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Smiles and Mud(d)

Have you ever heard the expression that a good outfit starts with the shoes. In some respects, I sorta started with a blog title and then surrounded it with pictures. You’ll see what I mean.

Since this is a Friday blog, I always feel like it’s acceptable to aimlessly ramble. Especially if I wrote some long blogs the past week. And I know I did because I had few people remark this week that, “You wrote a long blog today”. Is that a good thing? See!

So first, (and of course I love a sentence that starts with “So”. See, aimless ramble!) let me give you the substance of the blog.

Do you know where the expression came from that “Your name is mud”?  It relates to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. “Relates” is a key clue.

Dr. Samuel A. Mudd was the physician that gave medical help to John Wilkes Booth. Booth had broken his leg after jumping down from the theater box, after shooting Lincoln. Mudd was ultimately convicted of being a conspirator with Booth.

Many historians have since argued that he was only performing services as a doctor and not really doing anything that indicated intent to be involved in the assassination. Still, many credit a damaged reputation as being related to “His name was Mudd”.

Separately, that expression was already used as slang before that event, but it became more popular after the connection to Dr. Mudd. A story in a story. Like a fig newton? Maybe?

Now to the smiles!

Our first picture comes from my mom:





And third, this one really makes me smile! He does look like a “good boy”!




Have a great weekend. I’m excited to see my Dad for Father’s Day!

Lincoln’s Wisdom

If you received a message from Amazon in your email in-box that advised you of Abraham Lincoln’s new book, would you download it on your kindle. I know, your answer might be that you don’t have a kindle. Or, your answer might be that you would be surprised to learn that Lincoln was still writing.

Well, circumstances don’t stop us from some of Lincoln’s wisdom. From the magazine Inc. , author Ilan Mochari provides us with thoughts from Lincoln on how to keep a good temperament when dealing with people, during difficult times. He uses references from another author of the past, Andrew Carnegie.

First, here is a letter that Lincoln wrote during the Civil War, to a General who had disobeyed his orders:

“I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee’s escape. He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely. If you could not safely attack Lee last Monday, how can you possibly do so South of the river, when you can take with you very few more than two thirds of the force you then had in hand? It would be unreasonable to expect, and I do not expect you can now effect much. Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasureably because of it.”


It’s a pretty scathing rebuke. However, Lincoln never sent it. It was found among his papers after his death. Why he never sent it is a bit speculative. Still, according to the author, the following three things can be gleaned about Lincoln that can be good reminders for us.

1. When delivering feedback, think how it will effect the recipient and whether it reaches your ultimate communication goal.  That letter might not have been sent because of the damage it would have ultimately done to the morale of the general.

2. Before you criticize, put yourself in their shoes. Second guessing/Monday Morning Quarterback evaluation may not be the best position for evaluation. As someone once said to me, “There is no constructive criticism. Those words don’t go together”.

3. If you’re angry about an outcome, give yourself an outlet for venting. Maybe the letter writing helped Lincoln deal with his anger. General Meade would have been the recipient of the letter. Instead,  he is now best known as the General who defeated General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.

DID YOU KNOW that during the Civil War, glasses with colored lenses were used to treat disorders and illnesses. Yellow-trimmed glasses were used to treat syphillis, blue for insanity and pink to treat depression. That’s where the expression originated “to see the world through rose-colored glasses”.

And for pic o’ day, some unusal plans:

Cat plans



Keep the Axe Sharp

When movie producer George Lucas was mixing the soundtrack for his movie “American Graffiti”, he numbered each of the reels of the film by starting with an “R” and then labeled the dialogue as “D”.

Sound Designer Walter Murch subsequently asked Lucas for the “Reel 2, Dialog 2” by abbreviating it as “R2D2”.  George Lucas liked the sound of the abbreviation so much that he decided to use it in another project. It was the name of his robot in the Star Wars universe.R2

This story was a bit of a reminder to prepare today because it may be useful later… or something like that. It’s how I feel when I go to those required Continuing Legal Education programs that sometimes seem a bit tedious. You never know how it might be useful… until!  Abraham Lincoln said “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six hours sharpening my axe.

DID YOU KNOW that renowned criminal Al Capone carried a business card that listed him as a furniture dealer?

capone card


And… pic o’ day


Sally Field’s Life Reminders

     I enjoy reading “How To” books that tell me to plan, stay positive, learn, grasp, study, work, read and many other action words. I am also reminded to keep a smile on my face.


     All those action words that are written by authors that include psychologists or former CEO’s can’t be discounted. Many of those books have helpful reminders. Still, every now and then some real life advice comes from real life. That’s the nature of Sally Fields’ advice.

     From 1967-1970, Sally Field starred as Sister Bertrille in The Flying Nun. The show made her famous, but it also served to typecast her as a lightweight actor “girl-next-door” and made it difficult  to shake the image. In later interviews, she noted that even the show’s directors failed to treat her with respect. Maybe seeing her “fly around” in a nun’s outfit made it difficult!flying nun

     She also felt challenged during the first season of the show, because she was pregnant with her first child. Of course, that would be a problem for a nun… a flying nun.

     There were times that she felt like quitting. Instead, she took a co-star’s recommendation and enrolled in acting classes during her evenings and weekends.     

      After her acting classes, she decided to work on challenging projects. First, she tackled the mini series Sybil. She won an Emmy for her portrayal of a woman who exhibited three personalities, after severe childhood abuse.  Three years later she played the role of Norma Rae; which told the true life story of a single mother who helped to unionize a cotton mill because of the harsh working conditions and poor worker pay. 

     For that role, she won her first Academy Award. This role was a long way from her earlier flying comedic role. Thereafter, she tackled the “normal” to counter Robin Williams’ “abnormal” Mrs. Doubtfire.

     Most recently, she was in Richmond shooting Lincoln, as Mary Todd Lincoln; for which she received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Plus, I heard that several “Richmonders” interacted with her at the Jefferson Hotel and said that she was extremely “down to earth”. (yes, unlike a flying nun) 

     I selectively picked parts along the way to circle back to a book that I recently read titled “Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value“. In the book, they interview Fields about her life’s journey. Here are some of the things that she said that she has learned.

     “The only thing you have power over is to get good at what you do”. She also noted that,  “The only way to become a leader is to have something to give back… get off your rear end and do something”.  She adds about leadership that it sometimes happens, “by accident after you’ve pursued and struggled and kicked yourself around the block a zillion times. One day you look out and see what you’ve done in your life and suddenly people begin turning to you and saying, ‘Lead us.'”

     In blogging, I especially enjoy reading life lessons from others. Usually, I can find some tidbit for my journey. I enjoyed reading her action words because they are a reminder of the Nike saying of “Just Do It”.

     And for pic o’ day, here is some congratulations for “trying”

you tried

If Cats Could Be Lawyers

Famed lawyer and President, Abraham Lincoln, kept 4 cats in the White House.

“Cat Information”

Cats would make good investigators because they can see in the dark.

Cats cannot taste sugar so they would not be distracted from work and research, by chocolate.

Cats are Polydactyl and that certainly sounds like it would help on a case. Of course it might also help to know what it means.

Cats can hear ultrasonic noises which would help in interviewing witnesses. Well, witnesses that whisper.

Cats use their whiskers to determine if they can fit in small spaces. I haven’t figured out if that would be helpful in law unless you might be looking for a law book. Yea, that’s the ticket.

Anyway, these two cats seem ready for some holiday vacation.



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