April Ramblings

We continue to have weekly bunk and locker inspections here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp. Heightened awareness of anything here typically means that the regional managers are coming to check some boxes on a Bureau of Prison's form. There have even been multiple sightings of the warden and camp administrator, so something is up; as the primary BoP institutional core value is to protect and serve thine own tushy at all costs.

This month, an inmate was caught coming back into the housing unit with a bag that included 5 bottles of alcohol, 10 cartons of cigarettes, a screwdriver, and assorted makeup. Yep, makeup. Apparently the screwdriver was to replace one that was lost. Missing tools are a major infraction that result in serious consequences. Each area has a tool clerk who checks out tools to those inmates needing them, so if one is lost the supervisor knows which inmate to blame. In this case, the tool clerk must have been asleep at the wheel. Some inmate will be the sacrificial lamb for the missing screwdriver. Hopefully it will be inmate caught with the bag.

With the time and weather change, I'm often outside in the visiting area late in the afternoon, usually in the swing enjoying the flora and fauna. The Purple Martins have been very busy retaking their birdhouse from squatting Sparrows. They're fascinating birds, darting and soaring as they catch their weight in mosquitoes every day. We also have 3 feral cats, one who's very pregnant. They all bare a striking resemblance to our pet cat who is still around enjoying the good life, proving that the difference between heaven and hell is often merely perspective and attitude. The possum family who was living under the kitchen and was the subject of a previous post now resides under the Education Building. Baby possums are cute, but there is nothing even remotely appealing about an adult possum. They are much like fundamentalists.

The chaplains have done essentially nothing toward accommodating a volunteer for the Buddhist meditation service, and I doubt they will. That's sad, because I'm convinced that nothing would have a more positive spiritual impact here than meditation. Christianity at the camp is an inch deep and a mile wide and could greatly benefit from an emphasis on contemplative practices. We do have a new religious group, the Asatru religion. It's apparently Viking related because our crack Maintenance 1 crew constructed an altar for them which looks like Thor's hammer. They also have a cool fire pit like the Native American religious group, and both weekly cook food over their campfire. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Speaking of food, I've gained back almost half of the 25 pounds I lost after my camp arrival. Apparently it is possible to gain weight with a diet consisting primarily of granola bars, peanut butter, mixed nuts, grapefruit, green beans and a weekly banana. Maybe I can parlay this experiment into the next diet fad for the chronically underweight. It's an ever-shrinking but underserved market.