bite me, thomas

Just in time for holiday shopping, those of us who had to return items from the Thomas the Tank Engine trains because they were recalled for lead paint contamination were just sent a friendly email from RC2 Corporation, Thomas’ manufacturer.

Dear Thomas Wooden Railway Parent,

Because you participated in our recent recall relating to Thomas Wooden Railway toys, we thought this information regarding our production quality assurance and testing practices may be of interest to you.

RC2, the parent company of Learning Curve and creator of Thomas Wooden Railway toys, was featured in news coverage concerning the actions toy manufacturers have taken to ensure the quality of their toys and to ensure your child’s safety.

We invite you to watch the report that originally aired Monday, October 29 on ABC’s World News Tonight.

Um, pardon me, but you exposed my 3-year-old kid to lead paint. I’m not watching, and I’m not buying. Ever.

diffusion or confusion

The other night I had dinner with a group of people. Two of them had only met me once before. One of those two runs around in a former social circle of mine, the other does not. Despite the fact that when initially meeting them some time ago I had introduced myself as Jessica, and that’s what everyone around here calls me, the former referred to me as Jess in conversation.

It reminded me of the origin of Jess as part of my semi-public life. Continue reading “diffusion or confusion”

gettin’ old

My parents are just hitting that time when they are getting too old to do some stuff, and we are about to begin some difficult negotiations over what they should give up doing and when. Driving is an especially sore point, since they live in the suburbs, where the nearest bus stop is a relatively long walk away. An even bigger hurdle to public transit is that they have never used it, and now that they get disoriented on occasion, it is probably past the time when they can learn.

That said, other than occasional confusion and some typical hearing and vision loss, they are perfectly fine staying in their home and taking care of themselves. I want to provide some support for them to stay there as long as they can, such as hiring someone to clean the house, maybe take them grocery shopping and to the bank, and find a driving alternative for them, like perhaps a taxi service that is senior friendly (for example, where they might get the same driver time and again).

My folks live in the Bay Area, so I am thinking there will be more services there than other, less populous, places. However, after doing some web research, I have discovered that the easy-to-locate services are for homebound seniors with big health needs. Fair enough, but any ideas where/how I can find a business that caters to more able seniors, as opposed to a social services model for those in the most need? Does such a business even exist, or am I stuck with hiring various cleaners/errand-runners/drivers on my own?