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

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • I can summarize the current State of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Wise County with this: A picture from the toilet paper aisle at Brookshire's in Bridgeport taken yesterday afternoon by one of many correspondents. 
    Maybe those crazy Doomsday Preppers were right all along
  • On the national scale, this is a good summary of what went down yesterday. Yep, I'm watching MSNBC at 5:00 in the morning:
  • Edit: Austin just reported its first cases and the University of Texas just cancelled classes for today. (It was going to ride it out to get to spring break which would then be extended a week.)
  • Let's check the board. And, let me tell you something, these numbers are going to look microscopic compared to what we will see in a couple of weeks when the country with the Greatest Health Care System in the World finally gets off its arse and gets test kits to everyone who needs it. 
  • If you want to know why we are shutting down everything, below is a great graphic. The levels of the peaks might not be exact, and the line for health care capacity might not be precise, but the concept is 100% correct. 
  • You can't go three feet without hearing a rumor that we have have multiple cases in Wise County that have yet to be officially confirmed. Hey, there's no way it is not here
  • If every school is not shut down for at least next week, I'll be stunned. 
  • The district court in Wise County made an announcement that's important to lawyers who practice there and those who have upcoming court appearances.
  • Isn't it wild how the fake news Washington Post was on top of this 63 days ago? 
  • You want to know who is the most reluctant to shut down? The Texas Motor Speedway with their upcoming NASCAR race. That's their big money event. They may need it to simply survive. (But Eddie Gossage is losing his grip to hang on to it. For the race this weekend, NASCAR has banned fans from the Atlanta race.)
  • That picture was taken last week. Here's video at around the same time.  The guy in the glasses has tested positive for the coronavirus. Despite that, the White House says Trump has not undergone a test to determine if he has contracted the virus. Why not? That's mind-boggling. (Related: NPR reported yesterday that Trump has intentionally suppressed the number of tests available over the last few weeks because the results could/would hurt his election chances. Is there anyone who does not believe he would do that?)
  • And there it is! Early this morning he just blamed the CDC -- the same guys who have been standing side by side with him at every press conference trying to help him, support him, and make him understand. It's never his fault. Ever. And, dude, you've been president for three years! You've had time to fix any problem you saw. Blaming Obama as well won't save you now. 
  • He deleted it. He decided that suggesting a way for rich people to profit off of death was not be a good idea. 
  • No, this isn't a bailout. No one is being "given" money. But, man, the federal government will throw a trillion dollars around at a moment's notice. 
  • We might have a Heart Attack Pandemic of Fox News viewers after they saw this smokin' hot politician on their TV boxes last night.
  • Holy cow. Crazy Jerry Fallwell, Jr. is keeping Liberty University open to own the libs and went on Fox and Friends this morning saying the coronavirus was an intentional "gift" from North Korea. Video.
  • In news unrelated to the coronavirus, a Wichita Falls TV station has some info on Decatur PD that even I didn't know about:
  • Hey, did you know that the U.S. and Iraq have been launching bombs at each other over the last two days killing people on both sides?
  • Before there were DPS gun boats on the Rio Grande, they were doing this. I can't get enough of this picture
  • And in business news west of the Big Sandy, Bridgeport Building Center has been sold.
  • According to the Dallas Morning News today, Bridgeport has the lowest gas prices in the metroplex at $1.65 a gallon at three locations.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Well, that escalated quickly.  Yesterday we learned:
    • The World Health Organization finally called the spread of coronavirus a pandemic.
    • The attending physician of the U.S. Congress and  Supreme Court, Dr. Brian Monahan, briefed Senate Staff in a closed-door meeting that he expects anywhere from 70 up to 150 million people to become infected.
    • March Madness is to be played in front of empty arenas. (For now.)
    • Also there will be no crowds for almost all NCAA tournament championship games this week.
    • The Houston Rodeo was cancelled.
    • Major colleges across Texas extended spring break and then went to online classes only. 
    • The Dallas Greenville St. Patrick's Day Parade cancelled (which seemed like big news in the afternoon).
    • And then the bombshells all within one hour of Trump's speech last night:
      • The Jazz/Thunder NBA game was shockingly shut down right as it was about to start after a doctor ran onto the court and huddled with officials and teams. Minutes later we learned that one of the team's players had been diagnosed with the virus.
      • Minutes after that, the NBA, rocked by the news, then dropped the shocker of announcing it was suspending it's season.
      • And then the kicker: Tom Hanks and his wife announced they have been diagnosed with the virus
  • So why are there cancellations? Italy. We could likely to be headed towards the situation in Italy if he won't stop the spread now. Hey, have I done a 180 on my opinion on the coronavirus? Absolutely. And without any qualification or excuse, I'll say it: I was wrong. 
  • The tote-board kind of surprisingly shows less reported cases yesterday in the U.S. than the day before. But that's still the second highest day so far. Yesterday's numbers will be an anomaly:
  • And, I'm sorry, Trump's address to the nation last night only made things worse. That was not a calming speech. Heck, he looked and sounded like he had contracted the virus himself and then was forced to read a script he didn't want to read. And what was up with gaffes and misstatements that he and his administration had to immediately correct? How did he get all that wrong?:
    • "We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days" with "exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings"  No, Homeland Security had to correct that immediately to say it didn't apply to Americans. Period. You can come back home. 
    • "[These] prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things" No. They don't. He even had to tweet immediately afterwards that it didn't apply to trade and cargo. 
    •  Insurance companies have "agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments." No, they haven't.
  • And what was with all the sniffles in that speech? You want to see it edited down to just his crazy heavy breathing moments?  Here you go
  • I had a full blown Slump-Shouldered-Idiocracy-Is-Here moment when I flipped over to regular Fox to watch Trump's address at 7:58 p.m. only to see Sarah Palin singing "Baby Got Back" on the Masked Singer. (Video.) And from there the screen changed to the former host of Celebrity Apprentice sitting in the Oval Office.  Maybe we have entered into the End of Days. 
  • If anyone needs tips on Social Distancing, hit me up. I've been an expert in it all my adult life. 
  • About the only positive thing coming from the pandemic is that society's views about work might change. We don't need to be in the same building to accomplish things. We can do it remotely, whether from home or the safety of our own office, without the need to be in the same room with a group of people. 
  • Oh, I forgot. That NBA game was cancelled before tip-off last night because it was NBA player Rudy Gobert who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Then we see this video from a couple of days ago mocking the virus by touching every reporters phones and recorders. (Watch it.
  • Clever: To the tune of "We Didn't Start the Fire":
  • I've told the story before about my one and only faithful assistant's obsession with the Rolling Stones and her crazy bad luck that goes with it. About three years ago she flew to Vegas to see them only to have the show cancelled the night before because of Mick Jagger's laryngitis. Last year, she bought tickets to the Stone's show in New Orleans only to have the performance cancelled because of a hurricane. (That was Hurricane Barry, by the way.) Then a couple of weeks ago she happily announced she had bought tickets for the group's show at the Cotton Bowl in May. You don't suppose . . . . 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Breaking: Alvarado ISD - the entire school district - has shut down today because of a potential Coronavirus exposure.  
  • Let's check the new cases tote board. Heck, I have to remind myself that's not a chart of aggregate cases. Every single day there are more new cases diagnosed than the day before. 
  • Folks, those numbers are going to be shockingly small compared to what's coming. Because the Greatest Country In The World was so woefully unprepared for even testing for the virus, just wait until you see the numbers when we catch up. 
  • Let's see:
    • The U.S. has now cracked 1,000 total cases.
    • The virus has now made it to DallasTarrant, and Collin counties.
    • Italy has now surpassed 10,000 cases with 168 people having died in the last 24 hours.
    • Harvard has gone to all online cancels and told students to move out of the dorms
    • The governor of Washington is expected to announce the banning of any groups of more than 250 people in Seattle. (That has a very end-of-times feel to it.)
    • Google wants all of its over 100,000 employees in North America to work at home at least for the next month. 
    • Holy cow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel just said a live press conference in Berlin that, according to experts, roughly 60-70% of her nation's population will be infected by the coronavirus. 
    • Is it a good time to remind people that Trump held an emergency press conference 10 days ago to tell us that "The 15 [cases we have] within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero"?
  • North Korean TV or American TV or State TV?
  • Bathroom Sign: Wash your hands by for 20 seconds by singing lyrics to your song of choice. For some reason, I really want to know what song all my friends would choose.
  • Joe Biden essentially locked up the Democratic Nomination last night. If you want to know about the reason behind the sudden surge, it's pretty easy: The #1 issue for Democrats is to beat Trump. Once it came down to Bernie or Biden, it took about 10 seconds for everyone to decide. 
  • Trump was up at 12:55 a.m. EST this morning worrying about Biden. (He's screaming into the void trying to get Bernie supporters to stay home in the Fall. And he's still using the Pocahontas slur? And he can't spell rout?) 
  • If you want to see a defendant accuse a judge of sleeping with the prosecutor and being part of the Klan because he never rules in his favor, here you go.  That's almost a must watch.
  • We will never be a Socialist country unless it means re-distributing your wealth to Big Oil who have hit hard times in Permian Basin. 
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • I wrote the bullet point below on January 24th. I now feel like I created Republican talking points because that is all I heard yesterday. Every talking head on Fox News and Far Right Wing Radio compared the coronavirus to the flu.  Please send your thoughts and prayers as I seek counseling during this difficult time. 
  • There are now 729 cases of the coronavirus with 26 deaths in the U.S. as of this morning. (I continue to love this data-tracking page from The New York Times.)
  • Would ya?
  • I tend to voluntarily "self-quarantine" whenever I can just so I don't have to deal with people. 
  • To Protect and to Serve: A former Chief of Police in Olney just got sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for doing such things as making a couple he arrested have sex in front of him at gunpoint, and suggesting a woman send him nude pics in exchange for letting her husband out of jail. 
  • Remember when I told you less than three ago that the upcoming days would change the landscape in the race for the Democratic nominee in a blink of an eye? Even I never thought it would shake out this quickly and this dramatically. In a course of just a few days, it's now over
  • Wichita Falls crime blotter this morning: "The victim was able to strike Bolf a couple of times before he pulled out a knife and threatened to stab him." I should say so. 
  • I noticed BagOfNothing is taking his first whack at coaching his kid's baseball team. I just saw that he wrote this: "I’m hesitant to do such things for several reasons – my back doesn’t make it easy, I’m impatient with kids, I never played the sport, and with similar situations, relationships get damaged."  Uh, oh. (For you Ticket Fans, they use to play an old bleeped CNN Bernard Shaw drop which might need to be inserted at this point.)
  • I always look at the Tech Section of the Sunday Dallas Morning News because there is always something good in it. This week, their resident columnist was asked "What is 5G?" Get this: There is actually a spot over by the Hospital District where 5G is available right now so he took his new Samsung phone over to it. He clocked a download speed of 975 Mbps. Did I say he got that right now? You're lucky to get 10 Mbps at your home or office which is hard wired. And the speed of 975 Mpbps is just a fraction of what is coming over the next 2 to 10 years when all of the 5G network should be widespread. If you thought dial-up Internet was from ancient times, what he have now will seem equally laughable in a decade.
  • Random TV flashback: We all remember the power NBC Thursday night lineup in the 1990s of Mad About You, Friends, Seinfeld,  and Cheers. But do you remember the network tried to replace Cheers, which ended in 1993, with something called Hope & Gloria? It was cancelled after a year and half. How bad did it have to be to not survive in the lineup?
  • There's certainly a tone of a redneck-making-fun-of-black-people here, but his "Wait for it" in a a country voice has a pretty good visual payoff. Video. (But nothing will ever surpass the Mobile Leprechaun video.)
  • Whenever I use Apple Pay at Brookshires in Bridgeport I always feel like I'm getting the side eye from someone who thinks I'm being just a bit too highfalutin. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • At the moment I publish this, the stock market is down 2,005 points, and the price of oil has plummeted to $32 a barrel.  Good morning to ya. 
  • I'm not sure what happened while someone was launching a boat near the old Lake Bridgeport dam over the weekend, but it went horribly wrong. 

(I have no idea if that boat was the one that was launched at the time of the mishap.
I mention this just in case a boat owner is yelling, "Hey, that wasn't me!" right now)
  • Remember that chart I posted on Friday which showed the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed. Let's add three days to it. And, note, this shows new cases per day and not a cumulative chart. 
  • No worries. Trump decided to tell everyone on Friday that everyone who "needs a test gets a test." (No, you can't.) And then he somehow managed to bring this whole crisis back to his call to the Urkaine president that got him impeached. This was bizarre.  Then he went golfing for the weekend. 
    And what "letter"?
  • In an effort to never cease to amaze us, a post from yesterday proved he had never heard of Nero and Rome burning. 
  • Trump said on Friday that he wanted the infected cruise ship off the coast of California to remain at see. The plan then changed to bring the ship into port, but I say "plan" loosely. This gave us all confidence yesterday, right? (Video). Incredible. 
  • Remember this guy? Well a person died in his district from the coronavirus this weekend. He issued a statement that he was "extremely saddened."

  • Twitter invoked its new "This Is A Fake Video" warning over the weekend for the first time. It just happened to be a video altering what Joe Biden had really said. Trump had retweeted the fake video.
  • Long time readers will know nothing drives me more nuts than when the ME constantly getting out of his lane and offering opinions outside his area of expertise. You are a doctor. All you can tell me, medically speaking, is what caused a person to die. (i.e. an artery was severed, a heart was punctured, a trachea was collapsed.) Yet any time someone dies "at the hands of another" they slap the "homicide" label on an incident regardless of whether the death was the result of intentional or negligent conduct or whether is was by a simple accident -- all mental states that an ME is in absolutely no position to offer an opinion on.
  • I have a lot of questions about this story
  • This was in the recent Texas Bar Journal and has a Wise County connection. I can't believe I hadn't heard about this.
  • Random photo I had never seen before: First photo of the Alamo taken 1849.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold