Unfortunately, this one is going to be a quickie. In the not too distant past, this would be one of those “no update” days, but I made a vow to stick to the schedule, no matter what. So I’m pushing through, my friends. Even though I don’t feel all that great, and would like nothing more than to just sack out on the couch until it’s time to leave for work. Oh well. Enough of my bawl-baby bitch whining. Let’s get to it.
I can’t remember how it happened, but Publishers Clearing House is starting to take over my life. A year ago I don’t think I even knew they were still around, and now they’ve got their tentacles all up in everything. I don’t know for sure, but I think they sent me some snail mail saying I could already be a winner of $1000 per day for the rest of my life. And I foolishly provided them with my email address. You know, just in case. And now it’s gotten out of hand.
It started as an occasional message and has now ramped-up to about 25 emails per day. And I know, intellectually, that I’m not going to win anything. But I feel like I’m so far into it now… it would be a shame to maybe lose it all because I didn’t jump through just one additional hoop. So, I keep jumping.
They want you to search for things using their search engine. Or play games, like fake scratch-off lottery tickets and slot machines, etc. If you complete a certain number of games, and a certain number of searches per day, you’ll be given additional entries into the next $1000 per day drawing. Also, you receive “tokens” as you play ‘n’ search, and you can use the tokens to enter additional drawings that you’ll never win.
As I type this, I have more than 10.5 million tokens. I’ve entered drawings for pickup trucks, Amazon gift cards, Cracker Barrel gift cards, and many other things. And I haven’t won jack shit. But if I quit now… See how it goes?
Like I say, it started out with one email per day. But it’s like the Hydra, or whatever. You cut off one head and two grow back. Now there are so many goddamn heads I can’t keep up with it all. And I feel like an idiot for devoting any more than two or three minutes per day to it. But I keep searching, and I keep scratching, and I keep spinning. I’m pretty fast with it at this point. But still… it’s too much. I feel like a freaking idiot.
Do you have any experience with these insidious monsters? Please tell us about it.
Our younger son had to report to jury duty today. We haven’t heard from him yet, so we don’t know what’s going on. But I’m a little jealous. I’d like to be on jury duty every once in a while. I’ve only been called twice during my entire ridiculous life. The first time was for Los Angeles County, a few months after we moved to Pennsylvania. They allowed me to skip it, which was nice of them. And another time I was called to Scranton and sat in a room with a bunch of other people for about eight hours. I read an entire Dean Koontz novel that day. Finally, a judge came in and told us we could go home. Apparently, some kind of plea deal was reached, and they didn’t need us after all.
And that’s my entire jury duty experience. When I worked at Peaches Records in Greensboro I had to participate in hearings having to do with shoplifting in our store. We had a standing court date — like the second Tuesday of every month or something — and one of us had to appear. A few times I had to take the stand and be cross-examined by lawyers. Fairly unnerving. I also had to take two lie detector tests while working at Peaches, but that’s a different story for a different day.
Do you have any interesting jury duty tales to tell? If so, please use the comments section. Do you get called often? It seems like some people get called over and over, while others (like me) almost never do. What’s your input on this one? Anything? Also, have you ever had to take the stand, like in a freaking episode of Perry Mason? Tell us all about it, won’t you?
And finally, I’m going to West Virginia on Thursday. I’m going by myself, and it’s a long, long drive. But there’s an upside to it: I can stop where I want, eat what I want, and listen to what I want. These are all good things, often underappreciated.
Anyway, it got me to thinking about something. Somebody I work with told me they can’t sit in a restaurant and eat a meal alone. So they always get it to go. But I eat alone all the time, and it doesn’t bother me in the least. What are your feelings on this? How about going to a movie by yourself? I don’t do it, because I don’t go to movies hardly at all, but I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Please tell us your thoughts on this subject, if you’re so inclined.
And I’m going to call it a day here. Turns out it wasn’t a quickie, after all. Huh, interesting.
Have yourselves a good one.
I’ll be back on Thursday.
Now playing in the bunker
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When you are single – everything is done alone. Boo Hoo
I was called to jury duty once. I had to call in every morning to see if I had to go. I was never told to actually go to the courthouse.
I know someone who opens all spam and Publisher’s Clearing House type emails. She ended up spreading a virus all over the work computers on an entire floor.
Ginger Felice says
I love to eat by myself! When I was younger, I thought it made me look sad or lonely, but now I love it! Heck yes! Peace, quiet and food. Same with movies, shopping, long drives, what have you.
I have been called to jury duty exactly twice in my entire “of age” life (26 voting age years) and both times I was excused because I was the primary caregiver/stay-at-home mom with a newborn in tow (thanks, kids!). And even had I been able to attend, I would never have been chosen – I am extremely opinionated and I already know their guilty. Hahaha!
I hate to say it, but you need help with your PCH addiction. You are in danger of becoming one of “those” people! No one is standing on your front porch with a balloon bouquet and a giant check.
I have no problem eating alone. When I used to travel in corporate American, I could either order room service or go out and I almost always chose the latter. Now that I work for myself from home, I need to go out for lunch (usually alone) or I would never leave the house. That’s why restaurants have bars. But even if there’s no bar, a table for one will do.
I get called for Jury duty just about every year. I happen to be friends with the County Clerk, though, and usually just get it excused. Between my work travel schedule and my excessive vacationing there’s usually a flight or something that interferes with serving. That said… I just got a summons a few weeks ago and I have to go in for jury duty on Wednesday because my business partner is on vacation this week, which means I’m grounded at the office.
In my line of work I end up in court on a regular basis. I’m usually juggling a bunch of legal actions… 5 or 10 lawsuits/foreclosures/bankruptcies and I’m generally the plaintiff who has to take the stand. I’ve gotten pretty adept at dealing with attorney attempts at rattling me or trying to get me to step into some BS logic trap.
Also, given the amount of travel I do I’m pretty used to eating alone. Sure, I go out to lunch or dinner with counsel or contractors, but there’s plenty of times it’s just solo. I still would rather eat at a restaurant and watch a game than order room service and eat in a hotel room.
Jury duty was done… it was a guy who was asking for a jury trial over a $50 traffic citation for running a red light. They pooled 20 jurors at the cost of $6/each ($120) to decide a $50 citation. I was not deemed a good enough juror to make the cut.
Jury Duty!!! I have been called up so many times I finally wrote a note saying I feel I have fulfilled my civic duty for the rest of my lifetime, please no more jury duty.
I never got a reply but I haven’t been called since.
Chad Wallace says
I know the feeling! I was called 7 years in a row in Cook County Illinois. Obviously I have an enemy in the Clerk’s office there. Culminated in serving on a gangland murder trial at “26th and Cal” where the participants and jury are INSIDE bulletproof glass. That’s 2 weeks of my life I’ll never get back.
After moving to Central Illinois, I got called 2 more times by Cook County, and not so subtly told them to stuff it. I’ve been called a couple times here and I have a serious attitude problem when I go in the courtroom – I feel I’ve more than done my time and I basically tell the lawyers ‘seat me on a jury at your peril…’
Nothing wrong with eating alone. I have done it many times and usually end up striking up a conversation with an interesting person.
Jury duty is another story…. I can’t seem to win the lottery but I sure do manage to get called for jury duty on the regular! I usually get out of it by writing a letter. I went one time and got excused by the judge because I told him I didn’t think I could be impartial. I still got the money for showing up!
Ian the Errolite says
I once swayed a jury towards a guilty verdict. It was an assault case and the defendant was a real dick. I don’t think that the other jurors really cared one way or the other. It was my ‘One Angry Man’ moment. Think an agitated Henry Fonda!
