Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, January 13, 2016


  • The State of the Union is important, and I suppose having all top levels of federal leadership present is symbolic, but it’s grown into a series of bits and I wish it would go back to the practice of a simply letter (thank you, Jefferson). Between the president having special guests (Clinton invited Sammy Sosa), senators and representatives saving seats for the likes of Ted Nugent, Ducky Dynasty television personalities, and Kim Davis, partisan clapping and standing, and the opposing party response that’s written before a draft of the speech is released, it’s just theater and what I think is now a waste of tax-payer dollars. It will never happen, the free air time and exposure is too much to pass up.
  • With that said, I thought President Obama’s opening line about making the speech short so many of them could get back to Iowa was pretty funny. And I thought it was an interesting sight seeing Joe Biden and Paul Ryan behind the President considering those two debated each other several times on national television for the same office. I think that speaks well of our imperfect system. What else caught my attention was when the camera was panning our elected representatives, many of which were looking down on their phones. My guess they were tweeting during the event.
  • Speaker Ryan should have kept his beard. And I may have missed it, but usually, a president will make some sort of acknowledgement of a new Speaker, and I think Obama failed to do that. I also think Obama didn’t reference anything about firearms, and if it was omitted, it was probably a good thing. Any comment from him on the comment would take the stage and the rest of his message would have been overshadowed.
  • What It’s Like to Be the “Designated Survivor” for the State of the Union
  • Interesting that Netflix aired a commercial for the new season of ‘House of Cards’ right after the SOTU, at least on CBS.
  • WifeGeeding’s first comment on Gov Nikki Haley speech – she keeps a closed mouth when she talks.
  • According to several articles, the first President to invite a guest to the State of the Union was Ronald Reagan. It was a federal employee who a few weeks earlier dove into the Potomac River to rescue a plane crash victim. Interestingly, George H.W. Bush once invited four governors as guests to the State of the Union, one of them was Bill Clinton.
  • A little bit of history regarding the opposing party’s response – The practice of the party not occupying the White House giving a response to the president’s speech began in 1966, when top Republicans successfully lobbied the networks for an opportunity to answer President Lyndon B. Johnson. Future commanders-in-chief Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush were among the first crop of opposition responders. – The article also states that Bill Clinton gave an infomercial type of response thirty years ago after Reagan’s SOTU.
  • I’m looking forward to President Trumps first SOTU. Actually, it will just be a joint session of congress, as it would be for any new president.
  • The Texas Tribune – GOP Leaders Mostly Quiet on Abbott Plan to Amend Constitution – I thought it was odd for Gov Abbott to announce this on a Friday, the worst news day of the week. Friday is the day to announce things you really don’t want the public to know or pay attention to.
  • KERA – Why Are There So Few Basements In North Texas? – In short:
    • The soil is very expansive. “When it gets wet, it swells up; when it dries up in the summer, it shrinks. Those are a lot of forces, and a lot of engineering that has to happen to build a basement.”
    • Up north, builders build down deeper to get the foundation below the freeze line. Since they’re already down there, it’s fairly inexpensive to make a basement and add square footage that way.
    • The article mentions a business that builds basements in the area, about 12 a year.
  • Disney seeks FAA approval to fly drones in new nighttime show (Thanks, Ben)
  • A giant thermometer scarf that displays the actual temperature.
  • Even a vasectomy can’t stop Antonio Cromartie from fathering 11th and 12th kids
  • Dallas Eater – The Most Anticipated Dallas Restaurant Openings, Winter 2016 – I hear great things about Shake Shack, hope they live up to the hype.
  • Today’s dose of ‘MURICA!
  • Arizona news – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced yesterday the state would begin publicly shaming fathers who owe child support by posting on Twitter their names, photos, and the amount of child support they owe.
  • Guy Thrown Out of Donald Trump Rally for Holding a ‘Trump Likes Nickelback’ Sign
  • GIF – Two dogs have a midair collision
  • GIF – Wait for it – Toddler brings father water
  • DaughterGeeding is a kindergartner, here’s this week’s lessons plans:
    • Things we will learn:

      Grammar/ Phonics/ Spelling Basic code practice (fluency for writing and reading), Phonograms ‘or’, Learning about nouns (what they are).

