Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life of a Trial Juror - Day 2

Up early, again, 5:30 am. I move slowly. Plus, I have to share kitchen and bathroom space with Rick. Normally we don't need to occupy the same space at the same time. We will be in serious trouble if he decides to retire. Packed a diet dr. pepper, cheez-its and a power bar in my bag with my assorted books and headed to the metro link station.

Bought another round trip ticket with a $5 bill and got a not so shiny Sacagawea Dollar as change, obviously NOT a quarter. Arrived in Clayton after a 10 minute ride? It was fast! Followed by a short walk to the court house. I was instructed by the nice lady at security that I didn't need to put all that stuff in the basket, it could be in my purse. ( The sign implies that electronic devices may need to be inspected and that large jewelry may set off metal detector. I put my Sally Alexander pendant and my copper watch, palm pilot and cell phone in the little basket. I didn’t want to tell the nice lady I would lose it if I stuck it in my purse. )

Up the escalator, but missed the first elevator going up, got involved in reading the bulletin boards and discovered that apparently the judges take turns being the Jury Commissioner. Interesting. I think in the City of St. Louis this is a political appointee, I could be wrong.

Signed in, they scan your little bar code from your id badge, very efficient. Checked out the vending machine, and bought some fruit snacks. (I know, I had cheez-its, but I wanted something sweet and chewy) As I listened to the change going into the machine, I was thinking, oh, they keep this up pretty nicely, the machine was full of snacks. Then a fellow pointed out his coffee from the vending machine looked like weak tea. Maybe it was weak tea? Just how do those machines make coffee anyway?

I headed to the same chair as yesterday. It was under a spot light of sorts which made reading more comfortable. Then I worried I would have a hot flash. Shortly thereafter I was chilly. Who can explain. Got out my copy of Michael De Mung’s Secrets of Rusty Things. This is the ZNE Book of the month selection. ( or as I like to say our Autumn Book Club selection.) Studied the next three sections and made copious notes to use for the next assignment. I need to go explore the REStore store. Actually it’s the Habitat for Humanity Store. It sells construction supplies that have been donated or are being recycled. It might work as a source of stuff, but it may be too new. I need to check out a junk yard. Nonetheless, I will be able to post the next assignment in a timely manner.

Then a nap was in order.

I saw the same lady from yesterday who had talked about how tacky it was for attorneys to advertise. She apparently had been lost in the garage yesterday while looking for her car. Today she didn’t remember that she had a badge she was suppose to show. She took a nap, too. So did several other people. Some wear of the size that they could curl up in their chair. Bummer.

Overheard telephone conversations in which jurors described their jury experience to family and friends. One of the ladies that sat on the same panel with me was describing her bike accident with a car that excluded her from the Wal-Mart parking lot accident case.

About 10:30AM another very nice lady appeared and announced that the cases that were pending for today had either been settled or postponed and we were excused. The crowd cheered.

Headed home via MetroLink, it always makes me feel sort of Washingtonian when I ride it. Came home, ate the cheez its, finished the book, now, time for a dog walk while the weather is still beautiful!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Day In The Life of A Trial Juror

A day in the life of a Trial Juror

Jury Duty Day #1
I didn’t get picked. One of the other jurors who didn’t get picked said he felt like he had a big R on his forehead, for reject. He was kidding, of course. The judge had given us a firm lecture about the fact that not being picked was not a reflection of our intelligence or lack thereof, interesting none the less. Since I didn’t get picked, I can tell you about it.

First, I enjoyed my Metro Link trip. I don’t often ride public transportation, as I am retired. And the train rails didn’t go my way when I was working. Everyone was driving into town, I was driving out. But that too, is another story. I dutifully bought my round trip ticket ( $4.00) from the vending machine, used a $5 bill, and was appalled that it only gave me a quarter in change. I kept searching for more quarters, didn’t find them, got on the train and decided I had made a 75 cent donation to the mass transportation system in St. Louis, which could use the money. But clearly needs more than 75 cents. (Yes, yet another story for another day.) I clearly get excited every time I ride the Metro Link Rails; I especially like to take them to the baseball or hockey game. (maybe twice a year! Lol)

Imagine my surprise (and the first of several minor embarrassments of the day), when I discovered that said quarter was actually a Susan Anthony dollar coin.

I passed the security screening, and made my way to the elevator and into the Jury Assembly Room, 6th floor of the County Court House. Nice people. Nice chairs. The little things matter on jury duty when you could potentially sit there for 8 hours. We have little badges that we are required to wear everywhere we go, even at lunch, so that lawyers won’t discuss cases with us. Then you must turn them in at the end of your service so they will pay you. ( the badges not the lawyers.) If you are picked for a jury, you get $18 per day. If you are not picked, you get paid $10 per day. Oh, and they pay your mileage from your zip code to the court house zip.

Shortly after assembly the bailiffs come from the various court divisions to take a panel of jurors to be interviewed. Voir Dire (Tell the truth). Which we did, which may explain why we weren’t picked.

