouldn’t let you go out  any further).  For some reason, I couldn’t get my leg out, which made me slip under water, and my head going up and down.  My dad heard my brother yell for him, and the only memory of I have of him in that situation, was to see him come running out, as my head was going up and down under water.  As I look back on it, the water probably wasn’t that deep, my parents would never allow that, but my memory is of him pulling me up, putting me to his chest, and holding me until I stopped crying.  My PROTECTOR.

Thank You Dad.

I remember a situation that I had when I was 5 years old; I remember EVERYTHING that happened, except for one thing, which I’ll mention later.  There was a store one block from where we lived; Jacks Market.  In a smaller town, (almost 55 years ago), sending your kid to the market was very common; our block was full of kids our age; Gene, Sammy, Stan, Charlie, Roger, my brother, the LaHood brothers ,and more, but I can’t remember their names.  The point here, is that we all had run to the store to pick up something, so I had to go up to the store.  As I left the store, there were two cars parked out front of Jacks, which sat on the corner of a side street.  Since the cars were in my line of vision, I guess that I decided to just run out between the cars, without looking, and a car was running up the street, and my face got hooked onto the car door handle, and I was pulled that way for about 20-30 ft, (that’s the part that I don’t remember, the actual impact).  Jack came out from the market and held onto me, as I was bleeding on his butcher apron.  Since my Dad was a policeman, a police car came to the scene before the ambulance did, and I was told that I was losing so much blood, they took me to the hospital in the squad car.  Dad pulled me to his chest to comfort me as I was crying, (and bleeding), and I gave him what I went to the store for, cigarettes.  I handed them to him, and that pack now sits in our Bible.  He was MY PROTECTOR.

Thank You for Holding Me Dad

As we go through life, especially as teenagers, my Dad, (and a lot of Dad’s out there!), pulled me out of a LOT of instances where someone, we could say, might end up behind bars for a weekend; I didn’t have to.  Back in those days, when I was 16, the drinking age in Illinois was lowered down to 18, (for beer and wine only).  my brother gave me his I.D. and draft card.  A group of us were in a bar, and the vice squad came into the bar, (it was known for serving underage drinkers), and took all of us down to jail, and we all had to go to court.  As a kid, it just seemed like another night out, not knowing that the bar would get suspended, (which it did and think of the money it lost), but somehow I got my I.D.’s back.  Can you  imagine that?  My Dad pulled me out of another one.

Thank You for Protecting my Record In My Teenage Years Dad

I cold go on and on, but let’s jump to some of my most important days; when my parents found out that I needed to have an operation to get an 8cm tumor, out of my head, (8cm is over the size of a baseball).  My brother, a true champion for everything that went on in those hospital days, had to tell my parents the situation.  My brother and his wife worked up a plan to tell the folks, so that they wouldn’t know exactly what the severity of the situation was, until they got here in L.A.,  at UCLA.  When my Dad got here, he didn’t say too much, just sat beside my bed, and held onto my arm.  That’s when I knew, speaking isn’t about talking.  We spoke beautifully, it was a magic moment, and I knew, leaning on God, everything is going to be alright,(  My mom was so bold, more than anything I would ever imagine; two beautiful pods in a wonderful pad.  They both have supported me through everything that I went through.  Support, strong word.  Nothing but support.  In everything that I had been through, my complete life, I have been supported by a timeless father.  A PROTECTOR; MY PROTECTOR.

