12 Dec 05

Bleeding Eyeball (Part 4)

“Is it gettin’ any better?” Odd Job asked.

“Yeah,” I said. "I've been applying the eyedrops four times a day."

“Lemme see it then.” I showed her my eye.

“Thank goodness. It’s almost healed. So the eyedrops helped?”

“Yeah.” I saw a new side to Odd Job. A caring Odd Job.

“I dunno why we didn’t get the eyedrops earlier. We put the order in and pharmacy said they never received it. A buncha freakin’ rigmarole, I tell ya. That’s great. Yer good to go.”

Although I knew I was inviting trouble, I couldn’t resist asking Odd Job about my cold sore.“Have you got anything for this cold sore?” I asked in a timid voice, bracing myself for her reply.

“That ain’t no cold sore! It’s vitamin B deficiency. Buy yourself some vitamins from the store.”

“Alright. Thanks for the advice.”

Final Futures Trading Results: Farewell Long Island

Long Islands release is imminent. I'll miss him and the hand-drawn stock charts and pics of Alan Greenspan with which he decorated our humble home.
His charts mystified guards and visitors alike and made people wonder what type of wizardry we were up to.

A year ago, Long Island knew little about trading, yet after a short apprenticeship he was able to turn his hypothetical $2000 investment in futures into $10,875.
Over the same period mine rose to $10,182.
Our returns - in excess of 400% - by far exceeded the performance of professionals. He also doubled an investment in stocks over a shorter period.
Long Island has a talent for trading. I’ve taught him various angles on the market and as I’m writing this blog he’s studying two textbooks I procured: Principles of Corporate Finance by Brearly and Myers and The Analysis and Use of Financial Statements by White Sondhi and Fried (thanks Surrah!).
Long Island wants to pursue a career in finance. His intelligence and natural charm make him good stockbroker material. I wish him the best of luck reintegrating with society and I hope that he updates me about his progress from time to time.

Message to Long Island: The road to success is perilous and you will experience many psychological ups and downs. Hard work and keeping your wits about you will enable you to achieve your goals. People facing death sentences have risen to be presidents and kings. The only thing that can hold you back is yourself. Everything you need to succeed is in your mind - so unlock your potential and realise your dreams.

06 Dec 05

Question Time

Merle0341 asked how I blog from prison.

I am unable to post entries online because I do not have Internet access. Hand-written blogs are snailmailed to my family, without whose help this blog would be impossible.

Kathleen asked about spiderbites at Arpaio’s jail system.

I didn't get bit but I witnessed many who did. The jail’s policy was not to treat insect bites, so many became infected. It was left to inmates to squeeze the pus out - an activity that provided entertainment for some. I attended several such events and helped gather toilet paper and salt. With skin and eye infections I wasn’t so lucky. I had bleeding bedsores, fungal skin infections and pink-eye infections. During the summer months, the cells we were in acted like clay ovens. Slow roasting in pools of our own sweat most of us developed skin infections.

Clancy asked if I’ve watched Prison Break on TV and if prison racism has affected me at all.

By choice I do not own a TV. Long Island said “Prison Break is on Fox, it’s a good show.”Prison racism is sad, especially when the Internet is bringing people closer together around the world. Prison racism seems to be a control mechanism: firstly, inmates divided are easier to subjugate, secondly inmate-enforced racial segregation enables a minority of gang leaders to develop power structures which gives them control over the majority. I try to avoid mindless racism.

Paul asked if I follow penny stocks, if I’ve heard of CMKX and what I think of naked shorting.

Penny stocks are mostly money-spinners for brokers, insiders and market makers and generally money losers for the public. Naked shorting can be lucrative for experienced investors but those positions should be watched diligently due to the risk of short squeezes. I’ve made money naked shorting penny stocks on days they release hyped-up news stories, especially UQM. I haven’t heard of CMKX and I couldn’t find it in Investors Business Daily.

Valerie in Atlanta, GA, asked if I’ve ever read novels or just stuff to improve myself.

I've eased up on reading nonfiction recently largely because my family, friends, blog readers and Two Tonys introduced me to books written by contemporary authors whose styles I enjoyed. Thanks to readers I’ve discovered Tom Robbins and John Kennedy Toole. Thanks to Two Tonys I’ve begun reading books by Tom Woolfe, Kurt Vonnegut and John Updike. Wolfe’s A Man In Full made me laugh more than Don Quixote and is now my favourite novel. I’m spellbound by Updike’s prose, which approaches Proustian perfection at times. Haruki Murakami writes in an enjoyable dreamy style.

Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year to all readers

Can I just take this opportunity to thank everyone who read the article in Cosmo and took the time to email or write a comment?
Jon does not have access to a computer - we forward all emails and comments to him and I am sure he will be busy in the New Year replying. He has already received some and they have ensured a happy xmas for him.
I am keeping the blog going while our parents are in the US visiting Jon and have not had time to respond individually to comments.
Karen, Jon’s sister

5 December 05

Bleeding Eyeball (Part 3)

I was called to the Medical Unit.
“So ya had an appointment last week and ya stood us up did ya?” the original nurse said.
“I was here. The male nurse didn’t have a clue what was going on. He told me I needed to see you again.”
“Has it got worse?”
“Lemme see it then.”
I showed her my eyeball, and asked, “What’s wrong with it?”
“I don’t freakin’ know what’s wrong with it. Maybe ya ruptured a blood vessel or somethin’. Did you get the eye drops?”
“We ordered them. I guess pharmacy never sent 'em.”
Outside, I noticed an old-timer in the throes of an asthma attack. His face reddening.
“He’s not gonna freakin’ croak on us out there is he?” the nurse said to a guard.
The guard opened the door.
Seeing the door open, the old-timer shuffled toward us. He looked suddenly happy - perhaps he thought the doctor was ready to see him.
“Hang in there,” the nurse said.
The guard closed the door in the old-timer's face. The old-timer panted and wheezed and looked devastated.
“The doctor’s ready to see ya, Jon, come with me,” the nurse said.
As I was ushered into the doctor’s office, I felt like James Bond being escorted by Odd Job to see an illusive supervillain. I was greeted by the flailing arms of a black doctor. Before I knew it his fingers were all over my face.
“Let me see your left eye...hmmm. Now your right eye...hmmm.”
He pounced from eye to eye. He yanked the skin around my eyes back and shone his torch at my eyes.
“And your left again...Now your right...And your left...And right...Left...Right...” His fingers danced on my face.
I saw Odd Job grinning before she vanished from my peripheral vision.
“Does it hurt? he said.
“It aches when I switch in and out of focus.”
“Did you get the eye drops?” he said.
“I never got the eye drops."
“Make sure he gets the eye drops,” he nodded to Odd Job.
“What do you think’s caused it?” I said.
“Many things,” he said.
“Headstands perhaps?” I said.
“I don’t think so, when you get the drops, put one in your eye four times a day,” he said, and then rushed away. He settled near a filing cabinet, opened a drawer, and buried his arms in it.
Odd Job shot me a time's-up nod.
“You’ll get the eye drops soon and I’ll schedule you for a check-up next week,” Odd Job said in a tone that indicated she couldn’t wait for me to be in her clutches again.
Outside, the old-timer was bent over. He looked ready to die.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
2 December

