Bag of Randomness for Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gosh, this week is dragging on. I’m not sure if it’s mainly because my kids are home for spring break, the pandemic, cancellation of baseball and softball practice, and having housework done and not having any furniture downstairs. It’s probably a combination of things, and you can add to it the uncertainty of knowing how long the kids will be forced to stay at home. I love my family and all, but I like having them gone during the day. You know, that whole absence makes the heart grow fonder kinda things.

Yesterday, Kellyanne Conway stated her husband, George Conway, is a half-Asian. So, now WifeGeeding and she have something in common. And, now I’m contemplating if I should add George to my highly out-dated BagOfNothing Half-Asian Hall of Fame.

The federal agency I work at asked us to limit our Skype video sharing because the increase of users working from home is stressing our capabilities.

The latest Star Wars movie has a great John Williams’ cameo and Easter egg tribute. Williams plays a bartender outside a droid shop. Every piece of seemingly random stuff that populates the area where Williams’ character is standing represents one of the 51 films for which he’s been Oscar-nominated. Examples include Indiana Jones’ whip from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the barrels from Jaws, and the iron from Home Alone. You can read more about it here.

Mark Cuban says bailed out companies should never be allowed to buy back their stocks ever again

“No buybacks. Not now. Not a year from now. Not 20 years from now. Not ever,” Cuban said on “Squawk Box.” “Because effectively you’re spending taxpayer money to buyback stock and to me that’s just the wrong way to do that.”

He also said, “Whatever we do in a bailout, make sure that every worker is compensated and treated equally — in that the executives don’t get rewarded extra to stick around because they got nowhere else to go.”

I have a few ideas I’d like to see happen for any company which takes a federal bailout.  And I’ll be honest, I haven’t given these hardly any thought, I’m coming up with these on a whim.

  • For the next five years, the highest salary can be no more than fifty times that of the lowest-paid full-time employee. So if the lowest-paid full-time employee makes $35,000, then the top salary at the business could only be $1,750,000 (50 x 35,000).
  • Executive bonuses would be eliminated for this time period.
  • For all airline travel, no chartered jets, no business or first-class seating.

Kevin Bacon Encourages Social Distancing With Sweet ‘6 Degrees’ Campaign

On Wednesday, the “Footloose” actor took to Instagram to share his new #IStayHomeFor initiative to promote social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Inspired by the pop culture phenomenon “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” Bacon encouraged his followers to share who they’re staying home for to prevent the spread of the virus.

What Will ESPN Do Without Sports?

From March Madness to Major League Baseball, auto racing to international soccer, leagues and events have been suspended, postponed, and outright canceled, all in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The result for the sports world is an abrupt and unplanned hiatus — an indefinite, all-encompassing athletic shutdown that has left ESPN, the self-proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports,” facing a vast programming void. In March and April alone, ESPN will have to replace 60 lost NBA regular season and playoff games, 28 MLS matches, the entire NCAA women’s basketball tournament, and a number of other games and events

Here’s an interesting art installation in Marfa, TX by Marc Thorpe called Citizens of Earth.

Posted in Personal | 5 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I think it’s really cool how some grocery stores are opening with “Senior Hours”, a time set aside only for senior citizens. Finally, it’s acceptable to segregate. The arc of the moral universe is long, but look at it bend.  (Just trying to add a little humor, folks.)

I have a feeling that Vote By Mail is going to have some record numbers in the November election.

Serious question. With Biden and Bernie at a higher risk for being infected with COVID-19, what would happen if both of them died before the convention? I guess it will be like old times and party delegates would pick one out at the convention.

Josh Gad and Amy Adams are reading children’s books on social media to support families who are home from school – These celebrities are sharing videos of themselves reading kids’ books to help families who are stuck at home due to the coronavirus

Sports cancellations leave vasectomy patients without planned March Madness binge options

Alcohol-free sanitizer given to prisoners to prevent them from making ‘moonshine’

Once we can all become social again, if you are looking for something different to so in the Dallas area, may I suggest armored combat at Warlord Combat Academy? They also offer a winged sabre historical fencing class.

