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To cuss or not to cuss: That’s the $&@# question

March 1, 2017
To cuss or not to cuss: That’s the $&@# question

The Millennial

Cursing: some people love it, others can’t stand it.
I fall in the first camp. Well, I wouldn’t say that I love it, but I can have a “colorful” vocabulary at times (most of the time).
My editor, however, is a longtime resident of the second camp, as he has made known to me on a number of occasions.
Maybe it’s a generational thing, after all, we are several generations apart – he’s a boomer, and I’m a millennial.
And he is certainly not the first person to tell me how much they hate swearing. My grandmother to this day tells me that “ladies don’t swear.”
I take that as more proof that it’s a generational thing – and even more proof that I’ll never be a “lady.”
In the office, we have had many a conversation on this topic that ends with us agreeing to disagree.… Read the rest

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Hunting buffalos akin to a plains gold rush

March 1, 2017
Hunting buffalos akin to a plains gold rush

This column first appeared October, 10, 2000.

Buffalo hunters in Kansas and the Texas Panhandle practically wiped out the herd on the Southern plains in the 1870s.
Only barely did a few survive to become the nucleus of a growing herd that saved the large animals from extinction. I recently found the story of a man who pursued the job – or the adventure – of buffalo hunting for nearly a decade before marrying and settling down. His name was Frank Mayer.
Born in 1850, he was too young for the Civil War but was just the right age for buffalo hunting when its heyday came.… Read the rest

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Please pity my busyness

March 1, 2017
Please pity my busyness

How’s it going? Crazy busy!
Yep, I’ve said it. You probably have, too. It’s the first thing that pops out of our mouths, even when it is not true.
What do you mean it’s not true, column boy! Maybe you are not crazy busy, but I sure am!
I have a theory. It’s not research-based; it is observational. If we are all as busy as we claim to be, we would be dropping like flies. The problem is that we truly are so busy much of the time that we let busyness define us all of the time. As a result, we ignore and minimize the opportunities we have for renewal and recharging.… Read the rest

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Judge sides with plaintiffs in Planned Parenthood case

March 1, 2017
Judge sides with plaintiffs in Planned Parenthood case

Texans who rely on Planned Parenthood as a medical care provider won’t have to seek those services elsewhere, pending an upcoming trial.
In the lawsuit titled Planned Parenthood et al. v. Texas Health and Human Services Commission, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin on Feb. 21 granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the Texas Department of Health and Human Services from eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in the state’s 2017-18 budget.
“There is no legitimate public interest in allowing Texas to complete its planned terminations (of funding) based on the current facts,” wrote Sparks. “Instead, the public interest favors enforcing the individual plaintiffs’ rights and avoiding disrupting the health care of some of Texas’s most vulnerable individuals.”
Sparks found that an injunction would ensure that Medicaid recipients in Texas “will continue to have access to medical care at their chosen providers” and the Texas Department of Health and Human Service’s termination of Planned Parenthood’s provider agreements likely violates federal law.… Read the rest

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If you want to work, there’s a job out there

February 22, 2017
If you want to work, there’s a job out there

Not everyone wants to work.
And those that do – or must – often find themselves in mundane positions not too long after vowing as teenagers that they’d never become their dad/mom and toil for The Man, man.
Well, it’s still possible to find a job that’s out of the ordinary, one where you don’t don the same attire day after day and trudge away from home at dawn, returning at dusk, defeated.
Here are a few you might consider:
Professional shover.
In Japan, people get paid for forcibly shoving more humans into a train that is already bulging at the seams.… Read the rest

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It’s not too early to start working on your 2-minute drill

February 22, 2017
It’s not too early to start working on your 2-minute drill

Yes, I know football season is over. Baseball season is right around the corner. I will offer my apologies now to any fans of hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, badminton, curling … oh, wait a minute. When I started thinking of other lesser sports, I got carried away. (Please remember I apologized first).
While I have an appreciation for all sports that do not involve style points and judges, there are really only two professional team sports that I pay much attention to. Besides the fact that I only really pay attention to football and baseball as a fan, those two really have the only useful metaphors that I use as a writer.… Read the rest

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The travails of five children captured by Comanches

February 22, 2017
The travails of five children captured by Comanches

This column first appeared February 23, 2012.

When one researches ancestors, sometimes surprises result. Last week my husband and I attended a Westerners meeting and heard Linda Spangler tell of tracing ancestors and finding some children among the first recorded Comanche captives in Texas.
In the fall of 1838 in DeWitt County, near present Gonzales, five youngsters went into the woods to pick up pecans. They were Matilda Lockhart and four Putnam children, Rhoda, Elizabeth, Juda, and James.
Matilda got a head start on running for the house, but the youngest Putnam child shouted, “Don’t leave me!” Matilda stopped to help, and the Comanches captured all five children.… Read the rest

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You can’t babysit your own child

February 22, 2017
You can’t babysit your own child

The other day I heard a man telling his buddy how he could not go somewhere that weekend because he would be “babysitting” his children for his wife.
I hope he didn’t see my eyes roll all the way back in my head or hear the few choice words I muttered under my breath.
Actually, I hope he did, because his statement was just that ludicrous.
For whatever reason, few things annoy me like hearing that come out of a parent’s mouth. Mother or father – but let’s face it, it’s usually fathers.
This is certainly not the first time I’ve heard someone say, with a tone of disappointment, that he had to “babysit” his own kids.… Read the rest

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Paxton files immigration brief

February 22, 2017
Paxton files  immigration brief

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a legal brief supporting President Trump’s executive order for an immigration crackdown.
In his Feb. 15 brief with a San Francisco federal appeals court, Paxton defends President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
The states of Washington and Minnesota filed a complaint in a Seattle federal district court and were granted a nationwide temporary restraining order that blocked key provisions of the executive order regarding Trump’s proposed ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries considered to be terrorism hotspots. On Feb. 9, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the temporary restraining order.… Read the rest

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Donald Trump: Already the greatest president ever?

February 15, 2017
Donald Trump: Already the greatest president ever?

The fun of being an independent politically – aka someone too spineless/uneducated to take a stand – is that you get to see the other sides freak out.
Remember when Republicans demanded on having a moral person in the White House, how they railed against Bill Clinton, the No. 1 horndog president of all-time – and that includes Kennedy! – because of his wandering eye (and other body parts)?
Well, apparently that doesn’t matter too much anymore.
Let’s face it: The moral high road’s bridge has collapsed when it comes to our current beloved leader, Donald Trump. He’s not exactly a role model.… Read the rest

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