Monday, August 31, 2009

Time Is Fleeting

When I got a chance yesterday I got on the computer to clean out my mailbox. After being gone so long the stuff was really piled up.

I think I get more "junk" emails at work than I do at home.

But there was one from the Wardens secretary titled "Subpoena". Uh-oh. I opened and it said that I had a subpoena in the Wardens office and I should pick it up at my earliest convenience.

Oh snap! I try to stay clear of the Wardens office at all costs. That place is almost as dangerous as the Majors office. Don't want to spend too much time in there, either.

So I went in a bit early and as luck would have it I spotted the Warden Himself outside chatting with someone. So I snuck around to the side door and nipped up to see his secretary. She gives me this grimace and hands me this paper.

You remember the court case I was going to have to go testify in several months ago that got canceled?

Well, they have rescheduled it.

For sometime in January, 2010. Aint that just a humdinger. Almost two years after the incident and they want me to testify.

I can't even remember what I ate for dinner last night!

No, wait. It was my daughters lasagna. Mmmmmmm....... I remember that. Good stuff.

But I can barely remember why we are going to court. And they are going to want details I'm not sure of. Especially by next year. Harumph. Stupidity.

And as to Chuck...... well, he called out again. Apparently he has this story now about how he went fishing and fell off of a cliff.

Little Tire Man saw him over at the admin building and said he was all banged up. Said he looked like something the cat would have buried.

I guess I'll be nice to him.

But I'm still crabby about it. Especially after I saw the line up they got for us this week. If I was of a suspicious nature, I'd say the Lieutenant on the books is trying to drive me insane.

It's going to be a bad week, I can tell. It would have been better if Chuck was there.

KP, if you aren't coming in, you better let me know now. Cos' I aint going, either!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bring Out The Big Guns

I'll tell you about my first day back in a moment.

But something happened while I was away. I never hear about this stuff. People always want to wait until I get back. Pfui.

Apparently, some knucklehead climbed up on top of the pavilion on B-side last week and refused to come down because two of the C.O.'s in his house were "mistreating" him.

I know this idiot and he needs to be mistreated. He's another young punk who thinks he's a badas*. He needs to be in pelican Bay or Folsom where the big kids will teach him what a badas* he isn't.

If you get my drift.

At any rate, the Warden authorized them to bring in a shotgun with "non-lethal ammunition" (probably rubber bullets) into the institution and bring him down no matter what.

Go Warden! Yeah!

Unfortunately, he decided to get down on his own before this could happen. Too bad. Enough of those idiots would have seen it happen through their cell windows that the message would sink in a little. They would know we aren't fooling around.

But it didn't happen so the silliness will continue. It seems to be escalating and somebody is going to get hurt bad.

Hopefully it isn't one of us.

So anyway, my first day back was hectic. Locking them up and kicking them out left and right. We are completely full down in the Hive so every time they lock one up we have to kick one out early. And I actually had someone refuse to leave. That was startling. Whatever.

And that buttcake Chuck call out again. I'm happy that he has found love or lust or lunch or whatever it is he has found but the rat bastard needs to start coming to work regularly. He left us in a bind. And I don't know what it was that Vinnie and Ms. Freud did on their first date, but it left him so sore he had to go home early. Whatever that was, don't do it again. If you are doing it right, it's only supposed to hurt for a little while, not leave you doubled up in pain the next day. Read the manuals, fer gawds sakes!

My first day back was busy and hectic and loud and stupid. And it made me really question why I do this kind of work. Why do I subject myself to this abuse day after day? I'm sure I don't know. Just a glutton for punishment, I guess.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The End Is Near!

So ends my vacation. The first week of it, anyway. I work five days this week and then I get another week off.

I do wonder if I will survive.

I wonder if my crew will kill me. I'm sure they'd like to right about now.

But that's what I have life insurance for, I guess.

And I know the wife is ready to have me out of the house. Making too many messes. Besides, I'm eating too much. I'm losing my girlish figure.

Anyway, I'll let you know how tomorrow goes. I'm sure it will be action packed.

Vinnie stopped by this evening. Said things go a little crazy. He was on his way out on a date with the young Ms. Freud. I hope I at least get an update tomorrow.

Ah... young love..... (grin)

Glad I don't have to go through that again.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Missed The Day

Aargh! Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my blog and I missed it! I got busy and tired and forgot about it completely.

I was gonna wear a funny hat and everything. Pfui.

Now I'll have to think about enough stuff to keep going for another whole year! Waaaah!

Maybe I'll just wear the hat anyway. I'm known for my hats.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On The Seventh Day, He Rested

No, I'm not having delusions of grandeur. I'm just tired. Yesterday I spent most of the day building a rolling rack for all of my plywood and sheet goods type stuff. I had this huge unruly pile of plywood and plastic over by the shop door and it kept spilling out. And of course anything I wanted was always at the back of the pile.

