I never did hear from the typewriter company
after my last letter and have now given up on any hope of a replacement. I will try and find out how it got so screwed up when Mom and Dad come up.
I am rapidly losing steam here. I know it is not your fault and I am not upset with anything you are doing.
It is just I am really missing the support systems, such as they were, at Club Fed and the fact that I could really be here for the next four, nine, or maybe even fifteen years is really beginning to weigh heavy on me.
I guess I am holding off coming up with a way to deal with that issue as long as there is a slim hope of the appeal process coming through.
Of course I have contradicted myself; I am dealing with it now, and it is causing serious depression.
The legal work I have been helping a few of the other inmates with further disturbs me as to show how the system can easily be manipulated to keep an inmate from being released on parole!
That is just the tip of the iceberg and you will be getting more of these thoughts in the near future.
Remember me mentioning Sal
, the guy who kidnapped Katie Beers
? He is supposedly going home next year after doing twelve years. One of the other inmates was saying how he really got screwed getting so much time.
Correct me if you can or care to: did he not get charged with raping Katie Beers? Or was it less serious?
Sick joke going around about his upcoming release. Hamburgers on the back deck, Beers
in the basement. There are some things that I just do not understand.
Well 9:00 PM I am going to take a short break and then proof and print.
Pen pals in faraway places. I know you gave me the address for someone in Australia, but as a rule I am assuming that you are giving out my address and that they will be writing to me first.
The one address I got for a woman in Georgia. I did send her a letter and never heard from her. So if any of the people are expecting me to write first, be sure to let me know.
I know you can post anything you want, and I appreciate the humor. It is so hard for me to truly gauge what is going on since I so not have any of the usual non-verbal signs that one has even if you are just talking on phone. Tone of voice, delay in responding, stuttering and other things that let you know if a person is serious, mad, getting angry etc.
The other 'problem' I have is that I usually end up putting more words down on the page. This tends to lead me to go into more detail than is needed or in other cases carrying on a rant farther than needed, having already turned people off.
At least in a live conversation, you can make adjustments on the fly that could avoid getting yourself in deep. Of course this assumes that one is not totally clueless to the various clues that one can pick up, especially those ever-critical male - female conversations.
I have never really watched the X-Files. I am not really worried about something I say leading to prosecution, since I will never put anything that could possibly be construed as illegal in writing.
The retired cop that 'accidentally
' shot the store clerk in Queens just showed up here last week. I think he pled to a 1 to 3 year
Give me a break! Where is the scale please? It is not like the accident was caused by the ex-cop having to draw his gun to stop a crime in progress and he shot an innocent bystander! No, he was joking around
with a loaded weapon! One would think you would hold police officers to a high standard on 'playing' with their loaded weapons. Yep, we certainly have all kinds here.
Yes, the writing paper I use is a little bit heavier, although it still claims to be twenty pound so I don't know why it is jamming in your copier/scanner. I have just started the second ream and will try to order a different paper next time. I am assuming you are having problems because of the folds? If that is so, I could send the letters in larger envelopes? Certainly could do that for the over four sheet letters. Give me your thoughts
Cleaning my locker yields no noticeable improvement. Even now, when I straighten up my locker it only looks okay till I need to take the first thing out of it.
The most disorganized organization area is my 'correspondence.' I am currently keeping carbon copies of all my letters. The ones I type I simply save the draft so that does not waste any paper.
The handwritten letters I have been doing carbon copies of those. I will probably type them out to save space and to give me a neater archive. I do not think I will go through the expense of using the ribbon even though that would aide in the possible OCR scanning down the road.
Since I have been expecting some letters, I was obviously very bummed out at the lack of any mail, except your letter, last week. Okay I was thinking today might bring some of those promised new pen pals but....
Tonight I decided to pull the typewriter out while the glow from your letter still was giving me the much needed emotional boost. I do not know if I will be able to keep at it and get some posts in the mail also but let us see how it goes. We just had the 5:25 PM count and in theory I could type till 9:30 and then do the proof and print thing.
It must be great working for a monopoly but then if I was a local phone repairperson, I would not want to push more people into the wireless world. Granted that the companies may indeed be skimping on worker's pay and other benefits, but hey I would want to be sure I could do whatever is needed to be sure the customer was happy.
There is certainly a trade off between do-it-yourself savings, and less hassles for slightly less cash in pocket. I still am of the opinion that the key is to use the internet as a tool and still maintain a personal relationship between vendor and customer. But more on that later.
While I am thinking of it, did you catch that article a month or so back that was touting the liability of the medical records software developed by the U.S. Veteran's Hospitals? It was available for 'free' by filing a Freedom of Information Request. If you are so inclined, maybe you could request a copy of it. I do not know if it came with source code.
Music and concentrating. That is where the classical station comes in handy. Long periods of music, minimal talking.
Price of gas. I hope it comes down, Mom and Dad are supposed to come up this weekend. I feel bad enough with the time, hotel cost etc. But also agree that the oil companies have done the old two steps forward, one step back price increase a number of times and I do not know what the answer is.
I am back. Ran out of steam and took a break seeking inspiration to continue. Like I could really find something around here that is inspiring
NY Prison Phone System.
Well this week is off to the same start as last week. A Monday letter from you. Yeah! The bad news: that was the only letter I received all week.
I think I sent you a letter at end of week confirming receipt of the books. That is it, the sum total of all my mail, one letter and one package of books. The books you sent were split in half subject wise, five were the Fantasy, Alternate Societies and five chick lit, bodice ripper genre. I have already read four of the chick lit books. The one fantasy book is written by a relative of Tolstoy so I might actually read that one.
Yeah I miss your voice too. And no that is not gay at all. The main problem right now is that all calls must be placed collect. There is a $3.60 initial charge and then 16¢ each minute. The call can be up to thirty minutes as opposed to the fifteen minute maximum at Club Fed.
Did you catch the editorial in the NY Times a few weeks ago that specifically dealt with the New York Correctional System phone system? They were comparing it to the Fed system that is direct dial; at last look I think it was 22c a minute,
The point is that when they compare it to the Feds, the next thing that is likely to occur is that if NY is forced to give up the extra cash they get from the phone system, they will raise the commissary prices.
We are currently paying between 50% to 60 % of Club Fed prices. Any change in prison rules that favors the inmates always results in a matching negative action somewhere else
Do You Know Who I Am?
