State of the Offspring Address – December 2012

December 28, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 182 views

Silly Glitter FaceWe’ve reached a very rebellious stage lately. There are some days where it feels like every single thing we tell Nora to do, she says, “I don’t want to!” Depending on how much time or patience we have available at the moment she needs to, say, wash her hands, I vary from giving a lecture about germ theory to the “sometimes we have to do things that was don’t want to do” to the parental cop-out of “it doesn’t matter whether you want to or not” to actually physically grabbing her by the arm and dragging her into the bathroom to wash her hands. I really hate doing the last two, but sometimes there’s just no time available for negotiations…and sometimes it’s the ten thousandth time she’s refused a perfectly reasonable request that day.
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Nora’s Christmas Performance 2012

December 27, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Videos 123 views

Christmas Pagent 2012On her last day of school for the calendar year on December 21, as foretold by the Mayan prophecies, Nora was instructed to come to school wearing a white turtle neck and white tights only, because the little hybrid cafeteria-auditorium gets very hot during performances. Her class had little costumes which were made during the week of workshops, which consisted of a little paper crown and a cloth sack with head and arm holes. We were informed that the Tortugas (the nickname for Nora’s 3-year-old class) performance was going to be at 11:00 AM, and we were to get there by 10:50 in order to find a place in the cafeteria-auditorium to watch from.
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Grimm Puppet Theater – Little Red Riding Hood

December 21, 2012 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 224 views

Little Red Riding Hood Finger PuppetsWhen we went to the United States for Thanksgiving, Nora’s teacher gave her a present and told her not to open it until she was flying on the airplane. Nora was delighted. Three year olds love surprises. We managed to not get asked the famous “Did anyone give you any items to carry onto this flight?” question on our first flight to Germany, although we did on the later one to the US, the land of police state security theater.
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The Son Also Rises

December 20, 2012 By: erik Category: Family, News, Offspring, Parenting, Videos 195 views

Nora has an announcement to make. Take it away, Nora…

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3D Printing and Legislating Object Ownership

December 18, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings, Politics, USA 108 views

Solidoodle 3D PrinterOver the past few years, the technology of 3D printing has shown itself to be a complete game changer. In a few very short years, with the initial investment of a printer, it will be possible to download physical objects. The plastic molding industry is going to be the first to feel the pain but eventually all manufacturing will be at risk. I expect to be a grandfather before complex electronics can be printed at home, but a wide variety of knickknacks and general household replacement items will be coming sooner, e.g. already you can download and print replacement knobs for a variety of items.
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Christmas Workshops At School

December 17, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Photos, Spain 177 views

Talleres de Navidad 2012 - 162Last week the three, four and five-year-old classes at my daughter’s school got together for an hour in the afternoon to do arts and crafts loosely related to Christmas. They were divided up into seven groups and each sent to a different part of the school with a teacher and some volunteering parents to do a craft of some sort. One room was face painting; another was gluing tongue depressors together into Christmas ornaments; another was constructing bits for a big nativity scene; another was baking marzipan cookies. Somehow, my daughter’s teacher’s husband found me and has been following me on Flickr for several months. I’ve yet to determine if his discovery was related to our choice of school and luck of school teacher. His photostream is much more impressive than mine. Anyhow, Nora’s teacher asked me if I could come and take some photographs of all the workshops. I was happy to volunteer.
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Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

December 10, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Reviews, Spain 629 views

Restaurante SolanaBack in October, for my birthday, I enjoyed the treat of dining with my favorite gastronomy blogger at a Michelin 2-star restaurant in Brussels. It was an exciting and memorable experience. The worst part of it was not getting to share the experience with my lovely wife. Our neighboring Basque Country has a firmament of Michelin stars, but most of them are an hour or two away, which is not too far to drive to a restaurant, but it’s too far to drive back in a stupor of digestive bliss. So imagine my delight to discover last week that Restaurante Solana, a restaurant in our neighboring town of Ampuero, was awarded a Michelin star last year!
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Binary Clock

December 07, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Ireland, Marketing, Photos, Programming, Reviews 212 views

Binary ClockLast Christmas, after seeing me express some coveting interest in a geeky product on the internet, my parents gave me a binary clock. Part of what I love about it is that it reminds me of the very first circuit (with a chip) that I made in my high school electronics class. We had a breadboard – that’s a board with lots of holes to push wires into to connect them, not something to serve a cheese platter on – and a timer chip, a counter chip, a battery, some LEDs, and some wires to connect them. Sure enough, they started blinking and counting in binary! It’s sort of the Hello World of computer engineering.
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State of the Offspring Address – November 2012

November 30, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 151 views

NoraOur most exciting event this month was traveling to the United States for two weeks to visit my parents and grandmother for Thanksgiving. Nora was very excited about the trip and behaved admirably. We got up at 4:00 AM on a Saturday, flew to Frankfurt, and then all the way to Charlotte. The second flight was 9.5 hours long, and Nora slept for only one hour. She quickly learned how to operate her in-flight touch screen entertainment system and watched the same episode of Baby Looney Tunes about a hundred times. After another hour-long drive from the Charlotte airport, we reached my parents’ house. Nora has been video conferencing over FaceTime with my parents for at least a half hour every day, and she took no time at all to acclimatize to them. At 8:00 PM North Carolina time, twenty-two hours after she had woken up that morning, I had to insist that she stop playing with her Grandma and go to bed. It took her less than thirty seconds to fall asleep.
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Transatlantic Movie Marathon – 5 Movie Reviews

November 27, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Reviews 133 views

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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