Graduation Day

I went down to Baylor today for my niece's graduation -- And I hadn't been to a college graduation since my own. I took my camera and snapped a ton of photos. One thing my family always kids me about is my distaste for "posed photos." You know, the typical "walk over there and smile at the camera pic." I hate them simply because I'd rather capture a moment of raw emotion and candor. Which brings me to this pic. It's not the best in the world, but it's my favorite of the day. That's my brother and his daughter after sharing their first post-graduation hug. From there they simply turned and looked out over the auditorium. That's the Baylor seal far off in the background. It is a picture of emotion. At least it is for me.


I'm A Believer In Statistics And Polls

But what in the world has happened to cause this dramatic change? I also trust Yahoo but that second sentence doesn't make sense when compared to the graph.

Charles Barkley Kills A Man?

  • If you don't know who he is, just know he's a former NBA player who is a bad golfer.
  • If you know who he is (and his legendary golf swing), you couldn't wait to hit "play".
  • I don't know anything about golf, but weren't his feet lined up almost directly at the camera man?
  • The camera man almost got killed.
  • I like the little kid looking at his (presumably) dad with that, "He's not invincible, is he?" look.
  • I loved the guy who was hit simply yelling, "Ow!!!" two seconds after the fact.
  • That shot was turrrrible.

City of Denton Book In Photo Of The Day

They are throwing 17 year olds in the hoosegow for contempt of court? Sheesh. And since this is the City of Denton jail, I'm pretty sure the "court" was the Denton Municipal Court. Here's another 17 year old booked in for the same thing about 30 minutes later. He doesn't look too happy.

Friday Afternoon Pick Me Up

And she's a pro golfer. Plus, she's a Ruskie which makes her even hotter with that accent.

Girl Didn't Wear Underwear -- World Now Knows

Link. (The news story's embeddable video didn't embed at all.) Note to high schoolers: When you are going to get a group yearbook picture taken, remember it is a yearbook - not Maxim. Edit: CNN video here. Home girl still ain't sittin' properly.

From December 2005:

Well, now there has been a big development.

It's A Mystery

Yesterday, Chrysler fired off a press release listing all the to-be-closed dealerships. GM, at least as of noon, didn't handle it the same way causing media outlets to pull their collective hair out trying to figure out who got the axe. I haven't heard of a single one yet.

And Now Girls Jumping On Trampolines

I'm sure the web video doesn't do it justice, but Fox 4's very hawt Fiona Gorostiza bounced around on a trampoline this morning. Now if they'll only make that a daily gig instead of "Water Cooler Talk".

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Channel 8 covered Jackie Murphree's return to Texas from China yesterday.
  • There was a Euless motorcycle death last night. It had been kind of quiet on that front for a couple of weeks.
  • GM announces dealership closings today. There is no way in the world that James Wood Motors would be on the list. But wouldn't it be a Wise County earthquake if it was?
  • I don't think I've ever said this: There is nothing wrong with Texas Ranger pitching.
  • Richardson has elected a Muslim to its city council. Two words: Sleeper. Cell.
  • Video one: ESPN anchor giggles through marijuana story. Good times.
  • Video two: Minor league pitcher has a very difficult time trying to execute back to back intentional walks. Fail.
  • I looked through four marijuana criminal cases yesterday that have been filed in Wise County. As I thought about how much taxpayer dollars had been dedicated to each case it made me want to scream.
  • I managed to get a guy released from the Wise County Jail yesterday who had been transferred there after being granted parole from TDC. He had been imprisoned since 2005. His dad was giddy. (Oddly, he was being held here on hot check charges -- don't worry, the merchants got paid.)
  • Everyone was talking about Grey's Anatomy yesterday so I watched about 10 minutes of it last night. It seemed very soap operaree (my made up word.) Lots of the characters staring at one another as the show faded to commercial breaks.
  • Good observation from Jarhead this morning: "Isn't it funny how little kids run everywhere they go? Imagine what a goofy place the world would be if grown-ups did that as well."
  • There are now three sports radio station in Dallas. I promise you can get in your car in the last afternoon/early evening and click through all three and you'll hear commercials on each one.
  • A big law firm in Texas has slashed first year associates salaries by $15,000 due to the economy. Three observations: (1) I've never seen that happen before, (2) they still make more than everyone in Wise County, (3) their lives are an absolute beating.
  • I'm now considering a two week vacation year: Florida Keys in the summer and my drive through the South in the fall. (Driving through the South in the summer seems like a whipping.)
  • I'm driving down to Waco tomorrow - something I haven't done in quite a while. Everyone tells me I-35 is becoming incredibly congested. (But I think it's worse if you continued on to Austin or San Antonio.)
  • It's a graduation ceremony. I guess it would be rude to take a couple of magazines. Or would it?


