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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Apparently It’s August Now…

For one more day at least. Since the jury duty adventure I’ve been mostly doing typing work and some work out in the studio. We’ve also been to a movie night at the ball park and a concert at the winery. Wanna see?

The girls and I went to see “A League of Their Own” at Oracle Park. They gave us free hats, a pack of baseball cards and a bag of popcorn. It was free to get in because we have the 415 membership. We brought blankets and deli sandwiches. It was fun to spend some girl time. We couldn’t bring chairs and it was kind of cold but it was also the first time our eldest daughter had seen the movie so that was kinda cool.

I posted about the Halloween Box albums I was making. I finished two of them and am working on a third.

And last night hubby and I went to the Mountain Winery again to see Berlin and Pat Benatar. Both good performances. We had never seen Berlin before so that was nice. During the song “Take My Breath Away,” Terri Nunn walked around in the crowd. That’s always fun. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo did some different songs in their set which was nice since we’ve seen them a few times and the setlists are pretty standard. They are no longer performing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” because of all the mass shootings we’ve had. I respect that. They have plenty of other songs.

I think I’ve had a pretty full month. How about you? Happy to see August come to a close? What’s on tap for September?

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Friday, August 19, 2022

Apparently It’s August Now

When we last met I was sitting in the seat of Juror #10. Did I mention that the chair was not uncomfortable, although the room was freezing cold? I had learned that on the first day so I always came prepared with layers of clothing and a scarf. Everyone mentioned how cold it was and I joked that they wanted to make sure we stayed awake. We were all wearing masks all the time as mandated by the court. On this first day of the actual trial we were given lanyard badges and a notebook with a pen. We were told we could make notes but that the notebooks had to remain in the courtroom and they would be destroyed at the end of the trial.

Monday we heard from the arresting officer who described the reason for the traffic stop, what he discovered while talking with the defendant and what happened to lead him to making the arrest. Next we heard from a second officer who was on the scene as an interpreter since English was not the first language for the defendant. We watched a video of the body cam from the arresting officer. Then we were given a lunch break. Thank goodness.

After lunch we heard from an expert witness for the prosecution (just typing that made me smile – wasn’t that an Agatha Christie book?) He testified about the machines that were used for testing and the procedures that were followed. He explained the effects of alcohol on the body and how long it takes for the alcohol to leave the body. His testimony took the better part of the afternoon so we were excused for the day and told not to discuss the case with anyone.

Tuesday started with the defense cross examining the expert. Of course he tried to trip the witness up and asked him questions that would put some doubt in our minds about his answers. Then we heard from an expert witness from the defense side. He, of course, disputed everything the prosecution witness testified about. The defendant, himself, did not testify. We broke for lunch. When we got back the attorneys gave their closing arguments. Each one tried to point out the facts and that if we were going to decide only on the facts, their version was the correct one. We were given the instructions from the judge (that took a half hour easily) and sent to the jury room. We picked a foreman and then decided to go home and think about it and start the day fresh on Wednesday.

Side note…court time is interesting. We were told to be there at 9 AM each day but some days we didn’t actually start until 9:15 or 9:30. There was usually a 15 to 20 minute break at about 10:15 or 10:30 and then lunch from noon to 1:30. Another 10 to 15 minute break at 3:15 and then ended the day at 4:30.

Wednesday came and we were escorted straight through to the jury deliberation room. I had foolishly been under the impression that this wouldn’t take long. There were two charges. Driving under the influence was one and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher was the other. It sounds like they should be the same but no. Under the first charge, you consider whether there was erratic driving or lack of attention, etc., not just the alcohol level in the blood, although you COULD count that.

As far as I was concerned, the blood alcohol level at the jail had read .08 which is the number that the State of California says is the limit that means you cannot safely drive a vehicle. If his blood alcohol level at the jail (which was 2 hours after he was stopped) was .08 then it stands to reason that his level while driving must have been at least that while he was operating the vehicle. (Part of the expert witness testimony had been about how long it takes for the alcohol to dissipate from your body. One expert said it decreases by .02% an hour and one said it is .0146%).

