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What to do if you find yourself inside a giant crab

July 26, 2017
What to do if you find yourself inside a giant crab

For my birthday, I got one of those I-would-never-have-read-it-in-a-million years books.
It was an obscure science-fiction novel called The Nets of Space.
An aside…
Back in prior decades, there was no electronic device for reading.
Like God intended, we held things in our hands when reading while eating at the dinner table – the backs of mustard jars, Rice-A-Roni boxes, etc.
Aside No. 2…
I grew up reading at the table. We all had a book or a newspaper or Worcestershire ingredients to consume while we did the same with Mom’s fantastic suppers.
Yes, reading at the table was frowned upon by the Etiquette Police led by the snooty Gloria Vanderbilt who was rich enough to have butlers read to her at the solid gold table she ate at.… Read the rest

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What happens if we succeed?

July 26, 2017
What happens if we succeed?

I think life is full of “what if” questions. What if I lose my job? What if the economy tanks? What if I get sick? What if my plans don’t work out? What if I miss my big opportunity?
In fact, much of our culture is driven by these kinds of questions and the fears that cause them.
This is not intended as a political statement, but an observation of reality: I have yet to meet one person who voted for President Trump because they were convinced that he was the best and most qualified presidential candidate and they were excited about the possibility of what his presidency would mean for the United States.… Read the rest

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Old-time cowboy slang

July 26, 2017
Old-time cowboy slang

This column first appeared July 22, 1982.

Each occupation generally has its own language which relates to specific items concerned with doing one’s work.
The old-time cowboys of Texas brush country were no exception. Many new words came into our language because of the cowboy, and many are still familiar to us today such as “lasso,” “lariat,” “rodeo,” “roundup,” etc.
Some, however, are not quite as familiar.
The column this week will consist of a glossary of some of these less common cowboy terms.
• cow-hunt – what cowboys called a roundup in the earlier range days.
• wallet – a sack with both ends sewed up with the mouth of the sack in the middle.… Read the rest

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Beware the giant egos!

July 26, 2017
Beware the giant egos!

We all know them. We’ve all dealt with them.
They are the people who you can’t be in the same room with longer than five seconds without becoming oxygen deprived because their egos are sucking it all in.
For me, there is almost nothing that gets under my skin more than the egomaniac, and to make it even worse, these people come in a whole variety of personalities.
None of the following should be construed as scientific jargon; these are just monikers and descriptions I have put together from my own experiences.
Nor should these be considered a medical diagnosis – but please, for the sake of the rest of us, if you see yourself described below, please seek one out and get treatment for it.… Read the rest

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Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills in special session

July 26, 2017
Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills in special session

The 85th Texas Legislature convened at the Capitol on July 18 for its first called session, the main purpose being for lawmakers to extend the life of certain state agencies scheduled for termination, and then to proceed to other matters.
At the urging of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Senate moved quickly to pass legislation continuing the function of the Texas Medical Board and several other health-care related state oversight boards through 2019.
The House, led by Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, tentatively passed similar legislation (House Bill 1) through its State Affairs committee, but 10 amendments to the bill have been pre-filed, and those, plus the main bill, will be subject to a full-House floor debate scheduled for July 24.… Read the rest

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Good luck digesting this column about SPAM

July 19, 2017
Good luck digesting this column about SPAM

For someone who is renown for being a finicky eater, I do love some exotic foods.
Like SPAM.
It’s the national meat of Hawaii and nothing stamps you more of being a haole (mainlander) than not wolfing down a pile of SPAM with your eggs at breakfast.
I’m pretty sure you could get a SPAM lei which would be awesome!
Here in Texas, I grew up on SPAM – yet little did I know its history, how we won WWII thanks to SPAM.
Well, SPAM and a couple of really big bombs.
Created in 1937, the canned meat exploded in popularity when we entered the war.… Read the rest

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Oh, to be young and fuzzy again!

July 19, 2017
Oh, to be young and fuzzy again!

Recently, I got to accompany my 13-month-old grandson on his first trip to the Fort Worth Zoo. A few days later, I did the same with my almost 3-year-old granddaughter. In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, this grandpa thing is a good gig!
Now, a day at the zoo is a pretty good day for any reason, especially the Fort Worth Zoo, which is one of the top five in the nation.
But, of course, that’s not what makes the grandpa gig special. That’s all about seeing smiles of delight and hearing squeals of wonder from these little people whom I love more than life itself – and experiencing those in the same locale where I experienced it with their parents more than two decades ago.… Read the rest

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Recalling a grandfather who fought in the Civil War

July 19, 2017
Recalling a grandfather who fought in the Civil War

This column first appeared July 20, 2011.

This year, 2011, is the 150th anniversary since the Civil War erupted in April 1861.
Do you think many people are alive today whose grandfather fought in the Civil War? Let’s do some calculations. If someone born in 1840 fought in the war and later fathered a child at age 50 (1890), and then that child fathered a child at 50 (1940) then the grandchild would be 71 today.
Thus it’s possible for someone alive today to have a grandfather who fought in the civil war – unlikely, but possible.
How about finding someone alive today who actually knew and remembers his grandfather who fought in the war?… Read the rest

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Muscle memory?! A painful return to running

July 19, 2017
Muscle memory?! A painful return to running

I started running again last week. No, that’s not a joke – please stifle your laughter.
I really did. It all started when a friend invited me to do yoga with her.
While shopping for yoga supplies, I temporarily lost my mind at Academy and decided that I needed new running shoes because, darn it, I was going to start running again.
The last time I ran on a regular basis was about eight years ago. And even then it wasn’t anything impressive. – just a few, slow miles a handful of times per week.
In high school, I was an avid runner.… Read the rest

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Gov. gives lawmakers special session initial marching orders

July 19, 2017
Gov. gives lawmakers special session initial marching orders

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.
Abbott said he plans to issue a supplemental proclamation further directing lawmakers to pass another list of items he previously announced. The areas of legislation would:
• Reform laws governing ad valorem property taxes;
• Increase average salary and benefits of Texas teachers;
• Establish a statewide commission to study and recommend improvements to the current public school finance system;
• Preempt local regulation of the use of hand-held mobile communication devices while driving; and
• Deal with the use of multi-occupancy showers, locker rooms, restrooms and changing rooms (also known as the “bathroom” bill).… Read the rest

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