This was just about as good a day as you can have in prison. I got a visit from my mother this morning. I received my MP4 player and keyboard (and all components worked properly *cheer*) this afternoon. I got my canteen order tonight and was notified that mom and dad were approved to be on my visitors list. Oh and it was gorgeous afternoon outside when we went to yard. The only thing that could have made it better would have been receiving a response from the warden approving my tai chi practice. However, the mere fact that I didn’t get an immediate response from him means he’s at least considering it. A rapid response would have most likely been a rubber stamp denial. So a delay isn’t necessarily a bad thing though it does mean I can’t practice all weekend because I’m sure I won’t get a response till Monday at the earliest now. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. *smile*
This is the first journal entry that I am composing directly into digital form. I have 96 pages of handwritten journal entries that I’ll not have to work at transcribing…that will keep me busy. LOL The biggest problem I’m going to run into is that the emails are limited o 2500 characters. So break a single journal entry into multiple emails you say? Of course, but since the interface on the MP4 player doesn’t show a character count the only way I know if I’ve exceeded the limit is by trying to send an email and when I sync it with the kiosk the string of messages that scrolls by will include one line saying an email with X subject exceeded the 2500 character limit and wasn’t sent and it will tell the total characters. But since the interface doesn’t have copy and past I just have to delete a bunch of text, try and send the email hoping it was enough and retype what I deleted in a new email. I am trying to figure out approximately how many characters per line there are and then extrapolate out to how many lines per screen to determine how many screens of text I can type but my first attempt at that ended up with 3756 characters in an email so I guess my estimate was a little off…by almost 50%. Hahaha. Well now I’m trying again. My current estimate is that I can do 2.5 screens of text before I hit the limit and this is right at 2.5 so I’m going to start a new message.
And now I’m continuing my entry. When I sync in the morning I’ll see if I’m correct. *chuckle*
The visit with mom this morning was really nice. Since Sunday is Mother’s Day this was the best I could do to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. She commented how much less dehumanizing the COs here are compared to CA (my word choice, not hers *grin*). I mentioned that even though the visiting room here at D&E was small, cold and sparse, it was much better than San Quentin in CA where they weren’t allowed to visit me at all. We talked about the garden, the new motor home, their trip she’s still got to plan. I talked some about how things are here (mostly good, and like I said, better than CA) but when I brought up issues to talk to Crieger about (a possible new lawyer) she shut down and didn’t want to discuss it any further. That’s the first time it became crystal clear how hard this is on her…and how horrible a son I am for putting her through this…again. The other time that became apparent was when we talked about a friend of the family who is suffering from the initial stages of dementia and I tried to lightheartedly tell her that she and dad needed to hang on for 14 years. Her response was “that’s a long time.” *sigh* In spite of the 2 low spots the overall visit was good and really made my day, no, my week. *smile*
Then when I got back to my housing unit I tried to take a shower at the next day-room but I got told to get dressed and go to the area behind the guard bubble which is where I’ve seen people go to write ups and such. Luckily the CO quickly explained that I was getting my MP4 player. The shower could damn well wait. LOL! I got dressed and was the first in to go into the offices back there and get the MP4 player. THEN I went to shower and still had enough day-room time left to put the batteries in the MP4 player, put on it’s protective cover and go try and sync it. Unlike my previous cellie’s first sync, everything went fine. Then I promptly plugged in the keyboard and tested every key. Mike’s (Colorado) keyboard was defective so he had to return it and is waiting for a replacement now. Boy I would have been upset if that had happened but mine worked just fine.
So then I typed up an email to everyone in my contacts list announcing that I now have a keyboard and can write at length (or ad nosium *chuckle*). I tried to sync to send them and it hung up and failed to send 4 times, but 5 times a charm I guess. Hahaha. Pretty much the rest of my evening, aside from mandatory gym time, has been spent typing away at transcribing old journal entries or composing this one. I even wrote a quite lengthy email to Justin that I asked him to send to the Access Corrections people through their site giving them some suggestion on how to significantly improve their UI/UX (user interface/user experience). The same suggestions I sent in kites (notes) to the kiosk manager here that I’m sure were ignored, and they’ll probably be ignored if sent straight to Access Corrections too but never let it be said that I don’t try all possible options to make something work. LOL!
Now I’m merrily typing away at this journal entry as some of the younger inmates in other cells are starting to make animal noises/calls. *rolls his eyes* Hopefully the African guy in a holding cell in medical, which is directly above our housing unit, doesn’t start singing his African song at the top of his lungs like he did this morning at 4:30AM. *chuckle* I was up anyway with anticipation or mom’s visit so I just listened to NPR from 5AM on.
Allow me to describe the setup I’m typing at. I’m setting at a small metal table that protrudes from one of the side walls of our cell. In order to make the plastic chair semi comfortable and to sit forward enough to type and read my screen I’m sitting on one pillow and have another behind my back for lumbar support. Ha. The flexible rubber keyboard is laid out on the edge of the table but to keep from freezing my hand from touching the cold metal I have it set on a handkerchief (yeah we get 2 issued to us with our clothing. LOL) which drapes over the edge for me to rest my hand on. Now the weirdest part, the screen is my MP4 player. It’s screen is about 3″x2″ which of course is tiny. So I have it sitting on top of an inverted plastic tumbler to raise it closer to my face. Thankfully I thought to take a pair of x2 reading glasses to court with me otherwise I’d never be able to read the tiny text on this thing but for now it seems to be working pretty well. *BIG smile*