State of the Offspring Address – January 2015

January 30, 2015 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 20 views

Kitty NoraEarly January saw the passing of “Second Christmas”, Kings Day, in which Nora wrote a letter to the three wisemen welcoming them into our home and offering some snacks that were laid out for them. Nora got a toy microphone, some clothes, some other toys, and several pairs of earmuffs, which no one wears (and therefore are nearly impossible to buy), but apparently they were talking about them in school. Ian got the big present: a pedal-less bicycle. Unfortunately he’s not quite big enough to use it even at the lowest setting, and Nora is just too big to use it at the highest setting (more on that below). Nora got up first, of course, and then she got so frustrated that she couldn’t “help” Ian open his presents that she actually started crying at the injustice of it all. When we got Ian up, he really didn’t seem to have any understanding of what was going on, barely paying attention to Nora ripping open his presents.
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The Turbo Roundabout – Just What Spain Needs

January 21, 2015 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Photos, Spain 76 views

Turbo RoundaboutToday I saw this article in the local newspaper, which informed me of this Dutch invention of what is called the “turbo roundabout”. This is followup post from my previous rant about how Spaniards Don’t Understand Roundabouts. The turbo roundabout is pure genius, as it eliminates most of the problems that Spaniards have in roundabout situations, forcing the correct behavior. The way the turbo roundabout works is how I think all roundabouts should be used (see previous rant for details on my views).
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The Rasmussen Harmonica Trio

January 16, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Music, Offspring, Videos 93 views

Rasmussen Harmonica TrioDuring our visit to the States in October 2014, Nora and Ian had a lot of fun playing the harmonica with their Grandpa Paul. Nora is about as good as I am, just blowing and sucking, but little 17-month-old Ian was even better, bending notes and moving the harmonica around to change notes. Their performance was quite impressive, although they need a smidge more practice before they sign a record deal. Still, it was exciting to see them before they become famous.
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Sam the Westie

January 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos 118 views

Sam Face 1My parents’ west highland terrier, Sam, passed away this morning in his sleep at the vet’s office. He’s been blind and deaf for a couple years now. But he was very loved for fifteen long years.

I pulled Nora into my office today, which is more or less the equivalent of Christmas Day here in Spain, and told her that I had some sad news. When I told her that Sam had died, she understood immediately, and the corners of her mouth fell like stones, nearly breaking my heart. Before she could think about it more, I hugged her and sent her back to watch cartoons.
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State of the Offspring Address – December 2014

December 29, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 106 views

Santa NoraYet another calendar year is coming to a close. The offspring are doing well. They have been at their grandparents’ house for the past week, enjoying the Christmas festivities. Nora has totally bought into the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus and the Magi Kings. It sounds like they talk about that a lot at school. She has not even a sliver of doubt that the myths might not be 100% true. Occasionally she will ask how Santa Claus can do X or Y, but we feign ignorance or defer to “magic”, and that is more than enough explanation.
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Drone Terrorism: Coming to Skies Near You!

December 23, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Scary, USA 36 views

QuadcopterUnmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is advancing incredibly rapidly. For several years now, I’ve been a fan of the Team BlackSheep YouTube channel, which regularly displays seriously impressive videos from the point of view of their drones, zooming around places that no manned aircraft could do. It’s about as close to a first person perspective from Peter Pan or Superman that we all imagine as you can find on the internet.
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La Otra Carta – Horrible Spanish IKEA Ad

December 18, 2014 By: erik Category: Complaining, Internet, Marketing, Videos 262 views

Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, has released a commercial in Spain that has quickly gone viral around El Internet. It’s meant to be a tearjerker, and it is, if you suspend all your critical faculties and ignore the underlying message. It only came to my attention because my daughter’s kindergarten teacher played it for all the parents of her students during a parent-teacher meeting yesterday. Some of the more intelligent parents questioned her motives, and rightly so. I’ll run you through it…
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Facebook to Introduce Enemies List

December 12, 2014 By: erik Category: Funny, Geeky, Internet 119 views

Zuckerberg-QA-2MENLO PARK, CA – At a press conference and Q&A session held at Facebook’s corporate headquarters in California today, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of the biggest and most important social network in history, admitted that there may be plans to release a new feature of the website: The Enemies List.
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iOS Game Review

December 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Geeky, Reviews, Videos 41 views

Download on the App StoreI go through ebbs and flows of iOS gaming. As my previous iPhone 4 slowly aged into oblivion, I weaned myself off of gaming, and I’ve since been reluctant to start back. I used to play quite a bit of the FIFA games, although they have messed with the controls, and I have sort of lost interest. Plus, the local team, Racing Santander, has dropped into the third division, which is not covered by EA Sports (It’s in the game!).
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Tarkarí – The Best Restaurant in Colindres

December 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Food, Photos, Spain, Travel 81 views

TarKaríDue to a lucky bit of childlessness this weekend, my wife and I were finally able to try the best restaurant in town, which opened less than a year ago, I think. It’s a place called Tarkarí. The name comes from an Indian curry, the chef is Venezuelan, but the food is Italian, although perhaps the chef might prefer the word “fusion”. The logo proclaims “gastroart”, and the logo looks like it was drawn by my one year old son; how delightfully pretentious! The chef explained to me that the vegetable curry called tarkari was introduced to the Caribbean during British occupation, eventually made its way from the islands to Venezuela, and somewhere along the way baby goat was added to make the, now typical, Venezuelan dish called tarkarí de chivo. Perhaps it’s this cultural culinary fusion that lead the chef to name his restaurant after it. Plus, it’s a pretty cool word.
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