Monthly Archives: January 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015 = Snarky Friday

Friday, January 30, 2015 = Snarky Friday

What has the Legislature done for the citizens of Texas this week?

To the Honorable, yet Confused Representative Molly White,

Dear Representative White,

Here is what you posted on Facebook yesterday:

“Today is Texas Muslim Capital [sic] Day in Austin. The House is in recess until Monday. Most Members including myself are back in District. I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office.”

I see that you are newly elected to the Texas House of Representatives.  Therefore, I am compelled to offer a few suggestions:

  1. Capitol or Capital? Please use the correct spelling. The building, the one where you work, is spelled with an “O.” The city where it is located is spelled with an “A.” A handy mnemonic is “the building has a dome, so it is spelled with an “O.” The state capital is a place, so it is spelled with an “A.”
  2. You left an Israeli flag on your reception desk? You are from Belton, Texas. Are there any Jewish people who actually live there? I am somewhat confused here. Are you representing the district in Texas or some place is Israel?
  3. You want the Muslims to say the pledge of allegiance to the United States. You do realize you are a representative in the Texas legislature and not in Washington, D.C., don’t you?
  4. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for people visiting to say the Texas pledge of allegiance? I mean you, as in the Legislature, mandated that every school child in Texas say the Texas pledge, so why not capitol visitors?
  5. While you are at it, why don’t you have them sing the state song too? You do know it is Texas Our Texas and not The Eyes of Texas?
  6. Have the Muslims sing The Star Spangled Banner too. Perhaps if they sing America, the Beautiful and My Country tis of Thee you can enjoy an entire choir.
  7. Perhaps reciting the Preamble to the United States Constitution can fit into your interrogations.
  8. A nice paper to accessorize the Israeli flag might the Ten Commandments. I mean after all, the Protestants got them from Jewish people.
  9. Another nice accessory on your reception desk might be the Bill of Rights. Maybe you could highlight the first amendment. That is the one that starts with Freedom of Religion, and continues with Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Speech. There is also that “right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
  10. The event, Texas Muslim Capitol Day, was organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. You are aware this was to promote positive relations between the United States, of which Texas is a member, and Islam? And last, but not least, not all Muslims are terrorists.

Just a few suggestions for you to think about, Ms. White.  You are not related to Ron White, the comedian, are you? You know he says “You can’t fix stupid.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015 – Kyler Murray – Come to Texas A&M

Thursday, January 29, 2015 – Kyler Murray – Come to Texas A&M

Kyler Murray may be one of the best athletes in the state of Texas or maybe in all of college football.

The Dallas Morning News listed five reasons why Kyler Murray should choose Texas A&M over that other school in Austin. You can read the entire article from Brandon Wheeland, but if you just want my cliff note version, here are my reasons why Kyler Murray should attend Texas A&M.

  • Less traffic in Bryan/College Station
  • The Texas Legislature is not here
  • Maroon is a better color than burnt orange
  • The Aggies will have a new Reveille
  • The SEC Network is better than The Longhorn Network
  • The SEC is stronger than the Big 12 Conference and the Big 12 really only has 10 schools
  • Do not have to go to Lubbock and play Texas Tech and have tortillas thrown at you
  • No conference championship game in the Big 12
  • There is room in the trophy case for another Heisman trophy
  • There are thousands of Former Students who long for a National Championship in football.

Here are five reasons that Murray should choose A&M over Texas.

Legacy – Kyler’s father, Kevin, played QB for Texas A&M from 1983-1986, re-writing the record books along the way. In 1986, he rallied the Aggies to a 31-30 victory after falling behind Baylor 17-0 in the contest Texas Football Magazine later voted the best game of the decade.

To follow in his father’s footsteps and play at A&M would be another milestone in the promising career of Murray. After committing in May of 2014, holding true to his verbal despite all of the outside noise would look great for him.

Murray will succeed at whatever university lands his services, but only A&M can offer the opportunity to launch touchdown passes into the end zone for the same school as his father once did years ago.

Baseball – Haven’t you heard? He plays baseball too.

