Sunday, November 23, 2008

It'll be a cold day in ...

It'll be a cold day in Granger when Harold get's around to replacing his sliding patio door. He knew in the spring that he probably should get it replaced. There was no major hurry though. By the time summer arrived, he was concerned about the heat. (Looking back, that probably would have been a better choice of year.) So he procrastinated till the fall. Late fall. It was October when he finally connected with a friend who sells windows and doors to suppliers. At the same time he connected with an individual to do the work. It was late October when he actually ordered the door. The initial estimate on the door arrival was two weeks. After a week a followup call revealed that it would be yet another week before the door arrived. As the weekend approached, the forecast continued to drop. The actual day of the door replacement, it was -4°C.

The door is now in. Fortunately the interior of the house didn't get any colder than 16°C while the work was being done.

There were some stickers on the window. I removed them. Then I opened up the warranty materials and find this.

Now really! Do they expect me to leave the stickers on the door windows? Did I void the warranty? Maybe if I pull them out of the trash and stick them back on the windows no one will know.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photo Flashback - Actor

The hills are alive!

My second major theatrical involvement occurred in my Freshman year of high school. Who knew I could sing. And if I could, what ever happened to that talent?

A number of years have passed, but I believe my recollection is clear. I played both boys in this production. Friedrich one night and Kurt the other. It appears from this picture that I was playing Friedrich this night. (I'm the one kneeling in the lower left)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The 6th Juror

After clearing security and glad I wasn't carrying any knives this day, I made my way to Jury room 124. There on the table was a number of pages stapled together with names highlighted in yellow and blue. Each prospective juror had to find their name and sign in. If your name was highlighted in yellow, you returned to the previous room to have a seat among 23 other prospective jurors. My name, highlighted in blue, had the number 6 beside it. My destiny had already come into alignment. Born the 6th day of the 6th month and now sitting in the seat for juror 6 it was becoming clear, 666, I was to be selected for the jury.

The grueling jury selection process began at 10:30. The first 14 jurors entered the box and responded to questions by the judge, prosecutor and defender. Two and a half hours later the dismissed 9 of the 14 initial jurors. I was the only male out of 5 that remained. After lunch a second group of 14 entered the jury box. One and a half hours later 7 more were dismissed. For the third round, 7 entered the jury box. Thirty minutes later the last two jurors were selected. We had now spent an entire day on jury selection.

Day two the last juror arrives right at 10:00 the appointed time. Forty five minutes later we enter the courtroom. Opening statements and our first witness get's things moving. As jurors, we also get to submit questions of witnesses after the prosecutor and defender are finished. Questions that may end up being rejected due to inappropriateness. Fortunately mine was appropriate unlike another jurors whose was not. Three more witnesses and 8 pages of notes (5x7) later we head off to the jury room to deliberate.

One juror volunteers to be the foreperson, the one who puts their name on the official verdict, and another actually leads us in the process through the 5 elements that needed to be proved beyond reasonable doubt for us to return a guilty verdict of attempted robbery. Eight by ten photos of the crime scene along with the victim were passed around. Obviously officers had not been trained in the art of photo composition. The sealed evidence folder with the defendant's watch and broken watch band inside was passed around. I wondered why DNA samples had not been collected from the watch to positively place the defendant at the scene of the crime. I guess it wasn't needed since the defender did not contest the fact that the defendant was there and had done a horizontal rumba with the victim. I with my 8 pages of notes was ready to argue the finer points as we deliberated, convincing that one juror to our side. Since we were all in agreement, there was no need to convince anyone of anything. We knock on the door informing the bailiff that we had reached a verdict. Thirty minutes later we are ushered back to the jury box.

Our job is now done as each of us are polled as to our agreement with the verdict. Then the judge informs us that the defendant has had two prior felony convictions and we are now entering into the second stage; the determination of whether the defendant is a Habitual Offender. As the two lawyers talk with the judge, I cast my eyes towards the defendant. My gaze is returned and he mouths something to me. Did anyone else see that? What did he say? Does he know my full name? I'm pretty sure he didn't say "Good job". I'm not really sure I want to know what it was that he said. That was the last time I looked directly at him.

The verdict on the Habitual Offender went quickly since it was straight forward. The defender didn't even address the jury. After being thanked for our service we went our separate ways. Me looking back over my shoulders to make sure one of the defendant's family members wasn't following me.