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Monthly Archives: April 2014

I got called to be in the jury pool for the past two days and I have come away with a few observations.

$10/day is a joke. They told us that it was set by the feds during the Truman administration and has never changed. A quick search shows that plenty of states have chosen to raise the amount/ If they were to raise it to even $40/day, that would get more low income people willing to show up, since it would be a less drastic hit to their paycheck. The fact that they provide bus tickets is nice though and, for the record,  I have a pass provided by my work so I told them I didn’t need any. This seemed to shock the lady handing them out and she thanked me.

I sat in a large room with probably 100 – 150 other people, most of whom had tablets or laptops. Ever hour or two a woman would come to the podium, announce names and assign that name a number, then an hour later those folks would disappear a bit only to have most of them come back after an hour. It felt a little like a P.K. Dick short story.

The first case I was called for involved a questionnaire. I was slightly concerned that I was the 3rd person called on my first day and was given number 219. The questionnaire was 5 questions dealing with my ability to be involved with a 36 day trial. I explained on the paper that missing that much work would result in my being unable to pay my bills or rent and that, while I was happy to fulfill my civic duty, I was unwilling to become homeless to do it. After 90 minutes, they saw the wisdom in my words and I was removed from contention in what I can only assume would have been an amazing case that involved murder and political intrigue. Seriously, if work would have covered my salary for the full time of the trial, I would have done it in a heart beat.

My second case was for a misdemeanor incident involving, effectively, someone supposedly not calling in to report to the officials during their work release. We 33 of us were questioned for about an hour. I was one of the randomly selected to be in the juror box and most likely to stay for the trial. It was expected to be a two day trial and I was kind of excited. The state prosecution spent more time asking me questions than any other person. We talked about my interest in law, the classes I have taken, my opinions on jury duty, my time as a bouncer, and if I was doing anything Friday night. Well, ok, that last one was wishful thinking (damn she was adorable) but we talked about more stuff than I do with most women on a first date.  The defense attorney started explaining in some detail what the crime in question was, asked general questions to the prospective jurors and when he got to asking if any of us had ever had dealings with homeless people, he just about shit himself when I said I used to be homeless. He asked me some pointed questions and seemed to be thrilled that I was there. After his time was up, the judge excused a woman that was 7 months pregnant from duties, and not 1 second after he said that the lawyers could now start recusing jurors, the prosecution said I could leave. I like to think that they were sweating when they said it, and that the defense was sad to see me go.

Today was a few more questionnaires but apparently my answers weeded me out of the three trials I was pulled for. The rest of my time was watching youtube videos and listening to music. All in all, not a bad two days. Best part is that I found out when I emailed my boss to let her know I was going to be out two days instead of one, that I actually got paid for the past two days *and* I get to keep my the $20. Not bad 🙂

I have started practicing more often with the singing and uke playing. Blake got me a guitar neck so I think I need to get over to Johnny’s soon with the rest of my bits and pieces and get at least one fucking cigar box guitar built so I can at least have something to play around with. First payday of the month I am going to finally just pull the trigger and pick someone off of Craigslist to see for vocal instruction. I can’t seem to get any references from folks and the one person that said she would do it never got back in touch with me. My goal is to be on stage singing this year, and not at karaoke. It will probably be open mic stuff but I don’t care, I need to get back on stage soon. I am doing some re-arranging of furniture in the apartment this weekend, so hopefully I will find the charger for my video camera and record a few shitty covers and get them up on my youtube channel. Every time I do that I become a little less frightened about performing on stage. Having fear on stage after putting myself in a raw edit for potentially millions of random strangers to see seems kind of silly 🙂 In the mean time, here is one of my old Soundcloud recordings.

This weekend was pretty nice over all. Friday evening I just stayed in and relaxed so I could make sure to get a full nights sleep for Saturday.

Saturday was super full. Saw a matinee of Captain America: Winter Soldier, which felt like a good action espionage film, like one of the Bourne movies. I think it may be my favorite of the Marvel movies now. Great action, very good special effects and some fantastic acting. I highly suggest seeing this movie. After the movie I met up with a nice woman that I met via OK Cupid. We were going to go to The Grill from Ipanema but I misread their website and we got there just as lunch ended. We wandered around for a little bit and then had lunch at Taco Del Mar. Talked for about 45 minutes about our respective animals then did some walking around. Had coffee and chatted for another 2 hours. She is a very nice lady but reminds me of a combination of myself and my mother so, while I wouldn’t mind hanging out with her in the future, I don’t really see any romance coming out of this. I was pretty pleased that I made it through a 3 hour date and didn’t have any kind of anxiety or panic attack and that I could keep things going conversation wise. It did feel odd to be on a date though. Looking forward to doing it again though. I then ended up at Blakes chatting about X-Wing Miniatures stuff and after a bit we wandered to Clever Dunnes to visit with folks. I managed to only have 1 drink and while I did end up getting really tired and calling it a night around 11 P.M., I had a nice evening with my friends.

Today was spent with a little morning gaming, a few hours at work, a Costco run, then more gaming at home and probably snacking too much. I have solidly broke out of the 360’s and have been sitting at 355 for the past week so I’m not overly concerned with my eating today. Costco has chia seed now so I got a bag to play around with it. I don’t have all the ingredients I need to make low card hot cereal (I need some ground flax which I forgot to get at Costco) but I did find a recipe for chia seed pudding. It takes 4+ hours to make, but I am having some now and it’s pretty good. It has a texture like tapioca pudding so it really hits that spot for me. I modified a recipe I found on line –

1/4 cup chia seed

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (40%)

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

a few squirts of liquid stevia

Put all ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar, put the lid on and shake the crap out of it. Stick it in the fridge for at least four hours. Get spoon and put pudding in mouth hole.

