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Wear Sunscreen!

Are those fun-sized candy bars, if you just finished eating 27? I appreciate my friend, Ken Price, saying that his abs are so awesome that he had to grow a layer of fat over them to keep from getting someone hurt. Hahahahaha!

I just wrote those random sentences because they remind me of the hypothetical commencement speech of Mary Schmich, which was published in June of 1997 to the supposed class of 1999.

It has been called the “Wear Sunscreen” speech and was set to music and released as a “Spoken Word Song” by Baz Luhrmann. Ultimately, the author says that the most important thing… wear sunscreen! Pretty good advice.

Today, I attached this 5 minute version in the blog, in case you wanted some advice on life from this speech, and just feel like relaxing instead of reading. So here it is:

Maybe it is “advice like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, but wouldn’t it be great if we could worry less and be thankful for more. (That’s my thought)

And for pic o’ day, this invention!



Choosing the Right Path

While attending college, I knew that I wanted to go to law school. I expected to be a corporate lawyer. I’m not even sure why except that it seemed to be what I wanted as a career path. Then, I was in a car accident on my way to a final exam during college.

I had been rearended by a corporate truck. The experience changed my “want”. I no longer wanted to be a corporate lawyer. Instead, I wanted to represent the injured and learn personal injury law.
In law school, there are certain courses that are mandatory. Tort Law was a mandatory two semesters. It introduced me to a wide spectrum of personal injury cases. Then, I interned for two law firms during school and learned more personal injury law.
I have always been thankful for that experience in college, that changed my career choice of the kind of law that I wanted to practice. Based on that, I recently laughed when I read a satirical view of representing insurance companies by a writer who has since passed away. In my opinion, his tongue in cheek view of such legal representation pretty much sums it up:
It is an honorable calling that you have chosen. Some of you will soon be defending poor, helpless insurance companies who are constantly being sued by greedy, vicious widows and orphans trying to collect on their policies. Others will work tirelessly to protect frightened, beleaguered oil companies from being attacked by depraved consumer groups. [Buchwald Commencement address, Tulane University School of Law}

And for our pic o’ day on this Monday:



Create Jobs, Grow the Economy

Imagine a Virginia legislator standing to introduce a bill to legalize prostitution. His presentation would include the need and benefit of such legalization because it would create jobs, provide tax money and bring revenue to the economy.

I remember the General Assembly debate over the adoption of a state lottery. Those for the lottery pressed the value of passage because proceeds would go toward Virginia education. It sounded as though all budget shortfalls would be satisfied with a Virginia lottery. We do  have a Virginia lottery, but we also still need more monies in our school systems.

Several states have made the sale of marijuana legal. What was the argument? More safe than alcohol. Creates Job.  And, it provides tax revenue.

Now, if you are of the belief that all problems can be solved through “Drill Baby Drill”, then the next few paragraphs are for you.

Rex Springston of the Richmond Times-Dispatch summarized the opinion of politicians in Virginia regarding allowing oil drilling off the coast of Virginia Beach. They said the following according to his reporting:

The Energy proposal “is a positive step toward responsible offshore energy development that will create jobs and economic activity, while helping our commonwealth diversify its energy resources,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat.

U.S. Sens. Timothy M. Kaine and Mark R. Warner, both Democrats, said in a joint statement regarding drilling: “This is a significant step in a multiyear process that should result in the safe, responsible development of energy resources off the Virginia and Mid-Atlantic coasts.”

Speaker of the Virginia General Assembly House Delegates William J. Howell, R-Stafford says that, “Increasing domestic energy production helps lower energy prices for Virginia consumers and makes our country more energy secure.”

U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-2nd, (his district includes Virginia Beach), is for drilling the 50 miles offshore of Virginia Beach but thinks that the current initiative has unnecessary restrictions that include the 50-mile buffer zone. He thinks it should be allowed closer. The restrictions, he said, “create significant obstacles for Virginia’s goals of creating jobs and growing our economy”.

     Despite this call for immediate approval for drilling, yesterday, CNBC reported that US crude oil inventories rose by 8.9 million barrels. Well above the expected levels. So, there is no shortage of oil and I don’t have to tell you the difference in price when we are at the pumps. We have not seen these prices in a long time.

So in summary, should we be ok with drilling right off Virginia Beach? Is there a reason that revenue and job creation are ok for oil drilling, while these same politicians are against other things that would do the same? Is there a possibility of oil destroying the Virginia coast and tourism, like what happened in the Gulf and to Louisiana could happen to Virginia? Things that make you go hmmmm.

Years ago, I heard a lawyer describe how he handled a defense doctor’s claim that the plaintiff would not need the future treatment that was predicted by the treating doctors. The defense was asking that the jury not consider the future medicals as necessary in their verdict.

The  plaintiff’s lawyer took out a big piece of paper that had Guarantee at the top of it. He presented it to the defense doctor in front of the jury. He said to the doctor, “Isn’t it true that you are telling this jury that my client will not need a hip replacement in the future and that they should not consider such expense in their verdict?”.

The doctor acknowledged his testimony. So the lawyer continued, “Since you are telling the jury not to consider a hip replacement expense in their verdict, would  you instead agree to be personally responsible to pay for a hip replacement if my client needs it?”. The lawyer then presented the Guarantee to the doctor for his signature. The doctor would not sign it.

I wanted to throw these thoughts out to you. Job creation and revenue seem to be great talking points for the oil industry. I wonder if these politicians would agree to be personally responsible for oil spill damages. I just don’t want the jobs that are created to be in the area of cleaning up the environment. Just a thought!

And for pic o’ day, let’s follow the  clues. Who doesn’t deserve cake?



No, Yes I Didn’t When I Did

The creator of the Peanuts comic, Charles Schultz, described his life as, “My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”.

When I read that quote, it seemed to go along with the strange Richmond Times-Dispatch story of “the School Board Doctor“. After the story, my thoughts.

Richmond School Board member Shonda Harris-Muhammed can no longer use the title of “Dr” in any of the Richmond school materials. About a month ago, Richmond television station WTVR-Channel 6 reported that they had researched Harris-Muhammed, and found that she had not completed the necessary course work for a doctorate. She had claimed to have done so through Walden University.

When the reporter contacted the university, the University reply by email indicated that Harris-Muhammed “received her M.S. in Education degree on April 24, 2005. She has not earned a doctoral degree from Walden University”.

In response, Harris-Muhammed contradicts the email by stating that, “I have always been honest and upfront. I did the work, I have earned it.” After not being able to produce any documentation to the School Board Chairman, it was announced that all school board materials would be changed to reflect the removal of her previously indicated title. For now, she continues to teach and serve on the School Board.

The news article indicates additional facts. Still it always ends up that this lady apparently improperly made claim to being a doctor. Tomorrow, I may wake up and decide to call myself Ambassador or Senior Chief or Chef Boyardee. It doesn’t make it so.

I led the blog with a quote of very simplistic thinking. I’m not exactly sure that the answer is in that life riddle. Here, a person in education wants to pretend to be more educated. It has not brought her happiness. A reminder that happiness is not in trying to be something that we are not.

For pic o’ day, Brandie sent a funny response to dog owners who are always asking the question, “whose a good boy?”.




good boy

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