Texas Chaos

Texas insider Chip Brown wrote earlier this week that Mack would retire. He didn't. Chip Brown then got killed on Twitter. So he wrote this today on how Mack had executed a masterful political power play to save his job. 

And then hours later (but seconds before I wrote this) . . . BOOM:

Longhorn Network don't lie. And it is official.  Edit: Brown would later say, "The program is being pulled in different directions."

The Evil Empire has standards. This does not measure up:

He probably does this year.


Above The Fold

Weekend Perusing

Time magazine's 2013 Top 10 of everything in 54 categories..

I'm Confused: How Many Offensive Coordinators Do They Have To Have?


And both are apparently true.

Texas Monthly New Bum Steer Cover

Looks like David Dewhurst, Jerry Jones, and Houston professional sports teams will be big players.

How To Avoid Crashing Into A Cop Car

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • Sheriff Joe is in the Christmas spirit: All face to face inmate visits have been discontinued and the only way to visit now is via video conferencing at a rate of $12.95 for a 20-minute chat.  (The only upside is that relatives can also visit remotely from a home computer -- that's probably a fair trade off that he didn't anticipate.)
  • That kid who is now running North Korea had his uncle, who had been second in command for years, executed for treason.  If he's trying to prove he is crazier than his dead daddy, he's making a good case. 
  • The finals in the Texas six man football playoffs take place tomorrow in Cowboys Stadium.  I've never seen a six man game and am tempted to go. (I'm also tempted to go see 14-0 Graham vs. 14-0 Argyle at Northwest -- except it's a night game.)
  • It was in the low 40s this morning and felt balmy. 
  • Lawyer stuff that I find fascinating: Mark Bennett of Houston runs a blog and, man, he takes no prisoners.  That is, he's smart but making friends isn't high on his list.  That led to a blog post a few days ago where he crucified a brand new lawyer for ridiculous (and false) statements on his website promoting his new practice. (i.e. "pre­mier DWI lawyer", "the assassin of suppression"). That new lawyer actually responded in the comments. Good stuff. Then comes a follow-up post after Bennett discovered that the brand new lawyer had been hired on a capital murder case! The comments are golden and even Grits For Breakfast has picked up this fiasco that is about to happen.
  • Every time I post an animated GIF I get a comment, heavily laced with profanity, yelling at me for doing so. But most of the words are misspelled in a comical way. I don't if the guy's ignorant or if it is someone brilliant doing a pretty funny bit. Keep 'em coming. 
  • Good grief: That Texas judge who had to resign after texting the prosecution tips during a criminal trial has signed up to run for DA. At least she's discovered her true colors. (Dang it. Now that Cyndi Lauper song is stuck in my home.)
  • The bride who pushed her brand new husband over a cliff pled guilty to a lesser offense yesterday right before closing arguments were to begin. She now faces up to 20 years in prison instead of life. (I didn't realize the case was in federal court because the death occurred in a national park.)
  • I didn't publish a comment yesterday that claimed I had responded "8 times" as anonymous in the comments. Not true. I never do that.
  • Sports: (1) Gambling? Baylor's best and fastest receiver, who broke his wrist in the Oklahoma game, has been cleared to play in the bowl game.  Vegas might want to adjust the line accordingly. (2) TV ratings for every college football game this year. (3) The Rangers drafting Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson with an obligation to pay $12,000 was nothing more than a publicity stunt. And a brilliant one at that. (4) The terms of Aggie coach Mike Sumlin's new contract were released yesterday and he's making $5 million a year. Imagine what he'll make if he ever wins the SEC West Division. (5) I don't know who former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield is but a mansion he bought is in such bad shape that officials are going to burn it down. (6) I'm pretty sure Mack Brown is going to retire but part of me is beginning to believe a huge cluster is breaking out in Austin. (7) Chicago receiver Alshon Jeffery, who torched the Cowboys last weekend, was once recruited by then Tennessee coach - and spare - Lane Kiffin when Jeffery was committed to South Carolina. Kiffen told him that "he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life" if he went to South Carolina. Jobless Kiffin is much closer to pumping gas than Jeffery is. 
  • The Hawaiian official who approved the release of the President's birth certificate has died in a plane crash. Let me save someone some time: "It looks like that Kenyan Obammy had that Hawaiian killed. Speaks volumes, doesn't it?"
  • Random and Obscure Observation: I've never come close to be charged with a crime but that would rapidly change if I were locked in a room with Courtney Kerr (Google her) for five minutes. And I'm talking about a crime of violence. 
  • The Nancy Graces of the world (and even local wannabes) are jumping on the probated sentence for the kid from Keller in the Intoxication Manslaughter case. Let me say what I said three days ago: He's sixteen!
  • I don't want to say anything, but it looks like Santa is double booked in Wise County on Saturday morning according to the Update.
  • Singer Ray Price knows he will die in the next few days from cancer. With that in mind, he's decided he'll leave the hospital in order to be allowed to die at home. 
  • [In a deep movie preview type voice] "In another battle on the War on Drugs, Operation M-pact took place in Texarkana . . . "


