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A Collection of Tuesday Thoughts

We were sitting in a marketing meeting yesterday and Tabitha leaned over and said that she just cannot believe that Thanksgiving is next week. It really is here. I mean, seriously!

So, I thought I would post a series of events. First, it’s the pie. And I do like pie! (of course, if you eat your pie like this, everyone else will have no giving of thanks)

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And then there’s after the pie.

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Just saying’.

And finally, if you do want to confirm what you already know about lack of sleep, here’s an article from NPR news titled,

Sleepless Night Leaves Some Brain Cells As Sluggish As You Feel

(NPR link)

No surprise there!

And finally, two things. First, with all that is going on in the world, here’s confirmation from a tweet about what NCAA basketball considers to be an important focus.

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And finally, as a nod to the Richmond marathon and half-marathon last weekend, I was sent the nice guys’ marathon.

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War of the World… and Costumes!

Let’s start out Our Monday Blog with two costume pictures from the past that make me laugh. Ultimately, for some reason, I am posting four pic o’s of Halloween costumes. And they all make me laugh!

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and these costumes are the greatest! Right?

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Let me squeeze in a quick blog before posting our last two pic o’s. I take us to a “This-Day-in History” from the History Channel.

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles caused the nation to go into an absolute panic with his radio broadcast narration of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”. Listeners thought that the United States was being invaded by Martians.(Wikipedia of the book) (Wikipedia of the radio program)

The Mercury Theater company decided to do a radio version of  H.G. Wells’ 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds. At the time, Despite only being 23-years-old, Welles had been in radio for several years. He had “the pipes”, as they say.

Prior to this broadcast, he was known as the radio voice of “The Shadow”, a mystery program of the same name. “War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had no idea what was about to happen across the nation.

The radio show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. A voice announced: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.”

It is hard to imagine now, but Sunday evening in 1938 was considered prime-time listening, as millions of Americans gathered around their radios. History tells us that during this broadcast, a majority of Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC. That even seems crazier that a ventriloquist would be a radio show, although no one was going to complain whether he was moving his lips!

Over on CBS, Welles introduced the play and then an announcer read a weather report. Then, as part of the broadcast, the announcer “took” the listeners to “the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra.”

Unbearable dance music began to play. Then the scare began.

An announcer broke into the report with “Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory” had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the horrible dance music came back on, followed by another interruption where listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grovers Mills, New Jersey.

Soon, an announcer from the “scene of the crash site” was describing a Martian that was emerging from a large metallic cylinder. “Good heavens,” he declared, “something’s wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake. Now here’s another and another one and another one. They look like tentacles to me … I can see the thing’s body now. It’s large, large as a bear. It glistens like wet leather. But that face, it… it … ladies and gentlemen, it’s indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it, it’s so awful. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is kind of V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate.”

The announcer continued to describe the invasion. This included Martians firing “heat-ray” weapons at the people gathered around the crash site. The Martians also annihilated a force of 7,000 National Guardsman, and then released a poisonous gas into the air. The radio broadcast included sound effects with the voice actors portraying terrified news announcers. Another radio news announcer then reported that widespread panic had broken out, including other sites where Martians were also landing in major cities.

That’s when the true nationwide panic set in. There were traffic jams in New Jersey as people were attempting to escape the invasion. People began contacting local police departments to beg for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas. It was reported that one lady ran into an Indianapolis church during the evening service and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

During the CBS broadcast, news of the real-life panic was conveyed to Orson Welles. He went on air as himself to remind listeners that the broadcast was just fiction. But full-scale panic was already in effect.

Over the course of the following weeks, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigated the program, but found no law was broken. There was widespread outrage that a network program could cause such havoc.

One of the show’s producers later described what happened,

Our actual broadcasting time, from the first mention of the meteorites to the fall of New York City, was less than forty minutes,” wrote Houseman. “During that time, men traveled long distances, large bodies of troops were mobilized, cabinet meetings were held, savage battles fought on land and in the air. And millions of people accepted it—emotionally if not logically.”

The power of persuasion of the media or just a gullible nation?

And now back to our pic o’ day costumes:

With a nod toward the Redskins/Cowboys game yesterday, I post an old costume picture where a creative kid was dressed as Tony Romo. I understand that Cowboy fans might not be humored.

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And finally, I know it’s not Swordfish Almondine… but Lobster Pup makes me laugh! All great costumes for our pic o’ day(s):

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All About The Stats

They call it analytics. defined as The systematic computational analysis of data and statistics. (I promise, I won’t mention analytics again. I will do better! I promise) I feel like I am putting you through suffering by starting out like this.

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So here’s the turn. I always enjoy writing about the Indianapolis Colts in a legal blog. It’s true fandom. It’s why I can write about them, even though they lost 36-22. Not good!

Looking at their nationally televised Monday night football game, they received notification that the officiating crew was Walt Anderson’s crew. His crew averages 5 penalties per quarter, which is the second highest rate in the league.

The Colts coach could choose to ignore the crew assigned by simply saying “We are going to play Colts football and keep chopping wood“, or he could incorporate that into preparation.  (Here’s an article where the Steelers Coach did ) These Walt Anderson officials call it tight, so it means that your defense cannot be as physical and your linemen have to be careful in blocking and not holding.

