Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 3, 2010     Hays Free Press
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February 3, 2010

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Hays Free Press * February 3, 2010 NEWS Page 5A Farm byte addiction i. My name is Clint, and I am an addict. For the past 9 months, I have been a junkie. Oh, sure, I may not look like a junkie. I can still do my job, and no one even suspects I have an addiction, but in my mind, I am craving for a fix, thinking what I need to get through the day. Yes, folks, I am a bona fide addict, to a silly internet game called Farmville. For those few folks out there living in caves or on some remote Pacific island, Farmville is a game on Facebook. If you don't know what Facebook is, you might as well stop reading this and flip the page over to the sports page. In Farmville, you are given a small plot of land to start out with, and over time, you can build your little garden into a huge farm. Sounds innocent enough, doesn't it? All you need to do is plow, plant and harvest, right? How hard can this be? I agreed to join this little game last summer when my nieces and neph- ew asked me to be their neighbor. Being their favorite uncle and all, I agreed to help them out since adding neighbors allows you to increase the size of your farm. Little did I know, joining Farmville was like Tiger Woods' first text message to floozie #1. I was hooked, and now I can't get enough of e-farming. In the beginning, when I was just experimenting with Farmville, I would only play on weekends for a few minutes after checking my email. I thought the game was harmless and slightly amusing, and it was too hot and dry to do any real farm work. Heck, with the drought we were ex- periencing last summer, it was fun to actually be able to raise some crops, even if they were imaginary. At one point, I became tired of the game, and I posted on my Facebook page that I was ready to leave Farmville. I received countless replies from my "friends," begging me to stay in their little farming fraternity. Some friends told me I can't leave. This sounded a little like a line from the Eagles' "Ho- tel California," " can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave". So, I figured I would gradually wean myself off of the game, and one day I'll hit the delete button for good. Then the creator of Farmville, the guy who probably cooked up this stuff in his basement, offered me a larger plot of land. Then, he put a pretty red tractor on sale to pull me deeper into the abyss. I actually own an old Ford tractor, but this one on Farmville was sweet! And it only cost 10,000 coins. Before I knew it, I was planning FROM THE my entire week around planting and harvesting my crops on Farmville. I knew if I kicked my habit, quit cold turkey, then that crop of pumpkins and squash that I had just planted would wilt in a couple of days. The trouble with neglecting your crops is that your neighbors often come to visit, occasionally shooing away crows or pulling weeds, maybe even feeding your chickens. What will they say if your corn crop is wilted and all your cows' udders are engorged with sour milk? I'd be the laughing stock of Farmville and beyond. I can't quit! I just can't! I've thought of looking for pro- fessional help to get this monkey off my back, but there's no support group for Farmville junkies. There are rehab and detox centers all over the place that will help you dry out or go straight. Heck, there's some clinic in Arizona that will help stupid, sex-craved billionaire golfers stop sending titillating text messages to strippers. Why isn't there a rehab center for us Farmville fiends? Some nights, I awake from a rest- less slumber, worried that I have forgotten to harvest my tomatoes or carrots. Will they rot before morn- ing or should I get up and check on them? Did I milk my goats last night?What should I do with those stupid reindeer that showed up before Christmas? Dang it! I have fallen into a pit of Super Pumpkins and I can't get out. I am an electronic game junkie, an automated aggie addict. I've heard that the first step to beat an addiction is to admit you have a problem. So here I am, pouring my pepper-planting soul out for all to see, hoping that there are others out there in Farmville who also have been sucked into the infernal regions of plowed purgatory who need help battling this illness. Here, take my silt-stained hand and let me help you climb back into reality. It's just a game, a silly, time-consuming, stress- inducing game that climbs onto your back like a rabid'monkey, taking a big byte out of your hard drive. Let's stop this madness, but not right now. I need to go harvest my blackberries. Make your voices heard! ::rr 9100,e00 00-v5 see. 5,W.0000,c-ut.lk00 00Rgaq00tlkV.,00 How insensitive can they be? th u s, with my limitations I just ont get it. None of it. It just beats e tar out of me how so-called =onservatives can take what I would describe as joy at the plight of Haiti. And let me confess aggravation that the charmer fromVenezuela argues that the United States has invaded Haiti. Others, even less credible than Hugo Chavez, contend that we actu- ally created the earthquake through some sort of haywired technology. Volcanology is not my field, but volcanoes and earthquakes have a quirky habit of occupying the same Ierritory, and fertility follows volca- hoes. So, land tends to be fertile in ',ones of volcanoes and earthquakes Lnd where land is fertile population :enters have a funny habit of expand- ng. The short interpretation: people :ongregate where volcanoes have aken place because the soil is more ertile there and it takes less effort to roduce more. Haiti has figured prominently in he history of this nation. In 1803 iaiti provided great wealth for France. bussaint EOuverture was mounting t slave revolution and France was so lesperate to hold on to Haiti that they old Louisiana to the United States n order to round up enough cash to ppose our verture. Not only was Haiti he first independent nation m Latin unerica, it was the first post-colonial adependent black-led nation in the vorld. Take the matter further and you fill learn that Haiti is the only nation Dear Editor, I just have to get something