Random Observations from Camp

To say the last few weeks have been overwhelming is an understatement. Often the events, people and impressions run together, but here are ten random observations so far. I may flesh out some of these in later posts.

* I’ve been here long enough to hear some stories of how men got to the camp. It appears that I’m the only guilty inmate here. While improbably, I’ve read enough John Grisham novels to know it might be true.

* There are two cats who hang out in the recreation pavilion who are very cute. One inmate in particular provides them with food and more affection than most. The cats know when he’s coming. Watching those cats play has provided welcomed entertainment.

* Getting an actual letter is like Christmas morning when you’re eight years old.

* An inmate can spend up to $180 every two weeks at the commissary if he has it in his account, not $160. Apparently this is a recent, but welcome, change.

* While an inmate is allowed 100 people on his contact list for letters, he can only have 30 on his email and phone list.

* It is much more difficult to write without Google, Spell Check and a Thesaurus. I should probably check to see if I misspelled Thesaurus.

* There is not a comfortable chair in this entire camp. The chapel has the best, so I went for Testimony Night on Wednesday evening only to sit in one of the chairs. I arrived an hour early, as I never know what time it is here, and walked in on a Catholic gathering. I just pretended to be Catholic as I was not about to leave after seeing those semi-comfortable chairs. I think Pope Francis would understand.

* The AC is still out in the East Wing, my wing. I’m told that it’s been out now for 4 weeks. My theory is that since the Bureau of Prisons is on September 30 fiscal year end, it will be fixed in late September or early October depending upon which budget year they want the capital expenditure to hit. But what do I know?

* The TV room is like the Baptist Church in that there are “assigned” seats that are unknown to the “unwashed” who sit there at their own risk. Luckily I was warned and have just stayed away. Thankfully, there are TVs in the recreation pavilion which is far more ecumenical.

* I owe the Bureau of Prisons a sincere apology about writing in my first post about the assumed “1989 Encyclopedias” in the library. They are in fact from 1996. My bad.