Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flying Car

I found this article on Yahoo Buzz and had to share it. I have a few questions about this "flying car". Is it safe to put a child's car seat in it? (no way I'm putting my kid in there) Who is going to control the air traffic? Are there going to be cops in the air now? What about drinking and flying, what's the law on that? As far as cost goes, not bad for under $200,000. Although this is a great innovation and a cool mode of transportation, I think it would be a challenge to implement this in our current infrastructure. Not so say it won't be done, but I foresee a lot of headaches down the road. Maybe by the time my toddler is able to fly or drive there will be spaceships that can get us to and from the moon in only a few hours...

Flying Car a Step Closer to Realityby Mike Krumboltz

Weird-looking cars are a dime a dozen. Far less common are weird-looking cars that can also fly AND have approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Indeed, as far as we know, there's only one of those babies: The Terrafugia Transition.
The private aircraft/funky-looking car has been in the news before. But the recent announcement that it's going into production sparked mega-searches on the Web. Almost immediately, online lookups for "terrafugia transition" and "terrafugia transition pictures" both, well, took off.
A popular article from the UK's Daily Telegraph explains that the FAA's special exemption allows the vehicle to function as both a "light aircraft" and a car. Normally, for a plane to meet the "light aircraft" designation, it can weigh no more than 1,200 pounds. The Terrafugia Transition weighs 1,320, due primarily to the number of car-related safety features, like airbags and crumple zones. The "light aircraft" designation is key, because licenses for planes with that label require only 20 hours of flying time. Fewer hoops to jump through means more potential sales.
So, how does the plane/car work? Check out the flying car's official video below. So far, 70 people have placed a deposit. The total retail cost: $194,000. Expensive, but really, can you put a price on skipping commercial flights?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're starting a new preschool tomorrow - wish us luck

This past year we had taken our three year-old son to a co-op. Although the teacher was wonderful and we would not replace the experience with anything else, the board at the co-op was going through a very rough period resulting in the resignation of the school's director. So, we investigated other schools and found one that is 10 times better - I'm talking daily music classes and misters over the play area. Yes, misters! I tried to prep my little one today for the new school, but all he keeps talking about is his old school. I'm nervous to drop him off tomorrow - so wish me luck!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Buying Meat from a Vending Machine???

I've seen t-shirts, make-up, even underwear (Japan) - who knows why - sold in vending machines, but meat? Yes, it's true. A butcher shop in Northern Spain, has figured out a way to simplify their business by adopting modern technology. The owners installed the refrigerated machines to provide customer service when the shop is closed. Genius or salmonella waiting to happen?

Omaha with Toddlers and Newborns - If it's good enough for Warren Buffett...

My wife is from Miami, went to school in Boston and now lives in SoCal. I grew up in Tulsa, travel frequently to New York, Dallas and have lived in Southern California since college. I was not sure what to expect from Omaha, Nebraska. Well, I could not have been more wrong. I'll admit my view may be slightly tainted by the fact that I was visiting my new 3 week old niece - and what is more perfect that a cute and cuddly new little one (especially one you can hold and play with but not have to worry about changing!). My sister-in-law and her husband moved to Omaha about a year ago when he was transferred by his company, Yahoo! , which was looking to open a new branch in the area. Omaha is a small city - you can probably drive the entire city from east to west in about 30 minutes tops and there is almost no traffic. Being from L.A. where traffic is a nightmare, it was such an awakening to see that there are towns where traffic is not even an issue - yes, a place where your day doesn't begin and end with road rage. My sister in law stayed home to take care of the littlest edition to our family, but my mother-in-law was able to take us around town. We were surprised by how much there was to do for kids. The first day we took our three year old to the Omaha Children's Museum. Being a "big city snobs" we expected it to be a small museum without too much to do. We were so wrong. It was huge with tons of fun stuff to do - water play, instruments galore, and an entire second floor made over like Bridwell Island from the Clifford series, complete with visit from Clifford himself. The second floor also offered a carousel which the kids loved. We then went to Omaha's Old Town section, which is designed to reflect what the town must have looked like in the 1800's (enough to place yourself back in the day) but made over to reflect a cute shopping and dining area full of art galleries, boutique stores and great restaurants. Truly adorable.

