Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eye-catching headline of the day

"New Park Called Waste Of Tax Money"

You know, I saw that headline and I said to myself, The city has officially run out of naming ideas.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Cowgirls recruit for all-women football league"

Finally! San Antonio gets a professional football team the whole town can get behind!
There is a new all-women pro football team in San Antonio, and they are in search of players.

The Texas Cowgirls will be part of the Leather and Lace football League. They will play their first game iin [sic] late April or early May.

Leather and Lace is an all female league with noticeably different uniforms than the ones you see on Sunday in the NFL.
(from KENS-5)

I'll say!

(photo found on the Texas Cowgirls website)

"Bank robbery suspect may be woman who wore fake goatee"

Now there's a good headline.
Investigators say the suspect pulled a gun at the Lone Star Capital Bank in the 15,100 block of San Pedro around 1:00 p.m. Friday and demanded money. They believe they are looking for a thin woman who was dressed as a man and was wearing a fake goatee, but said they could not be sure.

If you have any information about this bank robbery, please immediately call police ...
(from WOAI-TV)

Because they sure need some.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting ink

Today I saw a man with a neck tattoo. You know, the ones such guys put on the sides of their necks just above the collar line so their future job prospects are severely limited----those kinds. But this one particular tattoo was the three-digit number "210" in very large numerals. In Old English font, to boot. (I couldn't get a picture of the tattoo. I didn't have time to get my camera out. Sorry!)

Now, I know that the "210" is supposed to represent the San Antonio area code, and I know that it's somewhat popular for the youth of this nation to take great pride in their hometown by flashing around the area code they grew up with. But to get it tattooed on the neck?

What if he moves?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Becoming royalty, the judicial way

The new Miss San Antonio got crowned in a courtroom.
There has been a new development in the fight for the Miss San Antonio crown.

District Judge Cathleen Stryker has declined the temporary injunction sought by 17-year-old Domonique Ramirez.

Pageant officials had a little make-do crowning event immediately after the judge's ruling, placing the crown on Ashley Dixon's head for the first time.

Ramirez had been fighting to retain her title, after pageant officials tried to take it away.

Ramirez wasn't at court for the grand finale Wednesday. She was out sick with pneumonia, her attorneys say.
(from KENS-TV)

Well, I bet her little sick-out didn't help her case any.

This story has been all over the news lately, and I won't rehash the details (though you can read more about it here). Suffice it to say that the 17-year-old Ramirez apparently won the title of Miss San Antonio, was lax in fulfilling her obligations to her position, and got canned by the organization that owns the crown and runs the program. They preferred the first runner-up instead, thinking she will be more reliable than Ramirez.

But, this being Strange in San Antonio, you know the whole flap did not start well. In fact, it started out with a great big, misguided hatefest, adequately skewered by Sabra. Read it and experience the fun that goes along with the Miss San Antonio title.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creating a haven

When I first read this, it didn't seem that strange.
Jaime Martinez, Board Chair for the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation is asking city leaders to make San Antonio a "safe haven" for undocumented workers and their families. Martinez is calling for immigration reform on labor rights, reunification of the family, and giving illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

"Close to 6 billion dollars a year is collected from these workers who do not have matching social security numbers," said Martinez in a press conference Tuesday. "We want the politicians to check the social security administration suspense files," explained Martinez. "[They're] going to be alarmed, that [illegal immigrants] do pay their fair share to America."
(from KSAT-12)

Sadly, cities that make life easier for illegal immigrants are not unusual, and it's not so surprising to see a push for this status in heavily Hispanic, largely Democrat San Antonio.

But what caught my eye is this passage:
Also attending the press conference was a representative from United Food and Commercial Workers, a worker's union that stands for achieving the American dream.


"What about all their benefits?" asked [UFCW representative Tony] Reyes. "Their 401Ks, and their vacations?"


I am not an accountant, but retirement plans like that are complex. How can anyone with a fake Social Security number get a 401k? Is it really possible?

And vacations? If someone is truly facing the difficult possibility of being deported to a land they fled in the first place because it was such a crappy place to live, do you really think they are going to worrying about whether or not they lose a few unused vacation days?

