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Useless, Useful and Interesting?

 

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Our Blog starter picture just seemed to fit the title today. I hope the following items below will be Useful and Interesting, instead of all falling into the category of Useless! That decision is in the eye of the beholder!

I just learned that McDonald’s has a category of customers that they call “Heavy Users“. To “join that category” you need to eat there ten times per month. If you want McDonald’s to categorize you as a “Super Heavy User“, apparently you need to eat there an average of 3-5 times per week. Quite a frequent eaters club .

Renowned gangster Al Capone carried business cards that said he was a used furniture dealer. I wonder if he liked cork floors for the rec room?

I just saw some good advice. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it. Note to self!

The word “gorilla” is derived from a Greek word that means “a tribe of hairy women”. It’s from the history of Hanno the Navigator. (I am frightened to even comment on this)

I am very fascinated with the power of the sugar industry. Here is an interesting article  from Manila Bulletin Business titled How Big Sugar killed a 1968 study that pointed to a heart disease link. The power of sugar!

And now, a couple of random thoughts. (As though all the previous “stuff” is not random!) Sometimes I want to post a blog on what I am reading or what I am watching. I just never do. But, since this blog is aimlessly heading somewhere unknown; I thought it might be a good time to throw some crazy in the mix.

I am watching and reading many things… all at the same time…just because. Here are two things:

First, a current non-fiction book that I am reading is Survive Like A Spy by Jason Hanson.  It says on the cover that Real CIA Operatives Reveal How They Stay Safe In a Dangerous World And How You Can Too. (I suspect you weren’t expecting this book!) It reads like a novel.

And what is something I am watching? Here’s one on Netflix : The Toys that made us.  There are four episodes. The one about Barbie suggests that Mattel has been ruthless in fighting the competition throughout the years. Very interesting!

And finally, I close Our Blog today with a quote/reminder from Henry Ford. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t- you’re right.”

And for our pic o’ day… I have posted this in the past, but it’s one of my keepers because it gets me everytime I see it. Dogs are great! And this cat is a team player

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Spaghetti and Positivity

Let’s just keep it going. Valentine’s Day again. Can you feel the love? Not so much? Come on! All right… on with the show. But I hope you can still feel the love!

I am going to tell you one of my weaknesses… it’s spaghetti.

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There are some things that I can avoid eating, but I find myself yielding to the temptation of spaghetti and casting aside all concerns of weight gain. And that’s where I found myself last weekend… on a spaghetti mission!

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And not just any mission. My wife and I were headed to Joe’s Inn for their spaghetti. As we walked in the door, we found several people standing and seated. All waiting for a table. The hostess/waiter walked up to us and asked “how many in your party?”. Then she said “A few tables are about to leave and it should only be a few minutes”.

I noticed that she said the same thing to a few more people that came in, right after us. No one left the restaurant. We waited a bit and no one left. All because we were greeted positively and given “hope”.

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I know I am getting carried away with the spaghetti pictures, but it was a reminder to me about the importance of attitude, even in this restaurant stop.

Years ago, attorney John Morgan in Florida told me that his most important employee at his law firm was his receptionist. What do people think when they call the firm. Just like walking in to a restaurant. The difference between waiting and walking out the door.

Yesterday, I spoke to a lawyer at our firm who told me about a case that he is working on right now. The lady had previously been represented by another local law firm on a prior injury case. Now, she has another injury, but this one is tremendously significant with high medical bills and a multi-million dollar insurance policy. That’s code for… it is a big big case.

Why did she call us? Well, she thought about going back to the firm that represented her on her first case. At the same time, she just happened to see our commercial. Couple that with the fact that she was not exactly thrilled with her last case.

Thankfully, our intake was friendly. Then, she spoke to a lawyer here that was helpful. She decided to hire us. As John Morgan said, you can always find lawyers, but it’s hard to find people who care. And that’s the importance of Team at the firm. It makes me want to say thank you every day, to those who work here at the firm. No different than… a table will be ready shortly. Instead of not caring and just saying, “there will be a 30 minute wait”.

And yes, for pic o’ day, one more pasta mention. Is it wrong to have spaghetti for breakfast? How about if it’s just a side?

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Justice in the Stadium Basement

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Plus, laughter is good!

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Ok… I know! That is a mean way to start the blog… if you happen to be a Cowboys fan. But it really does tie in to Our Blog today. I promise.

And by the way, the other day I was watching highlights on the NFL Network and heard the voice of Pat Summerall. It made me feel nostalgic. Kinda made me want to go to a store and “Tell them Pat Summerall sent me”.

I am sure there are some who have no idea who Pat Summerall was. Or why I would be wanting to go to a store and say “Tell them Pat Summerall sent me”. I might as well be writing about  meeting family at the airport gate or listening to an eight track tape. And yes, there was something called yellow page advertising. That went out right around the time CDs and cassette tapes were packed in storage. But I digress.

This is really about the Philadelphia Eagles and their old football stadium… and a courthouse in the basement.

Of course, there used to be funny pictures about Eagles fans that no longer apply. The glory of winning.

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But they are still funny. So back to our story about justice at the stadium.

We travel to Philadelphia, when they played at Vet stadium. As “legend goes”, Eagles fans were already known for getting out of hand. These were the same fans who had booed Santa Claus and bombarded him with snowballs in 1968. (Here) Of course, they are also the same fans who obviously thought that being excited about winning the Super Bowl meant that it was ok to overturn cars and set fires in the middle of the street. I have never felt like celebrating like that, but maybe it’s just me.

On a Monday Night Football game against the 49ers in 1998, there were approximately 60 fistfights in the stands. Management and ownership had tried to stop the craziness by stopping beer sales in the 4th quarter and providing more security. Nothing was working. It was time to try something new.

Ownership decided to install a courtroom and jail on the premises, in the basement of the stadium. The fans, even by Philadelphia standards, were getting out of hand. On the opening day of this new “justice in the basement”, 20 fans were “processed”.

The way it worked, fans who were breaking the law at the game were taken to Eagles Court to see a judge immediately. They were usually caught in the act of some kind of drunkenness fighting, and basically forced to a guilty plea that led to a fine, somewhere between $150-$300 and/or community service.

More serious crimes would lead to serious criminal charges and court dates. Because it was considered a real court with real justice and law, those who wished to plead not guilty or request a lawyer would also be assigned a court date at the courthouse.

As the story goes, the very first person brought before the judge because of drunkenness in public, went through the process of a hearing/trial. After the judge heard the evidence of the conduct, he asked the man if he had anything to say before he would render his finding and possible sentencing.

The man was clearly drunk and reportedly rocking back and forth. There was even a question about whether he would remember this hearing the next day.

But, he obviously heard the judge. He paused momentarily before answering. The judge asked again, “Sir? Is there anything you would like me to consider or something you want to say?”. The man leaned forward and all of a sudden blurted out, “Troy Aikman is a fa**ot“”. Of course, he said it without stars!

And that started “justice” at the stadium. No word on whether a judge, who was probably an Eagles fan, was influenced by the verbal attack on the Cowboys quarterback.

And finally, for pic o’ day, I am staying with the football theme. This was posted Zach Schwartz. He noticed that a Red Robin cake somehow looks like the coach, Rob Ryan:

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Food and Snow Wednesday

I always feel like I should start Our Wednesday Blog with something that grabs your attention. How about some food humor?

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Because we are dealing with snow in Virginia, I am going light on the blog. But doesn’t that call for snow pictures?

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And….

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And for pic o’ day… we end with more food humor. (although it’s obvious that “humor” is broadly construed. (and using “construed” officially makes this a legal blog!) Be careful out there today!

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Really Honey? A Netflix Mention

Since this is a legal blog that might sound more like a food blog today, let’s start with some food humor:

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Hang on… because we are going to talk nectar!

I walked into Shore Dogs for breakfast and ordered some scrambled eggs and an english muffin. (If I am being honest, I ordered an extra english muffin) Then, I walked over to their condiment table to pick up napkins, a straw, and add a strawberry jelly.

That table has a collection of items to please everyone. For instance, there is orange marmalade. I find marmalade interesting because that’s one of those toppings that… you either totally dislike it or you favor that above all other spreads. Me… I think it tastes like orange peels, and I mean peels in a bad way!

Apart from the grape and strawberry jelly, there is also tabasco sauce and honey packs. The honey packs serve as our blog launching point today. Or I could also call this, “What documentary am I currently watching?“.

It’s a new six-episode documentary on Netflix titled Rotten. Netflix describes it as, “Rotten dives deep into the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and real dangers behind your everyday eating habits“.

So far, I have only watched the first episode titled “Lawyers, Guns & Honey“. As described in the episode, they rhetorically ask how it is that demand for honey is increasing, while bees are dying off in record numbers. How can it be?

It is educational on how bees produce honey… and nectar is nectar. Right? But greed has led to hidden additives and a final product to the public that has a mixture of honey and contaminants. Much like a drug dealer adding to product to stretch profits.

This documentary is worthy of watching and will make you possibly look differently at those honey packs, at the condiment table. Or, at that plastic bear with honey, in the grocery aisle. And that’s just episode one.

For more reading on this, here is a good article/review from latimes.com (here).

And for pic o’ day, this dog picture fits into our healthy living theme. Or something like that:

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Casseroles and Turtlenecks (Or 2018 Thoughts)

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As I drive toward my neighborhood, I now pass a temporary yard sign that says Be Kind.  I know that my reaction should be, “Isn’t that a great reminder”.

This is probably not the right thing to say, but that sign makes me think, “I wonder what made them put that sign up?” and “I wonder if their neighbors think to themselves that they should start being kind by being good neighbors, and take that sign down?“. And maybe even a part of me thinks “I wonder why they think they should tell me to be kind?“.  Yes, I know… that is not the reaction that I should have!

In writing Our year-end blog, I am consciously thinking about that sign. It’s not for me to tell you what your goals should be for 2018. Goals are personal.

Maybe you have just decided that in the coming year, you will not wear turtlenecks.

Maybe you are thinking that you want to eat more vegetables in the coming year. Does it count if you are eating vegetables, like they have at Ruth’s Chris Steak House? You know, the sweet potato casserole that is prepared with 12 sticks of butter and graham crackers. Or the broccoli and ice cream vegetable medley? (or something like that)

At the age of 101, Larry Lewis ran the 100 yard dash in 17.8 seconds setting a new world record for runners 100 years old or older. How is that for a goal?

Remember, I promised that I would not tell you what your goals should be. So maybe we call Our blog today… The no criticism goal zone!

Let me take you on a wandering thought tour. What I am thinking for the new year. But first, a New Year’s thought:

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I am told that men in their twenties typically take it hard when their hair starts falling out. I fell into that eg0/insecurity twenty-something. I do applaud those who embrace baldness. I just didn’t.

So, I found myself at a doctor’s office for a hair transplant consultation. Soon, I had gone through several hair transplant “procedures” and I felt pretty good about the results. Looking back, it makes me shake my head (not so much my hair). One of those times I would have time-traveled back to tell myself not to do it! (We are still not quite finished with our time machine at the firm)

In February of 2008, I had a kidney transplant. As I left the hospital, they explained the anti-rejection medications that had to be taken. Then, they also explained the side effects. One specific pill could cause hair loss. At that moment, hair loss didn’t matter. Perfectly happy to take the medication! Hair loss was not important compared to the benefits of the medication.

It was true, I did suffer hair loss. Maybe it is medication related. Of course, I also like to say that I have summer hair. Some are here (hair) and some are gone. Boom!

I have written several “Resolutions” blogs over the past few years. Sometimes I list several goals I have for the new year and other times, just some general positive thoughts.

This year I made a personal list of several goals for the new year. One specific goal is much like that medication. To focus on the real things that matter and not get hung up on what doesn’t matter.  Much like the benefit of the medication instead of the detail of those side effects. Major on the major! Not to spend time thinking and majoring on the minor.

Buckling up, with my seat in the upright and locked position. Whenever things seem difficult, I want to focus on the big picture.

Yes… that’s why they are called goals!

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I so wish you a very happy new year.  2018 is going to be a great year! I just know it! These are the good days!

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Some Foreseeable “Seeables”

Do you feel relieved or depressed this morning? A mixture of both emotions is settling across the U.S. today. All that buildup of Christmas, and now you either took the tree down or pulled it out the door. Or… it has to be done! The foreseeability of after-Christmas emotion.

Here’s a starter picture for Our Blog on foreseeability:

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If someone runs through the zoo and hollers, “The lions are loose. The lions are loose”. There might be some foreseeable reaction. Sure, it could get a laugh. Or, if the “warning” is believable, it could cause a stampede toward the exits. If it was a joke of a warning and someone trips and hurts themselves… the question of foreseeability probably becomes an issue in a lawsuit. Right?

I find myself already thinking about my goals for 2018. I intend to write a blog on it. I guess that’s what has made me think about foreseeability. Where will I find myself in a year?

Years ago, a well known absent-minded professor was looking for a ride, to take him to his next speaking engagement. He waved down a taxi and jumped in. The driver began hurriedly driving away from the curb. A thought then dawned on the scientist and he leaned forward and asked the driver, “Hey, do you know where I want to go?” “No, Sir” the driver shouted back, “but I’m driving as fast as I can!”.

I pause to realize how easy it is to just be in a hurry. The foreseeable future literally means “the before you are able to see”. So the importance of what I do right now, before I can see what will happen… can impact what will happen. Does that feel like a palindrome? (words or phrases that read forwards and backwards. like radar, kayak. This one really gets me: Madam, I’m Adam. )

What I do know is that Our Blog will continue, and it will continue with me regularly wandering… just like that last paragraph. That’s foreseeable! But I also want goals for the new year, so that I am not just going to see what happens… but that I arrive where I intend.  And so the thinking continues!

And for pic o’ day, how about how a kid might explain being in a hurry?

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Facts and Caffeine Drink Lawsuits

There are two words in the English language that are spelled with all the vowels in order: abstemious and facetious. To this day, I am still trying to figure out why “and sometimes y was part of my education. Poor y!

John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, had a habit of eating beef between two slices of toast, so he could eat without interruption of his card game. Hence… he is credited with “inventing” or naming the sandwich. Is that an example of necessity is the mother of invention?

It is reported that during the years that she was the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day. Which causes me to post this advertisement for cigarettes from the early 1960’s. You wouldn’t expect an NBA player today to be a spokesman, would you?

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These three random items all serve as a prelude to a tragic sequence of events that has now led to a lawsuit. An Idaho man was found dead, after regularly consuming at least four energy drinks a day. (IdahoStatesman.com) His family has now filed suit against the manufacturers of Red Bull, NOS and Monster beverages.

The lawsuit alleges that the 25-year-old man was unaware of the risks associated with these drinks. It goes on to state that the manufacturers should also warn consumers not to use their products with alcohol or while exercising. The family also believes that the manufacturers should also warn that four 16 ounce drinks per day are too many. I have attached the article, because I am interested as to whether you think that the manufacturers are at fault.

I started out this blog by reciting the invention of a sandwich, because these caffeine drinks are basically a way that people, including students and truck drivers, are trying to stay awake and alert. Remember, Necessity is the mother of invention. Should they believe that it could have impact on their health? Which is also why I threw in that last fact about Jackie Kennedy. Maybe in those days, they really believed that cigarettes were a way to relax. But three packs?

Why did I originally mention the two words and my fascination with vowel placement? Really nothing related to the blog, but it does prepare you for some holiday Trivial Pursuit!

 

And for pic o’ day, here is another of my “ole faithful” holiday pictures. A curious Nativity scene for sure!

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Yes… A Blog of Pictures.

I admit it! I started to blog on damages, and I got interrupted. So I backtracked for another day because I no longer had time for one of my 600 word dissertations… and this is what we ended up with for Our Blog today. Do pictures make it a blog? I hope so!

First is something to make you smile. And yes, I believe this is a real picture. Right?

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Next, because of all the shopping advertisements, can you find what is wrong with this picture? (Kinda like “where is Waldo?”)

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And I thought I would attach a picture about success. Or something…

 

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And finally, bears sitting at picnic tables just seems like a good ending today. Or is this just a power lunch?

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Does This Coffee Have Value?

You’ve heard the expression, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure“? Or… “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder“. Well, this blog is about value, even when there are differing opinions. More on that in a second.

But first, I don’t even know why I am posting this for Our Monday Blog, but it just makes me laugh. When I saw this on instagram (I would give credit but I’m not sure where I saw it), it spoke to me about misplaced good intentions. The holiday season…A lot of giving and good thoughts, but maybe not good ideas.

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(See what I mean?)

If you are in search of a tree, this might be an idea, if you have a cat. I guess it’s planning for the inevitable. (Since I’m not a cat person, I am posting this as sent to me. Makes sense.)

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I always feel that a discussion of coffee on a Monday, is timely. I’d say not to read this during breakfast, but there are people drinking this coffee during their breakfast. It’s the story of Kopi luwak.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America describes its taste as “a general consensus within the industry…it just tastes bad”. Yet, it is a very expensive “bad coffee”. Why? Well, here’s the story.

Kopi luwak is the name for any coffee beans that are collected from the excrement of civets. The beans are fed to these cat-like animals, collected, roasted, aged and then brewed. Here is the wikipedia story. It makes it easier to just attach, because I really don’t want to write more about the specifics. (Much like discussing Indianapolis Colts football. Best not to discuss!)

For the point of this blog, I do need to reference the price of this Indonesian coffee. Retail prices reach as high as $700 for 2.2 pounds. I checked on Amazon for the farmed version, and it is currently selling for about $25 for a 3.5 ounce bag and marketed as “The World’s Most Exclusive Coffee“.

To me, this story shows again that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. What is the value of something? Whatever someone is willing to pay. It probably also reminds of of the power of marketing.

I have written about this concept value in other blogs. In a jury trial, when discussing losses, it requires a juror to consider the evidence of value, not what they necessarily consider the value to be.

If someone lost their entire warehouse of Kopi luwak to a flood, it would be easy to consider that there is no value, and therefore no loss. And yet… there is value because critics admit, “It’s not that people are after that distinct flavor. They are after the rarity of the coffee”.

And finally, our pic o’ day

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