blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 3/15/09 - 3/22/09

3.20.2009

Free Money

Cops chase people as part of War On Drugs. People dump money onto highway. People risk life to get money. And that might be the only situation where I wouldn't turn in money that I found. Let's see? Money to me? Or money to cops? In that situation, me loves me some me. Back story.

Wreck Update: Not Good

Story.

And Another

It's hard to tell, but this gal was arrested on "annoyance" charges for kissing a 17 year old. Sheesh. The terrorists have finally won. Then again, this girl kissing anyone should probably be a crime. And we have one crazy DA in this case. Check out his quote: "But teachers are no more likely than doctors, lawyers or newspaper reporters to commit these crimes. Sex crimes affect a wide cross-section of demographics. I think it's just a fluke.'' Hey, those doctors and media types might be teenage kissers, but let's keep the legal profession out of this. Edit: My buddy Keith sends along this related post simply because of the mug shot.

If I Ever Needed A Cell Phone Pic, This Is It

Just got a call about a guy in a wheelchair, yep a wheelchair, being pulled over by two cops on the 380 bypass outside of Decatur. Edit: A faithful reader who must be ridin' dirty, sends along this pic
  • Someone mentioned that the newly opened Huddle House in Decatur is newly closed. True?
  • Those "reporters" on the TMZ tv show annoy the heck out of me.
  • Get ready for this rant today: The liberal media won't report that Obama made fun of the handicapped on The Tonight Show last night. Puhleeze. (He said something along the lines that he bowls like he's in the Special Olympics.)
  • I saw a report yesterday that DFW was the fastest growing area in the nation. My initial thought was how much worse traffic is going to get.
  • WBAP question this morning: Is there a movie that has changed your life? It seems the winner from the calls received was Passion of the Christ (I've read the book, but not seen the movie.) I don't know if I had one although Jaws does come to mind. I've never stepped in the ocean again without thinking about it.
  • Gmail has added a feature which will give you five seconds to kill an email that you just fired off. Not a bad idea.
  • I have no idea what my "credit score" is. I would hope it would be very good.
  • I finally bought a very few number of shares of Citigroup yesterday at $3.32. It immediately plummeted below $3.00. I'm the kiss of death.
  • I like March Madness, and I fill out a bracket like everyone else, but as soon as I turn on a random game that's in the first half, I'm immediately bored.
  • The Facebook status page of your friends can be really bizarre cross section of attitudes. You can see "I'm so hungover my head just exploded," "I'm so lucky how much God has blessed me," and "It's not even 7:30 in the morning and this day is already a cluster" right after one another.
  • I'm convinced that more and more paid commercials are being disguised as news story on the radio.
  • Case in point: WBAP had a segment today where the interviewed a local "mortgage expert" (who was identified by name and company) about the current low rates. He was asked questions like, "Should people refinance right now?" Anyone want to guess what his answer was?
  • If Walmart could have created the Gang Initiation Hoax for the free publicity, would they? I think they would. Mention of Walmart's name > Small Lost Sales.
  • I can't verify it, but I heard that some gal on Fox's Business Channel's Happy Hour show criticized Obama for wasting time "filling out his NAACP bracket." If true, that's funny.

3.19.2009

The Walmart Death Rumor

Apparently a text message is spreading all over the county about a gang initiation that would happen tonight at Walmart where three women would be killed. The text even says this has been "confirmed by the Wise County Sheriff's Office." Uh........fake. Edit: Fox 4: Fake Channel 5: Fake Star-Telegram: Fake Messenger: Sending Joe Duty to cover it (kidding) Edit #2: Why does the Messenger go out of its way not to use the word "Walmart" in this Update blurb?

I Post Two Pics Of Women Near Water And This Happens

Story. I remember there being some question about the death when it happened, but haven't heard anything about it since then.

And Now For Something Completely Different

I feel obligated to double up on the "Hey, Nows" this afternoon after that Credit Default Swap stuff this morning. We've got to keep things Even Steven around here or I'm afraid our collective heads will blow up. This is some gal from The Real Housewives of Decatur Orange County but I'm not real sure because those shows beat me down --- which is odd because you'd think I'd like a show about shallow, hot, superficial women.

Thursday Morning Pick Me Up

I was sent this via email along with speculation that it might have been taken at Wise County Park. I'm offended by that and refuse to post the pic.

Credit Default Swaps: My Most Boring Post Ever?

"Lawmakers continued to fume over the $165 million in retention bonuses to employees at AIG's financial products division, the unit that created the credit-default swaps and other financial derivatives that brought AIG to the brink of bankruptcy in September."


