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Healthy at Work

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

A while back I had a person comment that they didn’t understand why I would blog by just attaching an article. What he meant was “Is it blogging to post someone else’s article?”.

Maybe I am taking a shortcut today, but I post an article from the Huffington Post (here) that falls under the category of health. Then, I throw in my own thoughts.

I am cognizant that the practice of law has us sitting at a desk a whole lot. We are all equipped with a Fitbit and if you want to wear a phone headset, you can get one. That way, I try to stay moving with the mobile, even while on the phone. So, in keeping with health, here are the highlights from the article titled

4 Ways To Improve Your Health At The Office

1. Stroke your creative fire.

John Mirowsky, PhD is quoted as discussing trying to do everyday tasks in novel ways. “The more challenging something is, the more creative it becomes,” says Mirowsky, “which stimulates your mind in a new way.”

2. Spruce up your cube.

Gregory A. Laurence, PhD, an assistant professor of management at the University of Michigan, Flint, recommends that,  ”You’re saying to coworkers, This is what I want you to know about me, and that autonomy, no matter how small, appears to reduce burnout.” So, you should include person items in your office or cube that tell about you or cause you to stay focused or positive.

3. Get thee to a water cooler.

Create friendships and contacts at work. Don’t be an island. A study in Health Psychology that surveyed the work lives of over 800 people found that those who categorized receiving emotional support from their colleagues had a 41 percent lower risk of dying from any cause two decades later,  than those without sympathetic peers. So, personal contacts statistically helps us live longer!

4. Punch out on a positive.

I think we all know that this is important. Staying positive at work; being thankful for what we do everyday; and feeling like there is purpose in the job, statistically provides health benefits. I can say that I always look forward to Monday, just to see what the week will bring! That has to be good for my health.

And for pic o’ day… here’s one to think about:


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And For a Friday

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Yesterday was our office Christmas breakfast. We had some great “fixins” and then several went shopping. Good times!

Each year, to start out the breakfast, I get up and say a few words. At the same time it gives me an opportunity to think about where we are and where we were. Ultimately, I am always excited to see where we are going! It’s always a reminder that our future is based on what we do today!

OK, that’s enough serious on a Friday! Here’s what I really wanted for the blog today. A couple of pic o’s (from Amy M):








And a here’s the start of some of our holiday decorations in our Richmond reception area:



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Ghost Evidence

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Doing a story on the Greenbrier Ghost seemed liked an appropriate start to this weekend! Sadly that tells you that there is a  scary ending instead of a happy ending of Zona Heaster Shue. But it does include the courtroom. (Wikipedia)


Edward Stribbling Trout Shue (In all stories, maybe we shouldn’t ever trust a 4-name person ) was a drifter who came to the County of Greenbrier looking for work. Soon he was working as a blacksmith. Not long after his arrival to town, he met Zona. They fell in love and were married… despite the objection of Zona’s mother, who had taken an instant dislike to this man.

The couple lived peacefully until January 23, 1897. That’s when 21-year-old Zona Heaster Shue was found dead in her living room.  Local physician, Dr. George Knapp, examined the body and determined that Mrs. Shue’s death was due to an “everlasting faint.” Her body had been found by a young boy who had come to the home on an errand. She was found lying at the foot of the stairs, stretched out with her feet together and her hand on her stomach. She looked “comfortably dead”.

The doctor was summoned; But before he arrived, her husband had moved her body to the upstairs bedroom and placed her on the bed. He then prepared the body for burial, normally a job for the women of the community, by washing the corpse and then dressing her in a high-necked dress with a stiff collar and then placed a veil over her face.

When the doctor did arrive, he only did a cursory examination of the body because Shue was cradling his wife’s head and sobbing. The doctor noticed but did not follow up on the bruising that appeared to be around her neck.

The doctor later amended his findings to include  that the death included “and childbirth.” Her husband of 3 months kept an amazing vigil over her body and would let no one near the coffin.  At the funeral, locals later testified that they noticed that her neck did not look normal against the pillow in the casket.The matter was “laid to rest” when Zona was buried.

