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Monthly Archive:: January 2009

A Night at the Airports

I got to see Kecia this weekend.  We manage to cross paths every couple years or so at a child passenger safety conference.  This time, I was in the NYC area visiting friends and we were able to get together for dinner.  Mmmm.  Lamb burgers, spanakopita, cucumber salad, Retsina!  It just doesn’t get any better than this!

Indeed, that was the high point of the trip.  The low started the next day, as the snow started coming down heavier.  My flight was already delayed from 5:25 to 5:47, many hours before departure.  It had slipped to 6:12 by the time we left for Newark airport.  Every few minutes it seemed the departure time at the gate monitor slipped again.  6:17….6:24…  Shortly after the incoming plane finally arrived and passengers were exiting, the delay jumped from 6:45 to 7:02pm.  We finally had to turn our cellphones off at 7:05pm as we left the gate.  Then 15 minutes de-icing.  Then another 10 minutes waiting to takeoff.  Not too bad in terms of delays I guess; it could have been a lot worse.  Plus, I had armed myself with a newspaper, magazines, brought a book as well as my cellphone/headphones for music.  I had also aptly splurged and spent $139 to upgrade to first class earlier in the day when I printed my boarding pass, anticipating that we could be sitting on the plane for hours if the weather worsened.  The extra room and food/beverage service was worth every penny, especially since it was a frequent flyer reward in the first place.

The flight was pretty uneventful.  We landed only about an hour and a half past the original arrival time.  I was happy to be among the first off the plane, too.  Another perk.  I zipped down to the great parking spot my wife uses on business trips.  It’s right across from the terminal and you don’t have to spend 15 minutes in the parking garage to find your car.  The batteries in my keyfob have needed replacement for months, so it wasn’t unusual when the car didn’t unlock as I approached.  I planned ahead for this and locked the doors manually, so the alarm wouldn’t be set.  Problem was, there wasn’t even a hint of juice when I turned the key in the ignition.  No interior lights, nada.  Completely dead.

Graco CarGo as booster (Part III – Combo Seat Review Series)

I’ve decided to document how various combination (harness/booster) seats fit my 4-year-old, 41 lb, 43″ tall son in booster mode.  He’s at the size where most parents would be switching from the 5-pt harness to the vehicle’s lap/shoulder belt in booster mode if they had a combination seat with a 40 lb limit on the harness.  In each case I’ll use the same seating position in my van – driver’s side captain’s chair in a 2005 Ford Freestar.     

The IIHS booster study compared the fit of various boosters using the 6-year-old Hybrid lll dummy who weighs 51.6 lbs (23.41 kg) and has a standing height of almost 45″.  I thought it would be even better to show belt fit on a child who was just over the 40 lb weight limit for the 5-pt harness.  I’ve decided to focus exclusively on combination seats because of their popularity with parents of children in the 2-5 age group.       

This week we’ll be looking at the Graco Cargo as a booster.  This seat has been sold as the Cherished Cargo, Treasured Cargo, Grand Cargo, Ultra Cargo, Platinum Cargo and as a booster only (without harness) as the My Cargo.  The model pictured below is the Ultra Cargo.

Hope and Change. Change and Hope.

Everyone has a different opinion on the events in the United States yesterday, January 20th, 2009.  There are a lot of expectations.  Many are supportive, some are already on the attack.  That freedom alone makes it a great country.  There are clearly many important issues that need attention.

One hope of mine for change wasn’t in any agenda or campaign promise.  It’s for increased funding and attention to battle the #1 killer of our kids.  I hope the lives of our kids deserve the same kind of change in policy that other issues will receive, and a chunk of the pie, too.

And Now for Something Completely Different

I lose wedding bands.  Two so far.  I take them off to shower.  Sometimes I take them off during the night when they itch.  Maybe one of my kids grabs it.  Maybe it was flushed down the toilet.  Maybe the cat eats it.  Car key gnomes.  Kleptomaniac aliens.  Quite possibly just a classic case of common Y-Chromosome syndrome. 

Whatever the cause, I was glad I hadn’t purchased the Platinum band I really wanted and opted instead for 18k white Gold both previous times.  Even so, Gold prices have gone up a lot since I replaced my original band.  My wife thinks I should just not even bother at this point, but I deem it necessary to have a symbol of our undying love and affection with me at all times.  I also want to shop for a new one…

So, Platinum is out.  White Gold is now too pricey to risk losing a third one, too.  Is there something less expensive?  Titanium is all the rage in watches and jewelry.  Stainless steel sounds cheesy but may be durable and cheap.  Aluminum beer can ring tabs are too hard to find these days.  No, none of these were for me.  I found something that appears to be impervious to scratches and only cost me $30.  Enter, Cobalt free Tungsten Carbide!

Though I got the wrong size initially, Sabrina Silver swapped it without a hassle.  The new one is shiny and apparently much more resistant to scratches than my white gold ones.  Hopefully, I won’t need to be a repeat customer, but now I can just search Carseatblog a few years from now when I can’t remember where I got the last one!

SafeGuard Child Seat – A Connoisseur’s Delight

ConnoisseurOne who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of subtleties.

For many years I have considered myself a Connoisseur of fine Child Restraints.  To those who aren’t into Child Passenger Safety, that probably sounds just as weird as proclaiming to be a Geeky Carseat Freak, but I really do revel in all the small details that go into a well-made seat.   

Such is the case with the SafeGuard Child Seat.  I’ll admit, it didn’t blow my socks off as soon as I took it out of the box.  But honestly, you can’t fully appreciate something like this right out of the box.  Especially since there are no cutesy or uber-plush covers here that could make you squeal with delight at first glance.  What there is, however, is an extremely innovative, solid, well thought-out and highly-engineered child restraint.  

Darren already has a full review of the SafeGuard Child Seat here so I won’t bother to reinvent the wheel.  However, I’d like to add my own thoughts and some additional pictures so here it goes…