Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This weekend I learned that chains are a pain in the ass.

And even though Yosemite is gorgeous in the winter (and the crowds are largely contained), it's better to go in the spring or summer simply because the days are longer, and there's no point after dark.

I also learned that my kid doesn't like snow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Breathable air = fascism

There is so much hilarity in this Mercury News story, I envy the writer who had to work on Christmas Day to produce it.

Critics say the new law is government run amok.

Miller, the firewood seller, said he is particularly offended by the air district's complaint line, which allows people to report on neighbors. "That smacks of Marxism,'' he said.


Vince Noack, a retired contractor from Santa Clara, said: "I think this damn law is absolutely criminal. It's going to put hundreds of firewood people out of business at a time when the economy is already falling apart.''

As a young man in the U.S. Army, Noack said, he landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and helped liberate two Nazi death camps. "And now I can't even light my fireplace when I want,'' Noack, 86, said with a sigh.

Galen Mitrzyk, a Palo Alto resident, said he agrees with Noack. "This man put his life on the line fighting fascism,'' said Mitrzyk, 53. "He has a right to burn a fire.''

Mitrzyk, who once worked in marketing for Hewlett-Packard, has been battling the air district, arguing that the new law is unconstitutional because fire is a key part of pagan rituals.

Mitrzyk, a neo-pagan pantheist, performs a fire-gazing ritual in his backyard in which he builds a small fire in a chiminea, a freestanding fireplace. He said the day he performs the ritual is based in part on the full moon, and if the lunar calendar happens to conflict with a Spare the Air alert he's going to start the fire whether the district likes it or not.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So. Many. Toys.

These boys of ours got a ton of presents. The tree was surrounded by gifts, many of which generated an obscene number of twist ties. Arthur's big present (the only thing actually purchased for him by his parents) was a big, realistic fire truck made by a company called Bruder. I bought it at Talbots Toyland, the greatest toy store ever and one of the local businesses you should definitely support: free gift wrapping; free storage of the gift until it's time to give, in case you have spying eyes to worry about; and their prices are equal to or better than Toys R Us or Amazon. And they have all kinds of high-quality products NOT made in China.

Those Germans know how to make a toy fire truck, lemme tellya. And NO twist ties! Just slid right out of the box. I'm assuming this is because the Chinese toys would bust apart on the boat ride if they weren't lashed to their boxes. Not the German toys. Beer, birks, Beamers and toys. Good stuff.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I got all my final Christmas errands done this morning, thanks to the babysitting co-op!

I'm continuing to be glad I'm not traveling to the Midwest this month.

I usually get cash or a gift certificate from the kids I read to at a local day-care; this year I got candy.

I should really start a Redwood City news blog.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

iTunes weirdness

If you use iTunes, maybe you can clue me in on something. Is it normal for random songs that I've never heard of to pop up in my "library?" I only use iTunes about once a week, when I have opportunity to go into my office and close the door and get stuff done while someone else is wrangling my kids. Today was such a time and there they were, random songs from various genres and almost all were from artists I had never heard of.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Power of Vitamin C

Since I got over my walking pneumonia bout in October, I started taking 1000 milligrams a day of vitamin C supplements. My kids have been sick a few times since, and my husband had stomach flu Monday. I have been fine. Coincidence? I'm a believer.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A great cause for Redwood City school

A woman in my mothers club teaches low-income gradeschoolers and has set up a fundraiser so the kids can go on a field trip to a farm. Check it out and donate if you're moved!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Apparently, I have bunions. A particularly bad one on my right foot. So to start with, the podiatrist created casts of my feet for orthotics, which may help the problem and postpone surgery for 1 to 5 years.

Having the surgery, which as far as I can tell is inevitable, would involve two days on my back and three weeks of no driving. Nice! Sounds like it'll be time for some of the relatives from the midwest to come out and help with the boys when that happens.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


In the state of my birth (and the first 23 years of my life, god help me) the current governor was arrested today, and his predecessor remains in prison (at least for now).

Monday, December 08, 2008

No, you don't have to gain three pounds this month.

Here's my latest (yeah, I know it's a few weeks ago) story for the Mountain View Voice.

Stop holiday weight-gain before it starts!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"Another Caucasian..."

The NYT on TBL and the renaissance of the White Russian.