Bag of Randomness for the 17th of May 2016


  • That picture has been floating around recently with the caption “Sears Roebuck Catalogue Assembly Line 1942.” Man, that would not be a fun job.
  • The demise of Sears is nigh and no one will be surprised when the news finally drops. It’s crazy how massive and dominant Sears was. Heck, you could order everything from sewing machines, clothes, and sporting goods to cars, houses, and livestock. Hey, houses were no joke. And in the Nineties, Sears was well positioned to be what is now, and more. They had world’s largest and most successful mail ordering businesses, their own online computer service (Prodigy) which was a joint venture with IBM, and their own credit card (Discover, the only credit card accepted at Sears for almost a decade). All the pieces we in place, no one had the foresight to put them together. To take it a step further, and this is from memory regarding a paper I wrote in grad school, so feel free to fact-check me on this, but also at that time Sears had insurance company Allstate, financial investment firm Dean Witter, and real estate broker Coldwell Banker. With their IBM partnership and early web presence, as well as strong footing in all these areas, I’m amazed they are where they are today.
  • My grandmother made a wedding dress for her daughter, Eyelene (Yup, that’ how she spelled it, not Eileen). Her husband died in an accident that left her widowed with young children. Eyelene’s daughter, Bonnie, wore that same dress at her wedding, and her husband died from cancer, leaving her widowed with a young child. That child didn’t wear that dress at either of her weddings but it’s in storage.
  • In all seriousness, my Aunt Eyelene had a leg removed because of cancer. As I young child, I would often hear all variations of the joke, “What do you call a woman with one leg? Eileen”. I was never offended by the joke but wondered how did they know my aunt that lived in California, a woman I’ve never seen in person.
  • Aunt Eyelene died at the age of 62 on August 2, 1989 – my father’s 66th birthday. I was a 13-year-old and it was the first time I saw my father cry. It happened during a car ride back from the barbershop as his voice cracked when he stated he was the only one alive from his family.
  • I remember helping Dad with the dishes once and he told me how Eyelene and he used to do the dishes together, but would often make the excuse she had to use the bathroom and never came back to help finish the dishes. Dad said he knew what she was up to but didn’t care, he just wanted to get the job done without their mother and father yelling.
  • I wonder what kind of brother and sister stories our kids will pass down.
  • CNN – Doctors perform first U.S. penis transplant – The picture accompanying the article looks like the patient is giving a thumbs up with a half smirk – not that I can blame the guy. However, this line from the article stood out the most, “…while sexual function is a goal, reproduction is not, because of a concern surrounding the ethical issues of who the potential father may be.”  The article further states that such a surgery was performed in South Africa in December 2014, and with this line, I wonder if there’s any question to who the father is, “Doctors waited three months to declare the surgery a success, once his urinary and reproductive functions were restored. In June, the man had impregnated his girlfriend.
  • Shia LaBeouf to Play Volatile Tennis Player John McEnroe
  • For any of you David Letterman fans, this Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of his last show. There’s a good Tumbler site that I follow and it has an interview with former Letterman writer Bill Scheft on what it’s like one year later.
  • Dallas Morning News – Baylor regents heard but haven’t seen report on campus rapes – Baylor University has yet to receive a detailed written report on campus sexual assaults, even as it announced last week that its board of regents had been briefed on its contents.
  • Dirk Nowitzki got a shoutout on SNL
  • London Underground says ‘too much sunshine’ to blame for Tube delays – Bright sunshine beaming onto CCTV monitors, which are used to give a clear view of the platform before pulling away, is blocking drivers’ line of sight, according to staff.
  • BBC News – Toby Jones to star as Sherlock villain
  • Custodian picks up degree from college he cleaned for almost a decade – Vaudreuill, 54, graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the same place where he’s cleaned and emptied the trash for the past eight years. His mortar board read: “Old dog has new tricks.”
  • Twitter will reportedly stop counting photos and links in 140-character limit
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6 Responses to Bag of Randomness for the 17th of May 2016

  1. Triple Fake says:

    I don't get the dilemma about "who the potential father may be". You're only swapping out the delivery system, but won't the DNA originate from the transplant recipient? (Flush & fill, and you're good to go. Oh…and some Bar's Stop Leak!) And a simple DNA test on the offspring should settle the question. Of course, that's after the fact, but at least you'll know the answer for any subsequent transplant patients.
    Other notes:
    That guy is 64?! He looks way younger than me, and I don't have nearly the amount of worries he does
    They're worried about paternity with a 64yo patient?
    The surgeon's name was appropriate for urology

  2. WGII says:

    Next door to my sisters house is a home ordered from the Sears catalog. It's pretty cute little house and amazes me every time I visit.

  3. Dave Love says:

    Seems like longer than a year since Letterman's last show. It's interesting that 2 of 3 Scheft's favorite / most memorable countdown guests were Norm Macdonald (his last bit on the show) and John Mayer covering American Pie, as those were my favorites of those last several weeks as well. (I must have missed his 3rd which was Hootie & the Blowfish.)

    • Geeding says:

      Hey, those were my favorites as well. Heck, I even have Mayer's "American Pie" converted to an MP3 so I can listen to it while I'll drive, and I loved how he wore an old school "Late Night with David Letterman" jacket during the performance. I really never like Norm because I thought he was an insensitive jackass, but he totally changed me with that last appearance.

  4. John Mackovic says:

    – I know how your dad felt. When my little sister died, I was crushed. It's been four years, and I'm still bothered by it. I'm going to be the one to tell her kids our brother & sister stories.

    – When I was kid, the next town over had a small Sears storefront that just distributed packages that people mail-ordered.

    – Norm MacDonald was my favorite Weekend Update host

    – I once had a Prodigy account, but dropped it when I get free 2400 baud dial-up service from my university, and I could get all the information I needed from Gopher sites. (yes, the pre-WWW days)

  5. Guest says:

    First penis transplant, what if his hand rejects it?

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