Sunday, February 28, 2010

Speaking your mind

I'm generally for people speaking their minds, especially if it is a criminal who talks too much and helps the case against him. So, as a whole, I don't mind this odd outburst from a strange criminal, but I'm sure all kinds of public defenders are seeing this and whispering in their minds, Shut up! Just shut up!For Pete's sake, say nothing!
Officers from several agencies chased a driver north of Pearsall up Interstate 35, across Frio County. It ended near Poteet in Atascosa County. Investigators say that man, Juan Carlos Tijerina, sped through the two counties with suspected illegal immigrants in the trunk. At times, speeds reached 100 miles per hour. Tijerina was tased after officials say he put up a fight. Tijerina tells us he was kidnapped and the driver of the car ran away. [So he kept driving? --ed.]

"I have a murder charge that I've been fighting since 2009, aggravated assault on the elderly," said Tijerina. "The Atascosa cops have been real bad with me. I've been thinking they're picking the charges up on purposes." [Certainly more than one purpose, I'm sure. --ed.]

Tijerina is accused of killing a man in Pleasanton in 2009. Tonight, he's facing several new charges.
(from KABB-29)

I predict many court appearances in the future for Mr. Tijerina.

Urinating in public

If you feel you absolutely must urinate in public, you might want to keep it in the bushes. People tend to get pissed when you pee on their property.
SAN ANTONIO -- Police responded to a call for a shooting victim in the 15000 block of Branding Iron on the North side. They arrived just after midnight Sunday morning and found 27-year-old Jason Allen with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Allen told police he had been drinking at another house when he was shot.

"He went outside and was urinating on a vehicle. We believe the owner of the vehicle came out and confronted our victim,” said Officer Matt Porter spokesperson for the San Antonio Police Department.

Allen told police “They got mad. I said sorry but they shot me.”
(from WOAI-TV)

On second thought, if you're in a neighborhood, be careful about the bushes, too. Some people prize their landscaping.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oscar, Elmo, the Monster, and a goat

All at the rodeo.



Thanks to KSAT-12 for their slideshow, and thanks to the rodeo-goers brave enough to submit their pictures for all to see.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Ex-Spur Arrested In Human Trafficking Probe"

Yep. Everything about this is just bizarre.
Former San Antonio Spurs guard Alvin Robertson was arrested in Arkansas by law enforcement authorities Friday in connection with a human trafficking case, according to San Antonio Sheriff's Department [sic] spokesman Ino Badillo.
...
Robertson faces charges of sexual performance by a child, trafficking of persons under 18 for prostitution and sexual assault of a child.
(from KSAT-12)

And the Spurs are usually such good guys. (We won't talk about that Dennis-Rodman phase!) It's weird and sad to see a former player turn out like this.

A unique pronunciation ?

Here in San Antonio and the environs there is a large German cultural influence to go along with the Mexican/Spanish influence, which is why you're just as likely to run across references to a Huebner and a Hausman about as often as a Navarro and a Zarzamora, especially when it comes to road and street names. Largely the pronunciations of these names are just as Anglicized either way. This means you'll likely hear BLANK-o instead of BLAHN-ko for Blanco Road and BRAWN instead of BROWN for Braun Road. Sometimes people will go out of their way to pronounce the names as if they are speaking German or Spanish, but the Anglicized pronunciation usually holds sway when the speaker is using English.

But there was one minor deviation from this norm that I noticed from time to time, and I used to think it was just one person's idiosyncrasy. Now, after hearing another person use the same pronunciation, I'm not so sure.

Allow me to explain.

I love classical music, so I listen to KPAC in my car about as much as I play heavy metal CDs. One of the long-time DJs and hosts on that radio station is a guy named Randy Anderson, and I love to hear him talk. He's got the perfect mellow, classical-station type of voice, which is about as opposite from a Lisle-and-Hahn style as you can get.

Now, Anderson has great enunciation (which is needed when you have all those French, Russian, Italian, and Czech masterpieces and composers to talk about), but, when he reads the traffic reports, he seems to take on a partial official German pronunciation of one particular roadway in San Antonio. That roadway is Wurzbach Road.

