Procrastination (But I Digress)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Computers and Such

I have a paper calender, well actually, I have two, no three, wait, four, five, six paper calenders. I don't write on all of them--just three. My secretary (who is not really my secretary since I am worse than Murphey Brown in that department) does not have my calender. She has to physically come into my office and look at the desk calender to find out where I am. My other staff members who are sometimes responsible for arranging my court dates have calenders on their computer. They e-mail the information to me. I don't know why I can't simply access their computer, but that's not to say it isn't possible, it's just that I don't know how and when I've asked them, they don't either. I'm paying them next to nothing and providing the bear minimum tech support, so I do not ask for more.

Now, we had a great speaker at ABWA a few months back who spoke about getting organized. For 18 years I have manually taken my desk calender and updated the calender that I carry with me, but as I get older my brain does not want to store as much info and I'm finding it harder and harder to trust the calender in my hand. Last week I was out at a client meeting and I got a call on my cell phone. No one ever calls my cell phone. I am not much of a cell phone person. I ignored the call and apoligized to my client for the interuption. When I found out the call was from my office, I was going to give them an earful for bothering me at a client meeting (jumping the gun, assuming it wasn't important, hence my attraction for good secretaries). They were calling to tell me that my other client was there for her appointment that wasn't on my calender. Lo and behold back in my e-mails was a note and a confirmation from me for a meeting. I completely missed it on all my calenders. It reminded me of a nifty thing one of my clients sent me by e-mail that went directly to the calender on my computer (that I didn't even know existed). There has to be a better way.

There is. It's something called pdf, but I refuse to go there. You carry it separately from your phone--I already carry too much stuff. OK, it is smaller than the paper calender that I carry around, but it will be too much typing--I can't type on that tiny little thing. Well the speaker at ABWA said, you don't type on the little organizer--you type on your computer and sync it to the organizer. That sounds so much better. And I am pretty sure that I already have a calender on my computer. I'll bet if I go into Outlook and click on that thing that says Calender--it will be right there. And, I'll further wager that if I go into the network drive at the office, I'll even be able to go into my staff's calender and they could go into mine--maybe that's pushing it.

Anyway, I don't want to carry a phone and a pdf, so I'm done. Then I get an e-mail about the iphone, which I am already kind of in love with. It has a way to sync into Microsoft Outlook--there's my calender and it's a phone. I can ditch the paper and have everything in one place. What a wonderful dream. Someday that will be me, glued to my phone surfing the net. I wonder if I can write my blog from my phone.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Are You Ready for Some Foot... Law? Politics?

Ah, Fall, when the leaves start changing colors--well, not in Southern California--they are green or brown pretty much all year long; when the air gets cooler and crisp--well, not in Southern California--September and October are the hot months; when tennis is over and football begins--oh no, the agony; when school starts up--well, poor Adam is just finishing his Fall quarter, but I am getting ready to start my Intro to Law Class. I had a year off of teaching, so I am getting out my new pencils, ordering new books, dusting off the old lesson plan and getting back into the swing of things. I love the Fall.

I've had a whole year to forget those evil girls that ruined my last class. I've had a whole year to come up with cool new additions--Latin words of the day--I think that sounds very cool. Today's latin words will be "stare decisis" which should be elemental to everyone, but mostly thoroughly understood by the US Supreme Court justices. Oh dear, my politics are showing.

Luckily (or tragically as the case may be) my students will not have clue. I like to keep politics out of my discussions, but the more I speak with people, the more I realize that there is a whole lot of education needed out there.

I was speaking with someone whom I would have identified as a liberal and certainly as a dedicated democrate. She was very excited that Palin had been nominated as the VP. I thought is was a little odd that she was so informed that she recognized the possible danger to the Republican party of nominating someone who was so radically conservative in a time when the country was looking for change. Dummy, dummy me. She was excited that a women might have the chance to be President. It sounded as though she couldn't wait to vote for her. I wanted to sit down and cry. The Republican party's motto at the convention was "Country First" and then they nominate a VP who unapoligectically puts religion first.

