Leading Off (10/30/08): Digital Latte With Zac Crain

First slurp: Detective Mike Walton has had a bad run of luck lately. While trying to close the case on a string of high-profile Uptown burglaries, Walton first spit the bit on a search warrant request, cutting-and-pasting from an unrelated sexual assault investigation. Now he accidentally included the words “of a homicide” in a subpoena relating to phone records. Somewhere in there, he also wrote another warrant request that didn’t show enough probable cause for a search.

“These are mistakes of the mind, but not of the heart,” said Dallas police Capt. Jack Bragg, who probably has tried to write a crime novel in his spare time at some point. I’d assume it’s about a hard-as-nails ex-police captain, booted off the force for a crime he didn’t commit, scratching out a living as a small-time private investigator. Only now, the case he’s working on and the case that ended his career as a cop have converged, giving him one last chance at redemption — or one more chance to be in the wrong place at the wrong time! Again, that’s just a guess.

Second slurp: Man, the Morning News just can’t get enough of raccoons lately. First, there was the raccoon that staged a home invasion in Kessler Park. You could call him a bandit. Now comes video of a “friendly neighborhood raccoon” that likes playing with dogs. This raccoon is actually called Bandit.

Which reminds me of the time Tim Rogers killed a squirrel. Only because Matt Pulle was talking about that yesterday and kept referring to the varmint T-Roge popped as a “raccoon.” Potato, potahto.

Tiny spill on shirt: Steve Blow checks in from Sunnyvale in a celebratory mood, since his nemesis, one Martin “Marty” Cortland, has been vanquished. Keeping it street for the kids, Steve drops both a Richie Rich and a Master of the Universe reference. (What what!) What Steve doesn’t realize is that, once again, he has played right into our hands. What he also doesn’t realize is that the true identity of Marty Cortland was none other than — drum roll, please — James Ragland! That’s right, his black friend! The column was calling from inside the house!

Third slurp: Speaking of Matt Pulle, which I recently was: right after the squirrel/raccoon mix-up, he made a much deadlier error in judgment, trying to convince Eric Celeste that “Fantasy Girl” was recorded by Survivor and not, in fact, by .38 Special. He continued to press his case even after Eric looked at him with pure murder in his eyes. I think this video from the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin, should settle the score once and for all.

Fourth slurp: Oh, and since I’m already on YouTube, here’s the first thing that popped up when I typed in “Dallas.” This was the first result for “D Magazine.” “FrontBurner” gets you this. “Steve Blow” actually points you to something about Fox News. Nothing really comes up for “Matt Pulle,” but here is BMXer Mat Hoffman doing a 180 backflip.

Second, larger spill; first serious check of the integrity of coffee cup: Since there is a free preview of the NBA League Pass happening, I spent a fair amount of time (read: from when I got home until I fell asleep) watching basketball last night. Since the Mavs kick off their season tonight against the Houston Rockets, I took in the bulk of Grizzlies v. Rockets.

Here’s my breakdown: Tracy McGrady is already kind of banged up, Yao Ming runs like Greg Oden does right now, and Ron Artest couldn’t be any more of a chucker if he were Tim spotting up on the wing at the Premier Club. That said, they look pretty frisky on defense, especially Artest, who was stalking around like a werewolf who had been bitten by a vampire.

But don’t forget the Mavs now have Gerald Green, of whom I said this at one point in time:

Brief scouting report: he’s taller than I am, he’s from Houston, this will be his fourth team in four seasons, he can dunk, he can’t do much else, he looks good in shorts, and his name, thankfully, can’t really be shortened to a letter-and-a-syllable nickname (A-Rod, T-Mac, et al.) Instant opinion: can you say, “dynasty?”

So, yeah.

Fifth slurp: The Philadelphia Phillies won their first World Series since 1980. Expect tons of gloating and more than his fair share of ellipses from former Observer writer and current Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist John Gonzalez possibly as soon as right now. Almost all of it will sound like this.

Sixth slurp: Nothing to report. Just checking my e-mail.

Seventh slurp: Facebook status update time. Thinking about going with a song lyric. Or — oooh! — a play on words.

Eighth slurp: Probably should change my Gmail status while I’m at it.

Ninth slurp: Anyone else excited about 30 Rock‘s premiere tonight? I hear Oprah’s in it!

Tenth slurp: Guess who doesn’t like Tim Rogers? Okay, let me narrow it down. Guess who doesn’t like Tim Rogers and works at the Observer? Okay, I’ll try to narrow it down further. Did you guess?

Cup turned over, last dregs spilling out: Oh, did everyone else know Boomer Esiason and Troy Aikman were feuding? Well, I guess they aren’t anymore. Since he no longer has that weighing on his mind, Troy will have more time to hang around Mi Cocina and practice agreeing with Joe Buck.


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47 responses to “Leading Off (10/30/08): Digital Latte With Zac Crain”

  1. armanda says:

    this is far more entertaining than virtual coffee and would damn near be perfection if it included a sack of kittens…

  2. [standing, clapping]

  3. BP says:

    Zac sets the bar high.

  4. Zac, I’m not your boss, but I think you deserve the rest of the day off.

  5. Reddy says:

    I am your boss and you may go home.

  6. Berly says:

    This is quite possibly the best leading off EVAH! Well done, my friend.

  7. Josh Pearson says:

    Best. Leading. Off. Ever.

  8. Enrique De La Fuente says:

    Digital Latte? Aren’t you lifting Sam Merten’s “Virtual Coffee”?

  9. ObviousMan says:

    Uh… Enrique? Since he linked to Merten’s column, I’m guessing that was kind of the point… Hello?…

  10. The Fake Sam Merten says:

    I don’t get it.

  11. Kelly says:

    Bravo my friend Bravo!!! I thought they were lifting Leading Off (I guess they were) but this is priceless!!

  12. Bethany says:

    *giggles* That. Was. Awesome.

  13. Chris says:

    I am still looking for the funny in a pissing match between 2 dead publications…

  14. Bethany says:

    Did you check between the couch cushions?

  15. Giggling like a schoolgirl says:

    I still think “Merten” sounds like “Merkin”…

  16. Bethany says:

    This is almost as good as the time Schutze called all Frontburnervians racists.

  17. I’m glad I get to read one of the digital daily columns written by an actual Dallas resident.

    Other than the dig at my hometown of Philly, I love this column. One day Zac and I will go to Philly for a future column for D, and he will become one of the thousands who try to smuggle a cheesesteak back on the plane. Bank it.

    For folks that are Dallas-born and raised, you have no idea what it’s like to be a Philly sports fan. All of the teams have been to the championship at least once since 1983 and lost. Think of how you felt when the 2006 Mavs lost, multiply it by 8 and there ya go.

    I can’t wait for 30 Rock. Any show that can can have Ghotstface, Oprah, and Edie Falco as guests is good in my book.


  18. M says:

    Tonight’s 30 Rock is already up at Hulu.com.

  19. This so makes buying the ZC for Mayor shirt, button, and bumper sticker, worth it.

  20. Berly says:

    @ Josh – great minds.

  21. Just to clarify, I wasn’t taking a side, since I like everyone involved in this spat. I just wanted to acknowledge Zac’s geeeen-yuuuss.

  22. Daniel says:

    Almost too good, Zac. Things can only go downhill from here.

  23. j says:

    @Daniel – don’t worry, he knows. the Mavs season starts tonight.

  24. Jim says:

    Zac–Why are you so obsessed with the Observer? Oh yeah, cause you write for the arbiter of good journalism in the city of Dallas, a shitty third rate city mag that only wins design awards. Then again, you did write this fucking masterpiece of a lede:

    Charley Pride turns 70 on March 18. You should know this. Everyone should know this.

    Fucking brilliant. You guys do some serious shit over there.

    standing clapping

  25. Zac Crain says:

    I stand by my reporting, Jim.

    And next time, try compound curse words. Easier to beat the filter.

  26. Jim says:

    What reporting? When Charley Pride turns 70?
    That was effin profound. But you know this. Everyone should know this. No one will tell his story. But you will tell his story. Because you’re Zac Crain.
    You’re a maestro with the wordage brother, got to hand it to you.

  27. Bethany says:

    There’s your next endorsement, Zac.

    “You’re a maestro with the wordage, brother, got to hand it to you.”

  28. Zac Crain says:

    Yes. By all means, prove your case with three sentences from a 5,000-word piece. Well played.

    But all sarcasm aside, I am a maestro. Though I prefer High Priest of Typing.

  29. Enrique De La Fuente says:

    ObviousMan, when it comes to blogs that require you to “Continue Reading…” and have more than 5 links in just the intro post. My short attention span goes to ludicrous speed, all else be damned.

  30. Jim says:

    I stopped reading after the first three sentences. Try harder next time. I’ve never been able to get through a Zac Crain piece.

  31. Bethany says:

    Maybe you should try sounding out the big words.

  32. Right on, Jim. And math is hard, too.

  33. Switzerland on the Sidelines says:

    Zac’s article on smoking from a while back was actually pretty good. I read almost all of it.

  34. amanda (the real one) says:

    Who knew Jim Schutze would take such offense to Tim’s little op-ed?

    Down boy.

  35. Silent Majority says:

    434 more comments and Zac gets to run for mayor again.

  36. LakeWWWooder says:

    “what need hast thou that thou dost wind thy horn so loudly?”

    I suggest all parties meet at the White Rock T-docks armed with staffs to see who can give whom a dusting.

  37. Justin says:

    Awww, Zac grew up and got corporate at D, but tries to hang with his old Observer homies with this healthy dose of Gen-X sarcasm.

  38. Zac Crain says:

    @Silent Majority: Now THAT is genius. Not even remotely sarcastic. Almost made me choke-laugh.

  39. al says:

    y’all are a bounch of those sorta folks who google yourselves every morn, aincha?

  40. Eric Celeste says:

    It’s not Jim Schutze. It’s Jim Forrester. I’m here to help.

  41. Bethany says:

    Depends. What is a bounch?

  42. Googling yourself is very 2006. That’s what bots and search agents are for.

  43. Batface Mcgee says:

    Gotta say I didn’t realize Jim had such a good vertical.


  44. nmlhats says:

    Raccoons…say, how about becoming a medical oddity and contracting raccoon heartworm from a mosquito bite, right in your east Dallas neighborhood? And then you can get your skull cracked open, clamped back together with titanium, and be told in pretty certain terms that you have lymphoma. Till oops, it wasn’t cancer, it was a nematode. Them raccoons is nasty business, take it from me.