Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quote for the Week

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

-Thomas A. Edison

Friday, October 28, 2011


So much talk and ink has gone to talk about those who are the 99% o the 1%. 

We are the 53%.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Life

About 15 months ago, my computer hard drive did its awful best to end its life.  Since, for me, hope sometimes springs eternal, I did not dispose of the drive.  I got estimates for data recovery and tried different DIY methods to recover the data.  None of these were successful or practical.  Recently, after burning through the third hard drive, I took my laptop in for repairs.  I found someone in the neighborhood, with good online reviews.

On Saturday morning, I took the laptop in, and also included the old hard-drive, explaining the history.  I wasn't sure if he would need it for the post-mortem.

That evening, I got a call from him.  He needed to talk me.  Uh oh.

I drove to his place and, there, on his table, was my laptop, running.  The good news was that it was working again.  The bad news is that he could not guarantee how long it would last.  But then, there was more news.  The old hard drive is definitely kaput.  Fried.  However...he was able to recover all the data, about 32G worth.  He wanted to know if I wanted the data.  I think I drove home to get the external drive and came back before he was done with the question.  All this for less than the price of a family night out at Olive Garden.

Sunday afternoon, I picked up the external drive and drove home. I plugged it in and immediately started looking for one folder in particular.


There it was.  Character sketches, outlines, descriptions, and pages of text.  I was up way past bedtime just getting back into the groove of writing.  It was good to immerse myself into the life of the character.  When I lost the data, I did not even know where to start.  I didn't have the energy to start over.  Now, it's like the book, and character, have been given a new life.

Here we go

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


One of my staff just asked if it was bad that she didnt know who Gaddafi was. 

I told her, "Yes, it's very bad!  You need to be put in time out and beat!"

Seriously, people, how the heck are we supposed to affect the world if we care more for the Kardashians or the antics of that Lohan chick than we do about what is happening in the part of the world that just happens to house our worst enemies.

Un Gran Señor

I can't get this song out of my head, and that's not a bad thing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Good

It’s been a long weekend, and yesterday was another long day.

This morning, I get to the office and put my stuff on my desk.  I make it to the break room and start the coffee brewing. Back at my desk, I log in and review the calendar. After reviewing what’s ahead, I need my coffee. I reach for the coffee cup and head to the break room to brew the coffee. At the break room, I look at the coffee maker, a bit confused. I already brewed it? I go to put the cup down, but it looks like I never actually grabbed it. I trudge back to my office and stare at the desk for a minute. Why did I come back? Where is my coffee? Why is my cup still on my desk?

I happen to look down at my feet. I’m wearing mismatched shoes.

Is this day over yet?

Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quote for the Week

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.

Brenda Ueland

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

I want to give the OWS crowd some music to keep them company while they protest, well, you know ... bad stuff and ... stuff.

I turn on the tube and what do I see

A whole lotta people cryin' 'don't blame me'
They point their crooked little fingers ar everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
The more I think about it, old billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight*
You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it
Get over it
If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
Get over it, get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick, but I call it weak

You drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
Complain about the present and blame it on the past
I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass

Get over it
Get over it
All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

Get over it
Get over it
It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit
Get over it, get over it

*In the interest of self-preservation, please disregard this line.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Billy Madison Goes to Court

Factac v. King

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quote for the Week

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. 

W. Clement Stone

Friday, October 14, 2011

Phone Booths

The walls inside the courthouse are an endless maze of cinder block and institutional paint, designs of an era long ago when architecture was more function than form. The walls meet the linoleum floor with a faded cove molding, scuffed by the shoes that have rested there, perhaps while waiting for their turn.

And yet, there they are. Built into the wall, next to the courtroom, they look completely out of place now. Two identical phone booths, showing their age. Wrapped in wood, it’s as if the booths are straining to provide elegance, yet not quite doing so. For each, there is a wood and glass sliding door, and a vent above the doorway, placed high enough to at least provide the illusion of privacy. Scratched into the doorway are several messages, including an optimistic, “Frank loves Mary” framed in a roughly scratched heart.

