February Ramblings

* Major League Baseball spring training games have commenced proving that, regardless of how things may otherwise seem, all is still as it should be in the universe.

* Weirdness, like pornography, is often hard to define; but you know it when you see it. Over the past 18 months, my line in the sand of acceptable weirdness has moved considerably. However, I crossed even that line this month. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I serve as an unlicensed hair care professional here at the Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp barber shop and styling salon. A bald inmate asked me if I would trim his back with the trimmers. Even more weird, I said, "OK." What the heck; times are tough. It could be 3 Honey N Oat Bars, even though haircuts are free...;), and it revealed a large tattoo.

* One mile north of the camp is a dog food plant which emits a sickening odor. One mile northeast is a laboratory animal crematorium which has its own unique odor. Two hundred feet south is our sewage lift station which smells like its name. Forty feet east is our underground kitchen grease tank which may be worst smell of all. Maybe it's just me, but the wind seldom seems to blow from the west or southwest.

* Speaking of our sewage lift station, when I arrived in August, 2015, there was a leak in the outflow line that created a small green spot in the otherwise brown grass near the left field foul line of our softball field. By early this month, the green spot had gradually become a 1000 square foot, smelly, critter invested bog. While the maintenance supervisor was on vacation, 4 heroic inmates commandeered a backhoe and some PVC fittings and repaired it. The job took about 3 hours and may have cost as much as $50.

* President Trump and his communications circle of Spicer and Conway have so far proven to be embarrassingly clumsy at uttering remarkable falsehoods. We need to remember that they are new to Washington, DC. They'll get better at it. At this point, it's hard to know if the falsehoods are intentional and knowingly false (lies) or if they believe them (delusions) or if they just don't care (bullshit).

* The two religious activities that I've attended regularly here at camp, a Tuesday evening Bible study and a Thursday noon Buddhist meditation service, both unfortunately fell victim to the November 2016 Bureau of Prison policy change regarding volunteers. One of the two volunteers had been coming to the camp weekly for over 22 years. In an email about the policy change, the Camp Administrator wrote that "worship services at the camp will continue to be offered with little to no impact on the inmate population or their worship services." From my perspective, that's an "alternative fact."

* I don't use email often, but when I do, it's important. On February 17th, a rat chewed through a cable and our computers were down for a week. Yeah, apparently we're not a BoP IT repair priority. That rat must have been an experienced camper who knows that, with Asian Sauce from the commissary, those cables are not too bad.

* When the Holy Spirit is present, Jesus is already here. He does not have to be resurrected.--Thich Naht Hanh