Monday, July 25, 2016

Jury Duty And Air Conditioning

Sometimes weird things happen to me.   Like today, for example, when I woke up in a blind panic because I don't know how much I weigh.  Seriously?  With all that is going on in the world, that's what my subconscious chooses to focus on?  And it wasn't even that I weigh too much or too little.  It's that I don't know whether I weigh too much or too little.

After quelling that moment of panic, as I was getting ready to go to jury duty, I encountered another moment of unease.  In the letter they sent with our summons it said to wear clothes that show respect to the court.  I put on my cleanest pair of work jeans and a polo shirt they'd given us at the plant a couple of years ago, and hoped it was good enough.  I needn't have worried.  Lots of people were wearing jeans. Some people even showed up in shorts and flip flops.

I think most of my nervousness stemmed from the fact that I wasn't sure what to expect, since I haven't had to do jury duty in Mississippi before.  I got summoned last year, but got excused because the court house was a 90 mile drive each way, and at the time, I didn't have a vehicle I could trust.   When I lived in Texas, I actually got selected to a jury, but that case ended up being postponed, since one of the key witnesses mysteriously disappeared.

Back to today.  I got there and the first thing they did was call roll. There were several people I knew there, including a couple more who also work at the plant.  Then the county clerk said, "Is there anyone whose name I did not call?"  A whole line of people went up there.  After a minute, the clerk had to tell most of them to go sit back down, saying that the only thing she could excuse them for was being over 65.  The rest would have to wait for the judge.

After a few minutes, the judge came in.  First thing he did was call for a prayer.  Yeah, we prayed in court.  Then the judge told us a little bit about himself.  He's a Vietnam veteran, and a lifetime member of the NRA, and a lifetime member of the VFW, so no, taking Atlas Shrugged would not have gotten me out of that jury duty.

The next 90 minutes or so were taken up with people asking the judge to be excused.  Most of them were requesting a 6 month deferral.  I'm wondering why.  I mean, they know they're going to have to come back in January.  Why not do it now and get it over with?  But whatever...I was listening to people gripe about having to be there, and I was just like hey, I got to sleep in until 6:30, and I'm sitting in the air conditioning instead of working in the heat.  One guy kept saying they wouldn't be here if they hadn't done it, right?  Yeah, but guilty or not, they still have a Constitutional right to a trial by a jury of their peers.  So, just shut up, dude.  BTW, he did get excused, and I was glad.  I was tired of listening to him whine.

This was the first week of the circuit court term, and today they would be selecting a grand jury to do indictments.  I think that was just a totally random thing, since they didn't ask us any questions or anything.  I didn't get selected for the grand jury, but I'm still on the jury panel.  I'll have to call back every night this week to see if I have to report the next morning.  If I don't, I go on to work that day.

Next week, they'll bring in another group of people and start the whole process over again.

The good news is, according to the company handbook, if they release me after 11:00 AM, I don't have to go to work.  I got released after 11:00 AM, so I have the rest of the day off.

More good news, the A/C man got here about 1:30, and fixed my air conditioner.  He said it was something called the run capacitor that had gone bad.  He was able to replace it in just a few minutes, and didn't charge me an arm and a leg.  I told him I thought that was a very fair price, and he said, he's the one who's got to sleep with himself at night, and just couldn't do it if he was ripping people off during the day.  If any locals need a recommendation for an A/C man, just let me know.  I've got a good one.

It's still warm in the house, but at least the temp is heading in the right direction.

Finally, a bit of bad news.  It appears my card reader has bitten the dust.  I'm not happy about that, because I've only had it a couple of years.  The point is, the blog will probably have fewer photos until I can get a new one.  In the meantime, to take our minds off the heat, here is some snow.

I took this in February, 2011 in my (then) back yard.

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