What do they mean No Child Left Behind is bad?

Posted in Just A Thought, Uncategorized at 12:15 pm

Last year we followed our long term plan for our kids’ education – our eldest graduated from her private school and we moved her to the very-highly-rated local high school. We knew of mutterings that No Child Left Behind was evil – stifling the creative brilliance of our teachers and making them teach a uniform curriculum. 

Not a problem we thought – eldest’s strengths are diligent work on whatever she’s asked to do (not an iota more), careful attention to presenting herself in the most attractive manner possible (much more important to later job success than technical brilliance, much to my chagrin) and the ability to organize affairs for community service or social events. Since she is not struck by the mad curiosity of middle child, a standard curriculum would not be problematic.

Little did we know. School rankings (an issue of paramount concern for keeping parents happy and property values high) are based on how well a group does when tested. Duh. 

The test taken depends on which group you are enrolled in. If you are enrolled in a AP (advanced placement) course it does not matter that your 4 out of 5 is 80% on an exam that is much harder than the normal exam; the school gets a higher ranking if you get 100% on the easier course. A bored student, or one not taught to their full capacity does not penalized the school in the rankings. 

It is completely to a school’s advantage to push children into the easiest course when they are borderline between two levels (start algebra late, honors vs. standard courses, and the gold standard – AP courses.) If your school is not allowing open enrollment into AP courses the welfare of the student may not be their first concern and may be a sign all the way down the line that they are making choices that are for their benefit rather than the child’s.

Eldest child? We moved her to a school that thinks most children are capable of honors work and she chugs along with a solid B.  It’s the same B she would have garnered in the standard courses of the top ranked public school but she works a little harder.

We’re failing the global education race.  Is it unreasonable to ask that not only should all children be educated to a minimal level but that all children be pushed to their maximum level?


Home Farm Experiment

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 11:40 am

I’ve long thought that using modern-day victory gardensto counter food shortages from abrupt climate change events or other crises, would run full-tilt into a wall of ignorance that just didn’t exist in the early 20th century. A courageous idiot from Brooklyn decided to prove my point. As he reported in New York Magazine, Manny Howard decided in March to build and live off a backyard farm for the month of August.

His experiment wasn’t completely in line with a real effort to stave off starvation in a crisis.  In a very small area (800 sq ft.) he decided against going vegan and elected to raise livestock in addition to his crops. He also invested significant time, money and effort in preparing his farm – including extensive drainage work and soil replacement.  While completely consistent with his goal of eating local produce, remaking the backyard probably wouldn’t be an option when everyone else is trying to do it too.

His problems ranged from livestock too old to produce, seedlings that died right before planting (can I relate to that one), to a tornado taking out part of his farm a week before he was scheduled to live off its produce.  These problems can be expected to be widespread if there is an emergency need for victory gardens.

Those adventurous souls willing to raise livestock will need to contend with suppliers being offered large amounts of money for breeders by people who have no idea what they are buying.  If you think shady sales don’t happen routinely now, you haven’t listened to children’s stories of how the hamster they bought at the pet shop died after a couple months from what the vet diagnosed as old age. (Old breeders are not retired to green pastures. Read Black Beauty.)

Nature wiping out significant portions of home vegetable plots is not at all unreasonable if abrupt climate change is behind the crises. Even neglecting to throw a sheet over a tender vegetable patch when there is an early frost can shorten the growing season needlessly for novice gardeners.

So why, when Manny was doing what I recommended (more or less), did I call him an idiot? In persuing his goal of self-sufficient dining he almost torpedoed his marriage.  In future I hope he enjoys the produce from his garden on a less intense basis and remembers to plant some flowers for his wife.


My friend started a blog. What does she WANT?

Posted in Just A Thought at 9:28 pm

My friends were so supportive when I started a blog (probably happy that I’d stop telling them about the crazy things I read and think about).  They’d sometimes even log on and read my pearls. (Usually in front of me just to show that they had looked at it.) Sometimes they’d even call me up to comment on something I said. And my happiest-to-be-supportive friend told me – “your blog was great. I clicked on all the ads dozens of times. Did you make a lot of money?”

Arrrrgh. What exactly was I expecting?

If you want to support a friend starting his or her own blog, you can do a lot.

