Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A sight you've never seen before

And will probably never see again.

This is Route 128, aka Rt 95 which makes an inner loop around the city of Boston.

This is at 2:30 pm on a Friday.

There are no cars in front of us.



There are no cars behind us.



There are state troopers blocking off every single entrance between Newton and Sharon disallowing anyone to get on the highway.



Not one single car.



Except a very long funeral procession.

The cleared the highway just for us.



This wasn't a famous person. He wasn't a government official. He was just a guy, an engineer, a dad, a husband, a boy scout leader. Nobody you've ever heard of.

But for some reason, which nobody seems to know why, they closed the entire highway for his funeral.

The procession went 35 miles a hour down the empty highway. It was decidedly weird.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Save a life, blow up a dummy

Mom Central asked me to review a kit called Family & Friends, CPR Anytime, that teaches adults and older kids how to perform CPR. The kit contains a video, and a funny and slightly scary blow up dummy. Both of our cats were petrified of the dummy. This kit was sent out for review in honor of CPR and AED Awareness Week sponsored by the American Heart Association.

We watched the video which was informative and went through each of the steps for saving a life in a manner that older kids could understand easily. It was well done, and not quite as panicky as it might have been, so I give the manufacturer, Learning Technology by Laerdal big kudos for that.

The dummy... well, it has kind of a creepy face. I mean it wasn't a smiling clown or a porn doll with a huge mouth or anything, it was what they call a learning manikin named "mini Anne". Only Anne wasn't so mini, and she looked just like a man. Or a very bald rubber woman with a face, a padded but flat chest, and that's about it. No arms or legs are needed for CPR so poor Anne didn't get any! She is, however, Latex Free, something mentioned several times in the packaging and directions.



With Anne and the video comes a Adult CPR and AED reminder card, a Choking and child CPR reminder card, manikin wipes (which cracked me up no end as there really wasn't anything TO wipe except her mouth), and printed directions. Everything is in English and Spanish.

We watched the DVD along with Anne, and practiced on her. It was a lot of fun, oddly enough, and the kids ended up on the floor laughing their butts off. You wouldn't think CPR would be so enjoyable but Anne was just so weird that it turned out to be not only a good learning tool, but a lot of laughter as well.

I then passed off Anne and the kit off to a friend with two teens as well, and her husband and kids took Anne through her paces. They had just as much fun as we did. I know it sounds odd, but teenagers are hilarious when they are confronted with a dummy. Who knew?

I think the kit was well done, and that it would be a valuable addition to any home where CPR isn't yet part of your family's learning. I would recommend it, even with creepy Mini Anne.