Now it’s my turn, (with my brother and sister).  My Dad has 2 advanced stages of cancers working on him; Leukemia, and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  It’s interesting about life; we come from the dust, and we go back to the dust, but there’s a lot of life in between.  It’s my turn to support him, my turn to be his PROTECTOR, my turn to PROVIDE him with as much happiness as I can possibly give him.  I want to see him laugh, I want to see him smile, I want him to know that I love him as much as he loved me, or hopefully as much.  I want him to know how much I appreciate all he has done for me, even on those days that I’m not the proudest of.  I want him to know how much I’ve admired him, as my Dad, my coaches with baseball, and basketball, and tutoring me on football.  I want him to know everything that I’ve been thinking about, since we found this out about 6 weeks ago.   A lot of things have happened in the past year or so, so none of this info surprised me; I just need to be there for Him, to lean on me, to smile, and laugh.  To lean on his faith for God’s power and service, and how perfect the world will be for eternity.  I just want him to know that I will see him, always, and he has always been in my soul, and I want to give that to him.

I love You Dad.

You have always meant everything to me, and that,”Pop”, will never disappear!  We’ll have aa couple of PBR’s next week when I come over, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh…

JY 576

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Who knows the amount of stiches on a Major League baseball?  Come on you guys, that should be an easy one, considering the success of  most of the pitchers in the World Series this year, (both clubs).  The amount of change that a baseball can adjust to within 90 feet away, that can make a batter swing at something that is six inches, (or more), away from his bat, can be ultra-funny, or disgusting, depending on which team is YOUR team.  This year, I’m going out there, and asking anyone to try and challenge me on any World Series that was more impressive, exciting, knot-in-your-gut, sweat rolling, curse talking, highs and lows series of ALL TIME!  You can’t, you just can’t!  You all know that I’m a Cubbies fan, have been for 58 years; by the way, my brother is older than me,(for the record), my Dad and Mom,(almost 84/83), my Aunt Rosemary is 92, (still full of piss and vinegar), my Aunt Dorothy,(who had just passed into her eternal life the month before the series), had a Cubs hat at her side as she was laid down, and I’m sure was smiling after that last ground ball!  I could go on and on about my family, cousins, (and yes, I know, a few of them are Cardinal fans, but I’m ok with that, our Grandfather played for the Cardinal organization, but he was a huge Cubs fan!), and let’s talk about the millions of fans out there, all over the world, who are big Cubbies fans!  I mean, when the Cubs went on their parade throughout Chicago, over 5 million fans were there, 5 MILLION!!!  As I may refresh your memory, that amount of people was the 7th largest human gathering of people, throughout history;  just saying…

This is what made this years World Series the greatest series ever, don’t even try to out do me here!

Stiches.  They can create big changes in games, especially when THAT game could be your last.  Makes big decisions from two great managers, from batting, to pitchers, to stealing bases, and so on.  So much to talk about. 

Stiches can also change a persons decisions in life.  You come up against a “stich”, and you have to make a change, what are your options?  We can all complain, but what does that do?  How about coming up with things that you CAN do, to keep you going forward.  Personally, I came up against a couple of “stiches” in the last couple of months, and I had to change my path; life is full of paths, you just have to make an adjustment and adapt.  As most people know, I’ve had a few stiches in my life, so I feel free enough to say that to keep moving forward, it’s really not that much to rethink the path that you’re on, and make a change. 

I remember when I was 21, and had a job offer from Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, Ca, (Los Angeles area).  I was offered that job after a 5 minute interview, (not that I was such a genius, but at the time I thought I was!), had to go back to Peoria, gather my stuff, and drive back to L.A. to start my job, by next week!  All of this happened so fast, (to a kid from Peoria), and I thought that my “change” in life was beyond me; could I handle this?  I told my Mom at the time, was this to much, (hard to think that I could go there!).  She sympathized with me, but encouraged me to make that change; you’re young, why not?  So obviously, I did.  You know what?  Change is not that huge.  It seemed so, at that time, but I realized as soon as I moved out here, it WASN’T that big of a deal; it was reality, and it made me realize that more of those decisions would come along in my life, and when it does, it would make me think back to that time in my life, when things get “stiches” in them, and we just have to adjust.  You immediately realize that that you have the power to do that; know that, you can, and do have the power to do that!  That is the most important decision that you make to yourself, that you have the power to change.  This also means that you have to have faith, in yourself.  If you don’t have that, then you might have a question on whether this is the right path to take.  It is.  In my personal believe, I put all my faith in God; I just trust that I have the power. 

