blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 2/22/09 - 3/1/09

2.28.2009

And The Aftermath

The conditions (as taken from my iPhone at 6:55 a.m.). Cold. Wind. Brutal. The bloody sock: For the last two weeks, I've developed this crazy problem of clipping my right ankle with my left shoe. It happened today causing the results in the photo. But I persevered. People are already saying it's the grittiest performance since Curt Schilling in Game Two of the World Series. The medal: Just like T-Ball, everybody gets one. My time?: I don't know yet. I was hoping to beat two hours flat, but it'll be close. I'll know later. Edit: Oh, no!!!!! Result: 2:00:15. (That was 128th out of 238th in my elderly old man's division.) Alvord resident Thomas Aaberg finished his first full marathon in an official time of 3:26:32. (That was 68th overall and 12th in his age division.) 18 year old David Cude of Decatur turned in a smoking 1:24:10 in the half marathon. If you ran and want me to post your time, let me know. I know Mrs. Jarhead was supposed to run the 10K --- I hope she wasn't delayed by serving him the mandatory Saturday breakfast in bed. Edit: Almost forget -- the iPod playlist:

Do You Know Where I Am Right Now?

Being an idiot at the start of the Cowtown Half Marathon. I suspect I'm freezing, rethinking my life, and having a tear roll down my very frozen Barry cheek. By the miracle of Google, I've set this post to automatically launch at 7:30 a.m. -- the same time that the race starts in downtown Fort Worth. The puppy? That's a metaphor for what my body thinks about me in light of what I am about to put it through. No funeral.

2.27.2009

Bridgeport Sissies Audio Coverage

Starts at 8:30 p.m. This is very wheels off if you can hear it. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/focusbhs I may go to bed before the end of the game. I got get my run on tomorrow. Edit: Heartbreak City. Sissies lose in overtime, 71-65.

From A Comment As Seen On ABC's World News Tonight

"I am growing increasingly concerned about the government's spending money they don't have to overcome and economic problem caused by people spending money they didn't have." - BKM Spot on, bruther. Spot on. All politics aside (puuuhleeeze), I'm almost on the verge of raising my Economic Terror Level Warning to "Truly Frightened." I've never seen anything like this.
  • California's unemployment rate reached 10% today.
  • No one thinks Citigroup stock is a bargain at $1.50 a share.
  • The Gross Domestic Product shrank 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008 -- the worst drop in 25 years.

Seminar Thoughts

  • It's about jury selection.
  • The lady sitting beside me has orange hair.
  • A gal in front of me has the thickest country accent you've ever heard (and that's coming from me.)
  • Criminal defense lawyers' are a motley crew.
  • You can't go to a seminar without hearing how unfair Williamson County is.
  • I'm the only one here from Wise County.
  • There are two hot women in this room.
  • I had to sign a statement that (1) I practiced criminal law and was not a prosecutor, and (2) I wouldn't distribute the materials.
  • They had fresh fruit for breakfast.
  • I'm keeping a list of things I've learned that I didn't know. (So far, I've got two. But it's early.)
  • Lisa Blue is a speaker. (She's the recent widow of big time Democratic money man Fred Baron.) Edit: She just showed the dumbest movie clip of a trial scene I've ever seen. It was so obscure I have no idea what movie it was from. Edit #2: Good lord, she just talked about how proud she was to work under former Dallas DA Henry Wade. Trust me, in this crowd, that doesn't impress us. Edit #3: She's done. She had no business speaking at a criminal law seminar.
  • I never wear my name tag at a seminar.
  • Lunch is catered by Campisi's!!!! Pic (which doesn't show the garlic shrimp dish.)
  • Just heard one of the hot girls on the phone. "We're thinking about doing an HH in the West Village later." Being bilingual and speaking a little Navajo, I think she's referring to a "happy hour."
  • War stories from lawyers whip me. They never talk about their losses, do they?
  • The HH girl has a raspy voice, is Catholic, is a public defender, a cusser, and kinda funny. She was complaining that one of her difficult court appointed clients had told her he wanted a "real lawyer." She said she was going to bring a "Criminal Law For Dummies" book to his trial to get back at him.
  • Huge debate going on on whether it is unethical or improper to do the following legendary trick: During jury selection in a drug possession case, to have a potential juror reach under her seat to find a packet of cigarettes (or other prop) that you had placed there earlier (in order to demonstrate you can be in close proximity of something but not know it was there.) I really don't have a problem with that. One lawyer in the room claimed he got chewed out by a judge for doing it.
  • We've got chaos breaking out with the following ethical hypo: Your client comes in, says he shot his wife with "this gun", puts it on your desk, and walks out. What do you do?
  • Hot chick slipped out early.
  • A lady beside me just made reference to a Wise County lawyer by name. I didn't chime in.
  • A friend, knowing I was in a seminar, sent me an email. When I opened it, it had a very dirty word in two inch type. The sender thought that would be funny when I opened it up in a crowd.
  • There's one lawyer in here who won't shut up. He needs to shut up.
  • I wonder if the hot girl went to happy hour at 2:30?
  • I failed to mention she was about four inches taller than me.
  • Of all my many bad stock picks, I'm glad I don't own Citigroup today.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • New Wise County constable car is ready to roll.
  • Our prosecutors went over to Jack County and tried to put the hurt on an alleged "rolling meth lab."
  • I've been disappointed with Dale Hansen's series on the Cowboys and Jerry Jones this week. I just wish they would take 30 minutes and play Jerry's original press conference -- TV gold. (I actually posted a link to it online about a year ago, but now I can't find it.) Edit: My buddy Keith has it.
  • I made reference to the Florida Keys yesterday. From Dale's interview with Jimmy Johnson, I learned that Jimmy's house is in Islamorada, FL. (Google map)
  • I think a GPS device is good once you get in the general vicinity of where you need to go. But from 50 miles away, the thing wants to take you to Stephenville to get you to Dallas.
  • That chunk of a metal wood chipper that went crashing through a lady's house is one of the craziest stories I've ever heard.
  • News this morning that the government will now own 40% of Citigroup? Hey, that is nationalization. If you own 40% of any corporation you, if effect, run the corporation.
  • I wonder how many people that say "the United States is the greatest country in the world" have never even visited another country?
  • Continued lawyer carnage: One huge law firm laid off 190 attorneys today. I cannot imagine trying to get a job right out of law school right now.
  • Speaking of, I'm in a seminar in Dallas this morning. Total. Beat. Down. But I'm sure this will give me some good material for later this morning.
  • Edit: I am recording Megan Henderson's last day. I'll watch it tonight with big old Barry tears rolling down my Barry cheeks.

Journalism Death

One of my first experience with getting news online was following the JonBenet Ramsey story in the early part of 1997 on the web site of Rocky Mountain News. I was amazed at the coverage that I could get over the Internet. I was hooked. Relevance? Well yesterday, in perhaps an ominous sign of things to come, the paper announced that it would shut its doors today. Done. Completely. Oddly, it's web site contains a video of the employees getting the bad news.

2.26.2009

A Faithful Reader . . .

. . . sends these pics tonight of a fire off Old Decatur Road about six miles north of, uh, Decatur. (Which reminds me, where is New Decatur Road?) He called it, "The Burning Bush." So everybody listen up, we will soon be released from our bondage. So let it be written . . . .

For All Readers From The Great White North

Current conditions at 4:29 p.m. Edit: But the forecast for my Saturday half marathon looks a little dicey. 20 mph winds at 40 degrees? Ugh.

Thursday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Meet Ashley Fuhrmeister

In reverse order: (1) Miss North Wildwood in 2007, (2) her mom and (3) her boyfriend. There's a story behind this involving a penny ante counterfeiting that got them all arrested, but I'm interested in the pictures. See something wrong here? That momma gave birth to that? No way. Clearly a case of mistaken identity. And that babe was dating that guy? Again, that's impossible in this world that God has so magically created. I suspect some type of Patty-Hearst-mind-melt thing going on. Everyone knows hot girls don't need to create fake money.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • In my best Seinfeld voice: "What's the deal with the weather?"
  • I've got a seminar in Dallas tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to getting away and not talking to anyone for a day. But it will have Inkernet access.
  • After three days of drinking Mr. Pibb Zero, I discovered I was drinking Mr. Pibb Extra. No wonder my teeth hurt and the spot in the parking lot where I poured a portion of one out is still there.
  • News of the morning: American Airlines is to layoff 410 flight attendants, Zales will shut down 115 stores, and GM announces a fourth quarter loss of $9.6 billion. Get ready, people.
  • Only Tiger Woods can get away with this cocky commercial.
  • Time Waste: A list of 99 things you have seen on the Internet.
  • I thought about going to the Florida Keys again, but I bet it is one humid place during the summer.
  • Lubbock is a long way to go for a high school basketball game.
  • Hal Jay bad joke of the day: "You know what Eddie Gossage should so to raise more money at the Texas Motor Speedway? Install toll booths on the track." [Insert wheeze laugh here.] [Insert my "kill me" comment here.]
  • The frequency that I I hear the phrase, "You've got some scary people that read your blog": Often
  • I've never understood why people, even 20 years later, say that Jerry Jones handled the firing of Tom Landry poorly. He bought the team from Bum Bright, Bright was about to call Landry, Jones told him no that it was his (Jones') responsibility to do it, then Jones flies down to Austin to tell Landry face to face. What more could he possibly have done?
  • People are crazy.
  • Just noticed that Voice Of The Previews Don LaFontaine, who is now dead of death, did not get a single mention at the Oscars. Those "commie, homo-loving sons of guns,"

