Commentary

The regular readers of this column know by now that my husband, Ted, and I love to fish here on the Southeast Texas Gulf Coast. I don’t care if we are in the open Gulf of Mexico, on the beautiful Intracoastal Canal, Galveston Bay, Rollover Pass, or along a secluded little inlet. I love it all. There’s nothing more relaxing or healing to me than being on the water.

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I recently found out that Google’s infinitely popular YouTube video service now offers over a thousand full-length movies for free. Many other full-length movies are also available on YouTube for a fee, typically about $3, but I found enough of a selection of free movies to keep me well entertained for many hours.

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Q. My checkbook was stolen during a break-in of my home. Before the thief cashed any checks, I closed the account. A collection agency is now asking me to pay some of the checks that bounced. Do I have any liability?

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Recently, the president of a local nonprofit community service organization asked me to review a proposal she had received from one of the prominent, heavily advertised, online backup services. The quote to provide automated backup services for all of the computers in the organization (about 10 computers) for a year was nearly $500. I informed her that while the price received was appropriate for the level and quality of service offered, there were better prices available from competitive services.

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Q. My ex-wife and I signed a note to buy a car. Our divorce decree clearly says she keeps the car and she is obligated to pay the note. She has stopped paying and now the bank is asking me to pay because I also signed the note. What are my legal obligations?

A. Basically, a divorce decree is between the parties to the divorce. It does not affect existing creditors. In other words, you and your ex-wife have agreed that she will pay the note. As far as the bank is concerned, however, you both still owe the money.

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The regular gun season on deer opens Saturday, Nov. 5. You know as well as I do that the opener will be here in a flash, and with that in mind I’ve put together a top five list of things to do before one of the most anticipated hunting days in Texas is here and gone.

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Some time ago, I wrote about sources of free academic classes and free college textbooks. Since writing that column, the selection of free courses and textbooks have grown exponentially. Three of the major providers of free academic resources are Khan Academy, Flat World Knowledge, and Apple’s iTunes University.

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Q. I co-signed for my ex-boyfriend’s truck. He recently filed bankruptcy and included the truck. The lender now says I have to pay. Doesn’t bankruptcy mean you don’t have to pay?

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Microsoft is one of those companies that many of us have a love-hate relationship with. Despite some possible ill will toward Microsoft based on our experiences with Vista, BOB and a myriad of other software issues, Microsoft does have a kind and generous side when it comes to producing and releasing numerous pieces of useful software for free.

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Once again, it is time for the “People’s Law School,” the oldest and most successful law program for the layperson in the country! This is your chance to learn more about your legal rights, and have fun at the same time. Best of all, it is absolutely free.

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