Business Idea: Airfare Limit Orders

May 12, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Travel 93 views

toy planeEvery time I shop for airline tickets, I find myself thinking about how little sense airfare prices make to me, and I’m reminded of the variability of the stock market. There are so many forces and variables acting on the price of a stock (or an airfare) that prediction becomes a matter of guessing probabilities where even the experts don’t really have much of a clue. The frustration at checking airline prices reminds me very much of that of playing the stock market. Prices seem to fluctuate for no reason and deciding when to make a transaction is painfully difficult…and the price seems to always go in the wrong direction right after you buy.
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Birthday Presents – Joy and Sadness

May 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 133 views

Yesterday, the prodigal son and daughter returned. There was much rejoicing. Ian finally got to open his birthday presents. He got a set of three pretty awesome – in my biased opinion – soft cars from his parents and some clothes and a little “pound the pegs” toy from my parents. Well, let’s just say that one of the presents really “hit” home. One year old boys love pounding on stuff. First we let his sister tap all the pegs down as Ian watched, with his envy visibly building to the bursting point, and then we turned it over to him. I missed his first pounding session with the camera, but I caught the second on “film”.
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State of the Offspring Address – April 2014

April 30, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 115 views

Geek in TrainingI’ve only spent half of April with my beloved offspring because they have been on spring vacation with their Spanish grandparents down in Extremadura for two weeks. We do talk to Nora every day on the phone, and her ability to switch languages is even more highlighted, I feel, than when we’re in the same room and she turns to address a different language speaker. She tells us about her adventures, where they went that day, etc.
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The 14th Annual Laredo Beach Golf Tournament

April 28, 2014 By: erik Category: Beach, Golf 55 views

Beach Golf Laredo - Golf PlayaSeven long years ago, I participated in this event and won a trophy. In the years since I have been unable to attend either with travel or childrearing conflicts, but this year, with the kids at their abuelos’, I was able to participate again. There was a constant drizzle throughout the whole event; one of the organizers said that it was the second worst weather they’ve had over the fourteen years, which is pretty amazing considering the Cantabrian spring. Like Easter, the lunar cycle plays a big role in determining the date of the tournament every year, as it has to be in the early morning, finishing before 11am, before many beach goers flock to the beach, and it has to be at low tide.
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Dougall’s – Local Cantabrian Beer

April 26, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain 109 views

DouGall's Beers: Think Globally, Drink LocallyI discovered this brewery two years ago, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for it, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I noticed it in the local Lupa supermarket chain. Some googling tells me that the brewery was started by an Englishman, named Andrew Dougall, around eight years go. The brewery is based out of a little town called Liérganes, only about a half hour away from me.
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Ian’s First Birthday

April 25, 2014 By: erik Category: Parenting, Photos, Videos 116 views

Exactly one year ago this morning, I met and immediately fell in love with my little man, Ian. I remember that all I could say through my tears that morning was how perfect he was. It has been really fun to watch him grow from such a helpless bundle of need to a little boy who can walk several steps independently in only the time it takes the Earth to go around the sun.
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How culpability affects pain perception

April 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Comic, Geeky, Parenting, Science 91 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 288 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 145 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 199 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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