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DO I HAVE A CASE?

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Is O.J. Getting Out? Eating More Cookies?

A parole hearing that is a televised event! Not something that you expect as must-see TV. Today at 1, O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing is being televised on ESPN. That is some crazy sports television. From the Associated Press, here is an article titled “11 key players in OJ Simpson’s parole hearing in Nevada”. 

Today’s news will have several angles on this hearing. For the purposes of this blog, I want to mention one “confectionary note”.

It’s the story of how a chocolate chip cookie almost derailed this hearing. (USA Today) As it stands now, Simpson will get out of jail around October 1, if his hearing goes as expected today. But, as told by a retired correctional officer, there would be no parole hearing and no parole possibility, if he had not intervened for Simpson.

Following Simpson’s 2007 robbery conviction, Simpson arrived at prison to begin to serve his sentence.  An inmate who helped with in the prison cafeteria, stole cookies and brought them back to cell unit where Simpson was housed. There, the inmate handed out the chocolate chip cookies to the other inmates.  Most of them returned to their cells and took their cookies with them. Not Simpson!

Simpson sat there eating his cookie. (Might explain why he has put on a few LB’s since sentencing. Right?) If the prison jumpsuit doesn’t fit… you must not acquit?

From TMZ, here is a picture in 1995 (which also means “before cookie”)

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And a picture from 2007 (which might be “after cookie”)

 

IMG_1380

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what the retired guard described of the cookie incident, “Being the loud O.J. he is, the guard in the bubble saw him eating a cookie,’’ according to USA TODAY Sports.And of course she said, ‘Where’d you get the cookie from?’ Well, O.J. doesn’t lie. He got it from a guy, a culinary worker.

Well, she wrote him up for having contraband. Over a cookie. That’s pretty crazy. So when I came back the next day for work, O.J. came to me and told me what happened. He said, ‘I can’t have a write up because I won’t get my parole.'”

The guard wrote about his relationship with Simpson in a book, Guarding the Juice. According to him, he intervened with the female correctional guard, to try to get her to destroy the disciplinary note for Simpson’s file. She refused to do it.

He went on to caution her that she would forever be known to the other inmates as The Cookie Monster and that the report would hurt her reputation with the other inmates. She finally relented and ripped it up. And today… OJ has his hearing on schedule… and on TV.

And for pic o’ day, for some reason this seemed a bit on theme:

IMG_1392

Two Sides of the Lawsuit

The news story is titled Woman sues daughter, son-in-law over housing dispute. (PilotOnline.com) So far, it sounds like the usual lawsuit, if such a thing exists among family.

The first part of the article, the reporter tells us the story of the mother-in-law. She claims that she went to live with her daughter and husband in Chesapeake. To accommodate her, the family built a mother-in-law suite. That is undisputed.

She claims that she contributed $70,000 to build the suite and added an additional $10,000 for closing costs, $6,000 for home furnishings and then chipped in $2,000 for a pool in the backyard .  In exchange for the monies, she would be allowed to live in the suite for as long as she wanted.

According to the mother-in-law, she moved into the suite in 2008. About a year later, the relationship went sour. She was denied access to all other areas of the property except her suite, which also meant no swimming for her. She also claims in the lawsuit that she was not allowed to use the refrigerator and was prohibited from walking on the carpeted part of the kitchen floor. As the infomercial would say, “But wait, there’s more”.

She claims that the family installed privacy doors so that they wouldn’t have to look at her. Then, it all went south, when she went to see family and had some physical issues. Upon her return, the lawsuit claims that the family demanded that she leave. She did. Later, she came back for her things. She has now filed suit for $150,000 plus her attorney fees and costs.

So far, that sounds like meanness. shear meanness from the family. “But wait… there’s more”.

The attorney that represents the family tells a different story. The family claims that she left the home by choice. She was having some health issues and went to stay with another family member while they were on vacation.  She didn’t want to be left alone in the house.

When the Murphy family returned from vacation, they expected mother-in-law to return home. She didn’t. They claim that she still has a key to the house and is welcome back at any time. As a result, they say that they don’t owe her anything. The continue to live up to the agreement.

With those facts… you be the judge!

And for pic o’ day,

watch the game

How About Larry the Cucumber?

Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and Junior Asparagus. They were soon to be on the screen, following their theme song, “Never ever ever ever ever been a show like VeggieTales”.

veggie

The VeggieTales are an example of an initial idea that was going the wrong direction until improvements were made, which turned it into a tremendous success. Overcoming difficult beginnings.  Wiki tells us that VeggieTales is an American series of children’s computer animated films that featured anthropomorphic vegetables (had to look that up. means vegetables with human form).  Their episodes frequently tell Bible stories in a modern pop culture way.

