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Me versus Leatherface

April 8, 2015
Me versus Leatherface

She had me at Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
The Bride and I had been driving around the Hill Country seeing all the purty flowers (which are mighty good this year.)
Tiring, the phone app said the closest available hotel room was in Johnson City. But, as we drove that way through Kingsland, the Bride spied a simple sign that said The Antlers Inn. I pulled a U-ie and we drove in.… Read the rest

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House passes state budget after hours-long floor debate

April 8, 2015
House passes state budget after hours-long floor debate

After 17 hours of floor debate and hundreds of amendments considered, the Texas House of Representatives on April 1 passed House Bill 1, a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that appropriates $209.8 billion.
The vote was 141 in favor to 5 against, with nay votes cast by Reps. David Simpson, R-Longview; Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler; freshman Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving; freshman Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington; and freshman Molly White, R-Belton.… Read the rest

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It’s enough to make you weep – no kidding

April 1, 2015
It’s enough to make you weep – no kidding

On the radio the other day, a macho guy confessed to tearing up every time he heard a certain song. His workmates could not guess what song could possibly make the bad boy weep. It was “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston from the movie The Bodyguard.
Which made everyone else on the radio show burst into laughter. He said he couldn’t stop the tears because it reminded him of the scene where Houston runs into Kevin Costner’s arms as the ballad is belted out.… Read the rest

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Should you take one for the team?

April 1, 2015
Should you take one for the team?

I can’t tell you how excited I am about the next few days! Today the big wooly beard comes off. Wednesday, I get a haircut. I will finally look like me again! And when I go see my granddaughter 11 days from now (but who’s counting), maybe she won’t be scared of me. (Unless it was me, and not the beard, that she didn’t like). If you are confused by any of that, you’ll have to go back and read last week’s column.… Read the rest

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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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