blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: 8/9/09 - 8/16/09

8.15.2009

The Dog Days Of Summer

But things change.

Restaurant Review

I'm a horrible restaurant reviewer because I'm really not that big of a fan of food. Weird, huh? I think I've got a deadened tongue or something because unless it's spicy, it's all the same to me. But that won't stop me. This place is right off Western Center Boulevard as you head into Fort Worth. Take a right and its right there in a new, 90% vacant, strip mall. The atmosphere is really odd. It's dark and eclectic but also has three big flat screens showing sports. You don't know whether to wear shorts or slacks -- and there were plenty of both. Food: Hey, they've got a ton of sushi selections and a ton of other stuff. I went with the Korean Spicy Chicken in honor of Clinton and Kim Jung Il. And the prices were a heck of a lot cheaper than I expected. Also, if you are a high tone martini drinker, you're in luck. They specialize in that stuff. Verdict: Thumbs up. (The full menu is available on the web site link above.)

8.14.2009

Video Game Talk

I've really got nothing since I was in hearings all day trying to defend some constitutional rights while they still exist. But I thought I'd post this clip from the new Madden '10 that's coming out. I don't play video games, and I don't even own an XBox or Playstation or whatever they are called these days. It's not that I think they are stupid, it's that I'm afraid I'd get sucked into that phenomenon never to return. I mean, look at those graphics above. Sheesh, when I was a kid, my video football game was this thing which had an object of getting a beeping red slash from one side of the screen to the other. And I loved it. I used to make an NFL playoff bracket and sit in my room for hours with the thing. Told ya I had nothing.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • A true "home invasion" robbery would be terrifying. (There was one last night in Oak Cliff -- and you hear about them more and more.)
  • Sports: Cowboys got killed in a meaningless preseason game, Tiger Woods still great as he leads the PGA Championship, Michael Vick gets a second chance with the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Rangers play a very meaningful series this weekend against the Red Sox as they battle for the wild card. Highlights at 10:00.
  • I strained my back mowing the lawn but it's in a weird place -- mid level, far right. At least I know it's not a disc. Maybe.
  • I went half the day yesterday before I realized the guy that shot himself while driving near Newark and then was hit by a train survived. That'll be a good story to tell his grandkids.
  • Kelly Clarkson photoshopped for Self magazine. I'm guessing she knows where Fred's hamburger joint is (callback reference from yesterday.)
  • My Costa Rica trip for January is still a go but, man, flights there are outrageous. Anyone know any tricks? I've got an email notifier every week for changes in rates but I'm getting a big bag of nothing.
  • The Town Hall screaming sessions are now giving me Tired Head.
  • Things I don't understand: Tarrant County foreclosure postings are up for six month in a row but Perot's Hillwood company just announced that it will build 78 homes in the Heritage division in North Fort Worth.
  • Ticket Fans: The Ed Carter bit may be my favorite.
  • Steve Lamb on WBAP this morning talking about a few players in baseball who have been released this year but are still being paid: "They must have great agents!" Sheesh. Every major league baseball contract is guaranteed. It's not a great agent. It's a great union.

8.13.2009

Fleeing From Police In Detroit = Firey Crash Today

I've got a question. Did that van intentionally strike the fleeing vehicle?

Friday Afternoon Pick Me Up (Edit: The Day Could Be Wrong. I'm Checking)

It's for because of posts like this that landed my me a Pulitzer.* _________________ *Worst. Sentence. Ever.

For Those Of You . . .

. . . who plan on becoming charter members in the "Fiona Gorostiza Stalking Club TM" (dues include my personal defense of any Protective Order you get slapped with), you might want to check her out singing "What I Like About You" at the studios of FM 92.5. It's not as good as her bopping around on the stage of the Fox 4 studio, but it will do.

My Ann Curry Obsession Continues

Yeah, I've got an unhealthy obsession with Ann Curry. She just drives me nuts and always has (in a bad way.) But I got a kick out of hearing on The Today Show this morning that she wasn't at the news desk because she was "on assignment." Then, at about 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, she fires off the above "tweet."

Traffic Ticket Talk

Most people don't know that it is not a crime in Texas to travel in excess of the posted speed limit so long as the speed is "reasonable and prudent under the circumstances." But the State starts with the presumption that a speed over the speed limit is "prima facie evidence" that the speed is unreasonable. (I explained this before here.) That being said, a conversation with someone in authority yesterday got me thinking. He said that to be traveling at a speed that is "reasonable" requires some proof that there is a "reason" for the excessive speed. That is, "reasonable" conduct means there is a "reason" for your conduct. In everyday language, is that what "reasonable" means?

