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Calvin Peete’s Lesson

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Former professional golfer Calvin Peete passed away last week at the age of 71. Legacy.com listed the details of his life in his obituary.

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Peete won 12 tournaments on the PGA tour and was known specifically for his accuracy. He was also on two Ryder Cup teams.

I am writing about him in the blog because, more impressive than his skills in golf was his tenacity to overcome and to compete.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1943. He began to make money for his family by picking beans and corn in the fields of Florida. He eventually bought a station wagon to sell vegetables to migrant workers.

Initially, he had no interest in golf because he didn’t like being out in the hot sun. Then, he became interested when he learned how much money golfers were making. He began playing at age 24. Within six months he was shooting in the 80′s and a year later he was regularly shooting under par.

As a kid, he had fallen out of a tree and broken his left arm. As a result, he could not fully extend it because it had never properly been set . So, on his swings, he had to compensate. That caused him to swing differently than other golfers. He practiced and developed a repeatable swing that regularly put him in the fairway.

He didn’t look at his left arm as a limitation. Instead, he viewed it as a benefit. He said that, “Some of the players drive farther than I do, but I’m always in the fairway and they’re sometimes in the trees”.

He was known for his positive attitude on the tour. As he put it when discussing golf, “I love this game”, he said in a NY Times profile. “You’re out in the fresh air and you can meet good people, like the President of the United States. I once played a round of golf with President Ford, and you have a chance to make $400,000 a year”.

Calvin Peete is a reminder of tenacity; not being effected by something that others would view as a hindrance or an excuse; and, most importantly, the consistency of just staying in the fairway. The fundamentals of life!

And for pic o’ day… another crazy cat.

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The Cheating Subway Ride

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

On April 21, 1980, Rosie Ruiz was credited as the winner of the Boston Marathon in the female category. Her finishing time of 2:31:56 was credited as the fastest female time in Boston Marathon history and at that time, was the third fastest female time ever recorded for a marathon. In fact, this photo shows how exhausted she was as she crossed the finish line.

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After the race, the men’s winner Bill Rodgers became suspicious as he watched her being interviewed as the winner. He noticed that she was unable to recall specific things about the race that most runners know by heart such as intervals and splits which indicate her cardiovascular pacing from training. Other observers noted that she was not panting or coated in sweat, as expected after running such a race. In fact, they were very surprised that her thighs appeared strangely flabby and fatter than expected for a world class runner.

When Ruiz was asked at the finish line why she didn’t seem winded after such a run, she replied, “I got up with a lot of energy this morning”.

According to Eagletribune.com, in an article titled Rosie’s Run, an investigation into her “win” then began.  It led them to a woman on a bus who told this story:

Susan Morrow went to her first New York City Marathon in 1979 to watch a friend who was among the 8,000 entries. The Greenwich Village resident hopped a train at the West 4th Street station.

“I saw this woman in running clothes with her head down,” says Morrow, a free-lance photographer and designer. “The seat next to her was open. So I sat there.”

Morrow wanted to talk to the woman, but was afraid to because she appeared upset.

The woman said, “Do you know what time it is?” recalls Morrow.

Soon they made introductions.

“She said, ‘Hi, I’m Rosie Ruiz,’ ” says Morrow. “I’ll never forget that.”

Rosie Ruiz told Morrow she had hurt her ankle about the 10-mile mark.

Before long, the two women realized they were both headed to the same place: the marathon finish line at Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

They got off at Columbus Circle and made their way through a series of barricades manned by police officers and race volunteers.

“Every time we got to a barricade, she would put her arm on my shoulder, like she was leaning on me, and the police would let us through.”

At one barricade, the limping Ruiz stopped at a table, grabbed a can of juice, opened it and poured it over her head. “I remember thinking it was a little weird,” says Morrow. “But I figured that’s what all runners do.”

They reached the last barricade, 50 feet from the finish line. “Rosie said, ‘I’m an injured runner,’ and all of sudden, about 10 people surround her and start helping her out,” says Morrow. “They took her to the medical area and I got to go, too. It was right at the finish line.”

A few minutes later, Morrow says, Ruiz came back and asked for her telephone number.

“We’ll have lunch some time next week,” she said.

A week later, Morrow’s phone rang.

“Susan, hi, it’s Rosie,” the caller said.

“Rosie?” Morrow replied, caught off guard.

“And she said, “You forgot me already,”’ says Morrow.

The pair never got together for lunch.

Six months later, Morrow was home watching Boston Marathon highlights on TV.

“I saw this woman on the winner’s stand with the wreath on her head,” says Morrow. “And I almost fell out of my chair. That was the woman I sat with on the train.

Soon after, a full investigation commenced that included interviewing Mrs. Morrow; as well as searching through camera footage throughout the race which never showed Ruiz; and also talking to designated race spotters, who did not remember seeing her.

It was determined that she had actually left a pack of runners at the beginning of the race, taken a subway to a stop about a mile from the finish line, where she rejoined the race as part of the fastest pack, as reported by two Harvard students who were part of the crowd of spectators.

