Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Battle of Flowers Parade ...

... is always fun. And you're sure to see some strange things along the way. The Express-News provides a blow-by-blow account of yesterday's parade here.

Just one excerpt:
It's a Fiesta nightmare come true: King Rey Feo's float breaks down at Main and Commerce. A marching band squishes up behind it, marking time while police officers investigate. "Looks like it went down," Rey Feo says. "Just my luck for an ugly king." The float is kaput. Officers start pushing it down a side street. "We're walking!" Rey Feo yells, and his royal court dismounts onto the pavement. A woman wearing a fuchsia gown, a tiara and 3-inch heels complains she wasn't expecting to walk today. "But it's OK," she says, smiling, just like a queen would.

Ah, Fiesta time.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Tortilla tossing missed"

What? No tortillas at the Cornyation this year?
For some Fiesta revelers who love the madcap irreverence of Cornyation, it just isn't the same event without the flying tortillas.

So, what stopped the tradition? A lawsuit, of course.

A tradition since the 1991 Cornyation at Beethoven Hall, tortilla tossing was banned this year because of a lawsuit filed by a woman who was struck in the head by something harder than a tortilla last year at Cornyation.

The settlement cost the organization "less than $1,000" and — get this — 10 tickets for this year's performance.

That is indeed strange.

By the way, the Cornyation is an annual Fiesta event that pokes fun at recent local news stories and politics. It is usually quite ribald.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"People Pawning to Pay for Gas"

What the hell?

Gas bills are getting so high that some people are looking for quick money to fill the gaps, News 4 WOAI learned. Customers are looking for more loans and selling items to pay their fuel bills, workers at pawn shops said.

The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline cost was about $2.80 in San Antonio Monday, according to AAA. People are selling what they can for cash.

“I pawned a paint sprayer just to be able to get some gas,” customer Robert Preas said.

If they're that desperate for gas money, shouldn't they be taking the bus instead? How long do they expect that pawn money to last?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Driver Takes Dog On High-Speed Police Chase"

If you decide, foolishly, to try to outrun police in San Antonio, make sure you leave your dog at home.

Or else you could be facing animal cruelty charges, on top of everything else.

A driver, who took police officers on a high-speed chase, brought his dog along for the ride, KSAT 12 News reported.

The dog was locked up in a kennel in the back of the truck during the chase through Wilson and Bexar counties.

"Animal cruelty charges could be pending," said one official. "It's just something we'll look into."

He was going 90 mph.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Doubled street names

Having lived a good portion of my life in San Antonio, I've pretty much figured out how to get around town without getting myself lost, but I've heard newcomers and visitors say it can be quite difficult to figure out where they're going. Admittedly, the street layout can be confusing (what with dead ends and streets starting and stopping and other such peculiarities), but the highway system was planned out very well, and it's pretty easy to figure out.

Three interstate highways, a couple of U.S. highways, and some state roads make up the backbone of San Antonio's road network in a classic hub-and-spoke pattern focused on downtown. The city is also encircled by two concentric loop highways that make navigation as easy as saying "inside" or "outside" the loop. In fact, if lost in the Alamo City, you could always just head in one direction until you hit 410 (the inner loop) or 1604 (the outer loop) and just follow it around until something looks familiar. This could take some time, though.

(For another San Antonian's complete treatment, check out the Web site of the Texas Highwayman. He's really into highways.)

But, one important thing to remember is that street names in San Antonio can be strange. And, by all means, if you are getting directions from somebody, copy down the street names carefully. That's because there are a number of streets that share part or all of their names with others, and these streets are usually in different parts of town.

Some examples off the top of my head:

1. Wurzbach Road and Harry Wurzbach Road
2. Perrin-Beitel Road and Naco-Perrin Boulevard
3. Vance Jackson Road and Jackson-Keller Road
4. Guilbeau Road, New Guilbeau Road, and Old Guilbeau Street
5. Callaghan Road and Callaghan Avenue
6. Southeast/west Military Drive and Northwest Military Highway

And others. Just make sure you have the right street name. And, if possible, use a map.

By the way, if someone tells you to take a highway and they use a person's name to describe it (such as McDermott Freeway, Connally Loop, Stotzer Freeway, etc.), they're new to town. Long-time locals still call the highways by their number names (IH-10, Loop 410, Highway 151, and so on), and they probably will for some time now.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The piñata strikes back

A news reporter takes on a piñata. And she loses.

Good swing, though.

You, in the back! Duck!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Brent Barry: A Suicidal Fan Is a Bad Thing"

You really think so?

Brent Barry, a player for the Spurs, told WOAI that fans needn't worry about the team making it to the playoffs. In fact, since the team just passed the 60-wins-in-a-season mark, they should relax and not think about doing themselves in.


So are the high expectations a good thing?

“It’s good and bad,” says Barry. “If it makes you suicidal, it’s very bad."

OK, point made. Barry is not actually from San Antonio (he's from New York, I believe), but that's still a pretty weird thing to say.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Car crashes into house

It's always a little weird when a car pops right through the wall and into your bedroom. From WOAI:

A woman living at a home on Clark says she was reading her Bible in the kitchen, when a car came barreling through the wall. The crash knocked sheet rock to the ground and tore part of the ceiling off. ...

The couple was not hurt; however, two men inside the vehicle suffered minor injuries. The driver says he lost control of his car because he was being chased.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Who knew Bigfoot was down here in Texas?

Beginning this weekend and running through the end of July, the Institute of Texan Cultures is hosting an exhibit on Bigfoot.
There are many documented sightings of Bigfoot right here in Texas! You are invited to join us as we explore many theories on the existence of Bigfoot. This exhibit will feature unidentifiable hair as well as foot and body casts of a being that many believe can only be Bigfoot.

Or they could be fakes. You decide. No, really.
At the end of your visit, we’ll ask you to vote: do you believe Bigfoot really exists?

On a serious note, though, the Institute of Texas Cultures is a wonderful repository containing the history and heritage of all the different peoples that make up Texas. If you are visiting San Antonio, I suggest you check it out while you are here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Art rocks in New Braunfels

This is strange in New Braunfels, a town near San Antonio. It is an art show and sale featuring painted rocks.

The show is being held throughout April at the New Braunfels Art League gallery. Admission is free. Come look at rocks!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fuentes disappears again

The latest in the Naomi Fuentes disappearance case: she's gone again.

UTSA police followed every lead in their search for Fuentes. Chief Hernandez says they got help from the San Antonio Police Department and even psychics to try to track her down. When they found her, Chief Hernandez agreed he wouldn't reveal her location because she was at a battered women's shelter.

“We promised that we wouldn't divulge any information about her, other than that she is alive and well, if they would allow an officer to meet with her,” said Hernandez. They made it clear to us that they would allow that, but shortly thereafter, she would be removed from that location in order to protect her privacy and to protect her.” ...

Since police tracked Naomi to that shelter, she's now been moved for her own protection.

Fuentes is considered a person of interest by Windcrest Police in a criminal investigation.

Hm. I wonder if other female criminals on the lam have thought about using a battered women's shelter to cover their tracks? Seems convenient. It's a shame that anyone might think to stoop to that level, but, then again, I guess a criminal would have no compunction anyway.