Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  • Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin just made his fourth Pro-Bowl. And to think it was a choice between him and Johnny Manziel back in 2014.
  • Flipping through channels last night I decided to see what ‘Touchdown in Israel‘ on the NBC Sports channel was all about. I only caught the last fifteen minutes but the first thing I saw was Roger Staubach and Katie Nolan swimming in the Dead Sea together. I promise I wasn’t on any painkillers. And yes, it was the NBC Sports channel and not the NFL Network I was watching. Basically, Patriots Owner Bob Kraft took eighteen Hall of Famers to Israel to promote football and open a football field and sports complex. One thing that stood out was a story Roger told of a stranger riding in an elevator with Joe Montana. Those are two of my favorite quarterbacks. If I rode in the same elevator as them I would have wet myself. The guy in the elevator new Montana from football and Roger only from real estate.
  • Two Rebecca De Mornay movies were on HBO last night.
  • One of the things I value the most about my friendship with Jimi is our ability to quote and reference random pop-culture stuff and get each other’s joke. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried a bit of pop-culture humor on someone and they had no clue what I was talking about or simply overlooked it.
  • Zaxxon was a hell of a video game.
  • Abilene Hooters set to open in January 2018
    • This is a little surprising with three Chrisitan universities in the very conservative city. However, I bet a lot of airmen from Dyess AFB will visit, which makes me wonder why it’s located on the opposite side of town.
    • When I was a student at HSU, I remember a similar restaurant called “Knockers” opened. They had a few of their girls come to campus in their work attire to pass out flyers but were quickly escorted off campus. I think the restaurant only lasted three or four months before closing. Today, a Chick-fil-A is in its place.
    • I wonder if any of the three Christian schools have rules in their code of conduct or student handbooks preventing students from working at such an establishment. Since HSU was the baby brother of Baylor, we’d normally ask or wonder what they did or how they handled things since they were the standard of a Christian or Baptist university (that’s one reason I’m so hard on them, I expect more). My limited research shows students do work at the Waco Hooters but there was controversy when it first opened in 2006.
      • ACU was the most conservative of all the Abilene Christian universities. For instance, at the time, they had a freshman curfew and there were separate pools for males and females. I was told they weren’t allowed to go to any dance clubs in town and school officials would sometimes scour the dance clubs parking lots looking for automobiles with student parking stickers. Some students used Vasoline to hold their parking stickers in place so they could be easily removed and attached before going inside a club.
  • Random HSU thought: Hey Jim Bob, remember the insane amount of static electricity one could conjure up in the HSU library?
  • Amid state cuts, a Texas high school football coach got a $20,000 raise. His district says he’s earned it.
  • Bill O’Reilly tweeted some advice last night:
  • I knew with Republican control of the House, Senate, and White House that taxes were going to be lowered and they would be easier on businesses. But I’m surprised with as much control they didn’t make more of an effort to make the tax code simpler. Not in the way that it could all fit on a postcard, but something more straightforward like so many of them wanted. I’m also surprised that the corporate tax cuts will be permanent but personal tax cuts will eventually be scaled up.
  • Don’t swim so far out that you can’t swim back.
  • AT&T plans to light up Dallas’ skyline with new HQ display
    • As part of the $100 million renovation of its downtown headquarters, AT&T this week will throw the switch on new exterior lighting on its 37-story tower. The Commerce Street high-rise is getting 106,544 exterior LED bulbs and 190 floodlights in AT&T blue and white colors.
  • Woman gives birth to baby frozen as embryo for 24 years
    • According to staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, Emma holds the all-time record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth.
  • The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Harahan veterinarian accused of fatally shooting her neighbor’s dog because of constant barking
  • The People Who Read Your Airline Tweets
    • Southwest runs what it calls a “Listening Center.” American Airlines calls it their “social-media hub” in Fort Worth, Texas. Alaska has a “social care” team in Seattle that responds to the average tweet for help in two minutes and 34 seconds, according to a report by Conversocial.
  • I want to watch Star Wars again simply to complain about it more. Sometimes, it’s just fun to complain and let loose.
  • I would like to talk to George Lucus after three to five cocktails and get his real uncensored review and thoughts on the last movie. I know he’s accepted the franchises fate and he has no control, but that doesn’t mean he can’t like or gripe about it, he still has an opinion.
  • Gosh darn it, you guys are insightful with your Star Wars thoughts, they’re great.
  • Star Wars Spoiler Thoughts:
    • When I first saw Yoda, I thought they were using an actual puppet again and not CGI. But there were times it did look like CGI. I think they did a bit of both.
    • Laura Dern turning her capital ship around and ramming it through the bad guys’ ship light speed was pretty cool, but it felt more like a Star Trek sort of thing.
    • Right after Snoke died my greatest fear was that Kylo Ren and Rey were going to get into a heated debated and end it in a cliche-ish makeout session.
    • I wish Kylo Ren would have killed his mother when he had the chance and that she actually died at that moment. Leia didn’t really have a lot of onscreen parts after that and the story could have been altered enough after Carrie Fisher’s death (five months into post-production). All they had to do was reshoot a few scenes with Laura Dern speaking to Poe Dameron about her plan. Or, they could have made it where Leia is piloting that ship at the end, sacrificing herself so the others can get away and she can be the image of the resistance, a whole “Remember The Alamo” sort of thing. Sure, she wouldn’t have been able to shoot it, but they could have changed the story to imply she was there.
    • Again, I wanted more Jedi training, something akin to The Karate Kid with Rey and Luke.
    • To be honest, I never felt Luke was a real Jedi because his training was done intermittently and didn’t serve as a full-time apprentice. I know the force was strong in him, but not as much as his father who actually served an apprenticeship. Yoda graded on the curve, but I guess he had to, he didn’t’ have much to work with.
    • I liked that Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, had a decent amount of screen time. It wasn’t much, and just enough not to be distracting.
    • The cinematography was fantastic.
    • Writer-director Rian Johnson describes what it was like shooting the Luke and Leia scene:
      • “It’s bizarre because, you know, obviously we didn’t know that it was gonna be a farewell scene,” he says by phone from Los Angeles the day of Last Jedi’s release. “And it’s odd because I remember when we were shooting the Luke-Leia scene, it felt like church on set. It was usually a jovial set, you know, a really happy, bouncy set. And that day, everyone was just quiet and just watching these two.” “It was like a hush over the whole set,” he says, “it really did feel like church. I remember there being a weight to the whole thing and we all just felt like, we’re seeing something really special happen. In a way that it never, ever was on the set for us. There was, very weirdly, weight.”
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4 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  1. Dave says:

