Monday, March 27, 2006

jury duty, the second time around

I’m online from the court house. Well, I guess the SD court house still hasn’t implemented free wireless service. I’m connected through my blackberry's IPModem. Pretty painful to use (5kbytes/sec with 500+ sec ping), but at its still a 100 times better than being here without it.

First time I was here for jury duty, I gotta admit I was pretty mad that I was here while they wasted my time (not to mention the $16 for parking and finding out the $15 a day only kicks in starting the second day of jury duty. The only thing I could focus on was what can I say to get dismissed.

I’m here the second time. And, there’s a new surprise. Government workers don’t even get $15 a day. Thank you Arnold! other than that, i have a totally different perspective on why i'm here the second time around. I think what changed my mind was the whole talk that the judge gave before the jury selection began. he pretty much covered all the bases on why it is my duty to be here, and how any circular argument i can come up with why i should be excuses were addressed (meaning i didn't have an argument at all). Its kinda like going through acupuncture. First time, you kinda pay attention to every needle going into your body, but after a few times, you just kinda relax and let the process take its course.

Oh, they are calling names. C’ whammies, no whammies, no whammies…

Dang! brb...being called..

haha! dismissed. i think the key to getting dismissed is to stay out of the spot light. don't present them with any information that might interest them. so talk the least amount possible (having no spouse, kids, friends/relatives in law enforcement or legal profession helps). also, don't be smart and say something like how you don't think you can offer a fair unbiased opionion for the case, or how you think the US law system doesn't work. you're just opening yourself to arguments from judges and lawyers. your half assed circular logic won't stand up to these professionals whose sole purpose in their profession is to change your mind about something. with cleverly phrased questions they'll just destroy your argument and quickly set you in your place. and that might be exactly what they are looking for. someone who is quickly convinced. and also, keep personal details and especially personal experience to yourself. Like the first guy that was introducing himself. He was listing his past jobs and credentials like he was applying for a job. did he wanted to get chosen? well, maybe he did.

and the case had something to do with driving with a suspened license. bunch of people wanted to share a story on how they might or might not be personally affected after knowing a friend who was hit by a unlicensed driver. Not surprisingly, at least half of those people weren't getting dismissed.

another thing that seemed to make a difference was if you had served in a prior jury before. it doesn't work the way you think it should. like you might think if you had served in a jury before, they should give you a break, and let the ones that never served have their turn. it doesn't work like that. if you get on a jury once and reached a verdict, watch out. you just put a stamp of approval on yourself. how illegal is it to lie about details like these during the jury selection process? its not like you're on the witness stand and sworn in are you?

till next year!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Jury Duty, here I come! (Insert Rushmore poster here)

Jury duty always seemed like a big waste of time. The last time I was at jury duty, I didn't have a single device on hand. Except for my cell phone. Which had no games, or even a calculator (v60c). So it was a very boring experience. All I did was wait. Finally got called, then waited outside the door of the courtroom. Waited inside the court room. Went to lunch, waited outside the courtroom once again. Then was finally dismissed.

This time, I've never been so equipped to deal with the situation. I have my laptop to watch DVDs that I haven't had the chance to enjoy (NewsRadio Season 3, and Tales from the Crypt Season 3), BlackBerry for emails, games, limited Internet browsing, chatting on AIM and MSN, and of course phone calls. If I wanted full Internet capabilities on my laptop, I know they at least have phone jacks to attach my laptop (which came with a modem built in). I can use my free dialup access I get by working at my department at UCSD. Or I can use my BlackBerry as a modem which gets about the same speed as dialup service. But a lot of waiting rooms have wireless internet anyway, so that will probably be the best way to connect. On top of all that, I have my video ipod which I mainly use for music, storing psp video, and psp games. And if I wanted to watch video, I have my PSP on hand for hours and hours of video.

I also have 2 books that I'm reading, and projects to work on (using the laptop). I can also take my camera to do some photography of downtown San Diego during lunch.

The only bad thing that can happen is that I get called in first thing in the morning, and get selected as a juror immediately. Now that can still suck.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

So different, yet still the same.

I've been back in the US since Sunday evening, and after having spent more time in Taiwan, it still strikes me on how different life is in San Diego. Couldn't be any more different. Yet, around the world, we all have the same basic needs. We just have different ways in getting these needs fullfilled.

The trip was a lot of fun. And in a lot of ways, I enjoyed this trip more than the first one. It could have been that I felt comfortable in my familiar surroundings, or it could have been that this trip was less about Cherie showing me around Taiwan, and more about just enjoying our time together. I'm looking forward to seeing her again, most likely at the end of June unless there is a chance we do make it to Japan. 3.5 months is a long time, but still managable.

On a side note, on the way there and back, I was able to sleep normally on the plane. Something I didn't even expect from myself. First one didn't really count because the plane was only 1/3 full so everyone, including myself, got to sleep on their sides. On the way back, because I had averaged 3-4 hours of sleep while I was in Taiwan, I ate my meal, then passed out seconds after. The must have took my tray while I was sleeping. The takeoff leaving LAX was definitely an interesting experience. We were taxing down the runway when the wheel sounded like it was buckling. So we had to pull into a hanger to get that inspected. They gave us the thumbs up an hour later, and while the wheel still buckled during takeoff, we made it to Taipei, even a little ahead of schedule.

Riding on the scooter was an interesting experience. It pretty much was what I expected it to be. Total chaos. Everyone cuts off everybody. One thing I found comforting was that people drive really slow in Taiwan...well slow enough to where it doesn't mean instant death when you fall off. If all the scooters drove like that around here, they'd all be roadkill. I gotta hand it to Cherie though. I was surprised how much she was willing to maneuver around traffic without having much experience on the scooter. I was impressed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

It feels like I never left

It could be that I got to sleep comfortably on the plane ride over here. But Taiwan this time around feels like I never left this place. Everything seems familiar.

Its been raining non stop since I got here (finally stopped today). But I've still been having lots of fun getting around in the bus, their subway system (MRT), and just hanging out at home.

Cherie has acquired a scooter. And we might take that to go somewhere new. Should be interesting and exciting in more ways than one.