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Archive for Misc.

The Smiling Reminder

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I seem to keep getting drawn to lists. Plus, the last days have included rain storms that can make you want to snuggle, read a good book, nap or just stare at the rain drops;  but it doesn’t lend itself to breaking out into a smile. In fact, some would say that it brought out a bit of anger or sadness with the lack of sunshine.

angry horse

I think that I have blogged on smiling in the past. Still, despite the rain, reading these facts about smiling from this article, reminded me of the benefits of smiling. Plus, just seeing a smile seems to pick me up a bit.



Here is  their list for reasons to smile, with facts on smiling.:

1. Smiling fights stress. When you smile, you release endorphins, aka “happy hormones, that change your mood and relieve stress.

2. Smiling makes you look more attractive.

3. Your first facial expression was a smile. Scientists believe that we are born with the ability to smile.

4. Think of smiling as an exercise. 53 muscles are used in smiling.

5. Smiling shows our range of emotions. There are 19 different types of smiles that range from polite smiles to heart-felt smiles.

6. Some scientists are so fascinated with the concept of what smiling does to the human condition that there is even a title for the study of laughter: gelotologists. (I would have guessed it was the study of jello)

7. Smiling can strengthen  your immune system and prevent colds.

8. Smiles are contagious. A Swedish study concluded that people have difficulty frowning while observing someone who is smiling.

9. Smiling is good for your career. Studies show that employers promote people who smile often in the workplace and smiling shows confidence. (I would be curious to know how they determined this finding)     AND FINALLY…

10. Smiling can reduce your blood pressure!

DID YOU KNOW that Friday October 3, 2014, is World Smile Day?

And for pic o’ day,  a bit of help in the kitchen:



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Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Something seems to draw me to lists. Tuesday’s blog was a list on productivity. So, when I saw a recent Yahoo Finance article by writer Maryalene LaPonsie titled  10 simple strategies to simplify your life, I knew it was also destined for the blog. I don’t necessarily believe that I will incorporate all 10 in my life; I still thought that the following would be thought-provoking:

1. Consolidate your accounts.   

2. Purge the paperwork.

3. Pay cash whenever possible.

4. Automate your life.

5. Stop buying more stuff.

6. Declutter what you have.

7. Cut loose toxic and high-needs people.

8. Reconsider your commitments.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I need to do this?
  • Do I want to do this?
  • Can I delegate this to someone else?
  • What happens if this doesn’t get done?

9. Unplug at least once a week.

10. Create routines.

If you click through to the attached article, it provides good content with these thoughts. One final note on this relates to a book that I am currently reading titled Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. It provides an interesting insight on the good and bad habits of some artists who organized their lives with some unusual rituals each day.

DID YOU KNOW that the reason that women began to wear engagement and wedding rings on their third finger of their left hand is because of the ancient belief that there was a delicate nerve that runs from that finger directly to the heart?

Pic o’ day silliness:

the llamas

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Thursday, June 5th, 2014

We now come to the end of the week. Time to look in the mirror to see how we did.

Hair mop

This weekend, I hope to disconnect a bit, unlike this guy!



And that brings us to a Friday escape to the weekend!



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Categories : Misc.
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Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Here is a quick Friday tongue twister. In fact, this is supposed to be the toughest in the English language. I can’t even try saying it 5 times fast:

“sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”



DID YOU KNOW that the New York phone book had 22 Hitlers listed with their phone numbers, before World War II? After World War II there were no Hitlers listed.

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Ruse of the Empty City

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Recently a trial lawyer reminded me of a Chinese literature story called “The Ruse of the Empty City”. He tried to explain it in the context of a jury trial strategy. I completely missed the metaphor but thought that the story did demonstrate good strategy. I just was not sure how to apply it until I decided that it would be good for the blog. Hence, my strategy!

As an enemy army of about 150,000 men reached the city that was being defended by general Zhuge Liang, and his 5,000 defenders.  General Zhuge Liang realized that he needed to come up with a strategy that could defend the city without causing them all to be killed.  He ordered half of the soldiers to leave the city. Most of the remaining soldiers were instructed to hide out of sight. He dressed some soldiers in civilian clothes and had them casually sweep streets near the gates to the city where they could be seen by the enemy soldiers,  while going about daily city activities. The General then ordered all the gates of the city  to be wide open.

The General then positioned himself at the entrance of the main gate where he was clearly visible. He dressed in his finest clothes and had two children with him. One of the children lit incense and candles while the other used a fan to to cool the General while he reclined on a couch. He played an instrument in full sight of the opposing army.

His own soldiers began to worry about their General as well as their own lives, and they were completely mystified by his actions. Meanwhile, The other general of the 150K enemy soldiers, watched the activity of the city before launching attack. Instead of attacking, he immediately ordered his army to not invade the city; but instead to leave the area quickly, saving the city and Zhuge Liang’s army from sure defeat.

Afterward, Zhugis Liang explained to his soldiers that  the enemy general was a man of suspicious calculation who also considered Zhuge Liang’s cautious nature in battle, as well as one who rarely took risks of any kind. The other General also knew that  Zhuge Liang employed misdirection and ambushes as a tactic of war;, causing him to conclude that this was a well laid out trap and ambush.  For this reason, the enemy General assumed that he and his 150K men were being tricked and led to certain defeat.   The battle was won without fighting a war.

DID YOU KNOW that Pepsi changed its colors to red, white and blue during World War II to show its patriotic support. Since then, they have not changed it back which means, if you do find a Pepsi bottle that is only red and white… time to cash in!

And for pic o’ day, I am posting one that could have a bunch of captions. Maybe “Friends” or “Support” or just downright “confusion”.


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Categories : Misc., Political
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Food Lion and Nonsense

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

OK, more blog nonsense. Yes, quite possibly the worst blog I have written because it has nothing to do with legal.   So, seats in the upright and locked position.

Recently I mentioned that I enjoyed watching the Food Lion ads. I cannot take my eyes off the lion. So, someone sent me some lion jokes. I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard lion jokes but here they are. Just my two cents worth:food Lion


Q: Did you hear about the man who turned into a lion every night, and back into a man in the morning? It was actually simple. The man would crawl into his bed each night, and while he was sleeping, he was ‘a lion there’!



Q: Why did the lion lose at poker? A. Because he was playing with a cheetah



A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree and reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows readers digest and writers cramp.


As they say… I’ll be here all week!!!


And for Pic O’ day…








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Categories : Misc., The Human Spirit
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Unknown History Figures

Monday, April 21st, 2014

I admit it. I am feeling blog lazy. Yes… more like a blob than blog. So, I am taking the blog shortcut: list posting.

I thought that a list from  that lists  10 of the Most Influential Historical Figures You’ve Never Heard About,  might be a good blog read. How many of these folks do you know? How about Cesare Beccaria or Bernard Mandeville. Bernard, with a birth of 1670 A.D., is basically the father of “this is business, it ain’t personal”.  History… it’s a grabber!

And for pic o’ day, how about “Squirrel News”.

squirrel paper

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Categories : Current Affairs, Misc.
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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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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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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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