Brian's Photo Blog — Article 71
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Jury Duty Photo Op
Wednesday 4 April 2012   —   Category: Shooting

Well, here I am, sitting at the U.S. district courthouse in Eugene — about 45 miles south of my house — reporting for jury duty. Joy, oh joy!

I got up around 5:00, made myself a breakfast of scrambled eggs, diced tri-tip, tater-tots, and toast, and hit the road a few minutes before 7:00.

When I turned on my iPad’s cellular connection (on which I am writing right now, in the jury assembly room), I discovered that my cell data account with Verizon was no longer active. A couple of weeks ago I had cancelled the account on this iPad 2, because I was switching to my new iPad 3. Then I decided to keep the iPad 2 for myself, but I forgot that I had cancelled the cell account. It expired in the middle of the night last night.

Therefore, when I turned it on this morning as I was leaving my neighborhood, I got a message saying the cell account was expired. I had to pull over to the side of the road and go through the process of giving Verizon another $20 for another month’s one gigabyte of data access. With that bit of business taken care of, I was back on the road to Eugene.

I was treated to a gorgeous sunrise this morning. It was raining when I left (actually, during the entire drive), and there was a somewhat high, flat layer of clouds hanging in the sky, stretching east over the Cascades. A glowing, hazy, yellow sun was rising in the gap between the mountains and the clouds. It was really lovely — I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get any pictures of it.

My trusty MotionX GPS Drive HD app brought me directly to the courthouse without any difficulties. There were not any signs for jury parking, so I just went to the first parking area I saw, which turned out to be for employees only. After a tight turn-around, and a short drive down the street, I came to another lot that apparently was for the jury.

It is $5 a day for parking, and the machine was not accepting $5 bills. Fortunately, I had enough $1 bills, but other jurors where not so lucky. Then I crossed the street and ascended the main steps, but they were not going to open the door until 8:00. To pass the remaining few minutes, I pulled out my Canon S100 pocket camera to get some shots. The mirrored surface of the building presents interesting opportunities, as you can see from the photos on this page. When they opened the doors, it was announced that cameras were not allowed in the building, so I had to quickly run it back to the car! Definitely not photographer-friendly!

To get into the building, we had to go through nearly the same ridiculous “security” that you have to go through at the airport. Before my turn came, I emptied all my pockets — cell phone, wallet, keys, coins — took off my necklace and belt, and stuffed it all in my backpack. My backpack was sent off through the x-ray scanner, while I had to walk through a metal detector. The lady running the scanner took a long time looking at my backpack — I have a LOT of stuff in there! Eventually I passed inspection, and was herded down the hall to the room where I have been sitting for the past hour-and-a-half, waiting to go to the courtroom to find out if I will be picked or not.

I need to take this opportunity to say a few words about this whole “security” issue. In the end, it’s neither security nor protection. In reality, it’s tyranny and terrorism. Fear and paranoia of terrorists have turned our government into terrorist themselves. Today they terrorized us who were called for jury duty by treating us like terrorists, making our bodies pass through a metal detector and our possessions pass through an x-ray scanner! This gives the term judicial tyranny a whole new meaning!

Does all of this “security” make me feel any safer? NO! All it does is make me feel abused and violated! When are we going to wake up and stop being so stupid — both us citizens who buy into the government propaganda and brainwashing, as well as the government itself!

Well, enough ranting — it’s time to go upstairs to the courtroom to see if I’ll be on the jury or not. I’m not allowed to use the iPad there, so it’s time to put this baby to bed!

OK, I’m back. Gosh! I’m in shock! It’s only an hour later, the jury has been picked, and I’m NOT on it! I’ll be back home by noon! Awesome! I’m happy to escape Big Brother’s clutches for the time being! Now I’ll be able to go to the first day of my class at the community college close to our house. But I’ll have to tell you about that on another day.

As I always say — every occasion is yet another photo opportunity! I wasn’t picked for the jury (thank goodness!), but at least I got some photos of the federal court building in Eugene.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 71
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