Oddly, we received two Christmas cards in the mail yesterday. Both had a postmark date after the first of the year, were from different states, and both wrote an apology for sending them so late.
I’ll give President Trump political points for delaying Speaker Pelosi’s Air Force travel overseas. He’s right, she shouldn’t be traveling when the government is shut down. Though, I think he would have scored more political points with her actually being over there and drawing attention to it while he is home abroad. But I’ll also note, Pelosi has done her part, the House already passed legislation to reopen the government. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has twice blocked the House bill to reopen the government, not even allowing it to be voted on and rejected a compromise proposal from his own caucus. He reasons nothing should be voted on unless he’s sure the president will sign it. McConnell is out of the spotlight, probably scoring the most political points out of them all.
I’m a government contractor and very, very fortunate my assigned project is deemed essential enough that I continue to work and receive a paycheck. Not all my coworkers are as fortunate. My company has this program in which we can donate any unused vacation we rolled over from last year (we can roll over up to 40 hours) to coworkers who aren’t able to work and would go without pay. Unlike federal workers, contractors won’t receive any backpay. This vacation donation program was employee-inspired and implemented during a previous shutdown. My company has treated me exceptionally well over the years. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my back surgery. Unprovoked, they gave me an extra two weeks time off with pay to ensure my back properly healed and that I didn’t return to work sooner than need be. They actually offered me more time than that. With that in mind, and knowing I have the added benefit of working from home unlike my coworkers in DC, I donated the entirety of my 40 hours. The CEO of my company was recently interviewed for this CNN article about how she’s trying to protect her workforce during this government shutdown. In it, she states how the bank was willing to extend her line of credit, and she has kept the equity line of credit open on her home to fund payroll if needed. Other options for our company should the shutdown extends:
The first is to pay employees 80% of what they are owed, she said. The second is to let her staff go so they can apply for unemployment, then rehire them when the government opens again, and the third is to institute rolling leave without pay. She’s concerned that if she gets to that place, she’ll start to lose her top talent.
While my back isn’t where I’d like it to be a year from surgery, I don’t regret having the surgery. It would eat at me if never had the surgery and be left with the thought of what would have been. I pretty much knew the answer of going through life without the surgery. It’s hard to remember pain, but I think I’m better now than I was before. However, I take responsibility and accept I would feel better about the whole experience if I were consistent with my daily exercise and stretching.
The Texas Rangers ballclub still have not announced what playing surface their new stadium will have. It’s speculated it will be natural, but not grass.
Crushed coconut husks and sand make up a large percentage of the “infill” in Shaw Sports Turf’s new baseball-specific B1K (as in “batting 1.000) turf. The mixture is designed to enhance the playability for baseball and the safety for players. It is a dramatic change from last generation of turf, which uses rubber pellets as the infill.
While reading this SI.com article on Sean Payton’s time assisting coaching Liberty Christian in Argyle during his forced sabbatical, I noticed one picture was taken at Camp Copass in Denton. I volunteered there a couple of weeks for two or three summers.
Kodak’s official date system, one with a 13-month calendar of equal 28-days and instituted by George Eastman back in 1928, was used until 1989.
The system, originally proposed by a chap called Moses B. Cotsworth in 1902, is called the “International Fixed Calendar”. It splits the year into 13 months of 28 days each, with one or two days each year not belonging to any month. The extra month, called “Sol”, appeared between June and July.
For some of you, “Sol” will make you think of Matt Damon poop potatoes.
Few things make me feel dumber than trying to use a fake drawer handle on furniture, or fake pockets on clothes.
Every work day I feel like I’m trapped in the ’90s. My neighbor’s car alarm goes off twice a day despite nothing touching it. Car alarms seem like such a dated problem.
Thankfully, I haven’t experienced this problem in quite a while. Writing with a pencil, making a mistake, and to make things better, trying to erase only to find out the eraser is old and dried up and it just smears things up to holy hell.
Sticker residue from stickers which are supposed to come off grind my gears. My gears are further ground by those stickers which tear leaving only the bottom paper layer.
