After being Spammed for Thanksgiving
, I knew better than to expect anything resembling a holiday meal from the chow hall today. I had been planning my first attempt at English muffin pizza.
As you will notice from my last shopping list, I can buy English muffins for $1.00, and eight ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese. I used a can of the diced tomatoes I received in my Care package from Mom and Dad and a can of mushrooms from the commissary and heated that mixture up in the microwave.
I toasted up two English muffins. I have two 20-ounce round microwave bowls and I put two halves in each bowl. I then piled on the tomato and mushroom mix, topped each one off with some shredded mozzarella.
For the piece de resistance I had a can of rolled anchovies with capers. These too came from Mom and Dad. Flat anchovies would have been a little easier. Unrolling already rolled anchovies seems slightly counterproductive.
I then placed each bowl in the microwave for one minute and there you have it - Easter pizza! The microwave does tend to make any type of bread product mushy, so that is why I toast the muffins first. They still get soft, but do not totally lose their 'breadness.'
I thought I was being overly generous with the cheese, and I used less than half of the eight ounce bag. I could have used a little more cheese on the muffins. There is no such thing as too much mozzarella cheese.
On the other hand while I am out of anchovies (the first can ended up on muffins with just the mozzarella cheese), I will probably have some toasted muffins and nuke some mozzarella cheese on them or use some of the cheese for my lunch time tuna melts.
While I do have access to the stove for cooking, it is not always available. Until I figure out how to get the burners to work at peak temperatures, it is certainly not good for a quick meal.
What I have been doing for lunch is opening up a can of tuna (the chunk type in water) and. mixing in some spices and either the pickle relish or mustard. Sometimes I add chopped onions but that is not necessary. I put half the mix on each half of a toasted English, and then put one slice of American cheese on top of each half. Nuke for 45 seconds and lunch is served.
While I have given up my soda habit for the time being, I am afraid the other treats I am buying instead are not helping keep off the excess pounds and do nothing for the caffeine fix I feel helps with my self diagnosed ADD. I have given up drinking plain tea. I found that it was beginning to aggravate my stomach.
As a result I have been caffeine free for over a week now and instead I am munching out on pretzels, microwave popcorn and either a two ounce bag of M&M's or 1.45 ounce Hershey's with almonds. Those wonderful munchies against Diet Coke. Hmm, zero calories in the Diet Coke and the munchies have, um lots. Well, we certainly seem to have a problem with that math.
I better get walking and soon!
Promises to Write.
Good evening, it is 7:00 PM here in upstate New York. I hope you had an enjoyable Easter? Did the Easter Bunny give you a little extra holiday tail? Ha Ha
I am hoping to enclose a few more posts, but to be honest I am not sure how long my motivation will hold out. It has been a long week here and I am feeling rather sorry for myself. I know that it is not a good thing and I am working on lifting myself up and there should be some improvement soon.
I have decided that it would probably be a good thing if you do not send me any comments that show up on the blog that ask for my address. I am not sure exactly how the archive of the blog is done by you, but certainly save the remarks for later on, just delete them in the copy you send to me.
I know that your last letter included two requests for my address and again I have received nothing. It is certainly a little thing but each time I see a request I get my hopes up. Each day at mail call, I keep saying well maybe tomorrow. This past week I did not receive one letter!
Now I know you are busy and I can deal with the time between your letters, but it is something different with the blog. The hopeless romantic in me thinks there are people out there that might actually give a damn about me as a human.
It has been over two weeks since I have heard from Mom and Dad. Dad was supposed to write twice a week (his words) and I hoped that at least we could get to a once a week thing, but alas it does not seem to take much for me to fall off their radar.
It is not negative comments that bother me, I am resigned to that and in some ways I have been dealing with that my whole life and now can handle that to some extent, and if it becomes too oppressive I know to reach out for help. It is the false sincerity that bugs me I guess. I am willing to leave the pen pal thing up there and maybe someone will really write someday. It just does not need to be something I need to know about in advance.
I do not want to bother following up the people that asked for my address and have decided not to send you a sample intro letter either at this point. If you ever get a comment like, "I was going to write but I changed my mind," you can send those through. It is just the ones that say they will write that I would like you to not mention to me at this point. Give them my address and if they write I will certainly let you know!
