April Ramblings

* I was disappointed recently that 2 women astronauts were unable to make an historic all woman space walk because there was only one space suit in their size in the International Space Station. I have thought of at least 3 comments about this, but they're all inappropriate, if not downright offensive. Let me just say that NASA apparently uses the same federal garment fulfillment center as the Bureau of Prisons, as I've never been issued any pants here that fit. Luckily, over the past 44 months, I've picked up 2 pair off the top of the trash can in the laundry room left by a couple of inmates who were leaving.

* Alan Krueger, Princeton economist among other titles, died a few weeks ago. In the mid 1990's, he and David Card showed that increases in the minimum wage did not lead to reductions in employment as many thought. Critics assaulted their motivation, data, and analysis until finally realizing Krueger and Card were correct. Krueger worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations but was universally respected by both democrats and republicans. He was gracious, generous and non-combative. His brilliance and humility set him apart in Washington, DC.

* Freddy, the service dog in training for Canine Companions for Independence, who is now 8 months old and 65 pounds, continues to be exceptional in all areas. One important part of his training program includes a BOP staff volunteer who is a "weekend raiser," taking Freddy home every other weekend for exposure to situations and places he would not encounter here. It also allows me some needed free time. Apparently Freddy's weekend raiser interpreted "every other weekend" to mean "one weekend a month for 3 months, then never." It's sadly her loss, because he's a remarkable puppy; so remarkable I tell him every day, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

* I don't spend much time in the TV room here, going in only when the room is almost empty at 5:30am to catch the local news and weather and at 5:30pm for the evening news. Typically, I try to watch TV outside in the recreation pavilion. The TV room is a strange place, and I've written about it before here. All the chairs there are "owned" by inmates within various precincts divided by race. I don't even have my own designated chair, as I'm not sure there is a "smart-ass white boy" precinct. All this to say I was bestowed a greatly appreciated honor this month when offered a chair in the all African American area to watch the Baylor Lady Bear basketball team take victories in the NCAA Elite 8, Semi-finals, and Finals to win their 3rd national championship under coach Kim Mulkey.

* I'm hearing encouraging news from my Case Manager regarding how the First Step Act will impact me in a positive way. More later.