How does that apply to our law practice? Usually, when we first discuss a case with a new client, they ask “How long will this take?” and “How much is my case worth?”. My guess? Probably the two most asked questions.

In handling a case, the worth is really related to the injury and treatment of the client, as well as the facts and liability of the person at fault. If a lawsuit has to be filed, then worth takes on additional components. The systematic computational analysis. (See, I didn’t use the A word) Where the case filed, and who is assigned as the judge are additional factors.

If I have an upcoming jury trial that has a judge assigned that I do not know, I usually ask around to find other lawyers that have been in that courtroom. A recent case with an unknown judge gave me the scouting report that she let’s you try your case. For another case this past month, I was told that the judge gets very involved , and he likes to be in charge of his courtroom, which is code for being an active interrupting judge.

In both instances, you tailor your trial strategy. I don’t just say let’s do what we do and go in there and just keep chopping wood. Can you tell that I am hopeful for a new Indianapolis Colts coach? More fandom!

And now our pic o’ day…. (thankfully I don’t feel this way, but it makes me laugh)

 

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The Wet Ball Drill

For Our Monday Blog, I again start with a picture to just get us going. It could be a leadership theme…right? Plus Uncle D reminded me that I have been posting a lot of dog pictures lately. So the streak continues!

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As a lead-in to the blog, I reference a line from the poem written by Samuel Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, (Wikipedia) He wrote about the men on the ship, after the Mariner had shot the albatross that was going to lead the ship out of danger, as it headed toward Antarctic waters.

They had a plan and expectation to survive, because of the albatross. Then, that plan was gone. One-by-one the men on the ship began to die. The poem describes the ship as “Corpses man the ship; dead men pull the oars; dead men hoist the sails; dead men steer the vessel”.

They had no plan. They had no purpose.

Without getting too crazy into the analysis of the poem (you can read the poem and the analysis in the attachments) that was published in 1798, I only borrow from it to make a point. The blog today is about a picture that I see, as I sit in my study at home:

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Above the picture is a framed poster that summarizes the football season of the Indianapolis Colts. That year, on February 4, 2007, they won Super Bowl XLI by beating the Chicago Bears 29-17.

The weather report for that game in Miami was indicating a probability of constant steady rain. As part of that season’s preparation, Peyton Manning and his center, Jeff Saturday, would practice the wet ball drill. Saturday didn’t like it very much because he always ended up soaked by the time that practice had ended.

The Colts managers  would soak several balls in water to make them a bit soggy. That way, the practice exchange between center and quarterback prepared them for rainy games.

The morning of the Super Bowl, Manning woke up knowing that their rainy day preparation, with the wet ball drill, was going to be important.

During the game, there were six fumbles between the two teams. But, Saturday and Manning had no problem from center to quarterback. They followed their preparation.

I remember the excitement I felt when the Colts won that Superbowl. I also remember how proud I felt, when I saw the picture of the Colts, all huddled in prayer. It’s what I see in my study.

It’s going to be a great Monday! And speaking of planning… our pic o’day:

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A Mind Made Up!

I call it the Firefighter Fact Experiment (research paper here) I am a nut for psychological research studies. (which probably explains why I sometimes write about them in Our Blog) Plus, I hearken back to my political science college days, because that was always such a moving target of information anyway. (Notice how I just rambled on there about nothingness?)

So back to my Firefighter Fact Experiment and how it relates to kneeling during the National Anthem. Do I have your attention or are you so bored of hearing about the kneel down, that you are almost about to stop reading the blog. Wait… that’s exactly what the research says!

Two groups were given a story about firefighters, and then a questionnaire to answer about the fact pattern. The study was done by Anderson, Lepper and Ross in 1980. (attached above).

One group was given information that proved that successful firefighters are also risk-takers. The second research group was given information that supported the idea that firefighters are not risk-takers at all, and that’s the very reason they are successful. Complete opposite fact-patterns. The participants then filled out their questionnaires.

After that portion was completed, the research facilitator then announced that the information that they had just read “was completely fictitious. I made it up. There is no evidence one way or another“.

In a follow-up study after this announcement, the participants were then asked what they believed about firefighters, and why. In each study, the participants still believed the original information that they had received. The announcement that it had all been made up did not change their opinion. They couldn’t give reasons why they believed the different views on firefighters and risk-taking. They simply had formed that opinion and it was not changed by the announcement.

In jury trials, we call that the trial story. Once jurors make up their minds, it is typically difficult to get them to change their minds.

I think it’s the same way with political issues. Specifically, I have noticed that about opinions on kneeling during the National Anthem. Once an opinion is set, people don’t usually change their opinion. In fact, they just get stronger about their opinion. And I suspect you would also say to me right now.. “And they are not afraid to just keep repeating their opinion”. It’s the psychological effect of believing what I believe… because I believe it! And it keeps Facebook with many postings!

 

And for pic o’ day, sometimes it’s crazy what strikes my funny bone!

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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?

