It's Friday. Let's Get Out Of Here.

 Anyone else thinking: "That guy is weird"?
 Tiger Woods' first wife?
 The way I picture North Korea's military.
 I'm not laughing at this Millennial. I'm not laughing. 
 Credit to the little tyke. That would have freaked me out.
Now here's a man dedicated to traffic enforcement.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I didn't know she was a tone-deaf as her husband. (That's her, obviously, on the left. The photo on the right is a stock photo from the site where you can buy the jacket for $39 from Zara.) It took the public quite a while yesterday to believe she actually wore it on the way to Texas because it was so unthinkable and outrageous. 
  • Trump's explanation was soooooooo believable.  (Did he not know that the spokesman said there was "no hidden message?")
  • It was a bad day (all day) in Dallas traffic yesterday when a tanker overturned on the High Five. 
  • I haven't made a Dennis Prager post in quite awhile because I never listen to him. I tuned in for five minutes yesterday and he didn't disappoint. He had a caller on who called Trump a "Nazi." (Honestly, that's a little harsh. He's a White Nationalist but probably not a Nazi.) Anyway, Prager, in a strange bit of logic, told the caller he must be a Holocaust Denier. "Huh?" I thought. Prager's logic: Trump hasn't killed anyone, so if you believe he is a Nazi, you must believe the Nazis didn't kill Jews.  My head was spinning by the psuedo-intellectualism on full display again.
  • The Mavs drafted Luka Doncic. I'm a big fan. 
  • And I had no idea, based upon the players suits, that I'll need to get new ones which are skin tight and which expose my sockless ankles.
  • By all accounts, this happened yesterday in the Collin County Courthouse parking lot. 
  • A former Baylor student was acquitted Wednesday of sexual assault of a coed. I thought the defense had a pretty good case when the prosecutor told the jury that alleged victim didn't remember anything that happened that night because she was too drunk. 
  • Watch Channel 8's sport coverage of 18 year old David Clyde pitching debut in 1973. It's about the pre-game sales with footage of people coming up to the box office. (You have to see the buyers as well as how the tickets are sold -- "You take a personal check?") It also shows how the tracking of tickets sold and their locations was done by hand in a log book.
  • Chico ISD's school board voted to allow "certain" employees to carry guns on campus. Look out!
  • A guy has been arrested in the murder of a woman found in a high tone area of Fort Worth. An ex-boyfriend is the accused. They seem like an unlikely couple.  (She was allegedly in involved in "bringing" In And Out Burgers to Texas. Fox News reported a while back that even the manager of one of those restaurants makes $160k.)
  • The NSA has quietly moved all of its data (and that's a ton of data created by the surveillance of your phone calls, emails and texts) to a "secret" cloud based storage. What could possible go wrong? 
  • A Wise County case involving a life sentence was affirmed yesterday by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. (The text of the opinion had not been released as I write this although it should have been.)


That's A Heck Of A 180!

From the Washington Post.

Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • ABC had a graphics screw-up. (But Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager who is sitting in jail, would probably take those charges.) 
  • I missed my Tech over Arkansas upset prediction although Tech did make a run at them in the end. 7-4. (That one day rain delay complicated my hundreds of pages of research I used to make my initial prediction.) 
  • TxDOT has put up signs that read: "“AWWWW SNAP YOUR SEAT BELT”.  I saw one and it gave me Slumped Shoulders. 
  • As we move towards Idiocracy, expect to see more and more graphics like this. And have you noticed that some stations, instead of using the "Heat Index" temperature, have gone to using the "Feels Like" temperature. 
  • Trump seemed to like being part of The Swamp in Minnesota last night: 
  • Trump is a walking cluster but there has been no bigger cluster than this "Family Separation" cluster. From the White House saying (1) It's the law -- It's not. (2) Only Congress can fix it -- Not true. (3) It was not White House policy -- It was, and (4)  It can't be fixed by Executive Order -- It was. 
  • And when the White House web site officially released the text of the ambiguous executive order they had to take it down. Why? They misspelled "separation".
  • The dumbest DA in the State, Abel "Let's Indict Every Twin Peaks Biker" Reyna, went off the rails again this week when he fired one of his prosecutors for providing information to the FBI about alleged corruption in his office. Dear McLennan County: I'd have my lawyers start researching Whistleblower law. 
  • My interest in the NBA Draft on a scale of 1 to 10: 1. My interest in the NHL Draft: -1.
  • I finally was forced to start using Windows 10. Who designed that thing? Even finding the "restart" button or the "control panel" button is a battle.
  • The modern day Klan of White Nationalists continue to come out into the light with tentative approval to hold a rally across from the White House. #BloodAndSoil #Trump:FinePeopleOnBothSides
  • Dirk turned 40 this week, and someone dug up this. (Sefko now works for the Dallas Morning News.) 
  • Welcome to the longest day of the year.
  • The head of Intel resigned this morning after revealing he had a consensual relationship with an employee. He had a salary of $6.5 million a year. Don't feel bad for him. In 2017, he sold some of his Intel stock for $24 million, and he still holds 250,000 shares. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Trump will have a MAGA rally today in Minnesota. He does this whenever he feels he needs to feel loved. And he definitely is not feeling loved these days. 
  • Wanna see a brawl of of white, redneck, and overweight parents at a Tennessee girls' softball game? Here ya go:
  • DHS Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, who lied through her teeth about the "Separation of Families" at a White House briefing, decided it would be a good idea to eat at an upscale Mexican restaurant last night. Hecklers caused her to leave. "Shame!"
  • My Sports Expert Prediction is halfway home. Yesterday at predicted UT would be eliminated at the College World Series. It happened. I also predicted Tech would upset Arkansas. We have to wait on that one because the game was postponed until today. 
  • General Electric was booted off the DOW yesterday. It had been listed since 1896 making it the longest resident on the DOW until Tuesday.  It will be replaced by Walgreens. 
  • Want to be disgusted by Fox News again? Let's look at their political analyst and former Trump campaign manager's comments from last night.
  • After a Senate vote yesterday in Canada, recreational marijuana possession across that nation will become legal. 
  • With the child immigration crisis at fever pitch (we've now created "tender age shelters" for babies and toddlers), the U.S. announced yesterday that we would withdraw from the Human Rights Council at the U.N.  And it was on Juneteenth. Our timing is impeccable. 
  • Second year OU coach, Lincoln Riley, received a new contract yesterday which will pay him $4.8 million a year through 2023.  He is 34.
  • These guys on the clock? Fort Worth taxpayer dollars being used on bits? 
  • Let's check in on the pulse of West Texas:
  • Wise County Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Former Tech coach Mike Leach, who I've always been entertained by, went off the deep end this weekend posting on Twitter a doctored video of Obama. When the masses pointed out to him it was fake, he could only say, "Prove it!" He's at Washington State right now. He'll probably never coach a bigger program.
  • This "Separating Kids From Their Families" brouhaha has blown up in Trump's face. Late yesterday, Ted Cruz introduced an "emergency bill" to stop it. And now every living first lady, including Trump's wife, have come out against the Trump policy. 
  • Let's check in on Fox News who had Ann Coulter on. She called the crying migrant children "child actors" who had been given "scripts" and told Trump not to "fall for it."  Good lord.
  • Speaking of Fake News:
  • Funny (at least as funny as it can be):
  • For the life of me, I don't understand this Phil Mickelson outrage for hitting a rolling putt before it ran off the green. He was assessed a two shot penalty. (I just wish he would have made it -- and he almost did.)
  • Thanks for all the kinds messages and emails yesterday. I was surprised that so many people supported shutting the comments off. 
  • So Trump suddenly wants to establish a sixth military branch called "Space Force"? Any bets on whether he stumbled on an episode of Star Trek the night before? (He oddly said that is would be "separate but equal" to the other branches. That's a term the Supreme Court used to justify segregation of schools in Plessy v. Ferguson.)
  • The official Texas Republican Platform, revised last week, calls for the abolition of CPS, the return of an Confederate statue that has been removed, supports a "bathroom bill", and calls for the State to inform parents they can opt out of vaccinating their children. 
  • Hot sports opinion: Texas gets eliminated from the College World Series this afternoon, and Texas Tech wins to go to 2-0. 
  • The Supreme Court has announced that it will decide will hear (again) a case of whether the federal government or state governments get to decide if a moose hunter can use a hovercraft in a national preserve. I never thought I'd have to learn moose hunting with a hovercraft law. 
  • This implies the City of Dallas forced the "church" to take them down. Nope. The billboard company, a private entity, said "We don't want your business." It's kind of like a baker refusing to make a cake for a gay couple. 
  • Rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead in Miami. And with that, I just disclosed every single thing I know about XXXTentacion. 


As I Was Saying . . .

So what happened to me? Maybe a brush with death that was far too uncomfortable. Forget the "maybe," it was.

A few weeks back on Monday morning I was finishing up Random Thoughts when I suddenly, with little warning, felt a little sick. Thinking I couldn't make it to the bathroom, I grabbed my trashcan and threw up. What I saw perplexed me.

It was red. Blood red. I thought, "Did I drink tomato juice this morning?" "Did I eat somthing red? Nope. It looked like blood. Not vomit with a tad bit of redness but pure blood.

I had never had that happen to me before, and my reaction was that "This too shall pass." I was wrong. In about 45 minutes it hit again but this time I made it to the bathroom. Yep, it is blood. I told my one and only able assistant what had happened and she was concerned. "I'm fine," I said." I had a small district court docket at 9:00 a.m. and was not going to miss it. I told her, "I can go over there and fake it" in response to her suggestion I go home or to the doctor.

I went back to my desk and thirty minutes later it hit me again. Blood again.

I tell her I'm going home, and she scrambles to get everything reset.

I head out the door dressed in my typical white shirt and tie and it occurs to me that if I throw up while driving home my front windshield would look like the back windshield in Pulp Fiction after Travolta shoots Marvin in the face. I grab a cup for good measure and as a back up.

Halfway home the vomiting continues, and I fill up the cup. Now, a guy with half a brain would seek medical attention at this point but apparently I don't quality. I went home and went to bed believing this "had to stop" eventually -- bouts of vomiting always stop at some point, right? I made it maybe an hour when I threw up blood again. I texted Mrs. LL who told me in no uncertain terms to get down to, at the very least, the corner emergency room facility. She knew what was going on: I was suffering from internal bleeding. I told her I wanted to wait it out one more time.

I went maybe 30 minutes before it hit again. This time worse than ever.

I headed to the local corner ER.

Once there, they quickly put me on a bed, gave me a vomit bag, and I gave them an involuntary sample of vomit blood even though they didn't ask for it. The doctor was there quickly. Things changed dramatically for me at this point in terms of what I was dealing with.

The doctor, who was beyond firm in his delivery, said, "You have lost a lot of blood. You need blood, and we don't have blood here. We've got to get you to downtown Fort Worth."  I replied with some type of, "You sure it is this serious?" response. His retort was quick an resounding: "I have had more than one person die in front of my eyes after having gone what you have gone through. I'm calling an ambulance for transport."

I called Mrs. LL and she is there in minutes (she was already headed home to check on me.) I ask if she could take me to the downtown hospital and she replies for the medical staff, "No. They can monitor to you on the way there, idiot." (She didn't actually say "idiot" but she might as well have -- justifiably so.)  I'm loaded into the back of an ambulance (my first time ever) and a ton of wires are hooked up to me.

As we are moving at a pretty good clip down a large suburban street, the attendant in the back of the ambulance with me is looking at a monitor of my vitals intently. Very intently. I look over my left shoulder and see it, but I don't understand the numbers. About five minutes into the journey, his words terrify me.

He looks at the monitor and, without looking a me, tells the driver, "Jason, hit the lights!"

We are now running Code Three. Things have just gotten ramped up.

We headed into downtown Fort Worth, and I suddenly fear that construction and afternoon traffic will slow us down. We continue at break neck speed and then it dawns on me: The new toll road into Fort Worth has been completed.

We pull into Harris, and I'm rushed into the ER like you would see on TV. I've never seen so many medical professionals around me. At one point I pass out (they tell me for 45 seconds) as I simultaneously spewed blood. I'm feeling weak.

I've now got more needles stuck in me than I ever have in my life and they "stabilize" me as they run blood tests and quickly get ready to get new blood into me. Someone explains to me that I'll need a procedure -- a gastroenterologist will snake some device down my throat, find out where the bleeding is coming in, and patch it. (Extreme Side Note: Mrs. LL doesn't think a GI procedure where they repair bleeding constitutes a "surgery." That's why I'm referring to it as a "procedure.")

In addition to Mrs. LL, I had a couple of family members show up. While there, a nurse came in and said they were moving me to "Sub ICU". A family member, after she left, ask me what that was. My reply was, "I really don't know but it sounds like they are moving me to ICU but call it something different so I won't freak out."

I'll be honest, the next four or five days are a blur. They are big on drugs in that place. I have no memory of the surgery and very little of anything else.

But as the fog cleared, I had more than one doctor tell me I had been in a very dangerous position. The amount of blood loss almost got me.

And at the end, one had a suggestion that caught me off guard: If I could do it, take some time off and remove myself from anything and everything that causes me stress. I didn't like the idea, but the whole experience convinced me it couldn't hurt. Plus, if you've ever been in ICU for a few days, one thing is clear upon release: You can't walk for a handful of days. You are weak. And have your GI area operated on isn't exactly conducive to eating for a while.

So I did it. Mrs. LL helped me get back on my feet and then, after a few days, I had a variety of options and I used them. (A nice offer came from Mrs. LL's relatives in Arkansas who said I could house sit while they did summer traveling.)  But I was told to eliminate stress. I went completely off the grid. No blogging. No checking comments. No Twitter. No email. Heck, no Internet. The only thing I did was keep in contact with Mrs. LL and my office to make sure the world wasn't coming apart. I limited TV to fun stuff -- watching no more than 10 minutes of news every day.

It was frustrating at first but then became borderline glorious. I got to spend time reflecting on what happened and where do I want to go from here. Life is short. Shorter for some than others. I knew I almost fell into the "some" category.

But I'm back. However, I will change some things. Most are personal, but you'll see some of them on here. I'll get back to Random Thoughts tomorrow, but I'll probably turn off the comments. Having to check them throughout the day and read what is oftentimes the very worst from mankind it not the way I want to spend my days any longer. I don't know if I'll do any posts other than Random Thoughts with the exception of "It's Friday. Let's Get Out of Here!" which gives me great joy.

Side note: Thanks so much to the folks over at the courthouse for helping me out over the last few weeks. I'm eternally grateful that you came to my aide when I needed it. That doesn't happen in large counties. Instead of court staff screaming, "What do you mean he has to reschedule?!" I got a list of phone calls expressing concern.

One final note: Even though my cup did save me from vomiting blood all over the car, everything was not saved. A few drops of blood ruined a white shirt and my favorite purple tie was ruined -- a tie that I wore to two funerals last year which were very important to me. I may save it as a reminder. A reminder of a scary day, the delicate balance of life, and the words . . .

. . . "Jason, hit the lights!"