Thursday, March 31, 2011

Landing on the highway

Now this is something you don't see every day on your way down to the coast.
Just before 9 p.m. a pilot and his passenger had to make an emergency landing on the shoulder of the southbound lanes of I-37S near S. New Braunfels.


The chopper pilot told emergency responders he had to land abruptly because a bird flew through the aircraft's windshield.

The pilot and his passenger were treated on-site for minor injuries.

A tow truck was called to haul the helicopter away.
(from KENS-5)

Reporting on the local news, Chinese style

Maybe this is why there are so many Chinese ads at the Spurs games.

(hat tip -- KSAT-12)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"SA Bike Sharing Program First For Texas"

The headline alone is enough to qualify for a post on this blog.
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Bike Share program is the newest way for San Antonio residents to get a different look at their city, especially if they live or work downtown.

"It really is designed for your local community to be able to move about in an active eco-friendly way," said Cindi Snell, who is the executive director of San Antonio B-cycle and co-owner of Bike World.

Bikes are parked at 14 kiosks all over downtown, from the Pearl Brewery south to Blue Star.

Although visitors can take advantage of it, the setup is designed for locals.

"If you need to move about downtown -- whether it's a meeting, or a lunch or delivery, whatever it might be -- instead of moving your car and having to re-park or pay for parking, you just use these bikes for short trips," Snell said.

For those who live in the downtown area, it is a unique way to see the city, especially if you don't own a bike.
(from KSAT-12)

And they have nifty baskets!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Not waiting until they got home

This story ended tragically, but it is a good illustration of why things that sound so cool to do often are not when they are actually done.
Police say the driver lost control and slammed into a telephone pole near Wetmore and Thousand Oaks. Police say they believe the couple was having sex while driving. The man was naked and the woman was only partially clothed. The man died at the scene, and the woman is in critical condition.
(from WOAI-TV)

Waiting fifteen minutes until you get home -- or at least to the driveway -- is never a bad idea.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Starting a feud

Sweeps must be coming up. Or else why would WOAI start such an argument in San Antonio?
SAN ANTONIO – Breakfast tacos are a San Antonio tradition. People here will fight to the death defending their favorite. [Really? Is that necessary? --ed.]

The tortillas? The salsa? The eggs? What makes your favorite so good?

Now it’s your chance to sound off --- who has the best breakfast tacos in San Antonio?
I do. When they are in my hand and ready to go into my mouth, they are the best damned tacos on the planet.

Miss San Antonio got her crown back

And she gave it to God's mother.
Ousted beauty queen Domonique Ramirez retrieved her title and crown Thursday under a national media spotlight after a lawsuit jury unanimously decided the pageant organization that fired her had breached their contract.

“I don't have any choice but to reinstate Miss Ramirez as Miss San Antonio 2011,” state District Judge Barbara Hanson Nellermoe told the parties after shaking each departing juror's hand.

Family and friends of Ramirez, 17, broke into applause, and her attorney, Luis Vera Jr., appeared to wipe away a tear. [Blech! --ed.] Within minutes, Ramirez, her mother and Vera were at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on the West Side, where she left her crown as a gift to its patroness.

“She's the queen of all queens, the keeper of all crowns,” explained Ramirez, who said she could buy a replacement crown for the Fiesta and Miss Texas appearances that go with the renewed title. “I wanted to give my crown to her. I just wanted to send a message I'm very grateful and she has answered my prayers.”
(from the Express-News)

Eh, she wasn't busy, so why not?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



And you can blame Hollywood.
[Benjamin] Radford dug through every El Chupacabra mention and traced the physical description of the monster to a single event in the second week of August 1995, when a sketch from an eyewitness named Madelyne Tolentino ran in a Puerto Rican newspaper. Locals immediately tagged the alien-looking animal as El Chupacabra.

The creature, Radford noticed, shared a strong resemblance to the alien/human hybrid in the 1995 sci-fi thriller "Species." When he spoke to Tolentino, he asked her if the thing that she saw could have been inspired by the film. Indeed, she had seen the movie in the weeks prior to making her description.

"You can make a direct connection between the film hitting theaters, her seeing the creature in the film, seeing it in the street, making the report and entering the public conscious," Radford said.

Soon after, reports of nearly identical creatures began appearing throughout Latin America. But these can be dismissed, Radford says, because they're all based on Tolentino's Hollywood-inspired monster.

"What I've tried to do is take the whole El Chupacabra enchilada and break it into small mysteries and then solve those mysteries," Radford said. "There's no place else for those mysteries to hide now. If I haven't solved every piece of it, then I don't know what I'm missing. It's all there."
Of course, there is mention of the Texas beasts and how they fit into the whole mythos, mange and all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Going Chinese, Spurs style

So I'm watching the Spurs play the Warriors tonight, and I notice this:

And this:

And this:

And it gets me to wondering, are there any late night Chinese food delivery joints?

Seriously, though, I don't usually get to watch Spurs games live, so maybe I don't know, this could be a common thing. But what was it with the Chinese language advertising tonight? Was this a special Chinese night, like how the NBA panders to the Hispanic populations from time to time by making all the players wear jerseys that say "Los Spurs" and "El Heat"? Or does San Antonio really have a big enough Asian population to actually warrant advertising to them? Or was the AT&T Center simply taking whatever advertising they could get and, hey, Chinese dollars spend as good as American dollars so what if we don't know what the ads say?

Does anybody know?

I am genuinely curious.

Gettin' enraged by the burrito prices

I do like my Taco Bell, and I do like it cheap. But I think I can handle a price increase a bit better than this guy.
Ricardo Jones, 37, is being held in the Bexar County jail. He's facing two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant.

Police said they received a 911 call around 2 p.m. on Sunday from the manager of a Taco Bell restaurant in the 5300 block of Rigsby Avenue, telling them about a man who had just fired at him with a BB gun.

"He asked me the price of a burrito," said Brian Tillerson, the restaurant manager. "As soon as I told him the price, he just shot at me."

Tillerson said he recognized Jones as the same man who had yelled at him a week ago.

He said after Jones shot at him, he immediately called 911, then locked the restaurant doors when he saw Jones approaching.

"Then he proceeded to get out of his car and put a machine gun on the roof of his car and that's when we locked the lobby," Tillerson said.
(from KSAT-12)

He fled and fired at police officers, who flushed him out of a motel room after four hours. From what I can tell, no one was hurt. Except maybe Taco Bell's reputation as a go-to place for cheap tacos.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bexar County politics

They can be quite strange. Witness Dan Ramos and the things he's willing to say to the media. (In case you don't know, the Stonewall Democrats are a gay-rights group.)
In a wide-ranging interview with the Current last Friday, Bexar County Democratic Party Chair Dan Ramos likened homosexuals to children stricken with polio and the Stonewall Democrats, an organization working to advance the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, to the Nazi Party.

In immediate response, State Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie called on Ramos to resign his post. Texas Stonewall Democrats called on him to apologize or resign. And Bexar County Young Democrats urged him to apologize and resign “for his profane display of bigotry.”

Among his more incendiary comments to the Current last week, Ramos said, “I liken [Stonewall Democrats] to the Tea Party — the Tea Party and the fucking Nazi Party — because they’re 90 percent white, blue-eyed, and Anglo, and I don’t give a shit who knows that. That’s the truth. Just like the blacks, they’re strong. And there’s nothing wrong — they’re Americans — but you can’t get your way just because you’re black.”


Ramos frequently suggests that anti-Hispanic racism is to blame for the division that has been on display at past party meetings. When asked if race or sexual orientation were more a cause of concern for him, Ramos responded: “I go back to an old very well-used slogan: blacks wanted to get their way because they were black. What it is, is we have a very, very sinister movement in which you don’t know, at the end of the day, you didn’t even know that your next door buddy, your bosom fishing buddy was gay. That, I guess, goes to my belief in the religious thing. Look: this is not natural. This is like a kid who was born with a polio leg, you can’t kill him and you can’t sweep him under the rug. … I’m glad that Texas has not yet come to where gays can adopt children … because the poor kids have already come from a troubled family and then to be ‘hey, how come my momma is my daddy type of deal.’ It’s not natural.”

When challenged about his comments, Ramos insisted that he has been fighting for civil rights for 40 years. “I feel equal opportunity is meant for everyone that is being violated, regardless of who they are,” he said. “All I said was that equal opportunity should not be used as a umbrella to gain any kind of advantage over other people. It is pretty obvious that the advantage they [Stonewall Democrats] take is way beyond the pale. Certainly, all the people with handicaps, I represent them all the time.”

(from the San Antonio Current)

Our political future is in the very best of hands.

For the record, my uncle has a polio leg. He is a university-educated man and he works in social services because he cares about his community. I like him very much, and I'm proud of him. And I doubt his mother ever thought about killing him or sweeping him under the rug.

UPDATE: Ramos held a press conference Thursday, March 17 concerning this controversy. KENS-5 reports what he said:

Thursday, Dan Ramos called a new conference to set the record straight about an interview published in the Current in which Ramos is accused of making “bigoted” remarks.

However, while Ramos said the Current took his comments out of context, many local Democrats said the chairman only added fuel to the fire at his conference as he again likened the Bexar County Stonewall Democrats, a group that advocates for gay-rights, to the Nazi Party.

"I think Hitler made a pretty good example of when an individual perceives that he has power beyond control, and this is what these people (Stonewall Democrats) are doing in the Democratic Party," said Ramos.

Ramos also called members of the group “termites”.

"They have infiltrated the Bexar County party much like termites infiltrate your house, and they are trying to destroy what's been around for a long time."

When asked about Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie's remarks that he should resign, Ramos said Richie is an “idiot”.

Do you think Ramos has read any Carnegie?

Car crashes into garage

The automobiles are getting bolder. First it was just houses. Then it was houses and fences. Now it's houses, fences, and play equipment!
SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio police said a local teenager went joyriding late Wednesday night and slammed a car into the back of a garage.


He lost control of the vehicle, ran over a basketball goal and a fence before he crashed into the garage and came to a stop on two wheels, police said.
(from KSAT-12)

Show off.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"NBA-best Spurs survive scare from Kings -- and bat"

They really need to have an exterminator check out the AT&T Center.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tony Parker scored 27 points, Manu Ginobili had 24 and the San Antonio Spurs won their 11th in a row over Sacramento, beating the Kings 108-103 on Friday night.


For the second straight year with the Kings in town, a bat swooped down from the rafters and circled the court during the game.

The commotion ended when the bat ran smack into a fan. It apparently survived.
(from WOAI-TV)

At least Manu didn't swat it down this time. A round of rabies shots will change anyone's attitude.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Time moves on, as does the traffic

I found this interesting tidbit on San Antonio Remembers:
Work will start within one week at the traffic control project at Romana Plaza, most congested area in the city, Virden A. Rittgers, city traffic engineer, said Friday.
It's a bit odd to think of the Romana Plaza area as the most congested in the city, especially now that it is 70 years later and we've added a whole interstate highway system since then. Now traffic congestion can be had in all areas of the city.

By the way, if you are familiar with the San Antonio area but don't know where Romana Plaza is, it's the area just north of the Central Library.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Someone who thought a little, but not enough

If you decide to burglarize a house, and you have an excuse handy just in case the homeowner comes back and catches you in the act, you might want to give it a lot of thought and come up with something creative. The homeowner still won't believe you, but you just might give them a good laugh to take the edge off the awkwardness.
The arrest affidavit showed the resident called police Feb. 16 after finding Linda McCloskey, 52, inside her home when she returned from running an errand. Police believe McCloskey got in through an unlocked door.

The homeowner told police when she confronted her, McCloskey said she was there to clean the house and then pointed to a vacuum cleaner and carpet steamer near the door.

However, the homeowner said both of the cleaning tools belonged to her and that she did not have a maid.
(from KSAT-12)

Car crashes into house

They say drinking and driving don't mix. They say texting and driving don't mix.

Now imagine what they'll be saying if you try more than that.
A woman was rushed to the hospital in critical condition Saturday morning after she flipped her car and crashed into a house at Rim Rock Trail and Stage Ln. around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Police say speed, alcohol and texting may have been factors in the accident that caused the woman to flip end-over-end several times, taking out a guardrail and a large portion of fencing before crashing into the house.

During the crash, a large piece of lumber that police believed to be from the fence impaled the woman's leg.
(from KABB-29)

Ouch. I hope she gets better, but still, ouch.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Reinstalling a statue

I had wondered what happened to that statue.
The missing statue of Ernani "Nani" Falcone is back where it belongs.

City leaders and friends of Falcone gathered Saturday morning to rededicate the statue at the spot where it had disappeared more than a year ago.

Someone took the statue honoring the late parks and neighborhood advocate, and no one knew where it was, who took it, or why.

But friends said a city park policeman recently stumbled upon the statue while helping other officers search for a robbery suspect.

That find led to the Saturday ceremony and replacing of "Nani" at the Mystic Park spot where it was first dedicated more than four years ago.
(from KSAT-12)

Good to hear it's back. But I wonder where it was all this time.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Details, details, details

You know, when you're walking around downtown San Antonio, you just might slow down a bit and take in the sights. There's the Alamo, of course, and the River Walk, and other such common, touristy locales. But there are piles more places to see that are not as well known but just as beautiful, if not more so.

And you can see even more of the beauty if you take the time to notice the details.

Look closely. Note the architecture. Admire it. And, if you look closely enough, you just might find something as interesting as this in the vicinity of Martin Street.

Nice, isn't it?

I like it. A lot.

But don't forget to look even closer. You just might notice some little detail that you missed before that makes the whole scene that much more interesting. Like a small home of sorts, one that appeals to a paper wasp just nicely.

That finishes it, I think.

"Man Claims He Was 'Taxed' By Mexican Mafia"

Hm. I don't remember voting for this tax increase.
SAN ANTONIO -- A southeast side man said the tax man who came knocking at his home had a knife and took what he said was owed.

As a result, San Antonio police have arrested one of the suspected illegal tax men, 19-year-old Jesse Aceves.

The victim told detectives he was leaving his home in the 800 block of E. Highland on Jan. 13 when three men approached him and demanded $200.

The arrest affidavit said the victim told police the group claimed to be members of the Mexican Mafia, and told him he owed the money as tax for "living on their block."
(from KSAT-12)

Car crashes into house

And causes a really big fire!
SAN ANTONIO -- A late night out may have saved the life of a local homeowner. The man said he was driving home early Thursday morning when he noticed his house was on fire.

San Antonio police said a car crashed into the northeast side home about 3 a.m. and ignited the massive blaze.

Police said the driver had been speeding when he crashed into the home in the 4200 block of Clear Lake Drive.
(from KSAT-12)

No one was killed, but someone did get arrested.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Erin go Blah

St. Patrick's Day is coming up. So if you are planning to be in a St. Patrick's Day parade, and if someone from Rio Magazine comes to take a picture of your parade so that they can use it in next year's mag, try to smile. It tends to make the headline not such a lie.

Graffiti, street art, or clever advertising?

Or all three?

You decide.

I saw this on the sidewalk by San Antonio College facing San Pedro. What's interesting about this piece is that it doesn't involve adding anything to the public walkway (paint, chalk, what have you). In fact, it involves taking something away.


Yes, it seems that this was made with a stencil that was pressure-washed, cleaning the exposed areas of the sidewalk and leaving the rest dirty. It's semi-permanent, but the advertisers did not do anything that was technically "graffiti". They actually cleaned a little bit of the public space, but they did it in a way that promotes a specific event.

What do you think? Clever tactic, or just another way to get away with marking up public property?