How culpability affects pain perception

April 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Comic, Geeky, Parenting, Science 89 views

How culpability effects pain perceptionOne curiosity I’ve noticed as I watch my children grow into their bodies is how they react to pain. There are days where it seems like the childhood is one long series of injuries. No doubt every parent has seen this, but when a kid is pushed to the ground on the playground by another kid, the chances of the victim running to his Mommy for consolation is much higher than if the kid was doing something stupid or dangerous and fell. If you’re a kid, and you hurt yourself by doing something stupid or risky the resulting pain appears to be minimized.
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Visiting El Greco – Toledo 2014

April 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel 268 views

Gentleman with hand on breastFor many years now, my wife has expressed interest in visiting the Spanish city of Toledo. Although she’s not much of an art aficionado, if you ever ask her who her favorite painter is, she’ll reliably respond “El Greco”. So when we saw on the news that there was a big exhibition to celebrate the quadricentenary of El Greco’s death in 1614 (yesterday, April 7, was the actual date), in which his greatest works would be shipped from museums around the world to Toledo, it was not a matter of if, but when we would go. When we got an opportunity to leave the kids with my in-laws, we took it!
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State of the Offspring Address – March 2014

March 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos 144 views

Nora and IanThis March has been a pretty big month for the offspring, not quite as big as the one five years ago, but pretty huge. Nora turned five years old! It still sounds amazing when I say it. She’s been with us for five years, the majority of the time we’ve been living in Spain. Crazy!

Ian has hit some milestones, too, as he completed his eleventh month. He can now pull himself up to standing on the coffee table and take one or two tentative steps between outstretched adult arms. He’s found that he loves little pieces of bread, and can usually entertain himself in his high chair while the fully teethed members of the family eat by grabbing and eating little bits of bread we break off for him.
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The Guggenheim in Bilbao

March 16, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 195 views

Nora and Westie - Guggenheim - BilbaoI’m a little embarrassed to admit that it’s only as we’re rounding out our ninth year living in eastern Cantabria that we have actually entered Frank Gehry’s incredibly unique building that tops all guidebooks to the lovely Basque city of Bilbao. But we did it; with two kids in tow nonetheless!

As a child, Nora was completely miserable to travel with in the car, so we became very town-bound. Ian is considerably better at riding in the car, so we’ve decided that we need to start doing more things on the weekends as a foursome family unit.
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Carnival 2014 – Cops and Robbers and Bees

March 07, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain 150 views

After my impressive performance her first year, for the last two years of Nora’s daycare, I was ordained the official daycare photographer for the Carnival parade, where all the kids and parents (from all the daycares and preschools) dress up and parade around town. Since I was out of town for last year (it rained, anyway), and Ian hadn’t yet shown his face, this was the first year that I had ties to both the local school and to the daycare. Several months ago, the daycare boss, Adela, approached me and said, “We can count on you as photographer again this year, right?” I said, well…since I’ve got Nora in school, I’m not sure which group I should participate with. She said, “But you’re dressing up with us, right?” I said, “Well, that depends…Nora’s class is dressing up as bees, which is pretty cute. What is your costume?” She explained that the kids were going to dress up as cops, and the parents as prisoners. I was sold immediately. She always has the most creative ideas, like when the grown-ups were angels and the kids demons.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2014

February 28, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 106 views

Bumblebee FamilyThis month the offspring took some huge steps forward. Literally.

I went away for eleven days at the beginning of the month, and my son, who, when I left, had not yet figured out how to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other when standing up, had advanced to being able to walk very fast holding on to two hands, and pretty well (for a drunk) holding onto just one. He seemed pretty proud about it, too. So we have officially entered the backbreaking stage where we have to bend over (some of us more than others) to help him get the hang of this bipedalism gig. His sister was in that phase for six whole months. Let’s hope this one goes quicker.
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Paul Rasmussen’s Hole In One

February 26, 2014 By: erik Category: Family, Golf, Photos 89 views

Hole In One - Paul RasmussenSomething truly special happened during my annual February golf trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this year. Normally we have pretty good luck with the weather, but this year we had some fairly heavy rain on Saturday, February 8, 2014. We were playing one of the nicest courses we’ve ever played, over the decade we’ve been going there, TPC Myrtle Beach. Fortunately, most of us have pretty decent rain gear: water proof pants, jacket, shoes and gloves that both keep your hands warm and also somehow don’t slip on the club grip. Golfing in the rain is considerably less fun than golfing in the sunshine, but, if you have the right attitude and equipment, it still beats most activities. It rained pretty steadily for the entire front nine, and began clearing up on the back.
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Myrtle Beach Time Of Year

February 17, 2014 By: erik Category: Golf, Music, Photos, Travel, USA, Videos 125 views

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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State of the Offspring Address – January 2014

January 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 159 views

Doing LaundryAlthough it feels like a decade ago, Spanish Christmas crept into this month with the Kings Day celebration, Spain’s primary mythical, magic, flying, home-intruding gift giver holiday. Nora was extremely excited about the kings coming to bring presents. We followed the cabalgata (parade) around town; we actually ended up walking in the street with the floats. We began at the very end of the parade, and spurred on by Nora’s excitement ended up at the very front of the parade, walking faster than all the floats, overtaking them one by one. Then Nora went to sit on a king’s lap and tell him that she wanted a Hello Kitty kite. That night we set out some snacks for the kings and their flying camels.
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Swedish Furniture Epiphany

January 09, 2014 By: erik Category: House, News, Photos 328 views

Swedish Furniture Epiphany - AfterMy wife and I are some of the worst home decorators I know. Not only do we lack vision and style (“What would look good in this space?”), but we’re stingy as hell. Also, due to our expatriate past/present, we feel very comfortable with the idea of packing up and moving very far away. Which is funny since we’ve lived in our current house for 8.5 years, longer than we’ve lived anywhere but with our parents. Our false sense of “We could move out at any moment!” makes us terribly unwilling to actually nest in our current home, and make it better.
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