Monday, May 31, 2010


Holy snap. There's a movie i once watched..... I think it was "Behind Enemy Lines" with Owen Wilson where he's been shot down in Kosovo and trying to get away from the bad guys and get picked up. There's an alley through an old abandoned factory and he discovers the whole alley is layered with mine tripwires.

At one point he is running away from the bad guys and is forced to run through that alley. So he just runs as fast as he can and the one or two second delay on the mines lets him get past before the explosions can kill him.

It's a pretty impressive scene.

I felt like that all day long.

The Hive was full when I got there, of course. Day shift had already locked up several and kicked out several. So we got to play catch and release all night long.

And the lockups kept coming.... all night long. I lost track after five or six, but i think it was seven or eight.

And right at the end of getting the house fed one of the biggest nastiest thunderstorms so far of the year roared in and hit hard. Drenching sheets of rain and lightning and wild swirling winds. I saw one of the five gallon buckets we use out front for an ashtray go whirling away and up and almost make it up on the roof before it came back down, spattering cigarette butts and trash everywhere.

If there wasn't a tornado in that storm somewhere it was close enough not to really matter all that much.

And still more lockups came. And more knuckleheads departed.

And with the Hive completely full and nowhere for anybody to go, every swingin' richard in the house decided that he was in fear for his life and had to be moved somewhere else. I made the best suggestions that I could, but none of them worked out. Luckily Chuck and Windows got things straightened out.

Let's see..... 175 in the house. Eight people on suicide watch or close observation.... two hunger strikers, one cell flooder and the idiot that I have to be in tomorrow morning at 10 am for managed to scratch his wrists on a sliver of paint or something and bleed all over his cell again.

Just freaking lovely.

As I'm running around like a freaking maniac trying to get caught up, this one offender calls me over to his cell in C-wing. He was polite, so i stopped for a second.

He said "Are you busy?"

I nodded and said "Yup"

He said "I just need a sec. I haven't seen you in a while. I just wanted to say....."

"I just wanted to say....."

And then he started to sing to me.

"Have I told you lately that I love you?"

I couldn't take it. I cracked up.

The sumbitch made me blush.

But it was the high point of my night. At least once there was something to smile about.

But I hate it when they make me blush.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hit The Ground Running II

What a way to come back. Holy snap.

First thing in I check my mailbox and there's a letter saying I have to be in the Wardens office at 10am on tuesday for a suicide attempt debriefing. What the snap! Ten in the morning! Aw, hell! Those things usually take at least two hours. Then I have to drive back home and take a shower and get ready to go back to work.

Whenever an inmate makes what they consider to be a "serious" suicide attempt, they do an after-action debriefing to go over what happened, find out if we made any mistakes and what we could do to correct them and find out if anybody was emotionally scarred by the incident.

This will be my third or fourth one I have had to attend and I'm usually more scarred by the debriefing than I am by the event.

What the carp.

So anyway, BG are out on the rec yard and we hear some damn fool kicking his door in C-wing hollering Code 16. There were plenty of people in the house to take care of it (as shift change hadn't happened yet) so we left it alone.

Day shift goes up and sees what the deal is. It seems this knucklehead is pissed off about something and has managed to cut himself and left a small pool of blood on his cell floor. Nothing life threatening, but he did make himself bleed, so they have to consider it a suicide attempt.

I look up and it's the self same idiot that I have to go to the debriefing for! And here he is doing it again. Imagine that.

They set him on the bench and lock him down tight and he starts blowing about how he's going to head butt a CO when he gets up, then he's going to refuse to come off the bench and make them get a team, then he says he's going to kick the toilet off the wall until he destroys every camera cell we've got.

In the meantime we have to get the biohazard guy down to clean up the blood so we can move someone out of a camera cell into his cell so we can put him on suicide watch. And he's running his pie hole the entire time.

We get everything cleaned up and the other guy moved and I go to unhook him from the bench, just waiting for him to move. Of course, he does nothing. I go to take the leg shackles off, just watching.... and again he does nothing.

We walk him into the cell and he refuses to comply or assist with the strip-out so I just cut his shirt off and drag everything else off of him. And again he does nothing.