Jeff Fisher, who looks like he should have had a career NASCAR rather than the NFL, doesn’t have that great of a career win/loss record, .512. He only coached two teams, but consider this, those two teams played “home games” in five different cities and six different stadiums. Jerry Jones has an interesting relationship with him, and I can totally see him as the Cowboys next coach, not that Redball is going anywhere soon.
The last book I read about presidential history stated Nancy Reagan made couples sit at different tables at state dinners to encourage conversation and interaction. This was of great concern to Sylvester Stallone because his girlfriend at the time, Brigette Nielsen, didn’t like to be left alone in the company of strangers, so he called ahead and made a special request for them to be seated together, which was granted. Stallone also had one of his representatives reach out to the Reagan ’84 campaign with another request, he wanted to present President Reagan with the boxing gloves and robe he wore in Rocky IV, but a now-famous former lawyer reviewed the requested publicity stunt.
“The young lawyer wrote back up the chain of command and said, ‘There has already been enough publicity for Rocky, President Reagan has been more than generous with his time. I recommend we decline.’ And you know who wrote that? John Roberts, who is now Chief Justice of the [Supreme Court of the] United States,”
President Reagan’s sense of humor on full display during a West Berlin speech when a balloon unexpectedly and loudly popped. Quick-witted, he was. I’ve seen in some social media circles state this speech was given two months after his assassination attempt, but that’s dead wrong. The assassination attempt was on March 30, 1981, this speech was in June 1987 (01:20:15).
One reason I’ve been hesitant to leave DirecTV is that I have all the channel numbers memorized. So far, I’m happy I switched, but the adjustment is real first world problem.
A reader was kind enough to tell me he heard my hometown of Mineral Wells, Texas mentioned while watching an old western on TCM called Bad Bascom. While researching that I found out Mineral Wells is the setting for the fourth story of little known Marvel character Tex Morgan. The story includes the Ute Reservation, but if my hometown history memory serves me right, the only tribes in the area would have been Comanche or Wichita. However, per Wikipedia:
The name “Comanche” is from the Ute name for them, kɨmantsi (enemy), but known to the French as Padoucas, an adaption of their Sioux name, and among themselves as Nʉmʉnʉ (people).
A TAMU former student informed me of an Aggie effort to consider including personal pronouns in email signatures to help identify gender because of unisex or dual-gender names and names, as well as unfamiliar names from other countries. I’m not saying I’m for or against the idea (I know some of you are pulling your hair out thinking political correctness has run amok), but I experience this awkward issue a lot since so many people in my line of work are from other countries. With a romance language, most female names end in an “a” or vowel. But these Asians, I tell ya, they make everything complicated. At least I only make things half as complicated as they should be.
A funny bit of timing worked out the other day. While reading Barry’s blog he mentioned his heater needed to be repaired which reminded me I need to order a replacement filter for my HVAC unit. As soon as I finished reading that bullet point an email from my preferred filter store arrived in my Inbox with a discount code for twenty percent off. I have to order my filter since isn’t carried by any local stores, it’s an oddly shaped 16″ x 25″ x 1″ which only needs to be changed every six months.
A decade ago, in the depths of the worst recession in modern U.S. history, Arizona lawmakers took perhaps the most extreme step of any state facing massive budget deficits: They sold their state Capitol building and the buildings that house the state House and Senate. Now, with coffers flush with revenue, the state wants to buy those buildings back. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said Monday he would move to pay off debt and reclaim ownership of legislative buildings, the state fairgrounds and the building that houses the state Supreme Court.
Here’s my crazy political prediction you should bet the pigsty on. In other words, it’s a bunch of crap and slop so don’t even give it any real consideration unless it happens and I’ll take full credit for the stranger than fiction idea. One morning Americans will find out that Trump’s cabinet, in a surprise move, turned on him invoking the 25th Amendment. This will happen because of his refusal to budge on re-opening the government after some budging from the opposing party, not working with his own party, and another month of employees unable to pay bills and business owners’ bottom lines being affected, not to mention the “full faith and credit of the U.S. government” taking a huge hit. Republican strategists are already working on this thinking about how much easier it will be to rally behind Pence for 2020 and making all the Russian collusion and any moral shortcomings of Trump go away. For your Trump supporters, don’t get all sensitive on me, just allow me to dance in my delusions of grandeur for a bit.
