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Some words to live by (or make memes about)

February 1, 2017
Some words to live by (or make memes about)

Once again, I have collected a variety of sentences these past few months, notions that struck me as memorable or at least caught my ear.
So every motivational speaker and/or meme maker can just forward me a check when they take advantage of these pithy, sometimes groovy, yea even deep, sayings that I have so carefully cataloged by speaking them into my phone or typing them while driving down the road which you should never do.

Fleas come with the dog.
This came off a PBS special about the Trump-Clinton presidency race and illustrated how no candidate is pristine.

“No” is not a rejection but a redirection.Read the rest

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A teacher who dared to ‘gather her geese’ in Big Bend

February 1, 2017
A teacher who dared to ‘gather her geese’ in Big Bend

This column first appeared June 22, 1995.

Personal stories of real people who lived on the frontier have always appealed to me. I have life pretty easy with my modern appliances and cars, etc. I recently finished reading a book written by Hallie Crawford Stillwell. At age nine, she left home to teach school in Presidio; her parents did not want her to go because it was just across the Rio Grande from a town recently captured by Pancho Villa.
Her father told her that it was a “wild goose chase” to go that far from where her family lived in Alpine at that time.… Read the rest

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Appreciating a life that made a difference

February 1, 2017
Appreciating a life that made a difference

Feb. 10 would be my grandpa’s 75th birthday. Feb. 10 will always be Grandpa’s birthday, but we lost him five years ago.
We lost him too soon – he was only 69 – but the reality is that he did not take care of his health after he retired from his 35-year career as a firefighter.
There are far too many great memories of him to recount. I cherish all of them, but the one that I am most thankful for is the fact that I was able to be with him on his final day, and was able to say goodbye one last time in person.… Read the rest

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Abbott: tells sheriff to reverse sanctuary policy or lose funding

February 1, 2017
Abbott: tells sheriff to reverse sanctuary policy or lose funding

Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped up the pressure on Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to participate in immigration enforcement, warning that she could lose state funding if she refuses.
In a Jan. 23 letter, Abbott urged the sheriff to reverse her policy directive “forbidding Travis County Sheriff’s Office employees from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.”
Failure to reverse her directive would put in jeopardy millions of dollars in funding from the governor’s office to Travis County, Abbott warned. Abbott mentioned that last year, he conditioned all Criminal Justice Grant funds from his office to counties on their enforcement of federal immigration law.… Read the rest

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#Tombstonetweet:What will they say about you?

February 1, 2017
#Tombstonetweet:What will they say about you?

I once heard someone say that we wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of us if we realized how little they actually think about us.
So, why do we do the things we do?
I was recently challenged to think of legacy in a couple of ways. The first was this question: “Who will be at your funeral and will not be looking at their watch?” Now, that’s a visual! To ask it a different way – “Whose life are you really impacting?”
A man died who was reported to have amassed a small fortune over the course of his life.… Read the rest

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Beating the system with a simple phone call

January 25, 2017
Beating the system with a simple phone call

So, in the old days – the 1970s – the Bride and I would go visit our parents about 100 miles away. (They lived next door to each other – don’t really recommend that, by the way.)
Eventually, the Bride and I drove home late at night, heading back to Austin where, we know now, we were Keep Austin Weird pioneers.
(You can also thank [or blame] the success of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to we Austinites of that time. And Redneck Rock as well as we called it then…Waylon, Willie, and the boys.)
Anyway, we would drive over Town Lake (as we called it then) to our tiny apartment – today: $1,000, then: $123 all bills paid – and would let our parents know we had arrived safely.… Read the rest

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Captivated or held captive: Searching and the Love Trap

January 25, 2017
Captivated or held captive: Searching and the Love Trap

How do you want to be loved?
Perhaps you favor a classic romance story. Perhaps you are more inclined toward the hero story, where one self-sacrifices the opportunity for personal romantic love for the sake of the benefit of many in need. Perhaps you are one who recognizes that the selfless love of a mother for her child is the nearest thing to perfect love.
The truth is, we all want to be loved passionately, heroically, and selflessly. Yes, even the manliest man wants to be the beneficiary of love like that. It just looks a little different in our imaginations.… Read the rest

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The tales of little known trio of Texas expeditions

January 25, 2017
The tales of little known trio of Texas expeditions

 

This column first appeared February 2, 2006.

Did you know that during the brief 10 years of the Republic Texas engaged in three different foreign expeditions? One was defensive, but the other two were not.
Although the Lone Star Republic lasted from 1836 to 1845 inclusive, the three foreign affairs encounters were 1841, 1842, and 1843.
The defensive one came in the middle. The problem arose because Mexico had never acknowledged that Texas was free and independent. Their president and general, Santa Anna, had signed a treaty granting independence, but he was deposed after the Texas Revolution. Later he would return, however.… Read the rest

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Children: Providing free comedy all the time!

January 25, 2017
Children: Providing free comedy all the time!

The saying “Kids say the darnedest things” is particularly the case for my son.
Since he could talk, he has provided a consistent stream of steady entertainment – and embarrassing moments – just by saying whatever pops into his head.
The most recent instance came about out of nowhere, as most of his do.
We were sitting on the couch watching TV when the following conversation took place:
HIM: “It stinks that I am good at math and not reading and writing.”
ME: “Why? People who are good at math can make a lot of money.”
HIM: “My friend told me that it was a turban legend that you do math as a grown up.”
ME: “A turban legend?!”
HIM: “Yeah, a turban legend, like Bigfoot.”
As I have many times, I had to withhold my laughter and just silently nod (and then immediately take to Facebook to share the comedy gold with my friends, most of whom have kids of their own and can completely relate).… Read the rest

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Marches come 1 day after inauguration of president

January 25, 2017
Marches come 1 day after inauguration of president

Thousands of Texans were on hand to witness the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20 in Washington.
President Trump closed his 16-minute inaugural address by saying: “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.”
Displays of patriotism took other forms the following day, when the Women’s March on Washington attracted a multitude ranging in size from 500,000 to more than one million people. Similar gatherings were held in Austin and other large cities around the country and the globe.… Read the rest

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