One of the things one has to be careful of in prison is interrupting another inmate's schedule. The trick is you probably do not even know the other inmate's schedule.
After typing the first two pages of a letter to my editor, I decided to do my daily washing of the birthday suit. We have four individual shower stalls. I am busy putting aforementioned birthday suit through the first pre-soap rinse cycle when a voice bellows out," Hey Pete."
Hopefully the reason he knew it was I that was occupying that stall is the name tag on the waist of my pants that were hanging on the outside of the stall. We do have the ' luxury' of frosted shower curtains so that it was not possible for me to see who it was that was talking to me. He then asked me to please put his reddish bath towel over the stall when I was done so that he could be next in the shower. I said okay.
He then asked if I knew who he was. I responded, "Yes, You are the guy with the reddish bath towel that I am going to hang on this shower stall when I am finished!"
Still on the downward slide.
I got a book package today! Thank You. I was escaping most of today into a book!
I am really still on the downward slide. I have not walked in weeks now!
I did sign up for sick call tomorrow. They have changed the process. We now are awakened at 5:00 AM and no longer have sick call on Wednesdays.
I never heard back from them on the back x-rays and am really getting pissed since I do not pester the nurse, but apparently it is the whiners that get service!
I have not had a good nights sleep since I lost the hard bunk and my lower back hurts! It seems I will also wake up when I turn or lay out the wrong way. Bitch bitch bitch!
Also they have not reissued the decongestants so my sinuses have swelled up again! It really takes a lot out of me!
Well I did end up "advising" a fellow inmate who just got served with divorce papers today. It was not a surprise but I was able to give him some pointers to be aware of. I also typed a short transfer request for another inmate! Helping others does help lift my spirits a bit.
Besides the BBNYT* (Bush-Bashing New York Times) the only mail I have received this week was your letter on Monday and the books today! Thanks for being out there, for me in here!
I wonder if I will get any letters tomorrow.
I will type more over the weekend!
Part of the old Pete
was the inability to be able to look at my life in its entirety. I would seek activities that would require the least amount of effort on my part, take short cuts and generally look out for Number One, me. I do understand that life is really a series of interwoven actions and that life is never as simple as I used to deal with it.
The major problem at this point is that the environment I am currently living in is so completely different from Club Fed
. It is forcing me to develop a whole new set of coping skills, and it appears that I am not yet there and also have not adequately described the effect that this environment has on me.
As I type this, sitting on my bunk, two other inmates are busy verbally abusing the inmate that sleeps on the bottom bunk. I have my headphones on and am listening to some good old rock and roll but I cannot play it loud enough to fully blot out the conversations of the other inmates around me.
It is tough to listen to any sentence here that does not have one or more of those infamous 'seven dirty words
'. Even if no dirty words are in the sentence, it will usually be spoken to degrade or attack someone's self-esteem.
I do not know if any of the above makes sense or not. I will reread it and see if I can maybe break it down so that it is clearer.
Sending books in a box will be no problem; that is the only way to send all the food etc. You might just label the box 'Books Enclosed' but even that should not be necessary since the books are delivered by the same person that brings the food packages.
The Feynman book
is now residing on a shelf in the FCI Beckley
Education Department Library. It is a great book, and I do think it would be worth your time to read. It might even be in the local library?
I wonder if it might help you learn about some of the 'problems' gifted people experience. If nothing else I think you might enjoy it, since it seems he might have been one of the original nerds.
If you do end up getting a copy, hold on to it for a while. If I do end up being here for the very long term that book is certainly one I would like to use to write some stuff on.
Sorry to hear about the death of your friend
. I have been to Stone Mountain
back when I was still married and we took the cable car up to the top of the rock.
Like after eating all the prison food, I need a protein booster so today at 6:00 PM I had a can of octopus, drained the oil, mixed in some mustard and hot sauce and put a quarter of a slice of cheese on a generic Ritz and snacked out.
PS What is the postage to Wagga Wagga, Australia
Accounting for time.
I received both your letter and your postcard from your vacation. The postal barcode was smudged. Not sure if that was reason for the delay or not. Technology, gotta love it. It was nice of you to take the time to send the card and it will be added to my locker door tonight.
It is 7:50 and I have a whole bunch of stuff to write about and I am not sure how much I will be able to get done, realizing that I need to account for ten to fifteen minutes to properly edit, proof, and print each page.
I would like to mention that again I am accounting for my time this evening only to show that I am still subject to the same tick-tock of the clock. They handed out the commissary sheets during mail call. Between reading your letter and then dealing with the coordination of food on hand and what I need to order, it was after 6:00 PM when I finally got that all finished.
Then I ended up spending an hour reviewing the Family Law book to help one of the other inmates here that just got a letter from child support enforcement division that he owed $12,000 for child support.
He has spent the last two years in prison and the child in question due the support is just four years old. He is a younger guy and has never really held a permanent job or earned all that much money to justify the $12,000 arrears.
Again we are back to the proper recognition of time and how it is spent. I never meant to imply that any of the pen pals should be 'grateful' that I was writing them back. The point I thought I was making and will try again is that I am honored when I receive a letter in the mail, regardless of the length. The fact that you took the time on your vacation to send me the postcard was great!
I was working around what I felt personally, was a combination of a self-esteem issue and a devaluing of one's time. For example, I have a bunch of the old radio shows on tape, but if I am truly listening to them, I cannot be reading or writing at the same time.
I even was trying to type yesterday late afternoon and was listening to the latest news on the Public Radio station. I could not do both.
Each time I tried to listen to a report on the radio, I lost the train of thought on the letter. Each time I concentrated on the sentence I was typing. I missed what was said on the radio. I could not effectively do both.
Back in Club Fed, I would report to work at 7:30 AM each morning and would be able to have the radio in the office area on and broadcasting the news while I went about cleaning and mopping the area. I could do both of those things at the same time.
One last attempt: I now realize I cannot stop the clock. I cannot do two different 'brain-powered' tasks at the same time. So if I am writing a letter or a post for the blog, I cannot effectively also be 'listening' to any type of talk on the radio or even the tapes of the old radio shows.
In the past when you post something from a letter dealing with my moods it is only to acknowledge that I have feelings and that I am responsible for them. In the past I would either suppress my feelings or use the old passive-aggressive type of attitude that would end up sabotaging the thing I was doing. The fun part of posting my moods is that by the time you read then in the blog they are days or weeks old. So please do not cry for me, blog readers.
