Friday, August 21, 2009

Be cows nothing can stop the man....

Awhile ago a post was done here and then followed up on my blog of a little writing amusement found within the bars of prison. Last night The Recalcitrant Beagle brought home another sweet note of entertainment. We love this guy, he's a raving moron of epic proportion. I think he's in for attempted murder but I forget. He's in for life though and really that's all that matters. Here I have scanned in his most recent pre-school writing nightmare. I had to stare at it for a few seconds because my brain kept doing this auto-spell spell self correct and all I could see was what should have been liter. But no he meant letter. GOOD GAWD WTF? Gow's? GOW'S?! Who the hell doesn't know how to spell goes? Oh that's right, max security morons who insist that it wasn't them that did the crime. As far as I'm concerned I could care less if he did it, spelling like this should not be allowed into the general population. Ever. And these guys have access to schools, reading material and what not. Do they use it? I guess not. Probably too busy enjoying their summer camp like atmosphere in the lovely Texas Dept of Criminal Justice. Where they are not allowed cell phones but instead recently had phones installed in their day rooms. Shit my college dorms weren't as sweet. Probably just as high likelyhood of getting raped though huh?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

OBrien's: fine beer, tasty food, and good company

OBrien's is my father-in-law's favorite haunt. He's there every day. OBrien's pours great local beers, prepares some outstanding pub fare (burgers, hot sandwiches, and salads) and is filled with what can only be described as a warm, neighborly crowd.

Evie and Mom graciously allowed me to accompany them to OBriens today for lunch with Tom, the previously mentioned father-in-law. We were joined by our friend Jason (one of the only people about whom Michelle actually speaks kindly) and a few of Tom's friends.

Tom extolling the virtues of one of the many exquisite beers poured at OBrien's, likely Pliny the Elder. I admit, I am a convert. The Elder is an out-of-this-world double IPA with a full-course meal in taste.

Jason showing Mom his cool Amazon Kindle.

Here is Evie delivering a look to yours truly stating very clearly: Get your own damned lemonade!

That's it for now. Off to the Plunge!

OK I'll pose, but don't expect me to smile!

Afterall, I haven't yet had my morning coffee.

Some of the best things in life San Diego

Our first evening in town. They picked me up from the airport, wnad we headed straight to Jimmy Carter's. A plate of Dulce's sublime carne asada, a pint of Arrogant Bastard, and a table full of my wonderful and sorely missed family.

The Man Himself: Jimmy Carter, treating his nephew to a hometown meal and showing of his curling locks!

Evie with Olivia, my niece by way of my cousin Betsy.
An adorable little imp!

Behold...the Golden Egg, the Grail, the Alpha & the Omega

And don't worry, this precious cargo is coming back to San Antonio with us, where it will be loved, care for and appreciated.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Texas needs teachers? Really?

I don't really have the words to properly articulate the sublime blend of amusement and dismay I felt upon reading this letter, sent to my department at the prison.
Instead I'm simply going to share it and let you experience it for yourselves.


I'll add a translation later, "be cows" some of my readers may have some difficulty with this...dialect.

This really does drive home the need for literacy development.
I wonder if that point might be relevant to my current job search.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back to a normal work schedule...

Next stop, back to a normal workplace.

I'm officially off the 12 hour, 4 on 4 off shift at Connally. I acquired a post as a Law Library officer, which means I monitor the offenders while they sit in the little Law Library and research ways to overturn convictions and help other offenders do the same. Lovely, that they are afforded such an opportunity, que no?

On a related note, the fracking offenders are getting telephones put into their dayrooms.

Yes, the conversion from maximum security prison to day camp is almost complete.

*Back to my new post*

I could hear a collective sigh of relief coming from the offenders knowing that I wouldn't be available to conduct cell searches , thereby depriving them of their tattoo machines, hooch, and assorted contraband. Not that I'd been on the buildings too often for the last couple of months. The shift captain had decided to have me trained to run the Central Control picket (pretty much what it sounds like, a picket for the whole prison, providing access between the public/administrative side and the inner, secure side, as well as tracking all the keys, tools and use of force equipment for the prison). If it sounds like a PITA that's because it is. Lately the only time I've been able to get onto the building to work my "old beat" was when one of the lieutenants took pity on me and shuffled me around on the roster.

My main reason for wanting an H card position (M-F, 8-5) was wanting my weekends back and desiring to get more than 4 hours of sleep per night. My first choice was the Extortion officer post working with my old building sergeant but I didn't get that, and the Law Library supervisor, a very cool and sharp woman, asked me to apply for Law Library.

In other news, I've received my 12 month teaching credential/certificate from the State Board of Education. I'm getting closer.


There are other reasons

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gone for the day. Came back and my wife had been replaced by a domestic goddess

Now let me explain. My wife is not really a fan of housework. She knows it needs to get done, but is generally happier when someone else does it (namely me). There are exceptions to that, but as a general rule, she avoids it whenever she can.

Not today.

I went out with my buddy and his son for a day of paintball in pre-birthday celebratory fun, and came back to find the house in order, the laundry done, and our bathroom sink (in desperate need of help for quite some time)was cleaned.

And this was all done during a day when she had 2 sugar-hopped little girls (our 7 year old and my friend's 5 year old) amped for their easter egg hunt.

My wife rocks!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Texas, pay a dollar kill a convict

So I was talking to this co-worker of mine. I don't know how we got on the subject but he had the GREAT idea for a new kind of lottery. You take inmates, what ever kind, death row, not death row, it doesn't matter and give them the option of going into a lottery. A real lottery, where the average citizen buys tickets and basically bets on which inmates number comes up. When that inmates number comes up he gets killed. On TV. Those people who picked the inmates number win, 50% of the proceeds go to the winner, the other 50% go to the prison system. Now the inmates in the lottery are voluntary and get chosen say, once every 2 years or so or there are several lotteries run at once so that, the last guy alive at the end of that run gets a pardon. Don't worry peeps, these guys will end up back in, it's called recidivism and has an insanely high rate in California.

So here's what we'd end up with, an insanely high popularity rate for the lottery, lets face it, the American public will throw in a serious amount of cash if they knew they were killing a convict. Everybody is going to buy at least 1 ticket a month. Everybody. The tv ratings will go through the roof and the commercial time will be as expensive as during the superbowl. Even the people not buying tickets will want to watch a convict die, realtime. It'd be like the most successful tv show in history. The tree huggers/anti death penalty people can only bitch so much because the convicts go into it voluntarily. The prison systems would be come self sufficient within a year with the money coming in so these convicts would no longer be sucking off of society. Hell this would probably be the most productive these wastes of oxygen would ever be in their entire lives. Really the only down side is that occasionally there would be one let back out in society but lets face it, the convicted murderers, drug dealers, rapists and child molesters are already out among us. Hell most of them have already been convicted and let out once before.
Yeah so I'm sure there are probably no less than 2500 laws that prevent this from becoming a reality but dang, wouldn't it be nice? A new and interesting way to get out of the recession, no?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm convinced, I need to get back into teaching

I'm so tired of this ridiculous schedule, paltry pay, and utter lack of future prospects offered by my current job.

I miss teaching.

I don't think I'll go back to teaching kindergarten, but I think it's high time I get back into the classroom.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Don't ask me, I'm just improvising."

Today was my Friday, the 4th day of our semi-annual shakedown, as well as our fire safety/risk management audit. The offenders had all been receiving their meals in their cells, sack lunches called "johnnies" as I may have mentioned previously.

It was,oh I don't know...close to noon. We had fed most of the offenders in our building. Most rather than all because the FSM (food service manager) can't count. My desk boss Murray had a really funny argument over the extra needed johnnies with the FSM over which may later get its own post.


So anyway, I headed to the kitchen, grabbed the food and left before anyone could launch a lecture my way.

We handed out the normal meals, and I then stayed behind alone to distribute the "diet" meals to those offenders with sensitive dietary needs. What-fucking-ever. I got to the last cell with an open tray-slot and dropped the sack into the cell. It was promptly snatched up and was replaced by two arms as one of the offenders jacked the tray slot, insisting he needed a diet meal as well. I glanced past him at the wax paper bags that had previously held his dinner.

"Yeah, that's not gonna happen. You've already eaten and I'm done with the kitchen for now."

"Fuck you boss man. Call the sergeant."

"Yeah, that's not happening either. He's busy being not here."

At that point the newboot came back into the pod at a brisk pace, telling me the RM (risk management) auditor was on the way over.

I turned back to the source of my vexation. "Look Mr. Hubbard, you're wearing on my last nerve and I'm about out of time so here's what we're doing." Looking around the day-room I spotted a blade from one of their disposable razors.

I picked it up, pulled out my OC (chemical agent), and holding the blade where the offender could clearly see it, stated firmly in my best boss-man voice, "Mr. Hubbard remove that razor blade from your wrist".

I then placed the nozzle of the OC canister up against the open grate of their cell door. "Mr. Hubbard", if you continue, I'm going to gas you!"

Well...that did get a reaction. With his celly (cell-mate) screaming at the top of his lungs to get away from the door, Mr. Hubbard relinquished the tray slot post-haste. I dropped the razor, closed the tray slot, and walked out of the day-room. The other officer asked me as we entered the sally-port, "Where the hell did that come from?"

To which I replied...


Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh, and that most recent cell phone I discovered...

Neither of the two offenders/inmates/prisoner/oxygen-wasters admitted to ownership so they are BOTH getting charged with the crime. Incidentally, it's a felony to possess a cell phone on the premises of a Texas state penal institution, one that carries a 10 year sentence.

In case you all think I'm being unkind, one of these two was convicted of capital murder and the other of molesting multiple nieces and nephews.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

It looks as if the Connally prison has passed its ACA audit

Good job 1A.
Now we have proof of what we're always saying, we ARE the best shift on the farm!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

And speaking of cell phones...

