Bag of Randomness for Friday, March 27, 2020

It’s not that this week went by fast, it just went by faster than last week.

DaughterGeeding owns an iPod which looks like an old iPhone. She has several alarms set on it to remind her to do her chores and get ready for her online classes. But I noticed she has two daily alarms named “Visit Dad”.

The next Jurassic Park should star Joe Exotic of The Tiger King running his own dinosaur park in Oklahoma.

“The virus makes the timeline.” — Anthony Fauci

One thing my now-retired pastor used to remind his congregation about is the true meaning of the word “apocalypse”. Most folks use it to mean “end times” but it actually means “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known.”

Inside the Story of How H-E-B Planned for the PandemicThe grocer started communicating with Chinese counterparts in January and was running tabletop simulations a few weeks later. (But nothing prepared it for the rush on toilet paper.)

San Antonio-based H-E-B has been a steady presence amid the crisis. The company began limiting the amounts of certain products customers were able to purchase in early March; extended its sick leave policy and implemented social distancing measures quickly; limited its hours to keep up with the needs of its stockers; added a coronavirus hotline for employees in need of assistance or information; and gave employees a $2 an hour raise on March 16, as those workers, many of whom are interacting with the public daily during this pandemic, began agitating for hazard pay.

This isn’t the first time H-E-B has done a good job of managing a disaster—it played an important role in helping the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Harvey in the immediate aftermath of the storm—which led us to ask: How did a regional supermarket chain develop systems that allow it to stay ahead of a crisis as big as this one? We spoke with nearly a dozen employees, executives, and customers to better understand—in their words—how H-E-B has taken on its unique role in shaping its business around the needs of Texans in the midst of trying circumstances.

Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene is mentioned in this article. I interned there under the base commander and loved it.

When Secret Mystery Planes Landed At The Air Bases Where I Was StationedIt may sound like fiction, but on rare occasions, ordinary air bases have extraordinary mystery visitors. It happened to me, twice.

Years later at my home station of Dyess Air Force Base, an operational readiness exercise was interrupted by a similar call from the command post. Evacuate the flightline and evacuate it now. An aircraft no one can lay eyes on was diverting to Dyess Air Force Base. Why? Because it is. Go inside and stay away from the windows.

It may not be as isolated as Diego Garcia, but Dyess is to the West of Abilene, Texas. It’s situated just outside of town and the flightline lies in the country. On the rare occasions that the flightline has no running engines or APUs, it gets very quiet.

Texas Roadhouse CEO gives up salary to pay front-line employees during COVID-19 outbreak

The CEO of Texas Roadhouse restaurants is giving up his salary and bonus for the year in order to pay the chain’s front line employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MarketWatch reports W. Kent Taylor will forgo his base salary and bonus from the pay period starting March 18 through Jan. 7, 2021. In 2018, Louisville Business First reported Taylor’s total compensation was $1.3 million with his base salary being $525,000.

Right out of central casting.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Runs 3.5 Miles a Day—Even While He Works 19 Hours Fighting a Pandemic

Dr. Fauci doughnuts sell like hotcakes at NY doughnut shop

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5 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Friday, March 27, 2020

  1. AndreaJN says:

    “Visit Dad” – that is fantastically sweet!
    I knew HEB was great, now I’m impressed with Texas Roadhouse.
    I find the phrase ‘doughnuts sell like hotcakes’ quite amusing.

    Stay safe.

  2. Ben W. says:

    Thanks for another week’s worth of quality content, Keith. It’s been a wonderful distraction and a ray of sunshine.

  3. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    My few interactions with the Butt Family (socially, business, & customer) have always left me impressed. Very much about being ahead of the game and looking a mile down the road. Never get out too far over their skis. Give back to their communities. One of the few large grocers (even though regional) who can fight Wal-Mart and come out on top. Excellent product mix, quality, value, and customer service. Their Central Market concept was a hit from day one. Built a huge computer data center in San Antonio and they use it to plan and analyze everything. And the family is modest and quiet, much in the Bass Family mold. Unlike a certain orange-tinted individual in the news daily nationally, along with his spawn. The Butts make me proud to be a Texan.

  4. Bryan B. says:

    I’ll second the thanks for a great week of content as expected. I think I’m closing in on a decade and a half of BON being a part of my daily routine and it’s as essential as brushing my teeth at this point.

    I’ve read a lot of speculation about this being the end times on social media recently. I’ve always held the position the we should live like the end times are here, but not obsess over speculating about current circumstances making it a certainty. Matthew 24:36 is pretty clear: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

    I’ve always been fascinated by Diego Garcia. I knew about the air field there, but I didn’t know until a few years ago that it was a port that was home to container ships for rapid deployment of military equipment. The article you posted was interesting, but a big let down from the title tease.

    I saw your tweet reply last night to the guy calling Texas Roadhouse “barbeque”. Seriously? I know it’s barely a steakhouse, but it damn sure isn’t barbeque because they have ribs on the menu.

  5. Sharon Bayley says:

    I was a nurse on Osler 3 during the early 70’DS That was one of the most rewarding experiences of my 30 + nursing career. God bless the John’s Hopkins hospital institute. Sharon Midgett Bayley

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