The case of the easily offended 4-year-old
Mon, 16/11/09 – 14:54 | Comments Off
The case of the easily offended 4-year-old

Boots’ eyes got wide this morning after he accidentally bumped a classmate as they both hung their coats and the boy muttered something.
“Mommy!” Boots gasped. “He called me a name!”
I didn’t ask what the name …

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – like it or not
Sun, 15/11/09 – 22:00 | Comments Off
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – like it or not

You know retailers are starting to get obnoxious about rushing the Christmas shopping season when even a 6-year-old picks up on it.
“Look at that Christmas tree,” Big Guy said, gesturing at the display front and …

Bye-bye, Little People. Hello, Bakugan!
Fri, 13/11/09 – 14:45 | Comments Off
Bye-bye, Little People. Hello, Bakugan!

It serves me right for giving in to pleas for McDonald’s one chilly night. I should have learned long ago that little good stems from the Golden Arches – especially when it comes to Happy …

Indiana Joan and the Duplex of Doom
Thu, 12/11/09 – 14:43 | Comments Off
Indiana Joan and the Duplex of Doom

It looked like a perfect combination: Two boys, close in age, who love sports, Batman and brownies. So when a friend asked if I could baby-sit on one of those ever-popular days when day care’s …

Epiblogue: An attorney general’s opinion that’s 100 percent Oscar Mayer
Wed, 11/11/09 – 22:10 | Comments Off

Quickly after the covert tape-recording habits of those in Attorney General Jerry Brown’s office came to light, his apologists¬† began trying to recast state privacy law.
An interview? Oh, that’s not a confidential communication. It was …

Who’s been surfing where? The government wants to know
Tue, 10/11/09 – 22:06 | 4 Comments
Who’s been surfing where? The government wants to know

It’s almost unfortunate that indymedia.us routinely destroys its server logs after five weeks and, as a result, couldn’t comply with a Justice Department subpoena that tried to force the organization to reveal everything it knew …

Behind every successful salesboy stands a mom with a checkbook
Tue, 10/11/09 – 13:30 | Comments Off
Behind every successful salesboy stands a mom with a checkbook

I dodged the “overpriced crap the PTA wants you kid to hawk” bullet last year by simply making the flier fly away.
The brochure, which suggested that each kid sell $40 worth of “product,” went quickly …

Might as well jump
Mon, 9/11/09 – 15:30 | Comments Off

Notice to Big Guy:
Effective 10 November, 2009, the terms of your school-morning checklist will change. Please note this and make plans to adhere to the following requirements.

Put your lunch box in your backpack.
Be quiet on …

One out of 10,000
Fri, 6/11/09 – 21:37 | Comments Off
One out of 10,000

Some quick, but important, facts about the Middle East:

Not everyone of Middle Eastern heritage is an Arab. There also are Israelis, Persians, Kurds, Assyrians, Pashtuns, Armenians and more.
Not everyone with roots in the Middle East …

Everyone just back the heck off Fort Hood
Thu, 5/11/09 – 17:21 | One Comment
Everyone just back the heck off Fort Hood

It sure doesn’t take folks long to flock to tragedy these days – folks who like to twist it to serve their political purposes or bend it to make a partisan point.
I know that, and …

Supporting adults who really don’t deserve it
Thu, 5/11/09 – 13:44 | Comments Off
Supporting adults who really don’t deserve it

Today was a “good” day at the bus stop.
The dozen and a half first- and second-grader crammed into a shelter not really big enough to hold them and either sat quietly on the bench or …

Pay-per-mile auto insurance could be the new HMO
Thu, 5/11/09 – 0:43 | 2 Comments
Pay-per-mile auto insurance could be the new HMO

Why would someone who barely drives not jump at the chance to buy “pay per mile” auto insurance, which the Brookings Institute estimates will cut most people’s yearly insurance costs $270 per car?
Well, for one, …

Becoming one of THOSE moms
Wed, 4/11/09 – 15:27 | Comments Off
Becoming one of THOSE moms

I’m not a big meeting person – I’ve sat through too many in my life to voluntarily assign myself more.
I’m not a big on telling schools how to do their jobs – as much as …

You want to be governor (again)? Start by following the law
Tue, 3/11/09 – 22:53 | Comments Off
You want to be governor (again)? Start by following the law

Anyone know of a nice third-party candidate – preferably one with a boatload of money, a bit of a political pedigree and at record of having voted before the turn of the century – who …

Jury’s still out? What jury?
Tue, 3/11/09 – 15:02 | 2 Comments
Jury’s still out? What jury?

For years, decades even, we’ve heard the pious preaching: Children should stay at home with a parent instead of being palmed off on a day care. Except no one ever said “parent” – they …

Of course kids are interested in social media. So what
Mon, 2/11/09 – 22:44 | Comments Off
Of course kids are interested in social media. So what

Big Guy is an active, curious, loquacious – Lord, is he loquacious – kid who loves zipping around the neighborhood on his bike, playing with friends and torturing his brother.
He also loves SuperPoke Pets on …

What do you mean, I have to be responsible?
Mon, 2/11/09 – 14:29 | 2 Comments
What do you mean, I have to be responsible?

A 6-year-old begs for weeks to play in the front yard without mom skulking over him. Mom finally gives him a chance at a 15-minute test drive.
What happens during that quarter of an hour?

The 6-year-old …

Mamma, don’t let your babies grow up to be race fans
Sun, 1/11/09 – 23:26 | Comments Off

It was the most spectacular crash – and not in a good way – since the one about six months earlier at that same track. A track driver Mark Martin calls “the lotto” because winning …

Egg-free carrot cake
Fri, 30/10/09 – 15:33 | 2 Comments
Egg-free carrot cake

Pardon me for the mistake in the headline – most people do not spell “pumpkin” c-a-r-r-o-t. We do in this house, though, especially when Mom’s craving carrot cake and she needs a way to convince …

A morning at school puts it all in perspective
Fri, 30/10/09 – 14:43 | Comments Off
A morning at school puts it all in perspective

One boy froze as if paralyzed when the plastic bag of foam spider parts landed on his desk.
“I can’t get it open,” the first-grader pleaded. “Can you do it?” I did, but uncertainty seemingly gripped …

A SWAT for picking on the girlfriends when the problem is society
Thu, 29/10/09 – 22:03 | Comments Off
A SWAT for picking on the girlfriends when the problem is society

I get what you’re saying, Mike Leach. I also get why you’re saying it.
Your rear’s so sore you probably still can’t sit after last weekend’s 52-30 butt-whoopin’ from in-state rival Texas A&M. A loss at …

Battling obesity one trick-or-treat basket at a time
Thu, 29/10/09 – 14:40 | Comments Off
Battling obesity one trick-or-treat basket at a time

The best parenting advice I ever heard was from an older co-worker who’d raised three daughters.
“Don’t try to ban junk food,” he said. “It will backfire. They’ll sneak it on the sly anyway and wind …

Try a virtual cigarette if you want to stop smoking
Wed, 28/10/09 – 22:24 | Comments Off
Try a virtual cigarette if you want to stop smoking

You’ve tried patches and gum and cold turkey and you still can’t kick the habit. Maybe that’s because you’ve never tried virtual reality.
According to Canadian researchers, tobacco addicts who crushed virtual cigarettes during at least …

The mystery of Annie’s Naturals ketchup
Wed, 28/10/09 – 15:54 | Comments Off
The mystery of Annie’s Naturals ketchup

I regularly recheck labels on products, even if we’ve been buying them for years, because you never know when ingredients or manufacturing processes are going to change.
It had never occurred to me to check the …

When sleep creep creeps up when it shouldn’t
Wed, 28/10/09 – 12:41 | Comments Off
When sleep creep creeps up when it shouldn’t

I had the bedtime problem solved: Energy expended at school and earlier nightfall plus an evil Mommy plot to wear their little butts out at the park every evening had created the most peaceful bedtimes …

Wake me up Sunday, when it’s safe to come out of hiding
Tue, 27/10/09 – 22:47 | Comments Off
Wake me up Sunday, when it’s safe to come out of hiding

Times like this, I am so glad Al Gore invented the Internet. How else would I know that, as the parent of an allergic child, I should find a large closet and hide there until …

Who gets the call in the middle of the night?
Tue, 27/10/09 – 14:02 | Comments Off
Who gets the call in the middle of the night?

You can bury your head in the sand for months at a time – and, believe me, at Fort Irwin there’s more than enough sand to keep you immersed for much longer than that – …

Food for thought, but not for healthy bodies
Mon, 26/10/09 – 23:12 | Comments Off
Food for thought, but not for healthy bodies

E tu, Cheerios?
I don’t know why I’m surprised. Everyone’s doing it, because children’s cereal is such a lucrative market. I knew you’d jumped the shark with Honey Nut Cheerios, but at least you were up …