No matter where you are we will come to you

DO I HAVE A CASE?

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It Is Hard To Title Random!

I have had a few requests not to post cat pictures anymore. Does this really count?

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Hahahahahahaha (I can’t help it)

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Yes, I am sure there is still some “cat picture anger”!

Which leads me to the Winston Churchill story. I always enjoy some “history” in Our Blog. Apparently at a party, Churchill was accused by either Lady Astor or Bessie Braddock of being ‘disgustingly drunk’. He simply replied, “My dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.”

This pic o reminded me of that Churchill story. Part of his success was not being afraid!

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If you are now making plans for summer travel, here are some websites to consider:

Kayak.com tracks the fares that you search and advises you on whether to buy now versus the likelihood of price fluctuation.

Skyscanner.com lists searches by “cheapest”, “fastest” and “best”.

Hipmunk.com searches your fares and suggests dates that would give better pricing.

Momondo.com and the more well known Booking.com are travel fare search engines for comparison shopping.

I thought this article (here) from CNBC was good information on why walking and thinking helps your creativity…and why Steve Jobs did it all the time.

You can see the randomness today. I enjoy just rambling on Our Wednesday Blog!

And finally, for our pic o’ day… I hope this brightens your day!

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The Controversy of Choosing to Die

This blog reminds me of the expression of the dog trying to catch a fly. I think you might have this same expression at the end. Most of the time, I like to write on positivity. Once you read the article and blog, you tell me!

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At age 104, scientist David Goodall has decided to end his life. At BBC.com, he details why he is ready. According to the article, the well-known ecologist and botanist is not suffering from a serious illness, but he now wants to end his life. Why? Because of his diminishing independence.

David Goodall has bid farewell to his home in Australia to fly across the world. He reports that “My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights including the right of assisted suicide“.

He told ABC News that he hoped that people would understand his decision. “If one chooses to kill oneself then that’s fair enough. I don’t think anyone else should interfere.”

This is how he looks now, and this lady is accompanying him on his trip to Switzerland. That’s where assisted suicide is legal.

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He looks fully functional, but he feels like he has had enough. The article details all the things that he has done recently, including editing a 30-volume-book on the topic of Ecosystems of the World.

I thought I would post this as a topic today because it deals with something that most people want to ignore… death. Plus, there are true differing opinions on whether a person should be allowed to determine the choice of when they die… versus leaving death to determination by God. There is a lot packed into that last sentence. Pretty intense!

I found this article to be extremely interesting because this man is not terminally ill. He just feels as though he has had enough.

And now, I want to lighten up the blog a bit. So……

For pic o’ day… who doesn’t want a pony?

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No Monkey Business!!

Selfies are the theme!

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Today’s legal question: Why is a corporation considered to be a person by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United Case (See Washington Examiner article) even though a monkey is not allowed to copyright his selfie? I guess I could get crazy and also ask why the PaMunkey Indian Tribe can own a casino! (Richmond.com)

Did you see this story about Naruto? (Yahoo Story) Yes, I know…crazy that we even know his name!

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Who would have thought that a monkey would be involved in a copyright lawsuit? It’s obvious that he doesn’t have good lobbyists working for him.

It all started when a judge ruled that a monkey does not have the right to own a selfie. Then on appeal, three judges unanimously upheld a lower court ruling and dismissed the original lawsuit that had been brought by PETA. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The picture was taken by using a  UK-based photographer’s camera. Apparently, the monkey walked up… and pressed the button. 

Then in 2015, PETA filed suit on behalf of the monkey against wildlife photographer David Slater, seeking financial control of the now-famous selfie of the grinning monkey in the picture above.

The Appellate Court seems irritated with having to decide this case. Here’s what the opinion said,  “We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement”.  Judge Carlos Bea continued, “We conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.”

Then, they sent the case back to the lower court… to determine what attorney fees that PETA owes the photographer’s attorney. I wonder if they will ask the monkey to help bear that burden. This whole story makes me “paws” (see what I did there?) and wonder… what would cause an organization to think that monkeys should have financial rights? Come on!

