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If this is your first visit, welcome to my blog of memories and observations. If you wish to be notified of new posts, enter an e-mail address above, and click on "Submit." As we move through a seventh year of this venture, I thank all who have made regular visits, as well as fellow bloggers who have found Stomp Off worth linking to. Doing this sort of thing is time-consuming, but I try to post fresh material at least once a week—let me know what you think. There is a Commentary option at the end of each post and a Guest Book can be reached by scrolling down and clicking on the quill image. I welcome your observations, reaction and/or suggestions in either spot—or both. As for blog content, the most current posts are on the home page, starting at the top. Earlier items are listed by month, year and title in the archive index. To zero in on a particular key word or subject, use the search option that is located directly beneath the blog's masthead. Most images can be enlarged with a mouse click, and there are links to some of my favorite blogs, etc. Since visitors have come from 150 countries, a translator with numerous languages is located below. You can at any time revert to English with a click at the top left of this page:

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Wire sets me free...

I can't see Alaska from my apartment, but better still, there's Harlem.

Today the mailman brought me a check for three days of jury duty. You probably know how it goes, hours and hours of waiting, hoping they won't select you, but okay with it if they do. It's an interesting experience, either way.

On the first day, an officer of the court addresses the assembled prospects and explains the procedure. This one had a nice sense of humor and he ended his welcoming routine with a warning: "Please don't forget that this is Criminal Court. so mind your belongings." Come to think of it, that wasn't a joke.

Funny that they don't allow cameras—one has to check them downstairs—however, cellphones are no problem, even when camera-equipped. Laptop computers, many of which also have a camera, are also allowed, and the court even provides Wii web access. So not only can one take pictures in the court house, one can just as easily send them to YouTube, or any other place! There were quite a few laptops in the room on the first day, and even more on the second. I was pleased to see that Apples outnumbered the other kind, but that's a bias I have harbored since Steve Jobs hit a key and the first Mac said "hello"—25 years ago.

The Manhattan Courts are adjacent to Chinatown, so lunch was nice—I had a pizza on the first day and went noodle on the second. On the third, I was dismissed when I raised my hand in response to the prosecuting attorney's question: "How many of you have watched The Wire on TV?"

About ten of us had, and we were all set free within the hour!

Thank you, HBO.

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