BoyGeeding needed a new pair of shoes for school. He “demanded” they have laces this time.
The pastor of our church (the founding pastor of the church, actually) will be retiring in March. We’ve been searching for a new pastor and the process has been a bit cloak and dagger. The new pastor was introduced to the congregation, someone who was once a member and was enthusiastically welcomed. Before we voted as a congregation to accept him, there was an opportunity to ask him questions. Even though the candidate was familiar to the congregation, he hasn’t set foot in our church in seven years so I was surprised at the lack of substantive and foundational questions asked, stuff I’m used to hearing in my Baptist roots. Stuff like, how did you know God called you into the pastoral ministry and how did you come to know Christ? But then again, I’m a deep thinker.
This will be the first time I have a pastor who is younger than me. I better get used to this phase in life. One day I’ll have a boss who is younger than me, as well as a president, maybe even a mother-in-law.
I couldn’t help but laugh at Zeke Elliott after he made a first down and did his trademark “feed me” routine only to immediately ask to be taken out of the game. Hey Zeke, they can’t feed you the ball if you ask to be taken out of the game.
I meant to mention this at the end of the NFL regular season when it was more relevant. Eagles QB Nick Foles fell four snaps short of a $1 million incentive this season, playing just shy of 33% of Philadelphia’s snaps. The Eagles owner worked things out in which Foles will get the bonus. Back in the old days, when people like Tex Schram and Jack Kent Cooke were in charge of payroll and finances, they’d remain hardline saying business is business. But times have changed and what Eagles owner Jeff Lurie is smart. Now that free agency is a thing, an act like that will help recruit players, they feel their owner will do what’s in the players’ best interest instead of what’s best for the bottom line.
I think the new “It Girl” in television commercials is the TurboTax red-head with glasses.
’60 Minutes’ had a great story on Chinese invenstmenton AI. Two parts stood out. One, as the most populous country, they have a plethora of data to collect from humans doing everyday tasks. And two, they had an AI camera focusing on an elementary classroom and could immediately identify when a student was paying attention, distracted, or bored, which allowed the teacher to identified what parts of the lesson to adjust or how to individually tailor something to a particular student, and to figure out when a student is motivated or identify likes and dislikes. The story mainly focused on one Chinese investment capitalist (somewhat of an oxymoron if you think about it). He talked about coming to America as a child and enrolling in a Tennesee school and how the principal would personally tutor him during lunch to learn English. The individual attention he received floored him and he’s trying to instill that culture in Chinese schools. He went on to become an executive at Apple, Microsoft, and Google; and, has a new book out which I’m intereted in.
Kai-Fu Lee: When I arrived in Tennessee, my principal took every lunch to teach me English. And that is the kind of attention that I’ve not been used to growing up in Asia. And I felt that the American classrooms are smaller, encouraged individual thinking, critical thinking. And I felt it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Wichita Falls news – Police were called to a Texas Walmart after a woman was reportedly drinking wine from a Pringles can and riding an electric cart in the parking lot.
I like following Michael Morrell on Twitter and his analysis on the news, he was the former Acting and Deputy Director of the CIA. Recently, he provided this bit of insight on G.H.W. Bush who requested his presidential briefing to have more humor.
I had a similar experience with “41.” On a paper my team wrote for him on a foreign leader, Bush wrote a note to us saying “To his hobbies, add tennis. Likes to play the net. Weak backhand.” His sense of humor is just one of the reasons he was a great man. https://t.co/57znpZy9kM
I still don’t know if someone at my alma mater, Hardin-Simmons University, has been pulling a joke on me for years or if there’s a “glitch” in their system which needs fixing. Years ago, they use to send “future alumni” recruiting stuff addressed to my (now dearly departed) dog, Tuna. So, we’d get mail addressed to “Tuna Geeding” inviting him to children activities. This week, I received an invite to play in an alumni basketball game and to make an appearance at another game to be honored at halftime. Here’s the thing, I never played college sports other than intramurals. It’s not the first time I’ve received stuff about being a former HSU basketball player, but that stuff is fun showing to my college friends and me making up stories of games and practices which never happened.
