Monday, July 7, 2014



For today's post I decided to try something different. Instead of writing a long - though of course not boring - post on a single topic, here's a little pre-holiday mixer of random thoughts and rants. Have a great Fourth everyone!

Call Out: A list is posted each afternoon by 3 p.m. of appointments for the next day. The appointments can range from a class to an administrative meeting to a doctor's appointment but the upside - for those who don't particularly enjoy their job - is time off of work. Through artful planning, I have managed to avoid work this entire week. No weed whacking - yay!

Shout Out: Thank you to everyone who has been writing me, both new friends and old. I've fallen a bit behind on correspondence. JY: BFF! It was great to hear from you; glad all is well. NB: your letter was a pleasure and a reply is in the works. Remembering now our night under the pines at the dacha drinking cognac. CC from Kalamazoo

: thank you very much for reaching out. I loved your letter and will write back. Thank you also to everyone who has commented on my blog - both publicly and privately. I read each and every comment but limit my responses to avoid overburdening my poor mother, who has to cut and paste everything I write.

Scream Out: There's been a buzz lately around this place about prison reform. Don't get me started on the many ways our system of justice is broken. It's not about me - I deserve my time and got what I think is a fair sentence. But some of these poor guys I've met - friendly, good people who long ago paid their dues - have been warehoused here for years, even decades, for committing relatively minor drug crimes. It's as if society threw away the key and forgot about them. Many of these men have spent over half their lives in prison, at great cost to taxpayers. But now there may be hope: congress and the sentencing commission are considering reform and the possibility of clemency is in the air. Although it may be too much to hope for with our dysfunctional politics, let's pray something passes.

Guest Posts: I decided to open up this blog to others - how much can one guy write about himself, anyway? Several fellow inmates are hard at work on guest posts as we speak. They should appear soon. If anyone on the outside has anything to contribute on the topics of this blog I would love to hear from you.

New Warden: We're getting a new camp commander; our old fearless leader has retired. What that means nobody knows. I'll keep you posted.

Family Day: Monday is family day here at prison. Yes, even prison, it seems, has a family day. Games, prizes, treats and fun for all: it promises to be a veritable carnival. Unfortunately, my kids can't come; still waiting for that first visit. But it will be interesting to see what the day entails.

Fireworks: I've been told that we might be able to catch a tiny bit of the Lompoc display from the edge of camp. I hope so. I love fireworks! If not, the Air Force often shoots off rockets from the neighboring base. Those we can see (and hear) all too clearly. Other than that I'm hoping for a quiet long weekend without fights, confiscations or breathalyzers.

Holidays: Happy Fourth of July everyone. Holidays are for family, for being together. Our family had a wonderful tradition going every fourth. Not any more. Holidays are tough in prison, there's no way around it. I like the day off from work but I hate the separation, the loneliness. For those on the outside there are ways to reach out: organizations that do things on the inside for inmates. When I'm out of this place I plan to volunteer.

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