Bag of Randomness for Monday, December 7, 2020


Yup, we put up the Christmas tree this weekend. And yes, we have Baby Yoda (aka, The Child, aka Grogo) at the top of the tree. I love it.


I’m looking forward to the new Obi Wan Kenobi series which I know is set on the desert planet of Tatooine, so this shooting location was a bit of a head scratcher.

A posting by the Film & Television Industry Alliance on productionlist.com says “Star Wars: Kenobi” is set to shoot in Boston on Jan. 4, 2021.


I like it better when we referred to this area as the Metroplex than North Texas.


WifeGeeding’s COVID-19 symptoms haven’t really gotten any better. She usually avoids spicy foods, but decided to try Chic-Fil-A’s spicy chicken sandwich to see if it would do anything. She said while she couldn’t taste anything, she still felt the spicy connection you notice when eating spciy food. So much so, she didn’t even finish her sandwich. One of friends has had the virus twice, but his wife and two kids who live with him never caught it.

I was told you could call 211 if you have COVID-19 related questions and concerns. I’m not sure I knew it existed.

2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. Whether by phone or internet, our goal is to present accurate, well-organized and easy-to-find information from state and local health and human services programs. We accomplish this through the work of our 25 Area Information Centers (AICs) across the state. 2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous social service hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905, and find information about resources in your local community. Whether you need help finding food or housing, child care, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment, one number is all you need to know.


Only 27 Republican lawmakers in Congress have acknowledged Joe Biden is the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election. That’s outrageous, and it’s outrageous so many of the people who put them there aren’t upset about it.

Hey, if anyone would have the power to sway an election, wouldn’t it have been the person in place of power?


One thing I’m looking forward to come inauguration day is to remove myself as a follower of the current president’s non-government Twitter profile. I’m tempted to do it now, but still feel like I should be following the leader of my country on Twitter.


Pro-Trump Attorney Caught Encouraging Florida Republicans to Register to Vote Via His Brother’s Georgia Address

Bill Price is seen in a now-deleted Facebook Live video, speaking to the Bay County GOP members in Florida on Nov. 7th. It was about half an hour after the election was called for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket.

“We absolutely have to hold the Senate and we have to start fighting back, and we have to do whatever it takes,” Price said in the video. “And if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it. I’m doing that. I’m moving to Georgia and I’m gonna fight and I want you all to fight with me.”

Price told the group he’s moving to his brother’s address in Hiram, Georgia in order to register to vote in the January runoff. He repeats and spells and his brother’s name and address, as members of the group jot it down. They can be heard mumbling the address in the background while some write.

“We can truly register at that address?” one woman asks.

“Sure,” Price answers, adding they have to plan to show a move, suggesting they have mail sent there.


Star Trek reference?

Queen Elizabeth II’s dorgi Vulcan has died, leaving her with just one remaining dog




This is four years old, but it’s new to me, and will please those fans of Hamilton and Rudolph.

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Bag of Randomness for Friday, December 4, 2020


WifeGeeding continues to be the hottest one-eyed woman with COVID-19 that I know.


The funeral for Dallas Cowboys strength coach Markus Paul was yesterday. It’s odd they never said what happened to him and only stating he had a “medical emergency”. It feels like they are trying to hide something, but I suppose they do this for legal purposes.


As a part of Advent, we allow our kids to pick an ornament to their liking. Sometimes they like to choose something representative of the year. DaughterGeeding wanted a Christmas ornament of two light sabers, one red and one blue. Light sabers because we’ve watched a lot of Star Wars television series together this year (The Mandolorian, The Clone Wars, and Rebels). Those specific colors because of the presidential election. I thought it would be a hard find, but luckily, I found a single ornament which fit the bill.


I was pretty fascinated by those mysterious monoliths popping up, but now I’m sure they are a setup for a Super Bowl commercial and my interest has dwindled.


I wonder what the Texas version of this is. I also learned “bauble” is Australian for a small, showy trinket or decoration.

Family in South Australia find live koala in their Christmas tree

On Wednesday, 16-year-old Taylah was the last to leave the family home in Coromandel Valley, Adelaide around 3pm.

She made sure the dog was outside, closed the back doors and turned off all the lights.

When the whole family arrived back around 6pm, something was odd.

“I think the dog went straight to the Christmas tree and was sniffing around and Mum thought that was a bit weird,” Taylah said.

“There was baubles all over the floor … and she looked up and there was a koala in the tree.

“It was pretty tangled up in the lights. It was a fake tree and very old but she still tried eating the leaves off it … I saw her munch down on some but she stopped when she realised it was plastic.”

Taylah’s mother, Amanda McCormick, said she was in shock.

“I thought ‘Is this a joke?’ I thought one of my kids may have put like a soft toy in there, but no, it was a live one,” she said.

