Columns/Opinions

Thu
14
Feb

"Reel Reviews: ‘Cold Pursuit’ is a half-frozen version of ‘Taken’ " by: Jessica Shepard

   How do we go from two weeks of movie flops to a sudden storm of interesting flicks? 
   “Cold Pursuit” ranked third during its opening weekend with only $11.8 million in revenue domestically. 
   The film is rated R for strong violence, drug material, and some language including sexual references. 
   Cold Pursuit is a 2019 American black comedy action thriller film directed by Hans Petter Moland in his Hollywood debut from a screenplay by Frank Baldwin.  
   The film stars Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, William Forsythe, Tom Jackson and Tom Bateman.  
   It is a remake of the 2014 Norwegian vigilante film In Order of Disappearance, also directed by Moland, and follows a snowplow driver who sets out for revenge on a local drug lord following the murder of his son. 

Thu
14
Feb

"Sumrall: Most of us screaming ‘Uncle!’ on rain" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources

   Howdy all! I hope this finds all of you well and staying dry. There is no point in trying to make some crafty comment about all the water and rain. 
   Water is a gift in many instances but right now most of us are screaming UNCLE! 
   Crops are nearing the time to plant, and we still have cotton stalks standing from last year! Take a little time to read through the items included in this newsletter and if you plan to attend, please call and RSVP.
   Some of the items that will be included in this newsletter will include information pertaining to state-mandated Auxin training. Trainings and training requirements have changed since the 2018 season so don’t let the new changes trip you up. 
   The training is now 2 hours and required for dicamba and Enlist. Matagorda and Wharton have established a training schedule for the spring in which 4 trainings will be held in Matagorda County with 5 trainings occurring in Wharton County. 

Thu
07
Feb

"The challenge of being a Night Owl in a daytime world" by: Jessica Shepard

   I struggle a lot with getting enough sleep to function and find that my sleep pattern is pathetically inconsistent. 
   Mostly it centers on my lack of motivation to get out of bed and participate in life during daylight hours.  
      I’ve always been much better as a night owl left to my own devices. 
   Or, at least, been more mentally stimulated and physically awake once the sun sets versus enduring light-sensitive migraines from the sun. 
   Plus everything just seems quieter at night and since it’s the time most of the population rests, it’s just perfect. 
   Not to mention that night time weather is usually better than day time because the sun is gone. 
   I prefer moderate temperatures with partly cloudy skies and a decent breeze over scathing heat and humidity. 
   And I care for bone-chilling cold even less. 
   Lately, we’ve had a lot of rain and it’s been hard to keep my eyes open more so than usual when working. 

Thu
07
Feb

"Boring can be rewarding over time; can you invest in patience?" by: John Sample

   Well we made it through January with gains. Does that remind you of last year? 
   We are starting to see investors buying in rising markets rather than selling, as was the case in the last quarter of 2018.  
   That does not mean that the various equities indexes will climb back to record high levels anytime soon, but that all the Chicken Little investors are not in control.  
   We are seeing stocks like Apple and Facebook recovering ground from their pounding a couple of months ago. 
   I attribute this optimism with the reasoning that the Federal Reserve is satisfied to sit on its hands.  
   I believe that they have concluded the low jobless rate does not mean that inflation is coming, or that the current rates are not that low and may be more normal if one takes a long-term view.  
   We even had Chairman Powell eating dinner with the President and no food fight broke out. 

Thu
07
Feb

Financial gifts for Valentines ...of all ages

   Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  
   This year, consider going beyond the flowers and chocolates – and think about providing financial-related gifts to your loved ones of all generations. 
   For your spouse or partner, you can give the gift of greater financial security.  
   And one way to do this is to maintain adequate disability and life insurance. 
   For your children or grandchildren, you can offer the gift of education – so you may want to consider a Section 529 college savings plan, which offers tax advantages and high contribution limits. 
   And for your parents, who may be well into their retirement years, your greatest gift might be to help them ensure that their legacy is in order.  
   So, if your parents need help, you may want to introduce them to the legal, tax and financial professionals who can help them create the appropriate estate plans. 

