And I Thought The Burning Of The Rain Forests Was A Problem

I've read this all week about Oakmont, where the U.S. Open is being played this week: 4,000 trees have been removed from the course since 1994 in order to return it to a "links-style feel."

That seems wrong.

"Little Children"

. . . ,which stars Kate Winslet, is outstanding. I was completely surprised.

And the performance of Jackie Earle Haley (who really hadn't been heard from since The Bad News Bears and Breaking Away) as a paroled sex offender is great.

One Of These Days, A Court Will Get To Decide

I've been puzzled by this law ever since it was enacted about six years ago. This story: A guy sits on a park bench outside of the entrance of Six Flags and "photographs teenagers from behind" after they walk by. No nudity. In public. No touching. The teenagers do not even realize they were photoed.

Here's the statute (Texas Penal Code 21.12):
A person commits an offense if the person:
1) photographs . . . another:
A) without the other person's consent; and
B) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

As I've said time and time again, isn't that incredibly broad? If I see Jessica Alba in a skimpy bikini on beach on Padre Island and I take her picture, have I committed a crime?

And even though we find this particular guy's conduct "offensive", does that justify making it illegal in America? We tolerate lots of offensive things because of freedom. And if painting constitutes protected First Amendment "speech", is the taking of a picture equally protected? Just asking.

I Got A Crush On Obama

This thing appeared everywhere yesterday, and it's pretty funny. But it occurred to me how presidential candidates can spend millions on political promotion and we'll all ignore it. But have some third party do something original and clever on youtube, and we all sit around and watch it. And like it. Soon politics will be very, very different.


From The Pleadings In A Civil Case In Dallas Tried This Week

The last sentence made me do a double take. Yeah, that gang rape thing was bad but he had to call a bondsman every week for a year! The horror! (Everything explained here.)

Stuff I Learn

I didn't know that exceeding the speed limit is not a crime so long as your speed was still "reasonable and prudent." (Just saw this when reviewing some case law.) From Tollett v. State, 219 S.W.3d 593 (Tex.App. - Texarkana 2007, pet. filed):

 As argued by Tollett, the offense of speeding requires, in general, proof that the vehicle's speed was not reasonable and prudent. Section 545.351 of the Texas Transportation Code provides: "[a]n operator may not drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing." Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 545.351(a), (b) (Vernon 1999). However, the Transportation Code also establishes maximum speeds which are prima facie evidence that the vehicle's speed is unreasonable. Section 545.352 provides "[a] speed in excess of the limits established by Subsection (b) or under another provision of this subchapter is prima facie evidence that the speed is not reasonable and prudent and that the speed is unlawful." Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 545.352 (Vernon Supp. 2006); see also Tex. Transp. Code Ann. §§ 545.353, 545.355, 545.356 (Vernon Supp. 2006). Proof of exceeding a speed limit, while sufficient evidence for a jury to infer a finding the speed was not reasonable and prudent, does not conclusively establish that the speed is not reasonable and prudent. "Prima facie evidence" is merely "[e]vidence that will establish a fact or sustain a judgment unless contradictory evidence is produced." Black's Law Dictionary 598 (8th ed. 2004). Although unlikely, a defendant could prove that a speed in excess of the statutory speed limit was reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing. Therefore, the State must allege the speed was greater than was reasonable and prudent. Eaves v. State, 171 Tex. Crim. 670, 353 S.W.2d 231, 232 (1961); see 7 Michael J. McCormick, et al., Texas Practice: Criminal Forms and Trial Manual § 30.42 (11th ed. 2005).

Father's Day Shopping?

I Officially Reconsider My Anti-Death Penalty Stance


A Word Of Advice

Don't get drunk and play with guns.

The details are sketchy, but the Star Telegram is reporting that this 17 year old girl was arrested this morning for manslaughter. The only thing that tells me is that the cops believe, at this point, that she didn't intend to kill anyone but that she did something incredibly stupid that caused the death of another.

That's the face of a scared little girl.

Random Things That Irk Me

The U.S. Air Guitar Championship, which is coming to Dallas, is the dumbest thing in the history of ever. Look at me pretending to be someone who has talent! Why don't you just learn to play?

