Friday, August 08, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Brett Favre Urinates

The New York Jets organization will neither confirm, nor deny, whether or not newly acquired quarterback Brett Favre has, in fact, urinated at their training facility. Favre, who was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the Jets late Wednesday night, reported to the Jets training facility this morning at about 8:30 a.m. local time to attend meetings and participate in a fitness test.

Lower level members of the Jets organization have reported that Favre, the future Hall of Fame inductee, and all around great guy, relieved himself after a morning quarterbacks meeting. According to Jets custodian, Vinnie "Gabagool" Bugliose, he saw Favre go into the bathroom outside the offensive coordinator's conference room for, "About tree minutes." Bugliose added, "For as good a QB as he is, his aim ain't too good in the can." Bugliose said that Favre was seen earlier in the morning drinking coffee, which, according to him, probably led to the incident.

Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum was unavailable for comment, but a spokewoman for the club would neither confirm nor deny Bugliose's claim. She said that a press conference is being planned for later this afternoon to discuss Favre's dinner plans and that an official statement on this issue will be forthcoming.

Brett Favre could not be reached for comment.

Stay tuned as we track all the events in Brett Favre's return to the NFL.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pilgrimage to Iron Maiden

On May 21, 2008, I dragged my family to San Antonio for an event I have been waiting for for many a year. Iron Maiden, the greatest metal band in history, was in town kickng off the North American leg of their Somewhere Back in Time Tour.

The concert was held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Selma, just north of Loop 1604. When we arrived the tail gaiting was well under way. Beer flowed a plenty in the parking lot and when we got inside, I realized why. $8 for a 16 ounce beer. Are you kidding me? $4 for a 20 ounce Coke or a bottle of water. Excuse me? This wasn't stopping anyone and judging by the turnout and robust sales, I think the economy's in pretty good shape.

We took our seats in section 101, just left of the stage. Being about an hour early, we sat and chatted with the fans around us and waited.

The opening act was Lauren Harris, daughter of Iron Maiden bassist, Steve Harris. She and her band put on a decent show and entertained us until near dark.

As the stage grew dark, the Maiden instrumental "Transylvania" played in the background, riling the crowd to its feet. The song stopped abruptly and the house lights went out. The crowd began to scream and faintly under that scream could be heard the voice of Sir Winston Churchill giving his, "we shall never surrender." speech, which is the lead in to the song "Aces High."

From the first note of the song, the band ripped through their set with an intensity and enthusiasm that is rivaled by few bands, most of whose members more than twenty years younger then their Maiden counterparts.
Seeing as how it was the Somewhere Back in Time Tour, all of the songs were from the Somewhere in Time, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son albums or albums prior to that, with the exception of the song "Fear of the Dark."
I was lucky enough to be selected to accompany Iron Maiden on stage to sing along with the band and fifteen or so other fans during the "Heaven Can Wait" interlude. It was unreal and will be an experience I will take with me forever.
The show ended with my personal favorite "Hallowed be Thy Name", which I have been assured by friends and family will be played at my funeral at the appropriate volume for Iron Maiden music. Mom, I'll put it in my will if I have to.
My fancy for Iron Maiden came when I was a teenager back when The Number of the Beast album was released. Up until then I wasn't a metalhead or as we used to call them, "the freaks." I was drawn in by the music and precision in which it was produced and the stories the songs told. Since those days I have been a fan and I own every album and know the words to almost every song.
I remember my disappointment when guitarist Adrian Smith left the band and nearly cried when singer Bruce Dickinson up and quit amid a personality conflict. I thought for sure the band was done.
Iron Maiden regrouped and hired Blaze Bayley to replace Bruce. I saw them with Blaze in those hard times when they came to the Valley in 1998. The stage was smaller and the singer unknown, but the core of the band, Harris, guitarist Dave Murray, drummer Nicko McBrain, and Adrian's replacement, Janick Gers played as if they were at a rock festival in front of half a million fans.
A few years ago when it was rumored that Bruce and Adrian were coming back, I was elated and when it was announced, swore to myself that I had to see them at least once more. Work and obligations being what they are, it took me almost eight years to get there, but I did.
Iron Maiden has been there for me through some very tough times in my life. No matter what was going on, I could always turn to them as a momentary escape from reality. I honor those gentlemen for their showmanship, professionalism, and artistry, and wish them many years of continued success. And I will be there, just as I have been for 25 years, every step of the way.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton Should Have Been a District Court Judge

The dog and pony show splattered all over every cable news outlet and info website regarding poor Paris Hilton has reached its zenith. I feel for the girl considering the fact that all her fame and money couldn't win her freedom. Although her alleged mental illness almost did. Who knew she was such a kook?

What she needed is a seat on the bench and the smooth touch of McAllen's own criminal defense specialist, Al Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez was yet again successful at getting evading arrest charges against 93rd District Court Judge Rudy Delagado dismissed. This time the culprit was prosecutors acting badly. Rene Guerra, the head culprit, said that the appeal is on and on and on...

When will this case ever end? We are growing weary of it. We get the point. We know that the fix is in and that money and power in Hidalgo County can get you what you want. We the people can have the last say in this case, however. Delgado will be up for election soon, but as far as anyone knows, there isn't an opponent in sight. Sadly, and in true Hidalgo County fashion, he will probably be re-elected.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gentlemen, Start Your Chainsaws!

Doesn't the City of McAllen have better things to worry about than what private property owners do with their own stuff? Apparently not, because coming soon to a law book near you. . .the tree ordinance.

I can understand the pleas of the new ordinance's proponents. Yes, the older trees are beautiful and may be nostalgic for some people (unless it's a hackberry). My favorite arguments are the, "these trees have been here for a hundred years," and, "I grew up seeing that tree there." A hundered years is a drop in the ocean as time goes on this planet. Are we to be so bold as to claim that these trees need to be preserved forever. Hey hippie! You're going to die soon and so will that tree. Whether by natural causes or by the hand of man, the tree is a goner.

Is an ordinance really going to have the teeth to stop someone from clear cutting their land? Probably not. I think a big company could fork over the five hundred dollar fine many times over and chalk it up to the cost of doing business. Oh yeah, that gets passed on to the consumer.

Even though most businesses do it already, they might want to consider encouraging businesses and private home owners, whether or not they cut trees down, to plant more trees. That way in a hundred years or so when your great-grandchildren are hovercrafting down 10th Street, they can say, "look at those beautiful old trees," instead of, "when are they going to dig up that old dead piece of shit?"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

News Happenings II

Channel 4 stepped in it this time. On tonight's broadcast at 10 they "took action 4 you," or for some UTPA student more precisely.

Basically, the student complained that his dorm was searched by the police, while he was away, of course. Knowing that, can't one say he has no way of knowing if it really was the police, or whether it really happened at all for that matter. But that doesn't stop a news outlet from picking up the loose ball and running with it. . .the wrong way.

Where's the weenie? The student says it was Hidlago County Sheriff's deputies who went into his room. Again, second hand information he got from a dorm supervisor. Sheriff Lupe Trevino says it wasn't his guys. Hell, there's a conflict right there. Someone's either lying or is misinformed.

The student said he called up there and spoke to an officer, conveniently unnamed, who told him some line about not needing a warrant because he lives on school property. That's B.S. You are entitled to all the rights against unlawful search and seizure in your dorm just as you are in an apartment, hotel room, or your house.

The reporter then three eighths assed the explanation about whether or not officers need a search warrant. Apparently the UTPA dorm handbook trumps the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, because that's the document Channel 4 opted to cite to explain when a dorm can be searched. In the end, the viewer still did not learn when an officer needs a search warrant.

Next we hear that "the University" is aware of the student's case. What case? Is it a criminal investigation? Who at the U is involved in the case? Is it the administration or is it the campus police? Whose officers went in?

I'm sure that if the journalists wanted to get to the bottom of this, they'd file an open records request with the Sheriff's Department and the University. I'm not a professional journalist, but at least I know that would be the thing to do. Here's a novel idea. Interview the dorm supervisor! He's a potential witness to the search and might be able to shed some light on how it went down. Psssst! Don't say it too loudly, but could he have been the one to let the cops in?

Once again, this story was more about, "look what we did," rather than investigating and reporting news. Of course Channel 4 assisted the student, who apparently was not aware of his rights. They hooked him up with attorney Jesse Gonzalez, who, oddly enough, happens to advertise on their website. Is it just me, or is there something strange about that?

The alleged reporter on the story was Romeo Cantu.

Monday, March 12, 2007

It Takes a Village for Granted

Word has it that Hillary Clinton, Senator from the state with the weakest competition she could find, will be here in the Valley. Another modest affair at the Cantu residence in McAllen for only $500.00. Funny how the the price of the fundraiser is only an issue if it's a Republican fundraiser.

If she is coming, Hil' had better start working on her pandering South Texas accent. It'll be a lot harder than that ridiculous southern drawl she whipped out in Selma a couple of weeks ago.

Think about it. Where exactly in a conversation with a star struck Valley Hispanic does an orale, chale, or a simon ese go? Will she know the differences between chingon, chingadera, or the Anglicized chingow?

Maybe something short and sweet in Spanish will do the trick. Holuh meez uhmeeguhs, grassy-ass pore sewey ahyewdar...say...loh...? And with that, the local Dems will swoon and praise her for her understanding of our unique local culture. "It's almost as if she's one of us," they'll say as she boards her plane with her carpetbag full of Valley money to New Hampshire and Iowa where she needs it.

Just in case I haven't made things crystal clear, and in the interest of full disclosure, I don't like Hillary Clinton! She's a sour-pussed, power hungry, win at all costs, circus of smoke and mirrors, slick politician who is riding on the coat tails of her ex-president husband. She will not submit to hard questions and speaks to suit her purpose based on the audience she is in front of.

Anybody but Clinton 2008! (I'd even take eight more years of Billy if it meant she'd lose.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

News Happenings I

I've decided to start occassional comments under the title News Happenings on this blog. Instead of screaming at my television, or crumpling my newspaper like an idiot, I'll post my observations of stupidity or incompetence in news reporting. With Channel 4 and 5 around, I'm sure this will be a regular feature.

My first rant. Channel 5 aired a story tonight at 10 about a child being hit by a car at 29th and Lark in McAllen. Was it an informative news piece meant to inform us of the who, what, when, where, why, and how? No, not really. It was a see-we-reported-it-first, victory dance.

You see, last week, 5 ran a story about how dangerous the intersection was, featuring all its dramatic favorites. The proximity to a school, parental outrage, and Big-Brother's slow response to the problem.

Where's the weenie in this follow-up story? What did the police say about the cause of the accident? Any charges filed or pending? What if the lady pushing the stroller was at fault? We can't ask that question because if she was at fault, well you get the picture. It goes against the "speeding cars are the problem" template from before.

But don't worry. The parents are still outraged, the school is still there, and the district has no comment, so stay tuned.

Alex Trevino was the reporter.