Cathy W. says
I’ve been called three times for jury duty. The first two I had pre-school kids and no child-care available, so I was excused. The third time was like thirty-five years later, and I couldn’t do it due to health reasons. Kind of wish I had gotten a chance to actually serve. I was working at a convenience store when it got held up once and had to testify for that. A little nerve-wracking. I can barely eat in a restaurant with people, let alone by myself. :-/
Groovy Chainsaw says
I worked in a convenience store and got called for Jury duty back in the day. They wouldn’t sit me on any case because I knew every cop in town
I was called for jury duty twice and got myself excused (back when they would do that a lot easier). Then I was called for grand jury and had to call in for three days and then the recording said I was excused. And finally, last year I was summoned and had to go. As luck would have it I was picked for a malpractice case that ran for two weeks. I thought it would be horrible, but it was actually one of the best experiences of my life. Very interesting and they treat the jury like kings in court. One hour to one and a half hour lunches, breaks every two hours or so, and some off days where you don’t have to report. And I’m on salary so the $15 per day was extra!
When I was 14 years old I managed to walk out in front of a speeding motorcycle and luckily just broke my ankle in two places. Clearly my fault all the way. But my dad’s insurance company wanted to sue so I had to go on the stand and explain what happened. I’m pretty sure my testimony did nothing for the case.
I have no problem eating alone, but I think I need to limit that to fast food places only. And I don’t think I’d get reasonable enjoyment out of watching a movie alone. Heck, I rarely do that at home!
I’ve been to the movies alone a few times, but I only remember being alone, as in there was nobody else in the auditorium, once. I thought it was kind of eerie. It was for a matinee of Dogma.
I’ve always thought it would be interesting to serve on a jury, but it never worked out.
I have no problem eating a solitary restaurant meal. I just did so the day before yesterday, with a nice breakfast at the doomed Linda’s Cafe in Arlington.
WARNING: NOTHING FUNNY FOLLOWS:
I’ve been called to serve twice on county court proceedings. First term I served on two jury’s, I had a dog bite case and a rental payment dispute. Second term I served on one case. That one case caused our local newspaper to report after the verdict (in a front page headline) that the jury members may need mental health counselling.
We can not forget that there are sick people out there and need to be punished. I also know that the people that read this blog are probably smarter than the average jury pool member. Any of us could find ourselves being judged by our “peers” so please serve if called.
And that ends our evening sermon.
For a time I lived in the city of St. Louis. If you live in the city, you get called for jury duty at least every two years. Because St. Louis is a petri dish of murder, mayhem, malfeasance, and malcontents. The first time I got called we are in the courtroom and the prosecutor asks the room of about 200 people if they’d had ever had a negative experience with the police. Every black hand in the place shot up. And then they began telling their stories. And these weren’t just young men with face tats. These were 80-year old grandmothers. And this was at least 10 years ago before all of the well promoted protesting. It was eye opening.
When it was finally my time to take a seat in the jury box for individual questioning, they asked if anyone would potentially have a reason to not convict this guy accused of “trafficking” crack cocaine. Apparently you are trafficking if you have four crack rocks and not three, or some absurd standard like that. I raised my hand. They asked what my problem was. I asked, is this one of those instances where mandatory minimum sentencing is applied? If we find this guy guilty, is the judge not allowed to use any discretion where there might be extenuating circumstances? The answer was yes, mandatory minimums would apply in this case. I said I didn’t think it was very fair the judge would not be allowed to do what judges are supposed to do, which is apply a thoughtful measure of justice based on what had taken place. They asked if my opinion might keep me from making a conviction. I said I didn’t know for sure because I didn’t know much of the story, but that it might. Obviously they didn’t call me back. Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of crime and crack cocaine, but I am even a lesser fan of our industrial prison system and how it seems to be based more on profit than reformation. There doesn’t appear to be reformation at all in my eyes. Send a guy born into abject poverty to prison for 20 years for selling a few crack rocks, but murderers often get out in less than 10? And while he in there he gets a PhD in crime? Call me not a fan of that bullshit.
Eating alone in a restaurant? I will do it but only if I sit at the bar, unless it’s a place like Taco Bell. If I am a solitary person sitting at a table for four, it makes me wonder what accompanied diners are thinking of me. Geeze, that freaking guy is so repulsive he can’t find a single person to sit across from him while he mainlines chicken fingers? I’d much rather settle in with the dregs at the bar, or as I like to call them, my people.
I went to a movie by myself only once and I do not plan on doing it again. I need another person to help me mock the movie, or catch me up when a plot point has blown my fragile mind and I no longer understand what is happening.
I’ve been told I’m an introvert in an extroverts body. I love doing things alone. I figure nobody really gives a shit why I’m shopping, eating or at the movies alone. Why should they?
Within 2 months of living in South Carolina I was called for jury duty. The plaintiffs lawyer likened his client to Fred Sanford. I about flipped but then noticed the accused wasn’t wearing socks.
I got called twice. One was for Grand Jury which is all the way down on the ass end of Manhattan. I live in Putnam County, NY. The small, forgotten county mashed between Westchester and Dutchess. The first day I had to go, I went in the night before and stayed with my mother. The next day, I took a train at the crack of dawn. Then you get there and it’s a depressing sight. The other time was just calling in the night before.
I relish doing things by myself. When Beloved and I can’t coordinate a trip to Rhode Island and one has to go and/or stay I always act a little down but inside I’m doing a victory dance. A full weekend of alone time??? HELL YEAH. And in my younger single days, decades ago, I used to like to go have a glass of wine by myself and people watch.
madz, I have no doubt you’re a splendid-looking dame, but why do people watch when you drink wine? Do you dribble?
I think the bendy straw I use may give them reason to stare.
madz, could be worse . . . they’d throw your ass out of the place in Seattle for using a straw. Our ocean now has .0000001 per cent less plastic. It’s getting better all the time as McCartney said.
This will be the best exchange I read on teh innernets today, so thank you both for that.
Love Jury Duty, you can’t get anymore real life than seeing someone sent to the hoosegow (yep that’s the way its spelled.) for some stupid decision they’ve made.
I have had 3 summons for Federal Jury Duty in the last year and they have been cancelled the week before….bummer.
Root 66 says
I have been called to Jury Duty three times, but I’ve only served once. The other two times I was excused, because my employers wouldn’t pay for the time off. Anyhow, the one time I served, I was seated as an alternate juror on two separate trials. Being an alternate really sucks! You have to sit through the WHOLE trial, then you are excused and get no say in the matter at all. I desperately wanted to share my opinion (Oh yes–I have opinions!) in both trials, but wasn’t allowed to do so. Fortunately, the other jurors had plenty of common sense and made the right decision each time!
We got something from PCH about a year ago, and my wife casually
mentioned that she had “never messed with that her life.” Dutifully, I
signed her up for the big sweepstakes. The first three mailings she
completed and sent back. Just to humor me I’m sure, but I wanted
her to get the full experience. By the forth snail mail envelope, I had to
start reminding her to send stuff back by doing a creepy Ed McMahon
impersonation. I know he was with AFP, but I’ve always loved Ed.
Phil Jett says
Having worked rotating shift for the last 25 years of my life, I have no problem doing things alone. Eating I tend to sit at the bar and have met many nice people that way and a few idiots. Love going to movies during the midweek after working nights as long as school is in session. Cheaper by far and much less chance of a group of talkers in there. I’ve probably been to more than ten movies over the years with no one else attending. It is like your personal screening room. (None of those were porn either)
Jury duty twice. First one was a Federal case, I was jury foreman and it included most of the police department, Mayor and his secretary and several other city officials in a small city in Indiana. There was sex, indecent exposure, sexual harassment and during testimony it came out the Mayor was banging his secretary and his wife found out right there in court. The screaming that followed was like watching an episode of Law and Order. Lasted 2 weeks and I loved every minute of it.
The second time was local county and I had to call in every Friday morning for 8 weeks to see if I had to report the following Monday. About six weeks in I forgot to call on Friday (I had just gotten off nights) and of course I was supposed to report Monday. I got a call Monday afternoon from the clerk of courts telling me I was being charged with contempt of court and had until Noon Tuesday to come in and apologize to the Judge if I wanted the charges dropped. (We had been told that this would happened the first day we all reported to hear how it would work for those 2 months). I went in Tuesday and apologized, though I got the feeling the judge didn’t like the manner in which I did it.
I forgot to mention, “12 Angry Men” is one of my favorite movies. I even enjoyed the remake.
I saw a Russian version of “12 Angry Men” on DVD recently. Is that the one you’re talking about?