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What if social media existed for historic events?

August 2, 2017
What if social media existed for historic events?

Remember the good ol’ days when you could get away with something?
Nowadays, there’s someone filming you or snooping about you on the internet then posting their findings for millions to read – findings that may or may not be true.
Imagine if social media had been around for our planet’s earlier major events…

Huge party at my house to watch that huge asteroid in the sky!
t-rex
#hardtotypewithsuchdinkyarms
OMG! Henry the VIII popped the question! I know about his past, but I know I can change him!
AnnB
#headsup

Pew-yew! Just watched another endless play by Shakespeare! Something about a chick killing herself for some dude or something!… Read the rest

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We are our own worst enemies

August 2, 2017
We are our own worst enemies

You are never going to get this finished on time.”
“You are so incredibly unqualified for this.”
“You are a train wreck.”
“You don’t deserve to be here.”
“You are a mistake waiting to happen.”
“What are you going to do when they find out?”
“Idiot.”
Those are not very encouraging statements, are they? I didn’t think so either when I heard them. If they were supposed to motivate me, they didn’t work. In fact, they had the complete opposite effect. They discouraged me and left me feeling unmotivated and tempted to quit.
Who would make such disempowering statements? That guy must have been a real jerk.… Read the rest

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A young woman who sought adventure in the West

August 2, 2017
A young woman who sought adventure in the West

This column first appeared April 9, 1992.

During the exciting Western saga that played its course mostly in the 19th century, many young men ran away to find adventure in the West.
First came the fur traders, then the argonauts who rushed to the California gold fields, then the young men who joined the cattle drives. Even a few girls ran away too. Usually, their families never heard of them again because the girls did not want anyone to know the profession they chose to survive.
One of these young ladies surfaced in a book I am reading about the Texas Panhandle.… Read the rest

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Being hard on yourself is hard

August 2, 2017
Being hard on yourself is hard

At some point in my life, I developed the philosophy of never allowing anyone to be harder on me than I am on myself.
Now, when I say that, I don’t mean that I don’t listen to critiques or criticism from others – I most definitely do. My intent is never to have an opinion of myself that is higher than what others think of me.
And, when you form an opinion of yourself that is constantly one rung lower than the lowest outsider’s opinion, it doesn’t work out well.
Especially so when you use it as a standard rubric in every aspect of your life.… Read the rest

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House, Senate have not yet engaged in back-and-forth on key bills

August 2, 2017
House, Senate have not yet engaged in back-and-forth on key bills

Not a single bill had been agreed to by the state House and Senate as of July 28, exactly 10 days into the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature.
Lawmakers have a tall order served up to them by Gov. Greg Abbott in the form of 20 must-resolve matters in the first called session of the 85th Texas Legislature. Something could be on Abbott’s desk in short order if top-priority “sunset” legislation to ensure the continuation of the Texas Medical Board and several other healthcare-related state oversight boards gains approval by both chambers. The Senate’s version is SB 20 by Van Taylor, R-Plano; the House has produced two versions: HB 1 and HB 2, both by Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock.… Read the rest

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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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