Also when I speak of 'waiting' for mail, it is again only an expression of my feelings. Some of the pen pals have waited a couple weeks to get a letter back from me. I know all you readers of this blog have lots of demands on your time and the fact that you spend even a few minutes of your day reading my ramblings is a gift you give me that is truly treasured. Those of you that have taken the time to write me are even more treasured.
While the emotional part of me still wants 'instant gratification,' the logical, grown-up part knows that you are not writing to me in a vacuum, and any letter I get is really special and I treasure them all.
"This Makes No Sense" Department:
As many of you may know, I am currently able to send clearly typed letters and posts to my editor. He is able to scan and OCR with minimal effort. The only hitch in this process is that the ribbons for my typewriter are costing fifteen to twenty cents per page.
I am currently using ten-characters to the inch print wheel. The typewriter can also accept twelve and fifteen characters to the inch wheels. I set the pitch to the fifteen characters setting and the funny thing is it does not seem to change the way the ribbon is advanced. I would have thought that the ribbon advance would have been synchronized to the advance of the print wheel, in other words by using the smaller characters the ribbon should not advance as much.
Even if I were to invest in another print wheel I would still use the same amount of ribbon. Think about it: by rights a twelve-character to the inch print wheel should increase my ribbon yield by twenty percent, and a fifteen-character to the inch wheel should have offered a fifty percent increase. That would certainly be nice. Just like the ink jet and laser printer market, the profit for the companies and the cost for the consumer are in the consumables.
I am on a streak. The last four special occasions that required a greeting card to be sent, I have not only designed four totally different cards, but each and every one has been mailed in time to arrive at the proper destination on or before the data it was needed. Before I started typing this post, I completed a wedding anniversary card for my Mom and Dad. They have been married for over fifty years. Go Mom and Dad.
The pictures in the New York Times of the hurricane ravaged areas are absolutely unbelievable. I received Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday papers today. I am overwhelmed.
While I was directly responsibility for landing myself in prison, I certainly understand all too well the sense of loss the people are feeling. As I said earlier my current physical accommodations are certainly better than those stuck in the devastated areas, floods, no utilities, no food. While I have little privacy, I still have more space around my bunk than the pictures of the cots in the Astrodome show.
I have not been doing nothing over the last few weeks; I have spent a lot of time reading and will include my latest reading list with this post.
Some books I have recently read:
Exit to Eden - Anne Rampling (Anne Rice)
The Return of the Earl - Edith Layton
The Night Caller - John Lutz
Justice Denied - Robert K. Tanenbaum
Deadly Impression - Dennis Asen
True Grit - Charles Portis
The Rana Look - Sandra Brown
44 Cranberry Point - Debbie Macomber
Emily - Jilly Cooper (Published in Britain)
Red Light - T. Jefferson Parker
Order of Execution - Perri O'Shaughnessy
The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
Sudden Mischief - Robert Parker
Paper Doll - Robert Parker
The World's Full of Divorced Women - Jackie Collins
Pastime - Robert Parker
L.A. Connections - Jackie Collins
R is for Ricochet - Sue Griffon
Lady Boss - Jackie Collins
Morning, Noon, Night - Sidney Sheldon
Dangerous Kiss - Jackie Collins
If I Knew Then Amy Fisher - True Story
Amy Fisher's book.
Well I stayed up till 5:00 AM this morning reading Amy Fisher
's book, "If I Knew Then...
" I was certainly intrigued enough to read the book in one night to see how she explains her journey through the legal system and the New York State Prison system
. The other thing of interest is her current occupation as a columnist for the Long Island Press
and her advocacy for various causes.
She describes at least three specific rapes she suffered while in the Albion Prison
which is actually up in this area somewhere. She talks of her first glimpse of the Bedford
Correctional Facility and thinking it was coed. No, she quickly found out those were hormonally-challenged females.
I guess that was like my first glimpse of the cooking room here, and thinking there was a female staff worker that supervised that area. No, that was not a staff member, and no it was not really a female. Well okay, it was partly a female. (Who has since left the area, has been released.) He/she would have a confusing 5 o'clock shadow, but would have a bra hanging from the shower curtain rod. Optical delusion.
By the way according to some of the other inmates who were familiar with the he/she from Downstate
, he/she was actually a post-op transsexual and did not have a penis. Apparently he/she was not accepted in the female section at all. The optical delusion I ran into up here was still male according to others (although not personally verified) and still had all the male plumbing down below the waist.
It does appear that Amy Fisher
was certainly subject to some very abusive attention, and I do not doubt much of her descriptions of the time she spent in prison.
The book was not at all that well written in my humble opinion. In one paragraph she says the guards in the Nassau County
Jail treated her well and in the next paragraph she states how her mom would be subject to all kinds of harassment when trying to drop off clothing etc. for her.
Interestingly, she blames a move when she was 13, when she moved into Merrick
and started attending the "rich kids" high school, John F. Kennedy
as opposed to Mepham High School
in North Bellmore
, which she labels the poorer one.
It is 8:20 PM and I will stop now and get this letter out.
Yes, I Know I Have It Better Than Some.
It is Monday, Labor Day here in my Gated Community and I have to acknowledge that right now I am living more comfortably the thousands of people displaced from their homes down south.
I am still having trouble picturing the amount of people that have been left homeless from the hurricane and flooding. I have seen the pictures of New Orleans and know that it will take a long time to even begin to see what is salvageable. I have heard some of the commentaries about those that were unable to leave before the storm hit. One radio talk show person went as far to say that if those poor people had stayed in school, had jobs, and were responsible as far as the number of children they had, they would not be in such dire circumstances now.
While discussing the storm, some of us were mentioning how one of the things that is a strictly controlled item in prisons is toilet paper. At my current location we are able to get one new roll of toilet paper each Wednesday. In Club Fed, we usually were given two rolls per person per week.
As I was discussing this allocation of resources with a neighbor, he said that he only needed one roll every two to three weeks. I mentioned that I usually need one roll per week. He started to explain how he was raised to conserve resources and then went on to explain exactly how he was able to use so little toilet paper. I cut him off saying he was attempting to give me way too much information.
The question that this discussion raises is how does one decide what is enough of basic resources for an individual and who is responsible to make up for shortages of those resources? When a disaster strikes it becomes even more difficult to decide who needs what.
Some people may have paid for insurance to protect their assets. Do you punish those people that did not plan properly and pay premiums all those years? The magnitude of disaster, is that a factor? If your house, all your possessions and your job all are destroyed, does it matter if you are one of a few hundred or one of tens of thousands?
I wonder how the victims of this disaster feel about the compensation system that was set up for the families of September 11 attack. It is obvious that thousands of families will not only have lost their homes, but many have also lost their jobs as many businesses were devastated and may never recover.
I know there are no easy answers and I mention this only to ask if others are willing to admit that there is no one answer. It does come down to finding and allowing the human spirit to guide our actions.
It is certainly clear that while there is lots of blame flying around there are amazing stories of what individuals have accomplished in the face of all this devastation. Once you try to plug cold, hard numbers into a computer and divide up the pie, no one is going to be happy.
Well it is 5:10 here and the holiday weekend is drawing to a close. At least I do not have to worry about getting stuck in traffic getting back from my summer location.
We had four movies this weekend. The best was the Saturday movie "In My Country." This is the story of the hearings conducted after the fall of Apartheid in South Africa. It is really well done and carries lots of powerful emotions.
The Friday night movie was "Control" and while I did watch the whole movie it is not one that I would recommend. Sunday's movie was "Beauty Shop" which I skipped and did my legal work. Today's movie was "Monster In-Law." I watched the first hour of that one and walked out.
So out of the four movies, I skipped one completely, walked out of one after one hour, and watched two all the way through. The only one that was worth watching, "In My Country", was the only one I would strongly recommend.
This storm down south is still something I am having trouble understanding. I have not seen much on the television and I am expecting some papers to arrive tomorrow. I received Thursday's paper and the pictures are amazing.
There is so much information flying around it is tough to figure what is really going on. There were all sorts of stories going around about horrible acts being done to children in the shelters. They have never been confirmed to my knowledge. If these stories are not really the truth, and it turns out just a cheap attempt to get attention where it is unwarranted, I think that is irresponsible.
We had a spill in the showers today. As much as I could gather, someone spilled some baby oil on the shower room floor. The powers that be decided that the solution to this problem was to lock and close the showers. We have a hard enough time getting fellow inmates to take a shower, but closing the showers is not a negative event in their minds.
The entire shower area is ceramic tile. One would think that the solution to the problem would be a mop, bucket of soapy water, and one inmate to mop up the floor. Instead we have three inmates, the floor buffing machine, the hose hooked up to the slop sink, and it is now hour two of what should have been a fifteen minute task.
The really sad point is that even after all the effort the room will not be any cleaner than if it was mopped in fifteen minutes.
They actually shut the AC off last night and it was about fifteen degrees warmer than it has been. Not good for the old asthma, and I had a restless night of sleep.
I am actually listening to the McNeil News hour. It turns out the AM side of the classical music station broadcasts the audio portion of the show. They are now discussing the power of the Chief Justice. Do you remember the article on the NY Times Op Ed pages about the power of the Chief Justice?
I am going to end here and go into a proof and print mode. I have this letter, the one page post and my legal motion in typewriter memory now so it will probably need the rest of the evening to get that printed. I need to get my mind back up to correspondence mode. I do not think my writing has been that great lately; certainly I have not been as prolific.
[It is 10:10 PM, and I have gotten the motion printed out, taken a shower which they opened up at 9:00 PM. The damn sinuses are still giving me a nice headache. At least I did get something accomplished. I will proof the motion one last time in the morning and print the final copy out in the morning.]
Memory Dump - Part II
Well I can still kill time, not necessarily productive, but killed none the less.
Please understand I am not looking for pity here. I have had plenty of therapy, and fully realize the control I do have over my actions. I am writing this particular post as a way of documenting where I think my head is at.
Even as I type this I am thinking of several different things I want to write but I can only type out one letter at a time, building one word at a time, and by the time I finish one thought my mind has already gone and reshuffled the deck and the direction has changed.
It is now 8:30 PM and it addition to eating the 4:00 meal, I have taken a shower, received the mail, and fed my self a snack. I have eaten all three meals that the prison supplied but was still missing something. PROTEIN!
I mixed up a can of octopus, with some chopped raw onion, garlic powder, hot sauce, and mustard, served on saltines. According to the nutritional information, one can of octopus is 200 calories, 70 of them are fat calories. I did drain off most of the soy oil. For those calories I get 28 grams of protein. Now I think my brain might be feeling a little less low on energy.
The copies I was waiting for were the only thing that arrived in the mail today. I was not expecting them till tomorrow, since it did not get into the mail till Monday morning. Sometimes things go smoothly. I will be working on the motion I need for the court this weekend.
Lucky for me, the editor was home this week, although he said in the short note he included with the copies that he was planning to be away but changed his plans to go away next week. Sometimes I am lucky. And grateful, for all the work my editor does on my behalf.
Okay so I killed the four hours and now have about one hour left to type up the drafts, and then spend the last hour before lights out at 11:00 PM printing the final copies. I also need to include a thank you note to editor for his speedy copy service.
I did find the stack of articles I clipped so let me rant on a few of them.
"Two Michael Jackson Jurors Voice Regret on Vote" - this story carries an AP byline and a date of August 8, so maybe it has showed up in your local papers. The bottom line is that two jurors, Ray Hultman and Eleanor Cook, who just happen to be working separately on books, now are saying that they are sorry they each voted not guilty!
I am not even questioning what the verdict should have been. If these two individuals truly thought Michael Jackson was guilty then they should have held onto that belief. This is just another case that shows the justice system does not really work correctly and it is up to each of us as citizens to keep an eye on things.
When the jurors were interviewed on MSNBC by Rita Cosby, the article says:
"..Larry Garrison, who is working with both on their separate books and a combined television movie, said all the jurors had an agreement to be united in their June 13 verdict.
Well I do not believe that is part of the instructions the judge gave the jury. As a matter of fact, the premise of facing a jury of your peers is that each individual comes to his or her own opinion.
There are plenty of cases where after much deliberation a jury cannot agree, and the jury is dismissed and a new trial is held. If you are sitting on a jury and you are in the minority you are fully able to hold onto your opinion and are duty bound not to change your vote just to go along with the others.
I think the reporter further compounds the error by asking the following softball question:
"When Ms. Cosby asked Ms. Cook whether other jurors would be angry with her, she said: 'They can be as angry as they want to. They ought to be ashamed. They're the ones that let a pedophile go.'
The next statement from the reporter should
have been: "The other jurors did not let the pedophile go free; they believed he was innocent. It is really you, Ms. Cook, feeling as you do that Michael Jackson is guilty, allowed him to go free by not voting guilty."
I think this is another case of an individual looking to make a profit where no profit is due. I have a feeling that by going public in this way, saying they felt Mr. Jackson was guilty, is just what is needed to sell their books.
It would seem that they think the books would sell better by creating this advance buzz by trying to "change" their vote. This is very dangerous to support.
I would suggest that one should not buy either of the books and certainly not watch the television movie that the article mentions.
How would you feel if you were the one on trial, and after you were found guilty one of the jurors comes out and says that he or she thought you were innocent, but since the jury agreed to "be united in their verdict" they went along with the majority?
The other side of the coin is just as bad; if you were the victim of a crime, sat through the whole trial, and the juror delivers a verdict of "Not Guilty." A few weeks later one of the jurors decides to try and make a few bucks and comes out and says that the verdict that she swore to in court was not what she thought; she or he was just going along with the others.
The issue here is not if Mr. Jackson is guilty or not. The issue is does the average Joe or Jane fully understand the fraud that Mr. Ray Hultman and Eleanor Cook are perpetrating on you, the American public?
Either they lied under oath by casting the "not guilty" vote, or are disingenuous now, claiming after the fact that they felt that Mr. Jackson was guilty.
Why did Rita Cosby of MSNBC not ask either of the "wanna-be" authors to justify their positions along the lines of the proceeding paragraph?
See, that was not so hard Pete; once I put my mind to it I can do the things that I dream of. True, dreaming requires less actual effort, but for something that was only supposed to be a couple of sentences, an entire post developed.
Since this is supposed to be 'live', I am going to leave this rant inside the Memory Dump II post. I was going to slice it out and print it as a separate post. But that would not show how my mind can under the proper discipline, stay on point, and I can write my thoughts out so others can understand them.
Okay that last line is really up to you the reader to judge, and I ask some of you to drop a comment on this post if you feel so moved.
I am not looking to discuss the actual guilt or innocence of Michael Jackson, that is not the issue; the question is, do you understand the mockery these two fellow citizens are making of the justice system?
It is now 9:45 and I have not even started the letter to the editor I mentioned earlier in this rant, I will end here. I will work on additional posts for the articles I clipped. Stay tuned.
[Full disclosure: This was originally started last Thursday, but I did not have time to fully proof it by 11:00 PM. It is now Wednesday and I have finally gotten around to proofing and printing this Memory Dump II. True I knew my editor was away this week so it would not matter when I finished it, as long as it is in the mail by Thursday. Actually I am one day early in that case. I needed to clear out the memory so I can put in the legal motion I need to get done.]
Memory Dump, Random Thoughts.
Let me see if this works for anybody. It is now 2:58 PM on Thursday, August 25, 2005. I have plenty to do, but I am also great at doing nothing.
I thought I would just list all the thoughts and feelings floating around the gray matter located in the hat rack between my shoulders.
This is being written live and in the moment. I will still review it and make corrections to it. In the past this sometimes led to simply hitting the erase key and all my thoughts enter the eternal bit bucket
where they can never be found.
This time I will attempt to write them with the point that they are for publication. Upon editing I will only make minor changes but not interrupt the spontaneity of how this is written. Hey not everything has to be perfect, does it?
After taking off from walking on Monday and Tuesday, I hit the track at 9:00 AM Wednesday with a real burst of energy, and then proceeded to sleep and read my way through the rest of the day until 4:00 dinner.
I did cook a quick lunch for two that really did not turn out all that tasty. I will not be trying that combo again too soon. Rice, pizza sauce, tuna fish, onions and jalapeño peppers. Dinner last night was three cheese ravioli.
Mail call delivered the Monday and Tuesday New York Times and the latest copy of Electronic Musician
. The magazine is really a tease in that most of the technology in the magazine is all new to me. I understand the theory and possibilities of electronic music but in terms of actual use of any of the technology I have no idea what to do.
Back in the early seventies, we used to use two Sony reel to reel tape decks and came up with some pretty interesting sounds. One of our teachers actually had a contact at Columbia University
and a few of us got to spend a few hours with one of the original Moog synthesizers
! Mr. Moog, the designer
of the Moog
synthesizer recently died
. I saw his obituary in the Times.
I spent most of the evening reading the New York Times
and managed to read through four days worth. Tomorrow's objective is to knock another four off starting with Sunday, August 14, 2005. I keep hoping that the mail will have a letter for me, but then again since I owe a few letters back for the ones I have already received, it is an unrealistic expectation. Yeah like I do not do that too often. Unrealistic expectations, not me.
I did receive a letter from the U.S. Court of Appeals
last Friday. I was bracing myself for the bad news, but it turns out the clerk was informing me that I needed to file yet another motion, I had to send about twenty pages of letters that I needed copies of to the editor, and am waiting for those back to write the needed legal work.
Until the copies return there is not much I can do on the legal front. It is now 3:27 and I will be eating in the chow hall tonight. They are serving spaghetti in meat sauce. That will be happening at 4:00 and when I come back from eating, the mail will be ready to be distributed and I will see if I get a letter. Hope springs eternal.
Having walked the one hour yesterday, I slept in this morning. Not a good thing, but I was tired. The loss of the hard steel bed has certainly cut into the amount of deep sleep I get.
I just finished reading "L.A. Connections
" by Jackie Collins
. My major accomplishments so far today, managed to get up in time for breakfast, scrambled eggs. Brushed my teeth after that and then climb into bed where I did the read and nap thing till lunch at 12:00.
That tough regiment was interrupted at 1:15 by the count. This required me to actually sit up on my bed. After lunch, I played a few hands of three-handed spades
. Then back up on my bunk to read some more. Finally by 3:00 I got up enough energy to pull the typewriter out and start this post.
I thought I had so many thoughts running through my mind that I would be able to sit here and type them all out. Now my brain is drawing a big fat blank. Not really true, but probably the ADD
is kicking in. I did cut out some articles from the paper and since I already have more subjects than I can possibly deal with.
