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A Birthday Blog Secret

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

I am going to let you in on a secret. Just between you and me… okay? I am headed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this morning. We are celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday!!!!! (It’s ok to just tell you her age)

So, I will leave you with a couple of pic o’s and a word puzzle sent to me from Debbie K. Good stuff!

Overwhelmed, d

“Overwhelmed cracks me up. The next one is from Kim Raab. She thought I would appreciate the New York snow. I do wonder what this dog is thinking.


And now to the “word puzzle”.



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Sayings and a List

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

I decided to post some random notes today since I have been unable to figure out a way to work these into blogs. In fact, they kind of make their own blog.  So, when you see that I wrote about spy cats, I hope you remember the day I was distracted by my stuff for future blogs. Of course, that could be just about any day. Anyway…

Einstein once explained the principle of relativity by saying, “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. However, let him sit on a hot stove for a minute — and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity”.

“If a ship could think and feel, it would never leave its dock. It would be afraid of the thousands of waves that it will encounter. It would fear all of the dangers at once, even though it had to meet them  only one wave at a time’. (No one takes credit for this)

“You never know how a horse will pull, until you hook him up to a heavy load”. Coach Bear Bryant

“If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog”. President Harry S. Truman.  By the way, do you know what the “S” stands for? (Jeopardy theme) (Right here is the answer)

And finally, a list described as “Mom’s Famous Sayings”:


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How About Larry the Cucumber?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and Junior Asparagus. They were soon to be on the screen, following their theme song, “Never ever ever ever ever been a show like VeggieTales”.


The VeggieTales are an example of an initial idea that was going the wrong direction until improvements were made, which turned it into a tremendous success. Overcoming difficult beginnings.  Wiki tells us that VeggieTales is an American series of children’s computer animated films that featured anthropomorphic vegetables (had to look that up. means vegetables with human form).  Their episodes frequently tell Bible stories in a modern pop culture way.

Here’s why they are part of the blog. It’s because their story arose out of mistake and difficulty to a continuing and thriving TV enterprise. Then, the rights of a contract stepped into the program to change the content.

The show was initially created by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, who also provided many of the voices. Vischer was testing out new computer hardware in the early 90′s. Due to the limitations of the hardware for animation purposes, he decided to avoid being too technical in creating characters with arms, legs or hair.

So, his first character was a talking candy bar. His wife suggested that he change the main character because parents would rather focus on good healthy eating rather than a friendly candy bar. So, the characters became fruits and vegetables.

The shows were originally just sold on video. Then, NBC picked them up as part of their Saturday morning program and the series aired from September 2006-2009. Then it began airing on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Now, Netflix has announced that it has joined its programming this month.

NBC removed any mention of God in the programs, including removing the original ending of each show that contained, “Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much!”. NBC was more comfortable with an ending that simply had a character saying “Good-bye!.

Because they owned the show through contract, they could determine the content. So, what had been a religious program was now being shown as a positive message for kids.  That meant that Archibald Asparagus could not star as Jonah. Still, they can’t stop Jimmy and Jerry Gourd or Madame Blueberry from being part of a Bible story in their past episodes.

So, will Netflix show all past episodes or just new?

And for pic o’ day,

hurry take it

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Mani/Pedi Health

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

When we order food at reastaurants, we are counting on that restaurant to do the right thing and serve us fresh food under healthy conditions. Unfortunately, we have to be trusting.

A recent ESPN story detailed all the health code violations at the baseball stadium of the Kansas City Royals. An employee took pictures during the recent baseball playoffs that showed the atrocious conditions of the food preparation. This included serving out-of-date food. I recite that for the blog because the rest was a whole lot worse.

I am not writing this blog about food service. Instead, I was reminded of the Royals when I read a more horrifying story. (Yahoo)  This one comes from the manicure/pedicure department.

A Brazilian woman has contracted HIV from a nail salon. Unforunately, she unknowling shared cuticle scissors from another customer who was infected with the virus.

