DECEMBER 3, 2004

These are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer. They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life and experiences in the Solo Practice of law.
Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2004. 

Archived Prior Ramblings

In Memorium:
September 11, 2001

  02-22-02  03-30-02  04-05-02
  04-21-02  04-27-02  05-01-02
  05-03-02  05-10-02  05-17-02
  05-31-02  06-21-02  06-26-02
  06-29-02  07-04-02  07-05-02
  07-12-02  08-02-02  08-10-02
  08-21-02  08-23-02  08-30-02
  09-06-02  09-11-02  09-11-02F
  09-13-02  09-20-02  09-27-02
  10-04-02  10-11-02  10-18-02
  10-25-02  11-01-02  11-08-02
  11-15-02  11-22-02  11-29-02
  12-06-02  12-13-02  12-20-02

  01-03-03  01-10-03  01-10-03R
  01-17-03  01-24-03  01-31-03
  02-07-03  02-14-03  02-21-03
  02-28-03  03-07-03  03-14-03
  03-21-03  03-28-03  04-04-03
  04-11-03  04-18-03  04-25-03
  05-02-03  05-09-03  05-16-03
  05-23-03  05-30-03  06-06-03
  06-20-03  06-27-03  07-04-03
  07-11-03  07-18-03  07-25-03
  08-01-03  08-08-03  08-15-03
  08-22-03  08-29-03  09-05-03
  09-12-03  09-19-03  09-26-03
  10-03-03  10-10-03  10-17-03
  10-24-03  10-31-03  11-07-03
  11-14-03  11-21-03  11-28-03
  12-05-03  12-12-03  12-19-03

  01-02-04  01-09-04  01-16-04
  01-23-04  01-30-04  02-06-04
  02-13-04  02-20-04  02-27-04
  03-05-04  03-12-04  03-19-04
  03-29-04  04-02-04  04-09-04
  04-16-04  04-23-04  04-30-04
  05-07-04  05-14-04  05-21-04
  05-28-04  06-11-04  06-18-04
  06-25-04  07-09-04  07-16-04
  07-23-04  07-30-04  08-06-04
  08-13-04  08-20-04  08-27-04
  09-03-04  09-10-04  09-17-04
  09-24-04  10-01-04  10-08-04
  10-15-04  10-22-04  10-29-04
  11-05-04  10-12-04  11-19-04
  11-26-04  12-03-04
Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of December 3, 2004.  Here in our little house, our SFIG, every day for the past several months, has brought a plethora of *POL* posts. Some time back, I most respectfully suggested the use of the *POL* header, as a means of allowing folks who had no interest in "political" posts, to filter them out. Seems to have worked very well. The vast majority of folks have set their filters to "delete", (I haven't, I still read every post to the SFIG) and some participate in the posts. There is no desire on any persons part, (that I know of), to limit discussion, any discussion ... in our little house.  However, the tone in some posts is offensive to me:  there is NO REASON, NO EXCUSE for attacking the person and not the post.  Let's exercise restraint, be patient, forgiving and respectful of all posts/posters, even if you believe the person posting spends their free time thinking about performing un-natural acts with gay chickens  ... er ...  I wouldn't know ... but ... perhaps gay chickens have their charms ... although I think they are pretty ... <I'll groan for you>  .... fowl. :)   Carrying Freud's "Penis Envy" theory to it's logical analogous conclusion:  all persons have an intellectual penis,  some are quite content with what they have, others suffer from envy and feel compelled to display their shortcoming, (no pun intended).  Isn't that the true basis for ad hominum attacks?

Saw a "special" on the evening News on Tuesday night about folks who feel stepped on about not being able to return multiple purchases. Some stores will not let you do so,  if you buy and return X number of items in X period of time.  After such time or items, if you buy something, it's yours.  Seems some folks feel entitled to buy an unlimited number of somethings, take them home, try them on, try them out ... and if they don't like them for whatever reason ... feel the store should just take the item back for a refund. Sure is an interesting concept. Isn't that what we used to call "renting"? 

