PERSONAL INJURY LAW
LIFE & THE LAW
(813) 259-0022 | www.distasiofirm.com
MY FIRST STEPS IN THE WORKING WORLD You Gotta Start Somewhere
W hen I was 14 years old, I a lawnmower. Nobody told me I needed a job, and I wasn’t trying to save up for a new bike or anything like that. I just felt like it was time to begin making some money and earning my own way. So, I struck out with my parents’ old push mower in tow and gave it my best shot. To win customers, I used the age-old marketing tactic known as, “the first one’s free!” I offered to cut grass and hoped to do a good enough job to earn repeat business. The tactic worked, and, soon enough, I had a regular rotation of customers. Eventually, I invested in a Snapper automatic lawn mower, which was a pretty high- performance model in those days. It allowed me to push a lot faster, cover a lot more ground, and service a larger number of yards. I suppose it was my first lesson in investing in your own success. Soon enough, I added a second job, this one just as cliche as the first. My neighbor and his dad had a paper route, the kind that involved filling up those curbside newsstand boxes where you toss in a quarter, open the door, and pull started my entrepreneurial career in the way so many American teenagers do: with
out a paper. We’d head to the press in the wee hours of the morning and drive around placing piles of papers in the machines. I did this on the weekends to supplement my lawn mowing career. When I wanted to make enough money to buy a car, I knew a more regular job was in order. I needed more hours, and McDonald’s was a place that had them. Yes, my first three jobs were mowing lawns, delivering papers, and flipping burgers under the golden arches. I’m more than halfway to completing a row on “Archetypal American Jobs” bingo. I stayed at McDonald’s until college and worked when I returned on break. I got that car, and I also got promoted to shift manager. I may not work in any of these fields today, but the things I learned at these early jobs absolutely informed my journey toward opening my own practice. What I learned from mowing lawns was the importance of self-motivation. There was no boss telling me to be at the Smiths’ yard by 8 a.m. so I could make it to the Jacksons’ by 10. The job also taught me about the importance of exceeding expectations. Somebody would smile at a young kid for doing an adequate job, but they’d give them tips for a great one. From the paper route, I saw how important the unseen
operations that make our country tick are. We rely on lots of folks to keep our society running in ways we rarely acknowledge. From McDonald’s, I gained knowledge of systems and practices. In those days, the restaurants were basically run by kids. How did it work? Through rigorous operational efficiency and consistency. Every business has to rely on these systems to avoid confusion and stagnation. I may not serve thousands of fries in a day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use systems for sorting case files, managing communications, and other tasks related to running a law firm. As you celebrate Labor Day this year, I hope you’ll consider the wide variety of jobs that allow us to live life as we do. We all do jobs that matter in ways both big and small, and we all started somewhere. That’s worth celebrating.
“Yes, my first three jobs were mowing lawns, delivering papers, and flipping burgers under the golden arches. I’m more than halfway to completing a row on ‘Archetypal American Jobs’ bingo.”
It doesn’t always take a master architect to create a breathtaking home. Some homeowners have shunned suburban domiciles and, with a little artistic vision and a lot of determination, built homes that capture their identities. Quirky, meticulously constructed, and always unique, here are a few of the world’s wackiest homes designed, and sometimes built, by their owners. When someone says they live on the water, they probably don’t mean they actually live on the water. But for artists Wayne Adams and Catherine King, the statement is literal. Freedom Cove, their remote, magenta-green island home, floats in Clayoquot Sound near Vancouver Island. They started building it from old, interlocking steel docks in 1991, and now it includes 15 platforms, four greenhouses, a guest house, an art workshop, and more. FREEDOM COVE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA What You Can Do to Help IS YOUR CHILD BEING BULLIED? A new school year is a prime opportunity for kids to make new friends among their classmates. Unfortunately, kids also form connections during the school year that aren’t always positive, and many children become the targets of school bullies. If you suspect your child is being bullied, there are a few things you can do to help. KNOW THE SIGNS Kids usually don’t open up about being bullied right away. However, there are some common signs that your child is being harassed. Here are a few of them:
LISTEN When your child does open up, the best thing you can do is listen. It can be tempting to try to give them advice or question the way they handled the situation, but doing this can give your child the impression that it’s their own fault they are being bullied. Let them tell you the whole story, without judgment, and then help them come up with ideas on what to do next. FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION Once you’ve been informed that your child is being bullied, you should inform teachers as soon as possible. Apart from that, there are several ways you can help your child to deal with bullies, so talk to them about what approach they would be most comfortable with, such as de-escalation strategies or a buddy system with their friends. As with most conflicts, the sooner you handle the situation, the better.
If they’re refusing to go to school or ride the bus, they may be dreading their bully.
If they’re rushing to the bathroom after school, it may indicate that they’re being bullied in the bathroom, which is a common tactic bullies use to avoid teachers.
If their grades suddenly change, it may be the result of constant harassment.
Anxious or depressed moods can be the result of bullying as well.
If you spot one or more of these signs, it’s time to talk to your child about what’s happening to them at school.
THE WORLD’S WACKIEST HOMES
Designed by Their Owners
BAT CASA, SAN MIGUEL, MEXICO The best word to describe this home is probably “anatomical.” That’s certainly the aesthetic movie set designer and Bat Casa resident Steve Rood was going for. The staircase looks like human vertebrae, skeletal hands act as towel hooks in the bathroom, and tendril-like fixtures surround the living room couch. Perhaps the most out-of-character addition to the house is a large mural of the bat symbol painted on the garage door, which is the origin of the property’s name. Surprisingly, Stuart Grant’s cozy forest cottage was not inspired by the hobbit holes of “Lord of the Rings.” In fact, Grant built it over 15 years before the first movie was released. Still, it’s hard not to imagine some magical creature taking up residence in this house, which appears to be an extension of the forest itself. HOBBIT HOUSE, INVERNESS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND
Gnarled tree trunks frame a circular door, moss coats the roof, and ivy covers most of the walls, all belying a cozy interior fit for many a hobbit meal or dwarf song. These homes may not be for everyone, but that’s kind of the point. Each of these homes was built by a specific resident, for a specific resident. Still, you can’t help but be impressed by the determination of their owners to make something truly one of a kind.
THE PERKS AND PERILS OF PIP COVERAGE
What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Protection
A s you probably know, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance. Insurance policies, however, are far from one-size-fits-all. Each policy contains a number of clauses, and deductibles and premiums vary depending on many factors. One of the most important aspects of Florida car insurance is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
The idea behind PIP coverage, sometimes called no-fault insurance, is to provide you with a quick source of cash in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. PIP comes from your insurance and, as its alternate name suggests, is released no matter who was at fault for the accident. The state requires every policy to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, but you can opt for higher limits if you so choose. PIP coverage provides funds to pay for injuries or cover lost wages while your settlement is resolved. However, that’s not always how it works out in practice. As you might suspect, insurance companies have created a variety of loopholes that will allow them to deny your coverage.
PIP only covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages. Furthermore, in the event an injury is deemed a “nonemergency,” the amount of money released can be limited to $2,500. Worst of all, though, is the 14-day rule. The 14-day rule states that if you don’t seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident, you lose your right to PIP coverage. So, if you get injured in a car accident, no matter who’s at fault, seek medical attention immediately. Obviously, that’s good practice in general, but it’s also smart from a financial perspective. If you have any inkling you might be hurt, go to the doctor.
If you’re struggling to navigate your PIP coverage or any other aspect of the car accident claims process, call our office at (813) 259-0022.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
CLASSIC APPLE CRISP
What do you do when apples are in season but you don’t have time to make a pie? You opt for a crisp, of course.
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3/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
• • • • •
1/3 cup brown sugar
• • • •
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Transfer to individual serving ramekins. 3. In a different mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Mix in butter until it forms lumps roughly the size of a pea, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over filling. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.
Inspired by Food Network
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Inside This Issue
Everyone Needs a First Job
How to Respond to School Bullies
Crazy Homes Not Built by Architects
A Very Important Clause in Your Car Insurance
We’re Here to Help
Classic Apple Crisp
The Sandwich of Our City
The History of the Cuban Sandwich
A LOOK AT TAMPA’S MOST ICONIC FOOD
If you ask people from outside our area what city is most associated with the Cuban sandwich, odds are they will tell you Miami. While the link between Cuban culture and South Beach may be too big for the national consciousness to ignore, people “in the know” recognize Tampa as the true birthplace of the Cuban as we know it. It’s ours, and we’re not hearing any arguments about it. However misguided it may be, the debate is indicative of the fascinating transnational history of a sandwich that’s become our signature food. Most food historians agree that the modern Cuban sandwich was developed in Ybor City as lunch for Cuban immigrant workers employed in cigar factories around the turn of the 20th century. (Fun fact: Many “Cuban” cigars from the preembargo era were actually produced in Tampa.) Long before those days, though, residents of Cuba were eating sandwiches, or mixtos. The Cuban’s earliest recorded
antecedent is a sandwich eaten by the Taino tribe, who used slices of bread made from yucca to hold fish and poultry. As Spanish settlers arrived, they brought pigs, which became a part of diets across the Caribbean. From there, the sandwich transitioned to America, where it took its current form and earned its name. When people were living in Cuba, after all, they’d have no reason to call a sandwich “Cuban.” Our particular variant of the Cuban — i.e. the real one — consists of roasted pork, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard between two slices of crunchy Cuban bread. The salami is the result of the influence of Italian immigrants who were arriving around the same time as the Cubans.
different cultures come together to create something new. There’s no unanimous answer about where the best place to eat a Cuban is. Bodega, La Columbia, and La Segunda all serve up worthy versions. Asking somebody to pick a single winner would be like asking a New Yorker where to go for pizza. The options are endless, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Like our city itself, the Cuban sandwich is a testament to what happens when people from
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