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Choose your life by choosing your habits

June 15, 2016
Choose your life by choosing your habits

To fully appreciate the life-changing power of dishwashing, you need to know how much I hate washing dishes – I mean real, serious, deep loathing! My mother made me wash dishes. I hated it then and I hate it now!
In fact, when I was recently told that someone took a part-time job as a restaurant dishwasher for $8 an hour, I said I wouldn’t do it for $80. I said that I would rather take a caning (look that up) than wash dishes for a living. Of course that is a gross exaggeration, but you get the point.
Here’s the crazy part: Since October 2015, I have only missed four nights of washing dishes before going to bed (when home).… Read the rest

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Roosevelt’s first ranching venture considered a loss

June 15, 2016
Roosevelt’s first ranching venture considered a loss

This column first appeared August 23, 1984.

One hundred years ago a 25-year-old New Yorker attended the Republican national convention as a delegate. He was well educated, having graduated from Harvard four years previously. He also was interested in politics, for he had been elected to the New York Assembly in November 1883.
The young delegate was Theodore Roosevelt and he would later become the president of the United States. Perhaps a 25-year-old delegate at this year’s convention will become president at the turn of the century, who knows?
Roosevelt could not have been a very attentive delegate to the Republican National Convention that year, for tragedy had struck in his young life.… Read the rest

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Governors confer about containing spread of Zika

June 15, 2016
Governors confer about containing spread of Zika

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9 participated in a White House-hosted conference call for governors to discuss the Zika virus threat and what to do about it.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden led the call.
Frieden said no vaccine exists to prevent the Zika virus disease, and the way for individuals to prevent contracting the disease is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
“With the recent floods, and as we enter the height of mosquito season, I encourage Texans to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito exposure and heed all warnings and recommendations from health officials,” Abbott said after the conference call.… Read the rest

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Muhammad Ali not The Greatest to everybody

June 8, 2016
Muhammad Ali not The Greatest to everybody

Eventually, I came to like and even admire Muhammad Ali.
But it took a while – because of my Dad.
I grew up in the 1960s and, like most boys, I was sure my dad hung the moon. And if he didn’t like Ali, then I did not either.
Dad was good with Cassius Clay who was an Olympic champion, claiming the light heavyweight championship for America.
But Dad’s view changed when Clay became Ali and refused to be drafted.
A WWII vet, it was inconceivable to Dad that someone would not serve their country. That seemed wrong to me, too, even at 10 years old in 1967.… Read the rest

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Choose your life by choosing your questions

June 8, 2016
Choose your life by choosing your questions

Why me? Why now? Really?
I’ve asked those questions. So have you. And in a similar vein to what I said in a previous post (“Choose your life by choosing your story”), we tend not to ask those questions when we are surprised by good things.
No, those questions get asked in times of frustration, disappointment, inconvenience, and even grief. We don’t question the good things that happen to us; we consider ourselves either lucky or deserving. But when bad things happen – something is wrong, somebody messed up, or the universe is out to get us.
I could make a list of unhelpful questions.… Read the rest

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Irish royalty blazes a path through American West

June 8, 2016
Irish royalty blazes a path through American West

This column first appeared November 3, 1977.

One of the pioneers of the American West, surprisingly enough, was Sir George Gore, eighth baronet, from Donegal County, Ireland.
In 1854, he decided to organize an expedition to hunt and fish in the wild, virgin territory of the American West.
At Mound City, Missouri, he bought the equipment he would need – 21 carts, 112 horses, 3 milk cows, 18 oxen, 4 six-mule wagons, 2 three-and yoke wagons, He also bought 75 large bore hunting rifles, a green and white striped ten (10×18 feet and carpeted), and a brass bedstead. His valet also managed a carved marble washstand, an iron dining table, and a large wooden bathtub.… Read the rest

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Cute little vandals

June 8, 2016
Cute little vandals

I used to like squirrels, back when the only ones I knew were cartoons. My favorite was Rocky.
Who could not love Rocky? He wore that cool aviator hat and provided wise counsel to his big, dopey moose friend, Bullwinkle. (It’s always funny when the stupid one is the leader and the smart one is the sidekick. I can’t wait to meet Trump’s running mate!)
Also, that Cold War subplot with Boris and Natasha fascinated me. I don’t know how Rocky and Bullwinkle became Public Enemy Number One in the U.S.S.R., but Boris and Natasha’s task every day was, “Kill Moose and Squirrel.”
They never succeeded.… Read the rest

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Gov. declares state of disaster in long list of counties

June 8, 2016
Gov. declares state of disaster in long list of counties

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 1 declared a state of disaster in 31 counties that have been hit repeatedly with severe weather and flooding in recent days.
The counties named in the declaration include: Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.
Abbott on May 27 elevated the activation level of the state operations center in Austin and urged Texans to stay on high alert and to heed local officials’ warnings.
State agencies responding included the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Military Department, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service/Texas Task Force 1, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Animal Health Commission.… Read the rest

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The true adventures of Luke Short’s great-great grandson

June 1, 2016
The true adventures of Luke Short’s great-great grandson

This column first appeared December, 20, 1979

Luke Short was one of the characters of cattle town days – sometimes on the right side of the law, sometimes not.
He even stayed a spell in Fort Worth. You may have heard of him.
Luke engaged in adventure common in the Old West, but I’m going to call it “artificial” because the adventure was man-made.
Some young fellow too wet behind the ears or too wet from whiskey to have any sense would pull his pistol and start something.
Then another man would have to stop him. That’s what I mean by artificial.… Read the rest

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Ten states join Texas in school bathrooms lawsuit

June 1, 2016
Ten states join Texas in school bathrooms lawsuit

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 25 filed a lawsuit against the heads of the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Commission and other entities for issuing directives that would require public schools to open up restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes.
Joining Texas in the lawsuit are the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Plaintiffs also include a diverse coalition of top state officials and local school districts, including the Harrold (Texas) Independent School District.
“Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” Paxton said in the complaint.… Read the rest

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