Archive for September, 2008

Technology "Wow!" Moment

September 12, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Musings

I just had a “Wow!” moment while chatting with a friend who made the comment “Isn’t technology amazing?”, or something similar. So I evaluated what technology was doing for me at that instant. I was, simultaneously:

  1. Chatting with a friend over Google Talk using a Jabber-compatible client (iChat)
  2. Viewing the screen of a coworker on another continent
  3. Having a VOIP telephone conversation with said coworker
  4. Hosting a development web server for another coworker to make some database updates to
  5. Downloading and installing an operating system upgrade for my iPhone
  6. Downloading, via BitTorrent, two albums (that I already own, Mr. RIAA!)
  7. Streaming live video from a helicopter flying over Houston during the attack of Hurricane Ike

All without peaking much over 300 kibibytes per second of bandwidth. Pretty amazing.

Clever Guy

September 12, 2008 By: erik Category: Funny, Geeky, Musings, Weird

Greetings! I am the Normal Typeface, and I will be telling the events of this post in the third person.

Hi! I’m Italics, Normal’s slightly inebriated cousin. Although I’m originally from Italy, as my name suggests, I’m not actually from Pisa, although I love the tower they have there. I will be representing Erik’s internal thought processes during the telling of events. Back to you, Norm!

The curtain opens….

High Tide Port Walk

September 11, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Spain

Boat ReflectionA couple weeks ago, Marga and I took an evening walk down by the port of Colindres. I decided to take my camera along. If you walk around with a hammer, you’re gonna hit something. So naturally, I took some photos. By complete luck, it was almost the peak of high tide. As I’ve mentioned before, the difference between high and low tide here is enormous, so it was odd to see the fishing boats towering over us with the water so high.

Warning: this post may contain trace amounts of bollards.

Night Traffic

September 10, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Photoshop, Spain

Tilt Shift Blue VanOn the same evening I was experimenting with long exposures to capture alien spacecraft, I tried my first headlight blur shots of the street in our neighborhood. I’ve always liked headlight blur shots, and I hope to do some more.

I love how only stationary objects and really bright lights are captured. (more…)

Blogroll Eye Contact

September 09, 2008 By: erik Category: Mondragon, Spain, Weird

Last Sunday evening brought an extremely unique blogging experience. I made eye contact with someone on my blogroll and neither of us realized it until a minute after it happened and we had already passed each other.

This blog has already manifested itself in actual face-to-face interaction several times. There was the guy from Iceland that contacted me before coming to Colindres and meeting me (and giving me dried herring) for the Junior World Handball Championship. There was the time a local woman’s Australian friend found my blog and the woman later was starstruck to actually meet me in the grocery store. I later met the Aussie briefly when he came to visit. There as the time I bumped into a previously-never-met blogrollmate on the way to the mens room. He was easier to recognize, though, because he was making video blog entries. And most recently, the blogrollmate meeting with the most intention so far, in Pamplona for San Fermin.

A Twitter Moment

September 08, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Musings, Science, Weird

A Twitter MomentI had a Twitter Moment this afternoon. It was communication that would not have taken place on any other communication platform, but Twitter made it work. For several months now, I’ve been following the Bad Astronomy blog. I visited it several years go when investigating the prime “skeptic” websites (Bad Astronomy has long been the best source of reason against the cultural tragedy that was that stupid FOX TV special that started the moon landing hoax theories), and again when I was a regular listener to Astronomycast, where they would sometimes talk to Phil Plait.

Phil Plait is the guy that runs Bad Astronomy, and he’s awesome. Think of your favorite science teacher, that one that was so enthusiastic about the subject that you kind of wondered if he should be in a straitjacket, but that his enthusiasm was so infectious that the entire class got excited about the material. That’s Phil Plait, except that when he’s not out energizing student bodies and attending geeky sci-fi conventions, can reach millions with YouTube and his blog. (more…)

Andoni and Laure’s Wedding

September 08, 2008 By: erik Category: Family, Partying, Photos, Spain

Andoni and LaureMarga’s cousin, Andoni, got married on September 6, 2008. It was interesting to watch because it was so similar to our own wedding. The bride is from France, so there were a bunch of French people attending that didn’t speak Spanish. The church and restaurant were both places that Marga and I had, to use a recently popular word, vetted before making our final choice. They did some things differently than we would have, but they’re very different people. All in all, it was a very nice day that turned out well.

Double Consonants and Secret Agents

September 05, 2008 By: erik Category: Funny, Spain, Weird

Most days, I get to watch a few minutes of my favorite Basque celebrity television chef, Karlos Arguiñano. Karlos has a daily television program where he cooks a recipe and tells jokes. He’s the kind of person that is so funny that you’re laughing before he even gets to the punchline. Recently, Arguiñano told a joke that perfectly illustrates a phenomenon that every native anglophone living in Spain has noticed. Here’s the joke:

Q: What’s the name of James Bond’s black brother?

A: Carl.


Forbidden Fruit

September 04, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Musings, Photos, Religion, Science

Forbidden FruitMy lovely wife walks by this apple tree twice every day on her way to work. I’ve walked by it with her during evening walks as well. It’s frustrating because the apples are so ripe and perfect-looking, but we can’t reach them. She could get her hand through the chain link fence, but the apple could not. Personally, I have no moral qualms against taking fruit from someone else’s property as long as the owner isn’t harvesting it. Stealing prickly pears? Fine. Stealing carrots from Mr. McGregor’s garden? Not so fine.

UFO Sighting!

September 03, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Science, Weird

UFO Proof: Six Orbs (cropped)Crowds gasped as they looked skyward. Many ran for their lives, while others couldn’t look away. As the leading anglo-photojournalist in Colindres, I bravely ran for my camera. The glowing orbs hung there in the sky, quivering slightly, as if they were watching us. Then, as quickly as they had appeared, they vanished.