Those AT&T “Just OK is not OK” commercials crack me up, especially the one with the tattoo artist who says, “Stay in your lane, bro.” And do you know who needs to stay in his lane? That blogging lawyer over in Wise County. As of late, he’s been blogging about Nixon’s treasonous actions with North Vietnam. Hey, I’m the local blogger who writes about presidential history and trivia. You don’t see me making posts about random courthouse or legal items or female teachers getting in trouble for having inappropriate relationships with minors. You know why, because I stay in my own darn lane, that’s why.
I did write about my discovery of Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam War peace talks two years ago today, of all days. The Wise County lawyer claims Nixon’s actions didn’t come to light until 2016, but that’s as misleading as anything coming out of the mouth of the current White House press secretary. In my post, I included this 2013 BBC article about the last batch of LBJ tapes being declassified in which he states Nixon “has blood on his hands.” It does an excellent job describing Nixon’s treason and how LBJ flirted with the idea of landing Marine One on top of a Chicago hotel to avoid war protestors and entering the 1968 Democratic Convention to re-join the presidential race. As for why LBJ didn’t expose Nixon:
Johnson felt it was the ultimate expression of political hypocrisy but in calls recorded with Clifford they express the fear that going public would require revealing the FBI were bugging the ambassador’s phone and the National Security Agency (NSA) was intercepting his communications with Saigon. So they decided to say nothing.
That Wise County lawyer also recently mentioned Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. About a month ago, I noticed they moved their headquarters less than a half-mile away from GeedingManor. They put a big fancy sign on the side of a nearby office building.
It’s become a thing for former presidents and their wives to be buried on the grounds of their libraries. However, George W and Laura. Bush will be buried in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery. The Carters will be buried in Plains, GA instead of Atlanta, where his library is located. As far as I know, the Clintons, Obamas, and Trumps haven’t made their intentions of a final rest place public.
The Dallas Morning News recently had a large layoff, which included Eddie Sefko who covered the Dallas Mavericks. I thought it was cool of Dirk to acknowledge it and wish him well on Twitter. I also thought it was cool and classy of Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle ending a post came media conference by saying, “I miss @ESefko very badly. He’s a man of the highest integrity. That’s a great man and I just want to say it’s a privilege to work along side him the last 11 years and I’ll miss him very much.”
Dak Prescott’s first name is actually Rayne, his middle name is Dakota.
It’s the 20th anniversary of The SopranosHBO’s Twitter account. I’ve yet to watch an episode. To mark the occasion, they asked people to submit their first names and they would respond with a Soprano-like nickname. A plethora of celebrities and companies participated and it was really fun reading the banter.
This quote from the CEO of my company really stuck with me. I’ve thought about how people always try to interpret things like body language, silence, facial expression, and such, but the way she phrased it got me to thinking about it differently. Probably because she leads a small government contracting company and she and the executives are doing what they can to make sure no one has to go without a paycheck, she realizes how silence or the lack of communication can be interpreted into a slew of good and bad things. So far, I think she and her leadership team are doing a great job at being transparent and communicating.
One thing is for certain, human beings are “meaning-making” machines and will make meaning out of silence, miscommunication, or communication gaps.
In the summer, the sun never sets at the South Pole. This what a full day looks like.
I remember seeing my teacher’s gradebook for the first time, it looked like the one above. It seemed like a sacred book of secrets which held my past and would shape my feature. I also had that feeling of, “Oh, that’s how it’s done. The Great Oz pulled the curtain back a bit.” Sometimes the teacher would call us up to look at our six-week average before report cards went out, but she used two sheets of paper to cover the names above and below.
I’ve been thinking about the Ferris Bueller line about Abe Froman, The Sausage King of Chicago. I think it implies there are other sausage kings of other cities, yet I can’t name any. However, if there is an actual Sausage King of Chicago, the Chigago Tribune makes the strong argument it would be Vienna Beef CEO Jim Bodman.
I’m taking the bold step of switching my ISP and television from Frontier FiOS and DirecTV to Spectrum. I ran the numbers and I’ll save about $750 a year (taxes and fees included) and will still receive all the channels I care about (with DVR) and my internet speed will go from 80/80 Mbps to 200/200 Mbps with no data caps, throttling, and free equipment (no rentals).
I still firmly believe the U.S. is better off with Donald Trump as president than Ted Cruz.
There will never be another business person I admire more than Herb Kelleher. I could write pages about my admiration for him.
I only worked at Southwest Airlines as a contractor, never as an Employee (it’s part of their culture to always capitalize “Employee(s)”. It was well known he drove an Aston Martin, after all, there was an “Aston Martin Speed Limit” sign in the parking lot just for him. It was also well known if you parked far away from the entrance and he was driving in, he would often give an Employee a ride to the entrance. That never happened to me, but I do recall coming back from a lunch outing and waiting on the elevator. When it opened it was like that scene in Pulp Fiction when the briefcase was opened. It was him. It was the first time I ever saw the legend in real life, my business hero. I felt like I was meeting a mixture of all things Elvis and a bit of that Bill Clinton quality in which you feel like you were his entire focus of attention and felt his affection for you as an individual. Before my brain even had a chance to engage in a verbal reaction he extended his hand and exchanged some pleasantries in such a way that made me feel like he knew me from back in high school. I thought of that moment when I read this piece from the Dallas Morning News’ Terry Maxon:
Everybody who met Herb Kelleher was instantly his friend. He leaned in, offered an observation, a confidence, then let go with his big, drawn-out laugh, a-HAAA-HAAAA-ha! If you said something halfway funny, he rewarded you with another big laugh that ended only when he ran out of air. For the time you spent with Herb, you were the only one who existed. You were his best friend, the person he’d rather be talking to than anyone else in the world. You were awash in the glow of his admiration.
He is probably the second richest person I’ve shaken hands with, the first being Ross Perot when I attended a party at his house. The New York Times listed Herb’s wealth at $2.5 billion at the time of his death.
If you go to www.herbkelleher.com it will simply redirect you to Southwest.com.
The walls of Southwest Airlines headquarters are well known to be decorated with pictures and letters of Employees. One, in particular, got my attention. It was to Herb thanking him for co-founding the airline and making it successful and a great place to work, allowing him to have a career so he could provide for his family, buy a house, and send his kids to college. At the time, I think Southwest had 30,000 Employees. I wondered what it must be like to drive to the headquarters of a business you helped start and to know all the jobs and careers you created, and in doing so, all the lives you impacted because you created a means for them to provide their family.
Some of you may remember I used to write for Southwest’s blog. Here’s an old entry but I see the pictures I posted with it no longer appear.
Just an observation about the picture below which hangs on one of the walls of the headquarters of Southwest Airlines (just click to enlarge). The person on the left is Herb Kelleher, a co-founder and Chairman Emeritus and former CEO and President of the airline. You’ve heard me gush about him before, but the person on the right is no other than Neil Armstrong. What cracks me up is that the first human to ever set foot on the moon, one of the most famous persons from a historical perspective, is wearing a name tag. I know he’s not one to be in the spotlight much and he’s aged and all and that “one small step for man” moment happened over 40-years ago, but just the thought of the first human on the moon having to wear a name tag is a bit funny to me.
I’m a government contractor. Fortunately for me, my project is deemed “essential” and I’m still working with pay. Not all my coworkers are as fortunate. A lot of us who are able to work with pay will voluntarily donate some of our earned vacation time carried over from last years so those who can’t work can still get a full paycheck.
Though it shouldn’t, rhetoric most likely will win over any logic or fact.
The restaurant name, RM 12:20, is meant to be pronounced “R-M-twelve-twenty.” It’s a reference to a Bible verse from the book of Romans: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
I had no idea actor/comedian/director/writer Albert Brooks‘ real name is Albert Einstein, something I only discovered because of his brother, Bob Einstein (better known as Super Dave Osborne or Marty Funkhouser), died yesterday.
The family saw Mary Poppins Returns. When I watched the original as a kid, it felt wrong of me to be attracted to the lead character for some strange reason. I felt the same way watching this remake. The family loved the film, I thought it was just OK. As much as I like Emily Mortimer, I thought she was a bit old for the role of Jane. I thought the adult version of Michael Banks should have had red hair, like the kid in the original, and his mustache was distracting because I thought it was going to fall off at all times. It was certainly worth seeing a ninety-something-year-old Dick Van Dyke jump on and off a desk and do a jig. When people say they want to live to close to a hundred years, they mean doing so with the same vitality as Dyke. I read Emily Blundt didn’t watch the Julie Andrews film but instead focused on the books, which has a more direct and eccentric version of Poppins. I thought it showed, in a good way.
How basketball court lines are painted
NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft is sending back some interesting photos of the furthest known object in our solar system (or something like that) but let’s not forget the greatness Cassini gave us. This video is an assemblage of still images.
Absolutely beautiful video created using still images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its flyby of Jupiter and while at Saturn. Shown is Io and Europa over Jupiter's Great Red Spot and then Titan as it passes over Saturn and it's edge-on rings. NASA/JPL/Kevin M. Gill pic.twitter.com/BWaVP5h6Ob
I’m a fan of the relatively new update to my Google Pixel phone. I can screen any call by having Google answer the call and I can follow along by reading the real-time text it’s speaking to the caller. Depending on how the caller responds, I have a variety of voice-to-text responses, mark it as spam, or take the call. It’s so much fun I somewhat look forward to the random spam call.
Anytime I ask DaughterGeeding if she would like an ice cream cone, she always asks, “Will it have ice cream in it?” I’ve never pulled a joke of that nature on her, so I’m not sure where she picked that up.
If I see a lost shopping cart in a parking lot and it’s between me and the entrance, I’ll roll it back inside. It simply bugs me seeing those out of place and it’s unnerving when one is in a parking spot in which I’d like to park.
Notable probably only to loyal reader RPM and me – Scott Pelley of CBS News tweeted he has an upcoming book, Truth Worth Telling. Pelley hasn’t tweeted anything since June 2017, and rarely tweeted before that, but yesterday he tweeted at least twice. He also created a new Instagram account, the first picture is of his family, and his son looks like a giant in that picture. The book comes out in May.
I was in East Texas last weekend to celebrate Christmas with WifeGeeding’s family and her father’s 80th birthday. He took the grandkids to ride a miniature train in Mineola.
I’ve never watched an episode of ‘Laverne & Shirley’. I’d watch the intro to the show and then turn the channel to something else.
One of WifeGeeding’s coworkers lost her husband to cancer this week. He was a father to three daughters, two are in college and one is still in high school. WifeGeeding gave me her mean one-eyed stare when I suggested we introduce her to our neighbor who just lost his wife to cancer.
If Mexico would simply go ahead and pay for the border wall like they are supposed to there wouldn’t be any U.S. government shutdown.
About two weeks ago when driving the kids to school a projectile hit the windshield with such force shards of glass hit my face and fell into my coffee. No one was hurt, though it scared the kids. I was proud of myself for remaining calm and using it as a teaching moment on how not to panic.
“A sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33 year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents.”
Whether you’re a student or an educator, newer to computer science or a more experienced coder, or otherwise interested in software engineering, we hope there’s something for you here in Google’s Guide to Technical Development. We’ve carefully curated a collection of material from many sources, including Google, that you can use to supplement your classwork or direct your own learning.
Today’s dose of ‘MURICA (There might be cursing at the end, but to me, it’s inaudible)
Yesterday I read a tweet by Mrs. LiberallyLean and it dawned on me that it was the seventeen-year anniversary of meeting WifeGeeding for the first time. Of course, she wasn’t WifeGeeding back then, just a mysterious sexy woman with glasses who walked into my apartment. A group of my friends was going to a Mavs game and one of those friends invited her roommate, which was WifeGeeding, and everyone was meeting at my place before the game. I saved the ticket and put it in a scrapbook I gave her years ago.
That means today is the seventeen-year anniversary of our first date which lasted to about three in the morning. The date was rather simple, I took her to Stonebriar Center to go ice skating, which no longer has an ice rink. She spent most of the evening laughing her end off because I kept falling on mine since it was the first time I ever tried skating on ice. Before skating, we ate at the Chic-fil-A in the food court. Unlike all my previous dates with other girls, I didn’t pay for her meal.