Literature and Schlongs

The evening meal was spaghetti. I gave mine to Weird Al and sat down next to Two Tonys.
“I appreciate you introducing me to Tom Wolfe books,” I said. “A Man in Full is now my favourite work of fiction. There’s not many contemporary authors who hold my interest.”
“Average authors are churning out junk food. Compared to their hamburgers, Tom Wolfe’s books are Beef Wellingtons,” Two Tonys said.
“My parents have been trying to get me reading more contemporary fiction. They sent me some Stephen King novels. I enjoyed reading the Shawshank Redemption.”
“Stephen King’s running a fuckin’ McDonald’s franchise,” Two Tonys said. “He’s pumpin’ out books like he’s makin’ quarter pounders. It took Wolfe eleven years to write A Man in Full. Wolfe’s so fuckin’ good he’s got a war going with those other authors - Updike, Irving and that fuckin’ thug Mailer. They’re jealous of his skills.”
“What do you think of Tom Robbins? My parents are trying to sway me away from him because my blogs started getting too surreal after I read three Robbins books back-to-back recently. The other author to knock me out of orbit like that was Proust.”
“I’m not familiar with this Robbins guy. I’ll tell you something though - he’s got to get up real early in the fuckin’ morning to sharpen his pencil to be in the same league as Tom Wolfe.”
Repo joined our table. “I seen Xena coming out of the shower,” Repo said. “That girl’s got a big-ass schlong. Ever notice that shit?”
“What is it with you?” Two Tonys said. “We’re over here trying to have an intellectual fuckin’ conversation about books we’ve read and you’ve gotta come along and talk about schlongs. Have you got some kind of fuckin’ fetish for talkin’ about schlongs and ass-holes when I’m eating?”
“But it’s true,” Repo said. “I’ve been down a long time and I’ve noticed that gay guys have bigger than average schlongs.”
“Listen, I’ve been down twice as long as you and I’ll be honest with ya, I’m not in the habit of checkin’ out men’s schlongs. And the fact that you’re bringin’ schlongs up while I’m tryin’ to converse with my British friend, I’m findin’ insultin’. You wanna talk about schlongs, sit at a fuckin’ chomo or sex pervert table. This table’s for crimes of integrity - like homicides for motherfuckers who asked for it.”
“How about asses? I saw Xena’s ass as well.”
“Hey Repo, you know my reputation. I don’t fuck with these fags - now or never. I don’t look at men’s asses. It’s a case of each to his fuckin’ own.
“I can imagine takin’ you to a fancy joint like the Four Seasons. The maitre d’ gives us a choice table and you wanna talk about the Guatemalan bus boys ass or the shape of the maitre d’s trouser trout. That’s why I can’t ever envisage takin’ you to a five-star restaurant, Repo. You’re strictly McDonald’s - drive-thru material.”
“This spaghetti sauce looks like some marines took a shit in it - straight fuckin’ Panama water,” Repo said.
“That’s because o’ your sick fuckin’ mind - it’s stuck on schlongs and shits and ass-holes. Come hot-dog day, you’re gonna be seein’ the hotdogs as schlongs and cockheads. You’re stuck on phallic fuckin’ symbols.”
Just when I thought the conversation couldn’t warp any further, Xena joined our table.
“Hey guys! Who wants a table dance?” Xena said.
“Me and my Brit friend don’t, but Repo’ll take you in a private booth. He’ll meet you at your cell later on.”
“I was just tellin’ the fella about your big-ass schlong,” Repo said.
“Not that I asked for that info, 'cause, to be real honest with ya, I don’t give a fuck if you’re hung like the incredible fuckin’ Hulk. All we’re tryin’ to do is have an intelligent conversation about literature."
“Two Tonys, are you sure you don’t wanna see my swingset?” Xena said.
“No, I don’t care to...but if the day ever comes when I do, I’m hopin’ you motherfuckers will snuff me out by smotherin’ me with a pillow first - like at the end of One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest. After that I’ll meet you motherfuckers in hell, 'cause that’s where we’re all headin’.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
23 November

Bleeding Eyeball (Part 2)

Just when I had abandoned all hope of the doctor ever seeing my eye, I was called to the Health Unit.
Soon, I thought, I'll have the doctor's diagnosis and I'll know what is what.
Expecting to be greeted by the doctor, I swaggered into the Health Unit. But both the doctor and regular nurse were absent.
"Why are you here?" a Chicano nurse said.
"The nurse said my eyeball's bleeding and I'd be called to see the doctor."
"Let me see."
I stretched the skin away from my eye.
"It's...not...bleeding...exactly," he said in a slow voice as if he were falling asleep.
"Huh?" I said.
He read the latest entry in my medical file, and said,"Did you get the eye drops?"
"What eye drops?"
"You were supposed to get eye drops but it looks like the order wasn't processed. The nurse isn't back till Tuesday, so I'll reschedule you to see her on Tuesday, OK?"
"What about scheduling me to see the doctor?"
"He's not here and I don't know what the nurse wants to do with you."
"I'm confused. The nurse said my eyeball's bleeding and I might have to see the doctor. Now you're telling me it's not bleeding exactly. I'd like to know what not bleeding exactly means and what's causing the redness of my eyeball?"
"Let me see."
He stared at my eye again. "I'm not a doctor, but it looks like irritation...perhaps."
Was, I thought, I causing him irritation, perhaps.
"It doesn't look too bad...at least...nothing that should cause you to lose your sight."
Convinced that nothing good was going to come from furthering the conversation, I said,"OK, thanks for your help."

At lunch, I explained what had happened to Shane and Weird Al.
"His eyeball's not exactly bleeding, perhaps." Shane said.
"My shit doesn't exactly smell bad, perhaps."Weird Al said.
"The US justice system doesn't exactly work right, perhaps," Shane said.
"Orange isn't exactly my favourite colour, perhaps," Weird Al said.
"Alright fellas, that's enough exactlies and perhapses for today," I said, sensing they were itching to get many more out.
"The US didn't exactly bomb Nagasaki, perhaps." Weird Al said.
"Perhaps he meant it's not exactly bleeding in the context of where he's from. Maybe he's used to seeing eyeballs squirting blood," Shane said.
"Don't worry, I've heard that DOC Medical has acquiesced to British demands for eye care by enlisting an illegal alien Mexican to hand paint a rock eyeball. It should be very lifelike," Weird Al said.
"In the meantime we can use egg whites, switching them when they start to smell really bad," Shane said.
"You might as well give up studying Chinese. You'll be blind before you ever master the language," Weird Al said.
"Very funny," I said.
"Are your parents training a seeing-eye dog for when you get home?" Weird Al said.
"I'll put them on that right away," I said.
"I'd also like to recommend that you walk to the chow hall with your eyes closed counting the steps, so you don't get lost when you go blind - which should be anytime soon," Weird Al said.
"You guys are terrible," I said.
"Getting medical service in here is terrible," Shane said.
"He's right, haven't you seen the tombstones at the prisoner graveyard in Florence?
The epitaphs read: I told you I was sick" Weird Al said.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Thanks from Jon’s parents

As we prepare to fly to Tucson tomorrow (Thursday) to visit with our son for Christmas, we’d like to take the opportunity once again to thank all the readers of the blog for the emails, books, letters and tapes. We are constantly surprised and gratified by the kindness of strangers, who now, we feel are friends.
Our daughter, Karen, will be posting blogs while we are away. She has just had an article about our situation and the affect on the family published in the January edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. In the article, she says how, as a family, we have become closer because of what has happened. One thing that is certain is that Karen’s unflagging love and support has kept us sane throughout.
Best wishes to everyone
Derick & Barbara Attwood
20 November 05

Pyschotherapy With Dr Allen (part 3)