Estimates tell us that there are approximately 48,000 nail salons in the United States. They are licensed and governed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That agency prescribes certain regulations of safety that include that all instruments of the facility are washed in soap and water and then soaked in a disinfectant for another 10-30 minutes before they can be re-used.

That’s the requirement. States do not require new intruments for each customer. In fact, there is no requirement of basic disinfectant requirement that is guaranteed to stop infection.

I am not going to keep writing about this. Instead, I hope that if you go to salons, that you will take your own tools with you. You would never want to eat at a restaurant that only rinses its plates between guests. How much more important to be vigilant when it involves the actions of a nail tech.


And for pic o’ day, how about being reasonable?


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The Kobe Lesson

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The Sunday night NFL football game has the New England Patriots traveling to Indianapolis to play the Colts. It’s popular to pick the Patriots to win because people  (and I mean “people” as in ESPN  ”every second Patriots Network”) say that Tom Brady with his three Super Bowl rings, is the golden boy and will lead the Patriots to victory.

If you are a Patriots fan, you recall the glory days of their three Super Bowl victories. You realize that they have won 5 straight games.

If you aren’t a Patriots fan, then you recall that they got caught cheating for all three of those Super Bowl win years; that the NFL destroyed the cheating tapes before the public could see how much they cheated, and that you notice that no one ever talks about the cheating or that the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl without cheating.

In fact, you also pick the Colts to win on Sunday night because, since 2009 Brady is 3-11 on the road against teams with a winning record. What do you think? Do I sound like a Patriots fan? It’s how you look at it.

I admit it, I just enjoyed writing those last paragraphs. But, I realize that this is not a football pick em column. Instead, I want to segue from the Patriot success/failure thinking to NBA basketball and Kobe Bryant .

This past week, Kobe Bryant just set the NBA record for most missed field goals (shots) in a career. He passed former Boston Celtic great John Havlicek.

Now, it’s real easy to focus on all those misses. Or, to focus on what it also might mean. To focus on the negative would be to think that he just shoots too much or that he sure did miss a lot.

If you are looking for the positive for Kobe, then it means that he is not afraid of failure. It also means that he has been able to play a long time. Just staying at it! And that his team has always counted on him to shoot. And you might also think that Kobe’s Los Angeles teams have won five NBA championships.

Have you ever heard someone say, “he is so lucky” or “I wish I could get those breaks”. Yes, it’s either thinking like that or thinking that life is a moveable feast.

And for pic o’ day, it’s real easy to feel like this by the end of the week!

I am done

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Hair Power

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Gene Keady’s hair. Spending $600 a week. The power of a comb over. Probably all of the previous statements mean nothing to you; but combined, they make quite a story about what was important to a coach. (Indianapolis Star)

I call this the power of the comb over. It also may be classified as “what’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

First, let’s travel back in time to the story of Gene Keady’s hair.

Gene 1



Gene 2



Gene Keady did not like going bald. So, he decided to fight it. As basketball coach of Purdue University, he knew he was going to be on TV. It caused him to hire a hairdresser. She dyed his hair and even added hair extensions weekly… at a weekly expense of $600.

Let’s quickly review. He thought that he looked good in the above pictures. He wrapped his dyed hair around his head as though he was wearing a turban, with hair extensions inserted.

Thankfully, there came a time that he met a lady who he ended up marrying. She talked him into getting rid of the weekly expense and scary hair. Below is a before and after… sans hair!

Before and after


Now, let me connect this comb over to the practice of law. It shows the significance of appearance. It’s why I put value on scarring.

When I ask a client if they are bothered by their scar, whether on a leg, arm or the face; I then relay that answer to the adjuster. To me, it’s not very persuasive when a callous adjuster tells me that the scarring is no big deal.

Some clients are impacted by no longer wearing a bathing suit or perhaps a sleeveless dress. Others make sure that they always wear specific makeup to cover up the scar.

