We’re Getting Wet!

December 08, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Spanish, Videos 141 views

Que nos mojamos (thumbnail)I was going through some old photos and videos and discovered this gem that my mother-in-law recorded last Easter when she and my wife took Nora down to Extremadura and left me de Rodriguez. It was a great example of her Spanish language skills at 25 months old. Now, however, after the death of her great-grandfather, it’s a poignant video of them playing together in at his house in Extremadura. They had a really great time playing together that week.
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Putting Up The Christmas Tree – 2011

December 08, 2011 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Spain, USA 953 views

Christmas Tree 2011In the United States, the existence of the Thanksgiving holiday does a pretty good job of preventing the Christmas celebration and capitalism from encroaching too far into November like it can do in other countries. Of course, like any pent up desire, when it’s released, it’s extreme, resulting in the consumerism orgy that is Black Friday. Aside from shopping, the weekend after Thanksgiving is when many Americans put up their Christmas tree and other yuletide decor. Since my parents were visiting, I decided to partake in this tradition as well and put up our tree on Black Friday.
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Town Church

December 06, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Religion 249 views

Angels on Colindres ChurchThe church in Colindres is really not very attractive on the outside. It’s a simple red brick structure that, if you didn’t notice the iron cross at the top of the bell tower or the big banner of El Papa hanging on the front, you wouldn’t know it was a church. In fact, just the other day, as I was walking by it, a car pulled up to the curb and the driver said, “¿Dónde está la iglesia?” Giving possibly the best driving instructions ever, I reached out and touched the building to identify its location.
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Suspension Bridge Week

December 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Spain 372 views

The Golden Gate BridgeIn Spain, when a holiday falls on either Tuesday or Thursday, it’s a regular custom to take the Monday or Friday off to create a four day weekend. This is called a puente or bridge, since one is crossing over the fiery lava pit that is a day of honest labor to escape safely to the weekend. Of course any employee can take that as a vacation day, but the some corporations and government offices often will just shut down that day. The best equivalent in the United States is how most government, and some corporate, employees don’t work on the day after Thanksgiving.
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Thanksgiving 2011 in Spain

December 04, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Travel 514 views

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his trip to visit us in Spain for Thanksgiving 2011.

Nora and her GrandparentsGetting There

As booked months in advance through Orbitz, we would fly from Charlotte to Philadelphia on Friday afternoon and from Philly to Brussels Friday night. We would arrive in Brussels at 8:00 am their time, and, after a 3 hour lay-over in the airport, we would continue on to Bilbao, Spain, where our son would meet us. Two weeks before our trip, however, Orbitz notified me that Brussels Airline had cancelled the flight that would be completing our long day of travel. We were, they said, now booked on a flight leaving the following day. Our 3-hour layover in Brussels had turned into a 27-hour layover.
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Ramón Hidalgo Caballero, 1920 – 2011

December 02, 2011 By: erik Category: Family, News, Photos 215 views

Abuelo with SparklerMy third and final living grandfather passed away today. He wasn’t my grandfather by blood, but by marriage and an immense amount of mutual respect and love.
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One Laptop Per Nora

December 02, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Offspring, Photos 104 views

Nora works in her pajamas just like her old manFour years ago, probably as a result of Nicholas Negroponte’s TED Talk, I became fascinated by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. I loved the idea of providing very cheap, easily networkable computers to third world children, since I know from personal experience how computers are so good for childhood learning. Before starting the project, they wanted to make a “one hundred dollar laptop”, built entirely on open source software. Unfortunately, they could only get the price down to $199, which is still pretty impressive once you learn all the features of the device.
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Newt Gingrich Morphed Into A Newt

November 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Funny, Morphing, Photoshop, Politics, USA 257 views

Newt 2012I’ve been very much enjoying the puppet show that is the GOP’s attempt to find a candidate that has any chance of defeating Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign. As the media’s interest in each candidate ebbs and flows, they are each shown to not really be a contender. The most recent fad in the race is the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. As I watch the news coverage, I can’t help but chuckle to myself about the possibility of having a president with the same name as a species of salamander. I figured it was time to dust off my morphing skills and actually turn him into a newt.
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Spanish Thanksgiving – Tapas in Castro Urdiales

November 25, 2011 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel 670 views

Tapas with GrandparentsMy parents are visiting us in Spain this week. When it came time to make Thanksgiving plans, my first thought would be to make a turkey pizza to eat, and then lie around the house in a digestive stupor as is American tradition on this holiday. My wife suggested that we take advantage of my day off work go to Santander after she got off work (it’s not a holiday in Spain, of course) to see the penguins and sea lions at the Palacio de la Magdalena. This was, as usual, a superior idea to mine, so we decided to do that. Then, at the last minute, she suggested that, if we wanted to, my folks and I could take the entire day to go to the nearby town of Castro Urdiales to see the beach and church there, rather than wait most of the day for her to get off work. In the end, this plan won out. We spent Thanksgiving walking around and eating tapas in Castro Urdiales.
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Crin Roja – Genius Subliminal Wine Packaging

November 18, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos, Reviews, Wine 980 views

Crin Roja - ThumbnailMost of the wine I buy is not the dirt cheap young cosechero, the wine from grapes from last year’s harvest which is usually about 1.50€/bottle. Nor do I buy reserva from the best regions and vineyards, made from better grapes and kept in oak barrels for at least a year which sells for at least 10€/bottle. I normally buy crianza, the middle quality, from good regions (mostly Rioja) and good vineyards, wine which has spent at least six months in oak barrels and usually retails between 4€ and 5€. For the better Rioja vineyards, the grapes are so good that the cosechero, which has spent little to no time in barrels is almost as good as a crianza, at just under the price.
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