Mutt’s Day

Christy and I love our dogs, and this short little video depicts just that feeling perfectly!

Here our song lyrics that honor our four-legged family as well:


“Bless the beasts and the children,

For in this world they have no voice,

They have no choice.

Bless the beasts and the children,

For the world can never be,

The world they see.


Light their way

When the darkness surrounds them;

Give them love, let it shine all around them.

Bless the beasts and the children;

Give them shelter from a storm;

Keep them safe;

Keep them warm.


Light their way

When the darkness surrounds them;

Give them love, let it shine all around them.

Bless the beasts and the children;

Give them shelter from a storm;

Keep them safe;

Keep them warm.


Bless the beasts and the children;

Give them shelter from a storm;

Keep them safe;

Keep them warm.”


Songwriters: Barry De Vorzon / Perry L Botkin

Bless the Beasts and Children lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


A Tribute to My Father-In-Law Deck

I miss my father-in-law, Charles Dexter Hogan, known far and wide as “Deck”. Like many of his generation, Deck joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor. He’d played high school dances at Modesto High before the war. Once he joined up he toured the South Pacific playing his already legendary trumpet and trombone with the USO Shows. Deck played with all the greats of his time, The Tommy Dorsey Band, Red Norvo, Harry James, Dave Brubeck. He was in the USO band when Bob Hope and Bing Crosby played shows in South Pacific bases like Espiritu Santo.


Deck loved his family, boat racing and his music equally. He and his band “Hogin’s Heroes” played parties, weddings and every sort of event for years all over the Valley. Hogin’s Heroes played at our wedding and Deck personally played St. Louie Blues at my Father’s funeral. Deck was a student of Frank “Proof” Mancini and played for years and years with MoBand at Concert in the Park. He and the “Heroes” were often invited to play the Dixieland Jazz Festival in Sacramento and other jazz festivals. He even played in Japan as part of the sister City exchange under Mayor Lang’s administration.

Deck’s day job was delivering kegs of beer for Delta Brands throughout the area. In his younger days he was an avid hydroplane boat racer and would drag his family around the State to races. His racing days ended when he was seriously injured in a boating accident, fortunately the accident didn’t affect his ability to play his music.

Deck practiced every day. I sometimes think I can still hear him playing scales in the evenings. Upon his death, Deck left all of his musical equipment to our son, Alex. Deck must have known Alex possessed the “music gene” in addition to the “art gene”, Alex has become quite the guitarist and recently I heard him practicing the trumpet.

I firmly believe each and every one of us are unique. I’ve based my practice and life on this fact. But some people really step right into their calling, their uniqueness, and when they do, they change the world on their platform. Deck’s was call was his love of music and he played it out right here in Modesto.

Thank you Deck!
Deck’s Memorial at McHenry Museum – 2008
Watch “Dixieland Dirge” in Modesto for Deck’s wake

The Science of  Micro Facial Expressions Meets Emoji’s

I’m having an “Ekman Moment”…again.  Probably because I’ve received at least half a dozen emoji laden texts and e-mails today; and I’m an attorney.

So how could one apply Dr. Ekman’s micro-expression method towards parenting.  Ekman uses the Pixar film “Inside Out” to illustrate how it could work and what we need to look for.  Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen “Inside Out” you’ll see many scenes from the movie.  Enjoy!

Arnold Palmer Remains My Favorite Drink

I’ve sited well-known psychologist, Dr. Paul Ekman several times over the years for his incredible work as co-discoverer of micro-expressions.  The science of reading hidden emotions in people through these facial expressions that occur 1/25th of a second.  Yes, you read it right, science.  Really fascinating and helpful to everyone from the CIA to an attorney like me.  Read more.

But a funny thing happened to Dr. Ekman on the way to his many, many accolades, scientific projects and programs of compassion; HOLLYWOOD.  If you’ve never seen the series “Lie To Me” you should, but according to Dr. Ekman, focus on Season 1.  The series won “People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Crime Drama” and stars Tim Roth.

Read Dr. Ekman’s revealing blog about his Hollywood experience, what it did for his work and how he came to love “Arnold Palmer”, the drink , not the golfer.

