Saturday, May 16, 2009

4freeCLE Part 2: Twit My Blog!

This is for my lawyer friends, but also for those who may not be lawyers but are interested in using social networking to share information efficiently,

A while back, I created 4freeCLE: a listserve for publicizing free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) opportunities. It worked fine as far as it went, and I like to think that I helped a few people who needed credits but couldn't afford them (it may surprise you to learn how many lawyers aren't as wealthy as the ones on T.V.)

However, a listserve is a technology from the last millenium: still effective, but no longer the best tool for announcing and archiving. The biggest problem I had was that, as an announcement-only facility, it wasn't developing a community of interest. This means (A) I was the only one contributing content. This means it was too much work for me, and it also sharply limited the amount of content available to the community, and (B) it wasn't really growing at a rate comparable to the need it was addressing.

In response, I've just added a couple of new 4freeCLE venues.
  • The 4freeCLE Blog will include new 4freeCLE postings. There is a certain population that would prefer to look at a blog, or even subscribe to it, rather than subscribe to a listserve or comb through its archive. I'll keep posting to the listserve of course, to continue serving that population.
  • A 4freeCLE twitter to serve those who prefer that venue. Postings to this blogspot are fed to twitter via twitterfeed so it's really no extra work.
I'd love to figure out a way to connect this blog and the yahoogroup automatically, so that I need post content once and have it ripple throughout the various venues automagically. If any smart person knows how to do this, let me know! I can reward you with excessive gratitude PLUS some free CLE!

I would also like to encourage providers of free CLE to post their items directly to the 4freeCLE Blog. I'm willing to give posting permission to anyone of good will; the objective after all is providing better service to our profession and to the public. Contact me if you're interested!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Diet and Exercise: Who Knew?

In every year of your life, isn't there at least ten times when a doctor, a friend or maybe even your mother says something about getting more exercise? Am I right or am I right?

And we always say "Yeah, that's a good idea" and then do nothing. Or maybe start something and it fades away, for plenty of good reasons. Driving to a gym take time. Most days, I just want to sit and rest. Exercise makes you all sweaty!

This may not be a big problem when you're a youngster in your 20s, 30s or even 40s. But when you reach 50 years of age, you realize that at best you've reached the halfway point.

Your story is halfway written. Frodo has left the Fellowship; Aragorn must decide which way to go.

Your choice is simpler than that: live healthy or die a pile of blubber. And I'm here to say that, based on my experience, the "live healthy" choice is a lot more fun.

About four years ago, we noticed that our apartment complex had a free Pilates class two evenings a week. After a couple of tries, it turned out to be just right for us.
  • It was a good level of difficulty for us that produced progress over time but no injuries.
  • We didn't waste any time or energy driving to a gym
  • It was something we did together; more than exercise, it was a cheap date!
  • Any time that I wanted to skip, I was too embarassed to admit it to my wife, so I went anyway. (Years later, she admitted the same thing to me - ha!)
Over time, we've broadened our regime. A friend recommended a spinning class in a gym close enough to walk to; after a while, we noticed they had some weight training classes too. Our Pilates class changed to yoga. We tried a step class. Now, after a few years, we're exercising six days a week and are in better condition than we were a decade ago. (How can that be? Are you not supposed to deteriorate over time?) We've also made a lot of interesting friends (something you can NOT do staying at home watching TV.)

And we're never short of something to talk about: "Argh, coach really made us hurt today! I need another beer!"

Key points
  • Having an exercise partner really helps, preferably your spouse or significant other.
  • Start small, build up gradually
  • Try new programs; there's always a different way to get sweaty.
  • Start today; there's no better day!
  • Have fun!