As Proverbs 16:9 says: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”

Am I trying to preach a point here?  No; this is just my belief.  The point is, though, after I preached fitness my whole life to others, I had to handle 3 brain tumors, and how could I handle that, without being physical fit beforehand, to recover?  Where did that information come from? That was my change, and without embellishment, I had to figure it out, on what I had to do, and guess what(?), it worked, (I guess that depends on who you ask!).  Just know that you have the power to do that.

Pitching, hitting, adaptation; it all depends on “stiches”!  We all have that, believe that.  The Cubs do, and guess what; they’re gonna be up there for awhile, what a line up!  When the rain came, in the 10th inning, I knew!  I just knew that the Cubs had the game, no question.  For those of you that know my brother, he was a wreck when the Tribe tied the score,( he was out here on business, so we had the moment to watch the game together!); the rain came, I knew.  I had to tell him, we WILL win this, just settle down!  And we did, in the best World Series ever played.

By the way, it was 108 years since we last won a World Series, and a baseball has 108 stiches on it.  You figure it out…


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It’s been a long “while” for a blog, and sometimes it feels like a “while” means “a lot of different things have been happening”, only it’s not. In the past couple of months I have been in a valley, but trust me, there is no defeat on my side. There have been incidents, events, and changes that have occurred to me, but to all of us, also. I happen to like my routines of every day, but I also know of how a change can wake you up, which causes a reaction, and I think of this as a positive. Why not???  I had three brain tumors, radiation twice, couple of seizures, loss of speech, among other things, so really, why would I get upset over a few things, that seems to want to get into my life??? Answer: I JUST WON’T LET IT!!! Now, how can I be so bold to just say that? Faith. That’s what I have, and plenty of it. There is no valley that is so deep that we can’t ascend  up. We’re not in a bubble, where we have to stay; another light, of another day, keeps shining over our faces, so let’s go on a trek, to that peak. As ” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes but we are not destroyed.”

Think about that, we all can get out of our little jams because, “we are not defeated.” When you watch an NFL or college or high school games and you’ve seen that great “Hail Marys” defeat the opposition;  59 minutes and 59 seconds have expired in a game and you have one chance to win, and the opposing defense, in their own stadium, with the crowd shouting against you,  is set up to not let this one play score a touchdown, and it does! Your team was not destroyed,  it persevered! That’s what we do, we persevere. That peak is not so high, its NOT! That peak is not so high! We scored, and we walked off the field, heads high!  Always keep that head high, peaks are just the top of the hill, and hills are there to climb. So trek up to the top, stomp that foot down, and say this is my turf, my stadium, my light…MY PEAK!


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A few months ago, I wrote one of these fabulous (?) blogs, and informed everybody, (all 2 of you!) that I was writing a book.  The cover of the book is being designed by a great friend, former client, and a wonderful graphic artist, Roger Carpenter, who had his design firm here in L.A., Carpenter Design.  My first draft is at my editor’s office.  What’s really funny, is that I thought that once I sent everything to the editor, everything would settle down, I would be on easy street.  Little did I know that every day, from my editor, I get corrections, rewrites, ideas that go into another chapter; I have to make the corrections, because she wants me add more to the story; get more feelings into it, etc.  So I’m busy.  In fact, really busy!  It’s very interesting to me; I thought I really didn’t need an editor, WRONG! The truth here is, I’m really enjoying this, this whole learning process.

When I told all of you that I was writing this book, I was actually working on it for about a year and a half.  I always seemed to come up against a certain block, so I’d lay off for two, sometime three weeks.  Then, to start back in, I’d have to do a lot of reviewing of what I had just written, and remember what I was trying to say.  I did waste a lot of time operating like that.  but that’s the learning curve.  I now know, that the next book that comes out, hopefully, should be on a much tighter schedule, (again, hopefully).