Almost everyone around here pronounces that road in an English way, as in WERZ-bock, which is about as well as can be expected. And, if you were to go all the way with a German pronunciation, it would be more like VOORTS-bahch (with a slight clearing-throat sound at the end). But Anderson seems to split the difference, and he says WERTS-bahch. And I don't know why.

So far, Anderson is the only person I've ever heard pronounce Wurzbach that way ---- until today. And guess what, I heard that on KPAC, too! It was some other classical DJ (I didn't catch his name, though) that was on the air this afternoon, and I was a little surprised when, as he was reading off the traffic updates, I heard him also say WERTS-bahch in exactly the same way Anderson does. That's a little strange.

Does KPAC have an official pronunciation guide that all DJs and hosts follow, or did that one person I heard today just take it upon himself to follow Anderson's lead?

I'm genuinely curious, if anyone thinks they might have the answer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pulling out the turtle

Got a blocked sewer line? Check it out -- it might be a turtle. Just don't bother asking how it got down there. You might not want to know.
What began as an investigation into a blocked sewer line turned into a rescue mission of sorts.

A turtle stuck [sic] in a pipe in the ally [sic] behind a home on Allendale Drive, near South General McMullen Drive.

Crews sent a video line down the sewer line to see what was blocking it and found a turtle wedged in the line.

Crews then had to dig the pipe up to get the turtle out.
(from KSAT-12)

No word on what ninja weapon he used on them, though.

But there is a bit of bonus strangeness, too. When asked about the turtle, an official said this:
"She is a red-eared slider and ... we're going to take her and release her back into the wild where she'll hopefully live a long, happy life," said San Antonio Water Systems spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood.
And the great big wild area they released the turtle into? Woodlawn Lake. Not exactly the back country over there.


View Larger Map

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Putting it on display

Did you see the nearly naked king walking down St. Mary's Street today? Don't worry. He wasn't really a lost monarch with sun-worshiping tendencies. He was really just a restaurant worker who lost a bet and had to do some creative advertising for his boss.
James Hokett is from Alaska and works at Frankfurter Express. On Tuesday he made a bet that it wouldn't snow in San Antonio. When the flakes started falling he knew he was going to have to walk down St. Mary’s Street wearing just a crown, cape and boxer shorts.
(from WOAI-TV)



He wasn't a Rey Feo, but he certainly was an ugly king.

"Sheriff Proposes 'Cite And Release' Program"

Yeah, I'm not sure I'm going to like this idea.
If all goes as planned, shoplifters or someone driving with an invalid driver's license wouldn't have to go to jail. Instead, they would get slapped with a citation and a court date.

"They are non-violent offenses," [Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo] Ortiz said. "They are not a threat to the community, so I think it is a waste of time to bring them in. They're going to be released anyway."

It's all part of the "Cite and Release" program.

Ortiz said just citing those thousands of small-time violators would save manpower, tax payers' money and ease jail overcrowding.
(from KSAT-12)

"They're going to be released anyway."

I'm not sure I want to hear my local law-enforcement honchos talking this way. Shoplifting? What about purse-snatching? Breaking into a car? Are all of these crimes -- and similar violations -- really going to be treated with the same sense of seriousness as a traffic ticket? Five miles over the limit? Expired parking meters?

The sheriff is proposing this, but the DA's office isn't on board with it.
District attorney spokesman Cliff Herberg said that while it is a program proposed by the Sheriff's Department, it is not supported by Susan Reed. She believes it would be too easy for someone to give a false ID. Also, he said she does not support the program because it does not involve checking people for warrants, which could get wanted persons off the streets.
Meanwhile, we're trying to run out any sexiness that might be on display in this town. Oh, but, by all means, shoplift away. Just make sure you pay your fine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow in San Antonio

That's always strange. But what's even stranger is when snow is mixed with sleet is mixed with rain, all at the same time. Alan at Blogonomicon saw that while he was out and about, and he even has a picture to prove it.

Don't get too excited (like Jennifer Broome!), though. It was just a little bit of the white stuff.

Paying off voters

With sports-fee credits?

A Sheila McNeil supporter who runs a youth football program sent a text message last week urging parents to vote for the Commissioners Court hopeful in exchange for a $125 credit on their children's football enrollment fees, according to multiple sources.

