Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Screenshot 2016-01-04 at 10.36.00 PM

  • Bag of Randomness should be posting at 2:00 AM CST but I’ve heard from someone that it doesn’t display when you go to the website directly, yet it will on an RSS feed. Anyone else see anything odd?
  • When I was a kid in school, the hardest thing to do coming back to school would be to write the correct year on the heading of papers. I remember one teacher would knock off points on all papers that listed the previous year without any warning because the correct date was always displayed on the chalkboard.
  • Years ago I read a book by a former George W. Bush speechwriter. In one chapter he wrote about a moment when he was alone on the Truman Balcony one night with the President, who was drinking a non-alcoholic beer, and stated how beautiful the “Washington Memorial” looked. The speechwriter knew the President referenced it incorrectly as it’s actually the Washington Monument, but he didn’t want to ruin the moment nor show any sign of disrespect. That got me to thinking how often I’ve often made the same mistake, and I noticed made the mistake yesterday.  And despite looking at a source or two, I’m still unsure when one is used over the other.
  • I just found out that TSA Pre-Check is only $85 for five years. It allows you to go into the “fast lane” at the airport and you don’t have to remove shoes, laptops, belts, and certain liquids. So if you only fly roundtrip once a year, that works out to $8.50 a flight for five years. Of course, you have to sign up for it before a flight, which means filling out an online form and visiting an office or airport for fingerprinting.
  • Yesterday was black Monday in the NFL with all the head coach firings, which reminds me of something funny a friend once said that I’ll always remember, “Never underestimate a coach whose last name ends in a vowel.”
  • The ‘Sherlock’ Victorian special that aired on New Year’s Day was exceptional.
  • I watched the NFL Network’s ‘A Football Life’ on Alan Page about three months ago. After his NFL career, he went on to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Before the start of his last game there was a pregame ceremony and he quoted some lines from the poem ‘Ulysses‘ which made me look up the poem.  Every ten days or so I think of the poem, re-read it, and look at different reviews and interpretations.
    • Here’s a great summary of the poem – “Ulysses” details Ulysses’ intense dissatisfaction and boredom on his island home of Ithaca. The poem is a monologue spoken by him, where he not only expresses his discontent, but also describes his desire to keep sailing. He’s getting older and doesn’t have a lot of time left, so he wants to get busy living rather than busy dying. The poem concludes with his resolution to “strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
    • Interpretations (Wikipedia)
    • And a few bits of trivia
      • T. S. Eliot called “Ulysses” a “perfect poem”
      • It was read in the Bone movie Skyfall.
      • U.S. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy quoted the three last lines at the end of his speech “On the Mindless Menace of Violence” in America a day after the assassination of Martin Luther King.
      • The final line is inscribed on a cross at Observation Hill, Antarctica, to commemorate explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his party, who died on their return trek from the South Pole in 1912:One equal temper of heroic hearts,
        Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
        To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
  • A new Texas law about school districts and time in the classroom –  A new Texas state law that counts the school year by minutes instead of days means local school districts could add extra days off for both students and staff by squeezing minutes into the school day.
  • Texas college choice flow chart that excludes some schools like Rice and Hardin-Simmons.
  • His credit score isn’t listed in the article though he says it’s almost perfect – Walter Cavanagh has 1,497 valid credit cards — all of which amount to a $1.7 million line of credit. Currently, he holds the record for the most credit cards and for the world’s longest wallet, which stretches 250 feet, weighs about 38 pounds and can hold 800 cards.
  • Buzzfeed – Chick-Fil-A’s Only New York City Restaurant Closes After Six Violations
  • GIF – Hat Hair
  • The TICKET’s Gordon Keith lost his mother eight months ago and his father passed away at the beginning of the year.  He shared the following tweets:
    • @gordonkeith – My father was determined. “No child should lose both parents in the same year.” On the 2nd day of 2016, he left as I held him. He made it.
    • @gordonkeith – My mom & dad are both gone now. Lost them them [sic] 8 months apart to the day. As I left the hospital panic hit. Kept thinking “I’m nobody’s son”
  • I remember on the drive home from Parkland after my mother died I thought that even though I’m in my thirties, I felt orphaned since I no longer have living parents; that I no longer needed them, but in a way I still did need them, and I’ll no longer have that parental support or encouragement that helped me through all my life. There was, indeed, a void in my life that will never be completely filled.
  • I’ve been told by doctors and vets that a lot of people and animals die at the beginning of the year. People tend to hold on, keep that will to live for another milestone, and then let go. Pet owners tend to do the same before facing the task of putting a beloved one down.
  • Four new elements to be added to periodic table – the seventh row of the periodic table is finally complete.
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9 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, January 5, 2016

  1. Ben W. says:

    "Ulysses" was also quoted by Frasier Crane in final scenes of the series finale, beginning with the "it may be…" stanza. Of course, the combination of that character's personality, the setting, and Kelsey Grammer's sonorous voice, it was quite effective.

    Frisco ISD has already e-mailed us letting us know that next year the school day will start and end 5 minutes earlier/later, and thus the kids will have 3 fewer days in the school year. Pretty cool.

    My alma mater, Lamar, is not on that chart, either. Pretty sure it would fall under the "not rich" category, in between "country" and "trying to save money."

  2. John Mackovic says:

    – Sometimes I will come to this website in the morning while at work and it won't be updated I immediately check from my phone's browser and it is. I just assumed my corporate intranet was to blame.

    – I guess I chose wrong, I went to UT and was not a Democrat.

    – I haven't signed up for the TSA precheck thing, but when flying out for vacation last year, they let us go through that line because it there was nobody in line. It was really nice to not worry about shoes, belts and all that stuff while also handling two kids. But I'm not sure it's worth $340 for a family of four.

  3. Some BBQ Guy says:

    I've been nobody's son for several years now, and both my parents are still alive. You spend a lot of time missing them, and I suppose that's admirable in some ways, but you should spend more time being grateful for having had great parents. I realize those two emotions may be inseparable, and it's not meant as a criticism. But for those of us who have had drunk assholes as parents, then spend a significant number of years trying to be the good son, then finally decide to cut the dead weight from our lives, it's liberating. I'm not sure I will know when my parents die.

    I know for certain I won't grieve for them.

  4. Mr. Mike Honcho says:

    Our ISD is already using a new calendar based on hours and its awesome! This was a good thing.

  5. ALEC says:

    Some BBQ guy:
    I had a great mother who passed away 2 years ago, my life has not been the same since. My Dad is still here, he was and continues being a narcisstic, manipulative, mean and petty individual, who cheated on my mother, beat her and mentally and emotionally abused her. I do not love my father, but yet I can't separate from him, I mean how can I abandoned him after my mother's death? specially since my brother wants nothing to with him. My kids adore him, how did you make the break? How can explain that to your kids? I don't want to tell my kids what a awful dad their Grandpa was….

    • Some BBQ guy says:

      You just do it. You feel an appropriate amount of guilt, it seems like, but in order for you to move forward you have to cut the negative people out of your life. He's the parent, and you're the kid, and it's his responsibility to do the right thing for you, not you do the right thing for him absent some disability. Being a lying cheating asshole doesn't qualify.

      As much as your kids care for him, ask yourself if you want him to be an influence on their lives. Ask yourself if you want them picking up his traits. That should make the decision much easier.

      I was lucky enough that my parents were not very involved with my kids, but they have already begun talking about them only on rare occasion and then in passing. Someday if they want to have the talk about the way I grew up, they'll hear the whole story. Telling them what my parents were like isn't a bad thing, and it may actually help them be better people, spouses, and parents some day if they know the truth.

  6. RPM says:

    Bone. James Bone.

  7. Old Man says:

    I was told by a very wise person that you continue to grow as a man until your father dies. When your father dies then you are the man that you are supposed to be. I had my father for 46 years of my life. I now live my life and make daily decisions based on how I believe he would think.

    Now Micheal Jacksons song the Man in the Mirror makes me think. When I look in the morning mirror shaving, I see my father so much. Wish he was here everyday.

    Sorry for your loss.

  8. Neighbor Payne says:

    As someone who takes many flights every month, TSA Precheck is a life saver. I can leave my house in Lewisville and be sitting on my plane 25 minutes later because of it most of the time.

    And I’m sure it’s probably intentional, but the chart misspells My Alma Mater’s name. Go Tarleton!

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