Prison Pete

Friday, December 31, 2004
  Pastor's kid.
It is now noon on Monday. I still have not spoken to Mom and Dad. I got out early yesterday for my one hour free time. Today it will be later, so maybe I can get through then?

If I bring up some church-related topic, Dad and I can talk just like the old days. Yes, being the pastor's kid was always a comfortable relationship between Dad and me.

I remember kicking some of my father/son issues around with one of the chaplains at Club Fed and he said I should try to separate the Pastor/Parishioner relationships away, leaving just the Father/Son. Unfortunately, once you stripped out the P/P, there just was not much F/S left. Enough on that for now.

With dinner here being done by 5:00 PM, it does seem like forever till 10:00 PM. Over the past several days I have spent most of that time reading and nodding off. So tonight I have parked my tail on the floor, folded back my mattress, and I am now writing using the bed as a desk.

I will now start a post that is a response to the blog comments I got. Then I will begin to rewrite my drafts of the last few days.

I spent some more time in the law library and found some cases that may have some bearing on my appeal. Nothing earth-shattering yet though.

Okay, so I think I have done it. I hope this letter is more readable than usual. I have pretty much been writing this stuff for three hours. I will mail this out tonight and rewrite my various chicken scratch stuff for tomorrow. I am definitely going to keep up the neatness.

The only downside for now is the lack of a dictionary, so if you do farm some of this stuff out for typing, my poor spelling will be obvious. But hey, if I take my time, even that should be less of a problem.

Hey, what naked pictures on Deep in My Mind? You only sent me four pages! The printout said "Page x of 9"? I know you are a busy bee and I will wait sort of patiently for whatever you have time for.

PS I loved the NY Times articles. Real words. Not your average NY Daily News piece.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
  Massive overtime.
I might as well fill up this page since seven pages are one ounce.

It is slightly ironic that my theory of "it is all relative" sneaks into the mainstream media. In Thursday's newspaper there was a story of the massive overtime that jail guards made at another NY County jail. Thirty-two officers had over $50,000 in overtime each. That jail has 1,168 employees and 1,582 inmates! They are under Federal oversight and I believe the place where I am is too.

Compare that to Club Fed with over 2,000 inmates and less than 400 employees. Methinks I smell a rat. The point is that unless one constantly looks at the big picture, others will willingly spend your money for you. They say the overtime will reach $24.4 million. Hey, that was the entire payroll for Club Fed!

I am going to have to calm down. I will take my time writing and may even do drafts. Horrors! I have so much time. It will just take a bit to realign my so called life since my three hours out of my cell slides through different times each day, and the one hour Rec may come before, after, or even during that time. Meals start at 6:00 AM and are done by 4:30 PM, so the evenings are long. But as I said, I do anticipate that I will begin the sleep/write cycle.

Today I ended up eating two plates of beef stew, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I finished the second of the two M&M's I got this morning. So much for self control.

We "shop" on Monday and Wednesday, so I will have to wait till next Monday when my funds will hopefully arrive. I did buy four envelopes, two pens, and one pad so you should get another two mailings before next Tuesday. By then I should also get some letters from you.

Well that is all for now. I am off to do some book reading. My belly is more than full, so perhaps I will end up dozing off.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
  Beaded Curtain.
It is 6:00 AM. Breakfast has been served and all is quiet. Unlike Club Fed, no one goes to work here, so once the few inmates leave for court it is quiet until well after 10:00 AM. I am enjoying the peace.

I am reading Hidden Talents by Jayne Ann Krantz. I came across the following. The leading lady, Serenity, has a glass bead curtain around her bed. The beads are multi-colored and "tinkle" when they touch each other. Sounds interesting. The morning light shines through the beads, providing a mix of colors across the bed.

Here I sit in a 6' X 8' cell. Three sides are solid steel and the remaining side is traditional one-inch steel bars. Six feet away is another wall of bars, and five feet beyond that are some windows made of frosted glass with bars and steel mesh.

