The Time Has Come (the Walrus said) Search: 'jury duty'

Nyah nyah!!

While we were away travelling, I received another summons for Jury Duty.

Seeing as I last did my community service in late 2006, and you can be excused if you did it within the last 3 years, I wrote to the Sheriff asking for such excuse.

She Who Must Be Obeyed looked at all the paperwork, found an enclosed statutory declaration and tore strips off me: “You are supposed to fill out this and send it back”.

I quietly told her that the booklet says “write to the Sheriff” not “send stat dec to Sheriff”, so write to the sherrif I done. Besides, a stat dec is a pain – you have to find a Justice of the Peace to witness it, yada yada.

A few days later, a letter came back from the Sheriff to say I was excused.

Nyah nyah nyaaaa nyah nyah!!!!!

Me? Childish? Never!

Silence

Two videos worth watching- this will take about an hour out of your day: Why you should not speak to police officers. And following from that talk, the reply by the police officer.

This is all presented by Americans, and based on US law. But in Australia there is still a right to remain silent, so the same principle applies.

All those mystery novels and detective shows on TV… some of the games played are closer to the truth than you might first think. Some of what the police officer has to say are confirmed by my previous Jury Duty 18 months or so ago.

Lesson: if interviewed, don’t say anything. At. All.

Jury Duty over!

Today was the last day. November / December really is the best month to get on this because you get about a week less than everybody else.

First trial I took 55 pages of notes.

Second trial, a mere 65 pages of notes.

Taking notes helps me to stay awake.

Impressions:

1. Things move slow.

2. Its tiring by the end of each day.

All done!!! Hooray!

Compensations

When living in SA, doing Jury Duty has its compensations. Something has to make up for the inconvenience, highly variable hours, and out-of-pocket expenses.

See, in Adelaide, the criminal courts where Juries are used are located in the Sir Samuel Way building. This is very grand from outside, suitably old and fusty looking to give the appearance of old, careful, slow justice. The building was constructed in 1916 (as far as I can tell) as the Charles Moore & Co Emporium. Moores department store eventually closed in the late 1970’s, and the building was bought by the government and converted to courts in the early 1980’s.

But all that nice fluffy history ignores the compensation, which is: The courts building is right next door to the central market.

This means I’ve spent WAAAYYYY too much on fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, coffee, you name it.

What a shame.

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Side note: right now, mangos are going in the market for $1 each – an Adelaide bargain for a family of mango-addicts. And cherries are $12/kg for first grade, but by hunting around it’s possible to find 2nd grade that are perfect, for only $6/kg.

To quote Ian Parmenter: Bliss!!!

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And another thing: Cons fine foods has a neat low-carb snack: Smoked turkey wings from Aldinga Turkeys – ready to eat, a mere $5 / kg, and very nice indeed. Can be a tiny bit tough so you end up looking like a cave-man chomping and slurping on these things, but hey, who is checking?

Fatty Finn is trying to reform

A week ago I had to visit the doctor.

As usual, he weighed me (something I normally do regularly – about twice a year).

But this time – shock, horror, 81 kg !

I’ve crept up to 78 kg over the last couple of years and it’s been bugging me – a bit. But 81 kg is just too far.

So, time for radical action.

I’m cutting out carbohydrates (or, as they are sometimes known in our house, hydrocarbates) as hard as I can go.

Breakfast: Changed now to about 1/3 the amount of fruit juice (full of sugar – evil stuff), 1/3 the amount of crap breakfast cereal (that’s usually loaded with sugar, and its all carbohyrate anyhow). I’m filling up on 1 or 2 eggs, and maybe some bacon. Interesting effect: I used to be ravenous by 11 am – a couple of eggs for breakfast and I can make lunch time with no problems.

Lunch at work is a bit of a hassle: usually it’s a tin of tuna, and a sandwich with cheese, ham, and lettuce – made at home. The bread is multi-grain so that it’s digested slower. If I can’t bring lunch I’ll go going to the lunch bar down the road for a 1/4 chicken and salad – no chips, no bread.