I think not. I think they will be worrying about life first.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Not being too big to take on a flea market

Louis Vuitton, that is. They're quite jealous of their brand and aren't above taking out some knock-off artists in San Antonio.
SAN ANTONIO-- Luxury brand Louis Vuitton is suing a popular northeast side flea market, claiming the owners and manager have allowed vendors to sell counterfeit Louis Vuitton merchandise.

The company claims vendors inside the Eisenhauer Market have sold counterfeit goods for more than a year. Shoppers say the market is a popular spot for knock-off handbags that cost hundreds less than the real thing.
(from WOAI-TV)

And San Antonio is in good company (or bad, if you like), according to a statement from the purse-maker.
Louis Vuitton’s Intellectual Property Department is managing over 11,500 intellectual property rights including trademarks, designs and copyrights with the support of 250 agents around the world. Thanks to this fully-dedicated team of lawyers and former law enforcement professionals based in Paris with regional offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Milan, Dubai, New York and Buenos Aires, thousands of anti-counterfeiting raids are performed each year. In 2009, Louis Vuitton initiated 9,489 raids (39 per day) and 26,843 anti-counterfeiting procedures worldwide, resulting in the seizure of thousands of counterfeit products and the break- up of criminal networks, easing the plight of workers working for illegal organisations.
They initiated 39 raids per day in 2009. Looking at that statistic, I guess it was just a matter of time until they got around to the Eisenhauer Market.

Jacking with my radio expectations

Hey, I know FM 102.7 likes to say it's "One station that plays everything", but it was still a little surprising to hear "War Pigs" immediately followed by "Rock Me Amadeus".

Just sayin'.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Someone who should have thought a lot more

This story sounds a little fishy to me.
According to an arrest warrant, 36-year-old Alfredo Ibarra went to his uncle's home on Sunday to make a deal. Police said he claimed he was sent to murder the 52-year-old victim. However, if his uncle could come up with $2,000 they could bury the plot to kill him.

The warrant indicates the uncle could only give his nephew $80. Ibarra allegedly agreed to this plan. Police said the suspect intended to come back for the rest of the money.

Investigators said the victim was so frightened he hid for two days. The authorities were called.
(from KENS-5)

Did this guy think his plan would work?

I mean, if you really have been hired to kill your own uncle, and you think you can get more money out of him if you simply tell him about the plot and promise not to follow through on it, then what do you think the thugs that hired you are going to do after that? Shrug and say, "Better luck next time"?

Or, if you are just making the whole thing up to get some extra bucks, do you really think this is a better idea than just asking your uncle nicely for a little loan?

But, do you know what the truly sad thing about this story is? Ibarra actually made bail on a $10,000 bond. Where'd he get the money for that? A promise not to kill another family member?

Making it pretty easy for the cops

To find you, that is. By leaving beautiful batches of your DNA behind.
According to an arrest warrant, investigators found Pete Ramos' blood at the scene of the crime, which reportedly gave police DNA evidence to link him to the smash-and-grab.

The warrant indicates Ramos is one of the suspects who burglarized the Target near I-10 and De Zavala Road. Police said someone threw a large rock through the front glass doors and took quite a bit of merchandise on Dec. 15.

While breaking into the display case, the 32-year-old suspect cut himself, leaving blood behind on the broken glass.
(from KENS-5)

Be careful, burglars. Haven't you ever seen Gattaca?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Garage crashes into ground

Today a parking garage under construction decided to deconstruct very rapidly.
SAN ANTONIO -- Two construction workers suffered injuries -- one critically -- when a parking structure they were working on in the Medical Center area collapsed Monday.

The collapse occurred just before noon on Monday at University Hospital near the intersection of Wurzbach and Medical drives, hospital spokeswoman Leni Kirkman said.


San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said the crew was working on the seven-story structure when they heard a rumbling noise shortly before noon.

Hood said the workers activated an emergency tone, causing the crew to evacuate the structure.

More than 100 workers were on the site at the time and all were accounted for, Hood said.

One person suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Kirkman said, but another was admitted in critical condition and was being treating [sic] at University Hospital's trauma center.
(from KSAT-12)

Wow. One hundred workers, and only two were injured in a freakin' building collapse! Don't you know a lot of guts dropped when that emergency tone sounded, followed closely by mass and speedy evacuations.

