Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Goat Rope

I lay all of the blame on that basticule Murphy.  It's all his fault.  Him and his stupid laws.... Sheesh.

Right as the yards closed at 4:00pm, we got a Code 70 (fire) call in B-dining.  I stopped and took stock.  Okay, who on the fire brigade is here?  Me, Watcher, Archer and Homer.

And we're all on A-side.  Snap!  Okay, here we go.

Just as I was trotting through Central on my way over to B-side I heard Captain Wheelie asking Lt Pants if anyone from fire brigade was over there.  Pants said "Negative." just as I walked past the Captain and said "I'm 10-45, sir!"

Luckily Watcher followed me over there.  St Francis grabbed me and said "Something smells funny down here."  Sure enough, there was smoke in the room and it smelled like some sort of electrical fire.  We spent the next fifteen minutes hunting it down.  Maintenance had been in there earlier in the day installing some new steam pipes and doing some welding.  We suspected maybe some hot slag had dropped down a pipe hole and set something on fire.

In the meantime, they are holding up count and the transfers in the sallyport trying to decide if we are going to find the fire and put it out or not.  And all of the dining workers are standing outside on a closed yard.

Watcher finally finds the source of the smoke.  They had installed a new set of valves in a chase under the stairs and they had smeared a ton of plumbers putty on all of the joints and then turned the steam on full blast.  All of that putty was sitting on the pipes smoldering away in the heat, creating smoke that was by now setting off three different smoke detectors.

Then Watcher did something I could have kissed him for.  And I just might later on. (grin)  He said "Rev, since you are the A-yard Sergeant, why don't you go back to your yard?  I can take care of this and the paperwork.  My house doesn't need me right now."

I burnt out back to my yard like nobody's business.  Right about the time I got back on my side when I heard things get a little exciting on the radio.  Everybody telling everybody else to 10-10 and whatnot.

It seems that right after I left one of their brand new steam lines burst open.  Fortunately, they had the door to that alcove shut at the time and nobody was actually in there when it broke.  Watcher told me later you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, the steam was so thick.

The inmate that works on the steam lines came down and said "I don't know why they turned it on all of the way.  They aren't supposed to.  Especially with new lines.  You turn those on gradually.  Everybody knows that."

Everybody except for maintenance, I guess.

In the meantime we got the transfers in and the dining workers sent back to their houses and laundry workers sent back to laundry and education released and the yards cleared and our 4:30 count happened around 6:00 pm.  After that there was so much confusion going on about when we were going to feed and where I just sat back and waited until someone told me what was going on.

We finally managed to get all of the knuckleheads counted and fed but it took a good long time.

And if any goats ever get loose, I know just where to find the rope.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ran Me Ragged

Sorry.  I just couldn't resist that picture when I found it.

Man... there goes my PG rating..... (grin)

Well, I knew it was going to be a long night when I looked at the chrono on the way out the night before.  They were running me short an officer so I knew I was going to have to make up the difference myself.

But when I got there they not only had me but another one of my officers scheduled to work in the Moon Room doing strip searches!  I said "Hey!  I already have one vacancy and one officer in strips and you want to pull me, too?  Who are you going to leave in my house?  It normally takes five of us to get them to chow and back.  Should they try to do it with two?"

Luckily he saw my point and moved the Brute to strips so I could go to the house.  And Uncle T heard my dilemma and moved the extra dining officer to strips so I could get my other guy back just in time for count.

Much to credit my infinite luck they also sent me Miss Boggle to work down in D-wing with me.  Every five minutes she was down in the wing shouting at some knucklehead for doing something stupid.  She wrote two violations and I talked her out of writing two more.  I think she finally felt sorry for me.  Right in the middle of everything else after the evening classes were over in the house one idiot assaulted another idiot up in E-wing and I had to go deal with that.

Two nights in a row of dealing with her and I don't know who would benefit more from about 10 milligrams of valium, me or her.  Either way would work, I'm sure.

None of us saw what happened.  One offender said another one hit him.  And when I asked the second guy if he did, he admitted it.  So I called Captain Strong and he reviewed the tapes from the security cameras.  he called back down and said "Yup.  He hit him.  Plain as day.  Lock him up."

So more paperwork for me.  And since it was my house I got to write the violation and walk all the way across the camp to the Hive to get it read.

