Bag of Randomness for Friday, January 20, 2017

  • Circa 1998, I wrapping up my time in college and was a big fan of A&E’s ‘Biography’. In part because I wanted to know what all laid in front of me and if I would be brave and opportunistic enough to make my own history like all of these folks. I remember when ‘Biography’ decided to do one on Donald Trump and he called in the next day to ‘Live with Regis and Kathy Lee’ to discuss it. I recall Trump saying he was happy with the piece, but his tone and demeanor sounded like he was wondering if there would be much more left to write about him.
  • Two items of note I saw on the ‘CBS Evening News’
    • One segment showed the Secret Service training for all sorts of different scenarios that could happen at the inauguration, even role-playing with a weaponized drone. I’ve thought a lot about how a drone could be used as a weapon and if it’s been overlooked.
    • Scott Pelley introduced Bob Schieffer at the end of the telecast stating how the wise elder has reported on Washington and jokingly clarified he meant the city, not the first president.
  • When DaughterGeeding realized Donald Trump was to become our acting president tomorrow, she asked if we could go to the store to buy Oreos before Trump gets rid of them all. I totally forgot he said that, but it reminded me what can stay in a child’s mind.
  • From the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast website, and this has to be awkward for a former first lady, but Benny Hinn?! And no George W. Bush?
  • Trump: My Cabinet has ‘by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled.”’
    • My first thought was Kip Dynamite’s famous line.
    • My second thought was, there’s no need to upstage George Washington’s cabinet, which only had four members: Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph.
  • Mapped: President Barack Obama’s 156 visits abroad – and half a million million miles flown in Air Force One
  • I’ve cooked bacon in the oven before, but yesterday was the first time I tried it by laying it on parchment paper. To my surprise, it worked great. Not so much by the cooking aspect, but the cleanup was a cinch. It was better than using aluminum foil. When I first read about this method I thought the grease would go through the paper and go all over the place, but not at all. Just make sure your paper is larger than your sheet pan.
  • 2nd ex-Baylor Title IX official alleges discrimination
  • If you are a fan of HBO’s ‘Westworld’, you might appreciate these pictures of an abandoned amusement park north of Tokyo.
  • I didn’t vote for Trump, but I’d prefer having him in the Oval Office than Ted Cruz. Go ahead, call my crazy, just refrain from any curse words or references to my mother, please.
  • I’m absolutely certain I have a better 40 time than Donald Trump.
  • At least this opportunity won’t go to his head and will simply humble the local pastor – Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress to preach at pre-inauguration service for Trump
    • I knew he’s frequently on Fox News, but had no idea he had a contract, “Jeffress declined to comment on his role in the inauguration, saying his contract with Fox News precludes him from speaking with CNN.
  • We prayed with Donald Trump
    • We are the pastors of two New York churches with unique connections to President-elect Donald J. Trump. Patrick is the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where the President-elect’s mother, Mary, an immigrant from Scotland, was a member, and where her son was baptized and confirmed. When he takes the oath of office, Mr. Trump will rest his hand on the Lincoln Bible and on the Bible given to him “by the Sunday Church School of the First Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, New York, Children’s Day, June 12, 1955.” Scott is the senior pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Fifth Avenue Presbyterian stands closer to Trump Tower than any church in the city. Sitting in his office, Mr. Trump has a direct view of the Celtic cross atop the church’s spire.
  • There’s a new trailer for the movie Logan, it’s the last time Hugh Jackman will play the role. You can tell in the opening scene they are in Texas, though I have no idea where or exactly how much of the film will take place in our state.
  • Attorney Brian ‘Strong Arm’ Loncar’s death ruled accidental cocaine overdose
  • Odd story about Skittles – Hundreds of thousands of red Skittles meant to feed cows spilled on the highway
  • Dennis Hastert Wants Sex-Abuse Accuser to Return Hush Money
  • GQ – The Oral History of President Barack Obama Playing Pickup Basketball
    • Reggie Love: I would say probably the most satisfying memory was having to coach Sasha’s middle school team and seeing seventh graders execute the pick-and-roll flawlessly.
  • George W. Bush’s Inauguration Day Letter to Barack Obama – There’s a part of me that would prefer these letters would never be seen by the public. These come from the National Archives.

    And here’s Clinton’s letter to W.
  • Grace
Posted in Personal | 4 Comments

Comparing ‘The Running Man’ to Today’s America

I’m not saying I agree with this, but it was interesting and entertaining to watch since I referenced the film not too long ago.

But I shall state that I’m positive Richard Dawson has kissed more women that our future president. Though, Trump probably leads him in “another” category.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi film The Running Man first premiered in 1987, it presented a dark vision of the US in the year 2017: economically depressed, ruled by the military, and obsessed with a reality TV show. It seemed far-fetched at the time, even to its creators. But on the eve of reality TV-star-turned President Donald Trump’s inauguration, it seems more timely and plausible than ever. Watch all the parallels between this retro sci-fi film and reality in our inaugural episode of Future Shock.