Very easy recipe and terrifyingly filling. Chia seed is a ‘superfood’ with Omega 3 fats (the shit your heart needs) and an insane amount of protein and calcium. Tests are inconclusive on the idea of it being a weight loss miracle, but with it’s properties of becoming gelatinous and swelling to 10 times it’s size when introduced to liquid, it could prove to be a potent tool in my war on carbs.

Now it is time for bed where I shall read some P.K. Dick and be mildly concerned that my dreams aren’t noticeably weirder for it.


Yesterday was a pretty decent day all around, except for where I had to force myself to puke while at work so as not to get serious food poisoning. Apparently the mayo I had used to make my tuna salad for lunch was off. I can promise that I won’t be eating tuna for a few weeks.

After work I got a double length walk in with Blake. We went up to his place and played the X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter miniatures game. After two games of that I am now hooked and will be buying a mini a week until I have a full squad built up. The quality of the plastic minis is really impressive and the game play is very smooth. Any more of you play this? I would love to get a monthly night for this together.

Ended up being at Blake’s a few hours later than planned so once again I didn’t get in bed until about 11, and was asleep by 11:30.  That coupled with general body blahs from the food poisoning, I *really* want to take a mental health day and just be lazy, but I think I can muddle through. Any way, I have become fond of the walking to and from work for some odd reason.

I am going to go see a matinee of Winter Soldier on Saturday at the Regal cinema downtown. Anyone interested in joining me?

Got all my paperwork filled out and turned in at work, so I am now a full time employee at Megapath, no longer in support but on the team that handles back-end processing of cancellations and additions of new services. It’s boring and tedious and requires an eye for details so pretty much right up my alley. I can listen to music while I do it, so the days really do just seem to zip by. I also have medical / dental / vision coverage for about 1/3 of what the contract agency wanted for just medical that only covered emergency situations. I also get 17 days of PTO over the year which is the first time I have had paid vacation time in ages. Perhaps I will get to use it at this job. I already have a line on a primary doctor but I could use suggestions for a dentist and an optometrist, preferably walking distance to Cap Hill.

My laptop has been having problems with the wi-fi for about a month now, to the point where it doesn’t connect any more at all. I couldn’t find a disassembly guide online for it, but I have done this enough times with other laptops that I was able to get it open in about 10 minutes. I pulled the card and as I disconnected the antennae from the card, the lead for one of them popped off. A quick examination showed that the connection had no solder and was glued in place, so I think I found the problem. I was able to find a replacement for the card on Ebay for $8 and I should get that by Friday with free express shipping. I expect that my lappy will be back up and running this weekend. During the process I also discovered that I have a ram slot open so I will be filling that in a few paychecks.

I have been chatting with a lady via OK Cupid and we have a coffee date for this weekend. I think I will see if she wants to meet downtown after I see Winter Soldier. She is a litle older than me but we seem to have a similar mindset and some similar interests. if worse comes to worse, it will be a nice practice date.

I have just enough time to get a little bit of gaming in before bed time. Have a nice evening folks.

Tonight was fucking brilliant. You all know who you are.

Got my paperwork today. It’s not what I wanted to be making but it boils down to me taking home what I am making now, having medical/dental/vision, a bus pass, a standing desk at work, and my parking spot at home covered. I can’ complain too much. I finish the paperwork on Monday. I also go from being paid every week to every other week which should help me with my budgeting.

I am still not seeing any change in my weight, seem stuck at 360 (+/- 5lb on any given day) but I am seeing a definite physical change in my belly. It has gone from a hard and tight gut to becoming lose and floppy. Not particularly attractive, but it does mean that I am losing fat. The standing desk should help accelerate this. I *really* want to get my bicycle into a shop, tuned up and an 8 speed hub put on it now. It has a 3 speed on it and I think I would just wreck my knees trying to get from work up the hill to home. I think a good tune up is going to run me about $100 and getting the hub replaced another $300. I also want to get an electric assist motor for it which will run about $500 to put on it. With all of that I can realistically use it to get me all over town, even doing small grocery runs. Then I would only need my car for Costco runs and going to peoples houses outside of Seattle. If anyone has the urge to do anything for my birthday, I would happily take donations towards getting that done.

Tomorrow has  a BBQ planned with part of my old McGurn family. It’s going to be a small get together doing some catching up with folks and I am really looking forward to it. Sunday is Wrestlemania 30 and I am actually kind of excited to watch it. I should make some kind of taco salad to have for dinner while watching that because, fucking taco salad.

Life is continuing to not suck.


About halfway through work yesterday my throat started feeling sore and I was feeling drained. On the way home I ended up almost blowing out a knee due to some stairs. Got home and whimpered for a little while then passed out. Woke up at 6 a.m., passed out again until about 7 a.m., took a shower and had some tea and realized that I had a low fever and my throat was still hurting. Called in sick, took a weapons grade dosage of NyQuil and went back to bed. Woke up for about 20 minutes around 11 a.m., and now am up again, feeling a touch foggy and my throat is a little sore still but the fever seems to have pretty much faded. Going to do some chores around the apartment and try and get another 10 or 11 hours of sleep in hopes that it will knock this shit out. First though, a gallon of water and some fucking eggs with a shit tonne of garlic in them.

I got my first batch of refrigerator pickles going tonight. Sadly I waited to long and the green beans are of a sketchy quality, but the asparagus should be good. I have one pint jar of that, and two of garlic going. Both should be ready for consumption by the little get together that I am going to on Saturday. I am most looking forward to the garlic since I adore pickled garlic. If this works out well, I will have to start doing some shelf stable jars and just go apeshit on produce on my next Costco visit.