Seems this holiday season, many folks are interested in getting a digital camera. There are hundreds of Webpages on the Internet with information you can use, as a resource, to help you make a decision.  Two of the best beginners sites to check out are Cody's Science Education Zone, (a really, really, really basic overview) and  "ShortCourses", (their overview of digital photography is more in depth and far better than I could write).  The Photography E-Book site is an excellent read for folks who want to learn basic photographic principals, (F-stop, aperture, depth of field, composition, etc.) as is Basic Photography and Jodie Coston's Site. So, how do you proceed, after having familiarized yourself with basic digital photographic concepts?  What camera to buy.  What camera will serve your needs?   You need to know what questions to ask.  The most basic being, "What will I take pictures of, (how will the camera be used)?", "What will I use the pictures for, (how large a print will you make:  for the Internet a 1 megapixel camera is adequate)?" and for some, the most important question:  "How much do I want to spend?"

What you want to take pictures of, in my opinion, determines the minimum number of pixels, (resolution/detail), that you will need as a function of what you want to do with the picture. Snaps shots of family and friends and portraits require less resolution than landscape or architectural photos printed at the same size because of the greater detail in such pictures. There are standard printing sizes, 3 x 5, 3.5 x 5, 4 x 5. 4 x 6, 5 x 7 and 8 x 10.  Most folks print at 4 x 6 because that is the standard "postcard" size, (the second most popular is 5 x 7).  Any of the 3.2+  megapixel cameras on the market now, will print beautiful 5 x 7's, irrespective of the subject. Above 8 x 10, the pictures will start to display "pixelation", (what is known as "grain" on the analog side). The majority of camera's in this category are compact, light and retail for less than $200.00.  Most are pure "point and shoot" cameras, meaning they lack "manual" functions, (like shutter or aperture priority:  a down side because it limits experimentation and growth as a photographer). They also have limited optical zoom, (usually 3X). [As an aside, many manufacturers tout "digital zoom" as a feature:  it is useless because it consists of in camera cropping.  Something you can do more effectively on your computer.]   Steve's Digicams has a listing of cameras in this class.  For a side by side comparisons, look at Dpreview. In this class of cameras, look for power source, ("AA" size batteries are preferable to propriety battery packs), how pictures are transferred to your computer, (USB or "Firewire" is best), optical Zoom, (the more the better), storage media, (compact flash is preferable because it is less expensive and more available than other formats:  you WILL buy an additional card because almost every digital camera ships with an inadequate sized card).  The other thing to look for is the software bundled with the camera.  You should get a basic image editor and an archive program to keep track of the pictures you have taken.  [As an aside ... over time, you WILL accumulate hundreds of picture. Taking a picture you can't find, once downloaded to your computer, is useless. Develop a naming convention and a storage solution:  the naming convention I use has served me well:   subject, date, picture number. ie.  Holden Fair 09-12-04-001 and I immediately burn my pictures to CD after renaming them.  NEVER work with the original picture:  it is your digital negative!!]

The next class up, in the $200.00 to $600.00 range, are 4 megapixel cameras.  They have more features, including a bigger Zoom and manual functions. Here is a list of 4 megapixel cameras.  Thereafter you get into the $600.00 and up 5+  megapixel and DSLR cameras. Again, you can do a feature comparison at Dpreview. I could write on about all the pro's and con's of currently available cameras ... instead, let me just make a couple of modest recommendation:  for a pocketable camera, the Canon "S" series, (S40/45/50/60/70) is hard to beat.  For a larger camera, (under $500.00), with a killer F2.8 Zoom, there is nothing on the market that can beat the Panasonic Lumix FZ series, (FZ1/2/10/15/20) and the best under $1,200.00, DSLR camera, (price vs. performance), is the Nikon D70, (I prefer it over the Canon 300D, (Digital Rebel). To me, after a subjective review of sample pictures and having held each,  I just prefer the D70.

