My Life After Release continues to be an adventure as I continue to live and learn, after my return to society as if being a caveman who walked out of a cave into a bright new world filled with gadgets and devices that were not available in 1988 when thrown into a cage to protect society.
Life is wonderful, full of surprises and a host of challenging situations but only as challenging as I chose to perceive them to be.
The truth is that life just happens, and I make a decision on how to view any event or chain of events. I chose to see challenging situations as an opportunity to learn.
No day passes without me having learned something beneficial.
Though living my life in a respectful manner and focusing on doing the right thing, I still must be on guard for the character defects that ruled my life many years ago; especially, the pride when driven by Mr. EGO, the one who feels the need to defend that scared little boy who grew up fighting to keep the bullies and predators at bay.
If left unchecked, Mr. EGO would have me right back in jail or dead. Fortunately, I have learned when to walk away from a situation to avoid a catastrophe or unpleasant outcome in a dispute. Humility. Not humiliation.
In Life After Release-3 I wrote about a Smartwatch with a phishing link, designed to steal personal data. That is a screenshot of the culprit shown above.
When I bought the watch for $14.99 on Woot, an Amazon company, I thought I had gotten a great deal because it was advertised as normally listing for $99.99.
A month later, I find the following when researching to write this blog about learning to deal with life in this new era, and deciding to use the thieving smartwatch as an example that met its match with my smartphone:
Woot must have not known about the 2020 HOT DZ09 Smartwatch shown above that sells for $1.99 on Wish.com, not $99.99 as advertised to sucker people in like me to buy it for a deal.
Who would have guessed that the smartwatch was a thief programmed to steal?
When I received the security warning from Google on my Motorola One Zoom with the Android 10 update, I complained to Woot about the smartwatch having the phishing link included, and though Woot did give me a prompt refund, I later saw the Smartwatch still being sold.
But to be fair to the manufacturer and Woot, the smartwatch I received may have been one of a select group of smartwatches primed to steal personal data when connected to the phone after scanning the QR Code.
I was told to keep the smartwatch. Even though I do not have it connected to my phone, I don’t trust that darn smartwatch because I don’t know just how smart and scandalous it is with today’s technology. I lay it facedown to make sure that the camera isn’t spying on me and sending the data to its operator. 🙂
Now, as part of me making an honest living, unlike the scandalous individuals behind the thieving smartwatch, I am learning to be an affiliate marketer, who will earn a small commission for any product or service advertised, if purchased.
For both of these ads, I watched the promotional videos and was impressed with both. Ads for each one is contained elsewhere on this website.
ProVen is a weight loss product and is advertised as time sensitive so if trying to lose weight and feel the product will work, act sooner than later. I did not find negative information about either of the promotional items.
Straight From the Pen does not guarantee the product or service; however, ClickBank.com does provide a 60-day, money back guarantee for the weight loss supplement, ProVen:
ProVenClick to watch the impressive video for ProVen, a product claimed to be based on science and does contain information to support its position.
Life After Release takes on different forms for me each day. One thing I try to remember is not forgetting how I felt trapped inside as a man imprisoned and often helpless to do what I knew I was capable of, such as what I do now: write professionally on a computer and blast words around the world with a few strokes on a keyboard.
Though I blasted a lot from Inside the prison system because I was published in International magazines, and paid to have this website built, and paid to use an expensive and convoluted emailing system to type blogs to send to my publisher for posting, I couldn’t do as I do now as a free man.
For the last week I’ve been working on this website and another to increase loading speed and functioning (still in process). I upgraded the hosting plan on another website to improve its functioning and security, and worked on it to facilitate my affiliate marketing agenda.
I remain committed to become more successful than I have at this point of life, regardless of my having done well since my release.
Stars Shine Ahead!
GOODWILL Floor Care
Along with the above, I’ve continued to work on my regular job like an Alaskan malamute 1 (dogs commonly seen pulling sleds through snow and ice), cleaning and beautifying floors in Goodwill Stores by sweeping, mopping, removing old wax with chemicals, razor blades, and machines, before waxing to make it sparkle and shine with reflections from the overhead lights.
1 The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, well-muscled body. Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Information
Topics for Change
I often wonder about topics to post that will benefit others in some way, whether by drawing attention to a cause, or simply allowing those trapped behind the walls, bars, and fences of prisons to have their voice heard.
