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It is a Good Friday!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

This is a time of family, thankfulness and appreciation; and even baskets, chocolates and friendly rabbits.

lonely bunny

If you like marshmallow peeps… it’s a good time too. Plus, it includes Friday.

Friday dog

We just emailed our e-Blast for April. You can get it here if we did not send it to you. The staff put some good stuff in this April edition.

There is no shortage of funny Easter and rabbit pictures on the Internet. It just seems like it was only a couple months ago that we were posting these to the blog. Has it really been a year? Still, they make me smile every time.

cat ears

I hope this is a wonderful time for you and your family. Have a great weekend and make sure to find all the hidden eggs… especially the ones that have money in them. Also, I personally hope to see the Cadbury Bunny working this year.


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A Relationship Maze

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

I feel like the following is a bit like watching Wheel Of Fortune and hearing Pat Sajak tell us to “solve the puzzle”. So, let’s put this puzzle together:

At age 47, the bassist for the Rolling Stones band was Bill Wyman. At the time, he began a relationship with 13-year-old Mandy Smith. The publicist for the group quickly issued a press release that it was okay… because the relationship had her mother’s blessing. (I am trying to write this puzzle without commentary)

Six years into the relationship, Wyman and Smith were married. The marriage lasted only a year. Soon after the divorce, Wyman’s son, Stephan, married Mandy’s mother. The mother was 46 at the time. (no word whether this marriage had the daughter’s blessing)

So that creates the following: That made son Stephen, a stepfather to his former stepmother. If the original relationship, Bill and Mandy, had remained married; Stephen would have been his father’s father-in-law and his own grandfather!

DID YOU KNOW that author Frank L. Baum was trying to figure out what he should call the land where the Wizard lived?  So, he looked over at his filing cabinet and saw “A-N” and “O-Z”. He then had his title for his children’s novel,”The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”.

And for pic o’ day, it’s finally getting to be that time. (I thought that was a better introduction than ‘Cat on the griddle’)

Cat on the griddle

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Bully Punishment

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

     An Ohio man claims that a Judge’s punishment has ruined his life. From WKRC-12 comes a story of the Ohio bully.

     62-year-old Edmond Aviv has feuded with his neighbor for the past 15 years. The most recent issue related to neighbor Sandra Pugh’s vent dryer which was irritating Aviv. He continued to complain of the putrid smell and decided to blow the smell back on to her property. So, he hooked up kerosene to a fan for that purpose.

     Ultimately, Aviv was charged and pled guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. His neighbor claimed that she was fearful of him because of that and many other instances. There had been evidence that he had spit on her, thrown dog feces on her windshield and once even smeared feces on the wheelchair ramp that was used by her adopted children, who live with cerebral palsy.

     After Aviv pled guilty to the charge, the judge ordered him to also serve 15 days in jail and undergo anger management classes. Aviv also had to issue an apology. He did that. What bothered him most was that the judge also made him stand for five hours at a traffic intersection with a sign that read, “I AM A BULLY! I pick on children that are disabled and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in”.

     Aviv claims that, “The judge destroyed me”. He also felt that it was unfair that the judge made him stand in the intersection with the sign, after cars came by and continually beeped their horns at him. Several pedestrians even stopped to take his picture.

     His neighbor has still expressed her fears to the judge in a letter. She wrote, “I am very concerned for the safety of our family”. She said that she just wants to live in peace. For now, they continue to be neighbors. And, this story became a national news story.

     For pic o’ day, here is a pickpocket:


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The IHOP Big Tip Receipt

Monday, April 14th, 2014

During my first couple years of law practice, I would do different cases including contract disputes. I remember receiving a call from a restaurant owner who wanted to meet about an American Express issue. A patron had paid for a bill and left a tip for the waitress in an amount of $500. That night, the waitress closed out all of her receipts and collected her credit card tips that included the $500 in cash, from the restaurant.

In a couple of days, the restaurant received notice from American Express that they were being charged back for the $500. The “Big Tipper” had claimed that he did not mean to leave a $500 tip; that he had been “over served” too much  drink that night, and that the waitress should have known that he did not intend to leave a monster tip on a $75 bill.