You’ll hear a lot of commercials for the theater play ‘A Bronx Tale’, which was originally a movie produced and directed by Robert De Niro. It was one of my favorite movies for a long time and it included a certain “test” I used to judge a woman’s character. In the movie, a mob boss mentors a kid. One day the kid becomes a teen and is about to go on his first date and the mob boss loans him his car. The mob boss tells the kid that when he picks up his date, he needs to be a gentleman and open the passenger door for her, but after she sits down and he closes the door he needs to walk around the back of the car and glance through the rear window to see if she reaches over to unlock the door for him. If she does, that means she’s worth pursuing because she’s considerate. Of course, that was back in the day before automobiles had remote keys or the ability to unlock all doors at once with a prolonged turn of the key in the door lock. The car I drove to pick WifeGeeding up on our first date didn’t have a remote key, but it did do that trick of unlocking all doors with a prolonged turn of the car door lock (a “regular” turn of the key would only unlock that particular door). Because of ‘A Bronx Tale’ I put WifeGeeding to the test several times that night, and each and everytime she reached over to unlock the driver side door for me, so I thought she was worth pursuing.
One other thing I’ll note about our first date seventeen-years ago. On our way to the food court, I asked her what’s one thing someone wouldn’t know about her unless they specifically asked. That’s when she told me she had a glass eye.
A quote from ‘A Bronx Tale’ which has stuck with me, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices you make will shape your life forever.” The thing is, I have no talent, so I never had the opportunity to waste anything.
There’s a James Avery Christmas commercial with a sappy song which seems to air after every other commercial and it drives me batty.
I don’t recall any fanfare over the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog this year. Since they are local, and I watch the local news consistently, usually it catches my attention.
No complaints, but without doing anything special my back has felt progressively better over the past two weeks. I mean, my back isn’t great, but I feel improvement for the first time in maybe six months.
I like to jovially compare my back situation with Tiger Woods because he also had a lower-lumbar fusion, we are the same age, are half-Asian, and have fathers who served in the Army. I’ve been under the impression that he’s absolutely pain-free of any back problems, but that may have been a poor assumption on my part. He may be competing again at a caliber level, and you don’t see him grimace, but that doesn’t mean he’s pain-free. Also, I also assume he’s not taking any medication, but there’s the possibility he could be taking anything from Advil to some type of prescribed nerve medicine, pain medicine, or muscle relaxer.
We took the kids to ICE at the Gaylord Texan yesterday evening. That’s the thing with 2-million pounds of carved ice in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer theme sits in a 9-degree Texas-sized freezer. Of all the things I enjoyed, it was breathing in allergy/pollen-free air. The kids really enjoyed the ice slides. Anytime I see Hermie the Elf, I’m reminded of an old manager I had who looked like the real-life human version. Hotel employees wear a nametag which states where they are from, and I saw one from South Africa. She said she wasn’t fond of the cold and employees are only allowed to work an hour at a time inside the warehouse-sized freezer. Parking was expensive, it cost us $17.
When I watch superhero movies I often wonder how comfortable are the actor’s shoes are boots.
I always get a kick out of how R2-D2 is referred to as “Artoo” in print or captioning.
The first president I vividly remember is Ronald Reagan. He was president throughout most of my childhood and always seemed to be the focus on the evening news my father was watching. Because of this, when I think of “presidential”, Reagan often comes to mind. I think I really connected with him and understood the importance of the office when he addressed the nation after the Challenger explosion and I was a confused child. I never had a grandfather, but he comforted me like I thought a grandfather would, through the television of all things. When I grew older and looked back on history, I found I disagreed with a lot of his politics, but I always admired his character and how he set a great example for the American people. As I watch the evening news with my kids around, I often wonder what my kids think of the presidency and the current occupant and what lasting impressions they will have. For a while, I debated watching the news because of the negative rhetoric and such. Recently, top stories have revolved around the sentencing of Retired Lt General and former NSA Advisor Michael Flynn and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. The kids asked how can “bad guys” work for the president. I thought it was a good teaching moment to say no one who becomes president or works for any president is ever perfect, and betraying your country, even working for the president or a presidential candidate, even if you served as an important leader like a general, is above the law and lying, especially to the FBI and authorities, has major consequences. I also made sure to state that the president is only under investigation isn’t found to be guilty of anything yet, but a lot of times where there is smoke there is fire.
When I was a student at Hardin-Simmons University, I was one of the first students to take advantage of the new Leadership Studies minor. Last week, the current crop of students traveled to presidential libraries, homes, and museums in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas. Y’all know my love of presidential history. I would have loved that trip.
If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eye Joe, I’d been married a long time ago.
If you are a fan of Thomas Kinkade and popular Texas stores and restaurants, I found an Etsy page for you.
George H.W. Bush and Barbara have such a large family it would be easy to mistake them for being Catholic or Mormon.
One of my favorite memories of former president George H.W. Bush involves him attending a Cowboys game at Texas Stadium sometime after he left office. It may have been a playoff game against the Packers. Madden and Summerall were on the call. Bush was in a suite drinking a glass of milk. The camera focused on him and Madden used the telestrator to circle the milk and commented on the wholesome image and the great example he was setting drinking something healthy instead of alcohol or soda. I looked for a good two minutes for the video but most of my searches resulted in Frank Caliendo doing a Madden or George W. Bush bit. So let this be a lesson to you kids, avoid broccoli but drink your milk and you too can live to 94 years of age.
I saw some people on social media didn’t understand why former senator Bob Dole saluted G.H.W. Bush with his left hand. I guess they didn’t realize he basically had his arm blown off by a machine gun in WWII and learned to cope. He often held a pen in that hand to try to minimize the effect it had on it.
Y’all know I’m a sucker for presidential history, but I’m not a fan of these state funerals because it makes the person and the office monarchal. We are a system of checks and balances, separate but equal power, and this stuff tends to tilt importance and power to the chief executive. I also think too much money is spent on these sort of things – federal employees (and I) get a paid day off, a presidential aircraft transports the body to and from Washington, personnel, security, yadda, yadda, yadda. I prefer the simpleness of Nixon’s funeral, but then again, his had to be toned down because of that whole resignation thing.
Speaking of Nixon, and Trump, many think it’s a tradition for a sitting president to speak at a former president’s funeral. It’s not, though it has happened for the last three. For instance, LBJ died just two days after Nixon’s second inauguration and he didn’t speak at LBJ’s funeral. Truman died just a month before LBJ and didn’t have a state funeral, which I read mainly because his wife didn’t wish for it. With the death of those two, there were no other living former presidents.
It’s well noted that only two pairs of father and sons have become president. However, John Quincy Adams was the sitting president when his father died (as well as Thomas Jefferson on the same day – July 4, 1826). If it were not for Jefferson’s death, I bet Quincy would have had his father lie in the White House. In case you were wondering, Jefferson was buried the day after his death, Adams three days after going to the great beyond.
Eight presidents have had funeral processions down Pennsylvania Avenue, including all four presidents to die by assassination. Again, less is more.
A bit before Thanksgiving my neighbor lost his wife to cancer. It was her second bout and her son recently became a teenager. It’s hard trying to be there for a neighbor and friend without trying to be intrusive.
That same week, a former medical doctor of mine committed suicide leaving behind two young children.
I work from home and have converted a room to a small home office. Every day, OtherDogGeedingII, the new pup, will bring a different toy from BoyGeeding or DaughterGeeding’s room into the office and prompt me to play. Sure, I could easily have the kids close the door to their rooms and resolve this “problem” but it’s entertaining to see what the pup brings me when he wants my attention.
It took her three years, but DaughterGeeding earned her black belt in Taekwondo. I know some of you think these things are trivial and just a way for adults to make money off of parents. Even if that’s the case, along the way, she picked up some confidence and discipline and learned how to set an achieve a long-term goal (this one took over a third of her life). Sure, she ain’t no Bruce Lee and not a fighter, this was more about form and technique. For instance, from memory, she had to perform the technique for all her previous belts – white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, and black/red.
To mark her achievement, I took one of the boards she had to break for her black belt test and made a personalized Christmas ornament out of it by carving, painting, and matting. She seemed to appreciate it, and I hope it’s something which hangs on her tree with her future family after I’m no longer part of this earth.