The sun has not yet started to brighten the glass. My cell is illuminated only by ghastly fluorescent lights that are hung from the ceiling at a 45 degree angle behind the second set of bars. So the only color my light provides is the yellow tinge of fluorescents and later on, the added glow of sunlight through frosted glass and wire mesh.

Instead of the tinkle of glass beads, I hear the clanging of the two foot wide steel cell gates sliding open and closed throughout the day.

Glass beads, tinkling, throwing a rainbow of colors across my bed, a member of the opposite sex cuddled up against me "to sleep, perchance to dream."
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
  A reminder that life is not fair.
Well another day and breakfast has been served. Today I received an extra cup of pineapple juice. Life is good.

The tier rep, who happens to be in the cell next to mine, asked me if I was staying awake. I said yes, and he asked me to wake him at 9:00 AM. I said okay, and he handed me an extra package of Cheerios!

It is around 7:00 AM now I think, although I have no direct view of a clock. But I know the shift change is at 7:00 AM and a new CO just walked by.

About the tier reps: being the tier rep puts you in the enviable position of giving out the food. Any extras (and there are always extras) are yours to keep!

The way it works around here is the juice comes in two or three half-gallon containers each day. The tier rep and the assistant tier rep each take one container, and the third one is doled out to those few people that are actually awake.

That is one reason I get up each morning at 5:30 or 6:00 AM, for a half cup of juice. Sometimes like today I even get some extra. Ah, the little things in life.

As I have written before, life is not fair and the way food is passed out here is a prime example. Unlike Club Fed where staff constantly supervises the distribution of food, here it is all done by your fellow inmates.

If one manages to piss off the tier rep or is viewed as a "weakling", well getting your proper portion could be problematic. It is not nice to screw with the tier rep!

Sunday night dinner was baked chicken. The thigh and leg I got was about two times the size served at club Fed. Rounding out the meal was a scoop of mashed potatoes, some sliced baked carrots, and a fig fruit bar for desert. I could get used to this room service.

I have to slow down or I will gain all the weight I have been fighting to keep off. But I have to acknowledge that two out of two meals were great. I am sure this will not last. Hot dogs and a few mystery meat meals are to follow, but that is okay. I can easily skip those for the good ones.

Well, it is now Monday, Okay, so today's lunch was not a winner. It was a breaded mystery meat patty, mixed vegetables, and peas.

We had just come back from Rec, which occurs in a small yard, but it is satisyfing enough just to be able to walk outside walk and breath some fresh air. So having revved up my metabolism, the lunch "tasted" great.

Which brings up the old joke: What is the prize for guessing the contents of a mystery meat patty?
Answer: The antidote!

On a more serious note: I realize this is the time of year your Dad died, and I guess that thought always tempers the joy of the holidays. I know your Dad would be proud of your parenting and probably smiles each time one of your sons drives you crazy.

I do not remember a specific time, but I do have this general picture of the times your Dad would be slightly pissed at you for some minor chore or something you failed to do, and then he would tell me how much he loved you but sometimes you drove him crazy!

I have said this before and I guess it bears repeating here: I will always remember the times your Dad treated me as a son. You were blessed to have him around a lot more than I had my Dad, and I know his love is alive inside you and the time and effort you spend on your sons. They are truly blessed to have you as their Dad!

Take care of your family, I know you do, and live each day to the fullest. Celebrate life!
Monday, December 27, 2004
  Lunch in the County Jail in New York State.
Although I only had two meals yesterday while in transit, I have now had two meals.

I thought I would start this new part of my journey on an upbeat perspective. How can I do that you ask? Well, let us just say that I have lowered any and all expectations, and as long as I can keep that perspective, anything I receive will be a plus.

Those of you faithful blog readers are probably saying I bet this will last all of two minutes! Well, time will tell.

Since I have a lot more time now, I will be hopefully doing a lot of writing. I have pledged to my Editor that I will try to slow down and improve the readability factor.

