Bag of Randomness


  • Sometimes I really miss riding in a school bus, everything from the smell, to sitting up high, skin sticking to the green vinyl, squeezing the window tabs together to lower and raise them, and just being a kid.
  • I know a female named “Stancy” and a male named “Jathan” and I’ve always wondered the background of their names; like, are they a combination of “Stacy” and “Nancy” and “Jason” and “Nathan” or something else.
  • ‘The Americans’ and ‘Homeland’ both have the older rebellious yet suspicious daughter and inept younger son in common.
  • When I’ve been around WifeGeeding’s lady friends as of late I often hear them complimenting her on how well her bottom looks lately.  I’m not sure how to take that, like are they wanting me to say something?  And I’m not sure how she should take it, as if it wasn’t that great to begin with?
  • I guess the only real gripe I have about Texas regarding politics and taxes and how I’m directly affected is the number of toll roads that continue to pop-up everywhere.  If I remember correctly, I-20 or I-30 around Fort Worth coming from Mineral Wells use to be a toll, and once the funds were recouped, tolls were no longer taken.  Nowadays, tolls seem like a permanent fixture.  Random Dallas North Tollway fact courtesy of Wikipedia – The Dallas North Tollway was the first toll road in the United States to implement Electronic Toll Collection technology, with the introduction of the TollTag in 1989.
  • I still hold on to the belief that tolls are a kind of double taxation and should be a tax write off.
  • Yes, I work from home and I’m not even sure why I’m griping about tolls.
  • Per this article, Texas has been the best state of business for the last ten years followed by Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina.  California, New York and Illinois rank among the worst three states.  Is there any sort of list or category for states that are best for employees?  If so, I wonder how it would compare.  When I worked for a place that moved a lot of their business from the East Coast to Texas because they could pay Texas employees less, I kinda felt cheated, but I also know cost of living is a big factor.
  • I think a fun job would be to create challenge courses for the show ‘Survivor’.
  • It’s going to be a three day weekend for me.  The wife and kids are going to grandma and grandpa’s and my best friends from high school and college are staying over.  This is the weekend are we meeting to choose a scholarship winner to honor a late friend, and we are all forever grateful to his mother for allowing us to be a part of this.  Things kick off with a Rangers game, I believe Yu Darvish will be starting.
  • Barbara Walters ‘retires’ this week (we all know she’s got a handful of specials left in her).  She was the main guest on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ when I was in the audience back in 1998.  The second guest was Maria Pitillo, who I made long, weird eye contact with, and she was promoting the remake of Godzilla.  And now we have another Godzilla movie about to hit theaters.  Also that week, I saw the Twins play the Yankees in the Bronx, and if I’m not mistaken, that guy was also at that game.  Sitting behind me was a family of four all wearing University of Texas at Arlington hats.  I struck up a conversation with them and they’ve been living in NYC for over a decade, but really loved that school.
  • I wonder if Hugh Downs will make an appearance to help sent off Barbara.
  • I had no idea they were ever a flower – GIF – the growth of a strawberry
  • And now, I finally know the difference: Opossum vs. Possum – The term possum covers about 70 species of marsupials native to Australia and surrounding islands. Opossum covers over 100 species of marsupials living in the Western Hemisphere. Opossums are often referred to colloquially as possums (or ‘possums), but in scientific contexts, possum and opossum refer to different groups of animals.
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4 Responses to Bag of Randomness

  1. SpanishWarDonkey says:

    Re: tolls

    You know what I do for a living. You also might have gathered I’m fiscally conservative in terms of taxes. You also wouldn’t be wrong in calling me a hypocrite for working for the state. I just had to be honest with myself and admit government won’t be shrinking any time soon and took the job security. That being said, here is why every major rebuild ($1B+) has a toll road attached to it.

    Texas is growing somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-450,000 people each year. If 200,000 of those people drive just 10,000 miles per year, that’s an additional 2 billion miles driven on Texas roads each year. The federal gas tax is 18.4¢/gallon and hasn’t been raised since 1993. Texas’ average state and munipal taxes are about 38¢/gallon and haven’t been raised in almost as long. There’s not a single politican, particularly on the right, that would vote for an increase, at any level, in the gasoline tax to fund our roads. That being said, if you’ve traveled to other states, you’ll notice most of our FM roads are the quality of some interstate roads in other states. We have a phenomenal road system here and I’m proud to have a small hand in that. Couple this with texas becoming more urbanized with people living closer to work and vehicles getting sometimes 100% better fuel mileage and you can see why the state has had to get creative in funding roads.

    Now, on to why all these new toll roads are popping up. When TxDOT puts out bids for a project, it obviously goes to the lowest bidder. Normally, we pay the contractor(s) for the previous month’s work. That is, the contractor buys the material up front and does the work; we then pay them for that “item”, be it asphalt by the ton or gallon (for liquified) or concrete by the cubic yard, at the price that the contractor bid it at. Our budget year to year is anywhere from $5-7 billion. These projects that are being undertaken are massive but really only make up less than 0.01% of the centerline miles in the state. So what we do now, is add toll roads into the plans and tell the contractor, which is usually an LLC or LP of several contractors because most companies don’t have $50 million in cash on hand for the first onto of work, that “Hey, you guys build this with a toll road in it and you own it for the next 40-50 years and collect the tolls plus interest on it. Also, you’re responsible for the maintenance of said road while you own it” which saves TxDOT a good bit in maintenance funds which can then be used for the smaller FM and State Highways that make up about 75% of the state’s centerline miles. The additional lanes help during rush hour, and also help to find projects that if they were funded traditionally, you would still have a bottleneck around the airport at 114,121 and 635 every afternoon for the next 10-15 years.

    Hope this helps shed some light on all the roads having toll lanes added. Also, if you’re a huge nerd, look up The Grand Parkway, a 3rd loop, currently under construction in Houston. Once completed in about 6 years, it’ll be the largest freeway loop in the world at 180 miles.

  2. Susanne says:

    The 'best place to do business' thing definitely favors employers. They can move their jobs there because overall costs are lower: rental/ownership, salaries, etc. I live in the SF Bay Area. People working in SF have a minimum wage of $10, and it's going up. EVERYONE is also entitled to two weeks off per year (which is nice; as a contractor/temp working across the bay, I typically get NO paid time off) and SF employers are required to contribute to a fund for healthcare – something like $2/hr – and if you have coverage elsewhere, you can use that for things that wouldn't be covered by basic insurance (eyebrow transplants, elbow lifts, etc.)

    BUT – it makes it expensive for companies to do business there.

  3. DF of LL says:

    I-30 was a tollway from FW to Dallas. That's why there are still some weird off and on ramps around 360 and Loop 12.

    RE: The wife's "bottom" Just smile and wiggle your eyebrows up and down.

    My son saw Godzilla last night in 3D. He and his friends said it was "Teeeeeeeeeeerrble".

  4. Larry says:

    I have a niece named "Stancy" It is derived from her father's name (Stan).


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