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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Jury Duty... not

I received a letter recently summoning me to attend Jury Duty at the local Circuit Court. Unfortunately I am ineligible to serve as I am not a US Citizen.

The standard forms included, confirming eligibility to serve (where I fail on the first count), claims for travel costs, a one-day bus pass should one not have a car etc., did not anticipate that a recipient could possibly not be a Citizen. They allowed for excusion from duty for age and infirmity, or for reasons of having been involved in a crime, but not on the first and most telling point, not being a citizen.

I tried calling the phone number on the forms, but no luck, it was an automated line with no way to talk to a human or leave a message. I had the option of faxing a form in, but I haven't used a fax machine for ten years when email attachments made them almost obsolete. The final try was mailing back the form with my objection written in the "other reasons for not serving that you may wish us to take into account" box, where I wrote "I am not a US Citizen. I am a Permanent Resident, and unfortunately not qualified to serve as a Juror" or something to that effect.

Yesterday I received the response letter confirming that as a non-Citizen I am excused duty.

I'm wondering what database they chose my name from, as anywhere where I officially exist, it should be pretty clear that I am an non-Citizen. Beth suggested the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) provide data, as most adults in the State would have a driving license, and that is quite possible.

My suggestion for an improvement in local Government efficiency is to use the Register of Electors (or whatever the equivalent form is called), though Beth pointed out that some people do not bother registering to vote, while they would still want to be able to drive a car. Should non-voters get to stand on a jury? I suspect that people who so not exercise their Democratic right to vote would not make the best jury members anyway.

Whatever, until I qualify as a Citizen (in another year or so) and take the test and oath, I will not be turning up at a courthouse to pass judgement on my fellow Eugenians.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Change of Season

October heralded a distinct change of Season, with the temperature dropping and proper rain, our first decent precipitation since sometime in mid-June. We had over half an inch yesterday, and though I was at work through most of it, it was lovely to hear the rain on the roof when I was back home.

The dropping temperature has made a single layer, t-shirt or polo shirt, just too little except at work where the temperature is regulated. At home I'm adding a button-down shirt or hoodie as an extra layer, though with the buttons or zip open for now. We haven't had to use the heating system yet since Spring, we'd rather add layers of clothes.

The cats are spending more time indoors, though Elbie has caught two mice in three days, and brought them in for me, and Ghost, not to be outdone, brought a mouse into the bedroom in the middle of the night and proceeded to crunch on it in the middle of the floor. I removed it as soon as I realised what he had, and he happily switched to the dry food bowl we keep in the master bathroom.

Our "third" cat Simon is gaining confidence around the house, snoozing on a front room couch in daytime, and hopping silently up on the bed when we wake in the mornings for a few moments of attention. He's very gentle and purrs a lot, and must have been starved of affection at his real home one road down from us.  He and Ghost have occasional standoffs, mostly when they encounter each other unexpectedly, but no actual fights have occurred.

A potential shake-up at work came to naught. A co-Manager (second highest rank in the building) left to manage a different store, resulting in various openings in the management structure as people shifted around. There was a brief possibility (at least in my mind) that I might be offered a Department Manager position, but our own Department Manager didn't get promoted so our department remained unchanged. We do have two new associates though.