Saturday, April 30, 2011

Impending Inconvenience

The rain has finally stopped here and we have had two beautiful sunny days. And I spent both of them out on the yard. Amazingly enough, I stayed dry for two whole days. That was freaking awesome.

Unfortunately, there is still flooding problems going on down south. They suspended the runs with the inmates going down south to fill sandbags because apparently it's all for naught.

The Army Corps of Engineers wants to blow up a levee and release water into the farmlands below in order to save a slightly larger city the next state over from flooding even worse.

One of the things in the path of that looming flood after the levee is blown is one of our prisons. The Governor tried to stop them from doing it and a federal judge gave them the okay this morning so it looks like it's going to happen.

That means that they are going to have to evacuate a couple thousand level five inmates and spread them all over the state. Rumor control has it that we will be getting a couple hundred of them.

Some people are pretty nervous about this. Inmates and staff both.

I don't see why. We have level fives on our camp right now. Not a whole lot, but a few. It's going to be a pain in the butt, but they are just more inmates. Nothing more, nothing less.

If they behave themselves, we will get along fine. If they act like snapholes, we will send them to the Hive and they can do their time there until their prison gets cleaned up again. No big deal.

But it is definitely going to be inconvenient. We are preparing to re-open one of the housing units that we closed down and move them in there. It will short us on staff because we will have to staff that house when we didn't before. It will probably suck at least five officers and a Sergeant for each shift. And we don't actually have any to spare right now.

I actually hope this doesn't come true, but I'm afraid it will. I have had a feeling of impending inconvenience all week.

We'll weather it. If nothing else, it may give me something to write about next week. That will be good.

I went ahead and updated the calendar all the way through the weekend last night. I'm not sure why I did that, exactly. I suspect I was tired and not thinking correctly.

But it gives me an early out tonight.

Have a good weekend and be safe.

Friday, April 29, 2011

An Open Letter

An open letter to The Kid.

One of these days Mommy and daddy aren't going to be there to support you anymore and you are probably going to find out the hard way that when you have a job in the real world, people expect you to actually work for a paycheck, not just show up now and then.

You are going to have to learn to do the stuff that you don't want to do because it's your job and if you don't do it they will fire you.

That's what having a job is all about.

One of these days you are going to have to grow up and put on your big girl panties and take responsibility for your actions. Or lack thereof.

And one of these days you are going to discover that pissing off people who are older than you is a really really bad idea. Just because you are young and lift weights does not make you either invulnerable or immortal.

And I really hope you find all of this out before you get yourself or someone else killed.

And I really do hope you find all of this out somewhere else, because inside the fence you scare the hell out of me and I don't want to be anywhere near when life teaches you all of these lessons.

Sincerely, The Rev

And that's all I have to say about that.

So, on to the calendar. Friday is National Shrimp Scampi Day. Yum! It's is also National Dance Day, National Hairball Awareness Day and Save The Frogs Day.

Saturday is National Honesty Day, Beltane, Bob Wills Day, Bugs Bunny Day, Eeyore's Birthday, Go Birding Day, National Rebuilding Day and Walpurgis Night.

Sunday is Mother Goose Day and Save The Rhino Day. It's also Free Comic Book Day, Law Day, Lei Day and Loyalty Day.

Monday will be Fire Day, Play You Ukulele Day and Roberts Rules Of Order Day.

Looks like it's going to be a busy weekend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Not here, thank goodness. We're high enough up from the major sources of water that i think we're fairly safe. But some places down south of us are getting hit pretty hard by all this water.

This afternoon, right after I came in today, they loaded twenty five of our inmates into the big gray bus and drove them about two hours south to a place where there's a breach in one of the levees to fill sandbags and help control the flooding.

I hear in the morning they are taking out another group.

At least the rotten little knuckleheads will get a chance to do something productive for a change. Something to help other people, rather than just themselves.

Of course, the whole deal wasn't without extra drama and a general sense of cluster-fuc*yness. People running in and out and the phones ringing off the hook wanting this and that and radio calls all over the place and people wanting extra radios and keys and maybe they wanted this and maybe they should take that....

Good grief.

Captain Crane was in charge of the operation and he was trying to manage everything to death before it even got started. The man probably has an ulcer bigger than he is. I'll bet it has it's own parking space.

They finally got the inmates loaded up and left, thank goodness. And we could continue on with the job of running a prison again.

I'm more than willing to bet we'll get to go through it all again tomorrow. Whee...

And tomorrow is KISSfan's last day with the department. It's kind of a sad thing. I'm going to miss hearing him on the radio almost every night. He sounds like a beatnik when he's on the radio out in the P-car. Kind of a staple around here. We'll miss him.

So Thursday is Great Poetry Reading Day and Kiss-Your-Mate Day. I'm guessing my latest song won't count for great poetry. It's also Take Your Kid To Work Day.

I just don't think that's gonna happen. Got no kids, for one thing. Wouldn't take them there if I did. Well, maybe just one way....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Okay, So I'm No Poet

A week or so ago out on the yard, somebody started humming the song "I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash. You can click on the link to hear it and see the lyrics.

Of course, none of us could remember much of the lyrics until stupid me went and looked them up. We had fun singing the song and trying to pronounce some of the names and guess where they were.

Then Sgt Uncle T looked at me and said "You should rewrite that song about this place! Hell, You've been everywhere here! Go ahead and write it up and have it for me next Thursday!"

So...... I did. It's not perfect, but here it is.

They’ve Stuck Me Everywhere

Got a job at the local penitentiary
Eight hours a day of indentury
Doing twenty to life on the installment plan.
I came in prepared to go wherever they would need me that day.
Tossed my lunchbox on the counter
And showed it to the man.
Four bottles of water, three packs of smokes
Two sandwiches, three candy bars, a banana
And four pages of email jokes.
He said “Where the hell you goin’, man?”
I said “Hell, they’ve stuck me everywhere.”

