Bag of Randomness for Monday, December 11, 2017

  • BoyGeeding and GirlGeeding are making their own skates with Hot Wheels. Hey Santa, they might be sending you a hint.
  • By my calculations, this is my 21,229th post on this little website.
  • The Army-Navy football game was played in snowy conditions. Because Army wore all white, they looked like they were in camouflage from the stands.
  • All NFL players who have won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award will wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities.
    • That’s cool but seems odd that the tradition would start in week 14 of the NFL season.
  • There’s a great pizza place, one of few you can actually get pizza by the slice in the area, across the street from the Cowboys old headquarters at Valley Ranch. We are partial to it for many reasons, but one is that WifeGeeding was the kindergarten teacher of the owner’s son. A lot of the Cowboys staff used to eat there, as well as players and the media. While eating there Saturday, Mickey Spagnola stopped in (local sports fans will know who he is). I introduced myself to him and told him I’ve followed his career since the Dallas Times Herald and when he used to do spots for KDFW (channel 4) when it was the CBS station on Sunday nights with my father. The man could not have been kinder. He asked about myself and wanted to say hi to my kids who were sitting nearby and asked them about school. We chit-chatted a bit and he got a kick out of my old neighbor he used to cover who mowed shirtless. He said because of the weather in New York his flight was delayed for two hours and he thought he’d visit his favorite pizza shop he always used to dine at but never gets to anymore because the Cowboys moved.
  • I have a bit of a soft spot for Monica Lewinsky. She made a mistake as a college intern and has been made fun about and labeled negatively every day since. When I was her age, I said and did many stupid things I’m thankful other don’t remember and forever grateful I’m not labeled for any of them. All that to say I thought it was interesting she tweeted the following article: The Importance of Dumb Mistakes in College
  • GIF – Dog helps decorate a Christmas tree, and even puts the star on top
  • Great chart – Lifespans of the Presidents of the United States (Chronological Order)
    • After John Adams, our second president, it took about 138 years before another president lived to his nineties, Herbert Hoover, the 31st president.
  • ‘Safer avocado’ invented to keep people from stabbing selves
    • So the UK chain launched a new “cocktail avocado” with no pit and tender skin, allowing the fruit to be eaten skin and all.
    • If you balk at eating avocado skin on general principle, you can open one end of the avocado and squeeze out the pulpy flesh like toothpaste from the bottom of the tube.
    • The cocktail avocados are the result of an unpollinated avocado blossom. They are smaller than regular avocados — about 5 to 8 centimeters. But the taste is smooth and creamy, just as good as their pit-laden brethren.
  • The USA Network app was put to use quite a bit this weekend.
    • About two years ago I started to binge watch the USA comedy-drama ‘Psyche’ which was no longer airing on the network. It’s been off the air for about three years and last week it made a comeback of sorts with a movie. There were a lot of ongoing gags throughout the series and my memory of all of them was pretty rusty watching the movie. The movie was basically a reunion show and it was good but not great. I have to give them a little leeway though, one of their prominent actors, Timothy Omundson, had a stroke shortly before shooting and the script had a major rewrite. He made a very small guest appearance via a Facebook live conversation but you could tell stroke did a lot of damage to a man who looked young and healthy. The most absurd thing in the movie, and I’ll try not to spoil much, but there was a dream sequence with a talking horse who was voice by other than S.E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders. Stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold.
    • The fifth episode of this season’s ‘Mr. Robot’ was exceptional because it pulled off a fantastic feat – the episode looked like it was shot in one continuous shot in real time going from different floors of a skyscraper and even going outside. More on it if you are interested – How Mr. Robot pulled off its insane long-take episode
  • Random Trump prediction – Before he leaves office, he’ll rename Denali back to Mount McKinley.
  • Jerry Jone’s grandson/Stephen Jone’s son is the quarterback of state champion Highland Parks Scots football team and his team looks like they just might repeat as champions. He has a twitter account and has been tweeting offers from universities he’s been receiving to play football. The least surprising is Arkansas, since both his father and grandfather played there and are big boosters. I’m not knocking the kid or anything and it’s a great accomplishment for him. And I know an offer and being granted a scholarship are two different things, but it left me wondering how many young men who come from very comfortable backgrounds take a scholarship away from someone who really needs it. Offhand, I’d say very few student-athletes have very wealthy parents.
  • Toddler signals ‘help’ in sign language during photo with Santa
  • Every State, Ranked By How Miserable Its Winters Are
    • No surprise Hawaii is last on the list, but my guess of Alaska being first was off by three.
  • I wish I could have watched the Buffalo Bills game yesterday, it looked like it was played somewhere Beyond the Wall.


