Random Tuesday Morning Thoughs

  • A Denton police officer was shot during a "routine" traffic stop on University Drive in the parking lot of a Taco Bell shortly after midnight. He's in critical condition. It was the first shooting of a Denton officer since the 1997. 
  • Ukraine:
    • The noose tightens: The first witness who was actually listening to the Trump call with the Ukranian president will testify today before the Impeachment Inquiry. (Opening statement transcript here.) Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council and Iraqi vet, was so disturbed by it that he reported to his superiors what he heard. Twice. How are the they going to attack him? Is he just a “faceless unelected bureaucrat”?
    • Oh,  Fox News is going with the double agent theory. Good lord. 
    • And the Republicans demanded a formal vote of the Impeachment Inquiry? Nancy Pelosi said they'll get one on Thursday.
  • Dirk Nowitzki just bought an 11,394-square-foot mansion in Preston Hollow. I don't know why, but that kind of surprises me. 
  • Texas trivia: What percentage of the vote did Abraham Lincoln get in Texas? (Answer below.)
  • I support the Star-Telegram but for the millionth time: Your website is an abomination. We don't want videos we didn't ask for. We don't want those videos mucking up the loading of a page we want to read. And we don't want those videos automatically playing.  We want text. Sweet, clean text. Your pages never stop loading. It feels like 1997 with a slow telephone connection.
  • An offensive lineman for TCU announced he would have season ending hip surgery and thanked coaches, teammates, and others for all of their support. Coach Gary Patterson got mad at him for disclosing it because he didn't want their next opponent to know until Saturday. 
  • More Wise County history I saw at the Paradise Museum. This is a land map of the county in 1878.  I know it's hard to read, but the largest tracks are designated to out-of-county schools. Why? How did that work? Also, a lot of the tracts have a "ptd" abbreviation next to a number under them. What is that? A quick Google search suggests it might stand for "property title dispute." There are a lot of numbers on the tracts, too, but they don't seem to be acreage or leagues.

    Matagorda County School Land? Van Zandt County?
  • And I think this timeline is fascinating. Paradise was booming in 1914.  The mode of transportation was via horse and buggy, but more importantly a relatively new train was making a stop a literal stone's throw away.  By the 1930s, cars were exploding even in the South and travel by rail was beginning to decline. And Paradise slowed down, too.

    1914 (obviously). Although I'm guessing some big event was going on. 
  • And if you don't think the technology of the automobile exploded, look at 5th Avenue in Manhattan from 1902 with all horses and buggies compared to 1913 with all the cars. My Bridgeport math tells me that's just eleven years. (I first saw this in some youtube video of a presentation on how certain inventions take off like a rocket - cars, cell phones, flat screens -- but I can't find it for the life of me.)
  • I can't get this picture of Jane Fonda being arrested at a climate change protest rally out of my head. 
  • Of all the crazy Big 12 games last weekend with OU, Texas, and Iowa State being upset, none were crazier than the ending of Tech/Kansas. I don't think it's getting the publicity it deservedly should receive. (Texas Tech blocked a Kansas game winning field goal attempt, a Tech guy tried to run with it and then made the very poor decision to lateral, and Kansas fell on it with one second left. Kansas then lined up and immediately kicked again and won the game. Watch it.)
  • Answer: Zero percent. There was no way to cast a vote for him.