Bag of Randomness for Thursday, April 2, 2020

Ten years from now a plethora of folks will claim to be a survivor of COVID-19 despite never contracting the virus. It will be similar to all the people in DFW who claimed to have been at Nolan Ryan’s final no-hitter.

If there’s ever a time for the virtual reality industry to gain some market share now’s the time.

Outside out local grocery store, a male senior citizen unpacked a trombone and just started playing. I heard How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace.

I just have this bad feeling right when we think we have this COVID-19 nabbed it’s gonna come back with a vengeance in late fall.

As Americans, we really, truly, take grocery stores for granted. I’m not going to go as far to say their workers are heroes (they are working to make a buck and there’s really no alternative for them) but I’m thankful they’re there.

As an American (who’s watched Rocky IV at least two dozen times) it’s odd to accept help from the Russians. I can only imagine what Fox News would be saying if Obama accepted aid from the Russians. It’s a different world we’re living in, yo. I wonder what The Gipper would think of this moment.

@MarcusReportsNew York air traffic controller to Russian Air Force cargo plane: “We sincerely thank you for all of the assistance you’re bringing in.”

Russian Cargo Plane With Medical Supplies Lands in New York

A Russian Air Force cargo plane reportedly carrying medical supplies for coronavirus patients landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport just after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Moscow seized the chance to publicize the rare instance of a Russian plane bringing humanitarian aid to a U.S. airport, flooding social media with pictures and video shortly after the plane’s arrival. State media even had a live video feed of forklifts carrying brown boxes off the plane.

Russian state media said the plane was carrying “60 tons of medical equipment, ventilators, masks & other protection gear.” The shipment to New York — the state with the most coronavirus cases — followed a Monday call between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s also humbling we rely on another communist nation, China, to manufacture the majority of our medicine, face masks, respirators, and ventilators. I wonder what Nixon would think of that.

Ninth commandment, Mr. Vice-President – Pence: “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”

Asking for a friend, what’s an acceptable age for a man’s son to beat him in the 40-yard dash?

Observing my kids taking online classes is interesting. I had no idea second-graders would handle it so well. They are so proper, polite, and attentive. It’s like watching a comedy sketch in which kids play adults. But it’s hard for some teachers out there. For instance, here’s a picture of BoyGeeding interacting with his second-grade teacher. She has three kids, all below the age of six. As you can see the one she is holding isn’t even a year old. Her husband works from 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM, so she’s trying to be a mom and a teacher at the same time without any help, multitasking, and I think she’s been doing a darn fine job of it.

YouTube – Professional Pole Dancer Rates 10 Pole Scenes In Movies And TV | How Real Is It?

Rachel Tolzman, who has been pole dancing since 2011 and now teaches at London’s Ecole de Pole, broke down 10 pole scenes in movies and TV, critiquing their realism and technique. A former Miss Pole Dance UK and winner of the International Pole and Aerial Tournament 2016, Tolzman also placed bronze at the World Pole Sport & Fitness Championship.

I didn’t watch the whole thing, but I don’t think there’s any nudity, though the ladies are certainly not wearing much and the content isn’t family-friendly. Poke fun at me all you want, but I’m at the point now in which I see pole dancing as an art or form of dance instead of some erogenous routine. Sure, I agree that poles are associated with men’s club and poles are used at those locals are used for stripping, but nowadays they aren’t only located at those establishments and no longer used simply for unclothing. There’s a difference between pole dancing and striptease. Pole dancing is more exotic than erotic.

My alma mater continues to struggle – University watchdog group, citing ‘accreditor standards’ asks HSU to evaluate recent decisions

  • The letter accuses HSU of not including faculty in the decision processes resulting in the removal of certain programs, spending a large amount on construction and salary increases for management vs faculty, and keeping money intended for the Logsdon Seminary program, which was recently closed.
  • Citing data from a Human Resources survey, ACTA writes that annual salary outlays in Management and Business & Financial Operations increased by more than $1 million, or 40.6% over the last seven years, while faculty salary expenditures have only increased by approximately $300,000; or 3.5%.
  • “Expenditures on building projects in recent years merit the board’s scrutiny as well. According to a 2018 finance survey, construction in progress at HSU was valued at $11,847,370. Figures like these underscore the critical importance that every board member feel reassured that he or she understands fully the financial condition of the university, after a thorough review of all relevant records,” the letter states. HSU says new construction is necessary “to maintain our campus infrastructure and represents a show of our faith for the future of the university.”

Remember to wash your hands.

View post on

Posted in Personal | 1 Comment

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Hey all you cool cats and kittens, I’m firing up the BagOfNothing Super Duper Doppler Radar and I don’t see any ice or snow in our forecast but I do foresee schools remaining closed.

