Prison Pete

Saturday, September 22, 2007
  My long term goals.
I was wondering if you would see if you can find a source for the next keyboard up from mine where the price might be under $200. The model number is Yamaha PSRE403. American Musical Supply has it for $229.00.

I am going to ask if as long as I agree not to hold the institution liable for more than $200, if I could order it. The keyboard does have two major differences from the one I have. It has a six track sequencer and what appear to be ten or so presets so I could instantly switch from playing an organ trumpet mix, to something softer like flutes.

Since I am still too spastic to be able to play two parts with each hand, melody and alto with right, bass and tenor with left, the six tracks would let me put in the four parts on their own track, and with their own voice, which would certainly give me more artistic options. If you can find a place that sells it for $199.00 that would be great. It does have to be shipped from a "REAL" business so second hand or personal eBay sellers are out.

I would really appreciate this. If you do not want to do this perhaps you could post this and we could ask for volunteer to keep eyes open (and search active) for any time the keyboard might go on sale somewhere. Just my uninformed suggestions.

One of my long term goals, and perhaps a job once I get out, is to establish an organization (non-profit) that would assist prison ministry with music. My though is to have a web site that would eventually cover everything from what type of amplifications systems to buy, live volunteer musicians that are willing to perform for prison services, access to legal copyright protected music, forum for area churches to donate money, equipment, etc. to various prisons.

I have been meaning to write a full fledged post about this and even see if anyone out there might want to start such a site. Initially, there would probably just be commentary written by moi, stating the long term goal and encouraging people to share there musical talents in the prison setting.

In the long term I could see doing serious grant writing, fund raising and developing all kinds of resources useful to prison chaplains. Funding could eventually some from the National or regional bodies of the various denominations.

Enough of that dream for now. More to follow.
Friday, September 21, 2007
  Bi-Weekly Shopping List.
I just spent around two hours putting my bi-weekly shopping away.

I have not had freshly fried food since entering the NY state system. Yes they do sell the frozen fried chicken but that is certainly not the same and I have not brought that since the inmate that begged me to let him give me the stamps for half a box left our dorm. Yes, no fried foods is certainly one less unhealthy thing for me to eat and that is a good thing.

One of the things that I work on convincing myself when I see all the great junk food come in to other inmates through the package room is the calories that would add to my attempt to limit my caloric intake. It is a constant battle but one that is certainly a little easy to win now that I have hit the 220 mark.

I have not yet done anything to get my weight down under 210 from the current 220. And to think I was hoping to be under 200. I know I need to do some walking but the logistics of getting to the Rec yard are making that reality difficult for me.

I do not know if this was mentioned early on, but at one point Club Fed started opening the Rec yard at 6:00 AM, before they started serving breakfast. You got a good hour of exercise, in my case walking, in before they called the morning work call. I used to make a P.B. & J. sandwich, head out and put in four miles or so of walking and that was a great way to start the day.

While that is not possible here, I have started back to at least getting up at 6:00 AM and not lying in bed till the last minute before the 7:30 AM mandatory wake-up and beds made. I decided to jump in and get this letter out, even though my usual commissary day scheduled found my laying around reading a book after giving myself a sugar high.

I am typing this letter standing up. It is just 7:00 so I still have three more hours to type this letter to you. I do not want to stop conversing with you, and go to strictly blog post writing. Does that make any sense?

Yes, one can regret moments of laziness, but some times it has more benefits than being active. For example we had two days, (Thursday through Saturday evening) of miserable heat and humidity. The dorm was miserable even just trying to lie on the bunk. No cuddling up under the blankets.

The heat broke during the night Saturday. The wind changed from coming from the south to bring in the nice cooler air from the north. By early Sunday morning I was enjoying be under my two blankets, and ended up staying in bed, under the covers, till 1:30 PM when I jumped up and managed to quickly shower and dress for church at 2:00. I did not have anything to eat or drink till after I returned from Mass around 3:30 PM.

