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Archive for The Human Spirit

Last Words

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

I always try to give you something to think about for the blog. Especially a mid-week blog.

James D. French was executed in Oklahoma in 1966He had been sentenced to jail with a life sentence but couldn’t bear it. So, he wanted to commit suicide but was but was too afraid. He concocted a solution to his fear. He murdered his cellmate so that the state 0f Oklahoma would execute him.

Sure enough, he was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death. At his execution by electric chair, he was asked if he had any final words. His reply?  How’s this for your headline… French Fries.  

Steve Jobs’s sister claims that his last words were Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow. Now, people wonder what he saw before he died.

Surgeon Joseph Henry Green was checking his own pulse as he lay dying. His last word… Stopped.

Poet Emily Dickinson was famous for phrases as “it is better to be the hammer than the anvil”. He last dying words… I must go in, for the fog is rising.

Inventor Thomas Edison awoke from a coma, opened his eyes and said these words before dying, It is very beautiful over there.

Something to think about for the blog… Last words.

And our source of wisdom in pic o’ day…


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Deciding the Value

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

We start the Monday blog with a picture that Mom sent that needs no real introduction… if you have been living with snow:


And now a sweater story from ESPN. A reminder that something is worth what someone will pay for it.

A man walked into a Goodwill store and found an old West Point sweater that caught his attention.

lombardi 1

He took it to the front to be weighed because that’s how they determine the price. The price of the sweater was 58 cents… so the man got change from his dollar plus a sweater.  No one had looked on the inside of the sweater. Inconspicuously written on the tag at the neck area was Lombardi 46.


The man took the sweater home and didn’t think much about it until he was watching a documentary on the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. On the documentary, he noticed that Lombardi was wearing the sweater that the man had bought. That’s when he pulled the sweater out and noticed the name written on the tag. It was the sweater that Lombardi wore at West Point while coaching there from 1949-1953.

He eventually decided to turn it over to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. This past Saturday it was auctioned and ultimately sold for a bid amount of $43,020. A sweater that had a value of what it weighed until it was determined that it had been owned by the most famous football coach of all time.

One final note. When I ask a jury to consider the damage of pain and suffering in a personal injury case, sometimes it’s difficult to put a value on pain and suffering. However, an old sweater reminds that whoever gave that sweater to Goodwill… is probably feeling a bit of pain and suffering and maybe even some mental anguish in an amount of at least $43,020

And finally, a password idea:

password pic

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I Do…6 to 10 Years

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Maybe it’s a perspective of happiness that’s a bit hard to understand. But, it’s a “love story” that belongs in the Friday blog. The kind of story that makes you take a second look.


From the Associated Press and Yahoo comes the story of Israel Silva, who got married and then sentenced. And, his attorney warned him before it all took place.  ”There will be no, ‘You can kiss the bride,’ or whatever they say when people get married,” Silva’s defense attorney, Sarah Miles, said before her client’s impromptu wedding on Feb. 11 in Park County’s District Court.

Israel Silva wore his orange jail jumpsuit and shackles while his bride-to-be stood the mandatory 15 feet. The judge married the lovebirds before one became a jailbird. The ceremony lasted about a minute and then the judge directed them to sit down.

Next, Judge Cranfill sentenced Silva to six to 10 years in prison for a drunken crime spree which included crashing two trucks, firing a  stolen gun at other oncoming cars and leading the police on a car chase that was reportedly up to 110 m.p.h. The chase ended after Silva ran over an irrigation pipe and got stuck in a muddy barley field. At the time, he was already out on bond for another misdemeanor charge.

Silva pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, property destruction and a third conviction of driving under the influence Somehow, all that was apparently attractive enough to woo his lady to get married… at the courthouse… well, you know. And he didn’t even wear a tie with his orange suit.

Despite the cold, I hope this pic o’ makes you smile into the weekend:


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Some Valentines

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

It’s Friday and it’s Valentine’s Day weekend. I know you didn’t come to the blog for some Valentine’s meaningful writing. Let’s roll with it!







I know… that last one is over the top!

I do hope that you have a great Valentine’s Day and a wonderful weekend!