I was reminded of that story when I heard a very similar “tip story” from the Glen Allen IHOP, in Virginia. ( In this story, an Henrico waitress claimed that she lost her job over a $200 tip. When she looked at the receipt that showed a $200 tip, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “This is amazing. This is crazy”, she told her friends.


IHOP receipt

A week later, she lost her job. The waitress said that the manager called her in for a closed-door meeting about the customer’s tip. The manager told her, “that’s his handwriting. That’s his signature. But he only meant to write down $2.00″. Then, the manager told her that she needed to pay the $200 back, and gave her a deadline.

On  the receipt, you can see that the patron had not  oddly totaled the bill. Almost makes you think that he was playing games.

After the employer confrontation, the waitress refused to return the money. Then, she was fired. As noted in the story, legally she didn’t have to return the money… but the restaurant could terminate her in Virginia; a right to work state.

As a footnote to this story; after the news of the termination, IHOP has invited her back to work without having to return the money. To date, she hasn’t decided if she wants to return.

As a second footnote; in my restaurant case, American Express and the restaurant decided to split the difference as a settlement. American Express didn’t want to lose the restaurant as a customer and the restaurant wanted to continue to accept American Express. The original diner/customer… no longer welcomed for service!

DID YOU KNOW that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a fear of the number “13″? (known as triskaidekaphobia) He would even invite his secretary to a meal, if he heard there would otherwise only be 13 people eating at the table.

If he was scheduled to travel on the 13th of the month, he would change his departure for 11:50 p.m. on the 12th or at 12 a.m. on the 14th. In death, the superstition continued. He passed away in April, 1945 … on Thursday afternoon the 12th. (certainly not on Friday the 13th!)

And for pic 0′ day, a bit of rest:

a bit of rest


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Thomas Jefferson Reminder

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

     I like to post “thinking” lists. A great way to start a Monday. This list is a “way back”. Here’s a hint, assuming you haven’t looked at the blog title!

     President John F. Kennedy hosted a White House dinner of Nobel Prize winners. He started the dinner by complimenting the attendees with a special welcome. He told them that this much genius had not dined at the White House, since President Thomas Jefferson dined alone. So, we turn to the founding father who also truly trusted the jury system when he said, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution”.    

     The Ten Commandments of Thomas Jefferson:        



1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have earned it.
4. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap.
5. Pride costs more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6. We seldom repent of having eaten too little.
7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8. How much pain evils have cost us that have never happened!
9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count to ten before you speak – if very angry, count a hundred.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For pic o day, worrying about who is behind you: 




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Can This Judge Return?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

For a Friday, how about some judge discussion?

In 2012, Illinois Judge Cynthia Brim shoved a sheriff’s deputy outside the Daley Center in Cook County. (Chicago Tribune). She was then charged with battery but was found not guilty of the misdemeanor as a result of her defense of insanity.

A day earlier, according to Judge Brim, she had ”snapped like a pencil” in her courtroom, after she described feeling stressed because she only had one deputy present during a busy day of hearing traffic cases. She admittedly broke into an extended rant while presiding over the cases.

Now, two years later, the Illinois Courts Commission must decide whether a judge who has suffered from psychotic episodes, can be returned to the bench if she has demonstrated that these episodes can be controlled with medication.

The Commission heard evidence on these two events at the Courthouse, as well as additional evidence that Brim has been hospitalized at least nine times for mental illness since 1994. Brim also acknowledged that she had once been carried out on a stretcher from the courtroom, after going “catatonic” during a traffic ticket call.

After the battery incident in 2012, she was nonetheless returned to the bench by voters in the Judicial election. Thereafter, she was suspended from serving but continued to collect her $182,000-a-year job. Now, she has testified to the Commission that she believes that she is capable of serving her term because over the last two years, she has consistently taken her medications; a requirement of her probation from the battery charge. In these last two years, she has not had an episodic episode.

John Gallo, an attorney for the Judicial Inquiry Board that filed the disciplinary charges before the Commission, questions whether Brim should be returned to the bench. “If she was allowed to serve again, parties who had important cases before her would soon learn about her past and wonder about her ability”.

Brim stated that, “I can serve as a judge with full capability as long as I continue to take the medication prescribed”. She further added that, “I’ve had two years to think about this, and I have a different perspective and understanding of my condition”. Gallo’s response to that was that, “They’re looking at a judge who said to a court that she was at one point in time… insane”.