And an Ice Box Too?
Well not really a box, more like an ice pail. I finally received a five gallon bucket which we are allowed to keep under our beds (which is a good thing because it would never fit in my locker). Each cube should have its own ice bucket and milk crate (I am still waiting on that).
Like most things that are not nailed down in prison, the buckets have a habit of disappearing when inmates are moved around. For one reason or another the buckets end up property of another cube.
Several inmates have taken a second bucket, poked some holes in it, and placed it inside another bucket. This way the water from the melting ice drips down and the items in the bucket do not sit in water. Since I am lucky to have one bucket at this point, I brought a plastic colander this week thinking that it would make a good thing to have at the bottom of the bucket.
Unfortunately, the diameter of the colander is larger than the bottom of the bucket. Instead I have it wedged in the bottom at an angle. It is doing the job of stopping the few items I have placed on ice from sitting in the water.
I have the extra pasta from tonight's meal sitting on the ice now. In addition I have the package of mozzarella cheese chilling since that does not hold up too well at room temperature. It will be interesting to see how well the ice machine can keep up with all the ice buckets once the warm weather hits.
I have only been icing my food for the last thirty-six hours. I drain and refill the pail every four to six hours. Provided the ice machine can keep up in the summer, which will be great; if not, I will refrain from buying those items that need to be kept on ice.
Wait a minute, what about the chocolate? No air conditioning. Never mind, I will have to fight for my fair share of ice to save my chocolate this summer. I have already given up my trusty Diet Cokes but I will not give up my chocolate too. What’s that about never saying never?
They do not sell Coke products here. I do not care for Pepsi. The other problem is that unlike at my last location, I actually have to walk down the hill to go to the commissary. It would be almost impossible for me to carry my eight six-packs of soda along with my other food items.
The downside of no Diet Coke is that I have spent some of the money I previously allocated to the soda on other treats. And they are not the zero calorie type as the Diet Coke was.
It seems so unfair. The .75 ounce bag of Cheez Doodles® has 110 calories and 50 of them are the dreaded fat calories. Urgh. I fear that I am going be in dire need of a massive walking regime in the very near future. I have yet to start the walking. I did read three papers this morning, and two yesterday morning.
It is now almost 9:00 PM, time to proof and print. I have done three posts tonight. Getting back on track. Stay tuned for lots more writing to come.
A Real Medical Doctor.
I met the doctor here back in March and am now successfully able to use my nose for more than just a protuberance to hold my reading glasses up.
As I sat down with the doctor he wasted little time in telling me that it was obvious that I was certainly in need of a nose job and possible additional work excavating (my term for what he described would be done to clear out my obviously clogged and screwed up sinuses).
I asked him if maybe we could first try a pharmacological approach since I had not had any competent health care in over a year. He did a physical exam of my nose, throat and ears and was able to confirm his diagnosis. While at my previous location, the alleged doctor never came within ten feet of me, and never even talked to me directly. It was the nurse that was sitting about five feet away who explained what was wrong with me.
This doctor explained how he initially starting working here on a part time basis to help support his local private practice, taking care of patients that were not always able to pay for his services. He has since become the full time director of health services and is still able to take care of some private patients.
He is also an FAA Certified Medical Examiner. He and I happen to have the wide foot problem in common, but alas he was not able to find a way around the rules and regulations so that I would be free from wearing the ill fitting and painful, state supplied boots.
I was cutting some onions the other day and for the first time in a year I found my eyes tearing. Obviously with my sinuses hopelessly clogged in the past I was not as susceptible to this inconvenience. My taste buds were not all that functional either.
It will probably not be all that much of a blessing in the coming summer months when (if?) my fellow dorm mates fail to make use of the showers (including soap) on a regular basis. When that occurs, I will be really glad that I have the ability to open the window right at the head of my bed.
I am grateful for the doctor's care. I am looking forward to seeing him sometime in the next few weeks for a follow up to see what prophylactic steps we are going to take to keep my sinuses healthy and keep me away from the surgeon's blade.
Oh, I was originally going to title this post, "I Can Smell Clearly Now, the Snot is Gone" but thought better of it.
Real Home Cooked Food!
And this time I could even taste it.
