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When a single sentence changes everything

July 29, 2015
When a single sentence changes everything

Sometimes your entire direction or thought process can be changed by one utterance, a single sentence.
“I got laid off.”
“Will you marry me?”
“You have cancer.”
Here are three times it’s happened in my life, a trio of incidents where someone’s statement completely altered my way of thinking on a topic – in just a few words.
1. It doesn’t make sense for a 185-pound person to hit a 45-pound person.
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Cowboy Up!

July 29, 2015
Cowboy Up!

My granddaughter had her first horseback ride on July 4 and I was there to see it and capture it in photos.  It was really special when she got to take a ride, first with her mama and then with her daddy. Best of all was when she road with her great-grandpa (now known as Big Grandpa), my dad.  Dad says this was his last horse ride.  He’ll be 80 this year and his horse is in his mid-20’s and is showing his age. I got a lump in my throat watching that ride and remembering 50 plus years of rides with Dad.… Read the rest

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Wealthy Scot became mentor for American artist

July 29, 2015
Wealthy Scot became mentor for American artist

Because much of the non-fiction I read is about the West, think of the excitement I felt when a new book I ordered arrived: Prairie Fever: How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West. Written by British writer Peter Pagnamenta and recently published both in London and New York, I couldn’t wait to open its pages.
In a 50-year period from the 1880s on, nearly six million British citizens left England, Scotland, and Ireland (two-thirds of them from Ireland) to migrate to America. Pagnamenta, however was interested in an earlier time when the wealthy Brits who came over invested and then went back home.… Read the rest

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Gov. says dead woman’s family deserves answers

July 29, 2015
Gov. says dead woman’s family deserves answers

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 22 issued a statement regarding the arrest and death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old Illinois resident who had driven to Hempstead in response to a job offer from Prairie View A&M University.
On July 10, Bland was pulled over by a state trooper, arrested and placed in the Waller County jail in Hempstead. Three days later Bland was found dead in her jail cell. Local authorities conducted an autopsy and reported suicide as the cause of death. Bland’s family ordered an independent autopsy.
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Not too chicken to rage against popular opinion

July 22, 2015
Not too chicken to rage against popular opinion

They seemed like the kind of places I’d like – not hoity-toity restaurants but good ol’ rib stickin’ cookin’ joints.
They both got plenty of chances, yet return visits to a couple of popular restaurants once again raised a mystery: Why are they so popular?
First: How in the world is Babe’s Chicken Dinner House so beloved?
I’ve eaten there and had it catered. Masses of salivating people queue up regularly just to get inside the place. Then the food arrives and…meh.
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Honking at your own risk

July 22, 2015
Honking at your own risk

Do you ever wonder why cars have horns? My extensive – and by “extensive” I mean two minutes on Google – internet research revealed that horns were put on cars initially because they shared narrow dirt roads with horse drawn carriages. Horns were used when approaching a blind corner to alert any horse drawn transport that a motorized vehicle was approaching.
How about that? I’ll bet you thought the horn was invented as: (1) a Jesus-love indicator; (2) an annoyance indicator; or (3) a friend-in-the-next-lane greeting.
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Early 20th century Homestead Act attracts spinster

July 22, 2015
Early 20th century Homestead Act attracts spinster

Folks may be aware of the 1862 Homestead Act which promised 160 acres of land free to families who would build a house, grow crops and live on the land for five years. Unfortunately, fertile areas in the West filled up rapidly, and families claimed 160 acres in leftover sites that would grow very little.
The government altered the law – 47 years later – by the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909 that increased the acreage to 320 per family.
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Gov.’s order enhances readiness on military bases

July 22, 2015
Gov.’s order enhances readiness on military bases

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 18 authorized Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard to arm personnel at military facilities across Texas.
Abbott’s action comes following the July 16 shooting on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., that resulted in the deaths of four U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy sailor. A suspect was killed at the scene. An investigation is in progress.
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Bummer: When your lifelong heroes let you down

July 15, 2015
Bummer: When your lifelong heroes let you down

Don’t you hate it when one of your heroes ends up being a jerk – or worse?
I grew up a huge Cincinnati Reds fan – my Iowa Park Little League team was the Reds – and modeled my style of play after Pete Rose.
Then came his gambling scandal and that star was forever tarnished.
I loved two comedians for as long as I can remember: Woody Allen and Bill Cosby.
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Just let the blowhards bluster!

July 15, 2015
Just let the blowhards bluster!

For some unknown (to me) reason, I woke up this morning thinking about a confrontation from 36 years ago.
It was the summer after my junior year in high school. The school district always hired several high school and college students as summer employees to help with the extra groundskeeping and maintenance that went into preparing all the campuses for the new school year.
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