Category: Columns

Home Country – December 27, 2017

by Slim Randles “I can’t stand winter,” said Herb Collins, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter for a quick cup. “There’s nothing to do.” “Get out and enjoy it,” suggested Doc. “Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you’ll feel better.” “I don’t think your advice will take,” said Dud. “Herb seems to be intransigent on this one.” We all looked at Dud. “You see, he said he couldn’t stand winter,” Dud continued, “which shows he has a proclivity for intransigence on that particular subject.” We looked at him some more. “If he were to take up a winter hobby,” he continued, “he could stop being intransigent and enjoy things more.” Even Herb was staring at him now. “I usually,” said Herb, “enjoy a proclivity in that direction, but winter is pretty boring, so maybe I really should be intransigent on this point.” “Well Herb,” said Dud, “even though you might have a proclivity this season for being intransigent on your attitude about winter, you could kinda ease up and consider a hobby. That way you’d be showing a proclivity for transigence.” “Transigence?” said Doc. “I thought those were people who lived under bridges. You might want to look that one up, Dud.” Dud blushed as we laughed. “Say Dud?” said Steve, the cowboy. “Wasn’t proclivity last month’s word?” “Yes,” said...

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The Last Jedi – Movie Review

By Bob Garver 2015’s “The Force Awakens” breathed new life into the “Star Wars” saga. For years the franchise had slowly been undone by ill-received prequels, retouchings, and add-ons that made the once-great property look like a money-grubbing joke. “The Force Awakens” restored heart to the series, balance to the Force, if you will. Fans were excited about the new direction of the franchise and wondered where it would take them next. “Next” might not actually be the right word since last year we got the glorified space-filler “Rogue One,” but the direct follow-up to “The Force Awakens” has...

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Hope for Today: How Christmas Defeated Evil

Hope for Today by Clint Decker As I sat down to prepare for this column, I began thinking about Christmas and the end of the year. I pondered some of the recent news headlines like the Texas church mass shooting, a potential war with a nuclear weaponized North Korea and the ever-growing political divisions. I wondered, “With all this, how can we move into a joyous Christmas season?” Then as I began reading the Christmas story from the Bible, a light came on. When I dug beneath the surface, I saw how history has much in common with our day. The ruthless King Herod, who had been given the title King of the Jews by the Roman Senate, ruled over Israel during the time of Jesus’ birth. One day, a large entourage of esteemed, well educated, eastern wise men entered his city after a long journey. When they arrived they began asking, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). Unknown to them, Herod already held the title, King of the Jews, so all Israel became troubled by their questioning. Herod immediately became protective of his position, and determined to strike down his rival, employing a gruesome tactic. He knew baby Jesus could be no more than two years old,...

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Reflections From Red Oak Ranch – Dec. 20th

by Jan Fielden I was feeding the cows the other day as The Colonel had gone to Palestine.  I have fed the cows lots of times and seldom have any trouble…well; one should not gloat too quickly! I locked the cows in the North East Pasture to keep them out of my way and things were going great.  The Yearling Herd was fed first and I gave them an extra bale.  Usually they are fed last and not given an extra bale.  They were overjoyed!! Next, I decided to feed the Back Herd because the Middle Herd was locked up and also because the Middle Herd is spoiled rotten.   I had the bale on the forks and was tooling down the Sweet Gum Grove road, looked back and there was the bale lying in the road at an angle! Not only at an angle but also at a drop off point.  The road is raised with a deep hole on one side.  I could not stab the bale because of the hole and the bale being sideways.  I managed to pick the bale up, took it into the Open Pasture, and worked with it to get the strings off. When I had started out there was one cow standing at the gate into the Back Pasture.  By the time I got the strings off and loaded on the forks...

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Woods, Waters, & Wildlife – Ever Pheasants

A PANHANDLE PHEASANT RISES from thick cover after being flushed by dogs. (Photo by John Jefferson)   By John Jefferson If you’ve never seen a pheasant in Texas or didn’t even know they exist here, you’re probably in the majority. Most wild pheasants keep to themselves in 34 counties in the Panhandle and the Rolling Plains. But there are enough to be classified as a game bird, and there’s a hunting season for them. It’s going on right now and ends on December 31. It opened on December 2. The bag limit is three cock pheasants a day, and...

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