Bag of Randomness for Friday, November, 15, 2019

  • It’s been a while since I’ve been in a “Reply All” fiasco. It happened yesterday at the federal agency I’m associated with, and the “Reply All” went agency-wide with a plethora of folks asking to be removed from the list, telling everyone to stop replying all, ill-fated attempts at humor, and revealing way too much personal stress.
  • I heard back from Junior Miller and the tone of his email was so apologetic I felt bad that I pointed out his list was a repeat. But I did learn he came really close to adopting a rescue dog but someone else beat him and his new wife to it.
  • The lengths POTUS is going to keep his tax returns private raises questions about what could be in them.
  • I’d like to see a script with Mad Men’s Don Draper and New Coke. I can’t figure out if I’d like to see him advocating for or against it, or, him rescuing the company after the fiasco and slapping the “Classic” and “Original Formula” tag on the cans and bottles.
  • San Antonio family was told to remove their Christmas decorations because it’s too early
  • WifeGeeding is visiting the Biltmore Estate today with her mother and sisters. I understand I may sound hypocritical because of what I wrote about a couple of teachers taking a full week off before Thanksgiving and Christmas break and thus getting two full weeks off. I’ll just say this was her decision and the timing and amount of time off makes the comparison different. But as several of you stated, you ain’t got no problem with a teacher taking any time off during the school year.
  • Google will help you pronounce difficult wordsWhen you look up a pronunciation, Google will provide an answer, and when you say the word into your phone’s microphone, Search will let you know if you said it correctly.
  • Narwhal: Puppy with extra tail on his head rescued
  • Mr. Rogers sure did have neat handwriting (see photo at the top of this post). I found that photo in the following article (it’s a long read) and provided a few snippits I found interesting. I didn’t like the mental image he gave me when he described a trip with him to his parent’s grave and him urinating behind a tree. But, I was amused to discover his email address was an AOL one with the handle “ZZZ143”. I felt like this article reveals Rogers’ spiritual side more than anything else I’ve read.
    • My Friend Mister RogersI first met him 21 years ago, and now our relationship is the subject of a new movie. He’s never been more revered—or more misunderstood.
      • A long time ago, a man of resourceful and relentless kindness saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. He trusted me when I thought I was untrustworthy, and took an interest in me that went beyond my initial interest in him. He was the first person I ever wrote about who became my friend, and our friendship endured until he died. Now a movie has been made from the story I wrote about him, which is to say “inspired by” the story I wrote about him, which is to say that in the movie my name is Lloyd Vogel and I get into a fistfight with my father at my sister’s wedding.
      • And so I have to start by mentioning that I have begun writing a story about Mister Rogers the day after two young men armed with assault rifles killed a total of 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
      • When I first visited the Neighborhood 21 years ago, one of his in-house writers, Hedda Sharapan, told me what had happened when he’d enlisted her to write a manual intended to teach doctors how to talk to children. She worked hard on it, using all her education and experience in the field of child development, but when she handed him her opening, he crossed out what she’d written and replaced it with six words: “You were a child once too.”
      • But as a correspondent he was emotionally forthcoming and intimate, closing often with the assurance that he kept me in his thoughts and his prayers—“And, I guess you know, each morning I pray for you; I really do”—and sometimes with ministerial ardor. “You are loved with a greater love than anyone could ever imagine, Tom. I trust that you’ll never ever forget that.”
      • He worked hard on his friendships; he prepared for his friendships; he took notes on his friendships; he even kept files on his friendships, and not long ago I found out that he’d kept a file on me — and in one of those boxes are the names of my wife, my dogs, and one of my nieces, who was facing trouble and for whom he prayed. There are also printouts of our correspondence and notes he took on our phone conversations, written on yellow legal pads in his eerily calligraphic hand.
      • Yet at the heart of the original creation is that Word (call it Love, call it Grace, call it Peace …) that essence which is lodged somewhere within each of us that longs for ultimate expression. If we choose to allow it to grow we’ll be given help. If we choose otherwise we won’t be forced. If there is such a thing as a “dark corner” of God’s nature then I think it’s God’s refusal to go back on the promise of “the creation’s freedom to love or not.”
      • In all the conversations we had over the years, I can remember only one about politics, when in the last year of his life he worried about the inevitable buildup toward the inevitable war in Iraq. In our correspondence, he limited political discussion to a single email about Bill Clinton’s impeachment, which came as an answer to one of my questions:
        • Last week I woke up thinking how I would like to go on the air and say something like “Whoever is without sin cast the first stone” or “The Lord’s property is always to have mercy” or some other outlandish thing, and then ask for a minute of silence to think about forgiveness for those who want it. In fact if our country could dwell on forgiveness for a while I think that would be the one real positive outcome of the pain which must be pervasive in the White House and beyond. I’ve already written letters to both the Clintons and the Gores saying that often “enormous growth comes out of enormous pain.” I trust that will be so for all of us. The attitude which makes me (sometimes physically) sick is the “holier than thou” one.
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2 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Friday, November, 15, 2019

  1. Bryan B. says:

    POTUS is not afraid of his tax returns revealing criminal activity. He’s worried that they’ll show something much worse.: that he doesn’t have near as much as he would like everyone to believe or that he’s barely even wealthy.

  2. AndreaJN says:

    I love Mr. Rogers. I won’t see the “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” in the theaters because I know I’ll cry. 🙂

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