Emergency Landing

The video was uploaded to youtube.com in April. How it didn't become national news (in a "by the way" segment 10 minutes into a newscast) is puzzling. Stolen from bagofnothing.com

Civil Court News

A trial just wrapped up at the Decatur courthouse where a guy sued TxDOT and Martin Truck Enterprises out of Boyd. The Plaintiff had broken some bones when his motorcycle hit some hydraulic fluid which had leaked from a TxDOT truck in Bryan/College Station. The verdict was for $761,800 with TxDOT being found 90% at fault and Martin Truck being found 10% at fault. In an exclusive interview* with the winning lawyer Lane D. Thibodeaux of Bryan, he said that TxDOT has a statutory cap of $250,000 and never offered to settle the case. Martin Truck had actually settled for $202,000 prior to trial (so they really didn't participate in it.) _________ *Meaning I was alone with him in the courtroom and asked, "Hey, what happened?"

Thursday Afternoon Pick Me Up

I'm often criticized in the comments for posting pics of girls which are simply too young for my advanced old still youthful age. First, they aren't too young for me, and I don't want to hear any of that "you are sooooo in denial" crap that my therapist throws in my face. Secondly, that's not true -- I don't discriminate against the older woman! Heck, it's not unusual for me to post a pic of a woman in her late 20s. I'm open minded like that. But today I will try to silence my critics by bringing you 43 year old Cindy Crawford. Change has truly come to Liberally Lean. (More of Ms. Crawford.)

Lady Dodges Deer

Fails to dodge mailbox. I'm trying to get details on this Wise County photo. Edit: It was taken on May 1st but it qualifies as "breaking news" to me. (Thanks emailer.)

Fast And Furious Closings

The list of 15 North Texas Chrysler dealerships on the chopping block has been released. Edit: The GM list has just been released. Will have it in a moment. Edit: I thought.

Message To The POleece: There Are Cameras Out There

This may be the slowest loading video ever (and you have to suffer through an ad) but it's all worth it if we can see a little police brutality. Background info including book in photo of the kickee (who is very overly tattoed.)

I'm Looking At The Wise County Felony Trial Docket For Next Month . . .

. . . and I see this "Cause no. 14855: Aiding Suicide". I've been doing this criminal law gig for over 20 years and I've never seen an Aiding Suicide case. So I looked it up. Did you know if the suicide is unsuccessful that the punishment carries with it no jail time and "up to a $500 fine"? But if the suicide was, uh, successful or resulted in "serious bodily injury" then it is a State Jail Felony (up to 2 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.)

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • A shocking number of high profile celebrities turn 40 this year.
  • CiCi's pizza has opened in Decatur. I love pizza. I eat it about once every two years.
  • With the oil field bust the county is seeing, I'm really worried about all of these hotels under construction.
  • Isn't it great when someone pulls you aside to tell you "what's really going on" in a hushed voice?
  • I don't understand news of GM deciding to close some dealerships. Either they are profitable and deserve to stay in business or they are not -- and they'd go out of business on their own.
  • Earlier this week there was a wreck on 287 that killed a Decatur man. There are remnants of the wreck - tire tracks to be exact - that come within feet of where a cross has been erected in honor of the Decatur High School student who died earlier this year in the same location.
  • I'm not sure I buy all this "affair" business between the parents of John and Kate Plus 8. They couldn't buy this much publicity.
  • Obama refuses to release photos of abuse of accused terrorist suspects (well, not formally accused but you know what I mean.) The ACLU cause him a flip flopper, but I don't mind a guy who is willing to change his mind.
  • Talked to someone yesterday who had taken a Mediterranean cruise. Apparently there were lots of Russians on the ship. I would never have guessed that.
  • A guy who doesn't get off work until after 6:00 p.m. and has toddlers at home probably doesn't see the kids awake a whole lot.
  • Mavericks lost. Or so I've heard.
  • The NBA season is too long. The Mav's first game was October 7th. If the Cowboys season were that long, they would have been playing football into last month.
  • The civil personal injury trial in Decatur was rapping up yesterday afternoon. I'll try to find out what happened. The defendants were TxDOT and some company out of Boyd that helps in the manufacturing process of TxDOT trucks.
  • First streaker at Mets' new stadium. The guy running the camera could star in Idiocracy.
  • Had a client yell a greeting at me from her car yesterday. I asked her what she was doing. "Just heading to probation," she replied. Good times.
  • The Dallas Chamber of Commerce has to love this statement from a deputy police chief: "I just don't recommend anybody being by themselves anywhere in the city [after dark]."
  • What is up with all the cussing? I was in a convenience store yesterday and a guy was talking on his cell phone and dropping F bombs left and right.


In Days Past: Unheard Of

The verdict came down this afternoon. If the story is correct, the State was seeking the death penalty. Think about that. The government wanted to kill this man, but a jury decided they would let him walk out of the courtroom. Oh, my. And I think he had been in jail since his arrest in March of 2006.

"The First Thing Lets Do . . . . ."

I can't tell you how much the legal profession has changed over the last 15 years. And if this goes through, it'll change even more. The more competent lawyers the better, but there are many out there now that
  • Have no idea what they are doing
  • Have never had a trial yet hold themselves out as a "trial lawyer."
  • Think a suit and tie/dress suit is a burden
  • Don't care to learn about changes or developments in the law
  • Will fire off a legal opinion simply because they hold a law license because they believe that fact, and that fact alone, makes them qualified to do so.
Now I feel grumpy. Should have posted an afternoon Pick Me Up instead.

I'm Using This Video . . .

. . . to teach me the Stanky Leg that I'll be throwing down on the dance floor at Frilly's this Saturday. Stanky Leg you say? Must I always be the one to lead Wise County into the future? Edit: The video has been removed. It was just a cute little toddler giving it the what-for dance on a counter top. I guess, and can only guess, that the parents got a little freaked out over the kid getting national attention.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Elba Garcia, Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas, is hot (not 'smoking hot' but 'hot') and sounds like Salma Hayek. (Saw her on Fox 4 last night.)
  • While driving home, I was passed by a new white Corvette with the customized license plate of "GOD IOU". Think that powered me down?
  • I can't tell you how crazy that made me.
  • I had the weirdest dream that I had bought a commercial trailer that came unhooked from my vehicle on a bridge -- blocking traffic for miles. I spent the entire night trying to find the title for the tow truck guy. And then I woke up exhausted.
  • And I think that's all because I watched 10 minutes of a civil trial yesterday that revolved around the connection between the front and back of a dump trunk.
  • Nothing wrong with the take-a-pic-of-yourself-in-the-mirror trick.
  • I bet the Mavs get destroyed tonight in Denver. And I think I might watch a little of it for the first time.
  • I should make this a whole post, but a guy was convicted yesterday in Tarrant County on a charge of "Terroristic Threat" for, after being led away in a courtroom for contempt, looking at the judge and saying, "Let's do it [Judge] Nekhom. It's you and me now." Please. (And the guy has already spent 90 days in jail over the charge.)
  • I said about three weeks ago that Miss California shouldn't shy away from the "controversy" but instead embrace it because of the publicity she'd get. Sheesh, did she ever do that. But she was a little over the top yesterday.
  • And it was so odd to see her on Sean Hannity last night as they shrugged off her topless pics as if it is no big deal for the normal holier-than-thou Fox Empire.
  • Some private citizens act like politicians in public. I distance from those folks. I mean really distance.
  • I'm now refrigerating my gummy bears.
  • From an Ann Curry tweet this morning: "As Oprah once told me about changing the world, 'We can only do what we can do, and that is what we should do.'" I'm. Losing. Consciousness.


