TCU Takes Down The Empire Today, Friday

Texas 1
One game down. One to go.
And I've never seen a pitcher wear his hat like a gangsta. But, man, that guy is great.
Edit on Sunday --- TCU finishes off UT.

Drives Me Nuts

I monitor both prosecution and defense lawyer message boards because you can learn a lot (from time to time) by doing so. But this one on the defense board stopped me down yesterday (posted by someone who works about 60 miles from here):
Gang: seems there was a thread posted some time ago about a [Motion to Revoke Probation] based solely upon inability of the probationee to pay the court-ordered fines, fees, etc. due to loss of job or whatever. I thought I had saved this info in my research section but cannot locate it now. My guy lost his job in 12/09. Prior to that time, on probation since 7/07, successfully. When he lost his job in 12/09, could not longer afford to make the scheduled payments. Also, are charging him with failure to appear to probation office for two months and a failure to report and obtain permission for a job change (presumably, this was when he was laid off in 12/09, and had no luck finding a job until 3 months later. From my recollection, the thread had info to the effect that an inability to pay is not sufficient to support an MTR, that the probation office can give him more community service, but can't revoke him for simply not paying. Anyone out there who can help me on this or steer me in the right direction? The hearing is scheduled for this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. so time is of the essence. Thanks in advance for any help the group can send my way. & please, feel free to respond off list if you wish.
Really? Your client is about to get revoked and go to jail and now you decide you might want to learn what the law is? And you do so by asking others on a message board?

World Cup Pick Me Up

But I'll be locked in tomorrow at 12:30 for the United States v. The Motherland Although I promise you, the sound of vuvuzelas will drive you cRAzEe!!!!

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I'm not going to beat you down with college football conference realignment talk, but what is going on is insane. I'll remember this week forever.
  • Jury duty: I have to go back for the actual jury selection process this morning. And the judge is someone who started work in the Tarrant County DA's office on the very same day as I did 20 years ago.
  • In the central jury room yesterday, they played a generic "jury service is good" film before everything got started that included movie clips. But I almost screamed when the first clip was of a jury foreman saying, "We find the defendant incredibly guilty." Way to taint the group.
  • My fellow potential jurors laughed at a My Cousin Vinny clip where the judge asked, "Mr. Gambini, are you on drugs?"
  • The panel did not laugh at a Jim Carrey movie clip where he played a lawyer and objected to his own question. For the moment, my faith in humanity was restored.
  • I tried to work out with a Billy Blanks Taebo DVD last night for the first time. I was flopping around like a fish.
  • Yeah, I'm probably going to abandon The Spin. I'm thinking about just posting Messenger headlines on here every Sunday and letting you guys write it for me.
  • I jogged this morning and came upon my normal park but it had eight industrial sprinklers going. After avoiding the first two, and realizing no one was around, I did a 180 and then ran through all of them. It was one of those "your life is about to change" kind of moments.
  • Flashback I heard: "Ultra Sheen and Ultra Sheen cosmetics."


Breaking: 16 Year Old Sailing Around World Alone Reported Missing Today

Any one want to shoot her parents right now?

Auto Tuned Obama

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Yesterday was the craziest day ever for college football realignment. Current status, Nebraska to the Big Ten; Texas A&M listening to one last pitch by the SEC; Colorado taking the initiative and bolting to the PAC 10; Texas, A&M, Tech, OU, OSU, expected to get invites to the PAC 10; Missouri, which started it all by public statements, may be ignored by all; and Baylor, ironically, "left behind."
  • And writer Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com was like Woodward and Bernstein in breaking the story.
  • We were in a flash flood watch yesterday and didn't get a drop. But to the south and to the east to they almost drowned. And I suspect at least one person did drown.
  • Chilling headline: "Taliban executes boy, 7, for spying."
  • I've got jury duty in Fort Worth this morning. I might fire up my Twitter account if the observations are worth it.
  • I'm a stadium fan. I'm trying to be a World Cup fan. That's probably why I enjoy this youtube video created by Google showing 3D computer animations of all 10 World Cup Stadiums. Cool.
  • Someone mentioned the other day that the iPhone was no big deal. I disagree. It was life-changing-technology for me. And all the versions of the Android will do the same.
  • I'd be a great juror.
  • The border patrol agent who shot a Mexican teenager appears to be lying. The greatest deterrent for lying cops in the future won't be civil rights lawsuits or the exclusionary rule, it'll be cell phone videos.
  • There was a wrong way driver on 183 in Irving last night which resulted in a death. Other than the Tollway, this seems to happen on 183 more than any where else.


Ron Burgundy: Going, Going, ...

. . . will be gone.

Bridgeport: Oh, My!

(Thanks, Bud!)

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Update of the DWI trial yesterday: After being offered a better plea bargain because there weren't enough jurors, he finally took it after thinking about it over lunch. (He originally turned it down which prompted a few "what an idiot" murmurs in the courtroom.
  • Crazy debut by the #1 pick in the MLB draft from last year, Stephen Strasburg: 7 innings pitched and 14 strikeouts. The bang-to-hype ratio actually paid off. (But everyone might want to tap the brakes before they put him in the Hall of Fame.)
  • While jogging before 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, I came across a grown man with a basket on his his bike. And in the basket was a plastic replica of E.T. (Absolutely true.)
  • And a former Decatur kid was drafted in the eighth round yesterday in the baseball draft. I think that's high enough where they'll give him a serious look. I think. Baseball is weird.
  • Another Texas pipeline explosion resulting in death yesterday. Let's hope there is no trifecta today.
  • Big 12 watch: Nebraska may be gone by Friday. For college football fans, this is the craziest time I've ever seen.
  • Funny line yesterday about Texas determining if Baylor would get to tag along to the Pac 10: "Texas is like the cool guys getting into an exclusive club. If they want someone else in the VIP room, they get to go to the VIP room."
  • Have a mentioned that someone needs to get Miley Cyrus under control?
  • Four more U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan yesterday. Exactly what are we doing over there?
  • Al and Tipper Gore's daughter separates from husband, too?
  • Border Control Overkill: Shooting a Mexican teenager for throwing rocks at a border guard.
  • I don't know who runs the awful DPS Twitter feed, but if she writes, "Turn around! Don't drown!" one more time, I'm driving to Austin and submerging her head in the bathtub.
  • Another "anticipation video" that is not-a-good.
  • TCU and the Evil Empire play in the college baseball playoffs this week. Despite TCU getting a little cocky last Fall, I can never root for the Empire.
  • Yep, a little sports intensive today, but I woke up late.


NBC 5's Kim Fischer

She posted this earlier today on her Twitter feed -- it's a dress she is going to wear this weekend to some high tone affair.
I'm so torn by this girl. She's professional on TV, mildly entertaining on Twitter, and irritating when you hear her call in to a talk show. But for now, "Hey, now."

Just Try Not To Cry. I Dare You.

Afternoon Pick Me Up

Not bad. Wait. That's not . . . it couldn't be . . . Sarah? Something just seems different.
(Thanks, Keith.)

Trial Update: This Was Unusual

So I went up and watched jury selection in the Felony DWI trial in the district courtroom and got to witness something unusual. Here's what happened. (Background: Felony DWI means the defendant is charged with DWI and has at least twice before been convicted for DWI, and this defendant intended to plead guilty and have the jury assess punishment.)
Each side in a criminal case can take off any ten potential jurors from the panel that he wishes. However, without "wasting" one of those ten strikes, he can ask the judge to remove a potential juror if he/she said something that indicates they would not be fair (that's called "for cause.") After the judge removes any potential juror "for cause", you need an absolute minimum of 32 people still sitting on the panel before the two sides exercise their ten strikes. Assuming the State and the Defendant do not strike the same person, then 20 people would be removed leaving ten to sit on the jury. (The strikes are made secretly and then turned into the district clerk -- neither side gets to know beforehand who will be removed by the other.)
It being summer time, only 35 people showed up for jury duty today. That doesn't give a whole lot of room for error. If, say, four people say something that gets them struck for cause, we're down to 31 people. If the State and the defendant then use their ten strikes, that leaves nine people. You can't have a trial with eleven people.
So the defense lawyer was conducting his voir dire (questioning the panel) and got to this critical question (after much explaining): Can everyone, as they sit their right now, say they can fairly consider the "full range of punishment." That is, can they can "consider" (but not necessarily give) the maximum of ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. And can they "consider" (but not necessarily give) the minimum sentence of probation with no fine. The potential jurors don't have to promise to give a particular sentence (they haven't even heard the facts) they just have to say they'll keep an open mind about the full range of punishment.
That's when the jury panel started dropping like flies. By my count, there were 20 people who said they could never even consider probation in a Felony DWI case. The judge was left with no choice under the law but to remove them from the panel.
That left us with only 15 potential jurors. Normally, this causes the defendant to jump up and down because he can kill the case right now (although be retried at a later date) by exercising his 10 strikes. You can't have a jury with only five jurors.
At this point, as smart people do, the parties tried to resolve the case. The State lowered it's plea bargain a little bit and even gave a couple of options (I'll tell you those later -- this is good stuff). But the defendant balked.
OK, I thought. Trial over. Everyone go home.
Nope. The defendant told his lawyer he wanted to go forward with this jury. The State was told and agreed (they could have killed the trial to by exercising their 10 strikes.) So the State announced it was only going to use one of its strikes, the defendant said fine, and then exercised two strikes. That left twelve remaining.
And now the trial goes on.
From the defendant's standpoint, I think the guy just wants to get it over with. The remaining potential jurors weren't bad for him, but normally a defendant wants to put off the inevitable. And, from a defendant's lawyer standpoint, I'd always suggest shutting the trial down and coming back another day. As my law partner taught me ten years ago when we faced an almost identical situation: "They can convict you if they don't have a jury."
But the client calls the shots. The lawyer can only advise.
Lets' see how this works out.
Edit: Yep, I used some "Wise County math" in the original version.

Urban Outfitters Pulls Shirt . . .

. . . after pressure that it encourages eating disorders.
Mrs. Obama and I have been trying to combat obesity for years, and now it's politically incorrect to have a T-shirt that reads "Eat Less"? Really? What's it supposed to be replaced with? "Eat More"? "Have Another Cheeseburger?"
I'm finally agreeing with you commentors, the country is going down the tubes.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I think there's a felony DWI trial this morning in Decatur district court where the defendant is going to plead guilty and "go to the jury" for punishment. Should be interesting to see if they give him any leniency for admitting guilt.
  • The trial had been intended for a guy who allegedly shot and killed another in the head but he accepted a 20 year plea bargain yesterday. I don't remember that case at all. Chico?
  • The Rangers selected a high school senior in the first round of the baseball draft last night who has already signed a letter of intent to play football for Georgia Tech. But he's going with baseball. I would have loved to have had that decision to make at age eighteen.
  • I go crazy every time I see an update on the gulf oil spill. It's getting bad and will only get worse.
  • Obama also wants to know "whose ass to kick" in connection with oil spill. (And Channel 5's Kim Fischer thinks that comment is "full of AWESOME!")
  • But there sure are a lot of nut cases getting press on how to clean it up. Dry ice (CNN). Hay (Fox News.) It's one thing to clean up oil out of a bucket during a demonstration, but it's a heck of a lot different to clean up a 100 miles of that stuff.
  • Is it possible to see more commercials about investing in gold? And why would I want to do it now that it's at an all time high?
  • I purchased a workout DVD. I got an "order confirmation" immediately. I got a "purchase confirmation" the next day. And I got a notice of "your order has shipped" seven days later. Really? You boys have trouble finding it in the warehouse?
  • Baylor's new president Kenneth Starr held a press conference yesterday about the Big 12 situation. He must not have changed much because it caused a CBS sportswriter to fire off a blog post entitled "Baylor's President Wastes Our Time." But at least he's just wasting time now instead of $40 million in taxpayer money on silly investigations.
  • WBAP's Hal Jay this morning making a wheeze laugh joke about Ranger Nelson Cruz: "Does he have a brother named Pablo?" (That was a "joke" in order to reference an obscure 1970s band. What's the demographic of WBAP again?)


Depressing News Briefs

  • Hood County oil well explosion injures at least six this afternoon. As many as three unaccounted for.
  • Edit: Three confirmed dead. Wow.
  • Edit @ 4:01: Oh, no. Ten are still missing!!!!
  • Edit @ 4:27: Some are describing this as "pipeline rupture."
  • Edit @ 4:48: Now we're back to three missing.
  • Edit @ 6:09: Absolutely incredible -- there are no confirmed deaths after all. The rush to "be first" is killing journalism. CNN, Yahoo, the Dallas Morning News, all fed off unconfirmed reports. It even made the NBC Evening News.
  • Seven American soldiers killed in Afganistan.
  • 55 found dead in Mexico.

Phone Wars

Apple announced its next generation iPhone today (lots of coverage here if you are interested in that sort of thing.)

President Obama In The Old "Whoomp, There It Is" Video?

At the 1:01 mark.

Are You My Caucasian?

From last night.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I saw cars nine deep at a Starbucks drive through yesterday. No. Way.
  • Not breaking news: It was brutally hot this weekend.
  • Tom Cruise recreated his role Tropic Thunder last night at the MTV Movie Awards with a dance number and it was insanely funny. (Some clips were already on the net but being taken down quickly by Viacom.)
  • Somebody needs to reign Miley Cyrus back in.
  • Baylor looks to be back in the mix with conference realignment.
  • 65% of the students in Dallas ISD are Hispanic. Only 5% are white.
  • Somehow I ended up in a suite at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night to watch the NASCAR truck series. But the highlight was getting to watch the Indy cars do a final practice.
  • Then I lost my car in the parking lot for 30 minutes. I never do that.
  • Former UCLA coach John Wooden died at age 99 over the weekend. Despite 10 national championships, he never made more than $35,000 a year.
  • And ESPN reran a package this weekend about how much he loved his wife who died in 1985. It featured former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly going to his home for a pre-arranged interview about her, but Wooden met him in tears at the door saying he couldn't do it because it was "too soon." She had been dead for sixteen years.
  • Somebody want to plug that oil leak?
  • Update on the news story of the porn star wanted for murder with a sword: He "died after falling off a cliff in California on Saturday when police used a stun gun to subdue him." Edit: Picture! Double Edit!: Video. Oh, man.
  • Those girls that were thrown out of their boat on Lake Bridgeport this weekend are lucky. Well, lucky after the fact.
  • I jogged this weekend listening to old Ticket bits I found. People have to think I'm crazy when I'm running alone and laughing.