Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind


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Posted on September 15, 2017 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

On Sept. 13th, I completed my ninth Advanced Manuals speech (19th overall) for Toastmasters at CSUSB. My speech was entitled, “Rise,” and it was about former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and his silent protest about the oppression of Black people and people of color in the United States.

Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

I also quoted former NFL players like Jeff Garcia, Boomer Esiason, Trent Dilfer and Charles Woodson and explained their different opinions about Kaepernick’s protest.

“What happened 2 being a leader for your team, your family & the young people looking up to U? Appreciating the 1000’s who have died for you?” - Former NFL Quarterback Jeff Garcia said from Twitter.

"It was one of the most disgraceful displays I've ever seen by a professional athlete on his field of play. He signed a contract with an NFL football team. He has on an NFL football helmet. He has got an NFL uniform on. He doesn't have the right, I don't believe, to now start putting out his own political views in that form.”- Former NFL Quarterback and NFL Analyst Boomer Esiason said. 

"I would tell him (Kaepernick): Before you open your mouth again, maybe you should take a ride in a police car on Friday or Saturday night in one of these major urban cities in America," Esiason said. "Just go on a couple of 9-1-1 calls. Maybe then you can get an idea of what these people, making $35,000 a year, have to deal with.”

Kaepernick said he wanted to be the voice for those who are unable to express their frustrations. He also said protesting is bigger than football, and it would be selfish of him to not acknowledge the injustice going on against people of color in our country.

Let’s not forget the Narrative

According to former NFL Quarterback and NFL Analyst Trent Dilfer, “No matter how passionate you are, no matter how much of a burden you have for a social issue, you don’t let it get in the way of the team,” Dilfer said. “This is a back-up Quarterback, whose job is to be quiet, sit in the shadows, get the Quarterback started and ready to play. Although I respect what he’s doing, and the passion and burden he has for this issue, but I don’t respect the fact that he put himself and his stance above the team.”

Former NFL Cornerback and NFL Analyst Charles Woodson challenged Dilfer and said, “This stand that he took, it’s not about Colin Kaepernick, we are talking about humanity, this is for everybody,” Woodson said. “I hear people saying there is a time and a place to do certain things, but what is the objectivity of any protest? To get maximum exposure for what it is you’re talking about. I think this is an opportunity missed by the NFL because when you think of the NFL locker rooms, it’s as diverse as any other place.” 

After Kaepernick’s protest, I did my own research online and found out the truth behind our nations national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I found out there was a third verse that was omitted because it celebrates the murder of African-Americans.

Originally a patriotic poem, the author, Francis Scott Key was also a slave owner. In the third verse, there is a line “land of the free,” but Scott Key was not talking about Black people.

Towards the end of my speech, I said, “I noticed when somebody speaks up about social issues for people of color in this country, there are a lot of detours and distractions that attempt to take the focus off the issue at hand. I also noticed an issue is only important to somebody if it affects them personally, because if it doesn’t, they don’t have anything to worry about because it’s doesn’t disturb their everyday personal lives.”

I concluded my speech by saying, “If the roles were reversed with Black police officers killing unarmed White men and children at an alarming rate. How would the Caucasian community react? Passive or Aggressive? I wish I had the answers.”

“All I want is equality, for my sister, my brother, my people and me.”

- Nina Simone, Mississippi Goddamn

The objective for this speech was “A Dramatic Talk,” and the goal was to develop an entertaining dramatic talk about an experience or incident. I also had to include vivid imagery, characters and dialogue.

My evaluator said my speech was more interesting than entertaining. I chose a topic that is very important, and made the audience think about our country’s social, civil and political lives.

He also said I presented my speech in a reporter-like style that was clear and understandable, but not dramatic. The material I had was good, but the style and organization weren’t ideal for this assignment.

My evaluator concluded my evaluation by saying I ended my speech with a cliffhanger, and gave the audience something to think about. He also said I always have good speech topics.

To check out my “Rise” speech, click here:

*On Sept. 13th, there was a three-way tie for the Table Topics award for Toastmasters at CSUSB, and I was one of the winners! This was my second time winning Table Topics and my speech was about people who are not from Southern California think all Southern California is Los Angeles, and never recognize the Inland Empire.

* On Sept. 12th, I had another doctor’s appointment with Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, and my Doctor had to put finishing touches and make minor adjustments to my socket so it could be more comfortable when I’m wearing my new prosthetic leg. My Doctor said by my next appointment on Sept. 22nd, all the components needed to build my prosthetic should be in the office and hopefully I’ll be able to walk with my new prosthetic leg.

* During this past week, I came across two people who had a personal connection with CalmandStrong.

