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I'm turning myself in: I probably don't know as much about history as a person probably should. I'm not sure exactly why this is, I was a good student, but for some reason I don't remember much. We like to talk today about how kids don't know anything about geography, and/or much anything else, but quiz us baby boomers about history and my guess is our collective literacy …

Today seems like a good day to take a break from family talk and just share our feelings about the Bills' painful start. It's really OK to just talk about it. This is a very safe place; no one can hurt you here, and we all want to validate your emotions. Sometimes laughter really is the best selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. With that in mind, we present the followin…

The cereal aisle is an example of capitalism run amok.          Associated Press photoI dread grocery shopping, and based upon the unsolicited comments I got from friends I ran into at one of our local mega-chains the other day, I am not alone. As I wheeled past the avocados, I ran into a mom (a mom I might add who never says an unkind wo…

At Parent Company, we read the whole Internet -- so you don't have to! In the Washington Post a family therapist named Patricia Dalton writes about the fact that kids no longer seem to have any fear of their parents. Not fear in the "My dad is O.J." sense, but just a healthy awareness that they'd better do what they are told, or else. I especially notice this i…

Health and Fitness

I was never technically a stay-at-home dad since I never stopped working full-time, but when our kids were babies and toddlers I used to care for them during the day and then go to work at night. (As I used to say, I'd go to work to get some rest.) But to the other parents -- mostly moms -- at the playground or library or wherever, I appeared to be a stay-at-home dad, a …

The video of a South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen USA pageant answering a question about geography has become a mega-hit on YouTube. The life of 18-year-old Caitlin Upton will probably never be the same, thanks to viral video. How did the young lady's parents feel about her performance? QuietLibrary.com has the answer: ---Greg

I don't mean to channel one of the whining Yuppies on the '80s TV show "thirtysomething," but ... every year I complain about the fact that ALL of our kids' extracurricular activities resume at exactly the same time as school does. Hey music and dance teachers, sports coaches and scout leaders,  can't we cut the kids (read: parents) some slack with a late-…

Some quick observations on the first day of school: -- The definition of mixed emotions is watching teachers send their own kids back to school. -- Why exactly do we need those 30-item school supply lists filled in full while it's still 90 degrees outside? -- I don't know much about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but I bet it applies to the passing of the school day, …

Labor Day weekend is over, a melancholy reminder that our real labors of the year are just ahead. It was swell while it lasted ... what beautiful weather we had, a terrific end to an incredible summer of sunshine.The Connors spent some time at the beach this weekend, as we now go to Canada even when we don't want to just to experience the thrill of using our newly acquir…

Health and Fitness

Is this a cosmic sign that some of us have too much free time on our hands? An Associated Press story says that some parents are buying Internet domain names for their newborns before they even come home from the hospital. You know, like LittleJason.com. I get why you might want to start a college savings account for them. Maybe bank some of their cord blood, in case you …

A new CBS-TV reality show called "Kid Nation" isn't scheduled to debut until Sept. 19, but the promo spots for the show make it look like sort of a mashup of "Lord of the Flies," "The Real World" and a very special "Gunsmoke." The show's premise is that a group of 40 children ages 15 and under were taken to a deserted town in New…

Health and Fitness

Just back from another of our summer traditions, the Erie County Fair America's Fair. In my family, I am the Fairest one of all, meaning the one who insists on dragging the others each year. I  think Greg secretly dreads this annual pilgrimage, but he is too nice to complain and like many a husband just goes along with the plan. America's Fair is another of those Gr…

Now, the minority opinion. I’ve gotten a reputation for being the family curmudgeon when it comes time to attend the fair. That is based largely on the fact that the fair shakes more money out of my pocket than did a ride on the old roller coaster at Crystal Beach. After paying for parking, admission, ride bracelets, pizza and gyros, ice cream, extra attractions suc…

Sometimes it seems like such a chore getting our kids to do chores that many of us just give up and do them ourselves (setting ourselves up for resentment later). In the olden days, one solution was to draw up a family chore list and post it on the refrigerator. These usually worked great for a week or so, and then everyone kind of forgot about them. Here is a new approa…

Health and Fitness

The first clue that the Baby Einstein Language Nursery video series might be over-promising and under-delivering in its attempts to enlighten your baby came from Einstein himself. He didn't speak until he was +/- 3 years old, according to Einstein mythology and Lisa Simpson, the ultimate authority on child development. The second clue comes from the Baby Einstein company…