Read the blog  multiple times

First, read it several days in a row. New bloggers very quickly find ways to track who’s looking at their new baby.  They might not know that it’s you, but they know which town you’re reading the blog from. If you go an a trip to Spain and read the blog there, your new blogging friend will know you stopped by. (Assuming of course that they know you went to Spain.) This is not to say new bloggers aren’t gratified by their friends reading in front of them – comments like “What a pretty title picture.” or “Do you really think a hot pink and orange background really goes with a Save Darfur site?” can be extremely helpful.

Leave comments about the blog for other people to read. 

If you’re slightly embarrassed about making public comments, use an alias. Your friend will know from your email, which isn’t published, that you’re you.  You can even still call and tell your friend you left the note.  Comments let other readers know that they are not the only ones looking at the blog. Sometimes the comments are even better than the original post. (A situation that your blogger friend will not be offended by at all – lively conversation is a tremendous compliment to a site.)

 Ads? – I train my mind to block them out

If your friend has put ads on a site he/she is trying to make some money.  It’s not really helpful, however, to click on each ad dozens of times. If the ad is pitching something you might buy (even in the future & you’re just looking for info now) click the ad. If you’re actually going to buy something you saw on your friend’s site, make the effort to find the ad again and buy after clicking on the ad.  The commission your friend earns is probably large enough to pay his or her blogging costs for the month. (Theoritically you could go straight to the vendor’s site within a reasonable period to make your purchase and your friend should get their commission.  I block and clean cookies so vigourously that a vendor probably wouldn’t be able to tell if I’d seen them from a specific site. The problem is probably worse if you use multiple computers.)

If you have a blog or a website, link to your friend’s new blog.

  Even if your website is just your family info site, link.  (You should also link to your community groups, your favorite local restaurants and any others you’d like to give a helping hand to.)

Finally, email another friend a link to an article you like and tell them to check out the site. 

Follow these steps and your friend will really appreciate your support.


How to Host A Carnival

Posted in Just A Thought at 8:48 am

Several posts are flying around my head but the most urgent is based on a comment in this week’s Carnival of Family Life by next week’s hostess Little Mummy– she’s understandably nervous at hosting her first carnival.

Hosting is fun and easy (we all write don’t we?) but takes a lot of time. If you follow a few simple rules and stay on top of each day’s submissions you’ll have a great carnival.


The week before your carnival, put up a post so your regular readers know you’re hosting next week. Maybe your friends will discover carnivals through you.  


Kailani (or the person who maintains the carnival) forwards emails – one for each submission, usually in a batch, once per day.  Each email contains the url for the post, the originating website, remarks, usually the name of the submitter and an email in case you have questions. The emails are each labeled with a totally useless (to you) tracking number.

I strongly recommend you do the following as soon as you can after you get emails:

Open 1 (don’t open all planning to shut down as you process them.)

Read the submitted post. (duhhhh)

Problems – Every carnival there are a couple of problematic posts – they might be very thinly disguised ads, way way off topic or advocacy posts. Let the person who maintains the carnival know about your problem. Kailini generally leaves whether or not to include the post up to the host but does give a little guidance. (I dump ads and advocacy if it looks like someone was just trying to publicize a cause. If the submitter made the effort to tie their cause into the carnival format and theme I take it.)

Duplicates – every so often someone submits right after the deadline and the again later in the week. If you have a clear preference take the one you like best. If they do it early enough and you feel like investing the time, email & ask which they meant to use. At the very least forward a copy of the submission you are dropping and let them know why you’re not including it.

Disagreeing with the content of the post isn’t a problem – you can always note your reservations in comments. (Do you know that there are people who don’t hold the same political views I do? They still have wonderful things to say. Amazing.)

So the Post is Wonderful

Write a teaser for the post that includes a link to the post and to the submitting blog. Try not to reveal the punchline or just summarize – you want to give enough information to make sure no one skips over a post that they’d like but not so much that they feel they already know what it says.

For each link be sure to specify that it opens in a new window (or your readers will get lost in a journey of discovery and may not see the rest of the posts) and that you have typed in the description that appears when your mouse hovers over the link. (if you don’t have the second your page will generate errors.)

Time-Saver Caution – BlogCarnival includes code that you could cut and paste into your carnival and it would give you a listing. Not only does it not have the best format for the links (no new window; no description on hover), the format is not inviting.  If you get a couple of last-minute posts that you just don’t have time to address properly you could use the cut & paste, but I’d really try not to.

Label the email

I cannot stress this one enough. I like to change forward to Done and add the post blogger at the end of the tracking number in the subject line. Be careful to label Kailani’s email, not the attachment.

You skip this step at your peril. Some time during the week I get distracted and leave a half-finished post in my draft. Worse yet, if you have a crash and loose 10 minutes of posting its not a big deal if you can see which posts didn’t survive. Having to go through 60 emails, opening 60 attachments looking for the lost post kills enormous amounts of time.


Somewhere 2/3 of the way through the carnival (Thursday for the Carnival of Family Life) themes emerge.  I usually have ‘stories’ first – those posts that are closest to the stated intent of the carnival. Advice is a perennial favorite – the volume of good ideas out there is amazing. Set up your categories as headers.

I like to start each category with the code <h4> and end it with </h4>. (the ending is not a like – you must have it if you don’t want the rest of your post to be a header.) Be sure you’re adding the labels when you’re in code mode.

Post Order

This is very subjective. I try to put the posts that I like the most at the beginning of the category but I try to mix up serious and funny posts. For some reason the grimmest posts seem to come in early (they often are among the most worthwhile to read but they can be draining.)


I like to include mention of Kailani (of course), last week’s host and a reminder to submit entries for next week.

Housekeeping – It’s Almost Over

Don’t forget to spell check the post. I love WordPress but their spell checker is beyond feeble. I:

  • switch to code mode,
  • copy the post to my word processing program,
  • make my corrections
  • past back over the original draft.

Be careful not to lose your links! If something goes wrong Ctrl z (undo) is a wonderful thing.

Check the page for errors at the W3 validator .  Just paste the url of your draft in the box and submit. If you didn’t set up your links correctly it makes the page take longer to load. After you and all the posters have put in so much time you don’t want to lose anyone because the site is slow.

Finally, I like to send a copy of the draft over to Kailani before I publish (optional). It’s great to have someone else count the entries & match against the number of submissions. I also have the almost completely baseless fear that my site will go down the week I am host. I figure sending Kailani a copy will work like carrying an umbrella – if she could put it up, she’ll never need to.

Carnivals are fun – just stay relaxed and enjoy.


Carnival of Family Life – June 25 2007

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:25 pm

Thank you for the sixty wonderful submissions.  I’d had a little trouble thinking of interesting things to say lately and you’ve given me weeks of things to respond to. If your links not quite right let me know and I’ll fix it – I had a 30 second crash and lost posts in the middle. I blame all mistakes on it. (What are host services for anyway?)

 Adoptees, pets, fathers were all popular this week.  Pour the coffee and enjoy!


Did Kailani hit a popular topic this week! – Girlie Girl has her first crush. Reminiscing with the crowd is the best part – I still remember Jeff Crawford carrying my books home from Grace Park in third grade.

I don’t think Peter’s mother (Peter was the brother of a friend of mine) fully considered all the implications when she married Mr. Abbott and he adopted her children.* Chaos Theory brings you another instance of naming fun when she brought home presents.

*Would you have said your child’s new name 3 times quickly?

Girls growing up– where does the time go? Mud Puppy is from The Common Room.

A fun haircut story from Health and Fitness – Fact or Fiction . Much better than the stories in my family that start with the need for hair for a doll and end with younger siblings going to Jackie the Expensive (& Good) to repair the disaster.

Wired For Noise brings a chuckle in trying to figure out just what that mysterious request was really for.

After looking at my husband’s mowing job (Israelis understand desert – not lawns) and reading Diary of 1’s submission on goat milk, I wonder if my New Jersey town is zoned for goats. (Not likely since they outlaw clothes lines, but somebody might have overlooked an ordinance.)

Stone washed jeans have nothing on diapers as rags (think dry the crystal with the softest, possible cloth that has absolutely no lint) so I was very taken with this from Activist Mommy. Actually my first reaction was “Are diaper services dead?”

From Jenny, last week’s hostess, at The So Called Me – musings on the pet to get. (Although after the news report on one town’s approach to living green – maybe she should consider earthworms. – The town was encouraging workers to bring worms to work to process the food wastes from lunch – just hold the ranch dressing and bologna.)

Speaking of pets – Perfurr remembers getting her kitten from the RSPCA.

Life set to music from Live the Power.

A Saturday off in Skipping Work to be a Mom posted at Sandier Pastures.

Fathers Day

I am very honored to post this Father’s Day reflection – a reprint (and update) of Jack Yoest’s 1999 article on wars’ costs and purpose and obligations of fathers and sons. I would rank it on par with the NY Post’s letter to Virginia on the existence of Santa Claus. USS Bonefish Lost: A Remembrance 18 June posted at Reasoned Audacity. (And I’m not exactly on the same page politically.)

A quick reminder from INNside Innkeeping in Montana of all the times Dad is right plus a scrumptious-looking recipe for blueberry pancakes. It’s somewhere in the middle of their yogurt/fruit all-is-healthy mode and their sausages & cheese/calories-really-do-taste-good mode. As an added bonus you get to find out the best time to put in the fruit in the pancake batter. (I had always subscribed to the “whenever my son pours it in school” – but there’s good reason for the right order.)

I found the Father’s Day reflections involving Dads in the military fascinating. Sheppard at Salter Blog gives us his memories at his Father’s Day post. (My father and uncles served in the Royal Air Force so there were no discussions of WWII military service in my family.)

In Mad Kane’s world this may be a Father’s Day submission although June weddings might have brought Married to Money on. If you’re good with Limericks check out her contest too.

A tribute to a very special Dad from Cause of Our Joy.

A short & sweet account of the first Father’s Day the daughter of Super Saver at Wealth Builder’s participated in.


The Scratching Post‘s submission was hard to categorize but it was great fun and soooo needed if you have kids.

Another funny post – I relate to the desire to have such an effective tool when the kids lose their minds, although I sincerely hope Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living removes the post before her son or his friends read it. (He sounds pretty young now.)

How can anything that gets kids gardening be bad? Lori at Fun Playdates plays with a new gadget.

Christine at Are We There Yet? starts an experiment in sign language with her young toddler.

Jedi Mind Tricks from Down With the Kids describes the machinations needed to get 4-year-olds to cooperate. It’s much easier with teenagers. Just say the opposite of whatever you truly want.

I’m not sure how Journey 2 Retirement could have skipped driving in her list of future worries, but she undertakes to scientifically analyze who is harder to raise – boys or girls.

Who knew my mother was so lucky that one of her 4 children was a girl? I don’t remember games like this from Do You Weary in Well Doing? (although I do remember becoming very lady-like as soon as my younger brothers became taller than me.)

Growing up is about labels. Well, not totally unless you’re a middle schooler. Would you have guessed adoptee could bring such satisfaction? From Forever Parents.

The continuing connection to the joy of the first day picking up the new family member at The Incredible Shrinking Ladies.

My Two Boys describes a day that is exhausting just to read about – but maybe her child is just truly fashion conscious and knows they’re out in new color combinations?

To Do

TOTALLY beyond my skill level (I’m great at stapling hems) but a really nice idea for infants in shopping carts from How To ME.

For the perfect high school graduation gift see Summer With Grandmother Wren.


Some advice from Mom Is Teaching that goes far beyond home schooling.

Just in time for summer vacations great advice for flying with kids from Building Blocks Blog.

A great outing from Stop The Ride but call ahead to make sure the season in your area hasn’t ended (it varies a bit every year).

An interesting idea for getting kids to help from Love Shak, Baby based on a CNN.com article.

Passing on an alert on how not to get scammed from Write From Karen.

I’m a soccer mom so I had my doubts about planning a Fall Trip now, but Family Travel‘s Thanksgiving in Paris sounds very tempting (one of several ideas).

Five practical tips for talking with teens from Amy, a licensed clinical social worker in NJ. I do feel the need for a disclaimer here – Amy’s advice to not convey disapproval through body language can be applied very easily in automobiles. Since teenagers really do love to talk if they don’t feel disapproval they might go way beyond your comfort level if they can’t see your winces – just keep in mind that you’re driving and an accident is not a good way to end a conversation.

Some priceless advice for handling unwanted advice from Baby Talkers.

Tips for Frugal Shopping from Finance Is Personal should help save money although I take issue with No. 5’s impact on the food store bottom line. A long-term health savings yes – cheaper – not lately in my experience.

The power of being honest with yourself from A Better You.

I subscribe to the old wives tale that picky eaters come from not being allowed to touch your food when first learning to eat, but if you’re past that stage, Total Mind and Body Fitness‘s guide to helping your picky eater consume better meals should help.

The strategies we resort to amuse our kids make me long for my childhood when my mother waved goodbye after breakfast, occasionally fed a gang of 10 that appeared for lunch and then said hello as we appeared to lay the table for dinner – after a hard day of mucking in the stream, riding bikes or playing elaborate war games. I’m a WAHM gives techniques for today’s world when 10 neighborhood children aren’t available. (Although I do wonder if she’ll look back in horror when her kids are older that she suggested video games to keep kids amused.)

Teaching toddlers shapes is a snap with these suggestions from Little Mummy.

I put off looking at 7 Easy Ideas for Great Family Videos posted at High-Tech Parent because I thought it was self-explanatory (it is) and we’re a bit camera-crazy so what would I learn? Wrong. For instance, it never occurred to me to tape the annual lesson from my mother-in-law on how to make jelly donuts. (She says it took 10 years for her to learn and we’re right on track for 15 – maybe this will help.)


I know I’m a geek but this gem from Musings From a Catholic Bookstore just cried out for substituting my teenage daughters sleep patterns (16 hours if I don’t wake her up) to see if I could make the chaos in my house go negative.

News from Hawkhill Acres has my favorite quote of the week in it (the section about ADHD/ Half-mad/Solutions) in the midst of reflections on a typical car-cleaning day.

Kevin at More4Kids uses a very interesting analogy to help analyze and improve home life.

A Mama’s Rant makes the excellent point that the internet is a great tool for protecting your kids with a very personal example. (Don’t forget to check the internet for the names of your children’s friends – their naitivety in setting privacy settings may rope your child into unpleasant situations.)

Eric at Husbandhood gives Bathroom Etiquette Tips to Impress as tips for a husband or boyfriend but I really think they’re best for kids – 4 year olds can be taught to be responsible for checking the toilet paper supply as long as you keep your main cache in an accessible place – think of the leg up they’ll have in the marital race.

Matt at The Pet Haven doesn’t realize he’s really training for his role when children come into his life in Canine Neighbors.

As a youngster I thought my neighbor was rather strange for wearing a yellow poncho and hat to feed her toddler. As Mommn’ It Up so ably illustrates, she just knew what was coming.

From Everybody Needs Therapy the need for balance unless you’re attached.

Carol presents A Baby Named Maude posted at Can’t Holder Tongue.

Linda at Life Without School mulls the wisdom of sticking to principles, childhood friends and raising kids.

A brief rant on the perils of perception for stay-at-home moms from Home With the Kids. Spend some time checking out her Work at Home scams – it’s amazing how many ways people are conned out of money.

Looking to answer your questions, Jordan posts  Let’s Change the World! at MamaBlogga.

The unfairness of viruses and how to cope from Mac and Cheese Chronicles.

A hope for the future from Principled Discovery.

Dawn at Randomness speculates on the origin of kid-friendly food.

The discovery that he had gay relatives caused Michael at The Common Virtue to reevaluate his position on gay marriage.

VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) Adventure is collecting reasons people have been counseled to get a repeat Cesarean.

Don’t forget to submit your post for nest week’s carnival hosted by Little Mummy.


Ethanol in Gas

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Just A Thought at 2:52 pm

My environmental posts come from a lot of research into scientific papers. This doesn’t. (I’ll research it later, but if anyone has a clue, I’d love to know about it.)

 I’ve been driving in NYC lately. This doesn’t usually give me blinding headaches.  NYC has had ethanol in it’s gas for a long time but now the surrounding areas (that have much cheaper gas) are high in ethanol too.  Is it significantly raising emissions?


Reunion Smalltalk – How Will You Survive Global Warmng

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 8:42 pm

Time flies at this time of year . . . finals, graduations, weddings, reunions. I had the pleasure of attending my college reunion. One of the real pleasures of attending a reunion of geeks and geekettes is the lack of pre-reunion angst. As I happily stressed over my daughter’s graduation outfit we continually tripped over mothers agonizing over their reunion outfit. I briefly made a note to self to put getting an outfit on my to-do list and forgot about it. Sure enough, people turned up in everything from jeans and t-shirts to cocktail dresses. What is the point of putting all that effort in graduating from Geek Tech if you can’t get some benefit down the line?

Global Warming, Resource Allocation, Recycling …

This is not to say geeks don’t enjoy angst with their reunions. We spent a lot of time discussing global warming, resource allocation and recycling. We listened to official tales of the need to price resources – specifically fuel – to take into account the full cost of the resource from the time it is produced until all the health impacts are dealt with.

It is 5 times cheaper to light a light bulb with coal in China than to use oil or natural gas. If we can’t convince developing countries of the need to tax dirty fuels now to pay for their health costs down the line, how can we ever expect them to use expensive cleaner fuels or technologies?

Individual stories of the fights with contractors to get them to recycle things like copper from renovations when there are already signs there is a thriving black market in looters stripping copper from newer buildings.

If a contractor can’t be bothered to separate recyclables does one invite a looter to go dumpster diving? Do you get legal releases first?

And the winning campfire story is . . .

My favorite discussion was with a gentlemen very actively involved in creating technologies to remove carbon dioxide emissions from a coal plant and lock them up in the sea or ground (carbon sequestration). Everyone has a back-pocket plan in case the environment really does become toast, but his was a doozy. (As you may have noticed, I favor the US northeast becoming warmer until the Gulf Stream stops, at which point it gets colder. Planting victory gardens and nut trees will help us pull through. Probable chances of this scenario actually occurring – under 10%.)

His scenario called for the world getting hotter (it’s kind of hard to start anywhere else) then having all the forests die off. Bummer. However mushrooms will grow on dead wood. A steady diet of truffles? How bad could it be?
OK. So dead wood is prone to forest fires. Any place we’ve reseeded to cope with the warmer temperatures gets hit shortly thereafter with a nuclear winter created by the soot from the forest fires. So now what do we eat? How about worms? Well – maybe feed worms to chickens and we eat the eggs.

One does hope this is the scenario he pulls out when looking for funding for his carbon sequestration project.


Time for Auction Item Reminder Letter

Posted in Running A Non-profit Auction at 8:01 pm

You’re having a school auction but you’ve decided to take it easy now that you’ve booked the place and the band? Not quite yet.

 Before everyone scatters to the four winds send out a gentle announcement –

  • Let people know the date.
  • Remind people you will be asking for item donations and that summer travels can yield exciting gifts.  Getting a hotel you are staying at to donate a weekend is always popular. Even with today’s global economy, buying local items can be an inexpensive way to add a touch of the exotic to your auction.
  • Those who don’t have financial resources to travel to distant locals can still use the summer to create valuable donations.  A basket of homemade babyclothes is adorable and everyone can always use a baby gift.
  • Free time in the summer can also be used to get tickets to shows.  Writing to local theater companies or even to TV shows that offer free tickets with significant lead times can make your donation a very special addition to the auction item list. (Worry about getting someone to donate their miles for tickets later.)

Auctions can be filled with items people are happy to pay for with a little advance planning and the support of your community.


Physics and the School Play

Posted in Just A Thought at 8:23 am

Taking Pictures at School

I attended a school play a few days ago to take pictures for a friend. Conditions were perfect. I’d gotten there early enough to get a slightly off-center shot of the stage, far enough back to get everything in my wide screen shots and close enough to zoom. The stage was well-lit, I wasn’t behind the school videographer, the air-conditioning was on (not ecologically perfect but it was 90 degrees outside).

The play started. So did the audience. A couple of families had turned out in their extend glory to see their student starring in the show. Several members from each family started moving around the theater to get the best shots of their darlings. Worse, (argueably) they were using their flash.

Physics Lesson

Light from a flash dissipates very quickly. If you’re not between 5-20 ft of your subject the flash has virtually no impact on your picture. It does annoy everyone else and shows up on the school video. Pictures taken with no flash (rest your arm on something to hold the camera steady) will be fine. Even if the lighting on the stage is low, digital pictures taken with a high resolution and adjusted will be fine (discovering equalize in Photoshop (TM) was a wonderful thing but many programs have a ‘digital flash’ feature now).

Sharing is Caring

If you have invited members of your family that might not be familiar with school play etiquette, have a planning meeting ahead of time. If everyone wants to take pictures (mistake – you enjoy the show more if someone else takes the pictures but . . .) station guests around the audience. Make a mutual sharing pack to pool the pictures for everyone. Don’t move during the show.


Telemarketers, Scammers or Political Operatives?

Posted in Just A Thought at 12:09 pm

Since March hordes of people have been getting calls recorded in Spanish on their cell phones. Those that played along were either told that they reached a wrong number or that they’d won a contest. One caller reportedly was able to keep an operator on the line for 20 minutes feeding her phony credit card numbers and expiration dates.

STOP THE CALLS – Several victims suggested storing the harassing numbers with a  no buzz no ring setting. Reporting the calls to the FCC if you’re on the do not call list may help build a case but is largely ineffectual since the number on the caller ID is not the number that the calls originate from and the FCC is only set up to go after people if you completely identify them.

Most people are hanging up in annoyance and blaming telemarketers or scammers. Could these be politically-inspired calls? They started recently, they’re creating at least some anti-Hispanic tension and the immigration bills are being hotly discussed. Coincidence?

Just A Thought.