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Removing the Obstacles!

I like to think of Monday as the perfect day to fix last week’s mistakes! Here we are!

At what age do you start to say, “I am getting too old for this”.


It’s all about attitude. Right?


So for this Monday, I thought I that would post the obstacle story. I have read it in many positive thinking books. It’s one of those reminders that I keep around. A good one for Our Monday!

There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.

The first people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.

Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort but he finally succeeded.

The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he saw a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed full of gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said the purse’s gold was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.

The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Removing our obstacles! It’s going to be a great Monday!!!!


And finally, these “facts” made me laugh:


My Presidents Day Confusion

Is it possible to describe a Chrysanthemum? Are yoga pants made for working out or going to Starbucks? I felt that kind of confusion when I decided to write about Presidents Day.


I thought I would just casually mention this Monday holiday. Then, as I researched it, I realized that it is one of the more curious Federal holidays. That it’s real purpose includes partly to allow Federal employees to be take a long lunch today, because it is meant to truly be their holiday. So maybe they will also be able to enjoy their Tarragon Chicken Salad for lunch at some local restaurant, instead of being at the office.

I am not even sure if it should be written as President’s Day, Presidents’ Day or simply without the possessive apostrophe.


Are we observing George Washington’s Birthday, which has been legislatively moved to more convenient Mondays as of 1971. You might think we’re celebrating the combined birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Or, are we honoring the memory of all U.S. presidents past and present? Or are you still back on the thought of a Tarragon Chicken Salad?

After reading the Wikipedia page for President’s Day, I realized that I should have really called it Washington’s Birthday. If you click on the attachment, you will see that various states recognize this day by different names. Although, my reading comprehension got a little fuzzy when the descriptions also started using the term colloquially.

Here is the brief highlights of this day. In 1879, by an act of Congress, George Washington’s actual birthday became a Federal holiday. Then, in 1971, the Federal holiday was officially shifted to the third Monday of February. Nixon specifically wanted all Federal employees to have a longer weekend.

Federally, it is still called officially Washington’s Birthday. Which is why there is no right or wrong spelling for Presidents Day.

Of course, advertisements for washers and dryers, or cars, or clothes might still have a talking Thomas Jefferson thrown in there. And, many people believe that this is a day to honor all presidents. gives a great summary of the history of the day.

Most of us who are at work today are getting bombarded with sales emails for Presidents’ Day. But at least it served as a reason to remind kids, in the days leading up to this holiday, to be taught about the accomplishments of Presidents. And especially Washington and Lincoln.

It is going to be a great Monday!

And finally, Our Pic o’day must remain Presidential thematic… right?


Sometimes I Just Want to Laugh!

I just wanted to start the blog with some pictures to make me laugh. Because Mondays give some creative license, right? And then I promise that I will have a real topic today. The fake of it is actually the reality. You’ll See! Or should it really be SeA? But first…



Because just seeing “someone” laugh makes me laugh:



And these “guys” are funny anyway:


Which is worth more laughter to me!


And because I did promise a real blog, here goes. It all started when I was looking at another law firm’s website. At their client comment section, they had several credited comments. One was from “Alan Smithee“. Do you know the story of Alan Smithee? Well, just in case, here’s the wikipedia description that I now borrow.

Alan Smithee is an official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project. Coined in 1968 and used until it was formally discontinued in 2000“. Here’s where it started.

The Smithee pseudonym was created for use on the film Death of a Gunfighter, released in 1969. During its filming, lead actor Richard Widmark was unhappy with director Robert Totten and arranged to have him replaced by Don Siegel. Siegel later estimated that Totten had spent 25 days filming, while he himself had spent 9–10 days. Each had roughly an equal amount of footage in Siegel’s final edit. But Siegel made it clear that Widmark had effectively been in charge the entire time rather than either director. When the film was finished, Siegel did not want to take the credit for it and Totten refused to take credit in his place. The DGA panel hearing the dispute agreed that the film did not represent either director’s creative vision“.

So the story goes, they allowed to originally credit director “Al Smith“. But, that was considered too common a name and it was already being used “for real” in the film industry. So, the last name was first changed to “Smithe” and then “Smithee. Then it became Alan

The film turned out to be critically praised including the famed critic Roger Ebert, who said, “Director Allen Smithee, a name I’m not familiar with, allows his story to unfold naturally.” 

The wikipedia attachment has all the movies listed where Alan Smithee was credited. But, I still wonder who is playing a joke on the law firm with their comment from Alan Smithee. Or are they just being funny. And that’s worth a good laugh too!

It’s going to be a great Monday… I just feel it! And finally, I guess it’s a reminder that things will always work out:



Monday’s Collection of Information

In the iconic 1987 movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko proclaimed that “The most valuable commodity I know of is information“. Today’s blog is a collection of information. Valuable? After this, you might feel like we are zigging and zagging. Some useful; some useless; and something sad.  Our Blog!

