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In Summary:

Woke up reasonably on time. Attempted to install wireless card (for happy waiting-to-be-called-as-juror downtime) on machine. Attempted to put product key into this installation of Windows on Short Sheets on Thalia. (Thalia = laptop. Short Sheets = this 30gig hard drive.) Failed both. Late; dealing with lost + traffic. Squeaked in barely in time to get my little survey card filled out before the people collected them and began with the jury selection fun stuff. Got pulled for a panel of potential jurors around 10ish AM. Jury Panel Member #18 was a rather sheltered housewife type (though job-holding single mother) and created no small sensation among all of us. We broke for lunch after the excusing process was over. #18 sort of attached herself to me because she was so very lost and I seem to have become a natural leader.

After lunch, in the continuation of the screening process, she voiced to the judge and courtroom what she'd already mentioned to me: that they wouldn't have been arrested if they weren't guilty! The judge, a late-middle-aged man (read: in his 50s somewhere) with a dry and ironic sense of humor, sent her OUT of the courtroom faster than I've ever seen anyone leave one before. She'd tried to get excused in the before-lunch excusing process because she didn't know anything about the law. The judge had previously told her that he would be instructing the jury on the law, and all the jury needed to do was follow his instructions. He'd also said that anyone needing to be excused had better speak up while the excusing process was going on, because his standards would be that much more strict after the actual juror selection process proper had started, but he certainly sent her out fast! Heh, heh. Seems that she demonstrated her profound lack of knowledge of the law rather handily, without even trying!

I wasn't one of the nine picked for the jury on that trial. It sounded as if it would have been an interesting one, and since work does pay me for my jury time, and I am not 100% urgently needed on the phone floor at this point in time, I was willing to have participated. But I wasn't selected, and I got out of there around 3:30, and back home around 4pm.

While I was waiting in the juror lounge to see if I'd be grabbed at random to make up a panel, my phone buzzed at me. I was in the quiet room, so I scooted out of there and took the call. Turned out to be the Dell escalation manager calling me. I briskly and decisively let her know the chain of events, and stated my demand to have the proper 40gig shipped to me, ship back the improper 30gig, and install it myself. She told me that it was a factory replacement only part (true as far as their warranty is concerned), that it was too technically complex for me to do myself (demonstratedly untrue), and that there were no local technicians who could be sent to me (dubious) because it was too complex a job for just any old technician (choke on rage and struggle not to scream at the woman while in the jury room). I told her that I was at jury duty and did not have the time now to discuss the issue with her in the depth it needed to be discussed, and ended the call.

I was called to go sit on the juror selection panel a few minutes later, while I was still freshly boiling with rage. Then, as I was sitting in the hall outside the courtroom after lunch waiting to go back in again, my phone buzzed at me a second time. I frantically hissed that I was having *JURY DUTY* and I *COULD NOT SPEAK WITH HER AT THIS TIME*.

From my e-mail in response to the latest contact (she hasn't gotten back to me yet): "I do not believe that the Escalation Manager is familiar with the fact that United States citizens are occasionally called in by the government to serve as jurors, and that while this is going on, outside interruptions must be kept to an absolute minimum. Today's contacts from her were while I was in the state courthouse performing my government-mandated jury duty. The first call was while I was waiting to see if I would be selected for a jury pool and I did have a few minutes to speak, but the second call was when I was waiting outside the courtroom to be called in and only answered the phone because it could have been an emergency call from home. At that time, I told her that I could not speak with her now because I was doing this, and she pressured me to remain on the line. That is unacceptable conduct."

I'm still upset and angry and all that good stuff, but it's like I'm viewing the emotions through a drunken haze. It seems that I'm bottling things up inside again. I will be in contact with Darkside in some way this weekend, and I am plotting to show up on his doorstep Saturday or something, and curl myself up as small as I can and just collapse for a while.

Schedule fun: Coming in tomorrow (Thursday) to fill in some uptrainings. Friday, maybe, to work more on getting data in format that can be eaten by a database. Saturday, hell no. Sunday II: yes, to work on the thing with Snarky Lady. Next week still subject to negotiation.

Writers group good. Had partial mood piece involving the Baseline Rapist and my general anger on the topic, though not in the usual area. M suggested submitting it to the New Times. (OMG, she thought it was that good?!) Much of the good all around there. Dinner was on crack.

My ears have been behaving themselves lately. Wore earrings for a few days this past week, did not get ears swelling up and itching. Glee! Wore writers group earring with minimal difficulty, though should probably use H2O2 to clean it, not hand sanitizer.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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