Brim’s attorney argues that she was elected to the position and then, he recommended a possibility to the Commission. His suggestion to the Commission was to allow her to return to the bench for two years and then revisit the case, if it was concerned about her continued stability.

DID YOU KNOW that the title “Sheriff” comes from “Shire Reeve”. During feudal rule in England, each shire (a division of land) had a reeve who was considered the law for that shire. When that term was brought to the United States, it was shortened to “Sheriff”.

Today’s pic o’ day doesn’t really make it as a picture, but at least I steered clear of animals for a change!


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Annoying Behavior Law

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

In March, the Grand Rapids City Commission repealed a 38-year-old law. A law that made annoying behavior a crime that was punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

The Chicago Tribune columnist who reported on this law change, John Kass, noted that, “if there’s one thing this country needs, it’s a law against people who are annoying”.

According to their City Attorney Catherine Mish, the reason that the law was struck down was not because the sentence for annoyance seemed a bit harsh. Instead, it was because  the language of the law, “no person shall willfully annoy another person” was vague and unenforceable. I guess what might be annoying to one person… might be annoying to someone else?

DID YOU KNOW that in 1874, Bayer began marketing a cough medicine containing Diacetylmorphine…. which we now know as heroin.

Yes, another cat pic o’ day:

Hair cat

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Categories : Current Affairs, Science
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Donate Life

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Leanne (from our social media section) sent around the following information as a reminder to our employees. I am posting her statistics. Because of personal experience, this is a subject very dear to me which makes it a good blog topic for today.

April is DONATE LIFE Month. During this month, the organization Donate Life especially encourages people to become organ donors.


Here are some interesting facts relating to organ donation:

ž   120,000 people are currently waiting for organ transplants

ž   Each day, 79 individuals receive a transplant

ž   On the contrary, 18 individuals pass away daily in need of one

ž   1 organ donor can save 8 lives

And for pic o’ day, here is the sweater gang that was sent by Amy M.

sweater gang

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Hollywood Interns

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The article from the LA Times is summarized in its title. Lawsuit challenges a Hollywood pillar: Unpaid internships.

The attached news story describes a class action lawsuit that is being brought by the unpaid interns that worked on the 2010 Black Swan movie. It also shines the light on a Hollywood institution of free labor on the movie set. Now, this lawsuit is trying to change that.

The defense to the lawsuit  claims that a legal victory for the plaintiffs “would bring to a halt the many unpaid internships that offer real value to participants, giving them experiences and opportunities they would not otherwise receive”. It sounds like Hollywood wants to keep its free labor.

DID YOU KNOW that the U.S. minted a copper coin in 1787  that was inscribed with the motto “Mind Your Business”. “In God We Trust” first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864.

Pic o’ day:

We attack


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The Experimenting Juror

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Dennis DeMartin decided that he would perform his own jury experiments in the widely publicized manslaugter trial of Wellington polo club founder John Goodman. (Florida’s Sun-Sentinel) Because alcohol was part of the evidence in the trial, DeMartin decided to perform Vodka drinking experiments in his own home, the night before he and the other jurors began to deliberate toward a verdict in the case.

Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge was not humored when he learned about DeMartin’s experiments. The Judge charged and found him guilty of two criminal contempt charges relating to juror misconduct. Then, he sentenced him to five months and 29 days in jail without any bail, while DeMartin appealed his conviction. However, that was not the end of it.

Last Tuesday, the 70-year-old experimenting juror was able to leave jail after he won an emergency ruling from the 4th District Court of Appeals. (March 4, 2014 Sun-Sentinel) The Appellate Court ordered the Judge to set bail because the original sentencing for the contempt conviction was an amount of time that would be served, before DeMartin could appeal the conviction.

DeMartin walks free during appeal. During his original trial, defense attorneys had introduced evidence that DeMartin suffered from an “unspecified neurocognitive disorder and/or mild dementia”. The Judge discounted that defense and decided to send his own message about the seriousness of juror service.

DID YOU KNOW that Apple pie was brought to England from France, sometime around 1066 by William the Conqueror? It was then brought to the U.S. by the Pilgrims. (I must admit that while writing this blog, I got sidetracked researching the Apple Pie. I was trained for pie research!)

Finally, this is a little bit pic o’ day:

old photo



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