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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, January 19, 2017

  • I loved this moment from Obama’s first inauguration. Sasha was six or seven, and just as cute as can be, and gives her father a simple thumbs up with an adorable grin. While many may have been touched at the swearing of the nation’s first black president, I was simply touched seeing a young daughter knowing a man simply as nothing but a dad and giving him her approval. It was just a sweet, innocent, non-scripted moment.
  • Sometimes, the best way to make a bad day better is to do some things you’ve been dreading because at a minimum you’ll be happier those tasks are completed or you’ve made some progress.
  • For you armchair plumbers out there, I’m seeking your counsel. Our half bath is downstairs immediately across from our laundry room. Every now and then, and I think it happens sometime after we run the washing machine, we smell something as if it’s coming from the sewer. I’ve used my sniffer to try to isolate the smell, but I can’t tell where it is coming from. I don’t think it’s coming from the toilet I installed not too long ago because I”m thinking the water in the bowl and tank prevent any gasses from coming up. I doubt it’s the sink in the half bath mainly for the same reason and how a p-trap is designed. The washing machine hasn’t shown any sign of leakage and it’s been cleaned and deodorized, and I don’t think the area in the wall where the washing machine waste water is dispensed is the culprit. I’m stumped, any thoughts?
  • An Azle restaurant didn’t quite think through an MLK promotion. When I lived in Mineral Wells, there was a certain perception we had of Azle when it came to race relations. But then again, I was a kid, and things could have been blown out of proportion and I could have succumbed to rumors.
    • She quickly learned from a friend that Monday’s special of chicken and waffles with a side of watermelon wasn’t such a good idea. “I wasn’t thinking about the historical (context),” she said. “I was thinking, we have margaritas and tacos on Cinco de Mayo, so, let’s have some fun with Martin Luther King Day.”
  • KVIL is no more. I remember when they used to broadcast Cowboys games, and thought it was weird for a music station to do such a thing.
  • Pixar Pretty Much Confirms That All Of Its Films Exist In The Same Universe
  • I only knew of white noise, had no idea there was also pink, blue, gray, and brown.
  • The fastest speeding tickets issued in Texas in 2016
    • The top two were done on motorcycles – Data show the fastest ticket issued was clocked at 209 mph; the second fastest was 167 mph. Both drivers were cited on U.S. 190 in Coryell County. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2016, troopers issued 9,821 tickets with alleged speeds of 100 mph or faster. That’s up from the 6,883 tickets with alleged speeds of 100 mph or faster in 2015.
  • Presidential Inauguration Bingo Game Printable
  • I don’t care how “gross” they are, I love them, and I’ve never smoked weed.
    • The Wall Street Journal – How Badly Were We Craving Jack in the Box Tacos? Badly – After a popular article proclaimed them ‘vile and amazing,’ Journal staffers in New York cooked up a plan to import them using West Coast colleagues, ice packs, a real-life scientist, UPS and a toaster
  • Someone didn’t think through optics, a big screen shouldn’t be in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Via Matt Viser of the Boston Globe
  • I’m surprised Trump didn’t smile for his inauguration photo (PDF from
Posted in Personal | 9 Comments

Odd Interview on Fox News

It’s not every day that a television news outlet purposely invites hoaxers in order to confront them live on air about their hoax. But that’s exactly what Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson tried on Tuesday night — to incredibly bizarre results.

Full Article

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Something for you HBO and ‘Last Week Tonight’ fans

Posted in Goofy, Political | 2 Comments

Frozen Fox

I’d like the story better if Frozen Caveman Lawyer found the fox.

“I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by scientists. But there is one thing I do know. We must do everything in our power to lower the capital gains tax. Thank you!”

BERLIN (AP) — A hunter in Germany has put on show a block of ice containing a fox that he says fell into the chilly Danube and drowned, in what he calls a warning of the dangers of the icy river.

Franz Stehle told news agency dpa on Friday that the block containing the fox was extracted from the ice on Jan. 2 and put on display outside his family’s hotel in Fridingen. The town is on the upper reaches of the Danube, close to its source in southwestern Germany.

Stehle says it’s not unusual for animals to break through the frozen surface of the river in winter. He says he’s seen a frozen deer and wild boar before.

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His Heart Has Always Been in the Right Place

He and Barbara were admitted to the hospital recently, but they sent this to the President-Elect ahead of time.

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How Louis CK Tells A Joke

Posted in Goofy, Interesting | 1 Comment

Everything About Mission Control Houston

It’s done in a style of Vogue’s 73 Question series (a great watch btw) but NASA didn’t really do a great job with the delivery. But I’ll give them a pass, they aren’t entertainers, they are engineers. But I I did enjoy learning a lot of new stuff.