I think I understand a credit default swap. Maybe. Here goes: Say you loan a friend $10,000 for one year at 10% interest. If all goes well, you will make $1,000 profit. But what if you are a little nervous that your buddy won't pay you back? What if you could find someone to insure the loan for, say, 2% of the return. So you find a guy who promises to pay you the $11,000 if your buddy fails to and for that guarantee you'll pay that guy $200. That agreement is a credit default swap. If your buddy doesn't default, you've made a net of $800 and the third person has made $200 for nothing but issuing the promise.


 Let's use the same example with a home. You loan someone $200,000 at 5% interest and take a lien on the house. You, once again, are worried about the debtor making the payments and you really don't want to be in the business of foreclosing on the home and reselling it. You again create a credit default swap with a third person who promises to pay off the mortgage (and get the house) if the debtor defaults and his fee is, say, 1% a year for that guarantee. The guys issuing the credit default swaps are making a fortune so long as everyone keeps paying their mortgage.


Now take the above example and multiply it hundreds of thousands of times with billions of dollars. Here's the really crazy part: It seems like you could also buy a credit default swap even if you had nothing to do with the borrowing or the lending. And credit default swaps weren't limited to mortgages. One of the examples used in This America Life was that one involving GM issuing a $50,000 bond to Person X. If you thought that GM was going under and wouldn't be able to make the bond payment to Person X, you (even though you had nothing to do with GM or the bond or Person X) could buy a credit default swap on that bond. For some fee, a company would promise to pay you $50,000 if GM was unable to meet it's $50,000 obligation to Person X. The greater the risk that GM would go under, the greater the fee. Insane? You bet. And once all the mortgage holders and all the companies couldn't pay back their loans, all the credit default swaps kicked in and the chaos began.


AIG apparently issued a ton of credit default swaps on the bet that they would never have to make them good. Most of the government bailout money has been used by AIG to pay off it's obligations under the credit default swaps. The government feared that if it didn't provide the money, it would have a domino effect (since most of the companies owed money from AIG under the credit default swaps had issued their own credit default swaps.)


And, it's my understanding the credit default swaps were completely unregulated. There was no limit on who could issue them. And there was no requirement that any company disclose how many credit default swaps it held. So when you went to AIG to purchase a credit default swap, you had no idea how many it already held. Caveat: 


The above is probably completely over-simplified and possibly completely inacurate, but it makes sense to me. But I'm open (as always) to listen to those that are smarter than me. Edit: Time magazine reported in its March 30, 2009 issue that AIG is still on the hook for $300 billion in credit default swaps. "Yet the company has a book value of $50 billion." (p. 27)

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Apparently the Fort Worth Zoo was the last place that you wanted to be yesterday. (And the director of the zoo was on WBAP this morning saying there is no limit as to how many people they will allow in at one time.)
  • I'm not sure I want my president taking time out to fill out his basketball bracket on ESPN. And I'm not sure I want him to have the time to form an opinion on whether Duke has a good perimeter game.
  • There's something weird about the ruling yesterday that a Richland Hills girl died of an ecstasy overdose. You never, ever see that. (The sixteen year old was discovered dead the morning after spending the night with her boyfriend. Seems normal.)
  • Olan Mills fun.
  • There's a cat next door to my office that has a cast on one leg.
  • The congressional AIG hearing yesterday was silly. They bring in the CEO of the company who was brought in after the fact for a salary of $1 a year and berate him?
  • But the CEO did blame "credit default swaps" for the near death of AIG. I think I'm going to explain those later. Really.
  • I get suckered into "Little Children" whenever I see it on TV. And, man, it has a couple of crazy scenes in it.
  • We have a new picture of Charles Manson. Isn't it odd that he has been in prison all these years for simply planning the murders but not taking part in them?
  • As a kid, I watched "Helter Skelter" at a friend's house and then had to walk home in the dark. I didn't think I'd make it.
  • There are lots of different sizes of ants. (I'm having an issue with some little bitty ones at home.)
  • A pantie thief steals hundreds of panties for Victoria's Secret in North East Mall? Don't we hear that story about once every three months? Is there a black market for underwear that I was not aware of? Shouldn't I be aware of it? What?
  • Baylor beat Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas last night in the NIT - its first post season win in 59 years. But then I started to do the math when forward Kevin Rogers said, "My grandma's not even 50."
  • You want to be nervous the next time you fill up with gas? You will be.

3.18.2009

Bad Picture. Funny Ad.

A longtime reader just sent me this camera phone pic of a catalog she was perusing. The ad is for a "personalized bridal shirt" with the example being a black t-shirt with "Future Mrs. Green" on it.

Here Puppy, Puppy

OK, the Smoking Gun broke a story today about this girl and let's just say it's a little delicate. (So don't yell at me if you click here.) But it became worthy of posting when Fox 4 picked up the story and put it on its web site. You have to see the graphic that someone decided should go along with the article. (To quote Sgt. Hulka from Stripes, "It looks like we got us a comedian on our hands." And a pretty good one at that.)