Murray will be a two-sport athlete whether he chooses Texas or Texas A&M, that much has been decided. He became the first athlete to ever be named an Under Armour All-American in both baseball and football.

Both schools have great programs, so it really is a push in this category. Head coach Rob Childress is in his 10th season with Texas A&M with NCAA regional games a regular occurrence.

That being said, baseball is more of a threat than a bonus when it comes to the services of Murray. The outfielder has a strong shot at going in the first round which could spell disaster for both universities come June if he chooses to turn pro in baseball.

If college ultimately wins out, a combination of newly-renovated Kyle Field and Blue Bell Park at Olsen Field playing host to your athletic abilities is hard to turn down.

Interest in the person more than the player – Lots of promises are thrown out towards the end of January in college football. The most notable rumor during the Murray recruitment as of late is that head coach Charlie Strong has promised him the starting spot at quarterback if he ultimately chooses Texas.

If Sumlin has made this same promise to Murray, it hasn’t leaked yet. He has however been all in on Murray since the start, and isn’t attempting to use all of Murray’s buddies as an incentive to swing the QB to the degree Texas has done.

Murray has the talent to start in college. That much goes without saying. At Texas, it appears it will be handed to him. As for A&M, he will have to earn that opportunity with his play, not his name.

In short, A&M offers Murray the ability to truly develop his game. The Aggies have a pretty strong success record with freshman QB’s over the past few years and there is no reason to believe that won’t continue. The important thing to remember is that should be a decision made by the head coach when a player is ready, not used as an incentive to possibly lure a young QB into a situation that may not be the best for him long term.

SEC. SEC. SEC. SEC. – Call it biased if you wish, but there’s a reason ESPN can’t stop talking about the Southeastern conference.

If the goal for Murray is the NFL, Texas A&M is the school to choose. The exposure of the SEC combined with playing in a newly-renovated $485 million stadium on national television week after week can boost your exposure rather quickly.

Not to mention, the conference championship game provided by the SEC is another luxury the Big 12 can’t provide. As seen recently, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee looks highly upon championship games.

If Murray wants to feed his habit of postseason play, the SEC is the conference to choose.

Johnny Who? – It’s an interesting concept to think about. How many players arrive to college with so much hype they draw comparisons to the greats before they even step foot on a field?

Murray is often referred to as “Manziel 2.0″ on various message boards, but with a higher ceiling.

With new defensive coordinator John Chavis joining Texas A&M, the days of needing to score 40 points to win a game will likely be a thing of the past. During his time at A&M, it’s completely realistic to see this team make multiple playoff runs with Murray at the helm. If that ends up being the case, the Heisman Trophy may be heading back to College Station sooner than expected.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 – Gone to Play Golf

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 – Gone to Play Golf

Due to the temperature in the BV area today predicted to be in the upper 70’s, I am going to play golf and think of the people freezing their butts off in the northeast instead of writing something profound today.  I will be wearing a short sleeved golf shirt and shorts. My good, red Republican, cloth ones.

Today also marked the 250th blog post to Here’s What I’m Thinking.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 – HWIT Headline News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Here are the today’s important headlines from Here’s What I’m Thinking News

  • There is a shortage of brisket in Texas.
  • Bob Dylan is on the cover the AARP Magazine.
  • The New England Patriot’s balls are still in the news.
  • The New England Patriots found somebody to blame for the de-flate gate.
  • New York and Boston and rest of the northeast experience blizzard conditions.
  • The weather in the BV should be beautiful and sunny with highs in lower 70’s.
  • Bikers advocating the open carry of guns were one of yesterday’s protests de jour at the Texas Capitol.
  • Abortion rights or no rights depending on your views were also one of yesterday’s protest de jour in Austin.
  • College signing day is just days away creating tense anxiety on the part of college football coaches.
  • Sarah Palin is talking again.

Monday, January 26, 2015 – Five Stars to Amazon and Margaret

Monday, January 26, 2015 – Five Stars to Amazon and Margaret

We all know Amazon changed our lives. I always imagined Orwellian warehouses filled millions of items where programmed robots fetch the ordered item. But there are actually people in charge and people who care about their reputation and your customer satisfaction. Here’s the backstory.

Last Christmas I ordered two paperback copies of the book The 100 Year Decision – Texas A&M and the SEC by R. Bowen Loftin with Rusty Burson.  The odds of the books arriving in time for Christmas were against me before I even placed the order.  I knew Dr. Loftin had self-published the book so the distributor would likely not have a large inventory. Also, the deadline for “arrive by Christmas” was rapidly approaching. Nevertheless, I placed my order and was thrilled to see the seller mailed the package on December 19.  Christmas came and went.  Then New Year’s came and went.  Finally, the books arrived.

I know you have all ordered something from Amazon.  Often you receive an email requesting feedback. You probably never respond, but perhaps you should because people actually read and respond to your feedback.  I pay attention to other peoples’ feedback when I am shopping on Amazon. I have answered those feedback requests from Amazon for over two years.  When the request for feedback regarding the most recent transaction appeared, I gave it three stars or a neutral rating and said something like “seller sent in plenty of time, but delivery caused late arrival.”

And now to the present. A about a week ago, I received an email from the seller, Margaret, asking if I would consider removing my neutral feedback.  She went on to say she was a small distributor/seller for Amazon and feedback was critical.  I suspected the book would be from a small entity from the start because of the nature of the book. Then she offered to return my shipping and handling charges.  I found this incredible.  Amazon/Margaret was not even the problem, yet they were willing to make it better.

Following Margaret’s instructions, I went back to my feedback, and revised my rating and comments. I gave the transaction five stars. This time in the comment section I said “Five Stars to the Seller who mailed the item in plenty of time for Christmas delivery, but only three stars to whoever was in charge of delivery and did not get it here in time for Christmas.”

Within seconds a credit to my Amazon account was made and a thank you email from Margaret appeared in my mailbox.

Thank you Amazon and thank you Margaret for helping to make the world a better place.

Now if you will excuse me, I must go order something from Amazon.

Government Intervention

A great Saturday morning laugh.

Living The Dream?

Government Intervention

My whole life I was raised a pretty solid Republican.  I remember a quote that my father always used to say to me that the only thing the Government should do is…

“deliver the mail, protect the coasts, and leave me alone.”

I do think I have lived faithfully by this Government help for most of my adult life.  At work I love it when students will come to me and say they actually have a real job with a paycheck.  This is such a rare occurrence because most of my students seem to find the life of robbery, theft, and extortion to be much more lucrative.   I had a big fella tell me this morning that he had a job interview at Popeyes Chicken after school.  I handed him a couple of my business cards and told him to ask for a manager and hand over my…

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Saturday morning, January 24, 2015

Saturday morning, January 24, 2015

I usually do not post anything on Saturdays, but since I am waiting for the weather to warm before I hit the golf course, I decided I would.

Did you read Bowrag’s blog about naming of children?  Made me almost spit out my coffee laughing.

When I was a child I walked around for several weeks saying “I’m Tallulah Bankhead.” It never caught on with my parents.

I once had a student named “Boy” and a female student named “Seven.” I did not inquire if there were siblings below named Eight or Nine. BFF in Navasota, TPM, once had a set of twins in her class – Dean and Sean (pronounced SEEN).

An old family story has some cousin’s family that either ran out of names because there were already so many children or in my family where the gene pool shallows significantly, they probably couldn’t think of a name. But as the story goes, the child, a girl, was called Baby until her twelfth birthday. As her birthday gift she was allowed to pick her name. She chose Mattie.

Back in the day when email communication first began among educational entities in the late 1990;s (now doesn’t that make you feel old?) it was the job of one of my colleagues to check submitted email addresses for accuracy and other reasons perhaps undetected by the requestor. For example, Carol Ann Jones requested her initials C A and her last name Jones. Thus it became Thus her email address translated into Spanish was testicles. And RL had to call her and explain. She was mortified, embarrassed and everything else, and immediately requested something else.

As in all social media the name says much about you. Employers tend to cringe when they see an email such as “pinkmini1” or “trainedmonkeybutler.”