Once the cell door is closed he scratches his arm on the door until a small bit of blood shows and he demands to be taken to medical. We just tell him "No, I don't think so. Not for that little scratch."

After awhile he just lays down and goes to sleep.

All this going on while we have a utility Sarge and one utility CO. Just me and BG and Windows to run the house.

Not to mention only having four beds left open in the middle of a long holiday weekend.

I have a feeling that by the time I come back tomorrow we will be kicking one out to lock one up. One for one.

Why, Oh why didn't I take two weeks off instead of just one?

I suspect that I am a masochist.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Drawing To A Close

Heck, my vacation is almost over. Only one more day after this. Pfui.

It seems like I did an awful lot for getting very little done.

That's the way it goes, I guess.

The pool finally warmed up enough that we took a short dip this evening. It was a bit cool yet, but refreshing.

Went to see the doctor this morning finally. He decided not to give me a shot, as the pain spot was right on the ulnar nerve and neither one of us wanted my right arm to go dead. That would have been terribly inconvenient.

He gave me prednisone pills. Yay. I get to be hyper and hungry and moody and claustrophobic for another week. And I have to go to physical therapy. At least they got some pretty girls working there, so it won't be a total loss.

Unless they make me scream. That's always a blow to the ego.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. It's been a long day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Surrender!

OK, I give up. The chairs are going in the back yard and the for sale signs are going in the trash.

I had the things out on the front porch for a week trying to get rid of them and nobody was interested.

Then tonight I saw an ad on teevee that Ace Hardware has folding adirondack chairs for $50.00. So I went to their website and confirmed it.

I can't even make the non-folding ones for that.

So screw it. I'll just have an awful lot of lawn furniture. Just in case somebody stops by.

All of my dreams of becoming the next adirondack chair mogul down the drain.


But I am definitely going to have to find something smaller to build next. I'm running out of space.

Anybody need a birdhouse?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Took A Sick Day On Vacation

My apologies for not posting yesterday. Several weeks ago my wife had bought us an inflatable pool like the one above and we spent a good part of the day setting it up and filling it with water.

In the process it seems I got a little too much sun and made myself a bit ill. I'm still not quite right, but then I never really was.

Got the thing filled with water just as some pretty nasty thunderstorms struck the area. As the rain hit an echo of BG's voice whispered in my ear "Now the pool is going to get all wet! It's ruined!!!" I just had to laugh. It was so something he would have said.

It has also been a full time job keeping the puppy out of the people pool. She doesn't quite understand that the big pool is for people and the little pool is for dogs.

You can see a short video of her in the dog pool here. She does enjoy the water.

In the meantime I have made a table to go with the chairs. I will post a pic of it tomorrow when it's dry. I'm about to make an important decision about all of those chairs and things piled high on my front porch.

But I think it's time to start making something different.

I'll let y'all know.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Not Completely Wasting My Time

Well, summer is officially here and it just got too hot all of the sudden. By ten or eleven it's too hot to be outside doing anything and my shop doesn't have any a/c, so I have been spending most of my time indoors.

It's relaxing, if a little boring.

To keep myself occupied I started watching teevee shows on the internet. I had heard about this anime series (it's funny, I just noticed my spellchecker does not contain the word "anime") called "Darker Than Black".

I won't tell you what it's about. That would take too long and you would get bored quickly. Let's suffice to say I never was a big fan of anime before but this show got my attention. It was interesting enough to make me watch all 25 episodes.

And hey, anything chock full of mutants and random violence is right up my alley. It's almost like being at work again.

If you are the least bit interested, you can watch the episodes at Funimation or at Chucky's favorite hangout Hulu. On Hulu they consider this to be an "adult themed" show, so you have to register (free) and attest you are over 18. There is violence, but no sex. If you want that, you have to go somewhere else.

It's odd to note that I first watched the episodes somewhere else in japanese with english subtitles. I had watched it for so long I was beginning to understand what they were saying without the subs, which was a little scary. And now watching it again on Hulu is weird because the voices don't match the ones I remember. They're not bad, they are just different.

If you have a few hours to kill, I give this show three thumbs up. But be warned: you will watch the first episode and say "What the snap is going on here?" Then you will watch the rest of them to figure it out.

