Archive for September, 2010

Say Cheese!

September 30, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring

Grinning NoraNora is hundreds of times more fun now that she’s so…interactive. A couple nights ago, as I was feeding her dinner, I taught her how to grin. It wasn’t all that intentional, really; I just started grinning at her and noticed that she returned the expression. It was quite adorable. Somewhat predictably, when her mother entered the room and I tried to show off Nora’s new skill, she had forgotten all about it and had moved on to obsessing over her mother or some piece of plastic or something. The following night, I managed to grab the video camera and do some grinning with her while her mother prepared her dinner. Here is the video I recorded.

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The Effect of the General Strike on Daily Life in Spain

September 29, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Politics, Spain

Huelga GeneralToday the entire country, in theory, was on strike, the General Strike of September 29, 2010. The news in the morning showed police trying to push demonstrators out of the way so that the “minimal services” buses could leave the station in Madrid. The government and the organization managing the strike agreed last week to provide minimal transport and health services across Spain. They interviewed one of the protestors who said, “Requiring minimal services is denying our right to strike!” That’s both true and stupid.

The main factor that influenced life in the small town where I live was: Bread.

Foosball Wizard

September 28, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Soccer, Videos

Foosball Goal!I am unable to watch today’s video without laughing. It might be the cutest one yet, although there is definitely some stiff competition. Nora had been “playing” (no ball) foosball for about 15 or 20 minutes before we shot this video, and much of it was just as fun as the 53 seconds you’re about to see. When it was time to go back to the table for the grownups to have their after-meal coffee, Nora was not pleased.

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Blow on your food

September 27, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Videos

Blow on your food (video freeze frame)It’s a terrible feeling when you spoon some food into your child’s mouth and it’s so hot that it burns her mouth. Now that Nora is really starting to ape and parrot us (animals as verbs!) in earnest, we’ve been able to teach her to blow on her food. Sometimes she gets a little carried away and forgets to actually put it in her mouth.


I ate pigeon

September 26, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Spain, Weird

Pigeon with RiceOn Sunday we were invited to a meal where the main course was pigeon. Yes, in Spain, people eat pigeons. As far as I know, most of the pigeons that are eaten are raised especially for that purpose, and aren’t just captured with a net or hunted with a BB gun in the local town hall square. There’s a reason pigeons are called “flying rats”.

What follows are some photos I took this weekend, not all related to the pigeon stew.

Cookie Monster: The Insatiable Snacker

September 24, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, News, Offspring, Parenting

Marbíº Dorada CookiesNora is constantly eating. Upon waking in the morning, she complains nonstop while her breakfast formula bottle is prepared. After drinking 200 cc’s of the milk and cereal mix in her bottle, she can sometimes make it an entire hour before asking for a cookie. She does this by first shouting “YETA!“, which is how she says the Spanish word for cookie, galleta. Even though I know what she wants, I ignore her until she “switches to English” and shouts “DOH CHI!“, which is her approximation of the word “cookie”.

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Huelga General – General Strike in Spain

September 23, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, Spain

Huelga GeneralOn September 29, 2010, there will be a general strike in Spain. This means that most workers in most industries will not go into work that day, and many will be picketing. Perhaps I’m too ignorant in the intricacies of labor economics, but this strike seems to me like a really, really stupid idea.

Strikes by workers in mines or factories make perfect sense to me. The workers are demonstrating how necessary they are, as the foundation of the organization, for the employer to make any money. Typically the workers have some grievances and some demands of their employer. Negotiation takes place, some demands are met, some are compromised, and the employees get back to work. I totally get that. I’m way more lefty than the average American when it comes to workers’ rights.

But what about an entire country going on strike?


September 21, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Nora-Go-Round (freeze frame)Recently I’ve been worried that Nora might have inherited the apparently dominant motion sickness gene from my paternal grandmother. My father and all his siblings have it; I have it; and now it looks like Nora might have it. She doesn’t mind being strapped into her car seat in the car, as long as the car isn’t accelerating – and I mean that in the proper vector physics sense. Any time the car goes faster, brakes, or turns, Nora lets out a howl of annoyance. More than once I’ve seen that “Oh god, please make the world stop spinning!” look in her eye. It’s really heart-wrenching to see her feeling so poorly. We travel with a towel in the car at all times now.

The Asón River Valley

September 20, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Another BridgeOn Sunday we wanted to do something different. Both Marga and I spend all week long going for walks around Colindres with Nora, and we wanted to walk somewhere else. After discussing a few options and taking into account Nora’s dislike of traveling in the car, we chose to go, for the first time, to the walkway along the river in Limpias, in the valley of the Asón River that we can see from our house. In fact, for a good portion of the walk, we could make out our apartment building on the horizon. It really is a shame that we have never walked along the river in Limpias, because it is really gorgeous…of course the cloudless blue sky helped.

I ain't sayin' she a bread digger

September 17, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos

Bread DiggerI can only assume that everyone that has a sibling also has a long list of that sibling’s behaviors that are truly irksome. One habit my sister-in-law has that really annoys my wife is to eat out the inside of a piece of baguette bread, leaving only the crust. It’s not that she doesn’t like the crust; it’s just an idle-minded activity that she finds herself doing at the dining table. Personally, I can see the appeal of munching absentmindedly on the soft crumbs, and I can also see how it would be annoying to find the bread hollowed out when you go to break off a piece. So you can imagine my wife’s horror to witness this very same bread digging behavior in her very own daughter!

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