The point on all of my mistakes, here, is there is nothing in your life that cannot be overcome, there really is a solution.  It might not come out the way you had initially planned, (my life changed), but I (we) find a solution; we have to.  I always wanted to write a book, but a very SHORT list of questions were in my mind, and that stopped me from even starting.  As I say in my business, just START!  It’s really that easy.  Once you start, you kind of find your rhythm, and your mistakes, and your keep going.  Sometime you’ll find that that problem wasn’t something that would stop you, you just went around it; that was your solution.  I say this, because I am really enjoying this, even though I feel like I just started this project again, after following my editor’s many suggestions.  As we said before, life changes, priorities change.  I do think that is a good thing, a great thing, actually.  Since there are over 500,000 of us meningioma patients, I’m hoping that this book might get into many more hands than my volunteering advice.  Optimistic, yes, but why not try to meet a challenge?

Brain Matter(s) is the title; could change, don’t know yet.  Basically, the book is about my medical condition when I had my surgeries, and more importantly, my rehab that I had to design and follow.  It’s interesting, as I kept writing, I starting remembering things that seemed to have left my mind, maybe I wanted to forget, I don’t know.  On the other hand, maybe it was the volunteering at UCLA that made me recreate what I’d been through, to other neurological patients, which made certain things come back to me, and I enjoy that. Both the remembering, and the pain that I see the patients suffering right now, at that moment.  That’s when I realize why I’m there at the hospital, not only to help and support patients that need it, but what it’s done for me.  Amazing.

I love to say that I’m writing a book, but what is most important to me, is when I speak of my rehab.  It has to be done, to anyone who has a surgery like mine, the are no options.  A person has to get their balance back; they have to get their strength back; they have to get their coordination back: there are NO OPTIONS. It’s very simple, just persevere.  That’s why I’m doing this; I did this, so can a patient.  We stand together, support each other, converse to each other, and build up our self-confidence together.  This is what support means, to actually HELP each other.  Not just a pat on the back for recovering from the surgery, but helping to bring their life back together. What I did find out, we all need this support, so let’s just KEEP ON TRUCKIN’, together!





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What a wonderful weekend.  Great friends, great relatives, great gatherings, great events…the events keep going.  By the way, I’m speaking of last week, June 22-28.  I’m sure these situations will happen this weekend, the 4th of July weekend, but I started last week.  I had to go back to Chicago, and then to Peoria, my home town for a class reunion.  Who would have thought that this reunion event would be as great as it was?  I’m not sure that I would be in that group;  now I regress!  It’s funny how age and wisdom come into play with an event like this;  talking to people that you maybe spoke to in school, but now you really find out about a person, how their life has been, what their profession is, how their family is now, and before.  I appreciate all of this now, because we ARE adults, (I know, I’m stretching it here!), and it’s language that we all speak, because we are all the same age!  Dinner with old friends, social gatherings with people that we don’t see for YEARS, which adds to the excitement.  Top all of this with LAUGHTER!  That didn’t stop;  and there’s nothing better for you, for all of us, than laughter!  I think that we all know how stories go between friends: we tell stories from the past, we embellish the story, everyone else KNOWS that we embellish, but the laughter still comes out, the sides were hurting.

