Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2003
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Missouri Solo and Small Firm Internet Group
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JANUARY 2, 2004

The "Ramblings" are a series of emails sent, for the most part, on Friday night, to the Missouri Solo and Small Firm Internet Group, ("the List"),  listserve.    "The List" is a "support" group, a virtual "family", comprised of Missouri Solo and Small Firm Lawyers. It is not affiliated with the Missouri Bar Association: "the List"  is self governing and self moderating. Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2003.  They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life as a Solo Lawyer. They are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer.
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In Memorium:
September 11, 2001
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Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of  January 2, 2004. Sat holding Susan on New Years Eve and together, we toasted in the New Year.   Some of you celebrated the New Year with new family members  ....  two and/or four legged, while others celebrated, while missing a loved one  ...  two and/or four legged. I know the holiday's must have been a difficult time for those that lost a loved one.  Difficult to have joy in your heart, when it aches:  difficult to have hope in your heart, when it despairs.  But isn't that why we have a New Year's Celebration? Perhaps to clear out the "old", both good and bad and celebrate the "new".  The promise of a New Year.  A chance to rectify mistakes and also a chance to enjoy the things done right.  Thought about what all I lived through, what all happened in 2003 ..... to Susan and I, you and my America.  Susan and I survived her two surgeries and my "hose job", adopted another cat, "Tuxie"  and another Yorkie, "Max", (wish I could get an income tax exemption for them!), cried with Joe C, introduced Sherrie H to the Supremo's for her first Oral Argument and was in the wedding party when David L renewed his vows. Spent a day with Scott G helping my dear friend Fred C investigate a claim.  Read about the "Mugwump Ball" and posted a webpage with pictures. Had the privilege of giving a warm brotherly hug to many friends and made many new friends. Watched "Columbia" and her crew fly into heaven, watched 478 of our men and women in uniform die in Iraq, watched almost 28,000 folks in Bam, Iran die, (may go as high as 50,000), in an earthquake and watched Gregory Peck, "Atticus Finch" in "To Kill a Mocking Bird", pass on. Bob Hope and Johnny Cash  joined him. Watched a committee appointed to "monitor" and "improve" the SFIG, watched the SFIG change from brilliant,  intellectually gifted folks debate contentious and "difficult" issues and sharing "stuff" in their lives  .... to folks making polite small talk and ask simple questions. Watched David B, (the founder of the SFIG) and others walk away, choosing to remain silent.  Silence is the antithesis of dissent. Set up the MoSFIG Listserve so folks can get "the Ramblings" delivered to their "inbox" rather than have to go to "the Ramblings" webpage, (if you wish to have them delivered to your inbox, click on this link, "MoSFIG" and type in "subscribe".)  There was joy and there was great sadness. It was a busy year.  And like most folks suffering the penalties of having lived past 21, for me, this year went by too quickly. Time seems to accelerate as you get older.  When I was a kid, the summers used to last forever ..... now, years pass like days. 'Nuff said.

Got my annual "fluff and buff" on Tuesday, (
physical exam).  You go into the Doc's office and wait .... and wait.   They than make you take your clothes off and put on this rather small gown that is open in the back.  Why is it open in the back instead of the front?  (Cause, it's designed to give you a false sense of modesty?)  Then a "chest x-ray", weighed, "lung volume" test, EKG and blood drawn .  Then the actual "physical exam":  the Doc walks in and asks embarrassing questions and starts to "probe".  Geez ... have you figured out how to get "probed" and maintain some type of ... er ... decorum? What do you do when the Doc says, "cough"?  I was then ... <groan> ...reminded why the back of the gown is open.   Good news!!  All my 55 year old parts checked out OK .... even the probed ones, <shuddering>.  My Doc was astonished that I had dropped from 242 pounds to 215 pounds and announced, that according to my BMI, (body Mass Index), I was no longer obese.  Just overweight. I always thought "fat" was "fat".  My diet  , (I updated the page), works.  I have it on good authority, (from Susan), that physical exams and the appurtenant probing, for Lady persons, is even worse.  Something about the Doc having socks on his/her stirrups, (don't have a clue what that means ..... and have no desire to find out!!)  Guess I'm just like an old 55 Chevy, with 150,000 miles  .....  I don't worry about hail damage, skin too thick for that .... but do worry about throwing a rod and having to be towed home. I prefer to drive, not be towed ...  home.

Spent the week learning to use my
Panasonic DMC FZ10K,  it has a Leica 12X image stabilized Zoom, (F2.8 from 35mm - 420mm). Here is a zoom sample, available light, shot in my dentist's waiting room and a shot of a haystack, shot in low light, at dusk.  Found two slick programs this week, one, "Old People" adds an icon to your system tray, that, when clicked, opens a virtual magnifying glass on your screen, which magnifies what is beneath it. It is a great little tool to  magnify a portion of a picture, while you are working on it. It is "freeware": here is a "screen print" and a link to "download" the program. The second is a program called "Neat Image".  It is a "must have" program for anyone that has a digital camera. Just as "film grain" was a problem with analog cameras as a function of the speed, ASA/ISO  rating, of the film, digital cameras suffer from sensor "noise".  This noise appears as "grain" or "snow"  in solid grays , shadow areas or random colored or monochrome specks. Neat Image removes/reduces this noise by allowing you to create a custom  "camera  noise profile", then use that profile to remove the noise. The "demo download" version is "freeware" for private noncommercial use and has all the functionality of the "for sale" version. I have used the program on Canon S40, Canon S50, FZ10K and Nikon D1X files .... download them both and give them a try.

Sitting here sipping some BBB and editing these Ramblings.  Susan spent the day taking down the holiday "stuff" .... I spent the day playing with my camera and reading reviews, tips and comments about the camera on the
Dpreview  Panasonic Forum  ....  and on command, packing away boxes.  I am "house broke" :)   Right after Thanksgiving, Susan unpacks "Christmas Stuff", nativity scene, ceramic angles and Santa Clauses, lights in the windows, wreaths over the fireplace, red bows, garlands and of  course puts up a Christmas Tree for the cats to play with. Mind you, I'm not complaining  ....  but wonder why the female of our species spends so much time "re-nesting"?  It is all put away and Ft Timmerman looks like Ft Timmerman again.  Just got done bringing in firewood .... guess we be under a winter storm watch tomorrow night and Sunday. On the evening news, another life lost in Iraq today ..... <sigh> .....  another life.  Cancelled flights from France, Great Britain and Mexico because of fears the flights might be hijacked and used as a weapon while NASA waits for the "Spirit" Martian probe to land on Mars tomorrow night. Here at Ft Timmerman I'm looking forward to "landing" in bed next to the best partner a man can have:  holding her while we both drift off to sleep.  This year I learned a couple of very important things:  the value of prayer  .....  without good health you have nothing and most important .....  it's the process of "getting there" that matters, that counts .... not the "being there". Be and sleep well, (join us in a prayer for our men and women in uniform, "God, please, please, let them come home safe and soon!"), because the best there is, is on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize .... that is not my intent.
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)