Monday, September 29, 2014

Eviction from Haunted House

Several months ago, I had the dubious honor of evicting a tenant from a haunted dwelling.  Or at least, that's what the tenant said in his Answer to the Complaint, explaining why he hadn't paid the rent.

Now obviously the landlord is supposed to maintain the apartment in a habitable condition, but "haunted" or "ghosts" or other such terms are NOT included in the California Civil Code as examples of conditions permitting the withholding of rent.  I know.  I checked.

In the hallway before trial, I asked my client whether the tenant had informed him of the haunted nature of the apartment.  My client's eyebrow went up, then he said "and I'm supposed to correct that how?"

If the repair cost is less than one month's rent, the tenant is permitted, after notifying the landlord of the problem and the landlord not correcting it within 30 days, to pay for the repair himself and deduct the cost of the repair from the rent.  When I asked the tenant if he had considered a "repair and deduct" [because after all, why would he want to live in a haunted apartment?], he told me no, because he didn't know any exorcists.

I convinced the tenant [surprisingly, this took more convincing than I initially thought it would] that he wanted to move out of the apartment, and my client [after recovering his composure from hysterical laughter], agreed to waive all the back rent.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My new platform and marketing plan

In last Monday's post, I mentioned Dave Barry and included a link to his book I had just re-read.  Up until then, my blog, which I admittedly haven't advertised much yet, got maybe 5 hits per day.  Last week my hit counter reached 50 in one day.

So I think I'll start mentioning Dave Barry in every blog post.  Maybe multiple times.  And with a link to his newest book [yes, I've read that one too].

Dave Barry Dave Barry Dave Barry Dave Barry Dave Barry Dave Barry Dave Barry Dave Barry

Dave Barry: You can date boys when you're forty

Okay that might be a bit much.  But so far it's been a good marketing strategy.

All the writing blogs I've read, say a writer needs to establish platform.  Because I've been an attorney for over 20 years, and my current WIP is a book about a brand new attorney trying to break in to the biz, I figured my "brand" would be something related to the law.

Maybe I should change my brand to Dave Barry.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Courthouse Toilets

So I just finished re-reading Dave Barry is Not Taking This Sitting Down [I love Dave Barry books].  On the cover is Dave sitting on a toilet.

Dave Barry is Not Taking This Sitting Down

Which got me thinking about the newfangled toilets that seem to be all the rage in new [and some older] courthouse construction.  They're the new environmentally friendly or water-saving toilets, which "automatically flush the appropriate amount of water, based on the time you spent in the stall."  They also have buttons you can press, with one or three water drops, depending on how much water you want to flush.

Here's how a typical visit to these toilets goes for me:
1.  Enter stall, close and lock door.
2.  Pull out one seat protector, place it on the seat.
3.  Turn around and unzip pants.
4.  Hear toilet flush [presumably the one-water-drop flush].
5.  Check to see whether the seat protector is still there [it usually is]
6.  Sit
7.  Stand up, refasten pants.
8.  Hear toilet flush.
9.  Check to see whether everything flushed.
10.  Re-flush using manual buttons because the seat protector is still in the toilet.

Someone needs to explain to me how THREE flushes, even if they are all one-water-drop flushes, is better than the old style toilets.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Grandparents' Day

Yesterday was Grandparents' Day, one of those minor holidays that doesn't even show up on most calendars.  But my #3 son always knows when it's Grandparents' Day, even though I didn't because it isn't on my calendar, and insists we go to his grandparents' house to swim and visit.

And of course the grandparents don't mind this at all :)

Regular post next Monday.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

No blog post this week.  Had a wonderful weekend in the mountains and my Navy son is coming home today for a one-week leave.

Hope you all have a happy day!