One thing I have not mentioned about my new location is the medical doctor here actually seems to know what he is doing. I will explain that in greater detail, but he has prescribed a nasal spray with a steroid and my sinuses have cleared up to the point I can now experience the full spectrum of tastes and smells that I have been missing over the last year. This of course is a good news bad news situation, but that too will be delved into in greater detail. Now back to the issue at hand, Real food.
Tonight's dinner was a real tasty treat. I looked up from my humble cube around 5:45 PM to discover that there was nobody at the stove! I rushed out, grabbed the five quart pot and filled it with water and placed it on the stove. I had decided to break open the salmon steak that comes in one of the handy foil packages. This was one of the items that were included in the last food package from home.
Using the heavy cast iron skillet I stir-fried up three large cloves of garlic (sold in the commissary), two onions, one large fresh green pepper, and one small can of mushrooms. I cooked about two thirds of a pound of pasta and have a twenty ounce bowl filled with pasta and the vegetable mix for use with tomorrow's protein product. It might be the previously vilified creature from the sea. (See I did not say it. I will not offend some of my readers that do not find all my food choices to their liking. HA HA and you know who you are.)
Once the pasta was just about finished I warmed the salmon up by placing it atop the vegetable medley cooking in the skillet. It was truly an amazing blast for the senses. Pasta with (mostly) fresh vegetables topped with a salmon steak and plenty of parmesan cheese!
So now having washed all the pots, dishes, and assorted implements used to prepare the delectable repast, I am documenting this event for the free world to savor and enjoy.
Special thanks to Mom and Dad for the salmon! I know it is a lot of extra effort to send me the food, but it does really make a difference. I do not know how many of you out there have gone through the effort to ship ten to fifteen pounds of assorted can goods, cookies, bricks of cheese and DOVE DARK CHOCOLATE HEARTS (yeah I really liked those, the one bag actually lasted ten whole days, but not without some real struggling HA HA). I know it is not easy, but it makes a real incredible difference in my meals and treats. But as they say, "It ain't easy!"
I Am Sorry.
At first, my excuse for not writing for the blog was the fact that I was on the road. Then once I arrived at my new home I was waiting for my paper and ribbons.
The paper and ribbons arrived and after an initial burst of inspiration I allowed myself to spiral down in a nice dark pit of self pity. I dived into the world of fiction and have read six books in the last ten days, but still no writing escaped from my secured location to be seen by you, my wonderfully faithful blog readers.
I just finished a book, it is now 8:15 PM and if I buckle down I should be able to get this post finished by lights out, 10:00 PM.
I have my hot pot at the ready and will be putting the pasta in and come back to typing while dinner cooks.
I had to really laugh at the lengths I was going to feel wanted. When I reported to my maintenance job at noon today, one of the other inmates told me he could use my help. The job was working on a slop sink drain that was clogged. This particular sink is one of those one foot deep floor mounted types. During the morning the sink was lifted off the floor, and about two feet deep of dirt was removed to get to the source of the problem.
When we arrived this afternoon we removed about two feet of plastic drain pipe, only to discover that the pipe was hopelessly clogged. We used one of those super-sized industrial rotor-rooter type machines. After one hour of toiling away, we managed to clear the line. The sludge from the hole and the pipe smelled of many different noxious odors, and the sediment that ended up on our clothes all combined to leave the two of us reeking like we had not bathed in weeks.
Since we had to have the tools back by 2:00 and needed to let the pit dry out a bit before completing the job, the task will be completed (hopefully) during the morning work period tomorrow. I had somewhat overanxiously told the inmate I was working with that I would be willing to come in early and help him finish the job. He is assigned to work both morning and afternoon, while I am only assigned in the afternoon.
The funny part is I have plenty of things that I need to do. I am off in the mornings, and should be doing reading, writing and other items that need my personal attention at that time.
But even after all these years in prison, some aspects of my being are still there. All through high school, much to my parents' dismay, I would more likely be found working with the plant manager fixing stuff around the school than attending my assigned classes. If I was not working on fixing things, I was doing all things technical in the theatre department.
Here I am again with things that need doing, most with a delayed gratification aspect, but willing to swill around in smelly sewer water instead.
I am now confessing my sins. Making amends by typing this combined apology and informative post and will not be going into work early tomorrow morning but will work on what I have had sitting on the round-to-it pile.