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A Barber’s Punishment

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

From time to time I have posted a pic o’ day that is taken of a pet who has committed some mistake in the house. They are called pet shame pictures.

no regret

A picture like this where their owner prints a sign next to their pet.

Now a new form of shame punishment has been introduced. The Washington Post is reporting that a barber is offering to give your child a haircut as punishment for misbehaving. The barber calls it the Benjamin Button Special with a nod toward the movie.

a shame

The barber and owner of a shop called A-1 Kutz says that he offers this form of haircut for free, to parents who want to try a novel form of punishment. Supporters believe that it is the perfect cut for kids who need to “act grown”.

Supporters for this kind of punishment will say that these parents are creatively doing whatever it takes to teach their kids a lesson. And at least there’s no “physical hitting”.

I’m no psychologist, but a lesson that lasts until the hair grows out and subjects a child to ridicule seems more than just discipline to me. I don’t see this as hilarious lesson teaching. That’s just my 2 cents. I say someone should trim this barber’s nonsense.

And for pic o’ day, here’s an animal with no shame!


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In Search of the Truth

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Truthiness is defined as a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person intuitively knows “from the gut” or because it feels right. Truthiness is not based on evidence, logic, intellectual examination or facts.

Comedian Steven Colbert is credited as originating the word. He claims that he came up with the word by “pulling it right out of my keister”.

Not long ago, I had a case where my client’s recitation of the facts was completely different than the defendant’s version. It was a question of whether the defendnat had a green arrow or whether that driver simply ran a red light. Initially, it was one of those “He said/He said” cases. Fortunately, a traffic signal camera proved by video that the defendant had just “blown through” a red light.

In another case, a witness says that client was sitting in a parked car for somewhere between 15-30 minutes. Fortunately, a local gas station’s cameras captured the entire events, to include that the client was only at the location for approximately a minute.

In the first story, the defendant’s version of the events was what he wished the truth to be. Hence… not the truth! In the second story of the witness, there seems to be no motivation for the incorrect testimony. Maybe the false memory is simply Truthiness.

That leads me to the strange tale of of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. He has been caught telling a tale about being in a helicopter in 2003, and being forced down by enemy fire in Iraq. (story)  He is now facing a full “Fact-Checking” review at NBC. (NY Times)

Now, there are other questionable stories being put forth, including a story involving Hurricane Katrina. Williams continues to dig himself deeper and has now removed himself from his Nightly News broadcast. That might be code for having his boss tell him to take a timeout. I’m guessing that his days as anchor may be coming to an end.

Williams claims that he was not accurate about his Iraq helicoper story because he was in “the fog of war”. That reminds me of Roger Clemens telling Congress, that testimony about him being injected with steroids and/or Human Growth Hormone was actually testimony that was misremembered. Another new word in our vocabulary regarding  the question of what is the truth.

I could go on to describe the story of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. However, it almost seems as though the Brian Williams’ stories seem to be more of an urban legend than those. Will the SyFy channel soon be doing a series titled In Search of the Brian Williams Truth Maybe Brian Williams should wear a GoPro camera on his head. We live in strange times!


Did you know that that Avocado was originally known as the alligator pear. I promise… that’s not truthiness.

And for pic o’ day, some more on truth:

the truth

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A Friday of Pictures

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Since I wrote some long blogs this week, I thought I would give you a break and post some random (there’s that word) pic o’s:

officer baby

And what we all know!

one friend


And finally, one of my favorite repeats. A moment of thinking. Similar to being in search of the sound of one hand clapping:



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The Things of Robin Williams

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

This is a blog about money and estate planning. And so the adventure begins.

In trying to provide guidance, an IRS auditor supposedly reminded that, “The trick is to stop thinking of it as ‘your’ money”. I guess that’s one way to look at it. Of course Earl Wilson reminded us that, “if you think that no one cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments”. I learned a long time ago that the definition of a bank is a place who loans you money… when you don’t need it. (Bob Hope)

Jerry Seinfeld reminds us that dogs are happy despite having no money or things. “They are broke their entire lives but they get through. You know why they have no money? No pockets!”.

