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Today's the day we Buffalonians welcome spring (OK, not this year) and the end of Lent with Dyngus Day. Has anyone noticed that Lent seems to be a bit less somber each year? My older daughter announced she was giving up television, and we don't even watch television. Somber Lent or not, celebrating Dyngus Day is a nice tradition, and one that is primarily a Buffalo phenom…

Once again this year we spring breaked -- leaving us broke -- to New York City, as part of our continuing efforts to inject some street-smarts into our children. We have both lived and worked in the New York City area and have often thought that kids in the Buffalo area have an innocence about them that those from larger metro areas don't have. Not to say they're innocent…

I doubt that people in other regions of the country experience a spring social awakening the way we do in Western New York. First, after three to five months of being cooped up indoors, we all shed our parkas as quickly as Alberto Gonzales sheds federal prosecutors. It doesn't take long for the bicycles and strollers to hit the pavement. Socializing with our neighbors is …

I'm simultaneously impressed and repulsed by the American Girl doll phenomenon. It says something about our culture that wholesomeness is such a scarce commodity that we are willing to hoard it like crack addicts. Thus the success of the American Girl marketing machine of overpriced but tasteful dolls, historical books, and now themed shopping/real estate destinations in N…

I was saddened to hear about the return of Elizabeth Edwards' cancer. I hope that her cancer is treatable and that she enjoys many more years and lives to see her young children grow up. This is now more possible than ever given the improvements in treatment for stage IV breast cancer.I commend her strength and composure during this difficult time, and do not question the …

The most e-mailed story this year from New York Magazine is Po Bronson's article, "How Not to Talk to Your Kids." The thesis is that our generation of parents over-praise our children, which can inhibit their social and academic development rather than feed them.The article suggests that we commend our children for effort, rather than results. Bronson descri…