And they got out pretty quick, too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flag bleg

I saw a sticker that looked like this on someone's car the other day:

Does anyone know what this particular derivation of the Texas flag symbolizes, what group it stands for or what it means? I couldn't get a picture of the sticker, so I created this image from memory. The asterisks were actually letters, but I couldn't quite make them out in the brief moment I saw the curious symbol.

Any clues? I am genuinely curious.

Men crash into building

If you find yourself on the streets of downtown, and you end up drunk, and you start arguing with another drunk man, be careful when you begin fighting. You just might end up bloody and in need of rescue.
Two men fell through a window at a downtown San Antonio bank building, trapping them inside for an hour-and-a-half, police said.

The incident happened at the Broadway Bank building at Pecan St. and Soledad around 4:30 Saturday morning.

Police said the two men had been drinking and started to fight. They fell against the window, breaking it and crashing more than 20 feet to a floor below, investigators said.

The man were trapped inside an enclosed area away from the bank itself.
(from KSAT-12)

It took a couple of hours, but the emergency crews got them out, somewhat cut and bruised. They were taken to a hospital and charged with criminal mischief.

Remember, glass is sharp and pointy when it's broken. Be careful on the streets.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Going out in style

Randy Beamer at WOAI compiles information on odd funerals in the Alamo City. It's a pretty good read because it includes this:
One of the weirdest burials in the world was right here in an East Side cemetery. Sandra West was the young widow of Texas multimillionaire oilman Ike West. When she died in 1977 the Beverly Hills socialite left a handwritten will saying she had to be buried in her lacy nightgown sitting in her 1964 powder blue Ferrari 330 America in a comfortable reclining position.

If she wasn't buried as instructed, her brother-in-law would get nearly nothing. A court battle lasted two months before she finally rode off into the ground. Hundreds showed up at the Alamo Masonic Cemetery to see the spectacle, but the funeral director kept West all crated up. The onlookers couldn't see West inside the crate, even though she was dressed in her nightgown in the car. The court had ordered it to be respectful and discrete.
And it includes plenty of quotes from the wonderfully-named owner of Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries, Dick Tips, including a sneak peek at the plans for his own funeral.
“I'm going to have different costume changes,” says Tips. “I was a Rey Feo here in San Antonio. I'm very proud of it,” said Tips.

“Absolutely. The Masonic Lodge, Rey Feo, Cavaliers, and, of course, the suit,” said Dick's wife Kristen, who is also a funeral director.

Dick Tips plans to show off and celebrate what the family business can do. Someday, not soon, in the very same solid bronze casket with the gold hand bars that Michael Jackson was buried in.
That's going to be some send-off.

"Woman Dies In Fall From I-10 West"

Yes, those ramps are very high up in the air.
Officers said the woman fell 75 feet from I-10 just south of Crossroads Blvd. Police are now trying to figure out what caused her to fall.

They said it appears the woman was driving on I-10 and hit a wall, but they're not sure whether she was ejected from her car or got out on her own.

Investigators said another car then hit the woman's car from behind, and they believe she either was tossed, or jumped to avoid the impact. She then fell to the access road 75 feet down and was killed.
(from KSAT-12)

It's not the first time someone has died falling from a ramp on that interchange.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

We're No. 1!

And for once it's something that we can really get behind!

SAN ANTONIO -- Lately, the Alamo City has seen its name on a variety of lists -- some good, some spotlighting our range of waistlines.

But this time, we love seeing San Antonio at the top of The Daily Beast's "50 Best Cities for Love."

According to The Daily Beast's story, its staff ranked our nation's largest cities based on marriage and divorce rates, happy population and wealth of bars and restaurants.

(from KENS-5)

I really don't put a lot of stock in these Top 10 (or Bottom 10) lists, but it's nice to not be slammed for being too fat or too lazy or too stupid or any other such arbitrary pronouncement.

For what it's worth, here's how the Daily Beast scored the Alamo City.
#1, San Antonio, TX
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: B
Divorce: C
Romantic hotspot: Omni La Mansion del Rio
And here's the rankings for other Texas cities on the list:
#3 -- Austin
#40 -- Houston
#41 -- Dallas
Feel the love, yet?

Blaming white people

Sabra catches a lame attempt to blame rich, white people for ---- I don't know, something.
First obvious problem with this? The executive director of the group that runs the pageant (Miss Bexar County Organization, Inc) is named Caroline Flores. Granted, that may well be her married name, but methinks not too many Mexican-haters marry them.

Second obvious problem? This is the runner up:
Make sure you click the link.

Monday, February 07, 2011

As dangerous as rocks

Really? Drug cartels are buying pipe bombs made in San Antonio? Why, because they are of higher quality than those made in, say, the Valley?
ATF agents say drug gangs are buying old grenades to do their dirty work across the border. Agents are going undercover to catch them.

Unfortunately, the black market for explosives in San Antonio is booming. ATF agents say Mexican drug cartels are snatching up pipe bombs and old pineapple and baseball grenades in our back yard.

They say the grenades dint [sic] have to be live to be lethal in the wrong hands.
(from KENS-5)

The explosive objects don't have to be live to be lethal? So, in a sense, the drug cartels are buying expensive metal rocks in San Antonio and bringing them back to Mexico. Right?

Am I missing something?

"Relatives Of Missing Toddler Given Polygraph Tests"

Here's one that seems a bit unusual to me.
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- Relatives of a missing New Braunfels toddler said police are asking them to undergo polygraph tests in an effort to locate the 18-month-old boy.

Joshua Davis Jr. was reported missing by his parents, who told police they last saw their son around 8 p.m. Friday inside their home in the 2600 block of Savannah Hill Circle.

Police, along with other law enforcement agents and volunteers, combed a wooded area near the family's home all weekend but did not locate him.


"We're going to be retracing some of our steps," Lt. Mike Penshorn said Monday morning. "Also, we are still interviewing a number of the people associated with the child and, of course, we're expanding that where we have quite a few people that we are bringing just to talk to find out what did happen in this case."

According to Jerome Davis, Joshua's grandfather, that also includes administering polygraph tests to everyone who lives in the household.
(from KSAT-12)

I didn't think law enforcement could use polygraph tests in the course of a criminal investigation (or, at the very least, that the test results couldn't be admissible in a trial). Am I wrong? I am not a lawyer, so I don't know for sure, but I hope the family members of that missing boy don't get a raw deal out of this.

I hate polygraph tests. They don't measure the veracity of any statement, they simply measure how nervous a person is while making that statement, and that anxiety could be caused by the mere fact that person is taking a freakin' polygraph test!

I know people will say, "If you're telling the truth, you have nothing to hide." But no matter how truthful you are the test measures only your nervousness, so if you're spooked by the test to begin with you could still fail it even while being honest and straightforward. The results all depend on the person administering that test and how adept that person is at shaking up the subject to extract a confession. It's nothing more than traditional interrogation aided by a contraption that the general public seems to believe is capable of detecting the truth. And the test administrators count on that belief to get their results!

For the record, yes, I was once forced to submit to a polygraph. The results? I failed it. The administrator thought I had something to hide when, in fact, I didn't. It said I lied when I told the truth. Nothing adverse happened to me because of that test, but I've been spooked by the experience ever since.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

"Hecklers mar comedian's thought-provoking performance"

Caustic comics shouldn't have thin skin.
Prickly political comedian Lewis Black is a big boy and certainly doesn't need my help in handling obnoxious hecklers.

But his thought-provoking jowl-shaking performance at Majestic Theatre on Friday was marred by drunken audience outbursts of the Tea Party variety that, for any comedy lover, were cringe-worthy and a black eye to this city.

Especially since Black opened his show with a hilarious, self-deprecating five-minute warning about his brand of caustic, unforgiving comedy which has made him a Comedy Central star and best-selling author.


Friday's show, with talented opener John Bowman, took a darker turn when Black — who skewers the left, right and middle — touched on provocative issues of gun control, abortion and taxes.

“When people ask next year why Lewis Black left comedy, you've seen the pivotal moment,” said Black, 62, utterly exasperated with a woman near the front who rudely and repeatedly interrupted a riff about taxing the rich and Black proposing — sarcastically — a “Rich People's Day” to honor them.


To a man who screamed ideological nonsense from the back, Black responded, “You're in love with your guns and you're a (expletive) happy person. And you make a scary sound like the (expletives) wolves at night.”

