Random Brain Swirls of a Veteran Court Reporter


By:  Mary Mitchell, RDR, CRR, CCP

When Angie Ballman-Punton gently reminded me recently that I promised to write a blog for our PRC website in July, I wondered what interesting and exciting subject can I possibly address?   So I thought I’d write about topics that swirl around in my brain that form a sort of to-do list relating to my professional life, like:

CLOUD SERVICE BACKUP.   It’s time I get on that bandwagon and not put it off any longer.  A good example for why it is timely is the fire I had in my yard a few springs ago that was quickly moving towards my house, causing me to panic and think — more swirling thoughts — what do I save?  Me?  My aging Golden Retriever, who was in no hurry to run out of the house with me, as 911 instructed?  Or run up to my office and grab my laptop that had many hundreds of transcript pages not yet backed up?  And yes, I agree, that’s a sick, twisted worry that only a court reporter would entertain.  As it turned out, house, lives, and computer files were all saved, thanks to the swift actions of a neighbor who hosed down the rapidly moving fire that was melting landscape lights, burning shrubbery, spreading to our privacy fence and the neighbor’s yard and fence…all before police and fire departments arrived, no less.   No external backup drive in my home office would have helped if the fire had engulfed my home.  But an automatic and routine backup system of all of my work-related files that transmits to a cloud server would have negated any worries.   And it’s time for me to engage a cloud server…now.   Any suggestions of a tried-and-true, pain-free backup cloud service you use would be most welcome…just e-mail me with your happy stories about your chosen cloud.

UPDATING SMARTPHONE.    I have an old, old BlackBerry that is aging, right along with this veteran court reporter, and it has no fun “apps” that can entertain me or guide me to the Harry Potter site at Universal Studios, or let me know which day to go to Epcot or Animal Kingdom at Disney based on crowd levels.   Oh, wait, that doesn’t apply to court reporting, does it?  But you get my drift.  It’s time to upgrade my smartphone.  Seriously, a smartphone is not only necessary on the job if you need instant connectivity to the Web and/or e-mail and/or texts from the office…it can also come in handy if you should have a car accident (take photos of licenses, license plates, vehicle damage, insurance cards–I speak from experience).   So, yeah, it’s time for me to upgrade to the smartphone world of Gs.

STENO WRITER MAINTENANCE.  And what about getting my loved-and-cherished Diamante steno writer cleaned and serviced?  Never been done, it’s now three years old, and since it’s the bloodline to my job, if it were to falter, I’d be dead in the water!  Yes, it’s time for that, as well.

Just thought I’d share my swirling thoughts with you that might instigate some swirling thoughts of your own.  Happy Summer!