Harmonson Law Firm - February 2020






This year is a leap year. February gets that extra day in the form of Feb. 29, and this year, leap day lands on a Saturday, which means more people will be able to take advantage of this “bonus” day. It’s easy for the day to go unnoticed, and if you’re busy or you work on

Another fun option is to go hiking at Tom Mays Park. It’s a great way to get out of the hustle and bustle while still being relatively close to home. Pack a big picnic and take the whole family to see the sights and breathe the fresh air. I’ve also been thinking about checking out the new Flix Brewhouse that opened last year near us. We usually go to the Alamo Drafthouse, but it might be fun to try out a new theater at least once. It is hard to beat the Alamo Drafthouse. If you haven’t seen a movie in a while, it’s another great leap day activity. One of my favorite old-school activities it to take the old New Mexico Highway 28 up to Mesilla, right outside Las Cruces. Sure, we could take the I-10, but there’s something about taking the old route that really makes it an experience. It takes you back to before there was an interstate, during the golden age of the American road trip. When you’re driving up an older, slower-paced highway, you can really take in the details of your surroundings. You never know what you might have missed if you were on the interstate. Then, when you get to towns like Mesilla, it’s fun to park and just walk around. There’s a lot of history and old-town charm. I can’t tell you exactly what my family and I will be doing on Feb. 29, but I’m sure we’ll be able to make the most of it with so much do around El Paso.

Saturday, it can seem like any other day. But it’s fun to think about what we can do with an extra day. For me, I would use it to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do. One thing I’ve been thinking about for a while now is taking our new son, Winn, to the zoo. As a family, we don’t often visit the El Paso Zoo. Lately, Winn has started making noises while pretending to be different animals. He’s been craning his neck like a giraffe and pounding his chest like a gorilla, so I think he’d really love a trip to the zoo to see all the animals. I have no doubt that by the time we get home, he’ll be practicing all the newly discovered animal noises. Of course, there are so many other things to do in and around El Paso. You could make this extra day a day to live like a tourist in our own town. This is a fun way to experience the many things El Paso has to offer. The zoo is a great option, or you can spend the afternoon downtown. Peruse the various businesses, try a new restaurant (or two), or see what’s hidden on a street you’ve never been down. Downtown El Paso hides a lot of great things.

– Clark Harmonson

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Pedals to t

On Oct. 28 last year, President Donald Trump tweeted a photo that quickly went viral. It showed an adorable snapshot of a bright-eyed Belgian Malinois, tongue lolling, still wearing its camo military vest. In the caption, President Trump explained that the pup, Conan, was a national hero who was instrumental in taking down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. With four years in special operations forces and roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to track al-Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well. According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and was back on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor. The Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi


B iking is a fun and refreshing way to get physical exercise, whether you’re just going for a quick ride or using your bike for your work commute. Of course, when you’re on the road, you can have a lot to contend with, like cars, pedestrians, and other bikers. When you’re on your bike, you must be constantly aware of your surroundings, but it’s important to be aware of the bike itself. The more prepared the bicycle is for your ride, the safer you will be. Here are four things to check before you head out on any ride. Tires If you haven’t been out in a while, checking your tire pressure should be the first thing you do before hitting the road. Correct tire pressure (which is listed on the tire’s sidewall) ensures a more efficient and safer ride. Underinflation can damage rims and spokes, while overinflation can damage or destroy the tire itself. Spokes Your wheels should be properly trued before you ride. Spokes that are correctly tensioned keep the wheel perfectly round, but if the wheel has a “wobble” or “hop” when spinning, the tire can be damaged during a ride if the problem


President Trump captioned the photo “AMERICAN HERO!” and he’s not alone in his appreciation for the hardworking dogs that have been helping our military since World War II. “To me, they’re the first line of defense,” United States War Dogs Association President Ron Aiello told Vox after the news about Conan came out. “They’re such a great asset to our military today.” Military dogs are put up for adoption after 6–8 years in the service, which means a lucky civilian could take Conan in as early as 2022! Meanwhile, dozens of other smart canine heroes are looking for homes. To learn more about military and other working dog adoptions, visit MissionK9Rescue.org.


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The road isn’t always a dangerous place, but there are certain types of drivers who make it dangerous for the rest of us. We’ve covered a few bad driving habits in the past, but this month, we’re taking a look at three of the most dangerous driving habits on the road that can result in injury and death. These are habits many of us see on the road almost daily, and we’ve probably even been guilty of them a few times. CLOSING THE GAP You’re trying to get over; you turn on your indicator and prepare to merge with the lane over, except you can’t. A driver in the lane saw you wanted in, so they decide to speed up and close the gap. There is no logic to this behavior. The other person just wanted to inconvenience you. However, if you need to get over, you now have to slow down in order to merge. When you slow down, it can cause a ripple effect in traffic, especially in heavy traffic. COASTING IN THE LEFT LANE Everyone knows the left lane is typically used for passing, but it seems many drivers don’t care. We’ve all been there: We’re driving in a middle or right lane and we come up behind a truck, so we get over in the left lane to pass the truck, only to be greeted by someone who is going the same speed as the truck. They’re coasting and they aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. Sometimes you can flash your brights THE WORST HABITS ON THE ROAD 3 Driving Habits That Drive Everyone Crazy or give a quick honk and they’ll get the picture, but it’s important to note that left leg hogs slow down the entire flow of traffic for everyone. TAILGATING Tailgating is both dangerous and illegal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tailgating is the cause of about 23% of all rear-end collisions. There’s no justification for it, even you’re stuck behind someone in the left lane. Plus, it makes the person in front of the tailgater nervous, which can influence their driving, which can then lead to a collision.

isn’t addressed. Check for loose spokes. You can adjust spoke tension with a spoke wrench or have a bicycle mechanic true your wheels for you.

Brakes You want to fully check your entire braking system. Over time, brake levers and cables become loose, resulting in weak brakes. This can be disastrous when you need to stop quickly. Brake cables and pads wear out and need to be adjusted from time to time, if not replaced. If these components aren’t functioning as they should, get them looked at as soon as possible. Chain While you’re at it, look over your shifters and derailleurs. Your chain should carry a decent amount of tension and be clean with a light film of lubrication so that it runs quietly. When you lift up on the bottom run, there should be very little give (no more than half an inch) before the rear derailleur cage begins to move forward. More than that, and you risk one good bump knocking the chain off the drivetrain. However, if the chain is too tight, it can damage your gears.



Make date night simple with this easy shrimp scampi recipe.


1/2 cup dry white wine

4 tbsp butter

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 tbsp olive oil

8 oz cooked linguine

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup parsley

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 tsp oregano


4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil.

915.584.8777 • 3

5505 North Mesa St. Suite 3 • El Paso, TX 79912 WWW.CLARKHARMONSONATTORNEY.COM 915.584.8777



What Would You Do With an Extra Day?


Meet the Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi

4 Tips for a Safe Ride


Easy Shrimp Scampi

These are the Most Annoying Road Habits


Your Epic Adventure Awaits

CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean

One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern- day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years

on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ggantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.


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