Archive for January, 2011

Movie Reviews: The Academy Award Best Picture Nominees for 2010

January 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Reviews

oscar statue - hollywood,californiaTaking advantage of a surplus of free time this week, I endeavored to watch all of the films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award for 2010. Previously, I think I’ve never gone into the Oscars having watched more than two nominees, so this is something of a feat for me. They were all good films in their own ways. Some, like the nerdy one about a college hacker appealed to me more than the western or the one about boxing. I made no effort to be objective in my evaluations, valuing honesty over impartiality. Take away from my reviews what you will. You can’t really go wrong spending two hours on any or all of them.
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Blond Miles Davis

January 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos

Miles Davis ImpersonatorNora has been with her grandparents all week, and I may have spent some of my glorious childless free time looking at pictures of her on my computer. What can I say? I miss the kid. In my browsing, I found some photos from last September, when Nora was 18 months old and freshly bipedal, of her playing an “instrument” that my mother refers to, onomatopoeically, as a “doo doo tube”. Apparently this term is not widespread, as a Google search turns up a range of unpleasant things. Anyway, the photos are pretty cute, so I thought I’d share them.
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Scooter Accident Caught On Film!

January 25, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Scooter Accident ThumbnailOne of Nora’s first words was “scoot”, taught to her by her American grandmother. Whenever she sits on her chair at the coffee table every morning to have her morning bottle of formula, she says “Scoot! Scoot!” and expects me to help push the chair up to the table for her.

Only just lately she’s taken to scooting her chair along the floor around the house as if it were some sort of primitive vehicle in a pre-wheel civilization. It’s fairly cute, but not good for the floor, and the practice is rather prone to mishaps.
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Fischer 3D

January 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Geeky, Photoshop

Bobby Fischer 3DFor a while now, I’ve had a photoshop project in mind to take historical photographs and add a three dimensional effect to them by providing camera movement. I’ve hinted at the idea before. Using historical photos of, say, dead people, is just a gimmick to show that there was no intention of the effect at the time the photo was taken. So far, I’ve only been able to find the time to make one attempt, but I’d like to do more. After googling “iconic photograph”, and searching for one with a clear foreground and background, I settled on this famous photograph of Bobby Fischer.
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Bilingual Social Networking

January 21, 2011 By: erik Category: Internet, Spain, Spanish

Spain and USA Flags MergedAs Facebook slowly catches on here in Spain, I’ve been faced with a dilemma: my Spanish friends want to be friends with me on Facebook, but they don’t understand anything I post. And I understand them perfectly. I have some friends that post things in Polish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Hungarian, and Greek, and it is a little annoying to be excluded from their communication by my ignorance. Possible solutions to my problem that I see are:
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Horquilla

January 20, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos

Nora's Overcoat with Hair Clip - Version 2Horquilla, pronounced “or-KEY-ya” is one of those Spanish words that, if I hadn’t had a daughter, I could’ve lived my entire life in Spain without needing. A Google search brings up the Spanish Wikipedia page for the part of a bicycle known in English as “the fork”. One of the related articles refers you to another meaning, in the realm of automobiles: “hairpin turn”…which eventually leads to to the primary usage of the word: a hairpin or bobby pin.
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Scenes From This Morning

January 19, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos

Happy homeownerNora was looking particularly cute in her red dress this morning, and it’s been a little while since I took some photos of her playing at home, so I thought I’d take some. Also in the photos below is her Christmas present from us, a playhouse. She has a gay old time opening the door, entering, closing the door, opening the door, exiting, and closing the door. She crosses that molded plastic threshold dozens of times a day.
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Bluetooth Wireless Desktop

January 18, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Reviews

thumbI have recently converted my office desktop (the actual desk top, not the computer) to all bluetooth. Over Thanksgiving, I bought the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Magic Trackpad. My previous keyboard, the Apple Aluminum Wired Keyboard, was Spanish, and thus had the keys labeled the way Spain labels their keyboards. I use the US key mapping, and my touch typing is good enough for just about everything so that it never mattered what letters were on the keys, but I do sometimes look at the keyboard when performing shift+number operations, and the fact that Spaniards have the open parenthesis on the seven and the close parenthesis on the eight (shifted one to the left of the US keyboard) caused me ceaseless annoyance and confusion. It’s nice to have an American keyboard again.
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Shopping With Carla

January 17, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Videos

Nora and CarlaOn Saturday, we went into Santander for some shopping. Top on the list were some boots for Marga. She found some that she really liked the week before, but when we got home, it turned out that the left boot and the right boot weren’t exactly the same color. Doh! So I had to return them later that week. On Saturday she found a boot she really loved, but the store said that they only had the right boot and not the left. WTF? Pretty terrible luck, really.

After a quick stop for a beer, we headed to a children’s clothing store we like. Upon arrival, we were greeted by some friends, Maite, Miguel, and Carla. Marga met Maite in an aerobics class a few years ago, and they both happened to get pregnant about the same time. Their daughter, Carla, was born three months after Nora. Recently, Marga and Nora have been getting together with Maite and Carla for coffee and playground activities a few times a week, and Nora’s demeanor around both Carla and Maite is evidence of the time they’ve spent together. Nora likes them both very much.
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Lopsided Language Development

January 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Musings, News, Parenting

Spain and USA Flags MergedNora’s Spanish has taken some leaps and bounds in the past couple weeks, yet her spoken English is lagging behind, and I can’t help but blame myself for it. In the mornings, when I care for her for 3-5 hours depending on when she gets up, I speak only English to her, except when we are around Spaniards in the grocery store. She, however, chooses to speak Spanish to me. There are some exceptions. When she asks for a cookie, she says “Doh-chi!“, and when she wants to get down off of something (e.g. chair, sofa, stroller), she typically says, “Down!”, although she has recently taken to saying “Al suelo!” (to the floor).
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