June Ramblings

* We have a one armed inmate here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp whose nickname is Quince. Think about it. (Hint: His nickname is not Veinte)

* Legendary sportswriter Frank Deford recently died at the age of 78. In 2013 when President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal, he mispronounced his name as "DEFF-erd." That was even though the president had personally insisted that Deford be honored. Like everyone who read his articles, President Obama knew Deford not by his name but by his writing. Deford wrote for Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The National and NPR, but mostly for Sports Illustrated. I was unable to not read anything he ever wrote and subscribed to Sports Illustrated only because of him. Last month he told NPR's Tom Goldman that sports are part of our life--the second tier. "The first tier is eating, drinking and procreation. The second tier is religion, the spirit, music, art and the physical. Sports. It deserves to have as much attention paid to it, seriously." Inmates here would agree.

* Who said the Bureau of Prisons doesn't provide an inmate career ladder? I recently got a promotion and pay raise--from $.17 to $.28 per hour. Did you get more than a 60% raise this year? In less than 6 months, Donald Trump has made this country great again. Who knew it would be so quick, so easy?

* I'm pretty sure that faith is not what we believe. What we believe should be shaped by what we understand from critically examining credible sources from religion, science, and from our own experience--what we can explain. Faith is how we live and should be shaped more by what we can't explain. This may prove to be one of my better thoughts or an endless rabbit hole. Time will tell, but I have time, as I'm doing time.

* Scientists have isolated the GTF21 gene that regulates the hormone oxytocin, making sure that it's released in small, strategically timed doses. Those without this gene suffer from Williams Syndrome where oxytocin floods the brain causing them to be unconditionally compassionate, trusting and loving, making it difficult to live a "normal" life. There are unfortunately other gastrointestinal symptoms and a potential heart defect that can also be a part of Williams Syndrome. I can honestly say I've never met anyone who exhibited the syndrome's symptoms, but I do wonder who from history might have lacked the GTF21 gene. Off hand, I can only think of one. For more information about this discovery, Jennifer Latson has written The Boy Who Loved Too Much.

* For those who think they've had a bad day, call Dial-A-Whine: 1 800 HIL-LARY