Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Tuskegee Airmen

At the Rotary Conference I attended today we had special guest speakers. Members of the local chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Tuskegee Airmen were Black/African American military pilots and service crews for the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. They faced descrimination, were told they weren't smart enough to fly, and would not be able to serve their country. If you click on the link/title above you can find out more about these special men.

The presentation was great and brought a few people to tears. Many of the people in the audience hadn't heard the story before, which amazed me. There were some interesting facts and comments given during the presention. Here a few:

" Positive change happens through example, not through critism"

" I decide my behavior based on my values not by how people treat me or want me to behave"

George Lucas is doing research/pre production on a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen. While doing his research he learned that over 14,000 men served in the Tuskegee Airmen. To this day none has ever been arrested.

If you would like more information on the Cleveland Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen or purchasing merchandise (books and videos) write the following address:

Tuskegee Airmen: North Coast Chapter
Po Box 642
Hiram, Ohio 44234-0642

Rotary Conference

Last year I was selected to participate in a exchange program that sent me to Australia for 6 weeks. The program was sponsored by Rotary International. It was a great experience! I talk about it so much, people tell me to shut up sometimes. =0 ) For more about the program click on the "Australia" link in my blogs section on the right.

This year the Rotary distirct in Cleveland is sponsoring an exchange with Brazil. Today I got invited with my teamates from Australia to attend the District 6630 Annual Conference. The teams going to and visiting from Brazil were asked to speak about the program and our team was asked to speak about our exchange last year. I ended up speaking at two workshops. We spoke about ourselves, our expereinces and how benifits of the program.

The team from Brazil was a lot of fun and watching their presentation on their country really makes me want to visit!

Here's a picture of me with the team from Brazil.


The weather finally broke here in Cleveland. The sun was out and the skies were blue, so I went out golfing with my best friend Scott and used my new golf clubs. I almost did the impossible. I almost beat Scott again! Things were going well, until Scott mentioned how well I was doing. That woke me up from my "dream" and my old game came back but only fro 2 holes. I still finished with one of my better rounds of golf. Considering it was my first time playing this year and I was using new clubs, I was happy. The funniest moment of the day had to be what happened on the second hole. Scott's ball hit the cart path and started rolling towards a cliff at the back of the hole. We thought his ball was gone. Then we pulled up to the hole and saw the pictures below..........

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

My condolences and prayers go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. The story has been all over the news. It's been upsetting to see a lot of people on the news debating over various issues; gun control, international students, ploicy and procedure, anger managment, etc. Those issues can be talked about forever and everyone will choose a side. The fact is nothing can be done about that now.

The main issue is 32 people (not including the gunman) lost their lives. Many of them were kids who didn't get a chance to live life. It was tough seeing a lot of the private pictures of the victims on the news. All of the smiles. All of the different faces. All in college to pursue some personal dream or goal. That's the amazing part of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Not the kid who shot everyone. The countless number of lives that will forever be changed and the 32 futures that will never happen.

My heart goes out to all of the families and friends of the people who died. For everyone reading this, remember, life is short, you never know what can happen in this ever changing world. Take advantage of every opportunity given to you; don't wait for tommorrow to pursue a dream or goal; and be sure to tell the ones you love and respect how you feel about them, because you never know when you'll see them for the last time!

Boys and Girls Club

On Saturday, I got invited to present a lecture and workshop to the Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County Ohio. Had a good time. A lot of kids were interested in what Rodger and I had to talk about,but there was a large group that wasn't. All of the adults loved the presentations. It was a good feeling to see a lot of the kids walking around with our promo, but Rodger and I were still concerned about the kids who cared more about what their friends thought versus what a lot of the presentors had to say. A lot fo the speakers talked about taking pride in yourself, staying away from negative situations and using education to improve your future. A lot of the kids were from bad neighborhoods and broken families, it made me wonder what their futures were. Many thought they would become famous or athletes. Definately makes you want to volunteer more to help kids realize the unlimited posibilities the future holds. The funny part of the day was all the kids walking around calling me Reggie Miller or Mr. Kitchen all day! Most thought I was Reggie Miller when I walked in and couldn't believe "Kitchen" is really my last name.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spring Football?

Yes, the pictures above are of the "Super Scrubs" playing "SPRING" football. Downtown Cleveland had 18 inches of snow dropped on it over the weekend. Our league started up last night. Spring football, snowy conditions, will the games be played? YEP! We won last night 29-18 if I remember right. All I know is the ladies on our team were AWESOME last night. They scored 3 of our touchdowns and didn't drop a pass. Hopefully the snow will melt by our next game. Most of us are really sore today after running in thick snow most of the night!