So far the food here has been wonderful. Breakfast here consists of coffee, peanut butter and jelly, prepackaged single serve boxes of dry cereal, a half-pint of 1% milk, and juice. It is served between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM daily. If you are not awake, you will not get your half cup of juice. This is real juice straight from the box.

When breakfast came today at around 6:00 AM, I had not had anything to eat or drink since my special pizza lunch at Dulles Airport. First they brought coffee, which I have never developed a taste for.

Two boxes of Frosted Mini-wheat's arrived next, and I ripped open the first one and didn't even wait for milk! Then came the juice, which is delivered to the tiers in two or three half-gallon containers. The tier rep, a fellow inmate, pours it. Today I had apple juice for the first time in years! Oh we occasionally had juice at Club Fed, but the taste of this properly reconstituted chilled apple juice was such a "new" taste sensation.

I got a whole loaf of wheat bread to hold since they sort of give out enough so that each inmate can have his own loaf. So breakfast ended up being Frosted Mini-wheat's, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and one pint of 1% milk. Yum Yum. Cheap peanut butter can taste good when one is hungry, and we get healthier wheat bread to boot.

Oh wait, I was going to talk about lunch. Lunch was a generous scoop of tuna salad with two more pieces of bread, a quarter-wedge of tomato, and some lettuce. Hey, we never got that big a tomato slice at Club Fed! And another pint of 1% milk! Not bad.

I get to sit in my cell all day. "Room service" delivers meals, and even the commissary is delivered. So the two major things that I waited in line for at Club Fed, food and commissary, are now delivered to my cell.

Yeah, for now my mackerel and rice brain-food diet is still on hold, and we will leave it to you all, the readers of this blog, to see if you can tell the difference. Well that is it for now.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
I just got back from Rec. I walked for a bit and then listened in on a conversation between two queens. One has done time upstate and at least the shower stories seem to be true. No individual stalls. Razor blades hidden inside the mouth to be ready to slash someone.

Since they do not read my mail, can you find some basic Linux stuff on the web? Maybe that will be one of the pleasures of my solitude. I know it is always better to be able to do programming examples, but maybe I can get a handle on the rudiments of Linux.

I also thought now might be a time to try email some responses to posters. I will have to print nice and you could just scan and send it as an image file. Would that work? Yes, they would see my unedited writing, so that would show all the work you have done!

Well, I am going to send a letter to Mom and Dad and will add the closing to this in a bit.

Letter to Mom and Dad done. Dinner served tonight was beef stew. I ate two plates. It was not all that good, but several steps better than Club Fed. This stew had real beef, not the gristle stuff Club Fed had.

I am going to talk to one of the gay/queen guys about giving me some stuff that we might include on the blog. I am not sure if it will be worth posting or not.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
  Stark living.
I am off the phone and I have taken my shower. Since I got my commissary order, I had Dial soap, shampoo, and flip-flops. It sure beats barefoot and lye soap!

So now I am writing to you with the rest of my out of cell time. I am sitting at the table in the Day Area. The cells are 6' X 8'. There are twenty of these cells.

There are five tables, each sitting four in the Day area. For three hours each day, four or five inmates are let out to roam up and down the Day area, shower, and use the phone.

In addition, or as part of the three hours, you get one hour of outside Rec. That has not happened yet today.

I guess life is getting brighter for you with the approach of Christmas.

I am enclosing the commissary list from here. The mackerel is apparently a vacuum-pack deal. I have not purchased any yet. I am going to try to make do with the food they serve here, but I did buy two bags of M&M's Peanut along with the above mentioned items. I was saving the M&M's, but I ended up opening the pack after our phone call.

This is really stark living in terms of creature comforts. They used to allow inmates to have a cassette Walkman, but no longer, so the real black hole will be audio.

I can see the TV from my cell, but hearing it is another story. So I will write.
Friday, December 24, 2004
  Air quality.
Despite what one of the other inmates said, we did not get to the law library yesterday. Apparently they have upgraded the single computer to a network of six computers with Federal and fifty states law. All fifty states! What I need desperately to do is see if there are any new NY state cases dealing with my "double punishment" issue.