In the beginning the ONLY thing all 12 people could agree on was that the man was driving a car! We went back and forth about different aspects of the case and finally we were able to decide that yes, on the second count of having a blood alcohol level of .08 and driving, he was guilty. We watched portions of the video again. We asked the court reporter to read back parts of testimony. We broke for lunch. Finally, at about 4 PM we realized that we were not going to agree on the first count and sent a message to the judge. We were afraid she was going to make us come back again Thursday but I guess the parties decided that they would have to make do with what we had decided.

Back into the courtroom we all went. The foreman read the verdict to the judge and then the attorneys wanted us polled to see if we were truly unanimous on the decision. I have to admit for a brief moment I was afraid someone was going to say they did not agree but no one did. She asked again if we were sure we could not agree on the first count and we said yes. Then the judge thanked us and excused us. We don’t know what the sentence of the defendant is.

There you have it. I feel sorry for the father of my daughter’s friend who was the alternate. He had to sit and listen to the whole trial but then was sent home when we started to deliberate. He was told not to leave the area until the trial was over. I did let him know what the verdict was. Also, I am so grateful that I got called for this case and not the one that was going on down the hall. We saw at least 300 people called for that one which was a murder trial that was expected to last for months! The judge said as she was dismissing us that she would see us again next year. I sincerely hope not!

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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Apparently It’s August Now.

Well, I’ve had an interesting week to say the least. Last Thursday afternoon I was summoned for jury duty. I actually had to go in which is unusual to begin with. Usually I look on the website the night before and it says that I am excused. Not this time.

So I get to the courthouse and the parking for the jury is different than the last time I had been called (2006!) but there was plenty of room so that was not a problem. I parked, walked to the courthouse, through the metal detectors and down to the jury assembly room. I’m early and just waiting in line with a few other people and I overhear a conversation from a gentleman saying, “And I don’t get all this gender thing. If they tell me there is more than two, a man and a woman, I’m …” I can’t remember the rest exactly but clearly he had some issues with the gender identity changes. I decided to remove myself from the situation and went and got some water from the cafeteria. LOL.

Once it was time, the assembly room opened and there was about 100 of us waiting to see if they would call us. I didn’t have to wait long. They sent me and about 70 others up to courtroom 2K. We waited in the hallway until the bailiff opened the door and told us to find seats. He said he knew there were not enough chairs but that once the first 12 folks plus 6 alternates had been called, there would be seats open. It didn’t take long for me to be called…I was juror #10.

The judge told us that the case was about driving under the influence and said that it would take about 3 days for the attorneys to present the evidence and then for us to decide the case. She asked if anyone had hardships that would prevent them from staying on the jury for 4 to 5 days. There were about 4 or 5 people in that first 18 that said they couldn’t stay for one reason or another and as each one left, they pulled someone else up from the people waiting in the room. Finally all the hardships were taken care of and then they gave us a list of questions to answer. Most of them were simple, name, city we lived in, how many adults lived in our house, how many kids we had, ages and occupations, whether we had connections to law enforcement or if we knew anyone convicted of a crime or a victim of a crime or if we thought we could be impartial.

Based on our answers to those questions more people were excused and more brought up from the waiting area. Each time they brought up someone new they had to go through the hardship question and then the list of questions. Next the two attorneys started asking us questions about what we thought about different scenarios, if we had ever seen anyone drink too much, if they had to be falling down in our opinion to be considered too intoxicated to drive. After both attorneys were finished, they started excusing some of us for reasons they didn’t explain but I could guess by the answers of the jurors and the type of case it was. It got down to the 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Interestingly, one of the alternates was the father of a boy my daughter went to school with. I was still juror #10. The attorneys both gave their opening arguments. That process had taken two days so they let us go for the weekend.

Friday night my hubby and I went to see The Four Tops and the Temptations at the Mountain Winery. I had not eaten all day while at the courthouse and had several drinks so I was too intoxicated to drive home and, ashamed to say, actually threw up out the car window. First time I have done that since I was in my 20s I’ll bet and ironic that I was about to listen to a case regarding driving while under the influence.

