Bag of Randomness for February 23, 2024

  • I’m an allergy sufferer and this time of season sucks, I mean blows.
  • I always get a kick out of this time of year because most people are confident that all the cold weather is past us. I learned the hard way, that there’s always at least one more very cold day or spell before the end of spring break.
  • My church, which averages around 125 for our Sunday service, has had two major deaths of middle-aged men this week. I guess all deaths are major, but these two men were well-known and engaged in the life and work of the church. One death was due to a long debilitating illness, so it wasn’t a surprise. The other was a surprise. It just gets you thinking.
  • A silly game I like to play when I get sent a text for two-factor authorization is to only look at the verication code once and see if I can correctly remember it as I input it into my browser.
  • I don’t know a lot about landscaping or marketing, but I don’t think it’s a bad practice to plant an obstruction (like a bush) in front of your low-to-the-ground brick sign. Somebody yank those bushes up and plant some school-colored petunias. 
  • I own several web domains. One of them is my last name and ends in a dot com. It redirects to this blog.  I’ve owned it for twenty years. The previous owner used it as a personal website. I remember it featured both him and his dog and looked better than what one could put together at the time with Geocities. My brother altered me to it and shared he thought we had similar facial features and could even see a bit of our father in him. I thought it was an odd thing to say. People used to say how my brother and I looked very similar, so I wondered why he didn’t think he shared any similarities with the man. A few years later I learned what everyone else in the family already knew, my brother had a different father. Then, it made sense. A year or two later I checked on the website and found it was for sale, so I pulled the trigger thinking it’s cool to own my family’s domain name, though I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I still don’t know what to do with it, but I just like owning it. This week, the domain hosting company reached out to me and said someone is offering $1,500 for it. Now, I have to figure out how much it is literally worth to me. Truth is, I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s for that amount, even if I’m not doing anything with it. In case you are wondering how one is contacted about such a thing, here’s the simple email I received.
  • World’s oldest unchanged brand changes logo for the first time in over 140 years
  • Confession: I’ve never heard of the Blue Ridge Parkway – Top 10 most visited NPS sites in 2023 (Please remember where I went to high school and college.)
  • I ran across this on a dating profile and had no idea:

    In case you also didn’t know: The fruit’s green and red colors resemble the Palestinian flag, which was banned by the Israeli government in 1967 . By using the watermelon emoji, TikTok users are able to show their support for Palestine without explicitly mentioning it or displaying the fLAG.
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Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, February 20, 2024

  • Hear me out, if Trump is going to sell these, he should at least wear a pair of them once. I would even suggest, though I don’t know if it breaks any campaign finance laws, that he wears a pair and auction them off for charity.
  • I thought I was being pranked when I saw the news that Jerry Jones is now seeking advice from Jimmy Johnson. The talk has always been that Jerry wants to win one on his own without any help from Jimmy whatsoever. Wow. But as of my writing, which is around midnight, I haven’t seen it reported on any sports news websites, just TwitterX. Well, I know what’s they will be talking about on the Ticket all day today. Funny, football has been over all but what, a week? And it’s all we ever talk about.
  • I don’t watch a lot of the NBA, but I think out of all the major professional sports, they have the most remarkable athletes, and it isn’t even close. Especially when you consider height and weight. Their commissioner, Adam Silver, communicates exceptionally well and when it comes to interviews, is one of the most well-spoken persons I’ve heard. He would make a great politician, which in some ways, he already is.
  • A sports topic I would like to hear discussed is what sport has the most conditioned athletes, that is, who has the most impressive endurance. You have to think it would be athletes in a continuous play sport, so football and baseball players would be out of the mix. That leaves basketball, soccer, and hockey. I’m ruling out basketball because of the size of the court and how often there is a stoppage of play. While soccer has the most continuous play there’s a lot of jogging and walking going on. But, I also claim ignorance when it comes to the sport, so I may be misjudging them. I’m going to have to go with hockey because of all the gear and playing surface. I know you have to factor in line changes. My research tells me the average shift in competitive hockey is 45–90 seconds, with most shifts falling within 30–60 seconds. But when they are on the ice they expel a tremendous amount of energy.
  • The NBA experimented with using an LED basketball court for Saturday’s All-Star Game Weekend activities. The game itself was held on a traditional wooden court. But here’s some footage of a FIBA game played in Madrid last year.
    • Right now, it’s about $500 a square foot, or $2 million for a full court. It’s the future of sports, and I bet the NHL will have some version of it in the future, and 50 years down the road, who knows, maybe even the NFL with some sort of special soft artificial turf.
    • I’m curious to know what the players’ union thinks about it. All sorts of things will have to be addressed regarding player safety, shock absorption, traction or grip, and water/sweat absorption.
    • I can envision a three-point line that changes throughout the game. And, replays will be able to tell exactly where a player’s foot is in case there’s a question if he or she was behind the line.
    • Regarding wooden floors, I’m surprised at how inexpensive they are. We often see a court used literally one time and then tossed out, like the Final Four and the All-Star game. We used to see courts with multiple three-point lines. At least I think they are tossed out, I’d like to think it could be donated to a school or charity. I remember the three-point line painted on my junior high tile floor being a little off.
    • A quick search online tells me that a court will run about $17,200 to $76,000. According to Forbes, each of those special In-Season Tournament court costs between $75,000 to $150,000. You also have to put it together. A full basketball court’s labor costs range from $1,000 to $4,000.

  • That’s 10 RBIs I believe.

  • I was surprised to read that tickets for the University of Texas home football games next season will be going down in price. Supposedly, they didn’t want to get the perception they were jacking up prices just because they were entering the SEC. I also saw they will return to playing on grass starting in the 2026 season. I don’t know what a SEZ video board is, but they are getting a new one for next season. I’m just amazed at how “affordable” technology has become for team sports. I’m almost willing to bet every 4A high school football stadium in Texas has a fancy video board.
  • Oh, I also read that Texas and Oklahoma are working to get the kickoff of the Texas-OU game moved to 2:30 PM. That’s going to change a lot of traditional traveling plans for fans traveling from both Austin and Norman. I’ve lived next to I35 for the last 20 or so years, and it’s always interesting to see all the Sooner students driving through and stopping at local restaurants and gas stations. I’m also curious how statistics for automobile accidents and DUIs/DWIs will be affected.
    • It’s always Army-Navy. It’s known as the Army-Navy football game. It’s never Navy-Army. So, it’s weird to me when I hear the Texas-OU game referred to as the OU-Texas game.
  • I made a post last week about lightning strikes and sporting events. Maybe something like this in the future will allow the games to go on.
  • Yesterday it was BB King dealing with a broken guitar string in a live performance, today it’s Stevie Ray Vaungh.
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Bag of Randomness for Monday, February 19, 2024

