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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:


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?





Pictures, Thoughts and Goals 2017

New Year’s resolutions have a different meaning to each of us.


First, the word resolution has a little bit of a bad meaning to me. It’s basically a resolve to do better over the failures of last year. How can that be good? I’d rather think in terms of goals for the year.



Just my random thoughts, but maybe it’s acceptable for dogs to have resolutions. But I digress.


And there’s no sense in me discussing a goal of working out, or exercising more. That’s probably on everyone’s list. Right?img_0741

“So”, here are some of my thoughts for the new year. Thinking in the context of goals.

Initially, I started a list of goals for the blog. Like keeping better lists throughout the year. Almost like a Star Trek Captain’s log. Goals such as having more patience and reading my Bible more.

I even thought about focusing on being a better communicator. Not starting my sentences with So, or the old wind up to a sentence of  What happened was.  Similar to using the “speaking connector” of like. So, like do you know what I mean?

Then I thought about the concept of relaxing more. In fact, I do enjoy coming home and putting on my lounging pants. Which are really just furry over-sized pajamas. And believe me, as I thought about my lounging pants, I internally began to feel proud of my goals!

But the more I thought about the new year, the more I wanted to boil down my goals into one goal. And I did!!!! So here’s my thinking:

I decided to focus on my perception of life. That led me to the old slogan, “Is the glass half empty or half full?”. Then, that was my inspiration for my 2017 goal. To do a better job at looking at everything with optimism!

To view negatively or positively. Tt’s my choice.  For 2017, my goal is to try to be more positive and look at my circumstances as always “half full“.

We all have to find our own goals for the year. No one can do that for me. But as Henry Ford summed it up , “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t; you’re right“.

It’s going to be a great year!








My First 2016 Blog

Fifteen Ways to Be a Better Person in 2016 caught my eye. The NY Times article was angling a different approach from the usual Here Are My Resolutions. Some of them will probably make you shake your head. I personally like the idea of drinking more coffee and being the boss of my electronic devices!

I had been wrestling with whether to write a resolutions blog, since I know that you haven’t seen any of those recently. (sarcasm warning)

Then, I saw another article by writer Jennifer Connolly Simpler Ways To Be Happier in 2016, that gave me more ideas for the new year. Both of these are definitely worth clicking and reading but this one had more for me!   Great ideas on being positive, eating well and taking care of my mental attitude with better choices.

Which leads me to this day…my first day back to work in the new year.  It starts with a 7 am doctor’s deposition. So, maybe that has something to do with my rebellion against resolutions. Or maybe the article from the Richmond Times Dispatch that reminded me that Positive thinking surprisingly not so helpful in keeping resolutions. But I head out positively to my morning deposition!!!!

Finally, I close with an obituary thought that I read in December that had true impact on me.   A wonderful lady that my wife introduced me to from the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts, had passed away.  At the end of the recitation of all the amazing things that she had done in life, there was a final special message at the end. It basically said that instead of giving to a designated charity, she just wanted us to show kindness to each other. That would be a great resolution to really keep.


And for pic o’ day, I wanted to make sure my first  pic o’ of 2016 had some real meaning. When I couldn’t satisfy that, I went with a reminder of helping each other. (I realized how hard it is to find a pic o’ with meaning!)


Some Resolutions Thinking?

I regularly get asked about my pic o’ day source. That’s a real compliment. It’s a whole lot better than being asked “Why?”.  With the new year in mind, I have been receiving some that make me smile. For instance:


Which brings me to three that Leanne circulated throughout our offices, to get us thinking about our New Year’s resolutions.







Maybe these will get you thinking about some 2016 goals… or maybe not so much!

Blogging Goals

If I started the blog with a discussion of “Hands up, don’t shoot”; or I countered with  “pants up, don’t loot”, it might be considered a very controversial blog. In fact, I am told that the more controversial that someone writes, the more chance heated comments are posted or that the blog will go viral.

I look back over my blogs the last few years and I can say that they lack the panache of some controversy. This morning, Virginia has a former Governor about to be sentenced at the Federal Courthouse. It was and is important news. Yet, I did not blog about it. Just not in the wheelhouse of this blog.

When I think of the blog in the new year, I think of it like a legal seminar. “They” always say that if you go to a seminar and you get one helpful thing for the practice, then it has been a successful seminar.

So, what does this mean in my stream of consciousness about blogging for the upcoming year? Well, I hope to give you something each time that will stick with you. I don’t think that it takes controversy to stand out. Still, I hope it’s more than a dry recitation of the Pythagorean Theorem.

My goal is at least one good nugget. Something like Robert Louis Stevenson saying that, “Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences”.

And our pic o’ day is about trust:


The Bebelplatz Burning Reminder

The Bebelplatz (from Wiki) is a public square that is centrally located in Berlin, Germany. The square is named after August Bebel, who is credited as the founder of Germany’s  Social Democratic Party.

The Bebelplatz is known as the infamous site where, on May 10, 1933, over 20,000 books by Jewish authors were destroyed . On that date, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was invited by the German Student Union to give a speech before the burning. He stood to give an inflammatory speech as a precursor of events to come, and then the SS and Hitler Youth groups set fire to the books, which included many well-known works by such writers as Karl Marx and Albert Einstein.

Today in the square, there is a memorial set up as a reminder to the destruction of those books. It commemorates the great loss of those books with a glass plate set in the cobble stones. As evidenced by this photo, the memorial shows a view of empty bookcases that is large enough to hold 20,000

There is a German engraved plaque next to the glass plate. Translated in English it reads, “That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people“.

Several years ago one of my New Year’s resolutions was to lose weight. I joined a nearby Weight Watchers. Not surprisingly, several other people had the same resolution.

During the subsequent weeks, we would all show up for the weekly meetings. First, we would go behind a curtain and weigh-in. Then, we would have a brief motivational lecture to equip us with techniques for weight loss. Reminders to eat pickles or Fat Free Cool-Whip if we needed to fight cravings. (Typing that made me hungry.)

One lady faithfully attended each of the weekly meetings. Her weight loss was dramatic. The reason that I remember her so well is that she would always come into the meeting with the same dress over her other clothes. Then she would take that outer layer dress off, after her weigh-in.

That dress was what she wore to the very first Weight Watchers’ meeting. Through the weeks, it became very apparent that she had lost a considerable amount. In fact, by the end, that sagging dress  looked comical on her.

The two stories are not equal in the gravity of the event. But, they both used reminders to move forward in a positive direction.

If you have made resolutions for 2015, there will be great temptation to think “Oh well”. I have that same little voice in my head. So,  I have tried to set up some motivating reminders for some of my resolutions.

Now to my personal unintentional reminder. I was reviewing past TV spots that were run in years past, for the law firm. I pulled up some ads that were cut in 2011. Who was that fat guy in a little coat? It was me. What was I thinking? It looks like pork chops hanging from my neck.

Every year, I put some resolution emphasis on exercise and weight loss. My reminder for this year is to just pop in a 2011  JB Firm spot… and watch it. Boom.


2013: Laughing and Other Things!

Long Life! There, I said it. How about something to help with that as a goal for 2013? What if this blog could give you an idea that would add quantity and quality to your life? Well, I have researched to find the “fountain of youth”.

If that doesn’t get your attention, then wait for my next blog, “How to make millions from a Lazy Boy recliner”.That one might take a bit more research.

To discuss long life, I hope that you will give me permission to write my longest blog yet. You can always just skim and maybe only pick up an extra 6 years of longevity.

Here is what wikipedia defines different searches for long life. I figured that since it was on the Internet, it has to be true; All except that I think it goes sideways on what the New Testament describes. I would have to differ a bit there. Otherwise:

The Fountain of Youth reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. The New Testament, following older Jewish tradition, attributes healing to the Pool of Bethesda when the waters are “stirred” by an angel.[74] Herodotus attributes exceptional longevity to a fountain in the land of the Ethiopians.[75] The lore of the Alexander Romance and of Al-Khidr describes such a fountain, and stories about the philosopher’s stone, universal panaceas, and the elixir of life are widespread.

