I Heart My Readers

From an email:

We let our daughter go off with friends for fireworks. This is her face this morning. I said,"What happened?" She said," You know those sticks you hold and they shoot out fireballs? One came out and booped me on the face." It never occured to me they might let a 5 year old run around with a Roman Candle!!

And Then . . . Good Times

And then, yesterday, as I waited for the PVC cement to dry, I laid* down on the grass and took a picture looking straight up.
* Not sure if this is grammatically correct.

Digging hole. Replacing broken PVC pipe. Heat. Equals beating.

Edit: Success. Well, not quite. It sprung a leak on one of the joints. So how exactly do you splice a short piece of PVC pipe? You have to put those couplings on each end which means it's too long to go in between the gap of the missing pipe that's been cut out.Ok, that's too hard to explain. Someone knows what I'm talking about and feels my pain.

Edit: Success. After one additional splice, it's holding.

Edit: You guys are doing some CSI work on the two photos. The first one was taken on the front side of the fence (that's a gap in a gate opening, not falling down.) The second was taken on the other side of the fence after significantly more digging. And, yes, even the front side has now been weedeated (sp.)


Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • When I was a kid, my next door neighborset off a firework which was affectionately known back then as a "Cherry Bomb".  He put it in - get this - an empty home carpet roll. You know, that heavy cardboard tube that carpeting is wrapped around before its installation. It blew the end of it completely off. Crazy kids.
  • The Letters to the Editor in People magazine may be the most inane writings ever. (i.e. "I applaud [insert name] for being a role model my daughter can look up to. She has her act together!"
  • I was a huge Journey fan as a teenager but, per my policy of "moving on", I don't listen to them now. But I saw where they are touring with a Steve Perry sound-a-like named Arnel Pineda who they found on youtube (seriously).  I haven't even pulled up a clip to hear his voice. 
  • Will Smith being an ultra cool superhero ("Hancock") doesn't do much for me.
  • I'll be at the Wave Pool this afternoon. I'm the 312th person to the left
  • A close friend told me to rent the Showtime TV series "Californication". (12-part series about a troubled novelist whose move to Los Angeles and problems with his job complicate the relationships with his ex-girlfriend.) I will.
  • Sometimes on this here blog I put the titles of shows/movies in quotes and sometimes I put them in italics.
  • I completely missed the ex-golfer Greg Norman married ex-tennis star Chris Everett
  • I once saw Greg Norman eating at Riscky's in downtown Fort Worth during Colonial. I refer to it as the night Greg Norman and I dined together.
  • I sat at center court at SMU pretending to be a Dallas Times Herald reporter holding a huge camera during a Virginia Slims Tennis Final between Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova. (A real photographer buddy hooked me up.)
  • Ok, do not click on this in celebration of the 4th of July. It involves very foul language, partial booty nudity, drinking, and . . . uh . . . a bottle rocket.You are seriously not a good person if you click on that.
  • Sean's BBQ in Decatur "has applied for a liquor license and once that is in place, hours will be extended and the staff will be increased."  Karaoke while rib eating is next.
  • I have never referred to a client as "my client" in front of a jury. I call him/her by their first name.
  • I saw a well dressed 20 something year old cute girl in a Fort Worth yesterday walking along a strip mall parking lot crying her eyes out. I wonder what had happened?
  • The first five minutes of the next Batman movie, The Dark Night, has been released. Man, that looks "pretty, pretty, pretty good."
  • Some gal named Kenda Culpepper has been nominated by the Republicans in Rockwall County to be on the ballot for DA this fall. (It's all screwed up since the incumbent Republican is, uh, in prison.) You can see her in various pics here at some Young Republican function. If you look closely, you'll see one minority amongst a crew that really looks like they know how to party. 
  • For maybe the first time in my life, I'm seriously worried about the economy and a possible implosion. I don't think we understand what $4 a gallon gas (and its collateral impact) does to the average American.
  • "'This is just another example of how the Weatherford/Parker County Special Crimes Unit is doing an outstanding job putting drug dealers in jail,' said Interim Police Chief Greg Lance." Someone emailed this story about a HUGE drug bust telling me that my head would explode after I read it. It did.
  • Happy 4th of July. A country that is 232 years old isn't that old at all. But, then again, we don't know what our average country life span is.


Don't Forget . . .

. . . the Mugshots Of The Week.

JULY 3--This Independence Day weekend edition of our mug shot roundup kicks off with a quartet of patriotic perps. And as for the other booking photos, a few notes: 1) Yes, that's a question mark on the brow of the guy on page #4; 2) The 74-year-old player on page #9 was popped twice in the past month; 3) The 18-year-old guy on page #12 was nabbed twice in the past two weeks; and 4) The tattoo on the arrested gal on page #15 reads "Aaron picture Me Rollin." Thanks, but we'll take a pass. (17 pages)

That Was Quick

The Rockin' E bar on FM 51 in Decatur is closing and becoming, according to an advertisement in this week's Sunday Messenger which hits newstands on Friday, a bar named "Fat Daddy's". (Official graphic above.)

Maybe the cops will target this place as well and run it out of business.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I've always thought that Discount Tire ad, encouraging people to bring their tire back (by throwing it through the window) if they weredissatisfied, was weird.
  • I saw a fireworks stand this morning where you can buy 1 and get 1 free!!!! Oh, wait.
  • Megan Hendeson wore yellow.this morning on Fox 4 and looked hawt.
  • General Motors stock fell below $10 a share yesterday for the first time since 1954. Things are getting bad.
  • Saw Tarrant County prosecutor Richard Alpert, who I've known since 1992, on TV yesterday bragging about how cops in Tarrant County will seek search warrants for blood this weekend when someone is arrested for DWI. He was firing off a "We will track you down and find you" speech for all the cameras. (For a second, I thought The Taliban would be doing a bunch of drunk driving in Fort Worth this weekend.) But just two weeks ago, he wouldn't talk to the press about the kid who was no billed by the grand jury in connection with the death of the Chico couple on Bonds Ranch Road.
  • I was wrong about predicting the judge would allow the Dallas County Sheriff to approve the Discovery Channel filming in the jail.
  • The Dallas Morning News home page this morning actually takes you to a different page for an ad that you had to click on to exit. Beating.
  • Stolen from elsewhere: "Sometimes people say I shouldn't mind being searched if I have nothing to hide. I immediately accuse them of having a swastika tattooed on their genitalia -- if they have nothing to hide, then surely they shouldn't mind dropping their pants to prove me wrong." Gold.
  • Someone drowned in Marine Creek Lake yesterday. I've never been in it. Which reminds me, I went to Burger's Lake as a teenager but have never been back. I want to. 
  • Jarhead had a pretty interesting take on the double Grandbury murder yesterday. .(But I noticed he has started using my Random Thought format which I have Triple Patented and Double Copyrighted. He'll soon hear from my Army of Lawyers.)
  • Are we what we Google?
  • I may go on vacation in a couple of weeks. I've thought about having a Guest Host for this here blog for that week, but I'm not sure about it. 
  • I have no interest in that Tila Tequila gal. I think she's nasty.
  • I don't think I have any friends who know who won the Bassmaster's Classic last year. And that's OK.
  • Fox 4 News had a jailhouse interview of some gal that allegedly got drunk and drove her vehicle through a Denton cemetary knocking down a bunch of headstones. Her defense: "It wasn't like I was riding around digging up people." Good point.
  • I stumbled upon an old Andy Griffith Show the other day where the Women's Ausillary Club had been arrested for some crazy charge. Andy (who oddly served as judge in a very Wise County sort of way) made the whole thing "go away" by finding them guilty but suspending the sentence. Aunt Bee then announced it was unacceptable because it was still a conviction that would show up on their "record".. She then said she was withdrawing her guilty plea and demanding a new trial. I wanted to hire Aunt Bee as an associate because she was deadly accurate from a criminal procedure prospective.
  • And The Andy Griffith Show went downhill when it changed from black and white to color.
  • Christie Brinkley's estranged husband spent about $3,000 a month on pornographic Web sites, the model's lawyer said at the start of the couple's nasty divorce trial. What? Pay for internet porn?
  • I would hate to be a traffic cop. I just have no desire to ruin someone's day with a speeding ticket


So How Does That Happen?

Story. (And more detailed account here.)

With sexual abuse cases, each "act" is a separate offense. You can technically have multiple crimes occurring between one defendant and one victim within a matter of minutes. (In this case, it looks like three victims on multiple occasions, but you get the idea.)

The judge even stacked the sentences. (Texas is a bit weird: If all the cases are heard by one jury, the jury only assesses a punishment for each crime. But it is the judge, not the jury, who decides whether the sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently. ) But based upon the law in place at the time* of the offenses, he wouldn't have been eligible for parole until the passage of 30 years even if the sentences hadn't been stacked.

But this closing argument of the defense didn't work too well: “I respectfully submit to you that is BS. If it was as 'traumatic' as they indicate, they would be able to give you [specific dates and times of the acts]. Simply because it’s shocking doesn’t make it true.”
* Texas even made the punishment stricter for offenses occurring after 9/1/07.

Edit: It looks like the headlines in all the papers will be "Man Receives  4,060 Years In Prison." I don't understand that. He received 40 "Life Sentences" and, actually, an additional three 20 year sentences. No where in the books does it say that "Life" equals 100 years but that's what everyone is running with.

My Head Just Exploded

For the life of me, I don't understand this guiy's popularity. I love talk radio. I love talk shows. And some can be somewhat entertaining (Bill O'Reilly or Nancy Grace) even if I completely disagree with them. But Limbaugh's show is one thing: Boring.

He refuses to take calls from people who disagree with him, so you never hear a rationale debate. It's just ditto heads calling him up so they can talk about how much they agree with each other.

And if you folks who love his show think for a moment he believes everything he's selling, you're a sucker. He knows there's a right wing huge audience out there that are nothing more than sheep. And those folks just eat up stuff like "Let me tell you a secret folks. Those Liberals want to take all of your money so they give it to people who won't take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that this country offers. The Liberals hate this country. They even want the terrorists to win in Iraq for their political advantage." Sheesh. It's mindless generalities. Every. Single. Day.

But he knows that's what the masses want to hear. And he'll say it forever. All the way to the bank.

(Thanks to the commenter on another post who brought this to my attention because he knew it would put me over the edge.)

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Russian Cheerleaders. Makes me want to grab my hammer and sickle. (Thanks emailer whom I shall not name.)
  • Dallas County government is a mess. The Discovery Channel wants to shoot a documentary inside the Dallas County Jail - a jail that has almost been shut down by the State for being so bad.- and the Sheriff (who is borderline inept) says "sure" because "they told me I had the final say on what footage they could use." Right. Then the County Commissioners say the Sheriff needs their permission before the jail can be opened up to outsiders and asks DA Craig Watkins to tell her so. The DA, who hates the Commissioners, says "Nope. She can do that." So now the Commissioners get a different attorney to go to a judge to try and stop the documentary. (Which gives rise to an interesting Free Speech issue.) Like I said, a mess.
  • And I bet the Sheriff wins that battle. I think there's an obscure statute out there that basically says the Sheriff controls the courthouse and jail
  • Speaking of courthouse politics, I had a battle with a judge in Wise County 15 years ago over the use of a vacant room. I fired off a snotty letter that I later regretted. He still has it and shows it to me occasionally..
  • I've got an RSS Feed Reader set up to grab stuff off the Internets that I'm interested in. There aren't enough hours in the day to read it all. (And for those that aren't familiar with RSS feeds, Google will set you up for free.)
  • The guy who allegedly shot at five cars on the roadways of Dallas suburbs was arrested last night. As horrible as those series of shootings were, I think its odd that he never hit anyone. I wonder if he was really trying.
  • There are times when I think the public is dumb as a box of rocks. Then there are other times when I think I'm as dumb as a box of rocks. Seriously. Maybe it's because VH1 and CSPAN are so close to each other on my channel guide.
  • Offensive New York Yankee crowd. (Warning: Language). That clip, by the way, makes me think the public is as dumb as as the aforementioned box. I can't imagine taking a kid to that stadium.
  • Someone emailed me that if I was surprised there was a female Methodist minister in Bridgeport, then I should check out this week's Bridgeport Index: There are three women who now make up the executive board of the Bridgeport Lions Club.
  • Horrifying fact: This is my 8,067th blog post. Power. Down.
  • There once was an on-the-brink-of-stardom running back for Decatur HS named Devin Godboldt who left the district a few years ago and transferred to a private school in Denton. Whatever happened to him? I found this youtube clip of him but nothing else. I can only suspect he didn't go to college, but I could be wrong.
  • A random event that drives me insane: A predominately white crowd clapping to the beat when someone is singing on stage.
  • You can't imagine some of the posts I refuse to allow to be posted. "In bad taste" doesn't come close to describing some of them.
  • Lindsay Lohan turns 22 today. But that's a hard 22. Although she has kept a fairly low profile lately.
  • I got chastised yesterday for the random scantily clad woman pics that accompany "Random Thoughts." Someone must hate freedom.
  • I was halfway watching the Ranger game last night when I saw a Texas player called out at 3rd even though A-Rod didn't get within a mile of him with the tag. (If you saw it, you'll be saying, "Absolutely right!!! I couldn't believe it!". If you didn't, you'll be saying, "So what?")
  • I cant' decide if "Ian" is a good name for a guy.
  • The first high school steroid drug testing results are in: 2 students out of 10,000 tested positive. Since that testing cost us $3 million, can we now abandon it? There doesn't appear to be a problem.. (But, admittedly, the testing occurred outside of football season.)  Edit: I heard the $3 million figure on WBAP this morning. Edit #2: Also in this story.
  • One of my favorite days: Walking around the campus of the University of Alabama before taking in a football game. And then, foolishly, I decided to catch a night game at the University of Tennessee. (You can see some of those random posts in the middle of this page here.) 
  • The local Walmart is out of Baked Nacho Cheese Doritos. A few years back the Baked Cool Ranch Doritos were discontinued (the greatest chips in the history of ever). If they kill the Baked Nacho Cheese, we will have a crisis on our hands.
  • Edit: I'm as sick of the Alvord ISD posts as you are, but the Update is reporting the School Board refused to disclose the financial terms of the "separation agreement" of the superintendent. The Messenger has made an Open Records request.  Just when you think the school board couldn't make any more political blunders, they may have made the biggest one of all. Incredible 
  • Edit: This story is the topic on the Mark Davis show this morning. How many of us have an urge to search for the offending photo?


What About My Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino® With Chocolate Whipped Cream?

Any word on the Decatur Starbucks? The chain said it would close some of its underperforming stores but I have no idea how the local store stacks up. I just never have gotten into the high tone coffee - the menu looks to intimidating and I fear the hidden fat grams. (Nutrition info here.)

But I see lots of people drinking that stuff.

When Did Susan B. Anthony Come Back To Life?

How did this slip by me? The First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport has a new pastor and he is a woman? Huh? Is that possible? Doesn't the Bible call this an "abomination" or something like that? (Edit: My bad. It's homosexuality that's an abomination. That and the eating of fish. Liberally Lean regrets this error.)

This progressiveness has to stop. The next thing you know they'll want to vote or something.

Note: Unlike the Baptists (where God lets the congregation choose its pastors and routinely only leads preachers to higher paying jobs), the Methodists "assigns" its ministers. Kind of like being a manager of Arby's, but different.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • If I were at the beach.
  • The Cotton Bowl is adding complete upper decks to the end zones. That's quite a few more seats (and a pretty good pic of it is here.) But based on stubhub.com, that doesn't make Texas/OU tickets any cheaper.
  • Wal*Mart is getting rid of the "*". As smart as they company has been, that was a goofy idea to put it there in the first place.
  • Funny line from Vegas Vacation (I saw parts of it again last weekend) when Clark asks Eddie if he is worried about living near a radioactive site: "All I know is that my garden is spittin' out 10 pound tomaters and my teeth have never been whiter."
  • I receive Newsweek every week and never get around to reading any of the articles like I promise myself.
  • The find-a-parking-space-dance at Casa Torres on a given weekday in Decatur will suck the life force out of you. And there always seems to be a pack of guys in Haliburton outfits in there.
  • There was a huge wreck on I-35E at the Lewisville Lake bridge this morning. There's simply no way to get around that and the traffic folks were suggesting people exit at Teasley Lane in Denton. Oh, my.
  • The story all over the AP yesterday was that "9 out of 10 Families Affected By Gas Prices." Isn't that the same thing as saying that 9 out of 10 families aren't rich.
  • My cruise control has gone out on my vehicle. Beating.
  • I saw the movie Fragile in a theater and its been on HBO pretty frequently over the last couple of months. Verdict: It's ridiculous. 
  • The new First Financial Bank building in Decatur at 51/287 looks pretty good. But it appears there is yet another hotel going in right by it. 
  • Fox 4's medical reporter John Hammarley has been suspended. Don't know why.
  • There was a report yesterday that many people will have to walk one mile from their parking space to the new Cowboys Stadium. But if you ever parked at the outer lot at Texas Stadium, that's about the same distance. 
  • I saw a book review in the paper last weekend about Doris Day. I didn't know that she was still alive, in her 80s, and a recluse for the last 40 years. I like that "recluse" idea.
  • It is coming up on the 4th of July and that means fireworks. Overrated? And haven't they been exactly the same for the last 30 years?
  • And isn't it amazing that 30 years ago there was a firework sold that had an unofficial racist name. Uh, it ended in "chaser"?  I remember every kid on my block calling it that and we didn't think twice about it.
  • Former Fox 4 traffic reporter Todd Caruth went to the ER for kidney stones. That cost him $4,227.85.(before a voluntary discount.)
  •  Back in November I posted the 911 call where the man pretty much told the operator that he was going next door to shoot two guys robbing a house. He did. It was chilling. Yesterday a grand jury no-billed him.
  • I do a good job of keeping house plants alive.
  • That Granbury killing of two women is also chilling. But it was odd that they met in a Women's Shelter.
  • By the way, Embarq promptly showed up on Monday morning and replaced the defective modem in our office. Good job. 


I'm In Tomato Heaven

So I come back to my office and find these two bottles on my desk. I'm still trying to figure out where they came from but they have a "Decatur, TX" label on them.

Edit: I made a Dan Quail spelling error but quickly corrected it before anyone saw. I thought. 

Your Liberally Lean Financial Minute

Shares of Devon Energy Corp., the largest U.S.-based independent oil and gas producer, rose Monday as an analyst boosted his price target and estimates on the company, and oil prices touched a high.The stock gained $4.35, or 3.8 percent, to $119.23 in morning trading.

So far this year, shares of Devon have jumped 29 percent.Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. analyst Rehan Rashid raised his price target to $140 from $125, implying he expects the stock to rise about 22 percent from Friday's $114.88 close. He kept an "Outperform" rating.
Since I took economics at Weatherford College, let me explain what this means: Devon will continue to make big bags of money.

Now let me check into my portfolio and figure out how this effects me. Uh . . . not so much. I'm still banking on a Worldcom and Enron comeback. (And be careful using google images for a "Devon" search. Apparently there's a gal who works in what you boys out there call the "adult industry" - and she ain't camera shy, if you know what I mean.)

Text Of Wise County Historical Markers


Most Tragic Death Of The Week

Hot model suicide.

Dumb kid.

Random Monday Night Thoughts

  • And to think that the most comments ever received (in the Comment Moderation Era) would be a post that began "I'm having Internet issues at the office."
  • I could eat Mexican food every day. 
  • I saw an ad for a contemporary Christian music compilation on TV and it really looked pretty good. Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and some groups that seemed familiar. Then the TV ad told me that they would slash the price from $19.95 to $9.95 if I "called within 10 minutes." Of course, if I call anytime I can get it for $9.95, and it felt odd to be lied to in connection with Christian music.
  • I would never go to Branson, Missouri.
  • I don't think I ever remember two movies cracking the $50 million barrier on the same weekend. But it happened this week. And that Indiana Jones movie is an eyelash shy of the amazing $300 million mark - and I've nothing but bad things about it. 
  • Has the economy ever seemed more fragile? The stock market has plunged, gas prices at an all time high, the mortgage crisis, air travel is becoming unaffordable, and food prices are becoming alarming. Then again, the public is still going to the movies.
  • Whatever happened to that kid from The Sixth Sense?
  • During the last "energy crisis", Congress lowered the speed limit to 55 mph to save on gas. I haven't heard that proposed at all this time.
  • And that was an example of Congress imposing its will on the states by utilizing a legislative trick. Congress can't control state speed limits so it simply said it would withhold federal highway funds from any state that didn't comply. Somehow that's legal. (That's also why every state lowered it's DWI alcohol concentration level to .08,)
  • I wouldn't be a coach, teacher, or school administrator. Seems like a constant beating of politics, parents, and crazy kids. Except the summers off would be cool. 
  • Giggle.
  • I like "bullet points."  
  • Legends become stronger with the passage of time. Case in point: The Spaceman in the Aurora Cemetary.
  • They are hard to find, but an incredibly crazy book about the story of Boyd's Ricky Lee Green is called Blood Rush.  I lent mine to someone in the county about three years ago but I can't remember who it was.
  • Most TV weathermen appear to talk without a teleprompter and with the graphics constantly changing in the background. And they are generally stutter or misspeak free. I think that would be hard to do. 
  • I heard that we crowned a new Miss Texas USA over the weekend. That pageant, along with almost all pageants, have seemed to fallen off of our radar.
  • Not sure what I think about this: If you have a family member who was killed on a state highway due to an drug or alcohol related incident (whatever that definition may be), you can pay the State of Texas $300 a year to put up a marker at that location.
  •  I've been fairly satisfied with Embarq internet services at the office, but being down for three days (and still down as of this morning) is not a good experience.

From My Back Parking Lot This Morning At The Office