  • For some reason, Bill Bixby was trending on TwitterX last night. The platform is notoriously bad at helping you find out why anything is trending. I searched for about ten minutes and had no luck, though a Google search told me he last trended on the platform on December 15, 2023.
  • A few weeks ago Jody Dean mentioned he knew some coffee drinkers who swore that adding just a few grains of salt would take away the bitterness. Curious, I gave it a try, and lo and behold, this is now how I drink my coffee. I’m just talking about five-ish grains.
  • I’ve been on a Charles Bronson kick as of late. Not his movies, but interviews, stories, and biographies about him. One of the best stories comes from Kurt Russell, who was in a film with him when he was 12 years old.
    • Russell found out it was Bronon’s birthday and gave him a gift, a radio-controlled plane. Bronson took the gift and left without a word, leaving Russell worried he had upset him. Later, Bronson asked someone to send Russell to his dressing room and quietly said he had never received a birthday gift before. The thing is, Bronson grew up very poor, with fourteen siblings, and worked in mines from a young age, never completing school or experiencing much kindness. Bronson was touched by Russell’s gesture. He later gifted Russell some sort of special custom-made or top-of-the-line skateboard for his birthday.
    • Bronson noticed Russell was no longer skateboarding and asked him about it. He said some studio executive told him not to. So, Bronson, with Russell, walked into the head of the studio’s office and told him that he and Russell were going to skateboard around the lot, and both did.
  • Tennessee lawmakers have brewed a plot to cut off DUI numbers by banning the sale of cold beer. They are going off the idea that consumers will be less likely to drink beer in their vehicles if it’s warm.
  • Just a random tip if you want to see what’s on the adjacent tab in your web browser and don’t want to take your hands off the keyboard, all you have to do is hold down the Ctrl and Tab keys. If you really want to have some fun, experiment with holding down the Ctrl key with a number key and you’ll land on the corresponding tab.
  • Are you having trouble keeping up with all the cases against former President Trump? The Atlantic has you covered:
    • The Cases Against Trump: A GuideFraud. Hush money. Election subversion. Mar-a-Lago documents. One place to keep track of the presidential candidate’s legal troubles.
  • I’m usually a fan of the Lincoln Project. They recently created a new ad using AI to make Trump’s father talk about how he is disappointed in his son. That made me uncomfortable.
  • Marine in Fort Worth accused of sexually assaulting recruit, then writing book about it
  • I haven’t really posted or written much about migrants and Texas’ southern border. But here are some random thoughts:
    • Most of the attention and coverage of Governor Abbott’s Operation Loan Star occurs at Eagle Pass, TX. I bet the local economy is booming. All the soldiers, various forms of law enforcement, politicians, and media have to stay and get their food somewhere. So, I’m guessing local hotels and restaurants have increased margins.
    • Sometimes I hear the team “razor wire” and at other times “Conertina wire.” So, I was wondering what’s the difference between the two:
      • Concertina wire is a type of barbed wire or razor wire that is formed into large coils that can be expanded. Concertina wire is similar to razor wire, but concertina wire has flat, razor-sharp protrusions on both sides, instead of the twisted barbs found on barbed wire
      • Why is the term “concertina” being used? I’ll be honest because I see it capitalized a lot, I thought it came from the inventor’s name. That doesn’t appear to be the case. A concertina is similar to an accordion. What’s the difference between the two musical instruments? Concertinas have buttons on both ends, while accordions have buttons on the front. Concertina buttons move in the same direction as the bellows, while accordion buttons move perpendicular to the bellows.
    • “Follow the money” – I don’t want to spend time researching it and this is nothing but speculation on my part to entertain myself, but I’m curious about whom the State of Texas is purchasing all the Concertina wire and buoy barriers in the Rio Grande. From Texas-based suppliers and manufacturers? What are the political affiliations of the owners of these businesses?
      • Typing “Rio Grande River” is a bit redundant since “Rio” means “river” in Spanish.
      • Concertina wire is a prominent part of the logo used for Operation Lone Star.
    • The wire isn’t the only danger to migrants — several have drowned in the Rio Grande, which is known for its deceptively strong currents, especially after heavy rainfall. It’s also home to long lengths of buoy barrier
  • So cool, didn’t even sweat it.

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Bag of Randomness for Friday, February 16, 2024

  • I’ve noticed and been reading about how Elon Musk has updated the TwitterX algorithms to include more posts in our feeds that are opposite our political ideology. The goal is to entice users to engage and leave more comments. I’ve been surprised at some of the stuff I would rather not be exposed to. I’m not saying I don’t want to hear or learn from the other side, it’s the extremism and baiting that concerns me.
  • That’s a bold move, Cotton – Marine in Fort Worth accused of sexually assaulting recruit, then writing a book about it
  • DaughterGeeding caught an infield popup fly yesterday evening.
  • Fox4 had an interview with the woman who was abducted and forced to drive to the border. Of all the things that stood out, “purple pancakes” caught my attention the most. It made me think about how I wanted to do the same with my family, but it was one of those things I never got around to. The closest I’ve come to doing something like this was with a friend in college. There was an episode of Mad About You in which they used a code word to help each other get out of conversations they got stuck in. Our code word was “onomatopoeia.” It worked well for the most part, though sometimes it would raise an eyebrow. “Ah, you bought a new lawn mower, sweet. Hey Rob, isn’t “mower” an onomatopoeia?”
  • A few things went through my mind when I first saw this. At first, I thought the Longhorns were announcing an agreement between them and Reebok. Also, I like how it glows and goes on and off, it must represent our power grid quite well.




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