Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bull riding in front of the Alamo

Argh! How could I not know this was going on? How cool and bizarre at the same time.

From the The Downtown Blog at the Express-News:

I didn't know what to expect when I heard the Houston Street Fair & Market would host bull riding in front of the Alamo.

I have to say, that was a lot of fun.

The biggest obstacle Saturday was the heat. But nobody seemed to mind from my vantage point on the bleachers during the 2 p.m. session.

Organizers handed out fans. There were plenty of places to grab drinks. There were people everywhere.

My only criticism was that organizers should have opened the viewing area even more. The gaps in between and around the bleachers were clogged with people. At least everyone was extremely polite.

Check out the cool pictures at the link. Here's one:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Unity Straw?

Is there anyone else out there who thinks this is a scam?

[Found in the June 23, 2008 issue of the Express-News]

Take the "sip of change"!

"Mother Shot Son, Police Say"

Some families need to work on their conflict management.


SAN ANTONIO -- A mother shot her son at a home early Friday on the city's northeast side, police said.

Martha Sam, in her 50s, and her son, in his 30s, got into an argument when she refused to make him a pizza at their home in the 300 block of Cresham at 2 a.m.

Sam told police her son became angry and they started arguing, and he pushed her down.

Fearing for her life, Sam grabbed a pistol and shot her son in the abdomen.

I bet there's a lot more to this story than just a pizza.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Mariposa's Cafe Closed By City"

The San Antonio City Council prigs seem to be using city resources to hassle entrepreneurial efforts.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A controversial restaurant once known for its scantily-clad waitresses had its doors closed by the city Thursday.

Mariposa's Cafe, located at the intersection of Guadalupe and South Trinity streets, had its certificate of occupancy revoked for installing three new signs without the proper permits, according to city officials. One of the new signs sits on a pole in the middle of a handicapped parking spot.

City officials said they believe the signs have been removed, but the offending poles are still in place. The city will withhold the eatery's certificate until owners become compliant.

Previously touched on here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Cadets Stumble Upon Rape At Woodlawn Park"

This is unusual. And fortunate.

Several cadets training for the Bexar County Sheriff's Department got some true on-the-job training as they watched their instructors take down a man they say was raping a woman.

The rescue happened at Woodlawn Lake Park, just West of [d]owntown Wednesday morning.

Deputies from the Bexar County Sheriff's Department had just arrived with their cadets for training when they heard screams coming from the men's restroom.

"We had a female that was screaming," explained Bexar C[o]unty Training Instructor Joseph Canales. "She was totally nude, so we ran to investigate and upon arrival, she was fighting with a male."

The instructors took him down, giving the cadets some real-life training. And then the news crew confronted the man, who obviously forgets that you should never talk to the media while in handcuffs.

News 4's Kristina De Leon: "Were you raping that woman?"

Suspect: "No, ma'am. I tried to, uh, I went inside and trying to take a...use the restroom, and she came out screaming."

However, deputies believe the blood stains created when the woman hit her head on the rock wall and her cries for help tell a different story.

Yeah, the authorities aren't believing him so easily. By the way, nice Spurs shirt, dude.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Aborting the banana project

Aww, this is disappointing.

From 1200 WOAI:

Canadian artist Cesar Saez got plenty of publicity last year when he announced plans to build a giant, helium-filled, banana and launch it Mexico, so it could float over the skies of Texas.


The launch date was expected to be in August, but according to his web site,, the campaign has been closed in failure.

Saez got about $100,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, but that's not close to the $1.5 [million] he said he needed to get the 300-yard dirigible off the country. The grassroots campaign pulled in about $12,000.

And I was so looking forward to it.

Leaving dad on the roof

The family that steals together stays together. Or goes to jail together.

From KENS-5:

A man, his two sons and a nephew were caught trying to break into a convenience store on Castroville Road early this morning, when the father got stuck in an air conditioning unit on the roof, according to police.

A neighbor called for help and firefighters rescued the man. Police arrested all four on attempted burglary charges.

The video is here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Inventing boogeymen

OK, is WOAI-TV just trying to scare us now? It's not ratings month, is it? Or is there another motive?

Look at this brilliant reporting:

With local gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, going to the Texas coast a for [sic] summer trip is even more attractive. But there's something in the water you need to know about before you go.

Sea lice are akin to the jellyfish and are about the size of ground pepper. They're fairly common in the Gulf of Mexico, but not in numbers that can make people sick. [emphasis added]

Then, four paragraphs later:

Carleigh and Layne apparently ran into a cloud of floating sea lice that stung them countless times, leaving them with an awful rash and feeling very sick. [emphasis added]
Ridiculous. Someone's lying, or whoever is responsible for this copy cannot see basic contradictions in the written word. This sounds like a story manufactured to make people nervous about going to the beach.

