Release From Prison: Day 377

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Carole began working in her new hospital this past Monday. The first week of work required her to learn about hospital procedures during orientation seminars for all new hires. Today she began her first shift of working with patients. I really admire my wife for the knowledge and skill set she has worked so hard to acquire. When I returned from my run early this morning, Carole was packing her lunch and supplies for the 12 hour shift. She hasn’t worked in a hospital since we left Petaluma last May and she was very enthusiastic about being able to help patients again. Her passion for helping people during their time of need impresses me. We’re very different in that regard. I’m much more pragmatic and ambitious, while Carole is much more methodical, careful, and clinical. She keeps me grounded. I’m looking forward to this new phase of our life. Besides working, she continues to study toward her master’s in nursing. Once she graduates next May, we expect that our life will become much more normal. Until then, I’ll continue working seven days each week.

Days since my release from prison: 377

Miles that I ran today: 6.09

Miles that I ran so far this week: 6.09

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 136.59

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,647.05

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 752.95

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 89.66

My weight for today: 167

Release From Prison: Day 376

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Now that I finished listening to a book that described the evolution of Google, I’ve begun listening to a new book that provides insight into the founding of Twitter. I really enjoy learning about technology. By listening to these books about companies that have disrupted the way that people communicate and convey information, I feel as if I’m catching up on parts of society that I missed during my 26 years of imprisonment. Hatching Twitter promises to teach me a lot. I’m grateful to have these learning resources to keep me company when I run in the early morning. I only listen to audiobooks when I run alone. On days when Carole exercises beside me, we spend the time talking about progress we’re making toward the plans we’ve set for our family. Life is very good for us right now, and I’m grateful.

Days since my release from prison: 376

Miles that I ran today: 6.29

Miles that I ran so far this week: 48.84

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 130.5

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,640.96

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 759.04

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 90.44

My weight for today: 167

Release From Prison: Day 375

Friday, August 22, 2014

For the past several days I’ve been listing to an audiobook that chronicled the history of Google. The author was an early employee who held a leadership position. I appreciated his insight. I recommend the book I’m Feeling Lucky to anyone who has an interest in Google. Unlike most people, I learned about Google by reading rather than by using the service. Those who’ve read books I wrote know that although I couldn’t access technology during my imprisonment, I read extensively about the most innovative technology companies. I remember reading about Google in the late 1990s, and reading more as the company matured. The book that Douglas Edwards wrote does a great job of putting those early years into perspective for me. Like most everyone else in America, I now use Google every day. It’s an amazing company that has had an amazing influence on the evolution our society.

Days since my release from prison: 375

Miles that I ran today: 9.07

Miles that I ran so far this week: 42.55

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 124.21

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,634.67

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 765.33

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 90.72

My weight for today: 166

Release From Prison: Day 374

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yesterday I visited a school in Santa Ana. Keith, a prominent teacher who has a passion for helping young people reach their highest potential, invited Justin and me to spend the day with his students. Keith has been a pioneer in education. He introduced the Straight-A Guide Cognitive Skills Program that Justin and I developed to students in Orange County. We’re both very grateful to him for taking the time to learn about our program, and for doing so much to help his colleagues and students see value in the work we’ve done. I shared my story with students in three different classrooms. When I asked how they responded to the message I presented about making values-based, goal-oriented decisions, they told me that they appreciated an opportunity to learn from my experience. If it wasn’t for Justin and Keith, I wouldn’t have these opportunities to connect with so many people. When I interact with others, I derive a sense of meaning from lessons I learned during the 26 years that I served in prison.

Days since my release from prison: 374

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 33.48

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 115.15

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,625.6

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 774.4

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 88.22

My weight for today: 167

Release From Prison: Day 373

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dan, a reader, sent me a note asking my thoughts on Governor Perry’s indictment for abuse of power. Dan wrote that he was a reader of my blog. He remembered how critical I had been of Harley Lappin, the former Director of the Bureau of Prisons, when Lappin was cited for drunk driving. I wrote those blogs several years ago. I was still locked inside of a federal prison when Lappin fell into problems with the law. As a prisoner, I focused on steps that I could take to prepare for success upon release. Yet I sensed considerable resistance from bureaucrats who worked in the prison system that Lappin led.

People who represented the prison system would discipline prisoners for the slightest violation of rules. When leaders like Lappin violated rules, I sensed a great hypocrisy that didn’t coincide with leadership. I wrote about him because I wanted to point out those hypocrisies.

Dan brought another leader to my attention when he wrote about Rosemary Lehmberg. She was a career prosecutor who broke the law by driving while drunk. After receiving Dan’s inquiry on my thoughts of the Perry indictment, I looked up Lehmberg and watched some YouTube videos that showed her making a spectacle of herself after her arrest. Surprisingly, Lehmberg succeeded in staying in office as a prosecutor even after she served time in jail for her drunk driving.

Apparently, the Democratic prosecutor has a feud with the Republican governor. He wanted her ousted from office because of her drunk driving. She wanted more funding from him to investigate political corruption. Now she has played a role in bringing charges that led to his indictment. My prison term concluded last August. As I did while I was in prison, I focus on steps I can take to prepare for a better world. As Gandhi advised, I strive to live as the change that I want to see in the world. The antics of governors, legislators, prosecutors, and prison officials no longer cloud my thoughts. That said, I find it offensive when leaders refrain from acting in accordance with rules or laws that others should follow.

Days since my release from prison: 373

Miles that I ran today: 8.23

Miles that I ran so far this week: 33.48

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 115.15

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,625.6

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 774.4

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 94.79

My weight for today: 166

Release From Prison: Day 372

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

 

Tomorrow I’ll be giving a speech to a group of youth whom authorities have identified as being at-risk of trouble with the law. I’ll reveal how bad decisions I made as a young man led me into challenges that I wasn’t prepared to comprehend. Sharing my story with others may help some, but others may brush it off. After all, now I’m 50, and by looking at me, no one would think that I ever served a day in prison. I’ll be honest with the young people, explaining that my life following my release from 26 years of confinement isn’t the norm. Each day that I served I had to prepare for success. Even though I finished with the prison system, I continue to live an extremely disciplined life. The Straight-A Guide Cognitive Skills Development Program that Justin and I offer through the Michael G. Santos Foundation teaches others how to embrace a values-based, goal-oriented life. I know that the young people with whom I speak will be familiar with the program. I’ll report later on how they responded to my message.

 

Days since my release from prison: 372

Miles that I ran today: 8.32

Miles that I ran so far this week: 25.25

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 106.91

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,617.37

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 782.63

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 93.13

My weight for today: 167

Release From Prison: Day 371

Monday, August 18, 2014

 

I’m researching the subject of fractional real estate ownership. This type of ownership structure, it would seem, offers many advantages for people who want to own second homes in resort style communities. Although fractional ownership is a shared ownership structure, it differs from timeshare. Fractional ownership includes between two and 12 owners of the property. Timeshare, by contrast, includes many more owners. Timeshares purchase access to a property for about one week each year. Those who purchase fractional shares, on the other hand, take considerable pride in their purchase and consider it an asset that they will use year after year.  I’m researching this subject because I’m convinced that a fractional-ownership model could work really well for a group of real estate developers in Belize. I enjoy the challenge of learning, and I’m grateful that Google makes research so easy.

 

Days since my release from prison: 371

Miles that I ran today: 8.31

Miles that I ran so far this week: 16.93

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 98.59

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,609.05

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 790.95

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 98.59

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison: Day 370

Sunday, August 17, 2014

 

Yesterday I wrote about goals that Carole and I are setting. The financial goal that I’m setting now is to purchase a second rental property by the time that Carole earns her master’s degree. We purchased a new home in Petaluma soon after I transitioned from federal prison to a halfway house. Since then, property values have soared. Prior to our move from Northern California to Southern California, Carole and I found a wonderful family who agreed to a long-term lease. Since our first real estate investment worked out so well, we want to repeat. We’ve set a goal to work hard and save so that we can purchase a second rental property within the next six months. With two rental properties, both financed on 15-year terms, we anticipate that we’ll make up for lost ground with regard to our preparation for retirement. By the time we’re 65, both of those properties will be debt free and generating income to supplement our retirement. The goal of purchasing a second income-producing property within before May of 2015 is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, making it a SMART goal.

 

Days since my release from prison: 370

Miles that I ran today: 8.62

Miles that I ran so far this week: 8.62

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 90.28

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,600.74

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 799.26

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 89.64

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison: Day 369

Saturday, August 16, 2014

 

Today Carole and I treated my mother and grandmother to dinner. I spent the day in my office working on marketing campaigns, but all day I looked forward to the dinner we had planned. The office where I work is right around the corner from Panini, a Mediterranean restaurant. A colleague had taken me there for lunch earlier in the week and I looked forward to returning. The chicken shish kabobs made a real impression on me. During dinner, Carole and I shared news about our work. We’re both very enthusiastic about the careers that we’re building. Not everyone agrees with our unconventional approach of working many hours each week. Yet we make this choice consciously, understanding that we’re making an investment in our future. Carole will earn her master’s degree in nursing next May. Once she has that credential, I suspect that we’ll lessen the amount of hours we work. For now, we remain focused on our goals. We consider preparing for our retirement to be a priority right now, but we enjoy dinners with family, too.

 

Days since my release from prison: 369

Miles that I ran today: 7.24

Miles that I ran so far this week: 42.14

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 81.66

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,592.12

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 807.88

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 87.59

My weight for today: 169

Release From Prison: Day 368

Friday, August 15, 2014

I left work early today so that I could visit a US Passport Office. I brought my birth certificate and my driver’s license. Then I filled out the papers necessary to apply for a U.S. Passport. I had a passport in the mid 1980s, but I don’t have any idea what happened to that document. The government may have seized it at the time of my arrest. In any event, now that a federal judge has signed an order granting the early termination of my supervised release, the time has come for me to obtain a passport so that I can begin traveling. As soon as I obtain my passport I’ll travel to visit two amazing land developments in Southern Belize—Sanctuary and Kanantik. I’ve been working closely with the developer since May. I’m looking forward to learning more by experiencing this tropical paradise where thousands of people are building second homes.

Days since my release from prison: 368

Miles that I ran today: 7.11

Miles that I ran so far this week: 34.9

Miles that I’ve run during the month of August: 74.42

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 1,584.88

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 815.12

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 86.92

My weight for today: 168