Wise County Signage

Grandy's in Rhome: Church in Newark: (Thanks emailer)

"He Got Weed! He Got Weed!"

We just had a spirited debate at the ol' courthouse about this subject: If you had to sentence a person to the local county jail for the first time possession of what you kids call "a joint", how many days, if any, do your realistically think is fair? The current Texas law says "up to 180 days." Consider the defendant to have no criminal record and that there is no question that he possessed the small amount of marijuana. And, if you want to get specific, he has two days credit from the time he was arrested until the time he bonded out of jail. I'll probably put a poll up later if there's enough interest.

Google Ramps It Up

Just a quick educational video here, folks. Just when you thought The Google couldn't get any better, it has. This video shows how the company has just expanded its results page to give you a variety of options to further refine the search. Sound boring? It really isn't. And check out when he talks about the Wonder Wheel option. (And an unrelated trick: If you add the word "wiki" to your search, the Wikipedia entry will be the first one returned by Google.)

Midday Courthouse Mind Bursts

  • There's some civil trial going on in the district courtroom, and I'm about to check it out. There aren't many civil cases that actually go to trial anymore.
  • A Fort Worth lawyer delivered a fancy cake to the courthouse this morning. You don't see that very often.
  • When it is busy, there is absolutely no room where you can get any privacy. An annex is coming one of these days.
  • And it was so humid in the hallways that I felt like Matthew McConaughey in A Time To Kill. (All offices are have a/c but not the common areas.)
  • Saw this exchange: Defendant: "Have you watched my video?" Lawyer: "You gotta pay me first, bud."
  • It's really rare to hear a cell phone go off even in the hallway.
  • I remember when DPS used to office in the basement. That's where I went to take my new driver's test.
  • There used to be an old wheelchair in a dark corner of the basement. Creepy.
  • There are now surveillance cameras everywhere.
  • Even though it's small, most people get lost trying to get down the stairs if it is their first visit.
Edit: The civil trial is a bit odd. It's a personal injury case based upon an accident in College Station in 2006. (Yeah, I'm not sure what the Wise County connection is yet.) Looks like it is a guy in his 60s who broke a couple of bones when his vehicle (motorcycle?) hit some hydraulic fluid that allegedly leaked out of a TxDOT vehicle. I think TxDOT is the actual defendant.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Decatur fire truck sirens at 7:46 a.m. With all that fog out there, that's probably not good.
  • A kid from a private Christian school was suspended for attending a secular prom with his girlfriend at a different school? I have no problem with that. Private institutions bossing people around who have voluntarily decide to associate with them seems reasonable. Government bossing you around, on the other hand, would be a different story.
  • Isn't it weird how some people consider you to be the equivalent of the Plague yet others light up when you enter the room?
  • I think I observe the world for 95% of the time and live in it for the remainder. I need to work on that.
  • Whenever you see something that symbolizes the dumbing down of America, it is referred to as "Idiocracy" (after the movie.) I saw a bit of it last night at the grocery store.
  • Karl Rove gave the commencement address at Texas Tech School of Law a couple of days ago. Really.
  • Crazy sight: A huge runway baggage container was sucked into one of the jumbo jet's engines at LAX yesterday.
  • I'm headed down to Baylor this weekend for my niece's graduation.
  • With changes in the law regarding court appointment of attorneys and Wise County's skyrocketing criminal cases, I'd love to know the amount the county spent on indigent legal representation fees last year. It has to be exploding.
  • Note to Wise County Messenger: That would be a good story.
  • And we don't have a skyrocketing criminal docket because of more crime, it's because you will get arrested for the slightest of transgressions these days.
  • A soldier in Iraq flipped out yesterday and killed five other soldiers. The Drudge Report had a great yet disturbing headline for the story: "Full Metal Jacket."
  • Limited interest: I saw Margaret Hoover ("Republican Strategist") and Gretchen Carlson (co-host of "Fox and Friends") in a debate on Bill O'Reilly last night. Dumbest. Women. Ever?
  • Mark Cuban rant: (1) He tells one of the Nugget's player's mom on Saturday that her son is a "thug", (2) the mom is at the AAC last night and taunted by fans, (3) Cuban finally apologizes to her on his blog last night at 1:30 a.m. You couldn't just have walked over to her last night and said you're sorry? That guy is classless.
  • And Cuban won' be in Denver tomorrow night for Game 5 citing a prior engagement. Riiiight.


Little Did We Know

The movie Hannibal, the gawd awful sequel to the brilliant Silence Of The Lambs, included this scene/screenshot when a detective was trying to track down the famous killer. The film was released in 2001 but before 9/11. And, yep, that's "Usama." (Photo of poor quality since it's of my TV.)

Can We Throttle Back On "Breaking News"?

In other news, I had a headache earlier. Then I recovered. That was the 105th case of Headache Head in the county that was confirmed today. (From the Update.)

For The Sweet, Clean Ticket Listener

Link. And for the non-Ticket folks, Williams was raised in Boyd.

Wreck News

Looks like we've got a big one in Decatur and the "JP has been called." Never a good sign. Anyone know anything? Edit: Might have been someone pulling out of McMaster New Holland to go northbound on 287. But that's uncomfirmed.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • There was a special on the History Channel last night about Angels and Demons. Now I want to go to Rome. Not Rhome. Rome.
  • And the movie looks about as bad as the Da Vinci Code. It's just impossible to transfer those books into movies because it requires the characters to walk around and give history lessons every step of the way. It's interesting, but not natural.
  • Welcome to Dallas where we run over you and then go through your pockets.
  • Crazy Texas Mom. I'm not sure how I found that blog but she is brutally honest. She'll make you laugh. She'll make you cry. She could be a professional writer.
  • I feel weird walking outside in a robe.
  • I can't tell you how much I despise Mark Cuban. Classless.
  • I think, in the end, Lebron James will be considered to be better than Michael Jordan.
  • Wanda Sykes was funny at the White House Correspondent's Dinner this weekend. (Either you already now about it or you could couldn't care less.)
  • Channel 5 had a story on LeaseTrader.com which allows you to "have someone else assume your car lease." First, I wonder if that's a paid commercial disguised as a news story. Second, if I'm the company leasing you the car, I'm not letting you shift the responsibility of paying to some third party.
  • I'm insane now: The Simpsons' theme song done a capella.
  • 44 cents for a stamp? And how can I feel that it is both ripoff and a bargain at the same time?
  • Somebody plowed into a guardrail on 287 south of Decatur over the weekend. Amazingly, the always confusing "Guardrail Damage Ahead" signs are already out.
  • Star Trek's opening weekend was a whopping $72.5 million. I like the original Star Trek even though I detest all science fiction (including any subsequent Star Trek tv series.)
  • Remember when Channel 11 was an independent channel?
  • Some guy had his tenant's rent check bounce and then complained to everyone except the United Nations that our local DA won't prosecute. Note to guy: Don't use a prosecutor as your own private collection agency.