Dangerous Storms Can't Touch Us

Edit: Sheriff David Walker tells me that he really likes this weather map that lets you zoom in and drag back and forth. It is pretty cool. (Link fixed.)

Rhome Is Burning In Craziness

Today's Update mentions that the city of Rhome is considering requiring all new employees to undergo a polygraph.

Say what? There certainly is no widespread acceptance as to whether the machines are scientically reliable. (They still aren't admissible in court). And the cost would be insane. Respected polygraphers (sounds dirty, huh?) wil charge about $500 a pop. I'm sure a better package deal could be cut than that, but you always get what to you pay for.

And who in the world would want to work for Rhome that badly?

(But now I can't get the Seinfeld episode out of my head when Jerry was hooked up to one to determine if he really didn't watch Melrose Place.)

Time Capsule Talk

The boys on The Ticket were talking about time capsules this morning.

I'm pretty sure that I remember one being buried in Bridgeport in 1973ish during the centennial celebration. I was a kid and I recall my mom telling me to donate something to it. I didn't. And I think it was going to be opened in fifty years, but I'm not sure.

I wonder if there are any others in the county.

Since She's Been Gone

I saw that Kelly Clarkson has canceled her summer ticket due to slow ticket sales. I'm no business guy, but that doesn't sound good.

And I noticed that l Ludacris canceled his show last week at Nokia Live in Grand Prairie for the same reason.

Have we lost interest in live shows? Can the death of karaoke at Frilley's be far behind?

Close Landing

Saw this over at BagOfNothing.com this morning. Wow.


Look At Those Arms

Cameron Diaz (with me in the background.) More here.

Maybe I've Forgotten What It Is Like To Be A Kid

. . . but watching a movie while sitting in water seems like a beating.

Finally Something The Republicans Can't Dog Him For

Making big bags of money. And, sheesh, we didn't realize how good we had it with him in charge.

It Feels Like Summer

Heidi Montag of "The Hills."

Someday . . .

. . . we'll be able to watch almost any episode of any TV series on the Internet. Oh, my. Edit: Yeah, I know about "torrent" and the other outright theft sites, but I don't use them. I felt guilty early on about using Napster and then Kazaa. Now, I refuse to get involved in that peer-to-peer stuff. This post was simply a quasi-funny way of linking to a site that allows for quick and easy viewing of past shows. Yep, it probably is hosting them illegally, but it's a far cry from peer-to-peer file swapping. Sheesh, maybe I am getting old and cranky.

Happy Flag Day

For you youngsters out there, this clip is of Rick Monday preventing the burning of the American flag by two protestors.

Random Nomenclature

"DALLAS — Dallas Police have arrested a sex offender, out of prison on probation, for using MySpace, a popular Web site for kids." Always bugs me. When you get out of prison, you are on parole. Probation occurs "up front" as in: the sentence is suspended, you're not sent to prison, but placed on probation instead. Also, Paris Hilton is not in "prison", she's in "jail." Prisons are run by the State to incarcerate those convicted of felonies. Jails are run by counties to incarcerate those convicted of misdemeanors. I'm glad I could clear up this very serious, pressing matter.

Swear Jar

Happy 39th To Yasmine Bleeth

Katie Holmes Says . . .

. . . "I've got me a hot new hairdo, and I loves me some New Fairview on a Thursday morning."


An 8 months old pregnant lady is asleep last night in nice apartment in Deep Ellum in Dallas. A stray bullet comes in from a neighboring highway (they think) striking the woman and killing the unborn child. Fox 4 News is all over it.

(And the anti-abortion comments, which are sure to come, are very predictable.)



Ok, he allegedly "did wrong", but is this story the equivalent of 9/11? Above, in order, is today's crazy coverage by Fox 4 News, the Star-Telegram, and the Dallas Morning News about some guy fondling a 14 year old boy. Sheesh, I know it's a sad state of affairs, but arrests like this happen every single day. How this guy got as much coverage as Paris Hilton is a bit of a mystery.

Hey, I think the stabbing in Decatur is more newsworthy.

The 2007 Summer Interns of D Magazine

Who is in charge of hiring over there? Me?


Ya Might Want To Avoid A Whopper Right Now

Getting reports of a "stabbing" at the Exxon/Quiznos/Burger King in Decatur.


Edit: Drove by it around 2:00 p.m. and there was a big bag on nothing going on. The Messenger is reporting that a man has been flown to a "metroplex hospital" with a stab wound to the chest. An emailer advised that four of the gas pumps had been roped off earlier. High gas prices cause somebody to flip out?

Edit #2: The Messenger, and I'm paraphrasing here, has reported that the incident involved a love triangle with some literal back-stabbing going on. Arrested: Leonardo Deluna, 28, of Greenwood. In pain: Robert Farias, 40. The woman (who better be hot): Christina Harwell.

Thinking Of The Fall

In a story today about high school athletic officials and how much they are paid, this sentence jumped out at me: "Texas is one of the few states that pays officials based on a percentage of gate receipts . . . . "

Is that true?

How much does a football referee/official make during a Decatur game? A Chico game? An Alvord game? Let me hear from ya.

Teacher . . .

. . . news.

If Fox News Had Been Around

Ya Think . . .

. . . this guy might be a tad bit hard to work for?

Some Girl . . .

. . . I've never heard of (Carolina Ardohain) says, "It rained in Wise County this morning!"

I've Already Got DWI Tired Head

Tarrant County has always had a weird DWI plea bargain process. First time offenders have, for the last 20 years, been offered two options (1) a two year probation + a fine, or (2) 30 to 45 days in "work detail".

The latter meant that a defendant would show up at a designated place and do legitmate labor for 8 hours. That would count as "one day" against the sentence. But the sheriff always gave "3 for 1" credit for this work detail, meaning that 10 days of 8 hour work would wipe out a 30 day sentence. Some defendants would choose that option instead or the arse whip that is probation.

Now, after 20 years, the Tarrant County district attorney's office has declared that the "work detail" is an illegal sentence and will no longer offer it as a plea bargain option. Richard Alpert of the DA's office made the decision (which is kind of odd since he has been there since at least 1991 - and the policy was in place back then.)

But I completely disagree with the Sheriff that the change in policy will cause jail overcrowding. Heck, it will have no impact at all. Once the "work release" option is eliminated from the plea bargain options, defendants will simply take the probation.


Random Sports Thought

As I ever-so-briefly looked in on the NBA Finals a second ago, I noticed that San Antonio was up by 10 in the fourth quarter. They, of course, hold a 2 game lead.

That series is over.

Which, ironically, is the exact same thing we were saying about the Mavericks one year ago as they were in even a better situation (13 points up with 6:30 left in the fourth). They probably won't have that chance again in another 20 years.

Screenshots . . .

. . . from Fox 4 News' story tonight on the usage of water by drillers in the Barnett Shale. (It will eventually be posted here.) The middle pic is interesting - that's the percentage of water that will be used in Wise and Jack counties in 2010 by natural gas drillers. That's a lot of water.

And that's some professional lighting on Kevin Burns. Check out that background. Check out the dark left side. Does he have a press agent?

"Ok, Babe. Follow My Instructions And I'll Have You Beefed Up In No Time"

I Really Don't Know

Quite a few people have asked me "What in the heck happened to C4U's blog?" (link, which is now a shadow of its former self, is to the right).

The answer: I'm not sure. She informed me via email that she "chucked it" but there was no elaborate explanation or, more precisely, there was no explanation at all. For those that (used to) read it, you learned that she recently was elected to public office so perhaps that had something to do with it. Or not. I don't know.

It's kind of like the end of The Sopranos. We have to speculate. But maybe it will rise from the dead.

And who the heck is she, you ask? I met her in 1992 when she was an intern in the Tarrant County District Attorney's office. We've kept in touch pretty much ever since. (And, no sir, it's not what you are thinking.)

News About Turning Left

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on Wednesday will announce his intent to move to Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2008. That's important for reasons I really don't understand. Maybe they have better mechanics over there, will give an extended warranty that covers the transmission, or maybe they gave him a heck of a deal on trade-in on that #8 car. Anyway, it's big news.

Alternative Headlines:
- "All I Want To Do Is Race, Daddy."
- "Take A Break, Driver 8"

The Rangers #1 Pick In This Week's Draft

Blake Beavan from Irving. Possibly, based upon the footage I've seen, the cockiest kid in America. (Pic from his myspace page that has since been locked as "private.")

NBC's New Reality Show

The promo: "It's often said that love is blind... but is that really true? If given the chance to choose a woman in her 20s, or a 40-something on the prowl, will a man go for youth or maturity? More than just a dating competition, 'Age of Love' is a social experiment based on the question: When it comes to falling in love, does age really matter?"

The Hotties v. The Cougars. Let the cat fight begin.

Nightly Dream

I can't remember much of my wheels off dream from last night. But I do recall riding in a truck with a Decatur trooper on an icy mountain stretch in Runaway Bay. (Yep, you read that right.) The blue pick-up flipped over on the ice and we were headed off the cliff until I stuck my leg out the window and brought the vehicle to a stop.

Are You Smarter Than A Miss America Contestant?

Eight question quiz here. Note: It was given in 2001 and that's important to one of the questions.

Serena Williams For Your Viewing . . . uh. . . Pleasure?

Now We Have To Fear Parking Garages

It's the best picture I can find for now, but a car in Houston went through a wall of a parking garage last night and plummeted a few stories. You can see the hole at the top of the picture. Death ensued.

Edit: Close up of the hole.


Well I've started my one month experiment of Nutrisystem.

For about $350, I ordered a one month's supply of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert. It came in a huge box which quickly led to many question marks forming over my head. Amazingly, none of it is refrigerated even though the meals include eggs, ham, turkey, and chicken salad. It's a little insane.

So far the stuff has tasted pretty good but the portions are extremely small. It suggests supplementing the meals with a salad and, man, I'm all over that. Even found some fat free honey dijon salad dressing last night. Good times.


Someone Stole The Messenger's Server!!!!

Or it's probably just my connection this morning.


Baylor Sportzzzzzzzz

"Baylor landed an oral commitment last weekend from a 6-7 [human] with an 80-inch wingspan who wears size 17 shoes." And, get this, that human is only going to be a junior in high school this fall. And here's the weird part, that human is a female basketball player.

Anybody Want To Move To The Northeast?

Actual pic from this week's Boston Celtic's dance team tryouts.

Uh, I'm just saying.

A Noted Passing

I noticed Bob Goode of Bridgeport was in the Messenger's obituary section this morning.

That struck a nerve with me because I recalled my dad telling me when I was kid that Bob had been a famous football player. Internet research on the "old days' is a little tough, but I found out that he played for A&M (where he still holds the record for most punts in a single game: 17 times in 1945) and the Washington Redskins (official playing card above.)

And I could have sworn he held the record for the longest punt in Southwest Conference history, but I can't verify it.

Edit: Found it but it was for punt return. Wow. (But, oddly, the longest punt in A&M history is listed as belonging to a Bob "Goff" in 1944. The Aggies couldn't have made a mistake on their web site, could they?)

This Guy Is Everywhere

I stumbled across some youtube clip called "CNU at Rockin' Rodeo" (mild warning: no nudity but plenty of scantily clad drunk women shaking their bootAYES). Rockin' Rodeo, or so I've heard, is a club in Denton. Not that I watched all four minutes of the clip but, if I did, I'll be danged if I didn't see Tony Romo doing a promo at the end of it. (3:46 mark to be exact.)

That guy loves the camera more than . . . uh . . . someone who really loves the camera.

Edit: And if you watch the clip, your mind might melt down due to the number of times "off the hook" and "off the chain" is thrown down.


I wrote about the girl who couldn't stop hiccuping earlier this year. It's a little early to panic, but she has now gone missing.

Where Reggaeton Lives?

If I were to say that I hypothetically drove past two "latino" clubs in Dallas (being hypothetically named Escapade 2001 and Escapade 2009) on Saturday night at around 11:00 p.m., I would also tell you that I have never seen a more packed parking lot, more cars lined up around the parking lot, and more cars backed up onto the highway.

Some reviews I've read indicate the clubs hold 4,000 to 5,000 per Saturday night. I absolutely believe it.

(It' located on the east side of I-35 about a mile before you hit LBJ to the north.)