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Preview: 101 Uses For Baby Wipes

101 Uses For Baby Wipes

A reluctant father's journey through parenthood

Last Build Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:08:22 PDT

Copyright: (c) Dennis Gray, Listen and Enjoy!

Valentine's Day Parallelism

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 20:20:05 PST

In all things February 14, the media gravitate to my family.  I do not understand why this has happened, but me, my wife, and my son have now all appeared in a local news package for Valentine's Day.  It is an odd coincidence, bordering on disturbing.

For my wife and I, our first appearance on the local news broadcast on the Day of Cupid was well before Evan's first appearance on Earth. 

We were excited lovebirds applying for our marriage license many years ago at the Clark County courthouse at 10pm (open 24 hours for your convenience), and we were featured on the local Nevada TV news program as we stood in line filling out the paperwork with hundreds of others silly enough to wait until the last minute to complete the application.

Why the cameraman singled the two of us out of the horde to feature in the brief video clip, sandwiched between the weather and local high school sports segment, is still a mystery to us, as frankly neither of us were very photogenic that night, especially after several adult beverages that preceded our visit downtown to apply for the license.  Maybe it was the looming deadline and he was in a hurry to capture something - anything - for the 11 o'clock broadcast.  Maybe he needed something humorous to air as a segue into 'Letterman'.

...What happens in 'Vegas doesn't necessarily stay in 'Vegas, though.  Sometimes it repeats itself hundreds of miles away...

We returned home after our nuptials.  The honeymoon would have to wait, as my new bride of two days was very excited to begin her new job - at the local county recorder's office, where she was assigned the task of assisting procrastinating lovestruck couples filling out - wait for it - marriage license applications, complete with the local TV news crew in the office, video cameras upon shoulders, satellite link on the peacock-imbued truck out in the parking lot.  So in the span of 3 days, she'd managed to be featured on TV news broadcasts in 2 different states for basically the same thing - being at the county courthouse at the wrong time - or - more precisely perhaps, being at the county courthouse on the over-commercialized day of roses and chocolates.

Fast-forward to today, when a school activity caught the attention of the local broadcast news station, featuring my spokesperson-son, pictured above, dressed in red tie-dyed shirt, red hoodie and lapel mic, to show unity and celebrate diversity with his classmates, to add meaning to Valentine's Day and form a giant red heart on the school campus, complete with aerial photography from a helicopter above, courtesy of the California Highway Patrol.

Leave it to my son to kick it up a notch or three.  His mom and dad were just in a courthouse filling out papers and we were on the news.  He was with his classmates trying to add meaning to an otherwise 'greeting-card' holiday.

Well done, Squid.  Well done.


An Afternoon Under The Big Top

Mon, 01 Jul 2013 12:21:05 PDT

Circus Vargas - Touring with their Big Blue Tent

It truly is a magical thing to see a century-old tradition of a real traveling circus kept alive by this troupe of entertainers - some 6th and 7th generation circus performers - who are all working together, some performing in the ring, some performing outside it working the rigging or making scene changes, but all focused on delivering a show to be enjoyed by everyone, without CGI or bad language or stuff so obnoxious you have to cover your kids eyes.

My wife and I attended last year when the big tent came to town, and this year attended again, bringing our son to his first circus.  The material was fresh, the tent was warm but not uncomfortable considering we're in the midst of a horrible heat wave, and the slushees were huge and turned everything they touched a bright clown-nose red.  Popcorn was flowing and flying, caught by the giant fans under the blue canopy, a perfect ambiance for what was to follow.  No spoilers - just some serious thrills and chills, belly laughs and beautiful choreography.

The performers are all warm-hearted and real people, and it was a kick when we realized the guy who sold us a toy outside the ring was their star trapeze man, pulling off a triple somersault.

The performers took the time and made themselves available after the show to sign autographs, pose for photos and talk about the show, and they did 3 shows that day!  Honestly I cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon than under the big top with my family and this traveling band of gifted and giving performers.  I think we'll go again tonight!

Its Official: I'm Raising a Geek

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 23:04:01 PDT

From the moment I first saw my son, approximately 30 seconds after being surgically separated from his mom in a very traumatic 'Welcome To The World' filled with beeping machines, bright lights, hoses, wires, needles, masks, Betadine and Baroque Classics playing on a CD player in the background, I wondered as I sat surrounded by modern medical technology, in a dazed, deer-in-the-headlights sort of way, what the future would hold for him in the 21st Century.  I snapped photos on a newfangled digital camera and uploaded them to my weblog, with snippets of HTML running through my sleep-deprived synapses.  My dad has Kodachrome slides of my first moments in a carousel in the closet, rendered useless without the clicker.  I hoped that my beloved CompuServe would not be so prone to obsolescence.That was in the summer of the new century, the year 2000, the year of the reluctant father and his new charge.  Through his first night as an independent being, he endured test after test, MRI scans, C-T scans, ultra-violet lights wrapped around his abdomen like he was a tiny pink-orange piggy in an eerie blue glowing blanket.  He had just experienced some of the most advanced medical technology available, his still-developing innards mathematically dissected slice by slice, for physicians to review and evaluate.  He wasn't 24 hours old and there were already digital images of him inside and out.But I'm especially fond of the shots I took when he peed on the nurse for giving him a low APGAR score.Meanwhile in my dazed bewilderment I learned about Bilirubin, making infant formula and changing diapers.  I discovered that you really DO squirt your wrist with the baby bottle, just like in the cartoons.  I learned that the discharge paperwork took more time than the whole lesson I got on taking care of this little infant put into my solitary care.  You see, his mom would stay in Intensive Care for another week, but the baby had to leave with me.  She still had to regain consciousness from her Morphine-induced coma before she would gaze at our new son for the first time.As I walked to the car, holding this new little person in a battery-operated glowing blue blanket, it suddenly occurred to me that I'd never held a baby before this.  Ever. I strapped him in the car seat, routed the cables powering his ultraviolet personal tanning blanket and secured his tiny goggles to protect him from the 'Bili-light'.  I replayed the prior 20 hours again in my head, started the car and popped the 'Return to Pooh Corner' CD in the dash.  I cried.  I told myself it was just an allergic reaction to baby powder and shook it off.  I hadn't planned for this.  I hadn't planned on being a father for that matter.  I was too old for kids, and I didn't really like being around them.  I really needed my life partner with me right now.I forced my thoughts back to my earlier quandry about the new millennium and what was in store for this 5 pound 14 ounce sleepy, glowing purple blob in the back seat, facing rearwards to avoid any projectile vomiting hitting the driver.  I needed to think about HIS future, a mental exercise to divert my remaining energies away from the thought of arriving home with no freaking idea of what to do next.I knew he would grow up in a world that had already moved on from 8-track, 45 RPM, cassette 'mix tapes', VHS and Space Invaders.  He would not know life without a cell phone, a laptop computer, 300 channels of commercial-skipping TV, digital everything, cars that know where they are, how to get there and how far to the destination.  He won't chant "are we there yet" from the back seat - he'll simply glance at the monitor in center of the dashboard.Technologically, his world would be far more advanced than mine was at his age, which upon reflection I realized is probably true for any child born at any time in history.  So - really his future and my postulating about it wasn't about [...]

Mom Arrested for Kids Playing, Sues Neighbor

Wed, 19 Sep 2012 17:02:27 PDT

In La Porte, Texas, it appears that a false claim of child endangerment is strong enough to trump obvious facts and has landed a suburban mom in jail for 'Felony Child Endangerment' and 'Felony Child Abandonment'.

A neighbor claimed to responding police that she had hit one of Tammy Cooper's 2 kids in the suburban cul-de-sac where they were playing on their scooters.  Despite no injuries reported or seen by the 'unnamed' police officer, and despite the fact that Mrs. Cooper was present and clearly supervising her children at play, 'unnamed officer' took Mrs. Cooper into custody and then the kids REALLY were abandoned, as she was locked up for 18 hours, and wound up paying over $7,000.00 in legal fees to get out.  She also had her children interrogated by Child Protective Services in Houston.  Charges were dropped, since there was no shred of truth that any endangerment or abandonment happened.  There is no word on any charges being brought against the neighbor for filing a false police report.

Mrs. Cooper is suing the La Porte, TX Police Department and her obnoxious neighbor, Shelley Fuller.  She also claims that the handcuffs aggravated previous injuries and she will now require back surgery.

The father was in Austin, TX on military duty.  I wouldn't want to be 'unnamed officer' when dad gets home!  Read the full article HERE.(image)

Pomp and Circumstance and Junior High

Sun, 17 Jun 2012 21:16:09 PDT

Use #101 - Wiping Away The Tears of Joy and Pride

There were no caps or gowns.

There were some smiles, a few frowns.

There were lots of people staring.

The sun was hot, and glaring.

It was the last day of school, promotion.

From Sixth Grade to Seventh, The notion

of which had you scared, confused,

Bewildered, bemused.

You don't know what to do now.

Its summer, time to play now.

For in the fall you start

On a new adventure far apart

from the one that led you more than halfway there.

Dad is very proud of you, Evan.

You're more than halfway to being an adult.  You have a mind of your own that loves to learn, a passion for building things, and a heart that would give away everything he had if someone else would benefit.  Your mom and I are blessed that you are our son.

There are no more baby wipes left in the hall closet.  There are no more left in the cabinet under the sink.  You haven't needed them in years.  This blog was started to share stories of raising you, and now you're old enough to read them and understand their true meaning.  My work here is finished.


Is Gas Really That Valuable?

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 09:51:00 PDT

I realize times are tough and gas is expensive.  Where I live its around $4.30 per gallon for the cheap stuff.  But c'mon mom!

A woman was busted in Aurora, Colorado for three seat belt violations; hers, her 14-yr-old son, and the little one in the back seat.  The gas canister was not cited.

The Colorado Dept. of Transportation posted this picture on their Facebook page.(image)

Facebook Junior: Evil Scheme To Hook Your Kids

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 10:04:42 PDT

From The evil overlords at Facebook are considering new ways to data mine the populace.  Now they're cooking up a way to circumvent privacy laws regarding children and hook our kids on the same brain crack that many adults find themselves hooked on.

Introducing Facebook Junior - aka Facebook for kids that should be outside playing instead of sitting in front of a computer interacting with total strangers and racking up hours on inane games, all for the sake of generating marketing data.

Facebook is evil.  Its marketing intentions have never been clearly articulated by its CEO because if they were, no one would join voluntarily.  Remember the Zuckerberg interview at the 'D' Conference and the waterfall of sweat from Mr. Z as he tried to explain what Facebook was up to?  Facebook's stock price is currently the butt of jokes on Wall St. because there is no real value to the company (remember MySpace?).  No one trusts Facebook to keep their data safe or secure, their privacy settings have been laughable and their 'errors' in releasing private data have always been to Facebook's benefit and not the users.

And yet like lemmings, adults keep logging in and using it.  Up until now, the younger generations have been uninterested in Facebook, preferring to walk into lamp posts, sending TXT messages to people they actually know IRL - in real life - see, I'm plugged in, kids.  Truth is, the kids have more common sense about new tech than the adults do, and that's why they're not interested in Facebook.

This new ploy by Zuck & Co is like the cigarette ads back in the '60s, designed to get kids hooked on smoking, knowing full well they'd stay hooked until they died of lung cancer.  Sorry, but I see a strong similarity.

