Diary of a Startup

Immigration Attorney Denied Hearing Delay Brings Baby to Court

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Immigration Attorney Denied Hearing Delay Brings Baby To Court This attorney’s baby was only four weeks old, too young to start daycare. Her husband is in trucking and was gone. She asked for a continuance based on her maternity leave, and it was denied. She went to court with the baby. She told the AP, “I was in a state of panic. I didn’t know what to do with my baby.” Immigration master calendar hearings can take hours to get through. The hearing is scheduled at a certain time, but so are many other people, and so even though you may have been scheduled for 9AM, you may not be heard until 11:30. Or later. Or maybe not at all. The baby cried in court. The last time I had a baby, I was working at a nonprofit clinic. I made sure to request continuances for some of the clients whose interviews or court hearings were scheduled during my maternity leave, and had several attorneys lined up to take my place at others. I didn’t have any problems when I asked for hearing continuances. I thought all would go back to normal after my maternity leave was over. Instead, I ended up with a baby who wouldn’t take a bottle. This meant that leaving her for more than an hour or so was really an impossibility. For the most part, I was able to find other attorneys to cover for me when it was necessary. After my baby started eating baby food, I was able to leave her for just a couple of hours at a time so that I could attend an interview with a client. When she finally started to take sippy cups at a year old, I heaved a sigh of...

Read More

Finish What You Started vs. Multitasking

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Multitasking is something that has always been easy for me. I have no problem keeping track of multiple things at once. However, I also like to finish what I start. This means that while I like to multitask, I do not like to multitask when I’m working on something that is going to take a lot of time. I hate feeling interrupted in it, and I feel like it’s inefficient because it takes me time to get back into the groove again after having to attend to something else. This means that when I’m busy with lots of things, I just won’t start anything that I view as long and complex. It would be inefficient to start it because I will not be able to finish it. This isn’t practical in real life, so to work around it, I have to break the larger task up into smaller goals. I hate doing it, but it’s necessary. I manage to stay on top of everything this way. When I don’t do it, or when it just can’t be done that way, I end up having to put things off, which I also hate....

Read More

Creating a Culture

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Diary of a Startup, Kid Stuff | 0 comments

Just an illustration of creating a culture, and how it all comes from the top down. Somehow I ended up coaching The Barbarian’s soccer team. I played soccer for many, many years, but The Barbarian had not played before. He had played football in two different leagues, and we much preferred one league over the other because one league emphasized sportsmanship and having fun, while the other did not. The football league that did not emphasize sportsmanship and fun ended up being a league where people wanted to win above all else. This is not great when you’re a little kid. I played AYSO when I was little and so I had naively believed that all non-club (read: you don’t have to try out) soccer leagues would be like AYSO, where “everyone plays” and it’s a positive environment that emphasized fun and sportsmanship. Since I’m coaching, this is what I emphasized with The Barbarian’s team, but I guess the other coaches and parents didn’t get that message because apparently it’s really all about winning at any cost. Although I was always one of the best players in my age group, The Barbarian hasn’t yet shown any inheritance of my athletic talents. The Barbarian mostly spends his in-game time daydreaming near the goal. After the team lost a game by like 20 points, he decided that eventually the ball would make its way over to the goal, and he would be there to defend it. His long-term strategy of patience and physical existence has paid off big time. Meaning we have only been losing by like 7 points instead of 20. I’ve told him to move up and away from the goal sometimes, but apparently it’s a pretty good place for spinning in circles, and just all around a great place to be. Especially after he broke a tooth during a game and became afraid of the ball. So you can see, he’s not exactly a ringer. I have to take genetic credit for his daydreaming, spinning, patient existence, since I did the same thing for the first two years that I played soccer. I grew out of it, so we’ll see what The Barbarian does in the next year or so. He believes he’s great, and he’s having fun, and that’s the point for us. He knows he’s not the best player, but he sees himself as part of the team and he likes that. When he doesn’t want to play any more, then he doesn’t have to play. Finally, our team won a game by one point. It was a hard won victory. Technically, we “don’t keep score” but the kids are 7 years old, not 2, so they can count and they certainly do keep score all by themselves. And a parent on another team complained to the commissioner about my daydreaming Barbarian “guarding” the goal. This, when the kid is clearly afraid of the ball, can barely kick it, and half the time when the other team took a shot on goal, he was happily looking entirely the other way. I think he only purposely got in front of the ball one time during the whole game. Any other time he connected with the ball was clearly involuntary pure coincidence. This. After I have spent every other game watching the other coaches say negative things to the players, having parents yell negative things from the sidelines, dealing with multiple missing players who are missing the soccer games/practice because their parents also signed them up to play baseball and the games are at the same time,  watched coaches...

Read More

Dropped my laptop. Boo.

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

A few months ago I replaced my Macbook Pro with a Lenovo U530. I specially ordered it from their website, etc. I turned down the drop protection. I’ve dropped my other laptops multiple times over the years and I’ve never had one break. I ordered a Lenovo because I thought they were supposed to be more sturdy than a lot of other laptops. I use my laptop daily as my regular computer, and I take it to my office and back and all around my house. My Lenovo lasted three months before I dropped it 12 inches (from the height of the floor of my van). It was inside a backpack surrounded by soft folders and papers at the time. The corners of the screen and bottom pushed inward so that it doesn’t close any more, and the touch screen is ruined. Apparently a laptop with a touchscreen is more delicate. I don’t know. I’ve never had another laptop that would have not been able to take a 12 inch fall onto a corner. My other laptops have all taken falls like that, or worse. I replaced the laptop with an HP Envy. I like the feel of the HP better. The touchpad is more similar to my old Macbook Pro, which is a plus for me. The corners of the HP seem like they’re built in a way that’s better reinforced. All the disruption has cost me a lot of time. I had everything backed up, and I was able to disable the touch screen and pull stuff off that way, too, but it was a major pain because of the huge amount of files I have to work...

Read More

Bandwidth Exceeded

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Woke up this morning to a nasty surprise – LearningLawyer.com was down with a “bandwidth exceeded” notice. Oh noes! Emergency tech support and I scrambled. By emergency tech support, I mean Jefe. And by “Tech support and I scrambled” I mean Jefe did something productive while I mostly sat there next to him moaning about how this couldn’t possibly be right. We have an unlimited bandwidth plan. Calling and messaging the hosting support was completely unproductive at first. Jefe’s first inquiries about the bandwidth issue were met with some standard answers about reading the hosting FAQ. It turns out that “unlimited bandwidth” doesn’t really mean unlimited. It means something like whatever they determine is reasonable use. We didn’t have a chance to explain about how much we’d actually used – nope, the standard response was what was given, end of story. Absolutely zero effort on the hosting company’s part to clear up the issue. It’s not like the site has a lot of video or anything huge, so even with all the revamping of the site, backing up, etc., it still should have been considered reasonable under any business unlimited plan. Jefe checked into the Cpanel and found out that somehow a setting was switched down to something really low. A half hour later and it was set back to unlimited by someone at the hosting company who was able to verify that yes, something had been totally messed up....

Read More

Product shots and ebook covers

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

When LearningLawyer first started, we were using a little program that gave us a screenshot of the pdf. This was quick, but it didn’t look all that great. Sometimes, when you startup lean, you start with what you can do and go from there. During the big site overhaul, I’ve gotten into having real ebook covers for our products. It looks so much better (obviously). On the left is the new cover, and on the right is the best thing we had besides the screenshot. I really like the design of the new cover on the left. The underlying document is just as good as ever, but the packaging is so much...

Read More