Yesterday, my course of action became clear when a man Inside reached out for help. I listened to his plea and am sharing the following message from the man who is a contact inside the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
My hope is for those who care about what goes on Behind Closed Doors to contact the news media personnel provided by the imprisoned individual who cared enough about the COVID-19 situation inside the prison to risk his safety and security by sending an email he knows the prison administration would frown upon and could chose to retaliate against him.
This Door I Refuse to Keep Closed and Am Shouting Out His Plea for Help!
COVID-19 and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Received October 3, 2020
Message from Concerned Wisconsin Department of Correction Prisoner
“I hope you are doing well! I’m straight, I think! My test from when the National Guard tested us was negative ( well they didn’t come to my cell door for me or my celly – as of right now. ) However, it is scary right now!!
“Usually, I would send you a memorandum directly from the Warden/etc. so that I don’t relay unconscious bias opinion when I make my objective and personal opinion of the direction of the institution. However, they are not communicating with us of what is going on. If it is not to create hysteria it is having the opposite. Communication would make this that more easily bearable.
“Personally, I understand that Oshkosh is the most populated institutions in the state. That it is practically impossible to isolate the outbreak of positives cases within for the required 14 days. Technically, if you’re having symptoms or have COVID you’re quarantined but what about the in cases of you have it, but your cellmate doesn’t. Well they are still celled together. The negative guy is panicking. Get me out of here. Yesterday they took a guy out on a stretcher to the hospital because his oxygen levels were extremely low.
“We as inmates don’t make it better because we weren’t or not self-reporting if we have or had symptoms.
“We can’t clean rooms, no showers, no phones to communicate with your people.
“I don’t know if you will receive this email, please let me know if you did. Sent 9-3-2020 at 10:22 am! [Date is probably an error: 9-3-2020 is likely meant to be 10/3/2020 as it was received on October 3, 2020).
“People are not allowed private communication with their lawyers!!!!
“I know people have been contacting you about issues about state food shortages and portions, hot water for coffee is something we have to sacrifice but safety is supposed to be priority # 1 but to have a positive and a negative celled up is dangerous.
“A few said they are having or have had their people call to the institution for what exactly I don’t know. My position is it’ll do nothing to complain to the person or people that are making the inconsistent decisions to correct them. You must, we must contact local news and or court tv of the mistreatment and mishandling.
“This is a list of possible people that have drawn interest in prison issues: Kia Murray at email@example.com (Northeast Wisconsin fox11news); firstname.lastname@example.org Northeast Wisconsin news); Julia Jena @ court tv news # 470-355-8635; Sara Thomsen at email@example.com fox valley local news.
“Without contacting those people to bring awareness things will only get worse! Hoping that this goes away is not the answer. Thanks for your time and I looking forwarded to hearing from you.”
[I chose to protect his identity]
Prisoners are human, too, even if some may not behave that way.
Please do what you can to draw attention to what continues to go on Inside this particular prison and many others around the Nation and abroad.
In the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, as of October 2, 2020, more than 124 prisoners have died. Here is a partial report from the actual statistics
“The inmate totals listed do not include inmates participating in the Federal Location Monitoring program, inmates supervised under the USPO, or being held in privately managed prisons. Additionally, the reference to the FCI Butner Low below refers to an isolation unit that is physically separated from the rest of the LSCI. References to RRCs include both individuals housed at the RRC and individuals on home confinement under the RRC’s supervision.
“10/02/2020 – The BOP has 126,586 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,375 in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. There are 1,565 federal inmates and 726 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 13,452 inmates and 1,164 staff have recovered. There have been 124 federal inmate deaths and 2 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease. Of the inmate deaths, 4 occurred while on home confinement.
[I conclude with this section that I modified to reflect content I send inside the Federal Bureau of Prisons to clients subscribed to my email]
[To read numbers: the left column under the facility is Inmate confirmed cases (I.P.), next is Staff (S.P.), the third from left is Inmate Deaths (I.D.), the fourth column is Staff Deaths (S.D.); the fifth column Inmates Recovered (I.R.) and the others are Staff Recovered (S.R.), City and State].
Facility I.P. S.P. I.D. S.D. I.R. S.R. City State
Butner Low FCI 1 1 17 1 627 17 Butner NC
Fort Worth FMC 5 10 12 0 615 6 Fort Worth TX
Terminal Island FCI 0 3 10 0 596 23 San Pedro CA
Butner Medium I FCI 0 1 9 0 186 32 Butner NC
Elkton FCI 2 0 9 0 942 54 Lisbon OH
Lexington FMC 7 0 9 0 206 13 Lexington KY
Oakdale I FCI 0 13 7 0 214 21 Oakdale LA
Carswell FMC 1 3 6 0 522 1 Fort Worth TX
Seagoville FCI 6 1 4 0 1300 29 Seagoville TX
Milan FCI 1 1 3 0 85 55 Milan MI
Yazoo City Low FCI 0 5 3 0 93 9 Yazoo City MS
Coleman Medium FCI 51 34 2 0 194 1 Sumterville FL
Devens FMC 0 2 2 0 45 6 Ayer MA
Lompoc FCI 0 3 2 0 746 16 Lompoc CA
Lompoc USP 0 4 2 0 156 24 Lompoc CA
Marion USP 2 8 2 0 133 9 Marion IL
Miami FDC 29 33 2 0 129 21 Miami FL
Terre Haute USP 3 1 2 0 82 2 Terre Haute IN
The Geo Group (RRC) 1 0 2 0 3 0 Houston TX
ACS Corrections (RRC) 0 0 1 0 1 0 Del Valle TX
Atlanta USP 6 8 1 0 55 8 Atlanta GA
Behavioral Systems SW (RRC) 0 0 1 0 0 0 Phoenix AZ
Brawley RRC (RRC) 1 0 1 0 3 0 Brawley CA
Coleman Low FCI 1 24 1 1 219 6 Sumterville FL
Danbury FCI 2 0 1 0 81 64 Danbury CT
Dismas Charities (RRC) 0 0 1 0 0 0 Hattiesburg MS
Edgefield FCI 2 16 1 0 90 10 Edgefield SC
GEO Care Inc. (RRC) 0 0 1 0 1 0 Brownsville TX
GEO Care, Inc. (RRC) 2 0 1 0 0 0 Bronx NY
Jesup FCI 0 19 1 0 251 3 Jesup GA
Miami FCI 9 25 1 0 122 10 Miami FL
Oakdale II FCI 1 9 1 0 9 6 Oakdale LA
Oklahoma City FTC 68 12 1 0 177 6 Oklahoma City OK
San Diego MCC 16 17 1 0 352 7 San Diego CA
Terre Haute FCI 13 1 1 0 104 8 Terre Haute IN
Victorville Medium I FCI 9 10 1 0 342 10 Victorville CA
Volunteers of America TX (RRC) 10 0 1 0 11 0 Hutchins TX
Yazoo City USP 22 7 1 0 66 12 Yazoo City MS
[Nine deaths shown below are not counted in the 124 reported above]
Privately-managed prisons are secure institutions operated by private companies under contract and oversight of the BOP. The majority of federal inmates in private prisons are sentenced criminal aliens who will be deported upon completion of their sentence. Unlike federal inmates housed in BOP facilities, the contractor is responsible for the medical care and the costs associated with providing those services.
The BOP has 13,932 inmates in Privately-Managed Facilities. There are 105 inmates who have open lab-confirmed positive cases. 547 inmates have recovered. Full breakdown and additional details are below:
Facility I.P. I.D. I.R. City State
D. Ray James CI 50 3 144 Folkston GA
Big Spring CI 41 0 46 Big Spring TX
Great Plains CI 13 1 112 Hinton OK
Reeves III CI 1 0 0 Pecos TX
Giles W. Dalby CI 0 2 81 Post TX
McRae CI 0 1 20 Mcrae Helena GA
North Lake CI 0 2 107 Baldwin MI
Reeves I & II CI 0 0 12 Pecos TX
Rivers CI 0 0 25 Winton NC
All inmates are being appropriately treated and isolated per CDC guidelines.
Though this post begins different than some of my others, it does relate to life after release by showing my adaption to the technological advances made since I walked out the prison doors on August 28, 2018.
A walk in the Park on a cool and cloudy, Southern day. What a pleasure it was to see a great blue heron spread its majestic wings and soar across the water. Had I not been trigger-happy on my smartphone, I would have left the park with a nice video of it flapping its wings to lift itself above the water to fly off into the trees after I disturbed its peace by walking too close for its comfort.
When I pressed the spot on my phone to start the video, I didn’t think it worked so I pressed again. The second press stopped the video that had slowly started, so I got a one-second video and another slightly longer one that tracked it as it neared the trees, too far away for a good image.
SMARTWATCH WITH PHISHING LINK INCLUDED
Two weeks ago, I ordered a smartwatch online that has the capability of connecting to the camera in my smartphone. My plan was to use the smartwatch to take a selfie or group photo with me in the picture without having to hold the phone in my hand.
When my smartwatch arrived from China, I scanned the QR Code on the miniature user’s guide to connect my smartphone. Not just any smartphone, a real smartphone with the latest technology. The Android 10 update removed bugs and improved security.
No Connection: I aborted the download when Google Chrome and my security system warned that a phishing link was detected in the app: “IhzI666.com/fundo/download.html Phishing Website” (actual URL).
I contacted the company that I bought the watch from and told them that the watch, simply labeled as SMARTWATCH, came with the phishing link in the QR code and should be removed from inventory and that the company should contact and warn all customers who purchased that brand.
Fortunate for me, a couple of days before my devilish smartwatch arrived, fully loaded to catch a phish, I checked my phone for updates and saw Android 10 was available. Had I not have taken the time to update my phone, my finances may have dwindled, even though I do use two-factor authentication to protect access to anything I use with important information contained therein.
ALWAYS BE ON ALERT FOR SCAMS
Within a month of my release from prison, I ran into a scammer who posed as a hiring manager for a company offering a work-from-home opportunity. A little too late (after giving personal information), I figured out what was going on, but kept the person on the wire for over a week playing games with him, her, or IT, because I had already done what I could to protect myself and didn’t have anything of value to be taken, other than my fine name associated with a long history of criminal convictions.
ALERTED: The email address ended with @gmail.com. The company he, she or IT claimed to represent, came before the @gmail.com. Any official business will use their company email account, not gmail.com, hotmail.com or anything other than something like @amazon.com or @straightfromthepen.com.
I immediately contacted the credit reporting agency, Esperian, and froze my credit reports and alerted the FCC about the Scam-in-Process. After letting the idiot think for a week that a phish was online, I sent a text and revealed what I had done and said, “You need to find you a real job. I’ve been in federal prison for thirty-years and don’t have anything for you to steal. I’m out here starting my life over. Find something else to do that is more constructive before you end up going to where I just left.”
He, she, or IT was one of many scammers that I have dealt with since my release. Because of my popularity as an author, blogger, photographer (Google Guide-almost 4,000,000 views of my photos in Google Maps), etc., my social presence makes me a target.
Before my release, and afterwards, if I had not taken the time to learn about security, and the advancements in technology, my life would be different than what it is today.
To repay my debt to society, I use those negative experiences to help others avoid being caught in the same traps by forewarning them and posting blogs like this to enlighten others because life out here isn’t always a Walk in the Park.
But life is good, especially when I am blessed with seeing the beauty of God’s creation as it spreads its wings to fly into the sunset or across a body of water.
Life After Release means more than some may see when reading this blog. I am a fraction of the true gravity that these posts represent by concept, a mere example of the thousands of returning citizens who reenter society each year who face unimagined circumstances.
Today I’m at a local park enjoying the cooler weather as Fall approaches.
I was blessed with seeing a deer crossing the paved path upon which I walked snapping photos and taking videos on a device that did not exist before my arrest on August 18, 1988, a smartphone.
Yesterday, I learned not to trust or depend on Air/Vac machines to work. At $1.50 each attempt to check and inflate my tires, and at three locations, I succeeded at getting three of my four tires properly inflated.
I ran out of quarters!
One definition of “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
Well, I must be a little off in the head because I could have pulled into a Goodyear or PepBoys and not have dealt with thieving Air/Vac machines, but I chose to do it, not once, but three times before pulling into a Goodyear shop to get air in the fourth tire, and it was free. 🤠
More will be revealed. Right now I need to ZOOM-IN to a Twelve Step Meeting on the other side of the United States.
Isn’t life grand with so much technology? Speaking of the such, now I am doing affiliate marketing on WonderfulThingsDone.