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I’m not close to being an average American

December 2, 2015
I’m not close to being an average American

While laboring at a journalism conference at TCU to make this paper better, a seminar began with a description of the average American.
The typical red, white, and blue flag-wavin’ person in the U.S. today is 5 feet, 6.5 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.
The average American (TAA) is very good at eating.
TAA consumes 48 pints of ice cream annually.
Every year, TAA eats 105.3 pounds of red meat and 105.6 pounds of poultry.
TAA eats two snacks daily.
One out of every eight had a pizza today.
TAA uses the restroom six times every day.
TAA sees 400 ad messages daily and watches four hours of TV.… Read the rest

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No more “Happy Thanksgiving”

December 2, 2015
No more “Happy Thanksgiving”

The Cowboys lost another game and Tony Romo came up lame. Don’t worry; be happy! Somebody fed us Brussels sprouts and gave us Thanksgiving dinner pouts. Don’t worry; be happy! The neighbors partied way too loud. We didn’t have much of a crowd. Don’t worry; be happy! We couldn’t pay for plane fare home and had to spend the day alone. Don’t worry; be happy! Wooooooo….Don’t worry; happy Thanksgiving!
It may seem strange to you that I shared my thankful list last week (while announcing that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday) and this week I am making an announcement that I don’t want to wish anyone a “Happy Thanksgiving” ever again.… Read the rest

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Moses Austin descendant opens Galveston history museum

December 2, 2015
Moses Austin descendant opens Galveston history museum

Because of my attendance for many years at the conventions of the Texas State Historical Assn., I have met J.P. Bryan, Jr., descended from Moses Austin, the man who came to Texas in 1820 wanting to establish an Anglo colony in Texas. Of course, it was his son, Stephen F. Austin, who brought in the first Anglo settlers, making the latter the Father of Texas. The Father of Texas died of pneumonia the year of Texas Independence (1836) before he could marry and have children. J. P. Bryan, Jr. is descended from Stephen’s sister Emily.
The column this week is about Bryan, a great-great-grandson of Emily, but a great-great nephew of Stephen F.… Read the rest

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Disaster-stricken counties to receive federal aid: 15

December 2, 2015
Disaster-stricken counties to receive federal aid: 15

President Barack Obama on Nov. 25 ordered federal disaster aid to supplement Texas state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of Oct. 22-31.
President Obama’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, according to the White House.… Read the rest

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Be the funny one this Thanksgiving Day

November 23, 2015
Be the funny one this Thanksgiving Day

Nothing’s worse than the uncomfortable silence during the Thanksgiving Day meal.
So, as in years past, here’s a slew of holiday related jokes to break the ice – and make you the funniest guy/gal at the table.
What is a scarecrow’s favorite fruit?
Straw-berries.
Which side of a turkey has the most feathers?
The outside.
What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?
The letter G.
Why did the turkey sit on a tomahawk?
To hatchet.
Why was the turkey arrested?
Police suspected fowl play.
What should you wear to Thanksgiving dinner?
A har-vest.
What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?
Peach gobbler.… Read the rest

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Gerry’s Top 10 Thanksgiving list

November 23, 2015
Gerry’s Top 10 Thanksgiving list

I believe I saw Christmas decorations in at least one store as early as September. In October, many retailers had Halloween decorations on one aisle and Christmas decorations on another. I have been in several stores this week and people are just now – JUST NOW – wishing me “Happy Thanksgiving.” I was tempted last week to tell Starbucks that my name was “Happy Thanksgiving”…
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, not because of the food or football (both of which I will partake of with gratitude); it is because it is a deliberate day set apart to fulfill something that is one of my core values and keystone habits: gratitude.… Read the rest

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U.S. 287 Panhandle towns have varied beginnings

November 23, 2015
U.S. 287 Panhandle towns have varied beginnings

In years past, my husband and I enjoyed several vacations that involved driving to Colorado. We took U.S. 287  northwest to Amarillo and then went west into New Mexico until we turned north to cross the border into Colorado to reach Pagosa Springs where we camped or stayed in cabins.
On the way we always commented about all the towns we encountered that started with a “C.” There were many more beginning with other letters of the alphabet, but there were a lot of “Cs.” I had occasion last spring to drive to Amarillo myself, and again I noticed the “Cs.” These were Chillicothe, Childress, Clarendon, Claude, all in Texas.… Read the rest

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Gov. communicates stance on refugees to White House

November 23, 2015
Gov. communicates stance on refugees to White House

Gov. Greg Abbott on Nov. 16 wrote a letter to the White House, informing President Obama “the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.”
“Further,” Abbott wrote, “I and millions of Americans implore you to halt your plans to accept more Syrian refugees in the United States. The FBI director testified to Congress that the federal government does not have the background information that is necessary to effectively conduct proper security checks on Syrian nationals.”
Abbott quoted FBI Director James Comey, who last month told the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, “We can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.”
So, Abbott said, “Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas.… Read the rest

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When ‘bless your heart’ is fightin’ words

November 18, 2015
When ‘bless your heart’ is fightin’ words

Real Texans know certain things:
• How to pronounce Mexia, Burnet, Palestine, pecan, and caramel
• How to spell “ya’ll” no matter what SpellCheck and your English teacher says
• What “bless your heart” really means
Of course, bless your heart actually means “what an idiot!”
Did you hear that Jimbo cut his hand trying to fix his Weedeater while it was still running? “Oh, bless his heart!”
Hey, Jackie got locked out of the house in her nightie while fetching her mail. “Bless her heart!”
Poor ol’ Cletus burnt his eyebrows off when he tried to light his burn pile with gasoline.Read the rest

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Why don’t you stay just a little bit longer?

November 18, 2015
Why don’t you stay just a little bit longer?

There seems to be an award for everything if you look hard enough.
According to an online list of Strange and Funny Awards, these are real awards:
1. The Stinky Shoe Award at the National Odor Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest in Vermont
2. The Lantern Rogue award given to the cyclist who finishes last in the Tour de France
3. The Stella Award given each year for the most ridiculous lawsuit in the U.S. (named for Stella Liebeck who sued McDonald’s in 1992 after she spilled coffee on herself)
4. The Darwin Award given posthumously each year to the person who dies in the most idiotic way possible.… Read the rest

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