The next day we visited the Durham Museum, which has more trains (Union Pacific was created an continues to be headquartered in Nebraska), and offers an overview of Omaha's history - including famous Omahans like Tom Brokaw, Abbott & Costello, Johnny Carson and of course, Warren Buffett. Speaking of Warren Buffett, we drove by his house. You would miss it if you didn't know better. Apparently one of the world's richest men lives in the same house he's lived in for over 35 years. It's a nice size, but not more than an acre and a half of land. A FAR cry from the mansions of Bel Air, Pasadena or Greenwich, CT. Without a gate protecting the house, I actually worried about the Buffett family's safety. When it comes to dining, we ate as well in Omaha as we would have in any major city. We ate a fabulous mushroom truffle pizza at Pitch, in the adorable town of Dundee. We had an amazing ice cream for desert at eCreamery, which allows you to personalize logos - the perfect gift for anyone. In fact, the town was hosting the College World Series and had created special ice cream flavors for each of the teams in town. One place we did not make it to was the Henry Doorley Zoo, which is considered one of the top zoos in the country behind the San Diego Zoo and National Zoo, which my sister in law said kids just love. Anyway, the list goes on and on, and I won't lie, there were some 70's parts of town - many 70's parts of town, but needless to say, it was a lovely town and a lovely time. I'd suggest checking in with the Omaha Visitor's Bureau before going, though, to make sure you hit these hidden gems.

Washington DC with toddlers

We were away from our computer for a little over a week visiting my two year old niece in Washington D.C. and my new, 3 week old niece in Omaha Nebraska. We had an amazing time as both cities offered tons to do for kids.
We started the trip on the plane, which was more fun for our three year old than anything else on the trip. When we arrived in DC, we traveled to Alexandria, Virginia, where my sister-in-law lives. We spent the first day touring the monuments. It was great fun for us - you get such a sense of history and magnitude when viewing the White House and all the important offices that surround it, the EPA, DOJ, etc. - and it gave the kids plenty of space to run around. We did an amazing amount of walking from the White House, to the Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korean War monuments. Although we had a stroller, both of the kids spent most of the day walking. The next day we visited Baltimore, MD - a short hour and a half drive from Alexandria - to visit the Smithsonian Train Museum. (Yes, my son still loves trains). From there we visited the Aquarium, which is a mix of a regular (amazing) aquarium and Sea World, complete with Dolphin and Shark shows. We wanted to visit the Spy Museum, but was told it was for kids starting around age 6, so we skipped it. (I've heard amazing things about it, so we'll be back in three years!) There were plenty of restaurants along the way that catered to kids and provided an all-around amazing experience. I worried my son as a little too young to fully enjoy DC, but he loved it - and having another 2 year old to wear him out, was a blessing!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there

Just sending a note to every dad out there to wish you all a Happy Father's Day!

I'm looking forward to a delicious lunch with my wife and son and a chocolate lava cake for desert tonight! Yes, I'm hungry as I am writing this. But whatever you do, we hope you have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts

Let's face it. Father's Day is an important holiday, but one that does not seem to have so much forethought as Christmas. People spend months talking about Christmas, shopping at the mall for the perfect gift, but people always seem to be rushing to purchase gifts for Father's and Mother's Day. Thank goodness for the Internet! Not only has it made shopping easy, but its made shopping smarter, too. Sites like Red Envelope are great because they provide last minute shopping and shipping, and offer a variety of classic, fun and unexpected items. For example, the folks are Red Envelope were offering select dad bloggers an opportunity to experience Father's Day in a new way, inviting us to select any product for trial. Looking for an opportunity to do select something that created an experience for my and my family on MY DAY, I had a tough time choosing between the home brewing set (complete with mini keg), the family conversation table topics and the picnic backpack. We often visit the Huntington Gardens near our house and attend their summer concert series where we get to picnic while the kids run around on the park grounds, so I selected the picnic backpack. We have a picnic backpack that we typically use and I'll admit that I would not have purchased a new one had the Red Envelope offer not been extended, but I am definitely glad I chose it as an option. The entire backpack is insulated and stays nice and cool for nearly three hours! (Perhaps it stays cooler, but we only picnicked for three hours). The straps are extra thick making it easy to carry - I would even say comfortable enough for a long hike up the Rockies. The silverware is nice enough to elevate any wine and cheese picnic, but are not so heavy that you become angry at the manufacturer for not thinking about your needs - why put heavy silver when the product is going to be carried on your back. This blogger is traveling this week visiting relatives and is unable to upload the photos of our family picnic so I'm including a photo of the picnic from the site. However, I fully recommend this gift to anyone looking to give dad the perfect gift - one that naturally opens up the opportunity to get outside together and share time together.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Pasadena Water and Power experts will teach residents how to outsmart the current water shortage at a free workshop Saturday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Salvation Army Pasadena Tabernacle, 960 E. Walnut St.
The three-hour seminar will cover:

