Nora Is Four!

March 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Partying, Photos 174 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.
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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.
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Spanish Recipe: Arroz con Bogavante (Rice with Lobster)

March 11, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Recipes, Spain 1,476 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.
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Painting The Car

March 10, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Photos 253 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.
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Nora’s iPhone

March 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos 114 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.
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Facebook Intelligence Tests And The Real Geniuses

March 02, 2013 By: erik Category: Internet, Marketing, Media 1,875 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.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2013

February 25, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 112 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.
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Family Portraits – Winter 2013

February 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Photos 162 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.
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My Rap Video Debut

February 24, 2013 By: erik Category: Internet, Music, Videos, Weird 96 views

Rap ThumbNormally, I try not to blog about my gangsta days in Los Angeles or all the rival gang members I popped caps in, but every so often one of my homies from da ‘Hood calls me up to provide cameo cred to a rising rap star, and I take the private jet back to my L.A. stomping grounds. Snoop and I are still pretty tight, but I had a falling out with Jay-Z after Beyoncé found me a bit too fetching. You know how it is…
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Myrtle Beach Classic 2013

February 15, 2013 By: erik Category: Golf, Music, Partying, Photos, Travel, USA 109 views

Golf TrophyLast week I took my annual golf vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to participate in the Myrtle Beach Classic, a golf competition among good friends that my father organizes every year in February. Since I started going in 2004, I’ve only missed one year (2011). Sadly, my good friend Jacob couldn’t make it this year, as he was called off on a business trip to Singapore. Careers can be so annoying sometimes! Despite his absence, fun was had, golf was played, music was made, and trophies were awarded.
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