Bi-Weekly Shopping List

3 cans of Dr. Pepper 36¢ each $1.08
3 Cans Chunk Light Tuna in water 6 oz. 53¢ $1.59
5 cans octopus in soy oil 4 oz. 77¢ $3.85
2 Jars (plastic) Parmesan Cheese 3 oz. 82¢ $1.64
1 can Crushed Tomato 28 oz. $.80
1 bottle Strawberry Preserves 22 oz. $1.90
2 cans Mushrooms in water 4 oz. 47¢ $.94
4 cans Black Beans 15.5 oz 38¢ $1.52
1 carton Egg Beaters, whites only, 1 lb. $2.15
1 mustard 8 oz. $.40
1 Catsup 24 oz. $.94
1 Sweet Relish 12.7 oz. $1.29
1 Sugar 2 lb. $1.15
1 box Saltines 1 lb. $.81
1 Tub soft margarine 1 lb. $.81
1 Tea Bags 48 count $.84
1 Peanut Butter - Chunky 18 oz. $1.15
2 loaves Wheat Bread $1.15 $2.30
2 boxes Little Debbie Powdered Donuts 6/4 pks. $1.34 $2.68
4 Pks. English Muffins 6 muffins per $1.00 $4.00
2 pks. American Cheese 16 slices 12 oz. $1.73 $3.46
1 block Cheddar Cheese 8 oz. $1.55
2 pks Buddig Sliced Turkey 2.5 oz. 69¢ $1.38
1 bag onions 2 lb. $.69
1 Cream Cheese 8 oz. $1.09
1 bag shredded Mozzarella 8 oz. $2.05
1 bag Honey Roasted Peanuts 2 Oz. $.34
10 bags Plain M&M's 40¢ $4.00
15 bags of pretzels 1.5 oz. 15¢ $2.25
1 Green Mint Ice Cream Pint $1.28
10 Microwave Popcorn 23¢ $2.30
10 41¢ stamps $4.10
1 Microwave Popcorn $.23
4 pouches Roll your own tobacco Tops 70¢ $2.80
TOTAL $58.35

No, I do not smoke, the Tops is a random act of kindness for two other inmates who will pay me back when they go to the store.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
  The Senatorial sex sting and a glimmer of hope.
Not only did the NY Times slim down, they are printing less. The Letters to the Editor carried a notice that they were looking for ways to print more letters. Duh, add a page. The letters is one of the places I love to read to see if I missed a story or op-ed piece.

There have been some comments about the Senatorial sex sting in the airport in the paper. I want to post a whole op-ed piece of my own and have clipped the articles to have as background.

The bigger story to me personally is the Senator attempted to take back his guilty plea. The article devoted to that issue clearly stated how hard that is to do. It mentions that Minnesota has some specific guidelines about when you can take a plea back, which NY did not, but -- and this is a long shot -- if he manages to fight this issue into the federal courts, it could remotely give me a teeny tiny opening to get my issue back in court.

If he claims, for instance, that he was not represented by a lawyer, even though I had a lawyer, I could show his ruling as bolstering my right to effective counsel. That even though I was the one that pled guilty, just like the good Senator, without proper legal counsel, the plea was not proper.

It is a really long stretch from anything in the Senator's case being useful to me. I only mention it to show how at some point I do need to get into the law books and see if someone else with issues similar to mine received a different result. One never knows.

Okay I am really starting to fall apart here so let me wrap this letter up and put the typewriter to bed for the night. Fingers and back are giving out about now. My kingdom for a desk and proper chair to type from.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
  I am typing this letter direct
without the proof and print step. Can you tell the difference?

For me writing the letter is the easy part. Going back to proof, edit and reprint is the torturous part. As I think I have mentioned before, it takes around fifteen minutes to edit and print each single spaced page. There is no print buffer so while a page is being printed I can not be editing the next page.

As I mentioned the proof and print part is time consuming for me. Not only do I catch all the corrected spelled but in the wrong place words, but I remove all the redundant words and unneeded words. There should be less "really", "So", and other phrases you have pointed out to me in letters past.

The NY Times is still driving me crazy and I need to figure out where the problem is. Yesterday I received Sunday 9/2 and Wednesday through Saturday (9/5 to 9/8). I thought this might be an omen of things being straightened out since it was normal to receive Friday and Saturday papers on Monday. But today no papers arrived. Drat. Double drat. I did send the letter to the local postmaster on August 30 asking him to log the receipt date for one week's worth of papers. I might get an answer soon?

I was going to wait to get a response from the postmaster and then ask dad to call, but I am not sure how well he would be able to explain the problem. Of course I am assuming that it is not the facility that is all of a sudden sitting on all my papers. The strange thing is that they have enough papers coming to this zip code to put a bunch of papers together. Therefore I assume a stack of papers arrived still in a bundle here at the post office.

Enough about the paper.

To answer a question, we do not get the TV remotes; it prevents one inmate from controlling the television. It would certainly reduce the mechanical wear and tear, but prison in general and this one in particular do not always do things the way that makes the most sense.

In Club Fed, there was one remote in each unit to control all six televisions and most times you had to get it from the officer to make the change. Once in a while the remote would "disappear" and the plugs would be pulled on all televisions until the remote was found.

I happened to watch a half hour or so of the Oprah show yesterday. It was her first show of the season and she taped them in NYC. The show was already on, and it caught my eye as David Letterman was the guest. I laughed and enjoyed the time, but noticed how old Letterman looked. I do not think I have seen him in several years.

I am amazed at how easy I can get sucked into watching something, but also surprise myself how I have so many other things to occupy my time that I wonder how I could have sat (or laid in bed) and watched two or more hours of television a night. Now give me a book to read and off I go.

I had started reading a Nelson DeMille book late Saturday afternoon, and finished it by 1:30 PM Sunday. Damn, I forgot to write the book in my list, I think it was "Wild Fire". It is a post 9/11 book based on the premise that the US has a hardwired automatic response to nuke 100 Islamic sites if any city in the US is attacked by terrorists with nuclear weapons. DeMille claims there is a thread of truth in this plan. It supposedly is known by the leaders of the various Islamic countries and forces them to keep terrorists in line.

Some very rich and powerful men (US citizens) decide to purchase some old Russian suitcase bombs, blow up two US cities, and then force the engagement of Project Wild Fire. No more Islamic problem.

It is one of the spy/conspiracy books that I enjoy and does not go too far afield, in my opinion, from the realm of the possible.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Did you read the story (also in Monday's paper) about the California Prisons? The guy who was appointed by the federal courts at the outrageous salary of $500,000 a year. And then they are shipping 8,000 inmates out of state to private prisons. That is a disaster waiting to happen. See story by Logan on private prison that was used to house District of Columbia offenders in the late 90's. They closed it down because of the inhumane conditions. Several hundred of those prisoners ended up at with me, so I heard some of the horror stories first hand.

Maybe someone smarter than I could explain how if one of the major problems with prisons is improper funding, you are going to come out ahead of the game (the game being adequate care for prisoners at the least cost to the taxpayer) if you take monies that previously went 100% to the care of said prisoners and now give it to a private company that still has to provide adequate care with those same dollars, but also takes a cut for the profit of the stockholders?

Meanwhile in the September 2007 edition of "The Lutheran" I was encouraged to learn that the national church body, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is developing a Criminal Justice Statement. The item states:

"The assembly approved (957-68) an initiative that grew out of memorials from three synods that will result in a social statement on criminal justice to be considered by the 2013 assembly. The statements will likely deal with the prison system, rehabilitation for those convicted of crimes and the cost of incarcerating criminals."

2013... Maybe I will be out by then.

