Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sot meets lush

And it's a wonder no one was hurt critically.
Edguardo Joel Berrios, 24, is set to be booked in Bexar County Jail on one count of driving while intoxicated. A judge set bail at $5,000.

Berrios was reportedly driving on West Durango Boulevard around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when an allegedly intoxicated man tried to run across Old U.S. 90 in front of him, according to police.

SAPD spokesman Officer Matthew Porter said the victim sustained injuries not thought to be life-threatening and was hospitalized.
(from the Express-News)

It's amazing no houses were involved.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pondering a trilemma

I'm not sure what to do.

There's this guy who periodically drives around (or walks around, I guess; I really don't know how he does it) and sticks one of these stupid business cards on each of the vehicles he can get to on the street and in various parking lots.

And my vehicle happens to be one of those that this guy has absolutely no problem sticking things on. He obviously does this as a form of free advertising (I've blurred the pertinent information so as not to further his efforts), but I can't help seeing it as nothing more than littering.

I don't want his business cards on my car. He leaves them without my permission. But I can't just take them off and throw them on the ground because then I am the one who would be littering. And I hate throwing them into my car because then it places the burden of disposing of these pieces of trash squarely on my shoulders.

But I'm also not sure what I can do about it. The way I see it, I have three options.

1. I can call the guy and tell him to please stop it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this practice annoying, but without knowing who I am or what my car looks like, how can I reasonably expect him to avoid my one car out of so many on the street? And that's assuming he's a decent guy who might actually have some concern for other people and who is mindful of his actions and their consequences. For all I know, he's an ass, and he might just laugh in my figurative face.

2. I can drive over to his place and throw these damn cards on his doorstep. Sure, it's littering, but it's being done on his private property to the same extent he's doing it on my private property. But it's also kinda passive-aggressive, and there's no guarantee he'll get the message without me confronting him directly at the time. After all, he might just think he dropped the cards himself while going out on one of his advertising sprees.

3. I can do nothing. I can always just accept his crap and throw the cards away later. I don't like this option, but it is the least confrontational, and I'm not one for confrontation that may never solve anything.

So, what would you do? Which of these three options do you find most appealing, or do you have any other options you might suggest? I'm all ears.

Oh, and the Bible verse that's referenced on that card? It goes like this:
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
I guess that's why he only cuts men's hair.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nets in San Pedro Park

Do you play tennis?

Have you ever been to the McFarlin Tennis Center in San Pedro Park?

Did you know they have a giant tile-mosaic tennis ball there?

And an arch made of metal tennis racquets?

I know they do. Now.

Car crashes into restaurant

And there's one less Chinese eatery in town because of it.
An allegedly intoxicated passenger grabbed the wheel of a moving pickup and steered it into a Chinese restaurant on the Northeast Side early Tuesday, where it ignited a fire that heavily damaged the eatery, San Antonio Fire Department and police officials said.

The blue 2002 Chevrolet truck had been headed north on Nacogdoches Road and crashed into the side of Chin San Chinese Restaurant near Wordsworth Street at about 1 a.m., bursting into flames, SAFD Battalion Chief Bill Bochat said.

Driver Jonathan Puga and his passenger Sean Gardner, both 33, were able to get out safely, police said. Puga was treated at the scene for minor injuries and released to relatives.

A police incident report states that Gardner was intoxicated when he called Puga to ask for a ride home. Puga had picked him up and was traveling down Nacogdoches when Gardner said he wanted to go to a female friend's house and yanked the steering wheel, police said.
(from the Express-News)

They used to say, "Don't drink and drive." Now we might be hearing, "Don't drink and ride," instead.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chilling smiles II

Ugh. More with the smiling thing. Maybe it is getting to be a trend.

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio police arrested a south side woman who they said played a big role in a robbery which led to the death of at least one person.

Police said Avelina Perez, 22, was one of two women who helped to lure the actual robbers to a home in Universal City back in November.

During the robbery, the victims said four men pointed guns at the them and beat them with a club.

According the arrest warrant, their neighbor called police while the robbery was taking place and officers arrived and it led to a car chase and crash.

One of the suspected robbers was killed and a woman was critically injured, the arrest warrant said.
(from KSAT-12; video here)

Falling to pieces

New buildings, old buildings, in-between buildings ---- who gets to say when they get dangerous?

Members of the city's Dangerous Structure Determination Board were discussing the Oaks on Bandera, an apartment complex on the city's Northwest Side where a stairway had collapsed on Jan. 7, fatally injuring a resident.

During the meeting, small white and blue pieces of plaster broke free from the high, decorated ceiling in the council chambers. The largest pieces almost struck a city inspector. No one was injured.

