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The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: The Dread Destroyer Has 5 Points of Armor

With the exception of the month and a half I spent in the hole over the summer, my cellmate for most of the last six months has been a white-haired old man with the regal looks and bearing of an Antonine emperor and the grizzled guile and criminal outlook of a Lyndon Johnson crony. Billy Bob Aurelius, as I’ll call him, is a Vietnam combat veteran, a private commercial pilot, and former salesman for International Harvester, among other things. Before arriving at our jail unit here in Seagoville, he’d spent 18 months in a Mexico City lock-up after police found a pistol during a search of his jet. Horrified, I asked him what those urban Mexican jails were really like.

“They’re great if you have money,” he said. “I had money.” Apparently he was given a nice private cell from which he could order out for groceries and brandy and marijuana and prostitutes. He even had a woman who came and cooked and cleaned for him, which is to say that he had a maid.

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An Apology to the French Family I Met in the Park Yesterday

I found myself yesterday in Klyde Warren Park around 6 o’clock with my daughter in tow. It was a lovely evening. Gorgeous weather. Yoga class twisting itself in knots on the lawn. Patio at Savor filled with folks. Dallas Symphony preparing to play on the stage. We were at the playground, where I was pushing my daughter on the merry-go-round. Another girl, looked to be about 10, walked up. I said, “Hop on!” She gave me a blank look. Her dad walked over and said with an accent, “We’re French. She doesn’t speak English.” We struck up a conversation.

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Questions About Jill Jordan’s Bewildering ‘Trinity Lakes’ Briefing

On Friday afternoon, a Facebook post by Robert “Fingers of Fury” Wilonsky captured my attention. Said Wilonsky: “If you read one Dallas City Council briefing all weekend, make it this one: the surreal Trinity Lakes Amenities Design Plan.” How could I resist? To the extent I had any lingering doubts, he helpfully provided two illustrations: one of an alarming number of people crowded under a freeway overpass, evidently engaging in some sort of hyper merry-making; and another of a small tree-lined four-lane boulevard. Hmm … I had the sense this would prove enlightening.

Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan’s cover memo to the briefing document helpfully closed with the statement “Please feel free to contact me if you need additional information.” After reading through the 99-page attachment, I actually had quite a few questions, so I prepared to contact her. Upon closer reading, however, I noticed that: 1) she didn’t provide her contact details; and 2) even if she had done so, the memo was addressed exclusively to “The Honorable Members of the Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee,” and I’m not a member.

Therefore, lacking such access, I am posting my questions here, in the hopes that they might reach Ms. Jordan and Judge Vonciel Jones Hill (the Committee chair) prior to the meeting:

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Josh Malone, Super Genius, Invents Way To Make 100 Water Balloons in a Minute

Josh Malone is a 41-year-old dude who lives in Plano and has eight kids. So he’s clearly insane. Speaking from experience, a vasectomy is a pretty simple procedure. But Malone is also a super genius. Any parent who has ever made a mess of water balloons will appreciate Malone’s invention, which is called Bunch o Balloons. Check out the video. It’s amazing. He launched a Kickstarter on July 22, with a $10,000 goal. The campaign goes till August 21, but he’s already got $635,000 pledged. Probably didn’t hurt that he was on the Today show this morning.

Josh Malone, you are my hero.

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Is Dallas-Fort Worth Really the Third-Best Destination in the Country?

Mayor Mike Rawlings is crowing about how Dallas fared in a report issued by Resonance Consultancy. Resonance’s “Top 50 U.S. Destinations 2014” puts Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 3, behind Los Angeles and New York City. Cleveland, which stole the Republican National Convention from us, came in at No. 27. Resonance broke down the list into some top-10 subcategories, too. In the Top 10 Places for Culture and Performing Arts, we came in at No. 3. In the Top 10 Places to Shop, we came in at No. 2.

I’m not sure what to make of this. Is Dallas-Fort Worth really a better destination than Chicago (No. 4) and San Francisco (No. 5) — not mention everywhere else in the country except LA and NYC? I love where I live, but, um. I did a Nexis database search for Resonance Consultancy to try to figure out what sort of chops these folks have. The name pops up in 33 sources, with seven of those being newspaper articles and seven being newswires and press releases. So yeah.

We’re No. 3!!

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A Less Than Complete Recap of Last Night’s ‘Best of Big D’ Party That Includes an Appearance by Pat Green

A good time was had by all, I believe, at last night’s Best of Big D party at the Rustic. DJ Sober and Sam Lao were great. The drinks flowed freely. Much food went into many mouths. And so on and so forth. But I will tell you this: before the front moved through, it was a little steamy. The meteorological conditions occasioned my favorite moment of the night:

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Brilliant Idea: Let’s Install Fans and Misters Along All Downtown Dallas Sidewalks

When I write that this idea is “brilliant,” I do so without any consideration for the financial cost it would entail. I do so as a person who routinely treks across wide-open swaths of concrete throughout downtown Dallas and am not entirely fond of roasting.

The proprietor of the Urbanophile blog was in town for the recent New Cities Summit, and I’ve just now had a chance to look at his after-action report on his visit. First he opined that Dallas is in the midst of a transition from juvenile mega-sprawl enthusiast to mature and sophisticated urban environment. We’re young (major city-wise), so it’s understandable that we’re not as well-designed as an aging city like Chicago, he says. My favorite bit from his initial post pinpoints exactly what’s always bugged me about Large Marge:

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Feds Give OK To Start Review For Dallas-Houston High-Speed Rail

There’s no need to read the item—again: densely worded, boring. It basically allows Texas Central Railway to begin its environmental impact study, which will explore various routes for the train, and how each path would impact the land below it. The study’s expected to last a year.

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Please Look at These Poolside Pics Taken at Sisu

Sisu fascinates me. It’s that Uptown club with the pool. At least I think it’s a club. Whatever. It has a pool. And young people go there and drink and wear very little clothing. Not really my kind of place. Which is why I’m seriously giving some thought to going.

Anyway, over on our Nightlife section, there’s a photo gallery from Sisu that deserves your attention. I encourage you to flip through every image. When you’re done, see if you can guess which is my favorite.

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