Wednesday Open Comments

It’s hump day.

Buffalo hump – not what I thought. Warning – picture may cause discomfort.

But you CAN avoid the dowager’s hump! Warning: advertising

Then you have humpback whales.

Everything you wanted to know about road humps. I find it amusing that they are called “traffic calming devices”. That isn’t my experience.

Do camel’s humps really hold water? In Vermont, you can walk on one!

I avoided all the R and XXX listing that came up. If you want other versions of “hump,” you’ll just have to look for them yourselves.

Tuesday Prison Improvement Open Comments

Yesterday, the TDCJ embarked on a new and interesting program in the Darrington Unit near Rosharon. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be opening an extension campus inside the walls of the prison and will be offering a course of study that will result in the participants earning a bachelor’s degree that will prepare them to be pastors and/or teachers.

The Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies requires 124 credit hours of classes and will take approximately 4 years of study to complete. The curriculum will be focused on equipping men for Christian Ministry in such a way that they will be able to properly teach, preach and minister to the population of believers within the prison system. Upon their release, they will be equipped to be teachers and pastors.

A similar program has been running for a few years at the notorious Angola Prison in Louisiana. The results there have been nothing short of phenomenal. The program participants continue to live among the other inmates, but begin to act as good examples to the others. This has led to a marked decline in the level of violence in the prison.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, championed the program along with his colleague, John Whitmire, D-Houston, after the lawmakers visited Angola Prison last year to observe a similar program, which has been credited for a 70 percent reduction in violence at Angola since it started in 1995.

“We were both blown away,” Patrick said. “We were able to walk freely in that prison where almost everyone there is serving 50 years or more – major, major criminals. The first night we were there, we went to a gospel chapel service. It was just us. There were no guards. I don’t know that you could do that in a Texas prison.”

The ACLU has a bit of a problem with this, natch. Even though it is entirely voluntary and there is no requirement to proselytize to others or to convert to Christianity or any faith. Likewise the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“On the one hand I think we’re very encouraged that they’re providing programming for inmates,” said Dotty Griffith, public education director for Texas ACLU. “At the same time it does appear to be very sectarian in nature … I think it gives us some concerns about separation issues because it seems to exclude other faiths and it would exclude prisoners who might want to study a different denomination or a different religion altogether.”

No taxpayer funds used

The program appears to overstep the permissible bounds of religious chaplaincy programs in prisons, which are not supposed to proselytize, said Alex Luchenitser, senior litigation counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Maybe they should stop and reflect for a bit on why there are so many people incarcerated and the root causes thereof.

Monday Culinary Open Comments

Gustatory pleasure can be found in many ways. Unsurprisingly, the best are generally the uncomplicated dishes one can find in various locales in all corners of the world. Simple things like buttered popcorn (#50), ketchup (#39), and donuts (#14) we find here in the US everyday count.

Dishes from other lands include paella from Spain (#47).

Poutine from Canada (#44).

Pho from Vietnam (#28).

Kebabs from Iran (#18).

Chocolate from Mexico (#3).

You’ll have to read the article for the rest, then debate what should have been there, but wasn’t and what was there that shouldn’t have been.

Weekend Workplace Hijinx Open Comments

The world needs more people like David Thorne in the workplace.

Apparently after receiving three, you are meant to have some kind of formal meeting between the parties involved but this never happened. According to the rules, if there are five complaints, an external mediator has to be bought in. This didn’t happen either and I was quite disappointed.

Poor Simon also found out how creative Mr. Thorne can be with Justin Bieber.

Friday Big Mo Update Open Comments

Now that its usefulness is declining, here’s a chart to help spell Big Mo’s name:

Big Mo seems to prefer “Gathafi”.

In other news of our favorite little colonel, rebels are announcing that they have him, one of his sons, or both of them surrounded in Tripoli.

“They are together. They are in a small hole,” one of the fighters involved in the battle, Muhammad Gomaa, told Reuters. “Today we finish. Today we will end that.”

Mahmoud Bakoush, a rebel commander at the site, told the AP that rumors that one of Kadafi’s sons might be in the buildings hadn’t been unconfirmed.

This was after an apparent near miss in another location.

Gaddafi was gone from the unassuming safe house in central Tripoli when agents arrived about 10 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT) on Wednesday after a tip-off from a credible source. But, the magazine said, they found evidence that he had spent at least one night there — though it did not say how recently that was.

He also seems to like him some blingage as well as having a bit of an infatuation with his darling “Leeza”.

Thursday “Splodey Head” Open Comments

Well, it seems that the memoirs of our past vice president, Mr. Dick Cheney, will be arriving on the bookshelves soon. He promises that “heads will explode”. True to form, he’s holding firm to his beliefs and is taking no prisoners:

‘This is not an apology tour. It’s the book of a proud conservative. He’s not looking to kiss and make up with the NEW YORK TIMES set, or for that matter, some of his former Bush administration colleagues,’ declares a source close to Cheney.

Not on Bush. Not on Obama. Not on Colin Powell. Not on Ashcroft. Not on the Democrats. Not on the NYT.

August 30th is right around the corner. Stock up on cleaning supplies and righteous indignation.

PS: We’re getting rain here at The Dome Home.

Wednesday Swingin’ Open Comments

In my travels around the internet, I find some interesting things. I came across this site and thought “What a cool idea!” Of course, my back porch would have to be screened in, because anything with six legs seems to see me as lunch. Just looking at the beds relaxed me.

It got me thinking about swinging, so I exercised a search on “swinging”. Once I got past all the scuzzy sites, I found interesting ones:
Competitve swinging (and no, it doesn’t involve married couples): I never thought of swinging as a competitive thing, but okay. Different strokes, and all that.

Then there’s the awesome video of the handbag swinging granny foiling a robbery. Get her a nice cup of tea, folks!

And then there’s those crazy, swinging animals!

And corgis!
And pugs, too!

And for all you cat lovers – or haters – here’s one for you as well:

So, even though it’s hump day, why don’t you go swinging instead? Reduce your stress! Stick your feet out and kick someone (that always reduces my stress, anyway.) Laugh a little. Laugh a lot! Lean back and make yourself dizzy!

RIP Jerry Leiber

Back in the early 1950s Country music and the Blues had a baby and they named it Rock & Roll. Two of the Godfathers there for the christening were lyricist Jerry Leiber and composer Mike Stoller. In those early years there were singers and there were songwriters and they weren’t the same people. Leiber and Stoller wrote many of the biggest hits of the ’50s and ’60s – twenty songs for Elvis alone.

Leiber & Stoller’s first song was written when they were both 17 and was first recorded by Big Momma Thornton in 1952. They also produced the record themselves. Here’s a version from 1965 with Buddy Guy on guitar:

Tuesday Where’s Big Mo Open Comments

Gaddafi whereabouts a mystery as rebels close in

Things are looking bad for our little Colonel.

The rebels want to get their hands on him and so does the International Criminal Court. But they must find him first.

Gaddafi has not been seen in public since mid-June. His foes speculate he may not be in the Libyan capital or even in the country. As rebel fortunes have risen, his long televised speeches at boisterous public meetings have given way to scratchy telephone appeals from unknown hideouts.

Wherever could he have gone?

If he has fled Tripoli, one possible bolt-hole would be Sirte, his home region, where he could still find some support and sympathy.

At one point early in the uprising, Britain said he was thought to be on his way to Venezuela and the welcoming arms of his friend Hugo Chavez.

My sources deep in the Venezuelan government have forwarded me this picture of Big Mo and Oogo celebrating Mo’s escape.

Monday Open Comments

Okay, time for Open comments:
OPEN: noun /ˈōpən/ opens, plural
A championship or competition with no restrictions on who may qualify to compete
– the venue for the British Open
An accidental break in the conducting path for an electrical current
adjective /ˈōpən/ 
Allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up
– it was a warm evening and the window was open
– the door was wide open
(of a container) Not fastened or sealed; in a position or with the lid or other covering in a position allowing access to the inside part or the contents
– the case burst open and its contents flew all over the place
(of a garment or its fasteners) Not buttoned or fastened
– his tie was knotted below the open collar of his shirt
(of the mouth or eyes) With lips or lids parted
– his eyes were open but he could see nothing
Free from obstructions
– the pass is kept open all year by snowplows
(of a car or house) Unlocked
(of a vowel) Produced with a relatively wide opening of the mouth and the tongue kept low
(of a syllable) Ending in a vowel
(of the bowels) Not constipated
(of a game or style of play) Characterized by action that is spread out over the field
Exposed to the air or to view; not covered
– an open fire burned in the grate
(of an area of land) Not covered with buildings or trees
– increasing numbers of new houses in open countryside
Having spaces or gaps between elements
– air circulates more readily through an open tree
(of a fabric) Loosely knitted or woven
(of a team member in a game) Unguarded and therefore able to receive a pass
– the trick is spreading the defense so that at least one receiver gets open
(of a goal or other object of attack in a game) Unprotected; vulnerable
(of a boat) Without a deck
– days without food and water in an open boat
Likely to suffer from or be affected by; vulnerable or subject to
– the system is open to abuse
(of a town or city) Officially declared to be undefended, and so immune under international law from bombardment
With the outer edges or sides drawn away from each other; unfolded
– the trees had buds and a few open flowers
(of a book or file) With the covers parted or the contents in view, allowing it to be read
– she was copying verses from an open Bible
– her mind was an open book to him
(of a hand) Not clenched into a fist
Damaged or injured by a deep cut in the surface
– he had his arm slashed open
(of a store, place of entertainment, etc.) Officially admitting customers or visitors; available for business
– the store stays open until 9 p.m.
(of a bank account) Available for transactions
– the minimum required to keep the account open
(of a telephone line) Ready to take calls
– our free advice line is open from 8:30 to 5:30
(of a choice, offer, or opportunity) Still available; such that people can take advantage of it
– the offer is open while supplies last
– we need to consider what options are left open
(of a person) Frank and communicative; not given to deception or concealment
– she was open and naive
– I was quite open about my views
Not concealed; manifest
– his eyes showed open admiration
(of conflict) Fully developed and unconcealed
– the dispute erupted into open war
Involving no concealment, restraint, or deception; welcoming discussion, criticism, and inquiry
– the conclusions were reached in open discussion
(of a question, case, or decision) Not finally settled; still admitting of debate
– students’ choice of major can be kept open until the second year
(of the mind) Accessible to new ideas; unprejudiced
– I’m keeping an open mind about my future
Receptive to
– the union was open to suggestions for improvements
Admitting of; making possible
– the message is open to different interpretations
Freely available or accessible; offered without restriction
– the service is open to all students at the university
With no restrictions on those allowed to attend or participate
– an open audition was announced
(of an award or the competition for it) Unrestricted as to who may qualify to compete
– each horse had won two open races
(of a ticket) Not restricted as to day of travel
(of a string) Allowed to vibrate along its whole length
(of a pipe) Unstopped at each end
(of a note) Sounded from an open string or pipe
(of an electrical circuit) Having a break in the conducting path
(of a set) Not containing any of its limit points

Government (try really hard not to laugh)
Information (thought you may not be able to tell from their buzzword mission statement)
Money & Politics
For kids