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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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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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