I know that this is my personal story, and probably not a lot of you guys can appreciate this like I do, but there are a few general aspects that I think that we all can appreciate.  Let’s start with the laughter part.  There is nothing better than laughter; and what is laughter?  Starts with a good mood, an open mind, (going back to the embellishment part), and just being there now, at that moment.  It means a lot, to look at someone who is with you, telling a story, rather than speaking with someone who might be looking around the room, catching only a line or two instead of the whole page.  It also means that you’re very comfortable with people you’ve known your whole life.  Even if we don’t keep in touch, you’re immediately back to being 19 at some event like this, and it seems amazing that you’re willing to change your immediate plans to something else, like you did so many years ago, rather than sticking to THE plan like we do in today’s world.  Today’s plan is the courtesy of “having a plan”;  changing on the spur of the moment is FUN!  Well, let’s just say it’s was the way most of us did that years ago, but every once in a while in today’s world…..go for it!  Let’s have you just go out, play it by ear, and just go for it without thinking ; do it, do it, do it!  You won’t regret it, and hey, I’m talking to myself here, as well as you!  It made me think think that the long range plans might not come about for all of us.  There was a “Memory Board” with pictures of those who have passed on, some of them with health issues at an earlier age, so that’s why I say to have some fun now, without having to think to much about “having fun”!

I also saw a lot of my cousins who I grew up with; they were my tight group of “friends”, that come out of the blue every once in a while, and call.  How great is that?  When you see their name on your phone, it seems that I start to smile before I even answer the call.  Talk about laughter and fun, with just a phone call.  I think that we should all do that.  When you think of someone, don’t hesitate on picking up the phone, because if you’re like me, you’ll forget, because life moves on.  When life moves on, we probably don’t remember the moment that could bring us a big smile, and put us in a great mood!  Do it, do it, do it, pick up that phone!  I assure you, a good mood is much better than a growl!

By talking about changing plans, I’m sure that you all do it at work.  A problem comes up, on the spot you have to come up with a solution, or at least on a short time frame.  So what not do it on your personal time, or your “fun” time?  I have to think like this when I’m working; sometime I have to  completely change my plan with a client, depending on what info that they give me that day when they show up.  The problem is solved, so why would it be different in the ol’ fun times of your life?

My flight plan was flying into Chicago, so I called the lady who interviewed me back in December, 6 months ago.  The company was called Brainlab; they originate machines and devices which mostly address neurological traumas. We did the interview over the phone, so after I called her, we set up an appointment time where I would go down to their office in downtown Chicago.  It was great, because the office/showroom was SO cool, and she wanted me meet the marketing staff that wanted me, (I love this part) to be their FIRST personal spotlight story, and this company is all over Europe, with Chicago being their only office in the States.  We then had a Q&A about how I felt about my surgeries, about how I felt about the equipment that was used, (which was theirs), and most certainly, about the surgeon who operated on me, Dr. Isaac Yang at UCLA.  The meeting was great, actually VERY great, but the point here is that I called her out of the blue, had a great time at the interview, which could go further down the road.  This was because I went out of the routine, set it up on a whim; that’s why I say, do it, do it, do it!  You’ll feel so good when things take a turn!

I want you guys to have a great 4th of July, do some spur of the moment plans, and thank yourselves for doing something of pleasure for you!……….Enjoy!




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Rainbow:  n. A bow or arc of prismatic colors appearing in the Heavens opposite the sun and caused be the refraction and reflection of the sun’s rays in drops of rain. // A visionary goal.

Now that’s a defining moment, in anyone’s life.  “A visionary goal”.  It seems like the ultimate goal, a visionary goal.  I think that there’s so many ways to look at your Rainbow; is that the only thing that you want to achieve in your life?  Then what comes after, I mean what comes after the largest thing that you wanted to achieve in your life, that ONE achievement? I try to look at the rainbow from a different perspective.  I’m amazed at the diameter of a rainbow, the distance of a rainbow, the magnitude of a rainbow; the definition says that it “appears in the Heavens” so I think, sure, why not make our goals high and mighty?  I do, but I also have to realize that a rainbow is a multitude of colors; so that makes me think that I DO have a number of goals, and if they come together, wouldn’t that constitute the makings of a rainbow.  I try to think so.  My life has changed, as with everybody else; we all have had changes in our lives.  We all have to adjust, and adapt to a change in our life, but maybe it just means that now we have to take the yellow color, rather than following the red.  They go to the same place, and they reach the same outcome that we were going for.  As Vince Lombardi said, (one of the greatest NFL coaches who WAS a perfectionist), “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence”.