“Do you know what schemas are?”
“Schemas are core beliefs that are the essence of you. They’re what’s in your heart and soul – what you believe about you and the world. Are you familiar with Freudian analysis, and the id, ego and superego?”
“Then you should get an easy grasp of transactional analysis. With transactional analysis, three ego states are identified: the child, which is impulsive and likes to be taken care of; the parent – the caretaker or superego – which is where I suspect your anxieties stem from; and the adult – the rational and balanced thinker – the stabilizing force between parent and child.
Your drive to succeed – the ‘I have to do this, I have to do that, to get where I’m going’ – comes from the parent, the superego. To address the anxieties you are experiencing, a compromise must be found in the adult. You need to balance the parent out in the adult world. You have a need for relaxation and pleasure, for good mental health, which you are not addressing if your parent is making you believe that you ‘have to get this done, and have to get that done’ to achieve your goals. Let me take a guess: you probably spend seventy percent of your time working towards your goals, and thirty percent on relaxation and pleasure?”
“More like ninety percent plus on my goals, and ten percent or less on pleasure.”
“It’s worse than I thought then.”
“Like we discussed previously, I enter years of all-absorbing work, and the pressure builds up so much that I end up partying hard and entering a slump.”
“If you don’t modulate that, you’re going to run into the same problems. Instead of rising up rapidly in terms of success, and then having a massive need for play at the crest of your wave, you should try to obtain your goals more slowly, by letting steam out from time to time on the way up by engaging in pleasure and relaxation. It seems that you’re stuck on the beliefs coming from the parent state.”
“I can see what you’re saying is true, but, I don’t want to achieve my goals slowly. Part of my goals are the time parameters I set. I view the road you are describing as mediocre performance. I allow for pleasure when I’m beginning to feel unhinged. Isn’t that the cost of doing business? Wasn’t it Nietzche’s overwhelming use of his cognitive skills that contributed to his insanity?”
“That’s your schema. Unless you change that belief, and let out steam gradually as your stress builds, you’ll have the same problems that you’ve had in the past.”
“So how do I change that schema? I don’t understand where it comes from. I just have a permanent overwhelming feeling that I must spend all my time working hard to fulfil my destiny.”
“We need to go deeper into your psyche to find out what has shaped your core belief system.
But sadly, that might not be possible because I’m being assigned to work other prison yards, and may not be able to continue these sessions.”
“Not again. Just when I thought Dr. Bernstein at Buckeye was making progress, he got axed. Now the same’s going to happen with you?”
“I’ll see what I can do, but this might be our last session together.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
18 November 05

Bleeding Eyeball (Part 1)

In the Health Unit a battleaxe of a nurse was scowling at the three Health Needs Request forms I had submitted. “So you’re the one fillin’ out all those forms, and havin’ officers call down here every day complainin’ about a pink-eye infection?” she said.
What could I say? I was the one. Not wanting to start an argument I remained silent.
“Let’s see it then,” she said.
I stretched the skin away from my eye.
She looked and said, “That’s not pink eye, your eyeball’s bleeding.” She allowed her diagnosis to settle in for a bit. Then she said, "How did your eye suffer trauma? And don’t lie to me, I’ve got a built in bullshit detector. The truth is for your own good.”
“I haven’t suffered any trauma. I’ve been doing daily handstands for eight to fifteen minutes. They make my eyes go red. That’s all I can think of.”
“Headstands,” said a second nurse who I hadn't seen sitting out of view in a separate room. “It could be the headstands.” She rose, and headed in my direction. Confident that she was coming to examine my eye, I stretched the skin again, but, disappointingly, she walked right by and stopped at a filing cabinet. She filed some papers and approached me again. When she got close I swivelled my head, exposed my eyeball, and said, “Look!” She slowed down but did not stop. She looked at my eye momentarily, and said, “If there’s no gunk, and your eyelids aren’t red, it’s not pink eye. The ocular pressure from headstands may have caused some bleeding.”
“Does it hurt?” the other nurse asked.
"It aches occasionally.”
“On a scale of one to ten, with ten being excruciating pain, what is it?”
“About a two.”
“It’s only a two. Did you hear that?”
“It’s only a two,” the other nurse echoed from the adjacent room.
“It’ll self-heal. No more headstands for a while. If the doctor wants to see you, we’ll let you know.”

Over lunch, I told Shane and Weird Al about my trip to Medical.
“By the time the doctor is notified, your eye will have fallen out. But don’t worry you’ll get a good DOC fake eye. I’ll start looking for round rocks on the rec yard for you,” Weird Al said. “Expect to be blogging with one eye from now on,” Shane said.
“You might as well warn your readers that you’ll soon be blogging in Braille.”
“I’ll know not to expect any sympathy from you two, if I lose my eye.”
“To enjoy the full experience of DOC you really should lose an eye or two.”
“And aquire a deadly disease or staph infection.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
16 November 05


Yard 4 has been locked down (no rec or showers) for two-and-a-half days because some shanks were found in a porter’s closet.
“I don’t get this lock-down shit, man. Someone was stabbed in the face in Yard 3 last week, and those fools didn’t even get locked down – they were out playin’ softball all day,” Long Island said into the vent, to our young Chicano neighbour, Flaco.
“I saw a jura [guard] find a big-ass shank behind our building this morning – the piece went from his hand past his elbow. It was huge,” Flaco said.
“I guess they’re trippin’ 'cause there’s some table legs missin’. A cop said the ADW thinks there’s more shanks on the yard,” Long Island said.
“Aw shit, here comes a shitload of juras to toss our houses,” Flaco said.
Fifteen guards – a dozen uniformed, wearing rubber gloves, and three CO3s in plain clothes – began searching D run's cells.
The jingling of keys announced our turn.
A brawny guard with a neat moustache entered our cell. He placed his arms akimbo, putting his massive arm muscles on display.
“I’m gonna strip you guys out one at a time. One of you wait outside,” he said.
Long Island exited.
I gave the guard everything I was wearing. Shrinkage commenced – my reproductives expressed discomfort by puckering up.
“Put your arms in the air.” He inspected my armpits. “Open your mouth. Good. Now fold your ears forward. OK. Now raise your balls. OK. Turn around, bend over, and spread 'em.”
I pitied the guard for having to examine dozens of behinds that hadn’t been showered for three days.
“Show me your feet. Alright. Now get dressed.”
“Is there anything in here that shouldn’t be in here?”
“Of course not.”
“Where’s that accent from?”
“What the hell are you doin’ in here?”
“It’s a long story. Stockbroker gone wild.”
“Stockbroker – is that what all the charts on the wall are about?”
“Yeah. The Dow Jones, NASDAQ, the S&P 500, gold and oil. I’m teachin’ my celly how to trade.”
Outside, I joined the crowd of inmates watching the guards search their cells. Nearby, a Chicano guard with slicked-back hair and a pronounced dimple was digging up soil with a shovel, looking for buried shanks. None were found in the search, but contraband was confiscated. Guards took water bottles (used for weight lifting), cardboard backs from writing pads (used to block air vents), empty pens (for making tattoo guns), and a TV from a two-man cell that had three TVs in it.
“Alright, Dog 11 return to your cell.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
12 November 05

Question Time With Ogre

Alba asked if the conflict over my Cheerios between Ogre and Druid was resolved?

Just when it was looking as if there would be bloodshed over my cereal, the move from Buckeye to Tucson occurred, and now I no longer have breakfast with Druid or Ogre.
Yard 4 is split into four buildings: A,B,C, and D. Other than early-outs lunch, or when there are poor chow turnouts such as spaghetti nights, A eats with B and C eats with D.

I live in D. Ogre lives in A and Druid is in B, but they do not sit together or talk to each other. I usually sit with Shane and Weird Al , and sometimes with Xena. Presently, Weird Al is the beneficiary of my cereal.

JC asked why Ogre is in prison. I put the question to Ogre and he revealed the following about accidentally stabbing his wife:

“How did the accidental stabbing of your wife occur?”
“I’d been up for days on tweak [crystal meth] workin’ on my boat. I was on my bed, naked except for a towel wrapped around me, cleanin’ my nails, when some of my wife’s friends stopped by to buy a couple of ounces of dope. The dope was hidden in my boat, and I didn’t really wanna get it, so my wife started yellin’ at me, ‘If it was your fuckin’ friends you’d be out there by now!’ So I said, ‘Fuck you bitch’ and threw my Gerber knife at the dresser, but it missed and stuck in the side of her knee through her pants. She pulled it out, and there was a little fingernail-size hole. It was gushing blood, and a little bit of meat came out. I pushed it back in, and we had fun making butterfly stitches. Her friends buyin' the dope wanted to call the cops, but my wife said she was alright, and we partied all night long. That was on April the 11th, 2003 in Lake Havasu.