I can hear the giggles now from some of you that have been reading this blog for a while, and the editor is certainly muttering something along the lines of "I will believe that when I see more postings in my snail mail box," but if nothing else, I am willing to attempt to tackle some of my shortcomings yet again.
I can also write one heck of a run on sentence.
It is time for a quick break to eat my pasta. It is just about 9:00 PM and I should have no problem getting this proofed and printed by 10:00 PM.
One more confession, I feel better, my spirits are already well on the way to climbing out of the pit. All just from typing this post, and as always, I wonder what took me so long to get this stuff flowing again. URGH. (I am sending a personal copy of this along to my Mom and Dad. I know they will get a chuckle out of it. Maybe a few "I told you so's"?)
Shopping List - April 10, 2006
I am allowed to spend up to $55.00 each shopping day. This is one of the first weeks in a long time I actually added the items correctly ahead of time!
Quantity Item Cost Total Cost
Tuna in Water 5 $0.52 $2.60
Octopus 10 .73 7.30
Mushrooms (4 oz. drained wt.) 3 .38 1.14
Grated Parmesan Cheese (3 oz.) 2 .82 1.64
Spaghetti (1 lb.) 4 .40 1.60
Mustard (8 oz. squeeze bottle) 1 .40 .40
Sweet Relish 1 1.29 1.29
Honey (12 oz. wt.) 1 1.60 1.60
Margarine (16 oz. tub) 1 .67 .67
Peanut Butter - Chunky 1 1.05 1.05
Lemon Juice (plastic lemon) 1 .39 .39
Hot Sauce (6 oz.) 1 .39 .39
Oregano (1 oz.) 1 .62 .62
Garlic powder (3 oz.) 1 .62 .62
Choc. Chip Cookies (Keebler Soft) 1 1.57 1.57
Wheat Bread (std. loaf) 2 1.1.5 2.30
English Muffins (6 pack) 3 1.00 3.00
Sliced American Cheese (16 slices/12 oz.) 2 1.73 3.46
Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded 8 oz.) 1 1.81 1.81
Fresh Green Peppers (2 per) 1 .69 .69
Cheese puffs (.75 oz.) 5 .15 .75
Pretzels (1.5 oz) 12 .15 1.80
Microwave Popcorn - generic 10 .23 2.30
M&M Plain (2 oz.) 8 .40 3.20
Hershey's w/ Almonds (1.45 oz) 8 .38 3.04
Hershey's Mint Choc. Chip Ice Cream (pt.) 1 1.28 1.28*
Tone Soap 1 .62 .62
Dial Soap 1 .56 .58*
Aim Toothpaste (6 oz.) 1 .98 .98
White 8%2x11 Pad 1 .35 .35
Net Bag 1 2.89 2.89
Plastic Bowl (40 oz.) 2 .89 1.78
Plastic Colander 1 1.04 1.04
Tootsie Pop (each) 3 .07 .21
I will be adding the items I have received in my package from Mom and Dad and share the way I prepare the food over the next few days.*
These items and one of the plastic bowls were part of my Random Acts of Kindness program and were purchased for a fellow inmate. Never turn down a request for soap and toothpaste from a fellow inmate, especially if he happens to live in the cube next to you!
[Editor] This is a letter I recently received from Pete with a copy of some legal documents. All names, places, dates, and numbers have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty. It doesn't make much sense to me, but I am not a lawyer. Neither is Pete, and apparently even the court is confused about their own procedures. If there is a lesson in all this, I suppose it is to behave yourself so that you don't get tangled in the sticky web that is our justice system.
I received your letter today. THANK YOU. It was good to hear from you. I will respond to your letter tomorrow, as this letter is a simple request for your assistance in my never ending search for justice.
I do not know if you have been keeping track of some of the hoops I have jumped through in the last year, but as you might be able to tell from the enclosed court document I am now being told to go back to the start. Strange.
According to my understanding of the law they cite, the missing paperwork was supposed to be issued by the court automatically when I originally filed the notice of appeal over a year ago!
If the second highest court system in this country (U.S. Supreme Court being the highest) can not figure out what is going on, how am I supposed to know what needs to be done? Of course the good news in this I am not dead yet. Hope is still springing eternally.
