State of the Offspring Address – September 2014

September 30, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 140 views

Ian Sits on BollardThe biggest news this month was the return of the offspring from their long summer vacation and the start of the school year. They came back less than a week before school started on September 11th. To ease the pain of summer vacation ending, the kids have only gone in the mornings so far in September, but in October they will start in the afternoons again, too. Nora was happy to go back to school. She’s a preschool senior now, in what other cultures call kindergarten, even though she’s with the same teacher she’s had for the past two years.
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The Fourth Mask: Parenting Airline Travel Tip

September 28, 2014 By: erik Category: Funny, Musings, Parenting, Travel 117 views

Airline Family SelfieThis weekend my family and I took a one hour flight to the other side of the peninsula. It served as sort of a dry run for next weekend when we will fly ten times further. My 17-month-old son is still allowed to ride on a parent’s lap, and doesn’t yet require his own seat, which is great, especially for our transatlantic hop, where the prices are non-trivial.

For those of you that have never had the pleasure of flying with another human on top of you, the airline provides a little baby belt that has a loop in it to put the adult’s seatbelt through so your offspring isn’t offsprung during extreme turbulence.
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What Size To Buy? Printable iPhone 6 PDFs

September 11, 2014 By: erik Category: Geeky 4,206 views

Printable iPhone 6 Models - iPhone 6 PlusOne problem with the latest iPhone models, 6 and 6 Plus, is that they are completely new sizes, so it’s not at all obvious which one you should get until you actually hold them both in your hand – and even then it’ll be a tough decision with trade-offs to consider. I looked around and found lots of sites drawing them relative to previous models to give an idea of how big they are, but that’s not the same as holding one. So I created a PDF document with each model more or less – they aren’t millimeter-exact – “life sized”.
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Ampuero 2014

September 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Bulls, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel 116 views

Ampuero 2014This past weekend we went to the annual festival in Ampuero. The best way to describe it is that it’s a mini-San-Fermín, the enormous annual festival in Pamplona known worldwide for its encierro (running of the bulls). San Fermín is seven days long, and the festival in Ampuero is only three days, but they do have a running of the bulls and they do party for all 72 hours for those three days. There is also a well respected dress code of wearing all white with a red scarf and optional other red accessories. The Ampuero festival is perhaps slightly more kid-friendly than the one in Pamplona. It’s also not as overrun by foreign tourists, which might make it closer to the San Fermín that Hemingway fell in love with. It might make a good destination for some cheap holidays in Spain. We had a great time, going out until the wee hours on Friday and Saturday night, and then going to the bull run on Sunday.
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A friend finder app that respects privacy

September 03, 2014 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings 61 views

Anybody here?Ever since smart phones became endowed with GPS, the apps that attempt to show you where your friends are have become as ubiquitous as the horrified privacy backlash against them. I cannot claim to have ever really used such apps because I live in a rural community, most of my best friends are sprinkled sparsely across the globe, and the friends that I do meet up with are either not that tech savvy, use a different smart phone OS, or have the more common sense about the privacy problems than geeky desire to test out what an app can do.
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Condado de la Mota – Mogro

August 31, 2014 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Travel 161 views

Condado de la Mota, MogroOn Sunday morning, our last weekend day before our children return from summer vacation, my wife and I realized we had total freedom to do whatever we wished. As we were contemplating our options, my stomach rumbled, so I picked up an iPad and went to Mule Carajonero, far and away the best food blog in Cantabria, to check out potential restaurants we could experience. When I marveled aloud at how many “We’ve eaten at” posts there – roughly 750, 610 of them in Cantabria – my wife came over to look. One of them immediately popped out because she’d read an article recently – probably this one – and had stored the name “Condado de la Mota” on a mental restaurant todo list. We liked what we saw, so I called them up to make a reservation.
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Comillas – Día del Indiano

August 30, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 300 views

Mojito and PostcardOn our final weekend before our children come home from summer vacation with their grandparents, my wife and I decided we should take full advantage of our kidlessness and do some traveling tourism around Cantabria. We discovered this excellent website that details upcoming events in the region, and we decided to drive an hour to the west to a town called Comillas to see their annual Día del Indiano festival. We visited Comillas eight long years ago to scout out potential wedding venues, but we have not been back.
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State of the Offspring Address – August 2014

August 27, 2014 By: erik Category: Extremadura, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 103 views

Ian and NoraThe offspring have spent the entirety of August on vacation with their Spanish grandparents in Extremadura, an inland region in the south of Spain. For the first half of the month, my wife and I spent a fortnight with them. It was fun to see them in this different environment. At fifteen months old, Ian is progressing very rapidly. He’s very steady on his feet and is getting a lot faster. He’s even sprouting a vocabulary that is almost in the double digits. When Nora was Ian’s age we were worried – hilariously, in retrospect – about her language development. He’s also learned to kiss, which he does by planting a big open mouth on your cheek like he’s about to bite you.
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State of the Offspring Address – July 2014

July 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 86 views

Ian and Nora and AbueloThis has been the month with the least contact with my children since I began this State of the Offspring Address series. Since I injured myself one week into the month, they have been away at their Spanish grandparents’ house ever since, one week in the Basque Country, followed a two day visit with us, and then the rest of the month in Extremadura. Judging from my calls with Nora, she and Ian are having a ball. Ian is, of course, happy with his first and third favorite humans, his sister and his Spanish grandfather (I’m fourth), who is still riding high in the standings from his willingness to bend over and walk with Ian wherever he wanted before he gained his ambulatory independence. As a result, I don’t have much to report.
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The Great Quadriceps Contusion of 2014

July 28, 2014 By: erik Category: Complaining, Photos, Scary 125 views

Dead Leg BruiseThe fateful day was Monday, July 7, 2014. The time was 13:00h. My daughter and I had just taken my son to daycare, and were going to the local grocer to buy bread and lunch supplies for the day. The day before, when I had gone to the grocery store, it had suddenly begun to rain while I was doing my shopping, and I was without an umbrella. Because they are just such nice people, and our daily relationship is so good, my grocer friend, Andrés, lent me an umbrella to take home for the day. So on that fateful day, I had returned it. As I was leaving the store, I turned around to catch Andrés’ attention to make sure he noticed that I had returned the communal umbrella to its spot. He acknowledged it, and I turned to continue walking, with the shopping bag in one hand, and my daughter’s hand in the other. That’s when it happened.

THUNK!
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