Features

Hardly a week goes by that I do not get a call from a friend or co-worker asking for help with a computer that had been hijacked by one of the thousands of variants of a type of malware generically known as “rogue antivirus.” Last weekend was busy for me in this respect in that I received multiple frantic calls for help on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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I often hear folks discussing whether our local weather conditions are normal or not. Is it colder than normal or perhaps warmer than normal seems to the never answered questions in the barber shop. Yes, there are still some of those around. What’s unique about our area is that we rarely have extended periods of either cold or warm temperatures. That situation allows the folks that enjoy the outdoors to do so practically all year long.

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Sunday at sunset, Robert Mason, Denny Copeland and I were putting limits of mallards and pintails on duck straps. It was to be our last duck hunt of the 2011-12 season and one that a whole lot of us won’t soon forget.

This should give you an idea of how good the season was. Four of my duck hunting buddies in Central Texas bagged just over 800 ducks, which according to their data, is an all-time record for them. They hunt a lot, but what’s most interesting is that they only hunt on public lakes and rivers.

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The only difficult thing about visiting the popular China Garden, located in Beaumont’s Gateway Plaza, is choosing what you will eat first and how long you will stay. More than 200 items await you on the largest buffet in the area, beginning with a healthy salad area, a new hibachi grill where you see your food choices cooked, all of the Texas Gulf Coast seafood you can imagine, vegetables, specialty dishes, and tantalizing desserts. There’s also plenty of sushi featuring salmon, tuna, eel and all types of rolls.

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Last Friday night I was intrigued to observe a dozen 9 and 10 year old boys and girls sort through a massive collection of video games and cooperatively decide to play just one – Wii Sports Resort. This game has been in our covey of CDs for several years, and it’s one of my 10-year-olds favorites. Actually, it’s one of my favorites, too, but oddly, I’ve never reviewed it. Perhaps it’s just so familiar to me that I assumed it is to everyone else, as well.

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(photo by Dove Shore)

Steve Aoki is a musical genius. And it doesn’t take someone like me to figure that out. For starters, Aoki graduated from UC-Santa Barbara with two bachelor degrees.

He started his own record label, Dim Mak, and began creating music for the masses.

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Community-minded … Sandra Ellington, president of Communities In Schools Southeast Texas, welcomed a capacity crowd at the CISSET annual black tie event this past Friday evening, Jan. 20. Featured speaker Bill Milliken, founder and vice chairman of Communities In Schools Inc., is one of the nation’s foremost pioneers in the movement to give young people the help they need to graduate from high school and go on to lead rewarding lives.

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Jake’s Place in Nederland is a classic Texas beer joint, located near the end of Spurlock Road in a part of town that manages to be both residential and semi-industrial at the same time.

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Today’s column is lovingly and prayerfully dedicated to a fine young Christian woman in our community, Valerie Clara Sallee, daughter of Pastor Richard Sallee of First Baptist Church of High Island. I am impressed with Valerie as a person, as a church leader, as a daughter, and most of all, as a Christian who wants to serve God and her fellow man. She reminds me a bit of Corrie ten Boom, whom I have long admired.

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We hear about the USDA hardiness zones and most garden centers sell plants with tags clearly marking which zone the plant is best suited for. With few exceptions, gardening success is vitally linked to selecting plants that suit your climate. Our area hardiness zones are Zone 8 and Zone 9.

If you want a low maintenance garden, stick with plants for your zone. But that being said, you can cheat the zones a little. It might be interesting to expand your plant palette and push the limits by creating microclimates.

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