After that I thought everythin’ was all good. We took a trip to L.A. with her daughter because I was gonna donate a kidney to Brian Davidson – the owner of Hot Boat Magazine – and they had to run tests on my blood at Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills. We did more dope and then took off for L.A. I missed the appointment, so we stayed the weekend, and I gave seventeen vials of blood on Monday. By now I hadn’t slept for a week, and I’m fucked up worse because of losing so much blood, and my wife hadn’t slept, and we get in a fight over Taco Bell.
Her kid wants to go to Taco Bell, and there’s no Taco Bell in Beverly Hills. The kid's in the back screamin’. I’m tryin’ to drive, and my wife attacks me, so I stopped, grabbed her, and threw her out of the truck, but she gets back in. Shit just got crazier after that. I’m drivin’ home, my wife’s flippin’ out, and I start hallucinatin’. The first troll I saw - "
“Troll?” I said.
“Yeah, troll. Look, it’s made my nipples hard just thinkin’ about it. The first troll was at the side of the road, puttin’ a chain on a bicycle, goin’ he-he-he-he. It was an evil little bastard.”
“What did the troll look like?”
“About two foot tall, wearin’ a green flannel jacket, with long brown hair.
Drivin’ home the trolls started rippin’ up those yellow lines that are painted on the roads – tryin’ to trip my truck up.
Back in Lake Havasu, there’s trolls everywhere, destroyin’ cars, and I imagined – it seemed real at the time – that our neighbours were screaming and yellin’ at the trolls.
My wife took off. I went lookin’ for her at her dad’s house, and he called the cops. I was seein’ trolls everywhere. I hadn’t slept for over a week by now.
I’m drivin’ home past a cop. He looks at me, hits his lights and does a felony stop. ‘Driver, pull the keys out, put your hands in the air’ – all that shit. I asked him why I was being arrested and he said, ‘For assault and battery of your wife.’ I told him, ‘She ain’t chargin’ me, that was over a week ago,’ and he said, ‘She doesn’t have to charge you, her dad did.’
So I got busted for no reason, and she got busted for drugs, and they threatened to take her kid away if she didn’t testify against me, so she did for one and a half hours, and I got sentenced to five years for aggravated assault.
I’ve lost two wonderful marriages because of crystal meth.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
08 November 05

Feeding Time

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
06 November 05


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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
Death at ASPC Tucson 21st Nov

Tragically, on the 19th of November, an asthmatic inmate died in his cell.

According to prisoners housed on Yard 1, the inmate was 31 years old and only had 96 days left to serve.

Some inmates have claimed that the deceased was denied emergency medical treatment, and was seen being escorted back to his cell from Medical, barely able to walk. The medical staff may have erroneously assumed he was faking symptoms.

He died around midday, and his body remained in the cell for several hours after the death was reported because the coroner took so long to show up.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

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04 November 05

Overeager Ogre

Ogre stopped by. The conversation was short and sour.
“I’m movin’ in this room when your celly leaves,” Ogre said.
“I don’t think so,” I said
“You ain’t got no choice.”
“Yeah, I do. I’d have to sign the move slip.”
“Not if your arm’s broken.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.

Do any readers know of a music tape distibutor either online or by phone, who will mail music cassettes directly to US state prisons? Info would be appreciated either through the comment box, or by email.
02 November 05

Suicide By Cop

Weird Al is short and grey and doesn’t seem to belong here. Formerly a real-estate investor, he spends most of his time in prison working on lawsuits.

“What’s suicide by cop?” I asked Al.
“It’s a coward’s way of committing suicide. You get the police to shoot you because you don’t have the nerve to do it yourself.”
“Why did you try this?”
“My girlfriend had recently died from over-consumption of Marlboro Light One-Hundreds, and over four or five months I became increasingly depressed and crazy. I bought a book by Jack Kevorkian, and tried his method: a bottle of vodka, sleeping pills and a plastic bag over your head. Obviously it didn’t work. I woke up in hospital after my neighbours called the police because I was knocking things over. The police found me with a garbage bag over my head, and after a visit to the hospital, I was sent to the nuthouse. I lost all faith in Dr. Death. I thought a bullet would be a surer way to do it.”
“What was your next suicide idea?”
“To shoot myself. But then I thought, my family is gonna have to clean my brains off the wall. I didn’t have the nerve to do it.
After staying in bed for a few days, an idea came to me: rob the bank, and the police will come and shoot you. I slept great that night. I woke up happy and watched Regis and Kathy Lee because my bank didn’t open until ten. I wrote a note, I have a gun. I am here to rob you. And I put, This is not a joke, so they’d know I was serious. I went to my local bank where I’d done business for eight years.
When I walked inside, there was a line of people. You’d think I would of gone straight to the front. If I was gonna get shot, why stand on manners? But I’m a polite person. I stood in the line, and waited, wondering which teller I’d get. I got a familiar lady clerk.
She said, 'Hello, Mr.Donaldson, how are you today?'
I gave her the note, and her eyes went as big as saucers. I kept my left hand in my pocket pretending I had a gun. She opened the drawer real quick. I grabbed the cash, put it in my pocket and walked outside to sit on the curb next to my car. I figured that the police would screech into the parking lot at any second, and shoot me.”
“But it didn't work out?”
“No. They didn’t come right away. It took them ten minutes to get there. I was getting pissed off. I was expecting a big scene and an adrenaline rush. I wanted to go out like Bonnie and Clyde. They didn’t screech into the parking lot - they calmly got out of their cars without their guns drawn. I thought, wait a minute, somethings not working here.
One cop said, 'Mr. Donaldson, I’m telling you right now, we’re not going to shoot you.'
'But I have a gun,' I told him.
He said, 'You don’t have a gun.'
His partner said, 'What in the world’s going on here?'
I told them, 'I robbed the bank.'
One said, 'Yeah, we know that. But why? You have more money in the bank than you stole.'
I had fifteen thousand in the bank, and I stole seventeen hundred.
It got worse from there. They arrested me and took me to Tempe Police Department. The FBI came down, took one look at me and said, 'Forget it, he’s all yours.' I thought that I had an original idea, but the police said it happens all the time, that people often try to get the police to shoot them, usually in hostage situations.
I thought, son of a bitch, I shoulda took a hostage.”
“How did you feel?”
“Mad, because I was still alive. I felt stupid because they didn’t shoot me.”
“It wasn’t something you could practice for?”
“True, there’s no courses you can take to do suicide by cop.”
“You could say it’s a one-shot deal?”
“Maybe two or three shots if you pull it off right. You wouldn’t be trying again, or going to jail either.”
“Are you going to try again?”
“Oh, no. I have it all figured out now. I’ll take a backpack, hiking gear, and a gun into the desert, wait a few days until I have no food and water, then shoot myself without bothering anybody – there’ll be no mess for the family to clean up. Kevorkian’s method was bogus. I should sue that bastard for the trouble he caused me.”
"Perhaps suicide by cop didn’t work because you’re not meant to die just yet?”
“Maybe. Anyway, I haven’t got the urge to kill myself right now, but you never know what might pop up.”

For the bank robbery and attempted suicide by cop, Weird Al was sentenced to three and a half years for assault.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

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31 October 05

A Suspected Dildo Looter

“If they cut your ass loose in Mall of fuckin’ America what wouldya loot?” Two Tonys asked Ogre and Ogre's large cellmate, Cannonball..
“I’d hit the diamond stores,” Cannonball said.
“Smart,” Two Tonys said. “Lotsa small pricey shit: diamond rings and gold chains. Whaddabout you, Ogre?”
“I’d go where the big money's at: the banks.” Ogre's eyes sought approval from Two Tonys.
“Giddouttahere!" Two Tonys said." How the fuck wouldya get in a locked bank vault, motherfucker?”
“I dunno. I’d figure it out.”
“You couldn’t even break out of your own fuckin’ cell. If they locked you in, you’d die in there. You know nothin' about locks, or robbin’ banks.”
“What should I be lootin’ then?”
“You’d do well lootin’ Los Angeles.”
“Why’s that?”
“'Cause of all of the fuckin' porno stores. If Korean snipers didn’t cap your ass, you’d be cleanin' out the sex stores. I can see you runnin' down Hollywood Boulevard with a backpack full of dildos – big black ones.”
“How come Cannonball gets to be a diamond looter, and I gotta be a fuckin' dildo looter? Whattaya tryin' to say?” Ogre pushed out his chest and put his hands on his hips.
“I'm sayin' you fit the dildo-looter profile. There’s somethin' about you that exudes fuckin' dildo lootin'. Cannonball would be grabbin' diamonds, and you’d be grabbin' big black double dildos.”
Ogre grabbed Two Tonys by the neck.
“Hey, motherfucker, don’t fuck with an old man doin' two fuckin' life sentences. You fuckin' fish number!”
Two Tonys’ face turned red.
Ogre choked Two Tonys for a little longer and then released him. “You fucker. I should have choked you out.”
“If – cough! cough! – you're gonna choke me -cough! – for clownin' you about dildos – cough! cough! – then we’re not fuckin' playin’ anymore - cough! cough! cough!
Ogre apologised.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

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29 October 05

Thiefe Keefe

The swindling of prisoners by Keefe reached sinister heights this week. None of us have received credit to our inmate balances for overpriced items we had previously refused, so Keefe, in lieu of our credit, asked us to take the following store items: aspirin tablets, Sunkist Orange Sodas, and – the ultimate deal clincher – Hemorrhoidal Ointment Cleaning Pads. Imagine returning goods to Wal-Mart and being asked to take Hemorrhoidal Cleaning Pads instead of a refund.

