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Do you have 20/20 hearing?

February 11, 2015
Do you have 20/20 hearing?

Like a lot of people my age, I have to wear glasses. To clarify, there is nothing wrong with my eyesight. I just developed a “situation” at about age 40: my arms started getting shorter. It is a strange and paradoxical condition, because it only shows up when I am attempting to read. I still have trouble finding shirts with 36-inch sleeves for my gorilla arms, but if my sleeve length were being measured for reading, rather than wearing, they would have to be measured in feet instead of inches.… Read the rest

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Senate panel hears testimony on funding needs

February 11, 2015
Senate panel hears testimony on funding needs

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee began groundwork for its budget-writing duties with public hearings on four consecutive days.
Led by Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Grapevine, the 15-member panel heard testimony from the offices of the governor, comptroller and attorney general. Input also was received on state pension funds, courts and payments on state debt. Currently, the budget is an estimated $4.5 billion for all of those “general government” functions and an increase of $200 million has been proposed for 2016-2017.… Read the rest

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Does the $14 hamburger hit on all cylinders?

February 4, 2015
Does the $14 hamburger hit on all cylinders?

Once upon a time, a hamburger was made of just ground beef, American cheese, and various and sundry vegetables.
You could get a bagful of them from Griff’s for a dollar.
Sadly, neither of those are true anymore. In fact, recently it took a lot of dollars for just one burger.
The Bride and I stopped by a snazzy new restaurant just off the Weatherford Square. It houses a car museum, including an old LBJ vehicle.… Read the rest

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Did you really mean what you said?

February 4, 2015
Did you really mean what you said?

Some things are easy to say when they are hypothetical.
It is easy to say, “Everything is going to be fine,” when it is currently.
It’s easy to say, “I trust God,” when things are going smoothly.
It’s easy to say, “It’s not a problem; it’s only a situation,” (see last week’s post) when you are not in the middle of it.
But when the “situation” happens, it can easily seem like a problem!… Read the rest

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20th century cowboy tells life story, saves wild horses

February 4, 2015
20th century cowboy tells life story, saves wild horses

In recent years, I have written columns about the sad plight of wild horses in the West.
I first learned about them in 2012 at a Western History Association convention in Denver when I heard about Velma Johnson who saw the mustangs starving and feared they would become extinct. Known as Wild Horse Annie, she lobbied for better legislation.
Recently, by accident, I discovered another Westerner who has taken up the same mission. Dayton O. Hyde wrote his life story as an early 20th century cowboy on his uncle’s ranch and became interested as well.… Read the rest

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Budget-writing process begins in Senate committee

February 4, 2015
Budget-writing process begins in Senate committee

On Jan. 28 the main work of the Texas Legislature started when the state budget-writing Senate Finance Committee met at the Capitol.
Financial figures for the committee to use as a guide come from the 10-member Legislative Budget Board, a permanent joint committee of the House and Senate that develops budget and policy recommendations for appropriations, completes fiscal analyses for proposed legislation and conducts evaluations and reviews to improve the efficiency and performance of state and local operations.… Read the rest

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When did we get frightened of medical science?

January 28, 2015
When did we get frightened of medical science?

Sometimes Facebook is so dumb. Well, some of the people on it, too, I guess.
That’s the only way to explain any credence given to the anti-vaccine rage.
Thanks to generations of shots courtesy of geniuses working in medical science, millions of Americans – and millions more worldwide – have been spared the agony of disease because of childhood vaccinations.
But you can find a group with a massive online presence who swear that vaccinations are full of deadly toxins and can cause horrible reactions, autism, and even death.… Read the rest

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We have a situation, mon!

January 28, 2015
We have a situation, mon!

I have just returned from paradise.  Not the one in Wise County, although it is a place I frequent. No, Mrs. Sweetie and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage with six days at an amazing all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Our 30th anniversary was last July, but this was the time we could do the trip.
I won’t subject you to the narrative of our trip (but there are pictures on Facebook). However, I will let you know that the normal stuff of life that you do at home just moves to a whole new level of awesomeness when you have the sight, sound, smell, and feel of the Caribbean Sea in the background.… Read the rest

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Eastern Indian chief led battle that killed more U.S. soldiers than Custer’s Last Stand

January 28, 2015
Eastern Indian chief led battle that killed more U.S. soldiers than Custer’s Last Stand

Ever heard the expression, “The more you know, the more you find out what you don’t know”?
Western historian that I think I am, I assumed that the Battle of the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876 was the worst defeat of whites from Indians in U.S. history. Recently I learned differently.
When Custer led five companies of the 7th Cavalry against Sioux and Cheyenne, 266 men, including Custer, died. He had separated the companies from the rest of the command.… Read the rest

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Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick take office in Austin

January 28, 2015
Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick take office in Austin

January 20 was inauguration day for Gov. Greg Abbott, successor to Rick Perry, who completed a record-setting 14 years as governor. Abbott is the 48th governor of Texas.
Abbott expressed gratitude to the people who elected him and promised to “promote policies that limit the growth of government, not the size of your dreams.”
“Texas truly is the land of opportunity, the place where anyone can achieve anything,” Abbott said. “But as great as Texas is there’s more we must do: More for the families stuck in traffic. More for parched towns thirsty for water. More for parents who fear their child is falling behind in school.… Read the rest

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