This weekend I went to Las Vegas to enjoy good times with friends and to get away from the cold weather of Cleveland, Ohio!
It was snowy and cold in Ohio, hot and sunny in Vegas, so what a perfect time to go. My best friend Scott was in Vegas with his parents. They were there for Easter and to celebrate his parents 40th Wedding Anniversary. Being the great guy he is, Scott put out an open invitation for his friends to join in the Fun. Tony, his girlfriend Kumari, Kelly and I took up Scott's offer. We all needed a vacation and some time away.

Below are some pictures and stories from the trip!

Pictures of the group. Me, Tony and Scott. Two of my best friends. Kelly and Kumari (Tony's girlfriend)

Welcome to Vegas. Just before I took this picture there was a guy standing under the sign without a shirt on. He was doing his best Mr. Universe posses under the sign. I couldn't get my camera out in time.

Picture of the Vegas strip from my plane. The place just keeps growing and growing!

Scott took me out for a round of golf at the Calloway Golf Center at the southern end of the strip. I beat Scott for the first time ever! I did my best to loose though. After 6 holes I had a 10 stroke lead on a PAR 3 course. I manged to "limp" home with a two stroke victory. Notice how the one hole is at the end of the Vegas airport about needing concentration! Thanks for taking me out to play Scott!

Pete Rose was in town to sign autographs at the Ceasers Palace Mall. I snuck a couple of photographs. He signed a ball for the store saying "I bet on baseball!"

Kelly and I went to Coke World. We wanted to try the Coke Sampler. It's 16 different samples of Coke from around the world. I was more than a little bloated. Look at the photos of my stomach from the front and the side. Notice Kelly laughing. The other photo is of me and my "coke glasses."

Kelly and I were able to celebrate our first Easter together. This is the Easter Basket I was able to suprise her with. The other picture is of me and Kelly at dinner on Saturday night. Kelly treated! Thank you Kelly! You're the best girlfriend ever! Yes everyone, I called her my girlfriend! We're officially dating!

The world famous Bellagio and it's fountains.

How many people take photos of the leaving Las Vegas sign! I did!

Welcome back to Cleveland! A foot of snow was waiting on our return! Some parts of Cleveland got over two feet of snow. To see more photos/read more about the Easter/Cleveland snowstorm go to my friend Teresa's Blog on the right. I can't wait to get out west and somewhere warm!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


What a great weekend! I just got back from Jacksonville, Florida. I was there for the National Conference on Student Leadership (NCSL). Rodger and I got invited to give our speech “Are you a Bad Apple?” and to present some workshops relating student leaderships. Students from college student governments and programs boards from all around the United States attended.

Rodger and I were laughing because we were asked to give a lunchtime keynote speech on April Fools Day! The lunch event was also the last scheduled event of the day. So, lets add up everything…..April Fools Day, Lunchtime lecture, sunny 85 degree day near the beach, college students, last event of the day and it’s Sunday. All I can say is, Rodger and I did our thing in front of over 300 people and more than half stayed after the presentation/show to talk to us, take pictures and ask for autographs. What a great time!

One of the best parts of the show was the fact that my family (Mom, sister and brother) drove up from Tampa to see me and watch the show. The support from them was great! They’ve never seen me perform, so I had to make sure things went really good.

One of the best stories had to be the sound check. About 2 hours before we performed Rodger and I went to the ballroom to test out the microphones and sound system. We play music during our show and do some dancing, so we needed to make sure everything worked right. While we were practicing, the serving staff was setting up all the tables for lunch. When we started to play the music, they began dancing and signing and they’re manager came over and asked us to crank the music up. It’s amazing to see how music and change peoples body language. Soon the staff was making requests; I was using my IPod to mix the songs. We were having some much fun, we didn’t know how loud we were. Some of the conference staff came over to let us know the music was too loud and disturbing some of the workshops down the hall. The staff wasn’t too happy when we turned the music down. The “Mastercard Priceless Moment” had to be watching the waiter George (at least 50 years old) dancing and singing to “ABC” by the Jackson 5 while pouring water.

After the show, I changed and met my family. We toured around the Jacksonville waterfront and went to the beach. Spring Break was still in effect, so we didn’t stay there long. I haven’t seen my family since Christmas, so it was good to catch up only if it was for a short time.

Monday it was back to work giving workshops in the morning. Rodger and I had full workshops. It’s always fun to have people show up to sessions you teach especially when it’s early in the morning. For students to ask you can you come to visit their school, to stop you in the hallways to say hello or yell out “I’m BAD!” or just to say ”thank you” is an amazing feeling. The group from the Marshall Islands was a fun group to talk to. The Marshall Islands are in the South Pacific. The group was trying to adjust to 17 hour time difference. Meeting students from all around the country was a lot of fun. I definitely want this to become my full-time job!

It was also nice to get out of cold Ohio. I’m off to Vegas on Thursday! I hope everyone has a Happy Easter or Passover! Vegas pics will be up next week!

Here are pictures from the weekend: