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How to know when you are a real book lover

April 1, 2015
How to know when you are a real book lover

For several years now the Texas State Historical Association has hosted a “Book Lovers’ Breakfast” at their annual convention in early March.
This year the speaker was Kurt Zimmerman, a book collector. Now, I’m a book collector, but not like he is. He collects very expensive rare books, first editions, very old, etc.
He mentioned his blog called American Book Collector and a website www.bookcollectinghistory.com. He was a co-founder of a book collecting club in Houston which has 20 members. With so few members in as big a city as Houston, you know they are the few with the resources to collect very rare books.… Read the rest

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House, Senate primary task: adopting budget

April 1, 2015
House, Senate primary task: adopting budget

The House Appropriations Committee on March 24 unanimously approved the General Appropriations Act (House Bill 1) — the first hurdle toward passing a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
The committee’s chair, state Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, and the 27-member committee’s work earned the praise of House Speaker Joe Straus, who said HB 1 is “a responsible, disciplined plan that sets the right priorities for a growing state. It addresses education and transportation, it increases transparency and it will allow the House to provide meaningful tax relief.”… Read the rest

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I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy – PUNCH!

March 25, 2015
I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy – PUNCH!

The Bride asked me if I was happy.
I wasn’t unhappy. But, like everyone else, there is so much that needs to be done that sometimes happiness gets lopped off by day’s end.
There’s a Frasier TV episode where he gets asked the same thing. He comes to the conclusion that you don’t really have to seek out happiness, that it’s all around, usually throughout your everyday life.… Read the rest

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He took one for the team

March 25, 2015
He took one for the team

Have you ever taken one for the team?
According to the online Oxford Dictionary, this phrase means to “willingly undertake an unpleasant task or make a personal sacrifice for the collective benefit of one’s friends or colleagues.”
Note the words “unpleasant” and “sacrifice.” So, I guess my fall tour of independent steakhouses did not qualify, even though I was doing recon for an event group celebration. I tried to tell those other guys that I was taking one for the team with each restaurant visit. I’m not sure they were convinced.… Read the rest

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Archer City: What person’s name pops up?

March 25, 2015
Archer City: What person’s name pops up?

If one is reasonably well-read, or even remembers movies from a few decades back, the first thing that comes to mind at the name “Archer City” probably is – Larry McMurtry.
I’ve never been to see all those old buildings on the town square full of books that the famous writer of “The Last Picture Show” and other titles has collected. I would love to go, though.… Read the rest

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House passes human trafficking, border security bills

March 25, 2015
House passes human trafficking, border security bills

Bills to address the illegal importation and exploitation of persons and to protect the state’s border with Mexico moved through the Texas House last week. They were the first major statewide legislation to be approved by the body since Jan. 13, the opening day of the 140-day session.
The human trafficking bill, House Bill 10 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, concerns criminal and civil consequences for the smuggling or trafficking of human beings. On March 17, it passed on a final vote of 145-0. The border security bill, HB 11 by Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, passed March 19 on a final vote of 130-11.… Read the rest

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To cheat or not to cheat on a faithful woman

March 18, 2015
To cheat or not to cheat on a faithful woman

She’s been there for me for decades, faithful and always at my beck and call.
Except for a few rare instances of straying, I always returned.
The last time we met, a mighty October storm knocked out the power,  so we pulled up a chair and did it in the doorway.
But maybe it’s time to move on.
I speak, of course, of the person who cuts my hair.… Read the rest

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The trouble with waiting

March 18, 2015
The trouble with waiting

How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
If you were around in the early 1970’s, you probably remember that commercial, which debuted in 1969. You may also remember that it was the lollipop of choice for Telly Savalas’ Lt. Theo Kojak in the TV crime drama series. Tootsie Pops were introduced into the series on December 12, 1973 when Kojak decides to favor lollipops over cigarettes.… Read the rest

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Texas’ oldest operating restaurant is Salado’s Stagecoach Inn

March 18, 2015
Texas’ oldest operating restaurant is Salado’s Stagecoach Inn

Traveling through Salado for thousands of people has meant a stop at the Stagecoach Inn.
Its earliest guests arrived in 1861 to spend the night and to enjoy a good meal. Indeed, some of the famous Texans who climbed the steps to the four bedrooms on the second floor or enjoyed meals at its tables included Sam Houston (who made an anti-secession speech from the balcony),  George Armstrong Custer,  Robert E. Lee’s son (who shared the same name), and cattle barons Shanghai Pierce and Charles Goodnight.… Read the rest

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Lawmakers seek to control state spending elements

March 18, 2015
Lawmakers seek to control state spending elements

Debates over the Texas House and Senate versions of the state budget lie ahead, and movement toward setting budget controls to blend into a final, agreed-upon budget for 2016-2017 emerged in low-numbered bills filed last week.
SB 20 by Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson, R-Grapevine, would strengthen state agency contract reporting requirements, require agency heads to sign off on contracts worth more than $1 million and require agencies to post a list of all contracts on their state website, according to a report posted by the Senate’s in-house news service. “These contracts are paid for with taxpayer dollars,” Nelson said. “We must ensure that they are awarded with the highest degree of ethics and transparency.” Nelson said her committee would vote on SB 20 this week.… Read the rest

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