“We’ve had them in our trees before but not inside on our Christmas tree … It must have crawled in when the doors were open, it would have been in our house for at least three hours.”


According to Oprah.com, Dolly Parton’s husband runs a local asphalt company.


Downtown Dallas news – World’s Tallest Interactive Fountain Coming to Klyde Warren ParkConstruction will begin in the summer of 2021 and is expected to be finished by December

Guady, anyone? Looks like a leftover stage prop from one of Siegfriend & Roy’s show.

Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas is getting a big gift for the holiday season — the world’s tallest interactive fountain.

The interactive “super fountain” will shoot jets of water up to 95 feet into the air and is capable of jetting columns of water up to 100 feet, park president Kit Sawers told NBC 5.

The $10 million addition comes as a Christmas gift from park board member Nancy Best and her husband, Randy, the park said in a news release Thursday morning.

It will feature a central island of three stainless steel “trees” from which water will pulse and jet. The base of the fountain will have a shallow, “highly reflective” splash pool. At night, the fountain will have colorful light shows with streams of water synchronized to music.


That’s a petty bold business decision.

Warner Bros to Release All 2021 Movies in Theaters and on HBO Max SimultaneouslyAll 17 films, including tentpoles like “The Suicide Squad” and “Matrix 4,” will play exclusively on streaming service for one month before returning to normal theatrical window

Just as “Wonder Woman 1984” will be released on Christmas Day both in theaters and on HBO Max, Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate will play on the WarnerMedia streaming service and theatrically worldwide. However, every film will be available for just one month on HBO Max before it leaves the platform, and it will then continue playing theaters with normal distribution windows.

Again, this applies to every movie on Warner’s 2021 slate — though some are still in production and the exact list is subject to change. That includes major tentpoles like “Godzilla vs. Kong,” DC Films’ “The Suicide Squad,” Timothée Chalamet’s “Dune” and Keanu Reeves’ “Matrix 4.”

The other films currently slated are: “The Little Things,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Tom & Jerry,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In the Heights,” “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” “Reminiscence,” “Malignant,” “The Many Saints of Newark,” Will Smith’s “King Richard” and “Cry Macho.”


Three former presidents will get a COVID-19 vaccine on television. If you think that sort of thing is new, here’s a story of when Elvis got the Polio vaccine on live television.


 

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Bag of Randomness for Thursday, December 3, 2020


2,596 Trades in One Term: Inside Senator Perdue’s Stock PortfolioThe Georgia Republican’s stock trades have far outpaced those of his Senate colleagues and have included a range of companies within his Senate committees’ oversight, an analysis shows.


Google News will allow free access to paywalled articles from news sites
Not yet in the US, though


Buzzfeed – This TikTok Of A Woman’s Stalker Breaking Into Her Apartment While She’s Dancing Is A Living Nightmare


The Obamas are producing a Netflix comedy series about the ‘chaos’ that occurred when Trump came into power

Barack and Michelle Obama are set to produce a new Netflix comedy series based on the “chaos”, which ensued when Donald Trump became US president in 2016.

Called “The G Word,” the series is due to start filming in early 2021 and is based on Michael Lewis’ book “The Fifth Risk,” the rights to which the Obamas bought in 2018, according to Deadline.

“The Fifth Risk” is a non-fiction book that examines “the Trump administration’s botched presidential transition,” as per Goodreads.

“The G Word” is set to be part-documentary, part-sketch comedy. It will pull back the curtain on government, examining whether it is “a dirty word or a trusted institution,” according to Deadline.

This show is going to be hosted by Adam Conover, you may know him from his informative show Adam Ruins Everything. I always like the content of the show, but not the delivery or know it all personality of the host. I think he’s very similar to Alton Brown, another know-it-all condescending person I find annoying but impressed by their intellect.


Back in September 2019, a huge cargo ship with over 4,000 cars capsized. The ship is now being taken apart in pieces, using a gigantic chain to cut the ship into smaller sections. I find all of this fascinating, and can only imagine how loud this operation must be.

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Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, December 2, 2020


I got an alert last night that the results of my coronavirus test I took on Sunday were available. It was negative. Odd. I’ve been literally sleeping (in every sense of the word) with my COVID-19 positive spouse, and I’m still negative. Maybe it hasn’t developed enough to be detectable. I’m pretty sure it was taken correctly. I had to swap myself, but I made sure to tap my brain from both nostrils with the swab. When it comes to my health and immune system I usually have the worst luck. So far, the kids aren’t showing any symptoms either.


