FISH TALES FROM TWO DECADES OF DIVING SWIMMING WITH SHARKS
W hen I was still a young lawyer, a co-worker who happened to be a dive master made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She and her family were headed to a little island off the coast of the Mayan peninsula called Cozumel, home to the third-largest reef system in the world. She offered to teach me how to scuba dive and let me tag along. Still young enough to be immortal, off I went with a hundred bucks in my pocket (thank you, student loans!) and a garish neon-green bag of rented scuba gear. Fortunately, Cozumel was a lot cheaper then. “AS WE NEARED THE END OF THE DIVE, WE CAME AROUND A BIG CORAL FORMATION FROM ONE SIDE. OUT OF THE DARKNESS A MASSIVE, SHADOWY FIGURE MATERIALIZED FROM THE OTHER SIDE. EVERY BIT OF 20 FEET, I KNEW IMMEDIATELY IT WAS A BIG SHARK, BUT IT TOOK A MOMENT FOR THE TELLTALE HAMMERHEAD TO REGISTER.” I was excited, but had no clue that this lark would profoundly change my life, plunging me into a lifelong passion that I still love 20 years and hundreds of dives later. Now a certified rescue diver, I’m the one inviting others to the islands. My future wife went with me on her first dive almost 15 years ago in Costa Rica and has been hooked ever since. She even works for a dive resort now and is studying to be a dive master. My daughter dives as well, and, since she was trained in my wife’s home country of Australia, never misses a chance to one-up her old man, bragging that she was certified on the Great Barrier Reef. For most divers, that’s the
ultimate destination, not the starting point. She even saw a manta ray on her first dive; I still haven’t seen one.
I have had the pleasure of swimming with deadly snakes though. Like turtles, the golden sea snake breathes air and likes to sunbathe on the surface. After seeing the surreal site of a bright yellow viper floating on the surface during a dive trip several years back, imagine my trepidation later when one swam up beneath me on his way to get a tan. The dive guide assured us that, although “extremely deadly,” golden sea snakes were not aggressive. Only moderately secure in that knowledge, I learned on the very next dive that they are curious as well. As I swam around a large bommie looking at things up close and personal, one particularly menacing snake joined me for the entire dive, repeatedly swimming up right next to my face to see what I was looking at. He might have just been checking to see if I stirred up any food, but after four or five of those close encounters of the reptilian kind, I decided that a margarita on the boat would be a better use of my time. My favorite fish tale happened in Belize years earlier. My dive buddy and I were at the head of the group on a particularly overcast day. As we neared the end of the dive, we came around a big coral formation from one side. Out of the darkness a massive, shadowy figure materialized from the other side. Every bit of 20 feet, I knew immediately it was a big shark, but it took a moment for the telltale hammerhead to register. Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, sharks are rarely aggressive to humans. On average, one human is killed by sharks each year — worldwide! I always joke, though, that my dive buddy screamed, the shark screamed, and they both sped off in opposite directions. Even though our snooty French dive guide tried to play it cool back on the boat, I overheard him tell the captain later, “That was the biggest [expletive deleted] shark I’ve ever seen in my life!” I always remember fondly my friend who introduced me to diving and have been blessed to share my passion with my wife, daughter, and many friends. Whether diving with Harry the Humphead Wrasse in the Whitsundays, hunting lion fish in Honduras, or just swapping stories on the surface interval, scuba diving is never dull. Besides, after swimming with actual sharks for so long, opposing counsel are easy.
–David Gibson GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM
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Where Ma Here’s How
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS GOALS?
The first quarter of 2018 is rapidly coming to an end. What steps have you taken to achieve the goals you’ve set for your business this year? How much progress have you made? Have you already logged a string of successes, or are you struggling? Business owners and entrepreneurs set their sights on a number of goals every year. The problem is that a lot of those goals are left unaccomplished due to flaws in the planning stage. Here are some common goal-setting mistakes. • Setting goals that are too lofty or unrealistic • Not taking the proper steps to see goals through • Not working together as a team to achieve goals • Not defining the goals in a way you, and everyone in your organization, can clearly understand
• Not having a tracking system in place to monitor and review progress
As you work toward your goals, it’s critical to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way. Recognizing achievements keeps your team energized and motivated. As part of the celebration, discuss what still needs to be done to accomplish big-picture goals. If you find yourself or your team falling short of expectations, use this as a learning opportunity. Evaluate your progress and identify roadblocks. Did you give yourself and your team enough resources? Were goals miscommunicated? Did changes in your business, your community, or the economy affect your goals? How can you get back on track?
the Greener Dry Cleaners! INTRODUCING SWISS
At The Gibson Law Group, we work with an incredible array of clients from dozens of industries. Without the support and trust of these business leaders, our firm simply couldn’t exist, so we jump at any opportunity to show our appreciation for the wonderful businesses we serve. To that end, we’re thrilled to introduce our readers to Swiss the Greener Dry Cleaners, located right here in Dallas at 3030 Mockingbird Lane, near SMU. For over 15 years, the team at Swiss has been providing locals with the highest-quality dry cleaning services with their revolutionary “green” cleaning approach. Swiss Cleaners was founded in 1979 by Afzai Thawerbhoy, and is family-owned and operated to this day. Their dedication to safe, environmentally friendly cleaning technologies began 15 years ago when they and 10 other cleaning companies participated in a GreenEarth Cleaning System pilot program.
dry cleaning services. The company is one of only two dry cleaners in Dallas that use the GreenEarth process, which utilizes a unique silicone-based dry cleaning technology that is safe for the water, soil, and air. This method is 100 percent odor-free, nonallergenic, and nonirritating. But for Swiss, this environmentally friendly approach isn’t just a marketing gimmick; it’s a way of life. Apart from using the GreenEarth process, they recycle everything, including plastic bags, paper, hangers, and even used clothing, which they clean at no cost and donate to the local Salvation Army. We’ve loved representing Zale and Sham, and their children, Sophia and Chris, and we’re confident that any customer who has the pleasure of working with these fantastic folks will appreciate them too. You can contact Swiss the Greener Dry Cleaners at (214) 987-0665 and through their website at greenswisscleaners.com.
Swiss the Greener Dry Cleaners is a leading provider of “green” (817) 769-4044
WHAT I S T I T L E INSURANCE ANYWAY?
If you need to make changes or recalibrate — do it! The longer you wait to adapt to changing circumstances, the longer it will take to find the right course. Even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. It’s up to you and your team to embrace change. It’s not uncommon for marketing strategies to evolve over the course of a year. You may discover that certain aspects of your referral campaign aren’t working. Trimming the fat isn’t necessarily easy, but taking the time to do so will set you up for better results in the long run. Don’t be afraid to make decisive cuts. If a strategy or a goal simply wasn’t a good fit, say goodbye and revisit it later. y Businesses Fall Short, You Can Succeed
For now, take some time to review your Q1 progress. What do you need to do to make Q2 — and the rest of 2018 — a smashing success?
If you’ve purchased or refinanced a home, you’ve likely bought title insurance. So, what exactly does title insurance cover, and who does it protect? In short, title insurance protects against problems affecting the title to your home. You may think having a serious problem with your title is unlikely, but title companies find problems in about 25 percent of their title searches. Common problems include liens against the property from unpaid subcontractors, unpaid property, or income taxes, and judgment holders. Other issues that are not so easy to detect include forged signatures in the chain of title, recording errors, undisclosed easements, and title claims by missing heirs or former spouses. There are two types of title insurance: an owner’s policy and a lender’s policy. When you obtain a new loan, the lender will require you to purchase a lender’s policy. A lender’s policy protects the lender’s interest in the property should a problem arise. Owner’s title insurance is optional, but it protects the homeowner by paying claims and legal fees should a problem arise. Owner’s title insurance is purchased for a one- time fee at the original purchase and provides coverage for as long as you own an interest in the property or provide financing for a subsequent buyer. It also covers any liabilities you have under the title warranties you make when you sell the property. As part of the coverage of a title policy, the insurance company will pay all legal fees to protect the rights of the insured (the buyer or the lender) for the property. A title policy is protection against loss of your rights to the property. Considering that your home is probably your most valuable asset and biggest investment, title insurance makes financial sense. The Gibson Law Group is proud to affiliate with Allegiance Title Company in its commitment to providing exceptional customer service. Our title office is located at 1550 Norwood Dr., Ste. 402 in Hurst. Our phone number is (817) 554-1778. We would be honored to insure your next purchase or sale.
THE ANSWER ( )
TAKE A BREAK
1550 NORWOOD DR., STE. 402, HURST, TEXAS 76054
GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM 1304 W. WALNUT HILL LN. STE. 212 IRVING, TX 75038 (817) 769-4044
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IN SIDE David Gibson Swims With Sharks
Keep Up With Your 2018 Business Goals
Client Spotlight on Swiss: the Greener Dry Cleaners
What Is Title Insurance Anyway?
Take a Break!
The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers
FLOWER DISPLAYS Earth’s Most Beautiful
colorful garden is open annually from mid-March to mid-May, but mid-April is the ideal time to see the tulips.
Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick-me-up or a great way to add color to your home, but some people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical-themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower displays in the world. Holland, most famous for its tulips, always draws visitors at the first sign of spring. One of its most famous destinations, Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is among the world’s largest flower gardens. The park is 79 acres and boasts approximately 7 million flowers each year. This The Netherlands
Besides the monuments and historic buildings, one of the biggest attractions in Washington, D.C. is the cherry tree blossoms. Travelers who visit the Tidal Basin during the spring can witness 3,000 trees, which were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, flaunt their beautiful pink blossoms. The best time to see the spectacle is from the end of March through the end of April.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Desert lavender, flowering cacti, pygmy poppies, and rock daisies are just a few of the many wildflowers decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The various native species are often seen weaved together to form a colorful carpet over any barren patch in the park, which is located just two hours from San Diego. In addition to flowers, visitors often spot bighorn sheep. Wildflower blossoms vary in intensity each year, but they typically begin to bloom in late February or early March.
Next time you’re planning a spring trip, consider visiting one of the world’s most beautiful flower displays. No green thumb required.
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