A bench sticks out of the side, but looks barely big enough to do the job. There is a small shelf opposite that, perhaps for papers, or for resting an elbow while trying to make sense of what happens inside those imposing courtroom doors.

Right above the shelf, the framework for the phone is still there, but now it is little more than a metal box, with holes where the important parts once lived. Through the holes, I see wires, neatly tied off—wires that once carried words, hopes, and emotions, but now represent only dead ends, waiting to be permanently removed.

As I wait for my client, my mind wanders. What stories can that booth tell? So often, I wander these halls, waiting for my client, mentally reviewing the case, having reduced it to legal elements to be presented. Over time, the case becomes a problem to be solved, a puzzle to be put together. Of course, it’s better that way because, then, emotions won’t cloud my judgment. But still, looking at that phone booth, I’m reminded of the reasons why people stand against that wall.

I don’t judge the reasons people come to see me. I’m not in their shoes. I’m not wearing their scars. For many of my clients, this is not where they wanted to be, but it is where they are now. Family court is really an oxymoron, if you think about it. Many times, this is where families come to die. Families come in, pieces go (sometimes crawl) out. This is where friendships and partnerships come to confirm suspicions of broken promises and abused trust. For all the talk of separation, divorce, alienation, growing apart, it’s all really talk until I turn around and hand them the document that officially confirms the end. They have paid the price; I have just served to walk them through the end.

And, so, I wonder. What conversations have taken place in that booth? What fears has it heard before the court session opens? What grief or perhaps relief has it heard afterwards? Were there any children hanging nearby, perhaps oblivious to what is going on? How many wadded-up pieces of tissue have been picked up off its floor? How many times has the phone booth door slammed? Does Frank still love Mary?

As my client approaches, I look at the phone booth one more time and think, “What if you could talk?” Of course, there is no answer. It just stares back, empty, with nothing but dead wires inside.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LET'S PROTEST!!! Wait...Why Are We Here??

It's been humorous to see the Occupy Whatever Street We Can Find gatherings over the country.  I'm sure they mean well (mostly) and hope to change the world by ...  well, who knows?  It looks like they don't.

Four Characteristics of a Good Protest

Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age. - Albert Einstein

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flipping a Switch

I read the intake form in front of me and prepare for the initial consultation.  "My spouse wants a divorce, ..."   Usually, the unspoken second half of that statement typically is, "but I don't."

Yet, want and need are two different things.

I walk into the conference room.  It's a young woman.  Her eyes are red.  Married for a few years, she says her husband has changed.  Some time ago, he said he wanted a divorce and started packing his stuff.  She just about fell apart.  She begged him to stay, promised him the moon, and even started going to counseling.  Things were better for some time.  And yet, every now and then, he would bring it up, and throw her off balance again.  Every time, she would react, make some other change, and try harder.  But, although she could not feel it at first, every time he threatened divorce, a part of her trust died.  Sadly, what he interpreted as successful manipulation was actually a slow death.

Every time he brought it up, she was forced to mentally prepare for a life without him.  How would the bills be paid?  Who would take care of their little girl while she worked?  Though there was no way for him to notice, the more he brought it up, the more defined her plans became. 
Then, the switch flipped.

This time, when he threatened to pack his bags, she helped him.  When he said he wanted a divorce, she said, "You're getting your divorce.  I'm meeting with the attorney tomorrow."

Silence.  Shock.  And yet, pride would not allow him to back down.  He took his bags and left.

Now, he's the one promising the moon, counseling, and anything else he can think of.  Her response is simple.  "You forced me to learn to live without you.  You complained so much you actually convinced me that you would be happier without me.  You can't come back.  I want you to be happy."

She reaches for the box of tissues and wipes the tears.  She looks at me and says, "I can't waste any more time.  I gave it my all, but I can't stay in this relationship and run the chance that in a month or five years, he'll pull the same thing.  I love him, but I'm done.  I'm surprised at how strong I am.  Since he's left, I'm finally at peace.  I've made up my mind."

She adds, "I don't want this divorce.  But, I need it."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Quote for the Week

In the information society, nobody thinks. We expect to banish paper, but we actually banish thought.

-Michael Chrichton

Friday, October 7, 2011

No Time

Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Quote for the Week

Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.

Abraham Lincoln