Prison Pete

Monday, October 30, 2006
  Alive and Well?
Just a short note to let you know that I am not dead yet!

The operation took over three hours on Monday and they only did the clean-up portion. They did not fix the deviated septum. That will require another operation.

I was knocked out and intubated (i.e. a tube inserted to breathe for me). I did not know about the intubation till five minutes before the operation! Surprise! The good part was that I was out cold for the tube insertion and removal.

I had a little trouble coming out of anesthesia and required two breathing treatments to get my lungs back to functioning normally.

I spent Monday afternoon till Wednesday at 5:00 PM in the infirmary at the Correctional Facility. I am due to go back to the doctor on Friday to have all the packing removed from my nose. The pain is not too bad. Kind of like a dull ache and an itch that cannot be scratched.

I had five New York Times waiting for me when I came back and I did the Monday and Tuesday crossword puzzles to be sure my brain is still working. I will send more details soon.

Are you employed yet?

How about those Mets? I was listening to the last game on the radio. From the sixth inning on it was like the Mets of old but alas no rolling ball through Buckner’s legs for salvation this time. Oh well, they did go farther than the Yankees!
Friday, October 27, 2006
  Mad as Hell.
Now I remember why I have been ignoring the television.

I was lucky to be able to watch Jeopardy at 7:30 PM for the last three nights. [It is Thursday as I write this.] Tonight as I went out to see about watching the show, I found that both the televisions were on the same channel. It was a second rate movie about basketball being shown on ESPN2®. I know this movie has already been seen many times here at Camp Run-a-Muk. The sad part is there were only about three inmates watching on the "little" TV.

As I mentioned, we have two TVs. One is in the main Rec area and is a large screen (35 inch?) and the other is in a glassed in corner of the Rec area and is smaller (21 inch). Now I know I am in prison and I have no rights, but the issue here is about protecting my own sense of self and keeping myself safe from harm. It would seem perfectly logical to ask the three inmates to allow me to watch a show and they could join the others out in the main TV area. Reasonable, yes, logical, yes, but in prison those two words have very little meaning in terms of application according to Webster’s.

What I have found is that in order to avoid putting myself into a "threatened" position (either emotionally or physically) it is best to not put myself in the situation in the first place.

That is what works for me. The ironic part is that if it was not for my efforts they would not even have the second television at this time. I was the one who fixed the destroyed antenna connection at the back of the set. BTW it was damaged by one of the inmates. Had I not fixed it, we would only have one television.

There begins the problem. I gave an extra effort to be sure the television set was fixed. Next, I began to feel entitled to some sort of pull over the choice of programs, the users... I mean fellow inmates, are quick to confirm that I have nothing coming.

Moral of the story: do not worry about the television, read a book, type a post for the blog, or write a letter.

I have read over sixteen books in the last six weeks. And the great thing about reading is there are no commercial interruptions.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
  Slowing Down.
I have been figuring out how much time I need to devote to getting things done. I have always been someone who felt as long as I had a task on my plate, I was covered. It did not matter if I had more tasks than I could ever complete; as long as I started it and maybe moved it forward once in a while I was making progress.

One example of this behavior was clipping out the daily crossword puzzle from the New York Times. It made sense. I was going to do them at some point. I had already paid for them. [Okay, Mom and Dad paid for them, by covering the cost of the seven day a week mail delivery of the paper.]

I had been religiously clipping and filing the puzzles for over a year. On a very rare occasion I would pull out the envelope full of puzzles and put the latest batch into date order and maybe take one or two off the top and attempt to do them. It would be fair to say this effort did not happen more than once or twice a month.

I was collecting puzzles at the rate of twenty-four or more puzzles a month and maybe completing two, three or four. I am not going even to mention the Sunday puzzles! Doing the math, over twenty-four puzzles coming in and maybe four getting completed each month, which is certainly not a good ratio.

For the last two months or so, I have been completing the crosswords as they arrive. The way the papers arrive, I get Monday's on Tuesday, and Tuesday's on Wednesday, etc. I am proud of the fact that as a result of this daily effort, not only am not increasing my puzzle collection at an alarming rate, I am also learning!

Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, by spending some time each day my ability to complete each puzzle without looking up clues in the puzzle dictionary, increases. There are still some days I need more help than others (speaking just about the puzzles ha ha), but I can see progress.

I can successfully complete most days up to Thursday. The puzzles get progressively harder and I am still collecting the Friday and Saturday puzzles, but that is certainly less than in the past.

