Bag of Randomness


  • I’ve had a good bit of luck repairing my laptop’s oddly wired power harness and replacing my Chromebook’s screen by buying discounted parts off eBay and finding tutorials on YouTube.  So now I’m going to try to replace my phone’s cracked screen.  Last night I found a bunch of helpful videos and bought the replacement screen for only five bucks with free shipping.  Of course, now I feel like I’ve jinxed myself by talking about this beforehand.  “Well done is better than well said.”
  • You see a lot of local commercials for Dr David Kim for bariatric or gastric surgery.  One man used him for the gastric sleeve procedure and lost a lot of weight, mainly because to his surprise his legs were amputated.
  • If I’m correct, DeMarco Murray is in the last year of his contract.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jerry doesn’t re-sign him after the season and get a newly reinstated Adrian Peterson for a bit of a discount as other teams avoid him for his recent transgressions.
  • If I’m reading the Cornell University website correctly, freshmen have to take a swimming test and if they don’t pass, have to enroll in a swimming course.
  • I wonder if “freshman” will change to a gender neutral term one day.  I’m not saying I’m for or against the idea, just wondering if it will change.
  • I’m not a fan of HOAs and I’m not a fan of my HOA charging a fee to pay our semi-annual dues online, means I write a check for it and send it snail mail to save a tiny chunk of change.  I think these are the only two checks I write a year.
  • Gross or genius? French officials announced a law change that will allow homeowners to install toilets in their kitchens and living rooms – It does of course remind me of a scene in Idiocracy.
  • Nome, Alaska is moving forward with plans to tax churches.
  • Top 100 places to work in DFW – 2014 – It was a bit surprising to see a church in the small companies list.  Moldy, I do believe that’s your church.  Well, not your church but the one you attend.
  • I’ve never used an emoji.
  • Florida man assaults girlfriend after she makes pancakes instead of waffles for birthday 
  • DART posted a time-lapse video of a rail replacement that’s actually pretty neat, but  it’s quite long – YouTube
  • Paddington Bear creator’s shock as film is deemed ‘unsuitable for young children’
  • ‘Runner’s high’ can turn into a real addiction
  • Happy birthday, Richard.
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11 Responses to Bag of Randomness

  1. RPM says:

    I don't see Minnesota dumping Peterson. They have done stranger things before, but it would surprise me. HOA's should be outlawed. They are usually more concerned with aesthetics than common sense.

  2. Ben W. says:

    The Cornell swim test seems very odd, and I had never heard of it. But apparently it was something that up to 1/4 universities required in the past. And as recently as 2012, big-name schools like Notre Dame and MIT still required it. I get the reasoning in this article: the school requires 4 semester of physical education, so why not require that one of those semesters be something that could save your life? More info here:

    I'll be interested to see what happens with the church tax exemption in Nome. I think if you're going to run a church like a business, then it should be treated as such. (Point proven by the very next article – a church winning awards for being a great "small company.")

    But I'm also willing to bet that the churches in Nome aren't like the megachurches we have here run by the CEO/celeb-wannabes like Ed Young, Joel Osteen, and Robert Morris. (Also noteworthy – the amount of tax breaks churches get is almost exactly equal to the food-stamp budget? If churches were doing what they're supposed to, would there be such a need for food stamps?)

    I wonder what would happen if Palin was still governor?

  3. no way says:

    It does of course remind me of a scene in Idiocracy.

    Go away! Baitin'!

  4. David Bryant says:

    As for the fee for paying HOA dues with a card. I suspect it is a situation like paying property taxes online, at least in Tarrant County. Anytime a credit/debit card transaction occurs, the processor charges a fee. Wal-mart, McDonald's and most other businesses absorb that cost by including the amount when calculating their products selling price. So, they cover it by making EVERY customer pay a portion of the fee they incur for their card users.

    For good or bad, government entities cannot do that (and I think an HOA has to operate like a government entity on things like this). Since they do not have the ability to make EVERY 'customer' share the cost, they have to charge the person that is causing the cost to be incurred. I know I would not want my HOA to increase my dues to cover my neighbors use of their credit card.

  5. David Bryant says:

    I also do not understand the anger people have for HOA's. You have to choose to be governed by an HOA. When you buy a house you make an agreement to live under the rules of the HOA. You could choose to not do that. When I point that out to my neighbors and suggest the areas near us without an HOA, they quickly reply that they do not want to live in those neighborhoods because the houses are all run down. In other words, they want all of the benefits of an HOA, but they do not want to have to have an HOA govern them.

    Now, I agree that HOAs do sometimes get out of hand. Remember, they are an elected body enforcing the rules that you agreed to live under when you bought the house. If you do not like the rules or the board, there is a process to change both. Set out on that journey and get the changes made. If enough neighbors agree, then changes can be made. However, if not enough agree then they are just expecting the board to enforce the rules that YOU committed to follow when you moved in.

    I had a neighbor that complained about the HOA the entire time he lived next to us. What he did not grasp was that HE was the guy that his neighbors wanted protection from. Left to his own standards his garage would have been converted into a full time machine shop and he would have rebuilt cars in his driveway. Fortunately our HOA said no for each request he made, which made him hate HOAs…and made me appreciate them!