* I received a comment from “Cole MacGrath Perry” on one of my inFAMOUS gameplay videos on YouTube. The comment was about superhero Cole MacGrath also being a favorite character of his. I responded saying Cole helped me after I had cancer two-times and when I became a hip amputee. He responded saying that Cole saved him from not committing suicide. I was shocked by his response, and said developers Sucker Punch Productions have no idea how much Cole MacGrath is helping people in the real world.

* To check out my connection with inFAMOUS and Cole MacGrath, click here:

* I also met somebody through social media who is also an amputee, but above the knee amputee. We’ve been talking and it feels good to speak to somebody around my age who must deal with the same everyday challenges as me.

* This past week made me realize that I’m affecting people’s lives, and one of my goals is to connect with people who have been through similar situations as myself (becoming an amputee) or interested in similar entertainment products that inspire people to move forward in life (inFAMOUS videogame franchise and Cole MacGrath), and it’s happening.



I don’t own any content from the image displaying Francis Scott Key. No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to National Parks Service.

I don’t own any content from the images displaying Colin Kaepernick. No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to NBCNews. All Rights go to Sports Illustrated.

I don’t own any content from the images displaying the American Flag. No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. Euclid Public Library.

Euclid Public Library. The American Flag image. September 12, 2017.

Genius. Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam. September 15, 2017.

Hughes, C. Boomer Esiason 'disgusted' by Colin Kaepernick, calls QB a 'disgrace'. August 30, 2016. September 12, 2017.

National Parks Service. Francis Scott Key image. September 12, 2017. Colin Kaepernick: I'll Continue to Sit for National Anthem. September 12, 2017. September 12, 2017.

Rosenberg, M. Why Is Colin Kaepernick Still Looking for a Job?. March 30, 2017. September 12, 2017. 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and Slavery. August 31, 2016. September 12, 2017.

The Jimmy Dore Show. YouTube. Powerful Remarks On Colin Kaepernick Will Make You Rethink The National Anthem. September 16, 2016. September 12, 2017.

Yaw Bonsu. YouTube. Charles Woodson disagrees with Dilfer as he had this to say. September 13, 2016. September 12, 2017.

Socket for Prosthetic Finished

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

On Aug. 30th, I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment with Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the socket part for my prosthetic leg is officially finished and I got to sit in it for the first time.

I sat in the socket with the straps, and it felt more comfortable compared to my current prosthetic leg. While I was sitting in it, my Doctor had his marker and made more adjustments so the socket could fit me perfectly. The only downside about the socket is that it is hard plastic, which means it’s still going to be uncomfortable for the most part, and I’m going to continue to always be sore when I have my prosthetic leg on. Unfortunately, this is a sacrifice that I must deal with.

After my Doctor made his markings on my socket, he told me to take it off and he took it to the back room and used a power saw to finish making the correct measurements. After doing this action a few times, my Doctor explained that the socket was still lose on me and needed to be snugger.

Compared to my current prosthetic, I felt more secure while sitting in the new socket, which is a good sign because the worst thing that could happen is to have my prosthetic malfunction while in public. For instance, I’ve been out in public before and one or both of my straps that help keep my leg secure on my body have broken. Without secure straps, it’s overly difficult for me to walk.

According to my Doctor, the socket I’m going to be sitting in is going to be different compared to my current socket. He said the quality of the new socket is better, and it won’t be as hot. My next appointment will be another socket fitting to make sure everything fits perfectly.

The limb part that attaches to the socket wasn’t in the office, but by my next appointment, I may be able to see it. My Doctor said he knew the socket part for my new prosthetic leg was going to take some time because the process is time consuming. Sometime this month, there is a good chance I may be able to walk in my new prosthetic leg in the office.

My Doctor also told me he was going to take his time while crafting my new prosthetic leg, and I appreciate that because when there is a malfunction with my prosthetic leg while in public, it feels like I’m struggling trying to swim to the surface.

This appointment was great overall, and made progress within the hour and 10 minutes I was there, and my next appointment is Sept. 12th.

My Doctor also told me, “You’re getting a pretty damn good leg.” 

* On Aug. 30th, I was the Table Topics Master for Toastmasters at CSUSB, and the topic I chose was for volunteers to talk about their accomplishments during the month of August, and how will this accomplishment help towards their end goal. I gave an example saying during the month of August, I wrote over 100 blogs and today, Friday, Sept. 1st is my 105th blog post, and my end goal is to be a respected inspirational speaker and author.

