Jennifer D. Wade Journal

Welcome to my online diary, enjoy your stay!

Blog posts June 2007

I'll start at the beginning, which, in this case, is me taking the day off from work.  In the morning, the HVAC guys came over to recharge the freon in the AC unit.  It seems that all the freon they put in there last summer, leaked out over the winter.  Don't be surprised if sometime soon you see pictures of an air conditioning replacement project.

But, I digress.  After lunch, I decided to go to the movies.  By the time I left the house, I had just enough time to stop at the ATM and still get to the movie on time.  Off to the bank I went, only to find that someone was already using the ATM.  The setup is such that when you walk into the bank, you step into the ATM area.  You have to go through another set of doors to get to the tellers and other bank offices.  So, I waited in the ATM area while the woman finished.

Of course, since I was in a hurry, she had a problem.  She noticed me waiting, and apologized for the delay.  Used the wrong card, she said.  Whatever, just get finished, OK? (I did not actually say that, BTW).

As I'm waiting for her to use the correct card, an older woman comes walking out of the actual bank area, and she was walking kind of slowly.  I thought I would do the nice thing, so I stepped over to the outer door and held it open for her.  But, she didn't go out!  Seems she came out of the bank because she wanted to use the ATM!  When I told her that's what I was waiting for, she asked if she could go ahead of me because her friend was waiting in the parking lot yada yada yada.  By this time, the other woman was finished, so I said OK.  Fine.  Whatever. (I did not actually say that, either.)

The old lady goes over to the ATM, puts in the card, and proceeds to give a running dialogue of the instructions on the screen and just about every button she's pushing in response.  "What language?  English.  Which account?  Credit."  Etc. Etc.  Good Lord!  Consequently, when her transaction got rejected, I heard her say something like, "Oh, no!  What did I do wrong?"  You have got to be kidding me!

I figured I'd better step in, otherwise, I would be late for the movie.  I offered to help and went over to the ATM with her, listening again as she read each instruction on the screen and making sure she hit the right buttons.  Still, rejected again.  Guess what she said?  "Maybe I'm using the wrong card."

At that point, I basically said, "Let me use the ATM while you figure out what the hell you're doing." (not in those exact words, BTW)  It took about one minute to complete my transaction, and that's only because there's a delay while the receipt prints out and your card is returned.

As I left the bank, another woman had gotten in line (WTF?  It's 2:20 on a Wednesday!  What's the rush for the ATM?) and I think maybe she had taken over trying to help the older woman.  Good luck with that.

BTW, I did make it to the movie.  The previews had started, but I had about five minutes to spare before the movie started.  "1408" with John Cusack.  I give it a thumbs up!   

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Flooding Anniversary

We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of what my station has dubbed "The Floods of Oh-Six."  Sometimes, for variety's sake, we call it "the June fooding," but that will have to stop as soon as the current month of June ends.  In any case, it's a reference to the flooding that hit NEPA last year at the end of June.

In the Wilkes-Barre area, there were memories of Agnes and fears that the Susquehanna River would rise higher than the 41' now protected by the dike.  Ultimately, the river topped out around 34', but people living in certain areas were told to evacuate just in case.

I wrote about my experience HERE.

Speaking of Agnes, this weekend is the 35th anniversary of the flooding that devastated the Wyoming Valley.

I was only five years old during Agnes and living in an area that, as far as I know, didn't see a lot of flooding.  But, I do have a vague memory of a lot of rain.  I seem to recall asking my mother "Where is all this rain coming from?"  The answer, "Agnes."

HERE is some background info about the storm.  I haven't been able to find any pictures that show my current house in 1972, but I know it was hit. (The fact that I don't have flood insurance is one indication of how things have changed since then.  The dike has been raised to 41', and that's why I wasn't required to get the insurance.  HERE is a link to some other changes that have taken place after Agnes.)

Anyway, I was looking for some photographs on the web, and came across a couple of interesting things.  THIS LINK and THIS ONE have lots of contemporary photos and articles from that time.  And, HERE is a link to a special that WCAU-TV in Philadelphia did during the floods in 1972.  The special includes aerials of Wilkes-Barre along with pictures from Harrisburg and the Philly suburbs.  And, HERE is a recent story done by the folks at my former station to mark the 35th anniversary of Agnes.

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I Did Not Know That

The most interesting story in my newscast tonight was a :20 reader about a local chiropractor who got convicted in federal court on charges of mail fraud and tax evasion.

Here is what the feds said this guy did:  The mail fraud part had to do with him filing insurance claims and getting reimbursed for treatments that he never actually provided.  The tax evasion part had to do with him not reporting that ill-gotten income on his tax returns!

So, let that be a lesson to you.  No matter how you make your money, make sure the government gets its fair share.

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What's Goin' On?

The answer is, not much.  All things considered, it's been a pretty slow news week.  A couple big stories, but not a lot.

Yesterday, there was nothing on the night list - that's the list of possible stories for the night crew to cover.  Sometimes, when we say that there's "nothing on the night list," we mean that there is nothing on the list that's interesting or worth covering.  But, yesterday, there was literally nothing on the list.  That's nothing as in there was no list.

One of the more interesting stories of yesterday was the rape suspect who surrendered to police after more than three weeks on the run.  Turns out, he wasn't really on the run.  He was hiding in some sort of cave in the woods around Dunmore.  I didn't even know there were caves there, but I get the impression that it wasn't much of a cave.  Anyway, the guy was wearing the same clothes he had on the night of the alleged rape, but he wasn't wearing any shoes.  What happened, I heard, is that after a few weeks in his "cave," he got sick of roughing it, walked to a convenience store, called the police and told them to come get him.  He should do well in jail.  At least he'll get a shower and a change of clothes.

