Wednesday, November 28, 2007

busy busy busy is the way we roll these days. awesome but much too short of a visit with grandpa

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

stucco, snack, our view of fall tree, just because, & dad and uly

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Toy containing date-rape drug pulled
The Associated Press

Last Updated 6:25 pm PST Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Millions of Chinese-made toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful "date rape" drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

With only seven weeks until Christmas, the recall is yet another blow to the toy industry - already bruised by a slew of recalls this past summer.

In the United States, the toy goes by the name Aqua Dots, a highly popular holiday toy distributed by Toronto-based Spin Master Toys. They are called Bindeez in Australia, where they were named toy of the year at an industry function earlier this year.

Moose Enterprises said Bindeez and Aqua Dots are made at the same factory, which is located in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province. The company said that the product is distributed in 40 countries but that it was up to the individual countries and distributors to determine whether the product would be pulled.

The toy beads are sold in general merchandise stores and over the Internet for use in arts and crafts projects. They can be arranged into designs and fused together when sprayed with water.

Scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. When eaten, the compound - made from common and easily available ingredients - can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.

Naren Gunja from Australia's Poisons Information Center said the drug's effect on children was "quite serious ... and potentially life-threatening."

The recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday several hours after published reports about the recall in Australia.

The two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dot beads went into nonresponsive comas, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Wednesday afternoon.

In Australia, the toys were ordered off store shelves on Tuesday when officials learned that a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were hospitalized after swallowing the beads. A 19-month-old toddler also was being treated.

The news jolted the toy industry because Aqua Dots has been one of the few bright stars of the toy selling season, which, along with overall retailing, has gotten off to a sluggish start. The item, which had been heavily advertised, had appeared on many toy experts' list of must-have holiday toys, and toy sellers are now in the midst of canceling advertising and scrambling to figure out how to replace it.

Chris Byrne, a New York-based toy consultant, noted that the incidents could have been isolated, and Spin Master may be erring on the side of caution.

"This is something that they could not have foreseen. This is an extremely hot toy. ... It's a little scary," Byrne said.

In a statement, Toys "R" Us Inc., said that it issued on Tuesday a "stop sale" on the entire Spin Master Aqua Dots product line in its North American stores and on its Web site after it learned of the news. "We understand that Spin Master and U.S. regulatory authorities are investigating this product and we have asked Spin Master to fully explain what it believes happened," said the toy seller in a statement.

Meanwhile, a separate recall was announced for 405,000 children's products made in China, most of them toy cars, because of dangerous levels of lead.

The recall includes about 380,000 Pull-Back Action Toy Cars imported by Dollar General Merchandising Inc. of Goodlettsville, Tenn., and 7,500 Dragster and Funny Car toys imported by International Sourcing Ltd. of Springfield, Mo.

Four of the recalled products were imported by Schylling Associates Inc. of Rowley, Mass., including the items Duck Family Collectable Wind-Up Toy, Dizzy Ducks Music Box, "Robot 2000" collectable tin robot and Winnie-the-Pooh Spinning Top. The company recalled another 66,000 spinning tops Aug. 22.

Representatives from Schylling Associates Inc. were not immediately available for comment.

Wednesday's recalls include about 7,200 "Big Red" Wagons imported by Northern Tool & Equipment Co. of Burnsville, Minn. Totaling about 405,700, the recalled children's products all had excessive levels of lead in their surface paint.

Although no illnesses connected to the toy car recall have been reported, lead is toxic if ingested by young children. Children's products found to have more than 0.06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

november is our kinda month
Are you ready to upgrade your home to all that you have always imagined it to be? Here's your chance, dear Leo. Your home, family, and other real estate decisions are about to form a big theme in November, and with so many planets coming together to help you, you may be amazed at how easily - and quickly - you can get things into place "just so."

