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THE BANK ROBBER'S BLOG
JANUARY 2014

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--- DINNER IN THE BLOCK ---
24th January 2014

One thing that I don't like about this joint is that there's no microwaves in the cell block. I'm used to my cell block having about 4 or 5 microwaves, and I'm used to keeping at least one of them hopping. But where there's a will there's always a way.

Tonight I had fried quesadillas that my neighbor made. He's a short bandy-legged Mexican named Sancho and he makes them by putting oil into a small trash can that's made out of thick plastic. He then straight wires a "Stinger" to his light socket and drops the wire into the grease to bring it to a boil. Once it's boiling, he drops in the quesadillas and the delicious smell wafts all along the tier. A Stinger is a contraption that's made out of wire and hooks to live current that can be dropped into liquid to make it boil. He had chicken or steak quesadillas and they were great. They cost three stamps each ($1.50) and I ate two. I dipped them in sour cream and just like a fat person at the drive thru, I washed them down with a ice-cold Diet Pepsi.

Dinner in the block. Not too shabby.

Jeffrey P. Frye
murderslim.com
Bank Robber's Blog
bankblogger.weebly.com
@bankblogger2

--- THE COST OF BEING A GUNSLINGER IN AMERICA ---
17th January 2014

I was recently telling The Girl With The Panda Tattoo how for the most part, prison is filled with people who are not capable of Big Thought and how that prison is filled with a lot of people who are not capable of any real kind of emotional reciprocity. I feel sure that all of you know people like this. These are the kind of people who listen to you while you're talking, and have a seemingly attentive air about them, but who wait until you pause to catch a breath and then use the opportunity to dive into the conversation and say something about themselves and make it about them. Prison is filled with this particular brand of narcissist. Here's how a random conversation with one of these people goes for me:
Me: My mother died yesterday. She was run over by an ice cream truck as she crossed the street.
Inmate Narcissist: I love ice cream.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't plead guilty with the hope of finding good conversation, but I was at least hoping for more than this.
I'll tell you something else that I honestly believe. That not everybody that graces the halls and cell houses of federal penitentiaries is what I consider to be a legitimate criminal worthy of taking up a bed in a federal prison paid for by the American taxpayer to the tune of $30,000.00 a year. At least with me the taxpayers know they're getting their money's worth.

As I'm sure that you've ascertained by now, the Bank Robber's Blog is not a political blog. I'm a felon...not a pundit, and I have no particular axe to grind, although people occasionally ax me to grind one of theirs. I look at this as more of a criminal voyeur's blog or a reality blog and I am still in awe of the fact that Murder Slim Press is actually loonier than I am and allows me this penal pulpit from which to postulate and pontificate to you pleasant people. Cheers to you Murder Slim! You're always the first blokes that me and my boys allegedly toast when we allegedly drink moonshine (which we of course don't do since it's against the rules).

Unlike England, America is a nation of guns. When We The People sought to form what we considered to be a more perfect union, the first amendment to our constitution dealt with free speech. The very next one dealt with guns and a person's right to bear arms. A lot has changed since 1776, but this one hasn't, and subsequently the United States of America produces more guns annually than any other nation in the world. It's worthy to also point out that the U.S. also incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation in the world. Within the demographic of convicted criminals in federal prison, a large portion of them are doing time for guns. There's a cost to being a gunslinger in America. This is certainly no accident. Since the eighties, politicians have sought to be elected and reelected by running their campaigns on platforms of "Law and Order" and by passing more gun laws. Here's some federal laws and the time that these offenses carry that most criminals aren't aware of and usually only learn about when they hit the inside of a federal courtroom as they're being arraigned:
*Get caught with a gun after being previously convicted of a crime that carried more than one year and you face up to ten years (18 U.S.C. 922(g)).
*Get caught with that same gun and have three previous convictions for crimes that were classified as drug crimes or crimes of violence (even domestic violence) and you'll spend a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of LIFE (18 U.S.C. 924(e)).
*Get caught with a sawed-off shotgun-10 years (mandatory) (18 U.S.C. 924).
*Get caught with a silencer-30 years (mandatory) (18 U.S.C. 924).

All of these sentences are "No Parole" sentences.