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Just an old cartoon I used to enjoy as a child

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Bag of Randomness for Friday, December 8, 2017

  • I’m one of those who set their DVR to record the evening news every night, in particular, the CBS Evening News. However, since Jeff Glor took over as anchor it stopped recording and I had to set up a new season pass. I remember this happening when Charlie Gibson stepped down from ABC World News Tonight. It’s a minor thing, but I would think it’s something networks or cable companies would prevent from happening.
  • So far I’m not into Jeff Glor and as a result, I refer to him as Jeff Bore. I also don’t like their new format, every new story begins with a big red banner with white letters which makes you think it’s breaking news.
  • I sum up the past year as a lot of style and lack of substance.
  • It’s not apples to apples, but I bet Trump supporters are annoyed at Russia meddling news as much Hillary supporters were annoyed by her emails.
  • The kids’ school had a holiday program last night in which they sang songs, played instruments, and recited poems. Usually, those things can be a bit of a struggle to go to, but the school did a good job of making things flow.
  • Dallas Cowboys changing up uniform combination vs. Giants, will be a first in team history
    • For the first time in team history, the Dallas Cowboys will wear navy jerseys with white pants when they play the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The Cowboys’ navy jerseys are normally worn with silver pants.
  • Three Dallas Cowboys players were baptized at the new practice facility
    • Three Cowboys players – safety Kavon Frazier, linebacker Anthony Hitchens, and linebacker Justin March-Lillard – were baptized at the Cowboys practice facility by the team’s chaplain, Jonathan Evans, who posted the video to his Facebook page. As of Thursday afternoon, the two-minute clip had been viewed more than two million times.
  • The Onion – RNC: ‘We Warned You Gay Marriage Would Be A Slippery Slope Toward Accepting Pedophilia’
  • How Princess Leia Became A General: From A New Hope To The Last Jedi
  • Why Is Your First Instinct After Hurting Your Finger to Put It in Your Mouth? – It all deals with stimulating the large nerve fibers with “counter-irritation”.
  • Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who asked staffers if they would bear his child as a surrogate, says he will resign
    • I feel like this would be something Michael Scott from ‘The Office’ would do if he were in Congress.
  • One of my college friends is a pastor and I emailed him about our friend and her cancer diagnosis. This was his entire response, “Thanks man. Bummer.”
  • I want the Vikings to win the Super Bowl.
  • Last night was the only regular-season game in which the Chick-fil-A at the new Atlanta Falcons stadium was open for business. All of their home games have been on Sunday.
  • Silicon Valley Is Sneaking Models Into This Year’s Holiday Parties“Ambiance and atmosphere models” contractually obligated to pretend they’re party guests are in record demand from local agencies.
  • GIF – A man tried to rescue a cat but the cat got so scared he rescued himself.
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Wile E. Coyote of Arsonists

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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, December 7, 2017

  • The deadline for renewing website hosting for this little blog has passed. As you probably guessed, I renewed it, for two years. I forgot I actually host two websites on that account. The other website is one I manage for a memorial scholarship I’m fortunate to be a part of, so I needed to renew to keep the scholarship website up and running. Many of you provided feedback either in comments or emails on what this little bag of nothing means to you and how often you read it. I was surprised many loyal visitors don’t visit daily, just a few times a week, though several of you say this is part of your morning routine. With that in mind, I’ll continue to blog as long as I don’t feel like it’s burdening me or distracting me from family, so it might not be as consistent or as lengthy as you are accustomed.
  • In other BagOfNothing news, I changed the comment settings for this blog. As an experiment, I’m navigating from the IntenseDebate tool I was using. You’ll now see a different display for leaving a comment. An email field displays but you can leave it blank.  I’m not begging for comments and I don’t want to create a hotbed of negativity, but leave a comment every now and then so I know someone is out there.
  • Each month Google Maps will send me data on my travels. That might alarm some folks but I don’t mind. In November, I visited seven cities, visited 32 places (3 of them new), and spend a total of 28 hours in a vehicle.
  • First Lady Melania Trump ate at Whataburger yesterday.
  • If you are a fan of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, the Columbia clothing company has a new overpriced Echo Base Collection that’s pretty cool. The collection doesn’t include a Tauntaun Sleeping Bag but you can buy one here.  It may smell bad but it’ll keep you warm until Han gets the shelter up.
  • How Mark Hamill wanted ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to end
    • But he told Abrams, “Instead of Finn and Rey coming and almost saving Han, what if it’s Leia and I?” He continued, “She’s about to be abducted by two costume guards, one guard turns to the other guard, shoots the guard, takes off his helmet and it’s me! That I did get her message. I said, No. 1, it’s a hell of an entrance, No. 2, it’s misdirection … We’re [also] back on a Death Star, very similar! We rush to his aid, we don’t alter what you want to do, but if we witness Han dying, that has so much emotional resonance that will carry into the next film.”
  • WFAA’s Brett Shipp resigns to run for Congress
  • Usually, I’m uncomfortable watching people fail or get hurt and people laughing at them, but I guess this is an exception – Digg – We Can’t Stop Watching These Competitive Diving Fails
  • The Trailer For ‘Black Mirror’ Season 4 Has Officially Dropped
  • Some of you may remember my college friend, Allyson, who died from cancer. Sadly, I found out another college friend, a sorority sister and member of her graduating class, is fighting a very aggressive form of cancer. I’m not close to her, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care and reflect on her kindness and realize how fast, unpredictable, fragile, and precious life is.
  • I love how the Lewisville Fire Department will send a firetruck down every street with a Santa on top throwing candy as lights and sirens go off each year. They even send out a link to a Santa Tracker website so you know if they are getting close. It’s a small little thing, but it brings a lot of joy to everyone in the neighborhood, even the adults.
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Atlanta news anchor responds on air to a viewer who calls her the N-word

