State of the Offspring Address – March 2013

March 27, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 109 views

Mosto at La ComarcaLooking back, there haven’t been that many new developments this month. Nora did turn four years old, which was important. Her writing has improved to the point where she can write her name every time without problems. My parents have been visiting for a week now and the forced use of English is good for Nora, although it certainly doesn’t seem to be causing her any extra stress or difficulty. She’s off from school now for eleven days of Spring Break.
Read the rest of this entry →

One month to go…

March 26, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 137 views

Eight Months PregnantWe are considerably less stressed/terrified about the impending birth of our son than we were about our daughter, four long years ago. For instance, for Nora, we had the crib bought and put together a full three months before its first use, and this time we haven’t even considered bringing it down from the attic yet. The baby car seat and stroller attachments are still stored in my in-laws’ attic as well. I don’t even think we’ve bought a single item of baby clothing yet.
Read the rest of this entry →

Nora Is Four!

March 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Partying, Photos 166 views

Nora's Fourth BirthdayFor five weeks, we tracked every day on a calendar to know when it would be Nora’s birthday. Also on the calendar was the arrival of my parents for their fortnight Easter visit. Nora was pretty excited about turning four, although she didn’t really comprehend that she would be receiving presents. Even on the day, I had to remind her that it was time to open presents. Her Spanish grandparents and aunt came to visit for her birthday, so she had all her most immediate blood relatives with her.
Read the rest of this entry →

Tags: ,

Maidens of Laredo

March 19, 2013 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel 125 views

Maidens of Laredo (cropped)I’m a big fan of clever street art, such as this mural, in nearby Santoña, that spans three buildings. The medieval Old Town section of nearby Laredo is both the most happening social zone of the town, and also the most derelict crumbling part, full of abandoned, disintegrating buildings. Just last month one of them blew over. So there are plenty of abandoned houses with boarded up windows. A year or two ago, some interesting paintings began appearing on some of the doors and windows of the Old Town, depicting women inside the houses looking out. More than once, I’ve done a double-take when walking by, because they seem so real.
Read the rest of this entry →

Spanish Recipe: Arroz con Bogavante (Rice with Lobster)

March 11, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Recipes, Spain 1,339 views

Arroz con BogavanteThis weekend we finally got around to inviting our friends Agustín and Ana over so they could teach us how they make their Rice With Lobster dish that we had one time at their house. The day before, Ana and Marga went shopping to buy the lobster. The first fishmonger they visited had only one living lobster and some dead ones, so they went to another where they purchased two beautiful living lobsters. When they arrived on the day of the meal, they brought their paellera, a big dish for making paella, and their gas stove on which to heat the paellera evenly. These paelleras and stoves are sold at any Spanish hardware store and any self respecting Spanish household owns one. They also brought a lovely bottle of Riesling.
Read the rest of this entry →

Painting The Car

March 10, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Photos 243 views

After Paint JobI don’t think I’ll ever buy a red car again, at least not until I’m a multimillionaire with a six-car garage. My first car was a red Honda Civic, which I loved dearly and can still see and smell if I close my eyes. Our current car is a red Opel Astra, which is very similar to my Civic. We bought it eight years ago when we moved to Spain. Apparently the problem with red cars is that their paint fades much more quickly than other colored cars. Presumably it has to do with reflecting the longest wavelength (red), which has the least amount of energy, and absorbing all the high energy sunlight. For the past few years, our car has been more orange than red.
Read the rest of this entry →

Nora’s iPhone

March 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos 113 views

Nora's iPhoneOne of the most enjoyable parts about parenting for me is being surprised by my child; expecting her to react one way or favor one thing, and seeing her preference clearly buck my expectations. Take, for example, toys. She’s got dolls and stuffed animals and cars and computers and costumes, some of which are very elaborate. But, contrary to what I would’ve expected, none of them are her most favorite possessions. She really loves playing with small pieces of plastic, items that she can hold firmly in her fist and carry in her pocket, like a tube of Chapstickâ„¢ or a piece of plastic shrapnel that broke off her mother’s hairbrush.
Read the rest of this entry →

Facebook Intelligence Tests And The Real Geniuses

March 02, 2013 By: erik Category: Internet, Marketing, Media 1,575 views

Facebook Exclamation88% of people don’t understand this post… (but you probably will)

If you frequent Facebook much, you may have noticed a recent surge – or scourge – of silly little intelligence tests. Most of them start out with a claim that “Most people are unable to do this”, and then provide a pretty simple single-digits arithmetic problem or a word find or ask you to count geometric shapes. These things are so successful, especially with the prefacing text, because they reassure the common believe that everyone has, that they are smarter than most of these other Homo sapiens bozos.
Read the rest of this entry →

State of the Offspring Address – February 2013

February 25, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 107 views

Nora WritingNora has always had a bit of anxiety associated with bedtime. When she was sleeping in her crib and could speak enough to request it, she demanded that I hold her hand, through the crib bars, as she fell asleep. Trying to escape from someone’s grasp and sneak out of the pitch black room as they slowly lose consciousness is an interesting game. I would’ve preferred to do more parental negotiating in this area, my wife’s schedule means that she has to get up very early in the morning, so I often had to do whatever kept her quiet. I did, however, manage over the course of months to only promise to sit down outside her door as she fell asleep, allowing for smoother getaways.
Read the rest of this entry →

Family Portraits – Winter 2013

February 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Photos 158 views

Family PortraitThe Christmas after Nora was born, I used iPhoto’s nice calendar designing functionality to make a calendar of photos of Nora from throughout the year. I knew at the time that I was indenturing myself to providing a calendar every year in the foreseeable future, and sure enough, the expectation was there, and I have been meeting it. When it came time to make the 2013 calendar, I realized that I didn’t have many photos of the entire family together, so I vowed to take some. I set up the tripod on a January day when we were relatively dressed up and took some photos. I thought I’d share them with you here.
Read the rest of this entry →