That's how it got me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pain Is Not Recreational

As I have done absolutely nothing this entire day but sit at the computer and play with the dogs, I was really wracking my brain for something to post about today.

And then it struck me.

Or rather, I struck it.

I moved awkwardly and banged my toe on the side of the desk. The same toe that I had done home surgery on last night for an ingrown toenail. And the pain returned ooohh.. all of a sudden like. All of my hair stood up on end (well, both of them, anyway) and I almost squeaked. And I got drops of blood on the carpet.

It was bad enough when I had to do it the first time. Why in the world was I not more careful?

Because I am a clummox, for starters. But not a masochist, thank gawds.

Which brings me to the reminiscence the pain brought me to. A self-sacrificial satori of pain, as it were.

Warning: If you have a weak stomach, don't read any further!

Many years ago when I had first arrived at the Hive, we had an inmate I called Horseman. He was an extremely strange young man. Mentally and emotionally unbalanced like a bicycle with triangular wheels. One minute we would be having a discussion about christianity (in which he fervently believed) and the next he would be screaming that I was the antichrist and calling upon all the angels by name (and there were quite a few of them he apparently knew personally) to strike me down where I stood.

But aside from those little outbursts, I never really had much trouble out of him. I just made sure he was kept well away from any sacrificial daggers that might be lying about for my own safety.

One afternoon the nurse and I were distributing medications. We got to Horsemans cell, I cuffed him up and opened the door. When the door came fully open the nurse gave a gasp and stepped back. Not knowing exactly what happened, I swung an arm across to protect her and stepped into the doorway of the cell. She grabbed my sleeve and pulled me back before I stepped into the pool of blood there in his doorway.

The nurse said "What did you do?" Horseman looked down at his feet and said nonchalantly "Oh, I pulled my toenails off." And he sure enough had. When she asked him why he replied "I did one just to see what it was like. Once I did that one I figured I might as well do the rest of them."

He was like that. To this day I cannot fathom why someone would do such a painful thing. Once, let alone ten times. Sometimes I am happy in my ignorance.

About a year or so after that incident the same young man got hold of one of those glue mouse traps (the super-sticky kind) and for some ungawdly reason stuck it firmly to his crotch. I suspect, like his toenails, just to see what it was like.

When they got him up to medical the nurse up there took one look at what he had done and said "I can pull it off fast or slow. Which do you want?" While he was still saying "Well......" she grabbed it and went "Rip!" and snatched the thing off in one quick jerk.

I heard rumor that they heard him scream all the way down in the Hive.

Bet he doesn't ever do that again.

Just on a hunch, I nipped over to the states website and looked that young man up. It seems he is no longer in the system. Which means he is probably back on the streets.

Now doesn't that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Little Down

Boy if it wasn't one thing after another today.

I woke up feeling like it was going to be a good day. Decided to haul all the chairs and foot stools out front and try to get rid of them.

I guess I got in too much of a hurry and over-exerted myself. Hurt my arm again. Back to square one with the pain.

And I needn't have hurried, as only one person stopped to look and then drove away. I guess I need to lower my prices some.

Then my sister called and told me that my grandfather had passed away last night.

Grampa was the second person in my life to show me that working with wood could be very cool. Right after my Dad. I wonder why the lesson took so friggin' long to sink in?

Grampa was a retired tugboat captain and a dedicated bargeman, plying the rivers of the pacific northwest for many many years. He could whittle cool things like wooden chains and a ball in a cage and he made the very first set of adirondack chairs I can ever remember seeing.

He started predicting his own end about fifteen years ago, not long after Grandma passed. I'm guessing every day after that was just a pleasant surprise.

My Grampa was a pretty cool guy. I'll miss him.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vacation: Day One

I hadn't really planned on taking a vacation this year. I get buggy when I have too much time on my hands. But it seems I picked an opportune time to be absent from the Hive. Things were getting messy and stupid down there and my sense of humor was beginning to wear a little thin.

Today would have been my friday but I took it off to watch my daughter graduate from high school. That was the crowning achievement to date in my life. If I die tomorrow I'll go happy knowing that she got that far, at least.

When she first came into our lives five years ago she was scant inches away from flunking out of school and spending the rest of her teen years in juvenile hall. And today she graduated high school with not one but two scholarships for college. Says she wants to be a radiologist.