I have a feeling we are all eating more ice cream than we should and sales are through the roof. First of all, it’s comforting, second, we bore easily and we like to snack when we are bored.

It feels weird sharing my home office with Mrs. BagOfNothing. And it feels weird having her around when I’m on conference calls and sharing presentations on my screen. I’ve told her it feels like “Take Your Wife To Work Day”.

The second-grader in the house now makes my lunch every day and brings it to my desk.

Typically, elementary schools wouldn’t set up an email for their students, but we are going through very different times. The teachers at our elementary school will send parents emails and we often have to forward them to our kids, something like a Zoom link. I tell you what, it feels weird sending emails to the second-grader and fourth-grader in the house.

I really wouldn’t mind if the White House put up a live feed of President Trump and Melania binge-watching Tiger King. I’d settle for him live-tweeting while watching an episode.

I’m highly curious about the amount of mail Joe Exotic is now receiving in prison. And if there is going to be a Halloween this year, there’s gonna be a ton of him and Carol out there.

Spotted in Plano at Riverfront and Cole in the design district.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has certainly become a household name, but I think Dr. Deborah Birx may be more noticeable at White House press briefings because of her assortment of scarves. Birx usually wears a scarf at her neck or around her shoulders. I wanted to learn more about her and did a little research. Here are some random facts about her:

  • She turns 64 in three days.
  • She’s a colonel in the U.S. Army. In case you ever wondered how to address a military officer with a terminal degree:
    • All members of the Armed Services are addressed by rank. Those with an advanced academic degree will have that noted in their bio/CV. “Dr.” or “PhD.”, “M.D.”, “MBA”, etc. are never used with a military rank. Armed Services medical personnel’s branch of service abbreviation will reflect their medical corp or service.
  • Birx lives with her parents, husband, and one of her daughter’s family in a multi-generational home. Her family must live in a large house.

If you ever need to cast someone to play her in a movie, I nominate Renée Zellweger.

Having to get a prior authorization for a prescription is a pain in the bum.

Martin Luther King’s final Sunday sermon of his life was yesterday in 1968 at the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

The Golden Calf –Exodus 32

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

I never thought about it before, considering Hebrews were Egyptian slaves, I wonder why the Pharoh allowed them to have any amount or form of gold. It seems like something he and all Egyptian masters would hoard for themselves. I’m also curious how much gold the Hebrews were able to take with them on their long trek. Even if it’s just wearable jewelry, I’m guessing it wasn’t a whole lot, which means the golden calf I’ve aways envisioned wouldn’t be large but somewhat small, perhaps only half a foot in height. But then again, perhaps it wasn’t solid gold but gold plated. I suppose if the golden calf was hollow, that would be some interesting symbolism.

Interactive article – Tracking How The President’s Coronavirus Response Has Changed Since JanuaryFrom ‘It’s going to disappear’ to ‘WE WILL WIN THIS WAR’

The ultrarich are paying limo drivers to deliver mail from Manhattan to their Hamptons houses

Without any context, someone can mistakenly think that one of the White House’s goals of community mitigation is to have 1,500,000 – 2,200,000 deaths.

The Cheesy, Sexed-Up “8-Minute Abs” Video Still Holds Up, 25 Years LaterIt made $20 million after its 1995 release for very good reason

Welcome to The Workout From Home Diaries. Throughout our national self-isolation period, we’ll be sharing single-exercise deep dives, offbeat belly-busters and general get-off-the-couch inspiration that doesn’t require a visit to your (likely now-shuttered) local gym.

Alamo Drafthouse Launches Virtual Cinema Programming Series

If you’re a fan of Alamo Drafthouse’s Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday programming lineup, you’ll happy to learn that the company is bringing both to the virtual cinema space. Dubbed “Alamo-at-Home,” the new virtual cinema programming series will feature pre-show content, introductions, and discussions, just like real Alamo Draft House screenings. This will be conducted on their website, Birth.Movies.Death.

Happy April Fools’ Day, y’all.

The Wolters Trumpet (Fort Wolters, Tex.), Vol. 9, No. 39, Ed. 1 Friday, April 1, 1966: Above the fold

Posted in Personal | 6 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I’ll start things out on a macabre note. While watching the evening news and seeing how Central Park is now housing makeshift hospitals (a first since the Civil War), a Navy hospital ship arriving at the shore, and refrigeration trucks used to store an influx of the dead, now would be a good time to invest in death care stocks. Houston-based Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI) is the largest funeral-care provider in North America. Carriage Services (NYSE: CSV) is a leader in the funeral home and cemetery industry. StoneMor Partners (NYSE: STON) is the second-largest network of funeral homes and cemeteries in the U.S.

WifeGeeding’s nephew was recently accepted to Baylor (as if there was any doubt with that family lineage, you have no idea). I think instead of a letter he received some sort of celebratory video. However, he’s considering going to Mary Hardin-Baylor to squeeze in a few years of baseball. The first time I heard of Mary Hardin-Baylor was at a Baptist church camp when all the Baptist universities visited. Their recruiter basically had one sales pitch to all the guys, the girl-to-boy ration was four-to-one.

I always wondered about how the school got its name. It’s like a perfect marriage for someone who can’t decide to attend Baylor or Hardin-Simmons. But, is the “Baylor” and “Hardin” the same ones associated with Baylor and HSU? Here’s what I found out along with a few other nuggets.

  • Baylor was named after ordained Baptist minister, district judge, and politician Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor. He was born in Kentucky, served in the Kentucky militia, and as a state congressman. Later, he moved to Alabama and eventually elected to their House of Representatives. In Texas, he was the judge of the Third Judicial District of the Congress of the Republic of Texas and later appointed to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas as an associate justice. He never married, had no children, and retired and died in Gay Hill, Texas, which is now a ghost town. Initially, he was buried in Independence, Texas (on the original site of Baylor University). In 1917, his remains were exhumed and transferred to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. As for how he became the university’s namesake, “Some at first wished to name the new university “San Jacinto” to recognize the victory which enabled the Texans to become an independent nation, then before the final vote of the Congress, the petitioners requested the university be named in honor of Judge R. E. B. Baylor.”
  • The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor was chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 as Baylor Female College, the female department of what is now Baylor University. Both colleges started in Independence, TX  and in 1886 relocated to their permanent homes in Waco and Belton. It was later named Baylor College for Women and almost folded during the Great Depression until It was saved by a generous gift from Mary and John G. Hardin. In gratitude, the college changed its name to Mary Hardin–Baylor College in 1934.
  • John. G. Hardin was born in Mississippi, moved to Tennessee, and eventually to Texas.
    • In 1879, Hardin moved his family to northern Clay County (later Wichita County) where the couple had purchased a 127-acre homestead at the price of one dollar an acre near what would become Burkburnett, Texas. In order to pay back the loan for the property, Hardin gathered buffalo bone from the prairie and hauled them to Wichita Falls where he received fifteen dollars for each ton.
    • His first wife died and he married Mary Catherine Funk. She’s the Mary Hardin in Mary Hardin-Baylor. That clears up a lot for me, for the longest time, I thought Hardin-Baylor was someone’s actual last name. Like, perhaps a woman with the last name Hardin married a man named Baylor and she kept her name as Hardin-Baylor. You should have seen my face when this epiphany hit.
    • The Hardins wealth mainly came from oil. in 1936 they donated $400,000 towards the construction of a four-year college in Wichita Falls thus establishing Hardin Junior College, later Hardin College, the predecessor of Midwestern State University.

So, at one time, the Hardins had three colleges with their name on them. In addition to that:

Mr. and Mrs. Hardin established trust funds for a number of educational and charitable institutions including Baylor Female College (renamed to Mary Hardin-Baylor University) in Belton,  Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University), Howard Payne College (now Howard Payne University) in Brownwood, and Buckner Baptist Children’s Home in Dallas. In 1934 John and Mary Hardin provided a life-saving gift to Simmons University of Abilene. When asked why the couple supported Christian schools, John Hardin said:

“We are inclined to believe that Christian education of the right type is the greatest work for good that can be done. It is foundation work and the basis upon which good citizenship grows.”

You know who else had their names on a bunch of colleges, Sid Richardson. Colleges and universities themselves may not have the name Richardson in them, but about every other college in Texas seems to have a building named after him.

NBC5’s David Frinfrock seems like a nice and humble sorta fella, so I thought it was odd he was showcasing an Emmy award during his at-home weather forecast. You’d figure it would be on top of that wardrobe in the background and not so predominately displayed right next to him. Humblebrag? Hey Jimi, check out the temperature. (A joke for an audience of two.)

OpenTable will allow people to reserve shopping times at supermarkets
The feature would work much like restaurant reservations

Tampa megachurch pastor arrested after leading packed services despite ‘safer-at-home’ orders

The pastor of a Tampa megachurch is facing charges after refusing to close its doors despite a “safer at home” order in effect in Hillsborough County, meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. The sheriff says up to 500 people were in attendance at Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne’s Sunday services.

Sheriff Chad Chronister and State Attorney Andrew Warren on Monday announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for Pastor Howard-Browne. He faces misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency order.

The River at Tampa Bay Church held two services Sunday, Chronister said, and even offered bus transportation for those services. The chuch’s livestream showed a packed crowd cheering and applauding.