First, I have stumbled upon some amazing mustard. (I suspect you didn’t see this one coming!) I am putting it on everything. Obsessively!



Next is apparently how to keep pigeons off your porch. (In case pigeons are on your porch!) It’s this right here:


(photography provided by renowned photographer Joel Bieber)

Yes, a balloon is the first line of defense! I guess pigeons are afraid of balloons with eyes?

Now, some serious discussion for the blog. Who was the youngest American serviceman killed in action? Honestly, this is terrible. The answer: Dan Bullock, at age 15.



When he was 14-years-old, he altered his birth certificate to show he was four years older. He wanted to become a pilot, police officer or a Marine. So he enlisted and graduated from Parris Island boot camp in 1968.

He arrived it Vietnam on May 18, and was assigned as a rifleman. On June 7, while making an ammunition run to resupply his unit, he was killed by a Vietnamese night attack.

His grave did not even have a marker until 2000. Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial finally recognizes him as the youngest soldier killed. And I must ashamedly admit that I did not know his story until recently.

I said that this blog has lots of information. I felt that after that story of Marine Dan Bullock, I didn’t want to end there. It’s too sad.

So, I post some lion wisdom as part of the continuum of the blog:



And finally, here is our pic o’ day.

I am thankful for Monday!


More Eclipse

At the danger of causing you to not read this, I titled the blog More Eclipse because it feels like everywhere I turn, I see an article on the eclipse. Although, maybe we can’t get enough reminders that we can’t just walk outside today and look up at the sky  “and take it all in”.

Of course, it seemed thematic to include this picture of Stevie Wonder taking a picture of a wax figure Michael Jackson. When you are blind, it’s a good sense of humor to have your picture taken… taking a picture of a wax figure. Right? Just sayin’.


So in keeping with that, here is an article from Apple News titled Here’s what happens if you look at the solar eclipse without glasses that starts out the first sentence with “In 1962, a teenager in Oregon named Lou Tomososki and a friend both made the mistake of looking directly at a partial solar eclipse without any protective eyewear.” I have to admit, this article and warning got my attention!

But on a lighter note about the eclipse, here is a story that truly happened last week in the Greenville County Courthouse, as forwarded to me by Angie in our South Carolina office. Apparently sent around by a local lawyer:

Best story of the Day. I was in General Sessions Court this morning and Judge Verdin was going through pleas. In the case before mine she asked the lady if she had adequate time to discuss her case with her attorney and she said “no”. The Judge paused and the lady said “I’m supposed to get 30 days in jail and this eclipse thing is a once in 100 years thing and I want to see it, I told my lawyer that and he said he wasn’t going to ask you about it”. Judge Verdin let her withdraw her plea so she could see the eclipse.

That’s all I want to write about the eclipse. Sometimes, it’s real easy to wonder if all the warnings are real… but apparently they are.

Speaking of real….


Two Money Stories

Good to start a Monday with a smile!



Today’s blog includes two stories about money.

The first is a Virginia story from Goochland at and is about movie money. The picture of the evidence gives us a good clue about the facts.



Movie prop money is circulating in Goochland County and the sheriff’s department is issuing a warning. “Be aware that someone may intentionally or mistakenly pass one of these bills”.

There is a clue on the money, “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY”. That’s a pretty good warning! I guess that’s also what is meant by “Funny Money“.

And our next court money story comes from the NBC Today Show. A man who was not happy about his date not paying attention to the movie Guardians of the Galaxy 2. She was texting. So, he sued her.

They didn’t have to go to trial. She settled for the price of the ticket. She paid him $17.31. Apparently tickets for 3D movies cost more.

The moral of these two stories? If you are going to text during a movie and get sued, then settle with movie money.

And finally, I am reminded of the sign that hung above the counter at the Harley-Davidson shop where I worked summers during law school. It read, “In God we trust. All others pay cash“.

Go with certainty!


and for pic o, even beats the taste of money!


Outside the Box

All last week I was in trial and didn’t post many blogs, so I will briefly mention the trial. But first, in light of the fact that there were several graduations this weekend, I thought I would post a selfie that I saw. It cracks me up.



Now to the jury trial. First the ending. The trial ended in a mistrial. A mistrial because the 7-person jury could not return a unanimous verdict.

Six jurors wanted to find for the plaintiff and one juror wanted to find for the defendant. After hours of deliberation, the jury determined that they could not agree on a verdict and they were then discharged.

The one juror indicated that she wanted to see the accident report from the crash. I titled the blog Outside the Box because what is not in evidence cannot be considered. Why can’t the jury consider the accident report? For the same reason that they cannot consider what has happened in traffic court.

A jury is to consider the evidence for themselves. It’s not to include a traffic court judge’s opinion, nor an investigating officer’s determination. In fact, it is basis for a mistrial if the words accident report are even uttered in court.