That could come in real handy. I tend to break alot of bones. Not always mine, but that does happen, too.

So for a day when I haven't really done a single blessed thing, I have a real sense of accomplishment. It's Miller time!!!

And if it does occur that I happen to actually do anything productive or even slightly interesting during the next nine days, I'll be sure to keep you informed.

Be careful in there.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Locked Room Mystery

The other night there were two offenders up in a cell on the top walk of B-wing that you hardly ever knew they were there.

That's kind of a rarity down in the Hive. Most of our knuckleheads run their yaps like a swarm of six foot tall crickets during mating season.

But these two guys were mostly just quiet. They kept to themselves and didn't do much yelling out the door or demanding foolish things or screaming obscenities like most of the rest of them. If I had a whole house of those types I'd be bored out of my skull.

But then the night before last one inmate got a staff members attention and said that his cellie just went berserk and started beating himself up. Said the dude threw himself off the top bunk and banged his own head into the walls and the like.

From what I have heard, the guy was pretty beat up but did say that he did it to himself. So they just took him out and sent him to the hospital. The investigator told them that there was nothing to investigate so they let the other guy stay in the cell and didn't close it off as a crime scene like they would have if they though he had assaulted the guy.

And now today they grab the cellie out of there and toss him in isolation in C-wing under investigation. I heard rumors that the first guys wounds were more extensive than they first appeared and they have doubts about whether they could all be self-inflicted. They also, it seems, have doubts about his eventual survival.

I sure wouldn't want to be in either one of their shoes right at this moment. Not for anything. And the midnights staff has all been pulled since it happened on their shift. What a mess.

Things are heating up again. We are getting an increasing number of those "I'm a C-5 and I don't give a f*ck" types in from other camps. Alot of the are being sent (briefly) to the treatment program, then to the Hive for re-transfer once they lose the program.

Things should be interesting.

And my ten days of vacation started at 10:00 pm tonight.

Send me some emails and let me know what is going on in there!

And somebody let me know how Miss Nancynurse is doing. She was doing pretty poorly when I came in and had to go to the hospital. I tried to at least get her to smile before she left but didn't have much luck. Let me know!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Apparently I suck at being a rabble rouser. Went in today to try and put a few bugs in a few more ears about this dang investigation and nobody was in their offices! Snap!

Went over to talk to Capt Acting Major and found the Boss man in her office and cornered them both about it. They both gave me the same reply I got yesterday "It's in the hands of the investigator and there's nothing we can do about it. The last staff investigation took eight months. Be patient."

Aw, scr*w that. If they take eight months I'm going to be pissed. Not that it would matter to them in the least. Maybe if I went into the investigators office and threw a temper tantrum it would get something done.

Yeah, it'd get me tossed out on stress leave. Don't need that biz.

And apparently someone on midnights failed at doing their wing checks. Sometime during the early morning hours they found an inmate in his cell all beat up. Beat up bad enough he had to go to the hospital. And they didn't secure the cell for the investigator, they just took his cellies word that the guy went nuts and did it to himself.

From what I heard, his injuries were bad enough that we are pretty sure he didn't do that to himself.

But now all the rest of us are taking the heat for them slacking off.

We are required to check on the suicide watch guys every fifteen minutes and the other wings once an hour. If you are determined, you can do alot of damage to somebody in an hour. It's happened before even when regular checks were being done.

But we'll take the blame anyway, just because of who we are.

The higher ups seem to identify us with our inmates. And since we get nothing but knuckleheads down in the Hive, they treat us like we are knuckleheads as well.

I'm not just "some" knucklehead! That's "Officer Knucklehead" to you, mister!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting The Run-Around

It's been weeks now and still no word on KP's "investigation". I'm getting pissed off that he's still out of the house and I'm getting pissed off that nobody is saying anything or doing anything.

I started trying to rock the boat a little bit. Fat lot of good it did me, tho.

I asked the Boss Man and he said "They won't tell me anything. Since he works for me I can't be in on the process. I was acting Warden the day it came up in the meeting and they threw me out of the room. Go figure."

I asked Captain Van Dough and he said it was Captain Spit.

I asked Captain Spit and he said it was the investigator.

I asked the investigator and he said it was the other investigator.

