Thursday, December 29, 2011

Driver's License for Advil?

My son-in-law purchased Advil Cold and Sinus this week. In order to do this, he had to provide his driver's license to the store clerk. What's up with this? Isn't this just one more example of over-regulation?

So I did a little research on this.  There were a few complaints by individuals that they had to not only provide a Federally recognized form of identification, but that this information was loaded into a database.

The regulation in question is 21 USC Section 830.  I'm cutting to the chase here, but the regulation is very wordy. The following sections are what seems to affect the average American citizens.

1.  "Pub. L. 111-268, Sec. 1, Oct. 12, 2010, 124 Stat. 2847, provided
    that: "This Act [amending sections 830 and 842 of this title and
    enacting provisions set out as notes under section 830 of this
    title] may be cited as the 'Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act
    of 2010'."

2.  ...."The seller maintains, in accordance with criteria
          issued by the Attorney General, a written or electronic list
          of such sales that identifies the products by name, the
          quantity sold, the names and addresses of purchasers, and the
          dates and times of the sales (which list is referred to in
          this subsection as the "logbook"), except that such
          requirement does not apply to any purchase by an individual
          of a single sales package if that package contains not more
          than 60 milligrams of pseudoephedrine.

Each Advil Cold and Sinus liquid-filled capsule contains 30mg of pseudoephedrine so it falls under the purview of this regulation.  Ridiculous....

Also, the Energy Independence and Security Act 0f 2007, which apparently was scheduled to go into effect on January 1. 2012, will not be enforced  "until Oct. 1, 2012, according to a rider attached to the $915 billion spending bill signed to avoid a federal government shutdown" as reported by Stacy Jones / The Star-Ledger.

Coupled with attempted regulations of what we can feed our families, I ask the the following question.

Why are we paying the salaries of 535 people who are supposed to be representing us, but instead are, in my opinion, over-regulating us?  Also, why are we paying their staff, approximately 15,000 people as of 2009,  according to the website, "Government Policy", to assist with writing the laws that are too wordy and difficult for the average citizen to read?

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Greetings

May you be blessed in a special way during this Holy Season.

Merry Christmas 
Happy New Year

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Santa Claus at La Gran Terraza

On Sunday, I accompanied my daughter and grandchildren to brunch with Santa Claus at the La Gran Terraza at the University of San Diego.   The food ranged from shrimp cocktail and crabs legs, to breakfast items like omelets (made to order), waffles, bacon and sausage, and on to assorted enticing salads and hot entrees.  These included a carving station for ham and prime rib, grilled salmon with pesto and gourmet vegetable dishes.

I love buffets because I can have a tablespoon of whatever foods appeal to me personally.  I enjoyed a little shrimp cocktail, followed by an omelet with herbs, bacon, a sliver of ham and small piece of the salmon.  At the carving station, I requested "a small sliver" of the ham and it was graciously served to me.  Everything was delicious and the salmon with pesto was especially tasty.  My daughter enjoyed the pumpkin soup with apple and goat cheese.  As I chose mostly breakfast items, I just didn't have room for another bite except, of course, dessert.

In the center of the room was a long table with sumptuous desserts.  There was such a variety, it was hard to choose.  I tried a small piece of chocolate mousse.  Delicious.  The grandchildren enjoyed decorating their own gingerbread cookies on a table set up in the corner of the dining room.  Then, on to sitting with Santa Claus.  The big surprise was getting small gifts from Santa.  The children were delighted.  The memory of this day was captured in a photograph of Santa with the children for Mom.

We had a wonderful time, thanks to Chef Nathan and the wonderful staff.  You would do well to experience this restaurant for yourselves.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cold Nights in San Diego

I awoke this morning to the sound of heavy rain.  Didn't really want to get out from under the covers.  Last night was warmer (48 degrees) than it had been for over a week.  I should have realized that something was up.  The dark skies gave way to sunshine in the afternoon.  But it was still chilly.  The nightly news showed pictures of snow on Mount Laguna.  My apartment was freezing this afternoon.  The Weather Channel showed the temperature as 54 degrees, but it certainly didn't feel like it.  My daughter told me that as she left work, she was wearing a sweater, a bulky sweater and a raincoat and was still freezing.  My grandchildren were wearing their winter jackets with the hoods up.

Later in the day, we had showers.  When I ventured out I had to wear my "New York" coat, a jean jacket that has a faux fur lining.  Tonight it is supposed to rain again with a low of 46 degrees.  As I'm sitting here typing, the temperature is 52 degrees.  I don't heat my apartment since I usually can just wear a sweater and feel fine.  Not today.  Right now, I'm wearing three sweaters.  I guess this sounds like "whining."  But, this is San Diego!

While the days in San Diego are usually warm in the mid-sixties, at this time of year the nights are sometimes very cold.  Of course, it is a matter of perspective.  If you live in colder parts of the nation or world, 46 degrees is not really that cold but for San Diego it is.  All last week, when the sun went down, the chill set in with clear night skies.  Earlier in the week, when the overnight temp reached 42, I had to pull out another bed covering.  That makes two quilts and one blanket.  My daughter, who lives about 8 miles northeast of me, was waking up to 36 or 37 degree weather in the morning.  She lives a few miles inland from the coast and I live about 1 1/2 miles from it.  That probably accounts for the difference in temperatures.  

