Bag of Randomness for Friday, September 25, 2020

Well, well, well, Cinderella decided to bring a knife to the fight.

I’m a very loyal and proud member of USAA, but I liked them a lot more before they started an advertising blitz.

Four years ago, I felt strongly that Moscow Mitch should have held a hearing for Merrick Garland regarding the vacant Supreme Court seat left by Justice Scalia. He said that voters should have a voice, and I believed the voters did when they reelected President Obama. Four years later, I still believe McConnell should hold a hearing for the vacant seat RBG leaves behind, as much as I don’t like it. However, I think Moscow Mitch should be consistent with his actions, and his excuse for this opportunity differing from what happened four years ago is poor and hypocritical. Even though he may not have the country’s best interest at heart for the long term, at least how his actions will affect future Senate actions by creating precedent, I’ll give him this, he makes the most out of any opportunity given him and he’s a shrewd political party leader.

I’m reading John Dickerson’s new book, The Hardest Job In the World – The American Presidency. He quotes Lincoln as saying, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Dickerson also share’s this story, which proves Nixon had more integrity than McConnell.

1968 was the last time there was a court seat at play this close to an election. A group of Senate Republicans tried to block President Johnson, saying he shouldn’t be able to fill a seat in an election year, but the Republican leader Everett Dirksen blocked them. When those GOP Senators threatened to filibuster, Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon said they shouldn’t.

I actually remember these being in their restaurants. I think they also had small aluminum ones with the logo stamped in the middle.

Bank manager finds 9.07-carat diamond in Arkansas state park

Fed’s Brainard Seen at Top of Biden’s Treasury Secretary List

I didn’t realize that all of our nation’s treasury secretaries have been white males. She, ok course, would be the first woman.

Secret ‘Man Cave’ Discovered Below Grand Central Platform; 3 Subway Workers Busted

At least three MTA employees secretly turned a storage room below one of the platforms at Grand Central Terminal into a private “man cave,” complete with a futon, TV, exercise equipment, a fridge and beds, the agency’s inspector general said Thursday.

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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, September 24, 2020

I’ve never seen Brian’s Song. It’s on that list of movies I’d like to watch but never made the effort.

There should be a law that if a federal holiday falls on a Thursday, declare the following Friday as another federal holiday. Maybe call it Citizens Day. A Reddit post which cited a similar Japanese law inspired this thought.

The New York town of Swastika votes to keep its name

A small town in upstate New York voted to keep the name Swastika, saying that the town founders named it after the Sanskrit word and not the hate symbol associated with Nazis.

The Trump campaign is reportedly ‘discussing contingency plans to bypass election results

President Trump’s campaign is discussing “contingency plans” that would involve bypassing the result of November’s election, reports The Atlantic.

The report delves into possible scenarios if Trump apparently loses the 2020 presidential election but doesn’t concede, noting that although we’re used to electors being selected based on the popular vote, “nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way.” Citing Republican Party sources, The Atlantic says that Trump’s campaign is “discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority.”

The campaign would reportedly assert that this step was necessary due to claims of supposed voter fraud, which experts have noted is extraordinarily rare, ahead of the “safe harbor” deadline to appoint 538 electors on Dec. 8.

John Cornyn and MJ Hegar’s race is competitive in Texas, but they’re keeping a low profile compared to 2018’s Senate contest

I’m surprised Hegar isn’t further behind, especially when you look at the cash on hand. She has only one commercial and I think it’s horrendous. I really know nothing about her other than she’s a Democrat. But if I were trying to know who she was just by her commercial, all I know is that she’s trying to she has a Purple Heart, and badly so with the poor special effects displaying her downed helicopter when she’s unflatteringly sitting on a mountainside. Cornyn has three commercials and none of them have shown any diversity, so he’s definitely not trying to reach out to any minorities.

California to ban sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035

Don’t panic, nobody’s coming to take your car. As Newsom’s executive order outlining the new rules notes, existing internal combustion vehicles will still be perfectly legal to own, operate, buy, and sell within the state. The new rules only apply to new vehicle sales. That includes cars, minivans and SUVs.

Moose eloquently runs on water.

The most notable and visually stunning stuff starts at the one-minute mark.

The original film has been upscaled, denioised, and frame interpolated using artificial intelligence. This film was already shot in color, so all that was attempted here is upscaling to 4K resolution and bumping the frame rate from 24fps to 48fps. Some scenes did not interpolate properly, but seeing it in a higher frame rate is pretty amazing.