Upon hearing the Hemorrhoidal Pad offer, the Junior Bull summed up how the Orangemen were feeling when he told the storeworker,
“I feel like pullin’ your ass through the window right now.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

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27 October 05

Futures Trading Results

Less than six months ago, Long Island and I began trading futures with hypothetical investment stakes of $2000 each.
Long Island’s account value has risen to $6,804, and mine is at $10,099.
I recently profited by arbitraging the energy sector: selling short the leader (natural gas) and purchasing the laggard ( light sweet crude oil), and waiting for the valuation gap to close.
Investors who are in sideways-trading stocks, should consider taking advantage of the bull market in commodities.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

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The charitable organisation, Prisoners Abroad, recently invited Jon's dad to contribute a piece to their Winter Newsletter describing how life is for a parent of an inmate:

Prison Without Bars

I put the phone down and returned to the living room to tell my wife and daughter that our son was facing 25 years in a U.S. prison. That was on May 16 2002, and since that day our life has been a roller coaster ride from one emotional episode to another.

Following his arrest, Shaun spent over two years on remand in facilities run by the notorious U.S. Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Sheriff’s treatment of inmates is well documented, and has led to protests from many human rights groups including Amnesty International.

The distance of 5000 miles from our son’s jail cell has put constraints on the viability of visits, but in the first few months after his arrest, we all managed to go over to see him, behind a plastic screen, manacled to the table and to speak with him via a telephone. It was quite horrendous. But our son being who he is, always arrived in the visitation area wreathed in smiles, with a joke never far from his lips.

My wife, Barbara, urged Shaun to write “to help keep you sane”. This he did with a vengeance.

Letters are a constant in a prisoner’s life, and the ones that Shaun wrote to us from his cell told a disturbing tale of mistreatment and abuse in Arpaio’s jails. We could hardly believe that what he was writing could be true of a civilised country in the 21st century. But he never complained – he just reported to us what happened and what he saw - it was the brutal truth. A truth that contained suicide, cockroach infestations, medical neglect, overflowing sewage and rotten food.

I had just read Salam Pax’s book ‘The Baghdad Blog’, and I thought that a weblog would be a useful way to share Shaun’s letters amongst family and friends, to let them know what it was like in a US jail. Initially we feared for his safety, and so we posted the blogs under the pseudonym of ‘jonsjailjournal which Barbara and I thought up along with an email address. The first batch of Shaun’s pencil-stub written ‘blogs’ were smuggled out with the help of my sister Ann, who lives in Phoenix and who was a frequent visitor to the jail. We typed up and posted the blogs regularly until Shaun was forced to accept a plea bargain from the prosecution – the case was never going to go to trial, they rarely do in the U.S. This was in June 2004. Shaun’s attorney explained to us that it was vital that we attend the sentencing hearing, as we could address the judge and perhaps have some influence on reducing the length of the prison term.

It was the worst day of our lives. We stood up in court, one by one, to plead with the judge for the lower end of the sentencing range. Barbara went first and heartbreakingly addressed the judge begging leniency for her son. Both of my sisters spoke up for Shaun, and then my daughter Karen, who was quite distressed by this time. As she spoke, her eyes brimming with tears, it seemed as though the whole courtroom was awash with emotion, sniffles heard and tissues used even by courtroom officials.

Finally it was my turn. I spoke of prosaic childhood experiences I’d shared with Shaun, but this turned to be too much for him and he broke down with only his attorney by his side to comfort him. This emotional parade appeared to have the desired effect , and after the sentence was handed out - still draconian by any civilised standard - we were allowed to talk to Shaun in the court before he was taken away, his chains jangling with each step. After he was senteced Shaun was moved to a State prison where conditions were better. Away from the jurisdiction of Maricopa County, Shaun went public and we posted his name onto the blog.

Not long after we returned to England, the blog attracted the attention of The Guardian, who ran excerpts in the G2 section entitled ‘Hell on Earth’. This in turn attracted further media interest including local radio, to whom Barbara gave her first live interview, and she stood up well to what was quite hard questioning. Then the BBC interviewed us for the online news service. Now the story was going not only nationwide, but worldwide, as the email address I had set up for Shaun started to receive emails from around the world. Most were overwhelmingly supportive, people had been genuinely inspired by Shaun’s words from his prison cell.

The difficulties of being the parents of a prisoner are many: the whole family serves the sentence, we are in a prison without bars. Our difficulties have been compounded by the distance, and only being able to visit annually. But as we receive Shaun’s letters, and we type them out, it connects us to him in a very real way. The blogs put us alongside him, inside the chow hall, on the rec field, playing chess with ‘Frankie’. We see the characters he describes, some are tragic, many are very funny, but there is an ultimate air of sadness and frustration as we realise that prisoners – everywhere – are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to being treated with both dignity and humanity.

As I write this in September we have just had a week in which Arpaio was visiting the UK as a guest of the BBC, ‘advising’ us on how to run the jails. This visit in turn led to a Phoenix TV station requesting a telephone interview with Shaun - they were running a story exposing the Sheriff’s jail abuses. We were able to see the broadcast on the internet and hear Shaun’s voice for the first time in months, it seemed, ironically, that the Sheriff had done us a favour…

Derick Attwood
25 October 05

Psychotherapy With Dr. Allen (Part 2)

“You mentioned that being unable to reach your full potential in prison is a cause of anxiety. What did you mean by that?”
“I meant because I’m not in front of a computer, trading stocks, doing the work I enjoy the most, but, I have tried to compensate for that by developing other skills.”
“Do you feel that your behaviour in prison is similar to your hardworking self before your arrest?”
“Describe a typical week before your arrest.”
“On weekdays I watched stocks and did online research. I mostly stayed at home with my fiancée, other than when we went to the gym, skating, and the Indian restaurant. I also went to Scottsdale Community College.”
“And what about the weekends?”
“I was a party animal, but I’d almost phased that behaviour out.”
“In my life, I like to spend a whole weekend day doing absolutely nothing, recharging from the stresses of the week.”
“At one time, the weekend merged into one day, a Friday night rave, and after-partying all day Saturday, a Saturday night rave followed by all day partying on Sunday, and sometimes we’d go to the Crow Bar on Sunday night.”
“How was that possible? How did you reconcile that with work?”
“I’d take a Xanax, sleep like a baby, and wake up crisp and fresh.”
“You’re describing two modes again: the party mode, and the reclusive hard worker. So in prison you are in the second mode?”
“Yeah, I’m studying, reading, and writing harder than I ever have before.”
“You said that you were phasing the partying out?”
“Yeah, I’d stopped hardcore raving years before my arrest. When Sammy the Bull lit the Arizona rave scene up, and attracted a bunch of undercover cops into the parties, I moved to Tucson, and tried to live a normal life. My stocks were doing well. Everything was going great.”
“Why did you move back to Phoenix?”
“Because I met, and fell in love with Claudia. We got a place together in Scottsdale. I only went to two raves in 2002. She wasn’t into the rave scene.”
“So you were settling down, and the party lifestyle was on its last legs, you almost had a normal life, and then you got arrested. Most people in that situation would feel bitter about that, yet you seem to take responsibility for what you did?”
“How can I not take responsibility? The wild times I chose led to my arrest. At first I was upset, because of the lies and sensationalization of my case. It was an eye-opener, learning about the crooks working for the system. Some of them are bigger crooks than the people being prosecuted. But now I don’t waste mental energy thinking about that. It’s counterproductive. The talents I’ve discovered, and the results I’m achieving make me think that everything is working out for the best. Perversely, I’m happy that I’ve gone through this because it’s enabling me to develop in different spheres.”
“How did things for you and Claudia work out after your arrest?”
“She visited me religiously for a year. Then she was indicted for a prescription pill found in our medicine cabinet a year earlier, so that meant she could no longer visit me in jail. She stuck with me for over two years, and helped me however she could, and was able to visit me again at Buckeye. My feelings for her grew but then she stopped visiting me earlier this year. I wrote about it in my journal, and I went through more heartache, and wrote her off. Oddly enough, I received a letter from her for the first time in months, last week, and she mentioned ‘getting back on track’.
“And how did that make you feel?”
“Confused. I’m telling myself to go with the flow, see what happens, and enjoy any visits, but to try not to set myself up emotionally again, so I don’t get hurt. Mission impossible, eh? Who am I trying to fool?”
“Sounds like you didn’t quite write Claudia off?”
"Do you miss raving?”
“I miss the music. I couldn’t listen to music for two years after my arrest because it made me sad. I don’t miss my behaviour. I see it as a phase in my life that I can look back on. I feel that until I was arrested, I hadn’t grown up. I was devil-may-care. With incarceration came enforced maturity. I’ve evolved into a more focussed person with wider interests than raving and trading stocks. Previously I would have mocked someone for listening to Vivaldi, or for doing yoga, and other things I enjoy now. I’ve changed a lot and I’m continuing to change and to learn. It’s as if an invisible hand put me here to get me back on track.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
23 October 05

Is Frankie Lonely?

I managed to steer Frankie’s latest come-on in the following direction:

“Englandman, let’s play strip chess” Frankie said.
“How does that work?” I said.
“Whoever loses each game strips something off.”
“Not likely. I’m hetero. No soy homosexual.”
“That’s not what Xena said.”
“What did she say?”
“That you guys were makin’ tortillas.”
“Makin’ tortillas ! What the bloody hell’s that mean? And do I really wanna know?”
“You know what a tortilla is?”
“Yeah, foodwise.”
“Its when you flip-flop. One guy goes, and then the other guy goes. That’s two guys makin’ tortillas.”
“Xena would never say that about me.”
“Ha-ha. Gimme a little taste then.”
“A little taste of what?”
“You know, pinta pussy.”
“What’s wrong with you? Aren’t there enough cheetos here for you?”
“There’s never enough.”
“Aren’t you getting’ any play right now?”
“Hell no! Kenny offered to come in and get freaky, but he ain’t all that. He told me he could suck a dick real good. He’s too fuckin’ old. He’s lost all of the rubber bands holdin’ his asshole together, and he calls himself good. I’d have to kidney punch him a few times to tighten his asshole up, and then his asshole would look like that.”
Frankie curled his right forefinger as tight as possible, forming a puckered hole above his thumb.
“So you won’t be takin’ Kenny up on his offer then?” I said.
“Hell no! The motherfucker walks like a snake, and thinks he’s tight. I can spot 'em a mile away. That’s why they call me Caesar the booty pleaser.”
“Are you missing Yum-Yum?”
“Oh, man, I shit you not.”
“So there’s no one here you fancy?”
”I don’t like none of them. I know when I see a good one 'cause my dick starts throbbin’.”
“What about the lad that cleans your house?”
”I’ve heard on the side that he does, homey. I’ve been treatin’ him real nice. Sometimes he acts like it, but then he plays the man part.”
“So you have a plan to seduce him?”
“By treatin’ him good. Treatin’ him nice. Buyin’ him little things every now and then. He’s startin’ to like me. He comes to my house every day.”
“I don’t see the attraction. If you and him were to go at it, would you think of him, or do you close your eyes and think of women?”
“Hell no! I’d think of him. It makes it better.”
“What about George?”
“I was thinkin’ about having him do my house cleanin’ naked.”
“How much would you pay him for that?”
“A twenty-five cent soup, and he’ll be lucky.”
“Ha-ha. It sounds like you’re lonely?”

Your comments for Frankie would be appreciated.

Cheers! Jon.

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
19 October 05


Two Tonys and I were chatting in the chow hall when we were joined by the scariest looking inmate on Yard 4. To picture Repo, imagine the bald-headed villain in the movie, The Hills Have Eyes, only with the addition of flames and skulls tatooed on his head. He is dangerous by virtue of size – 6 feet 7 and built like Big Bad John. He is a practitioner of aikido. Before this imprisonment, he was a debt collector. He was arrested in a hotel car park attempting to collect a forty-thousand-dollar drug debt, after a terrified hotel guest dialled 911 and reported seeing, “A big man, getting out of a big truck with a big gun.” His debt collection partner was a
twelve-gauge shotgun.

“Did you see the ambulance outside of Buildin’ 2 last night? Some guy blew his asshole out while takin’ a shit,” Repo said.
“I hope my slurpin' my fuckin' chicken noodle soup doesn’t interfere with your discussion about assholes and takin' fuckin' shits. I’m tryin’ to fuckin' eat. Do you mind?” Two Tonys said.
“What’s wrong with talkin’ about shits and assholes?”
“It’s not just that. It seems like every time I sit down to eat my fuckin’ chow, you come around, and the conversation goes straight to shits and assholes and nasty stuff that’s unappetizing to me. We don’t have to talk about splittin' the fuckin’ atom here but we could at least have a normal fuckin’conversation,” Two Tonys said.
“You’ve been down plenee years. You’ve heard worse than shits and assholes.”
“Yeah. And I was in the navy for fuckin’ years keepin’ the Red Chinese from snatchin’ your fuckin’ ass.”
“That’s before my time. If you’d fought on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, you’d get my respects.”
“I was in fuckin’ Blood Alley, in Formosa. If Chairman Mao had of had his way, you’d be speakin’ Chinese and eatin’ noodles with chopsticks, motherfucker.”
“I like Chinese food.”
“You would, you bizarre lookin’ motherfucker. When you get out, I’m gonna send you to the Coast for lunch with Francis Ford Coppola. But when you talk to him, don’t mention people takin’ shits and blowin’ their assholes out, and you might get a bit part in one of his movies as a fuckin’ monster.”
“I can’t go to California. I’ve done too many repetitive dangerous crimes there.”

Repo flexed his neck muscles – enlargening several skull tatoos – and departed.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.
17 October 05

Dawg – Xena’s Pet Tarantula

I was invited to see Dawg in his makeshift home – half a cardboard box strewn with dirt and pieces of dead insects. The brownish-black spider looked like an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare. From Dawg’s bulbous body, eight hairy legs extended almost as wide as my hand.

Xena coaxed Dawg into his hand.
“Here, let me put Dawg on your arm” Xena said.
“But he has fangs – big ones!” I said.
“Dawggy won’t bite you. Don’t be scared.”
“Unlike you, Xena, I try to keep spiders and scorpions at a safe distance.”
“Dawg’s very docile. He’s beautiful. He’s always pleasant, and great to play with. I wash him, and give him baths. I’ve put his fangs on my skin, and pushed his head down. He wouldn’t bite me. I wanted to see what being bitten felt like, but the little fucker wouldn’t do it.”
“Knowing my luck, I’ll be the first person he bites.”
“Don’t be such a chicken-ass Limey! Just sit there and let me put him on your hand.”
Xena manipulated Dawg onto my left wrist. His gentle feet tickled my skin. My fear confronted, I felt at ease. I enjoyed the sensation of Dawg moving up my arm.
“What do you feed him?”
“Crickets. I keep him stuffed, so he won’t want to make a meal out of me.”
“What else do they eat?”
“Other tarantulas.”
“Other tarantulas? How does that work?”
“It’s mostly females eatin’ males. During matin’ season a horny male will go lookin’ for female burrows. He’s like, hey, this smells like a female’s place, and then, it like, cruises in, and plucks the web, like he’s invitin’ himself to dinner, and he’s the meal. She runs out to eat him, and he tries to put her in a trance. He runs under her, and using hooks on his legs, he holds her fangs back, so she can’t chomp down on him. Then he sticks his little pitter-patter – it’s called a pedipalp – into her vag, and injects his semen."
I gasped at Xena's knowledge of tarantula mating habits.
"Next is the tricky bit: he has to let go of her. By this time she’s hungry and pissed off. This is when he wishes he was a fag for sure, 'cause if he don’t get away, he gets eaten. Sometimes they try so hard to get away that the pitter-patter breaks off, and is left up inside her vag.”
“Wow! That’s amazing.”
“I’d be a homosexual if I was a tarantula. Hey, I am a homosexual!”
“Dawg feels cool, but you’d better get him off me before he crawls on my head.”
“Thanks Xena. I’m glad you talked me into letting Dawg crawl on me. I’m not afraid of tarantulas anymore. We love tarantulas!”
"We do love tarantulas!"

