Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Okay, fine, y’all have finally talked me into it, we’ll have a BagOfNothing meetup. Let’s do it at this year’s State Fair of Texas on opening day. We’ll meet in front of Big Tex at noon on . . . wait, what is that? Canceled? The State Fair of Texas, canceled, really? Oh, just went I wanted all of us to get together this happens. Well, maybe some other time. In the meantime, let’s just heed the advice from our senior U.S. senator.

For some reason, the post I scheduled for yesterday didn’t post, so today’s BoR might be a bit bigger than normal.

If the college football season is canceled, and I think it will be, I think there’s a huge opportunity for EA to step in. E-gaming is huge, it’s bigger than you think. They could certainly use the existing football schedules and coordinate gaming representatives from each school and try to keep the spirit of competition going. It won’t be a huge hit, but ESPN will cover anything right now.

In regards to the re-opening of sports, and this is probably different regarding the league, it’s my understanding that if a player has been exposed to someone who has coronavirus, that he will have to be quarantined. If true, I can imagine a scenario in which one team makes it to the playoffs or championship only for a COVID-19 positive fan of an opposing team to somehow come in reach of the player. It wouldn’t be all that different than Michael Jordan eating that pizza in Utah, but maybe to a greater or easier level. The COVID-19 positive fan would only have to come into contact with someone working at the hotel bubble to keep the opposing team’s best player out of the game. Just food for thought.

I dedicate this post to one of my college roommates. His mother was a postmaster and he worked for them for a bit, learning a great party trick, you give him a city and state and he could not only tell you the ZIP but he’d add the extra four digits. City so large it had more than one ZIP, not a problem for him.

Post Office Delivery Trucks Keep Catching on FireHundreds of the iconic Post Office delivery trucks have caught on fire in recent years, thanks to a 30-year-old fleet and a manufactured budget crisis.

Since May 2014, at least 407 LLVs have been damaged or destroyed in fires, or approximately one every five days, according to documents obtained by Motherboard via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Michael Flynn takes QAnon oath in Fourth of July video

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, posted a video on July 4 in which he and others recite the oath of an anarchical group known for peddling unfounded conspiracy theories.

In the 53-second video, Flynn leads a group of six people in taking a modified form of the U.S. Senate’s oath of office. The oath ends with the line “where we go one, we go all,” which is the motto of the group QAnon.

Disney has their own version of Deep Fake technology. Per Disney Research Studios:

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first method capable of rendering photo-realistic and temporally coherent results at megapixel resolution. To this end, we introduce a progressively trained multi-way comb network and a light- and contrast-preserving blending method. We also show that while progressive training enables generation of high-resolution images, extending the architecture and training data beyond two people allows us to achieve higher fidelity in generated expressions. When compositing the generated expression onto the target face, we show how to adapt the blending strategy to preserve contrast and low-frequency lighting. Finally, we incorporate a refinement strategy into the face landmark stabilization algorithm to achieve temporal stability, which is crucial for working with high-resolution videos. We conduct an extensive ablation study to show the influence of our design choices on the quality of the swap and compare our work with popular state-of-the-art methods.

That’s unsanitary.

Georgia Jimmy John’s employees fired for making a noose out of dough

I couldn’t help but think of LiberallyLean while watching the first episode of Netflix’s Space Force. In the first episode, Steve Carell’s character, a four-star general who is the commander of Space Force, wakes up in the middle of the night. He gets out of bed, makes his side of the bed while his wife continues to sleep on the other side, uses the bathroom, and then gets back into his freshly made bed. He may be taking Admiral McRaven’s book a bit too seriously.

‘Hamilton’ Premiere Boosts Disney Streaming Service App Downloads 72% in the U.S.

I’m a bit envious and very happy for Lin-Manual Miranda about something. Imagine creating something, and then everyone who has influenced you or you have admired stopped by to see you and watch your creation. Isn’t that pretty cool? Fan of Star Wars? George Lucas stops by. Admired Bill Gates for how he has changed humanity in both business and philanthropy, he stops by with his wife. Ever had a crush on Natalie Portman and appreciated her acting, she wants to meet you. Rapped every Run DMC song when you were a kid, the surviving members show up. Ever wanted to meet and speak to a particular politician, they want to say hi. Same for your favorite author. Imagine living a dream in which you don’t have to make an effort or travel anywhere to meet any of your heroes from any walk of life, they come to you. Man, what a dream. Good for him.

Something else I love about the show, you notice something new each time. Here’s something I haven’t noticed: Hamilton’s Secret Character: How Death Appears Throughout The ShowA member of Hamilton’s ensemble plays a character called “The Bullet,” who represents death gunning for Hamilton and the other characters.

The members of Hamilton’s ensemble play the roles of various minor characters throughout the show, from Charles Lee to Philip Schuyler, but there’s one character that most audience members probably won’t notice at all: The Bullet. Played by Ariana DeBose and billed as “The Bullet” in the program for Hamilton, she represents death’s slow march towards Alexander Hamilton throughout the show, and interacts with characters in key moments of foreshadowing.

