Stuff I Use – Gmail

As a sole practitioner who pretty much wears all the hats in my practice, I rely heavily on technology.  I lean towards SaaS or “cloud computing” whenever possible because SaaS is usually the least costly and more frequently updated technology.  Of course, data security is the primary item I research, followed closely by longevity of the company offering the service.

I also run quite a few of  the tried-and-true desktop applications.  In my unending quest to find something to write about on this blog, I’ve decided that droning on about the technology I use could take up quite a few blog posts.  I’ll start with the application I probably use the most all day, everyday – Gmail.

I was one of the lucky geeks who received one of the initial invites to Gmail.  As a result, I snagged first pick for my Gmail address and have used it ever since.  I could invent an email address (or more than one) on my web host, but there are too many things I love above Gmail that I can’t imagine living without:

  1. Accessibility: I can access my Gmail through my Blackberry, Microsoft Outlook, or on the web and any actions I take through any of those methods automatically apply across the board since I access via IMAP.  For instance, once I read an email, it’s shows up as “read” across all of the methods I use to look at my inbox.  The same applies if I choose to mark the email as “unread” so that I can deal with it later.
  2. Search and Retrieve: The searching ability is astoundingly fast.  I can search by subject, sender, date, etc. and the results show up practically in seconds – no matter how far back the email was sent.  I archive everything client and practice management-related so that I can retrieve it later.  I do print out some of my more comprehensive email strings, but a lot of them are simply archived on Google’s server.
  3. Storage:  And on the subject of archiving – I don’t have to worry about server space because that’s Google’s job.  Someday I anticipate I’ll have to buy more space from Google, but for now, I’m riding on their storage dime.
  4. Junk:  The spam control is satisfactory and Google politely retains my spam for 30 days which enables me to scan it quickly to make sure nothing gets mistakenly categorized as spam.  Happily mis-categorization is a rare occurrence.
  5. Organization:  Labeling is another way of making folders.  In the web application I have my labels color-coded so that everything to do with clients is one color, routine practice administration emails are another color and emails requiring follow up are bright red.
  6. Containment:  I have more than one email account.  I have my business account, a personal account, my old law school account and list-serve related accounts.  I run all of them through my main Gmail account so that I don’t have to check more than one spot.

The only real complaint I have about Gmail is their Contact List which is clunky and doesn’t play well with Outlook unless I use a third-party application.  I eagerly await the day Google overhauls their contact manager, but until that time, I will impatiently get by with the third-party solutions.

Family Law in Pop Culture – 12/28/09

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins Split up.

This is more appropriately current news as opposed to “pop culture”:  David Goldman recovers custody of his son, Sean, in Brazil.

Charlie Sheen arrested for domestic violence.

Obligatory Disclaimer (because I’m a lawyer and I have an obsessive need to do this):  These links are collected from gossip sites and “news” (quote/unquote) sites and actual news sites – in other words, read these links with a grain of salt.

Family Law in Pop Culture – 12/20/09

I’ve decided it would be fun to put together a blog containing  family law related pop culture links every weekend.  So, here’s what I hope will be the debut of a new weekly blog feature.

Jon and Kate Gosselin are divorced (surprisingly, it appears they actually reached agreed terms).

Supposedly Tiger Woods wife, Erin Nordegren is attorney. shopping For those who may be interested, here is the Avvo information for Mr. Sorrell Trope (the attorney referenced in the story).

Frances Bean Cobain is the subject of a guardianship granted to her grandmother and aunt.

LeAnn Rimes’ husband files for divorce in Los Angeles.

Obligatory Disclaimer (because I’m a lawyer and I have an obsessive need to do this):  These links are collected from gossip sites and “news” (quote/unquote) sites and actual news sites – in other words, read these links with a grain of salt.

Quail Update

Last August I posted a blog entry about baby quail hanging out next to our office.

I just had my first sighting of the quail family once again and they are all grown up (and quite cold).

Sorry for the poor quality.  I had to sneak up on them with my Blackberry.

Change in Seasons, Change in Statutes

Autumn came to Spokane literally overnight.  One day I was sweating in my suit as I walked over to the court house and the next day I was shivering in my boots.  Autumn is, in fact, my favorite season, but a little warning would’ve been appreciated!

My personal goal for October is to get to Green Bluff for the Apple Festival.  I have to map out a Friday to accomplish this task because Green Bluff has gotten so (deservedly) popular that it’s a chaotic traffic mess on the Saturdays.

Meanwhile, I need to sit down and write a post about the new child support statutes that went into effect on October 1, 2009.  These new statutes are long-awaited and make some much needed changes to the economic table as well as to the medical support provisions.  I worked with the new child support order form last night and was fascinated at the amount of changes incorporated into the form.

There is also some important new legislation pertaining to deployed military members that I need to digest.  I’ll add those statutes to the pile of blog posts that need drafted.

This Blog Is Being Remade

This blog was born as an offshoot of my law practice website. (Obligatory link to my practice site duly made). Unfortunately, my lofty ideas of using this as a springboard for all of my incredibly insightful posts on practicing law, family law in Washington, and what have you, brought my Blogging Plans to a halt. I simply didn’t have time to put together brilliant scholarly prose.

Okay, let’s be honest … I didn’t have any actual interest in putting together brilliant scholarly prose.

To remedy the conundrum I created, I decided it is time for “anything goes” on this blog. There will be stuff about being a family law attorney and there will be stuff that strikes me as interesting at the time. There will probably also be endless discussion of my four dogs and five parrots (with photos!). My apologies in advance.

Wildlife Visits the Office

A quailToday just before lunch I was alerted to a Cute overload moment happening right outside our building. A male quail was “sitting” on the concrete just outside the front door enjoying a shady spot. I managed to get a shot of him with my camera phone through the glass.

I knew the minute I opened the door he’d vanish. Sure enough, as soon the door opened he got up and started running away.

Then I noticed a female quail just off to the right (in even more shade) resting on her belly just like her male companion. I was worried because she didn’t get up right away and her feathers were ruffled. I thought maybe she was sick.

quailbabiesblurWell, just as I had that thought she got up and a swarm of baby quail came flying out from underneath the ruffled feathers. Unfortunately, it happened so quickly all I could get was a very blurry photo.

It appears we have a very robust quail family living at 1309 West Dean Avenue.