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Highway to Hell

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Slow-Motion Lightning

Story and video – Gizmodo

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Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    • I was watching an episode of the current season of ‘Mr. Robot’ and Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” was played. It’s been eons since I heard that song and I forgot how great it is. I really appreciate it when a show finds the perfect song for a scene. You know, the ones where the rhythm or beat is just right and the lyrics relate to what’s happening.
    • Tesla Model X Car Shows Off Its Christmas Mode Easter Egg With Coordinated Music and Light Show
    • The Onion – Alabama Forced To Release Thousands Of Sex Offenders After Inmates Deny Charges
    • Plurale tantum‘ is what you call a singular object that only has a plural form, like pants or scissors.
      • Scissors is an example of a plurale tantum, or an English word that only has a plural form that represents a singular object. (Plurale tantum is not a plurale tantum: its plural is pluralia tantum). Though pluralia tantum name single objects, they are grammatically plural: “the scissors are on the table,” “my pants are in the dryer.”
    • You really just need to read the last paragraph for the answer – Is it safe to eat deli meats with that metallic sheen?
    • Cinemark launches Netflix-like subscription plan
      • Cinemark on Tuesday unveiled Movie Club, a monthly plan that lets people buy a movie ticket a month for a discounted price of $8.99. It also allows members to roll over unused tickets every month, bring friends at the lower price and offers bargains on concession stand items.
    • Skydiving Santa crashes into tree, pole before hitting Florida beachSt. Nick was carrying Elf on the Shelf
    • Bono and The Edge made their first appearance on Howard Stern’s show. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened earlier. I haven’t listened to it, but this link provides a very detailed written rundown of their conversation.  Here’s one part of the conversation I’d like to share which has a Texas connection:
      • After all doubt had been removed that his son was going to make it as a recording artist, Bono’s father agreed to come to one of U2’s concerts in Texas — it was a chance for Bono to show his dad just how much success he had achieved. Seated out in the crowd, a spotlight shone on Bono’s dad as Bono announced from the stage that this was his father’s first time in America. “He just shakes his fist,” Bono said of his dad’s reaction, explaining he was doing it in good humor. After the show, Bono said he and his dad sat alone together in his dressing room. “I thought I saw a kind of a real tender look in his eyes,” he recalled. And while he thought his father was finally going to tell him how proud he was, instead he told his son, “You’re very professional,” something Bono considers a true compliment given his father traditional Irish tepidness.
    • We all should be like this dog and simply enjoy the moment.

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U2 Interview – 60 Minutes Australia November 2017

It’s nice to see Larry and Adam open up.

Disclaimer: Strong use of Australian and Irish accents

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Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, December 5, 2017

  • I’m looking forward to this cold front because I don’t like the idea of running the AC during in December.
  • For the last year or so I’ve been trying to identify my biases. It’s been really interesting trying not to immediately become emotional or form an opinion and trying to understand why I might initially feel a certain way. It’s been especially unique when applying this to sports and politics, but also in the workplace as well as to personal relationships and even strangers. I’ve discovered a lot more things influence me than I’d like to admit.
  • SNL was hosted by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. During her monologue, her American accent was excellent. Sometimes I’m really amazed at how well people from other countries can speak with an American accent. I was shocked when I learned Hugh Laurie (House M.D.) was actually a Brit, same goes for Damian Lewis (Homeland). However, I wonder if there are any American actors who can nail a foreign accent so well it fools the natives of those lands. Somewhat related, I used to think there was no such thing as an American accent, that it was considered “normal” English. I didn’t think that because of American exceptionalism, but because you don’t hear accents during songs. Ozzy Osbourne and Adele certainly don’t sound like they are across the pond when they sing.
  • In other Irish related things, I read something intriguing about how Bono came up with some of the lyrics of U2’s new album. Irish poet Brendan Kennelly told him to write the songs as if he was already dead. Doing so caused Bono to view his approach totally differently, especially since a lot of these songs are directed at his wife, children, and other loved one. Think about it, writing a letter to someone you know you will encounter is totally different than writing a letter of finality. You are more willing to lay it all out there as you won’t experience any repercussions and it’s your final goodbye.
  • For a handful of Christmases, I got into the snow village craze but then I lost the desire and decided they were a waste of money. However, I just discovered a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation snow village and any sane person could justify that purchase since the item would priceless.
  • When we finished putting up our outdoor Christmas lights and it was time to turn them on for the very first time, like Clark Griswold, I made the family gather out front and sang “Joy to the World” right before I plugged them in.
  • The Languages That Take the Most (and Least) Time to Learn
  • Quentin Tarantino might be making a Star Trek movie
  • The Joys and Sorrows of Watching My Own BirthShelby Vittek reflects on the bittersweet experience of watching herself be born — and her now-divorced mom and dad become parents — again and again.
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