It sometimes takes over an hour to complete some of the puzzles, and often I look at them two or three times during the afternoon and evening.

I certainly understand that I had accumulated more puzzles than I would ever complete and was not gaining any knowledge by saving the puzzles for a rainy day.
Monday, October 23, 2006
  Sinus Surgery and Rolling the Dice.
I found out yesterday that my sinus surgery is scheduled for Monday October 23. I will be going to the nearest big city Medical Center to be operated on by non-correctional doctors.

By the time you read this I will either have clearer sinuses, brain damage (one of the risks I was told this operation has), or worst case, I will be dead due to some accident while under the doctors care.

I will probably be away from here for a couple of days. I will be sure to send you a letter as soon as possible.

I need to share a bunch of emotional issues I have been dealing with on my own, which has resulted in fewer letters heading your way and is not a protest of lack of mail from you. I do need to hear from you though as you are the only mail I get these days.

I placed a call to Mom and Dad yesterday for the first time since June. I needed to confirm that there are no family medical problems with anesthesia. They are doing well I guess. There was no mention of any plans to visit me so I guess I will not see them at all this year.

They did go to the recent taping of Jeopardy at Radio City. I had sent in a request for tickets when it first appeared in the New York Times. They did not realize who sent the tickets. Cool, I was able to send a "gift" to Mom and Dad that they actually used and enjoyed.

I did proof and print the enclosed posts, and I hope it shows. I received your most recent letter today but cannot begin to comment on it at this point. So you are spending more time with your kids and doing lots of bike riding; I’m glad some things about your unemployment are on the positive aide.

Damn, I started typing at 7:30 PM and now it is 9:30 PM.

Count time... More to follow.
Monday, October 16, 2006
  Hiding from life by reading.
This will not be a proof and print letter, and so I apologize from the start of this missive for the typos. I hope it will not be too bad but...

I am happy that you have found a way to still scan my letters and I will now have to give you something worth posting. It is not that I have lost the ability to communicate, it is just that hiding from life by reading books seems to be the way I am coping with the funk. I am in another of those low periods, and as such have not been keeping up with all the mundane tasks of keeping my various papers filed away in their proper places.

Two things I have been doing are reading the newspapers as they come in, and curling up with the books you have sent. I have already finished four of them: The Professional by Edwin Fadiman Jr.; Role of Honor (James Bond) by John Gardner; Deception Point by Dan Brown; In The Presence of Enemies by William J. Coughlin.

I have also been working through the daily NY Times crossword puzzles and am getting to the point where I can handle Monday through Thursday without too much difficulty.

Your letter arrived the same day as the PC magazine and they had a brief review of document handlers. I tore out the pages and put them with your letter for when I wrote back, and now where the hell is that letter? Well it will surface soon. I am a little behind in the weekly review of the papers and have about three weeks to go through.

How is the job search going? [Editor: Still unemployed, thanks for asking.] If you end up collecting any unemployment, I am pretty sure it increases the premiums that your former employer has to pay for that part of the program but I am not sure. Filing an age discrimination lawsuit would be an uphill battle to be sure. Why enrich the pockets of some greedy lawyer anyhow? That is assuming you got someone to take the case on a contingency basis.

Speaking of your former employer, I wonder how much money those full page ads in the NY Times cost? Did you catch the item about the mid-week day off over in India for those outsource companies due to some kind of border protest? That will teach the corporate big shots a lesson for all the outsourcing they have been doing.

On the bright side if you are still unemployed, what's not to love? Daytime bike rides and baseball playoffs. Where is the downside?

I am enclosing another page from the latest Hamilton catalog that lists the videos and DVD's they have. I do not know if you are interested in them at all but you cannot beat the price. I'm not sure how they have King Kong in color but perhaps that is part of the Ted Turner collection that he had computer colored.

I bought one of those monster Microsoft Access developers’ books and I have been working my way through it. Give me my old DOS-based database! Do you really need to be able to capture ten or more different events as each character is typed in? Key Down, Key Up, Key Press (Which has different information than the first two events, but is triggered at the same time.) Well I am reading some of it each night; I then will need to write up a proposal for the proposed database for the chapel.

I will send you an updated "books I have read" list soon. In the meantime: novels, non-fantasy, and mix up the genre and you are good to go. I will let you know once I get down to the last one or two books from this last shipment. I do not want to get such a big collection of books to read. As I think I mentioned before, ten or so books a month is probably the limit of what I can realistically read. I will add some more thoughts on this too.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
  Midi Keyboard.
Maybe you could put another request out on the blog for any info on this model.

