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Making choices without regrets

April 20, 2016
Making choices without regrets

Have you ever thought about what “superhero power” you would like to have? Probably the one I most often think about would be the ability to be in more than one place at a time. Sometimes it feels like there are too many opportunities, too many responsibilities, and too little me. Do you ever have that feeling?
It seems that we share a common dilemma when it comes to making choices. I’m not talking about choosing between good and bad. I’m not even talking about choosing between good, better, and best (that sounds so simple in theory). Sometimes it appears that our choices are between good and…good!… Read the rest

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Missing gold bars still a mystery centuries later

April 20, 2016
Missing gold bars still a mystery centuries later

On Wednesday December 21, North Texas traffic came to a slow halt because of the ice-slick streets. Most of us were frozen in, our planned activities for the day canceled or postponed. Given an unexpected day at home, guess what, I read a good book.
100 Tons of Gold by David Leon Chandler told the story of a possible buried treasure in southern New Mexico that was described as “stacks of gold bars as high as a pickup truck.”
In fact, several such stacks were reported inside a huge cave in the bowels of the earth in the San Andres Mountains.… Read the rest

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The right to remain silent

April 20, 2016
The right to remain silent

We have a three-year-old in our house. If anyone still knew what a phonograph was, I would tell you that he was vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
(Note: Back in the day, we had these things called “record players” – turntables where you put big discs, called “records.” A “needle” attached to an arm rode in tiny grooves on the record as it spun, and sound went up a wire into speakers, out of which came music. Back in the day.)
If you’d been vaccinated with a phonograph needle, it meant you talked a lot. The term was applied to me frequently, I’m sure.… Read the rest

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SEC files charges naming Paxton in Servergy case

April 20, 2016
SEC files charges naming Paxton in Servergy case

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing civil fraud charges filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Paxton was named in charges filed April 11 against Servergy Inc., a McKinney-based technology company incorporated in Nevada, and its founder and former chief executive officer William E. Mapp III.
The federal regulatory agency’s 26-page complaint contains the charges alleging “the boosting of stock sales with false claims about a supposedly revolutionary computer server and big-name customers purportedly placing orders to buy it” from November 2009 through September 2013, a period during which Servergy raised some $26 million in private securities.
Paxton, a former member of the company’s board of directors, is also named as a defendant in the complaint.… Read the rest

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The one non-gimme in the Newlywed Game

April 13, 2016
The one non-gimme in the Newlywed Game

The Bride didn’t know the answer. Which was a shock.
Social media are full of all sorts of tests you can take to discover something about yourself – which Hobbit you are, what color of the rainbow you’re like, what kind of bug you would be (a roach?!).
And here was another test, a veritable spousal bear-trap: “How well do you know your spouse?”
After 40 years of marriage and years of being pals before that, the Bride and I really know each other.
When our church group gathers for fellowship, we play all sorts of games.
One is a version of the Newlywed Game with answers far more suited to a sanctuary than the sort you heard on TV during the show’s heyday.… Read the rest

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Young Scot artist traveled to California gold fields

April 13, 2016
Young Scot artist traveled to California gold fields

Author’s Note: This will be the last original column that I currently plan to write.
Folks may remember that my husband Kenneth died three years ago. I am getting married soon to a wonderful man, Fred Barnes, and I’m moving from Azle.
We plan to travel a bit, and I won’t have much time to do the research and writing that is necessary for the column.
However, Mark Campbell, the editor, has agreed to dip back into the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s and print reruns of my column for at least a couple of years until June 2018.
The last week of June that year would then reach my goal of appearing in the Azle News for 50 years.Read the rest

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The campaign of anything-but-sweet ’16

April 13, 2016
The campaign of anything-but-sweet ’16

When I was 22 and living in Austin, I decided I was done with college and ready to go into newspaper work full-time. So I went down to the American Statesman and applied for a job.
To my dismay, I learned they had two requirements before they would even consider me: a college degree in journalism or English (check!), and two years’ experience at a daily newspaper. (AAUNGH!)
As I was walking away, I asked the nice lady how someone is supposed to get daily newspaper experience if a daily newspaper won’t hire them without experience. She said to start at a smaller paper.… Read the rest

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Stop trying!

April 13, 2016
Stop trying!

Yoda: “Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say? You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Luke Skywalker: “Alright, I’ll give it a try.”
Yoda: “No! Try not! Do or do not. There is no try.”
One of my recent reads is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Two concepts captured my attention. I’m still processing – here’s your backstage pass to some of it.
One concept is the “Habit loop” – the cycle of cue, routine, and reward that results in the formation of habits.
The second concept is “Keystone habits” that create a chain reaction; changing and rearranging your other habits as you integrate the habit into your life.… Read the rest

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Supreme Court rules in ‘one person, one vote’ case

April 13, 2016
Supreme Court rules in ‘one person, one vote’ case

On a unanimous vote of 8-0, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 4 affirmed that states may continue to draw legislative districts based on total population.
In the Texas case, Evenwel v. Abbott, the question presented to the high court on appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas was whether the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment creates a “judicially enforceable right ensuring that the districting process does not deny voters an equal vote.”
Court documents explain the basis of the case this way: “In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted a state Senate map creating districts that, while roughly equal in terms of total population, grossly malapportioned voters.… Read the rest

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So, as I was saying…

April 6, 2016
So, as I was saying…

 

 

Other than last week’s tribute to my dear old friend, Vancil Trammell, I haven’t had a column in this newspaper in almost five years. The last one, published Dec. 29, 2011, was a heartfelt farewell, evoking the image that leaving a newspaper job is like jumping off a train.
Sure enough, the train kept on rolling – and so did I.
For the record, I did not retire. I took a little time off to fix stuff around the house, then went to work for a buddy of mine at a nearby newspaper. My job was writing the kind of longer, more in-depth stuff I didn’t have time to write when I was publisher.… Read the rest

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