Do you think that chasing another color means that you might have failed chasing the red?  No, I personally don’t think so.  We all fail; we have to fail.  When you fail, you learn something, you learn how to win, to “change colors”.  Another NFL coach, Bum Phillips, said, “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure, until you start blaming someone else”.  I think that that is SO true.  I’ll be the first one to admit about the number of times that I “failed”, but it got to a point where I had to look at the situation, see the “color change”, and learn from it; I will still end up where the rainbow ends.  Blaming someone else, what does THAT prove?  It simply means that we are looking the other way, not looking at the problem(s), and if you are not looking at the rainbow, you miss the ending!  Following the rainbow, to me means to always, unconditionally, follow your heart.  That takes persistence, and hard work, but isn’t that the forum from where the rainbow comes from, “from Heaven”?   Work hard, the colors are going up, up, and up! We always feel good when we see success from hard work, because of the effort brings on a self confidence, a lightness!  Let your own light shine, you will automatically, ( and unconsciously) give other people permission to do the same!  The colors change, even on the way down;  but the ending is still the same, your goal!

I try to remember the rainbow throughout a day; oh I miss a few days, but I try to get back to what it means, to achieve what I wish to achieve.  Example; my book has taken about a year longer than I expected, but we’re finishing it up, and by the way, I’ve changed a few colors along the way, so maybe I wasn’t ready to get it out last year.  That was the color change, but we still end up in the same pot of gold!  Guess what, I might have to go after another color, but that’s just our life, changing when we see a street that ends; back up and change lanes!

I don’t know if this blog would have come out 10 years ago. Is it the wisdom of age, (maybe NOT on that!) or having something like a brain tumor, which brought on the concept of a book, and of course, this blog!  Color changing, I have no other option.  I have been a speaker to groups of people, I’m now at UCLA volunteering my time to talk to patients who have experienced the same type of injury that I have had to deal with.  I’ve become a mentor to a few non-profit groups which deal as support groups; kind of the same format as what I do at UCLA.  Where does all of this lead?  To the end of the rainbow.  I’ve had people that I barely know that are helping my cause; why?  I’ve changed colors.  I’ve had a few people join my ride, in various forms.  This goes back to following my heart, the rainbow, and trying to get to that pot of gold.

So go ahead, make YOUR rainbow, and shine with it!  Let everyone know what you’re doing, and lead them onto their rainbow, and remember, change those colors; the more the merrier!

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh oh

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,
Oh why, oh why can’t I?



web:   www.playapersonaltraining.comY

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I’m assuming that we all like to make our own decisions, with those decisions putting us in the right mood, and that mood dictating our day.  I’d like to say that I do.  For me, it’s really not a control thing, (I gave up THAT a long time ago); I just decided that I don’t want another situation to alter my mood.  If a situation comes along, and I like what I see, I’ll definitely consider an alternate plan.  But if something happens to you that you used to play to, but it definitely put you in a rotten mood, why play that game?

I’m driving down the street the other day, right lane, and there’s a parking lane to the right of the lane I’m in,and a car pulls out right in front of me; I had to slam on the brakes not to hit the car, (guy driving).  Here’s the funny part; he gets hot at me for getting to close to his car!  Now honestly, I’ll have to tell you what might have happened 10 years ago, if this happened way back when.  Let’s say I’d get a little,uhm, hot headed?  As they say,  the dance was going to happen, and no matter which way the outcome would, that mood would stay with me all day long, or perhaps longer.  Now, let’s go back to “why play that game”.   Why would I let some absent minded person change my mood?  Over the past few years, I just think that I don’t want to be in bad mood, it’s that simple.  What did I do that day?  I laughed, past him up, and waved at him.   Sounds silly, right?  Never would have happened years ago; but today, I would rather be in a good mood, period.  Good moods are much easier than letting yourself into a bad mood.  The story, could end there, but let’s take it a step further.

