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The John Alleman Reminder

     This is a sad blog of personal responsibility. reports that John Alleman has been taken off life support and pronounced dead at age 52.

     That sentence probably doesn’t mean much to you if you don’t know who he is. I didn’t, until I read the story. Then, I realized that it was a story that was predictable and probably preventable.


     John Alleman loved the Las Vegas restaurant, Heart Attack Grill. In fact, the restaurant had designed T-shirts and logos that featured him. He was their unofficial mascot and even  featured in a cartoon for the restaurant as “Patient Joe”.

Heart Attack Joe

    The nighttime construction worker was never a paid employee, but he became famous because of his love of their food and that he was always there to encourage everyone else to eat the unusual items on the menu.

     The restaurant’s menu includes  the 9,952 calorie Triple Bypass Burger; the Flatliner Fries and the Coronary Dog. The Flatliner Fries are deep fried in pure lard.  For dessert, you can order the Butter-fat Shake made from butter fat cream, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors. In fact, the burger is listed in the Guinness record books as the “most calorific burger” and the menu even warns customers against eating it more than once a month.

     Despite all the warnings including being featured as a patient because of the menu, John visited the restaurant to eat there every day. A while back, the local newspaper interviewed the restaurant’s manager. He was quoted as saying that he had told Alleman that, “if you keep eating like this, it’s going to kill ya.”

     Alleman is the second Heart Attack Grill spokesman to die. In 2011, 29-year-old  Blair River also died from a heart attack. Still, the restaurant encourages anyone that weighs more than 350 pounds to eat unlimited free food; as long as they agree to publicly weigh themselves on an electronic platform in front of  all the other diners.

     It is this kind of mentality that has explained why people smoke cigarettes, despite the warning on the side of the packet. “It’s not going to happen to me”. This story is a sad reminder. Instead, it will probably cause the restaurant to do more business, sell more t-shirts and cause them to make a bigger burger.  Shouldn’t the restaurant have some responsibility or is it just a case of  “you don’t have to eat here”.

     For pic o’ day, Amy M. sent me another funny:


Two Sided, Where Do You Side?

     I love the offshore drilling debate. Those for it tell us that we need to drill off our US coasts, to help us be less dependent on foreign oil sources. And, don’t forget that offshore drilling provides jobs.

     Those against offshore drilling recite statistics that, at best, the US sits on 3% of the world’s oil reserves. Meanwhile, as a nation, we use 25%. Oh, and that stuff about the creation of jobs; The real creation of jobs is because of the expected clean-up, when the oil erupts into our waters.

     At our firm, we have a structured hiring system. Depending on the position, you might interview with 4-5 people. Then, you might have to take an online typing test. All that is pretty defined.

     In the last few years, I’ve also added a psychological test to the hiring process. It’s not an exact science, and here’s why.  If you read the test results, the interpreter usually puts paragraphs that seem a bit contradictory. A person might be very detailed. However, the report then goes on to say that they are under a bit of stress.

     Sometimes, a person who likes people, might talk too much to their co-workers. Someone who is so focused on their task at hand, may seem to “not be a team player”. I always feel like the person who provides the report is hedging the results. Or, maybe it really comes down to the fact that people can be good workers, if they put effort into it.

     The two sides to everything brings me to the main topic of the blog. You know that I enjoy the journey rather than the destination, but we ultimately arrive at the legal topic.

     The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a set of proposed rules that would put certain requirements on restaurants, fast-food chains, coffee shops, convenience stores and other grocery stores.

     As reported by, this is the governments’ latest effort to fight obesity. The rules would require that these locations “post the calorie content of standard items on their menus.” The agency would only require chains with 20 or more stores to be required to post such information.

     Now, here’s the two sides. Either you are all in, on the fight against obesity and the associated health costs and risks involved;  Or, you believe that such government rules are nothing more than another intrusion into our lives. Plus, it is another  expense on businesses.  Is it personal responsibility in your choices of food, or that you need such information to make personal choices.  That’s what makes it interesting for me to blog about!

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