Two nights ago, I saw birds flying silently overhead.  I immediately thought they looked like the green parrots.  However, I've never seen or heard these parrots in the winter.  They usually arrive almost exactly on March 9 and leave in late August or September.  This evening I did see them and definitely heard them.  They are very loud.  Don't know what they're doing here now.  And, I suspect even the vacationers are wondering why (Oh, why) they picked these weeks to come here.

It seems like a very strange year here in San Diego.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Say Merry Christmas Song

I've just learned about a new Christmas song about saying Merry Christmas.  During the past few Christmas seasons, when I was in the store, in response to a clerk's "Happy Holidays", I would say, "Merry Christmas."  In most cases, I would get a small smile.  Sometimes, a person would whisper a response to me, "Merry Christmas."   The song can be heard here.

I realize that people and businesses don't want to offend those with other religious beliefs and that is understandable.  However, shows a Pew Forum (retrieved 2011-11-04) reporting that 78.5 of the U.S. population surveyed claim a Christian affiliation.  So, in my opinion, most of the money to purchase gifts and toys are intended to celebrate Christmas.  It might be a good idea for store owners to recognize this.

It also appears that the commercialization of Christmas is going to remain.  Giving gifts at Christmas is a great practice to center on what the celebration really means.  It's also an excellent time to teach children to look around and appreciate what they have.  Many years ago, we decided to have a "giving" Christmas.  We explained to our children, who were old enough to understand, that there were people who could not celebrate that year.  So we would help them.  We also told the children that they would not necessarily have as many gifts under the tree as they were used to receiving.  Maybe they would get three presents each, instead of ten.  We took them shopping for this family, who weren't able to provide gifts that year.  We never knew who that family was.  All we knew was the number of children in a family and their genders and age.  The children were free to select what they thought the child might want, within our budget, of course.  Our children really enjoyed it.   And, on Christmas, they saw that they were blessed with many, many gifts under the tree.  As the years went on, our children knew that they really weren't giving anything up by helping another family. That is what Christmas should be all about.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

A 5 Year Old's Birthday Weekend

On December 1, my youngest grandson turned 5.  That evening, his mother and father took him and his sister to the Corvette Diner in San Diego.  They had a wonderful time.  He played games and ate dinner in the Neon room.  There, if you place your hand on the table and then pick it up, a neon imprint of your hand is left on the table.  Cool.  Then, as he was eating his ice cream, he heard an announcement wishing him, by name, "Happy Birthday."  He was so excited.  After that, the wait staff came over and sang to him.  All this, together with a pirate hat made of balloons, made for a memorable birthday. 

On Friday, his kindergarten class celebrated with Rice Krispy Treats (his choice).  On Saturday, he had a "friends" party.  It was an old-fashioned ice cream and cupcake party (no bouncy house, no crafts, no clowns, no pony).  The ice cream was served in prepackaged cups from Smart and Final, the type that was sold with wooden spoons....popular years ago.  Seven friends attended and had fun running around the yard, playing with simple balsa planes and other toys, as well as writing on the patio cement with chalk.  The children had a simply wonderful time.

Sunday was the "family" party.  It was somewhat of a replay of Saturday except that the family stayed for dinner. After cupcakes and ice cream, the six children sat on the living room floor as the birthday boy opened his gifts.  It is always funny to see little children so interested in the gifts that they inch up closer and closer until they are surrounding the birthday child.  Then, someone takes initiative and tells the children to give the honoree space, which they do.  Their demeanor was very polite.  Then, little by little, they again slowly inch up closer to the child opening the birthday gifts.  It is cute to watch.

This past weekend will stay in the birthday boy's memory for quite some time, considering how many times he celebrated.  As for me, I will center on how much fun a simple old-fashioned birthday party can be.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter is almost here

U.S. Patent D486,953
Winter is almost here.  Here in San Diego, the temperature tonight is 53 degrees.  Tomorrow morning, it will be 45 degrees.  When the sun is out in the afternoon, the temperature is usually in the 60's.  However, once the sun goes down or it's cloudy, winter jackets are in order.  I have been busy knitting my "interlocking scarf" for some children in the family.    My scarf has unique features.  You can go here to read about them.  I believe that many Moms and caregivers would benefit from a scarf that a young child could put on unaided.  Anything that makes a Mom's life easier is worth creating.

Last year, I was in New York for 10 weeks (from January to March) in what was a very stormy, bitter winter.  Every time I went out, I would see little children with scarves tightly wrapped around them.  My scarf is much more comfortable and Mom doesn't have to wrap it multiple times and tie it behind the child's head.

I am interested in licensing my scarf.  You can contact me via e-mail at .  L.L.Bean, Target, Walmart, are you out there?

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