I know that I like to be in a good mood; again, simple.  My suggestion would be to you guys, is to find out what puts you in a good mood. What is your hobby?  Is there something that you want to do, but something’s might be holding you back?  Let’s take that “control” thing, and just toss it out.  I’ve had this discussion with most of my clients, when I first meet them after they call me, for training, or circuits, whatever they might be interested in.  I’m telling you this, because what they just did, (calling me), was the biggest move they could do, and the rest is downhill.  I can’t tell you how many people tell me how long it took them to pick up that phone, an call.  It’s a huge action, and the longer that one waits to take the first step, in whatever that they are interested in, makes that first step seem enormous, when it is actually small.  The smartest thing that you can do, is to know what interests you, and just go for it.  Sometimes a “change” in our lives seems to be SO big, and after you make that first move, it’s like, “what’s the big deal”, I can do this, and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

So now let’s go on to something you know you should do, but your reaction is something of a “NO”!  Let’s say a Dr. made a suggestion, or even worse, a demand on what you need to do.  From the fitness side, here’s a suggestion.  Make the call; whether it’s to a gym, a fitness consultant, or to your friends to see if you can recruit a few people to join you on your new “change”.  That would be your hardest step.  The next step gets much easier.  The first thing that I ask a person when I first meet with them, is what do they enjoy doing, what IS their hobby?  I can use their answer to that to recommend a few movements, that would give strength, and flexibility to the areas that would be used in their hobby.  That way, it doesn’t seem like “THE workout”; it’s something that they might enjoy.  If you want to join a gym, go in there, look at the machines, look at their classes, see if anything they offer starts to interest you.  Don’t mistake anything here, DO WHAT INTEREST YOU.  If that gym doesn’t have what interest you, that will be a waste of money, and it might put a little funk in you, knowing that you’re paying for a gym, and not using it.  Do what interests you.  It could be a great move to recruit one of your friends to join you, and both, ( or more!), of you can decide what you both like; this works well, because you both won’t want to cancel on the other.  The bottom line here is, when you are done with your workout, you WILL feel much because you didn’t cancel out on you workout buddy!

Believe it or not, this all goes back to the traffic incident; I want to stay in a good mood.  Obviously, I enjoy working out, so when I do that first thing in the morning, my day starts with a big rush; I really enjoy that.  Sometimes, we all get stuck in a morning of coffee, maybe a little news, or whatever.  Try this, give yourself something easy, commit yourself to one week, 7 days, of your hobby.  It’s a “change”, but it’s ONLY 7 days!  You can do that, 7 days, commit to only 7 days, and I will bet that you will see, that’s not so big.  In fact let me go another week, and on, and on…That’s how we change, little by little.  You don’t have to go from A to Z this week, ( in fact, I wouldn’t recommend it), settle for A to B,and then B to  C, C to D….and then you’ll start to see your progress; when we see progress, that’s an incentive to keep that change alive!

All of this means is stay in a good mood; bad moods are ugly!  Keep that good thing going.  Find what you like to do, put it in a little schedule, and just do it.  Keep it simple, just do it!  Stay happy, do what interest you, and enjoy your whole day in YOUR good mood….




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Our lives, our journey, is great, if not short.  I like to ask people,” what have you wanted to do with your life, and, have you succeeded?”  What I’ve found is that some people are very happy with their lives, and are nowhere in the status quo that they wanted to be in.  How is that?  What can make that happen?  What happens in a persons life that they are happy, and not in their dream world that they were dreaming about?  Life has many paths, and we all HAVE to choose one to take; is it the right one?  Ask yourself that.  When you have an answer, then let’s go a step further, and put a number in front of your name, to see where you rate yourself.  I think that this is a great reality check.  Go ahead, put the number there, and, by the way, there is no judgement from this side.