I am certain Tula Does the Hula From Hawaii would make data entry clerks cringe with each key stroke.

Friday, January 23, 2015 – Do Nothing Friday

Friday, January 23, 2015 – Do Nothing Friday

I hereby place my inflatable crown I received for Christmas on my head, declare myself Queen and hereby declare this Do Nothing Friday!

But before I begin doing nothing, I have a question.  How much longer will the New England Patriots, Bill Belichek, Tom Brady and their balls be in the news?

Now off to Queenhood.  Where is my purse?

Thursday, January 22, 2015 – At The Pharmacy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Is it raining where you are?  I am currently looking out my office window which overlooks Lake Back Yard.

The other day I went to the pharmacy to pick up my maintenece medications. FYI – When BFF Troglodyte told her 11 year old grandson they had to run by the drug store, he thought it was where people went to buy drugs like the ones purchased on the streets and in dark alleys.  Consider that a language update. Drug store vs pharmacy.

When I went to pay for my maintenance meds the clerk said “That will be $279.78.” I almost fell to my knees in a dead faint, but then I remembered I did not have my 2015 prescription drug card with me.  The following day I returned to the pharmacy with new card in hand.  After the clerk entered all of the new data that help increases my entry into The Matrix and lessens my privacy, the bill was $17.69. Once again I almost fell to my knees with a big prayer up with thankfulness for having benefits. And then I threw in another prayer that mine are paid for.  It makes me wonder what the have-nots do.

It was Sunday morning so most of Bryan was in church and most of College Station was hung over, so the store was not crowded. While I was in the pharmacy I remembered that I was going to try to pay a bit more attention to personal hygiene this year.  Actually what that means is putting on a bra more often and taking a shower more frequently. If I have to think “when was the last time I took a shower, I probably need one” I am thinking showering more should be done.

Finding a deodorant was pretty easy. I was surprised to find pretty much the same brands as years ago. But finding a can of hairspray proved more difficult. There was one called Bed Head or Party After.  I bet this puts many at ease after a walk of shame.  I usually just wear a baseball cap for bed head and have no use for a after party hair.

There were so many brands for different types of hair, different occasions, it was becoming an aerosol fog. When did hair spray cost $20.00? I finally settled on 1.5 oz can of something called Sharper Zero Gravity because it was in my price range.  The title makes wonder though. How can zero gravity be sharper? Isn’t zero an absolute? Oh well. All I wanted was a cheap can of hair spray. Whatever happened to Aqua Net? I miss Aqua Net. And I miss Ann Richards too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2015 – Check for Understanding

Tuesday, January 21, 2015 – Check for Understanding

Today, I am channeling in Saint Madeline Hunter, Patron Saint of Education, Goddess of The Public School Lesson Plan and my inner Molly Ivins.

Dr. Hunter “As information is delivered to the students, it is necessary to stop and check for understanding. This should be done periodically throughout the presentation of the lesson. This ensures everyone understands the concept or idea being presented.  The method to check for understanding is to ask “Are there any questions?” Wait eight seconds and if there are no questions move on to the next concept or building block toward the objective. If questions arise, reassess and reteach the concept.”

Following that model, let’s see what Ms. Ivins might have said as we check for understanding about yesterday’s inaugural festivities on the Texas capitol grounds. More specifically – the luncheon on the South grounds.

REALLY?  Who was on the planning committee for this function? Did students from an inner city, historically Black school really serve barbeque on the capitol grounds? Meanwhile, was it true that over 200 servers served 10,000 people? What was the percentage of Hispanics serving food? How were they able to immigrate here? How did you know their citizenship status? Did you have any barefoot and pregnant women or girls do something? This was damn near reminiscent of a movie set in 1954 where Ashley Wilkes or some other Big Daddy Plantation type holds a picnic in the front yard.

Aren’t these the type of students you are trying to exclude through the voucher system of education? And yet they were placed stereotypical roles from over sixty years ago?  REALLY? This is progress?

I am so confused.

God Bless Texas and God Bless Education in Texas!