Bag of Randomness for Friday, December 14, 2018

  • 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.
  • The kid/teen actor in ‘A Bronx Tale’ and I share the same birthday, just a year apart. However, unlike him, I didn’t go to prison for first-degree attempted burglary.
  • 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.
If you look carefully, you can see DaughterGeeding and BoyGeeding on the Abominable Snow Monster’s shoulders
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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, December 13, 2018

  • 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.
  • A GoogleMaps Christmas lights map.
  • The Fire Trucks Are Too Damn BigSmaller heavy-duty emergency vehicles could save a lot of lives, says a new Department of Transportation report.
  • A new tool by the Urban Institute maps the geography of car loan debt and delinquency.
Posted in Goofy | 5 Comments

The animatronics on the upcoming Beauty and the Beast ride at Disneyland Tokyo is impressive


Posted in Pop Culture | 2 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, December 4, 2018

  • 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.
  • Harvard Professor Suggests Eating Only 6 French Fries Per Meal
  • The crazy thing about growing old is seeing others grow old.
Posted in Personal | 21 Comments

Empty Bag For A While

It’s going to be an empty BagOfNothing for a while, which is a bit of a misnomer in itself – A bag of nothing is an empty bag so I shouldn’t have to make the distinction, but I digress. I don’t know how long it will be empty, and nothing major or behind the scenes is going on, I just need to take a step back.

In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment and tell me something you have changed your mind about and what caused the changed. I’ll start. For all of my teen years, I couldn’t stand U2, the name sounded stupid, they were too flashy, and Bono dressing like the devil (MacPhisto) made me align them with the worship of Satan. One day in college a friend was playing U2 music videos and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me was on the television, part of the soundtrack of a Batman movie. It’s basically a long cartoon, but at one point, C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters randomly appeared. I only heard of the author a week prior and thought the idea of a book of letters written by Satan was fascinating. The idea of “mock the devil and he shall flee” is addressed in the forward or somewhere at the beginning of the Lewis’ book. This is what Bono was doing with his MacPhisto alter ego and the C.S. Lewis hat tip was kinda cool. It’s then I realized I was judging a book by its cover, or in this case, a band and their music. It made me think there was something deeper and more meaningful to their lyrics, that I was too quick to judge when it came to most things.


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Uncomfortable With This Campaign Ad

This aired while I was watching the local news last night. It easily caught my attention because of its slow and solemn tone, and it was long. I was surprised they aired the whole thing and not an abbreviated version. I’m not a fan of Abbot, but I really don’t have any major gripes other than I differ in political philosophy, I think he’s been a fine governor. I’m not uncomfortable about the wheelchair aspect, it’s the exploitation of the tragedy. If I lost a loved one in that church shooting, I’d be really ticked. I think there could have been a better way to communicate the survivor’s support, a television commercial seems too icky, at least for my taste.

Posted in Political, Texas | 1 Comment

Bag of Randomness for Friday, October 5, 2018

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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, October 4, 2018

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Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, October 3, 2018

  • I go through most of my days trying to identify things which cloud my judgment. It’s my way of trying to filter out the noise so I can make sound decisions based on logic instead of emotion. It’s amazing how much bias played, and still plays in my life.
  • With that said, I noticed Republican Congressman Pete Sessions first campaign television commercial. He states the liberals are unloading negative attack ads at him. I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen one negative ad either for or against him. I wondered if that’s because of my bias,  clouded judgment, the television I expose myself to, or if it’s just a political tactic he decided to utilize. The only political television commercials for liberals I can recall seeing are from Colin Allred (his opponent) and Beto O’Rourke, and I think they have too much to lose to go negative, at least at this stage. However, I do recall seeing more than a handful of negative commercials aimed at Democrats. Most align them with Nancy Pelosi, Iran, weak on the border, and state the candidates are “too liberal for Texas”. However, I don’t think I’ve seen any commercial from either party include President Trump.
  • It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized the book Pet Semetary is spelled the way it is. From my understanding, the “cemetery” is spelled that way because some kids made a sign and spelled it incorrectly.
  • As many of you know, I’m a sucker for presidential history. I was looking for some light reading about a month ago and decided to read Reggie Love’s memoir about being Obama’s personal assistant. I enjoy learning about the little nuances about their positions most people would never consider and the vantage point in which they witness history. I’ll be honest, I read the entire book in the voice of Charlie from NBC series ‘The West Wing’. I also thought a lot of the ‘Veep’ character Gary Walsh. Something he included which surprised me was a very heated argument between then-Senator Obama and then-Senator Clinton at an airport tarmac. Apparently, she wanted to apologize for some negative ads she claimed she had no part in but he saw through her B.S. and called her out on her tactic.
  • For some reason Alex Trebek of ‘Jeopardy!’ moderated the Pennsylvania governor debate and it didn’t go well.
  • I’m often annoyed at WifeGeeding falling asleep as we watching movies or television. It’s a bonding experience for me, especially being able to speak about it afterward and later referencing or quoting from them later on. This guy feels my pain, but he charted and graphed how much his girlfriend fell asleep in an eight-month tracking period.
  • Jeff Bezos will still make the annual salary of his lowest-paid employees every 11.5 seconds
    • In a historic move, Amazon announced today (Oct. 2) that it will raise the minimum wage for all of its US workers to $15 an hour, a move that will affect 250,000 full-time employees and 100,000 seasonal workers for the e-commerce giant. Assuming a 40-hour work week, Amazon’s lowest-paid full-time employee in the US will make around $30,000 a year.
    • I like this approach a lot better than a business giving a one time bonus after the tax cuts were implemented.
  • Yesterday I was told I could pass for Chicago Cub Jon Lester’s doppelganger. Maybe slightly.
  • Yesterday, was interested in a photo of LBJ and RFK riding in an open car parade sometime after JFK’s assassination. I thought the same thing when I saw this picture of Nixon in Spain.

