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Although the headlines have continued to frustrate the living daylights out of me (hugging being banned in school/Iraq war costs skyrocketing to over 1.6 TRILLION dollars /1 in 4 homeless are veterans/Chinese manufactured toys continue to endanger our children), I haven’t really had the desire/energy to do any blogging lately since my life’s been a bit too full of uncertainty and limbo. In times like these, instead of doing what I should (like packing), I tend to turn to my drug of choice: MUSIC! (Yes, I have done some packing while listening to music, but…)

My all-time “turn that mood around” artist is, without a doubt, Bob Marley (especially “Three Little Birds“), closely followed by local Southern California bands Common Sense (LOVE “Say the Word“), B-Side Players, and Ozomatli, along with a heaping helping of Blues Traveler. Then to go a bit old school I’ve just got to throw in some Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and The Kinks. And since blues music is right next to reggae at my soul’s core, there’s got to be some John Lee Hooker (regret having not seen him before he passed), B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, and Candye Kane. Topping it all off are more recent faves The Cliks, Placebo, and The Cat Empire.

Yup, a bit on the eclectic side when it comes to music, so thank goodness for iTunes party shuffle to keep me happy with a constant rotation of my favorite artists and music. Seriously, if you put ANY of the above mentioned artists on the CD player my mood would instantly change…for the better! Come to think of it, I’ve seen all but four of them live, so I’m sure the great memories of their concerts and the fun times we had must have something to do with their music’s ability to change my mood. Don’t you all have music that can do the same thing for you? I hope so because it would be such a shame if you didn’t–if music didn’t affect your life the way it does mine. Then again, maybe it’s just me!

Sadly I missed the return concert the other day of B-Side Players to San Diego after their recent tour. I am really enjoying their new album “Fire in the Youth“, although truth be told I’m still a sucker for their older stuff (again, possibly due to having seen them in concert so many times). I thought I’d introduce those of you unfamiliar with this high-energy, positive message, deeply talented band, with the following video of them talking about their band, their music, and their latest release. I’ll also see what other B-Side Players videos I can round up to really help you enjoy their music, but the truth is that no video could EVER come close to capturing the energy of a live B-Side Players concert. Take one in when you can!

B-Side Players “Fire In The Youth” EPK

B-Side Players twist on “Could You Be Loved”

“Nuestras Demandas”

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mattel.jpgWill 2007 forever be remembered as “The Year of the Recalls”, with overwhelming numbers of them traced back to China? First the never-ending melamine-tainted pet food scandal, then diethylene glycol-laced toothpaste and cough syrup, and for this month of August lead paint showing up in the worst place: children’s toys. It is the lead paint scare that is striking at the heart of Mattel, once again, and this time powerful, loose magnets (if swallowed they can cause intestinal blockage) are added to the toy giant’s woes.

Here are some links to stories covering the issue, along with news of a law suit being filed in the case of the previous lead paint recall by Mattel’s Fisher-Price unit a couple weeks ago, and news of the suicide of a Chinese executive involved with the Fisher-Price recall.

Here are recall information links:

fisher-price.jpg

Here we go again, folks! We are now facing ANOTHER Chinese-manufactured items recall due to a lead poisoning hazard, this time nearly one million Fisher-Price toys. Below is a copy of the recall notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This recall comes on the heels of the Thomas the Tank Engine recall, also due to lead poisoning items manufactured in China. Here is an interesting read from early July where China says the entire safety issue is being “hyped” by the media, and it seems they are parroting the same “Chinese exports are safe” line in this article posted today, yet softening their stance in this one. Here’s hoping that the US team currently in Beijing for talks regarding more stringent regulations with the food and drug trade between our country and China, will be able to come home with rules in place which will have us all breathing a bit easier regarding the safety of products we use for ourselves and our pets.

UPDATES:

Here are a couple of links to Mattel pages:
8/1/07 Fisher-Price Toys with Lead Paint Hazard Recall
ALL Mattel recalls

 

 

NEWS from CPSC

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2007
Release #07-257
Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 916-4498
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908


Fisher-Price Recalls Licensed Character Toys Due To Lead Poisoning Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of Product: Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and other children’s toys

Units: About 967,000

Importer: Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y.

Hazard: Surface paints on the toys could contain excessive levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recalled involves various figures and toys that were manufactured between April 19, 2007 and July 6, 2007 and were sold alone or as part of sets. The model names and product numbers for the recalled toys, which are all marked with “Fisher-Price,” are listed below. The toys may have a date code between 109-7LF and 187-7LF marked on the product or packaging.

Sold at: Retail stores nationwide from May 2007 through August 2007 for between $5 and $40.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Fisher-Price. Consumers will need to return the product and will receive a voucher for a replacement toy of the consumer’s choice (up to the value of the returned product).

Consumer Contact: For additional information contact Fisher-Price at (800) 916-4498 anytime or visit the firm’s Web site at www.service.mattel.com

(PRODUCT LISTED REMOVED DUE TO FORMATTING ISSUES: please click link above for entire list.)

Send the link for this page to a friend! 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 $700 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 www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

Yes, I realize most of you have no clue who Jackson is (am quite sure he’d say that it’s your loss ;)), BUT since I do adore the boy and it IS his birthday today (will be nice and NOT say how old since he’s having ‘issues’ with it…you can pay me later, Jackson!), I feel the need to post a couple videos of his obsession (Placebo…more to the point, Brian Molko ;)), since I posted some of mine yesterday. (And yes, that WAS the longest run-on sentence ever. ;))

 

Much love and HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to you, my betch. 😉

(And here’s hoping the “Lucy Syndrome” doesn’t occur today!)

 

From your fave CD

My pick

Hilarious interview

Sniffin’ out the info

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