Dinner is turning out to be fairly easy, so far. Meat, vegetables, fruit. As far as possible, low or no bread, or rice. Sometimes pasta, but less than before.

I’ve only been doing this for a week – and so far the desire for eating junk seems to have abated. I’m usually feeling full, with enough energy to get by, and the morning and afternoon snacks have been absent. I’m also drinking about 1/3 the amount of red wine, and not really missing the 1/2 bottle per night that I was going through before.

After a week, I’m back to 78 kg (and this morning, 77.5). This seems to be way too good to be true. Fluid retention? Unlikely – because I’d not been feeling too good when I went to see the doctor and had not been eating or drinking much for 24 hours before. (And yes, I did confirm the 81 kg when I got home.)

Aim: get down to 75 kg, and hold it there.

For anybody interested, the diet is no huge change to normal – just more protein, and less carbohydrates of every kind. More vegetables too.

If I’ve been wanting a treat, I’ve had a single square of Lindt 70% dark chocolate. I figure the couple of grams of sugar in it won’t do too much damage.

Heading into the silly season, and with the disruption of Jury Duty upon me, it will be interesting to see how long this can last.

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For those interested:

The CSIRO total well-being diet is generally about more protein and less carbohydrate.

The book “Protein Power” is about low carb diets and goes into the physiology of carbohydrates and insulin, and explains the correlation or carbohydrates with weight gain.

“The GI Factor” uses a similar examination of the physiology of carbohydrates, but with an emphasis on finding carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly.

Jury Duty – part 2

First day today.

Orientation. About 2 1/2 hours of direction on what goes on, things to do, details about the pathetic payment, and so on. They guy who did this must have been doing it for years, craxking the same lame jokes, telling the same anecdotes – but he was a natural and did it very well.

A real mixed bag – people from all walks of life. The female / male mix seems to be about 60%:40% (ie more females). All up there must have been about 150 people there. These are divided into “sections” which in turn are balloted to form a Jury on a trial.

So the real fun begins on Monday.

Naturally, I won’t be revealing anything much about anything during this process.

Jury Duty

In answer to the various questions, suggestions, and so on about my impending Jury Duty.

In South Australia you can be excused only on certain grounds (eg religious, or causing severe financial hardship), otherwise you can ask for a deferral of up to 12 months. If you ask for a deferral, you must serve when called up a second time – no further deferrals.

So I figure my choices are now, or deferring, and now is probably a good time because of the Christmas silly-season coming up.

As to what it pays:

1. You get an allowance of $20 / day – which, frankly, is pathetic.

2. You get an allowance of $0.20 / km for travel. In my case my round trip travel from home to the court is 50 km (+/- 1 km), so for me that’s $10 per day, roughly. That covers about 2/3 of my fuel bill. The court does not pay parking costs.

3. You can claim up to an additional $80 / day for lost wages. An employer can claim this back (as well as the $20 / day) if they pay an employee who is on Jury Duty.

In my case, I’ve checked with HR and my employer will pay me – so they will claim back the $100 / day, and I get to keep the travel allowance (whoopie!!!)

I’ll have to pay my own parking fees, which I figure will come to around $20 to $30 per day. Public transport is not an option. It will cost even more, and take at least 90 minutes each way (compared to about 35 for driving).

Court hours are 10am to 1pm, and 2:15pm to 4:30pm. Lunch is not provided – so it’s either bring the pack of sandwiches, or go out and buy lunch.

I’m expecting the out-of-pocket expenses to come to roughly parking + lunch – a guess of at least $30 / day, offset by the travel allowance of (optimistically $10 / day). So the privilege of aiding our justice system and doing my community duty for a month will cost me around $400 – possibly more, which cannot be claimed back.

At least I get paid.

*%^&%*&

Poo, poo, blast and damn.

I’ve been called up for Jury Duty – starting in about 2 weeks and for the whole of December.

Lovely. Yummy. Just what I’ve always wanted.

(notice the sarcasm, anybody?)

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