How to change your inbox layout in GmailSort your emails into tabs, or keep them all in one place

Gmail offers you several customizable formats — so many that you can have multiple Gmail accounts and they can all look completely different. For example, you can have all of your emails in one long list, you can separate your messages into multiple tabs, or you can have your inbox split into unread and read messages.

In addition to that, there are several other ways to organize your inbox, from adding a reading pane to coming up with your own categories for organizing emails. Here’s how you can customize your Gmail interface and explore all of the options.

Man Making Racist Comments To Asian Family On Viral Video Identified As SF Tech CEO Michael Lofthouse

I do love how the staff of the establishment immediately threw the creep out.

A small amount of progress for the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells. It’s small progress in terms of the scale of the project, but for any townsfolk, it’s unbelievable anything has been done after decades of rumors.

I Turned my Lawnmower Into a Tank | The Short Version

How kids today do the “talking on the phone” hand gesture.


Even the hand gesture game has changed @kamilo.ny @guesswhos_wifey @itz_daniella12 #LaughPause #dadsoftiktok #momsoftiktok #over30 #kids #fyp

♬ original sound – guesswho_718

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Bag of Randomness for Monday, July 6, 2020

I read, and only spent a short time trying to verify it, but anytime you see a double rainbow, the colors in the second rainbow appear in the opposite order than the first.

There’s been a trend that the cost of each presidential election has surpassed the previous, but with the coronavirus, I’m not sure it’s going to happen to this time.

DFW’s first woman news anchor, Judy Jordan (KDFW, 1966-1980) has died. I have no memory of her.

The guy on the right with the baseball bat is President Trump. The woman on the left is one of WifeGeeding’s college friends. The man next to her is one of my college friends (not a close one). They were recently invited to the White House to some sort of small American business showcase. Back in college, I can remember Joe talking about working with his dad about a baseball bat company they owned or were about to start and I thought that was pretty darn cool and very Americana. I’m not judging them, but I was left wondering if I were in their shoes, would I accept the invitation? It would be hard not to, it’s an honor to be invited to the White House, would be great for the business, and I’m a presidential history buff. I know I’d accept in less than a heartbeat if it was the Obama administration (though I know it would be different for many of you). Under the G.W. Bush administration, I’d think about it at least a good hard minute, but I think I would eventually accept. As for the Trump administration, I bet I’d struggle mightily with it but would eventually decline for certain morals and ethics I uphold (which I sure differ from many of you, and that’s okay.) I asked WifeGeeding about it and she also struggled with the thought.

One sidenote about our friends. They had one child and then had triplets. That must be exhausting and probably welcomed the trip to getaway.

I do think Joe and Aimee offer one very cool and unique gift for new parents, a baby bat built to match the length of the baby. “Built and certified to the length of your baby by 1/4″ increments and engraved with your newborn’s birth information.  This heirloom birth keepsake will be your measuring stick as your baby grows to show them how long they were when they were born.

NFL to play Black national anthem ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’ before ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Week 1 games

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a song also known as the Black national anthem, will be performed live or played prior to “The Star Spangled Banner” at each of the NFL’s Week 1 games in 2020, according to the Associated Press, which adds that the league is also considering memorializing victims of police brutality with helmet decals or jersey patches. These moves are seen as part of the league’s collaborative work with its players to raise awareness of systemic racism and police brutality.

Nike will be releasing this shoe this week. The whole ISPA collection is peculiar looking.

I love the idea for the Netflix reality game show The Floor is Lava, and my kids really love watching it. Here’s an interview with the creators of the show and will tell you everything you’d probably want to know about it. I found it funny that they filmed it inside an old Ikea in Burbank.

Two weeks after it landed on my Kindle on its release date, I just started to read John Dickerson’s new book The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency.

For the last four or five years, I’ve been really focusing on things that can cloud my judgment. Basically, how any emotion can cloud my judgment about anything. It’s still a work in progress, obviously. Here’s what Dickerson had to say on how Ike tried not to allow anger cloud his judgment.

“Anger cannot win. It cannot even think clearly.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Editors opened the big-type drawer for Eisenhower’s decision because the president had previously resisted what he called the “noise and extravagance” of the campaign. Weeks earlier, Eisenhower had waved away an easy chance to attack Stevenson: The Democratic nominee had complained about the state of the economy, and Eisenhower’s press secretary had accused Stevenson of cheering for bad news. When reporters asked the president about this, Ike said his rival must have been misquoted. (Ike’s press secretary held his next briefing from under the bus where his boss had just thrown him.)

Ike switched his strategy, but the former Supreme Allied Commander hardly stormed the beaches. “Firing back” amounted to instructing the Labor Department to rebut Stevenson’s claim about cost of living adjustments.

It’s not that Ike was mild-mannered. He wrestled to control his temper all his life. The White House staff felt the sting of his wrath so often they dubbed him “the terrible-tempered Mr. Bang.” He once flung a golf club in anger and almost broke his doctor’s leg. When the sport vexed him – which is to say, when he played it – the veins on his temple engorged until one observer said they resembled whipcords. Still, Eisenhower believed he must master his impulses. “Anger cannot win,” he wrote in his diary almost a decade before becoming president. “It cannot even think clearly.”

Eisenhower believed the presidency was too serious to be concerned with the trivialities of politics. He also believed a president needed self-control to be effective. He didn’t attack his opponent, Stevenson, for yet another reason. That reason, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, was “Mr. Eisenhower’s reluctance to engage in name-calling contests that he considers beneath the dignity of the presidency.”


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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, July 2, 2020


Anytime someone says “dressed up like stormtroopers,” or make any stormtroopers reference, I think of Star Wars stormtroopers. It was only yesterday when I read it that I thought it might not be a Star Wars reference after all.

The Benefits of Heat Training, ReconsideredSweaty workouts do enhance your endurance, according to a new theory, but it may take longer and function differently than previously thought

Roll Tide – Alabama students throwing ‘COVID parties’ to see who gets infected: Officials

Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been attending parties in the city and surrounding area as part of a disturbing contest to see who can catch the virus first, a city council member told ABC News on Wednesday.

Canadian Tire Stores Force To Close After Every Item Scans In As Mr. Potato Head

Kellyanne Conway’s teen daughter hopes to help ‘educate’ with TikToks opposing Trump, supporting Black Lives Matter

Kellyanne Conway’s husband, conservative lawyer George Conway, is known as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, despite her high position within the administration. Now her teen daughter has amassed a large following on social media where she posts anti-Trump and pro-Black Lives Matter videos.



One of Magnum P.I.’s lower points.

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Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Yesterday I had a daily multi-vitamin bottle in my hand and grabbed the vitamin-D bottle only to find it hasn’t been opened yet. I needed to break the seal on the vitamin-d bottle, but was having the darndest time doing so with the multi-vitamin bottle in my hand. Now, I could have simply put the multi-vitamin bottle down and easily opened the vitamin-D bottle, but in my mind that felt like defeat and my masculinity score would have dropped a few notches. I never could break the right plastic seal on the exterior of the bottle with my fingers, so I resorted to using my teeth, which worked out.

When President Trump said the country would reopen by Easter, I guess we didn’t know he meant Easter 2021.

Stolen from WifeGeeding’s Facebook account.

Coronavirus explained in craft terms – You and nine friends are crafting. One is using glitter. How many projects have glitter?

I didn’t know that in Texas, the justice of the peace had to take classes to retain their office. Per Wikipedia: “New JPs are required to take 80 hours of legal, state-mandated classes the first year, and 20 hours each year thereafter during their tenure in office.”

Texas Monthly – Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Master Auctioneer?Eight days inside America’s Auction Academy, learning the secrets of “the dynamo from Dallas.”

Live bid-calling is like a series of contracts, and when an auctioneer says “Sold,” accepting the bid, the highest bidder is on the hook. Therefore, each part of the chant is crucial. “A chant is made of three components: a statement, a question, and a suggestion,” Jones began. The jumbles of syllables between the numbers are called filler words. The basic chant Jones proposed—the one we would employ for the remainder of the class and that would provide a soundtrack for all our dreams and nightmares—was “One dollar bid, now two, now two, will you give me two?”

This chant was the “Dick and Jane” of the form, the starter set upon which we would build our own auctioneer identities. A chant is as much a trademark to an auctioneer as James Brown’s scream and Bob Wills’s high-pitched holler were to them. All chants, Jones stressed, must be conducive to rhythm, melody, and clarity, exploiting words that easily roll off the tongue. Filler words and phrases like “bid ’em at” and “gimme” and “I’m bid” and “how ’bout” are better than “what about,” since consonants that use the front of the mouth (like b) require less breath than letters like w. Jones asked us to hold our hands in front of our mouths to compare “who” to “gimme” to demonstrate how much more breath was required for the former. The numbers need to be clear; the filler words are there for pleasure—to add an energetic, pressing, hypnotic quality. Filler words should give buyers time to consider their next offers but not so much time that the rhythm of the chant is broken. A clunky chant could lead to a hoarse auctioneer and confused or sluggish audience members, reluctant to bid.

I only watched a handful of episodes of Frasier, but I thought Peri Gilpin (Roz) had a very attractive voice. I had no idea she was born in Waco, grew up in Dallas, graduated from Skyline, and was a Longhorn.

Something for my fellow mask-wearing Hamilton friends. I thought this was pretty clever and funny.

Edmunds expert Mark Takahashi takes his automotive design criticism to the next level by highlighting why some modern car design trends need to go away.

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