Yamaha PSR-E303 61 Key Midi Keyboard #YAM PSRE303KIT @ $189.95

I realize the last request fell on deaf ears.
Friday, October 06, 2006
  Two Less Ball Breakers.
I received your letter today! Always a great day when your letters arrive. Such a suck up I am, but truly it is an honor to receive your letters. The letter was date stamped by our mail room six days after it was postmarked (the same day you wrote it), so I am not sure what took it so long.

I was greeted with various greetings by the staff members down in Maintenance this morning, but no different than I would have expected. As luck would have it I am scheduled to meet with my counselor tomorrow morning, so I will see if she can shed any light on my current state of unease.

Along with your letter, which was the only letter, I received six New York Times, one INC magazine and the October Playboy! The papers will take a while to read to be sure. I to still try to get them all read and clipped by Sunday.

Although we have a memo on our wall that clearly states that a special commissary buy will be arranged when you are out of the facility on your normal day, the next day, should have been tomorrow. I did not get the commissary sheet today and will not get it now till Monday evening for next Tuesday. They are closed to regular shopping on Mondays. On the one hand I guess I should be thankful since they are currently out of octopus, but they usually get a batch of missing items shipped in each Monday.

The strike became a non-issue as far as any demands being met. The "leaders" were all busted and are spending six months to a year in the special housing unit for organizing. I don't know if I had mentioned it, but the previously discussed "village idiot" that gave me such a hard time a while back was one of them, and he was led out of this dorm in handcuffs and was shipped out of here to serve his "box" time at another location. Good riddance.

I will double check my last few letters since there may indeed be a few things that I never did commit to paper but am thinking I did.

The staff member that worked in the tool room is now gone also, and the replacement seems to have a more positive attitude.

I think most of the ball breaking is just due to my hard work ethic and my desire to question things and want to do things as best as I can. Not just "good enough for prison." And yes there is also the fact that I will get the job done right.

As I have said before, it is not easy being me, but I certainly understand that better now than ever before. It does not mean I do not vent about it once in a while.

But what I have learned is that it is not worth complaining directly back to the ball breaker. I do drop (or make) some comments once in a while but have managed to not let the commenters get direct feedback from me in the form of a whiny response. I save that for you and my faithful blog readers. Ha Ha.

The old TV show Hank does not ring a bell. But back in those days we were not allowed to watch TV. Friday nights we would watch the Don Ameche Circus and maybe another show on after it but at this point I am drawing a blank. We would get some occasional Saturday Morning TV if Mom and Dad wanted to sleep in.

The only other TV that we watched back in the 60's was when we were at Grandma's on Sundays. We would watch Ed Sullivan, The FBI, Bonanza, and The Ted Mack Amateur Hour.

Hamilton has a bunch of the old cartoons like Popeye for real cheap on DVD: 30 shows under $10.00. Any interest? I could send you a list of the ones they have. They are also beginning to have some of the older movies on DVD. I will just send you some of the listings.

I will work on The Prison Pete FAQ and perhaps that might have a side benefit of having people put forth questions they would like me to answer. I will even keep a copy of it, and then from time to time reorganize it. It will be a good project for me.

As mentioned before, the lack of pen pal mail continues.

Damn it already 9:00 and I setter start the proof and print stage. I am just going to have enough time to get this printed before 10:00.

I love George Carlin! I have to get his latest book. Hamilton has it for $7.95 I think.

I have to type a post for Maggie. That will hopefully occur in the next week (or two).
Thursday, October 05, 2006
  My Life Is Not Boring.
Perhaps as I am typing this there is already a letter from you on the way.

I have been really slow in writing and have been struggling with the futility of it all. The “all” being my life as it currently exists and the lack of any hope for a future for myself. It is funny how one little thing you say in your letters can stick in my mind and cause me to deal with a whole bunch of different feelings at one time.

The latest was your comment about how your life and my life are boring. First of all, as you should notice from some of my letters your life is not boring to me. I certainly enjoy hearing about your daily triumphs, struggles, and even the assorted sly looks from members of the opposite sex. I have been known to expound on an issue or comment you pass on to me in your letters, so keep them coming.

I have been coping with my state of feeling blue by reading. I have kept up with the Times but that is about the extent of my "work." I still go to my maintenance job and while my carpentry and other skills have been improving, the actual time allotted to work (basically 90 minutes each morning and afternoon) allow such little time to make forward progress, I just want to give up.

