"Reel Reviews: Bumblebee gives ‘Transformer’ series a family-friendly prequel" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Bumblebee” manages to pack enough 1980s nostalgia, “Transformers” history and a cute storyline into nearly two hours’ worth of runtime to make a fairly decent movie. 
   The movie debuted Dec. 21 and has generated over $157 million worldwide. 
   The film stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon, Len Cariou, with Dylan O’Brien, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, David Sobolov and Peter Cullen in voice roles.  
   It is the first live-action Transformers film not to be directed by Michael Bay, though he still acts as a producer. 
   At the beginning of the movie, we’re given a quick look at Cybertron and the Autobots versus Decepticons civil war. 
   Autobot leader Optimus Prime (Cullen) leads his team to evacuate the planet and specifically sends B-127 (O’Brien) to Earth to establish a base of operations where the Autobots can regroup. 


"Camofest: A great time, place to be in downtown Bay City" by: Shelly Story

   This past year has been a great one for Bay City Main Street Program and downtown Bay City. I came in to the position of Main Street manager at the beginning of July with some big shoes to fill left by past Main Street leaders.
   One of the first events after I took over was the Heritage Festival of the Americas. 
   There was a fantastic team of board members and volunteers already hard at work on planning this inaugural event. 
   In the end, more than 400 people attended the downtown festival and plans are in place to hold it again in 2019.
   We jumped from that festival into Trick or Treat Around the Square and a host of fun Christmas events. 
   Throughout all of this, a committee of volunteers have been meeting to make Main Street’s largest fundraiser, Camofest, happen. 
   For those who don’t know what Camofest is, it is a celebration of Bay City native and designer of camouflage Forrest Clemenger Bess.


"Missing that 2004 Christmas snow day" by: Jessica Shepard

   It’s been 14 years since anywhere from 6-10 inches of snow covered the county.
   Christmas Day 2004 had the best present ever – snow!
   I mean, we spent more time outside having a snowball fight, making snowmen and getting pretty frozen on our own more than un-wrapping gifts and playing with the items we got that year.
   After all, that was the most snow any of my siblings and I had ever seen.
   Granted, we were ill-equipped to play in the snow, but, we managed.
   Sure, we were soaked through and were in danger of losing feeling in our extremities, but, it was almost a once in a lifetime occurrence.
   To be fair, it also gave me enough experience to plan for snow at college in San Angelo, too.
   Never underestimate the warmth a good pair of weatherproof boots can provide!


Year-end: Put this year’s investment performance in perspective

   How can you assess your investments’ performance in 2018? 
   You need to put it in the proper perspective.
   First, establish relevant expectations of your investment returns, based on your goals. 
   So, for example, if you want to retire at age 62, you’ll need to know the rate of return you need to achieve this goal – and then compare that desired return with your actual results.
   Next, be realistic about what you can expect. 
   You can’t achieve the highest possible returns without risk, so you’ll need to follow a risk/reward framework that makes sense for your needs.
   Finally, review your portfolio’s performance to determine if your investments are still aligned with your goals and risk tolerance. 
   You may need to re-evaluate these goals, and the rate of return you need to achieve them, in response to changes in your life.


"Advice for young mothers: Rest when you can, don’t sweat small stuff" by: Betsy Monico

   Words are big to me. Pictures are too. My phone currently has 19,761 pictures stored. 
   They live somewhere in the cloud. The number 19,761 disturbs me. 
   What to do with photos, how to save them, and ever get my hands on them in hard-copy, real picture format is even more alarming. 
   I miss the days of picking up pictures at the drug store in town. 
   Words do flash across my head like ads on YouTube, and the word of the week is “season.”
It feels cold tonight. Tis the season for frostier weather, Christmas trees, shopping lists, and holiday parties. 
   The girls laughed at my fire tonight, but are enjoying the warmth of it. 
   We needed to knock off the chill! Monicos do not believe in heat. I enjoy saving money on the electric bill, so I freeze here when the temperature drops.  
   The season will soon approach us though that I demand heat before I get out of bed. There is only so much a girl can take! 