      LiteratureChicken Little, Ugly Duckling, Helen Keller, See Saw Margery, Baa Baa Black Sheep, The Tortoise and the Hare, Momotaro:Peach Boy, Patricia Palacco, The Story of Ruby Bridges, Finish My Father’s Dragon, Mr. Poppers Penguins.

      Science 5 Senses smell, touch, sight, taste & hear

      History Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson,Martin Luther King Day.

      Geography 50 States

      Recitation Three Little Pigs


      Homework will be the same on most nights unless I specify otherwise.

      Reading 30 minutes– I would prefer you read to them, if they want to read to you that is fine (please don’t make this stressful on either one of you).

      Math 15 minutes– something sent home to reinforce what was learned in class, work on simple addition, writing problems vertical and reciting addition math facts up to 20 (flash cards if you have them).

      Spelling- Study for the test on Thursday- 1/14 

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8 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  1. Ben W. says:

    I thought it odd that Abbott would release something on Friday afternoon that you would think he would want a lot of attention for. But after the near-non-response from GOP bigwigs, I'm guessing he had asked around, gotten very tepid response from big names in his party, and decided to get this out there in a way that wouldn't garner too much attention. I think he has his eyes on the national stage, a la Gov. Good Hair, and thought this would be a good foray into that. To quote Perry, "Oops." The proposals are dumb. And, as an attorney, he should know better.

    Today's dose of 'Murica has to be an invention aimed at long-haul truckers. (The "Pilot" brand gives it away.) Those guys gotta do what they gotta do to keep moving. My dad drove a truck occasionally for an old job he had, and he said he'd go through McDonald's and buy a half dozen little cheeseburgers and throw them on the dashboard. The sun would keep them warm, and when he was hungry he wouldn't have to stop. 'Murican ingenuity!

    We had a late-night snack of shakes from Shake Shack in NYC this summer. Good stuff. The food looked great, too, so I'm excited to have a chance to try it out closer to home.

    As a man who has taken the necessary precautions to ensure he's not going to be a father again, the Cromartie story scared the @#$% out of me. On the flip side, I don't care how much you love your wife, it may be time for a quick DNA test, buddy.

  2. John Mackovic says:

    I really want to make a joke about the offense blowing past Cromartie's defense and hitting his wife's end zone, but I can't think of a good one.

  3. Suz says:

    Your Kindergarten age child has more homework than my Keller ISD eighth grader. He is taking three pre-AP classes. That's crazy.

  4. DF of LL says:

    "I’m looking forward to President Trumps first SOTU."

    I wonder if he will yell at the cameraman to pan the crowd.

  5. Bryan says:

    Nikki Haley has to be part of the GOP's ongoing effort to make an awkward bit part of their response speech: she talked with her teeth clenched, Rubio ducked for a drink of water, they gave 2 responses one year, one for the party and one for the tea party. I feel like I'm missing another one.

    I would say the same warning that I gave about In N' Out applies to Shake Shack: temper your expectations. It's really good, but not really ground breaking. The shakes are the draw for me and the burgers are good, but they're not doing anything out of the ordinary. I have no doubt that some rednecks around here will lose their s@#t and tell us, "It ain't half as good as Whater-burger. This is just our Muslim president tryin' to have them Yankees take over Texas. Let's secede!"

    • Geeding says:

      About the SOTU response, I think the year you were thinking of that involved the Tea Party response include one each from Cruz, Paul, and Bachmann. Some were televised, some were just available online.

  6. Bryan says:

    The year I was thinking of in particular was 2011 when Paul Ryan delivered the GOP response and Bachmann gave the first Tea Party response. That makes sense as that was the first SOTU after the Tea Party had a strong showing in the 2010 mid terms. There have been Tea Party and other responses outside of the official one in subsequent years. Several people have delivered them, including Rand Paul, Cruz, and Herman Cain to name a few. Not all were televised like Bachmann's in 2011.

    I verified all of this at Wikipedia and, in the words of Michael Scott, "Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information."

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