off my chest. I have been trying my best to fe low government decisions here in Kyle. You know this is a very difficult task bec rose some of the decisions are so hard to understand. When the tax rate was bei: tg decided, it just seemed they wanted their cake and eat it too. When decidin  on the proposal for annexation the council again disappointed me. I was there at that meeting a,d listened to all the people that came forward to have their v dices heard. It wasn t heard, and now because of that decision the burden of manf roads that would have been county responsibility are the City of Kyle's. Decision alter decision I have been disappointed, and I have voiced my ideas and frustratibns, again not heard. Now yet again I am looking at the information on the "supposed spendinl limit" being proposed and what was a glimmer of hope that at the end of their terrs they were coming to their senses, turned out to be another disappointment. Didtyou read the memo put out by our City Director of Finance to our City Manager, tpg 45 of the agenda for City Council, that basically tells us that they need to decid on how much they are going to spend on projects before a "spending limit" car be recommended? I don't know about you but the way I have to run my housel mid and my business is spending limit first, with a plan on how to pay offwhat y)u are already in debt for, then if there is money wisely choosing priorities. Not sp nd and then say stop! I urge the citizens of Kyle to get out and make your voices heardI!l We n ed people elected to office that will listen to the people and be fiscally responsi' ,le. I am supporting Lucy Johnson for Mayor because I believe she will listen Io the people, she will be responsible with OUR money, she is honest and trustworthy. I believe she will listen to ideas from her council and will be a force to bring a[ out fiscal responsibility. She has been serving on the current city council, but ha. been the only voice alongside Ray Bryant I have heard question or say no to prop sals that should not have been passed by council. She will ask the tough questio s and will not leave a stone unturned. Unlike her opponent she supports expandix tg our police force, she believes she is there to serve the people, and she knows the differ- ence between wants and needs! I am supporting laime Sanchez for District Seat 5. Mr. Sanchez has 17 ye Lrs experience with TXDOT, and engineering and project management backgro rod. This would be invaluable on the City Council. His knowledge would give the Council a basis for discrimination outside of the city staff and city manager, ;o they can make better informed decisions on needed infrastructure projects. Hope- fully to keep such things from happening as happened with our current TXD OT projects, where we are putting into the pot twice for our freeway projects. I am also supporting Russ Huebner for District Seat 6. Because of where i live I am unable to vote for Mr. Huebner, but I will do all I can to spread the w6rd tbout what a great asset he would be to our City Council. He has many years in ba king and has a very specific plan for how to get our debt under control. I have he;trd him talk about a 5 year freeze on our tax rate after this year, a freeze on spem ling, managing infrastructure needs, and getting our city to where we are prosper ng and tax rates are inviting to individuals and businesses alike. His financial b; ck- ground could clarify to council the numbers game, again instead of only hay ng to rely on city staff and the city manager; council would have their own consult rot. Please make your voice heard, GO VOTE! These people are the future of ot r wonderful city. Let's get people in office that genuinely care about the peopl  of Kyle and will put that first! One Citizen to Another, Annette Pickett, Citizen of Kyle -Paid Advertisement- t HISTORICAL whose independence was an out- growth of a successful slave rebellion. Historians and civil rights activ- ists in the United States have rightly focused upon slavery as among the principle evils in mankind's troubled history. That having been acknowl- edged, we frequently miss the boat in examining the mechanics of the several slave situations. The French, for example, brought so many slaves to Haiti that they exceeded, in short order, the ability of the land to support the slave population. The English brought slaves to the North Ameri- can continent and there was enough land to support the expanding slave population. So, among every other thing, the chief problem facing Haiti is an enor- mous overpopulation. And, regardless of religious or political persuasion, there is no greater enemy of a healthy society than overpopulation. Blame the French directly for their role in bringing far more slaves to Haiti than that country could be expected to support in a couple of generations. Even ifwe fought a CivilWar over the matter, the fact is that United States slavery was able to spread out enough to give society some breath- ing room, a precious commodity for any population. Ironicall the spread of slavery into the territories was among the principle underlying causes of the CivilWar of 1861 - 1865, but that spreading population, slave or otherwise, may well be the reason the United States resembles some- thing other than Haiti. An abundance of real estate is what makes the United States strong. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Haiti is out of control. It is hard to believe that outside help can bring about long-term gains. Reality tells us that the United States will not get credit for our efforts. But, having said that, I find it hard to blame little chil- dren for the plight of that sad nation. And I find it reprehensible for Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson and others to feed the worst impulses of mankind by their heartless rhetoric. I just plain don't understand. Limbaugh and Robertson enjoy great ratings or they would not be on the air. So, sadly; I have concluded that they represent a strong cross-section of American thought. I am sad. My country has left me. I miss it already. Because, contrary to what seems to be mainstream thought, I see nothing in Haiti worth gloating over or ridiculing. We were not always so insensitive. F