Thursday, October 30, 2008

Holiday safety

Remember to be safe this weekend... from the CPSC...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The spookiest night of the year is around the corner. Kids everywhere are choosing their favorite costume and looking forward to their favorite treats. As parents and caregivers prepare for this celebration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds them to keep safety in mind, so that no child is haunted by Halloween-related injuries. Hidden dangers associated with costumes, treats, and decorations can be easily prevented.

CPSC reports that the most serious Halloween-related injuries involve burns from flammable costumes and decorations, including ignition from open flames, such as candles and Jack O'Lanterns. Other incidents have involved lacerations from carving pumpkins and trips/falls while walking, particularly after dark.

"Our major concern is still the use of home-made costumes that are not flame resistant," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "Parents making their children's costumes should use inherently flame-resistant fabrics, such as nylon and polyester. Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls."

CPSC helps keep children safe by enforcing the Flammable Fabrics Act and by recalling products at Halloween and throughout the year that can cause injury.

Follow these safety tips to ensure this year's holiday is a safe one:


When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

Purchase or make costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.

For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be light-colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.

Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.

Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.

Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing vision.

If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.

Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible materials.

Supervise pumpkin carvings to avoid lacerations.

Warn children not to eat any treats until an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.

Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters under three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use and present a choking hazard.

Keep candles and Jack O' Lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.

Indoors, keep candles and Jack O' Lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire. Do not leave burning candles unattended.

Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.

Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.

Don't overload extension cords.


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $800 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at


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This is my favorite pic... Mattman in action! Look at that form! I'm totally in costume... black and white spandex shorts, and black tee shirt, and of course, Mattman hat.

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Well it's clear I'm about to build a fire...

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Me on the left in the black "MATTMAN" hat. I'm pretty sure I still have it somewhere...

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I believe this was the year I recieved the "Best Bus Driver" award at the end of the summer, where I actually never drove bus, but really, really wanted to.

I think the next summer, I didn't work at camp, but cleaned school buses in Elk River. Boy was that a fun job.

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Not my favorite pic, but worth sharing as I don't have any like it. I rear ended someone that summer, and you can see the damage the Dart suffered.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall at Basso Child Care

Been trying to get to the park... though it's been cold. Might as well make the most of it while we can!

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I am so lucky to work with such cute girls.

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Isabella's becoming braver and braver!

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Ever since the Olympics, the girls have jumped off the wooden beams and yelled... "Ta-dah!"

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This was just before the peak of the season.

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This pose seems like something taken out of a JC Penny catalog.

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Baby Josh enjoying some fresh air.

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Maeve shows her Jack-o-lantern to Josh.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Seems like good information to pass on...

For those who have kids...

News from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

October 24, 2008
Release #09-023

Firm's Hotline: (888) 282-4674
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC and Carter's Advise Parents of Rashes Associated with Heat Transferred, or "Tag-less," Labels

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Carter's, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, are advising parents and caregivers that they have received reports that a small percentage of babies and infants have developed rashes on the upper back after wearing Carter's clothing with heat-transferred, or "tag-less," labels.

“Tag-less” labels with solid background included in this advisory

Tag-less” labels with stenciled background not included in this advisory

This advisory applies to Carter's Fall 2007 product line. The Fall 2007 line utilizes a label on the inside back of the garment that has a raised surface with a solid, rather than a stenciled, background. This advisory does not apply to previous and current product lines, which utilize labels with stenciled backgrounds.

The garments, which were made in various countries, were sold at Carter's own retail stores and at department and national chain stores.

If your child develops a rash on the upper back after wearing garments that have a "tag-less" label with a solid background, you should stop using these garments. If the rash persists or worsens, you should contact your pediatrician. For additional information, visit Carter's website at
, contact Carter's toll free at 1-888-282-4674 or by email at

To see this release on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the products involved in this advisory, please go to:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lessons of old

Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, I have reconnected with many old friends. The best part so far is connecting with the old YMCA Camp Manitou people.

Lots of photo sharing going on right now. I don't have a lot of pictures... maybe none except this one...


That's my dear friend, Becky, who I think was Assistant Camp director. Unfortunately this was actually a low point, as we were having a serious discussion about a camper, and I don't know who it was, but someone walked by, and took this photo, and it didn't seem quite appropriate.

Anyway, I was given the photo, and I kept it as it kinda always reminder about that discussion, which has made me a better teacher, parent, and day care provider since. It's nice to be able to share this now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Star Wars Fun

Every once and a while, I gotta let me Star Wars Geek out... here's a great tribute to one of the great Star Wars Episode 4 scenes. If you click the link, you'll get a better quality video.

Vimeo Tribute: Star Wars from Casey D on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I thought she sounded familiar...

From the Recent Star Tribune article about Vice President Candidate Palin's accent...

The GOP vice presidential candidate's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, is in the middle of the valley where more than 200 broke families from the Midwest -- many of them from Minnesota -- relocated during the Great Depression.

Which means Palin grew up listening to the children and grandchildren of those Minnesotans and being fed a steady diet of "yahs" and "ya knows" and even "you betchas."

A guy could hear more "Wi-scon-sin", then Minnesotan, but maybe that's just me.

Ya, shure... you betcha.

TEAM HERO - Expanded version

This is from an email we got from Mary, Janet's sister. They did the Buddy Walk in their home town of Binghamton NY! We sent them "TEAM HERO" shirts to wear. Here is their email!

Hi Linkert Family!

Here are photos from the Buddy Walk held here in Binghamton. It was a lovely rainy day, but at least the rain held off during the walk.
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This is the opening ceremony...

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The Mayor came to lend support.

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Birdie played the national anthem.

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The Boy Scouts led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Getting ready to start. One of the organizers put the poor Mayor right in the middle of all the kids at the front.

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The Andersen's are ready to get the show on the road!

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Not a huge crowd, but I asked the zoo staff (who were attempting to count people as we entered the zoo) how many they counted. The estimated about 318.

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This vulture was posing for pictures for quite a long time.his vulture was posing for pictures for quite a long time.

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Just showing us and the rest in blue along the way. The group thinned out as people stopped to look at the animals.

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There was a band that played after the walk, lots of free food and games for the kids. We stayed for a bit to enjoy the fun!

Glad we heard about it and look forward to next yeAar!AA


Thank you Mary, Tim, Max and Emily! What great family we have to take part in their local Buddy Walk!

Thank you. Thank you very much.


Our friend, Connie Snow from Extras, passed onto us the "I *heart* your blog" award. How sweet. Thank you so much Connie!

So we pass on the award to our friends, with whom we enjoy their blog...

My sister's blog - Our Family

Kendall's mom's blog - FauxMartha

And the local Mound Westonka Blog, which isn't updated enough, but get some great local bits out if it that I enjoy when he does post.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Letters from Veteran Parents

Another great post from Bob Collins... inspired by a recent article in the Star Tribune.

There is a sense out there that parents right now over-schedule their kids, and that they are spending time with their kids, while on the sidelines during soccer games. "Experts" are suggesting parents should prioritize, and have a meal with their kids, before cheering for them to score that goal.

He finishes...

My generation is now releasing their over-parented, over-scheduled kids to the world. Our job is (mostly) done. We have more time to sit back and read the reviews above, knowing that we don't get a do-over. It is a moment of parental passage, and it's way worse than the "terrible twos."

So today, I'm calling on the News Cut parenting veterans to compose a letter to the parents of the next generation. Armed as we are with the knowledge we did it wrong, we can nonetheless provide some guidance.

I'll start, and you can add your paragraph in the comments section below. Keep it positive and base your paragraph only on your own experiences, not on criticizing others.

Here's my contribution...

Dear parents of the next generation:

Do the best you can.

If you go to the comments in Bob's post, there are some great letters. I don't know if I should contribute, since I'm not a veteran parent, but since many of you out there are, perhaps you may have a contribution of your own...

Aw heck... here's my letter...

Dear parents of the next generation:

Your kids can play without you. Please let them.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Coen Brother's favorite car

If you hadn't heard, the Coen brothers (creators of the movie Fargo) are in Minneapolis shooting a new movie, A Serious Man. The film is set in the 60s, so they had a call out, looking for cars from 62-67. I had called several weeks ago, and hadn't heard back until last week. They wanted the old Dart, and a driver, if I were willing. I called my dad, and discovered he had the day off, so I met him in St. Paul for the shoot.

They dressed him up to look like Grandpa, and he was already for his big shot! They had several cars parked, including the old bus you can see here.


So some of what they were shooting this day was a car accident (fender bender). My dad was in a line of cars that would be going the opposite way of the cars in the fender bender.

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They would yell action, and dad's line would slowly start creeping forward. He'd get about a block towards the action, and then they would yell cut. Then he and everyone else in line, would have to back up back to where they had previously been. Wait about 20 minutes or so for them to line up again and to yell action.

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You can see the car where some of the action was taking place.

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Here's dad waiting for them to yell action again.

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I left about lunchtime... not terribly exciting to see youf car drive the same block over and over again, hardly getting close to the action. Dad called when he was on the way home, and said he was pretty sure the car was in some shots later on.

Apparently he also messed up a shot, as he stopped for a red light when he wasn't supposed to (the street was closed off, there were no cars coming)

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It was an interesting experience. I hope they will call again! I want to drive next time and wear the Grandpa hat!

Fall camping

We went camping last weekend. Though a bit cold, and mostly cloudy, it ended up being a great weekend! We camped the first night with some friends, the Mohns.

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Cecelia got a cool Barbie fishing pole from Uncle Jon, Sara, Ella, Avae, and Hans for her birthday. Finally felt like a good day to let her and Maeve play with it. It was a big hit!

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We camped at Lake Auburn, part of Carver Park which is just south of Mound. I hadn't been there before, but really made an impression on me. We'll definitely be heading back.

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Sometime all it feels like I do is post pictures of my cute girls... but they're so darn cute.... I can't stop. Sorry.

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Cecelia practices being a deer.

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More embarrassingly cute girl pictures.

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Played with the Bocce balls with Maeve. Actually worked more on colors. She's starting to get it... slowly.

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Hide and seek was the fun new game.

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Again, a very cool park. Great trails, a nice Nature center. Worth taking your family too if you ever have the inclination.

Maeve at the farm

Janet and Maeve went to the Gale Woods farm, a local county park, with Maeve's preschool class. They had a lot of fun. You can see Maeve sittin nicely with her back to us... she has the really long hair.

By the way, her favorite song is "Baa Baa Black Sheep"

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Maeve playing with her teacher, Ms. Anne and a puppet.

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Playing with the other kids.

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Listening to farmer Tim (whom we have mutual friends with, small world!)

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I didn't realize they comb the cow's hair.

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