Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chad's Patent Is Official!

I am very proud to say my little brother, Chad, is now the proud owner of an officially patented Drum Wallet! He has a YouTube video on his site of him opening the FedEx envelope with all the official documentation and approval form from the United States Patent Office. You may go to his video by clicking here.

Needless to say, I am very proud of him as this process has taken him about a decade, countless messages back and forth, many phone calls, meetings with patent attorneys, write and rewrites, a lot of money, many setbacks along the way, but finally he has his first official patented product!

From the time Chad was a little boy, he has always been a drummer. I remember driving him places as a small child when he would sit in the front seat and beat on the dashboard with his index fingers as if the dashboard was a drum. It was maddening at the time, but low these many years later, his drumming has paid off.

Here is a photograph at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)in 2005 of Chad winning second place in the Worlds Fastest Drummer Contest. He beat that little pad eight hundred ninety-six times in one minute! I love the concentration he is exhibiting! 

My mom recalls us always calling Chad as a child, "Thumper" because he would lie on his stomach while he slept and methodically thump his leg.

He was drumming from the time he was very small, he was drumming, even while he slept. Now, Chad is off to his next invention. Believe me, he already has several in his head at various stages of development. He has found a true passion, and he is going for it! I believe we can all learn from that!

I am very excited to see how this gets marketed as he has already discussed an International marketing plan with the largest drum manufacturer in the world! They are interested in The Drum Wallet!

If you are a drummer, know a drummer or teach drummers, you may want to check out You will not be disappointed! Of course, that endorsement is coming from his very proud big brother!

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Monday, April 22, 2013

Is The Boston Bombing Terrorism?

I find it interesting how most people are calling the events of April eleventh in Boston an act of "terrorism." If indeed it was an act of terrorism, then why are we not calling what happened in Aurora, Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Tucson, Arizona and Columbine High School in suburban Denver, Colorado acts of terrorism? Those are just a few of the mass murders we have had in the United States these past fifteen years.

We do refer to what Timothy McVeigh did to the Murrow Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as an act of domestic terrorism. But, have you ever heard what David Koresh and the Branch Davidian did in Waco, Texas as an act of terrorism

As the FBI and other authorities piece together a case for what they believe happened in Boston during the marathon, their only surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an American citizen, was officially charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

According to CBS News, a magistrate judge went to nineteen-year-old Tsarnaev's hospital room to conduct the original appearance. According to the article I got this information from, Tsarnaev is awake and responding to questions. You can read the complete article and see a video by clicking here.

From the other articles I have read, and the rest of this article, it seems to me the major difference in calling this an act of terrorism versus a lone gunman killing twenty-six people in an elementary school is the perpetrators religion. Is that the case in the United States today? Do we distinguish our extreme acts of violence based on extremists from any religion?

If we do, shame on us. If we do not, what is it that distinguishes an act of terrorism versus an extreme act of violence? I would like to know what our forefathers who wrote the Constitution would think of how we interpret that phrase, "freedom of religion" today.

I believe that was the whole purpose of putting that phrase in there. We should all have the right to practice whatever religion we want to, or practice no religion at all. I believe that is what the signers had in mind when they formed our country.

I do not know enough about what these two brothers did to pass judgment yet. There are many people in the court of public opinion who already have them tried, found guilty and locked away or in line for the death penalty, simply because of what we are finding in these first few days. Aren't we innocent until proven guilty in the United States? I thought that was in the Constitution too. From the preponderance of evidence they arty have against the accused, I tend to believe he is probably guilty. But I want to know more facts about why this happened and if he is guilty, are there any more conspirators involved

Before we pass judgment, we should at least give him his day in court.  I believe the writers of the Constitution would agree with me. 

I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing Day Two

It is another sad time in America. I do not know about you, but I have watched and read a lot about this most recent cowardly act of terrorism in a major city in the United States.

As usually happens when an event like this occurs, the original reports were once again incorrect. At first, we heard there were one and possibly two more backpack bombs, or as they are now referring to them, the pressure cooker bombs, that were out there and had not been detonated.

Sure enough, as the investigation continued, thankfully, no more bombs were found. It seems today when virtually everyone has a mobile device of some sort or another, everyone, including me, becomes a journalist. If you have a smart phone, you can immediately become an expert.

Oftentimes, in events like these, eyewitness testimony proves to be incorrect. For me, the fascinating thing about eyewitnesses is they are absolutely sure of what they saw. The fact is, oftentimes two people can be standing next to each other and both see completely different things.

We, as Americans, are constantly shocked when events like the bombing in Boston happen here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The sad truth is, these types of attacks are everyday occurrences and have been for many years in countries all over the world.

In Northern Ireland for instance, bombings like this occurred almost every day for years until both sides came together and ironed out their differences. It is the same way in several countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The only difference is it still goes on. The authorities call it a good day when they do not have a bombing like this one.

As of yet, we do not know who set off these bombs. Chances are pretty good they will find who did it, and why. My questions are, when will it happen again, and where?

Meanwhile, the outrage over security at a large event like this will take center stage for a short amount of time, and then, once again we will go back to living our lives in carrying out our business in our normal manner.

Today America is one. Just like 9/11 when we dropped all of the prefixes for the way we referred to Americans. For instance, there were no Asian Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans or Latino Americans; we were just all Americans united together doing what we could to heal after the attacks. That lasted for a while. However, it was not long until we went back to the fractured Americans that we are.

