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You know, this is one of my favorite times of the year. That’s right, Valentime’s. I know, it’s spelled, and pronounced V-a-l-e-n-t-i-n-e, with an “N”, but it ought to be Valentime. After all, that’s the way a kid says it. I’ve always loved Valentime’s Day, especially when I was a kid in school. I remember Valentime’s in the first grade. I was Valentime King and my childhood sweetheart, Kathey Bell was Valentime Queen. We sat side by side on our thrones, with our paper crowns and presided over our subjects. It was magical. more
The U.S. personal savings rate fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, setting off a firestorm of speculation about the implications. For 2017, the annual savings rate was 3.4 percent, down from 4.9 percent in 2016 and worse than it’s been since 2007. Late last year, savings dipped to 2.4 percent (the December reading), which is the lowest monthly level since the fall of 2005. more
I stood before the small group of people, feeling very nervous. All eyes were on me, as I tried to hide behind the small podium. I swallowed hard, my throat was dry. Finally, I spoke. “Hi. My name is Janet.” “Hi Janet!” the group said in unison. more
International trade is good for the economy, and barriers to trade are bad for the economy -- it’s that simple. The recent decision to levy a sizable tariff on solar panels and certain washing machines is likely to cost more U.S. jobs than it creates, and it is neither needed nor desirable. more
Take a drive around Lindale and/or East Texas pretty much anytime and you are apt to see examples of a long-time scourge in the area -- wild hogs. They can be seen grazing on the side of the road or belly up on the shoulder. Most of my driving is done in the day and even though these bristle-backed porcine are nocturnal, they will still show their ugly snouts when the sun is shining. Just a few days ago, while driving along Interstate 20 not far from Lindale, I noticed another dead-as-a-hammer wild hog on the shoulder. more
I got home the other night and man, I was pooped. I plopped down in my easy chair, and low and behold, the blame phone started ringin’. My wife Janet is like a cop; she ain’t never around when you need her, so I had to get up and get the phone. “Yellow,” I said into the receiver, but no one said anything back. “Yellow!” I said louder. Then I heard that slight little click, and I knew I had a Phone Creature on the line. more
Technological advances and innovation change every industry, and energy is no exception. In 2008, the Energy Information Administration was estimating that crude oil production in 2020 would be 13.4 quadrillion British thermal units and would fall to 12.0 quads in 2030. In the most recent estimates (from EIA’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook), 2020 production is expected to be 20.7 quads, with 22 quads in 2030 under baseline assumptions. The EIA also looks at other scenarios including one involving more growth from technology, which indicates that production could be even higher. more
My granddaughter, Brynley Baetz, third grader at Van Elementary School, recently won several awards from her school the other day and one of these awards was a Magic Eight Ball. Brynley, we love you and are sure proud of you and all of your accomplishments and here’s a story about my Magic Eight Ball. more
The 2020 census is at risk due to inadequate funding, planning, and staffing, and the consequences could be quite significant. The practice of counting and collecting information about the populace dates back to ancient times and, in fact, the source of much of our knowledge about the past. more
I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t think people are as helpful as they used to be. I’m talkin’ about in stores and such. Oh, there are a few stores out there that will go out of their way to help you, but a lot of them just don’t seem to care. I really think it’s probably the help they hire. They just don’t get it. I mean, I’m the one payin’ their salary, I ought to be treated nice. more
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