I may be late to the party on this, but I'd never seen it. As described in an email: This video shows the winner of 2009’s " Ukraine ’s Got Talent", Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch. The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about $75,000. She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated. It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears. She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier. This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house. In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye... The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.
at 11:08 AM
- They've been trying lots of cases in the County Court at Law.
- This one involves some full time firefighter who looks great on the videotape but blew over .08. (I'm not sure what the level was, but I'm thinking .11 or .12)
- Those cases can be won, but it takes a little bit of luck. It's just a "do you want to believe your eyes or do you want to believe a machine?" argument.
- The defense lawyer is out of Fort Worth and his style is completely different from mine. But to each his own.
- Oddest sight: There is a little 5" plastic Godzilla toy sitting on the counsel table. At first I thought it belonged to the defendant, but it actually belongs to the lawyer. I have no idea.
- I think the defense has hired a former cop as an expert to attack whether the field sobriety tests were administered properly. I like the effort, but I don't understand it. The defendant looked great on the field sobriety tests, the breath test is the problem.
- Every juror (four men, two women) either had on a black shirt or black jacket yesterday.
- One of the gals looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal.
- It should wrap up today.
at 8:54 AM
- For maybe the first time ever, I watched the Jay Leno monologue last night. I can't tell you how bad it was -- He actually made a cop and doughnut joke.
- He also had a bit on the number of times Biden and Pelosi blinked during the State of the Union. Wasn't that done a few years back with Dick Cheney?
- The temperature change yesterday was weird. It actually got warmer after the sun went down (see below.)
- In an article in the Star Telegram which seems to be written by cavemen due to its brevity, it is said that Devon Energy is ripe for a takeover.
- Sarah Palin said two days ago that she does not like the "mandation of health care". What?
- A caller on Mark Davis show said yesterday that Obama said during his inaugural address that the Constitution was a "flawed document" but, he continued, "if you look up the speech on the Internet you'll find that the transcripts have been doctored to eliminate that phrase." What a nut case. And Davis politely told him so.
- A red football field.
- I've heard a rumor that local authorities are going to try to seize and forfeit the real estate from yesterday's drug bust. They've got to be kidding.
- I questioned a couple of days ago whether a lady was really robbed of a $90,000 ring in a Whole Foods parking lot in north Dallas. Last night I saw the parking lot video of the crime. And her post injured face. Man, I was wrong. Very wrong.
- The Charging For Parking Without A Permit Case was tried yesterday in Arlington. The jury found him guilty on 31 cases and the judge assessed $500 fine on each for, according to the story, a total fine of $15,500. The defendant didn't have a lawyer --- he needs one. In my opinion, he only owes $500 based upon a case from a couple of years ago. Somebody needs to tell him.
at 8:32 AM
In case you missed it, the Messenger has published the mugshots of those arrested this morning for the (always vague) charge of "Organized Criminal Activity." And do you ever wonder why those accused of running some big time methamphetamine lab also appear to be dirt poor? And I'm not sure I understand the "State Police" jacket that the guy in the photo has on. I know the Texas Rangers and DPS troopers qualify as "state police" but I've never seen a jacket like that. Anyway, the War On Drugs marches on.
at 3:58 PM
Predicted: Actual: Artist's Rendition of Tomorrow Morning: I think that cold front hit with more impact than expected. At noon, it's already 42 degrees in good ol' Decatur. And dropping. Edit: Ok, maybe a weird temperature day after all. It's getting warmer after the sun went down.
at 11:52 AM
- Six cop cars around a house on 51 North out of Decatur this morning causing some traffic backup. What's up? Edit: It's the first entry in the Update.
- From my Weather Center: Looks like the Winter Blizzard Warning for tomorrow was premature since it may not be a big deal after all. (At least Fox 4 was downplaying it this morning. Channel 5 was still hyping it.)
- No speech, regardless of the subject, should last more than 15 minutes.
- The Republican response last night in front of a live audience was a much better idea than just throwing someone in front of a camera in a quiet room.
- More State of the Union: The calling out of the Supreme Court for its corporate campaign finance decision was tense.
- I saw a "Tea Party" sticker on a car in Fort Worth yesterday. As I passed him, I was able to determine the driver was an older, white guy. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked.
- Crazy this morning: I-35 by American Airlines Center was shut down around 5:00 a.m. this morning after a car was hit with gunfire and crashed into the median. The driver was hit but survived.
- The new iPad doesn't really do it for me.
- Update on the burglary of a motor vehicle trial this week: 270 days in jail and a $3,500 fine. It didn't help that he decided to burglarize a few cars in Bridgeport after the death of an officer last year because he figured the police force "would be short handed."
- Today a DWI trial starts up against an out-of-county full time fireman.
- "Fort Worth officer who spanked teen gets six-month sentence." (That one wasn't a Wise County case.)
- Government Heavy Hand: If you own private property near Cowboys stadium you can't charge others to park on your property without first paying the City of Arlington for a permit ($150-$400). And if you don't, they will criminally prosecute you. Like this guy.
- If you were going to have lunch at Abuelo's in Lewisville today, you might want to rethink that due to a fire last night.
at 8:23 AM
- The Whataburger commercial that refers to your mouth as "your kisser" is funny. Or maybe it's just the sound of that guy's voice.
- The SMU student who died a week ago (alone and on campus) was a pro golfer's son. If you think that's hard on the dad, you should see what else he has been through recently (based upon Wikipedia.) Holy, cow.
- The Apple tablet computer may be announced today. Rumor: It'll run on the 3G network -- that gets my attention. Big time.
- I'm still a massive iPhone fan. Fantastic invention.
- There was a story on Fox 4 last night about a series of burglaries in Parker and Wise County before Christmas. A couple of things got my attention. First, one of the victims was described as "having a fiancee and six kids". What? Secondly, the victim allowed the crook, a female with children, to keep her stolen Christmas presents because "them kids doesn't know what the mom did."
- The Messenger has a story today that last year was the worst crime year in Decatur in 25 years. But I loved this next sentence in the story: "On the bright side, the Decatur Public Library has seen across-the-board increases in usage."
- Probably my favorite job aspect is the rare moment when I find myself in a room with four or five longtime Decatur lawyers without prosecutors, judges, or out-of-town attorneys. Yesterday we all quickly agreed we would be Libertarians if we had to pick a party. (Talk about a group that deals with government oppression.)
- A school outlaws "sexual bending" at a dance.
- I don't care who the President is, the State of the Union speech is always one big beating.
- I know there is grunting in women's tennis, but if you caught any of the match last night around 10:00 p.m. from the Australian Open, you would have off'd yourself. It was more like a squeal from one gal.
- Weird: Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee shows up in Parker County to campaign for a first time candidate for County Judge. (And Huckabee has driven me crazy ever since his short radio show started on WBAP -- he sounds like Mister Rogers for adults.)
- "Woman Beaten, Robbed of $90,000 Ring Outside Whole Foods In North Dallas." She called 911 after she got home. Hmmmmm.
at 8:26 AM
Remember this guy who dressed up as a pimp to try and catch ACORN workers turning a blind eye to fake underage prostitution? (Yeah, it's convoluted.) Well, the little fellow (seen above during an appearance of Fox and Friends) has gotten himself indicted for, allegedly, trying to wiretap a Democratic Senator's office.
at 4:19 PM
at 1:50 PM
"The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!" - Nathan R. Johnson in The Jerk. (Edit: A horrendous error on my part. It's Navin R. Johnson.) Now on with the post . . . Leach on the front cover: And if that's not bad enough here is Leach's lawyer, who is suing Tech, on the back. (With the worst ad in history.)
at 1:01 PM
I've always remembered this picture because it seemed like a bit of grandstanding. That's Guy James Gray who was the DA in charge of prosecuting the guys that drug James Byrd, Jr. to death behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas in 1998. That's the chain they used. (On second thought, maybe it was the bolo tie and belt buckle that burnt the photo into my brain.) And I always remembered the name as well. "Guy James Gray." That's just cool. And I immediately recognized it last week when he was defending the Waco pastor ultimately convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to 65 years. (Gray had left the DA's office years ago.) But I was a little disturbed by his comments after the trial. Now someone else chimes in today with similar thoughts. Some prosecutors will always be prosecutors.
at 12:34 PM
- I'd like it if President Obama said in his State of the Union speech that "the State of our Union is strong to ... uh ... quite strong."
- That's a Meet The Parents reference.
- There is a very rare case going on in the Wise County Court at Law where a defendant is pleading guilty to a series of motor vehicle burglaries and is "going to" the jury for punishment. I'll try to get an update this morning.
- Watched a little of The Bachelor last night. That's good TV?
- Although it's lost some of it's popularity, the game show Deal Or No Deal is the closest thing to brain dead competition there is. Isn't it simply "pick a number?"
- If the economy recovers, and it will, President Obama will be re-elected with flying colors. (Haters need to bookmark this entry for future reference.)
- Look at the top grossing films of the 2000s. They are really not movies, in the traditional sense, at all.
- Hey, the National Socialists Movement has "adopted a highway" in Colorado. The group believes "interracial relationships and homosexuality should be crimes, and they want to start a separate all-white country." Man, that sounds familiar.
- I love the anticipation of bad weather coming in even if it never happens as predicted.
- Hey, the new teenage pregnancy ratings are out. Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona make the Top Four. Hmmm. What do all those states have in common?
- The week after I got back from Costa Rica, the country had torrential rains for five days straight. I'm never that lucky.
- The Star Telegram reports that the LBJ Grasslands in Wise County will become part of a "climate change" study. I suspect we will respond with a "Hippies: Go Home" protest.
- Funny moment last week when attorney Jim Shaw was conducting jury selection and discussing the legal definition of marijuana: He threw in "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme."
- Mark Cuban says the upcoming NBA "All-Star Weekend will make the Super Bowl look like a bar mitzvah" as far as "attendance and partying" is concerned. The man is delusional.
at 8:09 AM
- The trailer for "Cop Out" with Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis looks hoooorible. (We were bombarded with a commercial for it this weekend.)
- I was watching some documentary this weekend about the Tsunami from a couple of years ago -- It's one of the world's greatest disasters that we still don't fully appreciate.
- Caught most of "Role Models" on a movie channel this weekend (starring Stifler and Paul Rudd.) Verdict: Kind of funny.
- The Rangers were sold. The chances of us now seeing a playoff win in my lifetime: Pretty Slim.
- Speaking of, Tom Hicks also just sold a ski home in Aspen for $18 million (which he bought for $1 million in 1995.)
- This is normally when I start my post Christmas depression (it's delayed.)
- Avatar has is reached $552 million based upon this weekend's figures? And why do I still not have a desire to see it?
- Lady Gaga was on MTV's "Boiling Point" before she was a tricked up Lady Gaga? Why, yes, she was.
- Insignificant play that impressed me yesterday: Vikings' Adrian Peterson getting up to recover his own fumble. (Although he had lots of opportunities to recover his own fumble.)
- Wasn't the Fox yellow first down line waaaaaay off near the end of the game yesterday?
- NASCAR's Denny Hamlin tears his ACL after a basketball game but will have surgery AFTER the season. And tell me again how NASCAR is a sport?
- While you were sleeping: 24 dead/ 41 hurt in Baghdad explosion. Can we officially call that war George W's "Waterloo"?
- I think most people direct their stress at folks which had nothing to do with it.
- Was that a two minutes commercial for a video game near the end of the Minnesota/New Orleans game yesterday?
- I watched the "Date From Hell" episode of "I Shouldn't Be Alive" on Animal Planet that I wrote about on Friday. Good stuff.
- An Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed overnight presumably killing 90 people. I had no idea there was an Ethiopian Airlines.
- I always suspect that people posting inspirational messages on Facebook are actually in a lot of pain.
- The cover of Texas Monthly suggests that Rick Perry may make a legitimate run for President. He's as viable candidate as anything else the Republicans have.
at 8:21 AM
I went bowling, yep, bowling Saturday afternoon at Main Event in Grapevine. Not sure what prompted that desire other than no football coupled with rainy weather, but I acted up on it (which is what I do). Thoughts:
- It ain't the Pro Bowlers Tour on Saturday afternoon. There are more kids there than Romper Room.
- And that means we've got kids launching balls like shot puts and then screaming in anguish when they don't get the intended results.
- The alley has "guidelines" or makers (I'm struggling for the right word) on the lane that are created by some weird light projected from the ceiling.
- And then the oddest moment: Out of nowhere, the music cranks up, the lights go down, and a lazer light show is flashing all over the lanes. It was like Disco Bowling and it went on for a good ten minutes.
- Our "waiter" was a young kid whose level of service didn't satisfy my competitor. Not sure what went wrong there. But things went horribly wrong.
- I was reminded that I am an awful bowler despite receiving college credit in that very sport. It looks easy on TV.
- You'd think a little wrist trick would cause the ball to break right to left at the very end. It didn't work.
- We ate at the new Tilted Kilt before the glorious sporting events. It's kind of like Twin Peaks or Bone Daddy's with the waitresses sporting a modified school girl look. Who knew there was such a huge market? The Ticket will be there Tuesday, I think.
at 5:43 PM