Elevator Etiquette Refresher

It happened again this morning.  I was waiting to get off the elevator and the second the doors opened this dude nearly bowled me over to get on.  I have always heard that it was proper etiquette to wait for people to exit the elevator before you get on.  

Every weekday, there are over 120 billion elevator rides.  That’s a lot of people taking the elevator.  There are several rules of etiquette but not everyone knows what they are.

Here’s your refresher course (or initial training) on the proper rules for the elevator.

  1. Stand to the right of the elevator while waiting.  You should always let people exit before boarding.  
  2. Hold the door for someone if they are trying to board unless the elevator is full of people.  Don’t hold it to have a chat with your buddy.  If you need to converse with someone, get off the elevator.
  3. Avoid squeezing into a packed elevator.  Be mindful of personal space.
  4. Do not push the button if it has already been pushed and lit up.  This sends a message that the person who pushed it didn’t push it to your liking or that you are a control freak.
  5. Move to the back and maintain a good distance from others.  Don’t be creepy.
  6. Exit quickly.   If you are in the back, begin making your way to the doors.
  7. Guard your conversation.  Never talk about office gossip or inappropriate subjects.
  8. Respect space.  If there are one or two other people on the elevator, go to separate sides or each corner.  Definitely to do not face someone directly.
  9. Hold all backpacks, briefcases and other materials by your feet.  Remove your backpack on the elevator to avoid hitting people with the straps or bulk of the bag.
  10. Get off the phone!  No one wants to hear your phone conversation.
  11. Practice good manners and hygiene.  Never eat in the elevator and don’t apply perfume.

If you can’t remember these rules at least practice common courtesy if you are in doubt about what to do.  It should be pretty easy to do for just the few minutes you are in the elevator.

You could always take the stairs.  

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Team of the Week:  Sioux Falls Storm


They are a football dynasty but most of the United States (outside of South Dakota) have no idea about the indoor football team that has just won their sixth straight title.  Their most recent title was a 55-34 win over the Spokane Empire in the United Bowl in front of over 9,000 fans at Denny Sanford Premier Center on Saturday night. The United Bowl is the title game for the Indoor Football League.

The Storm fell behind early when Spokane quarterback Charles Dowdell hit J.J. Hayes on a touchdown pass to take the early 7-0 lead.  Sioux Falls scored the next 20 points – all in the second quarter – but then the Empire scored with three seconds left in the quarter as the Storm went into halftime with a 20-13 lead.

The Storm stormed out in the third quarter with a 49-yard touchdown pass on their first play when quarterback Lorenzo Brown connected with Mike Tatum.  The Storm found the end zone four more times while the Empire could only put up 21 points.  The Storm sealed the win when Korey Williams found the end zone on a two-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

The Storm finished the season 17-1 and had one of the most unique title runs in the team’s history.  Before the season new league rules forced the Storm to let go of many of their veterans.  Later, a scheduling glitch forced them to wait a month between their season finale and playoff opener.  

Saturday’s title win was the team’s 10th overall title.

The Storm claimed several league awards for the 2016 season:

  • Franchise of the Year
  • Best Fan Base
  • Community Relations Award

Sioux Falls has been playing indoor football since 2000.  They have compiled a record of 225-54 during that time.  They have never had a losing season.

Awesome Sports Leagues You’ve Never Heard Of


If you are a sports fan then you are familiar with the major sports leagues such as the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) but there are other professional sports leagues that are pretty awesome.  Unfortunately, you rarely see any of their highlights on SportsCenter or your local sports news.  They all have their own appeal and worth taking a look at.

AMERICAN ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (AUDL)

The AUDL plays “Ultimate” frisbee rules which are rules created in 1968 by a group of students at Columbia High School in Mapelwood, New Jersey.  Ultimate is a combination of soccer, football and basketball.  The appeal of AUDL games are lots of scoring and exciting catches.  

According to various sources, players get paid about $25 per game but as a young league trying to gain ground, it probably isn’t going to make anyone rich.  Games are played on weekends from April – July.  None of the teams play in a major league stadium yet but more intimate settings for their fans.  Some games can be seen on ESPN3.  

Why the sport isn’t more popular:   Lack of media coverage and major sponsorship.

Future Plans:  The International Olympic Committee has recognized Ultimate with 58 countries participating in the sport which could lead it to become an Olympic sport.

MAJOR ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE (MASL)

Indoor soccer has been around since the 1970s when the North American Soccer League (NASL) sponsored indoor tournaments during the offseason.  The sport really took off in the 1980s when the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) began.  Over the years, there have been various forms of the MISL until they merged with the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) in 2014.  The MASL plays a 20-game schedule that runs from November-March.  