Would you be kind enough to Xerox two copies of the enclosed court order and send one copy to the court with the enclosed letter, and keep one copy in the archives? Please return the original to me when you send me your next letter. I'm asking because in order to get one copy of this page it would take me over a week of waiting.
Thanks for your help. I have enclosed an envelope for you to mail to the court.
To: Clerk of the U.S. District Court
Re: Prison Pete v. Attorney General State of New York
Docket Number: 08-qjc-59 - Certificate of Appealability
To whom it may concern:
Enclosed please find an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals stating the need for the District Court to issue a Certificate of Appealability as stated in FRAP Rule 16(c) and Circuit Rule 27b.
According to the way I understand the above rules, the district court judge was supposed to rule on the Certificate of Appealability at the time the Notice of Appeal was filed. Since this was not done, I am respectfully asking that the district court judge rule on the issue at this time.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
Docket Number: 27-gkrw-163
Short Title: Prison Pete v. Attorney General State of New York
DC Docket Number: 08-qjc-59
DC Judge: Honorable Seymour Johnson
At a stated term of the United States Court of Appeals, held at the United States Courthouse, on the 14th day of April, two thousand and six.
Attorney General of New York,
A notice of appeal having been filed from an order denying relief in a application brought under the provisions of 17 U.S.C. Section 1361, and it appearing that the file of the proceedings does not contain either a certificate of appealability or a denial thereof, it is ORDERED
that said appeal be, and it hereby is DISMISSED
without prejudice to the appeal being reinstated upon notice to the Clerk within 30 days from the entry of an order by the district judge granted or denying a certificate of appealability. Any motions pending prior to the entry of this order of dismissal are deemed MOOT
In accordance with Rule 16(c) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and Circuit Rule 27b, you are hereby directed to promptly move for a certificate of appealability in the district court.
For the Court,
Bernice E. Fitzgerald, Clerk
By: Virginia Roberts
Yet Another Undisclosed Secure Location.
I have moved to yet another location, in the string of government (NY State) funded secure locations. I have moved from the western part of New York to the eastern edge.
While my previous location was a secure location inside a secure location, this current location has me secured within a location with 900 (give or take a few) other men. This new location has some different expectations as to how I am to spend my time. I am required to have a program for two of the four 'mods' during each weekday. As of Monday, I will be working the second and third mods. The first mod is 8:00 to 11:00 AM; second mod, 12:00 to 3:00 PM; third mod, 3:00 to 6:00 PM; and last but not least the fourth mod is 6:30 to 9:30 PM.
My current plan is to spend at least three days a week walking the track during the morning time period. I have only managed to walk for two of the 21 days or so I have been here, so there is certainly room for improvement on that task.
My afternoon will be easily filled with work putting back together all the various items that my fellow inhabitants fold, spindle and mutilate. I will get to work with all kinds of tools, and show off my mechanical skills.
My late afternoon job will find me cleaning up the dorm area and to be honest, most days this will not take me more than fifteen to thirty minutes for my assigned task. The remainder of the time will hopefully be put to good use typing more great posts for this blog. [Well day one of the great plan and now walking in the morning, and took a nap from 4:00 to 5:30 PM.]
My living area is in a ninety feet by fifty feet room with four rows of cubes. One row along each of the ninety feet long walls, and a double row down the middle of the room. Each cube is six feet wide and ten feet deep. The dividers between each cube are four feet high.
Each building has two dorms in it and there are seven such buildings in this compound.
Three sides of the room have windows that open. There is no air conditioning here. I am located along one of the walls with the windows, and have a window that is directly at the head of my bed. This will come in handy during the warmer months. I am hopeful that we might be high enough up in the mountains to get a cool breeze in the evening. This will be my first time in over ten years that I will not have air conditioning during the summer.
Ten of the fifty cubes have bunk beds, and when I first arrived I was assigned to the bottom bunk in a double cube. I have since moved 'up' in the world and now have my own personal cube. This too is a new experience. I have not had my own 'space' with the exception of the few weeks I spent in a single room when I first arrived in New York. The rooms at Club Fed were all two man rooms. So while I do not have a room, I do not have anyone trying to live in the same space I am living in.
