September 30, 2017

* The commissary at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp is closed for two weeks in September each year so that inventory can be taken. The commissary sells about 350 items and it was out of stock on roughly 30% of all the popular items when it closed, as the supervisors don't restock for weeks prior to taking inventory. I guess taking two weeks to count such a "huge" inventory is about right for this place. The Bureau of Prisons should outsource this operation nationwide to Wal-Mart or Amazon or any number of organizations with a basic understanding of retail. The same could be said for food service. Neither will ever happen, though, because of the prison workers union.

* We've been having weekly bunk, shower, laundry room, and general cleanliness inspections pitting the East Side against the West Side. After 6 weeks, I'm proud to announce that our West Side won the competition 5 to 1 and was awarded a "party" which consisted of 2 bags of popcorn. It may have been the best popcorn I've ever...

September 25, 2017

Twelve and twenty-four months ago, I wrote here about the "Top Ten Things I Miss" from the real world. These have not changed too much from what I posted last year. However, being an inmate at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp has certainly changed my perspective a little. Joni Mitchell was correct when she wrote and sung, "you don't know what you've got til it's gone," as some of the aspects of life I dreaded don't seem so bad now. So here's the third version of the things I miss. Of course Boone the Wonder Dog is still at the top of the real list, now joined by Ms. Charlotte.

I miss...

1. being in the back row, middle seat of a Spirit airline flight between 2 smelly, overweight, loud passengers. (I'd be on an airplane and not just watching them fly over.)

2. being at a lightning-delayed halftime at Baylor stadium down 40-0 to SMU with no ride home. (Dr. Pepper)

3. being at an all-day junior high track meet. (The only reason I'd be there would be to watch my granddaughter who will be a treme...

September 15, 2017

There is a vibrant underground economy here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp with every inmate being a producer and/or a consumer. I'm primarily a consumer even though I am an unlicensed hair care professional in our barbershop. This is because, as we all know, "haircuts be free."

Most of the corrections officers who supervise the camp have a somewhat laissez faire regulatory attitude as long as the economy doesn't get out of hand or make them look bad. They seem to inadvertently enforce the "pigs get fat while hogs get slaughtered" rule which is pragmatic and effective. However we recently had a rookie replacement for the 4:00pm to 12:00am regular officer. I say he's a rookie because he appeared to be approaching 19 years old. While he was supposed to be putting up our daily mail, the overachieving young man decided to search lockers. He unfortunately stumbled upon the mother load when he randomly hit the locker of our best bathroom chef. Sadly the bathroom chef was taken to the Speci...

September 10, 2017

With all the extra time I have here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, I have taken it upon myself to contribute something to society--to give back, if you will. So with that, I am pleased to announce, after 43 minutes of contemplative study and strenuous non-peer-reviewed clinical trials, I have developed the Climate Change Christian Spectrum (CCCS). I might modestly add I've done this without government, corporate, or non-profit funding and without harming any animals.

The CCCS is a way of determining what kind of Christian you are based on the answer to one simple, two-part question about climate change. The question is, Is climate change real or imagined? If imagined, go no further; but if real, what/who causes it? In the clinical trials, the CCCS has proven to be 100% accurate. At this point, I don't know why it works, only that it does...every time. Further research, when announced, should identify why. Hopefully that announcement will prove to be more interesting than this one.

I...

September 5, 2017

WARNING: Political opinions expressed below.

When Donald Trump opens his mouth or tweets, he has so many sophomoric and ignoble personal characteristics, it's often difficult to distinguish what matters from what is merely embarrassing. One example of something that matters to many was the announcement last month of his support of an immigration bill proposed by 2 far right-wing Senators, Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA).

Republicans have historically supported legal immigration, because we have understood the benefit of having an adequate workforce demanded by a growing economy. This workforce need is ever increasing as baby boomers retire. While I know nothing about Senator Perdue, Cotton represents the fear-based, anti-immigration, ultra-nationalistic wing of the Republican party. He's also been a loud and well-known roadblock to meaningful criminal justice/sentencing reform that otherwise has wide bipartisan support in this country. So full disclosure: as a felon and inmate...

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© 2016 by Charles D. Jones