After the death of Juan Ponce de León, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo wrote in Historia General y Natural de las Indias (1535) that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging.

After reading that, I didn’t really come away with any real application for 2013. So, I decided to turn my attention to those that have lived long. First, I read all about Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura. Guinness has confirmed that he is the oldest man who ever lived.

Kimura is currently 115 years, 260 plus days old, and counting. He is only the third documented man (we are not counting Biblical days) to live beyond 115 years. His personal motto to long life is “eat light to live long”. He believes that the key to his longevity is to live a healthy lifestyle and be a small eater. When I read that, I thought I was on to something.

Then, I found a lady who lived longer. What did she say was her secret to long life? In 1997, Jeanne Calment died in a nursing home at the age of 122. She was recognized as the oldest person whose age had been verified by official documents.

Shortly after her death, the New York Times did a story on her that included her quotes on long life. Longevity had run in her family. Her mother had lived until 86 and her father until 93.

She rode a bicycle until she was 100 and walked all over her hometown of Aries, France, to thank those who had sent congratulations on her birthday that year. It wasn’t until she turned 110 that she moved into a care facility because of her increasing frailty. (she was an exerciser!)

Thereafter, she was interviewed on her secret to long life. First, she lectured the interviewer about one of his questions by answering, “When you’re 117, you see if you remember everything!”. Another time, at the conclusion of one of her celebrations; it was casually said to her, “Until next year, perhaps,” she quickly retorted, “I don’t see why not! You don’t look so bad to me.”.

The Times article is filled with other fun remembrances of her. The most important take-away on long life was her specific piece of advice. Apparently, you truly applied it. Those that knew her said that she was immune to stress. She felt that, “if you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.” When I read that, I thought that I might be on to something. (lower the stress)

So far, I felt like I had picked up some possible goals to strive for in 2013. Pushing away from the table is a good idea. There are a lot of medical studies that say that stress does impact your immune system.

Then, I picked up another while visiting my wife’s family. I had seen on their refrigerator a sign hanging that said, “laugh every day”. I don’t want to be like Ambrose!

Commenting on the sign caused my father-in-law to tell the following story:

It was right around 1969, when companies were not afraid of such things as age discrimination lawsuits. So, it was not uncommon to tell workers that it was time for them to move on, based on age.

One man was told around the age 65 that he would be retiring. He really was not ready. He felt invigorated and ready to keep working, but they hired his replacement anyway.

He decided to buy a laugh box. The box was described as something that looked like a radio; with a button that could be pushed that caused a deep, loud and hearty laugh; everytime that you pushed it that booming laugh would ring out.

Because this man was now facing a mandatory retirement, he wasn’t worried about any complaints about the laugh-box. Whenever he would push the button, everyone around would also begin to laugh. It just had that effect. In fact, people would be laughing while walking down the hallway and be asked, “what are you laughing at?” The response, that laugh-box. That would even cause the people in the hallway to laugh. Contagious!

When the man retired, he went on to build sails for sailboats. He also continued to laugh just like the sign on the family refrigerator suggested. When I asked whether it helped the man, my father-in-law did say that he lived to be ninety-five, and even after he had retired, people in the office would periodically smile about him and his laughbox.

My list of goals for 2013 has grown as I have been thinking about them. I hope to attain all goals now listed. My father-in-law suggested that he would even try to laugh, when he might not feel like it and it would emotionally pick him up. When I thought about it, I decided to add it to the list. A great suggestion… to “laugh every day”. Try to add quality and quantity to life.

I hope that you will share some ideas for the New Year in comments or at our law firm Facebook location.

Thanks for joining me at the blog this year and I wish and pray that you will have a happy and healthy New Year!

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