Random Haunted House Thoughts

I went to this Haunted House last night - probably the first time I've done that in 15 years. Observations:

- Man, there are a lot of people that like haunted houses
- And they are all young and can't stop texting to save their lives
- I invested in a "Speed Pass" (meaning pay more to bypass the line). I almost felt guilty about it, but it was worth every penny.
- I bet it took over 30 minutes to get through the entire presentation - maybe longer.
- Lots of walking down long corridors. If you didn't have someone in front of you, you had to feel your way through. Creepy.
- The production was top notch. Lots of people working very hard to make that thing go. Overall, it was great.
- Best surprise of the night was a 10 piece talented band you walked by about halfway through. It was kind of like a Zombie Blue Man Group that banged on a variety of objects. Very cool. Very good.
- They put you in a maze near the end. I don't think there was an exit. The lights come on after about five minutes and you are instructed to go to the then visible exit doors.
- Some of the rooms were like being at a rave with all the fog and lasers. (But, admittedly, I've never been to a rave.)
- The funniest part was at the end when you had to walk through a 20 foot tunnel that was being engulfed in soap suds.


Random Death Penalty Thought

I noticed that a woman was just sentenced to death in federal court. That got me thinking. How many federal executions (as opposed to executions at the hands of the State) have occurred?

Answer: Not many. And only three since the death penalty was re-instated in the 1970s (with one of those being Timothy McVeigh.)

Friday Afternoon Pick Me Up

You've probably seen it before, but it's still grade A comedy.

A Visual Aid . . .

. . . of the cost of the Iraq war. (Credit: Kevin.)

California Fire Pic . . .

. . . by a professional photographer. (Click to enlarge.)

Edit: On a related note ...... FEMA stages fake news conference with P.R. people playing the role of journalists

The World Series Brought To You By Taco Bell

I kind of watched a little bit of the World Series last night, but I was overcome by the hype of Taco Bell. The company has some type of promotional stunt where it will give away a free taco to everyone in America if someone steals a base. Fox kept reminding me. Over and over. . I saw an interview with the President of the company (or someone like that) in the stands, and they showed (and obviously staged) mic'd up Royce Clayton talking about it in the dug out.

Stop it.

But the promotion is genius. Yeah, you have to give away one crappy taco but, in exchange, your average overweight American - who can't possible say no to a Burrito Supreme with extra sour cream - has to come in your store to get it. And I bet the Taco Bells will be packed with people that will spend $2.00 on gas to get to a 59 cent free taco.

We'll find out. Get 'em free on October 3th 30th from 2 to 5 p.m.


Reader Submitted Pic

Yep, taken in Wise County tonight. (He's been working on it for a couple of nights.)

Ron Burgundy Had A . . .

. . . story tonight on a person allegedly posing as a Brinks Security expert in Runaway Bay in order to . . . (look really seriously into the camera) . . . "try to get into homes and con homeowners out of cash."

The story was pretty boring but the High Sheriff made an appearance.


A fellow friend and defense lawyer just got through trying a case in a nearby metro county. He emailed me some of the jury questionnaires that were used to ask the prospective jurors what they thought of cops, prosecutors, and defense lawyers. (Click to enlarge.)

Winter Has Benefits

English lingerie model Danielle Lloyd braved the cold to launch the new Ski Republic website yesterday in London.

(Click to seriously enlarge.)

Not Sure . . .

. . . why this routine drug bust in Wise County made Fox 4 News.

Edit: Sheesh, this even made the Star Telegram.

Edit 2: Yeah, I'm a wuss. I'm shutting down the comments. Suffice it to say, your wrath has been heard.

Back Online . . . Finally


Maybe a little quiet around here since our office Internet went down. A call to Communicomm simply led to a "call this other number for customer assistance before we send someone out." Throw in the fact that the Internet connection has been spotty at best over the last three months, and I'm thinking about using a different ISP (if there are choices.)

Props Cheapen Story

The Today Show this morning had a pretty good story of neighbors in California fighting one of the wildfires. We were told they fought the fire with "a water hose and two shovels."

Amazingly, they were still holding the hose and shovels!


Brit Can Clean!

Mike Huckabee Exercises Poor Judgment

Press release.

Lake Dallas & The Colony Last Weekend

It's kind of odd that when kids are "dirty dancing" more than ever, your average high school streaker does his running in his underwear.

Channel 5 Is Awful

Just noticed that Channel 5 is reporting that a Watauga dentist accused of touching a patient has been no-billed by the grand jury.

Heck, even I posted that news on September 15, 2007 after I saw it in the Star-Telegram. And doesn't KXAS and the Star-Telegram have some type of news partnership?

Hey, Now.

Says here that Tony Romo is dating this gal, Sophia Bush.

At Least It Was For A Noble Cause

A faithful reader points out that the TCU radio station was shut down last night after a caller made threats. The reason for his anger? The station is playing country music.


It's Halloween . . .

. . . so it is time for the Sheriff's annual publishing of Registered Sex Offenders in the local paper. A pdf version of it is available now.

The sexual offender list really bugs me. Some defendants, based upon the facts, simply don't deserve it. But even if he/she pleads to a deferred adjudication probation (which means they weren't found guilty) they still have to register as a sex offender - oftentimes for life and long after their probation has ended. And the crazy part was that the registration law was retroactive. There were many, many people who pled in the 1980s and earlier, successfully completed their probation, only to find out that a new law required them to register for the rest of their lives.

Edit: Someone below ask me to explain what the various charges mean in the press release. Let me try to do that by describing what normally is meant by the various offenses when they involve crimes against children. Disclaimer: I'm not saying this is what happened with any of the individuals listed in the Sheriff's press release.

- Aggravated Sexual Assault: Generally, this means some type of sexual contact with a person younger than 14 years of age. Consent isn't an issue, and it basically includes any kind of sex act involving "below the belt" of either the defendant or the child (but the statute is very specific regarding what acts are prohibited). See Texas Penal Code § 22.021
- Sexual Assault: This is exactly like Aggravated Sexual Assault but with the victim being older. Specifically, the victim must be older than 14 but less than 17. See Texas Penal Code § 22.011
- Indecency With A Child By Contact: This generally means the touching with the hand of the "private parts", including breasts, of a person under 17 years of age. The touching must not be accidental but with the intent to "arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person." See Texas Penal Code §21.11
-Indecency With A Child By Exposure: This normally means the defendant exposed his "private parts" to a person under 17. Once again, the exposure must be done with the same "arouse or gratify" intent as mentioned above.

Concerning consensual sex among teenagers, there is a defense to the last three crimes if the defendant "was not more than three years older than the victim" (so long as the defendant was not already a sex offender.) That defense does not apply to Aggravated Sexual Assault.

Former Boyd Football Star In Hot Water

Tremendous thanks to a reader for pointing this out to me:

TUSCOLA, TX -- A popular English teacher has been placed on paid leave -- and faces possible criminal charges -- after a student's parents complained to police that a ninth-grade class reading list contained a book about a murderer who has sex with his victims' bodies.

Kaleb Tierce, 25, is being investigated for allegedly distributing harmful material to a minor after the student selected Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy's Child of God off the list and read it.

Rest of the story here. (And the Abilene paper has a lengthy story, with comments, here.)

But, how silly. The story even says the case will be turned over to the DA for possible criminal prosecution. I don't think there is a chance in the world it could happen, but West Texas sure seems very back woods all of a sudden.

"Bubba in Bridgeport, You're On. What's Your Question?"

The best someone could do was to take a photo of their freeze framed TIVO image of it, but that is some crazy Larry King hair he was sporting on Sunday night. I suppose a gust of wind caught it during that second, but it's funny nonetheless.

Edit: Someone mentioned this was photoshopped. I don't think it is.

Mena Suvari . . .

. . . just had published a fashion shoot for Vanity Fair Italy. I really wish she hadn't cut off her hair. But it still qualifies as a Tuesday morning pick-me-up.

More over at Egotastic.

Speaking Of Kids

The City of Dallas begins wasting taxpayer money today by posting billboards across town encouraging youths to pull up their baggy pants. I sooooooo wish I had a picture, but Fox 4 tells me the slogans will be these:
  • “Don’t Be Lame, Elevate Your Game”
  • “Represent Yourself Like You Present Yourself”
  • “That’s Not Hip-Hop That’s Flip Flop.”
You gotta be kidding.


Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

Fox 4 News aired a story tonight on Argyle High School's crackdown on Dirty Dancing. For some crazy reason, the superintendent showed this youtube video on a big screen tonight during a community meeting. Apparently, he was using it as an example of what he saw at a "school dance earlier this month." Fox 4 played a bit of it as well.

His quote: "He's grabbing. He's pressing his privates up against her . . . . And then he picks her up and puts his hand right on her private part . . . . Some of these students [at our dance] . . . are actually having their private parts touching each other on the dance floor through the clothing and that could be determined sexual assault."

Edit: A caller to The Ticket this morning claimed the superintendent was a Mormon who was trying to force his values on the students.


I've avoided writing about Carter Albrecht because I thought that most of you wouldn't be interested. I really haven't changed my mind about that, but there was some news tonight that prompted this post.

Albrecht was a popular Dallas musician who used to play with Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians (Sidenote: Sheesh, there debut album was in 1988! Somebody stop the passage of time!) He was killed about a month ago when he went into an unexplainable rage and began banging on his neighbor's back door in a violent manner. That neighbor, concerned over the number of "home invasions" that have occurred in the metroplex, fired a pistol through the door but "aimed high." Not high enough, however, as it struck the 6'4" Albrecht in the head. (The 911 tape is online.)

Some of his friends, believing that he wasn't a heavy drinker or drug user, blamed the "stop smoking" drug Chantix. (Sidenote: That drug works like gold. I saw the results.)

Well, today we learn that Albrecht had a blood alcohol concentration of .29. Interpretation: That is hammered drunk. I've reviewed hundreds (maybe thousands) of DWI cases over the years, and I can count on one hand the number of alcohol levels higher than that.

That doesn't make him a bad guy. But people always want to blame something when a tragedy occurs.

Random Cowboy Game Thought

Vikings coach Brad Childress looks more like a generic businessman than a football coach.

Not Part Of Job Description

Note to all Campus Police Officers: Do not take topless pics of a sixteen year old student and don't give her $50 in the process.

But a sentence of 20 years as part of a plea bargain seems a bit harsh. But it's Williamson County where they're crazy.

I Feel Very Confident In Saying . . .

. . . that big city lawyers don't have the county court at law court reporter drop by on a Monday morning and place a pot bellied pig on their desks.

But he was kind of cute.

I Didn't Know They Could Predict The Weather

Monday Morning Pick Me Up



You paint a big B on your belly for a Baylor game and catch a little sun. Good times.

Wise County Seeks Biligual Election Workers

I'm just saying.

One Time, At Band Camp

I saw the headline and wondered if any Wise County schools advanced. Sheesh.....only Bridgeport, Decatur, Boyd, Paradise and Chico.

Did the Alvord band oversleep?