Can you see why I'm getting a little disgruntled?

The investigator did tell me "What he said in his report did not match what we saw on the video. He needs to learn to report exactly what happened, not what he thought might happen."

What the snap does that mean?

Tomorrow I am going to put a bug in a few more ears and see where it gets me. Probably nowhere, but at least if they are going to be that much of a pain in the butt about it, I'm going to be somewhat of a pain back.

I can remember several other staff (no names mentioned) that they basically let run amok down in the Hive and other places for moths on end without any reprisals. But one use of force and instead of asking the people involved "What happened here? See? That doesn't look right." they just yank him out and leave him in limbo.

And leave us without our cornerstone guy. He ran that house around us and made sure that things got done. And his people skills are 100% better than mine are. I can remember several times watching him with inmates and thinking "You know, I would have just planted him on the ground about five minutes ago."

We're supposed to give the inmates the run-around on this investigation crap. Not staff.

Can I make a difference?

I doubt it, but I'm going to try.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Repetition Repetition Repetition

One of the things that always gets a good workout during my day is my hands. Sometimes doing heavy lifting and sometimes doing fine motor skills.

On a good busy day I open and close a hundred padlocks and apply and remove a hundred pairs of handcuffs.

In between that is lifting food service tray and cups and laundry bags and bags of property.

And the constant writing writing writing. Even if it just my initials or a d/s date. Once in each file, every single day. Sometimes typing reports. Sometimes writing violations.

And on my days off I go down to the shop and cut wood and run it through the band saw and drill holes and drive in screws and nails for relaxation.

My hands get another good workout. By now you would think they would be all huge and gnarly with all of the exercise they get.

No, they are pretty much just painful these days.

A couple of weeks ago I started developing a good case of tendinitis in my right elbow. "Tennis elbow", if you can believe it. Every time I lifted anything more than a few grams in weight or moved a certain way it felt like the muscles in my elbow were trying to tear loose.

I started wearing a brace around my arm, using heat pads and lots of generic Ben Gay and taking tylenol.

This weekend I worked all day friday until I thought my arm would fall off, trying to get some things done.

Today it is much better and I think I might just leave the brace at home tomorrow.

We'll see how it goes, I guess.

Getting old really sucks.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Rec Gawd Returns!

Of course, BG comes back from vacation and all of the silly snit that was going on before just stops.

No lockups.

No fires.

No fights.


What the snap?

And he starts looking at me like I was making all of that up to cover up the fact that I just didn't want to do any rec while he was away.

It's just a nice normal night. Except of course, no KP. He's still out there loafing for a living. And Sgt LB is out for training again. He's going to be so finely trained by the end of the year they are going to hire him to run NASA. They sent us Sgt Bowman in his place and he spent most of the night eating all the leftover food and sticking his lollipop in weird places.

And they gave us Miz Vixen in KP's place and she spent most of her night shooting rubber bands at Sgt Bowman. But she did get out and help alot, so I can't blame her for that.

So BG is back (for now). He still has way too much time on the books and he has to burn it before fall of he will lose it, so he's going to be taking more time off as the months go by.

I really hate this time of year.

Six days to go til my vacation.

When i come back I'll pretend i don't believe his stories, either.

And what's all this about Peggy Sue? Somebody fill me in!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sometimes I Wish....

.... I were an octopus. It would make multi-tasking so much easier.

On the way down I stopped and asked the Lt at the desk how busy we were. He just smiled like nothing was going on at all and said "I think they locked up seventeen or eighteen today.."

Oh.............. snap.

Actually it was nineteen by the time Chuck and I got down there. Twenty, twenty-one and twenty-two showed up while we were trying to get our minds wrapped around the carnage. Twenty-three had the decency to show up much later in the evening.

Chuck and I threw ourselves into sorting out bags of property and filing things and stuffing the newcomers into cells while the Bear slaved away at the desk trying to make the numbers come out right.

Needless to say, we ran hard until after dinner and then it was time to do some rec. With that many lockups my rec sheet was a total mess and it is now about six inches thick with white out.

Amazingly enough we managed to knock out some rec during the night.

But you know what? I'm tired as hell. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Getting Burned Out

I'm getting burned out bad. I found myself several times today having to stop and take a deep breath and let it out slow.