I thought I would simply write a couple sentences on each article and then toss them out. I need to cut down on the amount of paper I am keeping. Plus, as much as I would like to be able to pontificate on all the articles, I now realize that to write a well written opinion piece takes time. What I need to do is pick one or two subjects a week and concentrate on that. It is too easy for me to become distracted from the end result, in this case writing an interesting and readable essay, by the process of gathering background and cutting out the articles.
For approach number 9,335 I am going to simply make a short remark of the articles I clipped out yesterday.
(To be continued)
By the way, I did get a load of books today. Thank You. I have handed out a few already.
You had said something about another shipment of books that was already wrapped in the 'Red Paper' and you did not even know what was in that one. I never received that one. Did that package maybe already have the Club Fed address? Or did you never mail it? I am pretty sure the letter said it was already on its way. I am not talking about the recent shipment mentioned in the August 26 letter.
One local note. I was impressed that the one local rock station not owned by Infinity, (http://mystar1025.com/
if you could double check the ownership or leave this in and see if one of the readers look it up) has scheduled a relief collection at the local mall for tomorrow morning (Friday). They are asking people to bring things and they will fill up a two tractor-trailer rigs to ship down south.
Even if this station is not locally owned, it at least has some on-air personalities, unlike the Jack FM format. The Infinity Broadcast System is doing this format in many of the markets where it owns stations.
It is people, not dollars, that can make a difference in peoples lives. People are hitchhiking after walking across a bridge over the Mississippi out of New Orleans. Once there they are getting rides from truck drivers the 350 miles to Houston.
This letter further proves the blocks that I put in my way are to some extent as tough to overcome as just sitting down at the typewriter and as Nike says 'Just Do It!
I do hope you had a nice vacation and were able to build some great family memories, being able to spend time all together.
It is almost 9:45 count time and I will try to finish out this page and still have time to proof and print pages one and two. This means that I will probably still owe you some comments from your latest letter.
As I think I said in my earlier letter, I am not mad about what you posted. Now that you have enabled the comments again, are they viewable to other readers? In other words are Summer's
comments seen by others?
I think you mentioned that you have the comments automatically emailed to you. Can I tell the difference between a comment and something that was emailed direct to you? It only matters if comments are visible by others.
It would be good for me to know which 'messages' are seen by others and which are private. I agree that I will use for stuff I do not want you to post.
Let me get this into the mail. Will send more stuff out this weekend.
Afraid of success?
My parents recently reminded me of one of the teachers during my private school years who felt that I was not afraid of failing, I was afraid of success.
I tend to agree with that now, in that when one has low self-esteem, you always see life as one long string of failures. Now I know better, but it is still too easy to slip into the old life patterns. I know that I am 'in for a bumpy ride' and I know to seek some support. That is all fine and dandy, if I had some resources to latch on to. As far as that goes, this location might just as well be the Gobi Desert with not an oasis in sight.
I do not know if I am able to express myself and have anyone believe I am not seeking a pity party.
Meanwhile I am sitting in a very dry and air conditioned building and have resources that thousands down among the hurricane ravaged states would consider living high on the hog.
In the past, my mantra would be 'It's not fair' usually said with a whole lot of whine in the line. I now know it is true: life is not fair and that is a good thing. I am very sorry for all those people struggling just to get some food and water to drink. If I was out in the free world, I would certainly be doing something to aid my fellow citizens, and know that when I do get out I will be working hard to help others.
I think it was a good thing for the president to get back to Washington two days early. I wonder about the use of the elder Bush and Clinton fund raising team as the first thing I would have wanted the president to work on.
It would be too much to expect, but how about airlifting all those National Guard Troops out of Iraq and letting them work here at home where they would not have to worry about someone trying to plant bombs to blow up their vehicles or having the right body armor to protect them from sniper fire.
Okay so this really has been not much of a personal letter so far. I am having lots of trouble saying focused.
It just dawned on me,
8:15 PM, that if I did not get this letter started now, it would be Tuesday morning before the next mail goes out.
In typical Pete style I have been back sliding and accelerating down the slope.
I have only walked once in the last ten days, and as you noticed from your snail mail box, I have not been typing anything to you this week. On the one hand it is certainly a self fulfilling prophesy. If I stop operating at top speed, I will seek the least level of action.
No walking, no writing; what have I been doing? I have been working on a legal motion, and whenever that happens, there are two opposing forces at work. The positive side is the like the story of the little engine that could. I know that step by step the work will get done and that if I make the right arguments I might even get out of jail! Sounds simple.
The opposing force is the experienced, reality-based side that says, 'Hey why bother to get your hopes up, you know the court is going to deny everything anyhow.'
Unfortunately, my current environment provides few options for me to seek support and encouragement with this struggle. Intellectually I understand the emotional drain that is involved, but the lack of resources to recharge the batteries and get back into the work needed to complete this current motion is just not there.
This is actually an improvement for me. In the past I would not even be able (or honest enough some might say) to acknowledge that a problem exists. For now the two things that help a little are some additional Diet Cokes and some extra candy, and some mindless novel reading. The candy does not really work. I usually treat myself to a Hershey bar each evening, and this past Tuesday I added three extra bags of Peanut M&M's. I ate one pack yesterday, but I am now about to finish the third bag. The second one gave its life earlier this afternoon.
The other support 'system' actually works a little better and is not as fattening. I read. Usually at this time what works best is a light novel that reads quickly and requires little intellectual power. A Robert Parker "Spencer" novel or in this case a Jackie Collins novel.
Last night before I dove into a book, I did spend some time with the math cross-sums to seek some self-validation of my own brain power. You think you are smart, you type your best arguments for the court and that opposing force mentioned above creates the mountain of doubt not only about this particular step but all the steps before.
I hope some of the preceding makes sense.
Thank you for the speedy copy service.
I received the copies in Thursday's mail. Since I only mailed it Monday morning, I was wondering when you got the envelope.
One interesting thing is that there was a barcode but not a post mark. The local post office noticed that the stamps bore no cancellation, so they took their trusty hand stamp and proceeded to stamp away being sure that all the stamps received some of the red ink stamp.
They are trying to organize a volleyball tournament and the teams were drawn at random and now several people are quitting because they do not want to play with this one or that one.
I have volunteered my previous recreation department experience to set up the tournament grid. It was pretty funny watching all the village idiots try and figure out how to set it up. Abbot and Costello would have been proud of the mayhem.
I do not know if the enclosed post (Memory Dump) makes as much sense as I think, but hopefully it will generate some comments.
I will also be toiling away on the motion I need for the court and I do appreciate your good wishes.
10:26 already, Okay I will print the letter first, then the fist part of Memory Dump.
Memory Dump II may not make it out tonight.
One Reason Food Stories are on this Blog.
From Robert B. Parker's book "Pastime":
"You told me how you started to cook, Susan said."You never have said why you like it.
"I like to make things," I said. "I've spent a lot of my time alone, and I have learned to treat myself as if I were a family. I give myself dinner at night. I give myself breakfast in the morning. I like the process of deciding what to eat. There's nothing lonelier than some guy alone in the kitchen eating Chinese food out of a carton.
I know most of the regular readers have gotten tired of me discussing what I eat and all the preparation that goes into the meals I eat. It really rang a bell with me as I read the above passage this morning. I have always liked working with mechanical things and figuring out how they work and being able to repair them.
What is computer programming if not the ability to take various ingredients (multiple software programs and hardware) and put them together to perform a specific task?
For me as an inmate in a correctional facility, the self-prepared meals certainly give me a bit of control where I have so little.
Sharing some of my meals with other inmates certainly helps me replenish my humanity.
That is something my current surroundings take away each and every day.
I am lucky enough
to have a cassette tape player, something that was not possible in Club Fed. I received several sets of the old radio shows. The first one I am listening to is the Abbott and Costello shows. The set includes five tapes, nine hours and eighteen shows. It is includes the famous "Who's on First" routine. The tapes are the actual broadcast and are from the years 1944 to 1949.
The broadcast prior to the end of the war featured a hero of the week, a member of the armed forces. The award was the sending of 500,000 Camel cigarettes to the servicemen overseas. This was done for two shows a week, 1,000,000 cigarettes sent free to the boys at war. The folks at home were told that they needed to always 'keep asking for Camels at their smoke shops, and that yes there were shortages, but it was due to the war. I was listening to the broadcast from December 1945. The following was the commercial that was aired in the middle of the show.
As a musical selection ends..."Delightful Connie, yes as delightful as the mild and tasteful smoke of a Camel cigarette meeting my T zone. The T zone, T for taste, T for throat. The zone where smokers test the smoke of any cigarette. Yes the T zone. The taste of a cigarette on your tongue, the feel of its smoke in your throat, only your T zone can judge.
That's how millions of smokers forced to experience many different brands when cigarettes were scarce found that Camels truly suited their T zone to a T. That fact is proved by factory orders for Camels now at the highest level in history. For Camels always a favorite with smokers everywhere are today demanded by more smokers than ever before.
For in smokers' T zones, the zones of taste and throat, Camels are the choice of experience."
T zone, is not T cells one of the things you have to watch when you have cancer? Coincidence?
There has been some talk of late as to how the average American does not really have to sacrifice anything during the current conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. A recent letter to the editor in the New York Times complained that the President should not have left Washington for a vacation on his ranch.
Perhaps we should follow the example of sacrifice during World War II. Let us send over millions of Camels (unfiltered), not to the U.S. Forces, but to all the opposition forces. Air drop then to the caves of Afghanistan and the rebel positions in Iraq. Flood the area with millions of free cigarettes.
After a short period of time, we could then ship over a whole bunch of executives from the cigarette companies and have them set up their manufacturing and distribution in these areas to feed the need for cigarettes. The profits from this entire endeavor could then be used to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.
And as the enemy combatants began to get cancer and other smoking related diseases, well that might finally be the major deterrent we need to keep out new recruits. Joining the rebel forces is hazardous to your heath. You could end up with cancer and go broke paying the tribute to support your leader's smoking addiction.
Hey it worked once before, we managed to hook an entire generation of soldiers on the great American Cigarette. The only problem was it was our own citizens. Wonder if the cigarettes would be classified as a WMD? Are they also a possible chemical weapon? WMD = Weapons of Mass Dependency.
The latest PC Magazine arrived complete with a thick cover stock advertisement for the Natural Cigarette. Why would anyone still advertise a product that is known to be harmful? And what does that say about computer users that it is worth the marketing dollars to advertise in one of its top publications.
By the way, cigarette smoke can also be harmful to your computer!
The availability of pen pals
has opened up more avenues of emotional feelings, and in order to experience the highs that each letter brings, it appears there are also some additional lows.
The analogy I used was that of a merry-go-round. In the past with getting mail from only a few consistent people, it was like being on one of the stationary horses on a merry-go-round. With the addition of the pen pals, I am still going around in circles, but now am riding on a horse that goes up and down.
Speaking of merry-go-rounds
, do they still have the Derby Racer
, that high speed one
at Rye Playland
Yes, regarding accidents, I was kidding about the suing. I realize there is no black and white answer to when to sue or not.
It is amazing the variety of ways people respond to traumatic experiences. I do not know if you have followed the turkey off the overpass case
in Suffolk County
. How the victim pushed
for the light punishment.
I also notice the two fatalities
that have occurred at Rye
. Again the issue comes up what do you have to do to insure someone's safety and when does it become a question of acceptable risk?
The post I have enclosed on the Camel ads is a good case in point. I was going to add how in the prison system while they are trying to limit smoking, it is still a very popular activity. The biggest seller on the commissary besides the ten cent (twenty cents at Club Fed) Ramen Noodles, a.k.a. crack-head soup, are the pouches of loose tobacco for around $.75.
According to one inmate you can get just over forty hand-rolled filterless cigarettes from one pack. Here I could have my cube vacuumed twice a day for one pouch of tobacco every two weeks. The stories of how matches and tobacco end up in areas where they are not allowed are amazing.
Yes I know I make typos and I catch some of them as I watch the final ribbon copy print out. Depending on the line of the printing and where the error is I can sometimes reinsert the page and fix the error.
By the way, I was wondering what would happen to the scanning if I highlighted any of the pages. I am thinking that perhaps I could use yellow to highlight errors that I did not catch in time and other colors for do not post sections. I will enclose an extra copy of one page with some highlighters to see if it can still be scanned.
It is certainly easier to catch someone else's errors. In my case I know I still allow my brain to see what should be thee and not what really is.
I think I will take another break and take a shower while I have the chance. I will be back to add yet more stuff and to finish proofing what I typed yesterday but did not send out.
Rainy Day Funk.
It is now Monday, August 22, and we have just finished the 5:25 PM count. I took the typewriter out around 5:00 and have just finished proofing pages one and two.