* To check out my 100th Blog post, click here:

* At Indiegogo, their mission is to empower people to unite around ideas that matter to them and together make those ideas come to life. To check out my Indiegogo profile, click here: Indiegogo, and search for "CalmandStrong."


I don’t own any content from the image displayed from Prosthetic & Orthotic Care. No Copyright Intended. All Rights go to Prosthetic & Orthotic Care.

Prosthetic & Orthotic Care - St. Louis & Fairview Heights. Hemipelvectomy and Hip Disarticulation - P&O. Aug. 31st, 2017.

The Influence of Black Music

Posted on August 25, 2017 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

On Aug. 24th, I came across a music documentary called “Bad Rap” on Netflix, and it’s about young Asian-American rappers striving for success in the entertainment world of Hip-Hop music.

The documentary started detailing that Hip-Hop music is an art form from the black community, and it was difficult for other minority groups such as Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans to break through the mainstream and be taken seriously as a respectable artist and MC.

“It’s hard for a lot of Latino rappers to cross over. Again, if you’re talking stereotypes, they have the stereotype of machismo, that would follow them around, but that is a hyper-masculinity. Yet you don’t see a ton of Puerto Rican or Dominican rappers out there. You could ask why it is that you don’t see more successful South Asian-American rappers for example,” Journalist and Sociology Professor Oliver Wang said. “South Asians I feel don’t have that same sort of questionings of masculinity. African-American men have that association in terms of they’re considered to be the most racially authentic performers. Anyone who doesn’t fit into that particular box, becomes more in a sense, suspicious for an audience member.”

In the early 80s, the Filipino community, especially on the west coast had a tremendous effect on Asian-American participation in Hip-Hop Music. When the Los Angeles Hip-Hop movement began on the west coast in its original stage, artists like Rodney-O and Joe Cooley, Easy-E, NWA, Ice-T and others like Snoop Dogg, Too Short, The Pharcyde and King T gained traction when music videos became popular on MTV in the early 1990s.

It was interesting to find out there was a Chinese-American Hip-Hop group called “Mountain Brothers,” and they won a contest sponsored by Sprite in 1999. Sprite asked inspiring rappers to participate by sending in a tape about them rhyming about their product. The Mountain Brothers ended up winning the contest, and no one at the Sprite corporation realized that they were Chinese-American.

After the success of the commercial, the group signed to Ruffhouse Records, who previously signed Hip-Hop Acts The Fugees and Cypress Hill. At the time, Ruffhouse Records became a major player in the world of Hip-Hop in the 1990s.

It’s no secret that throughout the years in the U.S., black music has been exploited for personal gain by other artists. For example, the originator and king of Rock ‘n’ Roll Chuck Berry was imitated by none other than Elvis Presley in the 1950s, but Presley still got the credit and accolades for being the true king of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the U.S.

“If you look at the history of black culture, in the U.S., it’s a culture of consistent cycles of exploitation and appropriation. I think that because of that troubling history, it’s perfectly understandable why one would have a concern around something like Hip-Hop, which has proven to be incredibly lucrative,” Wang said.

The audience is taken on an in-depth journey about the careers of Asian-American rappers, and they are Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, Lyricks, Dumbfoundead and much more.

The documentary also talked about Asian stereotypes on TV, which consisted of Asian men never getting the beautiful girls, they get made fun of, they are good at karate and at math. The Asian-American rappers also said there is more to Asian-American people than the stereotypes that are portrayed by the media.

The rappers talked about what they have been through while following their dreams. They all shared that they weren’t respected because of the way they looked, and this was before given the chance to show off their skills on the microphone. Once they became successful after being consistent over many years, they gained the respect from their fans and followers.

“I started rapping because I feel like I had a message, I feel like I had to express myself.” – Lyricks


To check out the trailer for “Bad Rap,” click here:


* On Aug. 23rd, my doctor’s appointment with Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics got cancelled because one of the parts for my new prosthetic leg didn’t arrive in the office. My next appointment is Aug. 30th, and I hope I get a chance to walk in my new prosthetic leg.


I don’t own any content from the documentary “Bad Rap.” No Copyright Right Intended. All Rights go to Salima Koroma, Jaeki Cho.

Bad Rap Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Jonathan Park, Richard Lee Documentary HD courtesy of Movieclips Film Festivals and Indie Films from

FilmFestivalVideos. “YouTube.” YouTube, YouTube, 11 Apr. 2016, Accessed 24 Aug. 2017.

Koroma, S. director. Perf. Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, Lyricks, Dumbfoundead. Bad Rap. Netflix. 2016.

The Microscopic Giant. “Bad Rap” Asian American Rappers’ Documentary. Bad Rap Doc Artist Banner. August 25, 2017.