October Ramblings

* In the 'just when I thought this place couldn't get any more weird' category, it happened. Thankfully, it happened on the East Side, but it was witnessed by two credible witnesses. The 3'x3' shower stalls have plastic curtains, but they only extend down to about 12" above the floor. It's possible to see under the curtain, and my witnesses saw two feet in the shower, which seemed normal. Then they saw two feet and two hands (less normal), then just two hands (weird). The inmate in the shower, when questioned, claimed to be doing yoga. I just hope he washed his hands.

* Continuing with a plumbing theme, our crack Maintenance 1 team was repairing a toilet recently and removed the flush valve to try to determine why it wasn't working properly. The valve was clogged with pea gravel. I knew we had rust in our water supply lines, but pea gravel?

* My career as an unlicensed hair care professional has been artistically and emotionally fulfilling. However we recently experienced some hair care drama. Two barbers were unfortunately sent to the SHU because 2 small screwdrivers disappeared from the tool bag in the barbershop. Thankfull the Tuesday daytime officer inventoried the bag, accounting for all the items, after I made my usual Monday night hair care appearance while the nighttime officer was asleep at the wheel. So I was off the hook. The screwdrivers were never found, the barbershop was closed for a week, reopened for 2 days, and then the camp administrator fired all the barbers. I admit I was sad about it. Sometimes I forget that, in the prison economy, inmates are not people. Inmates are merely inventory.

* I've been told by the warden that a dog training is being considered for Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp. I've also heard, 3rd hand, that our new camp counselor wants to create such a program here when he starts in January. I've already volunteered, just in case it happens. Let's hope it's not a ghost dog training program.

* While I may/may not participate, it's undeniable that there is nothing more inherently American than not standing for the National Anthem if your conscience so says.

* A new inmate arrived this month, transferring from the low security prison at Seagoville, Texas. He is going to be a fertile field for weirdness. In 3 days, he's already told more tales than the last big liar chronicled was able to spin in 3 months. He hails from Waco, so his tales are fairly easy to fact check. Almost hourly, an inmate will approach me with, "OK, you're not going to believe this, but can you check it out?"

* Boone the Wonder Dog's full name is T. Boone Pickens. Yes, he's named for the famous oil wildcatter and hedge fund manager. Boone is very optimistic dog, and Pickens describes his own inherent optimism by this telling this story about the oilman who fell off a ten story building. When he blew past the fifth floor, he thought to himself, "So far, so good!"

* I've been here just over 26 months. So far, so good.