An old British Television series was titled Keeping Up Appearances. It was centered on the life of Hyacinth Bucket, which she pronounced Bouquet because she aspired to be upper class. She did not want to appear less. Every episode reminded us of the importance of appearance to others.

So it is when a car crash causes injury and harm that truly impacts the way a person thinks about themselves. Coach Keady personally was concerned about his own appearance. Enough to spend that amazing weekly expense. He did not want to be bald for television. It doesn’t matter if someone else said that such a loss did not matter.

And for pic o’ day… the get-away:

squirrell get_away

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Superstition or Good Idea

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived at his Hyde Park home to find a young man tutoring the Roosevelt children. At lunch time, the President noticed the young man lighting three cigarettes with one match.

If that were to happen today, I suspect that Roosevelt would lecture him about smoking around his kids, despite his  own reported smoking habits. Roosevelt’s secretary noted in her diary that she recalls the incident as, “one of the few occasions I know of when the President actually reprimanded someone brusquely in public”.

It was assumed that Roosevelt was so bothered by the incident because of some superstition about the number 3. Instead, it is now believed that Roosevelt was only passing on advice to a young man, that was taught in basic training to our U.S. soldiers preparing for World War II.

Soldiers were trained not to use a single match to light a cigarette. The time that it takes to light all three also gives a sniper enough time to accurately target and shoot at the match. At the time, it was considered polite to offer a cigarette to the person on either side of you. Plus, it was expected that a soldier would first light the highest ranking officer of the three. So, more intelligence to the shooter.

Maybe Roosevelt was being superstitious or maybe he was teaching a young man a possible life-saving lesson. Now, we would consider the smoking as dangerous as the lighting of the cigarette.

DID YOU KNOW that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a lifelong hobby of stamp collecting? When he died, his personal stamp collection numbered to over 1.2 million stamps. The collection was sold at a public auction and brought a sum of $228,000.

And for pic o’ day:

hole in yard


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The Power of a Picture

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Stuart Elliot writes an advertising column for the New York Times. A while back, he wrote (article) about AT&T’s choice to air a campaign with a spokesperson fictitiously known as Lily Adams. (real name: Milana Vayntrub)

In determining the goal of the advertising campaign, they wanted someone who would appear “friendly, knowledgeable and helpful”. They wanted us to picture walking into a store to buy a phone and expect Lily Adams to be there. It’s better than an advertisement that tells us how friendly, knowledgeable and helpful that AT&T will be, if we buy phone service from them.

In 1862, Russian writer Ivan Turgenev wrote in Fathers and Sons that “A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound”. In 1913, a company named Piqua Auto Supply House marketed tires by running a a newspaper ad that read, “One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words”.

Now we all know the expression that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, which somehow transcended from these earlier ideas. For that same reason, there are now companies who specialize in medical drawings for legal cases. In fact, they attend college to study medical illustrations.

It is important to have a doctor describe the injuries that a client has suffered. However, it is much more powerful to have a medical drawing to show the injury  to a jury, and the resulting treatment. The persuasion of the visual.

That thought led me to two recent pictures that caught my attention. The first I saw while watching football on Sunday afternoon. The second was on Twitter and I first saw it in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback article.  In both instances, a description would not do justice.

On Sunday at the Chiefs/Bills game, the camera cut to a guy in the stands who was dressed like the coach of the Chiefs. This beats holding up a sign. Fake Any Reid on the left and Andy Reid on the right!

Fake Andy

This second resulted from a guy  who walked into a coffee shop and told the barista behind the counter, for the purpose of his order, that his name was “Marc” with a “C”. This picture shows the cup when his coffee was ready.



I guess that is the definition of literal.

And finally, I say a special thank you for all who have served in the military. Thank you for your protection of our country and our freedom.

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A Witness to the Injuries

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

My parents told me that we were moving. My dad had been teaching in Tennessee and now he was accepting a position at a church in Maryland.

