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.

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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 tagged with: It’s the economy stupid

A pox on both your houses!
Friday, 8 Apr, 2011 – 14:31 | Comments Off
A pox on both your houses!

About a week ago,  Texas Republicans had a good idea – yeah, it’s been known to happen.
That’s when U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert introduced House Resolution 1297, the “Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act.” It now …

Reaching shutdown shutdown
Thursday, 7 Apr, 2011 – 14:09 | One Comment
Reaching shutdown shutdown

After a few hours this morning of watching various channels for word on the budget the way he usually watches for news from Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, Dad had had enough. “Whatever happens will happen,” …

Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs
Tuesday, 1 Mar, 2011 – 10:18 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs

Just as I was in a mood to rant about proposals to cut Army morale spending anyway, they were handing out papers at last night’s soccer game alerting parents that registration is open for tee …

If you think MWR spending is frivolous come spend a week with us
Sunday, 27 Feb, 2011 – 16:56 | One Comment
If you think MWR spending is frivolous come spend a week with us

Listen to Joe “You lie” Wilson, for the South Carolina congressman is speaking the truth.
“While demands for increased effectiveness and efficiency are to be expected, I fear that misperceptions about the absence of a …

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 …

The myth of the benefits of the commissary
Sunday, 16 Jan, 2011 – 17:22 | Comments Off
The myth of the benefits of the commissary

The guys have an unfortunate addiction: Graham crackers and milk for breakfast. We could go through a box every three days, at $2 per “on sale” at the commissary.
I thought that price was bad until …

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 …

Let’s keep hating on health care through November
Tuesday, 23 Mar, 2010 – 16:47 | Comments Off
Let’s keep hating on health care through November

A couple of salient points in the hoo-ha coming today from those who lost the health care fight:
Not all Americans hate the new law. More people think it will help than think it will hurt. …

After you fit in little luxuries, frugal is what’s left
Tuesday, 23 Feb, 2010 – 15:15 | One Comment
After you fit in little luxuries, frugal is what’s left

I consider myself to be a fairly thrifty person. Not as tight as my grandfather who recycled coffee grounds – for brewing, not gardening – but I’m hardly a spendthrift in most areas.
For example, when …

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 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 …

Don’t take anything more from kids who have given up plenty
Friday, 8 Jan, 2010 – 19:28 | One Comment
Don’t take anything more from kids who have given up plenty

I’m not one to whine about budget cuts – I understand the economic realities in the country at the moment, and I realize everyone is feeling some pain.
I’m also not surprised that Army posts are …

Underwater? Go ahead, take a walk
Wednesday, 9 Dec, 2009 – 22:19 | One Comment
Underwater? Go ahead, take a walk

If you listened closely last winter, you could hear the soft drum beats in the background as Washington moved to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
“Unless we reduce the principal on loans, people will just walk away,” …

Trust is not relative but money is
Sunday, 6 Dec, 2009 – 22:04 | Comments Off
Trust is not relative but money is

Is community trust a luxury in America, the Gallup Poll asks as its lead-in to a survey showing that 82 percent of those who make $90,000 or more a year believe a neighbor would return …

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – like it or not
Sunday, 15 Nov, 2009 – 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 …

Jury’s still out? What jury?
Tuesday, 3 Nov, 2009 – 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 …

Ticket prices keep fans from sporting events? No kidding
Tuesday, 13 Oct, 2009 – 22:41 | Comments Off
Ticket prices keep fans from sporting events? No kidding

It took a whooper of a recession to finally whomp pro sports executives up the sides of their heads with what fans have been trying to tell them for decades: You are too expensive to …

If a school asks, I’m happy to tell
Sunday, 4 Oct, 2009 – 20:41 | Comments Off
If a school asks, I’m happy to tell

Amidst the announcements about the fall carnival and the homework assignments this week came a blue sheet from the school district titled “Budget Survey.”
Among other things, it asked parents to rank 10 items in order …

Americans angry? We’ve yet to hear the beginning of it
Tuesday, 29 Sep, 2009 – 22:32 | Comments Off
Americans angry? We’ve yet to hear the beginning of it

Anyone with the political smarts of a 6-year-old has to chuckle when a Republican pollster proclaims that Americans are angrier than even and then reels off reasons why that are straight out of the GOP …

The case against coupons
Wednesday, 23 Sep, 2009 – 22:56 | 2 Comments
The case against coupons

Ten years ago or so, I was a hopeless coupon geek.
I’d religiously clip the Sunday paper, sort the coupons into envelopes and then put them in order of expiration date. I’d write my grocery list …

Stopping credit-card fraud by stopping credit-card use
Thursday, 27 Aug, 2009 – 13:45 | Comments Off
Stopping credit-card fraud by stopping credit-card use

Want in on a little secret about how your credit card company is going to guarantee that you won’t be responsible for any fraudulent purchases?
They’re going to do it by stopping anyone – including you …

Clearing the way to scorch the earth
Monday, 1 Jun, 2009 – 20:45 | 2 Comments

Is this what you really wanted, Californians, when you stayed home in droves two weeks ago from a special election?
Did you really intend to send the message that massive and debilitating budget cuts are the …

What goes up will come down: Here’s hoping we remember this time
Saturday, 4 Apr, 2009 – 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 …

Cheap fun’s starting to disappear
Thursday, 2 Apr, 2009 – 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 …

Consumers win round in credit-card shoot out, but it’s not nearly over
Wednesday, 1 Apr, 2009 – 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 …

Bummed out? It’s really not the media’s fault
Monday, 30 Mar, 2009 – 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 – …

You’re right: The commoners just don’t get AIG
Tuesday, 17 Mar, 2009 – 1:18 | 2 Comments
You’re right: The commoners just don’t get AIG

Go ahead, tell us we just don’t understand.
Patiently explain why the $165 million in bonuses American International Group is paying 400 people are necessary to keep “some of these brainiacs in their seats.” Tell us …