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Fox 4 reporter Emily Lopez has a whole lot of Ann Curry "fake concern" in her.
  • I watched a traffic ticket trial yesterday in Wise County where the defendant won because the officer couldn't say for sure if the guy sitting at the table was the same person he wrote the ticket to. That was an honest officer.
  • Our DA, Greg Lowery, was not pleased with me for leaving out what he felt were critical facts in my post about the dope trial yesterday. That job will beat you down in a hurry.
  • I will go to my grave believing the War on Drugs is the dumbest thing this country has ever done. You right wingers don't want the government running our health care system, but you want it to have enough power to lock someone up for smoking a joint on their couch in their home. Makes no sense.
  • I have to admit I really didn't know anything about Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
  • What was with the weird claymation like recreation of a missing person on the local news last night?
  • I think I've found a time to visit the new Cowboys' Stadium: There will be four high school games
  • I can't find the link on the Star Telegram's confusing web site, but some place named "Fred's" won the best burger competition. I'm not familiar with it.
  • Tried to stop by the new Flip's off of Western Center Boulevard on Friday two weeks ago. Every parking space was taken.
  • My dreams have become really bad lately. They aren't nightmares, just stressful. And I wake up breathing hard with tense shoulders.
  • I watched a staff member of one of the prosecutors up at the courthouse field an angry phone call from some out of town lawyer. I can easily proclaim that he was one stupid lawyer. Rule #1: Never hack off the member of a staff of a prosecutor.
  • That being said, for the first time in years I snapped at someone in the County Attorney's office yesterday. I spent the next hour apologizing. (I think everyone was worried that I was losing it--which might be true.)
  • If Channel 8 were to leave Victory Park, it would be a ghost town of biblical proportions.
  • Maybe this is the cause of my sleeping problems.
  • Bridgeport Main Street has joined Twitter. Bet that's going to be riveting.

Newark Always Has Crazy News

Link.

8.12.2009

Motorcycle Deaths Update

We had two in Tarrant County yesterday. The first one involved the lady above, who was allegedly drunk at 10:40 in the morning, and who has now been charged with murder. Normally, the charge would be Intoxication Manslaughter, a second degree felony, which carries with it a range of punishment of 2 to 20 years. But the State was able to get creative and charge her with first degree murder because, while she was committing a felony, she also committed "an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual." Penal Code § 19.02(a)(3). So what was the underlying felony she was committing since DWI is normally a misdemeanor? Felony DWI. DWI gets ramped up to a felony if a person has at least two prior convictions for DWI and the State says she has that history. (It's confusing, but this charge happens all the time in this situation.) The other motorcycle death allegedly involved the cyclist doing something reckless when he ran into a FedEx tractor-trailer. I'm told that the driver of the truck is a Wise County resident.

Texas Tech Groom Cake

I don't think these photos have been widely circulated (I received them in an email.) That man must love the Red Raiders. And the bride must have a sense of humor. But I noticed that the scoreboard displays the score against the University of Texas from last year. I like Tech, too, but I fear for them when they go to Austin on September 19th. (Thanks, Matt.)

Decatur Dope Trial Update

Man, this is a weird one. Although I'm dangerously unaware of a lot of the facts, the jest of the case is this: A search warrant is run on the defendant's house (where she may or may not have been living since her husband died). Cops find a substance that might be methamphetamine and some vials of morphine (the vials have a doctor's name on it.) The best I can tell, the stuff was found in either a safe or a lockbox that, I think, the cops had to break into. The case gets indicted for Possession of Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine of 4-200 grams. Here's the part I'm not sure about: I think the case was indicted and filed before the lab report came back (I think that's nuts, but I've seen it happen.) Anyway, the lab comes back negative meaning that it was not methamphetamine after all. But the morphine was in fact morphine. So the prosecution amends the indictment to change "methamphetamine" to "morphine." But the case really sucks. First, morphine is just a weird drug to illegally possess. In fact, this may be the first one I've ever heard of in Wise County. Secondly, the defendant's husband had multiple hospital stays where he legally received morphine injections. The nurse's notes even indicated he requested morphine at the hospital in lieu of other pain killers. So although it would be illegal for the husband to later possess the morphine without a prescription (he didn't have one -- the doctor whose name was on the vials had never heard of him), it's not exactly the crime of the century. More importantly, the fact that the husband illegally obtained the morphine doesn't mean his wife/defendant possessed the morphine. The defendant, 51, testified yesterday that she basically moved out of the house when her husband died and she had not moved a thing. She says she had no idea there was morphine in the safe, that he ran the house, but that he was in excruciating pain over the last couple of years of his life. The place was a dump, she's dirt poor, and she is the most pathetic looking soul you've I've seen in a long time. She has no prior felony convictions. The jury might just cut her loose. But she is a heck of a gambler. If convicted, the range of punishment is 5 to 99 years/life in prison (more proof the War on the Drugs is stupid). The DA's office, realizing the case has a number of issues, offered her 5 years deferred adjudication probation to the lesser offense of a State Jail Felony. (That means if she successfully completed the probation, she wouldn't have a conviction. If she screwed it up, the maximum sentence would be 2 years.) But she turned the plea bargain down!! Developing . . . Edit: The jury found her "not guilty" Edit #2: I'd like to point out that the DA is of the strong opinion that I left out many relevant facts and, had I revealed those facts, it would be clear that the case was worthy of having a jury decide as opposed to dismissing it. (For instance, a small amount of methamphetamine was found next to the morphine, that a scale(s) were found in the home, and there were remnants of a possible methamphetamine manufacturing process. )

