Falling with style: If bots can master it, why can’t I?
Thu, 21/05/09 – 23:18 | Comments Off

On one level, it’s simple: When you’re about to fall, just let go and fall. Trying to stop the tumble or, even worse, flailing your arms and legs as you land will make it worse.
Somewhere …

This is anaphylaxis
Thu, 21/05/09 – 11:40 | 8 Comments
This is anaphylaxis

They never believed me.
From the time Big Guy started eating solid foods, I insisted that it be done the “right” way – the way doctors recommend for any child, but particularly for one with a …

Do not stand between teens and their math teacher
Wed, 20/05/09 – 23:57 | 2 Comments
Do not stand between teens and their math teacher

School board members in a tiny California town learned a new type of political calculus this week:
Former pro football player turned popular math teacher (+ bizarre allegation of plagiarism  and – tenure) X 115 irate …

Epiblogue: Now he looks like the Karate Kid
Wed, 20/05/09 – 21:03 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Now he looks like the Karate Kid

There’s often a reason why Big Guy does the seemingly quirky things he does. A reason that makes sense only in his 5-year-old brain, but a reason nonetheless.
I usually don’t question, because if it’s genuinely …

Richard Scarry is scary
Wed, 20/05/09 – 13:31 | Comments Off
Richard Scarry is scary

Kool-Aid. The ice cream truck. Potted meat.
Funny how some things you loved as a kid just don’t resonate as an adult. Add Richard Scarry to the list.
Sadly, Big Guy has been on a Richard Scarry …

Nut warning on General Mills cereals
Wed, 20/05/09 – 10:18 | Comments Off

This one landed in my Twitter stream just as Boots was diving into a bowl of … Cocoa Puffs: “New peanut flour warning for General Mills cereals.”
Luckily, he’s not the child who’s allergic and Big …

Pay teachers like the rest of are? We already do
Wed, 20/05/09 – 0:48 | Comments Off
Pay teachers like the rest of are? We already do

Think we could solve all our problems in education by going to a merit-pay system that would make teachers earn their checks just like the rest of us?
Turns out that teachers already do earn their …

Karate’s over – yeah, right. What was I thinking?
Tue, 19/05/09 – 13:39 | Comments Off
Karate’s over – yeah, right. What was I thinking?

A week ago, Big Guy wasn’t sure he liked kararate at all.
It was “OK,” which for Big Guy is almost as big an insult as “ponies, unicorns and rainbows – girl stuff, blah, blah, blah.”
He …

Reason No. 3,542 the Brits are bonkers
Tue, 19/05/09 – 0:56 | Comments Off

From the country that wants to censor the Internet worldwide in the name of protecting its children comes another bizarre project, also in the name of “protecting children”
The British have launched a database, at a …

Epiblogue: Snow cone syrups
Mon, 18/05/09 – 23:38 | Comments Off

Do I ever feel like a dolt after my post last night lamenting the difficulties of finding dye-free snow-cone syrups.
I went to a Middle Eastern market today to pick up some hummus ingredients and ran …

The peanut patrol and the school secretary who invades privacy
Mon, 18/05/09 – 23:09 | 20 Comments
The peanut patrol and the school secretary who invades privacy

Here’s a concern that had never occurred to me as a parent of child with food allergies because I’ve been spoiled by our school’s concerned, considerate reaction in dealing with Big Guy’s peanut allergy this …

Rules are rules are rules. But …
Mon, 18/05/09 – 12:20 | Comments Off
Rules are rules are rules. But …

Evan’s overweight and tried to buy two seats on an airplane so he wouldn’t inconvenience fellow travelers.
That’s a good thing, right? Courteous and considerate, not to mention expensive for Evan.
Delta said “no.” We have rules …

Children suffer from mom’s stress – no kidding
Mon, 18/05/09 – 0:52 | Comments Off
Children suffer from mom’s stress – no kidding

If there’s an up side to a recent spate of studies looking at the impact stressed moms have on kids, it would be that researchers are starting to take seriously what’s been whispered at water …

It’s snow cone season!
Sun, 17/05/09 – 22:22 | Comments Off
It’s snow cone season!

Thousands of dollars of training and where the heck’s my bartender when the serious heat wave hits?
Oh yeah, that’s right. Army training, which leaves me to my own devices when it comes to making cool …

Maybe pink’s not just for girls after all
Sat, 16/05/09 – 22:04 | Comments Off
Maybe pink’s not just for girls after all

Too bad that one of the last things Dad did before leaving for basic combat training was to toss his collection of pink undies. It now appears that they work quite nicely as military wear.
Well …

Party on, dude: A kiddy luau
Sat, 16/05/09 – 20:16 | Comments Off
Party on, dude:  A kiddy luau

Parties in the park seem to be the rage around here of late – a rage that will be over by the time Big Guy’s birthday rolls around in 103-degree July – and today’s was …

Don’t you just love being a cliche?
Fri, 15/05/09 – 23:52 | One Comment
Don’t you just love being a cliche?

The salesman where I bought my Blackberry cost himself a bit of extra commission last week when he included a hot pink cover in the pile of accessories he was pushing on me.
Even Big Guy …

An extraordinary life
Fri, 15/05/09 – 22:15 | Comments Off

Six hundred and eight three killed in Afghanistan. Four thousand, two hundred and ninety six killed in Iraq. Many stories of incredible lives, often amazing sacrifices.
This is one such story.
Army Maj. Steven Hutchison survived two …

Ready for the birds and the bees – but not sexy
Fri, 15/05/09 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Ready for the birds and the bees – but not sexy

“Mommy, why do girls have bigger boobies than boys?” Big Guy asked the other night as he bathed.
OK, I can handle this one. He’s asking for simple anatomical information, not for a dissertation on the …

A SWAT for a ‘fat bill’ and its misguided goals
Thu, 14/05/09 – 23:41 | Comments Off
A SWAT for a ‘fat bill’ and its misguided goals

New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has been ahead of the curve on a number of issues, sponsoring legislation that probably drew chuckles when he introduced it.
Seven years ago, he was responsible for the nation’s first …

Asparagus-cheese tart
Thu, 14/05/09 – 22:22 | Comments Off
Asparagus-cheese tart

Look out, guys,  your momma is staging a coup. She does that every once in a while when she gets tired of tailoring meals around what you picky little bugs will agree to eat.
I was …

The case against rigid standards
Thu, 14/05/09 – 21:38 | Comments Off

Standards are good – they’re a framework for building a solid education.
Problem is, though, they’re only a framework, just as the human skeleton is the framework for the body. And just like the human body, the …

It’s not going to get better. Deal with it
Thu, 14/05/09 – 11:35 | Comments Off
It’s not going to get better. Deal with it

In March, I told myself life would get easier in April once Big Guy was out of school for the month and the morning rush was exchanged for an extra hour’s sleep.
In April, I told …

Love and marriage equals more housework
Thu, 14/05/09 – 1:48 | Comments Off
Love and marriage equals more housework

From the file of statistics with no obvious explanation:
The average single woman and the average single man spend 20 hours combined doing housework. But once the “I do’s” are done, that total balloons to a …

Big Guy the budding barista
Wed, 13/05/09 – 12:38 | Comments Off
Big Guy the budding barista

If I want Big Guy to do a chore regularly, it will get done only after much teeth gnashing and blood letting.
If it’s something Big Guy assigns himself, though, he will execute it faithfully and …

Intel chairman’s right about one thing: We need to talk about education
Wed, 13/05/09 – 0:37 | Comments Off
Intel chairman’s right about one thing: We need to talk about education

Give Intel Chairman Craig Barrett credit for two things: He’s no Johnny Come Lately to the issue of education reform, and he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is sometimes.
Make that three things: …

At least your office fridge didn’t send you to the hospital
Tue, 12/05/09 – 20:51 | Comments Off

We’ve all been there – the office refrigerator were forgotten lunches take on lives of their own, rotting, curdling and fermenting until the odor creates a better appetite suppressant than anything on the market.
Few of …

Exorcising their inner Eeyores
Tue, 12/05/09 – 13:41 | Comments Off
Exorcising their inner Eeyores

The men in this house get strange sometimes. Which means the house gets strange when two of them decide to let their quirks run wild at the same time.
For Big Guy and Dad, the weekend …