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Honking at your own risk

July 22, 2015
Honking at your own risk

Do you ever wonder why cars have horns? My extensive – and by “extensive” I mean two minutes on Google – internet research revealed that horns were put on cars initially because they shared narrow dirt roads with horse drawn carriages. Horns were used when approaching a blind corner to alert any horse drawn transport that a motorized vehicle was approaching.
How about that? I’ll bet you thought the horn was invented as: (1) a Jesus-love indicator; (2) an annoyance indicator; or (3) a friend-in-the-next-lane greeting.
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Early 20th century Homestead Act attracts spinster

July 22, 2015
Early 20th century Homestead Act attracts spinster

Folks may be aware of the 1862 Homestead Act which promised 160 acres of land free to families who would build a house, grow crops and live on the land for five years. Unfortunately, fertile areas in the West filled up rapidly, and families claimed 160 acres in leftover sites that would grow very little.
The government altered the law – 47 years later – by the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909 that increased the acreage to 320 per family.
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Gov.’s order enhances readiness on military bases

July 22, 2015
Gov.’s order enhances readiness on military bases

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 18 authorized Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard to arm personnel at military facilities across Texas.
Abbott’s action comes following the July 16 shooting on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., that resulted in the deaths of four U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy sailor. A suspect was killed at the scene. An investigation is in progress.
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Bummer: When your lifelong heroes let you down

July 15, 2015
Bummer: When your lifelong heroes let you down

Don’t you hate it when one of your heroes ends up being a jerk – or worse?
I grew up a huge Cincinnati Reds fan – my Iowa Park Little League team was the Reds – and modeled my style of play after Pete Rose.
Then came his gambling scandal and that star was forever tarnished.
I loved two comedians for as long as I can remember: Woody Allen and Bill Cosby.
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Just let the blowhards bluster!

July 15, 2015
Just let the blowhards bluster!

For some unknown (to me) reason, I woke up this morning thinking about a confrontation from 36 years ago.
It was the summer after my junior year in high school. The school district always hired several high school and college students as summer employees to help with the extra groundskeeping and maintenance that went into preparing all the campuses for the new school year.
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Chickasaw descendant tells of scouts, soldiers, sheriffs

July 15, 2015
Chickasaw descendant tells of scouts, soldiers, sheriffs

Last week’s column about Western writer Elmer Kelton’s use of the land as a character came  from my trip to the Western Writers of America convention in Lubbock.
Also informative was a conversation at a WWA outdoor buffet at the Ranching Heritage Center where I met Towana Spivey and his wife. I asked Spivey, a descendant of Chickasaws who arrived in Indian Territory in 1837, about the “U.S.S.” on his blue, billed cap. Instead of crossed swords or crossed rifles, the cap had crossed arrows. Spivey said that the “U.S.S.” meant “United States Scouts.” There were Native American scouts in the U.S.… Read the rest

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Comptroller: State won’t borrow to meet budget

July 15, 2015
Comptroller: State won’t borrow to meet budget

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on July 7 announced his decision not to go the usual route to insure that Texas meets its budgetary obligations.
The state’s chief financial officer explained that every year for the past three decades the state has issued a Tax Revenue Anticipation Note to deal with “periodic mismatches” between revenues and expenditures during the fiscal year and “anticipated mismatches” that result from the state’s providing nearly 50 percent of its payments to local school districts in the first three months of the fiscal year.
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Unlocking riches: How to make $12,000 per hour

July 8, 2015
Unlocking riches: How to make $12,000 per hour

It’s the kind of money that would make Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey pass out.
You – yes, you! – can make:
• $200 per minute
• $12,000 per hour
• $96,000 per day
• $480,000 per week
• $1.920,000 monthly
• $23.040,000 annually
That’s a pretty nice income; you could shout “I’m debt free!” before lunch. Heck, you could almost afford Cowboys season tickets with that kind of cash.
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Freedom from rudeness

July 8, 2015
Freedom from rudeness

Our country just celebrated 239 years of independence. If the Founding Fathers could see how we are celebrating freedom, they would roll over in their graves. No, I’m not talking about anything political, although politics are included. I’m talking about people of every political and religious stripe exercising their freedom to be rude to anyone who disagrees with them.
Here’s what I mean:
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In Western movies, books landscape can be a major factor

July 8, 2015
In Western movies, books landscape can be a major factor

With a long drought just over, perhaps we can relate to a book that well-known Western writer Elmer Kelton wrote, The Time It Never Rained.
His book was about the 1950s. I recently returned from the annual convention of the Western Writers of America in Lubbock, and one of the sessions was The Land as Character:  A Study of Elmer Kelton’s Work.
I already knew, but I heard it mentioned at the session that the WWA a few years back voted Elmer Kelton  the “greatest Western writer of all time.” He wrote nearly 50 books, but the award came because they all were so true and realistic to the West.… Read the rest

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