 

And finally for pic o’ day, this has nothing to do with the blog but it truly makes me laugh!

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More Than A Bell Rung!

How about some motivational thoughts for Our Wednesday Blog?

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I guess it’s better than someone just simply daring us with some attitude…right?

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So let’s get down to business. This blog is about football and brain injury. I immediately get serious!

Jeff Bezos once worked at a hedge fund and was growing increasingly frustrated because he was unable to match the returns of another investor, Bernie Madoff. (Of course we all now know that Madoff’s yearly investment returns were all fake)

Bezos reportedly confided in Ted Leonsis (owner of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals) that his frustration caused him to quit his hedge fund job at D.E. Shaw. He then started a little company called Amazon. The cause and effect.

I compare a brain injury to cause and effect. You can tell if a person has a broken arm because you can physically see their cast. There is no cast for the brain. So, it’s not unusual to miss a brain injury. It’s why they are called  the “walking wounded”. The cause is usually related to trauma but the effect is usually not known until it’s too late.

Years ago, the defense called their head trauma expert to the witness stand in one of our brain injury cases. We had already put our case on and had several treating doctors testify that our client had a brain injury. Now, this defense witness had been identified as a doctor who was going to disagree with all the treating doctors.

He admitted that our client had hit her head. He even admitted that she might have had a concussion. But he went on to say that it was just like a football player who just “had their bell rung, but that didn’t mean that they had to come out of the game”. In essence, his testimony was that our client’s brain injury was no big deal.

The NFL has announced that they are considering a radical rule change. Here is an article explaining that the NFL is poised to eliminate kickoffs. Why? According to a recent study (Here) 16% of football injuries occur during the kickoff, and those injuries have a high probability of concussion related.

It probably will not happen this year. But, it would not surprise me to see no kickoff next year, with the ball starting at the 25-year-line to start the game. I suspect they are still working out the issue of onside kicks because that adds another dimension to the end of the game… and trying to catch up.

All I know, fortunately juries would no longer put up with a hired defense expert saying such nonsense as though a head injury is no big deal when you are wearing a helmet. That’s because the NFL and its former players are putting head injuries in the headlines. Plus, no one is wearing a helmet while they drive. So these injuries are possibly even worse.

And for pic o’ day, I completely agree!

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Fries, Hair and Flying Food Tips

I know that when you read Our Blog, you expect something helpful. Now here is some real life stuff:

If you are really honest with yourself, it is hard not to eat McDonald’s fries. You know that they are terrible for you. You know that they probably have no potato content; and you even have a memory that maybe some ingredient involved in their frying has to do with meat. Or something like that?

Well, it’s my job in the blog to give you a reason to be able to lean over and take 3 fries from someone who is eating them nearby. Blog legal reasoning! And I think they meant “hai” as in hair 

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Or maybe they really meant hai. I cannot say that it will do this… because even blog literary license has its limits.

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But let’s stay on theme today and discuss airplane food and drink. Did you know that your taste buds operate differently on a plane?

Food tastes differently when you are 30,000 feet in the air. Scientists say that at a high altitude, your ability to pick up a sweet taste drops by 15 to 20 percent. Conversely, your perception of saltiness increases by 20-30 percent. So I guess it means to really enjoy the pretzels?

How about some food airplane tactical eating? The pilot and co-pilot are fed different meals. It’s to make sure that they both don’t get food poisoning from a specific food. I felt better about flying after I read that requirement…not!

And finally, here’s something to consider. The next time the flight attendant offers you something to drink like coffee or tea, it’s probably not so safe to drink either of those on a flight. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency found that one in eight U.S. airplanes did not meet required standards for safe drinking water.

The water on a plane is stored in, and comes from a tank that is not cleaned very often. So there should be no surprise that it could be dirty and stale. And the testing of the tap water on airplanes supplied from those tanks? Get ready…12% of the time the water has tested positive for fecal bacteria. Just say no thanks to the coffee and tea!