I was keeping a close eye on my fingers over the last two days as I fitted the dado blades on the table saw. I managed to design my own jig for guiding the wood over the dado blades.

When it was time to hand in the tools yesterday afternoon I had to remove the dado blades and reinstall the regular saw blade along with the safety guides which I have to remove to use the dado blades. It was the first time I had used dado blades on a table saw. While it was certainly many years ago (in high school) we used a radial arm saw to make the dado cuts for book shelves.

A few weeks ago an inmate was severely beaten. His neck was broken and he lost several of his teeth when a dust pan brush was used to smash his mouth. This attack occurred in one of the dorms which is a six month substance abuse program and most of the inmates taking the program are within six months or less of going home. One would think that those inmates would be on their best behavior and not want to do anything that would affect their chance of going home!

My life, from my perspective, is certainly not boring, and here one must always be on guard so as to not end up being the victim of some unwanted dental work.

While the current funk I am in has all but wiped out any desire to follow up on my appeal, the next chance I have to get out would be the parole board in another three years. If that is indeed the next chance to get out, and I live that long, and while it would seem impossible for them to not let me go after serving fifteen years in jail, there is certainly a real possibility that they could turn me down and hold me for at least another two years. That does not give me much to hope for as far as a future, but should I throw in the towel now?

So boring my life is not. Empty, loveless, lonely; yes, that it is. But boring it is not. Please understand that I owe you a lot of love and do certainly appreciate all you have done and continue to do for me. I am honored to be your friend and do not want you to read this letter as a complaint as respects your efforts.

The issue becomes one of who am I. Yeah it is great to correspond with you and my pen pals, but when no mail arrives, and Mom and Dad do less than they were doing, well I begin to ask myself am I really doomed to a life of emptiness? There is absolutely no way to get any sort of validation of my value as a human here. Okay, yes I can work on being my own best friend, and that is where the burying my nose in the books comes in. But even that fails after a while.

Okay so your next letter will do a whole bunch to raise my spirits. But it is unfair to build my whole sense of worth on you.

I have been spending some time with the C++ book and am in the area that talks about Classes and Structs. I understand the theory, but the application is driving me nuts. I still want to see how far I can get without access to a computer and hope to surprise you one day soon with a C++ program for you to compile for me. But at this point do not hold your breath!

I have plenty of things to keep me busy, but feel very much like my old self in that I am capable of many things but am not willing to apply the effort to move the possibilities from dreams to reality. Just like the letters of late where I gave up using the memory to type a draft. It was taking too long to proof and reprint, but the lack of proofing is certainly easy to see. No proofing equals second rate work.

I did manage to get a custom card done for Dad's and Mom's birthdays. I still owe you a card. Another one of those old Pete issues.

One of the young guys just came by to see if he could get "something sweet" to put in his pancakes. After turning him down I reconsidered and gave him one of my last five Hershey bars. He does not go to the store till next week so he will not be able to replace it before I go to the store. True, one candy bar is not going to end my life, but when it is all I have to look forward to... I told him I could lend him tuna, tomato sauce, pasta, all items I am willing lend out. But when it comes to the chocolate, even if I buy a couple extra, there is never enough to make it through the two week period.

I know: suck it up. I am in prison. I am willing to accept all that the state throws at me. Yeah, like I have a choice. But it is in trying to build up a "resource center" to take care of me that the lack of places to pull from becomes a problem. And let us not even get started about the hypocrisy I am surrounded with.

Well I now have three double spaced, double sided pages to proof and reprint. The dorm will be leaving for Rec yard shortly so it means I have 90 minutes to proof and print this letter and get a shower before the 10:00 count. Off I go. More to follow.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
  I have been feeling really blue
and as you have noticed by now, not been doing any writing over the last week or so. At one point last week I was taking six different medications including some steroids. I think I am suffering a slight detox effect from the steroids now. I will be drafting a post specific to the meds soon.

I am typing this letter into the memory, double spaced and will carefully edit it before printing the final copy.

I have been struggling with a whole bunch of emotional stuff. I am pleased to confirm that I have kept up with my New York Times reading. As much as I hate to admit it by reading the papers as they come in, and doing the crosswords each day also some of the words and phrases are beginning to stick into the old gray matter. Not only are specific words sticking but also the general ability to "see" words when I have a few of the letters written in is sharper. I have never been one to take on any task that requires daily practice and where progress is measured in baby steps. I have to admit it does work.

