Beck & Beck December 2018

Dec 2018

(314) 961-5678 |

Growing Up on the Family Farm Dedicated Fishermen

When I was growing up, I spent many years at the family farm. My parents had always wanted to live in the country, and in 1990, they had their chance. They found a farm an hour outside St. Louis in Catawissa, Missouri, at a fantastic price. They bought the acreage, and we moved in that summer. For the next 15 years, my whole family lived there each summer. We raised cattle, horses, and a few goats, and we worked on the farm throughout the summer months. We enjoyed every moment of it. Over the years, my brother and I became enthusiastic fishermen. We constantly fished at any chance we had, and during the school year, we thought only of getting back out on the water. I would often spend 4–6 hours every day fishing — I’d wake up early in the morning and head out again in the evening, which are the best times to catch the lunkers! I would catch bass, catfish, and bluegill mostly, then my brother and I would call our sisters down to the water to show them the catch before releasing them. It turns out that my 4–6-hour daily fishing habit caused a chunk of the cartilage in my elbow to wear down and break apart — a consequence of casting too much in a young arm. Every few days, it would become lodged into my elbow joint and my elbow would lock into place, unable to move. To get back out there “Over the years, my brother and I became enthusiastic fishermen. We constantly fished at any chance we had, and during the school year, we thought only of getting back out on the water.”

the hose to create an ice track. In the morning, we had a perfect hill to slide down. One of my fondest memories is of the massive snowballs we’d make by walking to the top of a hill and then rolling them down, their size growing with each push. Once we’d reach the bottom of the hill, they’d be as large as a round hay bale. My family still makes every effort we can to visit our family farm, and I still enjoy heading up there to spend a few hours fishing at the pond. Being at the farm, fishing, doing chores, and taking care of our animals shaped who my brother and I are today, and I wouldn’t give those experiences up for anything. The hard work ethic we developed on the farm has stuck with us today in our representation of all our clients.

to do what I loved, I had surgery to remove the problematic piece of cartilage. Once my arm was fully mobile again, I went right back out to the lake to catch some bass. My brother and I spent countless hours swimming in the lake, catching frogs and crawfish in the stream, and playing in the mud and woods. I would also help around the farm, taking care of the livestock. We even had a one-horned goat that would get his head stuck in the fence on a daily basis. He would poke his head through, but once he got his head in there, he couldn’t pull it back out, due to his single long horn. He would cry and cry until someone relieved him from his predicament. During the winter, my brother and I would play in the snow and go sledding down the hill near our house. Before it became dark, we would pack the snow down with our sleds and turn on

-Paul Beck | 1

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example, Sears sold a Kenmore washing machine at a “sale price” of $999.99, compared to a “regular price” of $1,179.99. The problem was the so-called sale price was actually the price that product was offered at every day. Therefore, it wasn’t actually on sale. Duping your customers is a bad business practice, but what makes it illegal? Well, California law requires that retailers post a retail price no higher than what the product was sold at within three months prior to the ad. “Families today … are striving to get the very most they can get from an extremely hard-earned holiday shopping dollar,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “They deserve to make an informed decision.” After bringing about the suit, the retailers all quickly moved to settle, promising to never engage in false reference pricing again. Most retailers offer discounts around the holidays to encourage shoppers to come into their stores or visit their websites. Promotions and sales are great tools in any business’s arsenal, provided they aren’t out to mislead customers. Big-box stores may try to manipulate innocent people, and it’s up to aggrieved customers to hold those corporations accountable. Nearly every year, you’ll read about a class-action lawsuit that develops in response to the shady tactics of businesses eager to secure those holiday shopping dollars. Are there great bargains to be had on Black Friday? Of course. But if something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t let retailers trick you into a purchase you wouldn’t make otherwise. In the last decade, researchers have determined that from a romantic and reproductive standpoint, both men and women are attracted to partners with bigger pupils. Studies demonstrate that when women are at their peak fertility, they might subconsciously be more attracted to a person with sizable pupils because it could indicate a partner’s attraction to them. Likewise, researchers have reported that men seek out women with dilated pupils due to the association of larger pupils with youth and longevity. The connection between the eyes and enthrallment has inspired some of Shakespeare’s most iconic sonnets, and the science behind our eyes validates some of the Bard’s romantic claims. But does this connection between larger pupils and attraction corroborate the idea of love at first sight? If you believe that attraction equates to true love, then absolutely. But if your definition of love requires a little more depth, then you may have to toss aside the idea of love at first sight and instead view your partner’s eyes as mere “windows” to their soul.

The idea of love at first sight is wonderfully romantic. Two strangers see each other across a crowded room. There’s an instant, magnetic attraction, and suddenly they’ve found their match for all of eternity. In a world in which dating often requires a lot of work —work that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty — falling in love at first sight has strong appeal. But can it actually happen? Can your eyes tell you anything about love? The connection between the eyes and love has been described in poetry and prose since time immemorial — it’s the stuff of heroic epics and fanciful fairy tales. And evidence has increasingly shown that the human brain is hard-wired to both display and notice visual cues when gazing at a potential love interest. Enlarged pupils are one such cue. When you survey a person or object you are interested in, your brain releases a surge of dopamine — a chemical that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers —which causes your pupils to dilate. In this sense, beauty really is “in the eye of the beholder.”

Fake Discounts and Angry Shoppers A MASSIVE BLACK FRIDAY LAWSUIT

Shoppers flock to retailers every Black Friday in hopes of securing the best deals on the year’s hottest products. There are many nasty aspects of Black Friday — the long lines, the over-zealous shoppers, the limited stock of items — but phony pricing and fake sales shouldn’t be among them. But that’s exactly what happened to folks in Los Angeles during the 2016 holiday season, leading to the biggest Black Friday lawsuit in history. In December of 2016, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sued J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for a practice called “false reference pricing,” a nefarious tactic whereby retailers lie about the original price of an item to make a discount appear bigger than it actually is. For

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How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar SURVIVING THE SEASON OF SWEETS Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat. Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate-based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come NewYear’s, you won’t have to spend the first fewmonths of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.


Looking for an easy holiday roast that still feels elegant enough for the occasion? Look no further than this delicious prime rib flavored with garlic, thyme, and red wine.


1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 cups red wine

4 cups beef stock


1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus. Inspired by Food Network | 3

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8770 Rose Avenue St. Louis, MO 63144

(314) 961-5678 |


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Growing Up on the Family Farm

What Your Eyes Can Tell You About Love The Biggest Black Friday Lawsuit in History Holiday Roast Prime Rib Surviving the Season of Sweets


Monthly Picture Contest

We have been avid fishermen our entire lives. This is a picture of us on the family farm in Catawissa, Missouri. Each month we’re going to have a picture contest. Your picture will appear in the newsletter if you win. We want to keep this newsletter interesting, so please enter your pictures! For next month’s picture contest, submit a picture of you with a fish caught in Missouri with a sentence or two about where and how it was caught. You can text the picture along with your name to (573) 233-2301 or email it to Paul@ If you prefer to mail it to us, send it to this address: Beck and Beck 8770 Rose Ave., St. Louis, MO 63144. MONTHLY PICTURE CONTEST! Please Submit Your Pictures!

Your picture could be here!

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