Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Civic Duty

We've arrived at the time of the year when I don't see much of the team any more.  They're studying for final exams and I usually have a lot of work-related travel in the spring time.  And to add to it, I've also had "jury duty".

For the readers of this blog who don't live in the USA, here's a short civics lesson:  In the United States, if you're accused of a crime, you have a right to a trial "by a jury of your peers".  In other words, the jury is made up of people randomly selected from the community.  It is not a judge or a panel of experts who decide whether someone is guilty or not, it's a bunch of plumbers, teachers, retirees, students, janitors and real estate appraisers.  Every few years or so, Americans get a notice in the mail notifying us that we've been selected for jury duty, and we need to show up at the court house to see if we make the final cut and end up on a jury, or if we're off the hook until next time.  Most people don't want to be selected for a jury. It takes a lot of time, there's no compensation, and it can be a real hassle and kind of stressful.  But being on a jury is fascinating.  It's a very interesting experience, and it's a grave task.  If you decide the accused person is guilty, that person could go to jail for a very long time. It's sobering to realize that our justice system puts its faith in the ability of a bunch of randomly selected people to make the right decision.  Anyway, our trial lasted more than a week, but in the end we decided that the guy was not guilty.

It was a drag to be inside the court house all last week when it was so sunny and beautiful outside and my friends were out skiing without me.  But I have managed to get out for some adventures around Alaska in the past couple weeks.  Alaska is a nice place to be if you like having fun.

Cannon Beach in Yakutat... a nice place to go for a run...
...if you're not afraid of the bears that also like running on the beach.

If you like driftwood bonfires on the beach, Cannon is your place.
I was hoping to do some surfing, but the waves were tiny.
This beach sometimes has great surfing.  But obviously not this evening.
Portage Glacier, near Anchorage

Hatcher Pass.
They're still grooming  the ski trail at Hatcher.
Lane Hut.

The snorkeling in Kodiak this afternoon was kind of miserable - cold and fishless.  But the hiking was delightful
Kodiak, Alaska; April 30, 2014; mid-afternoon.

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