I have not been doing much else besides reading. It is great to not have accumulated a backlog of papers, as I have in the past when feeling blue.

I realize I have let my typing go all to hell in terms of providing you with error proof OCR-ready text. Not even close lately. I apologize for getting so sloppy. This again is the old Pete, taking the short cuts and allowing second class work to suffice when I can and should strive for a higher standard.

I did receive two letters from Mom and Dad (but nothing else!) in the last two weeks, but they were not at all warm and fuzzy and could have been written to anyone. This is all part of the funk I am in. I am working on a way to excise some of the pain by writing about it. Maybe even writing why I can not write about it will help.

I do have plenty to write about and will get cracking on it soon.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
  I can see clearly now...
When I went to pick up my next two typewriter ribbons this morning at the package room I asked the mail clerk if they had anything for me. She checked the list and said no.

Then I mentioned that I was expecting a small plastic magnifying glass. She said, "Wait a minute I think I saw that envelope somewhere." I saw I stack of envelopes sitting on one of the counters and there was one with a "cute" type commemorative stamp showing in the stack. She pulled it out and sure enough there was your delivery awaiting processing. She opened it up right then, logged it on my property sheet which was out already for me to sign for the ribbons, and now.... I can see the small print Yeah Thank You.

Your letters have been the only mail I have received in the last two weeks. I have sent a couple of letters to my pen pals, but I have not heard back from any of them recently.

At least the newspapers are back on schedule. Today I received Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I have read through all of Monday and Tuesday and finished both crosswords. I have read a few sections of the Sunday paper and will probably look at the rest of it a little later on tonight.

Speaking of reading do you have any more books to send? If so please go ahead and send me another batch.

I have not heard much more about the alleged food strike that is (was?) supposed to happen tomorrow. On the one hand I kind of doubt it will happen at breakfast as tomorrow is "glazed doughnuts." I only put it in quotes because they are those Little Debbie type glazed dough things each in its own cellophane wrapper. Not close to a real Dunkin Doughnut. Ah for the good old days at Club Fed making those fresh cinnamon buns from midnight to 6:00 AM and eating way too many through the night.

It has started really cooling off at night here. I am sleeping with my extra blankets most nights and they even had the heat on a few mornings. Right now it is a little warm, but certainly not the dripping wet sweat stuff of a week of so back.

Yard time for our dorm is in the early part of the evening. They just left around 7:30 PM and are due back around 8:30. I need to get in the shower before they all come back.

Let me go take my shower and see how much time I have left to add a bit more to this letter.

Shower Time.

Okay shower is done. Boy I just read last paragraph on page two. Let’s now try it in English.

I wonder if I start using the direct-to-paper mode as opposed to the line-by-line printing if my accuracy will improve. It seems to me that since I know I can go back and correct anything on the line that maybe I allow myself to get sloppy?

The last paragraph was typed directly and it seems to make a difference in my sub-conscious. It's tough to figure it all out but hey I got nothing but time to figure it all out. I would think that by now I should be able to type fairly accurately, but it seems I am doomed to a life of proof and print.

And if I ever do figure it out? Well as another song goes: That will be the day... When I die.

It was sort of cool last night as the radio station spent the last half hour before going off the air for the night doing a Queen set, including Fat Bottom Girls

Well it is almost that time again. Lights out and I have a whole shitload of house keeping stuff to do, and my bed is packed six inches deep with stuff that needs to be properly sorted and put in its proper place. I have managed to successfully read five days of New York Times in the last thirty six hours. Yay me!

I looked up "subconscious" in the dictionary you sent a while ago and was able to now read the words thanks to the handy dandy magnifying plastic. Hum, you are truly a great friend and I am so glad you are an important part of my life. Keep strong and enjoy your wife and children.
Monday, October 02, 2006
  Prison Plumber Pete.
We have a new inmate that just started in maintenance yesterday. He only works the morning shift, but was there at 7:30 AM this morning and helped me with the truck.

Today was the today we got to ride through most of the compound in an open truck dropping off supplies to each of the eight units. He is a younger inmate of Mexican descent and he had this great big smile on his face as we took off from the loading dock and he got to wave to his fellow inmates from the back of the truck.

When we got back to the shop, I decided to take about four different work orders that involved plumbing skills. For some reason we have lost all our semi-skilled workers at the same time.

Listening to the radio, on the community calendar segment they just mentioned the Scoop on Poop: parasite counting skills in fecal matter of your goats and sheep. Handouts and light refreshments will be provided. You gotta love the local rural radio station.

