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 …

Read the full story »
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.

Home » Archive by Tags

Articles tagged with: California

I love California. I’m just not sure why
Tuesday, 9 Mar, 2010 – 13:54 | 2 Comments
I love California. I’m just not sure why

It’s funny how a simple question can stop you dead in your tracks, like when a high school classmate I’d recently reconnected with asked, “How do you like Cali?”
I love it, I thought.
Then I wondered …

Nickels and dimes add up to $400m we don’t need to spend on schools
Tuesday, 2 Feb, 2010 – 19:54 | Comments Off
Nickels and dimes add up to $400m we don’t need to spend on schools

Every time a kid in California misses more than three days of school, the district spits out a form letter notifying parents that the student’s a truant.
Because the state requires districts to send that letter …

Universities v. prisons is not a real choice
Friday, 29 Jan, 2010 – 19:28 | Comments Off
Universities v. prisons is not a real choice

You have to wonder if the fumes from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous cigar patio are starting to affect his thinking.
Why else would someone who for years has battled California’s wacky budget process suggest making the …

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 disturb the peace at Christmas
Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009 – 20:45 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to disturb the peace at Christmas

Merry Susan Hyatt is a 61-year-old substitute teacher in Redding, Calif., who’s also taught in Southern California. In all those years she seldom encountered students who weren’t Christian. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a …

Epiblogue: An attorney general’s opinion that’s 100 percent Oscar Mayer
Wednesday, 11 Nov, 2009 – 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 …

Pay-per-mile auto insurance could be the new HMO
Thursday, 5 Nov, 2009 – 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, …

You want to be governor (again)? Start by following the law
Tuesday, 3 Nov, 2009 – 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 …

You want to be involved in government? Start by voting
Wednesday, 30 Sep, 2009 – 22:04 | Comments Off
You want to be involved in government? Start by voting

Whatever chance former eBay exec Meg Whitman has of getting my vote for governor dwindled to zero this week with her series of “dog ate my homework” excuses for not having registered to vote until …

A SWAT for waiting a decade on digital textbooks
Friday, 12 Jun, 2009 – 6:20 | Comments Off
A SWAT for waiting a decade on digital textbooks

It seems there are two development paces for digital textbooks in California:
There’s doomed-to-fail-fast for public schools that wants to kick off by this fall, and there’s pokey procrastination for colleges that wants to wait until …

Do not stand between teens and their math teacher
Wednesday, 20 May, 2009 – 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 …

Asthma alerts via social media just make sense
Monday, 4 May, 2009 – 23:27 | Comments Off
Asthma alerts via social media just make sense

Here’s a move that makes so much sense it’s stunning that more agencies aren’t considering it.
According to the Arizona Republic, health care professionals in that state are expanding their system of asthma alerts to include …

How to destroy a health-care program when it’s needed the most
Tuesday, 7 Apr, 2009 – 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 …

A SWAT at an effort aimed at graffiti that hits the wrong target
Friday, 20 Mar, 2009 – 1:21 | Comments Off
A SWAT at an effort aimed at graffiti that hits the wrong target

Once in a great while an idea comes along that’s so deliciously foolish that you’re eager to see it put to a vote of the people. With all the serious issues on the ballot, a …

A SWAT for meddling in foreign affairs
Thursday, 12 Mar, 2009 – 23:39 | Comments Off
A SWAT for meddling in foreign affairs

You’ve just embarrassed yourself with months of childish stubbornness and inability to agree on how to solve a $42 billion budget problem. Only 18 percent of the state thinks you’re doing a good job.
What are …

A SWAT for swatting at Dumpster divers
Thursday, 5 Mar, 2009 – 23:36 | 2 Comments
A SWAT for swatting at Dumpster divers

You’d think a part of the country facing police layoffs while battling a mammoth methamphetamine problem plus the distinction of being the auto theft capital of the country would have more to worry about than …

How a 7-year-old law surprised the auto industry
Tuesday, 27 Jan, 2009 – 3:02 | Comments Off
How a 7-year-old law surprised the auto industry

Did auto makers fall for the conspiracy theories that President Bush would declare martial law just before the election and remain in office forever?
Not that they could be faulted for fantasizing about that. Up until …

No texting while driving? WTH will I do now?
Saturday, 3 Jan, 2009 – 12:39 | 2 Comments
No texting while driving? WTH will I do now?

Now that California has closed the most stoopit legal loophole in the history of driving laws, I don’t know how on Earth I’m going to keep myself occupied on the road.
Since Thursday, it’s been illegal …

There has to be a way to continue insuring children
Monday, 17 Nov, 2008 – 13:54 | Comments Off
There has to be a way to continue insuring children

A flier in Big Guy’s backpack when he came home from school this afternoon asks, “Does your child have health insurance?”
It includes basic information about California’s Health Families program, which insures children whose parents …

The green in grocery bag ban would go to the grocers
Wednesday, 27 Aug, 2008 – 6:34 | Comments Off

I’m as green as the next over-stressed, under-loved working mom, which means I do it when it’s convenient.

I use paper ware only at birthday parties and plastic utensils only in the guys’ lunch. And those are left over from past parties, when I would inevitably panic and buy more forks and spoons, only to find a gross or two stashed in the garage much later.

I’ve recycled since back when it meant toting newspapers back to the office, which was capitalism at its finest for my employer. I paid to subscribe to the product I helped edit, then gave it back so the company could make money. What a sweet scheme.

The guys already know how to recycle, and Big Guy, being a bit on the anal side, is quite the little drill

When balloons are outlawed …
Thursday, 24 Jul, 2008 – 5:24 | Comments Off

The guys aren’t much into political news yet, but a recent item would have led to much rejoicing had they seen it: The California Senate has abandoned its effort to ban mylar balloons.

As far as I’m concerned, the ban should have been implemented in June, before I bought Little Guy a musical Thomas balloon for his birthday. Sure, it looked cute in the store, but try listening to a train whistle “”Happy Birthday”" a few million times. No, I wasn’t the one who popped it, but I won’t pretend to mourn the loss.

I’m sure now that the weighty matter balloon is solved, legislators can move on to trivial things. Such as a budget that’s more than a month overdue and has led Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to threaten slash state workers’ pay to the