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Wednesday, June 03, 2021

I’ve gotten some flack over the way I prefer my daily cup(s) of tea: Namely, with the teabag permanently dunked into the cup of hot water, never to emerge until I’ve drained said cup dry.

That comes off as an overly bitter-strong brew to some. But that’s how I like it. It gives me a strong jolt of flavor and caffeine, which I take as benefits. But mainly, it’s a habit rooted in pure laziness on my part. I just figured at some point that it was too much trouble to lift the bag out of the cup after x number of minutes, and have to deal with that drippy mess. So I just leave it in. In fact, when at home, I now even take the minor trouble of grabbing a pair of scissors, and snipping off the string after I’ve poured the water, thus consigning the pouch of leaves to sink irretrievably to the bottom of the cup.

Some may consider this a veritable drowning of the tea leaves. In fact, when considering the traditional water-sieved steeping methods for preparing Chinese tea, you go a step further and characterize my brewing technique to be a veritable water-flogging.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/03/2021 04:58:36 PM
Category: Food
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It happens to all of us eventually, especially after an election: I’ve been plucked for jury duty in the State (and County) of New York.

I already served on a jury case in Florida only five years ago, and for a juicy murder trial, to boot. You’d think I’d get a civicness chit for that and get a free pass on this…

That’s why I’m up and about. I’m due down at the juror assembly room on Thomas Street in about an hour, and I figured I would reduce the chances of any snafus by setting out early. Plus, they’ll be patting me and my gear down for security purposes, so every extra minute counts.

It’s a drag, for sure. I’m really hoping that I don’t get picked, because the timing could hardly get any worse; I’m expecting to get super-busy inside of the next week or two. As it is, I can probably manage burning off the better part of the day at the courthouse — but only because the juror pool will be provided with free wi-fi so that I can actually get some work done.

Anyway, as I see it, I’ve got a couple of options for wriggling out of this unpicked:

- The Homer Simpson Method. Decidedly chancy.

- Invoking the judge-repellent jury nullification card:

A little-known facet of common law dating back to Elizabethan England, jury nullification happens when a jury hands down a “not guilty” verdict — but not because they think the defendant is innocent. Instead, they’re making a statement about the validity of the law itself… Throughout the mid-1800s, northern juries would frequently nullify prosecutions against people who violated the Fugitive Slave Laws. And, during Prohibition, juries around the country nullified numerous alcohol control violations… Either way, most judges don’t want to deal with a juror who might pull the nullification card, so if you bring it up, you’ll likely be eliminated from the jury pool.

Also somewhat chancy, seems like. But at least it has more legal standing than an animated sitcom.

UPDATE: Rats. The summons didn’t mention that this would be a two-day commitment. Meaning that I’m going to be here likely all day today and some/all tomorrow (and an outside chance of Friday morning as well). Not pleased.

UPDATE 2: It’s early afternoon, and it’s brutal here. I haven’t been called in yet, but probably will be within the next hour or so. But I’m bored stiff. Wi-fi helps some, but I simply can’t gear up to work on even the light stuff that I had set aside for today (part of that is because I need to do some image/photo searching on the Internetz, and for some reason the New York State Unified Court System blocks access to Flickr and several other image-storage sites — weird).

Really don’t think I can stand a second day of this. I’m really hoping that the lawyers take one look at me and decide, “No way do I want this character on my jury”…

UPDATE FINAL: Banzai! Turns out that today was an uncommonly light day on the court’s docket, and they called only half the people in the room to serve as jurors. I wasn’t one of them, so I get to go home — and not need to come in tomorrow! Jury duty is completed, I get the credit, I get the big $40 check mailed to me, and my name doesn’t go back into the jury pool for another six years! Best-case scenario, really, after things started looking bleak during the long afternoon wait.

I realize I’ve come off as pretty whiny about all this, especially as expressed via my Twitterstream. It wasn’t exactly torture, but it was definitely tedious — not conducive to doing any serious work on my laptop. I’m just glad I’ve done my civic duty in the most painless way possible. See you in 2015, Unified Court System!

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/03/2021 07:50:18 AM
Category: New Yorkin', Political, Pop Culture, True Crime
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