2.09.2008

It's A Slow Day


But I jogged outside for a long time -- absolutely beautiful -- and the Cowtown 1/2 Marathon is two weeks away.

I plan on seeing U2-3D later today. I've heard it's great.

And, uh, Phil King has fifteen people using his law office address on the voter registration rolls?

2.08.2008

Hanging Out In The Cafeteria Crisis

The above is from today's Decatur High School "Announcement" Email that was circulated.

Greetings From Dallas



I'm in this seminar today but since (1) these things are notoriously boring and (2) I'm in the most high tech conference room in the history of ever (wi-fi, big screen, readily available outlets, CNN showing before the program starts), I'll probably give an update or two.

Random Thoughts:
- The George Bush toll road is the greatest invention in the history of travel.
- I am soooooo on my guard today because of this. (And if you don't want to click on the link, realize the story has this gem: " One man lost his money while dancing in a hotel elevator. Another lost his wallet while inside a car with his pants around his ankles.")
- This place has a breakfast spread like nobody's business.
- Looking over the registration list, I see some guy is hear listed as "Matthew McConahay" from Weatherford. I also see that former DA's Tim Cole and Bruce Issacks are here. Dear lord, James Stainton of Decatur is here.
- In general, these things are insufferable. Everywhere I hear strangers talking about their "war stories" which, I'm certain, are normally a fraction of the truth.
- Out in the hall, I just heard an over-talking old lawyer on the phone getting all grumpy with a divorce client. Discretion there, hoss. Discretion.
- Just heard that every speaker at the seminar has won a breath test case > .08 within the last 12 months.
- And the first speaker was almost a Call To Arms to try more cases. Ya know, I was motivated by that.
- I just noticed that lunch is "catered by Campisi's." Think anything low fat is on the menu?
- Power Down Moment.....Speaker: "You're not going to win a high breath test if your client looks drunk on video. Anybody done that?" [Hand goes up.] Speaker: "How'd that work out for you?" Voice from audience: "I kept them [the jury] out a while." Sheesh. Big freakin' deal.
- This is why I hate seminars. The current speaker just mentioned that there USED TO BE an error in the Breath Test Operator's manual. He then spent five minutes explaining WHY it was an error. But, sheesh, it is no longer in the manual so the error doesn't matter anymore. Move on, hoss, move on!
- There are one or two lawyers that throw down the "I'm A Texas Old School Lawyer" - which means they wear a cowboy hat, boots and bolo tie. Kill me. Good lord, one is speaking right now.
- This gal is speaking later. That's more like it.
- I'm drinking apple juice. Yep, free apple juice.
- In general, people that practice criminal defense law are a motley crew.
- After a speaker ends, I have a huge urge to start the "slow clap" going.
- Lunch was good. They also had salad. Kinda like the Olive Garden salad.
- A lady beside just offered me peanuts.
- I sooooo want post a Friday afternoon pick me up but too darn many people can see my screen. Can't exactly search the Internet for hot gals in this environment. That makes it a bad environment. I feel my rights are being infringed upon.
- A speaker just played this video for no reason other than to entertain us.
- The last speaker was a beating - he couldn't run his powerpoint presentation to save his arse. But now I'm watching Denton lawyer Rick Hagen do a mock voir dire. (Top pick). I like Rick. And he's a great lawyer.
- I love Google Docs. I use it all the time and that's what I've taken notes on today. Easily accessible in the future.
- Funny: One of the speakers, once finished, walked out to the hallway with his mic still on and live! Thought we were going to have a Naked Gun moment for a second.
- Just heard attorney Fort Worth Mark Daniel speak. I think he's great and he had five or six great points.
- OK, we've got a wise guy out there! I just got an email with a photo making reference to Lake Bridgeport. Boat accident? Fire? Some other incident? So I opened the photo amongst this crowd and up pops a very scantily clad model that has nothing to do with Lake Bridgeport - as I then scrambled to block the screen and close it.
- And we had one more wise guy email. Got one that said, "Pic of the back of your head." I was smart enough to dim my screen to "almost impossible to see mode" before I opened it. What was it? A very gay cowboy. Even I laughed at that one.
- I'm done. Good times.

2.07.2008

Another Pile Up

a
Or at least a multi-car collision in front of the Jack In The Box at lunch (as one faithful reader reported and sent alone this pic.)

This will impact your afternoon commute by about 30 seconds. And now we'll check on Jack County traffic . . . .

The Seminar Brochures I Receive . . .


. . . aren't exactly early morning pick-me-ups.

And do I really need to receive three of them?

Tips For Home Sellers

I've often said, I'm more inclined to buy a house if the owner is a fisherman . . . what?

Real Almost News

Just got a report that "Seven Hills Elementary is locked down and police are everywhere." Developing . . . Edit: Now getting reports that all is clear. Something about a "suspicious guy." Edit: Sheesh. Now getting reports it might have included Chisholm Trail Middle School as well. But, once again, everything is back to normal. Edit: I have learned that this brief incident occurred due to a man seen taking a whiz in a nearby bar ditch.

Romney Out


You guys voting for Mitt Romney in the highly scientific Liberally Lean poll, uh, might want to rethink that.

And that little bit of fun cost him $30 million of his own money.

Two Star Telegram Points of Interest


First an editorial about the appeal of a Jack County case prosecuted by our Wise County DA and heard by our Wise County district judge. (Honestly, not that interesting.)



And a 24 part series? 24? I've never heard of such a thing. Is this the wave of the future where newspapers become serial books?

Looking Good


The lawyer that got punched by his client (see video below) was on The Today Show this morning.

King Took 2004 Super Bowl Tickets From Energy Company


Watched game from commpany's luxury suite. Company routinely had business before King's House committee. King claims he didn't discuss business during game.

King not smart enough to realize this "looks bad."

Throw him out.

Star Telegram story.

2.06.2008

Wednesday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Obscure Legal Move You'll Probably Never Use

Today Texas' highest criminal court ruled (in general) that if you have one trial involving multiple criminal cases and a fine is assessed in each case, then the fines must run "concurrently" meaning that the largest fine, when paid, wipes out all the others. Example: You get a ticket for speeding, no insurance, no seat belt, and expired registration. A trial is held on all cases at the same time. A judge or jury finds you guilty on all four offenses and assesses a fine of $200, $175, $150, and $190. Bottom line: Once you pay the $200, the other three fines are wiped out. (The bad news: You probably still owe court costs on four different cases.) Opinion here. Funny dissent here. The prosecutors across the State are angry here.

National Signing Day Part 2

I don't know who this kid is other than he is a huge recruit who made his selection today live on ESPNU. The pomp and circumstance drives me crazy. But the most over the top one I ever saw was when a Dallas Carter kid made his announcement from a hot tub. I remember seeing it on Channel 8 in the late 1980s. Not sure who it was though. And if you like college football, check out the Top 55 Texas High School Recruits from 1988 to 1998 here. Edit: Thanks to Keith over at bagofnothing.com who sent me this article. . . "My view of the process has been a tad jaundiced since that day in 1989 when Dallas Carter High School's Jessie Armstead announced that he was going to Miami. At the same time, seated in a hot tub, teammate Derric Evans was all bling-blinged out, with a wine glass in one hand and a ballpoint pen in the other, signing his national letter of intent with Tennessee. "Evans, however, never quite made it to the kickoff. That summer, he and another Carter teammate, Gary Edwards, who signed with Houston, were arrested for a spree of armed robberies of video stores and fast-food joints. The judge handed Evans a 20-year sentence, seven of which he served in prison, and Edwards got 16."

Hey Republicans


Look what you get to vote upon in next month's primary. I wonder if that will get a majority vote? Hmmm? I wonder.

And isn't it a little ironic that the initiative is also printed in Spanish?

Saw This On The News This Morning

The audio and video don't synch up in the first few seconds, but the slow motion is worth the watch. The story is that the defendant wanted a different public defender to represent him. That request was denied, until the haymaker. And, as a side note, all most all the defendants in Wise County have their hands cuffed to a waist belt when the y come to court.

Abilene High Cheerleader

Post Baby In Belly


It's now a good day. Me loves me some Christina.

Not Only Can He Not Sing . . .


. . . but he's also gone freakin' crazy. Story.

National Signing Day Mystery


This kid from Nevada called a news conference last week to announce he had chosen to play football with California instead of Oregon. The problem? Neither school had ever heard of him or recruited him.

So what's the story? No one knows. Either the kid lied and it got way out of hand. Or he was the victim of an incredible practical joke.

Edit: A little bit of an update today.

Edit: As a commenter pointed out, the news is now that the kid made the whole thing up.

And Another

Story.

If she hadn't had the cute librarian glasses, this might have caused a good hour of deliberations. But I hardly had elected myself as jury foreman before the jury composed of me voted for probation. Probably a short probation.

Next case.

KXAS Gold

This false email has been circulating since 1999:
Ogling over women's breasts is good for a man's health and can add years to his life, medical experts have discovered. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, "Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out" declared gerontologist Dr. Karen Weatherby.
But amazingly on Saturday night KXAS news (Channel 5) reported the story as true only to issue a retraction at the end of the broadcast. They played the retraction on The Ticket this morning - I'm looking for it.

2.05.2008

I'm Pretty Sure . . .

. . . this is my kid from one of many prior marriages. (Pay no attention to that guy in the video who claims to be the "father".)

When All Else Fails, Talk Weather

Super Tuesday

Not that I study politics for a living, but I have never seen such an orchestrated attack on any person as the Far Right is doing to probable GOP nominee John McCain.

If you listen to WBAP, it has been two weeks of verbal scud missiles launched right at him. From Mark Davis to Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to that annoying Levine guy at night, they absolutely hate McCain. And they are doing everything in their power to see Romney get the nomination. Good times.

Edit: And, uh, Texas didn't hold its primary today.

Tuesday Afternoon Pick Me Up

This is (stay with me here) Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriend, Israeli Supermodel, Bar Refaeli.

Yet another reason to fight Hezbollah.

Baby Dropped From Fire In Germany.

Survives.

2.04.2008

Very Random Media Thought


I think Joe Buck and Troy Aikman do a pretty good job as Fox's #1 team (although Troy never really says anything interesting.)

That being said, I watched a replay of the last moment of the Super Bowl from yesterday and saw/heard something fairly interesting. From the moment that Plaxico Burress caught the game winning touchdown (with Buck saying, "Manning lobs it. Burress alone. Touchdown New York!") up until the extra point was kicked, neither Buck or Aikman said a word. It was just pictures and crowd noise.

That, my friends, is good announcing.

Or, Perhaps, "Trivial"

I would like to apologize to Jeff Crilley in advance although I couldn't help myself once I heard this tonight.

Gone


Link.

Edit: And Sport Center puts together the Top 10 Bobby Knight sound bites.

Record Setting

I've been at 99% of every Wise County felony docket calls since 1993. Today we had a record with 71 defendants on the docket. (And that's not every case that is pending.) I've never seen that many before. And it's not from a lack of trying - cases are being disposed of as quickly as I've ever seen. We just have a lot of cases. (For what it's worth, 25 of those guys were charged with dope and 16 were some form of DWI. ) When I took office as DA 15 years ago, every case that was pending could be listed on one piece of paper - double spaced. (And it actually was on a piece of paper since there was only one sometime-working computer in the office.)

Monday Afternoon Pick Me Up


Remember kids, smoking and drinking is very, very bad.

Can We Put Some Of That On Mastercard?


President Bush announced today that he will propose that the federal government spend $410,000,000,000.00 more than it takes in this year.

What was the old phrase? Oh, yeah: "Tax and spend Democrats."

Tony Romo Carries Jessica's Dog



Cowboys are doomed.

A Wreck

Just saw a nasty head on collission on 51 in Decatur by Jack In The Box / Quiznos. But I didn't have my trusty camera with me. Saw one elderly lady being placed on a backboard. That area is a traffic nightmare.

KXAS

I won't do it justice, but Channel 5's wheels were flying all over the road a second ago. The Today Show had just begun showing the "confession" in the Natalie Holloway case when, suddenly, KXAS cuts to a local commercial. I'm pretty sure it was a local error. I got to see four commercials played and then repeated. Off.

2.03.2008

What A Game

video And this play, on the final drive, is what did it.

Half Time Report


- I'm supposed to "enjoy" Tom Petty right now. Not a chance. But I'm glad he didn't die on stage. In other spare entertainment news, Eddie Money will be appearing at the Glass Cactus in Grapevine. Really.
- The game is OK. I just don't believe the Patriots will screw this up.
- Anybody see Paula Abdul singing in the pre-game? Lip syncing at its finest. And when they went to her live she looked like she had been popping pain killers like candy.
- Speaking of crazy, Fox had it's own pre-game to the pre-game this morning which was kind of a pseudo news show. Except they had two Hooters girls on stage (backs to the camera) playing a video game the entire time. Bizarre. Not that I'm against it. Just bizarre.
- Commercials . . .
---The Charles Barkley one was funny.
---As well as the Naomi Campbell and lizards dancing to Thriller. Didn't understand it. But funny.
---The local commercial from Crest Auto Group making fun of T.O. crying was a little shocking.
--- And the Godfather knock off ad for the Audio R8 was pretty funny - until I looked it up and found out the car retails for $108,000.
---The Pepsi ad which incorporated Night at the Roxbury was funny (especially the brief appearance by Chris Kattan) but I'm not sure how many people have seen the movie.
---The uni-brow girl that attracted guys by using planters peanuts as perfume was worth a giggle.
---Stole this one about the Doritos ad: "I will not say it is a good ad, per se. But I will say that any time a man in a mouse suit jumps through a wall and starts beating someone up for a bag of Doritos, something great and important is happening on television."

Edit: Another stolen line posted in the 4th quarter: "11:05 -- Let it be known, that if anyone laid money on the prop bet of 'two scoreless quarters followed by a touchdown caught by David Tyree,' you're officially a rich man."

Random Thought

I'm only half watching it, but that Fox Super Bowl pre-game show is draining the life force out of me. Hard.

Money. Machine.

It is now projected that the Hannah Montana movie will gross $29 million for the weekend. But get this: It appeared on only 683 screens nationwide. A typical big budget movie will appear on over 2,500 screens.

I don't think I've ever seen a money making machine like this.

"Into The Wild"


I'm currently reading this book about Chris McCandless - a college graduate who, is essence, said "screw it" and walked into the wilderness in Alaska. As we learn in the first chapter, that journey kills him. I'm not sure what I think about the guy because, before his Alaskan adventure, he also lived under a bridge and worked at McDonalds for several months.

But I did like this excerpt from a letter he wrote:

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greather joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."

Speaking Or Erin Andrews . . .

. . . she went a little crazy last night with this outfit. Heck, that's more shocking than the Abercrombie & Fitch poster.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Poster in store gets seized by government. Manager given citation. Really. In America.