Here’s why they are part of the blog. It’s because their story arose out of mistake and difficulty to a continuing and thriving TV enterprise. Then, the rights of a contract stepped into the program to change the content.

The show was initially created by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, who also provided many of the voices. Vischer was testing out new computer hardware in the early 90’s. Due to the limitations of the hardware for animation purposes, he decided to avoid being too technical in creating characters with arms, legs or hair.

So, his first character was a talking candy bar. His wife suggested that he change the main character because parents would rather focus on good healthy eating rather than a friendly candy bar. So, the characters became fruits and vegetables.

The shows were originally just sold on video. Then, NBC picked them up as part of their Saturday morning program and the series aired from September 2006-2009. Then it began airing on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Now, Netflix has announced that it has joined its programming this month.

NBC removed any mention of God in the programs, including removing the original ending of each show that contained, “Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much!”. NBC was more comfortable with an ending that simply had a character saying “Good-bye!.

Because they owned the show through contract, they could determine the content. So, what had been a religious program was now being shown as a positive message for kids.  That meant that Archibald Asparagus could not star as Jonah. Still, they can’t stop Jimmy and Jerry Gourd or Madame Blueberry from being part of a Bible story in their past episodes.

So, will Netflix show all past episodes or just new?

And for pic o’ day,

hurry take it

An eBlast Catch-up

We just sent out our February eBlast a couple of days ago. If you missed it or want to subscribe for upcoming months, you can click HERE.

I admit that I was slow in reviewing it and writing my opening paragraph. It caused us to include a Valentine’s Day recipe that was well after Valentines Day. I missed that in the proofreading. By the way, isn’t “proofreading” one of those words that looks misspelled, as though we failed to proofread?

For the same reason, I never really got wound up with my pictures for Valentine’s Day. I am fighting the urge to late post. OK… one late one.

late Valentine

 

Anyway, here is my real pic o’ day:

taster

Dumb Starbucks in L.A.

If you haven’t seen it on the news or read about it in USA Today, then I’m glad to bring you this coffee story. It’s Dumb Starbucks. It’s not a derogatory remark, it’s the coffee shop in L.A that was giving away free coffee this past weekend.

Dumb Starbucks

And, they serve real Dumb Starbucks coffee

Dumb Starbucks menu

And here is their “legal explanation for why they aren’t worried about being “Dumb”.

Dumb Starbucks Why

Of course, as they say, ” By adding the word ‘dumb’, we are technically “making fun” of Starbucks”. It is their position that their “coffee shop” should be categorized as a work of parody art like Weird Al Yankovic making fun of a Michael Jackson song when he sang “Eat it” instead of  “Beat it”.

Dumb Starbucks advises its customers  not to worry about trademark issues. They tell the customers in this posted letter, “that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee”.

Starbucks has issued a statement that they are not affiliated with Dumb Starbucks. I am guessing that they will be issuing a cease and desist letter to stop this operation. I am sure this story will continue.

DID YOU KNOW that a milliion dollars weighs about a metric ton. Hence the expression “a ton of money”.

And for pic o’ day, a dog’s analysis of getting fat:

Dog getting fat

Campbell’s Soup Lawsuit

First Campbell’s Soup was under attack for packaging. Now, it’s a lawsuit about their label.

campbells-soup-cans-bpa

A little over a year ago, the FDA was after companies packaging their products with Bisphenol-A, also known as BPA. BPA mimics estrogen in the body by disrupting hormonal balance and the endocrine system. It has also been linked to reproductive problems, cancer (including prostate), problems in fetal brain development, and even behavioral problems in children. Because of FDA pressure, Campbell’s changed its longtime packaging.

Now, the ABA Journal reports that a class action has been filed against the company related to its advertising campaign with cans of soup containing the “Heart-Check Mark” on the labels. According to the lawsuit, Campbell’s Healthy Request does not live up to the American Heart Association (AHH) nutrional guidelines because the soups contain more sodium than recommended by the AHH.

The lawsuit alleges that the Heart-Check Mark is “unfair, deceptive and misleading”. Maybe that’s why those soups taste better than expected!

And for our DID YOU KNOW… What does the the “Zip” in Zip code represent? ” Zone Improve Plan”. It was introduced to help the mail travel more efficiently. It started in 1943. Now, Zip codes are used for identification purposes including being used by insurance companies, who quote higher rates for people who live in higher populated zip code areas.

And for pic o’ day, I guess this qualifies as “I am in his zip code”.

zip code.