My cube comes furnished with a six by three foot steel bed. This is a good thing. The old bunk bed had a spring bottom and with the thin mattress, offered no support for my back. This steel bunk is the same I have been sleeping on for the last ten years and it is good.
In addition I have two lockers. One large one, one small one. Both are filled with all my worldly possessions. The small one doubles as a stand for my typewriter. It is about three feet tall, and about sixteen inches square. There is no place to rest my arms, so for now I am straddling the locker and resting my arms on the tops of my thighs. I have my own plastic chair.
I have one double electrical outlet. With my extension cord I have the four plugs I need for my lamp, radio, personal fan, and typewriter. (Again this is totally different from Club Fed. We were not allowed any electrical appliances in our rooms.)
We have two rooms for recreation, each with a television. The larger area also has two phone booths and the cooking area, which is a four burner electric stove top. We also have a toaster, a coffee pot for hot water and a microwave.
The bathroom has the usual sinks (8), toilets (4), and urinals (3), and one large shower room with eight shower heads along three walls.
There is no smoking allowed anywhere inside the building, but since you can not just step outside any time to smoke, the bathroom also doubles as an (illegal) smoking area, and depending on the officer on duty you may get a 'ticket' if caught. Good thing I do not smoke.
One last amenity is our laundry room. We have three front loading washers and three dryers. And no extra pay is needed to get your clothes clean. This also is a good thing.
Does Anybody Here Really Know What Music Is?
It has been an interesting few hours as the one and only radio station I get in with any type of a clear signal does a six hour (6 to midnight) sock hop
. All 50's and some early 60's. Mostly 50's
This radio station is a real eclectic mix. They are now playing Moonlight Serenade
. Big band music. Before that it was a bunch of country songs and before that some rock and roll. They have several hours of big band music on Sunday afternoons. Interesting juxtaposition.
My 'brothers' here all rap and if the officer steps out of the sleeping area, as the dorm area is called, they unplug their headphones and blast their rap tapes. Meanwhile I am listening to Chuck Berry
See what happens when you take the arts out of the schools? You end up with entire generations with no sense of what MUSIC is!
It is now 8:45 PM Monday evening and I just got done printing all of the enclosed, plus a two page letter to Mom and Dad. I am typing this directly out so please excuse any errors.
They are predicting 3" to 6" of snow for tomorrow if you are above a certain elevation, so I guess if I have a bunch of snow I will know about how high up I am. My nose knows already, and my sinuses are getting better (clearer) every day. The steroid spray the doctor here prescribed is working. I can even begin to taste my food again. I will tell about my latest food concoctions in the next post.
It is actually pretty neat to have my own space to work in and once I work through the idea that I need to be able to bite off a little bit of work at a time this move thing may really have more pluses than minuses. Since I do not have to cart all the writing supplies back and forth to a table, I should be able to work in shorter time periods and not keep waiting till I get those massive bursts of creativity. At the same time I have to not let myself get overwhelmed. I have tons of letters that need to be written including something to the courts on my appeal.
The latest on that is they are now saying I have to go back to the start. All the paperwork I have filed in the last year is declared moot. The U.S. Appeals Court is also telling me I have to go back to the District Court and ask them to do something that according to the law I read, they were supposed to do without me asking them to do it! I guess the good news is that my case is still alive and I might get some relief? Ah, hope springs eternal -- and pigs are flying past my window as I type this. Ha Ha.
Well this page is almost full and I really need to close up shop for the night. I need to shower and see if I can get a razor. I am past due on my once a week shave. So goodbye for now.
Hello out there.
I assume you are out there somewhere and busy at living your life.
I am really missing my Diet Coke, and the caffeine shot. I am drinking plenty of unsweetened tea but it is just not the same. However, I have still managed to spend the $55.00 limit at commissary without the $10 to $14 of soda. Go figure. As you will note on the enclosed post [still to be written], the commissary has some new items that I have taken advantage of.
The biggest problem right now for me is having to have responsibilities that cut into my reading and writing time. Tonight all the inmates are looking forward to watching King Kong
. It is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM. The good part about that is the stove should be free at that time so I can cook a meal. I am pretty hungry now and do not want to fill up on junk. [Oh well, I did junk up and still made a meal.]