Motorcycle Road Trips

The weather has been hot, very hot in California recently, but that will change real soon, making it the perfect time to jump on your motorcycle and go for a ride! Before you jump on, make sure you go through and check your motorcycle to make sure everything is in proper working order. Checking oil, blinkers, lights, and kickstand, you can find a comprehensive checklist here. Once the motorcycle is taken care of, you will need to make sure you are prepared with water, food (protein bars work great), a camera, charged phone and the proper gear, making sure your helmet is intact. From here you need to pick where you are going to go. Here is a list of some of the best California road trips on your motorcycle! Jump on, have fun, be safe, and have a great ride!


Celebrating our Aunt’s & Uncle’s

Today is a day to appreciate the Aunts and Uncles in your life. Family is important, and sometimes we forget this, taking them for granted. When is the last time you truly thanked a family member for something they have done for you, and meant it? Sincerity is harder with loved ones because we have it in our minds that they will always be there. Today is a good day to pick up the phone and call that beloved Aunt, or Uncle and tell them hello, maybe share a fond memory with them, let them know you are thinking of them. We are often quick to get busy, and forget how short life really is, so seize the day today, and let them know, before you are unable.

Home Delivered Meals, Are They Right For You?

There are many options when it comes to home food delivery, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and now of course adding Amazon to that list. So, what are the advantages to home food delivery, besides the obvious, convenience, or are they all as convenient as they seem? According to Blue Apron’s website, they offer two plan options, a two person or family plan, with fresh ingredients. Taking the two-person plan for example, it is 3 recipes delivered once a week, portioned out for two. What you get is based on your selections, and you get three of the six recipes their culinary team comes up with. Their website continues with stating that, “regardless of your plan, Blue Apron is designed to teach you how to cook new recipes you have not tried before, introduce you to seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients, and reduce food waste”.  Sounds amazing, and the cost is less expensive than a nice restaurant. The down side, there is prep work involved, so if you are looking for something super quick, this one may not be for you (especially if you are not the most efficient in the kitchen). If you are trying to learn to cook, it would be perfect.

With Hello Fresh it is very similar to Blue Apron, except they have a little more to choose from recipe wise (they come up with more recipes each week), and they have a vegetarian delivery option. I would really say if you are looking to learn to cook, either of these would be a good option, it would just come down to a personal preference.

If you are on the go all of the time, and simply do not have time to cook, then something like Freshly could be a good option for you. With lots of meals to choose from each week, and the meals fresh, and completely prepared, all you need to do is heat them up, and eat. Another option is Amazon Fresh, which is not currently available everywhere, but is slowly expanding. They actually offer everything from groceries, to prepared foods, and more. It will be interesting to see what happens to all of the home delivery meal services as Amazon gets in the game. Whatever you choose, you need to find what is right for you, what suits your needs best, and what you like, as some of us like a good trip to the grocery store.

Honoring Amelia Earhart

Today is the day we celebrate the life and achievements of Amelia Earhart. She was probably most well known for being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, a fete she did in 1928. Of course, her disappearance might be the other thing she is well-known for, as she, “mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while trying to circumnavigate the globe from the equator”. And now, after disappearing 80 years ago, new evidence has come to light that perhaps sheds some light onto the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

A photograph has been discovered in the National Archives showing what appears to be Earhart, and her flying companion Fred Noonan in the Marshall Islands, according to The website continues by stating that the Americans were taken captive by the Japanese Military, where they eventually died in custody. You would want to remember that this is a time right before WWII began for the United States (the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese was December 7, 1941). Others have viewed the picture and do not believe it to be Earhart and Noonan. According to, “the image was part of a Japanese-language travelogue about the South Seas that was published almost two years before Earhart disappeared. Page 113 states the book was published in Japanese-held Palau on 10 October 1935”.  This evidence seems to prove the photo was not her, at least not in 1937, however, I am guessing there are still conspiracy theorists out there debunking this information.

Will we ever really know what happened to Amelia Earhart, who knows. What we do know, she was a remarkable woman with an incredible passion for flying, and made great achievements, despite her disappearance. She will forever live on in the hearts of some, and in the history books of all.

Find a Little Hammock Time

When is the last time you put your feet up and enjoyed a little quiet time in a hammock? Right now is an amazing time to do that, with hot days, and cool nights. Maybe you can grab a book, or some music, and just sit back and enjoy the air. If you have a pool, it can be really nice to take a dip, cool off, and then swing yourself to sleep in the shade while lying comfortably. If you don’t have a hammock, or pool, you should still find time to relax, it is an important part of staying healthy, both in body and mind. Click here for some fun facts on why relaxation should be an important part of your week, and take some time for you!