· Top 10 ways to save the most water and money indoors and out
· How to conduct a home water audit and compare yours to average and efficient homes
· How much water is right for your landscape
· How to keep your landscape healthy through the hot summer and change of seasons
· How to check for water leaks and what to do if you find one
· How to read your water bill and meter
· How to test your soil
· What alternatives to traditional landscaping work best for Pasadena’s climate
· What efficient irrigation devices like smart controllers and drip irrigation can do for you.

Each PWP customer who attends the workshop will receive a water-saver kit valued at $40, and PWP water customers will also have a chance to win a “smart” irrigation controller, with installation, worth $650.
PWP customers may register at or (626)744-3715.

McDonald's Shrek Recall and Anonymous Tip - This Blogger Isn't "Lovin' it"

McDonald's is asking anyone who purchased a Shrek glass to return it to McDonald's. The fast-food giant is paying $3 per glass - one dollar and one cent more than the consumer purchase price. You can find out more about the recall in this link here.

Recall aside, does anyone else find it strange that this all came to light as a result of an "anonymous tip." Who called in the tip? And how did he or she know the glasses were bad? And why didn't McDonald's know they were bad glasses before they began selling them?
I'm certain of one thing, McDonald's should use it's muscle to work with company's that create safe, BPA-free - and cadmium-free products for families.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chinese paint their dogs to look like pandas, tigers in new fad

One of my sister-in-laws sent me the link to this story and I just had to share it. The article is from and it is a keeper. If we had a dog, I would have to paint it to look like Baby Jaguar from Go Diego Go! Note that no animals were harmed during the typing of this email. The links have more great pics!

By Jodi Lai June 8, 2010 – 11:39 am
It’s so passe to put your dogs in purses and buy them designer clothes these days.
In the newest pet fad, dog owners in China are dyeing their mutts to resemble pandas and tigers, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reports.
Chow Chow dogs that normally have golden fur are being dyed white and black to resemble fluffy pandas. Golden Retrievers with light blonde hair are painted orange and given black stripes to look like tigers.
Oh, I love how China’s burgeoning middle class spends its money on the bizarre. More cute/ridiculous photos after the jump.
A Google search for “dog dye” frighteningly returns 2.7 million hits. There are hundreds of websites that instruct pet owners how to dye their dogs’ fur.
The Daily Mail reports that spending in the U.K. on pets has increased by 500% from 1999 to 2008, at the expense of the animals’ dignity, of course.
Check out this horrifying gallery of pooches dyed in every colour the rainbow has to offer.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hilarious Ad for Huggies New Jean Diapers

I was working in my home office when I heard my wife and toddler laughing at something while watching "Max and Ruby" on Nickelodeon. I ran in to see this commercial for the new Huggies limited edition jean diaper. Thought you'd find it funny, too.

Auto Club Child Safety Seat Education Class - June 22

AAA clubs nationwide will be hosting child safety seat classes in June to help show parents how to choose the proper child safety seat for their child and install it in your car. They'll also review rules for child car seats so that parents can be sure they are following the law. In Los Angeles, there will be a session at the Los Angeles Auto Club brand on Figueroa Street. TO RSVP, you can call 714-885-2312.

Max funny

Yesterday we were walking by our local City Hall when we saw a man riding on a bike with a parrot on his shoulder. My wife said "look at the man on the bicycle. He has a parrot on his back." and my son said "mama, he's a pirate" which made us burst out laughing.

National Trails Day - Get Out And Hike!

June 5 is National Trails Day so it's a great opportunity to get out and go for a hike with the family or even a walk around the block. A lot of outdoor stores like REI are offering promotions complete with local trail maps for all hikers - beginners and experts alike. Just remember, if you are hiking with a baby or toddler to set expectations since distance - or getting to the waterfall - might not be a reality when little ones are with you. Also, remember sunscreen, lots of water and good shoes. And most of all, have fun!