"When we look upon Jesus, we see perfection, holiness, love" by: Caleb Gibson

   Did you know that you are made in the image of God? 
   When God first created Adam, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Genesis 1:26). 
   You were created to mirror the likeness of Christ. He has set His imprint on the human soul. 
   We are created in the imago dei. 
   This phrase, imago dei, is Latin for the, “image of God.” 
   To say that we are the imago dei is to know that we are made in God’s image.
   The Bible says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). 
   This analogy of the mirror speaks that God wants us to look to Jesus. 
   Just as we wake up and look in the mirror before we leave the house, God wants us to look to Jesus. 


"Reel Reviews: Prepare to be entertained by ‘Aquaman’ adventure" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Aquaman” leads box offices during its opening weekend with over $483 million worldwide.
   It is the third live-action theatrical film featuring Aquaman, following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and the first full-length feature film centered on the character.
   And I have to say that it is an amazing experience on the silver screen.
      Personally, I think it rivals “Avatar” in the graphics department and though the plot seems a little muddled at the beginning, things fall into place as the film progresses.
   Plus, I really enjoy the bantering between Aquaman and Mera, played by Jason Momoa and Amber Heard respectively.
   The all-star cast features Jason Momoa as the title character, with Heard, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Patrick Wilson, Michael Beach, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles.


"Sumrall in California with Texas team of veterinarians, extension agents" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources

January/February 2019
   Howdy All! I hope this finds all of you well and enjoying this Christmas season and taking some time to hit the reset button and spend much needed time with friends and family. 
   This time of year, it is easy to get caught up in the chaos and miss the whole Purpose! 
   Since coming to Matagorda County last May I have had the great privilege to meet many of you and acclimate to a new setting myself. 
   The dynamics of Extension work in a place as diverse as Matagorda County does not allow much down time. 
   Last weekend did present an opportunity to have a couple days to shift focus. 
   Gabe and I had the opportunity and privilege to help the local chapter of Serve Outdoors with a hunt that was coordinated to provide an opportunity to some folks that have been hit with adversity in their lives. 


"Needing time to catch my breath during busy Christmas holiday" by: Jessica Shepard

   It always feels a little weird writing a Christmas column when the holiday doesn’t exactly fall on our publishing date.
   Regardless, I’m a little bit of a stickler for keeping with tradition, in this sense at least.
   We’ve had a strangely busy holiday season this year and it feels like I might be able to catch my breath during Christmas.
   Well, I hope so any way.
   I’m honestly just glad that my siblings were able to coordinate coming home and spending family time together.
   Sure it might not be everyone on the same day exactly, but we’re mostly guaranteed to be together on Christmas Day.
   Barring traffic and weather, that is. 
   Regardless, there’s always a bittersweet tinge to our get-togethers.
   Even though it’s been a few years, I’m always remembering holidays spent when my grandmother was alive.
   As the eldest grandchild, I got to spend the most time with her and have the most memories.


"Ignore Chicken Little and enjoy the holidays" by: John Sample

   Another week and another loss. The setbacks are approaching a level for December that we haven’t seen since 1931. 
   I am not trying to insinuate that the equities market is headed for a train wreck. 
   I am not saying that the economy is headed toward a recession next year. 
   It is apparent though that we are experiencing more than just a correction. 
   We are below where we started the year and down well over 10 percent from the record highs of October. 
   The point is what you should do. 
   I have given up on the end of December having the Jolly Elf rally. 
   That fat boy is tossing lumps of coal in your 2018 equity stocking.
   The downturn is not limited to equities as West Texas Intermediate has moved below $50. 
   I don’t think anyone is finding any comfort in crypto currencies. 
   Gold will have to mount a turnaround to make it appear like it is an effective alternative. 


Subscribe to RSS - Columns/Opinions