Hey.  At least I got my exercise for the night.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Aw... Man...

You know, I finally got them used to not pulling an officer out of 10 house on visiting days because we stay so busy running back and forth.  So tonight they pulled me instead.  Go figure.

I got put out on A-yard, which I thought wouldn't be too bad.  I had KP and Anakin out there and they're old hands so I thought it would be an easy night.  That thought only lasted about thirty seconds.

KP says to me "You know that you have Strangle and Meany and Boggle up in 1 House without a Sergeant tonight."  Before I could even wipe the horrified look off of my face he added "You're going to be busy all freaking night, you know.."

I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped that they would behave themselves.

Well....  That didn't last long.

We hadn't even been on shift an hour.  It was ten minutes before count when Boggle comes over the radio.  "41 to 65, 10-10 housing unit 1!"  KP and Anakin both look at me and start laughing.  Cripes.

Shows how well my luck runs.

Some idiot inmate got stupid with Boggle over the laundry and they had him in cuffs.  I talked to the guy for a minute and he was just an idiot.  His first time in prison and he didn't have a clue.  I think the whole thing was a clumsy check-in move to get off of the hill.  I tried to blame it all on Meany but this time he was actually innocent.

So I had to leave Anakin there to watch him while they counted and then take him off to the Hive after count cleared.

Later on I got to do some Sergeanty talking-to stuff.  I found out that Miss Boggle had called the Lieutenant when they cuffed the guy up and neglected to call me first.  I had to remind her of the chain of command.  In the absence of a housing unit Sergeant, the yard Sergeant is in charge of the house.  And it makes me look kind of stupid when the Lt asks me what is going on and I don't have a clue.

Hopefully that doesn't happen again.  I don't need anybody else's help looking stupid, thank you!

Luckily, they got whatever it was out of their system and I had a calm night after that.

But I sure thought KP had jinxed me there for a minute...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Moral Support

A lot of what I do as a supervisor is back up other people's decisions.  Sometimes they come and ask me first but alot (<--Bryan) of the time they just tell me what they did and I either pat them on the head or tell them how to do it differently the next time.

Sometimes I will have someone come to me and say "This happened and I did this.  Is that okay?"  Yeah.  That works too.  I am tickled pink when the people who are capable of making rational decisions go ahead and make them.  It just makes my job so much easier.

Like I said the other night, I have some pretty good folks to work with.  For the most part.  Granted, some of them couldn't be trusted with a dead cockroach and a wet book of matches.

As a matter of fact, I can recall a time when I actually had to take a dead cockroach away from somebody...

Ah, but maybe that's a tale better suited for later.

Anyway, much of my job just seems to be offering moral support to my officers.

Tonight was a good example.  Two officers from another house came over to put some property down in the contraband storage room.  They'd only done it a couple of times and asked if I would come along in case they had questions.  I didn't see why not.  It's not a complicated process but it can be confusing if you don't do the steps right.

We went on downstairs to the contraband room and the conversation went like this:

"So, I put this here, right?  Fill this out?"


"Then I write this number on the violation?"


"Then I staple this copy to the property and put it on this shelf here, right?"


They knew what they were doing.  Neither one of them really needed me.

On the way back upstairs I said "I didn't give you much help.  But by Gawd I gave you validity!"

Sometimes I have to justify my own existence.  Even if just to myself.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy And Sad In A Way

Sorry about the lack of posts last week.  I got off on a tangent with the chainmail project and it was taking up all of my time and my limited mental capacity.

Plus, I have to admit, I got into watching an anime series on Netflix and I got hooked on it and wanted to see how it ended.  It was called "Trinity Blood."  I should have read the comments and I would have discovered that the guy writing it died before he could finish the story.

That left me a bit cranky when it suddenly ended.  A good story, though.

Well, I got my new bid for the yard relief spot.  I'm pretty stoked about that.  Even if it means spending winter and summer outside at least four days a week.

But it also means no FUM's, no caseworkers, no councilors, no therapists getting in my business and often undermining what I'm trying to do.  And that's a good thing.

But I'm going to miss my crews in both 10 and 25 house.  I couldn't ask for better people to work with.  Even if Miz Slim called me "traitor" several times tonight. (grin)

And it's not like I won't ever see them again or anything.  I just won't be assigned there anymore.