I seriously think someone got the idea from reading my blog. No, really seriously, I am going to write a letter to the national church, suggesting they be sure to consult with people who have been and still are in the system. That's right, if you are going to take a position on people in prison, it would be a good idea to talk to those who have been on the inside to find out what needs to be addressed. As far as it taking all the way to 2013 to figure that out, well one must not just rush into a project of this scope.

There you have it. Long holiday weekend coming up, already gone by the time you get this, and perhaps I will use the day off from work to dig into the stack of clippings that continues to grow but never seems to make it into the blog.

Into the envelope this goes. Stay well, have fun, and be careful out there.
Monday, September 17, 2007
After getting that much delayed letter out to you earlier this week I found my creative juices were running like Niagara Falls. Somehow the brain came up with the idea of writing some Hikoo.

Yes, I know that is not how it is spelled, but that is part of the story. All I could remember was that there were a certain number of syllables on each line. I had hoped that the much used and tattered paperback dictionary you so kindly sent me a while back would have the necessary information as

Assuming that perhaps the word was in the dictionary but that I might be misspelling it, which would be a surprise, I then pulled out the massive hard covered Crossword Puzzle dictionary. I looked up "poetry" and there was listed Haiku.

Now back to the dictionary I go, and there it is H A I K U right where it belongs. All well and good for those of us not gifted with a rather unorthodox approach to spelling.

To bring this bit of rambling to an end, the definition did include the formula I sought, and so the following is the result of that information. In case you have forgotten, it is three lines, five syllables on the first and last lines and seven in the middle one.

To my blog readers. I know sometimes my writing can seem to go on and on and the point I am making could be made with fewer words. In that vein, I submit the following Haiku's that were written over the last twenty-four hours.

Moon full, bright and round
Its bright light shines through the trees
Can you see tonight?

Full moon round and bright
Light shines through trees and windows
You see it tonight

This poem is haiku
Five, seven, five in three lines
I think I'll write more

Prison is a dark place
No one really looks too deep
It is lonely here

Mom's Birthday has passed
I forgot to send a card
This poem is for her.

I did not think hard
To write these lines of Haiku
I should write more oft.

Jesus loves us all
He died to save you and me
He rose, lives on high.

I fixed a T.V.
Power cord and on/off switch bad
It is now okay.

Building a bookcase
Using half inch ply, rough stuff
Sander made it smooth

Morn had coffee cake
Lunch peanut butter, jelly
Dinner, we will see.

Use too many words
So with haiku must be terse
Make it sound like verse.

Pen pals I would like
Each to share life's journey with
Grateful I will be.

Two doughnut packs lent
Today no doughnuts in store
Will wait two weeks more.

Feel better today
Ice cream and treats yesterday
How long I feel up?

Where would problems go
If all the world wrote haiku
Would there be world peace?

Dinner octopus
Pasta, spice, catsup, mustard
Served chilled, with relish.

Busy post dinner
Will make birthday card for Mom
And type my haikus

Time to check pasta
Is it done yet, yes it is
Time to chill and eat.

Fall is coming soon
Some trees outside my window
Are all green no more.

Dinner is done, I'm full
Need to start typing these out
Maybe I will rest.

Microsoft is huge
Bill Gates has oodles of cash
I wish I had his.

Hand sewing pillows
They once were two, now one stuffed
Is this task legal?

Names I have been called
But now sew and sew seems right
Pillow sewed up tight.

The goal is soul mate
And lots of treasured friendships
So why not pen pal?

Work today was nice
My antagonist was out
No harsh words today.

Means Active opposition
Or hostility, urgh.

Some of these poems are
Really not that good and some
Are really no good.

Well let us see if this latest creative spark gets any reaction out there in blogland.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
  Two mailings this week, this is more like it.
I am really pissed at the NY Times. Although I need to send a letter to the local postmaster (and hope he responds) confirming that the delay in receiving the papers is not the prison's doing.

Today I finally received Sunday and Monday. These papers usually arrived on Tuesday.

