Thanksgiving 2011 in Spain

December 04, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Travel 513 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 103 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 667 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 968 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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Cloud Music and iTunes Match

November 16, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Music 402 views

iTunes MatchApple finally launched their iTunes Match service this week. If you don’t know what that is, I’ll explain briefly. In the eight years since Apple opened their iTunes Music Store, they have been amassing an enormous collection of digitized music that they have the legal right to sell. If you buy a song from them, and your computer crashes, you can redownload that song again whenever you like, since, rather than a physical medium like a CD, what you’ve bought is the right to have that digital file.
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Father and Daughter Dancing

November 15, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Geeky, Offspring, Photos, Photoshop 215 views

Dancing with NoraToday I finally got around to attempting a bit of Photoshop trickery I’ve been wanting to try, creating a photo of me dancing with my two-year-old daughter where our sizes are adjusted, either me down to her height, or her up to mine. It turns out that this is very, very hard to do well. The principal difficulty is aligning the hands, in space and with the proper angles, so that they appear to touch. Of the five or so photos I took to work with, I chose the best two to merge together. The result is a photo where the viewer is never really fooled into thinking that the two people are actually interacting physically.
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Viento Sur

November 14, 2011 By: erik Category: Photography, Photos, Spain 131 views

November SkiesIn October and November, it’s very typical here to get strong winds coming from the south blowing warm African air over the Iberian peninsula. The Spaniards call it viento sur (south wind), and there is a mythology similar to that of full moons where the wind from the south makes odd people just a little more crazy. I have a love/hate relationship with viento sur.
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My Eye

November 11, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photos, Scary, Videos 99 views

Erik EyeToday I discovered a macro feature of my video camera lens that I had forgotten existed. The first thing I did was pick up a one dollar bill that I have on my desk for some reason and examine POTUS1’s face. Impressed, I decided I needed to record a video of something very close up. Not having an ant farm or a pet praying mantis, I decided the best subject for my first macro video should be my gorgeous greenish-yellow eyes. It took a couple attempts to figure out how to best, without too much effort, keep the camera and my head from moving around too much. I ended up sitting on the floor with the camera resting on my desk. Clearly, this level of intimacy required some creepy background music, so I found some.
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