Features

I recently received a frantic phone call from a distraught individual. He had a fairly new Windows 7-64 desktop PC not covered by warranty, and it would not properly boot up. It would briefly show that manufacturer’s splash screen, and then nothing else; the screen was black. After a period of time, the power saving feature appeared on the otherwise black screen and stated that the computer was going into hibernate mode. Nothing could bring the computer back to life; a full repeat of the “power on” cycle only produced a repetitive black screen and shutdown.

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Lots of local gardeners have great luck with growing grapes, and I wondered why. According to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA), Texas is the site of the first vineyard established in North America. It was established by Franciscan priests close to 1659. As European settlers followed the development of mission outposts, they brought more grapevine cuttings. The grape growing industry in Texas developed through the 1800s.

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In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday this week, it might be a good time to take stock of the world and our place in it. As bombs and rockets explode on battlefields around the globe, we can take comfort in our relative security at home even as U.S. troops remain in the danger zone in Afghanistan. The bitterness and rancor from the election just past is starting to recede in most quarters, though there are some for whom the fear and loathing for the other side will remain, although hopefully we won’t have to hear it so much anymore.

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I just recently finished a judging “blitz” of several local contests and had some darn fine examples of competition style barbecue with only a few that were below par. I wanted to give a little love to the folks at the Winnie Rice Festival for really putting on a fine event and treating the judges well and making sure everyone had a great time. If you ever get the opportunity or have the desire to go judge a contest, the Rice Festival is a great place to start.

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For 2014, Toyota’s comfortable Avalon is available as a V6 gas model in XLE,

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