So I went and bought some more heavy duty wheels and a few more 2x4's and built a rolling rack that I could swing out to get the stuff out I wanted. And when I got it built and loaded it was almost too heavy to roll across the floor. And it is so heavy that the floor has to be clean for it to move.

Good reason for me to keep the floor swept often, I guess.

By the time I got done building and stacking everything I was too tired to move anymore. And every time I did move, something in my body went "snap". Snap!

So today I rested.

I played 3 games of Risk against the computer. Lost 2 of them. I played Mafia Wars on My Space. I read The Artemis Fowl Files by Eoin Colfer and started The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling. I watched John Carpenters "The Thing" and when my daughter came home from school we watched Ray Bradburys "Something Wicked This Way Comes" while we ate dinner. I took my daughter out to drive some more and started teaching her how to parallel park. I should have covered again coming to a complete stop before putting the truck in park.

Yeah, that's important. The truck and I both survived.

Tomorrow I've got some more work to do down in the shop. There's a few bats of insulation that needs to get put in up in the loft storage area. I guess that is my cue to clean out the loft, eh? That is probably going to take all day.

I need to go back to work so I don't need to work so hard, I think. And just think, I only have to work for five days and I get another week off!

Oh.... snap.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Playing Games With The Handcuffs

No, I'm not talking about that. Silly.

Sometimes when an offender doesn't get his way he will look for anything he can do to get attention. If they are in the cell and the door is closed and they are in restraints they have two options at this point.

One: Climb up on the sink with their hands behind their back and threaten to jump. Not really a good option. I pepper sprayed the last guy that tried that. He climbed back down quickly and carefully. Showed me how much he really wanted to hurt himself.

Or Two: Just refuse to give up the cuffs.

My response to that? "Fine! Enjoy!" Slam! Close the chuckhole and walk away. At that point they usually go "Hey? Don't you want your cuffs back?"

Dude, I got thirty pairs of cuffs up in the bubble. I don't need that pair. You can keep them for a couple of hours. Oh, by the way.... you won't be getting any dinner until you give them up. See you in a couple of hours, mate.

For some reason the bigwigs don't like this tactic. They are concerned when an inmate keep a pair of restraints. They want them back. And, of course, they tell us to go in and get them.

Uhhhh.... No. I just tried that and he said he was keeping them and I said I'd be back in two hours. That is when we are legally obligated to check on him and see if he wants them removed.

What usually happens is the closest Lieutenant will come trotting down and sweet talk the inmate and sympathize with his plight and agree we are all evil bastards until the inmate gives him our cuffs back.

What the snap ever.

Who cares if this idiot wants to be uncomfortable? Even if he steps through and brings them around to the front they are not pleasant to wear. They are just hard steel. If they were that concerned they would have the industries people knitting little covers for the cuffs.

I don't get these people sometimes. One Tard keeps a pair of $20.00 handcuffs and they get all fidgety. You want them back that bad? Put together a team with the stun shield! Block the window so he can't see out and send them in with orders to get those cuffs no matter what.

Yeah, right.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Schrodingers' Inmate

In 1935 physicist Erwin Schrodinger put forth one of those oddly ridiculous theories that seem to make quantum physicists go completely berserk. It stated that if you put a cat in a sealed and shielded box with a geiger counter and a vial of poison, in which the poison would be released only if the geiger counter measured any radiation, that until you looked into the box, the cat would neither be alive nor dead.

I'm not talking about "living dead", or zombie cats or anything like that. I leave that sort of thing to Stephen King. It's talking about a state of quantum uncertainty. Because the observer, through the act of observing, alters that which is observed, then a process that is not observed therefore did not occur until it was observed!

Which is all complete rubbish, as far as most things are concerned. It's one of those "If a tree falls in the forest" things.

But I will take the notion and run with it as far as I can for the sake of this post.

On thursday last when I left work to go home we had an offender at or on his way to the hospital. He had coded out..... shuffled off that mortal coil.... gone to that great penitentiary in the sky, as it were. The EMT's had "zapped" him several times on the way there. Brought him back to life. And apparently the efforts were still occurring as I left. Vinnie told me the phone calls were still coming. He's alive..... he's dead.... he's alive... he's dead.....

Therefore in a purely solipsistic and quantum mechanics point of view in my universe, that inmate is neither dead nor alive but in some sort of limbo. And I'm sure that Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle works into it somewhere.

Obviously, I'm no quantum physicist. And apparently Schrodinger didn't know to call the control center and ask questions. I just called and Little B (Big B's nephew) told me that the dude lived and is actually improving at this moment.

I'm not sure why this incident stayed in my mind. I didn't know the inmate. As far as I know I had never met him. I suspect that that odd little bit of my mind that loves horrible jokes hung onto it just to join it with the whole cat thing for some soft of odd laugh.

That's probably it.

In other news: You may have noticed that ads have popped up on the blog. I have ventured into the world of Googles AdSense program just to see what it is all about. Apparently I will make a penny or so if someone clicks on one of those ads. No takers, so far, tho. I will grow tired of them soon and make them go away.

And I finally got a few hits in Africa, completing my roll call of the continents. I've wisely decided to leave Antarctica out of the competition.

Hmmm.... reading this again back from the top, I'm not very happy with it. Doesn't hold together well. Pfui. Frack it.

I'll try to be more coherent tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Finished! Well, almost, anyway. Still a few things to work out but the most part is done.

And the best thing about it was that about 75% of it was made from scrap lumber I already had. I needed a few eight foot 2x4's, some wheels and the piece of 3/4" for the top. But it's done and sturdy as hell. You could probably get five people to flamenco dance on the top of it and it might not even shake. I can probably attribute that to the half a box of deck screws I put into it.

And it rolls! I'm so proud. I can move the dang thing out of the way when I don't want it. But it's so heavy it won't roll around when I don't want it to.

When I was a kid my dad always made things. He was really good at it. He made corners and drawers with dovetailed joints and made stuff that looked good and worked well. I remember he made a sailboat in our garage one time and we took it out and sailed it around. It wasn't a big boat (it wasn't a big garage) but it worked and didn't leak and we had fun with it.

The stuff my dad made was elegant. It was craftsmanship. The stuff I make is sturdy. He built with mitered joints and finish nails that he countersunk and covered with putty so you couldn't even tell they were there. I slap two pieces together and join them for the ages with three inch deck screws. He could probably have made a working clock out of wood. Me, you give me enough lumber and enough deck screws and I could make a battering ram that would take a legion of orcs to operate.

Different styles, I guess. Dad is an engineer. I'm a sign dog.

Anyway, that killed day three of the vacation. I've got a couple more projects in the works, but tomorrow I'm going to discuss a semi-philosophical problem. Maybe it's more of a quantum mechanics problem. I'm not sure what realm it falls in to. It has to do with something that happened at work right before I left.


Stay tuned! (grin)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

On Getting Organized

I finally made it to the point where I am ready to build a workbench. Of course, I have to make a trip to the dump and the recycling center before I can do it, but that's just a formality.

Day three of my vacation and I'm already ready to go back to work. I do less manual labor at the prison than I do here.

But it's been worth it, for the most part.

Once I got down to where I could see the floor again and walk through the shop without climbing over things (it's been a long time, believe me) my daughter came out and helped me sort through all the trays and bins and boxes of odd screws and miscellaneous parts that I had piled all over the counters. She's a great one for sorting things. Her help was awesome.

Problem with getting organized is that I always seem to have more stuff (or types of stuff) than I have containers to put them in. So I had to get creative and adjunct things together. There's one bin that's marked "handles and brackets" but it also holds hinges, hasps, knobs and hooks. I discovered that I have more sets of little plastic wheels from somewhere than I thought I did. The screws, nails and fasteners completely outgrew the spot I had them in once I got them all together.

And the actual amount of scrap lumber that I have on hand has reached ridiculous proportions. If I had a way to join them back together again I wouldn't have to buy a scrap of wood to build my workbench.

Hmmm... that go my mind going. I could do it, but it would take a scandalous amount of time and effort. Nah.... I'll just go get a few boards, I think. I know when to stop.

Anyway, I'm sure my vacation will be over well before I'm ready for it to be and I'll have to go back to being rude to inmates again.

Boo hoo.

So for those of you just joining us, hang in there! In six more days I'll go back to talking about prison again. Stay tuned!

P.S. If you zoom in on the picture and look in the right hand side, you'll see me in the mirror! Bonus! (grin)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On Not Being Idle

I seriously considered just being lazy for the whole time I am on vacation, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen.

When my daughter went to visit my sister in Oregon a few weeks ago, my evil sister sent me back this dragon sculpture/puzzle thing. She knows I like dragons and she does love to torment me so this seemed like the perfect gift. One hundred and forty seven little wooden pieces that had to be punched out, individually sanded and assembled with very sketchy instructions. It took me a little over two hours, four cigarettes and two cups of coffee.

Whew! It's cool, but I'm glad that's done. Sometime in the future I will dab a little Elmers glue in some strategic places and shoot the thing with some green Krylon.

I also spent about four hours out in my workshop, cleaning and rearranging and making room. I've put together two truckloads (okay, a small truck) of stuff to get rid of. One of just junk and trash and the other metals and plastics to go to the recycling joint.

I'm going to try and build myself a good rolling workbench that I can build other things on. I do like building things, even if I am not all that good at it. I learned most of my construction techniques in the sign business so I tend to make things that will stand up to 90mph winds. The things I build tend to be heavy and way over engineered, but by gawds they don't usually fall apart!

I just hope when I'm done with the workbench that it doesn't fall through the floor.

So anyway, I'm off to clean up some more stuff and sort more things out in the workshop. I figure by monday I'll be ready to start building.

Wish me luck...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

On Vacation!

Part of me wants to jump up and down and do a little happy snoopy dance and sing "I'm on vacation.. I'm on vacation..."

The other part of me wants to scream and cry because I just lost another chunk of a tooth and it is killing me.

So I get to spend at least part of my vacation in the dentists office. Joy.

Plus, I have to think up something to write about for the next nine days.

Oh, snap!

It's a good thing that several things happened today so I can create a backlog. But I'm going to cut this short tonight so I can take some heavier drugs and try to get some sleep.

Nite nite!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Had To Wash Up Afterwards

Let me tell you what kind of day it was. It was the kind of day that I had to come home afterwards and put my uniform straight in the washing machine.

Nothing nasty, just pepper spray. My first act of the day, pretty much.

Just going along, doing med pass. Me and Chuck and Nancynurse. Get down to 6 cell in C-wing where we are keeping this old man. Fifty-nine years old and loopy as a bat on nitrous oxide. But some of his shtick is just an act. He can hear fine and understand fine when he wants to. He just wants to act like a snaphole most of the time.

So I cuff him up and he gets his meds and we shut the door and I take off the cuffs..... and the old sh*t won't take his hands out of the chuckhole. I say "Get your hands back in there!" and he grabs ahold of the chuckhole door and says "No! Take me somewhere else!"

Well, that just won't do.

So I tell him a few more times to take his hands out (once is enough, by policy) and he refuses. So I pull out my pepper spray and I tell him "You get your hands back in there or I will spray you!" and again he says "No!"

So, I sprayed him. And he just stands there and looks at me. He's so close to the chuckhole that the spray is mostly just on his shirt. I tell him again to take his hands out and he gets a firmer grip on the chuckhole door. But about this time I guess it begins to register that something is starting to burn down around the area of his belly and he looks down.

I take this opportunity to spray him again. This time he's looking down and it goes up into his face. He starts to cough and his hands slide out of the chuckhole.


I get the thing shut and walk away. He's in there coughing and spitting. Chuck is behind me coughing.

Yeah, the bastard finally showed up for work....

Little Nursey was a few cells away and she says "Did you spray him?" and about that time it hits her and she starts coughing. She coughed and sneezed and sounded like Janis Joplin for the rest of the evening.


And when I finally get relieved to go up and do the paperwork, all I get is smartassed remarks about picking on the oldest guy in the house.


They just won't give you a break around this place.

And I had to go around smelling like a spoiled taco all night. Pfui.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not A Good Day

It was another one of those days. Mad. Mad as hell all day long. Even my little happy pill the doctor gave me didn't improve my mood.

I wanted to break things and there was nothing inexpensive at hand. I couldn't even go into the little room and throw around the plastic chairs. I was too mad for that.

Luckily KP and Sgt Miz P (no relation) were there to help keep me calm. Sarge is always calm and she keeps me distracted from whatever is pissing me off. And KP is always working and keeping me moving so I don't think about it.

It started out with that rat bastard Chuck. Didn't show up for the third day in a row. If he shows up and isn't missing a kidney or been through a bought of ebola or something life threatening...... I just don't know. If he's just been shacking up with his little teeny bopper squeeze and just can't get out of bed, I'm going to make him cry.

This week has been bad enough without having to make do with untrained help. A couple of them were okay... the little Tire Man we had last night worked his butt off but he doesn't know what to do and kept asking questions. But that other dude... the one they sent in for Chuck.... I'll just refer to him as "Issues" because he has so many.... I could have done without him altogether. I think I would have rather run short.

I know I shouldn't let it get to me. When I get mad I make mistakes. I got lucky today and didn't make any major ones. I really need to learn to control my temper better. But at this stage in my life i just don't think that's going to happen. At least the inmates have learned the signs and don't mess with me too much when I'm pissed off.

I can't wait for this week to be over. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not What I Was Thinking

I leaned in close over the table and gazed at her through the smoke of my Liggett menthol light 100 cigarette. I could see something was on her mind, but the secret to dames is to let them tell things in their own time or they will balk on you like a mule. I figured when she was ready she would tell me.

In the meantime she was telling me things in other ways. Her eyes were saying that I was the man she wanted. And the way she shifted around in that cute little turquoise nurses outfit was telling me volumes about how fast she wanted to get started. I nearly grinned with anticipation, but I didn't want to seem to eager. I clenched my teeth on the filter of my cigarette harder to control my expression.

After a moment she shifted her shoulders coquettishly, gave me that "come hither" look and batter her eyes in my direction.

"So......." she said in that soft sultry voice, "do you want to?"

This time I did grin. I couldn't help myself. I have a soft spot in my heart for dames in trouble. She wanted my help and wanted it bad and I figured I could write my own meal ticket for this one.

"Sure thing doll" I said as I drew on my smoke one last time and threw it away. "Sure thing."

Then I said "But you are talking about doing med pass and I'm not. That's what really sucks about this whole deal."

Dames.... go figure.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dead Space

Today was my monday. It usually sets the tone for how the week is going to go. If my monday is odd, then the rest of the week is odd. If it's just biz as usual..... I can live with that.

Went in today and found out we are holding a bed open for a dead man. We have been so full lately that we have been kicking people out five or more days early, yet they want us to keep a bed open for a dead inmate.

He's not actually in that bed, you understand.... I don't think his cellie would put up with that. He's actually in the county morgue. But until the bigwigs up in the capital put their official "okey dokey" stamp on the fact that he is really dead, we can't give up his bed.

So we have to hold a bed for him until sometime tomorrow when the big cheeses straggle in from the golf course to do some work.

Snappy, innit?

I didn't really know the guy. Some little old dude who never gave me any trouble. Had a series of strokes in rapid succession, from what I hear. I don't know nor care what he did to get into prison. I don't want to know. The only things I know about him was that the other inmates referred to him as "peewee" and that I helped strap him to the litter to carry him out of the house when he had his first stroke.

So sometime tomorrow we will get a call from the control center to take his name off the boards and erase him from our outcount sheet. His property will go to the caseworkers and they will take it from there.

And our part of his life will be over with.

And sometime soon, probably tomorrow, there will be some other knucklehead in his spot.

I wonder if he will be superstitious?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Out in front of each housing unit is a picnic table. Usually marked in big red letters "OUT OF BOUNDS". This is the officers table. On an average day we don't get to spend a whole lot of time at it, but when we do need a break, that's usually where we head.

For some odd reason the Hive has the worst, nastiest, mankyest table in the whole camp. The wood is rotten and there are pieces missing from the table top and from the benches. This is probably because all we get as far as equipment (and inmates) is the stuff that nobody else wants. They get an extra filing cabinet or desk (or inmate) and someone offers it to all of the other housing units first. Then if nobody wants it, someone will say "Hell, send it down to the Hive. They'll destroy it and we won't have to worry about it anymore."

It's true. We are hard on stuff. But you know, all of that pent up aggression has to go somewhere. So we break things now and then. Where would you rather have it go? How much paperwork do you want to do?

I've wandered off subject. The picnic table....

We tend to doodle on the table. It pisses some people off but it's just another release. A way to get your mind off the knucklehead behind the door who just threatened to kill your whole family. Rather than go in and mop the whole wing with this knuckleheads brain you go out and doodle something on the table and think about other things. Look at the coffee stains and say "Hey, this kinda looks like Sarge!" and draw a little picture around it.

Harmless. A stress reliever. Good therapy.

Most of the stuff drawn on there tends to be rather juvenile and silly and quite a bit of it tends to be scatological. It's what we deal with. But every once in awhile one of my coworkers will write something deep or profound. It's startling.

So, without further ado, I'd like to present to you a little story written on the picnic table (by someone else, not me, despite what everyone thinks) that I refer to as

The War Story

"Once upon a time, in a land far far away
There was a great king
Who kept the balance between good and evil.
One day, from the depths of a cave at the base of a volcano
Spawned an evil warlord that would challenge this balance.
A great battle ensued.
Bloodstained battlefields stretched out
As far as the horizon
Until all that was left
Was the great king and the evil warlord.
The pair stood toe to toe
And decided to kiss and make up.
War is so gay."

I have my suspicions about the author, but I'll keep them to myself.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No Freaking Vacancy! Understand?

Wheeeee........ One of those nights yet again. Mother bear!

We started the night out with three beds. Ended up kicking three out to the hill early. I messed up when we got the first batch of lockups and kicked out one too many. I guess I got confused about how many we were getting and how many beds we had. Sarge just shook his head and said "Don't worry about it. I'm sure we'll need that extra bed before the night is over."

He was right. We needed that one and they were bringing down one more as Chuck and I were leaving. But Sarge had KP and Sausage in the house so I wasn't too worried. They know what they are doing.

So it was go-go-go all night. We barely had time to catch our breath. And when we did, we went out and filled our breath with smoke. I know... it's a nasty habit. But we have to go outside to do it so it gives us a valid reason to go outside and shoot the breeze for a few minutes.

And I am pooped! Even though the other guys did most of the running and I did most of the paperwork I'm still tired. The Sarge we had wasn't a regular down in the Hive, and he wasn't quite sure of everything he was doing so I took over most of the paperwork and got the boards and the counts straight. It's tricky and easy to screw up.

Some nights I'd like to do the running myself and let someone else do the paperwork but I'm so paranoid and anal retentive about the counts that I'll always come in and double check anyone elses' work. I hate it when things don't add up.

I just hope the lads get through the rest of the shift without any more lockups.

Just a short post tonight. I am pooped and I'm going nite-nite.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Say That Again?

When the prison was built, they installed a loudspeaker system outside of each housing unit so that offenders out on the yards could be called back to their houses. They also use them to announce that the yards are closed.

What they failed to do, however, is make sure that everybody who used them knew how. The microphones are pretty sensitive and fairly cheap so if you yell into them or get your mouth too close to them, nobody on the yard will understand a word you are saying.

At least once a week I will hear a name announced over the loudspeaker and I'll think to myself "Surely that can't be what they said." I would hear things like: "Silas Mittens. Silas Mittens.. retrrr to hounnnnnyouoooooorooar!"

And I think..... Silas Mittens?

Today I hear them call for "Larry Stainbag". I had to go look that one up in the computer. Nope... Nobody by that name in here!

Once in a while I hear a name that sounds like it has no vowels in it like "Ttrbchk Drzbnk" and I have to look around and make sure I hadn't gotten lost on the way to work and gone to Czechoslovakia by mistake.

I hate it when that happens. The paperwork to get back sucks.

And once I'm pretty sure I heard them call for "Lord Voldemort."

That was scary. We got enough creeps in this place without having to deal with him.

My point is this: Back away from the mike. It works better when it is not directly in contact with your tonsils. Speak slowly, clearly, and in a normal tone of voice. You don't need to shout, the loudspeaker does that for you. That's why it's call a LOUDspeaker. Get it?

Sheesh. Silas Mittens......

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm An Educational Toy!

Somebody came up to me today and said "I figured out it was you writing that blog." If it had been anybody but her, I would have denied everything. But she had a smile on her face so I knew it was cool.

It was KP's missus. She goes by "Turtle" and I figure that's a good enough name. Maybe Miz Turtle, just to be formal. She's one of our cooks. I don't fault her for the food, it's not her doing.

At any rate, Miz Turtle, who has been around the DOC for quite a spell (longer than me, I think) was telling me about how much she learned just from reading my posts.

I should have warned her not to read too much of it at one time. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, loss of earlobes and may cause sexual dysfunction. If you find yourself reading this blog for longer than four hours, contact your doctor immediately.

Hee hee hee!

Ok, all silliness aside, she told me that even though KP had been working with the department for a few years, she never really knew how much crap we had to put up with. Especially down here in the Hive. She would only come down with the food and stay maybe an hour at a time so she never really got the full treatment. Her responsibilty for the food ends when it gets put onto the trays. What happens after that is our ballywick.

So.... I'm educational. I can live with that.

If something good comes out of this muck spewing from my brain then...... cool. I mostly do this just to keep my head from exploding. And it's slightly less painful than whacking myself in the forehead with a ball peen hammer. I imagine it's the same reason that KP writes his stories. To clean up the clutter and sort things out. And if you ask me quietly and politely, I'll send you the link to his and Miz Turtles site. It will make you smile and laugh and go "Oh, snap!"

So be warned! If you stick around long enough you might learn something.

But if your brain gets too large for your head, don't blame me. You were warned.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Almost Walked Into A Buzzsaw

Hoo-wee. It was a close call. Bringing this group of knuckleheads back in from rec and they started getting a bit out of hand. Running to other doors and trying to kick things under the doors to their buddies and the like.

BG was yelling at them "Go to your doors!" and I could smell trouble. BG never yells. He was trying to put one offender in his cell and another one tried to run past him to yell at someone down the walk. BG spun him around and directed him back towards his own cell and I thought it was going to be on from there. I had my hands full trying to get the cuffs off the guys I was putting up and wondering if I could manage to get there before that snaphead was thrown over the rail.

Not that he would do that, of course. But it looked like it might happen.

They were pissing him off bad and it was getting worse. Luckily for them Miz Maybe up in the bubble called down to the office and said "You better get into A-wing because something is fixing to happen!" Chuck came trotting in and sized up the situation and started helping seperate the worst of the knuckleheads from BG's vicinity. I took two of them and Chuck took the other one and we got them put away without incident.

The one Chuck was putting up was still running his mouth. "You know I go hard, bro. Mace, all of that stuff. I don't care. I do it all. I go hard." I felt like saying "Do you do concrete, too? Do you want dentures and facial reconstruction? Because you are real close to going hard with the concrete."

BG is one of the biggest people that works on this camp. And one of the nicest until you piss him off. That is just not a healthy thing to do.

But if they were smart in the first place, they wouldn't be residing in the Hive.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Losing My people Skills

I know... I know.... I said I wasn't going to blog on fridays or saturdays anymore.... but something occurred to me last night. Unfortunately, my night time meds kicked in before I could get it typed out. Luckily for all concerned, anyway. Typing with a head full of zanex is quite the adventure and reading it afterwards can be somewhat of a chore.

At any rate, young Vinnie stopped by the house last eve. He's been recently re-esingulated (CO speak for single again) and I suspect he was bored. The wife and I were just about to sit down to dinner and a movie. Push, it was. An odd movie, but not too bad. But they filled gaps in the plot with lots of too-loud music. Annoying.

Anyway, the wifeling had to keep reminding me "Ask him to sit down!" "Did you offer him something to drink?" and "Did you invite Vinnie to stay for dinner?"

Hell, I was just enjoying standing around and making bad jokes. The little social amenities were slipping by me. In my mind, Vinnie is one of the crew and therefore one of the family and if he wanted something he would either go get it or ask for it. It's part of that funny wiring in my head. Poor social skills and very bad fine motor skills.

Before I joined the DOC.. actually before we moved up here from that tackly little tourist town down south, we used to have company at the house all of the time. And I treated them the same way. If they were company, they were family (more or less) and they were expected to make themselves at home in my house.

But since moving up here and working at the prison and since the comings and goings of all of the foster children has subsided, we both have become less outgoing and more content to stay at home by ourselves and see very little of the outside world. Not that we mind company, you understand... Vinnie and the rest of the crew are always welcome here. And I think it does me good to have someone to talk to and be silly with now and then. As the wife said: "Listening to you two talk, I imagine that he's the kind of son you might have had."

Eeeeee.... It's somewhat frightening, even if it is somewhat true. I'm sure I would have warped a kid like that, had I been around his whole life. No offense, Big V, but it's true.

Luckily for me, I have found a niche in life that allows me to have poor people skills and still earn a paycheck.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Help Wanted Inquire Within

Ok, things are gettin out of hand and we really need some help down here. We still have two vacant positions on our crew and we need to get some regular folks down there pronto so we can get them trained.

They gave us one guy straight off of OJT to fill Crom The Destroyers spot on my days off, but it's not enough. We still need to fill those positions with someone smart who is going to be there long enough to learn how we work. Believe me, it's not an easy task following this gang of goofballs around and try to figure out what we are doing.

We have worked as a team for so long that I don't need to look to know where they are. All I have to do is look at my watch and I know where BG is and what he is doing. Chucky is the same way. I know where he is at any given time because he knows what needs to be done and when. KP is right behind. Picking our odd little ways up fast and moving right along. I can always count on him to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.

But they keep sending us these new people. Not necessarily new to the camp but new to the Hive. Not the regular cast of players. And these guys don't know our routines and don't know our rhythms and aren't in sych with us. They throw everything off and we keep having to backtrack or wait for them to catch up.

And these last couple of days have really thrown rec into a mess. When that bastard Chuck called out sick (and came in the next day covered with hickeys) it started a chain reaction. Got us behind because we had to nursemaid the two utilities on the floor and make sure they weren't doing anything stupid. And of couse, they did and caused a ruckus.

We got into a real bind on rec because it didn't get done as well as it should have. I actually blame myself for most of that and I'm going to take steps to try and prevent that from happening anymore. I'm surprised BG didn't smack me in the back of the head when he saw what a mess I was leaving him in.

The hive isn't as awful a place to work as most people think. If you like to work, then come on down. We need people. Good people with good tempers who like to work and don't mind the smell too much.

We'll treat you right, I promise.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Old And Crazy

So, there's this old crazy guy in our house. I call him "Preacher" because he reads the bible all the time and sings churchy songs at the top of his lungs and speaks gibberish that I suspect is his version of speaking in tongues.

He looks like a down at the heels minister or used car salesman. And his brother (who hates him) is three cells down on the same walk. They both look like unused extras from a movie on Virginia coal mines in the 1920's. Both crazy as a box of leaky doorknobs. His brother has been actively trying to starve himself to death for the past couple of weeks and he hasn't been taking his meds either. He'll be up in medical soon with a tube down his throat.

What a pair.

The preacher hasn't been taking his meds for the last few days. He's torn everything in his cell except for the pair of boxers he's wearing to shreds and shoved most of it out under the door. He's been drinking out of the toilet whether it has been recently flushed or not.


He has taken a food tray hostage and won't give it up.

Oh, and he's on court ordered medication that he cannot refuse.

Send a team in, right?

That's what I thought, too.

But they want us to go try to talk him in to giving it up first. So we did.

He didn't.

So they send a Lieutenant down to try and talk him into giving it up.

No dice.

Then they want me and the Lieutenant to try and talk him into giving it up.


Then they send down the Pshrink lady and the Captain to try and talk to him.

Coulda told ya that wasn't going to work, either!

So they finally send the team down and they go in and jump on him and cuff him up and he gets his butt full of haldol and they strip him out and get the tray back and put him on suicide watch.

