Archive for the ‘Complaining’

International Travel With Kids

December 06, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Reviews, Spain, Travel

FlightsWe just got back from our first transatlantic pond hop as a fully formed family of four. The offspring were very well behaved, considering the adventure we went through. I’ll be using this post to vent some of my frustration with our voyage.

It began when my mother dropped us off at the curb of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Just like she was for the first fifteen minutes of our car ride to the airport after saying adiós to her grandfather, Nora was wracked with inconsolable grief for the first fifteen minutes. She’s not good with goodbyes.
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Lance Armstrong and the Psychology of Cheating

January 23, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, News, Photos, Videos

Pencil portrait, not yet finished..As I’ve mentioned before, I’m rather fascinated with the psychology behind decision-making. Both Dan Ariely and Jonah Lehrer are leading experts in the field, at least experts in writing best-selling popular psychology books about it. Ariely has recently moved into the study of lying cheating, and Lehrer moved into the practice of lying and cheating, getting caught for plagiarizing, if you can call it that, his own previous work and falsifying quotes from Bob Dylan to help support his conclusions.
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Transatlantic Movie Marathon – 5 Movie Reviews

November 27, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Reviews

American In Spain On A PlaneDuring my recent Thanksgiving pond hop, I had the opportunity to watch several movies during my 16.5 hours of air travel over the ocean. I was impressed with the selection available, with a few dozen older classics and about twenty “new releases”. With so many movies fresh in my memory, I figure I should tell you about them.
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Do NOT pay more than $14 for your ESTA Application!

October 01, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Internet, Marketing, Scary, Travel, USA

Department of Homeland SecurityIn preparation for our upcoming trip to the United States, I was double checking that everything is in order. After last year’s ESTA debacle, I want to be 100% sure we have my wife’s immigration approval number before leaving for the airport. So I did an internet search for ESTA to search for her approval number. What I found is a system of websites designed to scam unknowing foreign travelers out of their money.
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Open Letter To Opponents of ObamaCare

June 29, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, USA

Dear people who oppose ObamaCare,

I’m curious about your thinking about possible solutions to the messed up US healthcare system. One starting assumption that leads directly to opposing ObamaCare is that healthcare is not a right, that poor people should not be given healthcare and allowed to die simply because they are poor. If you agree that only the wealthy deserve to be healthy, then you are a cruel, inhumane person and please stop reading this letter.
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San Juan Festivities in Colindres

June 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Partying, Photos, Politics, Spain, Travel, Videos

San Juan SausagefestThe town where I live is celebrating its annual San Juan festival this week. Most Spanish towns have a town saint, and for many of them, that role is filled by Saint John The Baptist. There are several things that I love about this festival. It amuses me that it’s really just a thinly veiled version of the pagan bonfire solstice festivals held across Europe (the bonfire is to shoo away the witches, in case you didn’t know).

Riffing off the Valencian falles tradition of building elaborate, yet explosive, parade floats to burn, the townspeople of Colindres also make little miniature floats, usually the size of small cars, which are wheeled, by hand, around town before finding their way to the designated place to be judged, doused in gasoline, and ignited.
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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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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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