From the TrailBlazers blog:
“Laura and I are sad to announce that our Scottish Terrier, Barney, has passed away. The little fellow had been suffering from lymphoma and after twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness. Barney and I enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to accompany me when I fished for bass at the ranch. He was a fierce armadillo hunter. At Camp David, his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green. Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House. Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps. Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
That link also includes an oil painting of Barney by George W. Bush, in case you weren’t going to click on it.
You probably didn’t hear about Paul Ryan’s trip to Highland Park last night, since most of you (read: us) don’t have $1,000 to shell out for a fundraiser, especially just months after an election. Anyway, Ryan stopped by a private residence in the Park Cities, shook some hands, and presumably had some decent but not memorable food. Park Cities People reporter Karley Osborn was there, even though she wasn’t supposed to be:
It took all of 10 seconds, I’d say, for one of Ryan’s handlers to grasp my hand and politely guide me toward the outer circles of the gathering. “This is a closed event – no media allowed,” he said. Next up, a question: “Did you make a contribution?” he asked, smiling.
I assumed he was referencing the $1,000 suggested donation printed near the bottom of my emailed invitation, and tried not to laugh when I told him that, unfortunately, my journalist’s salary had kept me contribution-free. Potentially forever.
He nodded. “Since you have friends here, we can’t exactly ask you to leave,” he said. Never mind the fact that his eyes were saying, “I’m asking you to leave – now.”
Says so right here in Forbes:
At $135 million, the mega mansion’s asking price tops the $125 million Fleur de Lys estate in Los Angeles, which has been the singleÂ most expensive home publicly listed for saleÂ since Miami’sÂ Casa CasuarinaÂ reduced its price tag to $100 million in November. Other uber expensive listings include theÂ $100 million CitySpire penthouseÂ in New York City, two Â additional $95 million apartments in New York, and the $95 million Beverly House in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Clayton Kershaw, a pitcher for MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, showed up for a 6 p.m. charity reception at Dallas’ Belo Mansion last night right at 6 p.m., long before the other VIPs arrived. And the Highland Park High School grad, who was there with his wife, Ellen, to have dinner and participate in a panel discussion, was as polite and affable with the paying guests as could be. Perhaps surprisingly, for a superstar who’s pulling down nearly 8 mil anually, at the tender age of 24.
But you got the idea his humility’s no act.
Kershaw calls himself “a Christian who plays baseball,” and last night’s event was a benefit for the Christian-oriented Voice of Hope, which serves inner-city families in West Dallas. Ellen’s father is on the nonprofit group’s board and Ellen and Clayton, who take their faith seriously, are involved in raising money for Arise Africa, a charity for needy African children. Last night, though, all anybody wanted to hear from Clayton about was baseball.
Despite Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett’s confidence in Tony Romo, Troy Aikman believes it’s time for the team to draft a quarterback. In a chat with NFL.com yesterday, Aikman said:
“I don’t think they need another quarterback, to make that clear,” Aikman said during the chat. “But because of Tony’s age, they certainly have to start addressing who the guy is going to be that comes in after him. If there’s a guy that they can pick up and maybe develop in the third, fourth round, I think that’s a real positive thing for them.”
Since Aikman retired in 2000, the team has only drafted three quarterbacks; they’ve started 11 different QBs. The plan, he said, should be like the Green Bay Packers’:
“I like the way the Packers did it all those years…To bring a guy in essentially every season, whether you draft him in the fourth round or fifth round or third round, whatever it might be. I think there’s something to be said for that.”
In the summer of 1998, my knees were the size ofÂ cantaloupes, I slept 16 hours a day, and antibiotics forced me to stay out of the sun. I’d contracted Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease that rips through the Northeast during any season that kids play in the woods and forget to check themselves for ticks.
Because of my carelessness, I was laid up on my parents’ family room couch at 4 p.m. every day, for a month. My dad would hook me up to an IV, the drugs would start ripping apart my insides, and I’d flip on The People’s Court. Mayor Ed Koch would greet me and give me a legal education. No, you could not stop paying child support because you fixed your ex-wife’s gutters. In the state of New York, rum is not a valid form of payment for services rendered. You should always fix your hand-railings.
Koch and I would hang out every day for an hour, then presumably he’d go about his business and I would fall asleep. Koch died of heart failure yesterday at the age of 88. Thanks for the memories.
In honor of Koch, today’s game is a Sporcle trivia quiz, entitled “Law in the Movies.“Â It names the character, the actor who played that character, and the year. You name the movie. I got 13 out of 24. Soundtrack for today’s game: Beastie Boys “Car Thief“; Blossom Dearie “My Attorney Bernie“; George Harrison “Sue Me, Sue You Blues“; The Clash “Know Your Rights.”
It’s Friday, which means you definitely have time for Brad’s live blog of a terrible teenage musician’s latest video.