Predictably, Ruiz was disqualified and the second place finisher was flown back to Boston and recognized as the winner. The story is still told as the cheater who ran the Boston Marathon.

As I was reading a “look-back” at the Ruiz story, I glanced down and saw another story.

This week,  Bloomsberg News reports that Warren Buffett has told reporters that Geico is implementing premium rate increases because their pretax gain at Geico has fallen in the first quarter. As indicated by Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway counts on the profits of Geico in its porfolio, to generate funds so they can invest in stocks and takeovers. Those Geico ads are sure funny.

 

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The Picture Evidence

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

When I saw this news story (KVUE) titled Trooper in Snoop Dogg photo files lawsuit against DPS, it made me look at the photo.

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My first thought was, “I thought his name was Snoop Lion”. OK… maybe that really wasn’t my first thought! The picture made me read the article. The article is about a lawsuit  filed over the picture. It’s what  this trooper described as a “sham investigation”. It’s also a reminder of the power of a picture. So much so that it caused an entire uproar in the department.

 

That leads me to a second photo that you might remember during  2012 Presidential campaign season .

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Yes, even Fox News got carried away with a photo. This is really a photo-in-photo. A news reporter telling a story about a candidate, with a picture of a comedian who is imitating that candidate. That is the power of a picture!

In the practice of law, I regularly see defense lawyers try to argue about the significance of a picture of a car. If the property damage is minimal, then they argue that the person could not be hurt. If the picture shows a lot of property damage, then they don’t want to mention it.

Here’s what I have also noticed. No emergency room doctor ever asks to see a picture of the car. They treat the injuries. They don’t treat based on the photo. That’s one time when a photo has no power.

And then… our pic o’

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The Rules of Law

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Some things are just taken for granted. Before a rocket is launched, they start the countdown. Why wouldn’t there be a countdown? In fact, the idea of a countdown before a rocket launch originated to build drama tension in the 1929 movie “The Woman on the Moon”. Maybe if there was no movie… no rocket countdown that we take for granted before launch.

Yesterday the Baltimore Orioles played their baseball game against the Chicago White Sox. It had been moved to the afternoon from a night game, because of the Baltimore riots. In addition, there were no fans in the stadium. It was the first time in major league baseball history that a game was played without any fans in the stands.

You could hear the pitched ball hit the catcher’s mitt and the outfielders shout out “I got it” when a fly ball came their way. As the announcer said, “You can just hear everything”. Again, as I watched the game, I realized how I take it for granted that there will be cheering fans or someone to catch foul balls. Even the ball girl once caught a foul ball and then appear to lean and hand it to a fan… but there was  no one there to hand the ball for a souvenir. As a fan, I was glad that the Orioles won 8-2!

That brings me to the rules of law. Sometimes, I will pull up to a red light and see someone run the light. It catches me by surprise because I expect the other drivers to obey the traffic signals. Even in the middle of the night with no other traffic around, a majority of drivers will obey traffic signals and stop at stop signs or red lights. Even at 2 in the morning.

Sometimes the law recognizes that you have to pay attention, instead of just moving forward when the light turns green. We can’t just assume that  other drivers will stop when the light turns red. In fact, the law says that you cannot proceed without first looking to see that it is safe to do so.

Rules of law.  It’s easy to take them for granted. Instead, we  still have to pay attention for that one driver who doesn’t obey the law. It’s what keeps us safe.

 

And for pic o’ day,

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Michaels for the Rabbit

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

It was really a contract deal. A football announcer for a cartoon. It’s described in a book written by George Bodenheimer titled Every Town is a Sports Town.

ESPN had acquired the rights to Monday Night Football and wanted to assemble an announcing team. At the time, John Madden and Al Michaels were the announcers. Madden’s contract was up and he decided to join NBC to call Sunday Night Football. Al Michaels wanted to join him and get out of his contract for Monday Night.

ESPN tells it this way: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 by Walt Disney for Charles B. Mintz, and distributed by Universal Studios. Disney directed 26 Oswald cartoons before a budget dispute with Mintz forced Disney to leave and create his own studio. Mintz, however, owned the rights to Oswald, and kept the character.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Walt Disney’s initial character that ultimately led to the idea of Mickey Mouse. He had lost the rights to the character when he formed his own studio. Oswald does look a bit like Mickey Mouse, who Disney used as his primary character for his new studio.  As a side note, Mintz was the creator of another character … Woody Woodpecker.

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That’s why Disney, who owned ABC, still put a value on Oswald as a precursor to Mickey Mouse even though  “he” had no commercial value. It was Disney’s and ABC’s pure historical sentimental value.

Without getting into too many crazy details, when Michaels wanted out of his ABC contract to go work with Madden; on February 9, 2006, NBC confirmed that Michaels would be joining Madden at the network to broadcast football on Sunday nights.

In return, Disney received  the rights to Owald. So, for some other programming considerations and a cartoon, Michaels was allowed out of his Monday Night broadcasting contract with ABC. To this day, he remains  a broadcaster on Sunday… and none of us still know about Oswald the Rabbit except for this trade. A cartoon character for an announcer.

