Google+ Restricted Sharing Is A Bad Idea

July 01, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Internet, Reviews 375 views

Google+Although I have not yet actually used Google+ (I’m waiting on my invite), I have been reading a lot about it, watching demo videos, and thinking about it. One feature that Google+ is offering to set itself apart from its ubiquitous rival, Facebook, is the concept of “circles”. The idea is that you define circles, subsets of your friends, that are defined by how you know or interact with them. You’ve got your coworkers, your ex-coworkers, your bowling buddies, your book club, and your ever ubiquitous “people I took a class or worked with once that no longer have anything in common with me, but that I was mildly curious to see what they are up to these days and so accepted their friend request”. I don’t know about you, but this latter group makes up the majority of my friend set.

One thing Google+ is using circles for is to allow you to optionally restrict who can see your status updates to only certain circles. While on the surface, this seems like a good idea, after giving it a little thought, I’m convinced that it is an inherently bad idea.
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¿Cómo ESTA?

June 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Politics, Travel, USA 414 views

ESTA logoTo travel to the United States this June, we packed our bags and got our passports in order. We were concerned with how well our two year old, Nora, would do on our long journey (it ended up being 23 hours from door to door). In all the hubbub of travel organization and packing, we totally forgot about another two-year-old: the ridiculous Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) law enacted by the terrorist paranoid (paranoia = terrorist win?) United States that requires non-residents to fill out an application over the internet and pay a small fee of $14 to be allowed to enter the United States. It’s hard enough to find cheap holidays abroad without your destination country trying to extort money from you. Our first flight was from Bilbao to Lisbon, our second flight was from Lisbon to Philadelphia, and our third flight was from Philadelphia to Charlotte.
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Picking Blueberries

June 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos, USA 200 views

BlueberriesOn Monday, Nora went with her mother, grandmother and our friend Amy to pick blueberries at a local farm. I was working, so I couldn’t go, but they brought back a lot of blueberries. Nora’s white dress was suitably stained when she returned home. It looks like they had a wonderful time, and I’ve been enjoying roughly a one-to-one flake-to-blueberry ratio on my breakfast cereal all week.
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Dog Bite

June 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos, Scary, USA 541 views

Curled upMy parents have three dogs: Buster, Sam and Blue. I learned almost a decade ago that Buster was the most likely to actually bite someone when I got a little too rough playing with him and I got a tooth to the bridge of my nose. It didn’t break the skin, but it was sufficiently scary to give me a sense of cautious respect when dealing with Buster. We knew from our very first visit with Nora that Buster should never really be in the same room with Nora. Buster is the alpha dog of the house and is pretty much completely deaf, as old springers often are.
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Bathing in Lake James

June 27, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, USA 155 views

Nora in Lake JamesThe last time we visited the United States, we went sailing with Uncle John on Lake James. This time our visit almost perfectly coincided with John’s vacation to the Gulf Coast, but we did get one day with him and he took us out onto Lake James again, but this time on his pontoon boat with my parents and grandmother. On the entire ride from the dock to a little cove where John likes to go to bathe, Nora was saying “I want to go in the water! I want the water!” Of course when we finally dropped anchor and people started diving in, her opinion shifted a bit. She had a great little life vest that alleviated all our parental concerns for her safety, but Nora’s worries weren’t so easily placated. Eventually we got her down onto a float, and then moved her to another float that left her more in the water. Towards the end, she even was brave enough to attempt being in the open water with just her vest and my arms, but she realized quickly that she preferred being in her little float. When it was time to go, she didn’t want to get back in the boat. All in all, I think it was a wonderfully successful first lake bathing experience.
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Golfing in Ireland

June 23, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Ireland, Photos, Travel 429 views

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about our trip to Ireland in June 2011.


Four Golfers
It was October 2005. Jeff, Jacob, Erik and I were sitting around the Captain’s Hoose, our four- story self-catered apartment in Anstruther, Scotland. We were almost done with our wonderful week-long golf vacation at St Andrews, when Jacob said “Let’s do Ireland next!” We had all been sampling those things that the Scotch are famous for, and agreement was quickly reached. The year 2008 was tentatively suggested, and agreed to by all. When 2008 arrived, Jacob asked again – “What about Ireland?” I responded to him like the old fogey I was. I told him that I thought I could probably return to the UK to golf one more time, but I loved the links golf in Scotland, and if I could go back one more time, I just couldn’t see doing anything other than a return trip to St Andrews.
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Lahinch – Ireland Golf Trip 2011 – Day 7 of 7

June 23, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Ireland, Photos, Travel 169 views

Erik and Jacob at LahinchOn June 18, 2011, we all got up fairly early, but not to play golf. It was “go back to the airport” day. We checked out of the Perryville House, piled into our rented “people carrier” and began the two hour drive for Shannon airport. Since I had lived and driven [on the wrong side of the road] in England for four years and also get motion sickness when I’m in the backseat, I was the designated driver for most of our Ireland trip. This was great, except for when everyone else nodded off to sleep and I had to fight the same urge myself. We drove through Cork and headed due north up to Limerick and eventually to Shannon. First, however, we had to stop at the original Bunratty Courtyard B&B that the others had stayed in to pick up Paul and Jeff’s golf club travel bags, which had been left behind in the interest in fitting all of us in the vehicle. Jacob and I would be staying that night at the B&B before our early departures the following day. After leaving Jacob and his and my things at the B&B, I drove Jeff and Paul to the airport where we hugged and congratulated each other on a wonderful trip.
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Old Head – Ireland Golf Trip 2011 – Day 6 of 7

June 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Ireland, Photos, Travel 800 views

Old HeadOn June 17, 2011, we played one of the most unique golf courses on the planet: Old Head. Originally just a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, it was purchased in 1989 by the O’Connor brothers, John and Patrick, for a mere 245,000€ from a farmer who was frustrated that his sheep kept falling to their deaths over the steep cliffs.

When humans first settled Ireland over 6,000 years ago, they immediately recognized the Old Head peninsula as an easily defendable lookout post. There are still traces of Iron-age Celtic structures at Old Head. From ancient times up until the 17th century the Stone of Accord, a stone with a hole in it at arm height, was used to seal important deals, including weddings. Each wedding agreement was only good from one year, from May until May, and had to be renewed by shaking hands through the Stone of Accord each year.
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Ring of Kerry – Ireland Golf Trip 2011 – Day 5 of 7

June 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Ireland, Photos, Travel 206 views

Erik at Ring of KerryWe left our B&B, O’Donnabhain’s too early to get breakfast, but a nearby bakery was open, and we each had a scone. On June 16, we were going to be playing a course called Ring of Kerry on the fourth and final round of our County Kerry Classic. Ring of Kerry was our only parkland (not links) golf course. It was also more inland, although it had spectacular views over an ocean sound. It was very different, but quite lovely in its own way. It had rained the night before, and the weather radar in the clubhouse called for rain all day. “So this would be our miserable rain day!” we all thought.
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Waterville – Ireland Golf Trip 2011 – Day 4 of 7

June 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Ireland, Photos, Travel, Videos 253 views

Guinness at WatervilleAfter playing Tralee, we drove to the town of Waterville where we stayed the night at the Old Cable House B&B, a building constructed by the Commercial Cable Company in 1899 to house workers involved in laying the first ever transatlantic telegraph cable. Upon checking in, the proprietor and chef, Alan Brown, informed us that he was somewhat of an expert in cooking fish and asked us if we’d be staying for dinner. It had begun to rain and we decided that eating in the same building as our beds made some sense. My salmon was, in fact, delicious.
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