Coincidentally, along that same line the first problem we attacked was a clog in the waste line between sink three and two in one of the units bathrooms. Each bathroom has four sinks along two opposite walls, eight total, for use by the sixty inmates in each unit. Since this clog was somewhere in the wall, this meant that both the third and fourth sink were not usable.

Since nothing in prison is ever easy, it is not just a simple matter of loosening the sink trap and removing it. The traps are threaded onto the pipe that comes out of the wall and if you try to spin the trap off, unfortunately you can't because the sink is in the way.

Well we had one of those air ram devices, which you can hand pump up to 50 or 60 PSI and an electric hand-drill-style power snake. We removed the plug at the bottom of the traps in sinks three and four but only succeeded in covering ourselves with brackish type sludge that accumulates in drain pipes. The last sink had a half trap that I could remove and that left me with an elbow on the pipe going into the wall.

I was able to turn the elbow so that instead of the opening pointing to the floor, I was able to point it to the three o'clock position. The problem with using the air ram on this point was you needed to try and plug the overflow and drain in sink three so that the air pressure wiill not just escape out the sink rather than knocking out the damn clog.

Well 10:00 arrived and still no progress, but regardless it was time to put all the tools away and head back to the shop. My new assistant, self appointed by moi, decided he certainly did not like plumbing.

In the afternoon, I rounded up another assistant and headed back up for Round 2 of attacking the clogged sinks. This time I was able to unscrew the drain from sink three after detaching the hot and cold supply lines, then loosen the brackets that lock the porcelain sink in place. I was able to jiggle the sink on the brackets just enough to spin the trap off.

Now I had a direct shot into the main drain pipe to hopefully clear the clog. After several blasts using the air ram to plug the pipe and run the water in sink four, still no luck.

But luck was with us because at the same time we were working on this clog, the vocation class in building maintenance was using a power washer in the showers. I had them spray the power sprayer into the drain pipe and that cleared the plug. It is now about 1:30 PM and still three more jobs to do.

Next stop was to realign the flushometer on one toilet and one urinal. The inmates like to kick the toilet flushometer to flush it and this ends up causing the joints in the fixture to spring leaks. The remedy is to loosen the various joints and realign the pipes and retighten everything. Time now 1:45 PM. Pushing the time barrier,

I head off to the third unit to fix a shower that is missing a handle. It could only have happened that another maintenance inmate started doing something on the valve, got lost, and left the pieces he could not put back with the officer.

Unfortunately, I was missing a nice long shaft screwdriver needed to turn the water off to properly fix the valve. I was able to turn the hot and cold water off, but when it came time to turn them back on, the shaft of the smaller screwdriver would not reach up to get a strong enough grip to turn the water back on.

After several futile minutes trying to get the water back on, I gave up and put the tools away only then realizing that is was now 2:15 PM. Fifteen minutes after the normal time we are supposed to be back in the shop. When I got back in the shop the civilian in the tool cage, the previously discussed somewhat pain in the ass, made it clear to me that I was late.

Bottom line I was able to fix three out of four of the jobs that had been sitting around for a few days, and on the fourth one I at least stopped the water from spurting out of the shower valve with the missing pieces. Tomorrow morning I will go back to the last job and fix the shower valve, but first making sure I have all the tools I need.

I still need to type a short note for one of the other inmates. Earlier this morning while the inmate giving me the tools was showing me the various sized pipe wrenches, as I turned the first two, the same civilian told the inmate to just give me any pipe wrench, he did not care which one. Lot of good it does me if the jaws are too small to fit around the pipe!

Well let me go type the letter for the other inmate.

By the way, the old man telling me about the upcoming strike may have been a little over dramatic. There is supposed to be a strike as far as going to chow goes, which is certainly not a problem for me, but as far as disobeying program and job assignments that is not in the plans. No knifing heading my way at this time. I hope.

The Friday and Saturday paper arrived today. Normally I would have expected Sunday and Monday today. I guess all the airplane threats are also effecting the U.S. mail. I assume they must fly the mail from the NYC area to the hub that then passes our mail on to the local post office. So for the short term it looks like I will be several days behind. I did manage to read through the two papers, but did not attempt either of the crossword puzzles. I will be giving them a shot tonight after lights out.

Now I have will wait till tomorrow, Wednesday, to get the Monday paper, and get my weekly shot of confidence by doing the Monday Puzzle in PEN. Some day all of them.

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