Early Candidate For "Mother Of The Year"

And she's on pace to catch the Octo-mommy. Credit: KRLD. Edit: Fox 4 .........News has a picture.

Star-Telegram Story

Link.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • You boys set a record for unapproved comments directed towards MzChief yesterday. A banner day but you can't say that.
  • If I were to bet on a basketball game in Vegas (legally at a sports book), how much would I have to bet in order to get the clerk to raise an eyebrow at me?
  • "In a letter to congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the money would be deducted from the government's latest $30 billion infusion of bailout funds [to IAG]." That doesn't solve anything. The people that got the bonuses at AIG still keep the bonuses. (And it's silly because the government owns AIG any way.)
  • Most know about the crazy-task-force-pick-on-blacks scandal of Tulia, Texas but there was also a lesser known one in Hearne, Texas. And now a movie has been made about it called "American Violet" which premiered in, uh, Hearne a couple of days ago.
  • That scandal could have happened in Wise County. Easily.
  • There is a list of new indictments in the Messenger this morning. About 90% of them are drug related. The time and money we waste.
  • I've had two people come see me in the last week which were arrested for having less than a joint in their cars. Bridgeport PD gets really excited about that.
  • Drug rant over.
  • I can't decide if I think Asian women are hot.
  • Anyone else ready to give up on the federal government (regardless of which party is in control)?
  • I saw the name of "Cody Duty" under a photo in the Dallas Morning News yesterday. Joe Duty's son?
  • Anybody got any stories of trying to get a job right out of college? I would think that would be a little tough.
  • Crazy name of a player for Morehead State on ESPN last night: Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims.
  • Saw a real estate sign with the name of "Trip Green" on it in Fort Worth. I like that name.
  • George Stephanopoulos interviewing John McCain on Twitter yesterday is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.
  • Anyone giving financial advice on TV has zero credibility with me.

3.17.2009

Iraqi Soccer News

Yep, you read that correctly. These two blurbs were buried in the back of the Sports Section of the Dallas Morning News.
Police say that an Iraqi soccer player was shot dead just as he was about to kick what could have been the tying goal in a weekend game south of Baghdad. A police major said that a striker from the Buhairat amateur team was facing only the goalie Sunday in a match in Hillah when a supporter of the rival Sinjar club shot him in the head in the final minute of play. The major said that a spectator was arrested.
And the other:
Two teams representing the Shiite villages of Sinjar and Enana, near Hilla, which is south of Baghdad, played a close-fought match on Saturday, with Sinjar winning, 2-1. During celebrations, an off-duty police officer started firing his service pistol into the air but lost control of it, the police said. A bullet struck the Sinjar goalie, an 18-year-old high school senior named Mohammed Amin, in the head, killing him instantly. There was no indication the goalie was shot intentionally; the police officer was a Sinjar fan
Oh, my.

Spring Break Pick Me Up

And Now, Happy St. Patrick's Day

I've got a very high Beat Down Factor ---- It doesn't take much for things to get old for me in a hurry. But I laugh every single time I watch this video. "Who else seen the Leprechaun? Say 'Yeah!!!!'"

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • "Everything happens for a reason." As I saw someone else say a couple of days ago, I've never really believed that. It just has some pre-destination feel to it that doesn't seem right.
  • OU women's basketball coach, Sherri Coale, has always sort of jazzed me.
  • If you would have bought Citigroup stock a couple of weeks ago, you would have more than doubled your money by now.
  • I avoid, if at all possible, any voluntary gathering where more than four or five people I know will be there.
  • Walmart is going to start having stores dedicated to our friends south of the border.
  • Dale Hansen yesterday on ESPN local radio: "Drug addiction and alcoholism are not diseases . . . . When you can go to the doctor for a problem and the remedy is to 'don't do it anymore', then it's not a disease."
  • The Montague jail scandal has now made a Yahoo slideshow.
  • I think I see things through a tunnel as opposed to globally. If I walk into an unfamiliar room and then walk out, I can't tell you anything about about it. (Carpet or hardwood? Wallpaper or paint? Number of chairs? Ceiling type? I don't have a clue.)
  • I'd be a horrible crime scene witness.
  • I'll admit that Iraq has calmed down. But once we leave, whether it be in one year or twenty years, it will turn into a disaster.
  • PBS had a special last night which was basically a helicopter view of Ireland. Oh, the places I want to go.
  • I left something obvious off my list my "Socialism in America" list from a couple of weeks ago: Social Security.
  • Motorcycle accident shut down I-30 by Six Flags this morning. I-35 in Denton was shut down to a motorcycle accident yesterday.
  • Actress Natasha Richardson is in critical condition after a skiing accident in Canada. I really didn't know who she was but I learned she is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, married to Liam Neeson, and was one of the moms in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap.
  • My twitter username is "BSG". I've found that quite a few people follow me because apparently they think it is an acronym for "Battlestar Galactica."
  • There's has been so much of the countryside along 287 between Decatur and Rhome that has been destroyed with unsightly construction of utilities and businesses.
  • Edit: I've posted this pic before?

