- Dallas DA Susan Hawk walked right out and faced the press head on yesterday. She spoke for 37 seconds, took no questions, and then turned and walked away. This will not turn out well.
- Note to people who drive like a bat of hell and swerve in and out of traffic on their way to work: Every thought about getting out of bed 10 minutes earlier?
- Unemployment rate just announced: It has fallen to 5.1%.
- I posted a photo of Clark Griswold at Wally World two days ago and yesterday BagOfNothing flies his family out to Disney World. I could only think of, "Sorry, folks. Park's closed. The moose outside should have told you."
- Is it just me, or do I smell BBQ around the Decatur courthouse square this week?
- "As of Friday, the Rangers had the worst attendance of the six division leaders. So far, the team has averaged about 30,000 fans per game, their worst since 2009 and in the bottom half of all teams in Major League Baseball."
- The Fort Worth Court of Appeals affirmed a dope conviction out of Wise County yesterday. Legally, it was correct and the guy had been in lots of trouble before. However, it's amazing that a Rhome officer used an "old fashioned VHS" tape to record the traffic stop in 2012, that it got "tangled" when he tried to remove it, that he couldn't repair it, that he placed it in "his sergeant's box", and he didn't know what happened to it after that. (The opinion refers to him as a "Boyd officer" at the time of trial but the book-in records have it as a Rhome PD arrest.)
- Anyone else have a problem with the story that the Oregon gunman asked the victims "one by one" if they were Christian and if they said yes they were shot in the head, but if they said no or didn't answer they were shot in the leg? None of those reports have come from someone who was in the room. The closest we have is one eyewitness, Kortney Moore, who said that the shooter asked people their religion and "then started firing away" which is consistent with a witness next door who heard a "percussion of gun shots." I'm not buying this "one by one" report where everyone just calmly stays there and takes it.
- President Obama on the NRA: “And I would particularly ask America’s gun owners who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt for sport, for protecting their families, to think about whether your views are being properly represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you . . . . Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out. ‘We need more guns,’ they’ll argue. ‘Fewer gun-safety laws.’ Does anybody really believe that?”
- And, with that, I just heard an ad for handgun silencers/suppressors on The Ticket. I guess the problem isn't gun violence, it's gun noise.
at 8:47 AM
Yep, to Trump's left is the holiest man in Dallas. And Wise County's border friend Kenneth Copeland was there.
Let's stop the fight. Trump is obviously going to win.
Credit: Robert Wilonsky via Dallas Observer.
at 1:31 PM
It owns The Ticket, WBAP, and more. If you want to buy a radio station, here's your chance. And if you work for one of its radio stations and have a big salary, get ready to accept a pay cut or leave.
Look at the following shocking facts:
- Cumulus replaced its CEO yesterday after almost two decades.
- "On Sept. 15, Moody’s cut the ratings of Cumulus’ $2.4 billion of debt to B3 — which is junk status."
- Profits are down 18% in the second quarter of this year
- Cumulus shares are down 84 percent this year, closing at 68 cents Tuesday. They fell to 65 cents in after-hours trade.
List of stations in DFW the company owns:
at 1:01 PM
at 12:08 PM
- "BOWIE, TEXAS (AP) - A Texas mother is accused of abandoning her five children after police found them starving, filthy and, in the case of a baby, near death while her 8-year-old son was left in charge of his siblings."
- Is Montague County the most wheels off Texas county? It has a history of crazy murder cases (from a famous "cheerleader murder" case to a Nocona nurse convicted of intentionally killing 10 patients), a corrupt Sheriff's office where the Sheriff escaped justice by fortunately dying in 2009 (that case was insane giving rise to multiple indictments -- and they didn't get everyone), the recent case of a Nocona officer who shot and killed an off duty deputy during a domestic violence call, the county leading the "region" in Twitter rants that are racist and homophobic, and a current DA who won't release records of closed cases.
- Not to mention that they pronounce it Mahn-TAYG instead of the Shakespearean pronunciation of MAHN-tee-gyou.
- Wow: I never knew the the car of Sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit had "Montague County" on the side.