The case involved a man who backed into a woman and her grandchild in the parking lot of one of the local Wal-Marts. The man’s mirror hit the woman in the back or shoulder area and hurt her neck, subsequently she needed to have surgery, and it aggravated a preexisting condition. The man also left the scene of the accident and the police had to go to his house to find him. Sooooooo we had to be questioned about our experiences with suing people, relationships with lawyers, claims filed, accidents, injuries and anything else we thought might cause us to not be fair and impartial. Whewwwww.

My list of offences.
1. I am related to three lawyers. My brother, an assistant prosecutor and later a corporate utility attorney; my niece, a patent attorney; my niece’s husband, who handles assorted cases.
2. I filed a worker’s compensation claim, this caused a chuckle, I broke my ankle while playing volleyball with my students during the school day. It required surgery, screws and pins, later removal and physical therapy.
3. I was side swiped by a truck mirror while on a bike trip in Door County, Wisconsin, the person left the scene of the accident. The ER told me my shoulder blade was broken, follow up with a local Orthopedic MD said it wasn’t broken. Mess up the trip, but I lived to tell about it and had on a helmet.
4. Hand a minor fender bender with another person, who left the scene of the accident, no injuries.
5. Served previously on a jury.
6. I am familiar with the location of the accident.

Now, some of the other tales…….

Some of the individuals said they were familiar with a local chiropractor involved in the case. They did not have a professional relationship with this group, but indicated they had seen billboards advertising the practice. In response the plaintiffs lawyer asked them if they had an adverse feeling towards this group. They indicated no.

As an afterthought the lawyer asked if anyone objected to his law firm, which is Brown and Crouppon , a local law firm that advertises heavily in the media. One of the women, who appeared to be in her 70s indicated she did. Her story was that her 92 year old father was an attorney from the old school, and you just didn’t advertise. Her words…”It’s just tacky”. And yes, it would affect her decision in the case. (She didn’t get picked.) ( I found this interesting. My niece’s husband is in a photo with the partners from his law firm on the cover of the local YELLOW PAGES,)

The best story and it nearly floored the lawyers, was the story from the woman sitting next to me who filed a suit against Great Clips. It was over a bad haircut. They apparently gave her bangs in the back, she indicated this was her first law suit (almost as if she had more planned for later.) They settled out of court. After all she said they said on the door that they guaranteed you satisfaction.
I have never seen a lawyer speechless.
While standing around outside of the court room, you couldn’t help but over hear some of the conversations with lawyers and their clients. Bits and pieces I heard. “You can’t have in your possession over 96 30mg tablets of pseudoephedrine. ….later there was an additional comment about your can’t have that much Anhydrous ammonia if you are not a farmer. I think they were negotiating for probation if they bypassed the jury trial.

So that was my day. Lunch was in the court house snack bar, yogurt, chips and a diet coke. I caught up on reading my library book , Tess Gerritsen’s The Keepsake. While reading, the elderly gentleman next to me sort of chuckled at what I was reading and asked if I had read Anne of Green Gables. My reply, “Why, yes, I just finished that for my book club”. (Really)

So check back and see what tomorrow brings!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't It Make Your Red State Blue

Hoping to turn Missouri Blue on November 4.

Be A Patriot - VOTE

Yes, I am a patriot! I love my country. I taught American Government, Economics and History for 25 years to 8th graders in a public school in Jefferson County, Missouri. The front lines on the home front. One doesn't need to carry a gun in combat to be a patriot. Public School Teachers are heros, too. When I taught school I tried to instill in my students a love of their country, the responsibilites of citizenship and the rights of citizenship.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Do you remember the School House Rock version

Tomorrow I head out to Clayton, Missouri, the center of government for St. Louis County, Missouri. ( Did you know the City of St. Louis is a separate entity from St. Louis County, it can be confusing.) I'll be serving on jury duty. It makes me think about our rights and duties as citizens as I go to serve. I know, it's not that big of a deal. A lot of people have the attitude that they wouldn't want 12 people who didn't have enough influence to get out of jury duty to determine their fate. It's the system that we have established, it isn't perfect, and it only works if we participate.
Next week I'll be serving as a Democratic Election Supervisor. Another important responsibility of citizens. Someday, perhaps when you are retired, sign up to do that with your local Board of Election Commissioners. Perhaps your employer will allow you time off for that. ( We can dream!)

Most importantly, vote November 4. ( Of course you can tell by my side bar, I have an opinion about who you should vote for.) Get out and vote!

PS. I've been using my Dover clipart Vintage Song Sheet Covers.

Growing season ends 'til next spring.....


Very chilling words...literally and figuratively. I was ok with the lower temps. The freeze takes care of mold, and fleas, which are good things. And I know the next part is true "THIS IS THEN EXPECTED TO END THE GROWING SEASON UNTIL NEXT SPRING". But I have never seen it in print in such a way. It seems so sad. No growth til March 21?

In many ways I dread this time of year. Less light, shorter and shorter days. But it's cooler, and I love cool weather. But I love the light.

Is this why economic downturns happen in October? I know it will be ok.

Monday, October 20, 2008

ZNE Book of the Month Club

I'm excited, to once again, be coordinating the assignments for the ZNE Book of The Month Club. We're working on Michael de Meng's wonderfully, colorful book, The Secrets of Rusty Things.

Just what does this mean???

Chel in the Land of ZNE sends me the book! I study over the material and devise a writing assignment, an art project and other prompts for the book club participants. Each book will have 4 weeks of assignments. The participants post their reponses to the Discussion Boards on the ZNE Network. I take their responses and post them to the Book Club blog for the world to see. Sometimes we don't share all the secrets so you need to sign up!

Each participant also receives a ZNE goodie bag, that I put together from my stash of stuff! ZNE covers the postage. A Place To Bark receives $10 of each participants registration fee.The Book Club went "LIVE" today, so there is still time to sign up. ( the link may show the last book club title, but it's still the place to sign up!) We will conclude this book in mid December, stretching out the assignments, with one in October, two during November and the final one in early December. There is ample time between assignments, and extra time for Thanksgiving and completion in time for Christmas.

Our next book club will start in January, we'll be working on "Artful Paper Dolls" New Ways to Play with a Traditional Form, by Terry Taylor. Lots of time for all of you international ZNE fans to get your book online!

This and That!

A recent art project, mail art envelope swap!

My great Niece at her 6th birthday party, blowing out a candle, she had a hard day partying and getting diagnoised with strep throat at the med-stop. And Payton studying her new Hannah Montana sweat shirt, very cool!

My great-nephew Alexander.... 10 months!

Cocopuff being blessed by the pastor!
Here are my doggies heading home from the Blessing of the Animals, I had to stay at church and go to a community meeting with local candidates for office.

I've been neglecting my creative side lately. I've been too busy with church projects and BRO projects. The BRO did win a grant of 3,000 new books from FIRST BOOK, we pick them up October 23rd, at the Coast Guard Armory in Granite City, Illinois. And we won a grant of 101 toys from Hasbro, they should be delivered to us around Halloween. Just in time, as our toy distribution is the week after Thanksgiving. I've been prepacking toys for about 1500 children and will give those directly to the agencies during the first weeks of November for their holiday events during December. Imagine holiday shopping for 3250 nieces and nephews. We do some bulk shopping from a local vendor and a little online, but my favorite BigLots Wholesale has been rebuilding their website and haven't reopened yet, at least the last time I checked. So I have been hitting all of the local Big Lots, Tuesday Mornings, and Marshalls. They love to see me coming, I really boost their sales for the day.

At church http://oakhillpcusa.blogspot.com/ we have been busy with an Autumn Fest. We had chili, pumpkin painting and carving, crafts and stuffed candy bags to give out on Halloween. The Blessing of the Animals Service involved taking two of our 4 doggies to church for a service and blessing....and it was fun, followed by the MCU community meeting. Not to mention our Presbyterian Women's project of Care Kits for girls for the BRO. We packed 100 care kits for girls 9 -10 years of age. Each had a cheerful washcloth, shower gel, chapstick, colorful socks, African American Girl paper dolls, a small handmade jigsaw puzzle, mardigras beads, toothbrush and toothpaste and a beanie baby.

I keep muttering to my husband, "why am, I so tired?" ( His kind answer, " we ARE getting older",.....thanks dear, at least he said WE)

There was a birthday party for my 6 year old, great niece, Emma at the Rep, lunch with the retired teachers group, Book Club discussion A Thousand Splendid Suns, and......moving one of my church friends to a new apartment, ( first we had to locate one!)

Check out this blog give away.http://krishubick.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-candy-giveaway-eyelet-candy.html An INCREDIBLE eyelet setting kit full of scrumptious eyelets that have been discontinued! If you win, you will get:An eyelet setter, THREE leather punches, and 1200 unique eyelets (these are EZ set aluminum eyelets that set beautifully and don't split on the backs)the types and shapes of eyelets include heart mixture, angel mixture, triangle mixture, teddy bear mixture, halloween mixture, pastel yellow, star mixture, diamond mixture, lavender mixture, square mixture, butterfly mixture, and holiday mix.

To Enter the drawing: Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to http://krishubick.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-candy-giveaway-eyelet-candy.html (a giveaway like this should be shared), and then leave her a comment.

Kristin will draw one lucky winner (using a number randomizer) on Oct. 31st, Halloween! Trick or Treat?

It's time for more art posts and fewer dreary political posts. I did like the swing music below. Be sure to listen.

And I finally mailed off my Mail Art Envelope swap.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Be worthy of winning.

"I'm not an old, experienced hand at politics. But I am now seasoned enough to have learned that the hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning." Adali Stevenson

Hear what Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has to say about campaigns gone bad and misplacing the blame for society's problems on groups who we may fear or do not understand.

The Rachel Maddow Show from msnbc.

Art work 1 by 1 inch. "inchie" Zne Collage sheet.