State of the Offspring Address – August 2015

August 31, 2015 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 0 views

Summer SonTo say that August was a month of milestones would be an understatement. The kids spent almost all of August in the little town of Higuera de la Serena, in Extremadura, in southern Spain, where their maternal grandmother is from. They had a blast, with the lack of schedule and structure that accompanies many memories of summer vacations. The milestone that most excites me is that Nora finally learned how to ride her bicycle.
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Hiking Mount Buciero

August 24, 2015 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Spain, Travel 85 views

Hiking Mount BucieroBy far the most predominant geography where I live is the mountain that protects my town of Colindres, and the neighboring tourism beach town of Laredo, from the open Cantabrian Sea: Mount Buciero. Today I have yet another harrowing tale, not unlike the one from a few months ago, involving this salient landscape feature. Go have a glance at the introduction to that post to get a feel for the size and layout of this big green peninsular mountain.
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Textbooks – Spanish Schools Are Not Free

August 19, 2015 By: erik Category: Complaining, Parenting, Spain, USA 127 views

First grade Spanish text books.This September, my six-year-old daughter will embark upon her academic journey as a student; she’s starting first grade. When I was an elementary school student in the United States, I remember going to school on the first day, and finding each desk with a stack of books on it. Almost always, each book was old and worn, and part of the fun of the first day of school was to open the front cover to sign your name on the list of previous students who had been assigned that book. Sometimes you even knew the previous one-year-older kid who had had that book before you.
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Going Dark – The Dark Days of Summer

August 10, 2015 By: erik Category: Uncategorized 117 views

Every year, during my two week August vacation, I run out of data on my mobile data plan. Last year, when I ran out, I called my provider to ask them to take more of my money in exchange for more data, and they said, “Sure, we can give you more data starting on September 1st!” I told them where to shove their policies.
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State of the Offspring Address – July 2015

July 30, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Golf, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 117 views

Cereal for BreakfastJuly has been a pretty full month. The biggest event in the children’s lives was that Nora started her two week summer courses: skating and crafts. Every weekday we go to Nora’s school at 10:15 to begin getting her suited up for skating. She has knee, elbow and wrist pads. Her skating class is from 10:30 to noon. At noon, she takes off all her gear, stows it in the school lobby, and goes up to what will be her English classroom for the next six years to do manualidades, which translates to handicrafts, until 1:30pm. She made some bracelets, a coaster, and some wall art made of little pieces of foam. From what I can tell, she likes the class a lot. There was one day, however, in which she said that two of the older girls had been singing songs about her, not nice songs. Ugh? This already? I told her that anyone who insults her is being silly, and that if they do it again, that she should tell the teacher. We haven’t heard of any incidents since.
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Tenerife – All year round destination

July 09, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 100 views

TenerifeTenerife is the largest island of the seven that form the Canary Islands, and it’s one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain. While I have yet to visit, this Spanish volcanic isle off the western coast of Africa is high on my list of travel destinations. Sometimes, during the dark rainy winters up here in northern Spain, I long for a winter home in Spain’s tropical archipelago.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2015

July 08, 2015 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos 117 views

Hamburgerfest 2015This year, July 4th fell on a Saturday, so it was easy to choose the date for our annual hamburger consumption fest. The regular crowd showed up and we ate hamburgers and a few other appetizers. The kids were away at their Spanish grandparents’ house for the party this year, which made the preparation and party much more relaxed for us. Marga had to work on the morning of the 4th, and we thought she might even have to work through the party itself, but she ended up getting off in time to help with some of the last minute prep. It was a good party this year, too.
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Personality Profile with Crystal Knows

July 07, 2015 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Weird 75 views

crystalA podcast I have been enjoying lately, called Note To Self, recently did an episode about a company called Crystal Knows, that performs online searches on people to guess their personality type with the end goal of allowing you, as a marketer, recruiter, support technician, etc., to write a better email that will be better received by the other person. It seems a little bit like bullshit, and they are very secretive of their algorithm and just what information they use – it seems to be primarily from LinkedIn, but they claim to use Twitter as well (although I didn’t specify my Twitter screen name…although that might be in my LinkedIn profile) – but, like a general horoscope that everyone thinks totally applies to them, i.e. the Barnum Effect, it seems, subjectively to confirmation-bias-suffering me, to have spit out a surprisingly accurate description of this lad named Erik on LinkedIn.
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State of the Offspring Address – June 2015

June 30, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 108 views

Sharing a mostoPlenty of milestones this month. Nora finished her third year of preschool and is now officially a First Grader. It was pretty emotional, since she’s had the same amazing teacher, Viky, for all three years. I’ve been a fan of hers since the beginning. All the parents got together and organized a book of photos and had each kid do a drawing, and then one father spent probably a dozen hours building it into a book of which copies could be ordered.
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The meaning of the Confederate Flag

June 21, 2015 By: erik Category: USA 1,396 views

The following post is an essay written by my high school World History teacher, Kevin McCloy, whom I rank as one of my all time best teachers and one of my better friends. It was originally written in a private response to someone on Facebook, but he executed it so beautifully that he shared it, and has graciously given me permission to share it here. This is McCloy’s second appearance on this blog; his first was a heart-rending tribute to his friend, Chris Hondros.

Settle down, class! Everyone please take your seat. It’s time for a history lesson…
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