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The end of this miserable year known as 2007 CANNOT come soon enough for me–8 hours and counting! While there were some things for which I’m grateful (finally passing the CSET, the wonderful children I had for my student teaching experience, incredible friends who have stood by me, my dear Rudy, starting this blog on 1-8-07 and sharing it with so many, along with other positive events), this past month or so of dashed hopes, turmoil, loss, and sadness, in addition to other disappointments and struggles over the past year, has me BEYOND anxious for the beginning of a new year and all that it can hold. Yes, I realize that January 1st of ANY year is just a date on a calendar and that if we choose to have new beginnings in our life we can (and should) start at any moment of any day in any month, but I’ll stick with my somewhat naive way of thinking that 12:01 AM on 1-1-08 WILL be my new, fresh beginning. For me it will represent being atop a mountain looking out on a sunny, green, peaceful and happy landscape known as 2008, with a quick look over my shoulder at something akin to a dark and dreary, war-torn past known as 2007.

It is with this intention of doing things better and to completion, that I’ve imposed an online break for myself. I haven’t been blogging on a consistent basis lately anyway, but when I do blog it does take time, and right now, with the current major upheaval in my life, it’s time I know I need to spend prioritizing areas of my life, and living to my full potential. In a way I feel like a parent telling their child that they can’t go out to play until their homework is done. At this particular point in my life “homework” equates with “figuring sh*t out”, and play is spending time online whether it’s blogging or reading many other fine blogs out there (see my blogroll ;)).

So, my friends, I leave for this mini-break (mind you, knowing me it might only be a few days! ;)) hoping you all have not only a happy and safe New Year’s Eve, but a new year filled with happy moments, appreciation for life, special people (and pets!) to share it with, and the fulfillment of dreams you’ve tucked way for too long, which you will NOW (hopefully) pull out for 2008. Take care, and I’ll see you soon!

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:

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No, not any of those other Rudys…MY Rudy, my poochie, my goofball, and the being that cracks me up each day. Yes, I am one of those folks that celebrates her dog’s birthday (bite your tongue, Jackson!), albeit one that was created based on the best judgment of shelter workers since Rudy was adopted from a Humane Society in SoCal. So approximately two years before I adopted Rudy on July 14th, 2002, my crazy, recently diagnosed with diabetes boy was born.

Happy Birthday Rudy, and thanks for all the happiness you bring to me and to everyone who meets you. 🙂 (And yes, Rudy can read. ;))

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As an aunt to two Thomas the Tank Engine-addicted nephews, I wanted to do my part to pass along information regarding the recent recall of 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine trains and accessory parts due to high levels of lead paint. The warning from officials is to TAKE THESE TOYS AWAY FROM CHILDREN IMMEDIATELY, so please following the links I’m including and check the products you have at home against those being recalled. Here is the RC2 official press release (the company which manufactures the recalled products), a detailed list of images of items being recalled, and I’ll include the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission official press release below.I just have to say that considering the never ending melamine-tainted pet food recall, along with the diethylene glycol-laced cough syrup and toothpaste fiasco, why am I NOT surprised that these recalled Thomas the Tank Engine items were manufactured in China?! Argh!

UPDATES:

  • 9/27/07: More items recalled today!
  • 6/19/07:  Here’s a GREAT article (“As More Toys Are Recalled, Trail Ends In China“) from the New York Times stating that ALL 24 of the recalled toys this year were manufactured in China, with issues from lead paint to kerosene! You do need to sign up for a free online subscription to read the NY Times article…so worth it, though!***)

 

NEWS from CPSC

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2007
Release #07-212
Firm’s Recall Hotline: (866) 725-4407
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

RC2 Corp. Recalls Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of Products: Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys

Units: About 1.5 million

Importer/Distributor: RC2 Corp., of Oak Brook, Ill.

Hazard: Surface paints on the recalled products contain lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None.

Description: The recall involves wooden vehicles, buildings and other train set components for young children listed in the chart below. The front of the packaging has the logo “Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway” on the upper left-hand corner. A manufacturing code may be located on the bottom of the product or inside the battery cover. Toys marked with codes containing “WJ” or “AZ” are not included in this recall.

Recalled Product Name
Red James Engine & Red James’ # 5 Coal Tender
Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & Red James’ #5 Lights & Sounds Coal Tender
James with Team Colors Engine & James with Team Colors #5 Coal Tender
Red Skarloey Engine
Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach
Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck
Red Musical Caboose
Red Sodor Line Caboose
Red Coal Car labeled “2006 Day Out With Thomas” on the Side
Red Baggage Car
Red Holiday Caboose
Red “Sodor Mail” Car
Red Fire Brigade Truck
Red Fire Brigade Train
Deluxe Sodor Fire Station
Red Coal Car
Yellow Box Car
Red Stop Sign
Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign
Yellow “Sodor Cargo Company” Cargo Piece
Smelting Yard
Ice Cream Factory

Sold at: Toy stores and various retailers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007 for between $10 and $70.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should take the recalled toys away from young children immediately and contact RC2 Corp. for a replacement toy.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact RC2 Corp. toll-free at (866) 725-4407 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. CT Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at recalls.rc2.com

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.asp. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

Happy Hallmark Day everyone! Okay, was that a tad cynical? 😉 As someone who isn’t involved with anyone right now, it’s not a day that’s really high on my list, BUT I am all about spreading some love and happiness, so figured I’d do so with this video which I ADORE! If you haven’t heard about the Free Hugs Campaign, check out the videos first, expect the warm fuzzies to overtake you, then head over to either Juan Mann’s website or his MySpace page and get involved. Hey, getting involved can mean just hugging the person (or pet :)) next to you. It’s a start, right?

Slight cynicism about this day aside, Happy Day of Love to all of you, and especially to my family, my poochie, and my good buds! 😉

Sniffin’ out the info

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