3.16.2009

Things I Don't Understand

George Will put this graphic up this weekend on This Week With George Stephanopoulos to show how the current supply of money in the U.S. has taken off. (The source was the Federal Reserve Bank out of St. Louis.) How in the world is inflation not out of control?

I'm Pretty Sure This Is My Third Ex-Wife

Baby, I miss you. (If the video description is correct, it is from Spring Break 2009). Thanks, Keith.

My Crazy Thought On Time

(Edit: The picture is not of a basketball clock. Just demonstrates what a clock depicting hundredths of a second looks like.) I think about this every time during March Madness, but I've never posted it because it qualifies as Crazy Talk. Several years ago, someone with a big brain figured out that when the scoreboard clock rolled down from "0:01" to "0.00" there was actually still a second left on the clock. So they added tenths of seconds to the game clock. So instead of seeing the old countdown in seconds of 00:02 00:01 00:00 <----Horn sounds We now see this: 00:02.0 00:01.9 00:01.8 00:01.7 00:01.6 00:01.5 00:01.4 00:01.3 00:01.2 00:01.1 00:01.0 00:00.9 <-- This is where we used to see the four zeros and assumed game was over 00:00.8 00:00.7 00:00.6 00:00.5 00:00.4 00:00.3 00:00.2 00:00.1 00:00.0 <---Horn now sounds But here's my crazy issue: Once the tenth of a second goes to 0, isn't there a hundredth of a second that needs to be counted off as well? If we added another digit to the clock, and continued the countdown from the last example, we'd see this: 00.00.10 00:00.09 <---Where the horn sounds now 00:00.08 00:00.07 00:00.06 00:00.05 00:00.04 00:00.03 00:00.02 00:00.01 00:00.00 But here's where I really lose my mind. Can't we continue to add a digit every time our clock goes down to all zeros? For example, once the clock reaches 00:00.00, can't we now divide the last unit of time into thousands of a second starting with 00:00.009. And once we get down to 00:00.000 can't we start all over again with 00:00.0009? Does that make sense? It seems like that last second, if we continue to divide it up by adding an extra digit, would never end. My brain tells me that once a second passes a second passes, but it seems like we could always divide the last portion of it up just a little bit more. And, I'll admit, this is my nuttiest post ever. Edit: And this post is about time and the concept of slicing up time. Not about whether anything can possible be done on a basketball court within a fraction of a second. Edit: Thanks for (some of) the helpful comments. This really is akin to Zeno's Paradoxes -- something, I'll admit, I had never heard of.

Dallas Observor's Richie Whitt's House Is Haunted

I've always been a fan of Richie Whitt's writing, but he's put up a couple of posts over at his blog which are a bit unnerving. Part 1. (from early March) Part 2. (from earlier today)

Monday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Montage County Jail Makes National News Again With New AP Story

Link. I'm pretty sure all the Montague inmates are still in the Wise County jail.

The Wisdom Of Ann Curry via Twitter

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • The round table discussions on Sunday morning news shows are fairly interesting. The interviews that begin the show, not so much.
  • It would be cool if there were a reality show called "Hot Girls In Scary Places." Well, I'll be.
  • Baylor got invited to the play in the NIT. That's like being asked out to go to Denny's.
  • Fox 4 tells me that Lake Bridgeport is over 9 feet low?
  • The driver's license hearings I always go to are always held at 1:00 in the afternoon. But today, due to a weird course of events, they will have a special setting at 10:30 in the morning just for me.
  • I watched some of the Will Ferrell's HBO special, "You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George Bush." It was funny but not that funny.
  • I just saw on Facebook that a buddy I graduated from high school with is celebrating his 24th wedding anniversary today. That's shocking in at least a couple of ways.
  • I bought some black K-Swiss tennis shoes last summer. The moment I walked out of the store I had a little bit of regret and that feeling has never gone away.
  • But I saw a stylish black guy wearing the same shoes a couple of months later so that helped.
  • Getting on a bus to drive to Austin to "meet with legislators" does not sound like the way I would want to spend my day.
  • Last year, the Aggies made the NCAA Tournament as the 9th seed and they played BYU. This year, they ended up as the 9th seed and will play BYU.
  • I've never gone anywhere for "Spring Break."