I am sitting on pins and needles. It had sort of escaped my mind that one of the benefits of coming back to NY would be the computer/database access to case law. Now to find it is a six-PC based system and probably all on hard drives as opposed to last time when I had to swap CD's around.

So I am sitting around waiting for the call. We usually get just one hour a week, and since we did not go yesterday, I hope we will not have to wait till next Sunday.

The sweetest thing now would be to find some new case law that has a positive outcome and be able to send it to the court before they have issued their opinion. Tick tock, tick tock. Well let me read for a bit more.

It is now 9:00 PM here, and I am getting a full-blown cold, my nose is running, etc. Lovely. The air in here sucks. I have two vents on the back wall of my cell but the "hold-up-toilet-paper" test fails to show any air movement in or out. So if you live in a box with three solid sides, what type of air exchange do you get?

Further, the hot air heat that blows in the outer walkway is only turned on by the CO when he gets cold. So there is no active air movement here. Let's see: over forty males using toilets, etc., no active air exchange, room temperature above 80° and Bingo! Guess who gets sick! Not to mention that lying down tends to produce a coughing fit from post-nasal drip.

BTW I found out that I can receive books by mail, so go ahead and send five more books please. I am going to need some TLC-type reading if my cold worsens. Hmmm...perhaps that could be another post.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
  Live from New York.
Here I am, live from New York. Yes folks, we are not at Club Fed any longer, and as expected, there is no work and limited recreational activities so I will be locked in a cage here for most of the day.

The first bummer is that it seems the only way to get books is have them delivered in person. And only five at that!

The visiting procedures for unscheduled visits is different here, with the time and day based on the first letter of the inmate's last name. You can also call ahead for reserved visits Monday to Friday. The visiting for me is even days, but only when they fall on Tuesday through Saturday.

I am only allowed two visits per week. I am sure that will not be a problem since Mom and Dad and you are only people who would visit, and I do not think they would stay for three days to get two visits. If you can figure out some way to visit, that would be nice, but at this point I am not sure if it would be a good use of your time.

I am wondering if Mom and Dad could get some special consideration due to distance traveled, but I am not really sure. Since they can come and visit their friends in the area, it might be something they can live with.

Since books are out, phone calls are collect, and visitors doubtful, that leaves me with plenty of time to write. By the way, the mail is not read here going in or out.

So my thought is to begin to write two different things. One: stuff for blog, the other, research for a book. I will practice writing specific issue-type postings that describe the day-to-day goings-on that can be posted now, and more personal stuff we will just hold to later.

For example, one thing I noticed is how the CO's here use "FUCK" as punctuation, noun, verb, and adverb. Last night I said "Excuse me, CO..." and he flipped on me and said "DO NOT INTERRUPT ME WHEN I AM FUCKING TALKING!" Hmm, I thought I had started talking when he was not otherwise engaged. Such is life.

We had Rec already this morning at 8:30 AM and besides me, only one of the other eighteen inmates went out. We talked a bit. According to him, we should get to go to the law library today. Only for one hour, but at least they have computers, so I can see if there has been any new case law in my favor! I know there has been no negative stuff or DA would have used it by now. So that is something to look forward to.

The faces of the CO's are all too familiar. There seems to be very little turnover here. So much to say, but I am still a little disoriented.

They have two TVs that are outside the bars but are only completely viewable from five of the cells. Since the place is all terrazzo floors and the cells have sheet steel walls, the acoustics are horrible and the sound bounces all around.

I was left in the holding area extra long last night. What a wonderful life. I do not have a watch in here and the only clock is way up on the other end of the tier. I was having an asthma attack last night, and all I know it was some time between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM.

The dimmer for the fluorescent lights is allegedly broken, so they leave the lights on all night. Good thing I can sleep through anything!

The one thing that will be interesting is that if reading is limited, but if I am sort of tired, well maybe writing slowly can become as relaxing and my letters more readable. Well let me see what happens at the law library.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
  Okay here is my thought.
#1, I will write all letters to you in slow hand. One letter at a time. I will either write posts slowly or do a draft and rewrite.

Today at around 4:30 PM I received your latest letters. I also received five books. I now have enough to keep me busy for a while, so do not send any more books until I say so. The problem is if I am taking my time to deliver to you readable letters, I have no time to read.

I cannot tell you the emotional lift the latest blog postings gave me and I will hopefully capture some of it in the following posts. I would suggest for now that you simply scan my letters. I am hopeful that I will have access to a typewriter so I can type my letters.

If you get an unreadable letter or post, return to sender! I know I excuse my messy writing due to stress, ADD, and poor fine motor skill, BUT I also realize that part of it is a lack of respect for your time. Certainly this letter so far is readable and truth be told there is no reason all my mailings to you cannot be at least this quality.

So do not put up with my lazy ass but at the same time I am not laying the responsibility for this on you. I am saying that if I slip and send you a mess, simply return to sender. Again, I am sorry!
Friday, December 17, 2004
  The first letter from the new place.
I want to thank all my readers and commenters for keeping up with my writings. I spend most of my time now locked in a 6' x 8' cage and have pledged to become much neater in my writing. Perhaps my trusty Editor can post a portion of this post against some of my messy attempts. Perhaps if I am able to keep the neatness factor up, we could use some of the volunteer typists?

Also, if I can write so it is more readable, he can simply scan my writing in and email it for those of you that have offered to be Pen Pals!

Today was a great day since I received three separate mailings: two letters and one package of five books. In addition Mom and Dad sent in some 100% cotton towels and T-shirts! What a treat!

So now to the comments:

Yes Cinny, one can have "up" days in prison. Today was a real up day. I finally got to see the doctor and will finally be issued my asthma inhaler. He apologized for not seeing me sooner. I have been here ten days. He did agree to prescribe a multivitamin since I cannot buy them here.

Then I spend an hour in the law library. They actually have a network of eight computers and two printers that are hooked up to the Internet! Before you all start ranting, we are locked into only one web site.

The site is loislaw.com and has all 50 states and Federal case law and statutes. The good part is it uses Boolean logic so you can do some pretty cool searches. This system is probably cheaper than maintaining all the different legal books! So for one hour each week I can be a computer nerd!

Then I received my commissary order and ate mackerel for lunch. First time in ten days. I mixed it with the plain tri-color pasta that came for lunch. The mackerel is in a pouch instead of a can, but otherwise it is the same. True, I cannot mix and cook it the way I am used to, but at least now I am getting the protein. Plus the abovementioned mail, and yes, it is an up day! I will deal a gain with "faith" in another post!

Christine - Thanks for the kind words!

Jen - The things we can buy varies from prison to prison. In some places, the commissary is run by an outside organization and could be cheaper. I do not know if the list has actually been posted, but things are more expensive here than in the Feds. For example: mackerel here is $1.50 vs. $1.25 at Club Fed. M&M's are $0.65 vs. $0.55.

Mister Underhill - see previous postings on prison food. I will dedicate a new post to that subject soon! As far as limits, yes at Club Fed you could not spend more than $295 a month ($50 extra at Christmas time) and were limited to 300 minutes of phone time, which you had to pay for at $0.23 a minute.

Hey Miranda, the $.50 mac & cheese was not a box but rather a single-serve envelope. Single serve for a child, that is. The peanut butter was "cheap" Keefe Brand and only a 1 lb. jar!

Mister Underhill - Martha's actual in-prison time is really pretty standard. The camp system has the fewest officers, and I am sure she does not have a staff member assigned to her. What is different for her for sure is that when she leaves prison she will have a few dollars in the bank, a job to go back to, and not one, but three or more homes to spend time in. Most prisoners leave with none of the above!

Miranda - Yeah $5 million seems like a lot, but remember, if no one buys it, then... I do not know how many people caught the fact that Wal-Mart’s sales were less than expected over Thanksgiving. Do not forget the power you all have as consumers! Please explain why anyone would give your hard-earned money to Martha Stewart for a book about five months of her life. Maybe no one will buy it! Save your money for my book!

Summer - yes, it is all about friends.

Jonathon - Great post on freedom (11/24). Again, I am not trying to whine, I just like to show others all sides of prison!

Annabel - Yeah the time and effort thing. I guess what makes this easier now is all the comments I have been getting. This post has been in the writing stage for over two hours, so hopefully it is more coherent and readable for the Editor!

Writing, and I mean good writing, has no shortcuts or magic formula. And if it was easy, everyone would do it! Again, kudos to all my readers for recognizing my efforts!

11/28 - Thanks for the comments. I am glad I can show each one out there how much they have to be thankful for. But I still say no one who is "free" and law-abiding should have to sweat the basics in life.

Also, perhaps at some point I can start the debate on who should be behind bars and for how long, and are there alternatives that would allow those found guilty to take a more proactive role in their own "rehabilitation."

Zahra - I do not dwell too much on specific inmates so far, since I have spent a lot of time talking about the "system" and my personal journey. I do have plans to perhaps share individual stories of how some inmates willingly accept their responsibility and make a real attempt to change their lives in prison. My current location in the county jail has twenty very different and unique individuals, and I will do some character bios in the future.

Rance et al, re: the hanging. I am not sure if I was clear in my post, but the opinion of a few of my fellow inmates was that it was not a suicide!

Okay, five pages of mostly readable text. I will mail it out tonight. I will not always respond in this style, but I thought it might be different to have the remarks come full circle.

Coming soon perhaps are scans of my handwritten replies to individuals. If you would like to correspond on a one-on-one basis, just drop a line to the Editor and he will send you a "starter" message from me to see if that is something in which you would like to participate!
  Thanks for the help!
[Editor] Thank you Annabel and Cary for typing Pete's recent letters from NY State prison!

I really don't want the blog to die, but I have been stressed out lately and I just haven't had the time to keep up with it.

As if I didn't have enough to do, my computer died on Wednesday and I had to start from scratch and reinstall everything. Luckily I had backups and didn't lose anything except for something I can't replace - my time!

Following shortly will be Pete's replies to some of the comments on this blog.

Monday, December 13, 2004
  What Happened to Prison Pete?
[Editor] I apologize to the readers for leaving you in the dark, but maybe the question should be "What happened to the Editor?" Nothing bad, don't worry. Just busy. And maybe a little burned out too. But more about that later.

So where is Pete? As regular readers know, Pete was released from Federal Prison at the end of November 2004. Unfortunately, he was released into the custody of the NY State Police, and he is now in a NY County jail awaiting transfer into the NY State Prison System.

His NY State appeal is pending, and at this point he is still not sure how long he will remain incarcerated. At worst, it could be another 5-7 years before he is a free man.

In the last two weeks, I have received two phone calls and three, 8-10 page, handwritten letters from Pete. He has a lot to say, and he has even replied directly to many of the recent comments on the blog.

He is physically well, but very bored. I don't know if he is in range of a National Public Radio (NPR) station, but since at the moment he has no radio or headphones anyway, it's kind of a moot point.

The prison population, at least in the county jail where he is (temporarily?) being held, is much smaller than that of the Federal Prison in Vest Virginia, so consequently, there is no work program and the inmate recreational activities are limited to watching TV, reading, or writing. As Pete would say, yes, I know, tough life, I am in is prison.

So what happened to the Editor? Between work and home I have a lot going on in my life right now, and I have not had time to type Pete's letters and maintain the blog.

Pete recently told me that one of the "good" things about NY prisons is that he is allowed to keep a typewriter (valued less than $250) in his cell. It is significantly easier and faster for me to scan and post his typed letters than it is for me to type his handwritten letters.

Today I sent Pete a letter telling him that I cannot continue like this. Unless he can send me typed letters or unless I can get typing assistance, the blog will not continue.

I know we all have limited free time, but I have spent a significant amount of my own time on this blog over the past six months for very little personal return to me other than a warm, fuzzy feeling that I am helping a friend in need. I know this sounds selfish, but lately I feel like I am being used, and I have gotten more than a little burned out from it.

I did reassure Pete that regardless of what happens to the blog, I am his friend and I will continue writing to him and I will continue to send him a steady stream of paperback books. But my family and work are suffering, and I need to spend more time on them, and I need to do some things for myself.

Now that I have probably driven away the last few, loyal, blog readers remaining, let me say please keep checking back here! I am going to try to get some of Pete's writing, at least the replies to your comments, posted. I am also hopeful that he will be able to secure a typewriter in the near future.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!
Thursday, December 09, 2004

Commissary list at the NY jail where Pete currently is. These are all the things that inmates can purchase.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
  Last random thoughts from West Virginia.
I cannot begin to tell you the sense of inner peace this is giving me. And to think I could be out in the Day area with my fellow inmates watching BET or soap operas!

Speaking of TV, it was interesting last night, they actually had TV LAND on and were watching Sanford and Son. I caught the last fifteen minutes of an episode in which Lena Horne makes a cameo appearance.

The strange thing to see was how many of the subtle jokes the TV watchers missed! If it was not a hammer-over-the-head joke, it went right over their heads! It's pretty bad when blacks do not get Sanford jokes! Ah, I wax poetic for the good old days of TV.

Boom Bam Boom Boom, yeah no real way to use words to show melody. Now the fourth movement. 1:40 PM and what, still no commercial break? Creativity lives and is celebrated in West Virginia this afternoon!

Hey, just a random thought, do Indian employees of American companies get a four-day weekend for Thanksgiving also? They probably get no holidays I guess, since they would have to be working when the US is open for business. Even if it was an Indian holiday, one could not be so bold as to let American customers know that their calls are not handled in the good old USA.

But since July 4th, Thanksgiving, etc. are all American holidays, why should Indians get them? So this is another point in favor of offshore work, no holiday pay! The old you-work-we-pay, you-no-work-we-no-pay!

Ah, what a wonderful country! If this keeps up, we will become the country of prison keepers and prisoners. Take your pick. Kind of like eating your young. Hmm, offshore prisons. Wait a minute that has been done before! What about those commercial moon trips. They are going to need lots of grunt labor. So you get the federal dollars and prisoners do the labor. On and on it goes.

Well, it is winding down now, so off to the shower I go! Must not be late for my date with the cops!
Monday, December 06, 2004
  Dvorak Symphony #9 The New World.
They had mail call today and I actually got my PC, Fortune, and CFO magazines. Great, just when I cannot read them! I will be taking the tome The Reckoning by David Halberstam on the trip with me. It has 760 pages of small print. It is the story of Ford vs. Nissan. Should keep me busy for a while.

Damn, NPR just started Dvorak Symphony #9 The New World. So I will stay here a bit longer and listen to it and write some more. It is another great classical piece.

Let me see, what else I am sending you? One of my top-ten Peanuts cartoons; have I sent this to you before? I think it says it all.

I am also enclosing my address book such as it is. If you could just store it with the archives, that would be OK.

Also enclosed is one of the last letters I got from Mom and Dad. It somehow missed the boxes I sent.

I know the two package slips don't mean much to you, and hopefully you have received the two boxes I sent to you by now, and if not, I am not sure what can be done about it anyway, but since I have a few dollar stamps left, why not stuff the envelope?

1:32 PM and one S down so to speak. The second movement of the symphony is the "Coming Home" tune, a very appropriate piece for my swansong here at Club Fed.

Hmm, now the third movement has just started. Man, this is so good! This is a must-have CD. Of course one would have to decide which symphony orchestra to choose. This would also be a great piece to set to electronic music, a la Switched on Bach.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
  Off I go!
I finally now know some stuff. Apparently I am getting picked up today by cops from NY. They will probably dump me in the local county jail overnight and then we will fly out the next day to NY. So as you read this I am hopefully alive and well and living somewhere in New York!