You've often heard me refer to myself as a "Dumb old Bank Robber who forgot to wear a mask", but I can tell you one thing that I had enough sense not to do when I robbed branch Banks filled with unarmed employees: Pull a gun. If I had, I would never be free again. Keep reading and you'll see why.

All violent crimes and most drug offenses that involve a gun in America carry laws that mandate that the time for the gun be run consecutive to (separate from) the actual crime that the person committed. Further more, the time for each time a gun was possessed increases with each possession count. The first time you get caught possessing a gun during a drug crime or crime of violence, you get five years; every single time after that you get 25 years for each separate offense. Let me break this down to you in order to make it a little clearer.
A person who robs three Banks in the United States of America (who is unarmed and makes no threats) will get somewhere around five years in federal prison if they get caught. But a person who robs the same three Banks and lifts his shirt and shows the butt of a gun in his waistband will get the nickel for the robbery, and then get 55 years for just the gun counts that accompany the robberies (5+25+25) as mandated by federal law 18 U.S.C. 924(c). You're probably thinking, "Well, the person shouldn't be robbing banks to begin with, and they damn sure shouldn't be waving guns around a bank." This may be the Bank Robber's Blog and I may be a dumb old Bank Robber who forgot to wear a mask, but you sure won't get an argument from me on that one. You are right.

But consider a guy in the feds named Gerald Thomas, Jr.

Junior was born and raised in New York state and went to college and eventually worked for insurance giant AIG. He sold weed to supplement his income and reveled in being "The Man" and liked to brag about his dangerous exploits and what a gangster he was, even though he really wasn't. Unfortunately, he bragged to an informant (whose chest was wired like Radio Shack) about having a gun while he sold weed on three separate occasions. The informant subsequently got up on the stand and testified to this at his trial. The jury convicted Junior and the judge gave him a mandatory 55 years with no parole for the gun counts. His brother (and codefendant) fared even worse and was given 155 years for possessing guns that were never used to kill, let alone hurt anyone, and that were never even fired or in some cases even seen. Barring a commutation by the President of the United States or a change in the law, both brothers will die in prison.

Are the American taxpayers getting their money's worth by paying for the housing, food, and healthcare of a weed-selling insurance salesman for the next 55 years? Not by a long shot.

After I finished my conversation earlier in the day with The Girl With The Panda Tattoo, I walked up to the second tier and stood in front of my house with my foot on the rail and drank a strong cup of Joe as this blog started percolating. I was standing next to the guy who lives in the cell next door to me and I started a winded, indignant rant about the Thomas brothers and told him the story of how one brother got 55 years and the other got 155 years for nothing more than gun possession and how now for the rest of their lives their parents would have to go to prison visiting rooms just to visit them. When I was finished, my neighbor sighed and looked out into the criminal ether and said, "I love guns."

Imagine that.

Jeffrey P. Frye
murderslim.com
Bank Robber's Blog
bankblogger.weebly.com
@bankblogger2

--- TOENAIL MOONS AND GOOD LOOKING CHEESEBURGERS ---
12th January 2014

Happy Cheeseburger Day!!! Last week they served up a cheeseburger that wasn't too shabby, and they've got those big fat steak fries out here here that are as big as leg bones. They must get 'em from Texas or something. Or maybe Idaho. I think that's close to here. The sunrises and sunsets out here are pretty awesome too.

When I went out this morning I saw the sky to the East throwing up a bright pink and magenta that bled into a deep blue that had a toenail moon and stars in it, that was actually the night sky getting its morning wake up call. I'm seeing it all from behind a 20 ft wall and the contrast between ugliness and beauty is a little unsettling some times. It's kind of like seeing my baby momma 20 years ago and then looking at her now. Thank God Cheeseburger Day stays eternally beautiful.

Jeffrey P. Frye
murderslim.com
Bank Robber's Blog
bankblogger.weebly.com
@bankblogger2

--- BREAKING BAD WITH THE GOAT MAN ---
7th January 2014

It's a common misperception that all people who are deemed certifiably insane are carted off to mental hospitals. They're not. More often than not they are sent to federal prison, and upon arriving, they eventually seek me out. And in some cases, they're given to me as cell mates. It used to drive me crazy, and it was already a short drive, but now I'm just glad for the fresh material. The latest in this litany of lunatics is my present cell mate Pedro.

Pedro is my third cellie here at the Federal Transit Center at Oklahoma City and while he has some strange proclivities that you will learn about in this blog, his most distinguishing characteristic is his snoring. Throughout the years I've had some cellies that would snore. Jesus, have I. But Pedro takes the cake. He sounds like Bike Week in Sturgis. Last night it got so bad that I got up in the middle of the night and broke open a razor and sat on the edge of my bunk and used it to cut pieces out of my shower shoes and then I took the plugs of foam and shoved them down my ears and then took a long white tube sock and tied it around my head to hold them in. I finally had to loosen the sock because my eyes were bulging, but it did the trick. Before Pedro went to sleep though he told me his story, as most of the psychos back here feel the need to do.

Pedro is a pot-bellied 50 year old Mexican from Texas that has a typically droopy mustache and a permanent 5 o'clock shadow. He looks a bit like The Frito Bandito. He has tattoos of his family and various saints tattooed all over his chest, stomach, and his back that tell his life story...as he was so kind to share with me when he stripped off his right after lockdown. He pointed out his Madre and on his chest, then spun around and reached over his shoulder to point out his Padre and little Hector and Maria, and then he lifted up a stubby arm and showed me a picture of a goat with robust horns that he'd had tattooed on his side right underneath his armpit. He identified this as one of his "Show Goats." It was a nice looking goat, as far as goats go. I wondered if it was AGC registered, or if there even is a Goat Registry, but I was scared to ask. After he'd put his arm down he scratched a stubby finger in his whiskers and asked me, "You know anything about goats, Senor?" I replied, "Nahhhhhh. Nahhhhhh" but he didn't get the joke. He proceeded to tell me that he owned over 6000 goats at his ranch in Texas and that it was a very profitable venture. Sensing that he had a captive audience, and mistaking my silence as interest, he proceeded to explain the different kinds of goats and how some of them were Show quality. Who woulda known that such a thing as a Show Goat even existed? Certainly not me. But I could picture Pedro sown South of the border in a cowboy hat, blue jeans complete with big shiny belt buckle, and pointy-toed cowboy boots, riding around his ranch in his Chevy Silverado pickup truck as he tended to his Goat empire.

After I was sure that he'd talked himself out, he asked me, "Have you ever taken drugs, Senor?" I replied, " I was part of a doping scandal that involved performance enhancing drugs." He nodded and said, "Ahh" like he understood and then asked, "You took steroids, no?" I said, "No, I took heroin. I was robbing Banks, not cycling around the countryside of France." Then, after feeling a bond with me that only talking about one's goats can bring, he proceeded to tell me why he was in prison. Come to find out, Pedro broke bad.

Pedro is doing 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute Ice. I don't know if you've ever met a true speed freak, but these people completely light up when they talk about cooking methamphetamine. Most of these people are uneducated, but they talk about mixing chemicals like they're Harvard professors. I'm met several throughout the years, but none quite like Pedro. And certainly none that raised goats. He proceed to tell me how he would get 5 kilos worth of liquid from the cartel and how it came in a bucket with a vented top and was a clear liquid, but syrupy. He would pay roughly $14,000.00 per kilo for this liquid that he would eventually turn into about 7 kilos and retail for $1000.00 or so an ounce. There are about 34 ounces in a kilo, so you do the math. He explained that he would take the liquid and heat it at a temperature of between 140 and 160 degrees for 45 minutes or so. Then he would dip a spoon into it and pull it out with shards attached to it that looked like icicles. The shards would be yellow and then he would spray them with fingernail polish remover which would have the effect of turning the dope white. He would catch the runoff from the nail polish remover and re-cook it to make more dope. Dr. Pedro would cut his dope at a 50% mixture (500 grams of cut to every 1000 grams of dope) by using horse vitamins, which I thought was very Green of him. I asked him what he did with the wash from all that he'd cooked when he was finished, and he said that he'd sometimes lightly mix it in the goat feed. After he told me this, I pictured Pedro's goats running laps around the South 40 and humping everything in sight. No wonder goats are always head-butting each other.

