Archive for November, 2010

Sleeping With Sam

November 24, 2010 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos, Videos

Napping with Sam
When we visited last March, Nora’s favorite of my parents’ dogs was clearly Sam, the West Highland Terrier. The same is true this time, except that now that Nora can walk, she can hound him considerably more, following him around the house shouting “¡Hola!” at him.

Yesterday, when Nora was awaking from her stroll-by-the-river-induced afternoon slumber, I picked her up out of her pram, thinking she was fully away, and set her on the couch. She quickly dozed off, and slowly slouched over to her left, landing on top of the sleeping westie, creating one of the cutest scenes I’ve ever witnessed.

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Fun in Martha's Park

November 24, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Travel, USA

Autumn ParentingWhen I was a kid, sometimes my after school daycare program would bring us to The Children’s Park, right downtown next to The News Herald, the town newspaper, and across from The Rec[reation] Center. There was an old fire engine that had been parked in the park for children to play on. I very vividly recall all the little – and I mean tiny – nooks and crannies, presumably where pumps or folded hose had been, of that fire truck that we used to crawl into with as much exit strategy as the Pentagon. Ah, good times.

In 2004, the park was completely renovated with donations from the wealthy Pheifer family, in memory of Martha Pheifer, and renamed Martha’s Park. Earlier this year, my parents moved a few blocks from the park, so on Monday, while I was telecommuting to the office, Nora went to the park with her mother and grandmother. Judging from the photos, they had a grand old time.

Sailing With Uncle John

November 23, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Travel, USA

American LakeOn Sunday afternoon, Nora, Marga and I went out sailing on Lake James with Uncle John. He’s not really my uncle, but my love for him could best be described as avuncular, and he flew all the way to Spain to come to my wedding, so he’s deserves an honorary uncledom. Earlier this year he bought a 24-foot sail boat which he loves to take out on the local manmade lake as often as he can.

Airline Security and Underpants Bombs

November 22, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Reviews, Travel, USA, Weird

Nora in her Lufthansa BassinetOn Saturday, we flew from Bilbao to Munich to Charlotte. There are a few good anecdotes from the journey to share, so I thought I’d commit them to the Internet.

I was expecting extra tight security, as that’s what the US and European media are all atwitter about. In the Bilbao airport, it was early in the morning, and the Guardia Civil agents that run the airport security seemed pretty disinterested. I didn’t even have to take my laptop out of my bag. I had to put the bag that normally hangs from Nora’s stroller through the x-ray machine, but it contained a large bottle of water, a pocket knife, and various canisters of powder. I asked if the stroller should go through the machine too (it has before), but the agent said I could just walk through the gate with it, leave it on the other side, walk back through, and then walk through it myself to make sure I didn’t beep. He then casually glanced under the stroller where the plastic cover was, but didn’t remove it or look under it. There was plenty of space to hide a semi-automatic handgun under there. And off we went to our gate…

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Denise, ¡Patadas No!

November 16, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Denise, patadas no (screencap)A couple weeks ago, as her mother was drying and dressing her after her bath, Nora began kicking. Her mother told her “¡Patadas no!” (No kicks!) She then told Nora, “Tomorrow, at daycare, you can tell your friend Denise. Denise, ¡patadas no!” For whatever reason, Nora really liked this idea, and she’s since taken to saying “Denise, ¡patadas no!“, particularly when it’s time to go to daycare. As far as we know, Denise, who is about a month older than Nora, has never once kicked Nora or anyone else, but it’s pretty cute.

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A Fortnight With The Apple TV

November 12, 2010 By: erik Category: Geeky, Reviews

Apple TV 2.0 - UnboxingI have now had an Apple TV (2nd gen) for two weeks and I thought I’d post some thoughts about it. Unlike the first generation Apple TV, this one has no permanent storage on the device. Everything is streamed from an outside source. So all my movies and television shows live in my iTunes library on my computer, which I can browse on the Apple TV and select an item to view. It takes about two or three seconds sometimes to start playing, but then the rest of the video downloads into a buffer while the first part of it is playing, much like when you view a video on YouTube on your computer.


November 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Sistine Chapel Creation of Adam by MichelangeloRecently I have been witnessing one of the things I was most looking forward to as a parent, the bilingual language acquisition of my daughter. You can say “Where’s the table?” or “¿Dónde está la mesa?“, and she’ll point right to the table. The same works for her anatomy and toys. In fact one of the best tricks I’ve discovered for keeping her occupied while I sit on the couch is to say, “Where is [object not currently in this room]?”, which prompts her to run off to verify that whatever is in its place. Every day I try to teach her a little more vocabulary. Yesterday was “elbow” and “knee”; today was “couch” and “TV”. But what really amazes me is when I ask her about stuff that I haven’t explicitly taught her, and she knows what I’m referring to. That’s what really blows my mind.

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Nora's First Visit to the Emergency Room

November 06, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos

Swollen Ring FingerI love the smell of x-ray radiation in the morning. Last night, Nora had an encounter with The Ceramic Bulldog that didn’t go so well for either party. She managed to lift the one-kilo ceramic atrocity above the floor and then drop it somehow upon her left ring finger, breaking the dog’s tail slightly. She cried for a bit, but then stopped and it was time for bed, so we all went to Cuba.

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Blog Name Idea #1

November 05, 2010 By: erik Category: Internet, Musings

Unshaven ThinkerI was as creative in naming my blog as Dave Matthews was in naming his band. The thing is, I was a blogger long before I was a blog reader, so I didn’t really know that blogs were supposed to have interesting names, and I must say that I put the first thing that popped into my head for the “blog name” field in my original setup to the precursor to this blog. Oh well.

Anyway, a cool name for a blog popped into my head well over a year ago and I’ve been meaning to mention it. I don’t actually want it for myself, so I’m just throwing it out there for anyone to use it. At the time of this writing, all domain names involved are available.


Little Bo Peep

November 05, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Remote herdingOne aspect I did not foresee of my child gaining her bipedal mobility, was that she was not the only object in our house that would no longer remain stationary. Scores of inanimate objects move about our house seemingly randomly on a daily basis. Conversations like, “Where’s the television remote?” “Have you checked the bidet?” have become commonplace. Just this morning I had to use Apple’s “Find My iPhone” service to locate my phone. The question is not if an electronic device will end up in the toilet, it’s a matter of which electronic device will get flushed.

A very recent behavior has emerged of hoarding certain objects. I can tell, whenever she’s marching from room to room with that determined look on her face, that some exodus of objects is taking place, be it coasters, pencils, toys, or clothes pins.

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