Posted in Goofy | 5 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, October 2, 2018

  • Silly me, I always thought it was “Texas Women’s University” but it’s actually “Texas Woman’s University“. I’m not why it isn’t the former, I’m gonna guess because of some sort of grammatical rule I’m not too keen on. A curious search didn’t yield any answers. However, to my astonishment, it was originally named the “Texas Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls of the State of Texas in the Arts and Sciences“.
  • Texas Woman’s University is one of four independent public universities in Texas not affiliated with one of the public university systems in the state. Can you name the other three?
  • My life already feels like an episode – Netflix Is Planning a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure ‘Black Mirror’
  • Flipping channels last night, I noticed Carl Weathers was a guest star on the reboot of ‘Magnum PI’. What made me laugh was he was standing next to the two Dobermans, who I always thought had fantastic names, Zeus and Appollo. As you’ll recall, Carl Weather played “Appollo Creed” in the Rocky movies, so I got a chuckle out that. Weathers, btw, is now 70 years old and looks great. Sylvester Stallone looks great for a 72-year-old, but looks freaky, unlike Weathers.
  • Speaking of dog names, I wanted to name OtherDogGeedingII “Roosevelt” but got voted down by the family. The kids at one point wanted to name him “Teddy” because he looks a bit like a teddy bear. That made me think of Teddy Roosevelt, then my love for presidential history and my father’s favorite president, Franklin. This all started while watching a Cowboys game when I spotted Jerry Jones’ driver, Roosevelt. I play this “game” every time Jerry is on the screen and see if I can spot Roosevelt, who is almost always by his side and always wearing sunglasses.
  • Lenovo Unveils Star Trek Enterprise Shaped PC
  • Kodak relaunches Ektachrome film after 6-year absence
    • Five years after taking it off the shelves, the company believes there’s enough demand for the 35mm color transparency film to give it a second go, a move that looks set to delight long-time film fans in the business of taking stills as well as moving pictures.
  • Mickey Mouse expelled from Egypt schools
    • “We need to replace pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck with images of famous Egyptians and military martyrs, so that children will look up to them as role models. These characters are US-made, whereas we have our own noble figures who can deepen children’s patriotism and love of country,” Alaa Abdul-Halim Mohammed Marzouk told reporters.
  • For you ‘Better Call Saul’ fans, there is indeed a Baylor Street in Lubbock, but there is no house or building number of 8783.
  • Mara Wilson: Matilda and Me at 30
  • ‘Banned in 46 countries’ – is Faces of Death the most shocking film ever?
    • It is regarded as one of the most depraved films ever – a ‘shockumentary’ full of autopsies, plane crashes and executions. Why was Faces of Death so influential? And does its director have any regrets?
Posted in Personal | 3 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Monday, October 1, 2018