Mercury was retrograde last month in this very same area, so you probably had a number of frustrating setbacks or delays, but those are now history. Mercury is about to go direct on November 1, so you will soon see the pace of your progress pick up. Still, you need to give a little space between the date Mercury goes direct and the date you begin to act. November 1 and 2 will still be filled with static and confusion, so it would be best to begin announcing decisions, making big purchases, and negotiating new deals from November 4 onward.

November 4 will be a strong and positive day, when Mars will send the mighty Sun a lovely vibe. The Sun is Leo's ruling star, so this day should help you find an option in a real estate or family-related dilemma. Use this day to view new housing spaces, furniture, or accessories, or to interview a new roommate, as a few examples.

November 7 may be a sparkling day, when the Sun and Uranus will trade secrets. Financial luck should excite you, especially in regard to real estate matters. You may get approved for a mortgage or home improvement loan, very suddenly and unexpectedly and at very attractive rates. Alternatively, on this day, you may win a small prize in a raffle or scratch off contest. See what happens. Do you feel lucky yet? You will!

Your most important moment of the month will occur when the new moon arrives November 9. This new moon will be fantastically friendly - unusually so - and will open up all the areas discussed so far: Home and real estate, along with other domestic decisions, can now be advanced and make you very happy.

This new moon on November 9 will set up a grand trine or golden triangle with Uranus in your mortgage / loan sector in your eighth house, and Mars in your confidential sector, twelfth house. Both planets will work with the Sun and new moon, November 9, in your fourth house of home and family. Suddenly all the impediments you've faced in solving a housing or real estate situation will drop away. Expect to get very lucky, very quickly.

You will have to be poised to work fast, however. Opportunity will arise quickly in the hours after November 9, but just as quickly, Mars will turn retrograde on November 15. I'd like you to take your most decisive home and family-related goal steps close to the appearance of that new moon. A new moon is a portal to a series of days, not just one day, so you have from November 9 to 14.

(Under normal conditions you'd have much more time than this, but Mars' impending retrograde will shorten that window of opportunity.)

Of these dates, November 12 will be your best for signing papers, or to buy or sell a house, choose furniture, or hire contractors - decisions like that. My runner-up choice would be over the weekend, November 10 - 11. I just love Jupiter's conjunction to the Sun on Monday, November 12, for you.

If you do make a decision in regard to property, whether to lease, buy, renovate, redesign, or repair, it appears this endeavor will beautifully upgrade your living situation on a very large scale. Next month Jupiter will make a monumental dock to Pluto, an event that will only happen once every thirteen years. It's coming - next month these two powerhouse planets will meet on December 11.

This is not a conjunction that would affect you only for a day or two, but rather Jupiter and Pluto, by joining in conjunction in fellow fire sign Sagittarius, will kick off a cycle that would affect you in a very positive way over the coming thirteen years. This aspect is massive in importance, potentially hugely profitable, and also enormously beneficial to you.

Jupiter and Pluto are meeting in your fifth house of creativity, but keep in mind that Pluto rules your solar fourth house of home. This tells me not only do you have an opportunity to vastly appreciate the value of your home, but also to put a strong creative imprint on your space as well. (Of course, Jupiter and Pluto may also bring you love, something we will talk about next month.) It sometimes takes weeks or months to feel the effect of such a powerful aspect. Slow moving planets like these often have to click off certain planets in your chart before their effects are felt.

You and I will talk more about this massively important conjunction in your December forecast. Other planets are speeding toward Sagittarius to be present when this monumental event occurs on December 11, including Venus, Mercury, the Sun, and new moon. This will be the most important event of 2007 - possibly of the whole decade. As said, these two planets will meet in your house of love and happiness, but also have bearing over your home, family, and real estate situation. Come back next month for more on this - it's all very, very good, dear Leo!
halloween part II
ninja anakin skywalker and the jedi tiger are in the house. boo at the zoo was awesome this year. we got an early start to fight the crowds and made the most of uly's treat or tricking time. we even had time for a inpromptu sword fight near the giant spiderweb. dad got stuck in the spooky train ride line again this year, yay dad! mia was all about the monkeys and flamingos. and uly was all about his loot!