Oh, then they close with this:

So, what can you do to prevent sea lice from stinging you and your family? A product called Safe Sea Lotion protects against ocean stingers like jellyfish or sea lice. The lotion isn't available in most stores, but can be ordered on the internet for about $15 a bottle.

Now I get it. WOAI even has a convenient link to Safe Sea's Web site.

I wonder how much that link cost.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dodging death

Wow, this was close. We almost had a full-blown tragedy on our hands.

From Brian Chasnoff of the Express-News:

Fire officials evacuated more than 200 people from a downtown hotel early Sunday after sickened guests led to the discovery of a carbon monoxide leak.

Two guests — a 45-year-old woman and her toddler daughter — were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning but had recovered by sunrise, Fire Department spokeswoman Deborah Foster said.

Paramedics were called to the Hotel Mimosa Riverwalk in the 500 block of South St. Mary's Street around 12:30 a.m. for a report of a sick person. The female guest was complaining of nausea and a headache; a carbon monoxide monitor applied to her and the toddler tested positive.

“It was found that they had pretty high levels of carbon monoxide in their systems,” Foster said.

Fire officials evacuated the guests — 178 adults and 28 children — to the lobby of a hotel across the street. About 33 families were moved to alternate lodgings for the night, Foster said. The rest returned to their rooms later.


Eric Wilson, 42, a hotel guest who'd been evacuated, said paramedics told him the leak was connected to “a boiler problem.”

A resident of Tampa, Wilson had traveled to San Antonio with his 15-year-old daughter to attend an Air Force graduation. He stood outside the hotel after sunrise on Sunday, smoking a cigarette and mulling the misadventure.

“If (the leak) had continued without anybody noticing, how bad could it have gotten? Nobody knows,” Wilson said. “If somebody hadn't gotten sick, carbon monoxide is going to kill you.”

Wilson's right. This could have been a lot worse. I'm glad the guests are OK, though.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Van crashes into art school

And now, after much waiting, the next instance of a vehicle assault on a building.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A minivan crashed into the side of a downtown building Friday.

The female driver told police that she lost control of the vehicle after the steering wheel malfunctioned and hit the side of the Southwest School of Art & Craft at 1201 Navarro St.

The driver and two children who were buckled in the back of the van are OK.

Glad to see everyone came out OK, including the art school.

"Man Attacked With Hammer"

Drinking and tools apparently don't mix.


Witnesses said they saw two men drinking together off East Baylor Street around 2 a.m. The witnesses told police the men began to argue and one of them hit the other in the head with a hammer. The attacker then took off running.

Police said they know who they're looking for, but have not made an arrest.

Maybe they're just waiting for him to come home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"SUV Crashes Into Construction Zone"

The crash isn't very strange, but the getaway is.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- A sport utility vehicle crashed into a construction zone on the city's north side early Wednesday.

Police said a man was speeding on Highway 281 North near Jones Maltsberger at 1 a.m. when he crossed into a lane blocked off by barrels and crashed into a parked dump truck.

The driver took off and left his passenger behind, police said.

Assuming the vehicle belonged to the driver: Why would you run off? Even if drunkenness came into play, surely one would realize that the police would then have your car that has your license plate on it that is registered to your name and address. It would just be a matter of time until they knocked on your door, so why make it worse by running away?

Assuming the vehicle did not belong to the driver: Do you really think your friend is not going to turn you in, especially since you left him injured on the side of the road?

"Police seeking man with missing earlobe"

Look out for the man wearing earmuffs in summer.

From the Express-News:
Police on Tuesday said they are searching for a man whose right earlobe was bitten off by a woman he is accused of raping nearly three months ago.

I wonder why it took three months to release this detail.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

History in the sidewalk

Alan at Blogonomicon shows off a picture of a piece of history imprinted into the sidewalk many decades ago on Florida Street, and he talks about more.
I guess these were little bits from or about people who lived there or had lived there. In a couple of places they had also somehow managed to screen some grayscale photos directly onto the concrete. One of them was a photo of someone "presiding over the soda counter" at one of the old Pig Stand restaurants in 1938.

Absolutely cool stuff!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Picking up the sword

In Leon Valley, a suburb of San Antonio, the City Council voted to develop a system of trails in one of the few undeveloped portions of town, but "not before getting an earful from neighborhood residents who don’t want a welcome mat to the public in their backyards." [from the Northwest Weekly]

The citizens are concerned about criminal elements having easy access to their properties, but two of the councilmen assured the residents that they would protect them. And they used a phrase you might not expect in a modern confrontation between citizens and elected officials.

Councilmen Art Reyna and Jack Dean vowed to “pick up the sword” on the trail should residents’ fears become realized.

Actually, I kind of like that imagery. I only wish it were literal. Who can resist the thought of councilmen girding for battle and patroling the trails with medieval weaponry to keep the ruffians at bay?

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Police Capture Courthouse Escapee"

When looking for escapees, look under the baby.

From KSAT-12:

Robert Reece, 24, was in court on a family violence warrant when he rushed out of the courtroom, still handcuffed, Bexar County sheriff's officials said.

"The guy with cuffs ran right out the front door," witness Marcus Washington said. "With his cuffs like this, he grabs his baby and covers his cuffs up and walks right out the exit door."

Authorities said Reece obtained keys to his girlfriend's car and was able to elude capture at the courthouse.

"One of our detectives that works auto theft saw him and saw the handcuffs and tried to stop him, but he was able to get away," Deputy Sheriff Ino Badillo said.

After locating Reece at his apartment, he didn't immediately surrender, police said.
"It was obvious he was there because the girls were hindering, not letting officers... go on in," SAPD Sgt. Brian Custard said. "He poked his head up the window and yelled, 'I ain't going back.'"

Reece escaped to the roof of the apartment, but a circling police helicopter spotted him immediately, fording Reece to sit on the roof.

He eventually gave up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Three stabbed with martial arts weapon"

Does anyone know what this woman used in her slash attack?

From KENS-5:

The incident happened just before midnight at Spanky's located in the 5100 block of Randolph Boulevard.

According to police, an argument between the men began inside the bar. Then, the wife of one of the men involved in the argument, pulled out a martial arts star, started swinging and chased the men outside.

The two of men [sic] were stabbed and transported to a local hospital. The other man was treated at the scene.

Sounds like a shuriken, but I thought those things were mainly for throwing and distracting. I didn't think they were meant to do any large-scale damage on their own.

Monday, June 09, 2008

"Black Fire Hydrant Plan Gets Red Light"

Well, I hope this works out for them.

From KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- County and utility officials have worked out a color-coding system that is expected to ease confusion about working fire hydrants in municipalities to the northeast of San Antonio.

Previously, the Green Valley Special Utility District had ordered all of its hydrants painted black in compliance with a state law requiring low-pressure hydrants be painted. The district claimed its reasoning in painting all of its hydrants was that it couldn't insure all hydrants would have sufficient pressure at all times.

Now, the board said it will paint the hydrants red and work on a color-coding system to specify a hydrant's pressure.

Mentioned previously here and here.

"Chihuahuas run for racing glory"

Who can resist racing chihuahuas?

From Eva Ruth Moravec at the Express-News:

SEGUIN — Conditions were perfect at the racetrack here Saturday. The aroma of roasted chicken legs and carne guisada tacos teased the racers' nostrils, and owners encouraged them to run.

Yet run they did not.

The majority of the 26 Chihuahuas that participated in the Seguin-Guadalupe County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's fourth annual Chihuahua races never left the starting gate; other Chihuahuas ran halfway across the track, then retreated.

But one proud pooch, Daisy, took her heat and the championship title of the fastest Chihuahua around — despite her post-maternity figure. Last year, she received an honorable mention.

“She's much lazier this year because she had puppies,” said Seguin resident Rachel Olivares before Daisy dazzled spectators.

Of course, my personal favorite is the floating chihuahua of Fiesta.

Doing nothing at all, and doing it in a big way

Out near Seguin, it seems some kids were getting into trouble by smashing up a bunch of mailboxes. That's not very unusual out in rural Texas, but I did get a kick out how one resident described the offenders' actions.

From KSAT-12:

More than 50 mailboxes across the county and about 15 inside Seguin were smashed or run over, much to the chagrin of the mailbox owners, and some residents believe teenagers with nothing to do are the culprits.

"I think the kids need to be structured out here, resident Bruce Trahan said. "When they get out of school, it just seems like they have nothing to do and they do it."

Mr. Trahan has a way with words.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

People who should probably think a little more

Sending your daughter on an errand is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should consider where you are sending her.

From WOAI:

A young girl was hit by a car while crossing a busy street. She's expected to be okay, but her mother is now in jail for what happened.


Sheriff's deputies tell News 4 the 9-year-old and her little sister were trying to cross FM 78 because their mom wanted them to drop something off at a Money Box check cashing store across the street.

Investigators say the girl just walked out into the street. They said the mom had stayed at home with younger kids.

When the mother got to the scene she was arrested and charged with endangering children.

The mother should also think about doing her own banking.