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The best 75 cents I ever spent or You never know

February 12, 2014
The best 75 cents I ever spent or You never know

A million years ago – Valentine’s Day 1974 – I spent 75 cents very wisely.
But first: Valentine’s Day has changed a bit since those days of Nixon and 55-cent gas and Blazing Saddles.
As a child, we had Valentine’s Day parties at school where you had to give everyone a valentine. These were deposited into boxes we had worked on in art class for many days. (You could always tell – even at that age – which kids had artistic skills.… Read the rest

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Early Spanish explorer fails to find gold in southeast

February 12, 2014
Early Spanish explorer fails to find gold in southeast

After Christopher Columbus sailed west to reach the east in 1492 and found an island in the Bahamas, Spain gained the head start for an empire in the New World. Balboa conquered what is now Panama and discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513. A teenager whose family was a neighbor of Balboa in Spain at the time was Hernando de Soto.… Read the rest

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Can’t wait to get on the road again

February 12, 2014
Can’t wait to get on the road again

Mrs. Sweetie and I love to travel. One of the things we like most is the ability to stop at interesting places we see along the road. I described our vacation a couple of years ago as our “Texas Tour of Diners, Thrift Stores, and Pawn Shops.” For us, the trip matters as much as the destination.
For me, writing a weekly blog/newspaper column is much the same.  I am often asked how I manage to find something to write about every week.  The people who ask this usually ask because they can’t imagine coming up with new content that frequently.… Read the rest

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State’s Permanent School Fund reaches new high

February 12, 2014
State’s Permanent School Fund reaches new high

Texas’ 160-year-old Permanent School Fund had grown to $29 billion, a record high value, in December 2013, the Texas Education Agency reported Feb. 6.
The fund was created by the state in 1854 with a $2 million investment. Last year was a good one. In fiscal year 2013, which ended Aug. 31, the fund earned a return of 10.16 percent — the highest return earned by any major state of Texas investment fund. Recent strong returns also made the Permanent School Fund the best performing major state fund over a three-year period ending on Aug.… Read the rest

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When you’re up to your ears in unwritten words

February 5, 2014
When you’re up to your ears in unwritten words

There will never be enough time to fully cover your passion.
Whether you love travel or music or astronomy, you’ll never get it all in. You’ll never see every beautiful site on this planet or hear every song or see every star.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.


I’m a words guy. Some people love numbers or paint or wood or carburetors. I do words.… Read the rest

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How to avoid foot in mouth disease

February 5, 2014
How to avoid foot in mouth disease

He put his foot in mouth.” I was pondering that phrase this morning and wondering about its origin. I did some internet research and found that there is no definitive answer.
One article suggested: “One possible point of origin for this phrase traces it back to Irish Parliamentarian Sir Boyle Roche, who was sort of an 18th-century equivalent to (former U.S. Vice President) Dan Quayle. Roche once said, ‘Half the lies our opponents tell about me are not true!’ Someone with a much firmer grasp of the English language remarked of Roche, ‘Every time he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it,’ and a phrase was born”.… Read the rest

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Women went to the Klondike gold rush, too

February 5, 2014
Women went to the Klondike gold rush, too

When one hears of the Klondike gold rush, one is likely to think of all those men, bundled up securely, climbing the Chilkoot Pass trail, one by one. I never thought about how many women went along.  From a book I bought at the Azle Library book sale, Women of the Klondike by Frances Backhouse, I learned that many women took part.… Read the rest

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President’s annual national address draws reactions

February 5, 2014
President’s annual national address draws reactions

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst posted similar takes on President Obama’s annual state of the union address, televised live on Jan. 28.
Perry said, “…Texas has shown that the way to economic prosperity and significant job growth is through individual freedoms and the free market. Tonight, we saw a president with the same old agenda and no real idea on how to govern.”… Read the rest

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Please feel free to contribute to Me Day

January 29, 2014
Please feel free to contribute to Me Day

Did you know there is a Reagan Day? And a Jefferson-Jackson Day? Me either.
But they’re out there. In fact, a Reagan Day hoohah is right around the corner and you can attend if you have $100 in your cupboard’s Mason jar where you throw your loose change.
Or you can bring some pals for $2,000.
Reagan and Jefferson-Jackson Days are, respectively, the Republican and Democratic Parties biggest fundraisers annually.… Read the rest

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Here’s a Foodie’s guide to life

January 29, 2014
Here’s a Foodie’s guide to life

Anyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy good food. Anyone who doesn’t know me well but takes a look at my physique isn’t surprised. If you are what you eat, I will have to admit that: (1) I am not always the healthiest choice on the menu; (2) I am, however, tasty and never boring.
I even plan trips and meetings around food. I have one friend that I would describe as my “ian” friend.… Read the rest

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