The World Is Ending!

It's snowing on the first day of Spring and Baylor is in the Sweet Sixteen. Is it 2012 already? Uh, and for all of you that picked Kansas to win, things are not-a-good. Updated standings:

I Know This Guy

I actually tried a case against him in Wise County as DA in the 1990s. He won, and I'm still not over it. But that seems insignificant now. But how in the world does a bass boat capsize? Story.

Liberally Lean Tourney Pick 'Em Leader Board: Day Two

Full board. Thanks to Stagecoach Steakhouse in Bridgeport.


Ladies And Gentlemen, I Bring You The First Day Of Spring

A strong cold front will move through North Texas late tonight with temperatures falling into the lower to mid 30s by noon Saturday. Meanwhile a powerful upper level storm system will move across the region and result in widespread precipitation across the area. Rain may mix with snow during the daytime hours Saturday... but is expected to become all snow by Saturday evening. Snowfall accumulations in the advisory area are expected to average 1 inch... but could be as high as 3 inches along the Red River. Snowfall amounts may be higher or lower... and are still dependent on the exact track of the upper level system. In addition to the snow... strong winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph are likely Saturday and Saturday night... which may result in periods of blowing snow and reduced visibilities.

Breaking: Explosion & Fire --- Unbreaking: It's Now Out

Edit: How it ended - with the fire raging, the firefighter (top of the ladder in lower right corner in above photo), pushed a hose over the edge and it was out within two minutes. People in that chat room on Fox 4 were throwing down a lot of "he's crazy!" Trust me, although not shown in the pic, those flames were the same size as those below.
Images Above From Fox 4 News (Live video as of 12:22 p.m. Ended around 12:45)
Align CenterEdit: Twitpic from Messenger. Nice job.
Bad photo of smoke as seen from Whataburger parking lot
The Messenger broke the news at 11:30 that there's been an explosion at some gas well near Decatur with smoke being seen "several" miles away. Developing . . . Edit: From the Messenger's twitter feed:

Pic From Oak Hill Motocross Yesterday

Which apparently is in Wise County. Somewhere. (Thanks, Tony.)

What? These Three Tried To Sell THOSE Fake Tickets?

MARCH 19--A trio of Florida scammers is facing felony fraud and grand theft charges for allegedly selling tickets to a nonexistent rap concert. (More)

Liberally Lean Standings After Day One

Oh, my! Mzchief is in the mix! (Complete list here.) And you know who I picked to win the whole thing? Georgetown. You know who lost last night in the first round? Georgetown.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • If you were inside yesterday, the weather outside was like a magnet.
  • I've begun reading Tears In The Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath. There's so much I didn't know about it. Heck, I knew nothing about it.
  • Experienced the contrast (while listening to the book while jogging) of seeing a little girl pick a flower in the park while hearing about a 22 year old ranch hand sign up for the Army in 1940.
  • And I watched the first episode of The Pacific mini-series on HBO. I can't tell you how underwhelmed I was by that.
  • The mini-series, produced by Tom Hanks, is receiving criticism because it asserts that a lot of Japanese hatred during World War II was racially motivated. Criticism? Even I remember those Bugs Bunny cartoons.
  • Next week is the 10 year anniversary of the Fort Worth tornado. Time does fly.
  • Yeah, the health care congressional maneuvering is ridiculous.
  • Texas lost in the first round last night in overtime and I slept right through it. Never has a team fallen so far so fast.
  • In the Update, there's a story about Decatur's EDC giving away $200,000 to a private business. For the life of me, I don't understand EDCs.
  • "Free throw" is actually a weird word for an uncontested basketball shot from a fixed distance. Edit: "Free" I understand. It's the "throw" that's a little unusual.
  • Newark is considering a daytime curfew for minors in order to "discourage burglaries and truancy." That should solve the problem. "Jim Bob, we can't break into that house because if we get caught outside we'll be subject to a $500 fine!"
  • WBAP's Hal Jay admitted this morning that this is his first year to fill out an NCAA bracket. How is that possible. I know girls that can't spell "NCAA" that always enter the office pool.
  • Don't listen to local talk radio unless you want to hear about Ron Washington and drug use. Complete overkill.
  • More text messages of Tiger Woods were released yesterday. Wow. The man sure did like getting his freak on.


Pete Delkus Is Crazy

But Saturday is going to be miserable. His twitter feed.

The First Baylor Tourney Win In My Lifetime

But that wasn't easy. And thanks to everyone who signed up for the Liberally Lean Tourney. We ended up with 222 people who took the time to enter -- an amazing number. (The popular D Magazine blog, who I stole the idea from and who also offers a $150 restaurant gift certificate, only had 209 people enter.) Once again, thanks to the Stagecoach Steakhouse in Bridgeport whose $150 gift certificate was both gracious and advertising genius.

Must Be The Director's Cut "Texas Edition"

An ad for our local movie theater that appeared last week. (Thanks, emailer.)

Would You Cheat On Sandra Bullock For This Girl?

As much as I love pop culture, I really have never been interested in celebrity relationships. Unil now. The news broke the other day about Sandra Bullock's husband was finding himself in the doghouse for cheating on his semi-hawt wife for this gal: Michelle "Bombshell" McGee. The girl's back is even more tatted than her front (google it.) I might miss Baylor's run to the Final Four because I can't take my eyes off of her. And I wonder how much it would cost to have "Trophy Guy" tattooed on my stomach?

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • I'm not offended that Texas Ranger Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine. I am offended that he expects us to believe that it was the first time he ever tried the drug -- at age 57.
  • A tweet by The Ticket's Junior Miller yesterday: "Is there any doubt that on the road when Wash makes a pitching change that some team's PA guy will roll Clapton's 'Cocaine'?"
  • Edit: The Ron Washington animated GIF's have begun.
  • 25,804 people were at the Fort Worth Zoo yesterday = Beating.
  • You can now catch Baylor's first round NCAA game today at 1:45 p.m. on Channel 21.
  • I was in the courtroom yesterday on a CPS case when I learned that two kids under 10, whose father had died in a Wise County crash, were receiving over $1,000 a month each in Social Security benefits.
  • I checked a second ago and we now have 189 people signed up for the Liberally Lean Basketball Tourney sponsored by Stagecoach Steakhouse. And some of the names are pretty funny.
  • Don't ask me why, but I jogged yesterday listening to a podcast from UC-Berkeley from iTunesU -- it was a history lecture about the Pacific Front in World War II. My impression: If that is as intense as UC-Berkley can get, then we'd all graduate with honors.
  • I know someone who always uses the word "pathetic" when they have a meltdown. And they don't even know they do it.
  • There are 3D TVs coming into the market? Speaking of TVs, I've never used picture-in-picture.

From The Email Bag

A couple of Decatur Texas Tech students run into form coach Mike Leach in Key West two days ago. Seen at the Decatur McDonald's yesterday.


Final Reminder

Tomorrow morning (at 11:00 or so) is the deadline to sign up for The Liberally Lean NCAA Pick 'Em Tourney. And for those that have signed up, be sure to have your selections finalized. As noted earlier, the winner gets a $150 gift certificate graciously donated by the Stagecoach Steakhouse in Bridgeport. As of this posting, we've got over 120 people participating. And I'm sooooo gonna trounce every one of you.

Oh, My


In Case You Didn't Know, Blockbuster Is In Trouble

When your stock is under a dollar and then plunges 32% on bankruptcy rumors, you've got issues. A more complete analysis is here. I know in North Fort Worth that three of the stores were shutdown as a cost cutting measure -- and they were all within a stone's throw of each other. Two near Basswood and Beach, and one near 377 by the Target Super Center. But the one in Decatur, with the smallest parking lot in the southwest proper, remains open.

Last Night: Texas Tech Player Gets Punched In Groin. Twice.

We could all march on Seton Hall in an act of revenge if we knew where Seton Hall was. And who knew the NIT was worth watching? (The guy was ejected.) Edit: The coach was fired this morning but they say it's not related to the cheap shots.

Somebody Must Hate Me

They just gave me a Nancy Grace bookmarker. (Thanks, Dana)

It's St. Patrick's Day and Time For The Greatest Video Ever

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Fox 4 always has a "job of the day" segment and this morning's was one for someone with "2 years of aerospace job shop estimating" experience. Let me see a show of hands.
  • Be sure to scroll down for your last chance to enter the Liberally Lean NCAA Tourney Pick 'Em Contest sponsored by Stagecoach Steakhouse. (That sounds really official.)
  • Craziest news story yesterday was the lady who became paralyzed after being stabbed by a nutcase stranger in a park in Stephenville while she watched her two kids play.
  • When did computer graphics get projected behind someone (like weathermen) on a "green screen" instead of a "blue screen"? That prevented weather guys from wearing green today.
  • On Thursday, Channel 11 will be forced to show the UNT tourney game instead of the Baylor basketball game.
  • I had forgotten that auto inspections used to require your cars headlights to be projected into some kind of device. That was stopped because too many people were getting ripped off for unneeded headlight adjustment charges.
  • The Decatur soccer team made the playoffs this week, but they did so by going 3-6-1 in district play and finishing fourth. And they get a bye for the first round. What's up with that?
  • Gov. Perry has unleashed a "secret plan" which utilizes "Trooper Strike Teams" to control border violence. Really? Sounds like a bad movie.
  • I still remember the preamble to the Constitution because of "Schoolhouse Rock". I can still sing it.
  • Fox News had a bogus poll this morning that said 46.3% of physicians feel health care reform will force them out of, or make them want to leave, the profession. Riiiiiiiight.


We've Got Us A $150 Sponsor For Our Basketball Tournament!!!!

We're going big time! We've got a sponsor for the Liberally Lean NCAA Tournament Pick 'Em Contest!: The Stagecoach Steakhouse in Bridgeport is donating a $150 Gift Certificate to the winner. Yahooty. (And they've got a "St. Patrick's Day party tomorrow with complimentary Green Beer, Irish Nachos & other leprechaun delights. The Green Fuzz is coming to hang out with us and will arrive around 5:00 pm.") Enter contest here. (For those needing a little help, ESPN's "experts' picks" are here.) Fine print: Gift certificate expires in 90 days after final game, and must be used all at one time and only on one ticket (regardless of size of party - so bring friends if you can't eat $150 worth). Valid Wed - Sat 5 pm to 9 pm. May not be combined with other gift certificates, discount or free offers.

Even The Star-Telegram Makes Mistakes

(From its home page which is most certainly corrected by now.)

Republican Vampire, 45, Who Has 19 Year Old Fiancee Who He Met Online, To Run For President

Ok, I just wanted to write the headline.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Don't forget to sign up for the Liberally Lean Not Double Fake NCAA Tourney Challenge. And I've got a couple of proposals for a pretty big gift certificate for the winner. Developing . . .
  • If you like chatroulette humor, you'll love this: Piano Improv Guy. (Occasional language warning.) Very funny.
  • Of the many things David Beckham and I share in common, we've now got another one: Torn Achilles.
  • Hearing rumors of an alleged sexual assault by a juvenile who might be connected to local public officials in the western part of the county.
  • Heard Mark Cuban spoke at a tech panel at SXSW and was insufferable. No surprise there. I've never liked that guy.
  • If Madonna were young today, she'd trick herself up like Lady GaGa.
  • While you were sleeping: A 4.4 earthquake shook Southern California. I bet that state sees the "big one" sometime in the next 20 years.
  • It's defeating when you don't know how to spell a word, give it a shot so you can see optional spellings in spell-check, but you did such a poor job that even that doesn't help you out.
  • The hottest girls from each of the teams making the NCAA Women's Basketball Tourney.
  • Another jogging death: Guy gets killed while running on a beach in Hilton Head when a plane makes an emergency landing.
  • I got my Census form yesterday with the ominous warning on the letter: "Your response is required by law."
  • A job I would not want: Census worker. You want to spend you day knocking on strange doors?
  • A young Decatur guy ran into former Tech coach Mike Leach in Key West yesterday. I saw the pic and am trying to get permission to reprint it.
  • Freak Spring Break Accidents: A 13 year old girl from Coppell is brain dead after a skiing accident in Colorado while another Coppell student is hurt in a hiking accident in Arkansas that killed two others.


