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Archive for Misc.

Dog Lessons for a Friday

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Not everyone is a dog person, but the following did make me smile when I saw it. So, even if you are more of a cat person I hope you enjoy Some dog lessons for people:


I hope you have a great weekend!!!

And for pic o’ day, it seems appropriate to post one that I have posted before. This one always makes me laugh!

Dogs at beach

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This and That!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

I promise I will do better tomorrow… but here is some lion wisdom and random thoughts. And I am also attaching our June newsletter that was sent out. That should count as a little bit of blogging, Right?

wisdom 1



wisdom 2



And here is our June newsletter, in case you didn’t get in sent to your in-box

And some more wisdom…




And pic o’ day,


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A Back Yard Carnival

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Have you ever been driving down a road and looked over to see something curious in a yard?  Something like an old rusted car, or maybe an old bird feeder?





Does it make you wonder what the neighbors think? Well, here’s a story at, where we know what the neighbors were thinking. The article is titled Decision against northeast Roanoke couple’s carnival rides will stand, judge rules. Does that get your attention?

The story goes that a couple moved into their home about two years ago. Then, they assembled a number of  antique rides in their yard, which measures 1.4 acres.

The “rides” include a 1973 Ferris wheel and a Gravitron ride. The Gravitron  weighs about 19 tons and is valued at more than $200,000. At this point, I am guessing that the neighbor’s had noticed!

To no one’s surprise but theirs, soon they were cited by an inspector and told to remove the rides. They appealed to the city’s zoning appeals board. The board determined that the rides were not permitted in a residential area,  because the machines are “substantially similar” to a commercial amusement park.  (Imagine that!)

From there, they appealed to Circuit Court. The Judge ruled against them, while admitting, “Nobody loves a ride better than I do,” but he found that such rides were improper for a residential area.

The couple have now filed a $2 million civil suit against the city and senior code compliance inspector, arguing that he had defamed them while investigating the rides.

The suit alleges that the inspector sent an internal email which described them as “a real menace to the neighborhood”. They have not decided if they will appeal the “ride ruling”.

It  makes me wonder why they couldn’t just be happy with a roaming Gnome with a tank top, or a birdfeeder for the squirrels. Even a rusty car seems like a better plan.


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The Broken/Not Broken Printer

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

I learned a long time ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.“ George Bernard Shaw

I thought of that quote when I read the story (Fox News) about the man who sold a printer on Craigslist for $40, and then spent the next 7 years in a lawsuit that cost him more than $12,000 in attorney fees.

In 2009, Doug Costello of Massachusetts sold the printer to Gersh Zavodnik, who was a Ukraine-born Indiana resident. Unknown to Costello, Zavodnik was known for his propensity for filing lawsuits. Since then, it has come to light that he has filed more than 120 lawsuits since 2008. (And yes, much less than Trump’s 3500 lawsuits... but I digress)

Mr. Z (ease for my typing) filed suit for breach of contract, claiming that the printer was broken. That suit was dismissed, as were the next 26 lawsuits. However, one of the dismissed suits made it to the Court of Appeals and was then sent back for reconsideration. It started all over.

At some point, Costello failed to respond to the lawsuit  (admissions sent) and judgment was entered against him in default, in an amount of $30,044.07. He appealed that verdict. Fortunately, it was set aside. The judge wrote that he set it aside because the verdict “had no basis in reality”.  Unfortunately, Costello had won, but had spent those monies to have it set aside. Apparently, Mr. Z is till trying to revive the suit.

A word of advice: If you decide to sell a tractor on Craigslist and a man named Zavodnik contacts you. Either just give him the tractor… or run!

This isn’t a blog about lawyers. It is a reminder of the good and bad of our legal system. You don’t have to have a lawyer to file a lawsuit. (Z filed these unrepresented). The bad? Anyone can file a lawsuit who has the filing fees. That’s primarily why I think  that there should be a “Loser pays” rule. But that’s a topic for another day!

