Commentary

I have long believed that our attitude greatly determines our level of gratitude. If we spend our time thinking about how many good things we have in our lives, we have little time to dwell on the bad or wrong things. And I suppose this is a well-traveled two-way street. If our attitudes stink, then our levels of gratitude will be low or non-existent.

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Early last summer in this column, I explained several of the alternative methods of purchasing factory new or refurbished smart phones at deeply discounted prices, without any long-term contracts. One of the sources mentioned was Google and its “Google phones,” which are sold directly by Google from its “Play Store” at play.google.com/store/devices.

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A constant in Toyota’s U.S. model lineup for more than 50 years, the Land Cruiser has evolved from a simple utility vehicle into a premium-luxury SUV with seating for up to eight.

All standard

Back in 2013, Land Cruiser received exterior and interior design enhancements and made all previously optional features standard. Today, the customer has only to select exterior and interior colors.

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Into the Woods

I’m often asked what is my favorite Christmas movie. Without a doubt, it’s “White Christmas” (1954) with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. The sentimental story and Irving Berlin’s classic songs are something I never seem to grow tired of, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

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You may have seen the recent TV commercials for a new device from Amazon called Fire Stick, which is so new that it is just starting to be shipped. Another device that recently came on the market with great fanfare is the Roku Streaming Stick. Several other comparable devices are in development, or recently came on the market, creating a crowded, competitive field.

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Plumbago, for one, needs some freeze cover.

Some years, we get to slide by with few days below freezing, but just one night left out in the cold and unprotected like the Snow Queen can prove fatal to some of your most beautiful plants. There are some tips and tricks to protecting your beauties from the harshest of days.

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Toyota’s third generation 2014 Sienna

Toyota’s third generation 2014 Sienna is sleek. Available in seven- and eight-passenger configurations, Sienna comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed to a six-speed automatic transmission.

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

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Q. I was hired by a small company to perform consulting services. They paid me for several months and then stopped. They kept saying I would be paid “soon,” and I believed them. Now it looks like they are not going to pay me. Have I waited too long to sue in Justice Court? How long do I have to sue for money I am owed for consulting services?

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Bananas at the Mildred Building Apartments on Calder

This healthy tree loaded with bananas at the Mildred Building Apartments on Calder near downtown Beaumont shows just how well this fruit grows right here in Southeast Texas. The Mildred Building banana tree has lived happily there for a decades. It is so exotic and tropical yet so possible right here in your own backyard.

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