Have fun learning Hungarian military sabre and fokos (long-hafted axe).  Learn what makes a curved sword different than a straight one, and how to maximize the advantages and limitations of both.  Cross-training with a variety of historical western weapons as appropriate

Learn how to fight with a Single Saber and graduate to Dual-wielding, Staves or Cross-guard Sabers from accredited instructors!

A compilation of clips showing the severity of the frost heaves on East Conway Road, New Hampshire.

Posted in Personal | 3 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Saint Patrick’s Day 2020

A friend of mine spotted a transaction on his credit card which he didn’t make to “eBay HK”. He called his credit card company and was routed to an overseas call center. When he informed the agent of this suspicious activity, the agent asked, “Sir, are you sure you didn’t go into eBay HK in Honk Kong and make a purchase.” My friend kindly stated he’s never been to Asia and has never set foot inside a single eBay store. A few days later or so he receives notification the dispute was denied. He called the credit card company again and again was routed to a call center overseas. The agent told him that the eBay HK company submitted undisputable evidence that it was he who made the purchase at the eBay store in Honk Kong. My friend then had a rather colorful discussion questioning what this indisputable evidence was.

A lot of folks are feeling a real Contagion or The Walking Dead kinda vibe as of late. Of all movies, I’m feeling a Bird Box vibe. We certainly aren’t experiencing mass suicides by simply looking outside, but I’m just feeling that sort of vibe when I first watched that Sandra Bullock Netflix movie.  But I also felt this way when I watched the Ice Capades.

There’s a simulation in this article, I think it’s the fifth one down, which I thought was pretty impressive on how the COVID-19 virus affects a population in terms of healthy, recovered, and sick people. I wish I knew how to embed it in this post.

Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

Amazon wants to hire 100,000 new workers to meet coronavirus demandIt will also increase all warehouse workers’ hourly pay by $2

Liar In Chief – Video emerges showing Trump talking about cutting pandemic team in 2018, despite saying last week ‘I didn’t know about it’

A video has emerged of Donald Trump talking about cutting the US pandemic response team in 2018 – days after claiming that he knew nothing about the disbanded White House unit.

Mr Trump said of the pandemic team that “some of the people we’ve cut they haven’t been used for many, many years and if we ever need them we can get them very quickly and rather then spending the money”.

“I’m a business person, I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them,” he added.

Of course, I don’t blame Trump for COVID-19, but I do hold him accountable for not having the country adequately prepared for a potential pandemic. This program was already in place for him, all he had to do was take the wheel. There’s nothing wrong with him modifying it to meet certain needs, but disposing of it doesn’t keep America great. I also hear folks complain that government is too big and full of waste, this is my argument against it. Can some government fat be trimmed? Of course, and it’s good to have thoughtful discourse about it. But it’s like having insurance, you pray you don’t have to use it, but it’s there if you need it. A pandemic team is like having the best military in the world. You hope you don’t need it, but it’s there just in case to protect the citizenry. Fake news? Bullshit. Shove it up your ass, Mr. President.

I’ve noticed a lot of men on television wearing button-up dress shirts without collars as of late. I fear this is a new fashion trend.

American Teenagers Are Declaring ‘Virginity Rocks’A clothing item inspired by a YouTube star has found its way into malls and schools, stumping adults along the way.

But whatever their motivation, teenagers across the country have been going wild for shirts that bear a chaste declaration: “Virginity Rocks.”

The clothing items became popular online thanks to a social media influencer and are now stocked by a major retail chain with a presence in malls across the United States. The trend has puzzled some school administrators, who have banned the shirts only to face criticism, and other adults, who have wondered if youth abstinence is on the rise.

It can be traced to Danny Duncan, a 27-year-old YouTube personality and prankster, who said he started wearing “Virginity Rocks” shirts in his videos as something of a joke in 2017. Mr. Duncan said that his use of the phrase was “tongue in cheek,” and that most people wore it humorously. But, he added, he is proud to have seen it catch on with young people who champion abstinence.

Posted in Personal | 14 Comments

Bag of Randomness for Monday, March 16, 2020

I recently engaged in an electronic mail conversation with a person with the last name of Aarzoo. It made me think of how R2-D2 is often referred to as Artoo, which you’ll see in closed captioning, comics, and the books.

Students at Olin College held a ‘fauxmencement’ ceremony with garbage bags gowns, paper ‘origami’ caps and tassels made of yarn

I love how they took the lemons they were given and made some lemonade. I bet secretly, a lot of families were happy they didn’t have to sit through a graduation ceremony. Let’s face it, most of them are pretty boring despite the accomplishment, it’s hard for graduates to spot loved ones in the crowd, and graduates prefer gifts rather than your attendance. I’m sure I’m not the only one who only showed up at the end and pretended I was there for the whole ceremony.

We’re getting new floors this week and right now almost all our furniture is moved out. I tried to make the most of it by playing wiffleball with the kids in the vacant living room and kitchen area.

A lot of shelves at our local grocery market were pretty bare to no surprise. WifeGeeding and the kids are visiting her parents in the small town of Lindale. She went to their local grocery store to pick up some sugar. The store was sold out of sugar but no other shelves seemed bare.

We ate at Cotton Patch on Friday and I was impressed with how they were handling the spreading of germs. All salt, pepper, and other condiments were removed from all tables and you had to request them, and they cleaned them as soon as they were removed. I noticed all the menus were being scrubbed vigorously. It was basically the same thing at Jason’s Deli. However, when I dined with a friend at 54th Street, it seemed they weren’t taking any precautions.

The president must be going nuts not being able to speak at any rallies in the foreseeable future. It made me think of parenting and grounding or punishing kids by taking away the thing they loved most. It’s unique for each child. Some kids feel like they can’t live without television, their tablet, video games, or playing with their friends. For the president, that one thing has to be speaking in front of large crowds. But then again, Twitter would rank pretty high up there as well.

I went paint supply shopping at Home Depot and Sherwin Williams. I noticed all the paint masks and respirators were sold out at Home Depot and heard several customers ask for them. But I was surprised to see my local Sherwin Williams had a large supply of them. That actually made me happy, painters aren’t stopping painting, and they need those for their job to protect their lungs.

Very nice of the mouse.

Disneyland to donate excess food to O.C. food bank during closure

There’s some major drama going on at my alma mater. Hardin-Simmons has been going through some financial challenges and hired a new university president who was considered to be very skilled with the finances. The school has recently laid off staff, eliminated several majors and schools, and most surprising to me, closed down their seminary (you can still get degrees in Bible and theology at their school of theology, but the seminary has closed). They’ve been sending a lot of communication out about these decisions. On one hand, it appeared as they were trying to be transparent, but at the same time, it had a hint of propaganda, which I guess it was. It’s been reported that 64% of the faculty and 550 alumni have declared “no confidence” in the university president and the board. The family of the president of the university when the school’s name was changed from Simmons to Hardin-Simmons (serving as president for 31-years) is now requesting that their family name not only be removed from all buildings but that the body of the former president, who is buried on campus, be relocated. You can read the family’s letter in this article. The family is also pledging to financially help with any family or student with legal matters.

In a letter to the HSU Board of Directors, Jeff Sandefer says he, his father’s widow, and his sister would like to have their family name removed from all buildings and would like to relocate his great-grandfather’s remains to “a more suitable resting place.”

Sandefer says he believes HSU is “headed for financial and spiritual bankruptcy” as a result of “poor leadership, unwise financial decisions and a disregard for HSU faculty, students and alumni” the letter states.

In the letter, Sandefer says his great-grandfather, Prexy Sandefer, would be proud of the faculty and students, “he would be embarrassed by its low graduation rates, abysmal starting salaries for graduates and acceptance of almost any student, as long as he or she is able to qualify for a student loan.”

Finally, Sandefer says he pledges financial support “for legal actions by any member of the HSU community who has been or will be wronged or wishes to contact regulators or accreditors with their concerns.”

I’m only going to get involved if they dig up the former mascot.

Here’s the Captain America’s stunt double doing the signature backflip. I’m impressed, I thought it was done with cables and edited out.

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment