The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Webb, Ryan Webb... International Man of Mystery

Err, I mean Mitchell, Joshua Mitchell.

From The Denton Record-Chronicle:

An alert Denton police sergeant recognized a pickup he had seen in an intelligence bulletin and investigated, starting an encounter that resulted in the arrest of a man on numerous charges that involved fraud, endangering a child and failure to identify as a fugitive.
Police said more charges are possible relating to explosives and impersonation of a federal officer.
The suspect, however, says he actually is an international intelligence agent working undercover under an alias, and he has 25 badges to prove it.
Joshua Mitchell, 35, also known as Ryan Webb, remained Wednesday afternoon in city jail in lieu of $60,550 bail. He is being held without bail on a charge out of North Carolina.
His girlfriend, Rachael Sheridan, is in Denton County Jail on two counts of endangering a child. Her bail was set at $50,000.
Police said two sergeants were leaving a restaurant parking lot at 12:18 a.m. Tuesday when one of them noticed a pickup pulling into the parking lot. The truck had an unusual vanity plate that he remembered, as well as the description. He radioed other officers to give him more information from the bulletin.
He learned that a man associated with the truck was wanted on theft charges, believed to be impersonating a federal officer and was believed to be armed, the report states.
A woman was driving the truck; the passenger exited and began walking toward the officers and asking about a good hotel to spend the night in. Believing the man was armed, they detained him.
They found a peace officer’s badge, a handcuffs key and a spring-loaded knife in his clothing, according to a police report.
The man gave his name as Ryan Webb, and he claimed to have no identification. But police found a counterfeit Arizona driver’s license in his boot, the report states. They found warrants out of Plano and Garland for Webb.
The woman said she knew the man as Ryan Webb and she believed he was a federal agent. Two little girls, ages 6 years and 8 months, were in the back seat. The woman said they belonged to her and the youngest was Webb’s child.
Meanwhile, an officer responding to assist the two sergeants looked through the truck’s windshield and reported he could see the butt of a pistol sticking out from under the passenger seat.
Officers began a search of the truck. They found two pistols, a blasting cap, two laptop computers and a large number of motel key cards and old credit cards, the report states. They also found a card reader that could be used to steal information from credit cards.
Police found 25 badges with “International Intelligence Agency” imprinted on them and an Orange County Sheriff’s Office badge with the name “Joshua Steven Mitchell” on it along with numerous plastic badge holders, handcuffs and identification cards.
Officers discovered that Joshua Mitchell had outstanding warrants out of Collin County and North Carolina.
Police called city fire marshals to further investigate the explosives. The fire marshals found components for making a hand grenade in the bed of the truck, according to the report, and called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help investigate. That investigation is ongoing and federal explosives charges could be forthcoming.
Officers charged the woman with two counts of endangering a child because the children were riding in the pickup with the explosives and weapons.
They charged Mitchell with two counts of endangering a child, fraud, possession of stolen identifying information and failure to identify as a fugitive from justice. Mitchell is wanted in North Carolina on a probation violation.
In an interview, Mitchell said he would explain everything, but he is not authorized by the agency to talk about it. He said he was recruited by “a group of individuals” who contract with a federal agency to do good.
He said that the credit cards, card reader and other paraphernalia were used in an identity theft sting operation. He recently participated on a task force that resulted in arrests in a prostitution ring, he said.
He was paid for his services until recently, he said, and he blames President Obama for the funds drying up.
He denied having components for a grenade.
“Anything can have a negative spin,” he said. “Let’s be frank. It’s an asinine charge.”
He said he planned to use the explosive components to build a model rocket with the 6-year-old girl. He’s an experimenter, he said. “Who knows what I might discover?”
He said he owns a company that is involved in the production of robotics. He had hoped to find that sort of work in Denton. He just approached the officers for advice on a motel, he said, and they held him at gunpoint and arrested his common-law wife.
He planned to find and rent a place to live on Wednesday, he said. The 6-year-old’s mother home-schools her, he said.
Police said they found very little cash in the couple’s belongings with which to rent anything.
Mitchell talked to the press, he explained, to try to expose the injustice he was undergoing and to help his wife.
“If I look like the badass, they’ll let the sweet and innocent go,” he said.
He sat under guard during the interview in handcuffs and leg shackles. He shook his head when asked if he thought his agency would rescue him from his predicament.
“I’m beginning to wonder,” Mitchell said.

Monday, August 23, 2010

OK, No More Shakespeare References

Either I don't understand them or it's going over people's heads. Either way, not good. It could possibly have something to do with the severe lack of reading Shakespeare on my part. I think the only bits of his work I've seen are Romeo & Juliet and the scene from Renaissance Man where Danny DeVitto takes his students to see Henry V.

Of course that doesn't include the numerous modernized remakes of his works. They don't really count. But the best of those has to be Moonlighting's Taming of the Shrew episode.

While we're on the subject of movies (we are, aren't we? If not, we are now...) I finally saw Quentin Tarentino's Inglorious Basterds. Wow, what an excellent film! Chapter 4, "Operation Kino" may be the best stuff he's ever written.
Michael Fassbender absolutely nails the role of Lt. Archie Hicox. All I could think of while watching was "a young Sean Connery."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well.

Ain't karma a bitch? 

I finally decide to do something constructive and redesign El Bloggo Grande. In the process I cut loose links to a few blogs that have gone underground from the bandworthy list.

Judge not, lest ye be judged. What goes around, comes around Brotha.

The Grand Poobah has undergone a makeover and in the process The South 40 has gone the way of Jessica Simpson's unwanted tummy fat to a Plano plastic surgeon's GutSucker 5000.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Paging Dr.Bombay!

A drug-resistant "superbug" has infected three Australians who travelled to India, an expert said on Friday, reinforcing fears it could spread worldwide after hitting dozens of people from Britain.
Professor Peter Collignon, Canberra Hospital's head of infectious diseases department, said the cases -- including one patient who had plastic surgery in Mumbai -- were just the "tip of the iceberg".
"There may well be more because it's difficult to pick up this particular gene unless you've got sophisticated testing," Collignon told AFP.
British scientists sparked an angry response from India when they said "medical tourists" to the sub-continent were among 37 people who were found to be carrying bacteria with the New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) gene.
"We strongly refute the naming of the enzyme... and also refute that hospitals in India are not safe for treatment including medical tourism," the Indian health ministry said in a statement.
The gene was identified last year in bacteria carried by a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.
The gene, which is found in a number of different bacteria, produces an enzyme that renders even very strong, last resort antibiotics ineffective in combating the bacteria.
Collignon said he treated one of Australia's three cases in Canberra, while there was one each in the eastern states of New South Wales and Queensland.
"We found this multi-resistant, untreatable bug in their urine, luckily not causing too many problems to that person. But it's a real problem if it spreads to others," he said.
"The germ we had was untreatable -- there were no drugs we had that could treat it," he added.
Collignon said his patient caught the bug in intensive care in an Indian hospital after plastic surgery went wrong. But he said one of the three picked up their bug in the general community, indicating the extent of the problem.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't worry Baby. I'll protect you.

"As soon as we got here and I saw where we were sitting, I said 'Baby, we're going to get hit,'" the woman said when interviewed during the game. "He said, 'No, I'll catch it if you do. We just had this conversation and sure enough, the ball comes at me. He just bailed."


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What, No Video?

I know I've ventured off that slippery slope of posting videos. How much is too much? Like Professor Owl once wisely said, "the world may never know". But trust me if there was ever a video I'd post in a heartbeat, it's the one of Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater having the mother of all meltdowns.

It seems our Steven got into an arguement with a passenger over unloading baggage from the overhead bin before the Embraer 190 reached the gate. In the process he was "accidentally" struck in the head with the luggage and demanded an apology from the passenger. After the passenger refused to apologize and cursed him, Slater marched away, grabbed the PA and gave the old "F me? No, F you pal! Buh-Bye!" retort. He then grabbed a couple frosty cold beers from the beverage cart and pulled the emergency exit.

Unconfirmed reports say he did a flawless Triple Lindy down the inflatable slide followed by a quadruple toe loop and stuck the landing on the passing AirTrain. He then stripped off his company issued tie and threw it in the air reminiscent of Mary Tyler Moore.

He was later arrested in his Queens home charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

When asked where he was being taken, police said jail. "It's a big grey building with bars, barbed wire and lot's of lonely, sweaty men."

Monday, August 9, 2010

And Now A Brief Word From Our Sponsor

I've never owned a pair of K-Swiss shoes, but I might have to run out and get a pair now. They have signed the greatest pro athlete in the history of professional athleticism as their new spokesman. Kenny F'n Powers!

Eastbound and Down creater/writer/star Danny McBride has actually signed a deal to make washed up, steroid abusing, drug addicted, foul mouthed, alcoholic, former big league pitcher and legend in his own mind Kenny Powers the new spokesman for K-Swiss Tubes.

If you've never heard of Kenny, you're missing out. Eastbound and Down made a short 6 episode run on HBO in February 2009 and quickly became a cult classic. Fans have been anxiously waiting for Season 2 which will finally debut September 26th.

In the meantime we can get our Kenny fix thru reruns on HBO and this new series of viral commercials that are floating across the internet and coming soon to theaters. If you want to see the behind the scenes contract negotiations, you can watch them HERE. (Extreme language and content warnings, but funny as hell!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Screw Mythbusters, They Tried This At Home

MooMoo down! I repeat, MooMoo down!!!
My favorite comment:
WARNINGS ON USE OF MINI-CANNON: small parts-not for children under 3, not for use in an orchestra, do not attempt to shrink yourself and shoot yourself out of cannon, not for use on warfront, do not combine with fireworks, do not use as sled or floatation device, not to be used for suicide or murder, do not shoot at dogs even if they bark all the time, not to be used for abuse of sea monkies.

Reminds me of stuff I used to invent while stuck in Bosun's Locker in the Coast Guard.

Friday, August 6, 2010

B-29 Returns To The Skies

I wish I had the weekend off. I would so be taking a roadtrip to Midland!

From :

The world’s only flyable Boeing B-29 Superfortress returned to the skies early Thursday morning for its first flight since 2004.

In 1971 a pilot reported seeing what might have been B-29's in the California desert near China Lake. The CAF learned the aircraft were indeed Superfortresses that had been parked at a Navy weapons center for 17 years. They had been used for gunnery targets and abused by heat, sand and vandals. After much negotiation, paperwork and a painstaking process of elimination to find the best survivor, the CAF added B-29 SN44-62070 to its fleet. That was just the beginning of the task. The complete restoration to CAF standards of airworthiness was a long and expensive project involving more than three years of fund-raising and hard work. Late in 1974, the CAF's B-29 was christened FIFI and joined the other World War II fighters and bombers to preserve the memories and teach lessons of mankind's greatest war.

The CAF AirPower Museum will open it's doors at 7am on Sat. Aug. 7, for visitors who would like to get a front row seat for FIFI’s pre-flight preparations and flight. Visitors to the museum will be ushered to the main hangar for an up-close view of the crew preparing this massive bomber for flight. Once FIFI begins to head for the runways, visitors will be escorted to a prime viewing area, to witness the B-29’s crew training.

“Saturday is the perfect opportunity for our community to come out to the CAF and see FIFI fly,” said CAF President Stephan Brown. “Throughout the morning, the B-29 crew will be completing the required crew training that includes ‘touch and gos’ at MidlandInternationalAirport, it will be quite a show.”