I have ten days vacation coming up week after next and I am going to enjoy every single minute of it away from that horrible place.

People are always telling me "Get out of the Hive. You'll feel much better. There isn't that much stress at the other houses. Go somewhere else for awhile."

I just can't imagine working anywhere else. But right at this moment I sure would love to. It has been crazy down there and people are doing dumb things because we are getting so busy and so rushed.

All I have to do is survive for nine more days and I'm off on vacation.

Deep breath In......................

And....... out..............

I can do this.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back To (Almost) Normal

Day 265 of BG's vacation. It hasn't really been that long, but it sure feels like it. Things do get screwed up when he isn't here.

And rec tends to get shuffled to the back burner when he's not here cracking the whip. I do my best, but I'm not BG.

But today wasn't bad. They sent me Miss Screech to help with rec. Even though she is just a slip of a girl, she is a ball of fire and I'm glad to have her at my back any day. She just goes goes goes all the time. I had to run faster than her just to be able to get anything done myself.

And that takes some doing, believe me. We managed to get three rounds or rec down while it was cold and windy. That's a good thing. I was falling way behind.

We heard great news today on our damaged control panel for the bubble. The maintenance dude called down and told the Swabby that the panel was being shipped back to Indiana for repairs. I'm guessing it's going to take three to six weeks to get it back.

Three to six weeks running on one control panel. That is going to really really suck.

And here we are right smack in the middle of spring storm season which means the chances of our other panel getting knocked out is pretty good.

Tonight we have some significant storms rolling in. I just hear some good rumbles of thunder and a brief spattering of hail a few minutes ago. Hail in a thunderstorm this time of year is almost always bad news for someone.

Me, I'm going to bed and hope I still have a roof in the morning.

And when the hell is KP coming back? Pfui!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Had My Running Shoes On!

And it was a good thing, too! When I heard what we were walking into, I really wanted to just run back out to my truck and run home.

First thing I hear at the front desk is "The treatment house is going nuts! Peggy Sue had to come in on her day off and she is all SORTS of pissed off!"

Hoo boy. Just what I wanted to hear on my monday, right? I gazed longingly back out at the parking lot where my truck sat and wondered if I could just call in from the gas station down the road.

But I sucked it up and pressed on.

When I got to central they tell me my house is full and they have been kicking people out to lock other ones up.

Ooooohhhhh ...... snap. Back to that again, is it? Nice.

I think I feel a recurring attack of appendicitis coming on....

But I'm stupid and went down there anyway. Jumped in and helped out where I could. BG is still on vacation, so I had Sausage with me. I shuffled him off on someone else so he could natter at them awhile so I could get some work done.

Then, just about the time we got caught up with everything...... "10-49! 10-49! By the baseball field!"

Well, duh! Hey Einstein! We got three baseball fields here! Which freaking one? Sgt Strings sends someone out to check the one nearest us. Finally they figure out it's on B-side.

So we kick two out and get two in. And there's the usual confusion with the control center about the numbers. Happens every time.

After shift change it calms down for an hour or so and we get the house fed and me and Sausage take out a round of rec. And while we are out on the rec yard..... "10-49! 10-49! A-side by rec!"

And here we go again. Kick two out to get two in. Except this time one of the cellies of a guy getting kicked out says "You better not try to put anybody black in here! I won't take him!" Aaaand of course they guy we tried to put in there was black so the other dude was sitting on the bench when I left. And getting another violation to boot.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that one of our control panels in the bubble went out the night before. Apparently when the IT guy came in to try and fix it, he grabbed the wrong wire, not only shocking himself but completely frying the panel in the process. So now if you want something open in A or B wings, you have to yell and whoever is in the bubble has to run over to the C&D side panel and pop whatever door you want open.

I can just envision some bean counter up in the capital saying "Do they really need two panels?" Then they'll do a $25,000 evaluation before they decide to replace a $1000 panel.

And we wonder why the state is broke.

Ah, me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

From Full To Empty In No Time

Man, we just cannot keep a full crew down there! Something about the Hive is just hard on people, I think.

The relief spot in the bubble had been vacant for over a year being filled with utilities and we finally got Windows in there a couple of weeks ago.

