Jury duty: Day 4.

Well, after getting to the courts at the correct time, 10:25am we 12 jurors sat around for another hour and a bit twiddling thumbs whilst certain things we can’t know about happened.

Anyway, we did get into court before lunch and witnessed the defence lawyers pull the witless witness’ story apart. I half felt for the fella. But only half. The second witness of the day, in the afternoon was far brighter.

It was fun watching the defence lawyers stalking their prey and ripping them to shreds. It was almost like watching Wildlife on One and the lawyers were a pride of lions eyeing up the wilderbeast.

I’m afraid this is all the detail I’m going to go into. I’m not going to say if I ultimately believe anything the witnesses said or not. etc.

Anyway, we all got out of the court at about 4pm.

As we left, we saw on the corner of the road that there was a bit of an accident. It wasn’t until we got a bit closer did we find that it was a coach which had run over a bicycle.. it looked a mess.. I tried not to look. 🙁

One of the other jurors said, “Oh, not another one. The same thing happened only a couple of weeks ago.”

Well, that’s enough of today. I’m back at home writing this on my laptop waiting for the news to come on at 6pm. This evening’s delights include cooking two bits of pork, eating one of them and watching Buffy and Angel on Sky One.

Oh, and if you’re reading this, Alec, I taped last weeks as you requested and have it on an SVHS tape.

Day three.

Well, I’ve been picked for a jury! Yippee.

The case is likely to take 10 days, which is fine.

It’s a case about a bar brawl caused by a cat fight which went a bit out of hand.. and I can and will say no more than that.

At least I’m out of pergatory.

Jury service.. Day two.

I can tell you all about this as I’ve not actually become a juror in a case yet… Read on…

Well, I can sum things up with a description one of the other potential jurors said..

    It’s like a game of snakes and ladders.

Well, what he was talking about was the way that no-one seems to get to the
point where they become a juror. Lots of people get to a certain point up
the board before the bit reset button happens and you’re back to stage one
again, sitting pergatory awaiting the call for higher things.

My case in point today was sitting around until 10:30 when I was told, along
with 14 other people that I’d been picked for a trial in court 3 this afternoon
and that I could go awya and come back at 13:45. That all sounded promising.

At 1:45 I sit down, read my book again. 2:30, the court usher for court 3
comes in and says that “as you all know already, the jury for court 3 has
been changed and some of you have been told you can go home. ” At which point
there was a general reply of “Oh no we haven’t.” At which point the usher
appologies and says that she’d been told that we’d been informed just after
2pm and she’d find out what was going on.

Anyway, at about 2:50 one of the court officers comes in and appologies and
says that those who were picked this morning can all go home as we’re not
needed, other than 4 volunteers which are needed for stand-by. Three silly
people volunteer and another is volunteered… I go.

Exciting, eh?

Well, I’ve finished the first book. I’ll find another to take tomorrow.

Oh, I forgot to mention…

Yesterday I planned to clear up, wash the car and a number of other little things.

Well, I managed a little bit of the first thing but none of the latter due to being phoned up at 2:30 by Rob Newson. He continued to talk to me about Linuxy and BSDy things for 3 hours, by which time it was time for Time Team on the telly and it was getting dark outside.

What I did manage to do was fit the memory I’d got replaced the day before in my games PC. After a few hours trying to sort out why Windows 98SE was having problems I found the answer on the web.. Once the system memory (including any memory on AGP cards) goes above 512MB the calculated size of the system’s disk cache becomes bigger than the main memory, so you get the system crashing out with out of memory errors! The fix is to set a specific size in the system.ini file (after first removing memory so you can actually boot the machine).

Well, the machine is now fully working and runs far more quickly than it did before even though the speed of the porcessor hasn’t changed. This would be partly due tot eh faster memory and partly due to the faster hard disk with an 8MB onboard cache. Windows is really quite disk bound, especially when booting.

Oh, there is one thing.. Windows’ scandisk and defrag can’t handle 80GB hard disks.. they just stop working giving an out of memory error. Strangely, the DOS scandisk doesn’t have this problem. Hmm.

The first day of jury service.

After getting up at 6:30 am (blurgh!) I managed to get to the court on time.

For the morning session I sat in the juror’s waiting area, read my book,
looked at the walls and 3.75 hours later we were told that those of us not
picked for a jury so far could go to lunch and come back at 2pm.

Lunch was spent wandering around Oxford trying to find a cheapish place to
eat. I finally picked Aunty May’s Pasty shop where I had a very disappointing
Pork and Apple pasty which was mostly apple. This made me feel a little queezy
as I was already very tired from getting up so early and being litterally
bored sick.

I then popped over to Starbucks in Cornmarket to get some stimulant before returning to the court.

I then sat, waited and read until 3:05pm when I and 14 other people were
told that we had been picked as floating jurors for a case tomorrow and that
we could go home for the day. The poor people who had been picked almost
at the beginning of the day for a case had to still wait as all the stuff
before their case had overrun and overrun, so I was rather lucky.

Anyway, it seems that tomorrow I start being a juror properly.. that’s assuming
I’m picked for the final jury out of the 15 selected.

On the whole, today’s been a waste of time for all those who were called
for duty as only 12 people actually went into a court room, and they were
continuing a trial from last week!

I can see why the court system is gumming up with cases.


Well, it’s 3am and I’m now paying for all the Anadin Extra tablets I took for my headache and the instant coffee I washed them down with at 6pm last night.

The headache finally went at about 10:30pm… and that’s when the caffiene kicked in.. and it’s still going.

I can feel that I’m tired underneath but at the moment I’m so AWAKE and ALERT. I wish I could just sleep. Aaaaargh!

I’ve been flipping channels on the telly and at one point, I think it was at about 1am something on Channel 5 was playing “Love is a Battlefield” and I can’t remember who sang it.. it’s been bothering me ever since. I keep thinking Laura Branigan but I know it’s not.. Aaaaargh!

At least I’m just ALERT and AWAKE rather than being jittery. Thank goodness for little mercies.

Head stuff

Ouch, I have a headache and can’t get rid of the thing.

I would have liked to have gone to Sleipnir_ and his brother’s birthday bash in London but I had to do some things around here this morning which meant I’d be rather late getting there. Add to that this headache and you get a combination of things which conspire against it.

On other matters…

Last night, at the departmental happy hour, I was talking to some 3rd year undergrads as they were reminising about playing with old computers. It’s surprising that these people were born about 21 years ago, ie. about the same time as the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum were coming out and yet they are still nostalgic about ZX Spectrums, BBC micros and Commodore 64’s, having played with them when they were young. They had the same sort of nostalgia about them as I do. 🙂

Oh, and can you guess the “game” they unanimously hated…. The Logo language! They found spending hours telling a triangle to move around the screen pintless and boring… That was pretty much my take on logo too.