They’ve stuck me everywhere, man
They’ve stuck me everywhere, man
They’ve moved me here and there, man
Gawked at inmates bare, man
Outcounts I’ve had my share, man
They’ve stuck me everywhere.

I’ve been on A-yard, B-yard, 9 yard and 30 yard
Medical, Laundry, Infirmary, Library
It aint too hard
Control center, Comm room, Front Desk and P-car
A-dining, B-dining, Main Production, Sally port
They’ve stuck me everywhere.


I’ve been to 1 house, 2 house, 3 house, 4 house
9 house, 30 house, 28 and 25 house
The Hive house, 6 house, 7 house and 8 house
10 house and I’ve learned
I don’t wanna be a house mouse
Drug the punks off of their bunks
When RDP was open
They’ve stuck me everywhere.


I’ve done restrain check, A & B Rec
And been to chapels on every side
Strip room, Visit room, Education
Watched the suicides.
Potty watch, Close Ops, Meal loaf and Med pass
Phone calls, recreation, movement team
And AA meetings
They’ve stuck me everywhere.


I’ve run to 10-5’s, Code 16’s, Code 70’s
And 10-49’s.
I’ve been 10-7, 10-8, 10-9 and 10-99
My 10-20 is freaking everywhere
Some nights they can’t decide
I’ve been 10-1, 10-2, 10-3
10-4 good buddy!
They’ve stuck me everywhere.

(Final chorus)

Like I said, I'm no Shel Silverstein. But I hope you got a laugh out of it. It doesn't exactly fit the original music, but I think I covered just about every single place in the camp.

So Wednesday is Tell A Story Day and Administrative Professionals (which used to be Secretaries) Day. It is also Babe Ruth Day and Morse Code Day.

Monday, April 25, 2011


It's been raining here quite heavily off and on for days now. It's really starting to cause some major problems.

Aside from power outages from the lightning, we are starting to get flooding in some of the steam tunnels and the drainage system can't take the amount of water flowing into it every single day.

The corner down by zone 10, right behind the Hive, is flooding out and that road may get washed out at any time. And it seems, from the radio reports I have heard, that it's making doing the Del Norte walk pretty interesting. St Francis was doing the walk tonight and asked if we had any pontoons or kayaks available.

I don't know. Didn't sound like a good sign to me.

Apparently there was some major flooding under the power plant today and they almost had to shut it down. And having 2500+ inmates without hot water to bathe with for any length of time gets ugly quick.

We are getting low on staff as well. When the waters rise alot of our people are unable to make it in to work because of road closings and low water bridges and the like. And today the Governor declared a state of emergency and any of our people who are in the National Guard are going to be disappearing for awhile.

Tango Jay had to leave early tonight for two reasons. One: his Guard unit got called out and he had to report. And Two: The water was up to his back porch and he had to go evacuate his family. I hope him and all the little Jays are all right and I hope he's careful out there dealing with the flood. Of course, after two tours in Iraq if he gets killed by a flood I will never speak to him again.

There's probably at least a dozen more people we will be losing in the next couple of days back to the Guard and maybe a dozen that won't be able to make it in at all.

I think we should gather up all this water and pipe it down to Arizona and New Mexico where they are having all those wildfires and let them have it.

First chance I get to move, I'm going to higher ground.

So Tuesday is Richter Scale Day and National Pretzel Day. Also, for your enjoyment, it is Hug An Australian Day and Audubon Day. Sheesh!

It's also supposed to rain some more tomorrow. Joy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Broked*ck Mountain

Last night when I left I was scheduled to work the bubble down in the wobblehead house. I wasn't too keen on that but I would have got to work with Sgt Miz P, who I haven't seen in forever. It would have been nice to spend the evening catching up.

But when I came in Lt Strong said "You are going on outcount to the hospital. We had to send a guy out for emergency surgery."

Aw snap. The immediate question in my mind was "who was I going to be stuck with for the next eight hours?" I guess he saw the question in my eyes because he said "Miz Havoc decided to work a double out there with you. She's already at the hospital waiting."

Sweet! I'm sure I've written about her before and I don't recall if I called her Havoc or not, but the name fits her so well I'm running with it. A little bitty slip of a girl. Nice as pie and sweet and hard working. And if you piss her off she is one of the meanest hard-a**ed beeotches you have ever tangled with in your life.

But I like her and she likes me and we work together well so it was all good.

I got there and relieved Normandy so he could go home and slid into the room in the ER where they were holding the guy. He was just laying in the bed watching teevee like nothing was wrong. Miz Havoc leaned over to me and said "He fractured his d*ck!" The dude looked at me and said "Yeah! You wanna see it?" Apparently everyone else loose in the emergency room had come by for a gander.

No.... No thank you. I don't want to see it myself.

According to dude, he woke up with the usual case of morning wood (like most guys do) and when he tried to bend it down towards the toilet to pee, something went "pop!" and it started swelling up like a little balloon.

So we sat there from three until six, just watching teevee and chatting. Miz Havoc ordered a pizza. Once again, all the stuff in my lunchbox except my water came back home.

At one point little dude was talking about how doing drugs landed him in prison and how he regretted it. I said "Yeah, now look at you! Chained to a bed with a broken d*ck!"

He didn't have a whole lot to say to refute that.

After six they came and wheeled him into surgery. Miz Havoc suited up and went in and as soon as he was out she unlocked the restraints and they shooed her out, saying they'd call us when he went into recovery. Sometimes you just never know from doctor to doctor what they want.

He was in surgery for two hours. We kept checking to make sure he was still in there, it took so long. Finally they wheeled him out and we waited for him to wake up again. Apparently they had to do some pretty extensive repair work on the poor broke little guy.

One of the first things he said after the anesthesia wore off was "Is it still attached?" and he tried to look under the covers. We assured him that it was and not long after that he pointed a finger at me and said "Don't ever let your woman get on top! I'm sure that's what started this!"

It was all we could do not to howl with laughter.

Amazingly, they released him to go back right about 10 pm. We were all sure after such traumatic surgery they would keep him at least over night. But the doc said he was good to go. So we loaded him carefully into the state van and drove him back to the prison.

We got back to the prison just as another wild thunderstorm rolled through our area. The tornado sirens are going off even now. I'm hoping not to lose power before I get this done. It's a pretty fierce one out there.

Saturday is Read To Me Day and World Laboratory Animal Day. It is also Marconi Day, Movie Theater Day, Talk Like Shakespeare Day and Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day.

Talk like a Shakespearean Bulldog! Yeah!

Sunday is National Pigs In A Blanket Day. It's also Easter, National Tai Chi Day and Pet Parents Day.

And Monday is of course National Zucchini Bread Day, DNA Day, Dyngus Day and Hug A Plumber Day.

Okey dokey.

Beware the morning wood!

Feeding Frenzy

Since I rarely if ever eat the state food, I usually pack a good sized lunch. The state food is usually bland and unappetizing and fit only for inmates. I often refer to it as Purina Inmate Chow.

I'll usually pack enough to get me by and a couple of extras in case I get held over for a double. You just never know when that's going to happen.

The wife keeps me well supplied with things to take for dinner. On hand we almost always have sandwich fixin's, leftovers and frozen stuff like microwave hamburgers and hot pockets and burritos and the like. Once in awhile she fixes me something special to take so the other guys will be jealous. I like to brag about her cooking when I get the chance.

Today I brought two microwave cheeseburgers, three bottles of water, a pop tart, three miniature candy bars, a small bag of chips, a strawberry yogurt and a snack cake of some sort. It was just the usual fare.

When I got in Sausage had brought two boxes of fried chicken from the gas station by his house. He brought enough for me and him and Sgt Uncle T. We chowed down on the chicken and saved a few pieces for Lt Farmer. It was pretty good chicken. Real crispy on the outside and tender and completely done on the inside with lots of flavor. It's making me hungry again just writing about it.

I guess I need to be nicer to Sausage, since he feeds me now and then. But he is such a goof, sometimes.

When I was getting done with my Del Norte walk a few hours later I passed through the sally port and Model A popped open the window and passed out a pizza box.

"Here! Have some pizza! Sgt Puddle sent down a whole pizza and we had all we could eat already! Finish it off!"

There were three or four slices left. Pepperoni. Mmmm! First chance I got I wrapped them in a few paper towels and stuck them in my pocket so I could ditch the box.

Got back to the shack and for the first time tonight I was completely alone for a few minutes. Stuck the pizza in the microwave and heated it back up and got dinner all over again.

The only thing I touched in my lunch box tonight was the water. Drank all of that. The rest is going back in the fridge or the freezer. I'll bring it again tomorrow and see how it works out.

I think next week I may have to bring in some food for everybody else. Well, not everybody. You know what I mean.

Friday is National Jelly Bean Day, Good Friday (aren't they all?), and Earth Day.

I wonder if Jelly Beans are recyclable?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Snap, I'm Tired!

I stopped and saw BG on my way in to work this afternoon. He was out of ICU and had his discharge papers and his brother was going to pick him up and take him home later on. He was still a bit weak, but seemed eager to get home.

I'm sure if he was wearing ruby hospital slippers, he would have been madly clicking them together....

He will still be off work for awhile. he can't come back until the doctor releases him. I told him to take it easy and get better before he tries to come back. I'm sure he won't listen to me.

For some reason, even though I did practically nothing at work tonight, I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

And I keep typoing and it's pissing me off so I think I'll just go check the calendar and call it a night. WHat do you think?

Thursday is Kindergarten Day. It is also Get To Know Your Customers Day, High Five Day, and National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day.

Sounds like it might be a good one to me. Good night!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taking Shelter

Woof! What a day.

Checking the weather this morning they said we might have some bad stuff rolling in storm-wise. Then the further along in the day, the worse it got. By the time I left for work we were under a tornado watch and a severe thunderstorm warning until 9pm this evening.

I was out on A-yard in the Fireman's place, as he is in training.

All afternoon we kept watching the skies, waiting to see if it was coming. When I looked out across the yard at least half the people I saw, staff and inmates both, were watching the skies.\

About 6:30 it started getting dark and nasty looking. At 6:45 I saw the first lightning strike. The guy from the gym called and closed up early and went home. At 7:00 I went up to the chapel and told the Chaplain there he might want to wrap it up early. He said he would be done by 7:30 which is about half an hour early for him.

At 7:10 the Captain closed the yards.

At 7:15 they came over the radio and said hold all movement.

We got permission to clear the chapel and got them all out at 7:25.

At 7:30 they came over the radio again and said that all the wings were closed and for all staff to seek immediate shelter. We were all going into 1 house and I trotted down to the shack to get my coat and lunchbox, as it looked like we were going to be there for awhile. As I passed A-wing, some mouthy little punk yelled out his window.

"Man, they is all scared of a little lightning! Look at 'em all runnin' inside!"

I looked up at his window and said "Tell you what, d*ckhead. Stick your tongue out the window and see what happens, fool!"

At 7:40 the snit hit the fan. Massive lightning, rain and high winds. It was raining and blowing so hard we couldn't see the fence in front of the house, only about twenty yards away. Spectacular lightning show, when we could see it. A little bit of hail now and then.

I don't think we got a tornado, but it was freaking close enough.

Sometime during the middle of all this we lost half of our power grid. No power in control center, 25 house or main production. Fortunately main production had already shut down for the evening. The 25 house generator kicked on but for some reason one whole wing stayed completely dark.

And you just cannot leave an entire wing of sex offenders in an open wing house alone in the dark together. That's just asking for trouble.

So as soon as there was the slightest lull in the storm they sent as many officers as they could spare down there with flashlights to patrol the dark wing.

They went out in search of battery operated lanterns for the dark areas. We had lots of them from the last big power outage. But someone had gone around a couple of months ago and gathered them all up.

Where were they? Locked in a closet in the Business Office in the Admin building. One of the few places we don't have keys for. Lot of good they are doing us there.

So the Captain calls the Warden who says call the head of the Business Office and get him in there. And when she gets him on the phone he says "I'm on vacation, you know!"

To which she replies "I don't care. Get in here and get me those lanterns."

Dude comes in and he's all pissed off and even doubly pissed off because by the time he gets in to get us the lanterns the power is back on. But we get the lanterns anyway and take them back to central so we can have access to them in case of emergency. And he was pissed off about that too, but too bad for him.

So it was an exciting night. But we survived intact. Nobody got hurt and nobody escaped. All we got was a little wet. I can live with that, I think.

So Wednesday is Look Alike Day. That could be bad news. It's also Make A Quilt Day, and National Pot Smokers Day. Combining those two could prove to be entertaining, I'm sure.

Inmate Art

I found this thing on the yard a while back. Picked it up and stuck it in my pocket then found it the last time I washed my coat.

It's a lighter case. Made out of loose tobacco and floor wax, believe it or not.

Take a lighter and wrap a small bit of thin cardboard, like off the back of a note pad, around it and tape it in place.

Then you dip the thing in liquid floor wax up to the top of the cardboard several times, letting it briefly dry between coats like you were dipping a candle.

Next you cut out two small dirty pictures out of a magazine. Dip the lighter one more time to get a sticky coat of wax on it and stick the pictures to the wax. Then dip it a couple of more times to get a coat over the pictures.

Now you take a small bit of loose tobacco and mix it in with some more wax until it becomes like a paste. You form this paste around the lighter, making sure not to cover the dirty pictures.

Now dip it in wax a few more times. Let it dry and you're done!

You are now the proud owner of an inmate lighter case. Aren't you proud?

It never ceases to amaze me what these guys will come up with, given enough time and a few loose scraps of nothing.

If they could apply that sort of ingenuity to something productive...... but, you know.

I stopped in and saw BG on my way in to work. He was sleeping, but I had a chat with his nurse and she says he's getting much better. They got the bleeding from the ulcer under control, but the accompanying anemia gave him some clots in his leg that they are going to have to contend with one way or another.

She was upbeat, but then she's a nurse and she's supposed to be. He's made improvements, but he's not out of the woods yet. It's going to be some time before he can come back to work, if at all.

Hopefully by tomorrow he will be out of ICU and back into a regular room. The Hive just isn't the same place without him.

Tuesday is Garlic Day. It's also Hanging Out Day and McDonalds Hiring Day. You think with all those weirdo's hanging out all the time, they'd hire more than one day a year. Give those freaks a job!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Day / Bad Day

Like the title said, it was a good day and a bad day.

The Watcher and I left early in the morning and ran up to the hospital to see BG. He looked tired and kind of sick, but it didn't seem like he was feeling that bad. We tried our best to cheer him up just a little bit and didn't stay for too long so he could rest.

At that point, they weren't quite sure what brought him down.

So we went on up to the convention and hung out for a few hours, pretty much just wandering around. We were still early so there weren't that many people there yet.

But the people that were there were already quite the eye full. They were mostly anime characters Avatar the Airbender and Full Metal Alchemist and quite a few of them that I had no idea what they were supposed to be. A few Mario characters and even the boys from the Raccoon City Stars Squad were represented. It was reassuring to see them, just in case there were any zombies lurking about.

I even saw the Green lantern there, which was surprising. And some guy had a life sized R2D2 that was remote controlled. A fun little gadget.

Then the dealers room opened up and we got to meet Mookie. He was, after all, the guy we went up there to meet. He's the hairier of the two in the above picture, next to the guy who looks like he could be The Edge's dad. Mookie was cool and friendly and I bought a copy of all five of his books, which he autographed for us right there. That was awesome.

Once the place got fully open and the crowd started getting denser, both the Watcher and I started getting a bit uncomfortable. Not only were there a bazillion people crowded into the place, they started getting younger and younger. There were kids wearing stuff that I wouldn't have let a kid wear in the house, let alone outside of it.

Even though he's several (several) years younger than I, Watcher kept looking around at all those scantily clad teeny boppers and cringing. I guess all those years working in a prison make you a little more protective of kids. It was entertaining and a bit nerve wracking at the same time.

And we were both getting tired and pissed about being jostled by rude kids and whacked with all sorts of fake swords and giant keys and other weird paraphernalia.

So we left. We'd spent all the money we intended to and decided to boogie before our patience ran thin enough for violence. It was supposed to be a fun outing, after all.

Before we left I found out there's going to be a steampunk convention in June and another one in the same place with Spider Robinson as the Guest Host in September. So, if I can afford it, I may be doing a couple more conventions this year.

What the heck, it gets me out of the house.

On the way home we stopped at some greasy spoon joint for something to eat and Miz Twang called Watcher and said that BG had taken a turn for the worse and had been moved to ICU. We did a speed run down the road and they let us in to see him.

He looked bad. Gray skin and his breathing wasn't good and he had no energy at all. They had more IV's going and were giving him whole blood. Of course, since we weren't family, they wouldn't tell us anything. It was scary.

I thought we were going to lose him. I sat at home that night dreading that the phone would ring.

Got up this morning and made another trip to the hospital. He looked much better. Color in his face and he was sitting up and talking. Turns out that he had a bleeding ulcer that was running his blood count down and making him anemic and playing hob with his blood pressure. They were giving him drugs for the ulcer and still running plasma into him to help replace his volume, along with the other IV's.

Hopefully once they get that kicked he'll be back up to snuff. I always told him it wasn't good to eat all that state food, but he would never listen. I gave him hell about scaring us like that and told him to knock it off. He actually smiled at me.

I'll keep you updated as I find out more. Hopefully it won't be any more alarming snit like that.

Today was National Cheeseball Day. It was also Bat Appreciation Day, Blah Blah Blah! Day and Nothing Like A Dame Day.

Monday will be International Jugglers Day, National Stress Awareness Day (yeah) and National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day.

I don't think I'll be wearing my PJ's to work. Don't see that happening. Nope.

Friday, April 15, 2011


The Watcher called me just a few moments ago and told me that my old partner BG (the Big Guy) was taken out by ambulance with chest pains and taken to the local hospital where he was being admitted.

We are stopping by the hospital in the morning on our way up to the convention to poke our heads in and say hello.

Keep him in your thoughts, please.

A Fruitless Exercise

The picture won't make sense for a little while further down the post. Then it makes sense. Just hang with me a bit.

But it is a pretty funny picture.

Anyway, I found out what the super secret detail was that I got pulled off the yard for. There was a group of women who belong to some company that gathers information for the federal government. They came to interview 347 of our offenders and have them take a survey.

If they cooperated and took the survey, they got a small bag of cookies. Their part took 30 minutes and they got cookies. I worked for four hours and didn't get any.

And the Feds wonder why Americans are so disgruntled. **sigh**

The main crux of the survey and interview was about sex in prison. And apparently their focus was on non-consensual sex.

Their funding, it seems, comes from PREA, the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The same fine people who paid for our new camera system two years ago. Who, of course, had cameras put in all of the places where rape is not likely to occur. But hey, I don't want to see that either.

I hate to burst their bubble, but they are never going to eliminate either sex or rape in prison. It's pointless. For one thing, it's what makes going to prison such a bad idea. Take that away and this place would become a country club. Almost every single comedian ever had a prison rape joke. Talking about being in a cell with Big Bubba who's saying "You're my little puppy now, boy!"

The only way you could ever completely eliminate that sort of thing is to completely isolate every single inmate from every other single inmate and never let them get within arms reach of each other.

Is that ever going to happen? Well snap, no.

Ergo, it will continue to be both a problem and a deterrent.

But, even though it was pointless, I spent four hours bringing them the inmates off of their list so they could interview them. And this evening I brought them the final dozen inmates and after that they took their notebooks and their laptops and their leftover cookies and went on to another prison.

We got done an entire day early and I'm glad. Everyone is glad they are gone. Not that they weren't nice ladies, you understand. They were all very pleasant. But they were inconveniencing us and upsetting our routines and that's never a good thing.

I was afraid I was going to be doing the same thing tomorrow until I went out and looked at the chrono last night. Apparently I had asked for tomorrow off a month or so ago and gotten it and forgotten.

So I'm off tomorrow. Yay! Got to get ready for the weekend.

The Watcher and I are traveling north to, of all things, an anime convention.

No, that was not a typo.

The mad genius behind the e-comic Dominic Deegan, Oracle For Hire , Michael "Mookie" Terracciano, will be there. The watcher got me hooked on reading this strip a few years ago and now is my chance to meet him finally.

So we are going to wade through crowds of fanboys and catgirls and I'm sure all of the Pokemon characters to meet this guy and hopefully reemerge with our wits still about us.

I'll leave the pepper spray at home, I think. It would be too tempting.

So Friday is Rubber Eraser Day. Ironically, it is also Leonardo DaVinci's birthday. On the other hand, it's also Take A Wild Guess Day and That Sucks Day.

I guess it would suck if your wild guess was wrong.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This is what we carry at work. 3.1oz Top Cop pepper spray. It's a 10% OC solution that measures out at around 2 million scoville units.

To read about scoville heat units, go here.

The new Top Cop Mark 5 which will be available (hopefully to us) soon, will measure out at 5.3 million scovilles.

Some pretty hot stuff.

They just came up with a new pepper that they say is the hottest in the world. In Australia someone has cross-bred peppers and come up with one called the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. It rates at about 1.46 million scovilles.

You have to wear gloves when handling the peppers or your hands will burn for two days and you have to wear a respirator when cooking with the raw peppers to protect your lungs.

I imagine if we distilled those bad boys down and put them in a spray form we could get some serious crowd control going on.

I've had quite a bit of this Top Cop stuff on me and it's not very pleasant. It will burn your bits and if you leave it on your skin too long it will blister you. You can live with it on you, but it makes things like going to the bathroom quite inconvenient and uncomfortable.

We're about due to get some new stuff any time now. It's only good for about three years then we have to replace it and usually we end up getting something different every time. Hopefully we will get the Mark 5 cans.

Yeah. Show me your attitude. I'll show you my pepper spray. We'll see who wins.

Thursday is National Pecan Day. It is also International Moment Of Laughter Day. Let's see.... what could we do funny with pecans to make this work?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Hatefuls

Jeez. If it wasn't bad enough being stuck up in the comm room again when I know I'll have to be there tomorrow too, everybody seemed to have a case of the hatefuls today.

Yes, I know it's hot up there. Can't you see me sweating even though there are fans blowing everywhere? No, they haven't turned the A/C on yet and no, I don't know why. But I got lots of people who came up to my window and said "Jeezus Gawd, why do you have it so hot up here? Why don't you turn on the A/C?"

At that point I just slapped myself in the head and replied "Because I'm a moron, obviously! They put me in this little freaking cage because I'm too stupid to know it's freaking hot up here!"

You only had to be up there for minutes at best, picking up or turning in your crap. I had to be up there for six hours. And every time I tried to get a break somebody else would be coming in or out and needing keys or a radio.

Thank the (insert favorite deity here) that I had two hours out in the P-car where I could drive around with the windows open and cool off for awhile.

I wonder what they would do if i brought in a hammer and chisel and made my own window?

Yeah, I know....

The whole deal ended up giving me a pretty good headache. The only thing holding the top of my head on was my hat. Spent the last two hours up there working in the dark. It was a little difficult to see, but it made my head hurt less.

And I get to do it all again tomorrow. I am so lucky....

Wednesday is Blame Somebody Else Day. I'm going to find somebody to blame besides me. It is also Thomas Jefferson Day. But I don't think it would do me a bit of good to blame Thomas Jefferson.

Good Morning, Mr Phelps

I no sooner walk in the front door this afternoon when Lt Baby Boy starts quizzing me to refresh his memory about my assigned days and my days off. Then he tells me I might get to go on a secret detail later on in the week.

He said "It's so secret I don't even know what it is yet. I'll let you know."

Well, I found out what it was and it was no big secret. Just another ho-hum crappy side detail that will pull me out of my spot for two days and aggravate me no end. He's just going to hose me out of my day on the yard.

If it comes to it and I have to go, I'll let you know what all the shouting was about.

For some odd reason all of the cards fell just right and we had plenty of people everywhere. As a matter of fact, for awhile this evening we had five CO's on B-yard. That hasn't happened in forever. That was very strange. I didn't have to count anywhere. Startling. All of the houses, at least on our side, were full.

St. Francis had the long walk tonight and Sgt Uncle T sent the two newest guys out to do the IP check and any escorts, which left me with very little to do besides watch after Uncle T. And these days he takes some watching after, believe me.

They've got him hooked to a heart monitor which is connected to his cell phone and he's allowed to carry it inside the fence. One of the few people allowed to do so. And if his heart rhythm gives a little hiccup his phone rings and the monitoring center at the hospital wants to know if he's okay. It's cool, but kind of distracting at times. And everybody is startled when he answers his phone.

This evening we were up in central and he was talking about getting all of these phone calls and The Watcher says "You should answer it 'City Morgue'!" Of course we all crack up and then I see the look in Sgt Uncle T's eyes.

Oh snap. He's gonna do it!

All the way out this fool is dancing up and down trying to get his heart rate to go up so that they'll call him.

Someone yells "Stop that! You're going to break a hip!"

I yell "And maybe even your own, dummy!" But he doesn't listen.

His phone doesn't ring until we get out in the parking lot. He fumbles the phone out of the case looking like a kid at Christmas and answers "City Morgue!"

The voice of the Pakistani nurse on the other end says "You not funny!" Then she proceeds to chew him out. When she's done he looks more like he just got out of the principals office. We got a good laugh out of it anyway. He vows to keep answering the phone like that until he reaches someone with a sense of humor.

See what I have to put up with?

Not like I'm any better. I'm just saying.....

Tuesday is Look Up At The Sky Day, Equal Pay Day, National Be Kind To Lawyers Day (Pfui), Drop Everything And Read Day, Licorice Day and Walk On The Wild Side Day.

If I was paid equally to a lawyer, I'd drop everything and read for awhile. Maybe then I could afford some licorice.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I used to say "Phooey" until I started reading Rex Stout's 'Nero Wolfe' books. Now I say "Pfui". It's still pronounced the same to the uneducated ear.

I use this as my worst simple word of disdain. It's all of the 'ratzen-fratzen' and 'snap' and all of that combined. I used it alot tonight.

This night sucked. Nothing bad happened. As a matter of fact, nothing happened at all, as far as I know. The night...

Just went on....


My third night in the comm room this week and I'm sick and tired of it. Good thing it's Friday.

And that's all I have to say about that. Sorry, but my head hurts. I'm going to bed.

I will however, check the magic calendar before I go.

Saturday is Winston Churchill Day and Name Yourself Day. I guess if you named yourself Winston Churchill, you could get twice the celebration! It is also National Cherish An Antique Day. Hey, I'm an antique!

Sunday is Golfers Day and Baby Massage Day (!?!) and Safety Pin Day (after the massage, i guess).

Monday is Eight-Track Tape Day and Barbershop Quartet Day and International "Louie Louie" Day.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Left At The Helm

Since Sausage fell out yesterday, they told him to take today off and rest up. Since he was gone, we made fun of him in his absence. Nothing we wouldn't say to his face, you understand. Just good natured fun to cover up something that was kind of scary.

"Why did Sausage pass out?"

"He was talking so much he forgot to breathe!"

"Man, I'd like to have been there just to see what he looks like with his mouth closed."

That sort of thing. He'll get to hear all of it again when he comes back.

So in his place they gave me a new guy. I saw his name on the chrono and said "Who is this?" The Lt said "He's new. Seems all right."

He was so new in fact that today was his first day off OJT. The first time he was considered to be a regular staff. I said "Aw, heck." then sighed and said "Okey dokey."

Or something like that, anyway.

Sgt Uncle T just kept telling the new guy (who doesn't have a blog name yet) "Just listen to Rev and do whatever he tells you to. He knows what's going on." He said that like ten times during the night. It always startles me. Just like the first time I found myself out on the yard alone. Now I got the yard and a brand new officer to watch out for.

But he did me proud. He asked all the right questions and wasn't afraid to get out and walk around by himself and actually showed some initiative now and then. When he did something beyond what I had told him to do he always came back and asked if it was okay of if he'd done it right. I even had to leave him out on the yard by himself for a few minutes and run the nurses down to 10 house while Sgt Uncle T was up front. He didn't cry or scream or anything. I think he did better the first time alone on the yard than I did.

Man, I hope we get to keep this guy. He seems like one of the good ones. Of course I may be dead wrong, but tonight it seemed like we had hired somebody decent.

With my luck once we get him trained he'll want to transfer to some place closer to home or go to day shift or midnights. Not that they don't need good people too, I'm just greedy.

Luckily we had a calm uneventful evening. Chow went quick because it was something nasty and the yards didn't stay open too long as storm clouds were moving in and it got dark quick. And it didn't rain on us at all until the very end of shift. Even then it just misted a little.

A good night. I'm thankful for those.

Friday is All Is Ours Day. It's also Buddha Day. Those two seem at odds with each other, don't you think? If you took symbolic logic to it: All is ours. All is nothing. Ergo, nothing is ours. Makes a weird kind of sense to me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Out Of The Loop

So, let me back up with an update of last nights post, since it's germane. Sgt Uncle T had a mild heart attack and spent three days in the hospital. He's going in for a cardiac cath and stent surgery the first week of next month.

I found all this out in the parking lot this afternoon when he came back to work. he was wearing some sort of portable heart monitor that was like a cell phone connected to the hospital. They were monitoring him all the time. Weird.

Right after shift change they called a code 16 on staff outside central on B-side. It scared the snap out of me, as I knew that was where Sgt Uncle T was at that moment. Turns out that it was Sausage. He's had the flu and wasn't eating right and apparently just fell off the bench and passed out. They got him up and fed him something and sent him home for the next couple of days. When he comes back I may have to smack him and Uncle T for scaring me like that.

The other day when I came in they had rearranged things in the comm room inventory and now had twelve radios marked with "FB" for Fire Brigade. And there was a list of all of the fire brigade members posted. They are supposed to get the FB radios when they come on shift. I knew nothing about it.

Well, my name wasn't on the list. I said "Huh! Was I excluded, dropped or just forgotten?" Ran into Sgt Homer and he said "Just write your name on there! You are on the fire brigade! I know you are!"

I found out later this evening that those FB radios have extra channels for the local fire and PD, just in case we have an actual fire. Then we can help coordinate. Or something. Supposedly this was all explained in an email that was sent to everybody on the brigade.

I didn't get that either.

Just in case somebody runs into the little bald guy that's in charge of fire and safety, tell him he's starting to hurt my feelings just a little.

There was one other issue that came up about that this evening.

Years ago I got put into the position of Head of maintenance for an Army hospital up in Alaska. Turns out I was also Fire and Safety as well. It came along with the job. One of the most important things I got when I got the job was a key to reset the fire alarms. Because 99% of all the fire alarms that I had to respond to were alarm malfunctions. Just a power surge or a glitch in the system that set it off and scared the snap out of everybody.

Or, like tonight, somebody accidentally whacked the alarm box and set it off. Happened over in A-dining when they were cleaning up after chow. Luckily, dinner was already over.

I was out in the P-Car and I knew the Watcher was inside and he could field the alarm. Heck, he probably knows more about it than I do. Even without any training. he's probably the closest thing we have to a genius around here.

A slightly twisted and partially evil genius, but a genius nonetheless.

So, it was a false alarm and we just needed to reset the system at the box.

Where was the key?

He came back up to the comm room and tried out both sets of keys marked "Fire and Safety". Neither one of them had a key that fit the box. What good are they then?

Called all three of the higher ups on the brigade. Turns out that all three of them carry a reset key on their personal keyrings. But not one in the sets in the comm room. And all three of those guys work day shift and mostly can't be reached at night.

Oh joy.

We finally got hold of one of the guys and he came in and reset the alarm almost three hours after it was first called. And he told us that there is one other key on the Captains keyring kept in the desk up in central.

Did the Watcher or I know this?


Did the Captain know this?


Did anybody besides the fire and safety guy and his assistant chiefs know this?

Apparently not.

But we added to our knowledge base this evening. It can't be considered a wasted day because we learned something that might be important. But it was sure like pulling hens teeth to pry out that little bit of information.

It seems like we are bombarded with information the whole time we are at work. This has been going on and we found that over there. This thing is broken and that thing is new so don't break it. This one had a baby and that one just lost his great aunt twice removed and her funeral is in that cemetery at three pm and she liked tulips.

But when it comes to the really important snit, like hey, your buddy is in the hospital... Or if you want to do your job you might need this thing kept here..... Everybody is silent.

Or maybe I'm just out of the freaking loop. I dunno.

Where is this loop and how do I get in?

Enough of my ranting. Let's check the calendar.

Thursday is No Housework Day. I'll let the wife know. She'll be pleased. Just don't tell Chanel. She'll cheat and do the dishes anyway, I'm sure. (grin, wink)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Missing The Big Guy

Well Sgt Uncle T ended up in the hospital last week and I didn't even know it. Apparently he went home early Wednesday having some chest pains and they put him in the hospital Friday or Saturday.

Nobody ever tells me anything!

I heard that he's back home now and on a heart monitor so he probably won't be coming back in to run the yard for awhile.

You have no idea how bad that sucks. I look forward to my evening on the yard with Uncle T every week. He's one of the few people that I can really talk to that are on the same level with me most of the time.

Not like I'm some genius or anything. But then, neither is he. He's just a pretty good dude.

For a closet Canadian, anyway.

Anyway, I'm gonna try and see how he's doing and hopefully he'll get off his duff and get back to work soon. I can only take so much of his replacements, you know. Things are going to start getting ugly out there.

So Wednesday is Sorry Charlie Day. What the heck? Does that mean we don't get any tuna or what? Who made up this list? I don't think they've shown those commercials in ten years or more.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Didn't Get Enough!

Took the day off today, as I had to take the wife in for oral surgery. Things went as well as could be expected. Just trying to keep her drugged until the pain goes away now.

And not at all looking forward to when I have to go myself later on this year. Nope.

So instead I'll bring you the result of something I started last week. I was out on the yard watching the yammerheads go down for mainline when I noticed alot of bits of paper on the ground. Curious, I picked a couple of them up and it seemed to be a note, torn to shreds.

I couldn't tell what kind of note it was, but since whoever had spent the time to rip it into such small pieces it must have been either important or infuriating. So I decided it might be worth my time to pick up the bits and see what the note said.

After I got home and dumped all of the bits out of my coat pocket I spent the better part of an hour putting them back together with tape. Obviously I didn't get all parts because this is what I ended up with:
Some of those bits are inferred, because I couldn't find any other place to fit them.

But it's obviously a love note because of the signature:

Ah yes, the weird little pentagram heart thingy. I've seen it before. Back in fifth or sixth grade, I think. They probably think they invented that.

From what I can read of the note, there seemed to be some friction (and not the good kind) between the two. Somebody slappd somebody who slappd somebody else. There's alot of talk about how they "fell" about each other. Not how they fell for, how they fell about.

That last bit was hard to write. I'm so OCD about my freaking spelling, it's hard to write things wrong on purpose.

There was another signature on a different bit of paper. I assumed that it was at the top, maybe the part that was supposed to show when the note was folded up. Who knows?
Ah, spring. And love is in the air. It just makes me feel so mushy inside. ((sigh))

So Tuesday is Go For Broke Day. After handing out three grand to the dentists, I think I'll just declare it Broke Day and go with that. Go for it!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Constant Chattering

I don't know what it has been about the last week. Maybe I'm a soft touch or a good listener. Maybe I'm just too polite to say what I think.

I know that may be hard to believe, but it's true. I am polite sometimes.

But for the past week I have been surrounded by people chattering at me constantly. Everywhere I went. So much that now I'm home and it's quiet I can hear the echoes of all that noise still bouncing around in my head.

I know as CO's we are verbal critters. Ninety percent of what we do during any day is verbal.

"Where's your ID?" "Stay off the grass!" "Hey! You! Are you stupid?" "Don't put your lips on that! You don't know where it's been!" "Lock down!" "Chow time!" "Count time!"

That sort of thing. We could probably automate this place and just run a recording of those phrases over and over at random intervals and the place would run exactly the same.

And when we aren't talking to or at the inmates (or giving them a talking to), we are talking to each other. Or sometimes giving each other a talking to. Or throwing our sunglasses at somebody. That stuff happens.

But the point is we are a very verbose group, generally. If one of us isn't talking, somebody is asking them what's wrong. And then they take them aside for a talk.

After a long week of listening to the chatter, I relish coming home when everybody in the house is asleep and nobody is talking to me. Then I just tip my head to the side and let all of that blah blah blah run out so I can make room for Monday again.

Supposed to have a fairly warm weekend, maybe I'll go down to the shop by myself, put on some instrumental music and play with my saws for awhile. That always helps me defrag my brain.

So lets see the weekend lineup.

Saturday is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Yum!

Sunday is Tweed Day and Don't Go To Work Unless It's Fun Day. Especially on a Sunday.

And Monday is Tell-A-Lie Day. Oh boy. Don't tell the inmates. Or any politicians, either.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thought We Stepped In It

Whoo. Thought this day was going to start off bad and get worse as it went.

Came in and they were doing a staff search. Man I purely do hate when they do those. They go through everything in my lunchbox and get it all mixed up. Have to take everything out of my pockets and take off my belt and my hat and my boots. Then get patted down.

I can't be grumpy with the people doing it because they're just doing what they're told to do by the big cheeses. But I do reserve the right to grumble about the inconvenience. And I can't find anything in the pockets of my lunchbox until I dump it all out and repack it again. Pfui.

While all this was going on I was listening to the radio with half an ear, hoping nothing bad would happen while I was standing here with no belt and no boots on. Sounded like they were locking a couple inmates up.

When I got my boots back on and went over to central I heard them call for a couple more escorts down to the Hive.

When I went back out to smoke I heard them call for a couple more. They had one in cuffs here and they were looking for another one there.

Holy snap. Are they locking up the whole camp?

Right before shift change they called for the B-yard Sarge to go to 9 house. He took one of his officers who ended up escorting one down to the Hive and he told me another one would be ready soon.

Sure enough, no sooner did I get to the shack and set down my lunchbox, 9 house called for an escort. I went down and got him and took him to medical. When we got there, three other inmates in cuffs were standing in line waiting to be seen before going to the Hive.

And when we got down to the Hive we had to wait in line again. Behind the same three guys.

Yeah, I remember those days. One of the reasons I have very little hair left and what is there is strictly gray.

I think they locked up nine or ten all at once. Some under investigation for something and a couple of them for a possible assault or maybe a fight. Nobody was exactly sure what was going on.

Nobody at my end of the food chain, anyway.

Luckily, the evening calmed down considerably after that. I was afraid we were going to have to run full tilt all night long.

But those first few hours surely were busy. Lawsy mercy!

Actually managed to get through chow early (even though Sausage sucks at calling out the houses) and had time to eat my dinner before the yards opened. That doesn't happen very often. And got a little bit of time after my Del Norte walk to just sit and listen to more of Sausage's improbable stories. Always the high point of my evening.

Did not get to even see let alone use a Bunsen burner and got no clams on the half shell, either. But Friday is One Cent Day.

Whatever it is, I hope it's something good. Or at least something worth one cent.