    Ah, Zaxxon. I logged many hours on my Atari 400 on that one. It was one of those games that wasn’t a cartridge. It was actually a cassette tape that you had to load in, press play, and wait about 5 minutes for the game to load. Every once in a while, it wouldn’t work and you would have to start all over. But it was worth it.

  2. Ben W. says:

    SPOILERS (still necessary? I don’t know)

    Pretty sure I read that Yoda was a practical effect (puppet), but a quick Google search doesn’t reveal the article. But I would definitely lean that way, anyway, based on the appearance. It was nice to get the original-trilogy version of Yoda back.

    I think reshooting scenes to kill off Leia in the early part of the film would have been pretty time consuming and costly. I suspect they’ll just do a time jump at the beginning of Ep. 9, and have characters appear at a funeral for Leia or something. This also allows Rey time to study the Jedi texts and hone her skills, and for the Resistance to build up again to where it’s more than just the 28 people who made it onto the Falcon.

    I was really happy that Billie Lourd had a more noticeable role, too, since she was barely visible in Force Awakens. With Carrie’s passing, I’m hopeful they’ll make more of a role for Billie in Ep. 9.

    The question of “was Luke a Jedi Master” is interesting. (IMO he was definitely a Jedi – he trained in the ways of the Force on the light side; the alternative was that he was a Sith.) I guess it really boils down to the fact that only the Jedi Council could bestow the title of “Jedi Master,” and since the Council was destroyed by Sidious/Vader, then Luke was never a Jedi Master. But there could be things we don’t know that would permit him to be rightly called a Jedi Master. For example, perhaps the Jedi texts present a certain number of Force-related challenges that, if completed, signify that a person is a Jedi Master. Or, if a “master” is a Jedi who taught an apprentice, then Luke still fits the bill, since he trained Kylo (and others).

  3. Mr. Mike Honcho says:

    ZAXXON!!!!!! Many a quarter was claimed by this beast!

  4. John Mackovic says:

    I didn’t really need to see where blue milk came from

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