According to  Zona’s mother; four weeks after the burial, she woke up in the middle of the night to a chilly room and found her deceased daughter standing at her bedside. ”Her daughter” then told her over the course of 4 nights,  “I was murdered, Momma—Trout strangled me!” She went on to describe that he had gone into a fit of rage over her not cooking meat for dinner, and he then choked her so hard that it caused her neck to break.

The  mother was so convinced that this was not a dream that she went to the local sheriff and begged him to investigate her daughter’s death as a murder by Trout Shue. The sheriff reluctantly agreed, and Zona’s body was exhumed.

Zona’s body showed that she had a crushed windpipe and a broken neck. Trout Shue was charged with murder.

At the trial, the judge was determined to keep out any evidence of the “ghost story”. The prosecutor was determined to just stick to the evidence. Despite the judge’s attempts. the mother discussed her “daughter’s visits”.

It became clear that the jury believed the mother. Trout was convicted by the jury, and sentenced to life in prison. When the story of that trial is told, it is also concluded that Trout Shue was the only known case in the U.S. where a ghost’s testimony allegedly helped to reopen an investigation, and then identify and convict a murderer.

Have a great weekend and be safe out there!


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A Bit of Writing For Friday

Friday, October 16th, 2015

I always find myself trying to write a Friday blog that’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears as Goldilocks discovers what is Just Right! I think that something short probably fits that category. So, here are some pic o’s that I have collected, on the theme of writing.


IMG_0223IMG_0183And for our final, which is really our “pic o’ weekend” but unrelated to writing…maybe some good advice:

IMG_0265      I hope you have a great weekend!

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First Grade Wisdom

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Sometimes when I sit down to write the blog, I just sit there to write the blog. It reminds me of my birthday card from Dennis and Betty, that they gave me last month:


But then I saw this listing of “finished proverbs” from first graders, and I knew that this had to be for the blog today! Wisdom from first grade:


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Mr. Happy Man

Monday, September 7th, 2015

220px-JohnnyBarnesStatue      Coming out of a long weekend makes it harder to get geared up! So, I thought I would write about something positive.

When I traveled to Bermuda for the first time, I noticed a man waving at the entrance of Hamilton. I asked the cab driver why there was a man standing at the foot of the city. “Oh, that’s Johnny Barnes. He’s been there rain or shine since 1986″.

The town has now erected a statute of him, and he still sometimes stands next to it, waving at the traffic and calling out, “I love you, and God loves you”. He stands waving in morning, usually between the hours of 3:45 a.m.-10 a.m.  Because he is at a roundabout traffic circle, nearly all cars coming in and going out of the city can see him.

He asks for nothing in return. A documentary was made about him in 2011 and he is simply known as Mr. Happy Man. What a wonderful way to be known. Just being positive and encouraging to others!

I figured he was a good way to welcome us back from the long weekend.


And finally, here’s a pic o’ day from my mom. A bit of “after Labor Day” humor:


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Behind the Bankruptcy Curtain

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

     When a person files bankruptcy, their personal and financial information becomes public record. Notices are sent to creditors. And, a person must be honest about their finances or run the risk of being charged with bankruptcy fraud.

     With that in mind, I read about the bankruptcy hearing of Curtis Jackson. Curtis Jackson doesn’t mean much to me except that the article described him as 50 Cent.

     Recently, he was hit with a 5 million dollar verdict against him. Now, he claims his assets are less than that, which apparently was the main reason that he filed bankruptcy.

     While testifying in Manhattan Supreme Court, he downplayed his income from record sales claiming that, “I make 10 cents a record,” and then stated that even though he is listed as an executive producer on a TV show, that he’s only earned about $150,000 from each of the first two seasons of the Starz drama Power.

     According to the NY Daily News, Jackson claims that his money and cars are all an illusion and that he always takes them back to the dealership. Even his claim that he made money on the Floyd Mayweather boxing match… all bogus. I guess fake it till you make it would just mean, in his case, fake it.   

     And for our pic o’ day as we head into the weekend…



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The July 1 Laws

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

July 1st is the day that new laws  go into effect that were enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in this past session. Drivers can now legally cross over double yellow lines to pass pedestrians and bicyclists safely.

In the state of Virginia, farmers can now grow industrial hemp as part of a university research program. Do you think that means that college professors will research whether their students pay attention… while smoking “the ganga”?

Employers cannot ask employees or prospective employees for the username and passwords of their personal accounts.

Bicycles and mopeds are now included in the list of vehicles under the law that governs being ticketed for following a vehicle too closely.6

Here’s one that students should appreciate. Virginia is now reducing the number of standardized tests administered to elementary and middle schools students. There used to be 22 tests given. Now… 17.

And here’s one for the wild. Sunday is no longer a day of rest for wild birds and animals. That law is now repealed and Sunday hunting is now permitted. I guess that means that we need to get the word out to those birds and animals. Perhaps we should stand next to those signs that show where deer know to cross the road.

One last one that impacts the pocketbook. As of midnight, we are now paying 5 cents more per gallon on our gas. Doesn’t taxation feel special! Thanks Governor.

And for pic o’ day, here’s some Wednesday cat dancing:


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What Makes a Good Lawyer?

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

This week during an interview of an applicant, I was asked, “what are you looking for in an attorney?”.

A few years ago I was asked by a  sales manager at a local TV station to speak to their salesforce. I was to talk on the topic of what we were looking for in a person who sold us TV advertising.

In preparation for my morning talk at their station, I asked the manager what he thought were the qualities of a good TV salesperson. He summarized by saying that his group was basically in two sections. Instead of saying the lazy and the workers, he classified them as order-takers and true sales people. As he put it, someone could just show up and take orders for commercials and they would earn a decent living. Those who really made money were the sales people. Those who were not satisfied just to take orders.

An old Chinese proverb says that One dog barks at something and a hundred bark at the sound of his bark. 

Several years ago, a renowned marksman was traveling through the U.S.  He stopped in a small town and saw evidence of amazing target shooting all over the town. On trees, on walls, on fences, and on barns he saw targets with a bullet hole in the exact center of the bull’s eye target.

The marksman determined to find the person responsible for such incredible shooting. When he found him he said, “this is the most incredible shooting that I have ever seen. How in the world did you do it?”. “Easy as pie”, replied the man. “I shot first and drew the circles afterward”.

As I continued interviewing potential candidates this past week for attorney positons, I thought about these various thoughts. What makes a good lawyer? Ultimately, it’s those who stop talking and instead start doing.

And for pic o’ day, here’s a South Carolina TV station who appparently thinks that math has become a problem.



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Church and Law Notebook

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

I benefit from always having my iPad with me except when I lose it. I guess that’s what Captain Obvious would say. I now have lost 2 iPads by the usual forgetfulness. I left one on top of my car roof and drove off. The other got mistakenly thrown out at a gas station. while on a trip (at least that’s how I think that I lost them)

I say that I benefit because I can always save or bookmark things quickly and come back to them for blog ideas. Sometimes, I realize that I have items that have been with me for a while. So, here’s from the “notebook”.

This  blog is basically a collection of things that you might classify as church humor or might hear as a joke from the pulpit. I know what you are thinking, “how is this in a legal blog?”. My reply, “if you classify it from the notebook… anything goes!”.

The church decided that it needed to call a meeting to vote on some church business. The deacons got into a heated discussion over buying a chandelier for the church. So, one man stood and formally made the motion by saying, “I move that we buy a chandelier for the church”. Then, a second man stood and seconded the motion.

     One of the members then stood to address the motion. He said the following, “I’d like to speak against this motion. First, no one knows how to spell it to even order it. Second, no one knows how to play it. Third and most importantly… what this church really needs is some lights.” Boom!

And here are the pic o’s…


And this would be considered dating advice?


I suppose she might answer something like, “That is quite a Revelation… and I guess that’s a signal for my Exodus”.

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