I remember one actor saying that the only reason that he made an American Express commercial… was to pay for his American Express bill.

And that leads me to Robin Williams who defined “Carpe per diem” as “Seize the check”.

The reminder that people are funny about money.     I end the blog with Robin Williams because his estate has his entire family in an uproar. It’s discussed in the NY Times article Robin Williams’s Widow and Children Tangle Over Estate.

Nearly six months after his death, his widow and the children from a previous marriage are in a legal fight over the division of the estate. According to the widow, she is entitled to the house and everything in the house. The kids say that she is entitled to everyday things in the house… not memorabilia that has value.

The wife is blocking access to the home. The kids basically are saying that she can keep her toothbrush, they want the Oscar statute. Well, in so many words that’s how it breaks out.

The kids claim it is effecting their ability to grieve the loss of their father. The wife says her domestic tranquility is being harmed.

Yep, people are funny about money. As Malcolm Forbes used to say about being rich, “I made my money the old-fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died”.

And for our pic o’ day, speaking of legal…


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A Jury Super Bowl Caution

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

On a Monday morning after the Super Bowl, it just feels like I need to start the blog with a coffee reference.

coffee pot


Last week, I had some comments on my Random Blog. Several asked why I was so random. My answer was that I just couldn’t help it!

For today, I will get right to the point; with the blog,  a legal topic and with it brief! (yep… see what I did there!)

On Thursday, the Aaron Hernandez murder trial commenced. On Friday as the second day was wrapping up, the Judge cautioned the jurors about discussing the trial over the weekend. (ABC News) Then she gave the jurors a stern warning, “I am not going to forbid you from watching this Super Bowl on Sunday, if that’s something really important to you”.

The judge continued, “But I am going to ask you to be especially vigilant. If you’re watching the game with friends or family or any third party, just have your antenna — just be really, really vigilant. You have to avoid anything that has anything to do with this case or Mr. Hernandez,” she said. “If you hear that word, you got to walk out of the room, distance yourself, immediately stop people, and if his name or this case is mentioned on the television screen or computer, just walk away.”

Former New England Patriots football player, Aaron Hernandez is accused of killing Odin Lloyd on June 17. 2012. With the New England Patriots playing this game during the middle of this trial, it would not be that unusual for something to be mentioned about the trial.

The Judge wanted to take every precaution to make sure that the jurors and alterantes (18 total) are not influenced by something that might be mentioned.  I’m sure that she does not want something to cause a mistrial because of the Super Bowl.

Just one final note on the Super Bowl. I admit it, it pains me that the Patriots won. This morning, I could not watch ESPN. Just couldn’t. As for Hernandez, I wonder if he was rooting for or against his old team.

And for pic o’ day:


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Just Some Random

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

     I thought that I would ramble a bit. So… here goes:

    Yesterday was a bit unusual for the law firm as we began our Virginia Beach office move from our old location to our new space; we opened our Richmond office a little later because of the snow;

(A picture as I stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans near the office, because I wanted to eat down on the farm!)


     And the South Carolina office faithfully kept the lights burning throughout it all. In addition, the South Carolina office is waiting for the construction build out, so they can move. That should be in a couple of months.

      And the randomness continues… Recently, the Virginia ex-Governor has been in the news quite a bit. That led me back to an old photo of five Virginia Governors that was taken in 1932.

5 gov

At this military celebration in Virginia Beach, four of the Governors were decorated with medals by then Governor John Garland Pollard (in center). This picture makes me wonder, “what were they thinking?”. You can see why I thought it belonged in the random blog.

     Debbie K sent me the following, that made me think,  “I  saw a sign recently that said, “If you see someone wearing camouflage, make sure you walk right into them so they know it is working.” Now that would be an “eye-opener”.

     And to wrap up my random thoughts. The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word that you want. Of course, it is virtually impossible to remember that word. What word?

     And finally, stressed is desserts spelled backwards. It’s all in how you look at things!

      And for pic o’ day,  I thought that in the middle of this cold, wouldn’t a spa day feel good?


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