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
15 October 05

Futures Trading Update

Hurricanes have affected our recent performance.
Long Island closed out his long soybean position at a loss after dissipating hurricanes watered thirsty soybean crops in the Midwest. As the crops rejoiced, Long Island’s account dipped to $4770.61.

Hurricane Katrina caused energy prices to spike upwards, and I took advantage of the short term psychological extreme by selling short natural gas and oil; when they tumbled, my account rose to $7695.75.

Long Island started a stock trading account on 24th June 05 with a hypothetical initial investment stake of $10,000. After locking in gains in CNS Inc, Motorola, Netgear Inc, and Dresser Rand, his stock account moved up to $14,894.5. He is currently long the US government’s pet contractor and notorious overbiller, Halliburton.

My recent futures account gains were derived from psychological analysis. Each market seems to have its own personality, susceptible to fluctuating emotions and even mental ailments. In order not to be distressed by the seeming irrationality of futures markets, it is necessary to condition one’s mind to be in accordance with market temperaments.

***Readers please note that Jon's and Long Island's trading is hypothetical. Inmates do not have access to computers or the Internet. Nor do they have the funds to trade on the stock market.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
13 October 05

Question Time

Rose asked how long I have to serve and the release possiblities.

In June 2004 I was sentenced to nine and a half years. The sentence began retroactively on 16th May 2002 to include time spent on remand at Arpaio’s jails.
Calculating my actual release date is a convoluted process. I have calculations ranging around late 2007 to early 2008. To get out at the pleasanter end of the range depends upon such factors as continued good behaviour, and being processed expeditiously by INS (US Immigration) who will coordinate my deportation back to the UK.

Park-Ex Sales asked how I’m perceived in the prison pecking order, if I’m afraid to move around, and how often people make trouble with me.

Greg, an Aryan Brotherhood member, said that I’m regarded as “someone who just wants to be left alone to do his time.”
Sadly, being an illegal alien stockbroker from England, seems to have precluded my admission to any of the 25,000 active gangs identified by the Justice Department. Despite my protests about unequal prison gang opportuntities, and demands for affirmative action for incarcerated Brits in America in relation to prison gang work (known as ‘doing dirt’), I remain ostracized, and unranked in the political hierarchy. I’m thinking about filing a motion with the US Supreme Court demanding court ordered gang membership. If that doesn’t work, I’ll bribe my favourite shemale to allow me into COX. (Cult Of Xena)

Being locked down for twenty or twenty two hours every day, means I don’t get moved around often. Although I was sweated by a few individuals when I arrived at Buckeye, I did not succumb and now I’m fine. At rec time I play chess with Frankie, who is well-respected and dangerous if disrespected. Although there is an ever present threat of random violence, it is drugs and drug debts that cause the most problems. There are mischief makers but one learns how to deal with them.

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Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.

Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
11 October 05

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
9 October 05

A Bighearted Teacher

Santa Rita Unit’s GED teacher, an African American named Mr. Davidson, is the kindest prison employee I have encountered. He is the glue holding the GED class together against overwhelming odds. Despite daily disruptions from the students, guards, and weather, Mr. Davidson somehow soldiers on, maintaining sangfroid and a sense of humour.

I’ve seen guards refuse to release students from their cells who were supposed to be at school.
I've felt the dizzying greenhouse effect when the classroom air conditioner remained unfixed for days. But perhaps the teacher’s greatest occupational hazard is the student body, some of whom seem to prefer misbehaviour or badmouthing him, instead of doing schoolwork. Some fake ailments to get outdoors to smoke. One thought it was comical to disrupt the class by asking Mr. Davidson to elucidate on female douching.

Somehow, Mr. Davidson maintains order, perhaps motivated by the joy of providing young people new chances in life. He seems to be on a humanitarian mission. The happiness in his eyes and smile conveys the good karma he generates.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
7 October 05

Bullish Orangemen

Black markets moved significantly higher today due to a two week closure of the inmate store caused by the transition to Keefe Commissary NetworK (KCN). The combination of sudden scarcity and peckish prisoners in a buying mood, pushed the widely followed interinmate commerce index, the Dow Jones Prison Tradeables, up 351 points to 11,233. The continuation of the bull market reflected inmate sceptism flying in the face of persistant ADOC optimism about the near term availability of store items from KCN.

Market leaders continue to excel. The high-nicotine index, known as the FAGPAQ, soared 450 points higher to 5011. Rolling Tobacco (.65oz par value 80 cents) gapped up and closed 1.10 higher at 3.60 in triple average turnover, surpassing last years high of 3.50 set during the Lewis Prison hostage situation. Neil Currie, an analyst at UBS, raised his near term forecast for rolling tobacco to 5.00 and added that “demand factors, such as prisoners on Yard 3 bidding for ten first class stamps for a pouch, should generate higher prices near term.”

Looking at chart patterns, the chip sector, CRISPS, broke out of an ascending triangle formation. Snack King Cheese Puffs exploded from a bullish tight range, climbing .70 to 3.90. Granny Goose Jalapeno Chips moved higher, finishing the session up .35 to 2.10. Nacho Tortilla Chips advanced .40 to 2.55. El Sabroso Pork Rinds climbed .32 to 4.01. Joe Osha, the Merill Lynch chip analyst said that “the delay in bringing Snyder Jalapeno Pretzels and Moon Lodge Pretzels to the market by KCN, while demand is rising, caused me to raise Andersons Thin Pretzels from a buy to a strong buy.”

Increased candy prices accounted for half of the 7% Small Crap gain.
Sour Balls spiked up .75 to 2.50 after a rumour circulated that Michael Milken had been rearrested and was looking to corner the Sour Balls market. Chewey Starbursts rallied .23 to .90. Chocolate Zingers advanced .56 to 6.20. Skittles hit 1.39 intraday, closing up .70 to 1.20, after private junk buyers, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, launched a hostile takeover of Skittles, bidding 1.25 for the entire supply.
Iced Cinnamon Rolls rose .15 to .75, and broke out of a reverse head and shoulders formation on the chart, closing .09 above the neckline. Little Debbys Brownies advanced .37 to 2.55, forming a cup-without-handle pattern.
The session’s lone loser was Zen Cigarette Rolling Kits, which tumbled .15 to .78. Analysts cited the absence of tobacco behind the fall.

Commenting on the run up of the Dow Jones Prison Tradeables and the FAGPAQ bubble, Stephen Roach, a Morgan Stanley economist, said that “the high prices in the P2P (prisoner to prisoner) marketplace should not cause mass unemployment or slow economic growth because the Arizona Dept. of Corrections has managed to keep the wage rate steady at ten cents an hour.”

Meredith Adler, a Lehman analyst, and lone bear, cautioned “store items are trading at dizzying and unsustainable heights. Prices are anywhere from four to six times book values. Accelerating price inflation in the P2P marketplace should cause a recession. Speculators looking for bargains should shop elsewhere.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
5 October 05

New Store Ownership

There is a notice on the control-room window:

As part of the Statewide Privatization of the Inmate Stores… the store operations will be transitioning to a private company, Keefe Commissary Network (KCN).