  • The kids’ school pictures are in. I love them both from a dental perspective. BoyGeeding is missing his two front top teeth and DaughterGeeding is sporting braces for the first time. Also, it’s the first time she’s had bangs. She’s not happy with the picture because she wished he wore her hear down.
  • BoyGeeding wants to be Indiana Jones for Halloween. I planned on putting together his costume by purchasing individual pieces. I checked a consignment store in Grapevine to try to find a cheap jacket, pants, and a shirt which could pass for what the character wears. Luckily, I found the costume (shirt, jacket, pants, no hat) in his size for $3.52 and quickly pulled the trigger. Thankfully the logo on the jacket isn’t as large or noticeable as the one in the link. To add to my luck, Amazon had a decent version of the hat for only ten bucks. But perhaps my most enjoyable moment was placing the hat on his head as well as I could in the following manner. For a moment, I felt like we were transported into the movie.
  • While searching Indiana Jones wardrobe stuff I came across a website which provides an astonishing amount of detail. Check out their page about the fedora and the recommended vendors area and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
  • DaughterGeeding and I watched the season premiere of ‘Young Sheldon together and I’d like to point out two things.
    • The episode focuses on Sheldon taking apart the refrigerator and his father having to call a repairman to put it back together. The bill was $200 and Sheldon’s father made him pay it back by working a newspaper route. DaughterGeeding didn’t understand the concept of newspaper delivery. I had to explain to her how my parents would subscribe to the local paper and it was delivered to us every day and that’s how we got our local news, computers and mobile phones couldn’t perform those tasks at the time. It was delivered to us because someone picked up a stack of freshly published newspapers from the press, wrapped them up with a rubber band, and tossed the paper in our yard by driving by. I explained there was an “art” to throwing the paper through the car window or from a bicycle. Then it was a trip down memory lane explaining how sometimes the paper would get wet from the rain and the challenge of trying to dry the paper, separating the pages without tearing them and setting it out to dry.
    • Sheldon became frustrated at his lack of progress of being able to pay his father back and yelled the following towards him, “I’m not just tired, I’m exhausted. Everything hurts. I get up in the morning to do this job I don’t even like. And I’m just doing it for the money, and it’s not even a lot of money. I keep trying harder and harder and it doesn’t even make a difference. So if you are going to yell at me or punish me let’s just it get over with.”
      • I immediately paused the show and had a conversation with DaughterGeeding how many adults feel exactly the way Sheldon does. That for many (not all) of them, are in that position because they did something to close themselves off from other preferable opportunities. While no one is better than another person and there is honor in their work to provide for themselves and their family, she needs to take education seriously so not to limit her opportunities to do whatever she wants.
  • Somewhat related to that last bullet point, while watching a ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ segment on Ted Turner, I had to call her in the room. While at Brown University, Turner memorized “Horatius at the Bridge“, a poem about an ancient hero confronting insurmountable odds, and recited it from memory in his interview with Ted Koppel. DaughterGeeding is currently studying the poem at school and memorizing it for a recitation assignment. It was another good lesson on the importance of being cultured and helping her see what she is being taught can be related to something in the real world.
  • Speaking of Brown University – No Cash Needed At This Cafe. Students Pay The Tab With Their Personal Data
  • WifeGeeding told me while she and BoyGeeding were on a walk, he asked her when my back will be 100% better.
  • On Saturday, a Tennessee State football player underwent emergency surgery after suffering a head injury. Oddly, they can’t find a cause for the injury and he simply collapsed after coming off the football field.
  • James Comey wrote an op-ed on what the FBI is tasked with this week.
  • Thirty years after the Seoul Olympics, Ben Johnson finally saw the evidence used to disqualify him – “If I had seen this in Seoul, I would have kept my medal,” Johnson says while reading pages from the September 1988 lab report containing his drug-testing results.
  • Brain-to-brain network allows three people to share their thoughts
  • Dak has a better deep ball than I thought and the Cowboys don’t utilize it enough.
  • After the Cowboys game, the family decorated the GeedingManor for Halloween. It’s hard to see the two black spiders on the web.
Posted in Personal | 4 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Friday, September 28, 2018

  • Hey Microsoft, can we lay it off with the Salmon Sisters commercials during football games this weekend, just a tad, please?
  • Georgetown, TX is the first city in the state to be solely run on renewable energy (wind and solar), perhaps the largest city in the United States to do so.
    • “Actually, our wind farm is more than 600 miles (965 kilometres) away up in the panhandle and our solar farm is about 700 miles (1,125 kilometres) away, and so through the transmission lines, that’s how we get the electricity.”
  • I’m not familiar with British military honors, but the flag on the casket looks like it could be draped better – WWII code breaker buried in Nebraska with UK military honors
  • Tennessee High School AD/Assistant Principal Put On Leave, Says Girls ‘Pretty Much Ruin Everything’
    • “And if you want to blame someone, blame the girls, because they pretty much ruin everything,” Hensley said. “They ruin the dress code, well — ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you got to get to. You can go back to the beginning of time.”
    • “It’ll be like that the rest of your life, keep your mouth shut, suck it up and follow the rules,” Hensley said.
  • McDonald’s removing artificial additives from its burgers – Even the Big Mac Special Sauce is getting a makeover.
  • ‘House of Cards’ teaser previews Claire’s battle with nearly everyone
  • The Jonestown massacre has always intrigued me. ABC will have a special about it tonight. For you young ones out there, that’s the origination of the expression, “Drinking the Kool-Aid”
  • Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers
  • I’m withholding my thoughts and opinions regarding yesterday’s Senate hearing. So I promise there’s no hidden message or slight here. However, the LiberallyLean guy posted a collection of thoughts that got me to thinking how easy it can be for anyone’s judgment to be clouded. It would be challenging for me to rank these in terms of which would have been the most unbelievable to me just five or ten years ago. Maybe the U.S. gymnastics doctor molesting all those girls would top the list. Hell, they all would have been hard to believe.
Posted in Personal | 13 Comments