2.25.2009

Things America Socializes

For years, if anyone screamed "socialism" I was ready to grab my 12 gauge shotgun and prepare to defend freedom. And then, slowly, I began to realize how much socialism is already part of our daily lives. If we define it as the taking from all to be used for the benefit of all (a definition I just made up), then we have:
  • Police Protection
  • Fire Protection
  • Sewer systems
  • Water (with an added per use surcharge)
  • Education of children
  • Some college education
  • Mail Delivery (with a small extra surcharge)
  • Military Protection
  • Transportation (highways, rail, bus)
  • Bank failure protection (FDIC)
  • Criminal justice protection (prisons, probation departments)
  • Civil liberties protection (trial courts, appellate courts)
But we freak out if we add "health care" to the list? And I'm probably missing some. Edit: Sheesh. The first few commentors seem to discount the list with the rationale of "that's not socialism, those are things that government does." Uh, that's my point.

I Read Headlines So You Don't Have To

Today's Messenger vs. 1993 Dallas Morning News

A Faithful Reader . . .

. . . just sent in this camera phone pic with the title "Decatur - Jack In The Box Carnage." As far as the details are concerned, I don't have a clue. You guys get busy out there and tell us what happened. Edit: And before Lari Barager with Fox 4 News comes rolling up 287 like gang busters, I'm pretty sure the word "carnage" was a joke.

Yet Another Reason To Love America

Isn't it amazing how your eyes go to the headline, to the girl, back to the headline and then back to the girl? It's like studying a fine piece of art. Hey, wait. That headline means she's single! She's perfect for me!

An Olive Branch To All My Conservative Readers

I just received an animated GIF entitled "We Got Your Money!!" Link. Hey, even I think that's funny.

I Don't Think That Would Work Around Here

I've always thought it was nuts for the government to say, "Turn in your guns and we'll give you money." That's what going to happen in Dallas.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Whether it be Democrat or Republican, the response to any presidential address by the party out of power is a beat down.
  • Volatile moment last night when Obama declared he had inherited "this mess" -- the Republicans looked none to happy. Goofy moment last night: "Because no one messes with Joe."
  • Crazy drug movie: Requiem for a Dream
  • Take a look at this chart comparing our current stock market crash to other economic downturns. If this is the beginning of a depression, we've got a ways to go.
  • Decatur's Daddy/Daughter dance slide show. Sweet. But I can't believe they had an open bar.
  • Joking. There was no open bar.
  • A hate it when someone pulls up beside me on the highway and I get this crazy feeling they are staring at me. Happened to me yesterday. And I was right (although it was just a friend.)
  • I can't remember the last time I went to a car show.
  • While jogging yesterday, I saw a guy that looked just like Michael McDonald (formerly of the Doobie Brothers.)
  • How in the world did they get away with being named the Doobie Brothers?
  • On the link below that was for listening to the Bridgeport/Decatur game last night, there's also a school sponsored video that runs about 14 minutes. At about minute 12, there's a bit with three guys dancing to "Single Ladies" in front of three female judges. You know, kinda funny.
  • I had the audio page up to listen to parts of the game last night, but it wouldn't work. Just silence. I accidentally left it on in the background and about an hour and a half later I had the crap scared out of me when a guy's voice blared in my living room for about five seconds.
  • I'm so proud Obama has kept us safe from the Evil Doers during his first month in office.
  • "AUSTIN — Three of Texas’ top elected officials offered strong public endorsements Tuesday of a proposal that would require an ultrasound for most women seeking an abortion." You've got to be kidding.
  • It's weird to take your pants off in a department store dressing room.
  • There's lots of buzz about 20/20's "Children of the Mountains" which focuses on the back wood kids of the Appalachian Mountains. (Story and link to full show here. I've not seen it but it looks good.)

2.24.2009

Sissies v. Lady Eagles: Part 3. This Time, It's More Personal Than The Last Time When It Was Personal

You can get your listen on here. "I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you." - Leslie Nielsen, Airplane (1980) Edit: The audio broadcast turned out to be a failed bit. Inkernet problems. Final: Bridgeport 42 Decatur 39

Does This Look Like A HIgh School Senior . . .

. . . that's headed to Baylor? Yes, it does. Let me put all you Big 12 folks on notice. You may care about that sissy football stuff with those guys in all that protective equipment, but we sports fans know that women's basketball is the money sport. And Waco is about to be king of said sport. Let me predict four consecutive national championships. In fact, I don't the Lady Bears will lose a single game over the next four years. And they might be the Evil Empire 100-0 if we decide to go easy on you. Heck, UT might just forfeit the games after watching her warm up. Yeah, keep your Colt McCoy's of the world, there's a new star in the Texas sky: 6'8" Brittney Griner. I'm so excited that I might make her Mrs. Green #9.

Does This Look Like . . .

. . . a teacher that would run off with a 15 year old boy and hide out at Motel 8? Motel 6, perhaps, but not Motel 8. Edit: We have a new pic. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Gmail went down last night.
  • I really like David McCullough 1776 (I'm about two hours into it) and was even more pleased to learn he is the narrator of the audio book. Great voice. I immediately recognized him from Ken Burns' The Civil War.
  • I should put the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro on my bucket list.
  • Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, however, looks like it could be a beating.
  • I haven't seen The Bucket List.
  • Newest Obama approval ratings: 63% overall (89% among Democrats, 30% among Republicans, and 4% among Wise Countians. Last number made up, but probably accurate.)
  • Another murder-for-hire was thwarted yesterday (a sweet mother/daughter plan). I wonder how many murders are the result of successful murder-for-hire plots?
  • It's kind of neat that the Bridgeport and Decatur girls meet at this level of the playoffs.
  • Note to Channel 5 morning news: A child found safe in a daycare van yesterday afternoon does not constitute a "Developing Story" this morning.
  • Any traffic report that estimates the number of minutes it will take to travel a specific path is silly.
  • Are there still travel agents?
  • A buddy sent me a link to a recent Frontline episode called "Inside The Meltdown" -- an hour long documentary on the financial meltdown. I started it last night and was hooked. Absolutely great. And it will scare you to death.
  • One good thing about being single: If there's a Depression era meltdown, I only have to take care of myself (and people I choose to take care of.)
  • Jerry Jones was 46 when he bought the Cowboys.
  • I was annoyed to no end by a drunk guy who thought he was entertaining at the West Village in Dallas on Saturday.
  • I'm already monitoring the weather for this Saturday's Cowtown Half Marathon. So far, so good, around 50 with little wind.
  • Texas shouldn't get too excited about beating Oklahoma on Saturday since OU's beast-of-a-payer Griffin played only 12 minutes due to a concussion. Baylor, on the other hand, has had a horrible season after starting the year off in the Top 25.
  • Guy believes Aggies will win National Championship this fall. In other news, I bet he believes the world will end on 12.21.12.

2.23.2009

Holy Crap!

For years I've invested in an S&P 500 Mutual Fund which was managed by E-Trade. Moments ago I received an email (below) which, loosely translated, means we are selling your shares in our mutual fund at its lowest price in years and giving you the cash. You want to be a long term investor? Too bad. We are forcing you to sell it. Uh, I need a little help here. Financially, I know what it means to me, but is this a sign of bad things to come? I know I'm shipping my money out of E-trade once the sell occurs. I've never heard of anything like this. The email: After long and serious consideration, E*TRADE Securities has made the decision to discontinue our family of proprietary index mutual funds. As a result, the E*TRADE S&P 500 (ETSPX), Russell 2000 (ETRUX), Technology (ETTIX), and International (ETINX) Index Funds will be liquidated on a date no later than March 27, 2009 (the "Liquidation Date"). Of course, even though we are discontinuing these funds, as an E*TRADE customer, you have access to over 7,000 funds to help you find the right alternative. Here are a few important points to keep in mind: Effective as of the close of business on February 23, 2009, no purchases of the funds may be made and any applicable redemption fees or account fees charged by the funds will be waived. If you do not redeem your shares yourself, your shares will be automatically converted to cash equal to their net asset value on the Liquidation Date. You will receive proceeds equal to the net asset value of the shares you held on the Liquidation Date after provision for all charges, expenses, and liabilities of the fund. The redemption is treated as a taxable transaction, and you will have to pay taxes on the proceeds of the liquidation, even if your shares are automatically redeemed on the Liquidation Date. Please be assured that this decision has nothing at all to do with the financial health of E*TRADE FINANCIAL, which has been, and continues to be, very well capitalized by every applicable regulatory standard.

And Another

Story. (And going back to my creepy suicide-by-car post, there was this story this afternoon. I have absolutely no reason to believe that way anything other than an accident, but who in the world would ever know?)

The People's Court

Our district judge was in a good mood today when he tolerated a couple trying to get divorced when the case was set for an "agreed prove up." They both approached the bench, the judge asked to see the paperwork about the agreement, and the guy says she still had "some of my stuff." Judge: "So this isn't really isn't agreed, is it?" Him: "She can have her divorce, I just want my stuff." But the guy had a hard time coming up with a list of property that he was owed. Normally, you'd see a judge tell them to come back when everything is agreed to or go hire a lawyer if it was going to be a fight. But he worked through it and got them divorced. (The ex-husband will get his "collectible beer" back, by the way.) Then the soon-to-be-divorced guy made me feel a little sad when he announced, "Thirty five years [of marriage] wasted." But his dramatic exit out of the courtroom kind went awry when he smashed in the back door (you pull it, don't push it.)

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Megan Henderson is leaving Fox 4 News!! She announced it at 6:50 a.m. and kind of teared up (along with every man in the metroplex.) She's going to the west coast, and they introduced her announcement with Phantom Planet's California.)
  • I say it every year: The Academy Awards is the slowest and most boring awards show on TV.
  • There was a great article in the Star-Telegram on the 20th anniversary of Jerry Jones buying the Cowboys. I can't believe there hasn't been more hype about it.
  • Speaking of the Star-Telegram, I now proclaim it to be a better paper than the Dallas Morning News.
  • I stood behind a guy in the self check out line in the grocery store who decided to pay with quarters because, as he told me, "I had a lot of change to get rid of."
  • The new Jenny Craig spokeswoman is Felisha Rashad. I've always disliked her for some reason.
  • The interview of Bristol Palin by Greta Van Susteren on Fox bordered on the bizarre. Bristol came across as more immature than even her 18 years and, it was clear, she did not want to be a mother. And then Sarah Palin just "dropped in" to chat and hi-jacked the interview.
  • Everyone needs to tap the brakes on the Chandra Levy case being "solved." I mean, one inmate says another inmate "confessed" to the murder and that's it? Case closed?
  • There was a wedding announcement in Star Telegram yesterday which was accompanied by a picture of a close-up of half the bride's face. That's it. (I can't find it online but it was the Hoopingarner-Heffley wedding.) Edit: A google loving reader found it.
  • Saw a guy in the theater on Saturday drop his krillion ounce drink as he reached his seat. He just sat down in disgust with a severe case of give up.
  • I've felt better physically over the last two weeks than I have in a long time. The only difference is that I've added a salad to every meal. I wonder if that is it?
  • Everyone tells me that I have to see the new HBO movie, "Taking Chance" with Kevin Bacon.
  • Ticket trivia: The first time I ever heard about Slumdog Millionaire was when Gordon Keith interviewed director Danny Boyle last October on the now canceled Gordon Keith Show. (And Boyle thought Gordon was hysterical.)
  • I've started reading David McCullough's 1776.

2.22.2009

A New Failed Bit: The Two Wise County Bubbas

Random Tension. That I Love.

“Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun got into a heated exchange at a postgame news conference Saturday with a freelance journalist and political activist who questioned why the coach of a public university was making $1.6 million in tough economic times.” From last night.

Slumdog Millionaire

Finally saw this movie last night in a packed theater (it must have been the pre-Oscar rush.) Verdict: It might move into my top ten list of all time favorite movies. Loved it. It was educational (you get to learn about India), brutal (you will not believe the treatment of children), disgusting (one scene caused the audience to issue the loudest grown I had ever heard - twice!), inspiring (love over money), guilt inducing (oh, the conditions of the slums), a guilty pleasure (you get caught up in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), and touching (never has the "Phone a Friend" lifeline caused me to tear up before.) The pacing between current day and flashbacks was absolutely brilliant. Once it was over, I bet 90% of the audience remained in their seats as the credits rolled. And it didn't hurt that the movie suddenly transformed itself from a gut wrenching drama to bring-a-smile-to-your-face music dance video. I sat in my seat and just said, "wow." Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely.