Archive for May, 2010

Jewel Thief

May 16, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Videos

thumbToday, for the first time, I found Nora standing in her crib by herself. And then later I witnessed two such rises to bipedalism. However I highly suspect that yesterday was the first day she ever stood up in her crib by herself. Let me explain…


May 10, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring

Slam Dunk!Nora said her first word today, at an age of 13 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days. She’s a little behind the curve, but then she’s behind a lot of curves. And what most parents consider a word, I don’t. For me, for a baby to have said a word, it needs to occur within proper context, and only within that context.

Nora’s been voicing phonemes that sometimes make words by chance for a while now. It doesn’t count if she says “mama” or “dada” when she sees her mother or father if she continues to say it when she is by herself or seeing another object or person that doesn’t have that name. She’s been doing that for months, but it’s not clear that she understands that the sounds have specific meanings. She could say pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, but if we’re not talking about coal miners, lungs or silicate dust, then it’s just out of context jibberish.


May 08, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos

Sudsy NoraLast Friday, after a 12+ hour day at work, Marga decided to have a rare relaxing bath. When she was almost done, Nora’s bath time was approaching, so we decided to throw her in there too. It was way more soap bubbles than she’s ever seen. The following are a set of photos I took as she was exploring her soapy environment. She was in a child bath seat, but you’d never know that from the photos, as the surface of the water was opaque with bubbles.

Tax Deductible

May 07, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics

The more I research retirement savings plans, college savings plans, and think about my investment portfolio, the more I come across the phrase “tax deductible” or “tax free”. My 401K contributions come out of my untaxed gross salary. The interest gains of my IRA are not taxed. Up to $2500 of my contributions to my daughters college fund are tax deductible. In the US, up to $3000 of stock market losses are tax deductible. Think about what that means. You can lose up to $3000, and the government covers your losses, making your final total the equivalent of someone who did not play the market at all. It’s almost like every American being given $3000 of poker chips to be played on the stock market every year. The term “tax deductible” is like “free money from the government…if you know how to use it”.

After so much everything for nothing

May 06, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Colindres, Spain, Spanish

VidaOn today’s walk I went down a street I don’t normally use and found a bronze plaque I had never noticed. On it was a poem by José Hierro, one of Spain’s twentieth century poets. He was born in Madrid, but then moved to Cantabria, the region where I live, when he was two years old. I don’t know about Hierro’s philosophy, but this particular poem is quite nihilistic. It’s also just the length and has just the right amount of wordplay that I like in poems. What do you think?

Bovine Anatomy Lesson

May 05, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain

Sleepy CowThis morning during my daily visit to the grocery store, my friend, neighbor and butcher, Bruno, had something to show me. Normally he doesn’t get whole calves to sell, but today he did. When I was there, he was in the process of carving out the kidneys, heart, and other parts (it was a male calf). If you don’t want to see the insides of dead things or my local butcher, look away now.
(more…) is a scam

May 05, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Internet, Reviews, Scary, Soccer is a scamRecently there was a soccer match that I wanted to watch, but that was not broadcast on my basic cable television. Investigating around the internet for a site that would stream the live game, I stumbled upon a very well designed website called If you go there, you will see a nice listing of today’s fixtures with the time the match starts, the players, past results for each team, and the logos for each team as well as the league or tournament the game belongs to. It looks very professional. On each match page, there is a video player. When you click play, you are presented with this: