Apartment fire in Runaway Bay sounds like a big one. Several fire departments responding. Developing . . . Edit: Thanks emailer for the pics. Looks like the condos. Edit #2: You guys can stop dogging the Messenger, they've got some incredible pictures up of this fire.

Kinda Fun

With the major snowstorm going on in the northeast, it's kinda fun to see what pictures folks are uploading on twitter. You can go here, refresh often, and click on the twitpic links in each of the posts.


Double Hex: Home Burglarized Of Bridgeport Locker Injury Boy

Although it's a little confusing that the home is in Azle. Story.

Bush and Chaney Cheney Would Have Never Let That Happen

We would have had tanks rolling into Tehran by sundown. You can do lots of things, but don't take our oil. Story.

Breaking: Local Democratic Party Has Been Taken Off Life Support

Coming into next year's elections, there were only three Democrats holding office in Wise County. (This list doesn't include those not on next year's ballot who are also Republican: District Attorney, Commissioner #1 and Commissioner #3). Earlier this year, JP #1 Jan Morrow switched from Democrat to Republican. Since then, Mark Autry announced his retirement and only Republicans have filed to fill his position. That left District Clerk Christy Fuqua. But no longer. Today she filed as a Republican. In the comments, don't personally attack Christy because I like her. (Yeah, that's unfair, but it's Friday.) In her defense, it's the only way she could retain that office. The shocking number of straight ticket Republican voters - 1 out of every 4 voters - make it impossible to win as a Democrat in the land of Liberally Lean. Edit: I have confirmed, that as of today, there is not a single Democrat that has filed for any of the local races. Edit #2: Local Republican Chair Allen Williamson stands over the bloody battlefield and proclaims, "I am pleased."

News That Confuses Me

Mall "officials" can just seize my merchandise simply because they find it offensive? And what's up with this sentence: "[T]he kiosk owner could pick up the confiscated shirts later but probably would have to pay a fine." A fine? What the what?

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • The locker-falls-on-kid-in-Bridgeport story was on Fox 4 News last night. (Video). I'm surprised school administrators talk to the press so freely about it. Edit: Whoever gave the hot legal opinion in the comments, you're wrong. There is limited immunity, but not in the way you state.
  • I've never experienced a White Christmas. And I've never experienced a Christmas Day outside of Wise County.
  • Did you see the guy named Kenneth Bain testifyduring his trial before a judge in his accidentally killing two cyclists with his car? I felt sorry for the guy. He received 2 years in a state jail in one case followed by 10 years of probation in the other.
  • The case had some problems: Although the defendant had marijuana in his system, his blood alcohol level was only .05. Edit: A commentor tried to school me on retrograde extrapolation. Sorry, hoss, it ain't that easy.
  • The judge did something interesting: Since he had the right to access 180 extra days in jail as a condition of the probation, he broke that down to 18 days a year to be served, in part, around the birthdays of the victims.
  • A camera's megapixel capacity doesn't seem to be a big selling point anymore.
  • I've got a female friend who traveled last night to Vail where she will spend three nights alone in a nice cabin until her family arrives. I'm envious.
  • Heck of a tanker truck fire on the tollway last night. (Amateur video which always seems better than professional video).
  • I've not seen one crazy and unstable Santa-giving-the-baby-Jesus a present yard display this year. That makes me sad.
  • I've got a case that involves three Wise County DPS troopers, three arrests, and firetruck and ambulance personnel who were called out to check on one of the arrested folks when he became light headed. And what crime prompted this massive taxpayer expenditure: A misdemeanor amount of marijuana.
  • The indictment referenced in today's Update happened a week ago.
  • For Ticket fans only.
  • Only nine death sentences in Texas this year. What? Are we no longer barbarians?
  • Why can't wallets and purses come with cheap GPS tracking devices to locate them if lost? Note to self: Patent that.
  • Bad Metroplex Police: Alleged-intoxicated-manslaughter-cop and provide-alcohol-to-minors-and-watch-porn cop.
  • Update on my "not guilty" prediction in a Tarrant County murder trial: The jury has not reached a decision after nine hours. They reconvene today. Edit: Verdict reached. Prediction = Fail.
  • This has been criminal news intensive.
  • Is there a word that describes when-I-do-this-with-hyphens?


I'm Pretty Sure I've Not Seen This At Fit N WIse

This pic is all over the Internet ever since rapper/singer/artist/actor Ice T's girlfriend "CoCo" posted it on her Twitter feed yesterday. Let it be an inspiration to us all.

If You've Got A 5th Grader In Bridgeport

You might want to check this out.

Top 10 Quotes Of The Year

Do you remember them? (Answers) 1. "Keep your government hands off my Medicare." [I had no idea on this one.]

2. "We're going to be in the Hudson."

3. "There's an app for that."

4. "You lie!"

5. "The Cambridge police acted stupidly."

6. "I'm going to let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!"

7. "Um, you guys said that we, um, did this for the show."