Cop Of The Year

Look, the first 4:00 minutes of this video is some psycho chick screaming while the cops try to handcuff her in order to take her to hoosegow.

The most amazing thing is the cop -- around 4:30 -- taking the time to explain to the crowd (and especially to one wise guy) what had just taken place.

Las Vegas "After Hours" Clubs Might Be A Dicey Proposition

A guy tries to get in but is informed there is a $30 cover charge in order to get his party on. That's obviously justification to pull out a handgun and start shooting.  Good grief.


Greatest GIF Creation Tool Timewaster In The History Of Ever

Create your own.

Listen Up, Kids: Santa and Jesus Are White

In this debate as to whether minorities feel less connected with Santa because he is portrayed as white, Fox's Megyn Kelly drops a bombshell at 1:45: "Jesus was a white man, too."

And You Wonder Why Schools Have Been Slow To Re-Open

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • In July of this year there was a big story of a newlywed allegedly pushing her husband off a cliff. (Man, it was tailor made for crazy Nancy Grace.) Amazingly, her trial has already started
  • Major League Baseball is on the verge of outlawing home plate collisions. The new rule would require sliding instead of trying to run over the catcher. I support that. 
  • That probated sentence for the sixteen year old in Fort Worth for the Intoxication Manslaughter of four people was making the national rounds yesterday. There were, of course, the "he should be locked away forever" crazies, but there was also a heck of a lot more understanding than I thought there would be. 
  • "So people who were just calling Mandela a Communist a week ago, are now concerned he wasn't shown proper reverence at his funeral?"
  • RG3 got "benched" for the rest of the season. Good move. Let him get healthy. Bring in a coach in the off season who knows how to use him. The Redskins will be fine.
  • WBAP's Brian Estridge constantly says things that are totally off the wall or misinformed. Today, he basically said that once Obamacare goes into effect that hospitals like John Peter Smith would no longer accept indigent patients who are having an emergency health situation if they had not signed up for Obamacare. The only reason he can get away with the crazy things he says is that the demographics of the WBAP listener want to believe what he says. The Echo Chamber on the far right is a scary place. 
  • I like the phrase, "Being on the wrong side of history." It's so easy to see current beliefs in America which will be the subject of "What were they thinking?" conversations fifty years from now. 
  • I tried to make it through A Clockwork Orange a few years back but bailed on it. I'm thinking of giving it another shot. 
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller gets my attention. 
  • How did the war in Syria go from a global crisis requiring American bombing to being completely out of the news? That war is still going on, no?
  • I think Mack Brown is gone. And once that happens, it truly is the changing of the guard down in Austin. Deloss Dodds has already been ousted, and Brown's "retirement" will send a message to the Joe Jamails of the State that they are no longer in control.  That will be a good thing for the Empire. (And I'm not sure President Bill Powers, a Brown supporter, is safe.)
  • AT and T understands that the "Are you competing for cutest kid right now?" commercial with that little girl is a huge crowd pleaser. 
  • Elian Gonzalez was the subject of a famous photo in 1999 when the U.S. forcibly removed the six year old Cuban refugee from a Florida home at gunpoint in order to eventually ship him back home. I told a buddy then, which wasn't long after the fall of so many communist countries, that I could see him becoming a young man and leading a Cuban revolution due to his notoriety. I was wrong about that