We had a full crew! Yay!

Then the odd little dude that was my replacement on my days off transferred to another camp. One spot open. Filled with utilities.

Then KP gets pulled out of the house for this b.s. investigation. Another spot open. Filled with utilities.

BG started his vacation today. Gone for a week. Filled with utilities. The evil bastard.

We had one utility working the floor with Drew and another doing rec with me today.

I'm off the next two days and guess who is going to be in my spot? Utilities!

I guess Drew is going to get to do his solo act sooner than I thought.

Kid, I hope you been paying attention. Listen to the Sarge and keep your numbers straight. It's time to fly!

I won't use the "Q" word, but I hope you don't get hammered down there. That can be a real sumbitch.

Take a deep breath. You can do it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Which Of Us Is The Inmate Here?

Boy, they made me mad tonight. It didn't help that I came in with one of those killer headaches already, either.

We have this knucklehead that has been playing the fool for several days now. He got mad about something a couple of days ago and said he was going to kill himself to get back at us.

I don't know why they do that. They seem to think it's some big inconvenience or something. Hell, I don't care. It's often entertaining.

At any rate, he got put on suicide watch and fanged his forehead until he got a little scrape. Then he banged it a few more times against the wire grate in the window until it started bleeding. You know how forehead wounds bleed. They got him out and cleaned him up and put him back.

They took him off watch the other day and day shift tried to move him out of the camera cell and he got stupid and refused to move and threw a big temper tantrum. That bought him two violations. Right after day shift left he started smashing and tearing up all of his stuff (including smashing his own glasses) and told Chucky that he was suicidal.

So they stripped him out and gave him a smock. Right after that he told the nurse that before they took away his property, he ate a whole med card of naproxyn. Then he tore his smock into little pieces and made a noose and hung it from his window.

They put him in another smock and took him to medical and they made him drink some charcoal crap that's supposed to absorb anything he might have swallowed and make him poop it back out. Then they sent him back to us.

There's more stuff, but I'm getting tired of writing about him so I'll just sum up.

This evening he refused his sack meal, saying the Pshrink had taken him off suicide watch (despite the fact he was still wearing nothing but a smock) and he should get a regular tray. When I refused to give him one (having already checked his file and seen he was still on full suicide watch per the Pshrink) he threw another temper tantrum, covering his camera and screaming and kicking the door.

Soon enough the Lieutenant came down and I saw him down there listening to the knuckleheads sob story. He complained that we didn't feed him and his sink didn't work right and we were mean to him and that I personally was harassing him.

Of course nobody else hear him two minutes before that calling me a bi*ch and a punk and a fa**ot and threatening to kill me.

So when the Lieutenant comes out of the wing, after of course promising to get him something to eat and get his toilet fixed, what do you suppose he has to say to us? Can you guess?

He said (and I quote): "Just because he's on suicide watch doesn't mean you can treat him like shit!"

What the.....

I would have to say that that statement was one of the rudest and most unprofessional things another staff member has ever said to me here. I got so mad that I very nearly snapped.

And then I remembered that they always believe the inmates over us. The Lieutenants and the Captains always talk big snit about how tough they had it when they were just a COI, but they don't really remember what it's like to work a house for eight hours.

But as far as I am concerned, that certain Lt has no more coming from me than that little knucklehead in the camera cell.

I need a vacation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hidden Meanings

We had a real beeotch of a night, but I'll tell you about that later. I have a feeling that it's going to be an ongoing story anyway.

KP is still gone and it's beginning to look like they aren't going to let him come back and that pisses me right the snap off.

But there's even something else going on that just made me shut my mouth. One of those stupid things that you look at every day and don't notice how screwed up it is until someone else points it out to you.

Out back of the admin building they put up a little shrine-like thing with a couple of park benches and some birdhouses and little trees and a stone marker and a sign about crime victims. The sign, hand painted by an inmate, of course, reads "Crime Victims Rights" and underneath in bigger letters it reads "Fairness Dignity Respect" and it has an arm holding up a statue of liberty type torch with flames coming out of it.

It looks nice enough. Been up for a couple of weeks now and I walk past it every single day on the way in and on the way out.

On the way out I ran into Vinnie who says "Look at this and tell me what's wrong with this picture." We walk towards the sign and I'm scanning it, looking at the words and the spelling... not seeing anything yet. I look at the arm and up the torch and then to the flames...... and my mouth just drops open.

Right in the middle of the flame coming out of the torch is this large and very obvious (once you see it) ........ ummmm...... phallic shape.

Yup.... yup..... bigger than life and bright orange. There's a penis on top of the torch. In full detail.

I couldn't say for sure that he did it on purpose. But I'm willing to bet that whoever painted that is smiling smugly over his little joke. I'm guessing he made his own little hidden statement about what he thinks of crime victims rights.

This is the kind of nefarious people we are dealing with every day.

Not exactly Dr. Moriarty, but very devious in their own little ways.

And I feel like a fool for not noticing it earlier.

Great powers of observation there, Rev! Sheesh.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Leaning Disconnected

I was going to title this post "Learning Disabled" but I thought someone might take offense to the comment as making fun of people with actual disabilities.

I thought better of it, tho.

I had originally mean to use the word "disabled" as in computerese meaning "turned off" as in "This function has been disabled".

But when we are talking about inmates it's just disconnected. Especially down in the Hive. I'm constantly surprised these idiots manage to eat without stabbing themselves in the eye.

Take this cheesehead (not meaning one who hails from Minnesota) in C-wing. He won't learn that screaming Code 16 at the top of his lungs and saying he is having breathing problems will get him nowhere. The action contradicts itself. But he's too stupid to realize it.

He won't learn that no matter how many thousands of times he asks me what time it is that I will not answer him.

Today was his TASC day, where he got to go to rec and use the phone. The deal is, you go outside for rec, and then when you come back in you get your phone call. When BG went up to ask him what he wanted, he said he just wanted to use the phone. No big deal. We put him on.

When he was finished on the phone he said "Can I go outside now?" When he was told he couldn't, he grumbled a bit then went back to his cell.

An hour later when we were taking another round out to rec, he started screaming that he wanted to go outside. I told him he should have gone when we first asked him. So he started kicking his door and screaming for the Sarge. I was in the office when he started that and Sarge said "I'll go make his day. He doesn't have sh*t coming." Sarge went out and came back and said "Oh yeah. He's mad as hell."

Every time we went through with another round of rec he started up again. If he starts the same crap tomorrow he won't even get a phone call. It is entirely within my rights if I feel that he is not in control of himself or his actions to deny him his TASC day activities. Basically, if he wants to act like a snaphead, he can be a snaphead in his cell by himself and not out on my rec yard.

What do you think the odds are that he learned anything at all from tonights little lesson?

About the same odds as winning the lottery without having bought a ticket, I'd say.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I know.... I know.... I've talked and talked about the new security cameras until you are all sick of the subject.

But I'm going to do it some more.

I don't feel that they are being used to their correct potential.

The new system was supposedly funded by PREA, the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Supposedly they are there to help protect the inmates from each other. But it seems more and more that they are being used to protect the inmates from us. Or more precisely, so that senior staff can keep an eye on us, rather than on the inmates.

I don't know how many calls we got from a Captain or Lt saying "Hey! Why is he out in the wing doing that?" or "Why are only two officers taking eight inmates out of their cells?"

Just doing my job, pal. If you got out from behind that desk once in awhile you would know what was going on. I do rec and that's how many we take out at a time.

Recently there was a fight down in one of the other houses. Sgt. Miz P was there to catch the tail end of it but only found the loser for sure because he had blood all over his face. The perp walked free at the time because the Lt didn't know how to work the system to go back and look at the video.

Luckily somebody told Peggy Sue, who knew how to work the system. She came back in and showed them the tapes and said "There! There's your fight! Lock him up and lock him up!" Smart lady, that Peggy Sue. She knows her stuff. You can't get away with anything in her house.

It seems funny to me that the higher ups can't seem to catch the inmates doing anything but they are always watching if you sit down and do a crossword puzzle at the desk or are out shooting rubber bands at each other in the sally port.

The inmates are getting away with everything but murder 24/7. And it's all on the camera but nobody is looking.

But if we take out five minutes to have a little fun, blow off some steam and relax, then the phone starts ringing because Big Brother is watching.

Man, we have GOT to get our priorities straight!