March 29, 2019

* Here are some more words of wisdom from Jordon Peterson's 12 Rules For Life
"Say what you mean, so that you can find out what your mean. Act out what you say, so you can find out what happens. Then pay attention. Note your errors. Articulate them. Strive to correct them. That is how you discover the meaning of your life. That will protect you from the tragedy of your life. How could it be otherwise?"

* I ear hustled (overheard) a conversation between two inmates on Ash Wednesday that goes to the heart of some of the challenges faced today by the Catholic Church. The conversation went like this:
  Inmate 1: What's that on your forehead?
  Inmate 2: Ashes. It's Ash Wednesday.
  Inmate 1: What's Ash Wednesday?
  Inmate 2: I'm not sure.
  Inmate 1: Is it in the Bible?
  Inmate 2: I don't know. Probably.

* This month we had a double-secret, inmate-taught class going on in the Education Building. It was called "Geography," because that particular subject matter was on the official approved...

March 24, 2019

It's really not fair that of the four puppies we're training here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp for Canine Companions for Independence, Freddy is the cutest, sweetest, fastest, handsomest and smartest...in my own completely unbiased opinion. I recently added up the CCI commands he now knows as just a 7 month old Labrador/Golden Retriever-mix puppy, and the count now stands at 30. Of course, that doesn't include a few "off the books" commands that are just for Freddy and me. There's one in particular I hope he never forgets when he leaves here: "Hug."

We begin this command with me sitting crossed legged on the floor. Then I mention to Freddy, "I need a hug." He responds by coming over to where I'm sitting, getting in my lap and curling up. Now you might say that's technically not a hug and you'd be right; but Freddy thinks it's a hug, and that's all that matters. We continue to go through this routine daily, even though he now weighs over 60 pounds and is, by any reasonable standard,...

March 19, 2019

There are a few movies that I will always watch when they're aired on a television here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp. In fact, I'll watch them until the credits roll because, let's face it, what else do I have to do? Oddly, Tom Hanks is in 3 of them, but clearly my favorite of his is Forrest Gump. There are some memorable lines from that movie. I laugh out loud when merely thinking about shrimp, million dollar wounds, and apologizing for messing up someone's black panther party. But the line that always gets me is when he tells his beloved Jenny, "I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is." The inherent self-awareness of that statement confirms that Forrest was pretty smart, because he truly did know what love is. The kind of love that never gives up.

The older I get, the less I know. I sadly can't read this blog, as we lack internet access. My posts, once sent to my self-proclaimed "Editor At Large", disappear from my memory, and I can't refer back to them. I shudder to th...

March 14, 2019

I get the best letters here, as I have friends who still know how to buy stamps. They can even comply with Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp postal rules. I've written about the new rules here, as they're a little weird. The following story was sent by a friend recently:

An elderly Italian man lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was difficult work, since the ground was hard. His only son Vincent who had always helped him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over as you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.

Love,
Vinnie

At 4:00am the next mo...

March 9, 2019

In The Spirit of Disciplines, Dallas Willard writes about seeing Holman Hunt's famous painting called "The Light of the World" at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The painting depicts Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and I will sup with him, and he with me." The painting's interpretation at St. Paul's reads "On the left-hand side of the picture is seen this door of the human soul. It is fast barred, its bars and nails are rusty; it is knitted and bound to its stanchions by creeping tendrils of ivy, showing that it has never been opened."

But the door, according to the passage in Revelation, on which Christ is knocking is not the door of the human heart as is suggested. Rather, it's the door of the church at Laodicea. Willard explains, "We will get nowhere in our attempts to understand the gospel, the church, and our own lives today unless we understand that Christ is outside the church as we commo...

March 4, 2019

A furlough in prison jargon is a term referring to an inmate's un-escorted travel outside the confines of the prison. The Bureau of Prisons allows inmate furloughs for various reasons. For example, an inmate who meets the requirements of the policy guidelines may travel from one institution to another for transfer or into the community for medical treatment.

Once an inmate is within 24 months of his/her release date he/she can request a "social furlough" to establish or reestablish family or community ties, to appear in court, for release training, or for educational, recreational, civic, or crisis purposes. In this type of request, a Furlough Questionnaire Form is sent to the United States Probation Office in the community where the inmate's case was adjudicated. 

I requested a social furlough on November 15, 2018, to attend my daughter's wedding on February 2, 2019, naively expecting a prompt response. On January 18, 2019, I was advised that my furlough was denied. BOP policy allows fo...

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© 2016 by Charles D. Jones