Fred Davis, 35, founder of Youth Advancement Initiative, a nonprofit organization with five youth football leagues and a cheerleading program, sent the offer Friday, according to three former East Side City Council members: Mario Salas, John Sanders and McNeil, the hopeful whom Davis sought to help.

In the text message, Davis told parents with children enrolled in his program that if they went to the Claude Black Center over the weekend and cast their vote for McNeil, one of two hopefuls challenging incumbent Commissioner Tommy Adkisson in the Democratic primary, he would reward them with a $125 enrollment credit. It's unclear how he would've determined whether the parents voted for McNeil.

(from the Express-News)

I know paying off voters is nothing new in the books of crooked politics, but I've never heard of using children's football enrollment money as an enticement. That's a bit odd.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Car crashes into house

At least this time the vehicle stayed on the scene to take its punishment. The driver fled, though.

The crash occurred around 8 p.m. in the 1700 block of North Elmendorf near Culebra Road on the city's West Side.

San Antonio police officers at the scene said the driver of the white, four-door car fled on foot after he lost control and hit the house. A family was inside but only the woman sitting on the couch suffered minor injuries.

(from the Express-News)



It's hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like a fence of the chain-link variety might have been damaged in the process.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Don't you already know the answer?

Here's another strange search string that brought an inquisitive seeker to this site.




And here's a hint to what the answer to that inquiry might be: I think they frown on its use.

Truck crashes into house

And then, it just leaves, like nothing happened!
Residents of the home at the corner of Misty Bluff and Falling Water Parkway said they woke up to the sound of a crash and walked out to find a pickup in their kitchen.

But the driver didn't stay long.

"I went outside to see if he's ok and I hear them tell me he's trying to leave, split," said renter Trey Christy. "And before you know it, I couldn't get the license plate."

Christy said his first thought was for his dogs, whose house was in the path of the truck. Christy said the dogs are OK, as are the other residents. But it's the house that's a mess.
(from KSAT-12)



Oh, and a fence was taken out, too. That's one inconsiderate vehicle.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stuck

Did you see what I saw the other day, up in the girders of the flyover ramps at Bandera Road and Wurzbach Road?




It was a lonely sight.





And some child was probably very sad about it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

More sidewalk art

Alan at Blogonomicon reads some more of the sidewalks on the East Side. Check it out.

Tossing out a quote

In the letters to the editor for the February 19, 2010 edition of the San Antonio Express-News, a reader named Stephen Baird from New Braunfels writes in to speak against the health care system as it is. But, in making his point, he closes his letter with this short paragraph:
How many people have to die before we fix this? As Bob Dylan wrote, “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.”

?

Can you make sense of his closing point? What does the Dylan quote have to do with a distaste for insurance companies in particular and corporations in general? And how does it answer the question, "How many people have to die before we fix this?"

That's a strange, incongruous way to end an argument, by posing a question followed by an unrelated quote. But, hey, I guess it could work in just about any situation, if you can say it with enough conviction to fool your listener into thinking you know what you are talking about.

I think I could do it, too. How about this as a closing to a hypothetical argument:
How many pointless laws do we need to pass in this state before we finally have had enough? As William Shakespeare wrote, "Et tu, Bruté?"

Or this:
How many reporters need to be jailed before we start enacting shield laws to protect them and their sources? As Gerard Manely Hopkins wrote, "It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil / Crushed."

Or even this:
How much deeper can our national deficit go? As Lewis Carroll wrote, "One, two! One, two! and through and through / The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!"

Well, I guess that's easier than I thought. I kinda like this rhetorical device. I hope I can remember it the next time I engage in a little sharing of opinions.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gettin' western over the lawn

Here in San Antonio, some people take their competitive spirit perhaps -- just perhaps -- a little too far.
The shooting happened around 1:40 p.m. at 6600 Country View near Abe Lincoln and Pembroke Road.

According to police, two competing lawn care workers were arguing when one of them pulled out a gun and shot the other in the leg.
(from WOAI-TV)

That'll learn him who's the better mower!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not strange in San Antonio

Hooray for citizens!
“We were parking in the parking lot and we saw a bank robber leave the bank, running down the sidewalk with a Treasury Department lady chasing after him with a gun,” explained Charles Icke who witnessed the chase.

The robbery happened at the Broadway Bank at 281 and Bitters. The man walked into the bank, showed a gun and robbed the place. Police say he left with just under $8,000.

But witnesses didn't let him get away. They jumped into their cars and followed him, giving police a detailed description and his location.
(from WOAI-TV)

And the police caught him. Good job, people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shami in San Antonio

And, of course, there's strangeness.
"We need to improve education, so we need jobs first," said [Farouk] Shami. "There are jobs. All we need to do is fill those jobs. We need infrastructure, new highways and parks and bridges, so there is work."

...

Shami promised to create 100,000 new jobs if elected in the first two years. If he doesn't, he said he will pay the state of Texas $10 million.

Many of the students he spoke to [at Northwest Vista College] said they like what Shami had to say.

"Right now, we are hurting because of the lack of jobs," said David Ilamas.

"What he is doing is a pretty good job with jobs," said Guy Ciancia. "Right now, (there are) not many jobs in Texas or in the U.S. I think he'll do a good job as governor."
(from KSAT-12)

Weren't they listening? There are jobs. We just need to fill them.

Of course, the man who wants to be governor also said this:
Shami also spoke to students about immigration reform and his support for same-sex marriages. He also defended comments he made about white workers in his factory, comments some have called racist.

"'Lots of white people want to be supervisors. They don't want to work on the assembly line.' That's what I said," Shami said. "What is racist about that? These are the facts."

Hey, Farouk. I bet lots of Hispanics and blacks want to be supervisors, too. Have you been promoting them? And isn't it just as racist to assume that Hispanics and blacks "want to work on the assembly line" rather than trying to advance themselves? And, just to extrapolate, does all this mean that you actually turn down white people who apply to work in your factories based on your assumptions about what their ambitions may or may not be?

Just askin'.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Student arrested for allegedly plotting attack against Marshall High School"

Holy crap. This high school is just down the road from me.
SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio teenager is arrested after plotting an attack at his high school. San Antonio police arrested the 16 year old after he bragged on an online gaming system about his plan to shoot students at Marshall High School.

The Marshall High School student was playing XBOX 360 Live, a gaming system that allows players to talk live with other players from across the world. San Antonio police say the teen was telling a stranger in Canada details about how he planned to shoot a pregnant girl at school and shoot his best friend in the face.

...

News 4 WOAI contacted Northside Independent School District officials and they tell us San Antonio police notified Marshall High School administration. SAPD officers met with both the principal and the student before arresting the teen. School officials say during that meeting, the boy said what he did was “a stupid mistake”. School officials also tell News 4 WOAI that they believe the boy is “remorseful” and that there was “no serious threat”. The student has been suspended from the school indefinitely.
(from WOAI-TV)

Stupid, stupid, stupid teen. Cops take this kind of talk seriously. If he was just joking around, I hope he realizes now how not funny it is to talk about killing your friends. It's dumb talk, and it doesn't really make you cool to speak that way. It's too bad that he has to go to jail to learn not to be such a punk-ass, but if it works and there's one less punk-ass on the streets, so be it.

If, however, he really was serious about shooting up the school, I'm glad he was stupid enough to talk about it so someone could call the authorities on him.

Getting the orientation wrong

If you're looking to get pictures of your kids displayed on air on some local television station, you might want to check that you have the orientation right before downloading them, saving them, uploading them to the TV station's website, and taking the time to add a caption saying just how much you wish they could be on the air.

On the other hand, if you're just looking to get them into some slideshow KSAT-12 has put up to solicit rodeo pictures from regular people, then, by all means, just upload it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Car crashes into house

And this time, the offending vehicle leaves behind human offspring!
According to a news release, the driver was driving recklessly with his son sitting on his lap when the SUV jumped the curb and struck the front portion of a home in the 100 block of Morales Court in the Villa Serena Community in New Braunfels at 8:50 p.m.

"All of a sudden, he made like a right turn, and he went straight into the house," said Rosie Bernal, a neighbor, who witnessed the crash. “It sounded terrible. We thought he was probably dead.”

Moments later, the driver fled on foot and left the child behind at the scene, the news release said. The child and the residents inside the home were not injured.

(from KSAT-12)

Candidate for Father of the Year, I'm sure.




Bonus strangeness: News release? Who the hell is putting out a news release about something like this? Cops just talk to the cameras. Neighbors just talk to the cameras. Companies and agencies and other firms with public affairs and media relations departments put out news releases.

Weird.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Discovering new types of guns -- for real

I've got to say thanks to the commenters on this post. They've introduced me to the strange and odd world of semiautomatic revolvers, and I'm grateful for it.

Mateba Model 6 Unica

Webley-Fosbery

Knex

They all look fun -- or at least interesting -- to shoot.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

What exactly were you searching for, again?

It's been awhile since I got a hit from a search string as strange as this:




And here's the post that search led to: "Pantsless home invader"

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Showing off your locks

It sure takes some stones to wear your hair like this.



Rock on, runner.

(Image taken from this KENS-5 online slideshow covering the 2010 San Antonio Stock Show Stampede, a rodeo running event, apparently.)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Discovering a new type of gun

The Express-News tells the story of a man shot by San Antonio police, and the writers put this as the penultimate paragraph:
Inside the apartment, San Antonio police, along with the U.S. Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, found marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines, as well as a semiautomatic revolver and a knife, authorities said. [emphasis added]

That's one versatile gun. I wonder where I can buy me one.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

"City truck runs over two homeless men"

Here's a hint: If you're homeless and you're going to use trash to keep you warm, you might want to lay down in some out-of-the-way corner.

A city truck injured two homeless men early Thursday morning after running over them in a parking lot near downtown San Antonio, authorities said.

Hector Rivera-Jasso, 51, and Alez Perez, 22, were both taken to University Hospital after the accident, which occurred shortly before 2 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Commerce Street, according to a police report. Hospital officials said both were listed in stable condition late Thursday morning.

The police report stated the men were sleeping under a pile of clothes and debris in the city-owned parking lot when the truck, a white Chevrolet Silverado 3500, ran over Rivera-Jasso's left leg and dragged Perez under its tire before stopping.


(from the Express-News)

Protecting you from yourself

It must be sweeps month, because here is KSAT-12 trying to warn us about something dangerous in our own homes!


The headline is:

"Common Household Product Can Injure, Maim"

And the subhead is:

"Aerosol Cans Pose Threat When Punctured Near Flame"


Gee, thanks for the heads-up. Now excuse me while I go rewire the outdoor light fixture while it's raining.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Arguing semantics at city hall

Do you know -- very clearly know -- the difference between a nightclub, a live entertainment venue, and a sexually-oriented business? Can you articulate that difference?

That's what's at stake in this dispute between the City of San Antonio and Headliner's Show Club.
Headliner's Show Club, located off Northeast Loop 410, opened in October of last year.

Owners said Headliner's does have dancers every night of the week and is being told it can't operate like that anymore unless it applies for a zoning change.

Owners initially were approved as a nightclub, but officials with planning development services said the business did not state that live entertainment would be included.

"When you apply to be a night club, live entertainment is included," Headliner's attorney James Deegear said.

"We believe the club is operating outside the scope of certificate of occupancy and operating as a live entertainment establishment," said San Antonio Planning Development Services' Rudy Nino.

Deegear said the owners are complying with the city ordinance.

"It's included within a definition of a night club specifically by the city," he said. "I'm not sure why we are here today."

Deegear said that the dancers are wearing the proper amount of covering, so it should not be considered a sexually-oriented business.

"It resembles sexually-oriented business, but the city doesn't (define) what a sexually-oriented business is," he said.

(from KSAT-12)

What do you think? Do you agree with the club's attorney that a nightclub, by its very nature, encompasses live entertainment? And, if you have a live entertainment certificate of occupancy from the city, does it seem to be entirely clear what that "live entertainment" is supposed to include or exclude? Live music? Dancers? Strippers? All of the above? Do you think the club is pushing the limit of the regulations? Or do you think the city is being too heavy-handed?

And (you know you're thinking it, too!) what do you think former City Councilwoman Diane Cibrian would do about it?