Remember: Facebook's product is YOU - the user.  Do you want your kids to be a product?(image)

Stoned Mom Loses 5 Month Old Baby Off Car Roof

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 17:00:37 PDT

From FOXnews / AP and The Mail Online- To all the folks who wish to legalize Marijuana, and rationalize it as a 'victimless' crime, I offer this story as justification why this substance should remain controlled - and why it is definitely NOT victimless.

It seems a distraught 19-year-old mom was so upset that her stoned boyfriend had been arrested - hold on - for 'aggravated driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle' - she went out and got really stoned with her friends afterwards and forgot her baby was on the roof of her car, strapped into his car seat.

The infant was found in the middle of an intersection in the Phoenix area, and is now in the hands of Arizona Child Protective Services.  The irresponsible mom, Catalina Clouser, has now also been arrested on charges of aggravated DUI and child abuse.  Evidence submitted by the prosecution consists of a thankfully unhurt 5 month old baby boy and a badly damaged car seat, with paint from the roof of mom's 2000 Ford Focus.

Ironic car model - Focus - something both mom and the boyfriend lacked as they put an infant in danger twice in one evening as a result of indulging in an illegal substance.(image)

Dad Uses Audio Bug To Uncover Abuse At Kid's School

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 19:07:58 PDT

From - A concerned Dad couldn't understand why his autistic son was being accused of 'acting out' in school.  Using tech from the Watergate era, he 'wired' his 10-year-old son with a recording device and uncovered abusive TEACHERS, who were doing the 'acting out'.

As a result of his sleuthing, concerned Dad Stuart Chaifetz got one teacher reassigned and another is seeking employment opportunities elsewhere.

The school district took the 5th and had 'no comment'.(image)

Student Tweets the F-word, Gets Expelled

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 14:13:04 PDT

From The Register Online:
"An Indiana student has been expelled from school after sending a profane – if rather witty – tweet from his personal account."
It seems that in fly-over country, they haven't heard that its 'cool' to use the F-word.  Anybody remember Veep Joe Biden during the President's announcement of 'Obamacare'?  Or what about the recent fundraiser for the aforementioned President Obama, where the infamous Cee-Lo Green dropped the F-bomb to a hall full of campaign donors in Atlanta?

Many are arguing that a suspension would be more appropriate.  Even the boy's mom says suspension is fine but expulsion is harsh.  Personally, I don't think young Austin Carroll should be punished AT ALL.  School administrators have more to do than enforce non-laws by someone who was exercising his 1st Amendment right of free speech, in a forum where such expression is encouraged, and in many cases beneficial for social discourse.

And the precedent, and example for the country at large has been set by our esteemed administration, in public, and has been deemed acceptable and a form of free speech.

Personally I don't like the use of the F-word, and I'm sure that foul mouths are uttering such on the boy's high school campus right in front of the school administrators without any repercussions.

I find it interesting that its the foreign press picking this story up and syndicating it.  Looks like it broke on HuffPo on the 25th, which had this little nugget of information;
A bill that would allow schools to punish students for off-campus activities has advanced in the Indiana legislature, permitting schools to suspend or expel students for engaging in activities away from school and after hours that "may reasonably be considered to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function."
Where are you, ACLU?


The Old Episodes Of Time

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 07:15:52 PDT

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It appears that Mevio (aka Podshow, which is how I will always remember it) has dropped the 'audio-only' folks, without warning or even the courtesy of an e-mail notice that they were planning to do so.

In light of this development, some of you (I'm not sure how many of you there are anymore) may not have access to the older podcast episodes of '101 Uses For Baby Wipes' and 'The Daddy Panel'.

 If you have interest in downloading any of the old episodes, please use the contact info above and send me an e-mail.  I'll reply with a link to the archives where the original files are stored.(image)

The Future of Parenting: Call The Cops When Suzy Won't Attend School

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 13:16:48 PST

While driving my son to school (no bus service due to budget cuts, yet the same number of buses and drivers are employed) I overheard a dispatch from the local PD on the police scanner, asking for officer assistance because a woman's 15-year-old daughter had locked herself in the bathroom, refusing to go to school.

I was briefly amused by that notion, and then I thought about it and drew a conclusion - that this was clearly a waste of police resources.  The officers charged with preserving the public safety surely have better things to do than retrieve distraught girls from the bathroom and take them off to high school.

The scenario kept playing out in the the theatre of my mind as I drove...
  • I'm sure that when the girl heard mom call the police, she thought mom was bluffing.
  • In a way, the high school is like county lock-up, but with more books.
  • How is this any different from any house in the USA where there are teenage girls?
  • Is there someone at school with a grudge and a Facebook account?
  • I hope mom doesn't get arrested for her daughter being truant...
THAT WAS IT!!  Mom was protecting herself legally by notifying police when little Suzy wouldn't go to school.  I refer back to my own post in May 2011 when the OC Register reported that SWAT-style tactics were being used to round up moms and dads whose children didn't attend school.


If we as parents don't make sure the local school districts meet their attendance numbers (and keep their federal income to the district in doing so) the cops will be knocking on our doors!  This isn't about keeping kids in school for their benefit, this is about keeping the education establishment in the revenue stream!

I think I need to get rid of the police scanner.  Or start home-schooling my son.


FTC: Apps for Kids aka Digital Wild West (WashPost)

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 07:56:39 PST

Fess up Apple and Google!  And you too, Facebook!

Lets face it - kids these days are just as plugged in to the social networks and app ecosystems as their moms and dads are.  And in this article from Cecilia Kang, she explains that the FTC is looking into privacy leaks where apps DESIGNED FOR KIDS are concerned.  Doesn't seem like all that scrutiny apps get before making it into Apple's app store is having any impact on privacy.


Wake up, moms and dads!  These apps are NOT the product being sold - YOU and YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION are the product being sold!  Why do you think Facebook is FREE?  Why do you think apps on the app stores only cost a buck, but the shrink-wrapped versions cost $49?

You're being SOLD!  Your identity, your personal preferences, your daily schedule, ANYTHING that can be tracked and might benefit a marketer or advertiser is being collected at YOUR expense and SOLD!(image)

Sleep And Your Kids: Researchers Disagree and get Testy (NPR)

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 15:24:51 PST

On NPR's Shots Blog, Nancy Shute commented on a study from the University of South Australia, which in a nutshell stated that there was no foundation for the amount of sleep pediatricians have been recommending to parents for their kids.  Then she followed up with a Q&A with Dr. Judith Owens, a sleep specialist and pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.  Dr. Owens had a 'Not-So-Fast' exchange with Shute, and explained that recommendations for sleep have been well researched.  Perhaps the U of South Australia researchers have been pickin' and choosin' their data sets, possibly with an agenda in mind...?

Kudos, Nancy Shute, for doing your background and giving us the straight scoop on what kids really need in amounts of sleep, and steering us in the right direction for sleep info parents can really use.

Links to both of her blog entries are HERE and HERE.  Excellent read if you're concerned about your over-scheduled, tech-overloaded kids - like I am.(image)

Parents Deemed Unfit Because Their Kid is 'Fat'

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 08:44:10 PST

A third grader in Cleveland was yanked from his family and stuffed into foster care (who get paid for taking in children, bu have no parental connection or bond) because the child was deemed 'obese', and was found to be suffering from sleep apnea.

The mom was called 'unfit' and acused of child neglect, despite seeking medical care for the child.  She was ORDERED to participate in a weight loss program, and was actively seeking help, but was still considered unfit to be a mom.

There are some problems with this logic;
  1. Mom is actively seeking medical help for her child, so how is this neglect?
  2. While in foster care, the kid didn't improve, so he was returned to his family,
  3. The act of ripping kids from their real families and placing them in a strangers home (something we are taught as kids is to be avoided) isn't considered to be harmful at all,
  4. It does not appear that any kind of workup for genetic disposition to obesity was done prior to the state taking action.
You can read the article from ABC News HERE.  Let this be a warning - if your kid looks like he or she is packing a few too many pounds, have a good lawyer ready!(image)

Why CPR is Important for Dads: Ballpark Lifesaver

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:12:30 PDT

OK, dads: This is why YOU need to learn CPR and first-aid - so YOU can be ready to step in and protect your family in the event that one of your kin is choking to death.

For your consideration, follow the link above to Yahoo Sports and read about Emmanuel Marlow, the ballpark vendor who stepped in and saved a young boy's life, seeking no reward or recognition, and then simply went back to work selling beer to the crowd. 

'Emmanuel' from Hebrew translates to 'God [is] with us' and He certainly was, since NO ONE was doing anything to save the boy until Emmanuel took action, probably due to fear of being sued for assault or injuring the child.  We are all prisoners of our fears, but Mr. Marlow rose above it and did what needed to be done, without fear.

To Quote the article;
"You just never know when a similar situation will play out around you, or even involving someone you love. It's always better to be safe and prepared than to be sorry."
Amen.  And may God Bless Emmanuel Marlow, the unassuming ballpark hero.(image)

Boy Slowly Killed By Parents for Wetting Bed: Dallas Morning News

Sat, 27 Aug 2011 19:18:36 PDT

Jonathan James, age 10, has died.  His guardians, in an effort to 'discipline' the child for bed wetting, locked him in a room in 100+ degree weather and prevented him from drinking even an ounce of water for 5 days!

Follow the LINK for the full story, and photos of parents who, if there's justice in this world, will be spending lots of time locked in a room themselves.(image)

No-Kids-Allowed: Discrimination At Its Core

Wed, 27 Jul 2011 12:07:11 PDT

More and more, businesses are trying to exclude children (and by association, their parents  - who have the spending money) from their establishments.

While on the surface, this may seem like a good idea, until you consider some facts; 1) everyone was a child once, 2) parents represent more of the populace than single adults, 3) there are certain laws that explicitly prohibit discrimination, and most specify that one may not exclude another based on AGE.

I am someone who used to have the 'You kids get off my lawn' attitude before I became a parent, but I never - NEVER - supported excluding children from lawful activities, such as those being restricted based on age in this Yahoo piece.  Movie theatres, supermarkets, airlines are all on the list.  My local theatre had an 'adults only' showing of 'Cars 2' that was on more screens at more times than the 'kid-friendly' shows.

What a bunch of whiny, self-centered, spoiled BRATS we've raised!  No, I don't mean the kids excluded from the fun, I mean the ADULTS that won't share.(image)

Military Dad Giftwraps Himself for His Kids

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 11:55:35 PDT

Welcome home, Dad!
width="560" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>(image)

New, Improved Stay-At-Home Dad

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 09:00:27 PDT

The company I work for has chosen to radically minimize expenses, and I have been given the chance to completely close my brick-and-mortar office and work from home full-time. This means that all my interactions between myself and colleagues, customers, vendors, contractors, takes place in my home studio/office/den/multipurpose room, over Skype or webcam.

On the upside there will be no more smoke signals - I have a no-burn ordinance in my neighborhood.

I already had an office at home, and it was a busy one. I take care of the home business, the charities I work for, the occasional voice-over work all from the comfort of the techno-cocoon the family calls 'the back office'. I even 'worked from home' a couple days a week in there as well.

While many would welcome such a work arrangement, I find it most unnerving. Besides having my professional hub of activity for the past decade shut down and stuffed into boxes in my garage, my 'home' i.e. 'back' office is very crowded now, surrounded on ALL sides by computer monitors of various sizes, where only 2 sides were covered before. It is also very hard to separate 'home' life from 'work' life, since they happen in the same space. Not to mention the dog barking at a cat outside while I'm in a teleconference spanning 3 continents. Lacks professionalism somehow.

Nonetheless, here I am, at work, yet on my blog, in sleep pants and a T-shirt, posting away as my son, now 10, stirs and wakes up in his room across the hall on his first official day of summer vacation. He's still at an age where he wants to spend time with me, but old enough to understand when dad is busy and needs to be left alone. For that I am blessed, to be able to spend the summer with him in this way really is a gift disguised as cost containment.

Now if the freakin' dog just had a clue, I could deal with it.(image)

Father Shot By Teen Daughter For Taking Cell Phone

Fri, 27 May 2011 11:39:49 PDT

The girl was despondent, and grounded for bad behavior by her father, so she retreats to her room, gets out a hunting bow and shoots her father, landing a solid shot in his torso.  She then goes to him, takes her cell phone back, and prevents dad from using it to call 911.

He crawls out a window, with the arrow still protruding from his body, makes his way to a car and drives 1/3 mile to use the neighbor's phone to call for help.

According to Det. William Adam, a S.W.A.T. team was sent into the forest to find the girl.  She was taken into custody, originally headed for juvenile detention, but apparently is under medical care at this time.

Wow - talk about the hazards of modern-day technology!

You can listen to Det. Adam on KIRO radio HERE.(image)

Mom Is Injecting Poison Into Her Daughter's Face on ABC

Fri, 20 May 2011 12:58:42 PDT

Botox, short for 'Botulinum Toxin' is used in adults to mask wrinkles by effectively poisoning the nerves and muscles under the skin.

Kerry Campbell appeared on 'Good Morning America' to try and justify why she was personally taking needle in hand and shooting up her daughter Britney with Botox.

It is no surprise that once the San Francisco area Child Services agencies' call centers were flooded with calls that an 'investigation' was started.  Read the article from SFGate HERE.

Why, you ask, would a mom do this to her child?  To compete in beauty pageants, of course!

UPDATE: 5.20.2011: Yahoo News is reporting that the mom was paid to perpetrate a hoax, akin to the 'Balloon Boy' saga, which landed the dad in JAIL.  If this really was a hoax, mom deserves the same treatment...LOCK HER UP!(image)

SWAT-Style Sweep for Parents of Kids Skipping School

Fri, 13 May 2011 06:35:14 PDT Parents, you are now being targeted by local police.  You will be cuffed, your house will be raided by cops with riot gear carrying warrants, and you will be stuffed in the back of a cruiser and hauled in front of a judge if your kid is absent "too many times".

The justification?  You are STEALING from the schools, because if your kids aren't in their seats, the schools lose money.  WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY ALL THIS POLICE "WORK" IS COSTING THE TAXPAYERS?  Don't these school administrators realize that there are some kids whose sole reason for skipping school is to get their parents in trouble?  This is idiotic, an amazing waste of resources, and an outright abuse of police authority.

Go look at the photo gallery at the OCRegister and see for yourself.  I'm not exaggerating.(image)

Teen Drinking Associated with Recreational Computer Use: Study

Tue, 10 May 2011 09:29:24 PDT

From NewsWise: Alcohol Use Linked to Time Spent Using a Computer for Non-School-Related Activities, Including the Use of Social Networking Sites, According to New Weill Cornell Study

It seems that if your teen uses Facebook, the odds that your teen is also drinking increases, according to the study.  The sample size was small, but this is one to watch.  It was published in the online journal Addictive Behaviors.  Link to the Cornell release HERE.

Are any parents surprised?  (image)

Moms Lead, Daughters Follow - and Get Skin Cancer

Mon, 09 May 2011 07:56:18 PDT

Courtesy of NewsWise: A survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that a large percentage of young Caucasian girls follow in mom's footstep - into the indoor tanning salon.

Use of these tanning beds increase Melanoma risk by 75%, and yet they're still legal?

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month.  Do someone you know a favor and educate them on just how DEADLY these tanning beds are!(image)