Saturday the kids and I went to a Giants game. I had one Vizzy (hard seltzer) and then drank water – LOL. They were celebrating the 2012 World Series Team and we were in the 415 section and actually made it on TV! You can see me above the V in Visa. I have my arm raised because I am taking the picture! The Giants won – YAY! We take the train to and from the game so driving and drinking is not a factor here – haha.

I think I’ll stop for now and we’ll get to part 2 tomorrow. Are you intrigued? Ever served on a jury before? What was your case about?

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Friday, August 12, 2022

Apparently It’s August Now

I mentioned that I have been working on some new craft projects to share. First is a Disney-themed mini album. i think it came out really well.

Then I made a couple of different “folios.” One has a pen attached and a removable notepad. It is Christmas themed so you can use it to make your Christmas gift lists and there is a pocket to keep the receipts for purchased gifts.

And the next is a Halloween-themed one.

I am really in love with these folios and have a ton of ideas for other ones. I got the idea from another crafter, Maymay of Maymay Made It. I haven’t had a chance to post these in the Etsy shop yet but they will be there soon!

Finally, I am in the process of making this:

I found these boxes at our local dollar store last year and really liked them. I am always saving the cardboard inserts that come in packages. I think these were from pillowcases. I just need to finish decorating it. BUT I GOT CALLED FOR JURY DUTY! Right now I am juror #10. We have another day of jury selection and then I would expect the trial to begin next week. The judge said that just wanting to be doing something else is not a good enough reason to be excused – LOL. Fortunately it isn’t a high profile case so hopefully it won’t last long.

And that’s my crafty life for now. What do you think? What have you been up to? Ever serve on a jury?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Apparently it’s August now

I really need to get on the ball again. Usually I do an August challenge but this year I just wasn’t feeling it. I am still doing my TikTok experiment though so if you are on TikTok lemme know so I can follow you.

Since I last posted we’ve seen Abba, the Concert, One Night With Queen, a new to us artist called Tash Sultana, went to another Giants game and last night we saw the Backstreet Boys!

So Wells Fargo is a sponsor of the Mountain Winery this year and there is a new section called Adele’s Garden especially for people with Wells Fargo accounts. They give you free water and snacks and there is a special spot to sit and enjoy the view before the show. That was fun. Abba, the Concert, does a really good job with the songs and the crowd was definitely singing along.

Tash Sultana is a one person show for the most part. Toward the end there are some other musicians on stage but the main show is Tash playing an instrument and then setting it on a loop so it keeps playing while she moves on to another instrument. There was a lot of flashing lights, hence the warning. It was interesting but the bouncing up and down she did was kind of hard to watch and the songs sounded a lot alike. My husband enjoyed it though and it was at a venue we don’t normally go to so it was a fun date night.

One Night of Queen was good too. While the rest of the band did not try to look like the members of Queen, Gary Mullen definitely pulled off the moves of Freddie Mercury well and the music was great.

The Giant’s game we went to was in honor of Will Clark and they retired his number, 22. It was fun and we won, which was even better. We’re not doing well this year but I’m still a faithful fan.

Finally, my daughter and I went to see the Backstreet Boys on the spur of the moment. We got the tickets just two days before the show.

This makes the third time we’ve seen them. They sang 33 songs and I knew the words to every one. I love their harmonies and definitely enjoy the synchronized movements. I think one of the reasons my daughter likes the Backstreet Boys so much is because I sang this song to her as a baby. It was my way of saying I love her no matter what.

So that’s been my out and about experiences for the last couple of weeks. We have more to come this month too. Tomorrow I’ll share some of the crafty work I’ve been doing. I don’t want to overwhelm in one post. Have you heard of Tash Sultana? Fan of the Backstreet Boys (who technically should be called Backstreet Men now because Kevin Richardson is 50 and the others are all late 40s – LOL).

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