When you are about to go into the third grade, you don’t  have any say on whether you want to move. In fact, I think that I was a bit excited to go to a new place, even though I would miss my friends.

I remember the first church service we attended in Maryland after moving. A boy introduced himself to me (for the blog I will call him Roy) and we soon figured out that we were both going into the third grade and would be in the same class. At that age, you don’t really have much of a filter. What you think is what you say and it’s true honesty.

When I met him, I noticed that he had scars on the sides of his head. I asked him about it and he told me that he had been in a bad  accident  a year earlier. He had been riding in a school van that got hit and flipped over. He was knocked out and in the hospital for a while. The rest of the summer, I would sometimes see him in church.

Then, the first day of school, he and I saw each other again and we sat together at lunch. In the coming days, I became better friends with him. Throughout the school year, I would see him study real hard and he did get good grades. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good at any playground sports like kickball or basketball. We would also play a game called Four Square and he sometimes didn’t play because he would get knocked out at the very beginning. He just did not  have very good hand eye coordination.

I remember that he did pretty well with his grades but that he didn’t have many friends in the class. At that age, when they told us that it was time for recess, we would tear out of the classroom while hearing the teacher call after us, “Don’t run”. Unfortunately Roy could not run very fast. He just didn’t have good balance either.

Later in the school year, I remember going over to his house to play. We went out into the woods and built a fort out of branches and a blanket and then just sat there and talked. That’s when he told me that he wished that he was like he used to be. Then he told me that one of the things that bothered him the most about school was that he was always picked last on the playground.

We moved from Maryland after sixth grade. I admit that I had forgotten about Roy until recently. I thought of Roy when I called an adjuster on a case involving a brain injury.

The adjuster offered an amount of settlement that was far from what I believed to be a fair market value for the case. The adjuster said that because the client had finished school; had gotten a good job and was not getting any additional treatment, she did not see the case as being very significant.

I tried to remind her of some of the things in my client’s medical records. Then, I told her what my client’s family was going to say, about the things that my client could no longer do. A client’s losses are usually best described by family, friends and co-workers. I tried to convince the adjuster that my client’s claim was more than just physical injuries.

Then, I thought of Roy. At third grade, when the only worries a kid should have relate to such things as “What’s there to do?” or “Can we go to McDonald’s?”; as a kid, I had witnessed the emotional scars that are probably still with Roy. Things that might not show up in medical records.  All he wanted was not to be picked last. What is the value of that hurt?

Well, it definitely is getting colder. So, my Mom sent this for our pic o’ day. Are you ready for cold weather?




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Some Random Friday

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

     The Law Firm social media team left on Tuesday to go to New York for a seminar on marketing and social media. They left me behind. Gladly left me behind! Imagine that.

     So, this week I have been writing the blog with an unfettered stream of consciousness without anyone saying, “Are you sure you want to write that?”. That’s why I can just randomly blog today and throw a picture in the middle of the blog, just because.

talking buck

     Since my Mom sent it to me, random is good… right? Here’s another random thought: the average major league baseball lasts 7 pitches. Hmmm

     In 1980, a Yellow Pages incorrectly listed the name and number of a funeral home… under the frozen foods category. No wonder Yellow Pages is disappearing!

     The Pilgrims reportedly ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving. No word on whether they also had Twizzlers and a Diet Coke. That’s just my two cents worth.

 food Lion

     The most expensive cow to ever sell at auction was Missy the Holstein Cow. Her auction amount was 1.2 million. She is supposedly considered to be the guide for genetics for future Holsteins. Again, no word on whether she will be playing Frisbee on a Chic-Fil-A commercial. Boom!!!

     And finally, King Mongut of Siam was known to have over 9000 wives. On his deathbed, he admitted to only loving the first 700.

     That’s my Friday blog… Have a great weekend!

     And for pic o’ day, another costume, or in blog theme… getting carried away:

carried away

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