Another big story was the tornado that hit part of Lycoming County Tuesday night.  When the experts looked at the damage yesterday (mostly trees down and some roof damage), they said that it was done by an EF-0 tornado, the weakest tornado on the brand spankin' new ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE.  There was also some straight-line wind damage.

What struck me was that the graphics used by the TV stations in the market showed images of what would probably be at least an EF-4 tornado, more along the lines of the kind you see in the Midwest or in the movies!  Just an observation.     

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Pick Me - or Not

I completed my jury duty yesterday, and finished up in time to go to work.

The final day of jury duty began at 9 a.m. when the people who were on a list of names called out the previous afternoon showed up as requested.  Of course, this being jury duty, nothing really happened until about 9:30 when were taken in groups of 10 (due to elevator capacity) to a courtroom on the 3rd floor.  There were 46 of us all together; I was juror #38.

We sat in seats according to our number, then listened while the judge briefly explained the case.  He said it had to do with a man accused of resisting arrest.  Then, we were introduced to the players - the defendant, the lawyers, the witnesses for the prosecution (police officers), and the witnesses for the defense (which seemed to be pretty much the defendant and his wife).

After that, we were asked the same questions that we answered on the form the first day we reported for jury duty.  Based on our answers, some people were called to the bench for a sidebar with the judge and the attornies.  One man was quickly dismissed because he said he had difficulty hearing.  The rest of us were deemed suitable for service.

At that point, the lawyers set about choosing a jury of 12 and two alternates.  The selection proces involved the prosecutor sitting at her table, the defense sitting at a table behind her, and a court employee of some sort passing a list back and forth.  After about 30 minutes, a list of agreed upon jurors was arrived at.  I was not on it.

I and the other rejects were sent back to the jury assembly room to await further instruction, which turned out to be, "Thank you very much.  You can go now."

No, thank YOU very much.  I'll look for my $27 check in the mail. 

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My Butt Hurts!

The wheels of justice turn slowly, and my butt is paying the price.

I've been on jury duty for two days now, and those two days have been spent sitting on a metal folding chair, waiting for my name to be called.  It was finally called this afternoon, and I thought I would get to go up to a courtroom for a shot at sitting on a jury.  But, I (and everyone else whose name was on that particular list) was told to go back tomorrow.

This is the first time I've been called for jury duty and, I must say, it's not quite what I imagined.  I thought it would be interesting, but it's about the most boring thing I have ever done.

In the beginning, there were hopes it would be different.  On Monday, after the week's potential jurors had assembled in the jury assembly room, one of the judges came in and gave us a little pep talk.  Not only were we performing a VERY IMPORTANT SERVICE, he said, but we were here on a VERY BUSY WEEK.  He said the first few weeks of June are always busy with trials because NO trials are scheduled during July and August.  During this particular week, the judge said, seven trials (five criminal, two civil) were scheduled, so it seemed like we'd have stuff to do.  I should have realized differently when, as he was leaving, the judge said he'd be ready for a list of potential jurors in about an hour!

So, we would-be jurors (about 150, I'd say), waited.  Some of them mingled outside the assembly room; others, like me, stayed in the room, reading or chatting.  Sure enough, in about an hour, the phone rang and the court official soon read off a list of people who would go upstairs to a courtroom for jury selection.  My name was not on that list.

Not long after, the phone rang again.  Again, people were called.  Again, I was not among them.  So, after more sitting and waiting, those of us remaining in the room were allowed to leave for lunch.

The afternoon brought more waiting.  Some of the people who had been called upstairs in the morning had returned to the room.  They were not chosen to be an actual juror, so they were thrown back into the pool with the rest of us.  The only call that came in the afternoon was the one telling us we could leave for the day.

This morning, we returned to the jury assembly room.  And, once again, we waited.  And waited.  I sat on a metal chair and read some more.  I chatted with the young man sitting next to me, a Philosophy major who's off to law school in the fall.  I read some more.  I went out in the hall for a drink of water.  Finally, we were allowed to leave for lunch.

When we came back this afternoon, the court official read off a list of names - people who would be taken up to a courtroom for jury selection - when the judge was ready for us.  My name was on that list!  Then, another list of names was also read, but they also had to wait for a judge to give the word.  At last, I thought, some action!  But, that was not the case.  After about an hour, the phone rang and the people on my list were told we could leave but we have to go back in the morning.  The people on the other list were still waiting for their instructions.

So, how boring is jury duty?  In the words of one woman, "I never wanted to go to work so badly in my life!"  Yeah, I hear that.   

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Shower Area

Vanity Mirror & Light

Sink Area

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Pre-game Whine

Here we go again.  Time for the NBA finals and time for some more late nights over the next two weeks.  Coverage starts at 8:30pm.  But, if I recall from last year, tip-off was more like 9:20 and the games ended somewhere around 11:45, which means I didn't get out of work until 12:30am or so.

Some people who actually care about basketball were saying on the radio that San Antonio should win the series in 4 or 5 games.  Let's hope so.  The quicker this gets over, the better.  JMHO.

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Almost Finished

The bathroom project is nearing completion.  The biggest thing now is lighting, and I expect that will be taken care of this week.  The guys will also have to touch up some paint, fix a stubborn floor tile, and re-hang the bathroom door.  They may also have to take a bit off the bottom of the door so it clears the tile.  But, it looks a lot better than it did, no???


                       Then                                          Now

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