The CAFAirpowerMuseum is located at 9600 Wright Drive near MidlandInternationalAirport. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults ages 18-64, $9 for teenagers ages 13-17 and seniors age 65 and older, $7 for children ages 6-12, and children age 5 and under receive free admission. The CAF would like to encourage visitors to take Interstate 20 or Highway 80 (Business Interstate 20) to FM 1788. This route will avoid additional traffic congestion for Rock the Desert also being held in the area.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Faster, Fatter, Bigger, Cheaper

Be prepared for your eyes to be yanked wide open after watching Food, Inc on PBS. 

From free range chickens to your Super Sonic w/ cheese, this film covers the ugly truth behind what it takes to get from the barnyard to the dinner table via your wallet and that all important corporate profit margin.

I've covered this before, but it's getting an encore presentation on KERA tonight, then Thursday at 3am, Saturday at 3am and Sunday at 3am. Set your DVR!

You need to watch this film even if you don't want to know where your "food" really comes from.

So what if feeding cattle grass for a few days kills e-coli? Chemical washing the raw beef is less effective but more cost efficient, plus it fits into "the system". How do you like the ammonia in your BigMac? Can they add smoke flavoring while they're at it?

It's not just beef. Ever heard of Monsanto?

Watch, learn, be amazed.

Boardwalk Empire

This may be the most anticipated series in the history of television. Unquestionably, it's the most anticipated in HBO's. And that says a LOT.

It's 1920 and the social experiment of prohibition has taken effect. The field of illegal libations is wide open to the most ambitious. Welcome to Atlantic City and the dawn of the gangster era based on Nelson Johnson's book.

Boardwalk Empire is written/created by Terrence Winter (The Sopranos), produced/directed by Martin Scorsese (do I have to tell you?), and stars Steve Buscemi as as Atlantic City Treasurer Enoch "Nucky" Thompson.

This series has the potential to make ratings and critical history. The writers have to seriously screw the pooch to make it a failure. But I'm pretty sure you will forget all about Tony and The Sopranos after watching Boardwalk Empire..

These guys were the real f'n deal.

Season premier Sept 9th on HBO. Set your DVR's, cattle attacks withstanding.

Ghosts of World War II

Fantastic work by Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov. Taking old pictures from WWII and photoshopping them with photos of present day.

"Not only do we get to experience places like Berlin, Prague, and Vienna in ways we could have never imagined, more importantly, we are able to appreciate our shared history in a whole new and unbelievably meaningful way."

Lake Bridgeport Gets Some Good Press

I missed this when it came out in the Saturday edition of the Startlegram.

Good review of Lake Bridgeport by Art Chapman. He does bring up some good points, especially about the lack of commercial development.

There's a huge tourism/recreation market being ignored.

Maybe we need a floating Hamburger Benny's. Anyone remember that?

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's No Ickey Shuffle

Crazy TD celebration by Dave Stala of the Hamilton Tigercats in the Canuckian Football League.

It's Not As Bad As "A Dog Ate My Homework"

But it's close. A cow broke my DVR.

I hurried home from work last night, grabbed a frosty cold barley based beverage and plopped down in the recliner to watch the NASCAR race from Pocono that I recorded Sunday. That's when I discovered I had a minor problem. No signal from the satellite. At first I thought DirecTv had cut me off, but I checked my receiver in the computer room and it was working fine. So armed with flashlight in hand (and strapped to my forehead... those things are great), I wander off into the night to check the dish. Sure enough I find the electric fence down and one of the cables ripped out of the dish by a stray cow that managed to get her leg hung in the slack.

Lovely. Oh well, I pay extra each month for a maintenance service to cover just such unexpected events so I call DirecTv. Turns out that random acts of bovine satellite vandalism are not covered by the plan. But for a nominal fee of $50 they will be glad to schedule me a repair appointment.

Is this like flood insurance? Is there a seperate insurance program to cover vandalism by heifers that my regular insurance doesn't? Because I need me some of that.