I am in a real funk. It was pouring rain around 8:30 AM this morning and even though it turned out to be a fast moving storm, I decided to use that as an excuse to stay in bed today. Since I am not allowed to be under the blankets, I used my coat to cover up and keep warm. Since it is not too warm out, the temperature in here is chilly. I did not bother to go to lunch and finally made a move to be in the upright position around 2:00 PM.
They finally delivered my state-issued boots today. They are apparently made by inmates. They are all black, weigh a ton and are too big. I will need to figure out a way to get some comfortable boots in here by the winter time or I will not be able to do much walking in the snow.
I need to go drop a book off at the library, and give back some legal papers that the law clerk asked me to read for him. It is about his own case. He is serving a five to fifteen year sentence, not sex related. He has received twenty-two Tier Two and seven Tier Three infractions while he has been incarcerated. Tier Three is the most severe infractions. In addition he served a total of 862 days in Special Housing, "The Box," for some of those infractions.
I will be back.
I am back. Luckily the inmate in the law library was busy helping another inmate so I said I would come back.
I am working on the emotional cloud I am currently surrounded by. I am aware of some real old habits rearing their ugly head. I certainly have plenty to do. Even stuff that would be considered intellectually challenging and stimulating, but I am not moving to attack those things.
I have read three Spencer hooks in the last week, and while I still have plenty to read of the books you have sent, I am at least honest enough to admit that what I need right now is partially met by reading the Spencer books. In other words, while there are still parts of my being that are behaving as they have for years,
I do have a better handle on how to deal with some of the feelings. I have resigned myself to not seeking too much emotional support from any of the other inmates here. While on the one hand that reeks of a rather elitist posturing, it also is correct in not seeking something where it is either not available or not helpful.
I still have plenty of the radio tapes to listen to if I wanted to just zone out. I can do some of the cross sums or crosswords for intellectual challenges, or read the NY Times for some current events updates. I guess it is a sign of some growth that I am working through the fog, even if in baby steps, as opposed to just giving up totally.
Another command decision,
I am skipping the chicken dinner. It is the leg and thigh portion of a chicken that is specifically bred for its low meat and high fat body composition.
I did get two ears of fresh corn on the cob this morning at the brunch. The prison system apparently has a farm operation in Wyoming County
. It was actually a real treat to have a truly fresh vegetable.
The movie today was "Man of the House
" with Tommy Lee Jones. It is a minimal plot type movie, although I did stay for the whole movie. It is not one I would watch more than once. It does take place in Texas though and I was certainly thinking of my Texas readers while I was watching it.
The other two movies this weekend were "Salem's Lot
" and "Ms. Congeniality 2." The former one, which I believe was actually first shown on TNT, we got it this time without the commercials. It was over three hours long and is based on a Stephen King book.
Saturday's movie was "Ms. Congeniality 2
", and although I like Sandra Bullock, this movie proves they milked the plot out the first time leaving nothing for the sequel.
Your latest letter arrived on Friday, and I notice that some of the things I write to you, either for future reference or just to vent to you are also ending up on the blog. For example, the ranting about the whole book thing with my parents. While I would not have wanted that on the blog, it does allow me to see what other people might read into a given situation, even if they do not have all the facts. I am not really sure how I want to deal with the control of what ends up on the blog. I am not even saying there needs to be any.
Do not worry about any of of the books you send ending up in the garbage; there is always someone who will read most of the books you send. It is already getting to the point where there are at least two or three books on each shelf in our library that you have sent.
The main problem is I have to be better at letting go of the books I am not going to read. I know there is always going to be plenty for me to read, but I have to admit that the institutionalization of my brain says to hold on to what you get, you never know when it might come in handy.
There have certainly been books that you have sent that have sat around in my locker for a while that I finally pick up and read and I have enjoyed and or learned something from. The autobiography
by Richard Feynman
is a good example.
It is not a problem to send or receive letters from out of the country as far as I know, except for the time lag. Well one cannot get enough training on patience.
I am not sure what the source of my various aches and pains is. I was going to take this weekend off from walking, but ended up walking with Roger, without Frank, on Saturday for one hour. It was at a more leisurely pace, and we talked the whole time. He did not go out today, so I ended up walking alone at my usual fast pace although I did not have the pop tops to count off the laps. It was strange to walk and not know how many laps I did.
More and More X-Rays.
I was not going to take the typewriter out. I was going to write a short note and ask you for a favor, but alas once the pen hit the paper the "woe is me" stuff started to flow.
I want to make clear that this is not a pity party, just the need to document the current state of my mind which I pretty soon will not have to worry about as the last remnants of it are about to take leave.
My sinus problem refuses to give me more than a couple of hours of relief. They started me on an antibiotic which does not seem to make much of a difference. I just pulled out the article that was in the Science Times a few months ago and I do not have any of the symptoms that they list for being treatable by antibiotics.
I did go and have some back x-rays done. Four different exposures. In December 2004 I had a chest x-ray. In January 2005 I had another chest x-ray, a panoramic dental x-ray, and at least three (or maybe four) x-rays of my sinuses. Since I have been here I have had another four sinus x-rays and then today's four back x-rays. They are saying they want to do another set of x-rays on my sinuses after I have taken the antibiotic for a week or so.
Meanwhile no one had actually done a physical exam of my nose. I am beginning to think I might be getting a little too much exposure to radiation?
On top of all this they called my name at for Legal Mail today and I was all prepared for the last rejection of my appeal, but it was not a denial but a request for additional paperwork. This last letter is dated 7/26/05 and the postmark date is August 1, 2005. It was addressed to me at Downstate. So it finally showed up today!
The last mailing from this same clerk was to me here, and she has consistently entered my letters to her as "change of address" letters. I still think she is purposely making sure I do not get to file this appeal properly.
At this point I am forced to argue a negative: the fact that I did not get the original letter that was supposedly mailed to me way back on February 2, 2005. The only way I can even begin to argue this is to show that all the letters I have written show that I was operating under procedures that were mailed to me on February 7, but that letter is not listed on the docket.
They also do not list receipt of a handwritten letter I mailed in February before I had the typewriter or any carbon paper.
I really am missing the emotional support system that was at Club Fed. This is the time when being able to talk things out with Dr. W. would be a blessing. Instead all I can do is vent to you and bear down and muddle through.