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One of the Shortest

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

     We have our Christmas office party breakfast on Thursday. That means that I am scrambling a bit. (see what I did there)

     This is a quick blog this morning because of some meetings and stuff. I didn’t want you to think I was just being blog-lazy.

hamging out

     Instead, this officially starts some Christmas blog pictures. Our first is from a very creative family picture. Or, maybe just a tough way to decorate the tree!


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A Real Injury

Monday, December 1st, 2014

At lunch yesterday, I was asked whether I thought that some of my clients ever faked their injuries. My answer, and true feeling, is that the system does not reward phony claims. Just as it does not reward a phony defense. In every case that goes to trial, I believe that the jury  is asking itself, “are these real injuries”.

That table discussion reminded me of a story from a defense attorney.

In a bus case involving a man who said that he had a permanent injury to his arm, the bus company defense attorney began to cross-examine him. The defense attorney said to the plaintiff: “Would you please show us how high you can raise your arm now?” The plaintiff slowly raised his arm to shoulder level.

Thank you,” said the defense attorney.  “And now please show us high you could lift it before the accident.” The plaintiff quickly shot his arm up above his head. The jury was only out briefly before returning a defense verdict. And that is an example of the system rewarding phony claims!


And for pic o’ day, I decided on some motivation. If you are still feeling a little “Post Thanksgiving blues”

tubby cat


Then it’s time for some “Arnold motivation” for exercise!


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How About the Sweeteners?

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The staff was off on Friday, except for our intake staff. That means that everyone seems to have a bit of the look of “Do I have to?” this morning. Time to get back full steam.

For this morning’s attorney meeting, I will be giving a portion of one of my upcoming jury trial openings. I also have to admit that I am feeling that same feeling. However, routine is a good thing. At least that’s what they say! And yes, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. So now, we are on the home stretch for the end of the year.

So, for my first blog of the month that happens to fall on a Monday, I thought I would have a bit of food and safety. Maybe in the case of Splenda “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” is worth considering, when it comes to safety of the product.

On Friday morning, I was sitting with my parents at Cracker Barrel restaurant. My mother was watching me put Splenda sweetner in my ice tea. That’s when she said, “You know that is not good for you!”.

Actually, I thought it was the best of the sweetners… and maybe it is. This article from Huffington Post says that the main ingredient, sucrose, is FDA approved as safe for your health but it can cause a spike in insulin. That can effect risks of diabetes and also cause weight gain.

As a counter to that, here is an article that says that all the artificial sweeteners have some health benefits and health concerns. (Mayo Clinic)

To support the “bad-for-your-health” claim, she emailed this from Facebook.


     When I received this, it made me do some quick research. See, I am getting back into it. No more Turkey laziness. says that Splenda is safe and has been adequately tested. So, my conclusion… (Jeopardy song”) I still don’t know whether to use it or not. It’s starting to feel a bit political.

Maybe I will give Truvia sweetener a try. I know… that’s a lot of thinking for a Monday!  Sometimes, it’s all about guarding the sweets. This GIF cracks me up.



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Thank You Thoughts and Pictures

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

History  tell us that the first Thanksgiving celebration can be traced back to 1671. It was celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts by the Pilgrims. They had survived the trip from England and Europe as well as their first bitter winter in 1620.

Under the rule of the Continental Congress,  President George Washington declared a National Day of Thanksgiving ”as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

I think that Thanksgiving has a different meaning to each of us. A couple of days ago, I sent out our Firm newsletter/eBlast here, which caused me to look at my last year’s introduction before writing the one for this November eBlast. It made me travel down memory lane a bit.

For some things this year, I am glad that I will only see those events in my memory rearview mirror. Other things just make me feel good when I think about them and feel so thankful. I am also reminded that I have so many reasons to be thankful.

I plan on spending time with family; eating a big meal; putting on my loose fitting pajamas; watching some football; eating some leftovers; and spending more time with family. I cannot wait to be thankful!!!! The perfect day for buffet pants.


Favorite program

And finally, I post another pic o from the past. This one always makes me laugh. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And, I hope you will be back on Monday with a smile and the knowledge that you should never feel guilty for having a second piece!

car load o'turkeys

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Healthy and Grateful

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I have been looking for articles regarding thankfulness, which led me to an article by Leslie Barker in the Dallas Morning News. 10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Live Longer includes being grateful. Plus, it has a lot of other good ideas.

So, I am posting this, despite the fact that it probably is a bit of a stretch for a legal blog. But, I am grateful that you understand me by now. (see what I did there!!!) This article includes quotes and support from a few doctors. A good reminder of the benefit of being thankful… and some other stuff:

Floss:  Flossing removes plaque, the bacterial film that forms along your gum line. Lessen your chances of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer. (Dr. Larry Korenman).

Years added? More than six if you floss daily (which only 5 percent to 10 percent of Americans do), writes Dr. Michael Roizen in RealAge.

