Thursday, May 12, 2011


I got my first notice to appear as a juror the other day for Smith County. They'd sent a little map of where jurors can park for free without being towed or ticketed. So I thought I better go familiarize myself the two lots, rather than just waking up late and not knowing where to go. I also needed air in my bike tires, not that I'm finding any great biking trails or anything. If fact, I haven't really found much of a place I feel safe riding the bike yet, not like I had in Odessa, which was a wonderful place for that. From my house in Odessa, I felt unafraid to hop on the bike and ride all over the place just about. I'd generally go up to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, once or twice around it, and back home. What I liked about the whole route was that it was mostly flat and the streets were wide. Here in Tyler it's hilly and really can be a struggle to go up the hills, plus I don't feel at all safe riding some of the streets--they aren't wide, and the ones that even have markings for a shoulder for bikes are scary. Plus Tyler doesn't have sidewalks in most of their neighborhoods, so you have to ride in the streets. It's a risky business... Plus that's not even taking into account the hit-and-run cases I've already heard about in the local news. Let's face it, most people go nuts behind the wheel. It's not Duke Nukem Forever people, drive defensively and you'll live longer, and hopefully so will everybody else.

Anyway before I left I put some chicken breast in the crock pot to cook. I thought I'd eat one of the breast in a salad later on that night, and make chicken salad out of the other two for sandwiches. Chicken salad sandwiches last pretty well for the week, and are nice and cool and tasty during the summer.


I actually found a Chevron station here that has a "FREE", get that "FREE" air pump. Those most be on the endangered species list as most gas stations don't have them. They have these coin operated ones, that generally, aren't kept up, and don't work very well. Sort of a pet peeve of mine. So when I find a station that does have a "FREE" one, I'll certainly buy gas there instead of the competitors. Golly, remember when they actually had guys that would put gas in the car for you, and wash your windows, and chitchat with you? You didn't even have to get out of the car to pay. Boy, I'm getting old...

So after I got air in the bike tires, I headed downtown. Tyler's streets are a bit odd. Some have odd names, some are old-fashioned brick streets (which actually I think is sort of neat, but rough driving on), and then there are some one-way streets as well, so if you're a newbie, you have to look where you're driving. I found the first juror parking lot, and the entrance to the street was under construction, and it was a bit small. I think that one will fill up first. I parked my car there, and thought I'd walk around for some exercise. It was hot that day. Again, no sidewalks, narrow streets, so I have to walk in the street. One guy honks at me, I assume to warn me of his approach. I sort of halfway wave to acknowledge him. I continue on, and not much further along, this time I'm on a sidewalk, and old black guy honks at me, sort of waves, and drives by slow, sort of eyeballing me. I look back, and I think I halfway wave, but I thought he was going to stop for a minute and signal me over or something. If so, I would not have gone up to his window, I play strangers safely and give them distance. I still wonder what his game was--perhaps I'm over paranoid, and he was just friendly. But I get that way being in a strange environment.

I find the second juror parking lot, and it's larger, and not too far a walk from the court house. It's probably the one I'll use, and I'll try and get up early on that date to secure a park. Knock on wood.


At 4:27 PM, Blogger mikecombs said...

I get called every year here in Sherman. For a while, it seemed like every time I went through the process I got deeper into it, which made me fear the next time they'd seat me on a jury. But the pattern seemed to break, and last time I didn't even get past the first selection.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Mike--back in Odessa, I used to get called quite frequently too. I served on both criminal and civil trials, and once was appointed head juror (or whatever it's called). Back then, I didn't mind too much as it was a break from work, but in nearly every one, as the trials wore on, so did I. Overall, I take it pretty well. Thanks for stopping by.

At 3:42 AM, Blogger Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I cycle to work most days, so I rack up about 45 miles a week. It's my favourite way to get around. I'm pretty lucky: there's a cycle path which runs for half that distance along what used to be an old railway track. So it's safe. But once I get into the city I have the same trouble with drivers that you do.

Patch also loves to cycle too. But he got really unlucky back in '09 - he was knocked off his bike in a hit-and-run incident. His spine was fractured in 4 places. But he's still cycling, despite the fact he'll probably be on pain killers until zero hour.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Damn, Mosh, sorry to hear about Patch. That's my worse fear about cycling, hit & runs. (The same thing happen to Stephen King, and he was just walking several years back.) You have to think that if they hit someone and don't stop for aid or at least call in on a cell phone the accident, they have a criminal record or are drunk etc. People just can't be trusted, unfortunately.

I got out and rode a few days ago, but I'm still not to hip on riding where there's traffic. Cycling is a great thing to do however.


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