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Archive for The Human Spirit

After the Super Bowl

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

The Super Bowl is one of those events that seems to gather a lot of people around the TV, whether we are sports fans or not. Then, the networks tell us that people stay up late afterward. (My excuse to post Eli’s picture for the “umpteenth” time. Plus, he did look a little tired in that suite last night!)


Which is to say, I’m guessing that you want a short blog today… if you stayed up late. Of course, it’s kinda like Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care, and then someone obviously cared because they wrote a song about it. So, with that in mind, here’s a quickie blog. Hopefully this is like Jimmy cracking that corn.

In line with whether anyone really believes that there is an insurance company that really treats you like a good neighbor, here are some mysteries of life from “Ten Mysteries of Life” that includes some with a sports bend to them:

1. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, would we know?

2. Why are bleachers called “stands” when they are made for sitting?

3. Why do we sing ”take me out to the ballgame” when we are already there?

4. Why is abbreviated such a long word?

5. Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if there is a ‘wet paint’ sign somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

6. Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?

Ok…. I will stop! It’s taking too much energy. So glad Peyton Manning got his second Super Bowl ring! Time for more coffee!


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Self Analysis

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist and the father of Psychoanalysis. So I start with him because this blog might seem to be a bit “psychological. I might be able to explain the blog. I cannot explain why Freud would have such an angry face… and want the sculptor to forever catch that angry face!


Of course, you don’t have to take a family photo for the eternal posting on Facebook to prove that you are happy either!


But there are some clients who tell me that they “want their day in court” while others nudge me toward settlement because “they want to put it behind them”. On occasion, I suspect that they really don’t want to go to court. Could it be a bit of introvert/extrovert considerations? Maybe sometimes?

That’s why it caught my attention when I saw this article from that asks the question, “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?”.

For the blog today, I thought I would paste this 10 question test (RIGHT HERE) in case you like these kinds of tests. The very first question is “Do you feel drained when in a large crowd of people?”. I’m glad it doesn’t ask, “Do you feel drained by long blogs?”.

I know I have already posted 2 pics today… but pic o’ day is my favorite part of the blog. This is one that reminds me of either church or my law school classes. Who likes up front?


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The Snow Shoveling Warning!

Monday, February 1st, 2016

As I look out the window of my Richmond office, I still see piles of snow all around the parking lot and grass. I think our other three offices had a bit of snow-envy during the snow days .  Now, they no longer have that kind of envy.

So, since I still can see the snow, I thought that a snow shoveling warning article might be helpful for the next time. It also tells us the size of shovel that should be used.

The headline from tells it all, Why Snow Shoveling is an Unusually Deadly Type of Exercise. Of course, that website also sounds a bit obscure but let’s go with their ideas:

First, the article reminds us,  Snow shoveling is a unique form of exertion. It can be vigorous and challenging to the cardiovascular system in general, and the heart in particular. When combined with the inherent environmental conditions of winter, snow shoveling during or after a blizzard may be the “perfect storm” for a cardiac event in those with known or “occult” (hidden) coronary disease.

Second, the nature of the exercise—and snow shoveling is unique. It is typically done without a warm up, and includes considerable arm work that increases blood pressure drastically. As blood pressure rises, so too does the work of the heart. Meanwhile, your leg muscles are typically performing isometric work (where you produce a lot of tension but your muscles don’t move your joint – like an even tie during an arm-wrestle). This type of muscle activity, especially in the upper body (as you tightly grip the shovel), raises blood pressure more than walking or jogging.

Add these two dangers with the issue of not breathing correctly in the cold; And then, as one doctor acknowledged, it doesn’t help that circadian rhythms make people more susceptible to heart attacks from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.—prime shoveling time.

The article concludes with the thought that if snow must be cleared, use a small shovel for less exertion. It’s better to have a safe sidewalk in a slower time, than have a heart attack!

(One final note: my Dad pointed out that Robert E. Lee did own slaves technically for a period of time, from the wrap-up of his father-in-law’s estate)(blog yesterday)

And for pic o’ day, more on the “staying safe genre”:


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Politics and Argument

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

On September 7, 1964 during the Presidential campaign between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater,  Johnson’s campaign broadcast a controversial television advertisement that is now known as the Daisy Ad.


It portrayed a little girl picking petals from a daisy while counting up to ten. During the count, a baritone voice off camera took over the countdown, culminating with a visual showing the explosion of a nuclear bomb. The ad only aired one time but impacted the election results.

The Johnson campaign was trying to convey  that electing Barry Goldwater as president also meant  the danger of a nuclear war. Goldwater’s campaign had been handing out a bumper sticker for supporters to put on their cars that said In your heart, you know he’s right.