8. "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel.'"

9. "The governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail."

10. "You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Crazy Baylor student suicide attempt.
  • Wallet missing: Day Five. I'm officially suspending the search.
  • Random question: If a web site asks for a credit card, can you use your debit card if it has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it? Hotel reservations work the same way?
  • I saw a movie advertised as the "the winner of three Golden Globe nominations." Can you "win" a "nomination"?
  • My cheek twitch ratcheted up yesterday and then suddenly stopped. I almost got concerned.
  • Westlake guys were fired for playing Fantasy Football? The official reason was "it's gambling." A better reason would have been: "Company time waste."
  • Whenever I see a story like that I wonder if the company was just looking for an excuse to can someone.
  • I don't think the jungle house that I'm staying in in Costa Rica has air conditioning. This will be interesting.
  • I walked around the North Texas campus during a break in the seminar on Friday. I think finals were about to begin and everyone seemed tense. It made me tense.
  • I really don't think I consider anyone my enemy. There may be people that really don't like me, but the feeling is not mutual.
  • I got a little emotional near the end of the half marathon. It was a combination of "I can actually do this!" vs. "There will come a day when I won't be able to do this." It made me appreciate the moment.
  • No one, and I mean no one, has any earthly idea as to the impact of the details of the health care reform bill.
  • I'm surprised there aren't more "group societies" in America. You know, a group of folks that just say "screw it all", move into a group setting on private land, grow their own food, educate their own children, and are otherwise self-sufficient. Maybe the Amish have it right after all.
  • There's a huge new Academy Sports store at 377 and North Tarrant Parkway.
  • Hot jury prediction on a Fort Worth case that I haven't followed closely enough to make a prediction on: Not Guilty.


Who Is Running Scared Now?

What the heck? The Baylor Bear official site has Baylor going to TCU on September 4th to play the Horned Frogs. And that wasn't the only web site to say so. Yep, the only conclusion is that TCU is just a little nervous about the Big 12 Bears coming to town. I knew it.

Wise County Courthouse At Night

See, I'm feeling all Christmaseeeeeee. (Thanks, Tony.) Edit:

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • It's official: The new Fox 4 Good Day news girl has no personality.
  • Not so exciting news: A bunch of kids were arrested for selling marijuana and Ritalin at TCU. Sheesh. Students use Ritalin in connection with studying. Really.
  • My cheek began to twitch yesterday and is even doing so this morning. It's enough to make me want to Google it.
  • Cute Decatur baby.
  • Joe Lieberman is a drama queen and should be hated by Republicans and Democrats alike.
  • Iran test fired another missile this morning. They may be drama queens as well.
  • For the first time in Wise County history (I'm pretty sure), there is a chance for every county and local district office to be occupied by a Republican after next year's elections.
  • Heard on The Ticket: Whatever happened to those pet stores in the mall?
  • I would never watch The George Lopez Show (the guy is never, ever funny) and the commercials for the program are painful to watch. He's kind of like a guy who was born Hispanic, but has no ties to Hispanic culture, and now acts like he thinks Hispanics act. Does that make sense?
  • Finally finished Season 3 of The Wire. Verdict: Disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high.
  • Oral Roberts died yesterday, and I watched a heck a lot of the Oral Roberts Show on Sunday mornings as a kid. He had really throttled back his faith healing by then and came across as fairly normal. But his son Richard always creeped me out.
  • Proof the Miley Cyrus's little sister will turn out more screwed up than she is.
  • Time magazine announced it's Person of the Year this morning: Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke. He always comes across as not being near as smart as he thinks he is.
  • Had someone next door to my office open up a wrongly delivered Christmas gift by UPS, and then sent it over with the note, "You almost didn't get this back." I presume that means it'll be a good gift.
  • Most disturbing crime story of the season.
  • Sports: There's a report that the Big Ten may seek to add Notre Dame as a member of the conference and, if that fails, go after Big 12 member Missouri. The latter would open up a spot in the Big 12 which leads to the obvious choice of TCU. I pray that happens.


Pictures of Wise County Republican Party Blowout

http://wiserepublican.org/Christmas/Party.html Edit: Some of you can't see the pictures, but they are there. I think they are so huge that if you have a slow connection it takes a while before any of them begin to appear.

Barry (from iPhone)

I'm Not Sure I Understand The Controversy

This poster is being used by a the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (there is one?) to encourage minorities to take part in the census. It's been called "blasphemous." I'm not exactly sure why.