And pic o’ day gives us some silly advice:


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The Power of Persuasion

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Food Lion uses a lion to persuade us to buy groceries.

food Lion

Seeing a lion who is casually watching TV is probably more believable to me, then me walking down aisle 9 at the local Food Lion. I guess there are varying degrees of the suspension of disbelief. But I do want to believe in talking lions. It’s their power of persuasion in advertising.

This is a blog on persuasion. I decided to write on this topic when someone remarked that I am in a job of persuasion. I thought about it, and reminded myself that we all live a job of persuasion.


 I negotiate with myself every morning. Before I get out of bed, I tell myself, “how about another 5?”.

When I was about four-years-old, I remember a Chevy dealership car lot that was near my grandparents house. It was the town of Muncy, Pennsylvania. Honestly, I guess that most would be hard pressed to call it a ”car lot” because it only had  about 9 or 10 cars on the lot.

That was the charm of Muncy. My birthplace; where the joke was that there was a tree at the beginning of Muncy that had two signs hanging on it. The first sign said “Welcome to Muncy“.On the back of the tree was a sign that said “Thank you for visiting Muncy“. Not really a true story, but it was a small town. That’s why the car lot only had 9 or 10 cars.

In addition to the cars, sat a big farming Combine Harvester. My grandfather had traded it in for a new truck. It sat there with a “for sale” sign, on the car lot, for over a year. Why? Because my ”Pop Pop” had persuaded the car dealer that it was in his best interest to sell a truck and trade for that farming vehicle. I often wonder what happened to that Combine. But I saw the power of persuasion by a farmer.

Today is Thursday. You will be faced with opportunities for persuasion. What will you accomplish? The power of persuasion is the greatest of all super powers!

And for pic o’ day, If I believe in talking lions, why can’t I still believe in Unicorns!


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The Reminder of Human Cork

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

And to get us started for Monday…


I saw an article in this weekend’s edition of Pilot Online about the Human Cork, Angelo Faticoni.  He traveled to Tidewater to beat a world record of buoyancy by attempting to break the world’s endurance record for swimming in saltwater. His goal was to beat the already attained  86 hours.


What got my attention, beyond the curiosity of the story and the pictures that included him just casually reading the paper, was the fact that crowds gathered at the Norfolk city park. They were there just to watch him float.




Reading the article and seeing the picture of the crowd reminded me of what was entertainment “back in the day”. In fact, courtrooms would also fill up when a jury trial took place. In the classic movie To Kill a Mockingbird, the entire town gathered to watch a criminal trial. In 1995, the O J Simpson murder trial was considered the trial of the century, as people across the nation would tune to their TV for the day’s trial events. Basically, it was the start of reality TV.

That is really the exception. In reality, I now root hard for a short jury trial. Last year, I was thankful to settle a case that was originally set for six weeks. I  was concerned that no one could take time to sit as a jury for that long. And of course, I knew that there would be no packed gallery of spectators. We all have shorter attention spans and much more,  trying to grab our attention.

Finally, are you wondering if the Human Cork broke the record?  Remember, the record was 86 hours. I’d love to tell you what you want to hear. Unfortunately, Cork only stayed in the water for 71 hours and 19 minutes. Too bad for Cork! Right?

As a side benefit, the article did note that he lost 35 pounds during his “flotation”. After the unsuccessful try, he weighed a svelte 307. You can also click the pasted site for him to see what secret he took to his grave. (That’s called a blog tease!)

That also begs the question, does a 1000 pounds of cork weigh less than a thousand pounds of steel?

And now our pic o day…


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The Friday Notebook

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Sometimes I see a possible idea for a blog and I tuck it away. Then, I go back to those “tucked ideas” and I can’t figure out any blog idea. They are just like fingernail polish… without the nails. Or something like that.

So, here’s from the notebook. You’ll see why I ran out of creativity to make them into blogs from just thoughts.

During his entire life, Vincent Van Gogh sold exactly one painting, Red Vineyard at Arles. Makes me feel encouraged if I only write one book!

History tells us that the two robbers crucified next to Jesus were named Dismas and Gestas. You are probably wondering why I thought this was a blog idea. Yes… not so much.

If you have time to watch a presentation from Ted Talks, here’s a good one on How to Spot a Liar by Pamela Meyer. (Here)

And finally, Cinderella’s slippers were originally made out of fur, until a translator changed the story in the 1600′s. I guess 4-inch high-heeled fur sounds a little crazy!

I hope you have a great weekend… be creative out there!

And for pic o’ day…


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All in the Words!

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Facetious and abstemious  are the only two words that contain all the vowels in their correct order. That brings me to how two words played a role in a recent alimony case.

A lawsuit was filed by a New Jersey man, who claims that he suffered emotional distress when his ex-wife wrote the notations bum and loser on the memo line of her alimony payment checks to him.

Francis Wagner Jr. claimed that the name-calling worsened his health conditions, including cancer and a bad heart, according to the lawsuit.

His ex-wife, Diane Wagner, told the Daily Record that she agreed to pay her former husband $744 a month in spousal support for six years, because she didn’t have the money to fight it in trial. She says that she also has cancer and is terminally ill.

“As far as I’m concerned I can write anything I want on the memo line because it’s a note to myself,” Wagner told the Daily Record. “I was the victim in that marriage. What more blood does he want from me? I pay him religiously.”

Wagner told the Daily Record she also suffered emotional distress when the law firm that filed the suit, Trautmann & Trautmann, posted a photo of one of her alimony checks. The memo line read “alimony/adult child support.” The law firm claimed that they were trying to  “put a stop to that harassment.”

No word on whether the words have stopped. But apparently he keeps cashing the checks! And isn’t life more in the details than in the words!

And for the blog… winner winner chicken dinner!


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Competition and Advertising

Monday, April 11th, 2016

I like the TV show Better Call Saul  which is based on a lawyer named Saul Goodman. It has some local flavoring to it, because the female main character is from Virginia Beach and the creator of the series is from Chesterfield.

The last couple of episodes have been about Saul sneaking into his brother’s house to change document dates, as a way of defeating the competition. I won’t bore you with the details, except to include that Kinkos copying and the changing of documents, is the basis of the story.

A 1946 law went into effect called the Lanham Act, which prohibits false advertising and provides civil penalties for such “competition” activities.  We hold false statements in business to a different standard than just defamation.

In 1991 Procter & Gamble won a $75,000 lawsuit against James & Linda Newton after they were found responsible for spreading rumors that the company supported the Church of Satan. The two were distributors of Amway Products, a competitor of Proctor & Gamble.

They had published information to indicate that the President of Proctor and Gamble had appeared on the Phil Donohue Show to announce that “due to the openness of our society, he was coming out of the closet about his association with the church of Satan”. The Newtons went on to say that people should understand that a purchase of Proctor and Gamble products was a conscious effort to support the church of Satan.

Unfortunately, such “false advertising” doesn’t seem to apply to politics. I guess we just assume it’s all false in political advertising. When you see that kind of advertising, can’t you almost see that as a political ad? Yes you can!

And for pic o’ day, this is one to make you think:


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A Monday for Thoughts

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

You might have noticed that there was a couple of days last week, where I did not write a blog.  I was in the Washington D. C. area (Crystal City) attending my uncle’s funeral. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

I have attached the history of the Cemetery. The land was originally in the family of Robert E. Lee. It was confiscated by the Federal government and then returned to the family because the Supreme Court ruled on a 5-4 vote that the land had been improperly seized without due process. It was later sold back to the government. Quite a tangled history.

On Sunday, my wife and I attended an Easter sunrise service at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.  It also has quite a history that includes legend and even a reference to a Richmond vampire.

Both of these attachments make for some interesting history reading. At the sunrise service, a group played bagpipes to start the service.



The song Amazing Grace filled the air as darkness began to give way to light.

 Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
   That saved a wretch like me!
   I once was lost, but now am found,
   Was blind, but now I see.

Finally, I want to mention my Easter lunch. I guess they knew how much I would enjoy being seated near the desert table.



I noticed that people went into the “desert room” with a smile… and came out with full plates. Good eating! I like the quote attributed to Ernestine Ulmer, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first!”

And for our pic o’ day, this made me laugh:



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Categories : Current Affairs, Misc.
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