I found another cell phone my last day on shift. This makes my 3rd phone found (4th if you count one assist). These have all been on the same building, by the way. It's a medium&high custody building.

I was conducting my usual cell searches when I found this beat-up little phone, charging in a (get this) empty sugar substitute box. It was perched on top of the multi-plug outlet on the wall near the cell's desk. Imagine my surprise. Actually it was just the last wrinkle in an already crazy day.

It's funny, how every time we find a phone in the possession of one of the offenders, it becomes a community victory...a reminder that we do score our share of wins against this 2800 strong community of largely devious and nefarious men.

And every time I pull contraband out of a cell, whether it's a phone, hooch, speakers, knives, tools, stolen food, or tattoo paraphernalia, some offender invariably asks me the same question.
Aren't you proud?


I suppose I take pride in doing a good job, even if I'm not particularly enamored of my work. And I am certainly pleased to be removing from the hands of dangerous felons a tool that could be used against COs, their families, or other persons of interest.

But do you know what my real sentiment is?

Fuck them.
They are the rapists, murderers, child molesters and drug pushers.
They are the ones who put themselves in prison and they are the ones who continue to ply their criminal tradecraft inside said prison.
Fuck them.
They are just bitter about being outsmarted by a wimpy little Californian.


Double, double toil and trouble...

So it looks as if I may go up for disciplinary at work.

It's been a busy last few cycles at Connally. We're all gearing up for our big ACA audit. All the while though, I've been doing my best to crack down on contraband in the medium and high security wings to which I am assigned.

With all the big football games going on, our offenders have really been stepping up the production of their homemade alcoholic beverages. It's called hooch, or sometimes chalk, and it's more or less a wine, made from pilfered fruit. They let it ferment (or cook) in big plastic bags (also stolen from supply), storing it in their cells and bringing it out in discrete containers during their dayroom time.

Well, needless to say, drunk offenders are generally more dangerous than sober ones, so we'd really prefer they stay sober.

I've been finding a LOT of hooch lately in the course of my cell searches. I confiscate it, they cry, I write them up on contraband charges, and life goes on. One day this past cycle (either Sat or Sun) I was working in closed custody (G5 offenders, max custody, mostly real hard cases). We were feeding them in the dayroom (they do not eat in the chow hall with the other varmints). As I walked by a cell on 3 row I caught the scent of alcohol (one of my Sgts has started calling me the hooch hound, a nickname I'm REALLY hoping does not stick). I had the picket officer roll the door and I stepped into the doorway. I immediately noticed 2 things: first there was still an offender in the cell, laying curled up on the top bunk of the darkened cell, and second there was DEFINITELY hooch there. I ordered the offender to leave the cell and head down to the dayroom. He got off the bunk, but refused to leave. He was very agitated, insisting he wasn't doing anything wrong. I restated my my order, and asked him why he was getting upset. He adamantly refused to leave, instead stood beside the cell toilet, just out of easy reach. I glanced down into the dayroom, caught the building sergeant's eye, and motioned for him to get up to my position. As I looked back into the cell my eyes fell on the clear plastic bag of hooch, likely around 3 or 4 gallons of it. The offender saw me notice it and decided to act. He lunged forward, pushing me back with one hand as he grabbed the bag with the other. He thrust the bag into the toilet and began trying to pop the bag. I grabbed his arm, pulled him away from the toilet and wrestled him to the ground. Unfortunately much of the hooch came with us. As quickly as I could I switched from my arm lock to a restraining hold, turning him onto his stomach and keeping his hands away from me. At that point the sergeant arrived, assisted me in restraining the slippery little guy, and I applied hand restraints.

He was taken to medical for a physical, then off to PHD(pre-hearing detention). I went to medical, received my own physical, and realized sourly I was about half covered in hooch. Oh, and this was not even halfway through the 12 hour shift.

So much paperwork and review later, I was back to my duties. I was informed that we don't fight with offenders over alcohol, and that I miay face disciplinary due to committing an unsafe act or substandard performance (engaging in an unnecessary Use of Force). I understand their reason regarding not engaging in a Use of Force over hooch. We don't really need the hooch itself to charge them. At the time however, I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking about preserving evidence. This is apparently one of those unwritten (and up until my Use of Force, unspoken) rules.

Here's how it apparently breaks down-
alcohol: don't engage in a Use of Force
tobacco: don't engage in a Use of Force (although it happens)
marijuana: maybe engage in a Use of Force
shank(knife): engage at a distance, ie, use chemical agents (this is a Use of Force)
cell phone: engage in a Use of Force

Clear enough?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Addiction is such an ugly word...

So I decided on my last Monday (that was Friday for those interested) I would try to go a work cycle with no Coke (or other high sugar, caffeinated soda). I would still have my morning cup of coffee, but refrain from having said soda with my lunch or any other time.

So that was the plan.

Around 2pm on the 1st day I started getting a headache that increased gradually in severity and resisted the non-aspirin I downed.

Day 2 the exact same thing occurred.

Day 3 I called an end to my little experiment and embraced my caffeine addiction.

Oh well.