This week's paper has a profile of the rapper Stackwell, who is serving the third year of his 16.5-year sentence for shooting a guy in the groin at a south Seattle gas station. (The guy had already fired a shotgun at the scene and was chasing after Stackwell's cousin—you can watch the security-camera footage of the incident.)

Shotgun-guy lived and got 36 months. Stackwell got almost 17 years, in part because of prior felony convictions.

Stackwell and I talked on the phone several times over the past few weeks for the story—he seems like an easygoing, optimistic person, despite his circumstances.

He also has a subscription to The Stranger, talked about stuff we've written (he admires Macklemore, for example, even though he said lots of guys in prison are grumbling about his support of marriage equality), and had nice things to say about some of my past stories. "I even read that article you wrote about the ukulele," he said. "I thought it was going to be some corny bullshit, but you had some interesting things to say."

In my book, that is the highest of compliments.