And for pic o’ day, here’s another character!

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Sadness and Mental Anguish

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Huffington Post recently wrote about Dennis the Dachshund, who had ballooned up to 56 pounds. He had been on a diet of White Castle burgers and pizzas.  When a nursing student saw his condition, she talked her relative into letting her adopt Dennis.

With a new diet of dog food and a bit of exercise, Dennis dropped 44 pounds. He was now down to an appropriate size and weighing 12 pounds.

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Unfortunately, he continues to deal with his excess skin after his weight loss. In the good news department, his owner says that his personality is shining through and he no longer seems depressed.

There’s an advertising campaign for Hotels.com that makes me laugh every time. Captain Obvious states the obvious about travel and making plans. Usually in the ads, someone will tell him, “thanks, Captain Obvious”, after he has stated the obvious.

I feel, to some extent, that I am about to state the obvious. People who suffer injuries in car accidents feel down and sometimes truly depressed. They no longer can do the things that they did before. Unlike Larry the Dachshund,  this is caused by someone else not because of a diet of White Castle burgers.

When discussing damages to an adjuster or a jury, I try to focus on the damages on the inside rather than just the outside. I believe that the damage of sadness and mental anguish is greater than the damage of wearing a cast.

I’m not sure that I have always done a very good job of conveying such damages. However, I am always curious when someone suggests that “Isn’t a case worth three times medicals?”. The longer I practice, the more I realize that such loss is not a mathematical equation. In almost every case, the client will usually say along the way, “I just wish that I was back to where I used to be”. That is a better measurement of the true loss.

And for pic o’ day, I am posting a picture that was just sent to me, from a “few” years ago. It’s my parents all dressed up for Thanksgiving. Now that makes me smile!

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On a Monday

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

I write this on Sunday afternoon from Baltimore. Friday night I traveled to DC for the Washington Wizards basketball game.  The game was so exciting that even the scoreboard operator must have been so effected by the win that he forgot how to spell “Wizards”

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Saturday morning it was on to Baltimore. Peaceful  demonstrations over a man who had been killed two weeks earlier by police, turned to riots. There are still many unanswered questions and even missing security camera footage, according to the Baltimore Sun.  Outside the hotel door I took this picture as I listened to sirens and loud noise.

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Last night’s Orioles’ game was interrupted by the public address announcer in the ninth inning. He reportedly advised everyone in the stadium to stay in the stadium while the police outside donned riot gear in an attempt to break up the gathering crowd.

I will be back at the Washington tonight for the Wizards playoff game. These events reminded me that even though I get emotionally involved as a fan, it really is insignificant in the big picture.  Seeing anxiety in the faces of some Baltimore residents at the hotel was a much different emotion than the expressions at the basketball game.

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Signs of the Times

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

One summer during college, I sold vacuum cleaners. Yes… vacuum cleaners. I remember during one sales training that the manager reminded us all that we needed to be enthusiastic because no one woke up in the morning and said to themselves, “Today, I am going to buy a vacuum cleaner”.

Sometimes I feel like that about a Friday blog. So, today I am enthusiastic!

I am using this blog to attach a couple of pictures that were sent to me. I hope that you see the humor in these altered signs.

First is a man’s stubbornness… I suspect that you can guess that this was not sent to me by a man.

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Second is a bit of Shakespeare:

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I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

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The Controversy of Admin Day

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Yesterday our staff were taken to lunch and then had the rest of the day off. In my mind, it was just a small way to say how much we appreciate what they do.

Somehow Administrative Professionals Day has become controversial. Originally known as Secretary’s Day that began in 1952; it was changed to recognize all office support staff. That seemed to satisfy the naysayers.

Now, there is a bit of a call to completely eliminate the day. Those in that elimination camp believe that the day is too patronizing and only serves to separate staff from other professionals. They say, “why not have National Pharmacists Day?”.

I believe that there’s nothing wrong with recognizing everyone who makes a contribution. I’m not against a National Landscaper Day either. For me, I just want to say thank you for those who work at our office. It’s a tough job and I am thankful for all that they do. I guess that  I should also be reminded to say “thank you” each day. It shouldn’t take a recognized national day for me to say that!

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A Baby’s Pain

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Because of scheduling, I didn’t get to the blog yesterday morning. We did finish up the April eBlast and we will be sending and posting it shortly.

For today’s brief blog, I wanted to reference an article dealing with a baby’s pain that is relevant to our practice and also will serve as something to question doctors about in the future. From DailyMail.com comes a report that relates to what a baby feels.

Here are the highlights:

  • Young babies are more sensitive to pain than adults, according to study
  • Doctors previously assumed very young babies had high pain threshold
  • New findings by Oxford University shows newborn babies do react to pain 

 

I wish this study wasn’t true. Hopefully, it will make adjusters consider certain claims more seriously in the future, even if there is not a significant amount of medical bills.

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