It is difficult to maintain a disciplined approach to reading when they are arriving so haphazardly.

I did scan Monday's paper and came across an interesting tidbit about Virgil Griffith. Have you been to his site? WikiScanner. The article on page 6 of the Business Section, mentions how this new site can trace back who makes changes to entries at Wikipedia.

I love this sentence: "Mr. Griffith's web site exposed dozens of interesting changes to Wikipedia entries that had been traced to computers at government agencies like the C.I.A., as well as to corporate..."

Can we get an example of "interesting changes" by the C.I.A.?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
  Knock knock.
Okay, we are going to try yet another approach to letter writing. This will not even be proofed today. It will sit till tomorrow, then be proofed and printed. The goal being even tighter copy and fewer missed errors.

This idea came to me while I was just taking my shower, then with the stress of having to get this in the mail tonight lessened, I got the brainstorm of an idea for Dad's Birthday card. It will be based on the following knock-knock joke:

Knock knock
Who’s there?
No who?
No who forgot your birthday?
Happy Birthday...

Now that I have shared that brainstorm with you, I will have to come up with something even more outstanding for your much delayed, and certainly well deserved card. Stay tuned for that exciting event.

It is around 8:30 PM and so I will be wrapping this letter up for the night. Tomorrow my well trained eye will edit the bejeezus out of this missive and deliver to you something that even Bill Gate's spelling and grammar checkers will find minimal fault with.

Hey a guy can dream can't he?
Friday, September 14, 2007
  Today was the bi-weekly commissary trip
and not even a ton of sugar can lift my spirits.

I had my usual pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Since I have been eating on the taxpayers dime of late, I was able to splurge and purchased an Entenmann's Cheese Filled Crumb Coffee Cake. Retail price is $4.79, we pay only $3.64. 1 will end up carving out seven or eight pieces tomorrow and spread a little cheer among my neighbors. Sure I could eat the whole thing, tonight even, but I know I do not need all the extra calories.

I received Self-Made Man on Friday, finished on Saturday. It is the story of a gay woman who passed herself off as a guy for one year. It raises a bunch of interesting ideas that I want to expand on via a post. That will be arriving shortly.

I have not gotten back on my healthy eating plan, and am loath to get on a scale. This Friday I will probably be making a trek down to the medical center in the city for the 90 day check-up from my nose surgery.

If things go as they have in the past, I will get up about 4:30 AM, be handcuffed all day, plus belly chain and leg irons while on the road. Since the surgeons do not show up till after 1:00 PM, it is usually around 3:00 PM when we (anywhere from seven to fifteen other inmates) are ready to get back on the road. This being summertime, traffic around here is rather heavy. I will hopefully return to my humble dwelling about 6:00 PM.

I am typing this out as a draft, and will be jumping in the shower shortly. Let me check on the showers, then come back to proof and print this wandering letter. I'll be back.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
  I am able to lift out of the funk
but not hoist myself up the mountain of happiness. I know I am in prison, but once in a while a body needs to soar above the slings and arrows of everyday life. Please do not think of this as whining. I am only writing this out in an attempt to see if it eases my mind in any way.

The lesson of accomplishing two major tasks in one day, making sure one unit had a working ice machine and our unit had a properly functioning large screen television, reinforces the fact that I am very capable of handling more responsibility in the maintenance department, but am kept "down" by certain staff members with the feeble excuse that I am the carpenter.

If I do not have a carpentry project to do, then I am supposed to sit around and wait for one. Thankfully the regular officer that supervises us (and just returned from a two week vacation) has me do other tasks as long as I do not have a carpentry project to work on.

I just finished going through the Sunday NY Times and read with interest the article in the Styles section about Perez Hilton. Hmm let me see... blog about the lives of Hollywood stars, has millions of hits, and my humble blog... Is this a case of style over substance?

Being honest, this blog has not had all that much substance of late, but hopefully the six pages I sent last week plus more to follow this week will bring about some more spirited comments and possible debate.

I just realized as I typed a short memo for another inmate right before I started this missive, that I forgot all about my dad's birthday, and still never sent you the birthday card I promised. Blame it on the funk. I will have to atone for my lapses post haste.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
  Unappreciated TV Repairman.
Meanwhile, there is not much carpentry work to do, so I am able to get out of the wood shop and fix some of the other things that get accidentally broken around here.

One of the two televisions in our unit suffered from a broken down volume control. This unit is around forty inches diagonally, Cathode ray tube design. These units are being replaced with plain old twenty-seven inch units. If it cannot be fixed, it is gone.

The buttons on the televisions these days are not meant to be used all that much. Everyone uses remotes. We do not, and certainly we are not talking about the most gentle fingers pushing these buttons. In addition, these buttons are not even buttons, but plastic "L" shaped pieces that pivot when pressed, depressing a micro switch on the circuit board.

Several televisions have not survived the operation that is needed to remedy this broken switch problem. The solution is to solder some phone wire leads to each side of the micro switch, and then using one of those hobby type plastic boxes, install six push button switches that will then hopefully trigger the proper operation; Channel up/down, volume up/down, on/off.

As luck would have it, this particular television had a separate (and simple) circuit board that only had the various micro buttons on it. I was able to remove the board from the television and easily solder on the needed wires. This project started Monday morning. While I was working on the television, I was dispatched to check into a possibly malfunctioning ice machine for another unit. I should mention that I installed a smaller but functioning television in my unit as a loaner while the bigger screen television was in the shop.

Instead of returning to my unit at 10:00 AM as usual, I went over to the chow hall to work on the computer. My absence from the unit at the 11:00 count was certain to raise some mild alarm as to what was up with the precious television. After lunch I returned to work on the television but was first instructed to be sure to get a working ice machine back to the unit I had removed the unit from that morning. I had previously been told that I was the carpenter (while I was working on getting an ice machine working) and Ralph (already an alias), another inmate, was in charge of ice machines.

At this point since Ralph was busy doing something else, all of a sudden I am back working on ice machines. The outcome was that at 2:00 I was just finishing up soldering the last of the wires to the new buttons, and was able to get the officer to allow me to bring the television back up to our unit. This television sits on a large wall mounted stand. No tools were needed to switch this television with the smaller replacement. All tools are returned by 2:00 PM and that is the end of our work day.

When I walked into the dorm without the television in my arms, I was greeted with some howls and other comments as to where was the television. I explained it was right outside but I needed two strong guys to carry it in.

The ending of this story is that instead of receiving praise for fixing the television, I received "Boy are you lucky you brought that back up with you!" comments. While it might have been said somewhat tongue in cheek, it was more the feeling I was not being recognized as being a hero, but since I was able to fix it, my fellow inmates would tolerate me for a while longer.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
  Somewhat constant?
It is 6:00 PM here on a hot Tuesday evening and I am in my somewhat constant state of funk. Somewhat constant? Can you put those two words together?

Seriously, things here tend to be emotionally bruising, or just barely above even. This place can really put you in the dumps, and the best you can hope for is to be lifted out of the hole of despair and plunked down at the foot of the mountain of happiness. You are left with little energy to ascend the mountain, either through external stimulation, or strictly one's own internal resources.

That matches my physical surroundings to some extent. Our little taxpayer-supported secure location is nestled between two ranges of hills (mountain seems to be too big of a word). While the view at this time of year is miles of green rolling hills, the bottom border of the picture is the ever present fence and razor wire that keeps us (or you) safe and secure.

On the good news side of things I have put in some serious hours sitting in front of a computer and toying around with two database programs. This differences between the last time and this time is that I have been seen working on the computer by several sergeants and even the Superintendent (top dog).

Today however, the head of the maintenance department was in the mess hall (this is where I am working on the computer) and attempted to prove that I was doing something entirely beyond what I, as an inmate, was allowed to do.

Since I have very little interaction with him it is hard to tell how much of his trash talking was said with tongue in cheek. He is in a position to point out to other staff people that perhaps it is not a good idea to have me working on the computer.

Unlike in Club Fed there is no institution network, and this computer is a standalone unit that is used for generic word processing task and not at all for any secret information.

One problem is I never did much programming in the Windows environment, so I am forging ahead by the seat of my pants. The machine only has a copy of Microsoft Works and Lotus Approach. Both of these programs do not appear to have the flexibility I need to complete this project. The officer I am working with is working on getting a copy of Access which would solve that problem, but then I have to learn how to get Access to do what I need.

Currently there are two different sets of forms; each set contains a different form layout. Each set has a page for each day of the week. When an inmate moves beds, or is removed or added to food service, there are up to fourteen different places that need to be changed.

Is that clear?
Monday, September 10, 2007
  I hope you had an enjoyable time
on vacation. Maybe you can send me a picture or two when you get a chance.

What do you think of the shrunken NY Times? Not only am I pissed that they are printing less of some specific things, such as fewer letters to the editor, but I wonder what stories are being passed over now?

Also apparently the logistics have changed with this new format and I am not receiving the papers on a daily basis. I had hoped it was just a matter of getting the bugs out, but yesterday, for example, I finally received Sunday's paper along with last weeks, Tuesday through Friday's paper. Saturday's arrived today.

Also they are now placing the mailing label on the left side of the paper, in such a way that it covers the fist three inches of the story in the first column. It was previously placed long ways somewhere in the masthead area so that it would not hide any details other than the weather blurb in the upper right hand corner.

I never did go for that follow up, but might end up going in next week or so. I did go to sick call today to report a missing filling and get put on the list to see the dentist. While there I got on the scale and am now at 220! So not only have I been feeling pretty low, apparently I was working on eating my way out, and that sure as hell does not work. Looks like I am going to have to put my body out on the Rec yard somehow to get at least ten of these pounds off. Needless to say, I still managed to finish off my bi-weekly pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream today.

I need to get back to eating only my own food. Between the two weeks or so of only eating in the mess hall, then mixing some of their meals with some of my own, I ended up forfeiting both the psychological, nutritional, and apparently, the weight maintaining nature of my black bean, octopus, and tuna meals.

As a product of vegging out for the last month, I have letters and other paperwork in too many different places, and am not sure where you last letter is at the moment. I will find it and follow up this letter, with more sooner than this one has taken.

As happened last letter, I need to go jump in the shower since it was another hot day here and I hate trying to sleep when I am all sticky from work and trying to stay cool.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
  This letter was sitting
in the memory of my trusty typewriter, and I just let it sit. I think some of it is still worthy of posting on the blog, and I will eventually get back into typing the items mentioned in the letter. This preamble is being typed live, and it is almost 9:00 PM so I will not have much time to get this part out.

I did receive a new print wheel, new ribbons, and a ream of paper so I have no excuse. Type away. The letter that I finally typed out, page one was with the older wheel, page two on with the new one. There is a difference. The plastic must get worn down from use.

I am still working on the database project and have come up with a bunch of neat tricks to get the information out in a way I need it. I am still using the Approach software, and hope to eventually to upgrade to Access. For the last few weeks I have only been able to work on Saturday and Sunday, so it taking a while. It is also very stressful to have to wait all week to get back on the computer.

Man am I incredibly productive with the increased speed of the machines these days. I design a report and zap, it is done. No waiting fifteen minutes to see the results. Plus the officer carries his own little USB memory stick so I can make a back up of all my work instantly. Boy would that be great. Being able to not only have a copy of the program but all a client's data too. (Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin.)

I will share the details of the project with you in my next letter. The officer is away for two weeks, so the next chance I have to work on the system will be after Sept. 12! Urgh.

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