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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:


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.


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




U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

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

(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 To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at


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. ;))


I have amazing friends. Friends I can’t imagine being without. Friends who help keep me sane. (Which isn’t always an easy task. 😉) Friends who have been with me through countless years, some through just a few months. But if you become a friend of mine (and I’m not talking about those “friendly acquaintances” we all have, but a friend that actually knows the real me and STILL hangs around), and we have created that “bond”, then the amount of time we’ve known each other really doesn’t matter.

I’d like to think that I am a good friend, and that my friends know I’d be there for them in a heartbeat, just as I know they would be for me (and boy, have they ever been there for me through some crazy times!). I do know that I have a tendency to go overboard (if it’s possible) when a friend is hurting, and unfortunately that’s the case for a dear buddy right now, hence this post.

While rereading some of my friend’s writing I was struck all over again with the beauty of his words in the following line.

The truth is, when I think about Park Slope or its autumn leaves, or its crisp air that smells of antique stone, I feel not only nostalgia but a tremor in my heart that reminds me of just how vital I am to certain individuals’ peace of mind.

I hope that while he’s going through this rough time in his life, he remembers that he IS vital to peace of mind for more individuals than he probably imagines.

So out of my frustration with not being able to wave a magic wand and make everything alright, I feel the need to go to “The Mushy Zone” and post a video of a song I’ve always loved, along with a great quote from Thoreau. Call me a dork, a softie, a goof, whatever, but both items really sum up the pretty simple ideas of what constitutes true friendship for me. I hope you all have friends you feel the same way about, too. And to my dear bud, you are much stronger than you realize…LYB.

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” ~Henry David Thoreau

“You’ve Got a Friend”-James Taylor Tribute (with Carole King)

Surprise the heck out of folks and spread a little random love today! 🙂

Global Love Day web site


I realize tomorrow is about as far from Halloween as you can get, BUT I’m sure you have something orange you could wear Tuesday, April 10th, to show your support for ASPCA Day. Please read the information below and take part. Hey, if the blog can “Go Orange for Animals” for the day, I’m sure you can do something, too! The animals and I thank you.

With permission from the ASPCA web site:

Ways to Go Orange for Animals

On April 10th 2007, the ASPCA will be celebrating ‘ASPCA Day’ and encouraging animal lovers nationwide to ‘Go Orange for Animals’. In our hometown of New York City, many Big Apple buildings will be lighting up in orange—the official ASPCA color—on our birthday, April 10th. Other big cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin and Philadelphia, will be going orange, too.

But we can’t forget the most important participants of all. Without the support of animal lovers like you, we wouldn’t still be the oldest humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Please join us in celebrating the work that we do and the animals that we serve by ‘Going Orange for Animals’ on April 10th.

To get you started, we’ve provided the following ideas on how you can ‘Go Orange’ in your city, town, classroom or community for animals on April 10. Whether you organize a pet parade in your community, petition to get your town hall to light up orange, or decorate your office door with an orange bow, we thank you.


OK, so you don’t have a tower like the one on the Empire State Building on top of your house, but you can still let the world know that animal lovers live in your home. Purchase orange string or rope lights, available online and at hardware and specialty lighting and novelty stores, and wrap your house, terrace, trees, lamppost, porch steps, mailbox…even the family swing set. Start small by replacing your porch light or driveway light with an orange bulb, and see where that takes you.

Let our posters do the talking. You can download our specially designed ASPCA Day posters and use them to inspire others to show their orange colors for animals on April 10. Download Now: Dog Poster | Cat Poster

Get that orange GLOW by wearing and handing out orange glow sticks and glow jewelry. How about a glow light party or parade in your town? (Glow sticks and glow jewelry can be found online or purchased at party supply stores.)

Be a wrap star when you decorate with orange bows. They’ll look great wherever you put them—on trees, over your office door, hanging from your dashboard, on your pooch…and so on and so on.

Open your closet and get out those bright orange pants, shirts, ties, shoelaces and socks that you don’t wear because you don’t think they match anything. Fear not—you’ll be majorly en vogue on April 10, we promise. If you suffer from a dearth of citrus-colored clothing, simply visit the online ASPCA Store.

Plan a dog walk in your town where dogs and their humans go orange! For the organizationally challenged, walking through town with your friends (both furry and human) is just as good, but do be sure you’re all wearing something orange.

Mix up some batches of orangeade or orange Kool-Aid and have a sale to benefit your local humane organization or animal shelter. There’s a reason this is the quintessential kid’s fundraising activity—it’s inexpensive, and it works!

Organize an orange bake sale for animals. Make orange cupcakes, orange cookies, orange-frosted cakes or animal shaped cats and dogs wearing orange frosted collars. (P.S. Remember, a little food coloring goes a long way!)

Bake orange cookies or cupcakes for your friends, co-workers, classmates, etc. You could also convince your local bakery to do this, and donate some of the proceeds to your local animal shelter or animal welfare group.

Organize a Wear Orange For Animals Day on Tuesday, April 10, and give out orange animal cookies or cupcakes. Use this day as an opportunity to educate your students or library clients about how and why the humane movement began in the United States, and why it is important to be kind to those who cannot speak for themselves.

Have your students read Black Beauty and other humane children’s books. You can also work with your students or local theater group to present a play or speech about kindness to animals, or a brief history of the ASPCA. For more ideas, our ASPCA Humane Education department has prepared lesson plans and a list of ASPCA-approved books about animals and animal welfare, which you can find at

Ask your town hall and local officials to help you ‘Go Orange for Animals’ in your neighborhood to help raise awareness about kindness and compassion. Remind your representatives that kindness to animals means kinder citizens—who are more compassionate to each other.

Coordinate an ASPCA Day event with your local animal shelter or animal welfare group, and be sure to alert your local media. Wrap your shelter in an orange glow and hold an awareness event or fundraiser on or near April 10. To find a shelter or rescue group near you, visit our shelter database.

Know of a cool building in your town or city that would look great lit up orange? Find out who the management company is and ask them to join in with New York City’s tower buildings and the many buildings that will be lighting up orange on April 10. As an added incentive, let them know that their building could receive great coverage if they light up for animals; good idea to alert the media first.

Have your local pet store or tack shop go orange, and ask them to offer special promotions or discounts on April 10, with some proceeds going toward local animal welfare efforts.

Encourage your local bookstore to go orange by promoting and displaying humane literature for kids and adults. Local students and teachers could create the display, too. Visit for a list of top animal-themed titles.

Got a green thumb? Plant an orange garden for animals. Ask your local garden center what orange flowering plants work best in your area, and do some creative landscaping. Trim your shrubs into animal shapes, and decorate them in orange bows or lights.

No garden? Try window boxes or flower pots, but do let people (and the media) know that your orange garden is all for and all about animals. (Be careful though, as some plants can be toxic to animals and wildlife. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at to find out which ones.)

Sponsor an advertisement in your local paper for an animal from your local shelter who needs a home. You can even ask to feature a photo of the animal wearing an orange bow—either real or graphically created. Make sure the ad says that you sponsored that animal for ASPCA Day, and encourage others to do the same.

Got any more ideas? Cool! And please remember, BE CREATIVE but BE CAREFUL, and always BE KIND!

For more information about ASPCA Day, please email

Sniffin’ out the info


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