Everyone has to have goals, even one; otherwise, where would your actions go?  So let’s say that we have a goal, and we have a path that we want to take.  Something happens in ones life, and they then have to take another path, a path which doesn’t seem right to them, to achieve that goal, and they feel defeated.  I’ll admit, that happened to me in my younger days; playing pro football, (from college), just wasn’t in the cards, but that goal, which didn’t happened, made me move out here, which I had dreams of!  I figure that life is not much by what happens to you, as by the way your mind looks at what happens!  I always thought about living here; couldn’t be a pro ballplayer, so I got a degree, and come out here to be an engineer.  As we know, that job really wasn’t for me, so we moved on to something that I really wanted to do; help others in whatever way I could.  I knew that I knew fitness, and I figured that you can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lip, so that’s where I moved my life to, but who really told me back then, that in 30 years, you’re going to have a few brain tumors, and you better be in physical shape to be able to rehab yourself, so you can be a counselor to other neurological trauma patients?  Did I really come up with that thought? Would anyone?  Think about it; that’s why I put a 3 before my name.  I AM THIRD.  Very simple.  Due to everything that I had to rebound from; thoughts about rehab, thoughts about my job, thoughts about my future, thoughts about my physical being, I never thought that I would have to think about any of that kind of stuff.  Not the guy who wanted to be a pro player, not the fitness guy who gave to others,(and not knowing how much he was giving!), who then had 3 brain tumors.  I thought I was the healthy guy!  That’s why I AM THIRD!  God is first, look where I was headed, but look to where I am going,( at least where I think I’m going!).  A person’s start does not determine how he’s going to finish; that’s the way life goes.  You just go forward with no options; as one of the greatest NFL coaches said, (George Halas of the Chicago Bears), “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it”.  I love l what I do, and I am still giving it my best.  I think that God had a hand in this.  My SECOND; is my family.  They helped me more than I think they know, in so many ways.  Support is the most important thing a person can get when they need help, and boy did I need that!  They were there, and hit the nail on the head, (no pun here!), when I needed it.  That’s why I am Third; people gave me a hand when I needed it, and that’s when I DIDN’T think that I needed help!!!  I knew that the doctors worked on my brain, but I was hoping that they would put something in to give me a hand!

Yesterday, I was at UCLA, speaking to patients to patients.  I went into a room where the bed wasn’t there, a female was the patient, but the husband was there.  The reason that they were there, the patient was getting a stem cell surgery.  Now, I had met them several times before, they were in an area where patients, for that type of surgery, can be in that ward for 1-2 months.  The couple were in their mid thirties, young couple, and I don’t think that their goals, or thoughts, originally were meant to survive the day without pain, or live a life of what others in that age range would be living.  But you know what?  He was beaming about some of the news that was given to him/her recently.  As I walked into their room, he had just finished reading a chapter of a book, and had read a scripture, a scripture that I was bringing in for him.  Coincidence?  He had no idea that I was coming, he was just reading.  I think that he had help, and I’m don’t really believe in coincidences.  I think I’ve said this before, that no matter what your actions may be,(large of small), you don’t know what will come of it, but if you do nothing, well, there will be no result!  So get out there, and do something for anyone, it will come back to you; tomorrow, next week or next year. I always say to try to do something for someone, and don’t worry if it’s the “right” thing; if you do it, then it’s right!  Most people worry that their action might be a failure, because they don’t really know that person well enough; well, here’s a quote from another great NFL coach, (Bum Phillips, Houston Oilers), “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else”.  I love that, because it’s true; if you decide to do something for ANYONE, it’s right, it comes from your heart.  By the way, I think that NFL coaches have some of the greatest words, for everything!

Now get on out there, feel good, rate yourself, and put it with your goal, old or new.  No one is a failure, in my book, just try.  Try to just go out there, and do it!



















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