I have noticed the last couple days how many of the broadcast journalists and writers on the Internet have dropped the prefixes to the American terms again. I am anxious to see how long that lasts before we once again, go back to using those hyphenated terms for the various groups of. Americans. We all know it is going to happen.

This Sunday, April twenty-first, in a show of solidarity with Boston, London race organizers for the London Marathon confirmed the race would be run as planned. London is no stranger to terrorist acts. There will be an estimated one million spectators lining the 26.2 mile marathon course.

The following six paragraphs were taken directly from an article written by Steve Douglas for the Associated Press:

“One of the great things about these marathons is that they are free and available to the public — that's why we have hundreds of thousands of people come out and watch them,” Nick Bitel, chief executive of the London Marathon, told The Associated Press by phone. “I can’t see how that is going to change.

“It’s part of the whole ethos of what a mass-participation marathon is about. What one has to do is make appropriate and reasonable security measures in light of the threats and that's what we’ll be doing on Sunday."

There will be 30 seconds of silence before the start of the elite men’s race and mass start to “mark the tragic events that have unfolded in Boston,” organizers said in a statement. Runners are encouraged to wear a black ribbon, which will be given to them when they pick up their race numbers.

“We want to show our support for our friends and colleagues in Boston at this difficult time for the global running community,” race director Hugh Brasher said.

Prince Harry, the patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, will attend the race and make the presentations to the winners from the field of 36,550 runners.

“We won’t be cowered by this sort of behavior,” said British Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, who hailed the country’s security forces as “the best anywhere in the world.”

“The best way for us to react is to push ahead with the marathon on Sunday, to get people on the streets and to celebrate it as we always do in London. These are balance of judgments but we are absolutely confident here that we can keep the event safe and secure. I think this is one of those incidents where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue and send a very clear message to those responsible.”

I especially liked race director Hugh Brasher’s comment; “We want to show our support for our friends and colleagues in Boston at this difficult time for the global running community.”

That says it all! The phrase, “global running community” sums up what not only running, but every other sport is. They are large communities scattered all over the world interested in their chosen sport. I believe any athlete would tell you the same thing. Yes, sport is about competition, but it is also about cooperation.

When I competed at an early age, I met guys from other schools who are still my friends today. I would not give up those friendships for anything. If my father were alive today, he would tell you the same thing about not only the athletes he competed against, but also the coaches he coached against.

I liked the fact the Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox all canceled their games yesterday in a show of solidarity with the city of Boston. The New England Patriots also made a statement showing their support.

Sport is a wonderful thing! I love the fact those three professional teams canceled their games to help show the city of Boston and people all over the world they care.

I know this is the longest post I have ever put up, but once I got started I just could not stop. I guess this subject got my adrenaline going and I switched into another gear. That sporting ethos came out in me! If you have read this far, I hope you enjoyed it.

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Concussions In Football

Last night the CBS Evening News ran a story on four thousand former NFL players and their surviving family members about suing the NFL owners for their lack of knowledge, sharing of information and general lack of interest in the health of their players and former players. The focus was on concussions.

Imagine that, labor suing management over health related issues in the workplace. They discussed several players, their untimely deaths and the preponderance of concussions in the NFL going back decades. If you saw the story, I would bet you stopped to ask yourself, "I wonder if that is why I continue to get these migraine headaches now I am in my 40s?" That is, if you played football starting before you could read, up to junior high, high school, college or even professional football.

When the issue of what is commonly referred to as concussion syndrome has started to raise its ugly head in these last few years, it has forced all of us who ever had anything to do with football to stop and question the validity of the issue.

I am pretty sure I suffered a concussion when my head hit the ground after my accident. I do not remember if any attention would have been paid to a concussion while I was in Sioux Falls since there were more pressing issues we were dealing with.

In doing some research for this post, I came across an article from Business about Junior Seau, the former standout linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots. Seau committed suicide in May 2012. He was not alone in former NFL players who have killed themselves as they suffered from brain injuries many people are wondering if they  were linked to their on-field hits over long careers.

In the CBS piece, one of the players who has passed away from dementia and had a long career as an NFL lineman showed a brain the size of a child.

Gregg Dovel of paints and even grimmer picture for what is happening to the lifespan of NFL players. You can read his article by clicking here. His article appeared December 23, 2010; well before all of the concussion syndrome discussion had started. If this link does not open, cleck on this URL:

The fact remains, young boys and girls are playing football at an early age in equipment that may not be adequate to protect their young and growing brains. We are learning so much about the human brain these days, it puts research that may have been done even today in the dark ages, figuratively speaking.

Jarrett Bell of USA claims in an article updated May 9, 2012 just the opposite.  He concludes NFL players live longer lives than the average person. You may read his article by clicking here. Several former players dispute his results. If that link does not take you there, try clicking here:

I loved playing football. I made lifelong friends playing football, basketball, baseball, track and every other activity I took part in before my accident. I do not regret playing football, I regret every day of my life getting hurt playing football!

The game is changing. The players are getting bigger, stronger, faster and the equipment is not keeping up. Changes are made in the rules all the time to protect the players and make it a safer game. That does not mean you cannot get hurt playing football. It simply means the odds are cut down some when the equipment is safer.

About every adult I know who played football while they were younger has a football injury of some sort. I believe most of them would tell you the same thing I did about how they enjoyed playing football. Once it was not fun anymore, they stopped playing.

Some of us just stopped our careers before we planned to call it quits.

I look forward to your comments.