Columns/Opinions

Thu
10
Dec

"Reel Reviews: ‘Half Brothers’ is a rollercoaster ride of hilarious, dramatic moments" by: Jessica Shepard

   It seems like most of the movies lately are re-hashing old stereotypes and storylines while trying to breathe new life into them.
   But, they only make little changes and hope for the best turnout.
   I’ve got to say that “Half Brothers” seems like one of those sorts of movies since it reminds me of several others from years past.
   In fact, it mirrors many comedic road trip films like “Dumb and Dumber” (1994), “Due Date” (2010), and “The Hangover” (2009.)
   Well, at least I think it borrows from those other films quite a bit and just puts the twist of the main characters being polar-opposite half-brothers versus a group of friends or just two friends.
   Half Brothers is a comedy film directed by Luke Greenfield from a screenplay by Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman.
   The movie runs for one hour and 36 minutes and is rated PG-13 for some violence and strong language.

Thu
10
Dec

"Drive sober: Buzzed driving is drunk driving "By Gabrielle Washington, M.S. Matagorda County Extension Agent Family and Community Health

   This holiday season, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC Program is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. 
   Before traveling to holiday festivities or seasonal vacations, make sure to plan for a sober, designated driver before enjoying an alcoholic beverage.
   This holiday season, and every day, remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
   “We want our community to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. With more drivers on the roads during this busy time of year, it’s more important than ever for us to stress the importance of safe driving habits,” said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Family and Community Health Agent Gabrielle Washington, Matagorda County.
   “We know everyone is rushing around, finishing those last-minute errands and attending various holiday parties.

Thu
03
Dec

"Guardian angels certainly come through for Thanksgiving" by: Mike Reddell

   Thanksgiving always comes in different shapes and sizes.
   And being thankful is more noticeable during this late November holiday.
   Take the driver of a late-model pickup who was driving to Bay City the day before Thanksgiving to get something for a cough.
   According to a Matagorda County deputy sheriff, the man was so much in the grip of a coughing fit that he took his eyes off the road.
   Unfortunately, he did this about the time the road curved. 
   He missed the curve and went barreling off the road, through a fence and continued until he and his truck were halted by the sprawling, waiting arms of a barren tree.
   One of the branches went through the windshield and barely missed the driver.
   That, of course, is where the giving of thanks comes in.
   His guardian angel – and, yes, I believe in guardian angels – certainly was in his corner. 

Thu
03
Dec

"Sleigh bells weren’t ringing; ornaments were breaking" by: Jessica Shepard

   Among the sounds of Christmas, people usually consider a lilting, sort of tinkling tune means holiday bells.
   Sadly, over the weekend that was not the case at the Reddell household.
   Let me lay it all out for you guys.
   In keeping with the usual post-Thanksgiving family tradition, we got a handful of Christmas ornament and decoration boxes out of the attic.
   Despite mom wanting to do two trees with year, I reminded her that we didn’t have room for the second tree this year and with her mounting the TV over the fireplace, we lost the room for mantel decorations, too.
   These facts made for significantly less boxes than the norm and I’m really glad for it.
   Outside of that, we ended up going with my sister’s pick – the “Winter Wonderland” tree.
   Now, I firmly believe that she should have lost the right to dictate that theme because she didn’t show up to help decorate, but, I was overruled by mom.

Thu
03
Dec

"We may have setbacks along the way, but we have not reached the ceiling yet" by: John Sample

   I made it through the Thanksgiving and holiday and it is my hope that your holiday was a joyous and healthy one with family and friends. 
   My poor labrador had to endure a trip to New Mexico and back to close up my cabin for the winter, only to continue on to the Metroplex to have Thanksgiving with my daughter and her family. 
   To make matters worse for him, and old dog, he had to put up with two hyper-active younger dogs that tore up his sleeping pad. 
   There were times he looked at me like I was seriously trying to shorten his life. 
   I believe if he was younger he would have hit the bricks. 
   We made it back home without any major disasters - I won’t bore you with the details of the minor ones - and caught up on much needed sleep. 
   As we move into the last month of the year, many interesting things face investors. 
   We have multiple vaccines coming available that you can obtain free of charge. 