I have a feeling that once I get entrenched in that spot it's going to take a big hammer and a chisel to get me out again. 

Even though I will still be working directly under the Lieutenants and the Captains, there's a certain amount of autonomy being the yard Sergeant.  I get to direct when and how the yard moves or whether it even gets to move at all.  And it also makes me the de facto housing unit supervisor when there isn't a Sergeant present.  It's actually a lot of responsibility and much more work than I have been doing in the past ten months since I got promoted.

Kind of looking forward to that.  I've gotten fat and lazy sitting in my office waiting for something to happen.

So not this Sunday but the following Sunday I start my new bid.  Like I said, I'm stoked.

I'll have a good crew on both yards to work with.  KP and Annikin and ET and St Francis and Uncle Scary.  All good guys that I can trust to have my back if the snit hits the fan.

It won't be the same, though.

But that was the whole point, wasn't it?


Monday, October 22, 2012

On A Somewhat Lighter Note

I've talked about that knothead Meatball before in this blog.  And it always tickles him when I mention his name.  He comes in the next day with his chest all puffed out like a little blue penguin. (grin)

I can always count on him to get the job done.  He's always there when I need something and always the first one to volunteer.  The house wouldn't be the same nor run as well without our Meatball hard at work.

He's also a great slab of Grade-A Doofus.  He's constantly singing to me, which annoys me greatly.  Especially when he raps.  I despise rap.  He knows that and does it just to get a rise out of me.

One night last week or so he got down on one knee and proposed to me.  I came real close to punching him in the head.  I walked back to my office thinking "What am I going to do with this idiot?"

The only answer I could come up with was "Keep him."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Bit Sick To My Stomach

Occasionally, when I have a little time on my hands, I get on the computer at work and look up offenders i have dealt with before to see where they are and what they are doing.  Of course after all of those years in the Hive, the only ones I really remember are the worst knuckleheads, so it's rarely good news.

But it is sometimes amusing.

Not this time.

I first met this little idiot in '07 or '08 when he was nineteen or twenty.  Constantly in trouble.  Acted like he was somewhere between twelve and fourteen, mentally and emotionally.  In and out of the Hive all of the time.  Sometimes for random acts of douchebaggery and once in awhile on suicide watch for claiming he was going to kill himself.  Always doing something remarkably ignorant.

We were always relieved to see him leave and never surprised when he came back.

I remember thinking at the time "Here's one fool we are going to be dealing with for the rest of his life."

Much to my infinite surprise, he got out of prison March of last year.

I hadn't though of him since then.

Tonight I got on the computer and ran his name and it came up again.  He landed in the intake side of a prison up north at the beginning of this month.  The first time he was incarcerated it was for stealing animals of some sort and stealing a car and setting it on fire.  He did three or four years for that.

This time he was in for 1st degree murder.  Sentenced to life without parole.

Warning.  If you have a soft heart or a weak stomach don't read the next  paragraph.

I wish now that I hadn't looked.  But when I got home tonight I searched and found what he did.  Some fool left him watching her children while she was at work.  He took her 4 year old son out by a pond and cut his throat with a pocket knife, then sent her a picture with his cell phone and confessed to the murder.

That left me feeling sick to my stomach.  Obviously the system had failed.

I can't place any blame other than the fact that I feel slightly guilty even though I had nothing to do with the decision to let him out.  Obviously if he had completed his sentence they had no choice but to release him.

But still....

Since I'm a part of the system I feel bad when it fails so catastrophically.  But I know that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this.

There were times when I wanted to wring his neck, sure.  And if I had done that then maybe that boy would still be alive.  But then I'd be in prison instead and that wouldn't have worked out well for me at all.

At least I take the small comfort in the fact that my prediction came through.

We will now be dealing with him for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maybe Joking.... Maybe Not

When that yard relief job came up I went and dropped a bid on it as soon as I got to work.  I figure with winter coming on and all.... And the days off being Tuesday Wednesday maybe I stand a good chance of getting it.

But out of the 45 Sergeants we have, I only have more time than about four of them.  Minus me leaves forty.  Of those forty three others got promoted at exactly the same time.  That leaves thirty seven that can outbid me.  Out of those thirty seven I think there's only maybe five that would even consider taking the job.

The odds are improving.

Sergeant Major wants a yard job, but he wants Uncle T's B-yard spot.  He called me the other evening and said that he was spreading the rumor that he was bidding on the relief job so other people wouldn't bid on it and maybe I would get it.  And apparently he's been spreading it around pretty thick.

A few people have come up to me and asked me if I bid the job and scared to death that Sergeant Major might get it over me.  He's not the easiest guy in the world to get along with and if you have a chain handy he will jerk it every chance he gets.  I get along with him fine.  We understand each other.  But some people (especially some of those already out on the yard) don't like him at all.

I've been going along with the gag just for fun.  Bumming hard because I know he can outbid me and saying how I really wanted the job and now I won't get it.  Watching the reactions has been a bit of a giggle.

With my luck I'll go through all of this and somebody completely unexpected will pop up and get the spot.  That happens some times.  But I haven't really heard of anybody else who bid on it.  I don't know.

Unfortunately, when the inmates are behaving themselves we do tend to turn on each other for entertainment.

But it's all in good fun.

Monday, October 15, 2012


The idea of being frightened at work came up the other day in a conversation.  I said it was only natural at times, seeing as we worked in a prison, for someone to be frightened now and then.  The secret of course, is to only be frightened now and then or at best save it for later when you are walking out in the parking lot.  Then you can have a full blown case of the whim-whams and nobody will get hurt because you locked up.

I'll admit that I've been frightened a few times here.  But for the most part I've managed to keep it under wraps until later and managed to get the job done.

Heck, I was scared green when I went up to interview for Sergeant.  I walked out of there thinking "Well, I was a nervous wreck and I'm sure it showed!"

And then they promoted me.  Go figure.

Anyway, the question was asked if there were any inmates I was scared of.  To which I replied "Only one.  Freestyle.  He scares the snap out of me sometimes."

Freestyle is a young man, about six foot four, maybe 260 pounds of mostly solid muscle.  And crazy as a water balloon full of porcupines.  When he's taking his meds and in control of himself, he is one of the nicest guys.  He likes me, since we go way back, and considers me to be "family."

I'm not really sure why he likes me so much but I'll take it where I can get it.  That has gotten me out of a few jams with him.

But when he's off his meds and in one of those "manic" stages he's riding a bicycle underwater upside down with a duck in your back pocket crazy.  And right now he is right smack in the middle of one of those stages.

I had to go down to the Hive for an hour or so this evening and old Freestyle was having trouble breathing, or so he said.  We had to get him out so the nurse could examine him and I talked to him the whole time, trying to keep him focused on the fact that I was there talking to him.  I think it helped.  It kept him calm, anyway.

He asked to speak to me afterwards and I stood there and listened politely while he spouted a five minute rant that was all one sentence and went something like this:


I skipped some of that conversation. Frankly, it went by me so fast I missed large parts of what he was saying.  And my head is still ringing a bit from even being that close to that many words all piled up together.

I was just glad he was back safely behind that big steel door.

Even if he is a nice guy and likes me.  He still scares the snap out of me sometimes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm Still In Awe Of This Man

I just have to say, along with millions of other internet geeks who watched it, that Felix Baumgartner is my new hero.  Any man who can fly 24 miles up in the air in a balloon and even think about jumping out (parachute or no) has gotta have a set the size of Brooklyn.

I didn't catch the event until about ten minutes before he left the capsule and when he actually jumped I almost screamed.  He fell out of sight so fast I just sat there with my mouth hanging open going "Holy freaking snap!!!"

To fall so far and so fast and then to land lightly on his feet like that at the end....

That was truly awesome.

Felix, wherever you are right now.... you are my hero.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Chainmail Project Continues

The project still continues in my spare time, believe it or not.  Keeping the finished panels in this boot box when I am done with them to keep them out of the way.  Last night I set the pile on the bathroom scale and I have knitted together ten pounds of chainmail.
This may not look like much, but this is somewhere around nine hundred feet of sixteen gauge wire.
When I look at it up close it does look kind of impressive.  Until I realize how many months I have been working at this and how many months more I have to go.
I started out using a little bulletin board and T-pins until the pieces got too heavy and started pulling out the pins.  Then I got this board and put some brass nails along the top and sides.  At first I was holding it in my lap while I worked.  Then I got a better idea.
I built a box to hold the board at an angle that would also serve as a toolbox for all of my gear and make the whole kit portable so I could work on it anywhere.  It would have been better if I had made it so it would fold closed, I guess.  But if I did that then all of my rings would have gotten mixed up the first time I picked it up so I abandoned that idea and left it this way.
I even lined the inside and the bottom of the box with black felt after I stained everything.  That way it can slide around on the table and not mark anything up.  Especially important if I decide to do any work at the kitchen table. (grin)

Anyway, I figure I am somewhere around one fifth of the way done with enough panels to make the tunic I am imagining.  Another four thousand feet of wire or so and my work here will be through! (rolls his eyes)

I'd been in the market for a department store mannequin, thinking that would be the thing to drape this stuff around and start combining the pieces on and figure out how I am going to secure it.  Unfortunately there don't seem to be too many places around here stocking those things.  I'd like one with a head so I can also make the coif piece when I get done with the tunic.

Watcher and Miz Twang called me the other night.  She had found someone selling those half-torso mannequins locally for a good price and she was going to pick one up for me.  They are both so nice to me.  Even though it wasn't exactly what I envisioned, that thing will take up much less room and won't be nearly as creepy as having a full sized department store mannequin standing in my office.  I could just imagine walking in here half asleep and scaring the heck out of myself with that thing. (grin)

I tend to be a little jumpy first thing in the mornings.

During my conversation with Watcher he said "You know, I never really thought you would start doing this.  I just thought it might be a cool idea for stuff we could sell at conventions.  Maybe something we could keep in mind as a future project.  But you just went ahead and did it!"

Like I told him, I started looking at how it was done and looking for information.  Then I started figuring it out and making rings.  About that same time we got a Netflix account so I sat down and started watching old teevee shows and knitting chainmail and the rest is history.

In a way it's been therapeutic.  For my mind, anyway.  It takes just enough of my concentration to keep my mind focused away from whatever might be bothering me at the time, but still allows enough slack that I can watch "Adam-12" and "Emergency" and half a dozen different anime shows to fill my mind with happy noise.

It's been hell on my hands, though.  The repetitive motions are strengthening my forearms so I don't have as much trouble with the tendonitis, but I wake up every morning with my hands stiff and sore and covered with tiny cuts and strange callouses.  And I have had to dig more than one sliver of metal out of my skin.

Anyway, a while ago Scotty asked how the project was going.

So there it is...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not Trained, But Experienced

About two years ago (give or take) I was asked to join the Fire Brigade here at Raccoon City Correctional Center.  I'd had a little bit of experience with Fire & Safety in the Army so I thought "Why not?  Maybe I'll get some fun training out of it or something."

Well, that didn't work out so much.  Haven't got a lick of training yet.  All I've gotten so far is the headache of running all over and clearing a building with a fire alarm screaming in my ear and the paperwork afterwards.

And out of maybe 20-25 alarms that I have responded to, only once was anything actually on fire and it got extinguished just as I came up on the scene.

I'm just saying that this Fire brigade nonsense hasn't really worked out to my expectations.

Since I've been here I have heard of only three actually "dangerous" cell fires and they have all taken place in the Hive.  And I know that three incidents is a small sampling to draw any conclusions from, but I have noticed something rather peculiar.

In two of those fires, chemical fire extinguishers were used.  In both of those incidences, the offender inside the cell was still functional and both willing and able to fight, while the staff were all affected by the chemicals used and some of them got injured.  Plus the mess afterwards is a pain in the butt to clean up.

In the other fire, a fire hose was used to extinguish the fire and the offender ended up wet and cold and more than willing to cuff up and come out of the cell.  Nobody got hurt and there was only water to clean up afterwards.

Yet, the higher ups never want us to use the fire hose.  Why is that?

It can't be the cost.  I'm sure it cost them at least twenty bucks to recharge a fire extinguisher.  I'm sure if we pumped twenty dollars worth of water into a cell it would probably fill it completely.

That would sure put the fire out though, wouldn't it?  Heh....

I'm just saying that we need to learn from experience and learn how to deal with these kind of situations.  They aren't going to give us any training in what to do so we have to figure it out for ourselves, obviously.  And from what I have seen, using the chemical extinguishers when there is a combative offender in the cell just doesn't work.  The only thing that is going to do accomplish both goals of putting out the fire and making the offender want to comply is the fire hose.