I would give you more details about the trial, but a mistrial means it will be tried again. I wish we were going back to court to try it again today. Instead, it needs to be reset on the docket.

So, today I am in the office… opening up last week’s mail and catching up. It just makes me smile to open my office door. Great to be back to routine. A Lion just needs to roar!

Tonight the Wizards play in Boston for a game 7. And my next jury trial is set for the beginning of June. The wheels keep turning!

And finally, my mom went to Outback Steakhouse for Mother’s Day.  So with a nod to that and the hope that all mothers had a wonderful day yesterday, here is pic o’ day:





Monday’s Bacon Thoughts

This weekend was filled with traffic. At one point, we were traveling at 3 m.p.h. and it might have been slower. Did you see one of these signs in your travels?


Yesterday I was at the NBA playoff game between the Wizards/Hawks and experienced the full gamut of emotion. I would be happy, and then get angry.  Cheer and then holler. Ultimately, the Wizards won… and I was happy.

This is the same range of emotions that you might feel when you see this picture/post from It’s basically an attack on bacon. One of those thoughts where even if The Whole30 program tells you bacon is fine because its not dairy or sugar, that you might decide to go Whole29 instead, and leave the day of bacon out. Just a thought.


Does this make you mad or cheer? Glad you don’t smoke? Mad that it now makes you want to have bacon, because you weren’t thinking about it until now.

I have to admit that I am not one to judge. I am feeling tubby after this Easter weekend of buffet activity and the remaining collection of fixins. I probably would have been thinner by just driving over to Bob Evans and having the Candy Bacon. The new breakfast dessert, they say!

But Monday is a new eating week! Positive Influences! And the weather is amazing, except for the rain forecast. I already feel better just thinking about Monday!


And for pic o’ day, this is curiosity that makes me laugh!


Positive Reminder Lesson on a Plane


Did that Monday blog starter sound familiar? It doesn’t mean that you’re not ready for Monday though. Right?

I got my idea for the blog today, from someone sitting in front of me in church yesterday. He was telling me about his past week and he mentioned flying back from Denver to Richmond. I don’t even enjoy talking about flying!

He and I were commiserating about flying in turbulence. Just don’t like it! He was flying next to a young boy who truly was enjoying the turbulent conditions. The more the plane bounced, the more he enjoyed it. Like a roller coaster. The optimism of youth. Seeing the joy in difficulty.

If you attend a high school or college graduation, you get to see the joy of the tossing of the graduation hats. All the possibilities that the future holds. There is no cloud of being burdened down by jobs, bills, illness or sorrow. Just the positive future.

As a kid, I was a fan of Winnie the Pooh. I wanted those books to be read to me over and over. “What day is it?”, Pooh asked. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

I like what former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton said about being positive, “Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you“.

These reminders were good for me. I choose today to be positive. To see the joy in difficulty. It’s going to be a great week! Plus, there are lots of reasons to laugh. Right?

And this pic o’ day just makes me laugh. No difficulties!!!


Based on a True Story

Happy Monday! Let’s get right to it.

Here’s a story that was told to me by a lady in our office. It just happened last week. I might be taking a little bit of literary license with it, because I don’t remember the exact wording. However, it’s like those magical words at the beginning of a movie that always get my attention, Based on a true story.

I decided to go for a run in my neighborhood. On one side of the road is a sidewalk. I don’t necessarily like running on the sidewalk, because it’s uneven. However, I wanted to run against the traffic, so today I decided to run there.

On the other side of the road where there is no sidewalk, I see a runner coming toward me. He is running close to the side of the road, with traffic. As he gets closer to me, I see a car turning right and toward him. He is running ahead of the car, so he doesn’t see how close the car is coming toward him.

All of a sudden, I notice that the car is traveling too close to him. I hear a loud noise and realize that the car’s side mirror has smacked into the runner and knocked him down. The driver pulls over to the side of the road, and I run over there, past the car, to check on him and see if he is hurt. He is hunched over, holding his arm.

I haven’t seen the driver of the car, as I ask the runner if he is hurt. He says, “I think I’m OK”. I ask him, “Are you sure you’re not hurt, you really got smacked?”. It’s then that I hear the driver’s voice from behind me, as she tersely says, “He said he’s OK“. Then she added, ‘I didn’t see him. I don’t know where he came from‘.”

That story irritates me on many levels. There is no “I’m sorry“. Instead, only a dismissive driver. I won’t outline all the arguments of a defense attorney that I would expect to hear about the runner, and what HE could have done differently. Sometimes I think their best defense would be to just say what they really mean, “If only he hadn’t gotten out of bed that morning” or “If only he had worn a clown suit to get more attention”.

Imagine how the world would be, if the first reaction was not to go into defense mode. Instead, “Are you hurt?” or “Is there anything I can do?”. I suppose if that happened, less people would need a lawyer. Some things just make me stop and think!


And for our pic o’ day:


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