Waco ISD principal tests positive for COVID-19

According to Waco ISD, the principal was on campus at times the week after spring break. He was also present when at-home learning kits were distributed to G.W. Carver families last Monday.

Good for the school district making this public, I can (unfortunately) see a lot of places trying to hide or cover this sort of thing up.

Tom Bosley may best be remembered for his role as the father in Happy Days, but I remember him as the man in the Glad sandwich bags, clingwrap, and garbage bag commercials. When I first saw the clingwrap commercial sealing liquids inside, I instantly wanted to try it only for my father to instantly stop my experiment.

But it as Ziplock who taught me yellow and blue make green.

Random tidbits about the old television series The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (Sept. 1969 – March 1972).

  • The first time I heard of this show was when I was in my late twenties and a team leader at work randomly tole me I reminded her of the kid in the show. I have yet to have watched a single episode or clip of the show.
  • The series starred Bill Bixby, who is probably best known as Bruce Banner from The Incredible Hulk (Nov. 1977 – May 1982) television series. The actor who portrayed his son in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Brandon Cruz, had a guest role in The Incredible Hulk in the show titled “747” which aired in 1978.
  • Cruz became a punk rock musician and an assistant editor on South Park. In 1991, Cruz was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star “Lifetime Achievement” Award, which I had no idea was a thing. Other recipients include Jerry Mathers, Robert Blake, Drew Barrymore, Charlene Tilton, Mario Lopez, and Melissa Joan Hart.

Spring Break vs. COVID19: The Real Impact of Ignoring Social Distancing

We ran an analysis using data from Xmode Social to see the travel paths of anonymized mobile devices that were active at Spring Break at one single Ft. Lauderdale beach. As the map shows, the footprint of social gatherings like these can be massive and put our whole nation at risk!

DJI Won the Drone Wars, and Now It’s Paying the PriceChina’s flashiest global brand has a 77% share of America’s consumer drone sales. It also has to deal with coronavirus, the trade war, a $150 million fraud scandal, and skeptics in the U.S. and Chinese governments.

I had a hard time navigating that website trying to read an article, so here’s a summary article – Go read this Businessweek story about the downsides of DJI’s drone dominance

Posted in Personal | 4 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Monday, March 30, 2020

Here’s the story behind that photo – Blaze engulfs historic Baltimore church, topples its steeple

BALTIMORE — Baltimore firefighters battled a four-alarm blaze that sent flames shooting through the steeple of a church that traces its origins back more than 150 years.

Photos of the fire posted by the Baltimore City Fire Department on Twitter showed orange flames coming from the top of the steeple of the Urban Bible Fellowship Church. Firefighters used ladder trucks to spray water at the blaze, but flames eventually caused the top of the steeple to tumble down. A school next door also was damaged.

There are a lot of Christians virgins who have saved themselves for their wedding night only for the ceremony to be delayed. I have a feeling a lot of them are going to have a private ceremony, consummate, and then have a public ceremony with family and friends when this is all over with.

The Weather Channel’s website and app will provide you will current COVID-19 data about your local area.

East Texas news – City of Canton cancels First Monday Trade Days for first time in 170-year history

Arkansas woman murdered by same person who murdered her mother 23 years agoThe daughter was killed in the same house where her mother was killed.

President Trump never made appearances in the White House Briefing Room until the Coronavirus outbreak, but I think he’s only doing so because it’s the next best thing than speaking at one of his rallies.

The media sure does look for any opportunity to label a person or a group of folks in a profession a hero.

Columbia Sportswear employees to receive regular pay as CEO cuts own salary to $10,000

Random tidbits about the old television series Alice.

  • I had no idea it was based upon a Martin Scorsese film, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
  • The waitress Jolene, was related to the Dukes of Hazzard‘s Jefferson Davis “Boss” Hogg. In one episode Sorrell Booke guest stars in this role, along with fellow Dukes character Deputy Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer).
  • I knew Flo left the show and started her own place, but I didn’t know it was in Fort Worth.
  • In case you forgot how the show wrapped up:
    • After 9 years of trying, Alice finally gets a recording contract and is moving to Nashville with Travis Marsh. Vera announces she is pregnant and decides to be a full-time mother, Elliott having been promoted from officer to detective. Jolene’s “Granny Gums” dies and leaves her enough money to open her own beauty parlor in her hometown. Besides all three waitresses suddenly leaving simultaneously, by an amazing coincidence Mel has just sold the diner for a large amount of money to a real-estate developer and must close within days. On closing day, he surprisingly gives each waitress a $5,000 farewell bonus. 
Posted in Personal | 5 Comments