Bodyguards go through intense training to be ready to protect celebrities, CEOs, and politicians. Security firm Global Threat Solutions has protected the likes of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and hosts trainings for new bodyguards trying to break into the field. Business Insider followed five new recruits on a three-day training in Long Island, NY. As they learn formations, how to plan for emergency scenarios, and how to scout out locations before every security detail, they get ready to put their lives on the line for VIP clients.



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Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Yesterday, Gordon Keith of The TICKET, stated Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Initially, I knew he was wrong because I remembered Rosa Parks had that honor. But technically, Parks was a citizen, and a citizen can only lie in honor. RGB was a government official, so she will lie in state. But before that, she will lie in repose at the Supreme Court. Repose is just a less formal distinction than state or honor.

The South Pole has no official time zone.

I always thought all college instructors, even athletic coaches, needed at least a master’s degree to be an employee. As far as I know, and I did a small amount of research, Deion Sanders, the new Jackson State head football coach, is not in possession of one.

Only female mosquitos bite.

An entire village lost its broadband at the same time every day for 18 months. Now we know why

For 18 months, residents of a village in Wales have been mystified as to why their broadband internet crashed every morning. Now engineers have finally identified the reason: A second-hand television that emitted a signal that interfered with the connection.

The cover to John Boehner’s new memoir is quite interesting. If he were wearing pajamas, he’d look like Hugh Hefner. It also looks like an ad for a steakhouse.

Used condoms cleaned and resold in southern Vietnam

Market authorities in Binh Duong Province have seized 324,000 used condoms that were about to be cleaned and resold in the market.

Besides the used condoms weighing 360 kilos in total, inspectors also found thousands of condoms that had been packed and readied for sale, without brand names.

Ngoc said around once a month, “somebody” delivered thousands of used condoms to her.

Her job was to clean, dry and sort the condoms before making them look fresh again for new customers.

I’m sure everyone’s initial reaction about this story is how gross this is, rightfully so. But when I look at the story, I think how poor that region must be for this to be a viable business. Then, my heart breaks when I think about the people doing this job. There are only doing it because they are being forced to, or they believe out of all the options they have to make money, this is the best. I guess I’m sympathetic because I have family in South Vietnam and I actually got to experience the poverty and witness a lot of things I didn’t want to. This story also reminds me of all those immigrants on the Vegas strip handing out call girl flyers. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It’s almost unbelievable how many of them there are, and how humiliating it has to be. Out of all the options they have to make money and provide ford themselves and their family, in the land of opportunity, they think that’s the best option.

Archaeologists unearthed 27 sarcophagi in an ancient Egyptian city of the dead. They’ve been sealed for more than 2,500 years.

Tempting – Amazon is selling a $499 Peloton knockoff called Prime Bike

The Prime Bike is Amazon’s first-ever connected fitness product, costing $499 — or roughly $1,500 less than Peloton’s flagship bike. Amazon’s bike has a similar look to a Peloton, but doesn’t have a screen to stream workouts.

The Prime Bike works with an app that streams fitness and cycling classes for a monthly fee. Prime Bike buyers getting a free 30-day trial. (Prime Bike users will need an iPad or laptop nearby to use the app for its cycling classes.)

It’s my understanding half of Europe’s garbage pickup is like this. This reminds of a story I’m sure I shared before. Some of you Mineral Wells folks may remember Coach Richardson, his wife was the French teacher. In his history class, he told us when he was in the military he served with a guy whose father came up with the idea of how a garbage truck picks up those large disposal bins. He had a card which allowed him to fly on any American Airlines flight for life. The only other time I heard of this was when Mark Cuban made a similar purchase.

Another Coach Richardson note. He was fighting cancer and wasn’t at school for a long while, but my father saw him somewhere out in public. He approached my father and told him that he was touched  that I stopped by for a visit and it was a real pick-me-up. Dad came home and bragged to Mom how proud he was of me. But the thing is, I never did that. As much as I wanted to soak in the praise, it wasn’t warranted and I just couldn’t accept it and told Dad he must have confused me for someone else. Dad said, no, he referred to me by name, but I still awkwardly argued he must have confused me for someone else.

It’s hard not to love someone dedicated to a bit. For the past five years, Demi Adejuyigbe has made a video in honor of Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September”. You can view all five of them on this YouTube playlist. Here’s the latest and my favorite from 2019.

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Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas is slick. All that shiny black inside and outside makes it look futuristic. I can see why, much to the chagrin of TICKET listeners, why people are referring to it as the Death Star. But the more I think about it, the stadium reminds me of Spaceballs more than Star Wars. I think a better name for it should be Dark Helmet. Oh, and it also has art which might rival what’s at our Death Star.