When someone is cold and wet and miserable they are less likely to want to stay that way.  And a fire put out with water smells a whole lot worse than one put out with an extinguisher.  They are going to want to get out of that cell and into some place dry and warm and smelling better as soon as possible.

Let's just try to keep that in mind, shall we?

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Roll Of The Dice

Sometimes walking into the place is just a roll of the dice what you are going to end up with.  Even though Raccoon City isn't rocking like it did in the old days, there is still some excitement now and then.

Take last night for example.  What did I have?  Petty silliness.  An ignorant greedy punk trying to hog a couple of music disks.  Nothing.

But apparently after I left the snit hit the fan.

When it was hot, we put fans in all of the wings to help circulate the air.  But since this cold snap descended, we took them away the other night.  When it's 30 degrees outside, they don't need fans blowing on them.  Enough said.

Well, apparently the offenders have gotten used to the sound of the fans at night and demanded them back.  When the wing officer told them no, a bunch of them got huffy and demanded to see a Lieutenant.  Instead they got two pissed off Sergeants and five CO's all standing in the wing after coming there at a run.

They were told in no uncertain terms that not only were they NOT getting the fans back but if another peep was heard there were going to be about a dozen of them trotting off to the Hive in handcuffs.  That seemed to quiet them down some, as I didn't hear a thing about the issue this evening.

Not long after that some knucklehead set fire to his cell down in the Hive and then refused to come out.  That turned into a big mess with Sgt Drew right in the middle of it, almost drowning in paperwork.

He told me on the way out tonight "I always heard you guys tell those stories and now it happened to me!  I get what you're saying now!  The place is like a drug!"

It's so true.  Running on adrenaline can be quite addicting.  But it's hard on your body, let me tell ya!  I can show you the scars, pal.

Any of that stuff could have happened on our shift, or in our house or wherever we happened to be at the time.

It's just a roll of the dice...

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I gotta give credit where credit is due.  Sometimes people at work really are paying attention when things are just a little out of the ordinary.  And sometimes it really pays off.

Had pretty much a slow night.  Sunday.  Nothing happening.  Just doing my eight then hit the gate.  I can live with nights like that now and then.

About 8:30 Big Muppet calls me from 30 house and asks me to come around back and meet him.  I was really hoping it was nothing major, that late at night.

When I get out there he points back up to my house and says "An offender is hiding something up in the ceiling of that room right up there.  I couldn't see who he was or what he was hiding, but he was putting something up there."

Cool.  A mission.

I trot upstairs and find the room.  It's the E-wing library room.  Shed my coat and climb up on a stack of chairs and the window sill and start lifting ceiling tiles.  The second one I move and out drops a CD case with two CD's in it and a pair of headphones.  I poke around a little bit more and don't find anything else.

That kind of makes me mad.  It's just selfishness in action.

The offenders in 10 house aren't allowed personal CD players or Walkman tape players or radios in the treatment program.  But they can check out a CD player and one CD at a time from the bubble.  And whoever this knucklehead was just wanted to make sure that nobody else would get those two CD's to listen to so he swiped them and stuck them up in the ceiling.

What a selfish snaphead.

So I think starting tomorrow that E-wing is going to lose their CD players for about a week.  Or longer, if I can pull it off.

Somebody knows who did that.  And peer pressure is a wonderful thing.  Especially when there are 40 or 50 of them pissed off at you all at the same time.

Heh... heh... heh...

So anyway, kudos to Big Muppet for paying attention and telling somebody about it.  Granted it was just a couple of CD's, but it could have been drugs or a cell phone or a weapon.  I'll make sure he gets an official thank you in his file.

Itching For Attention

Despite what Chuck or Miz Slim might say, I didn't jinx us by hoping we would have a calm night.  I just want to get that out in the open right out front.  It wasn't me.

Things were going along pretty well.  No major incidents or accidents.  Just life as usual.  Well, until the Lieutenant called and pulled my other wing officer, anyway.  That sucked.  he pulled Miz Boggle because he was short in another house, leaving me with two wing officers and five wings to cover.

That made count time a lot more work than usual.

But that's beside the point.

