Pretty Spectacular

Calling All Old-Timers: Is This Correct?

Without doing research, haven't there been others? Going back to my childhood memories, (1) wasn't there a fatality on some roller coaster in the 1970s. I can't recall the name of it*, but it was the first big and bad one and preceded the Shockwave by a few years; and (2) did someone get killed under the old "sombrero ride" (it looked like this)?  Maybe they were just injuries, but I could have sworn there were some deaths in the early days.
*Edit: Thanks to the comments. It was named Big Bend.


Above The Fold

Texas Tech Crazy Abs Taking You Into The Weekend

Can You Hear Me Now?

Crash and Fire

Just Because

Slowly takes tie off. Unbuttons sleeves. Girl giving it the what for in front of him.

Just oozing Chicago coolness, right?

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Breaking and bizarre: "Two fires set outside murdered girl's Saginaw home." Side note: They are never going to find the killer, are they? 
  • Troubled Cowboy Josh Brent's "retirement" seems fishy. The Cowboys get to avoid controversy as training camp begins and they can take him back when he "unretires". 
  • Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow wrote a column this week telling us not to take a side in the Nasher Museum/Museum Tower sun reflection controversy, and today columnist Jacquielynn Floyd writes that "Rolling Stone magazine can’t make a killer cool." They get paid for this junk?
  • Should a Fox 4 anchor use a certain profane acronym in his tweets?
  • Not only are we replacing all the ten year old door knobs, now I learned that they cost twice as much as I thought. (But they do fall in my theory of of buying quality for something that is used/seen everyday and will last for over five years.)
  • Gov. Perry, as expected, made a big media deal about signing the abortion bill yesterday, but I didn't realize that First Baptist of Dallas pastor Robert "Look At Me" Jeffress was in attendance. (H/T BagOfNothing.com) The current majority of the Texas Legislature could very well be called First Baptist Church of Texas it seems. 
  • After the signing, Phil King introduced legislation which would restrict abortion so much that, by its very text, it wouldn't take effect until Roe v. Wade was overruled by the Supreme Court or constitutional amendment. So it's a law that admits in its wording that it is currently unconstitutional. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like that. 
  • Per the Update, the two Wise County deputies who shot the fleeing Colorado man earlier this year have been "cleared" by a grand jury. I'm kind of surprised they went to the trouble of going through the motions of even having the grand jury even make a ruling. (Although I bet the whole presentation was under five minutes). We had a couple of troopers kill a couple of guys in separate incidents a few years back, and I don't think the grand jury got involved.
  • Since the deputies' case is now closed, all those in-car videotapes are now public record, right? Fox 4? WFAA? Where you at?
  • I have a Google news alert for local towns and local politicians, but it seems primarily to alert me to the happenings of the Connecticut minor league baseball team called the Bridgeport Bluefish whenever they play a Texas team.  I kind of want a t-shirt. Edit: Heck, they don't even have T-shirts in their store, but you Bridgeport folks would probably like this jersey.
  • For those who think Mark Cuban is a genius because of one championship, consider the fact that it was due to (1) a fluke because every other team went brain dead in the playoffs, (2) Dirk Nowitzki (who Cuban inherited) single handily carried the team, (3) and the existence of a big man -- Tyson Chandler -- who everyone had been begging him to acquire for years and who he summarily jettisoned once the season is over. Brilliant!! 


The Aurora, Texas UFO of 1897

That Dallas Morning News article came from a surprisingly thorough Wikipedia page about the legend that never dies.

That Was Close

On the George W. Bush Tollway in Dallas right now.

All We Are Missing Is, "Hold My Beer."

I'm not a particular fan of these kinds of video clips but this one has two elements that make it golden: (1) Comedy: The girlfriend saying, "How are you going to get down?" as the kid makes his climb is foreshadowing to the Nth degree, and (2) Tension: This thing is 99% buildup and 1% payoff.

Thank goodness for Obamacare. Kid is gonna need a couple of gallons of it.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Attorney General Greg Abbott decided it would be a smart thing to do to have an online town hall meeting last night, and all you had to do was tweet your questions to him with the hashtag #AskAbbott. He thought that was a good idea? It turned out to be a hilarious dog pile. 
  • It's amazing that we could (and probably will) have more of a conservative-talking-points-robot than Ricky Perry as governor, but that's what you get with Abbott. 
  • And, plus, what can possibly go wrong with a would-be governor who thinks it is clever to say: "Some people talk about having a steel spine. I actually have one!" in campaign speeches. **Groan**
  • Recent Mark Cuban quote: "We're in a better spot than we were at if we got just [Dwight Howard]." You guy's just keep on blindly following him. 
  • If true, the story of the Arlington elementary school principal who allegedly solicited boys online and was arrested when he showed up at a proposed meeting with one of them is beyond shocking. 
  • Bridgeport will be spraying for mosquitoes tonight. I still doubt that the mass spraying works. It seems like doing one blast of Raid in a gymnasium. 
  • I had a confrontation with a mouse this morning and successfully defended my territory. 
  • Mrs. LL replaced a broken doorknob in the house with a fancier one and one with a different style. You know what that means? Now we've got to upgrade all of them. There's no way I can stand a mismatched one. 
  • The ESPYs show is painful to watch. 
  • A 29 year old is listed in the Update's death notices -- he died of a brain tumor.  I can't imagine what it's like to go through with a family member suffering from something like that. 
  • The Ticket's Jake Kemp just got back from a 10 day trip that included Amsterdam, Switzerland and Germany. I could listen to him talk about it all day. 
  • I laugh at news reports of the Northeast Heat Wave where temperatures "are over 90 for the third day in a row." But I suppose they laugh at us when we receive a Southern Cold Wave of temperatures below 40 for three days in a row. 
  • Johnny Football isn't very smart, but he'll probably have another great season. It's a good thing for the Aggies that his game doesn't require discipline. 


Now I'm Taking Requests?

Twitter direct message from a faithful reader:

Kind of an interesting question which I suppose is answered by how you define famous.

For those who might wonder about the above names.

James Wood -- the car dealer, not James Woods the actor
Ricky Lee Green -- the most famous murderer we've got
Kyle Clifton -- former Bridgeport, TCU, and NY Jets football player
Greg Williams -- former radio personality, "The Hammer"
Buck Taylor -- I had to look him up.

Any others worthy of the Top Five?

Rolling Stone Puts Boston Bomber On Cover

Kind of reminiscent of this . . .

Edit: An astute reader says Rolling Stone has had some controversial covers before.

Above The Fold

And is this a first? A letter to the editor written and printed in Spanish?

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • When Mariano Rivera won the most valuable player in the All Star game last night, he was awarded Corvette which prompted Mrs. LL to say, "Wow." I then pulled him up on the Internets to show her that he has career earnings of $169,441,825. If he had wanted a Corvette, he'd a bought one by now. 
  • A 29 year old in Parker County pled guilty yesterday to life without parole after a brutal murder that has received basically no TV coverage. 
  • The Sophomore in The House got her driver's learners permit and changed her Facebook page to "in a relationship" all in the same day. I see stress -- extreme stress -- on the horizon. 
  • After stumbling across a compilation of "Best Movies" of 2007, I'm declaring that year the greatest year for films ever. And since we've been bombarded with sequels and animated films since then, it may be the Last Great Year.
  • I'm having blood work done this morning. It's quick and easy, but I hate it. 
  • A USA Today reporter was sent to the metroplex and was "on his own" (with the help of Twitter) to explore the place
  • The article is a lengthy one, but the Bexas County DA's office should be prosecuted for Abuse of Process for using its hot check department to send letters to collect debts for payday loan companies. “That’s part of the services that are offered,” said one assistant DA. Puuleeeze. Trust me, not repaying a loan to places like The Money Store doesn't qualify as a crime. The DA's office is acting as an improper debt collector (and trying to collect a "fee" for its trouble.) 
  • Somehow we set a personal record last month for our residential electric bill. Good grief. 
  • And when will we stop paying attention to Ted Nugent. In an article about the Zimmerman verdict, he called Trayvon Martin a "poor, helpless, dope-smoking, dope-peddling, gangsta wannabe, Skittles hoodie boy."  (And talk radio host Mark Davis is eventually going to get bit in the arse for continuing to sanction Nugent's beliefs as he did last night.)
  • Look, I understand agreeing with the verdict. I agree with it, too. But the hate mongering racists have come out of the woodwork by somehow believing, in their twisted logic, that the verdict sanctioned their hateful beliefs about Martin. 


That Civil Rights Law That The Feds Are Thinking About Using Against Zimmerman Is Scarier Than, Well, Zimmerman

Disclaimer: Hey, I know I'm hanging with the Right Wing on all these issues but my view is based solely on being a criminal lawyer and not politics.

When I first heard that the Justice Department was contemplating charging Zimmerman with a violation of federal civil rights law my first thought was: He's not the government. How can he violate anyone's civil rights? So I looked up the statute and discovered, wow, it applies to private citizens. The law, enacted in 2009, reads, in applicable parts . . .
Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law [meaning whether or not you work for the government], willfully causes bodily injury to any person . . .  because of the actual or perceived race [or] color . . of any person . . . shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both . . . . 
OK. That's weird. But I assumed that the statute would at least require the crime to be committed on federally protected property or, as a catch-all, have the crime impact "interstate commerce". That's what gives the federal government the power to enact criminal laws -- it's called a "federal nexus." (However, even the Supreme Court has been skeptical of using the interstate commerce clause as a justification to make private person on private person crime a federal, instead of a state, crime.) But, wow, there is no such requirement. Man, I'm stunned by that. That may be the broadest federal criminal law ever.

So, assuming the law is constitutional, Zimmerman's only defense to federal prosecution would be self-defense. Fortunately for him, that's a really, really good defense.  But I bet this is all academic.

House Fire This Afternoon South Of Newark

Heck of a picture.

Edit: Anyone else see a face?

Chuck E. Cheese Brawl. You know. A brawl. At Chuck E. Cheese.

COMMACK, NEW YORK - Police were called to Chuck E. Cheese’s in Commack Saturday night to break up a bizarre brawl that was captured on cellphone video.

Cellphone video of the scene shows a woman throwing punches while holding a small child.
Authorities say that someone in the melee ended up stealing another woman's purse, which was later found with cash and a cellphone missing.

No arrests have been made. The cause of the fight is still unclear.

But we're making progress. At least no one got shot.

Home Run Derby Animated GIFs Of The Day

Kind Of Clever

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • The "Denton Patrol Officer of the Year in 2008" was arrested for DWI.
  • We watched a documentary last weekend called The Woman Who Wasn't There about a lady who ended up leading a 9/11 support group in New York claiming she was in one of the buildings when the plane hit. She wasn't. It was so odd because she didn't profit from her lie and was supportive to all those she came in contact with.
  • Anderson Cooper had one of the Zimmerman jurors on last night and, although at times she seemed to be a bit wheels off, she accurately articulated the legal standard the jury was obligated to follow.
  • And Piers Morgan interviewed the first witness in the trial (the much berated girl Trayvon was on the phone with when everything went down.) I'm not sure she improved her status with the public.  "The jury, they old. That's old school people. We in a new school, our generation"
  • Wendy Davis is on the cover of Texas Monthly with the title "Game On?"
  • I don't think I mentioned this yesterday: Crazy Texas Mommy seems to be having trouble with her teenager. She is brutally honest.
  • How did the public go from laughing at Randy Travis' drunken exploits to now holding him up as a national treasure?
  • I say this every year: There is nothing more boring than the Home Run Derby. And there is no one more annoying than Chris Berman.
  • While Berman was interviewing former Mets catcher Mike Piazza last night, he told him "no American will ever forget the Piazza HR from 9/22/01."  Does anyone remember that? 
  • That was fast: News comes out that MTV is doing a reality show about Redneck Heaven restaurant, reporters figure out that there are some days that the waitresses at the restaurant wear nothing but body paint up top, and a city council has already changed an ordinance defining "nudity" in response to the reports.
  • Mrs. LL and I had a discussion on the pronunciation of "asterisk" last night. I think I've been saying it wrong for a long time. 
  • So anyone know the name of the guy that walked out in front of an 18 wheeler in Rhome over the weekend and committed suicide? 
  • In 2009, I learned of Erich Spangenberg after he came in at #53 of the "Most Expensive Homes in Dallas." What got my attention was that he was a "patent troll" - a guy who just buys patents and then sues for alleged infringement. Sheesh. He's becoming somewhat famous as the New York Times did a long expose on him this weekend. 
  • It's a two newspaper worthy day . . .


I Don't Know Much About Immigration Reform . . .

 . . . but the current system seems to be a bit flawed.

You see videos like this from time to time, but this is a new one.

Remember That Her Late Dad Represented O.J.?

Fuzzy Math

Baylor officially beat UCLA in the Holiday Bowl last year 49-26.

But Baylor thinks they got ripped off when UCLA "scored" on the game's final play although the receiver never made it to the end zone.

 So Baylor engaged in revisionist's history on their official Holiday Bowl rings.


Doctor In Hot Water For Diagnosis

"I looked up the term. It doesn't exist in Merriam-Webster dictionary." - That's some hard hitting reporting right there.

"Call Me Maybe" Chick Throws Out First Pitch

Yep, that is crazy.

Animated GIF Of The Day: Tour de France

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • I was completely off the grid when the Zimmerman verdict came down which is frustrating because I would have loved to have watched it live. 
  • I read an old Rolling Stones article about the 1979 concert of The Who which left eleven people dead from a stampede/crushing crowd.  A similar tragedy got so close to happening in 1989 when the Rolling Stones came to the Cotton Bowl. Everyone was forced through one gate and the concourse turned into a sea of people packed like sardines. It was scary. I was there. (But the only press I saw about it was one Letter to the the Editor.) 
  • In those situations, it normally is not people being trampled to death but instead bodies are forced so tightly together that people force air in and out of their lungs. (I did a quick Google search and was shocked to see this list of deaths from "stampedes" in the 21st Century.)
  • Jordan Spieth, 19, became the youngest player to win a PGA event in over 80 years. And I didn't see a second of it. (Now he's qualified for this week's British Open as he scrambles to get over there.)
  • I can't imagine the Feds going after Zimmerman. 
  • From Random Thoughts in April of last year: "There are still more facts to learn, but I'm thinking the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case has bitten off more than she can chew."
  • Johnny Football may have had a hangover and got kicked out of a football camp. It will be fascinating to see whether or not he implodes this Fall. 
  • Official Liberally Lean MLB player Chris Davis is now at 37 home runs after hitting four consecutive home runs in his last four games. 
  • We had a record "low high" yesterday of 81 degrees and that occurred at 12:01 a.m. 
  • I watched, again, most of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this weekend with a twist -- This time I had Mrs. LL explain to me what the heck was going on.
  • Very shocking motorcycle death: A guy in Maine was trying to break the speed record when he lost control at 285 miles per hour. 
  • I watched the pilot of The Bridge on FX over the weekend. Verdict: This has huge potential. (It's a crime drama about Juarez and El Paso.)  And the chief cop in it is none other that Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.


Justice and Peace

Criminal law defense is what I do for living. It's all I do. That fact has made me emotionally invested in that trial.  Would I have literally thrown up if this man had been convicted? Probably. As I've said before, we don't know exactly what happened during the one minute that preceded Trayvon Martin's death. And if we don't know, that means we have a doubt. And that doubt, being a reasonable one, means that he should not be convicted. It really is that simple.

For the moment, a six woman jury in Florida has restored my faith in The System.