If you are as interested in stadiums and their construction as I am, check out this series on YouTube narrated by the great Mike Rowe – From The Ground Up.

Something most folks won’t notice, but nutcases like myself will, are the typeface or font of the numbers on the field. Most teams use a very generic font for the numbers on their turf. The Cowboys have always had a distinctive curvy/bubbly type outlined in blue. The Raiders have always been very straight and sharp. Usually the 20-yard line seems to be the most distinctive when looking at other stadiums, even though I’m posting 50-yard-line photos. Random fact: The Cowboys were the first team to highlight the 20-yard-line, it was one of Tex Schramm’s innovations.

Jackson State announces Deion Sanders as its next head football coach

I’ve always had a fondness for Jackson State. I remember doing a research paper on Walter Payton and all the records he broke and how he even punted on occasion.

I’m a sucker for Sherlock Holmes adaptations. Here’s the latest from Netflix – Enola HolmesWhile searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.

There are some big names attached. Thirteen from Stranger Things, Henry Cavill, and Helena Bonham Carter.

We usually buy Kirkland brand toilet paper at Costco – 30 2-ply rolls, 425 sheets per roll, 1593.7 total square feet, for $19.99.

However, yesterday Amazon had a sale on their brand – 80 2-ply rolls, 400 sheets per roll, 3,219 total square feet, for $45.99.

I ran the numbers comparing cost per roll, square feet, and sheet, and it was more cost effective to stick with. The only factor I didn’t take into consideration was softness and durability of the Amazon brand. I suppose it’s an unknown known. But it wasn’t enough of a factor for me to try. But (no pun intended), this is only for the family as I selfishly splurge on my favorite Charim Ultra Gentle. No other is softer and more durable for the cost.

I also moved on from the bidet and graduated to using a toilet paper foam spray and it’s magnificent. I couldn’t rationalize buying it, so I looked at the ingredients and made my own at a fraction of the cost reusing the same bottle which makes the foam. Why do I pay so much attention to this type of cleaning? Well, changing dirty diapers and cleaning babies changed my perspective. You wouldn’t clean a baby without any type of moisture being used. If you didn’t use a wet wipe, it would be gross, nothing but smearing. Even if it looked clean, you knew it wouldn’t be. So I started with flushable wipes, then moved to the bidet, and now the foam, which I think is the cheapest and most effective.

Per the United Way, we would be dead last if it wasn’t for Alabama.

I found a six-month dream job for some of you. Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold is looking for a new CEO — Chief Exploration Officer. You get paid $50,000 (plus expenses) for six months.

Where will the CEO go?
Over a 6-month period, the CEO will travel through some of the country’s most iconic landscapes, exploring the natural beauty of America and stopping to capture photos. See the travel plan here.

Can the CEO bring someone with them?
We know some people prefer to enjoy the outdoors alone, but if it helps improve the trip, our CEO is more than welcome to bring along a friend, spouse, partner, or even a dog.

How will the CEO get around?
Our CEO will make the journey in a camper van equipped with its own bathroom and shower. And don’t worry about gas money, that’s on us.

What are the qualifications for the job?
The main things we’re looking for are a deep appreciation for nature, the willingness to hike to the perfect photo opp, and the ability to capture engaging content for social media. Oh, and a love of beer, of course. You also must be 21+ years old and have a valid US driver’s license.

I keep hearing the 200 plus judges President Trump has appointed. Curious, I wanted to know how many judge positions are there, at least ones the president has to appoint.

The number of judicial offices has risen significantly from the time when Washington’s 39 appointments were sufficient to maintain the entire federal judiciary for eight years. As of January 2020, there are 874 authorized Article III judgeships – 9 on the Supreme Court, 179 on the Courts of Appeals, 677 for the district courts including 10 temporary judgeships, and 9 on the United States Court of International Trade.[1]

To date, Ronald Reagan has appointed the largest number of federal judges, with 382, followed closely by Bill Clinton with 378. William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days after his inauguration, is the only president to have appointed no federal judges.

Now, I just need to take some time to figure out when does a case go to a district or circuit court judge and where does the appellate courts I always hear about fit in. I remember learning in my business law class that an appeal doesn’t mean an opportunity to retry or admit new evidence, but it’s an argument something procedurally was amiss.

Yesterday, BoyGeeding asked if he could take a break from his studies to visit the grave of his guinea pig. I watched him through the kitchen window, and for a little over five-minutes you could see him just having a conversation at the grave. Gosh, I really wish I could have heard what he was saying. I’m trying to appreciate his innocence while I still can, it won’t be around much longer.

Ron Cobb, Designer of the ‘Alien’ Ship and the ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorean, Dies at 83

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