About 8:30 an inmate from E-wing came down and said he had to go to medical because he thought he had scabies.  Sore called and told me and I said "Send him and let me know what they say."

About twenty minutes later medical called and said "Yup.  He's got scabies."  Moments afterwards two more offenders from E-wing came down and said "We need to go to medical.  We think we have scabies, too."

And they did.  Oh freaking snap.....

So they sent them back and they bagged up all of their clothes and bedding to go out to laundry and got them cans of RID spray to hose down their mattresses and bunks.  Then they had to go up to medical and shower and put on this special cream and bag up the rest of what they were wearing to go to laundry.

In the meantime, two more offenders came down.....

Luckily they decided either it was psychosomatic or they were just in the early stages because they didn't have any signs and they just sent them back to the house.  I was beginning to think it was an epidemic.

And why do they always wait until so late at night to tell us this stuff?

On top of that it all gave my laundry guys a case of the screaming fidgets when they came down and saw all of those biohazard bags in the laundry carts.  Nobody wanted to touch anything and they all ran off to wash their hands immediately afterwards.

And I, of course, couldn't help but egg it on a little bit.  I pointed at one guys arm and said "Look!  There's one on your arm!"  He jumped and brushed at himself like crazy and then shivered all over.

That was more fun than shooting crickets with the water hose.

If nothing else, it gave us something else to do than do endless wing checks to cover up for our lack of staff.

And if you are wondering what scabies are, just go here:  Scabies.

But if you start itching after reading it, don't blame me.  I just wanted a calm post.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Shifting Gears

What I was going to post about the other night before the internet so rudely shut me down, was that I worked in a GP house for a change.  That was kind of odd.

The two houses that I usually work in... 10 & 25... are open bay houses.  Like dormitories.  Anywhere from 30 to 60 inmates in a big open bay with bunkbeds all in a line.  Kind of intimidating the first time you have to walk all the way down to the end of the wing amidst all of those offenders by yourself.  And nothing between you and them but.... air.            And attitude.

And pepper spray, of course. (grin)

But it was what I had gotten used to.  Those had been my houses for what?  Nine, ten months now?

Suddenly the other night I end up in 3 house.  A "General Population" house.  Four wings.  Fifty or less in a wing.  Two men max to a cell.  And each and every cell has a heavy steel door which locks shut and doesn't open again until we say so.  Very controlled.

Like a different world.  Or at least a different prison.

The offenders were pretty much the same, though.  As a matter of fact, many of them were the same.  They had either passed through or flunked out of the treatment programs in one of the other houses and went back out to GP to finish their sentence.  Or get ready to go home, either way.

In some ways it was much nicer than the other places I normally work.  In those houses when my officers go out into the wings i have no way of watching over them unless I physically follow them or rush into the bubble and watch them on the cameras.  And even then there are places where I cannot see them.  Lots of places.

But in a GP unit I can stand up in the bubble and watch everywhere my people are at all times unless they step inside a cell.  And even then I know which cell they went into.  It was kind of nice and relaxing in a way, even if it was a bit strange.

As a matter of fact, the Sergeant position for that house was open and I was considering bidding on it.  But then I got sick and missed the deadline.  No big deal, because Sgt Archer bid on it and got it and he would have beat me anyway on time.

And I'm not really all that sure I want to be tied back down to one single place again.  I stayed down in the Hive for too long and got burned out to want to go to the same place every single day, I think.

Now that Archer got the 3 house spot I am going to bid on his yard relief spot when it comes open.  Two days on A yard, two days on B yard and one day on utility, pretty much like I have now.  And with winter coming on, not too many people are going to be wanting to go out on the yard.

We'll see what happens, I guess.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stupid Internet!

Having some serious intermittent internet problems here.

Driving me crazy.

Might post later.

No promises, though.

Oh Meatball!

Good old meatball is a pretty good kid.  Always there and always willing to lend a hand and always a source of a smile or two.  I don't know what I would do without him most days.

Tonight he had to leave early and rush home, as Miz Meatball was on her way to the hospital.  She is within five or so days of her expected due date for their first little meatball and they though she might be going in to labor.

I was bummed that he had to leave but of course completely understanding.

So here's well wishes to Mr & Miz Meatball and hopefully the first of many little meatballs to come.