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Semi-random stream of consciousness
Author: Steven Shelton (6:44 am)
It's been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog. The craziness of life has pretty much sapped all of my free time: between the website design work, the law practice, what seems to be a perpetual need to do housework, and the infatiguable four-year-old it seems I have no time to sit down and breathe, let alone write anything anyone would be remotely interested in reading. But this morning I've got a break, so here are some semi-random, semi-coherent thoughts on life, the practice of law, website spammers, and maybe a little more:
I hate blog spammers. I've spent a great deal of time this last month or so fighting alongside SYSOP to get rid of all of the blog spam and prevent more of it. As a result, we've had to delete all of the trackbacks in the blogs (including the actual useful ones, which sucks), IP ban what amounts to most of an entire domain range (which may be preventing many legit visitors from coming to this site), restrict posting of comments to registered users, and perform a couple of other tasks designed to circumvent spam. We tried just making users have their comments need approval before they could be posted, but that didn't work; although nobody could see them but the administrators, there were still hundreds of spam comments showing up daily in the bucket, making it impossible to find the legit ones. So, if you want to comment, you have to register now.
This mentality of the spammers--that there's nothing wrong with stealing from other people (because that's what they are doing; we paid for the server and all of the design work, and we're willing to sell advertising on the site)--is the same one that inspires people to send junk faxes. Although I can't sue the spammers (thanks, Congress! *grumble*) I can sue the junk faxers, and am doing so with great success. If anyone wants to know why, now they know. And speaking of suing junk faxers . . .
Ooo law law! The law practice thing is getting fun. I'm handling several criminal defense cases at the moment, have already handled several others, and am currently involved in a number of cases ranging from family law (which I said I would never do, but here I am) to junk fax pursuit to contract disputes and some other stuff, too. So far, I have yet to lose a case. I know that's going to change eventually, but since most of what I'm doing is junk fax cases and those are pretty darn easy to win (once you track down the perps), the record is pretty good thus far. In fact, I entered a default for $12,000 and change yesterday against a junk faxer from Texas. Since I do most junk fax cases on a 50% contingency, that's $6,000 for me once we collect. Not a bad deal.
Speaking of lawsuits, I'm pretty sure this is a compliment: I sued a guy and his company for a client a few weeks back, and after the defendant tried to wiggle his way out only to discover that I wasn't going to let that happen, he settled the case. About a week later I get a call from the defendant wanting me to be his lawyer on several matters completely unrelated to the case on which we had sued him. When the other side goes, "Dude, I should have him as my lawyer!", I think that's a good thing.
In the meantime, I've started working on the website for my practice. (It's hard to get the time to do so in any great chunks due to existing website design and legal clientele, but I'm making progress.) The idea behind the site is that it won't just be for me, since there are far too many areas of law in which to practice for me to be able to handle everything. Rather, it's going to be a resource for people who want to learn more about the law, law students, my fellow attorneys, and others, but it will also have my information there, as well. I'm going to invite other attorneys to write articles for the site to promote their practice, with link to their sites. It's far, far, far from done, but you can look at a preview of it if you want.
How bizarre is this? In November, I blogged about the worst way I've ever lost a job: I showed up for the first day to discover the building had burned down and the guy who was hiring me had been killed in the fire. Well, here's the latest: according to a local TV station, the guy set the fire himself. Another station reports that he did it to destroy his files because he was about to lose his law license for a second time. If this is true, all I can say is that the guy was a genius. Pure genius.
Doing it by design. The web design work has taken off lately, and I'm actually considering hiring an assistant. I've got roughly 100 sites on the block to either create from scratch or greatly modify, so that's keeping me pretty darn busy. Nevertheless, I'm still flat broke. How in the world do I work so many hours at a decent wage and still not have any money? It's not like I'm living a lavish lifestyle or blowing my money on crazy, stupid things. Just the basic bills--mortgage, phone/internet, cell phone, gas/electric, water, car (which is almost paid off!), insurance, daycare, and cable--are killing me. I don't get it.
Tax relief. At least the "poor man's saving account" is going to help me out some. My tax refund for this year is going to be the biggest it's ever been, and should be enough to pay off all of the pending bills and then some. Huzzah!
It's good to be the dad. Zach (my son) had his fourth birthday a couple weeks ago, and he is the coolest four-year-old ever. Friendly, polite, smart, affectionate, talkative . . . you just can't beat it! I took him to the dentist the other day and he was perfect. Did everything the dentist and assistant told him to do without any flinching, argument, or anything. It was amazing; I kept wondering who the little boy in the dentist chair was and where my kid was.
Now that it's summer, we can go outside and play some more. One of my favorite things to do with him is ride bikes, and we spend several hours on almost every afternoon riding around after I pick him up from daycare. Ah, sometimes, it's good to be the dad!
Here we go again . . . So the Bush administration wants to drop nukes on Iran. And, you know, I mean, sure. Why not? We've done about everything else humanly possible to piss off the rest of the planet. Why not just go all the way and drop nukes on a third-world country while we're at it? There's no better way for us to lose what few friends we have left. And since George II has decided that we're going to be the lone wolf cowboy country, it's really become necessary at this point to get rid of all of our friends. (After all, how can you be a "lone wolf" if you have friends and allies?)
Genius. Pure genius.
Rumsfeld has to go. Seriously. The guy is a menace, he's been a menace from Day One, and he just gets more and more crazy. Go, Rummy, and take Bush with ya!
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