Nice..... Actually three hours earlier when this all first happened would have been nicer. Threw our whole night off.

Personally, I'm blaming Chuck for all of this.

Not that it's any of his fault, but he won't be there tomorrow to defend himself when I gotta tell BG why we didn't get any rec done.

He's handy like that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To Run Or Not To Run?

I ran again today. Fight up the hill a couple of houses up. Of course, I didn't get there in time to be of any real use. They usually only last for about thirty seconds or so. But I got close.

And the question came up yet again... as assigned Adseg officers, we are going to have to deal with them one way or another if something breaks loose, so should we respond? We don't have as many people on our shift as days... only four down working the floor. And if two of us run to a fight and get involved, it will only leave two in the house.

We have what I refer to as a limited response area. The area that we could respond to if something broke out. It runs from the library up to the dining hall and includes the two houses right up the hill from us. Anything past that area, we probably are not going to be able to get there in time, what with the Hive being down at the bottom of the hill from everything.

And frankly, I can't run very far. Not at any speed, anyway. And certainly not uphill.

Some people have said that we are not to respond. Because, as I said, we are going to have to deal with at least one if not two or more inmates when trouble is called. They want us to stay in the house to be ready to deal with them.

But if they call a 10-5 (Officer needs help) I'm going to run before I even think about it and if you don't want me to go, you are going to have to knock me down. If one of ours needs help and you don't want me running we can take that up later.

F*ck that.

Tonight I heard the call and I was closest to the door. Chuck was in the office and KP and Grammy were out doing med pass. I said "I got it!" and trucked out the door. Chuck started to follow and realized someone needed to stay and do the paperwork and get things ready so he turned around and went back into the office. Smart move on his part.

So I think tomorrow we are going to raise the question and see what kind of answers we get.

Should we respond to a fight? How about an escape? How about a stabbing?

How many of us should go? One? Two?

The answers should be interesting. And I'm sure no two of them will be the same.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Tiring Day

Ah crap. It was one of those days. Hit the ground running when we walked in and never stopped.

And that rat bastard Chuck called out.

I may be forced to do him grievous bodily injury.

They sent us Grasshopper (remember him? The guy I don't feel safe around?) and Goldie, who hasn't worked down in the Hive in like two years. He's one of those mystery people who I hear on the radio now and then but never see. Goldie kept moving and working when he was told what to do but he didn't really have a clue what was going on for the most part.

It's understandable. He doesn't work the house so he doesn't know.

Grasshopper was just Grasshopper. I think he'd make someone an excellent personal secretary or possibly a valet, but he's pretty much a dead loss down in the Hive.

And one of those two dropped a full laundry bag into the cell of the only inmate we had on suicide watch. Never mind the knucklehead who was handing out the laundry hung it on the wrong door. Who put it in there?

I tried to reach through the chuck hole and pull it out but I couldn't reach. SO I went and grabbed Sarge Miz P. Dude in the cell wouldn't even get up so we just opened the door and grabbed the bag and shut the door real quick.

And, of course, Captain Crane happened to be up in the bubble right at that time watching. And, of course, he wanted to know what we were doing and why we were doing it and when he found out, he wanted paperwork on it. Of course. That's what he does.

Sarge asked Goldie and Grasshopper which one of them put the bag in there. They both denied it, so now they are pulling the wing tapes to find out.

Hoo boy. Glad it wasn't me.

And while all this crap was going on the B-wing exhaust fans were down and maintenance was in the house and shut all the fans down. Hot as jalapeno crackers inside the cells so they were all wound up and miserable.

And nobody on the yard could keep their hands (or other body parts) to themselves so they were locking them up left and right...

And the snappin' Captain in and out of the house all night.....


Chucky, you better show up tomorrow.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quality Is Our Middle Name (Not really)

Finally, after all of these months of training and working out since my last use of force, honing my body to be an effective and lethal weapon, I got to beat the snap out of something.

The filing cabinet.

Sucker jammed up on us and we couldn't get it open. Some little plastic doodad on the side of one of the drawers slid sideways and gummed up the works. I jerked and pulled and pried with a broom handle and the sucker still wouldn't open!

Luckily for me, I moved the coffee pot so it wouldn't get broken (don't want that on my hands, no sirree bob!) but unluckily I forgot to move the two cups of sugar sitting atop the microwave. They dumped all down the front of me. I was shaking sugar out of my duty belt for hours.

But we got it open. It was a team effort. And we unscrewed the little plastic doodad and threw it away so it won't happen again.

Yay for us!

I was beginning to think that was going to be the high point of my day until I overheard the following radio traffic:
"A-Chapel to A-yard officer.... the A-Chapel toilet was found to be plugged up but not overflowing."

Followed by a semi-confused sounding "10-4?"

Boy, I'm sure glad he reported that. The whole rest of the night was just an anticlimax.

Yeah, it was one of those nights.