Friday, November 15, 2013
Work has been crazy busy. A few months ago, I didn't have enough work to keep me busy. Right now, it's nuts. I'm currently working on an appeal. The State usually does not appeal decisions that go against it, but I did in this one. I do not believe the judge's reasoning made sense under the law. The legal term for that is that the judge abused his discretion by making a decision based on untenable grounds. It kind of scares me that I'm in a position to have to tell an appellate court that a superior court judge was wrong, but, heck, he was.
This is also a case of first impression, meaning there are no appellate court decisions addressing this specific issue. Not only are there none in my state, but I haven't found a case specifically on point anywhere in the U.S. That, too, scares me, because it means that no matter what the appellate court decides, it's likely to be appealed to our state's supreme court. Which means I'd mostly likely be arguing in front of the Supremes. If that happens, I will set up a pool: people can try to guess how many times I'm going to vomit prior to oral argument. (I've handled several appeals. Only one has been set for oral argument, and that was nerve-racking enough!)
My in-custody referrals are way up, too. That means someone is sitting in detention. If I don't file charges within 72 hours of their arrest, they get released. If they're in detention, they have a right to trial within 30 days of arraignment. That makes for a lot of scrambling. (We rarely actually succeed in trying someone in that short of a time-frame, but it's usually because the defense attorney needs more time to prepared his or her case.)
In the past few weeks, I've had four boys brought in on one residential burglary. We only have two defense attorneys on our public defender panel, and each attorney can only represent one person. They will usually reject a case if they've represented a co-respondent previously because it creates a potential conflict between the clients. Any clients that cannot be represented by one of the two panel attorneys get referred to the defense panel on the other side of the river (they have five). But given the nature of the Tri-Cities, a lot of them have been convicted of crimes on the other side of the river, too. We've had to refer criminal cases to the civil panel, whose attorneys usually handle dependency cases. It can be a mess.
I'm also handling a rape case with four respondents. Two of them have entered guilty pleas. The third charged boy is set for a discretionary decline hearing. It's a hearing in which the judge will decide whether the juvenile division of the superior court will decline jurisdiction over him - in other words, the judge will decide if he's going to be tried as an adult. The hearing is next Friday - the same day my appeal brief is due.
I'm going to ask the court of appeals to grant me an extension of time for the brief. I've never asked for one ever, let alone on this case, so there's no reason to not grant it. I'm only half way through my nation-wide list of cases that includes my key words. (In case you're interested, the key words are Miranda, silence, head, shake, and nod.) My law school taught us both online research and book-based research, and I must say I am incredibly grateful for online research. Thanks be to God for KeyCite and boolean searches! It's so much easier to scan a case and only read paragraphs where my key words appear. Trust me, I have read far too many horrible fact patterns in the last few days (a lot of child abuse murders involve the words "head" and "shake"). I'm quite grateful for the ability to scroll and scan.
Oh, and there's been a ton of out-of-custody screenings, too. Those can go pretty quickly, especially if they're mandatory diversion cases. (State law requires that I send a juvenile's first criminal matter to diversion unless it's a felony.) I can read through those a lot quicker. However, I cannot ignore the pile: there is a stupid-ass local court rule that requires I file a case within 30 days of receiving the completed police investigation. If I don't, the defense can move for dismissal. The defense has to show some prejudice (like difficulty in contacting potential witnesses while the event is still fresh in their minds) as a threshold issue, but even if the motion to dismiss is pure B.S., I still have to respond, draft a brief, and argue the issue in front of a judge. And because I'm a lawyer, I'm not allowed to submit a reply brief that reads, "C'mon, your honor, this is stupid. Please deny the defense motion because it's a bunch of crap." So it's really in my best interest to keep the files from piling up.
But on to the stuff that really matters: my workout schedule! I'm writing this at lunch time rather than going for a walk. I like having my old blog posts to go back and read, so there's a value in writing this. My pledge to walk at lunch three days a week has pretty much flown out the window. But I feel like I'm doing enough to justify goofing off at lunch instead of working out. I rode home from work Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I ran Tuesday morning and I capped off last night's commute with a brick. My transition time was about 6:30, so my legs were not as balky as they might have been, but I had a good run. I rode to work Wednesday morning, and did a Group Kick class at the gym Wednesday evening. I rode in this morning, and I plan to go for a swim after work. (The pool is available at 5:30.) I'm feeling pretty good about this.
I think I will continue with the this schedule until the weather convinces me to stop commuting by bike. (That should happen in the next several weeks.) Once I settle into a routine, it's time to move into the next chapters of Holistic Weight Training for Triathletes. The books has succeeded in inspiring me to stretch after riding/running more consistently. (I cannot claim to stretch after every ride or run, but I'm probably doing it 50-70% of the time. That's an improvement.) Time to start adding some strength training. There are a couple pilates classes at the club; I want to check them out, too. I really need to improve my core strength. Trying to do the side planks at the end of the Group Kick class has been painful and almost humiliating. (It's not truly humiliating because no one else cares that I'm so out of shape I cannot do a side plank. No one but me, and I'm the only one who's in a position to change that.)
Despite how busy work is, I've never considered skipping my bike commute or other workouts. The bike commute is calming and energizing all at once. I can't imagine life without it.
And my lunch hour is almost over. Time to pack up my files and head over to court, where I get to make people cry and put people in jail.
Monday, November 11, 2013
First, to keep GHK off my back, I DID go to the gym yesterday.
The spin class I took on Saturday left my legs sore. This pleases me. I rarely get my legs to burn while I'm cycling because my cardiovascular system limits what I can do far more than my legs do. In fact, I opted out of a lot of the instructor's suggestions because my heart rate was already in the 140's or 150's. The soreness is good, because I'd like to increase the explosive strength in my legs.
I swam for a short bit yesterday. I didn't do any drill work. I just backstroked up and down the length of the pool. I don't feel like my legs are getting a workout when I'm in the pool, but I'm always a little wobbly when I get out; I have to believe my legs are getting more of a workout than my brain realizes. So far, I haven't over-done it in the pool. I've quit well before I'm exhausted.
I'd planned to go to another spin class today, but since my legs are still sore from Saturday, I opted for a hike. We have a treasure in the Tri-Cities called Badger Mountain. It's not a mountain as in snow-capped peaks and fascinating volcanic history. Badger Mountain and its neighbors were formed by the crust being pushed along - kind of like what happens to a rug is you push one edge of it. So the mountains here are rolling ripple-like bumps. (Unlike the nearby Blue Mountains, which are "real" mountains, and were once the coastline of North America.)
The reason I describe Badger as a treasure is that it's now mostly in public hands. Volunteers built the trails: one trail is multi-use, the other is hiker-only. This trail system gets tons of use. I don't think I've ever hiked it without encountering other people. (Any readers in the Puget Sound area? Badger is to the Tri-Cities as Mt. Si is to Seattle.) There were not a lot of people on it today, but I think the longest I went without encountering another person was five minutes.
Today I started from the west-side trailhead, hiked to the top, hiked down the east side, and then back over the mountain. Endomondo says I covered 6.6 miles. (Here's the route, if you're interested: www.endomondo.com/workouts/267987226
So I have the day off, and all the time in the world, and I did NOT go to the gym. But I did take on a Badger.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Yesterday's session in the pool went really well. I'm on the roll over slowly to practice NOT leading with your head. It felt pretty good, even if it looked silly. The man in the lane next to me appeared to be swimming using the Total Immersion method; I'm sure the people at the club are used to people working through TIS drills.
I hoped to make it to the 8 a.m. group ride class. I slept in - I needed the sleep. Fortunately there's a 9 a.m. class. I'll go back, but I'm not that enthusiastic about it. It's a good workout - that's it.
I thought about swimming after the group ride, but the swim class was just getting out. The locker room would have been crazy busy. If I don't go back later today, I'll make time tomorrow.
And now, to try to get my Garmin HRM to upload.
Friday, November 08, 2013
I joined this gym solely to have access to the pool; I've come realize it's a much greater asset than that.
The gym has fitness classes every evening, Monday through Thursday. There are also morning classes Monday through Saturday. During the business week, the classes start as early as 5:15 a.m. The classes are always available. There's no need to sign up or RSVP.
Wednesday evening, I did a "Group Kick" class. The club describes it as an "electric fusion of martial arts and boxing movements" that will "define and shape your body and self confidence." (I've left out the exclamation points. Whomever writes the club's descriptions needs to cut back onthe caffiene.)
I'm not a big fan of aerobics classes. Even when I throw myself into them, they're never as fun as being outside. I won't describe this class as fun, but it did kick my ass. I'm sore in places I've never been sore before. It's not bad - I can move around just fine - but I'm impressed. At one point, I declined to jump up and down because I could tell my heart rate was already waaaay too high (no HRM needed - I could feel it was too high). I don't think that's ever happened to me during an indoor fitness class. Well done, crazily energetic lady at the front of the room. Well done.
The moves in this class were a bunch of pseudo-martial arts & self-defense moves. Since I'd never done the class, I had a heck of time following some of them. Fortunately, there was also an instructor a couple of places in front of me. Mostly I just followed her, but even so, I was pretty lost at times. That, in and of itself, will not discourage me. And I wasn't the only one in the room with that confused look on my face.
The advantage of this full class schedule is that I can stop by any night on my way home from work. We're getting close to the time of year that I stop commuting by bike. (At least this year I'm not being forced off the bike by a painful IT band. Yay, stretching and painful foam roller treatments!) I haven't ridden this week because the Hubs has been home, recovering from his emergency appendectomy nine days ago. The Hubs usually doesn't get home until 6:30 at the earliest, so my stopping at the gym on the way home won't cut into what little time we get to spend together in the evenings. (But I will definitely need to do a better job of using the slow cooker, or cooking big batches of stuff on the weekends so that there's a quick and easy meal available when I do get home.)
The club opens at 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and there are two lap lanes available in Pool I every morning until 6 a.m Monday/Wednesay/Friday, or until 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Pool II opens at 6 a.m. Monday, 6:15 Tuesday through Thursday, and 6:45 Friday. (The Masters swimmers have the pool at 5:15 Tusday - Friday; once I can actually swim, I plan to join them so I can use the pool whenever they're using it. same for the Triathlon group.) Those times are early, but it would allow me to get in a workout, then come home and have breakfast with the Hubs before we both go to work. Only time will tell if I'm that motivated.
I have court at 1:30 today, but this is my afternoon off. Once court's over, I'm headed to the gym to swim. The club is across the street from the juvenile court, where I practice. And yes, that was a deciding factor in why I chose to join this gym and not the other one that met my needs. My back hurts from the Group Kick-my-butt class (sore muscles between the shoulder blades, not the "I'm-tired-and-old" backache), so I imagine the swim will feel good. (If not, the sauna sure will!)
But first, time to go put people in jail and make people cry.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
I swam for a bit Monday evening. I was wrong about the gym always having lap lanes available. There's a chunk of the day during which there are swim lessons in both pools. Pool II opens at 7:15 p.m. Less than ideal, but I can go home after work and then head to the pool. (Pool I opens at 7 p.m., but I prefer Pool II. It's set to a cooler temperature, there's less traffic (the sauna, steam room, and hot tubs are around Pool I), and no children are allowed in Pool II.)
I backstroked for about ten minutes to warm up, then switched to my Total Immersion drill. I'm on drill one, just working on keeping your upper body & head under the surface. It really does feel different, and it's much easier to move through the water. But there's that thing about breathing...
During my next pool session, I'm going to try drill two. I did it for one length at the end of my workout, and it went pretty smoothly. I decided to quit at that point for a couple of reasons. First, I had a cramp in my foot that I'd mostly worked out, but it was still bugging me. I didn't want it to cramp up again because I find it really hard to focus when my brain is yelling "Cramp! Cramp! Ow ow ow ow CRAMP!" Second, my heart rate really goes up when I'm swimming with my face in the water. I'm working on moving slowly, to try to keep it down. I'm pretty sure this is a re-training issue. My inner coach needs to remind me I am NOT going to drown in the pool. (I was pleased that I swallowed a bit of water during my swim and I did not freak out. I'll take my victories where ever they appear.) I think my inner coach will start chanting "relax relax relax" next time.
I'm grateful I haven't had to share a lane, because I am as slow as a person can be and still be moving forward. I don't mind being slow - I figure it's just part of the process.
I spent a few minutes in the sauna after the pool. I developed a love of saunas back when I was a hard drinkin' sailor. Gatorade and a sauna can do wonders for a hangover. (No, there were no saunas on the ships I served in. There were saunas in the gyms at the land bases where I served. Having a hangover on a ship is miserable.) While I was in there, my inner coach and I had a talk. "That sucked," I said. "Yeah, so?" said the inner coach. "What are you gonna do, quit? No, you're not going to quit. You're going to do this. You just need to accept the fact that you have to learn how to do this. Welcome to the real world where everyone else lives." (I'm a good beginner. I tend to pick up things quickly. If I'm not good at something at first, I usually quit. Two exceptions: skiing and law school.)
So, despite my shaking my head at how much I suck at this, I'm confident and optimistic. Yeah, it's going to take time. (I know I could speed up the process by finding a coach, but between my medical bills and my husband's recent medical emergency and paying off debt from the Hubs being unemployed for a couple of years and my law school debt (lovingly referred to as "the house I bought that I'll never live in" - $130,000), I thought I was doing pretty good by joining a gym. So the coach will have to wait a while.) But that's okay. I am going to devote the time it takes, because I will do this. I am an athlete.
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