Bag of Randomness for Monday, July 24, 2017

  • Cowboys training camp has started which means college football is around the corner which means football season is basically here. I should be stoked, but I’m not. I think sports (especially football) has jaded me over the years and I didn’t like how it consumed me and diverted my priorities. It’s amazing how much sports loyalty can affect a person’s judgment and demeanor. Of course, a lot of how I feel now will most likely change when the first kickoff happens.
  • Dale Hansen has covered Cowboys training camp for 37-years. This is Jerry Jone’s 29th training camp. No one interviews Jerry better than Dale. You see a lot of reporters either in awe or intimidated by Jerry, but that doesn’t happen with Dale.
  • I may be the only person in all of the Metroplex not totally stoked about Jordan Spieth.
  • I’ve been withholding a lot of information about my physical and mental health. On one hand, I like to be transparent about my life. On the other, I don’t want to sound like I’m seeking sympathy, grasping for attention, or just being whiny.
  • When I was younger and noticed a lane closure up ahead, I used to automatically move over. However, after years of frustration at watching others not do the same and get through traffic faster than me, I started to stay in the open lane as long as possible. Apparently, there was a study conducted and the results were posted last year:
    • It may sound like a breach of etiquette to wait until the last minute to merge, but traffic engineers and transportation departments in several states are promoting that exact move, sometimes with mixed results as they try to overcome drivers’ ingrained habits.
    • Colorado started to promote the late merge during a highway project more than 10 years ago. Signs were posted, starting two miles from the point of the lane closing. The first signs read, “Use both lanes during congestion.” The next signs said, “Use both lanes to the merge point.” When the lane was ending, the last signs read: “Take turns. Merge here.” The result? A 15 percent increase in the volume of cars moving through the work zone and a 50 percent decrease in the length of the line.

  • Wrigley Juicy Fruit gum was the first item sold using a bar code scanner.
    • On 26 June 1974, Clyde Dawson pulled a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum out of his basket and it was scanned by Sharon Buchanan at 8:01 am. The pack of gum and the receipt are now on display in the Smithsonian Institution. It was the first commercial appearance of the UPC.
  • Wisconsin Company To Implant Microchips In Employees
    • A Wisconsin company is about to become the first in the U.S. to offer microchip implants to its employees. Yes, you read that right. Microchip implants.

    • More than 50 Three Square Market employees are having the devices implanted starting next week. Each chip is about the size of a single grain of rice. Along with purchasing market kiosk items, employees will be able to use the chip to get into the front door and log onto their computers. Each chip costs $300 and the company is picking up the tab. They’re implanted between a person’s thumb and forefinger.

  • Bono says Where the Streets Have No Name is ‘unfinished’
  • Politico has an article on Hope Hicks. I’ve mentioned 28-year-old Trump aid before because her youth and beauty stands out and she has a local connection because she attended SMU. Despite like many her age and in the same profession, she does a great job of keeping out of the spot light. For instance, she’s not on Twitter and her Instagram is set to private. I just have a feeling she’s going to have a long career in politics, with lots of power, but one of those you never hear about. Highlights of the article:
    • The polite, soft-spoken 28-year-old newbie to Washington politics holds the lofty title of director of strategic communications, pulls down the top White House salary of $179,700 – the same as strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus – but operates outside of any organizational chart.
    • Internally, she has joked that her title is not about strategically communicating with the press – it’s about strategically communicating with the president. She knows that telling Trump what not to say, ahead of an interview, is a losing proposition. She has accepted that he will say things that people find shocking, or upsetting – but she long ago made the decision that she deeply believes in Trump as a leader, and that she wasn’t going to change or judge a 70-year-old man whose career highs have been based on trusting his own instincts.
    • Internally, she has become something of a Trump whisperer – other aides rely on Hicks’ judgement to gauge when is a good time to speak to the president. “
    • Some Trump critics are sympathetic to Hicks’ task of managing an uncontrollable personality. “She’s doing an excellent job with the worst client in the history of the world,” said Stu Loeser, former press secretary to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • A few more thoughts and tidbits from my book about the relationships amongst presidents:
    • In November 1968 when Nixon was running for president, Henry Kissinger said Nixon was “unfit to be president” and “a disaster” waiting to happen, and thus, didn’t vote for him. He further said, Richard Nixon is the most dangerous of all the men running to have as president.” And as history would have it, started to work for Nixon as his National Security Advisor the following January and then later as his Secretary of State. I guess history does repeat itself, as many Republicans who have opposed Trump vehemently on moral/ethical/political grounds are now working for him. Some have no choice but to work with him (like Ted Cruz) but many have chose to work for him. Mitt Romney would have been Kissinger-like, I suppose if he took the Secretary of State job offered by Trump.
    • Eisenhower couldn’t attend the marriage of his grandson, David, to Nixon’s daughter because of his poor health. This was the grandson who Ike named Camp David after. NBC tried to broadcast a private live feed of the wedding to Ike’s hospital room at Walter Reed but failed. Actually, the last eleven months of Eisenhower’s life was spent at Water Reed, and he was actually buried on David’s birthday.
      • David’s best man was the guy who played Gopher on ‘The Love Boat’, who later became a congressman.
      • A picture of David under the Camp David sign.
    • Before Nixon wrote his first inaugural speech, he reread every inaugural address.
    • Nixon didn’t keep President Johnson’s recording system, he had it replaced with an upgraded version that recorded automatically instead of at the flip of a switch. I always thought he utilized the old one.
    • The Roosevelt Room used to be called “the fish room” before Nixon renamed it. It was called “the fish room” simply because FDR kept an aquarium in it.
  • The United States and Canada at the same latitudes as Europe
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