A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles in News

Shiver in the cold, kids. That bad woman isn’t licensed
Tuesday, 9 Feb, 2010 – 19:30 | Comments Off
Shiver in the cold, kids. That bad woman isn’t licensed

We have a raging health-care crisis that we cannot solve.
Unemployment has “dropped” to 9.7 percent, but that’s a trick. The real number is much higher because we no longer count people who are so discouraged …

Readers want information the way they want it. This is news to some
Friday, 5 Feb, 2010 – 19:16 | Comments Off
Readers want information the way they want it. This is news to some

If publishers think I’m impatient, wait until the guys throw themselves fully into the Net.
I’ve only been tapping my foot in front of the microwave for 30 years. My kids have been doing it since …

Giving police faster information – great. But at what cost?
Wednesday, 3 Feb, 2010 – 18:38 | Comments Off
Giving police faster information – great. But at what cost?

I have absolutely no problem with the police knowing anything my Internet Service Provider knows about me – as long as they use a proper search warrant to obtain the information.
Anyone’s a fool to think …

When the computer becomes an appliance
Monday, 1 Feb, 2010 – 20:00 | 2 Comments
When the computer becomes an appliance

I bought a computer two weeks ago.
That in and of itself isn’t earth-shattering. I seem to buy a computer every few months of late.
What’s different, though, is that the newest computer never will be used …

Sometimes, bayonetting tradition is the smart thing to do
Sunday, 31 Jan, 2010 – 19:56 | Comments Off
Sometimes, bayonetting tradition is the smart thing to do

Bayonets – he calls them “knife guns” – crack Big Guy up.
“Why are they using those?” he asked recently as we watched one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean. “Why don’t they just use their …

A SWAT for sucking up the freebies while work goes undone
Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010 – 20:00 | Comments Off
A SWAT for sucking up the freebies while work goes undone

It’s amusing, in a “fiddling while Rome burns” sort of way, to see how public officials flock to the freebies like hogs to slop – and then fail to report the corporate largess that’s showered …

Get off their backs about their weight
Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010 – 20:00 | Comments Off
Get off their backs about their weight

I don’t follow celebrity news, not because I’m a snob about it but because I rarely get to watch anything that’s not animated.
I know who Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston are because “Friends” was one …

A SWAT for trying to officially turn ISPs into copyright police
Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010 – 19:59 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to officially turn ISPs into copyright police

Here’s how it works at Wal-Mart: A security guard spots someone she suspects of shop-lifting. She stops the person, calls the police and an investigation takes place.
Here’s how it would work if Wal-Mart were the …

When it comes to media use, I’m going to go down swinging
Wednesday, 20 Jan, 2010 – 19:55 | 2 Comments
When it comes to media use, I’m going to go down swinging

Just when the experts thought kids couldn’t cram a single second more of electronics time into their days comes a study that shows, not only that they can, but that they have.
According to research the …

30 hours a week of leisure time? It depends on the definition of ‘leisure’
Sunday, 17 Jan, 2010 – 20:33 | Comments Off
30 hours a week of leisure time? It depends on the definition of ‘leisure’

Brigid Shulte, you had me at “I have baked Valentine’s cupcakes until 2 a.m.” Except in my case, it was cookies and thanks to some quick calculations I was able to wrap it up by …

Wal-Mart’s on the cutting edge of cutting costs
Tuesday, 12 Jan, 2010 – 21:37 | 2 Comments
Wal-Mart’s on the cutting edge of cutting costs

It’s early yet, but give Wal-Mart credit for the public relations coup of the year so far.
Last week, the retailer began charging 15 cents for regular bags and 50 cents for oversized ones in three …

Baby you can drive my car – and text and talk and surf, all at once
Sunday, 10 Jan, 2010 – 22:02 | Comments Off
Baby you can drive my car – and text and talk and surf, all at once

I love technology. I really do.
I even love technology in cars. It came in handy back in September, when I frantically searched on my Blackberry for an open tire store after Dad had already driven …

Don’t take anything more from kids who have given up plenty
Friday, 8 Jan, 2010 – 19:28 | One Comment
Don’t take anything more from kids who have given up plenty

I’m not one to whine about budget cuts – I understand the economic realities in the country at the moment, and I realize everyone is feeling some pain.
I’m also not surprised that Army posts are …

It turns out that TV isn’t the wonder drug
Monday, 4 Jan, 2010 – 22:06 | 2 Comments
It turns out that TV isn’t the wonder drug

The warnings have been around for years, but they were easily ignored because they were couched in terms of “we think” and “possibly.”
Children might take longer to learn to talk if they spend a lot …

A SWAT for making readers think about going mobile
Friday, 1 Jan, 2010 – 14:45 | Comments Off
A SWAT for making readers think about going mobile

I’m not exactly a road warrior. If I were, my Blackberry home screen already would be filled with apps that keep me informed on the fly.
So it was a pleasant surprise this morning to click …

A SWAT to Verizon for trying to squeeze people who want to leave
Friday, 25 Dec, 2009 – 18:00 | Comments Off
A SWAT to Verizon for trying to squeeze people who want to leave

Pity the poor ginormous telecom that’s forced to scrape for every nickel and dime it can find in order to stay afloat. Eventually, those costs have to be passed along to the consumer, you know.
I’m …

To protect and serve and get you to put down the controller
Wednesday, 23 Dec, 2009 – 20:09 | Comments Off
To protect and serve and get you to put down the controller

Angela Mejia had had it.
Her 14-year-old son had been camped at his PlayStation for hours. When the dulcet tones of “Grand Theft Auto” – that a junior high kid was playing that game to begin …

Why NOW is wrong about pregnancy and soldiers
Tuesday, 22 Dec, 2009 – 20:26 | Comments Off
Why NOW is wrong about pregnancy and soldiers

Good for Army Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo III for backing off his threat to court martial any soldier who gets pregnant – or who assists in putting another soldier in a family way – while …

Let it snow, let it snow … somewhere else
Saturday, 19 Dec, 2009 – 10:53 | Comments Off
Let it snow, let it snow … somewhere else

Sitting on the patio in my pajamas in 56 sunny degrees, I felt guilty this morning.
Guilty because, when word of an impending blizzard filtered through Facebook yesterday evening, I called my mom around 6:30 p.m. …

Sexting and teens: The epidemic that’s not
Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2009 – 22:51 | Comments Off
Sexting and teens: The epidemic that’s not

Sexting among the high school set is a dangerous trend.
It’s bad enough that a principal in Virginia lost first his job and then his reputation even though he ultimately was cleared.
Bad enough that parents in …

“Private” text messages on the government dime doesn’t seem right
Monday, 14 Dec, 2009 – 21:21 | Comments Off
“Private” text messages on the government dime doesn’t seem right

In the electronic game of cops and robbers, the cops are winning – at least in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Back in February, that court ruled that it was fine for prosecutors to …

Underwater? Go ahead, take a walk
Wednesday, 9 Dec, 2009 – 22:19 | One Comment
Underwater? Go ahead, take a walk

If you listened closely last winter, you could hear the soft drum beats in the background as Washington moved to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
“Unless we reduce the principal on loans, people will just walk away,” …

Watch out for the duck and the cat on Facebook
Monday, 7 Dec, 2009 – 22:38 | Comments Off
Watch out for the duck and the cat on Facebook

I’m almost offended I wasn’t asked, except I realize I’m not in the right age group to be one of the cool kids.
When Daisy Feletin – 21 and  single – asked 100 people to be …

Trust is not relative but money is
Sunday, 6 Dec, 2009 – 22:04 | Comments Off
Trust is not relative but money is

Is community trust a luxury in America, the Gallup Poll asks as its lead-in to a survey showing that 82 percent of those who make $90,000 or more a year believe a neighbor would return …

A SWAT for tearing down the walls between advertising and news
Thursday, 3 Dec, 2009 – 22:11 | Comments Off
A SWAT for tearing down the walls between advertising and news

Once upon a time, in a land long ago and far away, news was news and ads were ads and never the twain did meet.
Oh, sure, the advertisers would try and occasionally succeed. I can’t …

Shopping’s no fun? No kidding
Tuesday, 1 Dec, 2009 – 22:45 | Comments Off
Shopping’s no fun? No kidding

When it comes to shopping I’m not quite in the mainstream, but the other side doesn’t have a majority either.
According to a Rasmussen Report poll released over the weekend, 39 percent of Americans consider holiday …

Warning: Don’t eat the lip balm
Monday, 30 Nov, 2009 – 23:26 | 2 Comments
Warning:  Don’t eat the lip balm

I thought nothing could ever top the warning the eyeglass cleaner at work used to carry: Do not use on contact lenses.
That was before last weekend, when I bought a box of lip balm that …

A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice
Thursday, 26 Nov, 2009 – 20:17 | Comments Off
A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice

It’s the type of meaningless legislation that usually draws scant attention beyond the members of the team being honored or the local luminary being recognized.
Except this time, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II’s resolution backing the designation …