Columns/Opinions

Thu
12
Sep

"Texas needs more plants like STP to generate base load" by: Mike Reddell

  The prolonged heat days this summer have strained the reserve capacity of ERCOT to the point of warnings to all Texans to cut usage whenever possible, such as raising the thermostat.
   JEC General Manager Jim Coleman told a group of business and government leaders Friday morning that ERCOT – Texas electricity grid – was expected to be at peak usage levels on that day.
   ERCOT has been at the point twice so far this summer where there’s nearly not enough capacity on the grid. Once we reach capacity, then ERCOT is forced to consider rolling outages throughout the state to force reduce usage.
   One contributing factor is wind and solar generation being intermittent, might be down at the point when their contributions are needed in high energy demand situations.
   “The wind might not be blowing,” Coleman said.
   Coleman brought up a troubling reality in energy generation in Texas – and for America.

Thu
12
Sep

"Many superstitions align with this Friday the 13th" by: Jessica Shepard

   Originally, I had some nicely thought out and cohesive subject for this week’s column, but, thanks to some tech issues and switching between desktop computers – I’ve cobbled something else together.
   It’s not as awesome as I feel my first iteration went, but, it’s something still.
   Did you know that this week we’ve got a Friday the 13th and a full moon on the same day?
   According to the Farmers Almanac, the last time the U.S. saw a full moon on Friday the 13th was Oct. 13, 2000, and it won’t happen again until Aug. 13, 2049.
   NASA says that the best time to view the full moon is at 11:33 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
   A lot of my friends are talking about staying in for the weekend due to some irrational fear of Friday the 13th.
   Even with only a little bit of Google searching and clicking around the internet, it’s weakly being described as a “bad luck” day.

Thu
12
Sep

"AT&T activist turns people’s heads" by: John Sample

      Again, the results of this observation are based on my extreme lack of patience and my recurring conspiracy theory that signal lights are timed more to aggravate drivers than to aid efficient traffic flow.
   So much for chicken little and the sky is falling. 
   The Dow is now just 2% below the record high levels hit in July. 
   Of more importance, the S&P 500 stock-index is doing even better. 
   This is all happening in a historically poor time of the year for equities. Go figure.
Beyond the fact that it is incredibly difficult to forecast where the stock market is headed in the short term, we now have to deal with Presidential tweets. 
   Last week the tweets bolstered the market. 
   Instead of escalating the tension, scheduled trade talks engendered optimism. 
   Moreover, the economic news appears to be better than many expected.

Thu
12
Sep

What can a financial advisor do for you?

   It will take considerable effort to achieve all of your financial goals – so you may want to get some professional help.
   But what can a financial advisor do for you?
   For one thing, a financial advisor can help you determine how much you need to invest, and in which investment vehicles, to plan for a comfortable retirement.
   And if you have children or grandchildren, an advisor can suggest appropriate college savings vehicles and strategies.
   Furthermore, a financial advisor can help you adjust your investment strategy in response to changes in your life or in the financial markets.
   You can also go to a financial advisor for help in determining what insurance products you might need to protect your family if something were to happen to you.
   To find the financial advisor who’s right for you, ask your friends and relatives for a referral.
   And don’t hesitate to interview several different ones. 

Thu
12
Sep

"We must ‘flip the switch’ to knowing God can transform our minds" by: Betsy Monico

   Today I spent some time laying out in the sun. It is one of my favorite pastimes, carries over from my childhood at the Country Club and our pool on Hall Street. 
   Last week while lying there, I pretended like I was in the South of France. I recalled my time in Nice. I could almost feel the water. 
   Today my mind took me back to the Caribbean. I was laying out by a private pool that also had a massive television so I could watch the Cowboys game. 
   Truth be told, I was on a garage sale lounge chair and in my backyard, which is really a pasture in the middle of Texas. 
   We do not have a pool. Our lake has blessed us for many years, thank God. 
   Maybe this is mind over matter. I am not sure, but it makes me smile and enjoy my time outdoors relaxing. 
   Working full-time is wonderful. I love my school and my kiddos, but one day of the weekend must be a nothing day. 
   I need rest and down-time. Honestly, we all do. 

