World UFO Day, July 2. Look to the skies for evidence of alien visitors.
Independence Day, July 4. Celebrate the birthday of the United States of America.
Global Forgiveness Day, July 7. Begun in 1994 to help people around the world identify with their personal need to forgive and be forgiven.
Space Exploration Day, July 20. Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin first walked on the moon on this day in 1969.
National Hot Dog Day, July 2. Enjoy a hot dog with mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, chili, sauerkraut, or whatever strikes your fancy.
World Ranger Day, July 2. Sponsored by the International Ranger Federation to celebrate the work rangers do to protect wildlife.
This incredibly simple dish is so easy that you won’t believe the complex and delicious tasting meal that it will produce when it is done!
Cut up the chicken. Leave the skin on. Dice the large onion into bite size pieces. Place all ingredients in a stockpot.
Cook on low for at least an hour and a half. Stir and rotate every so often. Serve with steamed white rice and enjoy. If you want to get fancy, you can marinate the chicken overnight or for a few hours in the vinegar, soy sauce and pepper mixture before you cook it. The onion pieces come out tasting amazing, so cut them in bite-sized chunks. I am always happy to see this low prep time dish at dinnertime. You will be too!
We have a big announcement to make. We are moving! While we love our location and enjoy sharing space with Autumn Beck and her staff, we are, thankfully, growing, and so is Autumn’s firm. There just is not enough room for all of us in the same building!
We will be relocating just around the corner on Romana Street just behind the Post Office. We will still be downtown, and we will be the same distance from the state and federal courthouses. It will take some time to build out the space we are using, so we will have to move temporarily down Intendencia Street for a few months while our new office is finished. We had been hopeful that we would only have to move once. We had always planned on moving out of this office before August. Because of unforeseen delays, our new location will not be available until the end of the year, so we will have temporary office space a few blocks away until we can move into the new office. We will be moving out of this space in mid-July.
We will keep everyone updated with our new address, and when the new office is open, we would love to have you stop by for a cup of coffee and a tour.
June has been busy with new case intake. We have been happy with the number of personal injury cases we are seeing. Thanks to everyone who has referred us business. We are also working heavily on Volkswagen Diesel fraud intake. We will be filing lawsuits in Texas on behalf of our clients who purchased Volkswagen diesels.
That’s our big news for June. We will keep you informed about our move. We are glad to have growing pains and are grateful for all our clients and friends who have supported us the last year and a half making our growth possible.
Joe was late for work.
Joe's boss yelled at him. "You should have been here at 8:30!"
"Why?" Joe asked. "What happened at 8:30?"
Each month, we like to feature people we work with, our neighbors, or people who are influential in our community. This month, we would like to feature Charles Green, SKLF’s top notch Information Technology specialist.
Computer and network technology can be one of the scariest parts of running your business. All your data is in one place and, if it’s not well cared for, it can disappear in an instant. Last month, thanks to Charles Green, SKLF’s top notch IT specialist, we had a smooth month. Chris caught up with Charles Green, of Private Consulting Services for a quick chat.
I asked Charles what seemed to be the most pressing emerging issues on the business Information Technology front. Charles reports that, recently, a larger than normal group of businesses required complete restoration of their data and systems from their backup devices. This was largely due to increased virus activity, mainly spreading by unchecked spam messages on computers with outdated or non-functional anti-virus software. According to Charles, the best advice is this: “If you did not ask the IRS to send you thousands of dollars back, or you were not expecting to inherit a waterfront lot in Nigeria from a long lost aunt, then do not open suspicious email!” Secondly, “Keep your anti-virus software updated!” If a suspicious email arrives with an attachment from a friend you don’t usually get emails from, delete the message and call the friend. Your friend’s email list, including your contact, may have been hijacked. If customers would simply delete mail they “think” is junk or dangerous, 95% of customer related virus and ransom ware issues would never happen.
I am glad we have developed a data backup plan. Charles helped us design and implement our computer crash contingency plan. At Stevenson Klotz not only do we use scheduled encrypted off-site backups, but also run in a virtual cloud based environment. I asked Charles to confirm we were immune from the virus issue, but he rained on my parade. Charles explained that while we are head and shoulders above other firms who still use a local file server and a tape backup, nobody is immune. It only takes one employee who is not paying attention to accidentally open a bad email to override the software protecting us. The benefit is for us, according to Charles, our cloud provider would isolate that one employee that might have missed the clues of a bogus or dangerous email, and prevent the virus from attacking our files.