I will send you a letter ASAP. Since all calls from NY state prison are collect, that would not be cost-effective.

I am going to finish up this letter with some last-minute thoughts and then do the old S, S, and S. I will be taking a nice, long shower, since it may be the last comfortable private one I get for a long time.

I read the copy of CO Mom's blog you sent, and what she describes I would consider sexual harassment! I am wondering why she tolerates it?

I will probably have lots of writing time wherever it is I end up. Perhaps now would be a good time to see if you could post any of my real slow and somewhat neater handwriting!

I am not sure of the length of my stay in the county jail. Hopefully I will be there for four to eight weeks or so, but I really do not have any idea. I may file to have them leave me there while my appeal is pending.

It will certainly seem strange going back there after all these years. While I am now certainly more prison-smart, the regular county jail population is somewhat more physical than it is here, and I do not pose much of a physical threat. I am not ready to put my fists where my mouth is.

Well, it is 1:00 PM, so let me start the S stuff and take it from there.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
  Thanksgiving 2004. My last at Club Fed.
I had the pleasure of spending one last holiday here. Turkey Day. Hmm, just think, me and Martha Stewart sharing the same grub! Hey, her Thanksgiving letter makes all the news and entertainment shows! Give me a break!

I returned from our special dinner and was watching "You Only Live Twice", part of the James Bond movie marathon on Spike TV. A commercial break comes along, so I flip my radio from TV to the radio stations, and sure enough as I arrived at the Rock station I hear the chorus of Alice's Restaurant.

Now I wonder, am I hearing the beginning or the end? Well, as luck would have it, it was the beginning. So I am now sitting on my bunk with a full belly and the snow flurries flurrying outside my window and I am listening to one of the great songs from the 1960's.

Full belly you said? Yes, I did. Our special Thanksgiving meal was actually more food than one human being could possibly eat. The turkey was a foil-wrapped package of chunks of white and dark meat that all the kitchen staff had to do was heat up. We had cranberry sauce with the whole cranberries in it! I passed on the potatoes (white mashed and sweet non-mashed). Dessert was a nice, large slice of pecan pie, plus we had Dixie cups of vanilla ice cream. I am very full!

Yesterday I polished off a 14 oz. bucket of Christmas cookies. Well, I did not eat the whole thing; my cellie had about nine cookies. One serving is three cookies and there are fourteen servings per bucket, so each serving is 140 calories, times ten is 1,400 calories!

What I cannot figure out is on Tuesday when I made my usual mackerel dinner, I used two cans of mackerel at 120 calories per can and I was stuffed. An extra 120 calories filled me up, yet eating 1,400 calories of sugar and fat was no problem!

It's strange, only 120 calories per can, yet there is a major difference in "fullness." Yet I could easily devour multiple 250-calorie bags of M&M's with no problem!

I think the key to healthy eating is finding the calories that are geometrically higher in fuel use. Certainly an extra 120 calories of high protein stuff is better than all the sugar and fat of M&M's. But try telling that to the brain!
Friday, December 03, 2004
  Final letter just received from Club Fed.
Well, it is 9:30 AM here at Club Fed and as you read this, I won't be here. Here today, gone tomorrow.

It turns out they closed my commissary account early this morning. So I would not have been able to shop anyhow. I am ready to move on!

I hope your turkey day was OK. By the way, I hope you are still writing to me every couple days. That way as soon as you get an address for me you can drop me a line quick!

A wonderful Thanksgiving present would be a positive response from the courts! If I do not hear anything today, then I know it will be a few weeks before the mail catches up to me. So I guess from that point of view, I can stop worrying about it.

Hopefully, the blog will not lose too much steam. I should be able to send out a few letters along the way so that might help too. If not, provided it is still OK with you, I know we can always start another blog! I will spend some time over the next day or so writing some more stuff to post.

I am cramming in the last hours of my radio use. I am actually listening to the Rock station as I write this. Classical is just too slow and calming right now, as if you could not tell from my handwriting!

Lunch today will be burger and fries. So let me take a break.

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