A quality of life suggestion:   A few years back, my Dear Friend Steve Crain shared that his office was closed Friday afternoon so he could do case reviews and billing. After visiting with him, I followed suit. My office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM. to 5:00 PM.  I have had these office hours now, for the past couple of years. If there is paperwork to catch up on, an office case management review or going over billing statements, Fridays with the phones turned off, are perfect, (not to mention, it gives Susan and I the option to take a 3 day weekend). So share with me:  how many judges are available on a Friday afternoon? Share with me:  how many important cases have you picked up on a Friday afternoon?  Don't Doctors close their office on Thursdays?  My Dear Friend Les Steinberg closes his office Friday afternoons and my Dear Friend Matt Hill shuts off his phones at 2:00 PM on Friday.   I know several other lawyers who close their office at noon on Friday as part of their "summer" schedule. As a Solo and Small Firm guy, aren't you the boss?  How much of a difference in your practice, (your wallet), vs. a difference in your life, would taking Friday afternoons off, to gain perspective, take some time for yourself or your family, (pick your kid up early at school and spend some quality one-on-one time ... or ... perhaps, take some quality time with your spouse, sans kids), make?  Ask yourself:  Do you work to live ... or live to work?  Ask yourself:  If you had three days left to live ... would you spend them at the office or do things that matter in your life?  .... <whispering> .... what makes you think you have tomorrow guaranteed ... let alone 3 days? Take, make, time for yourself and your loved ones!!!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, sipping on some "Port" while the fireplace is cranking out heat.  It is cold outside!  David Ransin dropped by for a visit at Ft Timmerman this week, (he had some business in the area).  Must admit, I enjoyed giving him a warm brotherly hug and proving to him, by showing him around, just how humble Ft. Timmerman is. I received an email from my daughter, Elsbeth, (she is named after my mother), yesterday and another today.  [Some of you know the story  ... I elected not to fight for custody nor force "visitation" ... needless to say ... it make my heart sing!!!  She is doing well, has a full scholarship, (as she pointed out, "including books") and wants to be a music teacher ... <sigh> ...  I am so proud of her!!!!  She is now 19, perhaps whatever difficulties her mother and I had is over for her ... she is no longer in the middle and she can do as she wishes.]   I am disappointed with the digital camera portion of these Ramblings:  there is just SO MUCH to talk about.  I could not do the topic justice in the time and space I have to do it in.  I stand ready willing and able to answer any questions you may have about buying a digital camera: call or email me.  On the evening news :  insurgent attacks on Iraqi police officers and the bombing of a Mosque. The price of oil is down below $47.00 a barrel:  good news for our economy. Susan is in full "Christmas Redecorating Mode":  she spent the day unpacking Christmas stuff, chasing cats out of our Christmas Tree and sharing with "Max", (our pain in the *ss male Yorkie), the difference between a fire hydrant and the Christmas tree, (unsuccessfully).  The good news :  everything at ground level in Ft. Timmerman, is tiled!!! (Makes for easy cleanup :)  Wonder why the female of our species has to go through seasonal re-nesting mode?  Guess, Susan, (still trying to figure out why), loves me:  wants our "nest" to be special, our home, our place to share, a place she keeps special for me  :)  You wonder why, I love this woman??  :)  Tonight, as I drift off to sleep ... seeing the lights and ornaments starting to glow in Ft Timmerman ... thinking about and giving thanks for a couple of simple emails I received this week ... and holding the most wonderful partner, lover and friend a man can have ... I will remember our men and women in uniform ... <whispering> .... Please, Please, Please, God ... let them come home safe and soon.  Be and sleep well, (and perhaps, you, as well, will send a prayer/wishes of well being, to and for our man and women in uniform),  knowing, the best there is, is on watch so you can.  If my post offends ... I apologize ... that is not my intent.  As Always ...
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer, from Holden, Missouri)

Click here to read an Interview of the Author.

Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2004
All Rights Reserved

Click here to
Send a Comment to the Author