I think I can cover most of what is new in my life in a bunch of posts, so let me get cracking and see how much I can complete in the next few hours. Lights out here is 10:00 PM so I have to be all proofed and printed by then. I get up at 6:00 AM to be sure this makes it in the mailbox down at the chow hall before they pick up the mail. No more dropping it in the box any time I finish. Problems, problems, possibilities!
It is now 6:00 PM. I will take a break around 7:30 PM to cook so that leaves me 90 minutes to type now. But I am hungry now, wah wah. I had a Twix bar just now and that only makes me hungrier!
Drop me a line when you get a chance. Please hold off on sending any books till I ask for them. I have already finished three of last set and should make some more headway this week.
Well let me get another mug full of tea and get cracking.
I Am Soooo Tired.
It is now 4:00 PM on Sunday afternoon, and I am just starting to type all the things that need to be typed. The list is quite long and most of the things are promises long past due.
But the first thing I am doing is this post to get the ball rolling. The two main ingredients needed to provide the post, paper and typewriter ribbons were both in short supply since my move to this new location. Friday morning this problem was solved with the arrival of both items!
One would have thought that I would have started typing on Friday, or maybe Saturday, or at least earlier than 4:00 PM today. I have no good reason for the delay, but plenty of lame excuses which I will not bother trying to foist on you, my faithful blog readers. You are still out there. Are you?
I spent the last hour working on putting all the various letters and other printed matter I need to respond to in some semblance of order. Will it do any good? Time will tell.
I will finish this initial post and then write a big thank-you note to Mom and Dad. Not only did they send in the needed typing supplies, I also received twelve pounds of food which I will mention in one of the following posts. Yes, there will be more posts coming. I am not sure how many I will get done today, but they will start flowing forth for all to read.
Why am I so tired? Well this new location I am at is about to undergo a facility-wide review by an independent accrediting organization. (Not that it means all that much, if they fail we do not get sent home. It would mean we were in a place that did not even meet the minimum standards for a prison in the United States.) This means everything that could be painted has been painted, and what could be waxed, got waxed.
I somehow volunteered for a task here and there, and before I knew it my good work brought me heaps of praise, (it is cheaper than having to pay me) and what else? More tasks. I have painted over fifty percent of the sloped ceiling in the sleeping area, mopped and buffed more floors than I care to mention, and removed innumerable paint drips and drops from the floor.
In typical backwards prison fashion, they first stripped and waxed the floors. Next all the vertical surfaces were painted. These vertical surfaces, which include the room's perimeter cement block walls and metal four-foot-high cubical walls, tend to allow paint to fall, yes gravity is a factor, on to the newly waxed floor. Not content with the progress toward a neatened up living area, we then paint rollered the ceilings.
Altogether four different colors were used, and since all surfaces were above the newly waxed floor, you guessed it, some of each of those four colors ended up on the floor in the form of fine mist, little drips, big globs (which usually became the start of a trail of sneaker prints), and even an occasional outright paint spill.
I now know what happens when one spends a year or so not doing much physical activity, and then starts to use all those wonderful muscle groups that for the last year only had to worry about holding up a book for me to read while reclining on my top bunk. I have certainly been sleeping well!
I did find the letter I sent to my wonderful editor, and if he was kind enough to post the titles for a bunch of posts I intended to write, [Editor: Sorry, I did not.]
that is the start of what needs to be done.
I think I can use some of what I need to write to Mom and Dad as postable material so that will allow me to kill two birds with one stone. But why would I want to kill even one bird?
Thank you all for hanging in there while I get my life back together after my recent location change.
Hope life is being kind to all of you out there and enjoy the continuing adventures of Prison Pete.
Telegram from Pete.
Sunday, April 2, 2006
Urgent message STOP Time now 21:35 and I just counted and have twelve double spaced pages to proof and print STOP
Can post this part of message to blog STOP Will certainly send expanded copy tomorrow post STOP The damn electric stove is so slow to heat stuff STOP Also did not realize I had drafted so many pages STOP Poor time management skills strikes again STOP
They say there are no more telegrams STOP Guess I should stop this now STOP Amazing how much clearer the period makes for breaking up ones thoughts STOP Do realize this whole thing should have been in caps STOP
More to follow STOP
Hope all is well at your end STOP