Wise County Fashion Poll

After much coaxing this morning, I was able to get this shot of the knee of an unnamed courthouse employee. The issue is: Are these hose appropriate for work with heels and a skirt? She says "no" which is why she hides them under a long skirt and boots. I promised to throw the issue open to my fashion conscious Wise County readers.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I cannot find my wallet. Any where. But I learned you can "freeze" your credit card to give a man a chance to find it without having to cancel the number.
  • I went back to the convenience store in Fort Worth where I last used it and asked the clerk if a black wallet had been left behind the day before. In Mafia like fashion, he immediately shook his head and said, "No." I looked at him like I thought he was lying (or apathetic) and asked if he had a "lost and found box". He replied with the same smirking, "No." He probably didn't steal it, but I get some satisfaction in believing that he did.
  • I never lose my wallet. I'll misplace it for half a day, but never lose it.
  • I saw a guy going through a divorce argue with his lawyer in the Decatur courthouse hallway yesterday. "It's a verbal contract!!!!" the lawyer yelled. "I don't have $9,000!" the client yelled back. Neither one of them were in control. Of themselves.
  • I had my client tell me, "I don't like the vibe in this place" in referring to the courthouse. Tell me about it, bruther.
  • AnObiter wrote yesterday that she stayed in bed until noon because "sometimes, you just gotta." Good for her. Most of us don't have that choice, do we?
  • Five people have filed to run for JP #3: Mandy Lynn Hays, Harold W. Lisby, David W. Montgomery, Chad Hightower and Bill Burdock. Is the economy that bad?
  • I'd think a lot more of professional athletes visiting a children's hospital if they didn't notify the press beforehand.
  • I haven't seen the Geico pothole commercial in a week or so.
  • Every review I see of George Clooney's "Up In The Air" is outstanding.
  • The Golden Globes, which are far more entertaining and more relevant that the Academy Awards, announced its nominations this morning.
  • The U.S. would be less likely to declare war if a mandatory draft was (were?) required to go along with it.
  • That being said, Congress has yet to officially declare war on Iraq, Afghanistan, or even the Taliban.
  • Cute Denton book-in photos of the week: This and This.
  • I don't know any guy that uses "aftershave."
  • I saw these girls along the half marathon path and smiled.
  • I missed yesterday that the Messenger actually had the guest list (pdf) of those attending the Wise County Republican Christmas party.
  • Guy runs over road signs in a Hummer. How absolutely dumb can you be?
  • The Tiger Woods story has appeared on the front cover of the New York Post for 16 straight days, three short of the record set by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Monday Afternoon Pick Me Up

Discovered on Twitpic. Looks like a gal was trying to win some contest sponsored by Southwest Airlines. I move the nominations cease.

Writing A Headline for This Gal Is Tough

"Oklahoma Woman, Kinda Hot, Gets DWI, Arrested, Taken To Hospital For Blood Draw, Sneaks Out, Steals Ambulance, Drives 50 Miles Looking For Ex-Boyfriend, Proclaims 'Good Time'"

We Should Have Sent Decatur's Speedo Man

I can appreciate a "Santa Speedo Run" in Boston just like the next guy (pics here.) But I didn't know the grim reaper (background) was a fan.

Houston Law Firm Hires Bon Jovi For Christmas Party.

Story. (Last year it was Miley Cyrus.) I always remember a sign in Boyd in front of an old bar on 114 in 1980s that announced that the band "Buck Naked" would be performing on Saturday nights. If I had a Christmas Party, that would probably be the best band I could hire.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I ran the White Rock Half Marathon yesterday. Finished strong. No desire or need to walk. And even though I finished about eight minutes slower than I did in Fort Worth in February (what the heck?), I'll take that every time.
  • I love the environment over there during the run. Tons of people come out on the streets for support.
  • Favorite sign: "Catch the Kenyans!"
  • At about the six mile mark, I saw a guy (who was a spectator) on his knee in the middle of the road proposing to a gal who was running. She had a look on her face like, "I'm in the middle of a freakin' race here!!!"
  • No offense to the safety of Dallas, but there's no way I would run the Katy Trail alone. It looks like Ambush City with all the foliage next to the trail.
  • There's something very cool about some stranger along the way catching your eye and yelling, "Good job!" For some reason I always mouth "Thank you" back at them.
  • The last half mile I was listening to that song from Slumdog Millionaire: Jai Ho.
  • I'm feeling pretty good about my Cowboy prediction of finishing 1-4.
  • I couldn't find my wallet this morning and that drives me crazy. I'm a little worried.
  • I went to an office Christmas party on Saturday. It got a little tense when a possibly intoxicated employee made a wise crack during the owner's speech and then the owner acknowledged the comment while speaking. Uh. Oh.
  • Speaking of parties, the Wise County Republicans and the Wise County Women Republicans are having a combined Christmas party tonight. The cops need to be on standby for that blowout.
  • Any news story today about this being "the busiest mailing day of the year" is just filler.
  • Ate at that sushi place off of Western Center Boulevard again the other night. But there's no way I'm eating sushi there. (They have other Asian food as well.)
  • Is the Tiger Woods fall from grace the biggest sports story of the decade? Probably.
  • I think Accenture got more publicity for dropping Tiger than for signing Tiger.
  • Doesn't it seem that climbers die on Mt. Hood every year? (They are looking for a lost group over the weekend.)