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • When you think of it, Sarah Palin needs to find a job to help the unemployment numbers.
  • I have no idea what The Time Traveler's Wife is about.
  • I think the country is finally turning the corner into the era of enlightenment. Fifty years from now, much like we look back in astonishment at the concept of black and white water fountains (well, some of us at least), future citizens will shake their collective heads at how backwoods we have been.
  • I wonder if I can get on one of those "Obamacare Death Panels" that the far right talks about? I'm pretty good at decision making.
  • I've got my AC on remote control (you know, raise the temperature when I'm gone and have it cooler when I return.) Great invention.
  • Low quality video of Fox 4's Chip Waggoner, Evan Andrews, and Fiona Gorostiza in a band. If that Fiona chick jazzes you, you'll like it.
  • Does Jerry Jones wear a hairpiece? The controversial evidence.
  • Schedule for a regular practice day during two-a-days for the Evil Empire. Sheesh.
  • There's a guy exposing himself to kids in McKinney. Two things, Fox 4's Tim Ryan called him a "pervert" this morning (always makes me laugh), and he was last seen at the intersection of Abbey Road and Penny Lane (developer obviously a Beatles fan.)
  • I always go to the mail box with a feeling of excitement and never have that excitement satisfied.
  • I've got a post about the current Decatur dope trial that will go up at 9:00 a.m.
  • College football news: A team 30 miles from Decatur ranks at the top of ESPNS's "Worst Top 10" list, and Tech's Mike Leach will be on the cover of Texas Monthy wearing a pirate eye patch.

8.11.2009

Messenger Preview

The Messenger will have this blurb in tomorrow's paper (be sure to run out and buy a copy since I'm stealing from it and want to make up for it.) But I've got a legal question. A basic rule of criminal law is that the county wherein the offense took place is the county that has jurisdiction of the crime. You assault someone in Wise County, you're going to the Decatur courthouse. You assault someone in Tarrant County, you're going to the Fort Worth courthouse. But this guy was arrested for a crime that allegedly occurred in Mexico? I can't imagine that the Mexican authorities are going to track down a simple assault defendant in the United States. And I don't think any judge in the United States can issue a warrant for a crime that occurred in a different country. Something seems wrong. Edit: Thanks to a commenter, it was pointed out that the Star Telegram had the story last Friday and clears up any confusion.

Afternoon Pick Me Up: Sophie Monk At The Beach

After A Lull, It's Motorcycle Chaos Today

Here and here. (Both in Tarrant County.) Edit: At 7:06 p.m., the Messenger's Update reported a Wise County motorcycle incident.

Denton County Angry Mob

This idea was kind of a funny concept, but not the best in execution. But I couldn't get over the fact that most of the protesters interviewed didn't quite grasp that the guy was doing a bit. Credit: Denny Crane.

War On Drugs: The Battle Contines

Looks like we've got a dope trial going on in Decatur and, once this thing gets going, I'll let you in on a little background. Trust me, it's got some insanity to it. But we've got a six man/six woman jury which includes one guy wearing shorts and, thank goodness, an African-American. And we have a visiting judge from Denton presiding.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I'm sick of seeing "inspirational quotes" all over the place. Ann Curry's twitter feed is full of them.
  • I've never heard of a crime called "Disregard Police Officer" but a black guy in Denton got arrested for it yesterday. (Source).
  • On Sunday I posted the video of the "tire gone wild" almost striking a constable. Yesterday a loose tire killed a construction worker in Lewisville.
  • You right wingers were in a lynching mood yesterday based upon your comments.
  • G.I. Joe led the box office over the weekend with $54 million? You've got to be kidding.
  • There really aren't any movie type of movies made any more. It's either mass explosions, animations, or silly comedies. No Country For Old Men was a rare exception. (Here are the box office leaders so far this year to prove my point.)
  • I'd like to be placed under house arrest.
  • If the street construction around the square in Decatur is costing over a million dollars, we ain't getting our money's worth.
  • I watched most of the the Teen Choice Awards last night. Our future does not look bright.
  • My weekdays are very Groundhog Day like.
  • Jarhead's guest blogger suggests, rightly so, that we 'mericans don't know much about Canada and Mexico. (Jarhead, when reached for comment, could only mumbled "get me more tequila and a donkey.")
  • Do not mess with Hillary. (If you haven't seen this, you must.)
  • Legal drinking age map.
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi caught a little heat yesterday when she called the protesters at the town hall meetings "un-American." She's wrong. Yelling, name calling, and refusing to listen is distinctively American.

8.10.2009

Confusing Pic Of The Day

Jimmy Johnson and a box of one dollar bills. Edit: Uh, oh. Tony Romo met Eva Longoria today.

It's Race Talk Monday

"A 67-year-old Arlington woman convicted last week of hitting a neighbor in the face with a 2-by-4 after shouting racial slurs and threats was sentenced on Monday to 180 days in jail and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine." This one was really complicated legally. The DA charged her with Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon and also sought an "affirmative finding" by the jury that "the defendant intentinally selected the person against whom the offense was comitted . . . because of the defendant's bias or prejudice against a group identified by race [or] color." If they pulled that off, she would have been guilty of a First Degree Felony and subject to a term of confinement of 5 to 99 years/life (but could receive probation if she had no prior felony convictions.) But the jury found that no Deadly Weapon had been used and found her guilty of a Class A misdemeanor of assault. However, they did find that it was a hate crime. This finding meant that the range of punishment became 180 days to 1 year in jail with the possibility of probation. But if probation was granted, the judge, by law, had to impose 90 days in jail as a condition of the probation. (Told you it was confusing.) I think this is why the defense lawyers didn't even argue for probation. If they were to get it, the defendant would still have to do 90 days in jail. So since the Tarrant County Jail gives 3 for 1 credit, they sought the minimum jail time only and got it. In 60 days, she'll be out. Considering what the prosecution was seeking, I'd call that a defense win.

Wholesomeness Taking A Beating

First Josh "I Am Second" Hamilton gets caught in a scandal, and tonight you can see Hannah Montana on a stripper pole at the Teen Choice Awards. You guys were right, this country has been going downhill ever since we elected a black president.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Universal shotgun sound. Had to use.
  • I wonder how many of the "protesters" in the town hall meetings already have private insurance. And I wonder how many of the older protesters that have Medicare understand they they are taking advantage of a government health plan.
  • Elvis made 31 movies and you never see one of them on TV.
  • I mentioned last week that Giant's QB Eli Manning had a new contract with $35 million guaranteed. I had forgotten that Detroit's first round draft pick Matthew Stafford, who has never thrown a pass in the NFL, received guaranteed money of $41 million.
  • And for those fans of the bikini clad girls, this is how the same Matthew Stafford celebrated this summer.
  • Justice Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday but 31 Republican senators voted against her. Bush spent 8 years bending over backwards to include the Hispanics and now the GOP runs them off in less than a year.
  • Note to my Hispanic Texas friends: Remember when you next go to vote that Texas Republican Senators Cornyn and Hutchison voted against Sotomayor
  • When Sotomayor was sworn in on Saturday by Justice Roberts, Roberts read the oath of office to her. He must have learned from his screw up when he swore in President Obama.
  • A horrible auto accident involving a police chase in California over the weekend that you may not have heard about.
  • College football note (and I'm so happy it's nearly arrived): UNT will go to Alabama on September 18th. Ugh.
  • There's a "Rocky's Bar" in the Comfort Suites in Bridgeport that has live acts? (See August 27th date). Edit: LINK FIXED.
  • I had a dream that I was giving a closing argument and jurors were twittering -- and I was getting killed.
  • Comments on Denton book-in twitpic. http://twitpic.com/d8ksk
  • I'm sure you've seen the Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton bar pics by now. Wow. When that man falls off the wagon, he really falls off the wagon. (Here is the amazing Sports Illustrated article from last year chronicling his wheels off life.)