- I joked the other day about the potential high score of the Tech/Baylor game and now Vegas has made it the highest over/under line in history at 90.5.
- Someone brought up radio guy Dennis Prager yesterday. Nope, I haven't changed my mind. He is a simpleton who doesn't realize his is a simpleton. And I'm not going to listen to a "Relationship Hour" hosted by a guy who is on his third marriage and is worse in relationships than I am.
- I woke in the middle of the night to A Scene Of The Family Pup Throwing Up that would have made Linda Blair in the Exorcist proud.
- Someone document this for me: The Rhome Police Department is having a National Night Out. Per the Update, "There will be free hot dogs, chips and drinks, as well as literature that helps with issues plaguing youth and society today." Get me that literature! Also, "Demonstrations of a felony traffic stop and tazing will be conducted." I think I've seen one (misdemeanor) DWI stop in my career where a cop pulled a weapon on the driver from the get go, and it happened in the last two years in Rhome. It was referred to in the police report as a "felony stop".
- "I don't want Middle Eastern refugees living next to me either." - WBAP's Hal Jay this morning in defense of emails opposing a bond issue in Highland Park which suggest its passage might give rise to apartments which will house the poor. The next five minutes were spent with the crew around him distancing from him and Hal Jay trying to figure out if he had said anything that might be considered racist.
at 8:45 AM
Back story from the Wise County Messenger's Update* from earlier this week.
Lasky (to Clark's son, Rusty): Has your father ever killed anyone?
Rusty: Just a dog. Oh and my Aunt Edna
Clark: Hey, you can't prove that Russ.
*Side note to the Editor and the Publisher of the Messenger: Don't sue me. I'm giving you free press and a link to the Update for the masses to follow. (Someone once called my readers a "band of monkeys", but don't worry about that.) Then again, in this day and age, if you sued me we could both promote it as a "news story".
at 8:39 PM
McMillin, whose Facebook page says he is married, did not respond to messages from The Star seeking comment. He said in an emailed statement only that he has "decided the time is right for me to pass the torch and spend more time with my family."
"Now I want to focus all of my attention on making my family's world a better place," he said.
at 1:37 PM
Poster goes up as national and state police assoc. ready for news conference about DPD @ChiefDavidBrown pic.twitter.com/tfnjVGgyr3— Shaun Rabb (@shaunrabbfox4) September 30, 2015
at 1:18 PM
Buddy, let an ol' timer set you straight. I may not have walked five miles to school in the snow, I may not have suffered through the Great Depression, and I may not have had to fear being drafted into Vietnam, but when it comes to college football, I know suffering.
Baylor Won/Loss Record
And you, kid, don't know suffering. Now get back to to Angry Birds or whatever if is you kids do.
at 12:22 PM
- One thing I regret while in El Paso was that I didn't have time to see the Bridge of the Americas. I wanted to do it because I could automatically trump anyone in an immigration debate by simply saying, "Let me tell you something. I've personally taken my own human body to the border. I've looked with my own human eyes across the the Rio Grande at Juarez. I may have even seen El Chapo in the distance." That's all it takes to win, right?
- I actually wanted to see it because I thought it was the bridge the Josh Brolin used to cross into Mexico in No Country For Old Men -- but I was wrong. But it was the filming location for the short lived FX series named, obviously, The Bridge.
- Does the first item in The Update have viral potential?
- Sports: (1) I finally got to watch the Texas/OSU game including the crazy defensive holding penalty on UT and the subsequent flag on Charlie Strong. The Evil Empire was wronged. But if the Evil Empire was wronged 20 more times over the next few years, they still will be ahead in the Official Wrong/Not Wronged Ledger. (2) As crazy as that TCU play was to win the game, the Tech Crazy Train Play that actually ended the game was 10 yards away from infamy. It started with a throw from the 32 yard line of Tech and ended at TCU's 10 after multiple laterals. That was 10 yards away from replacing California/Stanford's last play as the most insane play in college football history. And it could have happened. Don't get tackled! Launch the ball! You may lose on a fumble recovery but don't get tackled! Watch it here from a fan's video in the stands -- love these things.
- I got duped, right?: The people "camping out" to buy a home in a new development in McKinney have to be doing a bit and a publicity stunt.
- DMN story from it's "Biz Beat Blog": "Forbes has just announced its annual roll call of the 400 richest Americans — and there are 36 Texans on this year’s list, with Walmart heiress Alice Walton yet again topping all of them with $36 billion. (And that’s before she sells her ranch outside of Fort Worth.)" Hey, I'm an idiot when it comes to business, accounting, and math, but the fact that the ranch hasn't sold yet has nothing to do with her net worth and being "rich". I love to simplify things: If all a person has is a $150,000 house and is debt free, that person has a net worth $150,000. If he sells that home for the fair market value of $150,000, he now has a net worth of $150,000.
- Also from the story: Mark Cuban's new worth remains at $3 billion. Exactly how much did he personally get when Yahoo.com ridiculously paid $5.7 billion in 1999 for his company, Broadcast.com, which had never turned a profit?
- I'll never hear the word "SMU" and "Death Penalty" without remembering me and four of my buddies as high-schoolers on the campus of TCU in the summer of 1979 checking out a cheer-leading camp. Out of the blue, we saw 18 year old Eric Dickerson walking around because, we discovered, he was there for a high school THSCA All-Star game. (Box score, anyone?) He was just walking around by himself but had a jersey on that had "Dickerson" across the back. Sport's Illustrated had just written that his college jersey would have "National Championship" on the front and "Heisman Winner" on the back when all was said and done. We had him sign his autograph five times on the back of an envelope and he used my back to do it on. We then carefully tore the envelope up and all took one autograph. I've still got mine. (My buddies, if my memory hasn't failed yet again, have the familiar Wise County names of Bilby, Clifton, McQuiston, and I think Ralls or Lawson. And I promise we listened to a new 8-track tape on the way there by a new group who had just released "My Sharona". We talked about whether The Knack was the second coming of The Beatles.)
- And I just looked up that "Ralls" and noted that his mother died less than two months ago.
- Dallas DA Susan Hawk has left treatment and plans to return to work on Thursday. My first reaction was that she needed to come into work at 5:00 a.m. to avoid all cameras. But upon further review, I think I'd tell the media I'm walking in the front doors at 8:00 a.m. It's time for her to be on the offensive to save her job.
- I'm often reminded of the line from Harrison Ford, as Jack Ryan, to the president in Clear and Present Danger when the President's long time friend had been found murdered on his yacht by the cartel after he had stolen some laundered drug money: The President was wondering how to respond if the press asks him if they were good friends: Ryan told him to say, "'No, not good friends. We were lifelong friends.' There's no sense defusing a bomb after it's already gone off."
at 8:41 AM
I'm stunned by this, but I'm not sure why.
On the official* College Football Playoff site, there is a link to "pick your team" and "reserve" your tickets. This is a little insane: You pay for the "right" to purchase a ticket at face value if the team you pick makes the National Championship game. But the price is market based. For Baylor, it's $20 right now. For TCU, it's $10. For Ohio State, it's $72. And once you pay, it is not refundable. If your team doesn't make the championship game, you're done.
But, wait, there's more. As the season goes along, you have the right to sell your right to buy the ticket based upon the current market. Make sense? Say TCU goes undefeated into the final game and the market value for that "right" to buy the ticket goes to $150 or more. You can sell the right and pocket the cash. (At least that's what I'm seeing.)
All of this is fun and a great idea, but this is officially sanctioned by the entity that is the College Football Playoff?
*That is the official site, right?
at 9:43 AM
They occurred back to back on my timeline. The humor gave me Slumped Shoulders. (And that's the fourth time Willett has posted the same thing over the last few months.)
at 9:17 AM
- I'm finally a big believer in GPS for navigation. I don't even look at the screen any longer -- I just listen to the directions. I might drive into a lake one day, but I'm still a big believer until that happens.
- A few things I forgot to mention on my hike to Texas' highest point: (1) About a mile into the hike, I came across a herd of deer. It was like time was frozen as we exchanged stares without moving a muscle. No one moved. One had a rack, and I tried to telepathically communicate with it by thinking, "You understand, don't you? I mean you no harm." Then all of them suddenly hauled arse. At least I think they were deer. They almost hopped like rabbits as they took off down the rocky slope. (2) The lady of the older couple I came across about three miles into the hike offered me a mint. A mint? (3) I had more anxiety walking to my car in a hotel parking lot in El Paso than beginning my ascent Into The Wild. (4) My biggest struggle during that isolated hike, or any walk or run for that matter, is to fight the thoughts of "if I could do it all over again." But that is wasted energy. The past cannot be changed.
- "More than 100 people watched in horror as MTV star and extreme sports athlete Erik Roner" died during a skydiving accident. I've never heard of the guy, but I was watching a segment on Real Sports with the Senior In The House last week about those who cheat death via base jumping with wing suits. She said they were crazy. As a "responsible adult", I was forced to agree. But I really thought that if you know the risk and realize that you may die with every jump, it's your choice. More power to you. Except this guy had a wife and two kids. The wife? Girl, you accepted the risk when you married him. The kids? You have every right to blame daddy.
- What a crash for the oil industry: Gas is below $2.00 a gallon (amazing), oil at $45 a barrel (equally amazing) and rig counts in Texas are at a 12 year low. It's the mid 1980s all over again.
- And Texas real estate is next: "Collin County housing [market] is so hot, people are camping out to be 1st to snag lots in a subdivision."
- And the legal industry has already reached that point: "There's now 1 lawyer for every 157 people in Dallas County." This link with graphs is fantastic. Message: Don't go to law school for the money. Don't go to law school unless you love the field you want to practice in.
- I've never understood things like this: "EDC PROJECTS APPROVED – The Decatur City Council yesterday gave its approval to a couple of Economic Development Corp. projects. One is a $10,000 incentive for A Ary HVAC for the hiring of four new employees and reimbursement for concrete work." (From Update.)
- Sports: (1) Are we entering into era of college football where the rules need to be changed? Look at the the offensive scoring and how defenses simply cannot stop it. Seriously, you think Baylor, TCU, Tech, Oklahoma or basically any other good Big 12 team can't get 10 yards with four tries? Does the first down marker need to be moved to 15 yards? I'm serious. (2) I said last week what the Rangers were doing was remarkable, and now the Liberally Lean curse might be striking them. (3) If Tech's quarterback is healthy, the Baylor/Tech final might be 70-71 and I have no idea who wins. (4) TCU play by play man Brian Estridge spent all weekend retweeting posts about how great his call of the final play was. Buddy, let the game come to you. (5) SMU basketball was just hit with a post-season ban by the NCAA.
- I continue to thank you for all the cards and calls I've received over the last two weeks. When I get an envelope with "DPS" in the return address area, get a gift card (you kidding me??!!) for a place I've never heard because the person thinks I'll enjoy the atmosphere, and receive cards from total strangers who live out of state but know me only because of Liberally Lean, I know I'm blessed.
- Weird thing about me about airline takeoffs: Seconds into the air, the G force puts me too sleep.
- I have nothing against "online universities" but for some reason I'm bugged about the fact that the new Fort Worth Police Chief has a doctorate in Business Administration from such a school?
at 8:37 AM
- I had an impromptu trip this weekend. On Friday evening, I was thinking about how for the last three years I had wanted to climb Guadalupe Peak -- the highest point in Texas. But I also wanted to combine it with a trip to the Sun Bowl for my stadium bucket list. I had planned and cancelled three trip multiple times. Was there a flight to El Paso on Saturday? Yep. And it was available with a reasonable price. Was UTEP playing on Saturday? Yes. And a night game and against Incarnate Word --- a ridiculous future Baylor opponent that has caused the Bears nothing but ridicule. I could scout them! Hotel? Holy cow, there was one almost on campus and walking distance to the stadium. Would the National Park be open? Of course. Weather? Beyond perfect. I'd be late for work on Monday, any problems? It's Texas judges seminar week so it's slower than usual. It was the Perfect Storm. Baaaum! I pulled the trigger.
- I'll admit that BagOfNothing's post out of nowhere reviewing his climb to the peak a month ago really bugged me. Mom always thought I sat on my butt too much and would make her feelings known by telling me, "Live a little, boy!"
- Side note: And for those who are about to beat me down for being high tone, I drive a beater of a car (like I always have ) and haven't had a car payment for years so I can take these quick solo trips once every year or two and without guilt. So you can shut down the orchestra music.
- But I started Saturday morning watching the Aggie Band and Corp of Cadets in downtown Fort Worth. Fantastic. (But someone needs to explain to me the different "groups" of cadets -- and there were a TON of them marching -- and their meaning.)
- Near the Tarrant County Convention Center, where I watched the last of the Aggie Band, there is the fairly new JFK memorial celebrating his visit to Fort Worth before heading to his fate in Dallas. It is so well done.
- And I loved this photo which they have encased and is at least 8' tall. I love photos of crowds where I can look at the expressions on their faces.
- It dawned on me I was looking at a statue of JFK, it was early in the morning, and I was about to go to Love Field.
- And I made it to Love Field which is a great airport especially since all of the renovations (but I've got this weird flaw where I'll get lost in airport parking garages like nobody's business.)
- I finally made it El Paso and went with Enterprise rent cars again. Love them. So quick and easy. (Not an ad.)
- I was in my hotel room and watching the end of UT/OSU and Tech/TCU and forced myself to get to campus and stadium. Go see the Sun Bowl as the sun goes down. I could always watch it on replay. Oh, my. What games.
- UTEP campus: I am really impressed.
- Sun Bowl: Holy cow! The place is small but may be one of my favorite stadiums in the history of ever. I had always seen the TV shots of the mountains in the background but they literally surround that place. And the one gap where there aren't mountains is a view of the lights of El Paso twinkling for miles.
- I'm not complaining, but I think the crowd had a great segment of overweight women who just happen to be Hispanic and who looked like they had Saturday night off from their stripper job. But I mean no offense.
- Oh, I forgot to mention that you can basically walk up and touch the football teams as they came out of the locker room although there was absolutely no interest in cheering them on by the masses. But one of the weirdest moments was when the visiting team walked out and one UTEP fans yelled, "Hey, Incarnate Word! You suck!" (If I've ever had a Jim Halpert look on my face, I had one then.)
- The next morning I left at 6:00 and head 111 miles to Guadalupe Peak. I felt just like Walter White once I saw a speed limit sign of 75 and the road was empty and desolate. (And, like BagOfNothing, I saw at least one old RVs in the desert.)
- That is, until I came across a border security checkpoint. It was just me and one guard motioning me to move towards him. Beside me was a backpack with rope, duct tape, a knife, and zip ties. (Hey, you never know. I've seen 127 Hours.) He just asked one question: "Citizenship?" and looked through the window into my back seat.
- I'll say this about hiking to Guadalupe Peak. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. There is no question that I'd do two half marathons on back to back days before I'd do that again. And I'm leaning towards three. It was steep and hard going. I would keep looking up thinking I was near the top and then walk another 30 minutes only to find a new and higher peak. And even it wouldn't be the top. However, less than 24 hours later, I feel like I do after completing a half marathon -- I've gone from "I'll never do anything like this again" to "I loved every minute of it." The peak was glorious.
- For you hikers: It was 4.2 miles one way with a 3,000 elevation gain. That's pretty tough, right? And I felt like I was gasping for air but, with an elevation of 8,751, it's not exactly Pike's Peak.
- Shout out to the greatness of Merrell shoes and a trekking pole.
- I came across very few people on my way to the top but one was an older couple who was resting. I told them this was harder that I thought. The guy said, "It's a beating." Ticket fan?
- And maybe the weirdest experience of my life occurred within 15 minutes of my making it to the top of Texas. Of the six people I saw on my seven hour journey, I saw two people heading down and one was a fat boy with his shirt off singing, "I love a parade!" I seriously thought I was hallucinating at that point, and I'm still not ruling that out.
- Now I want to see Big Bend. Heck, I'd love to go into and camp for two or three days. But I would never do that without someone sitting me down and explaining exactly what to do and what to expect.
- The following is from Sunday but it was a Football Miracle.
at 8:30 AM