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I am Golfing Today

I am posting this picture because I relate to it. I haven’t golfed in 12 years. I am sure other golfers are saying, “Are you serious?”, as I swing my clubs. Should I keep score by counting lost golf balls?

Golfing

 

I am posting the following story that was sent to me. Good for a Friday blog and it made me laugh. I think we could all learn a lesson from this farmer!

A DEA officer stopped at our farm yesterday, he said “I need to inspect your farm for illegal growing drugs”  

I said, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there.”  

The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, the arrogant officer removed his badge and shoved it in my face. “See this badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish…On any Land!!! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear?…do you understand?!!” 

I nodded politely, apologized, and went about my chores.  A short time later, I heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by my big old mean bull…With every step, the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety.  The officer was clearly terrified.  

I threw down my tools, rant to the fence and yelled at the top of my lungs “Your Badge, show him your BADGE!!!” 

 

And, for our Friday Pic O’…Sometimes, you you come to a fork in the road and you just have to take it. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

 

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Heroes Among Us

I was supposed to be in trial in Chesapeake all week, but the case surprisingly settled. So, I found myself sitting in my “usual back booth” at Bob Evans, for some breakfast yesterday. It’s in my breakfast places- to-go rotation.  Even though their slogan is “Down on the Farm“, I prefer just sitting in that booth and not the farm. Thank you! Although, I do have great memories of being raised on the farm. But I digress!

A man came around the corner, stuck out his hand, and introduced himself. It surprised me, because I was engrossed in my iPad reading ritual. Then, he proceeded to tell me a story that made my morning.

He had been in World War II and had even had the opportunity to meet President Roosevelt at a breakfast. Roosevelt had looked him in the eye and said, “When you come back to D.C., we need to have breakfast again and finish our conversation”. Roosevelt made a lifetime memory for him.

When he came back from the war, he and a friend each put up $2500 to start a contracting business. Now, he is 91-years-old and still works at the business.  He added that he was headed out to do some estimates. He has no plans to retire.

I asked him for his advice for a long life. He gave me the following thoughts:

  1. Stay busy. Which is also why he has continued to work.
  2. Don’t smoke. Before going to war, he worked at Phillip Morris. Even though they would give him free cigarettes, he would just give them away.
  3. Don’t worry. He says that he never thinks about long life. He just enjoys what he is doing.

I thanked him for his military service, his advice, and for making my morning. A true hero… even in attitude!

And for pic o’ day:

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A Message in Death

And here is a good Monday pic o’ starter:

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If you glanced at the blog title, you probably wondered where I was going. These two stories are probably more like comedy in death. So, here goes!

The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently wrote about the football fan who had the last laugh in his obituary. (Story Here)

The longtime Eagles fan’s obituary listed a last football fan request “to have 8 Philadelphia Eagles as pall bearers, so the Eagles can let him down one last time.”

Eagles fan Jeffrey Riegel was a passionate Eagles fan who owned season tickets for more than 30 years. Sadly, the Eagles never won a Super Bowl during his lifetime. He did get to see them play in the Super Bowl… so all wasn’t lost!

Which brings us to another crazy story about Jeremy Benthem (Wikipedia) He was an English philosopher and writer who passed away in 1832.

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Bentham was active as a writer, right up until his death. In his will, he left a significant amount of money to the University College London (UCL). As part of his bequest, the will also stipulated that they take his body as well. (See the picture above)

While some people donate their bodies to science,  Bentham wanted his body to be hollowed out and cast in wax, and then have his wax likeness also sit in on hospital board meetings. The Wikipedia attachment gives more specifics on the instructions for his body.

The hospital agreed to comply with the will. For 92 years, he sat in on meetings. I suspect that if I had that box above to sit in on our law firm meetings, the meeting would be a great deal shorter! Fortunately, he also donated a large book collection. He is also credited with the idea of making common law into a code of laws.

After that, it’s a little bit difficult to top a box-o-body picture. But at least pic o’ day is a lot more fun! And I am feeling positive because it’s great to have work…. right?

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Sometimes Events Cause Change

Sometimes it’s good to stop and think… and listen!

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I titled the blog Sometimes Events Cause Change because that thought has recently been very real to me. Here are two  examples from the law firm that caused change.

Yesterday, one of the men who does investigations for our South Carolina office reminded us that 20-years-ago, his partner on the police force was shot and killed while standing right next to him. His life forever changed that day.

I say that in the context of the recent events in Charlottesville, and how families and individuals are forever changed. And, a community is now changed.

On a positive note, Geoff Glick came to work at the firm 18-years-ago today; on a Monday in 1999. I have seen the positive impact that he has had on the firm, and on so many lives in the cases that he has handled. That choice that he made to leave his other firm and come work here continues to cause change at this firm.

Which leads me to a final story about an individual’s difficulty that changed Hollywood…and the law.

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Charlie Chaplin sits next to a little boy in this picture, from the 1921 movie The Kid. Child actor Jackie Coogan played an orphan who was informally adopted by Chaplin’s character. The events in the movie gave this boy a self-worth after a difficult upbringing.  (movie description)

The reality of Jackie Coogan’s life is that he really did have a difficult upbringing because his parents took his money that he earned as a child actor. When he was 18, he filed suit against his mother and stepfather to get an accounting of the earnings, and to get the money due to him.

He was unable to successfully get all money entitled to him, as he only received a small portion of his earnings to date which totalled an amount of $126,000. However, the publicity from the lawsuit resulted in a law being passed in California known as the California Child Actor’s Bill, which now serves to safeguard a percentage of a child’s earnings in trust, until they turn 21.

Not only did Coogan’s difficulties lead to positive legislation, but it also led him to other acting roles, which included a successful role that he landed as an adult.

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He became Uncle Fester in the popular TV series The Addams Family. A negative event that led to a positive.

Let’s hope that we will be able to look back on the weekend in Charlottesville, to see something positive rise from this negative event.

And finally for pic o’ day, I think this is encouragement. Right?

 

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Coffee Memories and Successful Failures

I remember sitting at the bench, at the kitchen table. Farm houses have benches. Hence bench and kitchen table.

My grandfather would pour his coffee into his saucer to let it cool. Then, he would pour it back into his cup and drink it. It made me want to drink coffee. Do 3-year-olds usually have an interest in coffee?

I so remember that whole routine  To me, such good memories. Just the simplicity of sitting there, watching my grandfather cooling off his coffee. And then we would head off to the farm.

Don’t we just want real!

I guess that’s why I am so humored with a museum that celebrates products that have flopped. Sweden’s Museum of Failure. It just seems real! (More Right here) Life isn’t always about  amazing accomplishment. Sometimes, it’s also about the laugher in failure, and what’s next. Taking failure and turning into success. They are celebrating real.  Although, maybe not as a inventive as a saucer coffee-cooler.

If you read the article, you will see that Donald Trump makes an appearance in a board game that’s called “I’m Back and You’re Fired”. He seems to have done okay after that board game failure.

The successful Google can now admit that their high-tech glasses were not a success. Maybe too early for it’s time? But it hasn’t stopped them. They just keep moving onward.

Segway, with it’s travel for one, seemed liked a sure success. Then, it’s inventor went over a cliff on a Segway. That’s not a good selling feature.

The museum does offer its ray of hope. There is an Apple Newton. (I can’t even remember the Newton. Can you?). The Apple Newton was the precursor to iPhones and iPads, and Apple seems to have done fine with those.

And that’s the definition of real. Failure recognition. For me… I love coffee. And every time I drink a cup, I remember my grandfather pouring into his saucer. Good memories

It’s going to be a great Monday!!!

And for our pic o’ day,  A laziness invention?

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Not What You Expect?

Today is about interesting combinations. Things together that you would not expect! And I’m not even starting with insurance companies who advertise how quickly they pay claims! Instead…

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I walked outside the house yesterday morning and saw three foxes standing with a deer. Why were they hanging out together?  You might ask, “Why didn’t you take a picture?” Funny you should say that!

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That unexpected team didn’t seem to belong together.

Much like the judges on the television show America’s Got Talent. Curiously, none of the four are from the United States. Heidi Klum is German; Mel B (using the name she calls herself) and Simon “Fat Head” Cowell are both British; and Howie Mandel was born in Canada.

Which brings me to another odd grouping that was unexpected. The image of the grand White House,  and the reality of a rundown place to live.

John Adams served as the second President of the United States. He was also a lawyer and writer. A writer who was known for his constant complaining. That included why he withdrew as the author of the Declaration of Independence.

Initially, he was one of the Committee of Five who were charged by Congress to draft the Declaration. When Jefferson wanted him to be the primary author, he declined. When Jefferson asked him why, he replied by describing himself with his second reason of why he should not be the author, “I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular”. (His first reason was because he felt Jefferson, as a Virginian, should be the primary drafter)

When he became President and wrote back to his wife about the accomodations at the White House, this is how he described it in the letter, with his old english spelling included:

“Last night for the first time I slept in our new House. But what a Scene: The Furniture belonging to the Publick is in the most deplorable Condition. There is not a Chair fit to sit in. The Beds and Bedding are in a woeful Pickle. This House has been a Scene of the most Scandalous Drinking and Disorder among the servants, that ever I heard of. I would not have one of them for any Consideration. There is not a Carpet nor a Curtain, nor a Glass nor Linnen nor China nor any Thing. Dont expose this Picture.

Not what we expect as the home of our president! Plus… life in a woeful pickle!

And for pic o’ day, I use another Christie meme. Here he is among Gilligan and his friends, trying to get off the island. Christie just won’t help them, after their three hour tour!

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For our real pic o’ day, this is really not what you expect from a company truck. Someone with a sense of humor!

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Vacation Blog

Here’s a “circus story” (I miss the circus, by the way) on what is real. Then you and I can figure out what it means.

A man badly needed a job, so he applied with the circus. The person hiring for the circus told him that there was only one job available. The monkey had recently died, and they needed someone to dress up in a monkey suit and climb in the cage. The man was so desperate that he took the “monkey job”.

His instructions were to scratch and jump around so that the folks wouldn’t know that he was a fake. After a while, he got so good at it that he even started swinging around on the tree in the cage. Soon he got too carried away, until by accident he swung over the top of the cage and fell into the lions’ den.

The man (monkey) began to cry out, “Help! Help!”. The old lion lying in the corner looked  at the monkey and whispered “shut up, you fool, or the crowd will know that we’re both fakes”.

I’m not sure why that story cracks me up, but I do know that it’s a reminder in life… just be real! Right?

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned that I needed a vacation. That was a clue! I will be back in a week. I promise to be ready to write! So I suppose that you are saying the following to me:

 

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Righting a Wrong

Our Blog today is about a man accepting responsibility for a 37-year-old bill from Lums Restaurant (Richmond.com)

(I keep trying to remember if I remember a Lums. It doesn’t help me to remember to remember. Is that repetitive and redundant?)

Around early 1980, a young man who was homeless and suffering from mental illness, entered a Lums restaurant in Richmond.  He ordered and devoured his amazing meal. Then he ordered a piece cheesecake. It was so good he that he ordered a second piece and ate that.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have any money on him so he ran out of the restaurant and successfully avoided an employee of Lums who was running after him.

The sense of guilt for failure to make payment never really left him. As he put it, “I always felt like I’ve sort of been on the run, in different ways, from my past and things that happened.” he told the reporter.  “It was just like a step of coming back to the world and making things right.”

The Lums has since closed in Richmond, so Pollack sent the payment to a Lums in Omaha, Nebraska. With the payment he sent the following letter, “I am offering to your Lums this money ($25) in order to repay my bill. I hope you will accept it. Perhaps it can go to help someone in similar circumstances as I was.”

The manager of the Lums wasn’t sure what to do with the payment at first. Ultimately, he donated the $25 to the Siena/Francis House,  which is a homeless shelter in Omaha.

A conscience that needed to make a wrong right!

And for our pic o’ day:

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The Secret To Long Life?

The story of Emma Morano is in this blog, because of her death. Here is her obituary from April. (Here) I didn’t know who she was until she had passed away. And here’s why:

When she passed away, she was the last verified person who had been born in the 1800’s. Then, after reading her obituary, I wanted to know  her secret to living to the age of 117 years and 137 days. According to all the articles, so did everyone else because she regularly was asked that question and long life gave her celebrity.

She worked in the kitchen of Collegio Santa Maria, a boarding school in Verbania, Italy, until her retirement at the age of 75. 

In 2013, when asked about the secret of her longevity, she said that she ate three eggs a day, drank a glass of homemade grappa (an alcoholic grape beverage) , and sometimes enjoyed chocolate candy. Everyone said that she was a determined lady. The NY Times noted (here) that “she cooked for herself until she was 112, usually pasta to which she added raw ground beef. Until she was 115, she did not have live-in caregivers, and she laid out a place setting for herself at her small kitchen table at every meal”

And, she also credited getting rid of a bad husband early in life as part of her long life. As one friend said at her funeral, “‘Emma did not put up with the humiliation of being subservient to a man”.

Many traveled to her home to figure out the secret to her long life. The above items are crazy talk for conversation. But, I think the real reasons could be found in the NY Times article. She lived simply and did not get caught up in things. And most importantly, as she put it, she “thought positively about the future“.

Her hometown was proud to have her as a citizen. She enjoyed living a long life.

All of this makes me smile!

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And some joy!

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Retarded is Wrong

First, we all know that you should not have a dog doing work on your house. It’s just wrong!

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Second, the word retarded should not be in your vocabulary. It’s also wrong! Right?

It’s a word that’s considered to be “very insulting and inappropriate”. Unless you are talking about something like slowing down your speed on your bike. “I am retarding my progress“. See! There it is just a word that makes us happy. Like Pop Tarts, even though that’s two words.

So here is a  story where a kid uses retarded to describe his grandparents. And I am sure that as long as you are describing retirement… it’s OK!

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I will be taking a long weekend. I will be back with the blog on Tuesday. (Almost like retirement?).

It’s truly a weekend with great significance. A time to be thankful for our freedom. And a time to stop and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom.    I hope you do have a great and thoughtful Memorial Day weekend. May we remember and never forget.

A boy scout offers a salute at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Saturday, May 28, 2016 in preparation for Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

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