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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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Standing During the National Anthem

I am just going to start with one of those before-and-after pictures:

 

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I just wanted to insert that first picture, because I keep seeing “human” pictures like that on Facebook; and a dog picture really makes me smile.

Which leads me on to a more serious topic for the blog. What do you think about players not standing for the National Anthem? With the NFL season starting tonight, I am sure that we will see someone this weekend who decides not to stand. Honestly, it gets me kind of riled up. But I know there are those who disagree.

On that topic, here is what the Kansas City Chiefs owner has advised his organization:

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Now what do you think of that?

You won’t see this as an issue in the NBA. When the most recent collective bargaining agreement was entered into between the owners and the NBA players, it became a contract issue that all the players would stand for the National Anthem. So, not an issue in the NBA.

I suspect that during the next NFL negotiation, that this will become part of the negotiation. No longer a first amendment issue. Instead, a contract issue. However, it is worth noting some case law on the question of whether someone has the right not to stand.

Let’s turn to something similar. A failure to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the Supreme Court ruled that requiring students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In public schools, the Supreme Court said that you could not make students stand. In the NFL, there is no rule requiring players to stand for the National Anthem. On the flip side, no one has said that employment law requires an owner to employ a player who will not stand. So, while the NFL has not come out with an official position, something like a statement from an owner like the Chiefs owner will have the following consequence… I bet no one sits during the Chiefs game.  What do you think?

And for pic o’ day, life is about being there for your friends. Right?

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Some Tuesday Positivity

Positivity is one of those words that spellcheck always tells me to… spell check. But this kind of day demands it. I am glad to be back to work, but what day is it? Right?

On these days, I find that it’s just best for me, not to blog on some detailed topic. Instead, I am posting an article titled The 10 Daily Habits of Happy People (thewonderforest.com) and just the title of the article gives me a good feeling! So, while I did not come up with these thoughts, it’s worth passing on for our “back-to-work” blog. The attached article expounds on each of these thoughts.

 

Habits

I could add or expand on these ten, but I’ll leave it today for us to think about. Isn’t it good to feel happy! It’s a short week, but it’s going to be a great one. These are the good days!

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
Ch
inese Proverb

And for pic o’ day, I just thought I would post Paddington Bear because he makes me smile.

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And then our real pic o’ day because it’s time for football!

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Social Media Lesson

Here’s a starter for Monday. Did you feel like Uncle D’s dog this morning? It looks like Jake just couldn’t get motivated!

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The quick topic for Our Blog was written about in several newspapers including an article in the Washington Post titled (here) “Six middle fingers on Snapchat lead to disqualification of Junior League softball team.”

An Atlee softball team, whose actions made it to ESPN.(here) But not because of winning. The Virginia players were supposed to play on national television at the Junior League World Series. Just hours before the game, the Atlee Little League softball team was disqualified from the tournament.

One of their players posted a photo on Snapchat that showed six of the girls giving the middle finger. The post was directed at the host club from Kirkland, Washington. Kirkland was the team that Atlee had defeated in the semifinals.

After the picture was posted, it was quickly removed. They then attempted to apologize for it, but the league felt that the damage was done.

Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain called the post “inappropriate” in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He said that it violated the league’s “policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Here is the redacted picture that was posted and then later removed:

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The article raises the idea of the responsibility of supervising, and “does the punishment fit the crime?”.

The manager of Atlee took offense to the disqualification.  “It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie told the Times-Dispatch on Saturday. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

This was a hard lesson for these players. The power…and pressure of social media and the effect of a posting.

And here is an editorial about the “aftermath” that summarizes one reporter’s thoughts. A national story about a local Virginia team.

And finally for our pic o’ day, this is “thematic” with our social media topic.

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Our Mid-Week Collection

On the last day of the month, we emailed our July edition of our law firm “stuff”. If you didn’t receive it, you can click here to read it and to subscribe to it.

Sometimes I mention in the blog a recommendation of something to watch or read. The PBS documentary Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria is one worth watching.(Here is a link)

It is a reminder of the serious nature of coming in contact with bacteria on playgrounds, in schools and; of course, hospitals. Unfortunately, antibiotics were an easy solution. Now, the fight against these illnesses is becoming life-threatening because antibiotics that have been overprescribed for so many years are now unable to combat this epidemic.

I have attached the link above. Unfortunately, antibiotics have been overprescribed in an estimated one-third of the time. If you watch this documentary, just touching door knobs might concern you. It certainly is a reminder of the importance of hand washing. You won’t consider yourself a “germaphobe”… I think it might make you more concerned. A “little germs never hurt anyone” no longer seems believable.

And finally are our pic o’ days. Uncle D told me to leave Chris Christie alone. (I think he really meant to keep posting more of those memes.)  Over the weekend, Christie got confrontational with a fan at a baseball game. (Story here if you haven’t seen it)

So it seems like a good time to include Christie “in his baseball uniform”. Any other comment seems a bit anti-climatic…right?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie throws to first base for an out during the first inning of the “True Blue” benefit celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie throws to first base for an out during the first inning of the “True Blue” benefit celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, this is a serious topic in a funny picture that was sent to me. The true definition of lazy!

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and

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