"Caveat emptor"

Friday, September 05, 2008

More Tennis Stuff

There are sportscasters I like and there are sportscasters I do not like. I like Patrick and John MacEnroe and there's an English guy that's very good. I have to say that I lean toward the commentators who actually play the sport, but that could be star bias. When I went to the tournaments live, I did miss the commentary, so I was envious to see at the Open that they had headsets and little individual tv's for the crowd for rent that they could take to their seats to listen in the stadium. How cool. Now if they could just do something about the sun.

Having said all this about liking the commentary and having a star bias, I hate player interviews. I won't watch them. I love many of those players, but quite frankly, I'm too nervous before a match so I can't imagine that they would have anything constructive to say on camera when they should be mentally preparing for the game before a match. After a match, I'm too mentally drained from the excitement, so I can't imagine that they can have anything interesting to say that soon after the match either. And later at the little press conference style thing they do, the match is over--move on--bigger fish to fry. The time I want to hear the commentary is during their next match when the commentator reminds us about their style of play or their choices and decisions in their last match and how they are making adjustments, etc. in the current match.

Anyhoo, given all this, it is no surprise that I missed all the holaballo after the Djokovic/Roddick match last night. Djok had to know the fans might be a little cranky--Nadal's match the night before went past 2 a.m.. Many fans buy blocks of tickets so that they go every day and Djok had just beat America's greatest hope in the tournament. Djok yelled at the fans to shut up. Doesn't he know where they get the money to pay out the big prizes? Big dummy. So apparently he made some not so smart comments and got in big trouble with the fans after the match. The article said that he didn't get a cheer when he left--the winner was not cheered. That stadium is huge, so I can't imagine how that went. When he was asked about the next match (he plays Fedder) he said, Fedder is a big favorite, but the reporter commented in the article I read this morning, sorry Djokovic, too late for humility.

Tonight it's Nadal v. Murray. Murray is playing much better this year and this is as far as Nadal has ever reached at the U.S. Open (the hard court is not his strongest surface), but I'm still calling Nadal to win the whole thing. He is playing so well this year that he seems unstoppable and Fedder is showing signs of weakness. I still haven't seen him sweat, but I have seen more scowls this year and more errors.

On the women's side, Safina v. Serena--I have to like Safina's changes. Serena is up and down and Safina is extremely hot right now. And Safina wins an extra million dollars if she wins. That's a big incentive. In the other half of the draw it is Dementiava v. Jankovic. Dementiava has the advantage of playing really well coming off her gold medal win, but don't count Jelena out--she's tough. Whoever wins the Open for the women becomes the new number one. I have to say, I'm rooting for Dani Safina, but I like them all.

Coverage on USA network is done (bummer), so I'll be left scrambling to figure out what CBS is going to do with their coverage. They do not have the Nadal match tonight on the tv schedule--how can that be?? I hope that cooler minds prevail and something gets pre-empted.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


At toastmasters last night the question for self introduction was "Are you watching the US Open?" In my head, I said, ohhh, good question and I leaned back to hear the accolades of the wonderful US Open. The first guy said, I don't watch golf. Ok, one guy who doesn't watch golf or tennis is confusing the current annual US Open Tennis Match with the US Open for golf. One guy, big deal. The next person said I don't watch golf either. I couldn't stand it and I blurted out--no, it's tennis. The president surprised by my outburst, said, yes, I'm asking about the US Tennis Open. The next person said I only watch football. One, by one each person said they don't watch tennis. How can this be? When it was my turn I updated all of them that Muller, a qualifier had just beat Davydenko and I know that they all had their tape machines set to catch the Roddick vs. Gonzales match set for this evening. I don't think any of them knew who Muller was or Davydenko, but they must recognize Roddick--he's a rock star. Ok, so he didn't go to the Olympics, but he made a really cute commercial several years ago. Surely they saw his commercial.

The topic of the evening was laughter. I was the jokemaster--talk about pressure. My joke was about the college kid who is explaining to a senior citizen that the senior's just can't understand the younger generation, since the younger generation grew up with so much wonderful technology and the senior says, you are right, we didn't grow up with all that wonderful technology so we invented it--what are you doing?

