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Hey everyone.  What’s good?

As always I love your letters.  And, no, I’m not going bald.  Hahaha!  Even though my haters say that they can see where it’s going thin.  I tell them not to put that evil on me!  Hahaha!  Nah, I keep my hair short because I don’t want to grow it out anymore.  Leo got fired from the barbershop, so he can’t take care of my hair anymore.  Besides, I’ve got the waves to make everyone seasick!  Hahaha!  As for getting fat an ounce – never happen.  Hahaha!  I work out, play ball, do yoga, and I have a really high metabolism.

“Hurt not others with that which pains you.” = Buddha.

I am working on that one.  Yeah.

As I am,

Prince

Fortune, Daniel

Daniel Fortune, Augusta, Charged with theft and Guerrette home invasion

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Mama Love would cll out to me as soon as I stepped through the door.  I never realized how much this acknowledgement meant until she died and nobody called out to me when I entered the house that used to be my  home.  I loved being noticed and welcomed when I came home.  I know now it was just another way of her telling me, “I love you, I see you, and I notice you are home.  Your presence matters to me.”  I would take my shoes off and make my way down the hallway (a.k.a. the “hall of fame,” named this because fromt he tops of the shoe racks to the ceiling on botrhe sides the walls were covered with pictures and accomplishments.  School pictures, family pictures, action pictures and any plaques that we had won were proudly displayed for any who cam into our house to see.

As I walked into the kitchen it was my habi to immediately go to Mama Love and give her a hug and kiss.  Mama Love was a big woman.  Her size was comforingly soldid.  You felt her when you hugged her or she hugged you.  Her love surrounded you.  She was warm, alive.  She would then pull back and looking into my eyes ask, “How are you?”  If I said I was good she would not respond, just continure to look into my eyes.  Then, if she was satisfied I was telling the truth, she would turn back to her cooking.

In my house, meals were made with love.  We were not rich, and with four or more boys at any given time eating, simple, less expensive meals were the norm.  Yet, in the years since her passing whenever I have eaten the same hamburger helper meals, they have never been able o compare.  The only thing I can attribure this to is the absense of Mama Love.  I think it was becauise of how much she loved us.  Her cooking was an expression of this love and wanting us to be happy and healthy.

The people that suffered the most from my learning how to cook were my brothers.  We didn’t waste a lot of food in our house so even if I messed up on the measuring of ingredients the meal was served, and in the beginning I messed up a lot.  Mama Love was not one for measurement utensils.  She was from the school of eyeballing it.  What she neglected to mention was that her skill at eyeballing was acquired through years of practice.  Needless to say, in the beginning as loath as she was to throwing food away, sometimes we had McDonald’s, or cereal, or take-out.  Like the first time I made one of my favorite meals, tacos (with soft taco shells of course, because who really likes hard taco shells which crumble or break, and generally are more frustrating than enjoyable) and I “eyeballed” the amount of seasoning, which resulted in taco meat that was inedible and identifiable as taco meat only to me, because I was the one who cooked it.

The next step after the measurements was the amount of time that the food cooked for.  Just as she was not a believer in actually measuring ingredients, she also did not believe in timers.  This was evidenced in her multi-taking abilities.  She would put the food on the stove or even the oven, then give baths, correct homework, coordinate rides to or from practices, dispense discipline and whatever else needed to be done.  No matter what she was doing she knew when the food needed to be stirred, when more or less heat was needed, and even when it was done.  I can’t tell you how many times she would be in other parts of the house and would call out: “Mark/Dan.Leo – stir the food, take it out of the over, turn the stove off.”  It took more time to learn this skill than it did to  measure-to-eyeball ingredients.  I would put food on, then get distracted by my phone or the t.v. or a book.  I would remember what I was supposed to be doing when I smelled the food burning.

This lead to a rule: “If you’re cooking, you’re cooking; everything else can wait.”  The implementation of this rule lead to a dramatic and immediate improvement in the meals I prepared, and my brothers were very appreciative of this.  As my skill increased I began to understand why my Mama Love liked cooking so much.  It felt good to feed my family, to know that they relied on me to provide for them and to make sure that not only it was filling but that it tasted good as well.  On nights that I had successfully made and served dinner I would sit and eat with a deep sense of satisfaction that I had never felt before.  I had accepted responsibility and was helping my family.

Later on, when Mama Love became sick, cooking turned from something I did because I wanted , to something I did because it was needed.  These were some of my first lessons in being a man.  I learned that responsibility meant doing the things that you needed to do instead of only doing things that you wanted to do.  Since Mama Love died, I cannot cook without thinking about her.  The times that we spent in the kitchen are some of the best memories of my life.l  In fact, I don’t like cooking if it is only for myself; for me, cooking is intertwined with family and love.

As I am,

Prince

danny.graduation

Hey everyone,

Got a letter from Circle.  Tell Melanie I haven’t forgotten about her.  I did write one letter to her and I guess she never got it (someone must have gotten it, because I didn’t get the envelope back in the mail.  Glad to hear that Lyssarian’s wedding went well.  So, the first minister’s brother-in-law run himself over with his own truck?  Well, I did hear of something similar happening to one of the actors in the new Star Trek movies.  Seems the young actor who played Chekhov in the new movies got hit and killed by his own car that he was working on.

I read Rage’s article in the newspaper that Circle sent me.  Had to chuckle a little about the part where you look out the window and a kid rides by on his bike and is waving around a machete and screaming.  Thankfully the cops weren’t around.

Guys, I hate to ask you this, but brother, could you please spare an eight dollar money order?  I haven’t heard from my sister yet and I”m down to my last bar of soap and I have just enough money left to order an extra bar.  One of the guys in here who went home a few weeks ago gave me a bar of deodorant.  The other guys in here do the two-for-one thing and they probably would have to wait a while.

Can’t believe that it’s almost the end of summer.  Holy cow.

Well, good night.

Kenneth McDonald

kenny

CCI08092017

CCI07022017_0012.jpg

T = Thinking.

After research and reflection, here are what my underlying thoughts on philosophy are: if philosophy is about how to live by learning how to die, then not having hope or faith is a serious problem.  For as Bertrand Russell says in the Value of Philosophy: “It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found, and only those who are not indifferent to these goods can be persuaded that the study of philosophy is not a waste of time.”

Philosophy is valuable because it exposes us to questions that might not have answers.  I ascribe to the thought that a major part of the value of philosophy is in its very uncertainty.  The man who does no know philosophy will be imprisoned by prejudices formed by common sense.  To this man the world becomes definite, obvious, and finite.  Everyday objects which need no questions, and what is not familiar is not welcome.

When we begin to philosophize we find that even the simplest questions can lead to problems that may not be solved.  There cannot be a value on one asking questions in order to find one’s answers for oneself, not settling for what we are being told.

As I am,

Prince

danny-graduation.jpg

 

Hi, Circle.
Not much going on here lately, just another boring summer. I’m playing lots of horseshoes. Is there a professional league for horseshoe players, cuz if there’s any money in it, I’m really good.
This one guy keeps following me around and some guy told me that he’s after my mangina. That’s not gonna happen.
I’m good at horseshoes.
Running Deer

runningdeer1

Hey, Circle, how’s it going?

Hey, yes, I heard from Melanie.  How did she get the nickname, “Dolphin” anyway?

Well, here it is, it’s June and it’s cooler than normal.  Oh, well, it will warm up soon.  Hey, keep an eye and ear open for free RPO day this summer.  On that day you get a free bag of gaming goodies, when you go to a comic and gaming store.  Try to go to a gaming convention this year too.  I believe that the university of Maine Mall has an anime/gaming convention.  Or, you can just look up “gaming conventions in Maine” on the internet.  Still looking for those spells from the Dragonsfoot website, if it’s still around.  I am trying to get as many spells from that website before it shuts down for some reason, like a man made or natural disaster and then everything on the internet is forever lost.  They have some great spells and I would hate to see them forever lost.  I would like the first through third level spells  and the first three firth level magic user spells from that website as well as a list of first and second level spells that they have so I can pick out the ones that I need.  Still looking for the populations of the following Maine towns as well.  Planning on putting them in my campaign world:  Machias, Machiasport, Arundel, York, Freeport, East Port, Boothbay Harbor, Iselsboro, Vinalhaven, Monhegan Island, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Pemmaquid, Harpswell, Crownpoint, Nooseneck, Pelican Point, Hardshell, Salmonfirm, Vaginaville.

So, how is everything going?  Does the landlord know about the cats yet?  How is the game going so far?

Well, it’s official:  I found out that my sister and her husband have sold the house and are leaving for Texas.  They got sick and tired of Maine winters.  Now, I have to find out how much money I can have in my account.  Because after they’ve got settled in Texas, she plans to send me some of the money from the sale, plus she is setting some aside for me for after I get out!  Now, that’s one good sister.  By the way, the last five towns listed are out of state.

Well, it’s Sunday night, and it’s the “Return of the Walking Dead” on AMC, and it’s not just about the zombies; it’s abou8t the people.

Well, good night.

Kenneth McDonald

kenny

Dear Circle,

Thank you very much, it will help me a lot.  I can’t get anyone else to send me any money other than Leah, which I got here to cash my check and I paid here to do it and didn’t see much of it either.

I am playing pool and horseshoes and watching t.v. I’m not going to church or A.A. meetings or Native Group.  Not for me.  Yeah, about the anger is a big problem with me.  I am working on that.  I am definitely moving back to Augusta when I get out, maybe I’ll run for city council.  But I might move.  I don’t know yet.

God bless,

Running Deer

runningdeer1

“The Philosopher needed to be trained not only to know how to speak and debate, but also to know how to love.” – Piere Hadot

The philosophers of old were not concerned with ready-made knowledge, but with imparting that training and education that would allow their disciples to “orient themselves in thought, in the life of the city or the world.

When I first started this class I thought that I was ready to be a philosopher, that I would soon be philosophizing with the best of them. I was under the mistaken impression that Professor Bill would give me some magical key and that I would soon unlock the potential to reason and to think. Instead, Professor Bill made me stop and slow down. He showed me that the best thing I can do is to ask questions.

As Plato says, “The un-examined life is not worth living.” I have spent months and years in solitary confinement and have spent a lot of this time “examining” my life. I thought that this meant I was ready to be a philosopher, but I was wrong. The first day Professor Bill asked us two things that I will never forget. The first was that if we could not answer the question of why suicide was not a viable option for us then we were not ready for philosophy. [now, before you (the reader) ask what the hell kind of class is this? Relax. I will explain why that question is important in another letter, so stick with me.]

The second important thing he told us is that Philosophy is about learning how to die. As a Muslim, both of these statements immediately made me think about Allah and my relationship with Him. Suicide is not allowed in Islam and the vast majority of Muslims will automatically think about Allah when the subject of death is broached. For this last critical reflection I will, in my next letter, talk about one of the most important lessons I learned in class: my belief that in order to be a philosopher, you must either believe in either hope, or in God.

As I am,

Prince

Fortune, Daniel

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

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