12.31.2009

Wise County Nudists: Fort Worth Weekly Article I Missed

This pic has been painstakingly cropped. You'll thank me if you click on the story.
Link. (Thanks, Chris.)

The Wise County Messenger Wonders If There Is Racism In Wise County

Puuuhleeeze.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Do we say "twenty ten" or "two thousand and ten"?
  • Ten years ago, with the big 2000 about to hit, at least one of the major networks went with 24 hour coverage as they watched the clock strike midnight, hour by hour, around the world. It was cool.
  • In advising folks to put a gun lock on their weapon for tonight to avoid firing it in the air at midnight, Fox 4's Tim Ryan said, "Because if you're both drunk and stupid maybe you can't remember the combination . . . . " Pretty funny. His new co-host, instead of laughing, just went into anchorwoman mode and said, "It's always better to lock it up." Sheesh.
  • If you struggle at life to such a point that you consider it a burden, why do you so readily bring another life into it?
  • I feel bad for ignoring The Office for so long, but I did the same thing with Seinfeld. And, at this point, I don't think Seinfeld can hold a candle to The Office.
  • We all use a bunch of phrases like "can't hold a candle to" where we understand the meaning but have no idea why those words have that meaning.
  • I've never had a desire to be in Times Square at midnight on NYE.
  • In 1982, I bought an oversized Prince tennis racket for $90 at the urging of a buddy who said "you gotta buy high quality crap." I was in Sports Academy the other day and the highest priced Prince tennis racket, 27 years later, was $49.99.
  • Same train of thought: I bought a 31" TV in 1989 for $750.
  • I got to thinking about the last item because the BagOfNothing.com guy has some great random thoughts about how much things have changed in 10 years. Good stuff.
  • When they put out a list of "The 10 Best Movies of 2009" don't you get the feeling of (1) they like to pick obscure films so as to sound high tone, and (2) you don't get out enough.
  • Heard the #1 New Year's resolution is to "spend more time with their loved ones." (WBAP @ 8:07 a.m.) Really?
  • If we could fast forward one year into the future and were to watch a montage of Celebrities Who Died in 2010, wouldn't there be some names that shock us?
  • Texas Tech's interim head coach is their defensive coordinator who has a huge belly. Never trust a fat coach.
  • Watched part of Gran Torino again last night. Worst writing and acting ever?
  • I'm still predicting Fox "won't go dark" on the Time Warner cable networks on January 1st, but the two sure are cutting it close.
  • After years of never attending New Year's Eve parties, I tend to do it every year now.

12.30.2009

To Beat The Mike Leach Thing To Death ...

Adam James, the spare player who was placed in a "storage shed", took this video while he was in there. And his family thought he'd get sympathy by releasing it today. You've got to be kidding. What a little baby. And Craig James, his father, has to regret ever bringing this silly thing to the attention of Tech. His son is forever labeled.

A Beautiful Waterfall on Woodall Rogers Freeway ..... Wait. What?

Story.

Texas Tech's Mike Leach Fired

Just heard this from a reliable source at 12:04 p.m. And I might be one of the first ones to report it. Edit: The University finally released a statement. They should have added, "We also encourage the students not to riot." Edit: Five possible replacements. Let me speak for the first name on the list, "Thank you for your interest, but go away." (Side note: That's a Dallas Morning News link. Does a video ad automatically play for everyone else? If so, they need to end that practice. Now.)

The Week: Proposal On The Weather Channel

You know, I was all prepared to make fun of this but it was actually kind of touching.

Marguerite Engle: Renaisannce Woman

That would be .708. Where's a book-in photo when you need one? (Edit: The Smoking Gun is all over it, and she doesn't look that bad. Double Edit: Oops, old photo. Triple Edit: And by not "that bad" I mean she doesn't look hammered.) .08 is the legal limit in most states although it's normally tough to tell if someone is obviously drunk at that level. Most DPS experts say that a person will, at .04, lose "the normal use of one's mental or physical faculties" but that's just crazy. I've been doing this criminal justice business a long time, and I don't ever recall someone being over .40. In fact, I've had less than a handful of cases that are greater than .30. Most DWI cases are between .10 and .19 if there is a sample, and seeing a case greater than .20 is pretty rare.

