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Here’s one of two terribly wonderful stories

June 4, 2014
Here’s one of two terribly wonderful stories

People occasionally come up to me and say that they feel like they know me after reading this column each week. I think that’s a nice compliment but the Bride…well, not so much sometimes since I occasionally reveal something weird that has happened to me/us that’d she’d just as soon stay private. (Like snakes in dishwashers and whizzing on poison ivy to kill it.)… Read the rest

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How to be happy with your choices

June 4, 2014
How to be happy with your choices

Have you ever thought about what “superhero power” you would like to have? Flight?  X-ray vision? Probably the one I most often think about would be the ability to be in more than one place at a time. Sometimes it feels like there are too many opportunities, too many responsibilities, and too little me.
This past weekend was one of those times. There were four places I wanted to be: the high school graduation of my nephew, the high school graduation of my next door neighbor who is like another daughter, the wedding of a young lady who grew up in our church, and the funeral of a friend and mentor.… Read the rest

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Lieutenant governor’s challenger wins runoff

June 4, 2014
Lieutenant governor’s challenger wins runoff

Republican voters picked Dan Patrick to face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the race for lieutenant governor in November.
Patrick received 65 percent of the vote to incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s 35 percent in the May 27 runoff. Sen. Patrick, R-Houston, and Sen. Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, have seven years and 15 years of experience, respectively, as members of the 31-member Senate. Van de Putte ran unopposed in the March Democratic Party Primary.… Read the rest

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Dialed in on the history of the telephone

May 28, 2014
Dialed in on the history of the telephone

Standing there in the midst of a roadside swathe of red and yellow Indian blankets sweating as a jog ended, I slid my finger across the screen to stop the Nike Running app which disengaged the GPS as Green Day’s “Brain Stew” rumbled through the earphones – of my phone.
My phone!
I’ve seen two especially dramatic leaps in my 57-year lifetime – popular music and telephones. Naturally, technology has everything to do with juicing many more areas of life – cars, banking, the deep-frying of turkeys – but music and phones seem to have especially changed.… Read the rest

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Let’s make our own conspiracy

May 28, 2014
Let’s make our own conspiracy

I was driving through a small town in the Texas panhandle a few days ago. It was already past my bedtime, which means it was dark.  (I get up early, so I go to bed early. Some have suggested that age has something to do with that. I suggest that they mind their own bedtimes). Now, back to my story.
So, driving through this town, I saw one of those scrolling LED signs outside a business establishment.… Read the rest

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Ever heard of Stetson U., named after the hat man?

May 28, 2014
Ever heard of Stetson U., named after the hat man?

One tends to forget that many Western things began in the East and came to the West: immigrants, railroads, telegraph, meat packing plants, even the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania in 1859. While visiting my sister-in-law in Florida a couple of weeks ago, I saw a sign, “Stetson University.” I wondered, “Was that the Mr. Stetson who created the Western hats?” I had to find out.… Read the rest

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Big govt. posts at stake in primary runoffs

May 28, 2014
Big govt. posts at stake in primary runoffs

Early voting ended May 23 and Tuesday, May 27, was state primary election runoff day.
Voting records available to the public at the Office of the Secretary of State show that turnout is historically low for mid-term primaries and even lower for primary runoff elections. But what’s different about this set of runoffs – and something that should stimulate voter turnout – were the powerful offices at stake.… Read the rest

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What’s in a name? I am Spartacus! Hey, me, too!

May 21, 2014
What’s in a name? I am Spartacus! Hey, me, too!

Somewhere out there in America, at least five young girls are now named Shiny.
And Icy. And Skylit. And Camaro. And Zeppelin. It takes a whole lotta love to name a kid Zeppelin.
This info comes from the annual most popular baby names list issued by the Social Security Office.
Unusual boys names abound, too. Like Anchor. And Vice. And Subaru. And Furious.
A household in 2020:… Read the rest

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Oh, grow up, ya big baby!

May 21, 2014
Oh, grow up, ya big baby!

Grow up!
I’ve both spoken those words and had them spoken to me. Sometimes (rarely, I’m sure), it is because I might have been behaving in a slightly juvenile manner. One of my friends used to say, “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”
I’m pretty sure that, “Grow up!” whether aimed at me or from me, says more about the speaker than it does about the target. It likely means that the speaker is irritated, inconvenienced, or maybe embarrassed by the actions of another.… Read the rest

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The true story of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown

May 21, 2014
The true story of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown

Most people recognize Molly Brown as the lady who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and was honored in a Broadway play with Tammy Grimes in the leading role and later in a movie with Debbie Reynolds.
In a little booklet written in 1956 by Caroline Bancroft, I found the true story of Molly’s life without all the exaggerations that the play and movie included. Mrs. Brown would have loved the two productions, because she thrived on publicity, telling personally many tall tales about her life.… Read the rest

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