Friday, July 9, 2010


Last night was my first night on B yard. The first time I had even set foot on that side of the camp for over a year.

It hadn't rained substantially here for several weeks. The whole area was as dry as a stale saltine cracker.

Until I got out onto the yard, anyway. Then it became a tarantula downpour. So I got to start out my shift soaking wet. Inside of twenty minutes my fingers looked like I had just spent an hour soaking in the tub. And my boots made little "squish squish" noises every time I made a step.

No big deal.

I like walking, so I made use of the space and the time out there and walked several laps around the yard, even in the rain.

I think I overdid it just a little.

I forgot to take into account that I would have to do the Del Norte walk after the yards closed.

We have two rows of outer fence, all lined with barbed wire and razor wire. The inside fence has sensors wired to it that react to any motion in the fence which sets off an alarm in the control center. Usually it is just wind and birds, but some day it might be an actual inmate so we still have to check the alarms when they go off. The sensors themselves were made by the Del Norte company which seems to no longer exist. (Doesn't that just figure?) That's why we call it the Del Norte walk.

At any rate, the walk is somewhere around half a mile or so and you have to set off the alarms in each zone as you pass so we can know that they are still working at least at that moment. You also take pen and paper with you and note down any lights that are not functioning and anything odd you might see that could cause a problem.

I saw one skunk (and I had to pause while he got on his way), several birds, a cat and three baby bunnies.

I didn't write those down in my report. I thought about it, tho.

When I got done with that I went back to the yard and tried to sit down for a bit. Right about then Sgt Bowman came out and said we had a lockup in 6 house. So I walked down there. It was one of my frequent fliers from the Hive needing PC. He was packing his own property and I waited while another officer assisted him.

While we were waiting I heard an ASAP call from 30 house. So I left the PC with the other officer and speed-walked down to 30 house. Turned out to be pretty much nothing important, so back to 6 I went. Walked him from 6 to medical and then down to the Hive.

Back to the yard. Property in the wobblehead house to go to the Hive. Took the cart to get it and run it across. The battery light was blinking, and I figured it was going to die very soon. The power on the cart was very low and I almost didn't make it up the hill and over. I decided I would just walk the bag of property from the gate to the Hive. It's not very far.

I got down to the gate and said "Oh snap! Where's that property?"

There it was, at the top of the hill where it had fallen off.


Walked up and got the bag and schlepped it back down to the gate and across. On the way back I had to push the cart over the top of the hill to get it back.

So I think I overdid it just a little for my first night. When I got home last night, between the heat and the rain and the walking, I had a nasty heat rash on my calves. Most likely from wet polyester rubbing against them all night.


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