Thu
12
Sep

"Take time to ask, ‘What is the task God is calling me to do?’" by: Caleb Gibson

   Ravi Zacharias once said, “The biggest mistake we often make in life, in the task that God has called us, is to assume that we really can’t do very much.” 
   During the time of Nehemiah, the walls that surrounded Jerusalem were, “broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” (Neh. 1:3). 
   Not only were the walls down but they had been demolished for a long time.
   According to Dr. Israel Loken’s commentary on the book, “The walls of Jerusalem have lain in ruins for almost a century and a half (586-444 B.C.).” (Loken p.23)#.
   Here no one seemed to be that bothered by these walls.
   A whole generation had passed and not desired to fix the walls.
   When he realized they had been torn down he was in shock.
   When he heard these word he said, “I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Neh. 1:4). 
   Nehemiah took his pain and went to the Lord.

Thu
12
Sep

"Reel Reviews: ‘It: Chapter Two’ gives best ending to series" by: Jessica Shepard

   “It: Chapter Two” is leading box offices in theaters worldwide after its debut weekend with over $190 million.
   The film is rated R for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material.
   It Chapter Two is a supernatural horror film and the sequel to the 2017 film It, both based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King.
   The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman. Set in 2016, 27 years after the first film, it stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean as the adult versions of the Losers’ Club.
   Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff reprise their roles as the younger Losers, while Bill Skarsgård also returns as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

Thu
05
Sep

"Observations of one of Texas’ longest football dynasties" by: Mike Reddell

   As I have written about last Friday’s Blackcat loss to Cuero, I wanted to note how one of Texas high school football dynasties has flourished over the years.
   By dynasty, I mean several years – if not decades – of winning and playoff seasons.
   Cuero is such a place. It was a powerhouse when I was in high school a half-century ago – and way before then – and remains a team to beat today.
   The Gobblers are unique among Texas dynasties because they’re still in the mix.
   Lots of power teams, like Brownwood, Judson, Plano, Abilene and Odessa Permian, haven’t been considered as dynasties in years.
   I was working at the Odessa American in 1996 at the end of its long dynastic period.
   My boss invited me to a Saturday afternoon playoff game against Lubbock Estacado. 
   The stadium was the size of a small college facility and everyone – and I mean everyone – was garbed in Mojo black.

Thu
05
Sep

"Road trip with mom leads to great memories made" by: Jessica Shepard

   My mom and I took a road trip over the long weekend to see my brother in Dallas for the first time ever.
   Now, I haven’t been that far north in over a decade.
   It’s not from lack of desire to do so, but having so many scheduling conflicts crop up in the way.
   But, we managed and after a few pit stops, we made the trip mostly without incident.
   Given that it was a holiday weekend, we were expecting some traffic issues.
   And some of mine were different from my mom’s – including the number of drivers paying more attention to their phones than the road and the sheer number of law enforcement officers (14) patrolling.
   While the majority of the problems were in major cities and on small two-lane state highways, it still gave me secondhand road rage as a passenger.

Thu
05
Sep

"Adaptable investors stand to make real money in equities market" by: John Sample

.  I hope you had a fun Labor Day weekend. 
   With this holiday-shortened trading week, we at least skipped a Monday without some volatility in the markets. 
   It could be short lived as the new tariffs were to go into place on Sept. 1. 
   Don’t overlook the fact that September follows August as a poor month for positive performance in the equities markets historically. 
   Thank goodness we have the distraction of football season.
   I have explained my optimism about the near term in the equities markets, but I feel necessity to point out details that will increasingly build the wall of worry. 
   We are over 10 years in this economic recovery. The yield curve has inverted. 
   At the current levels of the averages and indexes, the multiple is at 16. We have trade tensions and all the political news one can stomach. 

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