After the Daisy Ad had aired on television, the Johnson campaign handed out a bumper sticker in response to the Goldwater sticker that said In your heart, you know he might” and “In your gut, you know he’s nuts.

Johnson won the presidency by a landslide with 61.05 percent of the vote.  At the time, this result was the widest popular margin of the 20th century.  In the actual count of the Electoral College , Johnson defeated Goldwater by margin of 486 to 52. In state count,  Johnson won 44 states, versus Goldwater’s six. The impact of the vote also gave Democrats the largest majorities in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s election in 1936. A Senate with a 68-32 Democrat majority and a house with a 295–140 Democratic margin.

Prior to that ad, the election was considered a close contest. After the TV ad, Goldwater was apparently viewed as dangerous and reckless. The voters convinced themselves.

Yesterday, I sat in an arbitration hearing and listened to the opposing counsel’s argument about our client’s injuries. At the conclusion, my closing included a reference to politics and how a Ted Cruz supporter would have a difficult time convincing a Hilary Clinton supporter to change their vote.

It’s hard to win an argument. I usually learn from arguing that I never learn anything from arguing. So I went in search of a quote on how to win an argument. I was reminded that A man convinced against his will… is of the same opinion still!. I just hope that the arbitrator came without opinion!!!!

And for pic o’ day, maybe sometimes its just more fun to fit in:


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O.J. Simpson Upcoming Television

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story  premiers on FX Network on February 2. In June, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series will air a five-part mini-series on the rise and fall of Simpson called O.J.: Made in America.

I will probably watch both the docudrama and the documentary. I have a clear memory of that fateful night when O.J. in that white Bronco, captured the nation’s attention. Then his trial on national television everyday, watched faithfully by viewers who treated the televised trial like a riveting soap opera with tremendous ratings. (Click here if you want a refresher on the O.J. Simpson murder trial)

I read an article from Business Insider as a primer for the upcoming ESPN documentary. After watching the upcoming documentary, the writer tells several facts that he learned about O.J including the following:

1. O. J. was asked during his career why he wasn’t doing more for civil rights and African-Americans. His response, “I’m not black, I’m O.J.”. The crafting of a persona for marketing purposes.

2. During the years that Simpson and his wife Nicole were married, the police were called to the house over 10 times.

3. One time that the police were called, they found O.J. holding a bat while his wife was crying hysterically next to a car with its windshield completely smashed.

4. The series gives details about O.J. and Nicole Brown’s murder including Simpson’s blood being found at the scene of the crime and a trail of blood leading back to his home.

5. Simpson declined the police request that he take a lie-detector test after the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. His reason as told to his friend was that “I’ve had dreams of killing Nicole”.

6. To help pay for his “Dream Team” defense team of lawyers, he would sit in his jail cell each night after trial and autograph items for sale. Supposedly, that memorabilia brought him over 3 million in proceeds.

So… that’s probably why I will watch both of these!

And for pic o’ day, I am posting one of those family photos that they classify as “gone horribly wrong”. In this instance, it’s some “superheroes” posing like they did several years ago. This seemed appropriate to the subject matter of the blog. Comparing O.J. looking bad during the trial… and looking worse now! Of course, the more I look at this picture… the worse it gets too!!



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Some Marketing Talk

Monday, January 18th, 2016


Would you like a sip of Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda? Doesn’t that sound like a real thirst-quencher? In 1929 it probably sounded pretty good to folks after the Wall Street Crash of that year, because it contained lithium citrate. In fact, it contained this mood-altering drug until 1950.

At that point, I suspect that no one really cared what the drink was called. They didn’t really even know why they liked it… they just did. It had been invented in 1920 and was sold by the Howdy Corporation. Now that is some crazy corporation naming right there!untitled

The name was later changed for marketing purposes to the name 7 Up. It is unclear why they changed it to that name, except there have been some theories that the drink had a pH of over 7 or that it had 7 ingredients. In fact, none of that was true.

At one point, they decided to market that it was made with “Real Sugar”. That seems to go with the marketing of that restaurant that used to be called Bob’s Big Boy.  Used to be called Bob’s Big Boy is the operative word. Because for 7 Up, I mean, who doesn’t want to guzzle some real good-ole-fashioned sugar and make your jeans look like they are well fitted to a body of Lard. Just sayin’.

Today 7 Up isn’t as well. When was the last time that you heard someone  say, “hey, I’ll have a 7 Up“. Not so much?  It originally was being marketed as caffeine-free. I guess Starbucks has taught us that if you make it with caffeine… more people will need it!

I was thinking about this as we begin to work on some upcoming legal ads. We shoot on Wednesday. All I know is that our new ads won’t be filled with sugar or caffeine free. 7 Up taught me that lesson.

But as pic o’ day reminds us, I guess it’s all in the point of view:


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For Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Sunday, January 17th, 2016


I often wonder what Martin Luther King Jr. Day must feel like to his family. In his “I have a dream” speech, he stated his hope was that “my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

At the end of a phone conversation, I know that I’m supposed to say goodbye… but I don’t like the word. Sometimes I might say to simply end the call with Until.

I am told that the Chinese language has no equivalent to the English word goodbye. The two Chinese characters used as a translation for the English word actually means see you again. Like many of us ask “How can there be any good in bye?”.

On this day, we remember a man who received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality. We remember a man who was probably the most famous Baptist preacher to ever live. This is a day that we remember a man who made a difference in civil rights.

But also on this day of remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., I know that I cannot imagine what his family felt when they said goodbye to him on this earth. Hopefully, today they feel some comfort in the difference that he made. Hopefully, they remember him for many reasons, but that they have comfort in the hope that they will see him again. That it wasn’t really goodbye. That on this day of remembrance, they are comforted by his legacy.


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My First 2016 Blog

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Fifteen Ways to Be a Better Person in 2016 caught my eye. The NY Times article was angling a different approach from the usual Here Are My Resolutions. Some of them will probably make you shake your head. I personally like the idea of drinking more coffee and being the boss of my electronic devices!

I had been wrestling with whether to write a resolutions blog, since I know that you haven’t seen any of those recently. (sarcasm warning)

Then, I saw another article by writer Jennifer Connolly Simpler Ways To Be Happier in 2016, that gave me more ideas for the new year. Both of these are definitely worth clicking and reading but this one had more for me!   Great ideas on being positive, eating well and taking care of my mental attitude with better choices.

Which leads me to this day…my first day back to work in the new year.  It starts with a 7 am doctor’s deposition. So, maybe that has something to do with my rebellion against resolutions. Or maybe the article from the Richmond Times Dispatch that reminded me that Positive thinking surprisingly not so helpful in keeping resolutions. But I head out positively to my morning deposition!!!!

Finally, I close with an obituary thought that I read in December that had true impact on me.   A wonderful lady that my wife introduced me to from the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts, had passed away.  At the end of the recitation of all the amazing things that she had done in life, there was a final special message at the end. It basically said that instead of giving to a designated charity, she just wanted us to show kindness to each other. That would be a great resolution to really keep.


And for pic o’ day, I wanted to make sure my first  pic o’ of 2016 had some real meaning. When I couldn’t satisfy that, I went with a reminder of helping each other. (I realized how hard it is to find a pic o’ with meaning!)


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Some Resolutions Thinking?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

I regularly get asked about my pic o’ day source. That’s a real compliment. It’s a whole lot better than being asked “Why?”.  With the new year in mind, I have been receiving some that make me smile. For instance:


Which brings me to three that Leanne circulated throughout our offices, to get us thinking about our New Year’s resolutions.







Maybe these will get you thinking about some 2016 goals… or maybe not so much!

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A Judge’s Injury and Lesson

Monday, December 21st, 2015

It’s a reminder that life’s circumstances can change in a moment without any warning. And so it did for a North Dakota judge. A story of recovery and of overcoming adversity. (

It all started when Judge John Irby was playing some noon basketball. He and another player went for the basketball, at the same time. The other player’s hand hit Irby’s right eye, rupturing it,  and causing total vision loss permanently. The basketball also hit the judge’s left eye at the same time that the player’s hand hit the right eye.  The basketball caused a detached retina in his left eye.

Irby: “I knew right away it was bad, boom, lights out,  right away.”

After two months, the judge is back on the bench. He has lost sight in his right eye, and still has reduced vision in his left eye. He hopes to be able to see better in the left as time goes on.

With the help of court staff and coworkers, Irby is hearing cases again with the assistance of technology.

Judge Irby told the reporter that he has done things like, “Changing the computer contrast so I don’t fight glare, and change the computer mouse from white to black so it got easier to track that.” A lighted magnifying glass also helps him see when the computer glare affects him. In addition, they have installed a larger computer monitor up at his desk.

The judge says the whole experience has given him a renewed appreciation for those who live with disabilities every day.  And, he was reminded that, ”I work in a great place with great people.” Sometimes it’s hard to see the glass half full but out of a difficult circumstance comes a reminder of good.


And a great Pic o’ day from Ashley D…


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