    • Geeding says:

      I'm sure you're not going to agree with my reasoning regarding HOAs, and that's okay, but for me it's the basic premise that I have to get permission to do what I want to my own home, even if it's as simple as restraining my fence. Not to mention, I have to submit paperwork and then I have to wait two to three weeks before approval before I can actually get started because I need their permission. You're right, I have the option of moving to an area without an HOA, and one of those reasons is what you referenced, that the neighborhood isn't kept up as nice as others. And this is where I think you'll really disagree, but I don't think the HOA is the reason why our neighborhood is "nicer" than the non HOA neighborhood. I think the sales price of the houses in the area bring in (gulp, this can really be taken the wrong way) the kind of folks that tend to care more about the upkeep and property value of their home, and aren't the type to park their car on the lawn. You're argument may that HOAs are the reason why the property value can be what they are, but I don't agree with it. Perhaps this is a bad example, but I think there's a large Westlake community that doesn't have an HOA, but because that area only has mansions, the people that can afford to live there aren't the type to do anything that reflects poor property value choices or be bad neighbors. And even in my small hometown where there are no HOAs, the higher valued homes were owned by people that took better care of their home than the lower valued homes.

      Another reason I'm not fond of the HOA is the type bureaucracy that goes on and the type of people that choose to run. You may argue that if I don't like what's going on with the HOA that I can take ownership of the issue, get involved, and maybe run for a position and change some bylaws or whatnot. But with the kind of "drama" that goes on in our neighborhood, it's stuff I much rather not deal with. I just don't have the thick skin and temperament to be a part of it all.

      And finally, the type of people that are in elected or leadership positions in our HOA tend to be ones that don't have much on their plate and go a bit overboard on things. Most are former managers or executives that are retired and focus their energy telling me I need to control the weeds around my tree in January when it's just dormant lantana waiting on the spring to bloom. I also think there's a lot of inconsistency that goes on with rules and regulations.

      I appreciate your perspective on this, David, and we probably disagree with each other's reasoning and rationalization, but that's okay, I just wanted to provide you a little bit of my perspective no matter how insane it might be. 😉

      • David Bryant says:

        You are free to be wrong all you want. 🙂

        I am not aware of the neighborhood you mention in Westlake, but your logic makes sense. However, I do think the neighborhoods you and I live in would not necessarily follow the same logic (I assume our price points are roughly the same). One of the biggest differences is a neighborhood of mansions has fewer houses than our neighborhoods. More houses means more people. Also, since people frequently 'stretch their budget' to get into a house, you wind up with a wider variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. The more people you have, the more backgrounds you will have and the more varying views of what they should be allowed to do with their house. You want to stain your fence…fine, I have no problem with it. But what if I live next to you and I want to paint mine pink? I assume you would have an issue with that. What if I want to turn my garage into an apartment that I rent out? If I have 4 kids, all with cars…maybe parking on the grass beside my garage is my only option for 6 cars. Would that be an issue if the parking was between our two houses?

        I don't think you can assume your neighbors would keep up their house without the HOA covenants. Maybe they would, but if only one of them chooses not to…and he lives next to you…his choices can make your life miserable and could definitely drive down the value of your home.

        As for stain and other common requests. Our HOA has dealt with this by pre-approving stain colors along with shingle colors and shed designs. As long as you use their pre-approved 'stuff', you can build it without asking for permission and there will be no repercussions. They only ask that you alert them so that they can verify conformance once the project is complete. Same with fence replacement. As long as you are replacing 'like for like', no pre-approval is necessary.

        • Geeding says:

          It sounds like you have a better managed HOA than I do, and I guess that's another reason I don't like them, the inconsistencies and how some are bullies and others aren't. That Westlake example I used was poor, but I think my example of Mineral Wells is fairly decent since there are no HOAs and there's not many high income earners in town. You knew the neighborhoods that weren't well kept and the ones that were, and it had nothing to do with HOAs.

          If someone did paint their fence pink, in my view, that would have to be perfectly acceptable because of my belief that homeowners should have the freedom of what he or she wants to do to their own house, as long as it complies with the city, a "legit governing body". I may not like a pink fence, but in my view I have to respect their right to do what they want to their own property. And if my neighbors did do things I found unacceptable, then I think I'd either have to put up with it (respecting their right) or move.

          I think it was about three or four years ago Lewisville created an ordinance in which garages could no longer be converted into a living space.

          So my preference is if no ordinance or laws are broken, I just have to respect the right of the homeowner to do as he or she wishes.

  6. b_caesar says:

    For what it's worth, SMU has been calling new students "First Years" for at least the last 20 years…maybe longer.

  7. pattihi says:

    My poor lil 85 year old parents live in an HOA in League City. And they are notoriously tough there. A teen lost control of his car & crashed thru their front living room and it took almost 2 years before everyone agreed on how to fix it. Because the brick was no longer made, the HOA disapproved a dozen obvious options.

    My parents called in an architect to do it right so as not to affect the property value, and even he fought with the HOA. They ended up having to rip the brick off the back of their house, move it to the front, then redo the back completely different, so that the back of the house didn't appear 'repaired' to anyone behind them. Silly waste of money and time and nerves to do all that unnecessary extra work.

  8. moldysnotmegaguynomo says:

    Lots of comments today! Megachurches require a ton of staff. While I was able to serve at one, it was out in Rockwall, but it did have water involved in the name, so half-credit on that. Ah, forget about it, full credit for you being awesome.

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