Social Security Thoughts & Charts

    The younger you are, the less that you might feel interested in reading this blog. Since our practice does handle social security claims, I thought that I would post a few tables from Charles Schwab, that at least gives you something to think about. 

     As of 2002, you can no longer just retire at age 65. Every year in the federal government budget conversation, there is a move to increase retirement to an older age to save the social security fund. 

     Based on the current law, 2002 was the last year that someone could retire at age 65 and receive full benefits. The table below shows the different variations of when. This is a “looking into the future” blog. For some, the future is getting closer.

     One last thought. Yogi Berra said about the future, “Always go to other people’s funerals or they won’t come to yours”. He also said, “The future ain’t what it used to be”…   I know,  I “pulled a Yogi” by saying “one last thought”.  Kinda like, “let’s pair up in threes”.

     Anyway…something to think about:      

 
If you were born in … Your “normal” retirement age is …
1937 or earlier 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 6 months
1941 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 or later 67
 
Consider taking benefits earlier if … Consider waiting to take benefits if …
You are no longer working and really can’t make ends meet without your benefits. You are still working and make enough to impact the taxability of your benefits. (At least wait until your normal retirement age so benefits aren’t further reduced due to earnings.)
You are in poor health and don’t expect to make it to average life expectancy. You are in good health and expect to exceed average life expectancy.
You are the lower-earning spouse and your higher-earning spouse can wait to file for a higher benefit. You are the higher-earning spouse and want to be sure your surviving spouse receives the highest possible benefit.

      And for pic o’ day,  retirement?

another retirement

Some Random Blog Thoughts

My Little Pony

Like an unexplained collection of “my little ponies”, sometimes I collect thoughts for the blog that never make it to the blog. So, for a Friday, here is part of the collection:

Here is an unusual headline from South Carolina’s paper “The State”.   “Pimp Stick Quezzy’ pleads guilty to prostitution

From Florida TV station WESH, a story about a mom who left her 8-year-old at home… with a gun, as he got dressed up and went out. When the police arrested her she simply stated, “I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t think it would be a big deal”.

From Rochester, Pennsylvania, the Associated Press reports on a school bus driver who was charged with endangering children, after the bus surveillance video showed how he handled fighting on the bus. Police say that the driver can be heard telling students to “clear the aisle and let them fight.”

Yes, these stories do bring us confusion in the form of pic o’ day:

confusion

Administrative Professionals’ Day at Firm

     Today the Firm is recognizing the staff in observance of Administrative Professionals’ Day. That means that the staff all goes to lunch and then has the rest of the day off. Yes…everyone seems to be in a good mood. Half days are more fun!

     When I researched the creation of the day, I noted that it has gone through some name changes.  Initially, it was formed “to call attention through favorable publicity, to the tremendous potential of the secretarial career.”  It started as Secretaries Week in 1952. As of 2000, it formally became Administrative Professionals Day in recognition of more than 4.1 million Administrative Assistants in the United States.

     For us, it gives me an opportunity say thank you to the staff, and let them know how much they mean to all of us. I hope that they have a great day…Thank you for what you do.

      For pic o’ day, this just makes me laugh:

cookie

Gotta Have Some Legal

     Just thought I’d post some quick hitters with sources attached. I’ll give a review but there’s always more if you click to it.

     LA Times is reporting that the California legislature is going to vote on the “Fitted Sheet” bill. It would require all hotels to only use fitted sheets in the rooms. Its purpose is to help the room attendants, who are suffering back injuries and problems from the sheets. Just hope they don’t outlaw the chocolates on the pillows!

     A Kansas City newspaper is reporting that there is an Avocado recall. Fresh Food Concepts is recalling its chip dip, that contains Avocado. There are just some recalls that don’t have impact on me. Kinda like the Onion farmers going on strike.

     In case you were wondering why, you’ve got the answer here. Major League Baseball has issued a warning to all players. They are not to use a nutritional supplement spray that is made from deer antlers.  I had to read that a couple of times before posting and it gave me this look when I read it:

Yep, that’s why it’s “a deer in the headlights” look!  

     Finally, I thought I’d dig into the past. Do you remember Jennifer Wilbanks? I’d give the answer at the bottom, upside down, but I never like playing that game.  Anyway, she was the “Runaway Bride”. If you sorta remember, then click here.  She even had her own action figure and “high tailin’ hot sauce”. Then, the Albuquerque Police Department used the image of a bride in a white dress, for a job advertisement, with the caption, “Running away from your current job, call APD Recruiting”. 

     Maybe I should include some “look back” stories for the blog. Like, what happened to the guy who spoke at Gettysburg, before Lincoln and, who invented “Fluffernutter”? 

Now, pic o’ day

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