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Bear dare: Venturing into murderous beast land

June 21, 2017
Bear dare: Venturing into murderous beast land

So there I was in bear country again.
As someone who has a premonition that he will meet his Maker via some sort of ursine incident, venturing into terrain preferred by the brutal beasts seemed like a dumb idea.
I hate bears. They are straight-up evil.
You can’t out-run, out-swim, or out-climb one.
They will kill and eat you.
Normally, I avoid any possible contact with bears.
Heck, I won’t even ride with someone named Elisha.
(Right now, somewhere, someone is clutching their King James Bible to their chest and gaffawing in a fearful and wonderful way.)
Maybe you have seen that Facebook video of a mountain biker being pursued by a bear for what seems like miles.… Read the rest

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Stopping putting God first in your life

June 21, 2017
Stopping putting God first in your life

 

What are your priorities in life? Let’s not even talk yet about the order of your priorities. Let’s just identify the priorities themselves.
Let’s see…there’s work (gotta pay the bills, right?); family (they are the reason we have bills); hobbies (“me” time); friends (we don’t want to get isolated); church (don’t want to get in trouble with God); education (we don’t want our kids being “ignernt”); work (yes, we’ve already listed that one, but the bills were a little more than we anticipated); and God (church is not the only place we think about Him…hopefully).
Maybe we better throw in some community service (if it helps us look good and make some “connections,” makes us feel better about ourselves, makes our communities safer for our kids, or supports the causes that are important to us).… Read the rest

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Sam Houston could’ve been an American president

June 21, 2017
Sam Houston could’ve been an American president

This column first appeared Feb. 18, 1971.

Although Sam Houston’s name is familiar to all Texans and the city bearing his name is the state’s largest, there still are many facts about the man that most Texans probably don’t know.
For a starter, he probably would have had a good chance at the presidency of the United States had he remained in Tennessee.
As governor of the state and as Andrew Jackson’s fair-haired boy he most likely would have done quite well for himself.
Jackson handpicked his own successor, Martin Van Buren, in 1836.
It could have been Houston had he remained.… Read the rest

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Gov. signs 2018-19, two-year state budget into law

June 21, 2017
Gov. signs 2018-19, two-year state budget into law

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 12 signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that appropriates some $217 billion to pay for the state’s next two-year fiscal period.
“I am once again signing a budget that addresses the most pressing challenges faced by our state. This budget funds a life-saving overhaul of Child Protective Services, ensuring children in Texas’ foster care receive the protection they deserve,” Abbott stated in his proclamation. “Even in a tight budget climate,” he added, “this budget prioritizes the safety and well-being of all Texans. It continues to fund our state’s role in securing the border, adding an additional 250 troopers to keep our communities safe.… Read the rest

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A Wingnut and her Tobyisms

June 21, 2017
A Wingnut and her Tobyisms

I began to suspect some time ago that I was the female version of The West Wing’s Toby Zeigler.
Impressively created from the soul of Aaron Sorkin’s dark wit, and brought to life by the majestic Richard Schiff, Toby was initially one of my least favorite characters on the show.
Hear me out on this one, Wingnuts. When the show was in its prime, I was just a teenage girl. A teenager who had a huge crush on Bradley Whitford’s Josh Lyman.
And, as viewers of the show know, Josh and Toby rarely saw eye to eye, and there was that one time they came to blows after the death of Toby’s brother.… Read the rest

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Just when is it time to quit?

June 14, 2017
Just when is it time to quit?

Quitters never win and winners never quit!” (Vince Lombardi)
“…never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in…” (Winston Churchill)
“Never give up! Never surrender!” (Galaxy Quest)
I could speculate that more people are familiar with Tim Allen’s character in Galaxy Quest than with Lombardi or Churchill, but that is a whole different speech.
The point is that endurance, effort, determination, stick-to-it-ive-ness – TRY HARDER – is the secret to greatness and significance.
Try harder! Give 110 percent!
May I offer another quote? Thanks for your permission.
“When the horse is dead, dismount.” (Various)
You see, my friends, the real secret to greatness is not determined effort; it is wise and focused effort.… Read the rest

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Holy Rest in Peace! The real Batman has died

June 14, 2017
Holy Rest in Peace! The real Batman has died

There are instances in life when you had to be there. It’s tough to explain the Space Race, 1970s fashions, the Miracle Mets, pong, hair bands, and gangsta rap unless you were there.
Another time you had to be there was 1966. That’s when the TV show Batman premiered – Jan. 12, to be exact.
And that’s when I was joined by a zillion other nine year olds in Iowa Park at recess as we began rehashing the show and wondering how in the world Batman could possibly escape from the crazy Riddler this time.
We found out that night; Batman resolved its cliffhanger the very next day – and that was something to talk about during four-square, too.… Read the rest

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Two women pilots in World War II were crucial

June 14, 2017
Two women pilots in World War II were crucial

This column first appeared October 7, 2010.

Have you ever had a great idea and suggested it, and then someone else presented the same thing about the same time and got the credit?
Something very similar happened to a lady pilot during World War II. Born in Houghton, Michigan Feb. 14, 1914, Hannah Harkness had many advantages as a youngster.
Called “Nancy” by her physician father, she was on a trip to Europe and was present at Le Bourget Field in Paris on May 21, 1927, when American Charles Lindbergh landed in his The Spirit of St. Louis.
Nancy was 13.… Read the rest

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Contemplations on being an old person now: 30

June 14, 2017
Contemplations on being an old person now: 30

So, this is 30.
Yes, I “celebrated” – a term I use in the loosest sense of the word – the big 3-0 on Monday.
I am officially over the hill; my youth has ended. I must now join the ranks of “real” adults, even though I am still trying to figure out just what that means.
I always have been a cranky old lady in a younger person’s body, so I have no doubt I’ll fit in with the “Get off my lawn!” crowd.
However, for whatever reason, this is the first birthday I have dreaded.
I didn’t always feel this way about entering my 30s, though.… Read the rest

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Gov. demands action, calls lawmakers back

June 14, 2017
Gov. demands action, calls lawmakers back

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 announced a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18 to address issues that went unresolved during the contentious 140-day regular session that ended May 29.
Abbott explained why he thinks it necessary to order lawmakers back to Austin. “Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today,” he said. “A special session was entirely avoidable and there was plenty of time for the legislature to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session. As governor, if I am going to call a special session, I intend to make it count,” he added.… Read the rest

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