Gay or Not Gay?: Arkansas Frat Boys Make Katy Perry Music Video In Recent Snowstorm

Wisconsin Massive Pile Up Caught By DOT Cameras

Here.  It's pretty crazy.

Note: Slow down!!!!!

Come On, That's Funny!

You've probably heard about the fake sign language guy at the Nelson Mandela memorial service (described above.)  Well, The Today Show was making light of it this morning when some stagehand suddenly appeared in a circle on the screen and started to doing his own sign language bit. Funny. (Not Garrett Morris interpretation for the hard of hearing on Saturday Night Live funny, but funny.)  As one can only expect in this day and time, The Today Show apologized.

"Lucky" People Compilation

This is from earlier this year, but I just saw it.

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • That girl reminds me of a young Bernadette Peters (who I will always associate with Steve Martin in The Jerk.)
  • There was an NFL field goal record set this weekend with one from 64 yards. I saw it live (thanks to the greatness that is the Red Zone channel). I felt old when I recalled I watched the half-footed Tom Dempsey set the original record of 63 yards -- also live.
  • According to the Messenger today, there were 30 people indicted by the last grand jury. Fifteen of them were for drugs. The system is broken. 
  • It probably deserves a post of its own, but I'll interested in the reaction to the sentence of probation for the sixteen year old Keller kid who pled guilty to drunk driving and causing the death of four people. Whatever your reaction, you have to remember: He's sixteen. A sixteen year old who did a dumb, but not intentional, act.  The prosecutors asking for the maximum of twenty years did themselves no favors. Seeking the maximum may get you an award from MADD at the end of the year, but it shows laziness and a disregard for true justice.  
  • That being said, I'm surprised the judge didn't showboat and sentence the  kid to twenty years. Why? Because under the "determinate sentencing" scheme in place twenty years doesn't mean twenty years. The kid would have spent around two years in juvenile prison and then would go back before the court where the judge could probated the remainder of the sentence of send him to adult prison. So a headline grabbing twenty year sentence would really mean probation with a little bit of jail time up front. 
  • Ice falling from Great Wolf Lodge.
  • This morning: Pope Francis has been selected by Time magazine as the Person of the Year. I liked that guy. 
  • During the ice storm, I parked my car on Thursday afternoon in the garage (thanks to Mrs. LL, we actually got TWO cars in a two car garage) and didn't fire it back up until Tuesday morning.  I walked outside a couple of times, but that was about it. I didn't mind it a bit. 
  • Want to be a lawyer? Try sitting down and telling a twenty something year old that she is going to jail for violating probation and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Happened to me twice in the last few months. It's gut wrenching. That's why I normally refuse to take revocation of probation cases. Those cases aren't about skills as a lawyer. It's begging. 
  • I bundled up and took off jogging yesterday evening, and the sidewalks were too icy so I ran down neighborhood streets. With the various houses lit up with Christmas lights, it was fantastic.
  • If it is 30 degrees with no wind and sunny, I have no problem with that. 
  • I'm guessing that all Wise County ISDs are closed only because the less traveled country roads are still too icy for school buses. (Chico will open at 10:00 a.m. but will keep the buses off the road.)
  • I actually researched the "Oxford comma" last night after seeing this.
  • Nick Saban to Texas? Wouldn't surprise me. It also wouldn't surprise me if he's not playing Alabama to make him richer than he already is. (But look at this story - which may or may not be true - about how Texas alums might bail him out of $20 million in bad investments to entice him.) Edit: Link fixed.
  • Big 12 "awards" per Fox Sports. Good stuff (even if I disagree with a lot of it.)
  • I have to think John Cornyn will crush Tea Partier Steve Stockman. If your campaign platform is "John Cornyn is a liberal" there are only a handful of nutcases who will agree with you. 
  • I remember Charles Haley just destroying and disrupting a backfield during crunch time.  It seems DeMarcus Ware gets sacks during trash time. It's night and day to me. 
  • I saw about two minutes of Danica Patrick hosting the Country Music Awards. She was as awful as I expected. 
  • A fantastic essay on aging parents and Alzheimers that ran in the Star-Telegram over Thanksgiving It's worth your time. Well worth your time.


Above The Fold


Chip Brown Is Normally Right

At Least You'll Be Close To An Emergency Room If It Hits You


She Understands That A Wedding Bouquet Is Magical

That suddenly looked like the pit in 300 but with a rail around it.

President Obama Taking A Selfie At Mandela's Funeral

Just being hip. Just like the kids these days.

(That's Chris Christie to the left - I think. Not sure who the lady is but it's not Christie's wife.)

Edit: OK, that's not Chris Christie but it sure looks like him.

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • "FORT WORTH -- Longtime Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Lawrence 'Larry' Meyers [from Fort Worth] announced Monday that he is leaving the Republican Party to run as a Democrat for the Texas Supreme Court." That's beyond baffling. The only thing I can think of is that he was ready to retire and wanted to gig a sitting justice from across the hall. But that's just a guess.
  • And in other Court of Criminal Appeals news,  Judge Cathy Cochran did not file for re-election.   With Myers and Cochran's last minute moves, I wonder if anyone is even running for those two judgeships. 
  • "A Dimmitt County jury has awarded $281 million to the family of a man killed when he was struck by a drive shaft that broke off a truck involved in activity in the Eagle Ford Shale." Good grief. The Eagle Ford Shale being located in a Plaintiff's attorney's heaven will have its downside. 
  • Three girls get engaged and have a cutesy photo taken with all their friends. I'd marry the one on the bottom row, far left. 
  • There is a civil case against the Travis County DA ongoing where they are trying to oust her after her DWI arrest and conviction.  Shockingly, a public official can be removed under Texas law for "intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage." That's it.  But for some reason (perhaps because Austin is Austin), the prosecutors said they will prove that the the DA "is unfit for office and could harm the public interest if she remains in her position." Why? That's not required. Why enlarge your burden of proof? And why is the judge questioning whether they can prove that. 
  • I had my first Starbucks product in over 6 years the other day thanks to my office partner. It had some fancy name but I think it was really a large non-fat hot chocolate with "no whip". 
  • "FORT WORTH — A judge has sentenced a former agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to 180 days in jail and two years of probation for taking lewd photographs of a woman with hidden cameras." A lot of that story doesn't make sense: (1) It says the offense is a third degree felony -- it's not. It's a State Jail Felony, (2) I can't tell if the sentence was 180 days in jail which was probated and suspended for two years, or a two year probation with 180 days in jail as a condition of the probation, (3) Regardless, it's odd to accept a felony conviction for a statute which was declared unconstitutional by an appellate court. 
  • The Ticket's Bob Sturm finally got back from Guatemala via Miami via Charleston and then to Dallas. 
  • Days after Carrie Underwood helped re-created live performance of The Sound Of Music on NBC, actress Eleanor Parker from the original movie has died. (She played Baroness Elsa Schraeder.)
  • Sports: Think an NCAA four team playoff (to being next year)  is better than the current BCS. I do. Then I read that if the playoff were to have been implemented this year,  "No. 2 Auburn would have to beat No. 3 Alabama [again] and the Crimson Tide would have had a bye week while Missouri picked up a second loss in [the SEC Championship] to knock them out of the playoff. Yeah, that’s real fair. Oh, and the Tide would have a shot at the national title despite not even having to win its division while Big 12 champ Baylor would be left out in the cold (both figuratively and literally)."
  • Tea Party favorite Texas congressman Steve Stockman, who invited Ted Nugent to join him during the President's last State of the Union message, filed at the last minute to run against John Cornyn for U.S. Senate.  It keeps getting crazier and crazier. But let the word go forth: Thou Shall Not Refuse To Bow Down To Ted Cruz. 
  • My "bet the house" proclamation of the Cowboys having less than 8.5 wins for the season is still alive.
  • There has never been a movie promoted as much as Anchorman 2.
  • Danica Patrick will co-host the American Country Music Awards on Fox tonight. Can you think of a more personality deprived individual to host anything? 
  • My newspaper front page site hasn't updated today. Edit: Updated


Bear With Me

I couldn't find my post about Art Briles being hired back in 2007 to save my life, but Mrs. LL tracked it down. Here's apart of it:

The rest of the entry is here (with comments about what the future will hold.)  One thing that strikes me is that Baylor was so far down, I was thrilled with the chance to be average. I scoffed at the idea of winning the Big 12. 

Which reminded me of Briles' quote on Saturday night:  ‘[T]he problem with people is not that they aim too high and miss; it’s that they aim too low and hit.’

I'll be dang. 

Garth Being Garth

Garth looking like Zoolander back in the day

During an interview with Robin Roberts [on Good Morning America], she said the shows with the band has led to questions about whether he would go on a full scale tour. After saying that he would "love to fire it up. It's still a decision that our family has to make. Between me and you, I think we'll make an announcement soon," Brooks paused and broke the news. "We're going on a world tour 2014...I can't believe I just did that...Let's just go ahead and announce it now."

Yep. Absolutely spontaneous and genuine. No pre-planning there whatsoever.

Life was pretty good with him out of the spotlight for the last 10 years, but get ready.  He's already showing up on Walmart TV commercials. He'll be everywhere.

And did I talk about his TV special from Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago? He looked high as a kite in front of a live audience.  Just talking a million miles an hour and all wild eyed.  And then he brought wife Trisha Yearwood on stage who said a few words causing him to interrupt her and say, "Remember this is the Garth Brooks show."