Why the sport isn’t more popular:  Lack of media coverage; franchise instability; competition with NBA and NHL.

Future Plans:  The owner of the Baltimore Blast which won the 2015-2016 season title has created his own league and taken  some of the MASL teams with him.  The MASL is pressing forward with an expansion to El Paso as well as creation of a second division to start in 2017 or 2018.

NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE (NLL)

  • Year Began:  1987
  • Number of teams:  9
  • Website:  www.nll.com

The NLL is the indoor version of outdoor lacrosse (originally called “box lacrosse”) which is played on the same dimensions as hockey.  It is called “the fastest game on two feet”.  The NLL started in 1987 as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League.  The game is a lot like hockey without the ice.  The game features high scoring games and lots of hitting.  The NLL plays an 18 game schedule from December to April.   All games are played on weekends except for an occasionally Friday night game.  The average salary is $19,135 and the maximum salary for a franchise player is $34,000.

The league is very popular in cities such as Buffalo and Saskatoon where they average over 11,000 per game.  Saskatoon’s Saskatchewan Rush won the NLL title this past season.

Why the sport isn’t more popular:  Franchise instability; competition with NBA and NHL.  

Future Plans:  The NLL has recently hired Nick Sakiewicz as commissioner.  Although he is not a known name, he is hoping to to find the right cities for expansion.  Instead of exposure on a television contract, he is exploring digital media and streaming NLL games.

MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE (MLL)

Outdoor lacrosse has been in existence since the Native Americans originated the sport in North America.  MLL was formed in 1999 and started play in the summer of 2001.  The season runs from April to August as teams play a 14-game schedule.  The league averaged 4,384 spectators per game last season.  The Denver Outlaws have led the league in attendance in nine of the past 10 seasons.  

MLL players get paid between $10,000-$25,000.   The league’s top player this season is Paul Rabil of the New York Lizards.  Rabil has a blazing 111-mph right-hand shot.  He leads the league with 23 goals this season.  

The league has some different rules from the traditional game with a two-point goal line 16 yards from each goal, a 60-second shot clock and the elimination of the restraining box.

Why the sport isn’t more popular:  Franchise instability; competition with baseball

Future Plans:  The league is hoping to expand to other markets in the near future.  Broadcasting MLL games is another vital part of the league’s future as they continue to reach out to television, radio and the Internet. 

PROFESSIONAL RUGBY ORGANIZATION (PRO Rugby)

  • Year Began:  2016
  • Number of Teams:  5
  • Website:  PRORugby.org

Next to soccer, rugby is also played worldwide.  Several countries already have pro leagues in place but the United States hasn’t had a professional league that gained any momentum.  PRO Rugby is the Professonal Rugby Organization and plays 12 regular season games over 16 weeks from April to July.  They are the first sanctioned professional rugby league in the United States.  Players make an average salary of $25,000.

PRO Rugby has five teams which began the season without nicknames but during the season fans have provided the names for the league’s first original teams:  Ohio Aviators, Sacramento Express, San Diego Breakers, Denver Stampede and San Francisco Rush.

The league is averaging about 1,500 fans per match which is good for a startup league.  

Why the sport isn’t more popular:  Relatively unknown to most sports fans; competition with baseball and soccer;  it’s not American football.

Future Plans:  Expansion to the East Coast and Canada.

None of these leagues are expected to breakup the major league sports in anyway but they each offer something to enjoy.  People are playing and getting paid to play these obscure sports.

Dallas, Madison and Toronto join Seattle in AUDL Final Four

The final four teams are set for the weekend of August 6-7 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Seattle had already wrapped up the West Division title last week during their Calfornia road trip to punch their ticket to Madision.

The Dallas Roughnecks (15-0) remained unbeaten outsourcing the Atlanta Hustle 28-21 for the South Division title.

The East Division final was quite a contest as the Toronto Rush edged the D.C. Breeze 23-21 in overtime.

The final four host Madison Radicals struggled but managed to survive and defeat the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds 20-16 to clinch the Midwest title.

Now the Final Four match ups are set.  The Dallas Roughnecks will play Toronto, the Madison Radicals will take on Seattle in the AUDL semifinal games on August 6th.

AUDL Playoffs: Division Finals

This weekend three of the four division finals will be decided.   The West Division was decided last weekend when the Seattle Cascades made the trip to California and swept Los Angeles (31-23) and regular season champion San Francisco (23-17) to advance to the final four in two weeks.