Anyway, our toastmaster challenged us to laugh heartily for two minutes--it was hilarious. Try it. Another speaker told us that there was a study done that if you tell a joke to about 15 to 20 people and you get a few chuckles, then if you tell the same joke to a little larger crowd, you'll get more laughs and if you tell the same joke to a very large audience, they will be rolling in the isles. We laugh more, when there are more of us laughing, hence laugh tracks. One gal said that a friend of hers wanted to start something called "ha, ha yoga", but found out that there are already "laugh clubs" where people go and laugh for exercise. I saw it in a movie where a comic goes to India to find out what make's Muslim's laugh and he went to a laugh meeting, but they were laughing at nothing, so he got confused and left.

One of our speakers is a really funny guy. He was a middle school teacher for 30 years and he has a thousand puns and silly jokes that must have made him a very popular teacher. Anyway, for his speech he used two characters to denote, "Little Johnny" and "the Teacher". The Teacher said, "Are you chewing gum?" and Little Johnny said, "no, I'm Little Johnny." That guy cracks me up.

As I left the meeting I realized that we really do laugh an awful lot at toastmasters.

[Roddick made short work of Gonzo--Nadal vs. Fish tonight after the battle of the sisters Williams. Oh what a night it will be.]

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tennis Time Again

I think I mentioned the closet full of stuff that is no longer in my closet. I did get the closet fixed over this nice holiday weekend, but I haven't finished putting everything back. We had Caitlyn home this weekend, so I was a little busy entertaining her, but mostly I was watching tennis for twelve hours a day.

My new, big screen, high definition, plasma tv decided not to work this weekend. Of course, since it was a holiday weekend, there was no sense in calling anyone to come and fix it until today, so I got to watch all my tennis this weekend on my little tv. Since everything is out of my closet, I watched my little tiny tv over the piles of stuff. I carved out a path from my door to my chair, cleared off a space for my glass of water and watched the action. Now for the past three tournaments, I have this little tradition of standing for every match point. I didn't have room, but I did make a lot of noise when my favorite players won well fought matches.

Murray and Muller pulled off some spectacular wins from two sets down that were awesome. I just saw on the internet that Muller beat Davydenko--amazing. I never would have called that one. Unfortunately I'm set to tape the evening matches. Pesky work getting in the way of tennis.

Fish was brilliant against Blake and then brilliant again against Monfils--who knew. The stands were so empty too. I was longing to be there in the stands when I remembered how hot and uncomfortable it was there and I didn't feel so bad about being in my claustrophobic room watching my tiny tv. Nadal versus Quarrey. I've had my eye on Quarrey--his time is coming. Nadal looked almost mad. If I wasn't in love with him, I would have been rooting for Sam. And Gublis really gave Djok some trouble. I just don't like Djokavic--I don't know why. He seems personable enough and he's certainly a good tennis player, maybe even spectacular. Fedder beat Stepanic, in straight sets, yea! My mild dislike of Djok is nothing compared to my hatred of Stepanic. I had never been all that fond of Fedder, but against the field, I like him much better these days. Tonight Roddick plays Gonzo. I like them both so much, but I will probably root for Andy. It would be so nice for him to make it to the quarters finals.

On the women's side, I think that Dementiava may have a chance to win it all. Dani Safina is doing really well and if she wins, she gets a million dollar bonus, but Dementiava is playing really great coming off her gold metal win. Of course, Safina will have to beat one of the Williams and either one of them can take it all. I'm giving Serena a slight favorite over Venus, since Venus won Wimboldon. I am trying not to get too attached to the Williams winning the Open, since they have disappointed me in the past (both losing in the French). I wish I could get excited about Jankovic, but every time I get behind her, I am disappointed. We'll see.

Well you are all up to date. I turned the tv on at lunch time and it works again, but I have meetings every night this week. It's late night fast forwarding of the tape for me on the little tv. I hope my big tv works next weekend for the finals.