Houston, we have a problem – there are too many questions about Mission Control. Luckily, Flight Director Mary Lawrence is here to answer as many as she can before her shift starts. Listen as she and her fellow flight controllers answer everything about Mission Control Houston: what time does it close, how many acronyms do you have to learn, is there a phone number for the space station, and many many more.

All of the flight controllers on screen are real Houston flight controllers and controllers in training.

Posted in Goofy, Interesting | 1 Comment

Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, January 18, 2017

  • I bet most folks think President-Elect Trump will wear a red tie for his inauguration, but I’d put money on a silver tie. However, if any part of his wardrobe has red, it will only be the sash which has “PRESIDENT” embroidered in gold.
  • Per last night’s ‘CBS Evening News’, three times in our nation’s history the out-going president boycotted his successor’s inauguration: John Adams didn’t attend Thomas Jefferson’s, John Quincy Adams didn’t attend Andrew Jackson’s, and Andrew Johnson’s skipped Ulysses S. Grant after Grant refused to ride with Johnson to the capitol.
  • The role of White House Press Secretary has always fascinated me. In many ways, it’s a thankless job, having to be in the direct line of fire for all the press while maintaining composure. There’s even a silly tradition of the out going one passing down a flak jacket to the incoming one. I say all that because I never put together that the current White House Press Secretary has the last name of “Earnest”, which as Obama put it yesterday when publically thanking him, is a good name to have for that particular role. Sure, you may think he’s rotten as all get out, but the name itself for that role is unique. It’s akin to Usain Bolt being a sprinter, Quentin Jammer playing cornerback, or if someone with the last name Cook was a chef.
  • The ‘Magnum P.I.’ Ferrari has been restored and is for sale. This might be my Hollywood dream car, I’d take this over the Adam West Batmobile.
  • Drew Barrymore has a new series on Netflix, it’s a zombie comedy, and judging from this trailer (language warning), I’m totally in.
  • Philly newspaper enjoying a Cowboys loss
  • Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is leaving Crackle for Netflix
  • We watched the first episode of HBO’s ‘The New Pope’, here are some spoiler-free thoughts:
    • It’s slow, in the same style as ‘Rectify’ and maybe a tad slower than ‘Breaking Bad’ when it first started out, but I’m totally cool with that.
    • James Cromwell is typecast as a man of the cloth. I took a quick glance at his IMDB page, and since 1999, he’s played that role at least eight times.
    • One quote that really stood out, “Rumors fly so quickly here that sometimes they arrive before the event has taken place.”
    • I done learnt me a new word:
      • calumny – 1 : a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation <denounced his opponent for his defamatory insinuations and calumny> 2 : the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another’s reputation
    • I forgot Pope Benedict XVI is still alive, he’s 89 right now with a birthday this April. I didn’t think he’d live this long.
Posted in Personal | 3 Comments

Mark Hamill Reunites With His Actual Lightsaber

I thought I knew a lot about the behind-the-scenes stuff, but wasn’t aware he was wearing a battery pack and a wire that ran down his sleeve.

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Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, January 17, 2017

  • From the comments yesterday, I’m going to have to get an HDTV antenna for backup sports purposes and should see if my television has the ability to automatically display closed captioning when put on mute. Thanks.
  • The last human to walk on the moon, Eugene Cernan, died yesterday. Two things I’ll like to note.
    • His daughter was nine-years-old when he was on the moon and he wrote her initials on the surface. There’s an interview of her I saw many moons ago (see what I did there?) that I can’t track down, but she stated she didn’t think much of it at the time, but as she got older, she understood just how cool that fatherly gesture was.
    •  He had a few regrets about how he left the moon.
      • But 44 years ago, when his space boots pressed down into moon dust for the final time, and he lifted them on to the rungs of his lunar module’s ladder, he looked back at the prints he had left – but didn’t think to take a photo. Nor did it cross his mind when he scratched his daughter Tracy’s initials into the greyish dust. “I wish I’d had a camera,” says Gene. “And for the most nostalgic moment; the moment when I was going up the ladder and turned round and saw the Earth still there, still beautiful.
        • OK. One additional item I want to note which comes from that old article. I love his description of sight and sound.
          • “The moon, unfortunately, is magnificently beautiful but a bland colour,” he says. “When we landed, we had mountains surrounding us higher than the Grand Canyon is deep. But they weren’t snow covered and there were no trees, no water running down the hills. They were grey and bland… but still overwhelming in terms of beauty.” He adds: “And though we were in spacesuits, you could feel the silence. It was stark silence, nothing, zero.”
  • If you are a fan of NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” you have to check out the latest episode in which Tom Hanks is the guest host.
  • A lot of U2 fans in Dublin were camping outside waiting to buy tickets for their upcoming concert so Bono decided to order pizza for them.
    • Speaking of pizza, here’s a random bit of pizza trivia I recently ran across:
      • Despite its name, Hawaiian pizza is not a Hawaiian invention but Canadian.
        • And I bet it’s crap like that is why you keep coming back to this here blog.
  • Rolling Stone – The Edge Breaks Down U2’s Upcoming ‘Joshua Tree’ Tour
    Guitarist also reveals status of band’s upcoming ‘Songs of Experience’ LP and discusses rare songs fans might get to hear live

    • I was wondering about this, but it sounds contradictory:
      • Are you going to play the album in sequence at the shows?
        I believe we will, and I say “believe we will” because that is certainly the working assumption right now. The show might not necessarily start with Track One, Side One, “Where the Streets Have No Name,” because we feel like maybe we need to build up to that moment, so we’re still in the middle of figuring out exactly how the running order will go, so yes. We will be playing the album in sequence.
  • Not a lot of tweets make me literally laugh out loud, but this one did – @MsTexas1967: The Bruce Springsteen cover band have pulled out of Trump’s inauguration but their slot will be filled by Huey Lewis and the Fake News
  • I keep thinking about how President-Elect Trump is the P.T. Barnum of our time, and how in many ways, he’s so much better at self-promoting than Barnum ever was, and he’s considered the epitome. But it’s a bit strange I’ve been thinking of that for a while and now Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be no more before summer hits.
  • This New York Times article is about President Obama and his love of books. But the author’s claim that Obama, like Lincoln, taught himself how to write is ludicrous or a metaphor just zoomed right passed me going mach five.
  • New York Times – The Lost Footage of Marilyn MonroeThat film image of Ms. Monroe’s skirt rising high in a gust of air? It’s a reshoot of a discarded and more risqué scene seldom seen until now.
    • I never knew that Joe DiMaggio was a wife beater. The lyrics to “Mrs. Robinson” will never be the same:
      • Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
        Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
      • A bit of trivia on the song from Wikipedia:
        • Paul Simon met Joe DiMaggio accidentally in a New York restaurant, and the two immediately discussed the song. DiMaggio said “What I don’t understand, is why you ask where I’ve gone. I just did a Mr. Coffee commercial, I’m a spokesman for the Bowery Savings Bank and I haven’t gone anywhere!” Simon replied “that I didn’t mean the lines literally, that I thought of him as an American hero and that genuine heroes were in short supply. He accepted the explanation and thanked me. We shook hands and said good night.” In a New York Times op-ed in March 1999, shortly after DiMaggio’s death, Simon discussed this meeting and explained that the line was meant as a sincere tribute to DiMaggio’s unpretentious heroic stature, in a time when popular culture magnifies and distorts how we perceive our heroes. He further reflected: “In these days of Presidential transgressions and apologies and prime-time interviews about private sexual matters, we grieve for Joe DiMaggio and mourn the loss of his grace and dignity, his fierce sense of privacy, his fidelity to the memory of his wife and the power of his silence.”
  • Mark Zuckerberg kicks off year of travel with charity work in Dallas
  • I used to give Steve Harvey the benefit of the doubt on most things, but his comments about Asian men is hurtful and in bad taste. It was hard, even as a half-Asian, being turned down by girls because of my ethnicity. But, maybe I’m the victor in the end since I ended up with a white girl.
    • During a Jan. 6 episode of his talk show, Harvey ran through some dating books, including 2002’s How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men. “That’s one page,” he said. “‘Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’ ‘No.’ ‘Thank you.’” He then asked an imaginary black woman if she liked Asian men, and acted out her response: “I don’t even like Chinese food, boy. It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.”
    • I do appreciate Eddie Huang’s thoughts on the matter, he expresses a lot of things that have gone through my head:
      • … every Asian-American man knows what the dominant culture has to say about us. We count good, we bow well, we are technologically proficient, we’re naturally subordinate, our male anatomy is the size of a thumb drive and we could never in a thousand millenniums be a threat to steal your girl.
      • Attractiveness is a very haphazard dish that can’t be boiled down to height or skin color, but Asian men are told that regardless of what the idyllic mirepoix is or isn’t, we just don’t have the ingredients.
      • But no matter how successful I was, how much self-improvement was made, or how aware I was that stereotypes are not facts, there were times I thoroughly believed that no one wanted anything to do with me. I told myself that it was all a lie, but the structural emasculation of Asian men in all forms of media became a self-fulfilling prophecy that produced an actual abhorrence to Asian men in the real world. That’s why this Steve Harvey episode is so upsetting. He speaks openly about issues facing the black community, he is a man of God, and he has a huge platform to speak from.
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