Thu
07
Feb

"Life would be great if we ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’" by: Betsy Monico

   Tomorrow we re-enter the world after our “flucation.” 
   Our district made a wise call and cancelled school last Thursday and Friday. The extra-long weekend lasted forever! 
   Even though the Super Bowl is blaring, I will soon turn into crazy momma and make everyone find their necessities. 
   Thankfully, the flu only marked its territory on one member of our family; however, I witnessed kids and staff drop like flies. 
   My youngest, Blaise, called me last Monday after lunch. I picked her up, and she has yet to return to school. 
   Years ago, my girls both suffered from the flu at the same time. They moaned, groaned, and claimed that their feet hurt. 
   Last week’s episode proved to be much less severe! Sister felt bad, but was not totally down for the count. 
   I managed to work and check on her throughout the day. By day four though, she was very melancholy! I tried to make her laugh and failed. 

Thu
07
Feb

"Let Jesus lead your life because He is the true alpha!" by: Caleb Gibson

   With this New Super bowl win, Brady solidifies his name as the alpha of all of those that have played in the NFL. 
   While Tom Brady is an alpha of the NFL, Jesus is the original alpha. 
   Revelation 21:4-6 tells us, “…Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ 
   “And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ “And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.’” 
   God offers salvation to anyone who thirsts for it.  
   The book of Revelation is a book full of symbols. 
   It is also controversial so there are many interpretations on this book.  

Thu
07
Feb

"Reel Reviews: ‘Miss Bala:’ Confusing start leads to cartel-DEA violence" by: Jessica Shepard

   I went in to see “Miss Bala” blind.
   As in, I hadn’t seen the trailer or did much more than reading a vague synopsis off the movie theater’s website.
   Cue instant confusion when the opening credits claimed that it was based off another movie with a similar name. 
   Still, I sat through the action-packed cartel flick and enjoyed it more than I expected.
   The film stars Gina Rodriguez, Cristina Rodlo, Ismael Cruz Córdova, and Anthony Mackie, and follows a woman who trains to take down a Mexican drug cartel after they kidnap her friend.
   Gloria Fuentes (Rodriguez), is a Latin-American makeup artist from Los Angeles that visits her best friend Suzu (Rodlo) in Tijuana, Mexico. 
   When the pair go to a night club, they spot the Chief of Police, who Suzu wants to impress to help her chances in a beauty competition she has entered. 
   When Gloria goes to the bathroom, armed gunmen break into the bathroom through the vents. 

Thu
31
Jan

"Nothing super about millionaire players" by: Jessica Shepard

   I know that football is practically a religion in Texas, but, I’m not a fan.
   So, as we get closer to the annual “Super Bowl” event, I’m not looking forward to how much bashing happens between fans of each team.
   In fact, I usually avoid all social media platforms that day.
   People are often shocked that I’m not into football or have an opinion one way or another about most sports.
   It’s not that I don’t understand them, it’s just that I don’t care.
   I think that most of the players get paid too much and don’t do enough positive things with their money.
   Plus, I also think its lame that the cheerleaders’ compensation is pitiful for the amount of work they do.
   National Football League (NFL) cheerleaders earn somewhere between $75 to $150 per game and might make as much as $50 an hour for special corporate appearances.

Thu
31
Jan

"Are you willing to buck the bad news?" by: John Sample

   Last week’s holiday-shortened, four-day trading week pushed the equities markets further north. There was potential for January to be the best trading month in the last 12 months until Monday’s earnings report sent the Dow down 200 points. 
   Caterpillar and Nvidia earnings reports showing concerns over future earnings in 2019 sent the Dow down early over 500 points. Cooler heads prevailed toward the end of the trading day. 
   This is just the beginning of earnings reports, as 13 of the 30 Dow stocks will report this week. For all those assuming that tariffs would be terrible for the U.S. economy and companies’ earnings in general have had to think twice. 
   Nucor, for example, is succeeding now that the playing field for steel has been leveled. 
   It appears that the Chinese will come to the table on not only tariffs, but also intellectual theft. 

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