Archive for the ‘USA’

Pumpkin Carving Party 2014

November 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, USA, Videos

Halloween Pumpkin Carving 2014This year the pumpkins we got for carving at home were the smallest they’ve ever been since I began this tradition six years ago. However, on the plus side, the walls of the pumpkin were very thin and easy to carve. It was a bit like playing an electric guitar for the first time after learning on an acoustic.

Like last year, we invited Nora’s friends, Carmen and Claudia. Last year, Nora’s and Claudia’s siblings, Ian and Mara, had to take a break during the party to breastfeed. This year, they were racing around like the little toddlers they are. They know each other from daycare. It was fun to see Ian interacting with a kid his own age. Although Marga is a month or two younger, she’s got several kilos and centimeters on him.
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Halloween School Pumpkin Carving 2014

November 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Spain, USA

Pumpkin 2014Having done it for the previous two years, 2012 and 2013, it was assumed that I would be carving a pumpkin at my daughter’s school again this year. Now veterans at this, my daughter’s teacher and I decided it would be much better to do the “performance” in the cafeteria/auditorium, because in past years it’s been tough squeezing all the kids in. My daughter’s 5-year-old “kindergarten” class stayed for the entire process, but during the cleaning and later the lit presentation, the 3-year-old and 4-year-old classes came in to participate.
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My Rite to Bear Arms in America

October 22, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Politics, USA, Videos

Marga - Colt .22 HuntsmanDespite growing up in the American South, I’ve never liked guns. Loud noises annoy me, I grew up in a Liberal household where guns were shunned, though rarely spoken about, and, as an intellectual matter, they – pistols, at least – are clearly designed to kill humans, which is something I feel pretty strongly against. Add to that the fact that America has a “gun problem”, where every day of the year you can read about people killing each other, often by accident, with unattended guns. Plus, I’ve generally been averse to hobbies, like scuba diving, skydiving, motorcycling, bungie jumping, etc., where the first objective of the activity is “try not to die”. Firearms have just never had any appeal to me.
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Catawba Meadows – The Beanstalk Journey

October 21, 2014 By: erik Category: Travel, USA

Catawba Meadows - The Beanstalk Journey - Crazy GoProThere are many moments during the week I spent camping with Outward Bound in November of 1992, when I was 14, that I will never forget but one of them is surely the swing to get down from the ropes course. I don’t remember much about the ropes course specifically, but the ten feet of free fall from a platform sixty feet in the air before the rope pulled me into a pendulum arc, the nervousness that preceded it, and the rush of adrenaline that followed shortly after will never be forgotten. It was a defining moment for me, in that it defined me as a person who understands why people seek those thrills, but who prefers to minimize even simulated near death experiences. I never again wore a harness attached to a carabiner.

Until my 36th birthday.
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Birthday Brunch at King Street Café

October 20, 2014 By: erik Category: Food, Travel, USA

King Street CaféOn my 36th birthday, I had my first brunch. Brunch, you see, is a logical impossibility in Spain, due to the extreme sacred importance of the “midday” (2pm – 3pm) meal. Combining it with another meal has never once occurred to a Spaniard. While Spaniards do have a meal similar to a brunch, called almuerzo, lunch is still eaten afterwards.

I’ve heard talk of this restaurant in my hometown, called the King Street Café, and I was delighted to hear that my parents had scheduled it into our visit with my cousins and grandmother.
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Myrtle Beach Time Of Year

February 17, 2014 By: erik Category: Golf, Music, Photos, Travel, USA, Videos

Earlier this month, I took my annual vacation – remember: traveling with children is a “trip”, and traveling without children is a “vacation” – to North and South Carolina for our annual golf tournament that my father hosts, called the Myrtle Beach Classic. This year we played a novelty golf course called World Tour Golf Links, which has recreated many of the most famous golf holes from around the world. It’s a clever gimmick and I’m glad we played there, but it’s probably not worth returning there in the future. As expected, we had a really great time and I got to see some friends that I only see once a year, every February. I am forever grateful to my wife and in-laws for carrying my parental burden during these trips.
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Buying A Christmas Tree

December 13, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, USA

Decorated Christmas TreeI think my parents normally buy their Christmas tree around mid-December, but this year, I requested that they do it a little early, during our visit with them. As good hosts, parents and grandparents, they obliged. It’s been years and years since I took part in the Christmas tree selection process with still-alive firs in a lot. My wife, who hasn’t had a real tree since she was a little girl, and daughter also enjoyed the experience. The trees at the lot were so fresh that they still had unmelted snow on them from the night before up on the mountain.
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Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Party 2013As in previous years, I was given two little pumpkins by daily grocer, and we invited a kid or two over to participate in the annual ritual. The first year, we invited our neighbor, Oscar. He seemed more interested in Nora’s toys than with the pumpkin carving, so the next two years, 2011 and 2012, we invited a friend from three floors down, Carmen. Oscar has a three-year-old sister, Gabriela, now, and Nora has a best friend from school, Claudia, so we decided to invite all of them this year, including Claudia’s infant sister, Mara. Seven children!
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Halloween School Pumpkin Carving 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Carving 2013 - Fray PabloOnce again this year, I volunteered to go into Nora’s class and carve a pumpkin. Her teacher managed to acquire a 30 kg (66 lb) pumpkin from a fruit vendor in her hometown, and I agreed to come into school and perform my nation’s traditional pagan gourd evisceration ritual. This year, all three of the preschool classes (turtles, 3-year-olds; bears, 4-year-olds; and elephants, 5-year-olds) attended the actual carving. Due to the fact that the pumpkin had grown lying on its side, one side of it was totally flat, so it didn’t really stand up by itself, but we quickly solved that problem by placing it in a shallow bucket.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2013

July 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

July Fourth Party InviteIt’s July again, and time for my annual party I’ve dubbed Hamburgerfest, because it’s mostly just be cooking hamburgers for some friends. This year was a little more relaxed than previous years, with a considerable drop in alcohol consumption and general rowdiness that makes parties good, but it was still very nice company and also very nice to have someone to take our children’s laser focus off of us for a few hours. Nora had fun playing with our friend Elena, who was very patient with her, and was immediately accepted into the Grandmother role (a playmate for Nora to boss around). And there were plenty of women queueing up for a chance to hold baby Ian, which is all he needs to be happy.
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