Get a colonoscopy: “It’s a great test,” says Radhika Vayani, an internal medicine doctor of osteopathy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. That could save you from having colon cancer in five years.” Years added? Lots. Nine out of 10 people whose colon cancer is discovered early will still be alive in 10 years, according to the American Cancer Society. Many will live a normal lifespan.

Stop eating before you are full: Most Americans eat and eat “till we’re so full we’re about to be sick,” says Vayani. “But it takes the body 15 to 20 minutes to say, ‘You’re full.’”

Years added? Being 100 pounds overweight can subtract a decade from your life, according to an Oxford University study. So it stands to reason that maintaining a healthy weight and thus reducing your risk for diabetes, heart disease and various other unpleasantries would add at least some precious time to your life.

Use sunscreen: In a Centers for Disease Control study, only 32 percent of adults reported usually applying sunscreen. Yet this year in the U.S., 3.5 million people will get skin cancer and 76,000 more will develop melanoma, says the American Cancer Society. Every hour, someone will die from that deadliest form.

Years added? Possibly 20. The CDC study reported that someone who died of melanoma between 2000 and 2006 died two decades prematurely. Although the sun doesn’t cause all melanomas, it does cause most.

Stop smoking: Years added? “If you quit at age 30, you can increase your life by 10 years,” she says. Quit at 40? Add nine years. 50? Six years. 60? Three.

Sleep: Not getting enough has been linked to memory problems, hearing problems, anger, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, vehicle accidents and obesity. A decades-long international study of 1.3 million people found “unequivocal evidence of the direct link” between lack of sleep and premature death, according to

Move: “Exercise has been demonstrated over and over to be useful,” Johnson says. “Truth is, any level is of value.” Walking, he says “gets you outside, and some outside is good as long as you don’t overdo it. Years added? At least three years. That’s the number from a study reported in The Lancet for people who exercised even 15 minutes a day. Put another way, a story on WBUR-FM, Boston’s public radio station, reported that every minute you exercise adds seven minutes to your life.

Eat produce: Benefits abound. Among them: Eating five or more servings per day — instead of a piddly three or less — reduces your risk of stroke by 26 percent, according to a study reported in Men’s Health. Years added? three to seven years.

Cultivate healthy relationships: Spending time with family and friends is “psychologically helpful,” Johnson says, adding that it “isn’t a cure-all; it won’t counteract a McDonald’s cheeseburger.”

Vayani tells patients, “If you have people in your life who are negative, who are pulling you down, you have to get rid of that relationship. It affects you more than you realize.” Years added? Nothing specific, but “studies have shown that people with more friends and people in healthy relationships live longer,” she says.

Be grateful: “We experience great things all day long that we fail to acknowledge,” Johnson says. “I don’t want to sound new wave-y, but our health is more than just physical health. I see dozens of people who have illnesses that would lay you or me low, but they seem totally happy. How in the Sam Hill can that be? They’ve chosen to look at the good instead of the challenges.”

Years added? Maybe some, maybe none. “Even if I don’t live a long time,” Johnson says, “I’m happy with what I experience.

And for pic o’ day, I am posting a picture that I have now posted for three straight years. This Thanksgiving pic never gets old!


thanksgiving with friends



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The Purple Testament Reminder

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

In Season 1 of the television series The Twilight Zone, (if The Twlight Zone means nothing to you, here is Wiki) a 1960 episode titled The Purple Testament (IMDB) gives us a reminder to live in the present… Hollywood style. And then it was driven home by real life events.

In the episode, an American soldier stationed in the Philippines, has the ability to forecast who will die next.  He sees a mysterious purple glow across their face. The purple glow foretells that the soldier will not make it.

Then, the soldier sees the glow around his own face, while looking in the mirror. At the end of the episode, the prophetic soldier rides off in a jeep. Off camera, the TV audience hears the explosion of a landmine. It indicates that the soldier did indeed die in an explosion, on a routine drive, while headed back to his base.

One of the early victims in the episode was  named Melvin Levy. That name meant something to the real-life Twiglight Zone writer/narrator, Rod Serling.

While serving in World War II, Serling lost a friend named Melvin Levy.  In a letter to his children,  he and the other soldiers took cover under nearby trees while boxes of rations for the soldiers were landing around them. The airplane delivered items were a welcomed sight.

According to the letter, an excited Levy did not run for cover under the trees. Instead, he started running and laughing and screaming, “It’s raining chow, boys,”.  Moments later, one of the crates hit Levy and killed him. When Sterling wrote the episode of The Purple Testament, he did so with the knowledge of the importance of seizing the moment.

In researching the episode, I also learned of related event. On the same day that the studio was screening The Twilight Zone episode, the man who had directed the episode, Richard Bare, was killed in a plane crash. He was headed to direct another television series.

At the conclusion of our Monday attorney meetings, I always end the meeting with the Latin aphorism “Carpe Diem!”.  It is translated “Seize the Day!”.

On a week that we focus on thankfulness as we head toward Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for the present. As Mother Teresa would say, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

And now for a couple of pic o’s. First, a “selfie” of my parents and me at our Sunday breakfast yesterday. We were seizing the day!


And then a reminder from “Charlie” to focus :

Charlie Focus

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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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