In the East Division, the DC Breeze took advantage of crucial mistakes by the New York Empire in the second quarter to break out of a 6-6 tie to go on a 4-0 run.  The Breeze held off the Empire the rest of the game for a 24-20 victory.  The Breeze now advance to this weekend’s division final against the Toronto Rush.

In the Midwest Division, the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds opened with a 2-0 lead against the Minnesota Wind Chill and withstood a late charge in the final minutes for a 20-18 win.   The Thunderbirds will play at Madison this weekend against the undefeated Radicals (14-0).

In the South Division, the Atlanta Hustle and Raleigh Flyers were forced to postpone their game until Sunday due to storms in North Carolina on Saturday.  After trailing by three in the first quarter, the Flyers built a two-score lead early in the fourth but with a 21-19 lead, the Flyers made several critical errors to allow the Hustle to go on a 6-2 run at the end of the game to upset the defending South Division champions 25-23.    The Hustle will now travel to Dallas to play the Roughnecks.  

Friday Flashback:  Savannah Rug Ratz

Nope.  I’m not talking about the old cartoon from the 90s about mischievous babies.  These Rug Ratz played during the summers of 1997 and 1998 in the short-lived Eastern Indoor Soccer League (EISL).   The EISL was an attempt to become a regional developmental league for other national indoor leagues during their existence.   The Rug Ratz were one of the original EISL franchises that began play in the Savannah Civic Center.  

In their first season, the Rug Ratz finished sixth place in the seven-team league with a record of 7-17.   Their average attendance was also sixth in the league.  The Rug Ratz didn’t fare much better in their second season finishing in last place at 6-22.  The home opener should have provided to be an omen of things to come as their turf was not ready for play after being cleaned earlier in the day.  Excessive wet spots in the turf  forced cancellation of their game against the Lafayette SwampCats.  

In December 1998, the EISL announced it was ceasing operations.  If the league had continued the Rug Ratz would have continued to play.

Some of the Rug Ratz best players were Forward Shawn Beyer who was named to the 1998 All-League Second Team.  Defenders Dan McManemy, Sean Scott and Midfielder Colin Buck were also key players in the short history of the Rug Ratz.

I personally attended one game when visiting Savannah during the summer.  It was a very exciting game and entertaining although there weren’t many people there to watch it.  Obviously there is a lot of other things to do in the coastal city during the summer months.  That could have been why the team was plagued with low attendance figures.

Creating Transcripts For TrialDirector


If you get a nice, clean transcript from the court reporter to import into TrialDirector that’s pretty sweet and easy but what about if you have to create one yourself?  Here are the steps you would take to format a transcript to use in the TimeCoder function of TrialDirector to create your own transcript.

  1. Create the transcript in Microsoft Word
    • The transcript MUST be final. Do all of your edits in Word.  You will not be able to edit or redact the transcript in TrialDirector.
    • To properly format each speaker, insert Make a hard return between speakers
    • Double-space the entire transcript
    • Save as Plain Text (.txt) file
  2. Open Trial Director
  3. Go to TOOLS – TIMECODER
  4. Click Cancel
  5. Go to TOOLS – APPLY WORD FORMATTING
  6. Open the text (.txt) file you created.
  7. Word Wrap Lines over 65 characters
  8. Check remove leading whitespace over 8 characters
  9. Save the file
  10. Go to TOOLS – APPLY PAGE/LINE FORMATTING
  11. Browse to the text (.txt) file you saved in step 9.
  12. Take the defaults.
  13. Re-save the file overwriting the previous version.
  14. Go to FILE – CREATE A NEW DIGITAL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
  15. Browse for your formatted transcript
  16. Go to MULTIMEDIA – MULTIMEDIA MANAGER
  17. Add the media file that you will link with the transcript.
  18. Synchronize the transcript – press record button, then play
  19. Press SPACEBAR to enter the timecode. (See the shortcut key box in the upper left corner in TimeCoder)
  20. Press Record button again when you have completed
  21. Export the DVT to TrialDirector Case file (*.cms)
  22. Import into TrialDirector
  23. Click on TRANSCRIPT MANAGER tab
  24. Go to TRANSCRIPTS – Import Transcript(s) from – Synchronized Transcript
  25. Your synchronized transcript should now be in your Case Library. Expand the TRANSCRIPTS folder.
  26. To add a trial exhibit number
  27. Go to TRANSCRIPT MANAGER
  28. Right click on VIRTUAL CLIP – PROPERTIES – EXTENDED
  29. Set preferences on how you want to scroll the synchronized transcript in presentation preferences

You won’t find these instructions or how to do this in any of the TrialDirector manuals.  Hopefully this will help you in creating your transcripts.  Good luck.