A Little Decatur History? Anybody?

Saw a thread on Facebook today over the passing of Benigno Pena, 81. I had no idea who he was. Or so I thought. Many of the comments were posted that he was the past owner of Whispering Wheels Skating Rink in Decatur where some of my best child hood memories were created. What really got my attention were comments like "Everybody Skate", "Couples Only", and "Progressive skate. Girls on one end, boys on the other." For those few of you that went to that skating rink in the 70s, those words, which boomed over the PA system, are happily burned into your brain. So, my question, was he the owner of place during the 70s? Or did someone else take over the place and keep the traditions going.

Brick Fun

Fun Fact I Just Learned From Time Magazine

So you thought Texans loved their guns? Not so fast. Texas is only one of three states that does not allow openly carried handguns. (And look at all those blue states that allow it even without a license.)

Liberally Lean NCAA Bracket Contest

Ok, I think I've set up a public league here. Edit: Yep, it's up and running. Don't Let The Terrorists Win: Sign up now. Edit: It looks like we are going to have quite a few players in this thing, and I feel bad there's no prize (because I'm too cheap.) But I wonder if any business out there wouldn't mind throwing the winner a gift certificate? I'd plug the business every time I mention the standings (and in business school, I learned this would be a form of "advertising".) Let me know if you're interested: blog2[at]wisecounty.com .

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Other than days in the Fall, days like yesterday are my favorite of the year.
  • Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edward's girlfriend has posed in GQ. Hey, now. But if the book Game Change is correct, that lady is crazy.
  • I'm recording, but haven't watched, the new series The Pacific on HBO.
  • I probably would not have seen Remember Me (starring that Twilight guy), but the ending of it was spoiled by various newscasts over the weekend that discussed its "controversial ending."
  • Seven teams from Texas made the NCAA tournament with the highest seeded one being Baylor at #3. I hope they don't screw up the first round game against Sam Houston State.
  • Had someone email me pics from Greenville Avenue on Saturday. That looks like a scene.
  • I think I'll put up a Yahoo based Tournament Pick 'Em later today for the Liberally Lean crowd. Grand prize: Probably nothing.
  • Had a cop try to convince me that weight loss and health is tied to anaerobic, not aerobic, training. I've got to look into that since I'm not exactly sure what that means.
  • Peter Graves died over the weekend. The heck with Mission Impossible (which was on every week in my childhood home), his greatest role was Captain Over from Airplane.
  • 96.7 FM, which is oddly now broadcasting WBAP, ran back to back Ronald Reagan speeches all weekend, and most of them were pretty good. I had forgotten how Tea Party like he was: Big of defense, criticizing the size of the federal government, and even threw in some State's Rights.
  • I stayed out too late on Saturday night.
  • The luck of corresponding Daylight Savings Time with Spring Break is a good deal for kids. But it's still a beating for adults.
  • More and more devices are automatically changing the time. And I think that just makes it more confusing.


I Want This Lamb

Well That Kind Of Stops Me Down

  • He was 32 and died after running the half marathon -- my race of choice.
  • From the comments below the story, he was a former Texas Tech baseball player
  • And his name was Mark Austry which is very close to Wise County JP Mark Autry.
  • And if this following image is him (taken from a Facebook page of someone with that name who graduated from Tech in 2000), doesn't that break your heart?

Just A Truck Trimmed In Pink Flowers In Decatur

(Thanks, Melissa.)