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 Stop Wasting America’s Time

A SWAT for getting all a-Twitter about nothing
Thursday, 1 Mar, 2012 – 17:13 | Comments Off
A SWAT for getting all a-Twitter about nothing

I know the folks who are all verklempt because NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski was tweeting Monday night while the Daytona 500 was red-flagged.
There the same ones who were wringing their hands once upon a time …

A SWAT for needing extra time to do what we used to do in 6
Thursday, 30 Jun, 2011 – 18:44 | Comments Off
A SWAT for needing extra time to do what we used to do in 6

There’s an impressive list of organizations backing the TIME Act – a bill pending before Congress that would provide grant money to schools that extend their schedules by at least 300 hours a year. There’s …

A SWAT for trying to control others’ photo albums
Thursday, 23 Jun, 2011 – 17:09 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to control others’ photo albums

Somewhere along the line, taking a picture of a child other than your own became equated with peddling kiddy porn.
I’ve been scolded at birthday parties and confronted at school even though my lens was pointed …

A SWAT for requiring over-the-counter prescriptions
Thursday, 17 Mar, 2011 – 15:43 | Comments Off
A SWAT for requiring over-the-counter prescriptions

As a former speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates was fond of saying, “fat possums travel at night.” That translated roughly to “watch out for legislation trying to sneak through in the waning …

Don’t go away mad. Just go away.
Thursday, 24 Feb, 2011 – 17:08 | Comments Off
Don’t go away mad. Just go away.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
We’ll leave if you don’t build us a new arena. We’ll go to a city that appreciates us, because we can’t afford to stay here any longer.
If this …

A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten
Thursday, 17 Feb, 2011 – 17:01 | Comments Off
A SWAT for cramming for kindergarten

You know what they say about kindergarten being the new first grade?
Well, forget it. It turns out that advanced kindergarten is life in the slow lane. The real competitors in the “get your kids ahead …

Let’s freak out about learning another language
Thursday, 10 Feb, 2011 – 17:25 | 4 Comments
Let’s freak out about learning another language

For years Russian was the only foreign language taught at the high school I eventually attended. To my knowledge, no one during that era grew up and defected to the Soviet Union.
I took three years …

Just because the rant’s legal doesn’t make it right
Thursday, 3 Feb, 2011 – 17:23 | One Comment
Just because the rant’s legal doesn’t make it right

It’s a classic case of the cliche about two wrongs not making a right. Make it three wrongs in this case.
A California high school student, who, according to Mashable was upset over his homework load, …

Grading parents doesn’t make the grade
Thursday, 20 Jan, 2011 – 17:10 | Comments Off
Grading parents doesn’t make the grade

Note to Florida Rep. Kelli Stargel: I’ve already passed kindergarten. Second grade, too! Therefore, it really doesn’t matter what my kids’ teachers think about my performance. I’ve earned a diploma and a degree. It’s the …

When Dora is outlawed, only outlaws will wear Dora
Thursday, 6 Jan, 2011 – 18:16 | Comments Off
When Dora is outlawed, only outlaws will wear Dora

The guys’ backpacks are camouflage. Their lunch boxes, though, are Buzz Lightyear. We have a camouflage model left over from last year, and since only one guy takes his lunch these days that means they’d …

A SWAT for forgetting that a hypothesis is just that
Thursday, 30 Dec, 2010 – 17:51 | One Comment
A SWAT for forgetting that a hypothesis is just that

So it turns out that the number of people going to emergency rooms as the result of food allergies might have been dramatically underestimated, according to new research.
Reuters reported this week that an article in …

A SWAT for hooping it up on a holiday
Thursday, 23 Dec, 2010 – 17:34 | Comments Off
A SWAT for hooping it up on a holiday

Having logged more office hours on holidays than I care to count, I get  Phil Jackson and LeBron James when they complain about working on Christmas Day.  Even the Grinchiest of us get a bit …

A SWAT for an offer that’s really not
Thursday, 18 Nov, 2010 – 19:09 | Comments Off
A SWAT for an offer that’s really not

I know drugstores.com. Know it well, in fact, since moving to Fort Irwin, a place where even over-the-counter kids medications can be hard to come by.
Several times a year I load up the cybercart with …

A SWAT for sucking the fun out of everything
Thursday, 28 Oct, 2010 – 21:54 | Comments Off
A SWAT for sucking the fun out of everything

I was about Big Guy’s age when apples again became the forbidden fruit.
I’m not sure where it happened, but I can guarantee you it wasn’t  in our town. I didn’t spend my childhood in Mayberry, …

A SWAT for taking memories away from fans
Thursday, 21 Oct, 2010 – 19:19 | Comments Off
A SWAT for taking memories away from fans

It’s stunning how an organization with enough digital savvy to tweet contests during a game and offer an iPhone app can blow it when it comes to something so basic that most fans would want …

The First Amendment right to freebies
Thursday, 29 Apr, 2010 – 23:01 | Comments Off
The First Amendment right to freebies

It’s based on a couple of laughably wrong assumptions, but at least paranoid bloggers have support in  their “everyone is out to get us” theory.
The “evidence,” flimsy though it is, is in a new Harvard …

A SWAT for refusing to let the birth certificate nonissue die
Thursday, 22 Apr, 2010 – 18:03 | Comments Off
A SWAT for refusing to let the birth certificate nonissue die

It’s kind of ironic, given that John McCain was the subject of the original birther lawsuit, that Arizona is like a pit bull after a steak when the citizenship at issue is Barack Obama’s.
Or not …

Everyone could find jobs if they were just willing to move
Thursday, 1 Apr, 2010 – 20:21 | 2 Comments
Everyone could find jobs if they were just willing to move

How nice it must be to have all the answers – even if the answers keep changing when the question is whether to extend unemployment benefits.
At least unemployed workers are no longer lazy – apparently …

Gimme a B, Gimme an A Gimme a D! What’s that spell? Bad idea!
Thursday, 25 Mar, 2010 – 17:09 | Comments Off
Gimme a B, Gimme an A Gimme a D! What’s that spell? Bad idea!

California sent out tens of thousands of layoff notices to teachers last year, and by the time this spring’s are tallied the total will be similar.
The state’s scores on a national test were higher than …

Don’t mess with Texas? Then don’t mess with history
Thursday, 11 Mar, 2010 – 19:07 | 4 Comments
Don’t mess with Texas? Then don’t mess with history

Life was so much simpler when I was in school. History texts focused on presenting facts – and back then, a fact was a fact was a fact.
Today, though, there are some who think the …

A SWAT for trying to impose values from afar
Thursday, 25 Feb, 2010 – 19:30 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to impose values from afar

What’s worse than a YouTube video showing a developmentally disabled boy being bullied?
A court verdict in Italy that finds Google executives guilty of invasion of privacy because the video was posted to begin with – …

A SWAT for enticing kids with computers and then spying on them
Thursday, 18 Feb, 2010 – 19:50 | Comments Off
A SWAT for enticing kids with computers and then spying on them

Every time Big Guy’s class has a substitute teacher, his regular one says she’ll get a report about their behavior from her “spies” when she gets back.
She’s joking. In a certain school district in suburban …

If we’re better off without the incumbents, let’s SWAT those not willing to make us better off
Thursday, 11 Feb, 2010 – 19:50 | Comments Off
If we’re better off without the incumbents, let’s SWAT those not willing to make us better off

A recent Rasmussen Poll found that 63 percent of the country believes we’d be better off if most of Congress were re-elected.
Granted, Scott Rasmussen has worked on Republican campaigns before and some question whether the …

A SWAT for mocking parents instead of talking to them
Thursday, 4 Feb, 2010 – 20:00 | Comments Off
A SWAT for mocking parents instead of talking to them

I get that some parents are a total pain in the rear. I’m sure I am at times, though I try hard not to be.
And I know that a sarcastic diatribe can be cathartic.
Unless, of …

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 …

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 …

A SWAT for making school budget cuts a race issue
Thursday, 14 Jan, 2010 – 22:44 | Comments Off
A SWAT for making school budget cuts a race issue

I don’t know Paul Gibson from Adam. I have no idea if he’s white, black, green or purple. I don’t know if he’s liberal or conservative.
But I do know that if his take on a …

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 …