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Just Care and Incorgnito!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Thursday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch had an article written by their food critic that also had a good life lesson reminder. Dana Craig wrote Richmond Servers, Please Get Your Act Together.

Her article was a challenge to restaurant servers to just care. As she put it, “ we don’t want our entrées served while one of our party of two is in the restroom. We don’t want to see you sitting at a nearby barstool, gabbing it up while we pile used plates on the edge of the table, praying you’ll notice. And we really don’t want to summon the check by breaking out flares to draw you to our table.” Then, she goes on to list some basics that servers should take to heart.

Craig concludes her article with the advice, “most people don’t return after a meal marred by bad service. First impressions matter, and servers are the front lines of a restaurant’s reputation. Your position is important, so treat it that way. Your diners — and tips — will thank you”.

The service industry includes the practice of law. These same principles apply to our firm. In fact, these same thoughts apply to most people. I nodded my head when she wrote about these basics in the restaurant business. In life, doesn’t  it feel good when you are dealing with a business that cares!

Here’s a Friday DID YOU KNOW? A child’s superman costume had a warning attached to the package that stated, “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly”… Yes, we knew that!

From the world of Facebook a couple of others comes pic o’  of “Incorgnito” that cracks me up:

incorgnito

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Irsay Money

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Even if you are only a casual NFL football fan, you probably have heard that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested (Sports Illustrated) on March 16, after an Indianapolis police officer noticed his erratic and slow driving. According to the Indianapolis Star, after Irsay was stopped by the officer, he had trouble standing, his speech was slurred and he admitted to taking several medications.

I have attached the story for more details. However, one specific detail of the arrest has raised specific questions. According to the police report,  police found $29,029 in his vehicle which included,  $14,516 in a briefcase, $2,513 in Irsay’s wallet and $12,000 in one of two “laundry” bags on the passenger’s side floorboard.

Colts

As a lifelong Colts’ fan, I was saddened by the news. I met Jim Irsay a few years ago and was left with a profound feeling that he is a very nice man. Also as a fan, I have always appreciated his actions as an owner.

Currently, Mr. Irsay is in a care facility undergoing inpatient treatment. So, no one knows why he was carrying that much cash. Fans have speculated. From Stampede Blue, one writer guessed the following with tongue in cheek:

1) The Highlander wasn’t enough trade in equity for the downpayment on a Mercedes S600 AMG.

2) His clothing launderer messed his order up and gave him a bag from the money laundry.

3) He was answering a Craiglist ad for a full collection of Affliction shirts. Cash only.

4) He was on his way home after losing the silent bid auction for the flute from the Marshall Tucker Band.

5) He was still picking up the $100 dollar bill breadcrumb trail he left behind to help him find his way home.

6) You never know when the tamale guy will magically appear at Kroger.

     Because I am known to be a rabid fan, I have been asked why he was carrying this much cash. Maybe because he is a billionaire, it didn’t seem like that much cash to him as it does to the rest of us. That’s my hope. For now, we can only look on the bright side; hope and pray that he recovers, and look forward to the day that he returns to his chair as active owner. The words of a true fan!

DID YOU KNOW that there are 158 verses in the Greek National Anthem? Seems like a long time to stand during a song!

And for pic o’ daY:

new rug

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Josh Izenberg’s “Slomo”

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

This blog takes us a bit off the beaten path to an article that I am posting from the NY Times. From the Opinion pages comes a documentary by Josh Izenberg titled Slomo. (also here at Slomothemovie)

The article describes and includes the movie about a doctor named John Kitchin who had become board certified in  Neurology and Psychology, but was not happy chasing a life of possessions and materialism. One day, while in the lunch room, he saw a man in his nineties who just kept piling food on his plate and looked immensely happy.

Dr. Kitchin looked at him and asked his age. The man smiled and told him he was ninety-three. Then, Dr. Kitchin decided he would kind of poke at him by asking, “How does a strapping young man like me, get to be an old codger like you?”. The man’s response, “Do what you want to”.

That poignant answer stuck with Dr Kitchin. Sometime thereafter, he began to have vision issues and was having problems recognizing faces and reading x-rays. At some point, Dr Kitchin left the practice of medicine to pursue a simpler life that includes a lot of rollerblading along the Pacific Ocean boardwalk.

slomo

That’s a small sample of the movie. If you click on the attachment, you will see the 16 minute movie on his journey and why he is now so happy. If you can’t click on it, then I will just give you the short version: He is happy. He left behind his chase of possessions and now lives in a studio apartment along the beach. His only major expense is skates. A reminder that happiness is not found in things.

DID YOU KNOW that honey is the only edible food that will not spoil?

For pic o’ day… a dog telling a joke:

Labra humor

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Allstate’s Mayhem Story

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Yes, I admit it. I enjoy the Allstate Mayhem commercials. During March basketball, Allstate has aired the ad that tells us  ”It’s March, It’s Mayhem” during the tournament.  The campaign first premiered in June of 2010. Mayhem is played by veteran actor Dean Winters . More on him in a bit.

Mayhem

I enjoy the commercials of Mayhem wrecking havoc as a reckless maid, or a team flag, or a Christmas tree that falls off the car. There is also a running gag throughout the campaign;  Mayhem sports the damage and injuries that he sustained in the previous spots such as scratches on his face or rips in his suit. For instance, he has bandages on his face

Allstate claims that it airs this campaign because it wanted to focus attention on the benefit of insurance protection while adding the humor of things Mayhem says like,  ”please don’t take my aggressive tailgating the wrong way. I’m just more important than you”. Or, when a tree falls on a car, ” Yes it was a bad storm. But look on the bright side, now you get that sunroof that you always wanted.”

The topic of insurance coverage would be a good blog topic. However, for this blog, I am focusing on the story of Dean Winters and how he managed to rebound from true Mayhem in his own life.

Prior to signing on as Mayhem, Winters had appeared in many television series that included Oz, 30 Rock, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Rescue Me. For me, when I saw the Mayhem commercials, I knew that I recognized him but I could not place from any specific TV show, and I did not know his name. He had not yet arrived to a steady Hollywood income.

On June 19, 2009, following the shooting of a Pilot titled Happy Town, Winters contracted a bacterial infection. He became increasingly sick and collapsed upon the arrival to his doctor’s office. While being transported to the emergency room, his heart stopped beating for a total of two and a half minutes. After paramedics revived him, he remained in intensive care for three weeks.

Over the course of the following year, Winters continued to experience continuing problems that included developing gangrene, which led to the amputation of two toes and half of one thumb. Thereafter, he endured ten subsequent operations that included a skin graft. Because of his illness, he was replaced in Happy Town , and he was away from acting for over a year. Then, Tina Fey brought him back to work on her 30 Rock series, which led to his Mayhem character.

I do like the Mayhem character but I think I am most impressed with the Winters’ story. He has faced obstacles and overcome them and now he is playing a character that shows that we need insurance protection from these obstacles and mishaps. At the same time, it is estimated that he is earning in excess of a million a year at Mayhem. He also joked in an Ad Age interview that “I wanted to become an actor so I didn’t have to put on a suit and sell insurance”.

DID YOU KNOW that ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone? The Egyptians believed that the head was an important spiritual and life center for the body. Pillows were not necessarily for comfort as much as protection. Wealthy Egyptians also had pillows carved out of wood to allow for good air circulation.

For pic o’ day, I would call this “no responsibility”.

no responsibility

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Baseball and Schedules

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Today is the first day of the Major League baseball season. There was a time that many would take the afternoon off from work to either go to the game, or go home to listen to the game on the radio. Kids would take their AM radios to school to sneak a listen. That was a time when baseball was truly our national pasttime.

Today, many don’t even know that this is the start of the season. The start of a 162 game schedule. A time when everyone starts with hope and a belief that this is the year that they can win it all. At least that’s the way a fan feels. The beauty of fandom.

A 162 game schedule. That is a lot of planning and travel. Yet somehow, all the players will get where they are supposed to be because of planning.

That brings me to a book written by Mason Currey (MasonCurrey.com) titled Daily Rituals:How Artists Work. It describes how 161 of history’s most creative and influential figures structured their days. It shows that there is no one specific prescription for getting things done, but it also shows that each person had a very specific set of rituals that they followed for getting things done.

I won’t try to summarize all of the various stories; but some include author Victor Hugo, who would be awakened by a gunshot every morning and then take an ice-cold bath on his roof.  Composer Ludwig van Beethoven started his breakfast with coffee. He would first count out 60 coffee beans, as it was his belief that a cup should be made from that exact amount of beans, which he would first count by hand before making the cup of coffee.

According to Mason Currey,  creative routines  ”In the right hands, can be a finely calibrated mechanism for taking advantage of limited resources… a solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies”. The attachment is worth a click, to see an interesting description of the book if you can’t read all the 161 rituals. Maybe the official baseball scheduler has an amazing daily ritual to accomplish such an organized feat.

DID YOU KNOW that there are four baseball bats that are showcased in the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s traveling exhibit Baseball As America?

bats

From left to right: The bat that Babe Ruth used to hit his 60th homerun in 1927; Roger Maris’ bat used to hit his record breaking 61st homerun during the 1961 season; Mark McGwire’s bat that was used to hit his 70th homerun during the 1998 season and Sammy Sosa’s bat used when he hit his 66th homerun during that same season. Curiously, most believe that the McGwire and Sosa bats are as close as either man will ever get to being in the Hall of Fame,  because of steroid use allegations.

And for pic o’ day, I am posting one that I think  I might have previously posted. Still I think that I need Weight Watcher Cat after all the food I ate during the seminar this past weekend!

Weight Watcher cat

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Friday Elegance

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

While all of the JB Firm Virginia lawyers are sitting in the seminar today (Seminar Sittin’), I thought I would post one of the pictures that Amy M sent.

A bit of elegance for a Friday!

Dog

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Seminar Sittin’

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

All of our Firm lawyers from the Virginia offices are attending the Virginia Trial Lawyers’ convention. Each year, Virginia requires us to attend 12 hours of continuing legal education that includes 2 hours of ethics. This will count toward that requirement.  Plus, we will work in some good meals!

The seminar is at a facility called the Homestead this year. It is a resort on the Virginia/West Virginia line. A bit of a getaway.

It starts at 1P today and runs through Saturday. The organizers are smart in their scheduling because the seminar starts with the two hours of ethics, which means that most want to be there by the beginning to get the ethics credit. The first ethics speaker happens to have his office across from our Richmond office.

I promised the office that I would post some pictures from the seminar.  So, the pressure is on!

And for Pic-O-Day…

32689

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Rockefeller and Bumper Cars

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Here are two random thoughts on life. Yes, not quite as random as a voice controlled piano playing polar bear. Are you asking what I am talking about? Exactly! In Devon, Connecticut, it is against the law to walk backwards after sunset. Let’s move forward in the blog.

I just saw a note that compared life to bumper cars at an amusement park. You get in your car, knowing that you are going to get hit. When you get hit, you step on the gas pedal and chase the car down that hit you. You hope that you can exact some revenge. You feel good when you hit the person harder than they hit you. Quite a life philosophy!

I have always liked John D. Rockefeller’s thought on success. He once noted that the key to success is get to work early, stay late and it also is important to strike oil often!

DID YOU KNOW that the name “Jeep” came from the abbreviatiion used for vehicles in the army that were designated for “General Purpose” or as a “G.P.”?

And here is a pic o’ day from my Mom that made me laugh:

Inbred cat

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Legal This and That

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Sometimes I collect stories that don’t warrant a total blog. In the beginning of the blog days, it meant that I would post a couple blogs during the day. Soon, I realized that no one wanted to be bombarded with continual blog entries in their email in box. Now, I just post it as “This and That”.

According to English and Literature experts, the most difficult phrase of words to write is a palindrome. It is a sentence or group of sentences that reads the same backward and forward.

Red rum, sir, is murder.

Ma is as selfless as I am.

A man, a plan, a canal – Panama.

From the advertising world, this one made me sad. We are losing the E-Trade Baby. (story) The ad agency has decided to go in a different direction. We get to see the baby one last time in an ad with the baby saying, “”That’s it, I’m done. I’m out of here. Amateurs”.

Randolph Thrower recently died at the age of 100. He headed the IRS during the Nixon Presidency, until he was fired. History records that he was fired because he refused to follow Nixon’s instruction by auditing some of Nixon’s enemies. (NY Times)

DID YOU KNOW that the Statue of Liberty’s mouth is 3 feet wide?

And finally, a math genius for pic o’ day:

math genius

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Occam’s Razor

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

I was reading a book on my iPad.  One of the characters explained his decision in the story by calling it an “Occam’s razor”. I read it again. I had never heard of that term. So, I clicked out of the kindle app and to the Internet. There, I googled Occam’s razor.

Within seconds, I knew that it was a term that stood for reasoning based on mathematics. Why to choose the simple rather than the complex. Soon, I was back to my book.

When I walked into the house yesterday, I started to wash my hands at the sink and look out the back window, at the trees. My eyes focused on a strange-looking bird with a red head.

 

That sent me scurrying to my iPad to look up a bird that looks a bit like a cow. No easy answer. Then, I typed in “red-headed bird” and saw images that popped up. Sure enough, there it was: the Red-headed Woodpecker!    red head

“I’m headed to the law library” is something that I used to say a lot when I was a legal intern. Usually, one of the partners had given me a motion or brief that I had to write; so I was off to the law school library. When I was first licensed as a lawyer, I still had to head off to the law library for research. Even for my own cases, always in search of that case that was in state, that could be argued as precedence to the judge. If I couldn’t find it, then I would look out of state for a case that would at least offer some persuasion. It’s what they taught us in law school to do.

Now, I can’t remember the last time that I went to the law library. It’s all easily accessible by computer. I don’t need to collect massive amounts of books that need updating each year. Instead, I just pay a fee for all the lawyers in the firm and we have access to all the caselaw. Everything is right at our fingertips. The practice of law has been changed by the ease of technology.

I guess it’s a bit like Occam’s Razor. Just looking for the simple. Now, I can use that term in a sentence… instead of wondering if Occam had a beard!

DID YOU KNOW that Abdul Kassam Ismael, the Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century, carried his personal library with him wherever he went?  It took 400 camels to carry 117,000 books. (That probably should be titled “How could you know”)

And for pic o’ day from Amy M:

no touching

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