But one thing is certain. After his first song is finished during his new concert tour. He'll stop and look wide eyed up at the audience as applause reigns down with that trademarked, "I didn't even know people were here!" look.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • What an insane ice storm. Those cars and trucks stuck on I-35 around Sanger overnight had my sympathy. What a nightmare. (And, man, there are a lot of trucks on our roads.)
  • I kept hearing about "cobblestone ice" on freeways.  I know exactly what they are talking about from past experience: It feels like every nut and bolt in your car is going to come off. 
  • And the power outages in Dallas and Collin were a problem.  The Ticket's Craig Miller had his power go off for three days and Richie Whitt was out of power for two. I told Mrs. LL that I could probably make it though one night then it would be Hotel City.
  • I didn't make it down to Waco on Saturday for the Baylor game, but I desperately wanted to. I spent a lot of the morning just looking out the window and contemplating a decision. But it sounds like lots of folks couldn't make it back up I-35 on Saturday night. Heck, I wasn't sure I could make it out of my neighborhood. 
  • The Fifth Grader in the House spent most of the afternoons playing with other kids in the neighborhood outside. But we had her dressed up like Randy in A Christmas Story.
  • We've DVR'd the new Bonnie and Clyde starring Emilo Hirsch.  Here's what the Star-Telegram looked like after they killed two troopers on 114 in Southlake. 
  • I'm stunned I haven't suffered from cabin fever. But if I have to be iced in, this wasn't a bad weekend for it to happen. 
  • Extended Sports:
    • A shocking list of 53 NFL players who have blown out their ACL this year. I keep thinking the sport won't exist in the future but then I think of Ultimate Fighting. 
    • The Washington Redskins are in so much disarray.  Look at the empty stands at the start of the third quarter after they were throttled yesterday.  Mike Shanahan will be fired before the end of the year. 
    • "The Washington Redskins are expected to target Baylor head coach Art Briles if they fire Mike Shanahan, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday, citing league sources." You know, I actually had that thought at the first of the year if Chip Kelly's spread offense worked with Philadelphia. But with Briles' new contract and with his ties to the state of Texas, that story is beyond ridiculous. 
    • I thought the crowd would be small at the Kentucky/Baylor doubleheader at Jerry World on Friday and it was -- but they missed some pretty, pretty good stuff.  A four overtime women's game that set the record for most points scored in a women's game, and a Baylor men's upset of #2 Kentucky. 
    • No way I'm going to the Fiesta Bowl to see Baylor play Central Florida. (The early line is Baylor by 15.5). Interestingly, if OSU had beaten Oklahoma on Saturday, Baylor would be playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. 
    • But Central Florida's QB's girlfriend is a "Hey, Now". 
    • When Baylor went into its final five games, I predicted Baylor would score 30 on all of them. I went four out of five. So did Baylor.
    • Why did North Dakota State's coach leave for Wyoming? Seems like he could get a better gig than that -- he was 50-3 over the last four seasons. 
    • Fox Sports superimposing the yardage graphics over the snow in the Eagles/Lions game was cool, but I'm not sure I liked it. 
    • A photo of an outdoor cameraman in that game is fantastic. 
    • Before the freezing SMU game on Saturday, the video screen displayed a log burning fireplace
    • I've mentioned my growing disdain for the NFL, but the Minnesota/Baltimore game yesterday was high entertainment. And wasn't it great how the local Fox affiliate had to leave the game at the end due to "contractual obligations". (NFL mafia rules.)
    • Mrs. LL has become fascinated by football rules. She'll yell, "He broke the plane! He broke the plane" when a guy struggles to get in the end zone. 
    • I told her five years ago, "It sounds crazy, but Baylor will beat Texas again in my lifetime." Little did I know it would be three of the last four years. 
    • OU's fake field goal with the punter/holder throwing to the kicker for a TD may be my favorite play of the weekend. 
  • I had a senior lawyer in a big law firm I worked at one time tell me to never use the word "interestingly" when communicating with a client because the client will know whether or not the current subject is interesting. Idiot. If I'm talking to any professional (doctor, plumber, mechanic), I want him to tell me what he thinks is interesting/important. 
  • "This woman sideline reporter thing is an officially failed experiment." - A Mark Davis tweet that can only be defined as sexist. I think sideline reporters are silly, too, but he brought gender into it for some reason. 
  • I had no idea the Tea Party hated Nelson Mandela. Edit: (1) See comments. (2) Told ya.
  • The County Judge in Grayson County has declared a "local disaster" because of the ice. Not sure what exactly the implications are, if any. 
  • I watched The Today Show for the first time in a while this morning. Apparently some consultant told them they should all set at the same desk and yuk it up like they are having a good time. 
  • The Dallas Marathon was cancelled, and there will be no refunds. Proceeds go to the  Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children so it's kind of hard to gripe (I didn't register this year).  But I think the fee for the marathon was $100 and the half marathon was $80 with over 20,000 people pre-registered. That's a lot of cash. 
  • Remember that crazy New Mexico cop who opened fire on an SUV loaded with kids when the driver left a routine traffic stop? Fired


    Channel 8 Graphic

    Decatur WalMart Pic Of The Day

    (Stolen from Facebook so don't dog me that the guy's face is blocked out with a heart. I didn't do it.)

    I'm hearing that Walmart might be thin on supplies. One Wise Countian took this pic at the checkout line suggesting purchases like this is why there is no meat available.

    Edit: Someone left a sprayer on at one of Decatur's car washes . . .

    Sheets Of Ice Falling From Apartments In Plano

    You have to see it to believe it.

    Another one: