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There are no poor children. Kids don't work and earn wages or make the major choices about how money is spent. Everything is given, or not given, to kids. Poverty is a condition of adults. How poverty is managed, what sacrifices are made, varies from family to family. It's more constructive to discuss poverty in tangible terms. For example: the number of malnourished children, children who don't receive breakfast or have it publicly funded at school, don't receive dental care or receive it publicly funded, and so forth.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2010 on Poverty Numbers Seem a Bit Low at DadTalk
"to ensure his swim skills are up to par" What is par in this situation? I'm in the opposite situation... nobody has backyard pools in our town. The only swimming occurs at health clubs and one community pool. Par for my daughter is simply to be comfortable in the water and have a basic grasp of a few swimming techniques. I grew up around backyard pools, but there was no pressure to be good at swimming (I was not). We spent our time jumping, splashing and floating mostly. At your playdates, do kids measure each other by their swimming abilities? Race each other in the water?
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2010 on A Tough Lesson to Learn at DadTalk
Shooting photos of anyone in a public place while you are also on public property is almost never illegal. There is not a reasonable expectation of privacy. IANAL as well, but I also believe it's not so clean an issue when the photos are taken at a business and are used in a commercial manner. A key issue can be whether you were aware the photographer and how the images were going to be used, e.g., you may have provided implied consent. That said, if I were them and you came at me demanding compensation, I'd remove the photo, slap up a new photo with new kids (this time asking parental consent -- most parents would be flattered) and be done with it. If you still wanted compensation, I'd tell you to go pound sand. Any benefit I got from your photo and any harm you feel was inflicted upon you probably wouldn't even cover the cost of having me served with court papers. I'd chalk this up to the photographer and/or the business not being versed in the law. It doesn't sound like you're upset, but if you are, ask for the photo to be removed and they'll probably do it.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2010 on My Daughter Is Famous … Sort of at DadTalk
Does he enjoy competing on the swim team? After all is said and done, is his ability to enjoy an activity tied to whether he succeeds at it? For example, is the experience of having played a board game ruined if he doesn't win at the end?
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2010 on A Tough Lesson to Learn at DadTalk
The toilet brush is designed for a forested setting. We have them in our redwood forests in California. Redwoods typically have branches only up higher, so you don't think much of the limbless base if you drive by it. The upper fake limbs simply blend into the surrounding trees.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2010 on Beware cellguaro at DadTalk
Ahh, it reminds me of when my 4-year-old daughter released a clamp on my tripod to see what it would do. For the record, it irreparably damages a $400 external flash unit.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2010 on Crud, She Washed the Camera at DadTalk
Our elementary school is reshaping its cafeteria program, with the lead parent initiators looking to a school just north of us as an example... Students there have locally made main courses that include such items as Thai spring rolls, soup, fajitas, orzo with grilled vegetables, baked ziti, and teriyaki chicken. Organic salad is available every day -- they have a school vegetable garden. Check 'em out: I'm coming to view school districts as a fine example of followers leading so the leaders will follow. On a national level it's difficult because corporate interests have billions of dollars stacked against you. At the school level it can just take a small group of enthused parents to make change happen. Our parent group had met only once in the fall before the superintendent took notice and formed an official committee. By January, we began to see menu improvements and hearing long-term plans. Best of all, I'm told that organic salad school I linked actually turns a profit on its menu. I suspect our administrators recognize an innovative menu as one more way to distinguish a school and assist enrollment. In California, our main public schools are being bled dry by charter schools, so it takes something quite unusual to make parents consider a public school.
Toggle Commented Jan 26, 2010 on The Ugly Truth About School Lunches at DadTalk
Traffic is down because 5 years ago there weren't many parent blogs and 5 years is a long time to retain the same readers. Lost readers aren't as easily replaced because there are thousands of mid-level parent blogs now, plus a glut of commercial parenting blogs. School volunteering is taking its toll on my blog, too. Priorities change.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2010 on Pretend Snow Day at DadTalk
Here's a video of a Tempe group: And a girl holding a birthday roda: The roda (hoe-duh) is an informal sparring (game). Notice that when two people are playing, the group surrounds them in a circle, clapping and singing. It's a very supportive environment no matter the skill level. My daughter got interested after seeing a performance at a fair. And one more vid, of a mestre (Capoeira teacher) speaking on its importance for children. Okay, preaching done.
Do a price comparison with Capoeira classes in your area. It has elements of gymnastics. It's a martial art, but has infrequent physical contact, and in that way it's also like a spontaneous dance where you anticipate your partner's moves. I like it because it's co-ed and is most often called a game (with no winners). Girls play on-par with boys right on up through adulthood. If it interests you, attend an annual Batizado (a show + students receive new belts) to spark initial interest.
Er, that should be, "check that the machine can be powered off while the door is OPEN."
I take the long view on everything. Buy an energy-efficient model if you can afford it. re: Mark's front-loader issue. Avoid mold by washing with bleach now and then. In lieu of that, employ the laundromat method – leave the door open between washes so everything dries out. (Check that the machine can be powered off while the door is closed.) That advice came from the guy who replaced our door seal due to extensive mold. He said our particular Maytag (the subject of a recall) has a special mold problem. The new seal was supposed to fix that. We've had no problems since. I'll never go back to a top loader. We've had no problems stuffing the thing completely full of jeans or anything. A top loader has to work harder because it fills the entire basin with water -- a great waste.
I enjoy a good carrot while jogging with my baby. I, for one, will be buying an umbrella stroller that has this handy time-saving feature.
'Realtor' is the second job of a great many people. Who isn't scrambling to figure out how to scrape by as our country crumbles? Oh yeah, the super rich. In my town, I know a barber, retired pro athlete, computer store owner and quite a few college graduates (who couldn't find work) who have all become realtors, or massage therapists or other service industry jobs that offer the flexibility to fit around their first occupation.
A similar incident happened to us at a sleepover. Was your glow stick a thin bracelet/necklace type, or the thicker 'classic' tube?
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2009 on Glow-in-the-Dark Lael at DadTalk
Politicians do the bidding of corporations and it's not in most corporations' interests to bolster schools. Education policy would change overnight if CEOs gave a damn. In the meantime, we parents have become crack fundraisers, deploying every tool in the book to keep schools afloat. The largest portion of our PTO budget this year went to retaining a few hours for the librarian, school psychologist, classroom aides, etc... not increasing the hours over previous years, just reducing the impact of the annual cuts. In California they are indeed annual cuts and have been for many years now. I wonder at what point the entire system will collapse.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2009 on Let’s Turn the Focus Back on Education at DadTalk
It won't slow product freebies at all. Audience exposure with a disclaimer is still inexpensive advertising. It might, however, harm blogs that are open shills for advertisers. (There are many such blogs.) However, I question how many of these bloggers will be aware of the law and choose to obey it. Are magazine and newspaper reviewers held to these standards? I don't recall seeing disclaimers in technology reviews, and I've known some reviewers who get to keep quite a few nice gadgets. I don't trust magazine reviews one iota.
Please consider posting a review of these book series', including what you didn't like about ones you've chosen for him not to read. Does Seth watch TV? How much? Why no fantasy books? What's the tally being kept for school? Are these all books from the school library?
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2009 on The Reading Machine at DadTalk
I'll go for a pair of earpods. There's a string of Doctor Who episodes that establish (Bluetooth-looking) earpods as a means to deliver data into a brain and/or turn a person into a mindless zombie who walks to the nearest conversion chamber to have their brain implanted into a Cyberman (robot). That sort of gadget would come in handy when managing a rambunctious child.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2009 on New Ways to Monitor Kids at DadTalk
Now that I've established street cred with Anne, here's my real suggestion Brett: Publish a sex education pop-up book.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2009 on What Should I Do Next? at DadTalk
If you go back to college, plan a degree that leads to certain employment. Don't write a novel or a screenplay unless you plan to write ten successful ones. A single won't pay the bills. Farming is exhausting, time-consuming work. If you do it on a reasonable scale, forget being with your kids. Journalism means many hours for little pay and an uncertain future... not a career for parents. Yes, start a business that makes money. Those are the best kind. Don't design an original product because if it's actually good, it will get copied in China and sold to consumers for half of your production cost. Do work that takes place while the kids are at school. Be an awesome dad when they get home and through bedtime. Use the evening to plan tomorrow's awesome dad activities. Don't sweat music, gymnastics and other lessons if you can't afford them. The best lessons in life are free.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2009 on What Should I Do Next? at DadTalk
Political hit groups and media blowhards dish out lies and misinformation, average people who don't think critically eat it up, and our mainstream media reports the controversy.
Wow, I'm surprised Seth can get right up there with the trains. Our dinky MRR club has fiberglass barriers between the tables and visitors.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2009 on The Other Train Park at DadTalk
I'd approach the principal and introduce him to the $5,500 my child represents that will transfer to a different school if I can't push my second, younger wad of $5,500 on the swing. That's a California public school valuation anyhow. Is enrollment a non-issue in Arizona? Another leverage point is being active in your PTA/PTO. At a minimum, much of the staff will know you, and at maximum they won't want to mess with you because of the additional services you provide the school.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2009 on Rules + School = Dumb at DadTalk
I just spoke with her and got an earful about her dad's passion for trains (the McCormick in the park name is his wife). Apparently it all began with 2.5 miles of track at their home to entertain their kids. I'm a bit envious. We have no extraordinary family attractions where I live.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2009 on The Best Park Ever? at DadTalk