Archive for April, 2012

Cantabrian Clubs Without Courses Championship 2012

April 30, 2012 By: erik Category: Golf, News, Photos, Spain, Travel

Santa Marina Golf Club - TreeThis weekend, I represented my local golf club of Laredo, of which I happen to be the reigning champion, in Cantabria’s Clubs Without Courses championship. You may snicker at that, but golf courses in Spain are pretty scarce. Part of it has to do with the lack of popularity of the sport and the ingrained notion that it is a sport for the rich, and part of it is the strict land usage laws. Laredo won the very first Clubs Without Courses National Championship five years ago, and the two best players from the winning club from this weekend will go on to represent the region of Cantabria in the national championship in Córdoba.
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Why do pilots tell the passengers about the wind?

April 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Travel, Weird

Another prohibition sign from AirplaneHave you ever noticed how, on a commercial airline flight, the pilot always – without fail – informs the passengers of the speed and direction of the wind at the destination? I can understand telling us about the local time, temperature, and general weather (e.g. foggy, sunny, raining) at the destination. That’s useful information about how much clothing to don before exiting the aircraft.
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State of the Offspring Address – April 2012

April 23, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Nora PortraitsThis month included the holiday of Easter, which is considerably more fun (and tooth-rotting) for American children than for Spanish children. In Spain, most people get a week off of work and go on vacation. Nora and her mother went down to the family’s house in Extremadura to spend a week lazing around with Nora’s aunt and Spanish grandparents. After a suggestion from my parents, I seized the opportunity to travel to the United States to show my face at the office where I am normally only present via the internet.
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Why Are Expats More Liberal?

April 20, 2012 By: erik Category: Musings, Politics, Travel

A Large Group of National FlagsI will never forget the feeling of terror and exhilaration I experienced when I first moved abroad as a twenty-year-old IAESTE exchange student to Copenhagen, Denmark. I was so far from everything I knew, and was thrust into a society that had its own way of doing things. There were weekly meetings of other exchange students in which I could converse with other young people from Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, Turkey, Norway, Thailand, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, Scotland and Greece. It was incredibly mind opening.
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Taxation and Equal Pay

April 18, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, USA

IRS SealYesterday, April 17, 2012, was Tax Day in the United States, they day when all citizens tax filings and payment was due. It was on a particularly odd date this year because the regular date, April 15, fell on a Sunday, and the Monday afterwards was Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia, meaning that federal employees at the IRS were off work. Thus, it fell on April 17, the 108th day of the year.
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Paper or Plastic: Cash Is Dead

April 16, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Spain, USA

Fourteen Thousand EurosI just got back from a ten day trip to the USA in which I ran a bit of an experiment: I never carried a single dollar or cent of US currency on my person. All my transactions were electronic using a debit card, even the extremely cheap ones like buying a $0.99 bottle of water from a convenience store. None of the cashiers even batted an eye when I pulled out the plastic for such a tiny purchase. In Spain, I suspect they would refuse your business if you tried to pull a stunt like that.
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The Golden Age Fallacy and Our Social Decline

April 04, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Geeky, Internet, Science, Videos

thumbnailRemember back when you were a child, and the world wasn’t so complicated and messed up? That was a simpler time, wasn’t it? WRONG. It was a simpler time for you, because you were a child, free to play and almost entirely free from responsibility. We live in the most peaceful time in all of human history. Thinking that things were better in the past is called the Golden Age Fallacy, and it annoys the crap out of me.
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