Year In Review

This has to be one of my favorite videos. This sorority pledge decided to "make it snow" with a fire extinguisher in the sorority house but apparently things went terribly wrong. "I thought is was going to a little . . . 'poof'." Edit: This video may be from last year, but it's still worthy of re-post.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • That was weird: It snows, it gets dark, and we wake up to warmer temperatures.
  • Any votes on the Top Story of the Year that the Wise County Messenger always runs? I suspect it would be the death of Sgt. Randy White of the Bridgeport PD.
  • The victim of a jewelry store robbery in Lewisville said on Fox 4 about the the crook, "He said a word in Yiddish that I won't repeat on TV but it wasn't good. But I'm still here." I have no idea what he means.
  • Knee jerk reaction to the Tech vs. Mike Leach saga: Somebody in the administration wants him gone. Completely. But I doubt if he's breached his contract, he'll call their bluff and refuse to leave, and the only way to get rid of him will be to completely buy out the remainder of his contract.
  • I remember when A&M wanted, and did, get rid of Coach R.C. Slocum. How'd that work out? This could be Texas Tech's Waterloo.
  • WBAP's Mike Lamb on Leach seeking a temporary injunction this morning: "He should know his way around a courtroom." He was referring to Leach having a law degree. However, Leach was never licensed since he chose not to take the bar exam. (Which was a great career move, by the way.)
  • You guys are crazy if you think the Bush Administration would have released those two guys from Gitmo (see yesterday's post) if they thought they were terrorists. They would have been hesitant to release Billy Graham from Gitmo.
  • The Wise County courthouse seems to shut down pretty quickly at the fear of inclimate weather.
  • The 2000s should be remembered as the Decade of the Flat Screen. Think how things have changed since 1999.
  • I'm the biggest anti-government/personal privacy guy I know, but the x-ray like body scan at an airport seems like a good idea to me.
  • I'll get to report on the hassle of international travel this weekend. I'm off to Costa Rica and I intend to bore you to death with daily posts.
  • I dare anyone to watch "Fox and Friends" and tell me it is "fair and balanced." Their hatred of Obama is palpable. (But I remember watching it 10 years ago and it was a pretty funny and care free show.)
  • Headline that was still on the Star Telegram's home page this morning: "Freezing Fog Could Make Morning Rush Hour Treacherous."
  • The Today Show sure made a big deal about the kid in Brazil who was ordered by a court to be returned to his father. I'm not sure anyone really cared about a high tone child custody case.
  • I eat a ton of microwavable low fat pizza.
  • Mark Davis' column today: Even in the days after 9/11, there was a call to "bring those responsible to justice." Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that week: 'This is exactly wrong. Franklin Roosevelt did not respond to Pearl Harbor by pledging to bring the commander of Japanese naval aviation to justice. He pledged to bring Japan to its knees. You bring criminals to justice; you rain destruction on combatants."
  • But the flaw in that statement is obvious: Japan was a country that could be found on a map.

Cute Kid Stuck

12.29.2009

Slow Posting Day

But a faithful reader sent in this picture of his family's snowman created in Wise County on Christmas Day. You know, I was slow to realize that it's a really, really good snowman.

The Triple Winter Blizzard Blast of 2009

I'm predicting the first snowflake at 12:52 p.m. Edit: Actual time was 12:11 p.m.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • For the weather folks to normally be pretty vague about snow, they have been dead certain about this one: Arriving around noon with 1 to 3 inches.
  • Mike Leach is "strongly considering" taking legal action to try and be reinstated for the Alamo Bowl. Hot Sports Prediction: The marriage between Leach and Tech is headed for divorce court. Very soon.
  • News that got almost no publicity yesterday: Nine people, including six children, died in an apartment fire in Mississippi.
  • I would be stunned if Fox and Time Warner Cable don't work out their relationship issues.
  • Isn't' this the hardest week of the year to stay motivated?
  • Ticket Fans only: Here's an MP3 of the "Best of The Rant." (Fans of the old Gordon Keith Saturday morning show just passed out.) Edit: More Ticket News!: We found Greggo.
  • I saw a guy being helped up after slipping on the ice on the south side of the Decatur square late yesterday afternoon. Note to merchants over there: If you have a sheet of ice on the sidewalk outside your store that won't melt, do something about it.
  • If Dallas beats Philadelphia and the Giants beat the Vikings and Green Bay beats Arizona, Dallas gets a first round bye? Yep. Unlikely to happen, but still amazing.
  • Two former Gitmo prisoners, released in 2007, are behind the plot to blow up Flight 253 on Christmas Day? Yeah, you hold a bunch of guys at Gitmo for years without sufficient evidence, decide to finally let them go because you've got nothing on them, and they then turn into pissed off terrorists? Who would have thought?
  • Shocking words from a lawyer blog about a 45 year old colleague who had passed away and whose friends would remember him at a "local saloon" in Amarillo later that day: I’ll put this as adroitly and tactfully as I can. But honestly - and I address this to all of Joe’s dear friends - is this truly the appropriate thing to do when we all know what killed Joe? He drank himself to death.
  • Hey, now.
  • Without looking it up, I don't know what "adroitly" means.
  • TCU played and beat five teams this season that went to bowl games. All five of those teams have won those bowl games. I may be coming around on TCU.
  • Up until last year, the Wise County DA's office managed its cases with a database program I designed in Access in 1993. And it was fantastic.
  • Post Christmas Depression anyone?
  • Tell me I can leave the country with a passport and a birth certificate but no driver's license. (Lost wallet and vacation callback reference.)

12.28.2009

There's Breaking News All Over The Place

Trouble in Raider Land. Edit: Inside story?

Drudge Tends To Be Overly Dramatic

But something is going on. (Drudge Report.) Edit: Sounds like a "child who is a friend of the family" was slightly injured by a surfboard. Yep, Drudge can be a little drama queen.

I Wonder If There Was Any Other Reason

I'm not sure who the United States Sports Academy is but they've made this gal its Female Athlete of the Year. Who would have thought that the public, who voted on the award through the web sites of NBC and USA Today, would give it to a Russian pole vaulter named Yelena Isinbaeva.

Sheesh - 8 Years In The Hoosegow For Graffiti and Weed?

Judge having a bad day? Good grief. And the ADA is right: That kid will serve 8 real years with absolutely no possibility of parole. Edit: Someone cited the "stacking rule" (Penal Code 3.03) and an article that said the kid will only have to serve 2 years because the judge was not authorized to stack the sentences as she proclaimed from the bench. That is true if all four cases were "tried" at the same time --- I assumed that had not occurred since the judge and the ADA seemed adamant about it and the defense lawyer didn't object to the stacking order. But I should have caught that. And it's still shocking to know that the kid would have received eight real years if the judge got to do what she wanted to do.

They Actually Did This

The National Weather Service has actually prepared a Powerpoint presentation about tomorrow's predicted snowfall and emailed it to various government offices. As the person that forwarded it to me said, "It took longer to make the powerpoint that what the powerpoint has to offer." And the weather service also prepared a long email predicting the snow. But it had these paragraphs as well: TIMING Timing continues to be critical. A rain/snow mix will likely develop late tonight/early Tuesday morning, especially in areas west of a line from Cisco…to Stephenville…to Temple. This rain/snow mix will turn to snow relatively quickly. By Tuesday morning, snow is anticipated for most areas, with most of the precipitation occurring area wide between 10 AM and 6 PM Tuesday. FORECAST CONFIDENCE / UNCERTAINTY Low to moderate confidence in this forecast due to numerous uncertainties in the strength, timing, and available moisture with this system. FORECAST POSSIBILITIES [Comment: Here comes the most obvious observation ever.] If the system becomes slower and stronger, we would have the possibility of higher snowfall than we are currently forecasting. If the moisture does not return as anticipated, snowfall amounts would be less.

Sheriff Announces (Alleged) Church Thieves Arrest

And on Christmas day I watched an episode of Dragnet where Friday and Gannon were hunting down a guy who had (allegedly) stolen the baby Jesus from a nativity scene. I don't think the stories are related.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I now sneeze into my sleeve.
  • If the local news stations had been fully staffed on Christmas Eve, the Blizzard Of 2009 would have given rise to around-the-clock coverage like we've never seen
  • There are still abandoned cars littering 287 above Wichita Falls.
  • I walked my jogging trail during the "blizzard." Uh, snow blowing sideways can hurt you. But I'd do it again in a New York minute.
  • 40 degrees, sunny, with no wind feels 40 degrees different that 32, cloudy, with high winds.
  • Snow and ice should melt when the temperature gets above 32 but it doesn't. At least not in the shade. I don't know why.
  • Craziness: You can broadcast live video and audio from your cell phone on Ustream.
  • I want the Cowboy's Roy Williams to do the "hook 'em horns" sign every time he drops a pass.
  • There's a round bale of hay at a gas station on FM 407 with a big sign above it that says, "I Got My Obama Bale Out."
  • I recorded the monologue for Lopez Tonight (with George Lopez.) Worst. Show. Ever. (When you make Kirstie Alley fat jokes and Bill Clinton jokes in 2009, you are not familiar with the term "topical.")
  • With all the cash in the U.S. being transferred electronically, I wonder if that currency printing plant in north Fort Worth is slowing down.
  • Strangers are nicer on Christmas Eve. (I had a lady start talking to me in a Target parking lot.)
  • Verdict on Inglorious Basterds: Very good but not great. But Brad Pitt's Tennessee accent is pretty funny: "We have a word for that in English. It's called suspicious."
  • The death of four people that ended up in a pond in Southlake on Saturday is simply tragic and weird.
  • College football note: That Urban Meyer retire-unretire story over the weekend smells fishy.
  • Dallas Cowboy Keith Brooking is a great football player and looks as dumb as a box of rocks.
  • Speaking of dumb, my prediction of the Cowboys going 1-4 down the stretch is now officially wrong.
  • Snow tomorrow?
  • Channel 8 has video of a mobile home fire in Wise County from this morning?