Eat Drink And Sleep Steno

So I'm taking a walk down memory lane about my career in the field of court reporting.  I've collected some interesting mementos and snapshots.  I decided to post some of them for you on today's blog.

The Steno Toast
This toast is not intended for consumption. This is a photo of my decade-old toasted piece of toast said to hold an image of a steno keyboard. In 1997 I was about to take a bite out of it and saw the court reporting keyboard staring back at me. 

I can neither confirm nor deny that The Steno Toast holds mystical powers.  I can say that I have done little to preserve The Toast save for keeping it in a sandwich baggie -- for 10 long years -- but it doesn't crumble apart or deteriorate or cry.  I've decided to show the world -- now for a limited time -- The Steno Toast.   I believe that in America everybody has the right to learn of it and experience its mystical powers for themselves.

I really don't care to comment further about that except to say if this artifact is indeed a slice of stenographic pop culture -- which it is -- and if an internet casino would be willing to purchase it for their world tour -- which it may -- I'd be willing to sell.  Otherwise, I'm thinking of auctioning it on eBay.  Not sure the asking price.  Could be some serious bread. 

The Tortilla Whisperer

Closely associated to the Steno Toast -- and in the bread family, I suppose --  is the Steno Tortilla.  If you stare long enough at the Steno Tortilla you will notice the unmistakable image of a steno machine with two hands typing. 

This phenomenon occurred soon after embarking on my court reporting studies roughly in 1993 or 1994 around dinner time.  It seemed like everywhere I went I saw court reporting related items.  I thought it was merely my imagination.  Capturing this image on the Steno Tortilla, however, confirmed my suspicions.  I considered it a sign that I was heading in the right direction.  It was like somebody whispered, Hey, you're heading in the right direction.  Plus, Eat a tortilla.  I listened to the Tortilla Whisperer to the extent of following my dreams of becoming a court reporter and agency owner.  I left the Tortilla uneaten, however.  It is now in a frame above my diploma.

Sleeping With The Enemy

Shhhhhhh.  Court reporter at rest.  It's not me but the above photo is of a tuckered out court reporter.  Similar to this guy, I began court reporting school in 1993 and I personally count my experiences in school as some of my most cherished memories right up there with my daughter being born and my last tax refund.  During those days, I ate, drank and slept steno.  At night I dreamt of P-A-T and S-A-L like they were my two buddies. 

Not in a weird way. 

I made it through theory and then 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 100s.  I just kind of plodded along.  I was NO natural.  Turns out, Im not really a natural at anything.  Everything that Ive been able to accomplish -- in court reporting, in business, in Nintendo PlayStation -- was not because of some innate talent or natural ability but because I stuck with it and never gave up.  And I worked hard and learned over time -- how to work smart.  I feel like repeating my favorite phrase right now:  If Todd can, anyone can!  (Hey, there's an idea for another Steno T-Shirt!)

My Favorite Teacher Of All Time - Mr. Rusty
Everybody has a formative teacher or mentor or two; right?  Mine was Mr. Rusty.  He taught theory as well as Professional Practices.  He was a good arm wrestler too.  Because of Mr. Rusty I learned the value of forming a good foundation of theory, studying hard and also how to perform the hook and toproll -- two critical arm wrestling techniques. 

Mr. Rusty also encouraged the use of tattoos as motivation to get through school.  His logic went something this: If you have a tattoo of a steno machine on your arm, you are less likely to drop out.  I can't argue with the sentiment, though I stopped short of getting inked. ;)


For Those Long Deposition Sessions - The Court Reporter's Drinking Buddy
There are times when the testimony is just too good, when the attorneys are just too interesting to ask for a break.  Who cares if you're thirsty when everyone important has already helped themselves to coffee and water and self-satisfaction. For the parched court reporter, we introduce the Court Reporter's Drinking Buddy

  • Holds two (2) cans of beverage!!
  • Fits snugly around your head.  Suppresses headaches!!
  • Chin snaps are velvety smooth!  Suppresses back talk to rude attorneys!!
  • Comes in attractive yellow and red!!
  • No-drip hose uses hamster bottle technology!!


The Court Reporter's Bathroom Buddy - Sold separately

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by cindy | Thursday, July 3, 2008
Is that toast and tortilla for real? Looks pretty fake to me!
  Comment by Todd | Friday, July 4, 2008
Me too
  Comment by Dawna | Friday, May 8, 2009
The tattoo is a great idea. I should get mine on my forehead since I`ve been at this for five years now. Persistence pays?!
  Comment by Jenni | Friday, September 3, 2010
Oh my goodness, I love this page! Thanks for the good laugh!
  Comment by Terri | Thursday, May 12, 2011
LOL I Love the steno toast!
  Comment by Jenny | Thursday, February 16, 2012
I`d definitely have beer in my Drinking Buddy.
  Comment by Ava | Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I`m a steno student (literally JUST started) and your post gave me hope, motivation, and a well-needed dose of humor! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
  Comment by KROERT Khristy | Thursday, October 31, 2013
Great gift idea for the court reporters! What if they have to use the restroom though, after all that liquid!! DOH!

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