Charles’ IT firm, Private Consulting Services, founded in 2001, is primarily a consulting firm on Information Technology issues within legal cases. PCS has expert witnesses sworn in both State and Federal Courts who can assist lawyers in deciphering complex reports from opposing council, verifying findings, and enhancing investigative factors to ensure the defense has the most information available to defend their client.
This is the heart of summer freedom for the kids. So, as you can you can imagine, the family has been on bikes and out on the Pensacola waters as much as possible. The whole family went tubing on the Blackwater River last weekend. Happily, we only saw one snake. Unfortunately, it was at a moment where all of our lashed-together tubes were headed right towards his log where he was sunning on the bank. Fortunately he was not interested in us and slithered off at the sight of 10 madly flailing arms trying to steer back to the middle of the River.
Sam has decided he is old enough to start cutting the yard and is learning how to do that as a new chore at the house. Sam is interested in tennis lessons and Max is old enough this summer to get certified and is studying to take his SCUBA test.
Work has been extremely busy. We are preparing for several larger cases that will go to trial in the Fall. Some cases take many months of preparation to get ready. The trial preparation process is a complex set of steps that requires intense planning and a great deal of original thinking and writing. I’m so glad we have such a wonderful legal team here to make sure that we stay focused, on track, and produce outstanding work-product. In July, Eric and Chris will be attending another training seminar to help our office become even more productive and organized. We hope you all have a great Summer. Thank you for trusting us with your case!
We’d like to share with you an article that Carrie Stevenson wrote about our recent trip to Cuba with the Christ Church, Pensacola. Carrie Stevenson is Eric’s wife and they both went to Cuba together.
On May 8, 2016, an intrepid group of eleven members of Christ Church, Pensacola, left Orlando, religious visas in hand, for a charter flight to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival in a country that had seemed like exotic forbidden fruit all our lives, it was surreal to think we had been in the U.S. just hours earlier. The goals of our adventura in Cuba were to learn about the country; meet with the Cuban bishop, Griselda Delgado del Carpio; and begin a relationship with a potential sister congregation, San Marcos, in the city of Holguín.
Spending time in Cuba is like turning back the clock 50 years. Beautifully designed old homes and buildings were crumbling in place, and everything needed a fresh coat of paint. Legendary 1940’s and 1950’s era American cars were out in full force in the tourist centers of Havana, offering taxi rides and city tours. We were surrounded by history, with intimidating Spanish forts dating from the 1500’s and reminders of la Revolucion at every turn. Our first meal out included an overwhelming amount of beans, rice, fried plantains, fish, and lobster at a very low price, yet most residents couldn’t have afforded restaurant meals. Finding incredible food in Cuba was no problem, although drinkable water and toilet paper came at a premium.
We learned that nothing in Cuba gets done easily or quickly. After arranging for a tour bus to take us 500 miles east of Havana to Santiago and Holguín, we learned the morning of departure that our vehicle was no longer available. We were able to arrange transportation in the form of a 1952 Dodge “bus” that may or may not have been a dump truck in a former life, which had air-conditioning in the form of windows that slid open and rainfall coming in through the roof.
By the grace of God, skilled drivers, and a very patient Cuban translator, we made it to our distant destination of the Iglesia de San Lucas (St. Luke’s) in Santiago de Cuba. Their priest, Father Halbert, and his family were among the most gracious people we met during our time there.
We had the honor of bringing Father Matt Currin’s vestments to Father Halbert, and baseball equipment to their sons. It was like Christmas, and a joyful moment for us all. Halbert serves four churches within a 100-mile radius of his home in Santiago. While staying there, we ate like royalty, visited several churches and parishioners, and spent time at some of the most beautiful scenic overlooks in all of Cuba.
Once in Holguín, we met seminarian Gil Fat and his family along with the faithful members of San Marcos (St. Mark’s). They have held Sunday services for eight years in parishioner Maria’s living room, and will continue to do so until they have bigger and better facilities. Church members cooked all day long for us, and we joined together for a remarkable Pentecost Sunday service led, in Spanish, by Mother Jessica Babcock. Christ Church donated English/Spanish Books of Common Prayer to the congregation, which we used during the service.
Before leaving, ten days after our arrival, we were able to provide funds for a motorbike for Pastor Gil so he won’t have to walk many miles daily to seminary, the church, and home. Many of the Episcopal churches in Cuba serve as centers of their community, providing clean, filtered drinking water to their neighbors, childcare and educational opportunities, and community gardens. Our ultimate goal in beginning a relationship with the people of Cuba is to share our blessings, pray for each other, and help them fulfill their dreams of a new rectory and church building for St. Mark’s. We also hope to provide help for improved facilities at Camp Blankingship, a facility with many things in common with our beloved Camp Beckwith. We are planning more trips for next year.