Over the past four years, I’ve worked with my health care provider to find the right blood pressure medication for me. It was a bunch of trial and error, but we found one which didn’t make me drowsy and didn’t cause lab numbers for my kidneys and liver to go bonkers. I tried to refill the medication but the new medical insurance my employer switched to declined it, saying I should try to use a more affordable medication and provided a list of ones for me to try. The ones on the list were ones I already tried, and my health care provider’s office let my insurance know, but they still rejected it. Our health care system sure is frustrating to deal with. I’ve never been one to claim that I wish I could keep my healthcare plan or that I’m in love with it. My employer switches plans often. Because health insurance is so expensive, I never really felt like I had a choice in selecting a plan. If it wasn’t for my work contributing a portion to pay for it, I wouldn’t be able to afford it.


It’s wrong of me, but old habits are hard to break, I often refer to the stovetop as the oven because the burners are on top and in many cases connected to the oven.


The article is a little more than two weeks old, but I still wanted to share it because it’s cool and sounds like a plot of a movie.

Italian Police Use Lamborghini Huracan to Transport Kidney 300 Miles in Just Two Hours

Averaging 145 miles per hour, the Italian State Police delivered a donor kidney last week from Rome to Padua—a journey of more than 300 miles—in around two hours. The Lamborghini Huracan they used, which was specially modified for such tasks with a refrigerated frunk, was obtained by the Italian police back in 2017. Speedy organ delivery isn’t its only job, though. In fact, it’s a regular patrol vehicle for the department with lights, a police computer and other equipment necessary to perform traffic stops and arrests. Luckily for other speeders, it was too busy flying down the road for officers to check their radar guns.


I found an AI picture restorer that’s suppose to help eliminate scratches, or at least make the pictures look better. I gave it a try with two old photos. The before pictures are at the top, the after results are at the bottom.

Restore pictures with AI in seconds. Hotpot builds on the latest research to automatically remove scratches, sharpen colors, and enhance faces, transforming tattered photos into cherished memories. Color photos with faded parts are also repairable.


Here’s an interesting Kickstarter idea, it’s a Murphy bed that when flipped up reveals a heavy duty configurable gym.



Something for my fellow U2 fans, The Edge surprised a kid with a guitar. I’m impressed with some of the names he came up with for his songs, very mature sounding, like I’m Not The Man You Think I Am.

https://twitter.com/RTELateLateShow/status/1332481745170673664?s=09


CLAIM: Researchers used lung tissue from an aborted male fetus in the creation of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. AstraZeneca did not use MRC-5 cells, which were cells first obtained from the lungs of a 14-week male fetus in the 1960s, in its production process for the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, this Wiki entry and this ABC News article provide some background to the use of fetal tissue in vaccine development.

The use of fetal tissue in vaccine development is the practice of researching, developing, and producing vaccines through the use of cultured (laboratory-grown) human fetal cells. The vaccines themselves do not contain traces of human DNA fragments.

Most vaccines currently available were developed using cell strains cultured from two fetuses aborted for other purposes in the 1960s. This has led some to oppose vaccination on religious or moral grounds. However, vaccine experts and manufacturers state that vaccines do not contain any of the original fetal tissue or cells, that the abortions occurred decades ago and replenishment with new tissue has not occurred. Also, producing a safe vaccine for many diseases requires the use of these cell strains. The Catholic Church, which opposes abortion, has stated that vaccination should not be refused on moral grounds in cases where the public health benefits of vaccination may outweigh the use of aborted fetal tissue to develop some vaccines, when an alternative vaccine created from cell lines that are not morally problematic are not available.


I absolutely loved this nugget left by Liberally Lean yesterday. Assuming that seal will be given to the judge’s family, that’s a remarkable momento to remember him by and I’m sure will pass down generations. If I were writing a novel, a direct descendent one day will have the same name and use it in his courtroom.

  • That seal in the background was handmade by an inmate of the Wise County Jail circa 2004. The guy, my client at the time, had about eight DWIs and was headed to prison for another one. But we managed to let him serve a lot of his time in the county jail in exchange for letting him redo the courtroom because he was a skilled woodsman and artist. Every piece of wood in the courtroom was his handiwork.
  • One other thing about the seal: The inmate told me that Judge Cude whipped him so much during the remodeling project about being a Texas Aggie that had secretly carved a longhorn into the seal. I was never able to definitively find it, and I never told the judge about it. (As I looked at it today, it seems possible that it might, ironically, be a set of upside down horns at the 6:00 o’clock position. If that’s it, I’m now regretting not telling him.)

Obama says Dolly Parton not getting medal of freedom was ‘screwup’: ‘I’ll call Biden’

I don’t want to live in a world where Rush Limbaugh has a Medal of Freedom and Dolly Parton does not.


This is a long video, but if you give it a chance, it might pull you in. Inigo Quilez is a mathematical artist and he provides a step-by-step explanation of what it took to create this image of a girl taking a selfie. If you want to take it a step further, he lets you toy around with the editable real-time rendering code. Give it a try, and pretend you’re an intern at Pixar.


 

 

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