Pedro finally talked me to sleep, which proves that God is indeed merciful. Unfortunately, I woke up to Pedro laying flat on his back with his arm hanging off of the top bunk and making a noise that sounded like an 18 wheeler gearing down on the interstate. As I laid there listening to this Mexican make a monstrosity of noises while I had pieces of my flip flops jammed down my ears, I considered what it might be like to get out of prison and get a piece of property and cook Ice and raise goats and become a Goat Baron. Apparently they sleep really well.

Jeffrey P. Frye
murderslim.com
Bank Robber's Blog
bankblogger.weebly.com
@bankblogger2

--- AULD LANG SINE... 2013 ---
1st January 2014

What a year 2013 turned out to be. I started out the year making fish tacos for my cats and watching football and eating a Five Star Meal I'd prepared for my friends at USP Lewisburg, and I'm ending the year 1000 miles away and a couple of prisons later playing Scrabble at FTC Oklahoma City as I wait to catch a plane to my new joint in Southern California.

In spite of the fact that I spent six months of 2013 in solitary, I don't really have any complaints. Was it hard? Sure, but my life is hard...just like everybody else's. It's all relative. There's a popular saying that even I sometimes use that goes, "Life is about how you play the cards you're dealt." But the truth is that for the most part, we are the "Dealers" of our own cards in life. The German philosopher Nietchze said that one definition of insanity is "Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results" and I plan to at least attempt to not repeat in 2014 the mistakes that I made in 2013. But I'm still a work in progress. All of life is about heaven and hell; laughter and tears; joy and pain. All of life is about the yin and the yang, and all of life is about change. Out there or back here. Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.

Instead of dwelling on the negative things that happened in my life this past year, I prefer to look at all of the positive things that transpired. I prefer to look at my cracked glass as being half full. In the last year, I met several nice people from all over the world as readers to my blog continued to grow; my first book was released; my first children's book is completed and in the "Proof" stage; I bought Gnomez a new sombrero; I lost five pounds; I joyfully participated in 50 Cheeseburger Days; and I managed to piss off three separate wardens in various parts of the country. All good stuff.

Tonight I'll be spending the evening playing Scrabble. The three people who will be attempting to best me are a big fat Mexican named Tito from San Diego who has a bald head and "Pump Your Brakes Bitch" tattooed on the side of it; a skinny white guy from Dallas who looks crafty, speaks Russian fluently, and has one eye that doesn't open all the way...I call him Lee Harvey; and a tall white guy with a gray flat top and gold wire-rimmed glassed that I call Bomber Bob.

Bomber Bob has a short fuse and an explosive temper. He is a former air traffic controller who after becoming disgruntled and quitting his job placed bombs in four of his ex coworkers homes. They detonated, but much to Bomber Bob's dismay, nobody was hurt. He received half the sentence that I did and in it's infinite wisdom, the BOP waived the judge's recommendation that he take anger management because he told his case manager that he was taking meditation classes.

I love playing Scrabble, and in spite of the fact that I'm not the brightest bulb on the string, one thing I do know how to do is spel. I commonly make up words while playing Scrabble and give fake definitions for the ficticious words. Last night I put on my serious face and laid down the word "ilf." I explained that it was a small donkey that was indigenous to the Himalayan mountains, then I shut up and gave my fellow Scrabblers the Medium Eye. After a minute or so, Lee Harvey said to Tito, "Yeah. I think Shirley McLain and her Sherpa rode an ilf when she went to the Himalayas." Tito seemed to consider this for a minute and then nodded and said, "I think I heard that too" and they let it slide. Having gotten away with my last crime of 2013, I felt the need to talk some smack so I called them all losers for not challenging a word so blatantly false as ilf. It was too much for Bomber Bob. He exploded and screamed, "FUCK!!!!!" and pounded the table and walked off. So much for those meditation classes and that Zen-like state, huh? I checked my cell for bombs before I went to bed though.

So that is how I plan to close out this year: Using words to entertain people, including myself. I hope that all of you out there in the bloggersphere are drinking copious amounts of alcohol as you read this New Years Blog. And I wish all of you well and hope that you have a prosperous 2014. I'll see ya next year.

Jeffrey P. Frye
murderslim.com
Bank Robber's Blog
bankblogger.weebly.com
@bankblogger2