(from the Express-News)

Their meeting had to be evacuated.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Local music bleg

Help! Someone! (I'm especially thinking of you, Keith Alan K.)

Some years ago I heard on the radio (it was probably KSYM) a San Antonio band that I really liked and that I haven't been able to track down since. It was a rockabilly band, and the name had something to do with "IH-10" or "I-10".

Has anyone else heard of this band? If so, how can I get my hands on a CD of them? I don't remember the name, and I haven't been able to find them through any internet searches or inquiries of local record stores that are not chains.

Going blonde on stage

OK, I don't care how much you are into the whole world of musicals, this is still a little weird.
“Legally Blonde,” the latest film-to-stage musical adaptation to play the Majestic Theatre, opens with a big burst of energy and never lets up.

The show follows the 2001 film's storyline pretty closely. Elle Woods (scrappily portrayed by Nikki Bohne), a sunny sorority gal who virtually everyone dismisses as vapid, is crushed when her beloved boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Ragas) dumps her the very night she was expecting a marriage proposal. To win him back, she follows him to Harvard University's law program, where she surprises everyone, including herself, when she scores a spot on the defense team for a high-profile murder trial. (No one is terribly surprised when she winds up seeing Warner for the jerk that he is and upgrades to a better guy.)

Heather Hach, who wrote the show's book, makes a few small changes that serve the story well. For one thing, there are just enough updated references — Bruiser, Elle's fashion-forward Chihuahua (played by the adorable Frankie) is a “Glee” fan, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is name-checked — to make the show current without going overboard.
(from the Express-News)

I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Car crashes into house

Or, rather, through a house!
SAN ANTONIO - Fire officials were called out to a home on the West Side after a car drove right through the garage. It happened at a vacant home in the 100 block of Villa Arbolitos near Culebra Road and 24th Street.

Police got the call just after 3:00 a.m. Tuesday. They say the car drove into the garage and came out the other side. Officials on scene say the fire department was called after a tow truck driver was worried the house could collapse.
(from WOAI-TV)

Holy cow, that car was moving! But the driver fled the scene and was nowhere around to tell just how fast he was going to make it through a house.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hiding out

He could always say he was just looking for change.
SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio police officers arrested a man at the Alazan Apache apartments on suspicion of sexual assault, after neighbors told them the man assaulted at least two young girls in the complex, police said.

Officers forced their way into the apartment on Friday evening after the resident refused to allow them inside, enlisting a San Antonio Housing Authority employee to drill through the door lock, then entered with guns drawn.

After searching for several minutes, detectives said they found the man hiding under the cushions of a couch. They said the woman who lives in the apartment was sitting on the couch and insisted no one else was home.
(from KSAT-12)

Just sitting on the couch. By myself. Waiting for you officers to drill through the lock and come in with guns drawn. Nope, nothing unusual here. Carry on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Transgendered Student Caught In Dormitory Dilemma"

Though this story takes place a bit west of San Antonio, I have to include it because of the strangeness at the base of it!
UVALDE, Texas -- Her admission to Southwest Texas Junior College in Jennifer Gellar's hometown of Uvalde is not the issue.

Willie Edwards, SWTJC spokesman, said what is still "under review" is which dormitory the transgendered student will be moving into when classes begin next Monday.

The campus of 1,700 students has a coed dorm and another for women.

Formerly John Brigman, who said he served in the U.S. Navy and in military police Reserves, now 51 years old, Gellar said "going over to the female side," resulted in a medical discharge from the military in 2008.

Now in her final year at the two-year college, Gellar said she would feel safer living in the women's dorm.

"Actually, I'm afraid of men," Gellar said.
(from KSAT-12)

Wow! How weird is that?

There's actually a college in Uvalde!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hitting you where the sun does shine

Thinking about going "green"? Want to get in on that sweet solar-energy action that lets you save money on your electricity costs? Be careful who you hire to install your system because the second-oldest profession is now in the green business.
"We gave him all of our savings," said homeowner Diana Acosta, who said she hired the contractor who installed the system. "My husband worked so hard to get all this money."

Acosta said she hired Mamadou Barry, of World Sun Technology, to install the [solar] panels. She said she gave him a check for $8,000 and another for $5,448.04 from her savings account to pay for the system.

Acosta said Barry came to her door and told her that her panels had been purchased and then were stolen.

"It was lie after lie," Acosta said. "Then he came crying. He convinced me to buy the other set of panels."

Acosta said she paid for another set of panels with her credit card and that Barry did install them -- badly -- but never paid her back and never paid the electrician who helped install them.
(from KSAT-12)

Don't trust crying contractors.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Demanding to be heard

This will sure wake you up, if you see it at work.
SAN ANTONIO - Police are looking for a man who walked into a store with a butcher knife. It happened at the Dollar General on Blanco Road near Basse. Witnesses say the man walked in with a butcher knife and made demands. Police say the man just took off without hurting anyone or even taking anything.
(from WOAI-TV)

Perhaps his demands were met.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Just when you think you're at the end of your rope, you find out one of your co-workers has just the skills needed to solve the day's problems. And all is well.
Four Shetland ponies wandered the area around SW Military and Whitewood just after 8 a.m.

Police tried to capture the horses and finally managed to get three of them contained. But a fourth pony proved a harder catch.

He roamed around and police weren't able to catch him.

Frustrated police called in an officer they say had experience with roping horses. That officer arrived and, after several attempts, was finally able to throw a rope over the pony.
(from KSAT-12)

Let's all be thankful for cowboy cops. Yippee-ki-yay!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Not doing the new movement any favors

I can't think of a faster way to get me to not try something than to say it is trendy and all of the cool kids in Austin are doing it.
What a tasty experiment: San Antonio, with a twist of Austin.

That's how many described Saturday's grand opening of the Boardwalk on Bulverde, the Alamo City's first mobile food truck park, serving up a smorgasbord of gourmet dishes in an outdoor atmosphere not unlike a backyard barbecue.

But these aren't your neighborhood taco trucks.

“It's pretty cool,” said Cory Jernigan, 25, shortly after he chowed down on a salmon sandwich from the Wheelie Gourmet, one of 11 trucks open for business at the park on Bulverde Road, between Loop 1604 and Thousand Oaks Drive. “It's very Austin.”

“I didn't think many people would be here actually,” said Jernigan's girlfriend, Erin Shoemaker, 23. “Because I feel like in San Antonio this kind of thing hasn't really hit — like the trendy stuff.”
(from the Express-News)

Hey, this is San Antonio. We don't have to be trendy to be cool, and we certainly don't have to be like Austin. Then, we wouldn't be San Antonio. Puro.

And please, let's not hate on ourselves.
Besides the variety of food, the Boardwalk is also something new to the North Side, area resident Shawn Meek said.

“To see people in this area congregating, having fun, chilling, it's a good thing,” Meek said.
We're perfectly capable of having fun and chilling without having to go to a trendy food truck park to do it.

"Man hurt when stairs collapse as he's chasing burglar"

Well, this is unfortunate. You'd expect any staircase to support your weight and that of others that might be using it at the same time. You certainly wouldn't expect it to collapse, especially when you are engaged in a pursuit of a bad guy.

A man was in critical condition and two others were hurt Saturday after an apartment complex stairwell collapsed under him as he chased a burglar, police said.

Paul Sambrano, who turns 45 today, was injured Friday night when he fell on his head at the Bandera Oaks apartment complex in the 1100 block of Bandera Road on the Northwest Side.

Police said Sambrano, his wife and a niece were chasing a man they'd been told was seen coming out of a nearby apartment window. As they yelled for him to stop, the stairs suddenly gave way, police said.

(from the Express-News)

UPDATE: Sambrano has died of his injuries.

Murder rates dropping

This is certainly good news. Whether or not you think it's strange that murder rates are dropping significantly in San Antonio doesn't change the fact that it bodes well for all of us here.
SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio Police investigated a 25-year low of 79 murders in 2010, the third straight year murder rates declined, said Chief William McManus.

After 119 murder investigations in 2008, the number dropped to 99 in 2009, then dropped again by 20 this past year.

"This is very welcome news, and I think it's indicative of the hard work of our police department," said San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
(from KSAT-12)

Let's hope this trend continues.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Democratic tussle

Did you hear about the ruckus at the meeting of the local Democrats? It's a sign of their recent troubles (which involve theft of taxpayer funds, among other things).
An attempt to reorganize the beleaguered Bexar County Democratic Party collapsed in chaos Tuesday night.

After an hour of raucous argument among executive committee members, a faction of party activists blocked Chairman Dan Ramos' attempt to designate new precinct leaders.

Ramos adjourned the meeting before any significant action was taken.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Paul Elizondo, who was there to swear in the new precinct chairpeople, left without performing the ritual because the meeting was short of a quorum.

The meeting in the Granada Homes ballroom opened with a tussle between two women over a sign-in sheet, a flare-up that resulted in an assault charge being filed.

The tension only rose from there, as some members yelled to get attention and others shouted in support of Ramos, who slammed the gavel repeatedly to try to regain order.
(from the Express-News)

And after that, it all went downhill.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Grabbin' the tongue

Watch out who you point your tongue at. Especially if they are in a bad mood and perhaps a bit out of control.

San Antonio police arrested a man Friday who is accused of pulling a boy's tongue during in argument with the boy's mother.

Investigators said Chadwick Benoit, 38, pulled the 12-year-old's tongue because the boy stuck it out at him.

The San Antonio Express-News reported the boy got in between Benoit and his mother during the argument.
(from KSAT-12)

Bonus strangeness: The fancy monogram of the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, visible in this photo.

Actually, that's kind of cool. It shows that the County is saving some bucks in these hard times by making do with plain white T-shirts and black markers.

And, in case Anonymous wants to argue with me, I definitely think that picture is a mug shot.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Draining the River Walk

Did you know that this is the time of year the City drains the River Walk, to clean it up?

It is. If you have friends who are thinking of visiting San Antonio in the winter, tell them not to bother in early January. Tell them not to bother, that is, if they are the type to like the River Walk and all its beauty.

Because it's not that pretty this time of year.

On the other hand, if your friends are the type to enjoy knowing how things work, to want to see what lurks behind the scenes that makes all the magic happen, then perhaps this is the perfect time of year. You can spy such things when the water is pulled away.

Of course, if they do come, tell them to be careful. It's awfully muddy on the bottom of the drained river, and we wouldn't want them to fall in and get dirty. And for Pete's sake don't drop your credit card. Even with the low water it's hard to get those things back.

But there are so many neat things to see. Such as old, sawed-down supports under the Crockett Street bridge, which I think -- though by no means am I sure -- might have once held up a lower bridge that was replaced. Now they are forever forgotten, except for a few days in January.

Then tell your friends, Don't worry. Come anytime, really. The water will be back soon, and so will the fine weather. And all the tourists, and all the ducks, and all the reasons to drink up and have a good time.

Just make sure you drink one for me.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Tagging our history

I can't stand graffiti. People who do it have a very misguided sense self-importance.

But this takes the cake.
For the second time in about five years, someone has vandalized historic structures at Mission San Juan.

Black spray-painted symbols resembling the acronym “ATM” now mark one wall of the more than 200-year-old church and another structure that surrounds human remains on the South Side park's grounds.

The Rev. Jim Galvin, pastor for 12 years, said the same symbol appeared on a church wall four or five years ago. Whoever painted it was never caught, he said.


Visitors to the park Sunday, taking advantage of the warm weather and clear skies, were equally disgusted by the graffiti. The mission dates to 1731.

“The mission is part of the South Side,” said Mary Herrera, 47, who stopped at Mission San Juan to stretch her legs while teaching her 15-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, how to drive. “You're hitting home here — it's personal.”

First-time visitor Erica Ances, who toured all of the local missions Sunday, said she thinks the vandals should expect more than a possible federal charge.

“They're going to get haunted,” said Ances, 33.
(from the Express-News)

They should.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Ripping off mourners

Stealing purses is never a good career choice, but stealing purses at cemeteries is downright despicable. People tend to get mad at you for doing that.
A couple of burglars stole a purse from a car parked at San Fernando Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, but they didn't get far with it.

Several witnesses jumped into their cars and chased the burglars for a few miles. The chase ended at the corner of Calaveras and Buena Vista when the burglars crashed into a man in a pickup truck.

That crash caused the pickup truck to hit a utility pole, which then fell on top of the truck. The driver was not badly hurt.

The witnesses then began chasing the burglars on foot and helped officers catch one of them. He was charged with burglary of a vehicle. The purse was returned to its owner.
(from KSAT-12)

And a very hearty "Thank you" goes out to the good guys of San Antonio who helped capture the burglar.

Car crashes into house

Apartment, really, but it's the same effect: vehicle takes out domicile.
A man driving a truck early New Year's morning slammed into an apartment building, taking out the wall of one of the units.

It happened on the 1200 block of Patricia Avenue just after 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

Police said after the crash, the driver backed up and drove off.

He made it about a mile down the road and crashed into a fire hydrant, police said.
(from KSAT-12)

No fences were hit, that I could tell, but the fire hydrant sure is different.

Twelve strangest of 2010

Here it is, time for another new year, and time again to remember the twelve strangest stories in San Antonio over the last year. There's one from each month, so there should be plenty to whet your appetite for a new batch of S.A. strangeness.

Someone who didn't think it was a bad idea to put graffiti on a police station.

Someone who wore a crown, a cape, and boxer shorts on St. Mary's Street.

Someone who fell in a river, and then called the eager media.

Slacktivism at its best.

Sex stores that need food permits.

Would-be home invaders that turn out to be wimps.

Anti-smoking ordinance seen as racist.

Someone who gave birth in the front yard.

A monkey named after a professional drunk that got away.

A local iconic semi-celebrity that got arrested.

Cats that jump through hoops.

Possibly the worst police sketch ever done.

Happy New Year to you all, and if a little strangeness comes your way, let's hope it's amusing.