And finally, it’s our pic o’ day….

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Just Some Advertising Thoughts

I cannot help it.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

This blog is about some of my rambling thoughts about advertising. I think this all started when I repeatedly kept seeing the same advertisement for pillows. It was driving me crazy.

It’s the ad where this couple…in their bathroom… notices the “My Pillow Guy”. I mean, come on. Why would it be acceptable to start an ad from the restroom. With a guy with “out of this world” hair coloring, staring at you from the mirror in your bathroom. Am I the only one who thinks this is a tremendously crazy idea. Seriously? I cannot stop typing about this! I do not want the “My Pillow Guy” in my bathroom. Get out!

Advertising is a funny thing. It gets into our mind. For instance, what comes to mind when I say it’s “finger lickin’ good”? You know!

In fact, here is a list of the most memorable slogans from the survey firm Survata . Can you finish them? I started us with the first most recognizable. I was going to put the answers at the bottom, but my copy and pasting skills…made it easier just to attach:

1. “Finger lickin’ good”, KFC 87.9%
2. “Every kiss begins with ___ “, Kay Jewelers 87.4%
3. “15 minutes could save you 15% or more”, Geico  82.3%
4. “Just do it”, Nike 82.3%
5. “Snap, Crackle, Pop”, Rice Krispies 79.5%
6. “You’re in good hands”, Allstate 78.2%
7. “Taste the rainbow”, Skittles 75.1%
8. “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”, M&Ms 73.2%
9. “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s ____ “, Maybelline 69.3%
10. “I’m lovin’ it”, McDonalds 68.9%
11. “____ is on your side”, Nationwide 68.8%
12. “They’re G-r-r-reat!”, Frosted Flakes 68.3%
13. “We have the meats”, Arby’s 67.8%
14. “The king of beers”, Budweiser 66.1%
15. “M’m! M’m! Good!”, Campbell’s 62.1%
16. “It gives you wings”, Red Bull 59.3%
17. “The happiest place on Earth”, Disney 58.7%
18. “The breakfast of champions”, Wheaties 57.1%
19. “Can you hear me now?”, Verizon 54.9%
20. “Taste so good, cats ask for it by name”, Meow Mix 53.9%
21. “Eat fresh”, Subway 52.4%
22. “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” FedEx 52.4%
23. “At the corner of happy and healthy”, Walgreens 51.5%
24. “Betcha can’t eat just one”, Lays 50.7%
25. “The snack that smiles back”, Goldfish 49.0%

These are slogans that are currently in use. There are a few on there that I do not ever remember hearing. The Goldfish slogan? Really? Is it wrong that I cannot stop myself when I start eating Goldfish. Are 5,000 goldfish too many in one seating?

I might have thrown in “When it rains it pours” but I suspect that has come and gone. I guess the slogan “Don’t marry King Henry VIII” is more advice than slogan?

I like the “advertising” Facebook post of my friend, Ken Price. He posted, “I want to be buried in a transparent casket. Good idea? Remains to be seen“. Hahahahahaha (I think that is hilarious)

We are always in search of new ideas for our advertisements. Ultimately, I always find us back to “We will come to you”. I guess that qualifies as our slogan! At least one of them.

And finally, this post makes me laugh. A roommate playing a prank. I guess this is “bad marketing”.

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Are They listening? Should I Be Concerned?

Sometimes when I start typing Our Monday Blog, I suspect that you wonder if I am getting paid by the word. I start one place and find myself easily headed down another rabbit hole. (Couldn’t help but throw in an Easter metaphor… right?)

It feels like every week brings us news of another store or company who have suffered a data breach. And a lot of people have their personal information exposed. So that leads me to ask the question, “Are we inviting hackers into our homes because of our purchased equipment. Which now leads me to write about Facebook and Amazon… and what patents they are seeking. A question of privacy.

But honestly, I feel a little like this in discussing some of this technology:

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When it comes to technology in the future, I just like to keep it simple. Much like this watch!

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Practically speaking, at the start of their season, Michigan and Villanova had a plan to win it all. But there is no way that they could have been certain that they were headed for the NCAA Championship game tonight. To give them a chance.

But technology companies think a little differently. Nothing about just a chance.

For instance, Facebook would have us believe that their future plans are here for Us. Here is their privacy statement:

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Something tells me that “my control” would be better described as “what they control of me”. As to Facebook’s new products, here’s what we know. Facebook already has new home products in their arsenal to introduce, that would compete with Alexa and Echo.

But, they have delayed introducing these products and hardware because they are concerned that it would play into the public’s perception of Facebook invading our privacy and using it against us; or having some third party or country use it against us. This delay occurred after it was reported that 50 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by that creepy company Cambridge Analytica.

Which also leads me to the discussion of their filed patent applications. A view to the future of products.

A recent Gallop Poll reports that 22% of Americans use devices in their homes like Echo or Google Home. (A NY Times article that also discusses the eerie laugh that Echo was strangely making) Which is why we are concerned about companies eavesdropping on us, even though they all insist otherwise.

Amazon and Google assure us that their devices only react to certain trigger words and then shut off. They assure us that unless the green light is on, there is nothing happening. Never mind what happened last fall when Google distributed its Home Minis to journalist… and the equipment never stopped recording. (AndroidPolice.com)

And yet… all these advancements are for our benefit.  But we all agree that voice data from this technology is evolving and here’s where these companies apparently see the future.

For one patent application, Amazon describes a “voice sniffer algorithm”  for home and mobile devices, to analyze audio almost in real time and to react when it hears words like “love,” bought” or “dislike. ”Here’s what they are working on as indicated in a NY Times article titled,  Hey, Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It?

And here is how they can use such triggers under the patent, “for our benefit”. You could be talking on the phone to a friend… and then get an offer for travel or a sale on pants. The patent describes a diagram where “to your benefit” might mean that you then see an ad for a Wine of the Month Club membership.(Here is the rest of the story)

Google’s patent applications would “benefit you” through their home by providing smart product advertisements that are generated from your audio and visual signals.

So should we be concerned about the applications and just consider them as advancements in technology? No so fast! So says Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog, which is a California non-profit organization that recently published a study of some of these futuristic applications for patents in an article titled, Home Assistant Adopter Beware: Google, Amazon Digital Assistant Patents Reveal Plans for Mass Snooping (Here)

As I started writing this blog, I got myself crazy researching. If you are still with me this far… maybe you are shaking your head too!

One final thought on this. Google has said that it will generally not provide audio recordings of users to third parties, but may send transcriptions of your voice and your information. It’s listed (Here under their privacy category of “Does Google Home share my information with anyone)

And…. no surprise, Amazon may give app developers this same information as well. (Here) Hmmm!

And for pic o’ day let’s go far away from technology. I guess this is what they call airline humor and it makes me laugh!

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As Smart as Einstein!

I wanted to give you something to think about in Our Blog.

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For today’s blog, I decided to look online for Albert Einstein’s top ten quotes. I remembered reading those in the past. I was especially looking for quotes on keeping things simple. Then when I googled it, I found a lot more. And even if 55 are too many, number 55 is even a good one. I probably got a little crazy in posting them all… but here they are!

From addicted2success.com comes 55 Mind-Blowing Albert Einstein Quotes.

1. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

2. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

3. “Truth is what stands the test of experience.”

4. “The only source of knowledge is experience.”

5. “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

6. “There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.”

7. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

8. “Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.”

9. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

10. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

11. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

12. “I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”

13. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

14. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” 

15. “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”

16. “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

17. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

18. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

19. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

20. “Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.” 

21. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

22. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

23. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

24. “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

25. “Information is not knowledge.”

26. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

27. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

28. “Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” 

29. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

30. “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”

31. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

32. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

33. “You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I’ve only ever had one.”

34. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

35. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

36. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

37. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

38. “The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.”

39. “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

40. “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

41. “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”

42. “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

43. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

44. “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” 

45. “In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”

46. “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

47. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

48. “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

49. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”

50. “Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.”

51. “As a human being, one has been  endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.”

52. “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” 

53. “I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.”

54. “Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.”

55. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

And finally… I think this can be classified as more wisdom.

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A Movie… Predicting Technology?

It’s Monday… is it time to refuel?

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I know… I am being crazy. I didn’t want to seem mean with that picture. I really can relate! In the past, I can remember “rewarding” myself with cake. (and maybe cheesecake too) And how can you be angry at cake?

Now… on to some smart stuff:

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OK, some real smart stuff.

Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is turning 50 years-old next month. (Wikipedia) It was the highest grossing movie of 1968. In 1991, it was described as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry

But how did the writer/director (Kubrick) and writer (Arthur C. Clarke) see into the future of technology and predict the iPad and flat screen televisions?

In the movie, there are flat screened tablet computers. Of course, this was long before there was any talk of flat-screened televisions. It did not make the final cut of the movie, but the original plan was to even include a touch screen. Here is a shot from the movie:

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These “tablet computers” were called “Newspads“. They looked portable in the movie, even though they were welded into the tables for special effect purposes.

So how did they do it? Kubrick and Clarke met with an MIT cognitive scientist, who was also an artificial intelligence pioneer. The artificial intelligence computer in the movie is named “HAL” which stood for “Heuristic Algorithmic”. That meeting, coupled with their own thoughts is part of the history of how they did it.

The Wikipedia attachment does more justice to the production and legacy of the movie. In fact, I was going to compare some of this technology to Facebook. Then, I read about how this movie was included in a recent lawsuit. (Wall Street Journal article that requires subscription, so not attached)

It is probably not surprising that the lawsuit involves Apple. The first iPad was released in 2010. Samsung released a sim­i­lar de­vice about a year later. Then, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement.

Samsung’s defense to the lawsuit alleged that Apple did not invent the iPad. The proof was that the device was already in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Right in the pleadings! You did not invent what was shown in 1968.

Sam­sung’s movie defense included photos attached to their answer, as well as YouTube links from the film.  The judge ul­ti­mately ruled that the photos and links were in­ad­mis­si­ble as ev­i­dence. But, this just added to the mystique of the movie and Kubrick’s vision of the future of technology.

I have always been fascinated with Steve Job’s determination about that lawsuit:

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.” —Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson, March 2010.

Here is more information on what happened in the lawsuit. (here) How about that?

And for pic o’ day, I searched for a “smart picture and we ended up with… more smart pups:

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Advice From Past and Present

I expect to get an immediate reaction from you! From 1950. “Tips to Look after your husband“.

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I knew that you would have an emotional reaction! Remember, this is what some were thinking in 1950. I don’t expect that these wives really felt like they were “living”.

It’s all about advice. I say that because I keep getting emails that give me all kinds of advice on shopping, “lawyering” and financial ideas. Plus, there are emails trying to get me all riled up politically. And I haven’t even mentioned Facebook posts.

I guess it all comes down to knowing who you should listen to. Like maybe Lincoln should have gotten this advice from an elementary school kid:

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Now that would have been good advice!

Or maybe even good cooking advice!

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This is on my mind, because it is about this time of year, that we decide on what seminars lawyers from the firm should attend for the year. There are all kinds of ways “to do it better”. I just think that you have to stop and really think whether these “experts” have the right way of doing things.

Think about it. In life, who should we listen to?  Don’t you think that sometimes common sense just rules the day. You know what is the right. It’s that inner voice. That’s the advice that we should listen and apply!  And just as the ending of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” ends with…and that has made all the difference!

And for pic o’ day, this picture just strikes a familiar chord with me:

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