The ruckus broke out when Black said, “The one thing we don't argue about is gun control. It's off the table.”

When mindless whoops went up, Black looked genuinely stunned. “What does that (expletive) mean?” he asked.

The same man yelled out, “I love guns!” Black simply stared and implored, “But stop making that scary (expletive) noise.”


Years ago, the late George Carlin had two heckling jerks removed from the Majestic for lesser offenses. To his credit, Black kept his cool and stayed in control — though the vast majority likely wished he'd taken that page from Carlin's playbook.
(from the Express-News)

I don't know, sounds like the majority likely didn't agree with the comic's politics and found his jokes less than funny. I don't know if it was a "vast" majority, but it takes quite a crowd to throw a professional like Black off his game. Maybe Black really did have thick enough skin to take it. Maybe it was the Express-News guy that couldn't handle the heckling.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Van crashes into house

They say it was a van, but I have my doubts.
A 41-year-old man crashed his van into the wall of a brick home on the Northeast Side after suffering a seizure Thursday afternoon.

Police said the driver had been traveling east on O'Connor Road when the attack caused him to lose consciousness and swerve into the 6300 block of Kings Crown Street, where he hit the house.

His Jeep Liberty punched a hole in the side wall of the garage. [emphases added]
(from the Express-News)

The man was not hurt. No word on the condition of his "van".

"Rather warns media is in 'state of crisis'"

Dan Rather was in town, and he was talking to some folks at San Antonio College about the state of the mainstream media in this nation. He said some interesting things during the course of his chat, and the Express-News reported this:
Rather said that when it comes to the media, this country is “in a state of crisis.”

“Those who dumb down the news, trivialize the news with in-studio shouting matches passing for debate,” Rather said, “those who tart up the news with celebrity gossip, scandal and sensationalism are playing right into the hands of those that stand to gain the most from the news being seen as irrelevant and trivial and no more or less worth your attention than the next episode of ‘American Idol.'”

He elaborated: “I worry that if it becomes no more than a reality show, something that could be scripted and rigged behind the scenes without anyone really getting upset about it, that our freedom of the press will become another one of those constitutionally granted rights that can be watered down and eventually taken away from us.”
Seriously? This guy -- who had to step down from his job because he presented a news segment on 60 Minutes Wednesday bashing then-president George Bush just before his re-election (and the entire segment was based on fake documents!) -- this guy is accusing others of "tart[ing] up the news with ... scandal and sensationalism"? This guy is worried about news that is "scripted and rigged behind the scenes"?


If Natalie Maines can be ashamed that the President comes from Texas, then I can be ashamed that this guy comes from Texas as well.


This is always strange in San Antonio.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Snow Thursday Night?"

This is definitely strange in San Antonio.
Part of a upper level storm system over the Rocky Mountains will move eastward into Texas. It will help draw moisture from the Pacific Ocean over our area.

This will also enhance lift in the atmosphere causing precipitation to fall. Since we are below freezing at the surface and aloft in the atmosphere most of the precipitation will fall in the form of snow.
(from KSAT-12)

Get your cameras ready!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"Home of the baboons opts for new name and new tagline"

That's probably the best headline I've read all day.
SAN ANTONIO -- One of San Antonio’s premier research facilities has a new name and an expanded mission.

The Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research is now the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

You might know it as the place with the monkeys on Loop 410, often confused with the Southwest Research Institute next door. The scientists who work at Texas Biomed hope there won’t be any more mistaking who they are and what they do.
(from KENS-5)

Nope. These are the baboon guys, and they are doing work to "enhance lives through discovery".

And sometimes they chase baboons, too.

A mess of meth

Making a drug bust in San Antonio is not really strange, but the quantity involved in this story is a bit unusual.
The bust was a joint investigation between DPS and ICE that resulted in the seizure of 28 pounds of crystal meth.

Investigators say that's worth about $2 million to $5 million on the street. Authorities did make two arrests in the sting.

The San Antonio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force started investigating the men in March of 2010.

A federal complaint says the men had plans to move some crystal meth to Houston. Authorities say they were storing the meth at a Mini Storage unit in the 3500 block of S.W. Military.
(from KENS-5)

Just goes to show ---- you never know what's in the storage unit next to yours.