The entire shopping process will change. You will be submitting a Scantron form or ‘bubble sheet’ itemizing which products you wish to purchase.
Instructions for completeing the bubble sheet will be published soon.
As in all new procedures, we expect glitches, especially in the first runs.

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
3 October 05

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
1 October 05

The First Book
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
Thanks Readers

It is with immense appreciation I am scribbling these words. A deluge of birthday cards, snail mailed from blog readers around the world, has poured into my cell. Your unfailing kindness countinues to affect my life. Your gifts of books are shaping my destiny. I want to express my gratitude, not only for the cards, but also for the emails, and letters of support. You are an endless source of inspiration.

Appreciatively yours,

27 September 05

Psychotherapy with Dr. Allen (Part 1)

Psychotherapy is available again, and I’ve had three sessions with Dr. Allen. The first two sessions were assessment orientated, but during the third session Dr. A began to explore my mind. Here’s some dialogue from session three:

“What’s your definition of success?” Dr. A asked.
“It was material success, but now I know that being mentally successful is what matters.”
“You mentioned big cycles of success and failure in your life, can you describe them for me?”
“I had two big runs: one when I was a stockbroker, and one when I traded stocks online. Both times I thought I had it made. I thought that I had found the right woman. I had plenty of money, cars and gadgets. Then I self-destructed – both times. I partied more, and I lost nearly everything – my wife, my house. The peaks were so high that I felt on top of the world, and the troughs were so low that I contemplated suicide.”
“Here’s what I think, and it may or may not be true: you seem to thrive during the building up part – when you have a challenge. But when you achieve your goals, you look around, and ask yourself: what do I do now? It’s almost as if you have no purpose when your goals are achieved; so, you knock down everything that you’ve built up, and start all over again.”
“That may be true. I sow the seeds of my own destruction with the choices I make. I succeed, my behaviour changes, and before I know it everything is knocked down.”
“It seems as if you allow no happy medium between work and play. You work tirelessly to build everything up, which seems to be your main drive. Then when you’re successful, you switch to the partying and raving which brings you down.”
“That’s correct.”
“You said that for the most part you lived reclusively, but on the weekends you’d go raving and be the life and soul of the party.”
“That’s right.”
“When did you start living reclusively? At what age did you withdraw from your friends?”
“As I became an older teen, I studied more and hung out less with my friends.”
“What did you study?”
“Schoolwork, homework, revision for exams, and I became obsessed with the stock market. I ordered dozens of finance books from Widnes library.”
“Why did you stop hanging out with your friends?”
“They wanted to have fun, later on some got married. I was into studying, whereas, most of my friends frowned on higher education. They celebrated when they finished high school.”
“I have another thought that may or may not be true.”
“Is it possible that your American raver friends were substitutes for those you separated from in England? It’s as if when you went raving you were going back to your original friends.”
“I hadn’t looked at it that way, but it’s possible.”
“Here’s a suggestion: instead of following periods of all-absorbing stock trading and success, with self-destuction and wild partying, perhaps you should organise your time better. What if you researched stocks until three pm, and then allocated time for your social relationships? Wouldn’t you achieve a balance, instead of letting stress build up in your system, switching to partying to deal with the stress, and losing control of your life? You seem to be a well-organised person. Why don’t you organise your life better, starting with managing your time?”

As I wrote this blog, I thought about the comment posted by Stranger in August. Stranger asked how I perceive rave culture, and urged me to reveal more about myself. There are various reasons why I don’t write more about myself, which I would like to put to my readers.

Firstly, the blog was started to expose jail conditions, and to describe jail life. To suddenly start prattling on about myself – I feel – would risk boring readers. I consider myself on the outer limits of the nerd scale, and disinteresting in comparison to colourful characters such as Frankie, Slingblade, Two Tonys and Xena.

I enjoy describing events objectively, as opposed to pushing subjective opinions – especially about myself. I have written attitudinal blogs from time to time because I do discover things that I get emotional about (such as atrocities committed by the Arpaio regime), and I let my opinions flow at the risk of compromising the original format.

I don’t think I could do a good job writing impartially about myself. I don’t fully understand myself, and I am a biased observer.

Finally,by addressing readers questions from time to time, I get to write about reader- requested areas of my life, as opposed to self-selecting areas that may bore readers.

Perhaps psychotherapy dialogues have enabled me to write some unbiased blogs about myself because a professional is asking the questions and doing the probing. Blogging extracts from these therapy sessions seems like a novel way to disclose more about me.

I want to know more about me to become a better person, but I’m unsure how many readers are interested in this area.

Your comments on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.

Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
25 September 05

Commodities Trading Results

From one month ago, Long Islands commodity trading account – started with $2000 – moved up to $5833 and mine advanced to $5018. Long Islands gains came mostly from going long coffee, corn, hogs and gold. He lost money selling short copper, which in trading parlance could be described as jumping in front of a speeding train. My gains came mostly from going long the Mexican peso and selling short US Treasury Bonds.

The price of oil racing to new highs makes my earlier prediction of $100 per barrel this decade seem more realistic. I’ve previously recommended that traders should go long any sell-offs in oil or gold. I think the same strategy should be adopted with copper, which is showing excellent relative strength vis-à-vis the metals.

The two big ifs are whether the dollar and/or the US stock market will snap this year. They are both vunerable. The recent 350% premium on the Baidu.com IPO reminded me of the psychological extremes reached in 1999. If the current animal spirits are symptomatic of a double top then it may still be a while before the rapidly inflating second bubble bursts. But in the meantime: caveat emptor.

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Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.com

Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
23 September 05


The Prison Book Program – a non-profit organisation that sends free books to prisoners – has lost one of its main funding sources, and has had to reduce book shipments.

It was this hardworking organisation that provided Scooby – one of the young Chicanos at SMU2 – with Plato’s Republic and Machiavelli’s Prince. I believe that literacy and access to reading materials are crucial for rehabilitation.

Anyone wishing to help The Prison Book Program can click on the above link. They have been providing free books to prisoners for many years, and they are a worthy cause.

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Jon’s book wishlist – he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.

Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
17 September 05

Book Stoppage

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
17 September 05

CO3 Roberts

Earlier this year Zen suggested that I should seek viewpoints about the prison system from ADOC staff. When I was recently escorted to the CIP building, I quizzed CO3 Roberts in the following manner:

“What do you think about America having the highest incarceration rate in the world?”
“Its terrible. More people should be on house arrest.”
“Do you think an emphasis on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment would be a better approach?”
“To rehabilitate people we’d need meaningful programs. Programs cost money. Society wants its prisoners out of the way at least cost possible. The system we have now is designed to shock prisoners into not wanting to do crimes. Although we have had some directors who’ve discussed it, there is no meaningful rehabilitation.”
“What’s the recidivism rate?”
“I think its over seventy percent.”
“For the State of Arizona?”
“Yes. What’s happening is, for a lot of prisoners, this becomes all they know. They have little or no education, and the code they use in prison doesn’t work in the outside world. When someone’s been down for ten or fifteen years, he’s institutionalised and unable to function in society at all. Especially the old gangsters - they just come right back. Outside they’re nobodies, but in here they’re somebodies.”
“So you’re saying they form identities while in prison?”
“Europeans are flabbergasted by the size of the US prison population. The world hasn’t seen mass incarceration like this since Stalin’s gulags.”
“Drugs and gangs are a big impetus.”
“Is the rate of mass incarceration sustainable?”
“No. People who are in prison who could be at home and employed, and contributing to society, these people should be released and closely supervised. They shouldn’t be locked up.”
“There were seven-hundred-thousand people arrested for marijuana offenses last year, don’t you think that’s obscene?”
“It depends, a person with three hundred pounds of marijuana is different from a personal user.”
“Nine out of ten of them were arrested for petty possession. The Supreme Court has ruled against the use of medical marijuana, enabling the police to raid the clinics.”
“I did notice that ruling.”
“It seems that people are being rounded up to fill all of the prisons they’re building.”
“Yes. They’re building one right down the street. A federal prison which should be open soon.”

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood