How fast do you need to drive in the rain to keep your rear window dry?

November 09, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Math 1,848 views

Car Sketch - Rear Window AngleLast week, we had quite the deluge, which coincided, unfortunately, with me having to drive 120 km. I noticed that whenever I slowed down, the rear window would get wet and hard to see out of. Once I sped up again, one wiper pass dried it off and it stayed dry until I slowed down again. This is an obvious scenario for anyone who has ever driven, or anyone who thinks briefly about the physics involved: when you’re driving fast, the rain doesn’t hit your rear window. Out of the blue (or gray, in this case), my mouth spoke the words, “I wonder what’s the minimum speed I have to drive to keep the back window dry?” My wife immediately intuited that “it depends on the shape of the car”, by which she meant the angle of the rear window. This insight made the original question all the more interesting to me, because it gave me an equation to plot! Are you getting excited yet?
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Sunset Street Lights

November 09, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photography, Photos 243 views

Sunset LamppostWhen I took that glorious evening walk last week, my photographic attentions were drawn particularly to the street lights that had just come on, and how their artificial light contrasted with the natural light still in the sky. So I set aside the photographs of street lights for this separate post. The whole experience of that night has taught me that I need to do more night photography, actually lugging my tripod out with me into the cool evening air. The play of street lights against buildings and sidewalks and the rest of the urban landscape is a particular itch that I hope to scratch at the earliest opportunity.
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State of the Offspring Address – November 2011

November 08, 2011 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos 230 views

Nora drawingThe big change in the offspring this month has been the transition to the Big Girl Bed. It went quite well, and she’s been very proud about sleeping in a bed and not a crib. I dismantled the crib and moved it into storage, which was sad in a “my baby’s all grown up” sense, but also because I did it on what would’ve been the due date had our second pregnancy made it to full term. Nora hasn’t really fallen out of bed yet, but she has “oozed” most of the way out several times. Since the bed is so close to the floor, I often find her sleeping with only part of her body on the bed. My hypothesis that a nightlight would provide some visual stimulus and reduce nocturnal disorientation terror seems to have been correct.
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Arguing with Rubén

November 07, 2011 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Videos 228 views

Arguing with Rubén (thumbnail)One of Nora’s favorite pastimes lately is having imaginary arguments over the phone, usually with her friends from daycare or her daycare provider, but sometimes with her grandparents. Somehow, she latched on to one poor lad named Rubén and has ceaseless fights with him “over the phone”, perhaps giving a glimpse into boy troubles that await us in adolescence. Just like when she used to pretend to yell at another daycare classmate, I suspect that this poor Rubén fellow is completely innocent of all the charges he’s being accused of on a daily, hourly, and minutely basis, but it’s seems to be all real in Nora’s mind. Unfortunately, Rubén is one of the few kids at daycare that doesn’t have a mugshot next to his cubbyhole, so I don’t even know what he looks like. He certainly has Nora’s attention, though.
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Rosana in Santander

November 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Music, Reviews, Spain 127 views

Marga with Rosana PosterTonight we went to see one of our favorite musicians, Rosana, in Santander. We saw her once before in 2007 and were absolutely floored by her genuine kindness and generosity as a performer. This time, rather than being in a venue where we could go right up to the stage if we so wished, we were in a theater, with assigned seats. Also, for some reason she was touring just before her new album comes out (later this month), so there were many songs that no one in the audience had heard before. I understand the business need to debut some new material, but the audience at a concert comes almost exclusively to hear songs they already know. She commented several times about how strange it was to sing to a crowd sitting down quietly listening.
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November 03, 2011 By: erik Category: Funny, Photos, Photoshop, Weird 521 views

FacepalmRecently I noticed a minor bump on my left hand, in the center of the palm. It itched a little, but I thought little of it. But then it kept growing, almost until it looked like a little human nose. I made a doctor’s appointment and went in to see my physician. She nodded and asked, “I don’t suppose you spend a lot of time on the internet spewing sarcasm on social networking sites, do you?” Startled by her insight, I relied, “Well, maybe a little, yeah.” “And do you use puns and wordplay excessively,” she continued, “sometimes with an awkward narrative for the sole purpose of a not-that-funny punchline?” “Yep, that’s me,” I admitted. She said, “I thought so. You’ve got a textbook case of Facepalm. I’m afraid it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
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Singing and Drinking

November 03, 2011 By: erik Category: Music, Offspring, Videos 94 views

Singing and Drinking (thumbnail)No, this isn’t a post about a night at a karaoke bar. After noticing some singing ability in Spanish, I’ve been teaching Nora some English songs. Actually, for some reason, the first song I taught her was Frí¨re Jacques in French. Lately when we sing that one, on the last line, she lifts up her shirt and touches her navel, which she calls her “ding dong” after so many doorbell jokes. The first English song was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, which she picked up pretty quickly, enjoying gesturing to the sky on the “like a diamond in the sky” line.
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Colindres High Tide Sunset

November 02, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photography, Photos, Spain 532 views

Sunset Boat in ColindresEste post es bilingí¼e para mis fans locales… Mirad después del inglés.

I’m doing this post in Spanish, too, for my local fans. So bear with me.

On Saturday, when I awoke from my nap, the missus instructed me to make a paté sandwich for my daughter’s afternoon snack, and go down to the town park where she was playing with her Spanish grandfather. I’m still not entirely sure what make me grab my camera on the way out the door, but I think I was expecting to get some cute grandfather-granddaughter playground shots. When I got to the park, they were playing on the swings, but soon there were too many kids at the playground, so we left and went for a walk…and what a beautiful walk it was! The tide was high, the sunset was beautiful and there was the tiniest sliver of a moon. I was so lucky that I’d taken my camera!
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Big Girl Bed

October 31, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos 718 views

Big Girl BedI think that perhaps we waited too long to make the transition for Nora from her crib to a real bed. Lately she has been sleeping very poorly in her crib, and it’s clear that it’s the size that is bothering her. Or at least it’s clear to me, as a larger-than-the-average-bed individual. You know those nights we all have occasionally where no matter what posture you adopt, you’re just not comfortable. As adults, we moan or sigh, but a two year old cries.
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Halloween 2011 – Pumpkin Carving with Carmen

October 30, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA 476 views

Halloween Pumpkin 2011A couple months ago, we started chatting in the street with our neighbors from three flights down, and their four-year-old daughter, Carmen, began playing with Nora. Immediately it was clear that Nora liked Carmen more than most children near her age. There was a certain je ne sais quoi chemistry between them as they giggled and chased after each other. So this year we decided to invite Carmen over for our household’s very American tradition of Halloween pumpkin carving.
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