Boots breaks in the baby-sitter
Thu, 9/04/09 – 12:13 | One Comment
Boots breaks in the baby-sitter

It’s hard to say who was more upset yesterday when I went to retrieve the guys from their shakedown cruise with a new baby-sitter: Boots, who was injured, or C, who was distraught that it …

Where’s the payoff for longer school days?
Thu, 9/04/09 – 0:58 | Comments Off
Where’s the payoff for longer school days?

First off, let’s get over the notion that American students are at a disadvantage because the school days are longer in China and India.
The lofty goal of the Chinese education system is nine years of …

Gimme a head with hair – no, I can’t look
Wed, 8/04/09 – 13:35 | Comments Off
Gimme a head with hair – no, I can’t look

You need heavier highlights. And if you’d straighten it with a flat iron – it will only take you an hour – it would look great.
Excuse me? Who the heck are you to charge in …

Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos
Wed, 8/04/09 – 0:51 | 4 Comments
Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos

Frustrated with the world? Stressed by the times we live in? Fine, but don’t take it out on your kids by feeding them junk.
According to the latest research from the It’s All Mom’s Fault Department, …

When arbitration fails, try arbitrary
Tue, 7/04/09 – 11:52 | Comments Off
When arbitration fails, try arbitrary

It’s a lesson I should have learned long ago, back when I was directing a community theater production and my costume selection for the female lead in a crucial scene was vigorously debated for 10 …

How to destroy a health-care program when it’s needed the most
Tue, 7/04/09 – 0:59 | One Comment
How to destroy a health-care program when it’s needed the most

If a tree falls in a dead-red county and takes out a health-care program that sees almost a quarter million visits a year, would anyone hear it?  Would anyone notice before hospital emergency rooms become …

Big Guy becomes working man
Mon, 6/04/09 – 12:00 | Comments Off
Big Guy becomes working man

Want to see your IQ drop and your credibility plummet quickly? Have a kid.
Within three years, you’ll find out that the rest of the world is so much smarter than you.
Big Guy’s preschool teacher knew …

New insights into the mind’s workings as scary as they are exciting
Mon, 6/04/09 – 0:55 | Comments Off
New insights into the mind’s workings as scary as they are exciting

If there were a medication that would make you forget downing one too many at the company holiday dinner and laying one on the boss’s better half, would you take it? Would you slip it …

Snoring can cause impairments – no kidding
Sat, 4/04/09 – 22:21 | Comments Off
Snoring can cause impairments – no kidding

Add another item to your running list of “reasons I fear my child will grow up to be a serial killer.”
A new study from Finland indicates that young children who snore have more problems with …

What goes up will come down: Here’s hoping we remember this time
Sat, 4/04/09 – 0:45 | Comments Off
What goes up will come down: Here’s hoping we remember this time

By the time the guys were 3 they’d learned that sooner or later their pretty balloons would pop if I gave in to their pleas to blow it bigger. It took a few bouts of …

Dog gone it, quit pestering me about a pet
Fri, 3/04/09 – 13:03 | 5 Comments
Dog gone it, quit pestering me about a pet

It’s been Big Guy’s most-repeated plea for five years, ever since he learned to say “goggy” and used the word to describe everything on four legs, from cats to horses.
“When can we have a dog?”
It’s …

A SWAT for all Vista’s exes who live in Texas
Fri, 3/04/09 – 1:09 | Comments Off
A SWAT for all Vista’s exes who live in Texas

From the state that could not resist wading into the evolution debate again comes a plan headed straight for the Legislative Micromanagement Hall of Fame.
Texas State Sen. Juan Hinojosa, concerned about reports of problems with …

‘Growing sock’ definitely grew on Boots
Thu, 2/04/09 – 13:54 | Comments Off
‘Growing sock’ definitely grew on Boots

There are two different kinds of people in this world:
The kind for whom socks are a fashion statement, a love note to the toes, a borderline obsession. These might well be the kids who grow …

Spring break quickly translates to spring broken
Thu, 2/04/09 – 12:31 | 2 Comments
Spring break quickly translates to spring broken

How long does it take the average house to devolve into chaos once spring break begins?
I don’t know if there’s an industry standard, but based on anecdotal evidence here this week I’d say roughly 23.6 …

Cheap fun’s starting to disappear
Thu, 2/04/09 – 1:08 | Comments Off
Cheap fun’s starting to disappear

Maybe this part of the world is different from everywhere else – and that could well be, since the recession started hitting California earlier and is blasting it harder – but the trend here of …

Egg-free lemon scones
Wed, 1/04/09 – 13:25 | 2 Comments
Egg-free lemon scones

Lemon and I just don’t seem to get along.
It’s not that I don’t have a deep love for it. It’s just that every time I try to convert a lemon recipe to egg-free it results …

Epiblogue: The curious case of the generic drug that’s not
Wed, 1/04/09 – 12:38 | One Comment
Epiblogue: The curious case of the generic drug that’s not

When we last left Pulmicort, the asthma medicine popular for children was about to become a generic after Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals got permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to produce it. British …

Consumers win round in credit-card shoot out, but it’s not nearly over
Wed, 1/04/09 – 0:22 | Comments Off
Consumers win round in credit-card shoot out, but it’s not nearly over

If you hold your breath every time a letter arrives from your bank and pray it’s not telling you your credit-card interest rate is about to skyrocket, don’t exhale just because Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd’s …

Teacher Big Guy’s classroom
Tue, 31/03/09 – 11:36 | Comments Off
Teacher Big Guy’s classroom

If I play my cards right, I won’t have to lift a single flash card to get Boots ready for kindergarten.
He and his brother will take care of it. And they’ll even think it’s fun. …

The obesity epidemic might start earlier than we think
Tue, 31/03/09 – 2:27 | Comments Off
The obesity epidemic might start earlier than we think

Researchers have known for years that overweight toddlers are more likely to grow into overweight teens, who in turn have a greater risk of becoming overweight adults.
The problem might start before even preschool, though.
New research …

A new drill to prepare for the worst
Mon, 30/03/09 – 12:45 | Comments Off
A new drill to prepare for the worst

Yes, I know the statistics.
A relative, neighbor, friend or acquaintance is much more likely to kidnap my child than the stereotypical trench coat-wearing stranger. It’s much more likely to happen at home or at a …

Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault
Mon, 30/03/09 – 2:49 | Comments Off
Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault

The headline – Feeling stressed? You can combat the worry line – was enticing enough that I clicked.
It included some interesting anecdotal nuggets about how the economy has taken its toll on our health – …

It’s official: No one knows where food comes from
Sun, 29/03/09 – 0:15 | 2 Comments
It’s official: No one knows where food comes from

Befuddled by exactly where that yogurt you’re about to eat came from?
You’re in good company. According to a report released Friday, even federal inspectors with access to an array of government and industry records were …

The era of the 14-year-old sex offender
Fri, 27/03/09 – 22:18 | One Comment
The era of the 14-year-old sex offender

Coming to a town near you: The arrest of a teen on child pornography charges for taking pictures of herself.
It happened again this week in New Jersey, when a 14-year-old was arrested after posting nude …

I Spy With My Little Eye … an easy diversion
Fri, 27/03/09 – 13:19 | Comments Off
I Spy With My Little Eye … an easy diversion

I learned to be grateful for “I Spy” after it saved my life almost a year ago when a 20-minute drive home mutated into a three-hour road trip.
Big Guy was just learning to play at …

A SWAT with a rolled-up newspaper for the nonprofit proposal
Fri, 27/03/09 – 1:29 | Comments Off
A SWAT with a rolled-up newspaper for the nonprofit proposal

The obvious punch line to Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s bill that would make it easier for newspapers to become nonprofit organizations is that many companies have mastered the “nonprofit” part.
The reasons are partly economic, partly corporate.
The …

Tales from the customer service crypt
Thu, 26/03/09 – 13:30 | Comments Off
Tales from the customer service crypt

Sometimes, the easiest answer is “no.”
It takes little time to say it and requires no effort to implement. I’ll admit that too many times it’s my go-to response with the guys, when I’m too tired …

He’s not scatterbrained – he’s 3
Thu, 26/03/09 – 1:12 | Comments Off
He’s not scatterbrained – he’s 3

Maybe Boots is not just on a mission to explode my head and make Big Guy late for school every morning when he wails “I can’t remember my shoes.”
Turns out he’s not just being whiny …