The Texas Theatre is having a bang up weekend, with showings of both Goodfellas (excellent) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (which I was introduced to two weeks into my freshman year of college, surrounded by people who were still veritable strangers, though perhaps the subsequent screening of Shortbus was more uncomfortable). But tonight, they’ve got their hands on the documentary Sound City that I had wanted to see last night over at the Magnolia. Dave Grohl’s film, which premiered just recently at Sundance, follows the decades of legendary musicians who migrated to the little-known Sound City recording studio in Van Nuys, California, led by the siren song of an analog console. Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, and Nirvana all recorded here. I have a pretty deep love for the Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham era of Fleetwood Mac (don’t we all), and Nicks, Buckingham, and Fleetwood all appear in the film. That pretty well sells me. But if you need more convincing, check out NPR’s take on the film.
I’ll admit here in this safe space that I’ve yet to try Jonathon’s for dinner. I’ve been for brunch, but “brunch doesn’t count,” according to my friend Michael, a true contrarian if I’ve ever met one.
On Monday, former gay den leader Jennifer Tyrrell, gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver, gay former Scoutmaster Greg Bourke, and Eric Andresen, father of a gay Scout denied his Eagle Scout award, will deliver 1.4 million signatures to the Boy Scouts of America’s headquarters in Irving, signatures that urge the Scouts to drop its gay ban.
From a statement emailed to the press:
“More than 1 million people have joined Change.org campaigns urging the Boy Scouts of America to end their national anti-gay policy, and today, those signers are seeing their work and their support delivered right to the Boy Scouts of America, for one final push as the Boy Scout board determines the future of the organization,” said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, senior campaign manager at Change.org. “Jennifer Tyrrell, Will Oliver, Greg Bourke, and the Andresen family have proven that long-standing institutions of discrimination are no match for cutting-edge online tools and powerful storytelling.”
Earlier this week, the BSA announced it was considering changing its policy toward gay scouts and leaders, shifting that decision to individual troops and packs. Some have seen that as a positive response to growing criticism; some have questioned whether the BSA has just abdicated responsibility and pushed the difficult decision onto itsÂ membership. (And it remains to be seen how many of those troops, if given the ability, would allow gay scouts or leaders. Close to 70 percent of troops are chartered by churches.) Either way, 11 a.m., Monday, 1.4 million signatures.
Dallas now has its own entry into the Rebecca Black/”It’s Thanksgiving” Wall of Honor. His name is Corbin Corona and, as you can tell by the headline, he’s a clown. Back in October he released his video “Oh My,” which (poorly) name-drops Al Biernat’s:
“I’m out here in the streets all day, lifestyle sh*t I’m talking Al Biernat’s”
Undaunted by the need for talent, Corona forged ahead, releasing a video for “SuperStar” in late December. This week it’s found its way to a variety of blogs, through a well-placed link on Reddit’s “Cringe” page. A YouTube comment sums up the video well: “great. now I have to know you exist.”
To save you all the time of watching the video, I look the liberty of live-blogging my first viewing of it:
Today is the last day for voting in the Adorable 8 round of our Survival of the Cutest tournament. Only four of these dogs will advance to the semifinals.
Vote now for the cutest canines in the city.
As you can see from the photo to the right, Randy Travis is looking a whole hell of a lot better than the last time a lot of us saw him. He pled guilty to his Grayson County DWI and, consequently, had a felony retaliation charge dropped. He was given a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail, placed on probation for 2 years, and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. He’s also got 30 days of rehab and 100 hours of community service coming his way, and when released his vehicle will now include an ignition interlock device.
The statement from Grayson County DA Joe Brown:
“We feel it is appropriate in these circumstances. His punishment is considerably more than is typically received on a DWI case. First time DWI defendants are rarely forced into in-patient treatment. He will be unable to leave the facility for 30 days. His fine and community service requirements are more than double what is usually received, and his probation term is the maximum available, and longer than the usual 18 months. All of that is appropriate in light of his behavior with the officers. I spoke at length with the officers involved, and they were in agreement with the outcome. We are all hopeful that Mr. Travis is on the road to recovery.”
(Photo via, hmm, let’s call this person “an informed friend.”)
If you’re one of WFAA meteorologist Pete Delkus’ nearly 20,000 Facebook fans, this will be old news. But last night, Delkus put on a show. For the uninitiated: Macklemore. Feel free to insert your own “I’d prefer Mackle-less” joke here.
Nick Van Exel’s Son Convicted of Murder: Nickey Van ExelÂ fatally shot Bradley Bassey Eyo in December 2010 and dumped his body at Lake Ray Hubbard.
Armed Suspect Prompts Lockdown of Greenville ISD Schools:Â Bowie Elementary, Travis Elementary, the Greenville Sixth Grade Center and the Greenville High SchoolÂ went on lockdown for a few hours Thursday while police searched for an armed burglary suspect.
$20,000 Reward Offered For Information in Kaufman County DA Murder: Mark Hasse was shot and killed outside the courthouse where he worked close to 400 cases at a time.