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Global warming horror: Sharknado vs. Bearicane

June 18, 2014
Global warming horror: Sharknado vs. Bearicane

Likely, as you read this, I am frolicking on the Texas coast.
Or battling for my very life.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the event that has sent shock waves among Loch Ness monster fans and other devotees of mysterious denizens of the deep.
In Australia, a giant nine-foot long great white shark was tagged for observation of its aquatic life.
However, the shark’s monitoring device washed up on a beach. When the information was accessed, scientists were shocked.… Read the rest

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Collecting memories

June 18, 2014
Collecting memories

I once had a great collection of cheesy souvenir coffee mugs that came from every place I vacationed. The more it screamed, “I am cheap, but I have the name of this place in big, bright letters,” the higher its chances of making my collection.
Then I got married.
Mrs. Sweetie ever-so-sweetly began suggesting that my collection was not consistent with the kind of home décor atmosphere we were trying to create. I didn’t know we were trying to create one, but I was smart enough to know what kind of happy wife atmosphere I wanted to live in, so my collection went to my office.… Read the rest

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Tidbits from history that readers may not know

June 18, 2014
Tidbits from history that readers may not know

This column will consist of small, unconnected tidbits of information about the West that I wish to share.
Have you ever heard the term “Johnny cake” or read it in a Southern cookbook or Western novel? On the older colonial frontier both Indians and whites began to eat the same food, the Indian corn called maise, squash, hominy, pumpkins, venison jerky. From the Indians the whites learned to carry corn meal in the scraped out horn of a cow (also used as a powder horn).… Read the rest

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Senate panel addresses slowness of VA care

June 18, 2014
Senate panel addresses slowness of VA care

On June 12, the state Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations met in Pasadena, Texas, to get input from military veterans in the wake of the records falsification scandal at U.S. Veterans Affairs-run facilities.
Also on June 12, Gov. Rick Perry recommended that slow service at VA facilities be remedied by allowing veterans to get health care needs met at non-VA facilities. Several health care provider groups responded, expressing interest in expanding health care options to veterans, the governor’s office stated.… Read the rest

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King addresses saltwater issues

June 18, 2014

Texas State Representative Phil King said the Lone Star legislature has formed a “Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination” and that he is a member of that committee.
“Our hearings begin this week,” he said.
He said that desalination has been a common topic in coastal areas of the state but has not been broached often in North Texas.
“Texas faces its fourth year of a drought and our reservoirs have been as low as 58 percent full, the lowest since 1967,” King said.… Read the rest

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No. 1 with a Kleenex: I’ve got the mucus in me

June 11, 2014
No. 1 with a Kleenex: I’ve got the mucus in me

This is one of those columns that the Bride thinks is inappropriate and unnecessary and embarrassing. She’s likely right, so I’ll apologize in advance.
The predicament was whether to blow my nose on this.
There are times in our lives that are incredibly urgent, when something has to be done RIGHT NOW or else. Then when resolved, we’ve forgotten all about it.
Like: when you really, really need a drink of water; earaches or toothaches; or when you absolutely MUST go to the bathroom immediately.… Read the rest

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Dressing for success

June 11, 2014
Dressing for success

Mrs. Sweetie and I were having lunch recently when we got a good chuckle.  A young couple was at the register to pay their bill. The man was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Tattooed AND Employed.” Good for him!
I have heard the following advice many times: “Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have.” That reminds me of a fellow student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 1980’s that wore a suit and tie to class every day to show that he was serious about his studies.… Read the rest

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Northern entrepreneur built railroads, steamships, hotels

June 11, 2014
Northern entrepreneur built railroads, steamships, hotels

Part of the story of the Westward movement of the 19th century that I love concerns the railroads. Those iron rails and steam engines made the migration to the West much faster than slow-moving wagons. Native Americans called the trains “plenty wagon no horse” as they witnessed the iron wheels invading their land.  Unintended consequences of the rapid settlement westward that the railroads facilitated were more Indian troubles.… Read the rest

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EPA air pollution plan sparks varied reactions

June 11, 2014
EPA air pollution plan sparks varied reactions

The Obama administration on June 2 publicized what it termed “the first-ever plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.”
The plan, a set of proposed actions to be administered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, states that, “cutting carbon emissions will help prevent up to 6,500 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks among children.”
In a news release of his own, Gov. Rick Perry reacted, saying, “President Obama’s decision to impose drastic new restrictions on America’s energy industry is the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans and fuel both our homes and our nation’s economic growth.”… Read the rest

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Son of Italian immigrant miner becomes famous artist

June 4, 2014
Son of Italian immigrant miner becomes famous artist

On an architectural tour of Tucson, Ariz. last October while attending the Western History Association convention, I saw the home of famous artist Ted DeGrazia. It was a plain little house set in the foothills north of the city. One of our tour guides, Bob Vint, is an architect and teaches that subject part-time at the University of Arizona. We also toured a chapel that DeGrazia built. Vint told us that it is open all year long, and people get married there.… Read the rest

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