Thu
03
Dec

"Look beyond your circumstances, know Jesus always is working" by: Betsy Monico

   Every time my oldest comes home she initiates a renovation project for us. 
   I am patiently waiting for her next organization kick or when she decides to tackle my closet. 
   I am not complaining about her energy or criticizing what she has conquered thus far. 
   The boy’s side of our hallway looks better. This weekend evidently was “revamp” little sister’s room. 
   They have painted furniture, cleaned, and now are on the last leg of putting it all back together. Several observations…
   Number one, paint is a miracle worker. With relatively little money, you can change the appearance of anything with a paint brush and a few hours. 
   Their rooms have all been transformed multiple times over the last few years. 
   The funny thing though is that even if you alter the walls and switch out who sleeps where and the contents of the closet - the real core, structure of the room still remains the same. 

Thu
03
Dec

"Don’t harden your heart like the Pharaoh, open it to voice of the Lord" by: Caleb Gibson

   Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? This is important because we can understand God’s heart for humanity. 
   This topic comes up when discussing Calvinism. 
   As we study this, we can see God’s desire for all of us to have a heart that breathes and moves rather than one hardened to the voice of the Lord.
   Pharaoh was the King of Egypt and Moses wanted him to free the enslaved Israelites. Yet getting Pharaoh to change his mind was not easy. 
   During this story, Pharaoh did not want this free labor to be gone from his kingdom and he hardened his heart towards God. 
   This brings up questions. Did God harden Pharaoh’s heart or did Pharaoh harden his own heart? Is this a contradiction in the Bible? 
   This is not a contradiction; it is a combination of both. If Pharaoh was totally depraved why would God need to harden his heart? 

Thu
03
Dec

"Reel Reviews: Croods family takes the next evolutionary step in new movie" by: Jessica Shepard

   “The Croods: A New Age,” also known as The Croods 2, is a computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures.
   A sequel to The Croods (2013), the film is directed by Joel Crawford (in his feature directorial debut), with a screenplay by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan from a story by the original directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco.
   Now, this movie kind of came out of nowhere for me since I wasn’t expecting it and just got swamped with trailers a few weeks ago.
   I’ve been a fan of the original since I first laid eyes on it and am glad to see my favorite animated Neanderthal family still toughing it out in the pursuit of a new home.
   The movie is rated PG for peril, action and rude humor and is 95 minutes long.

Thu
26
Nov

"Looking forward to a winter meteorologists aren’t predicting" by: Mike Reddell

   Meteorologists are calling for a warmer and drier winter than normal.
   I don’t know about you folks, but I always look forward to the winter here – all three weeks of it.
   Mainly, I like the break from the heat of summer – all 11 months of it. 
   OK, I’m getting carried away here.
   But I read the national forecast several days ago and came away slightly depressed. 
   Until then I was excited at the prospect of early mornings with the temperature plummeting to the low 50s or high 40s. 
   That always gets a laugh from friends who live in the Hill Country.
   Adding to my perfect winter morning here, would be clear skies. 
   Wind and rain definitely detract from my Bay City winter weather fantasy.
   I’ve lived in other parts of Texas where there actually is a cold winter with reliable rounds of snow. 
   Water is a good thing and that’s often missing in some of those areas.

Thu
26
Nov

"Joys of secondhand shopping in wake of Black Friday/Cyber Monday" by: Jessica Shepard

   By now, everyone knows that I have a weakness for music and have no shame about what or who I listen to.
   Back during my high and junior high school years, I used to catch all the awards shows on TV and made it a point to not miss any of the live acts in between.
   The fascination even carried over to the annual Super Bowl though I have no love for football.
   In fact, the whole “ball sports” gene pretty much missed me after I quit playing soccer.
   But, you’d think that such a love for music would mean I have a hobby or career in it – I don’t!
   I do however, have a growing tack of cheap CDs that I’ve offloaded into my iTunes player for my iPod.
   And as much as my mom hates it, I’m always scouring the stacks for more when we go “treasure hunting” and “junking” – which is just what we call thrift store shopping.

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