It is Christmas Eve so Merry Christmas to all!

As an early Christmas “gift” on Friday the powers that be decided to move me and my cellie, Jeff, from our old cell on the bottom tier to the high rent district of the upper tier. *chuckle* It’s a pain to move, especially with no notice, but you don’t get a choice so you have to look at the positives. being on the upper tier is supposedly quieter because there is less traffic by your cell door. However, our cell is right at the top of the stairs so everyone on the top-tier ends up walking by our door. Our cell on the lower tier was right by the phones so we always had people talking on them right outside so perhaps it is a little quieter. The cell windows face roughly South West so I get to see the sunsets now, as opposed to the sunrise, and we look out onto the main yard between buildings so we can see more activity now. The biggest advantage is that the old cell had a drain outside the door that would occasionally back up and sewer water would seep under the door into the cell. That won’t happen on the top-tier. *smile*

The new cell had 2 younger guys in it so they hadn’t kept it very clean. Jeff and I did a thorough cleaning as we moved in, before unpacking, and today I scrubbed the floor with the shower cleaning brush to get the old grime out. Everything is good and clean now. We’re still settling in and getting used to the new space. You might think that it’s the exact same layout so what is there to get used to but the new cell is the mirror image of the old cell so everything is backwards. *chuckle* The biggest issue is that Jeff is having a hard time getting used to having the step up to the upper bunk on the opposite side. I think with practice he’ll get used to it. Also, he’s left-handed and in the old cell his remote was blocked from hitting my TV by the wall but now when he changes channels or volume it hits my TV half the time too. To try to move my TV out of range of his remote today I spent several hours to figure out how to suspend it from the underside of his upper bunk, rather than sitting on the desk at the foot of my bunk. It’s quite an elaborate rigging with shoelace wrapped around the base and through the heat vents on top of the TV but it makes it easier for me to see while lying down plus it gives me more free desk space. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? *smile*

Over all I am settled in and comfortable in the new cell, well, as comfortable as I was in the old cell. Ha!

Today was Christmas Eve so I gave a few guys some gifts. I had won a bingo game earlier and got Tootsie rolls and lolli pops so I made some origami candy boxes and split the candy up between them. Everyone I gave one to was pleasantly surprised. *smile* I also tried calling my aunts, uncles and cousins in AZ who were all celebrating together. unfortunately, I had only put my aunt Pat’s home number on the approved list but the celebration was at uncle Moe’s and I hadn’t authorized his number. I tried my cousin Justin’s cell, which I had approved, but he hasn’t been accepting my calls recently and he didn’t pick up. I finally called my parents to at least wish them a Merry Christmas and dad said he would contact Justin to let him know to pick up so I eventually got to speak to Pat and Justin. It’s nice to be able to be able to contact family on the holidays. Tomorrow I’ll call McK as he doesn’t want to talk to anyone on Christmas Eve. All this week I’ve been splitting my phone time to contact as many people as I could. I am very lucky to have more friends than phone time. *smile*

We found out a timeline for the email switch from AccessCorrections to JPay. The AC network will be disconnected on 1/23/18 and the JP network is supposed to go live on 1/27. That sounds like just 4 days of downtime however, we have to turn our AC MP4 players in by Jan. 3rd to trade in for the JP tablets and it can take up to 60 days to get the tablet so from 1/3 till possibly 3/3 I’ll be unable to write lengthy emails, like my journal. 🙁 Also, they aren’t letting us purchase the external keyboard that JP sells even though it is compatible with all the tablet versions we can buy. I hope the mini-usb connector on this keyboard will be the same connector for the new JP tablets but I’ll have to wait and see. I think the new JP system will be much more user-friendly for those using it on the outside but it is going to be more expensive. AC charged 14-18 cents/inbound email while JP will charge 25 cents for every email in or out. At least the character limit is increased from 2500 to 6000. I hope I will still be able to keep posting here but if I have to use a touch screen keyboard on a 7″ screen my entries will probably be shorter. *chuckle*

I also found out today that the admin chose another inmate as F gallery’s inmate council representative. A guy that goes by Darkside came up and told me that he was the new rep. and if I had any issues I could tell him and he could take them to te council. I was kind of looking forward to being on the council and advocating for improvements but Darkside has been in longer so he knows the “system” better and as far as I know he hasn’t been written up since I got here either. Of course the admin may have chosen him because they didn’t want to deal with somebody as vocal as me. LOL! As an inmate council rep. or not, I’ll still be doing everything I can to improve the system. *smile* The good thing about NE is that I am one of only 5,300 inmates as opposed to the 175,000 there were in CA so it will be much easier to make an impact and be heard. Of course, prison administrators are the same here as in CA so they are dismissive and unresponsive but I’ll make myself heard *grin*

I heard a saying this past week that has deep meaning for me. Only in the darkness of night can you see the stars. I love the multiple layers of meaning in it. *smile*

Happy holidays everyone and a happy new year.