The Rasmussen Harmonica Trio

January 16, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Music, Offspring, Videos 113 views

Rasmussen Harmonica TrioDuring our visit to the States in October 2014, Nora and Ian had a lot of fun playing the harmonica with their Grandpa Paul. Nora is about as good as I am, just blowing and sucking, but little 17-month-old Ian was even better, bending notes and moving the harmonica around to change notes. Their performance was quite impressive, although they need a smidge more practice before they sign a record deal. Still, it was exciting to see them before they become famous.
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Sam the Westie

January 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos 138 views

Sam Face 1My parents’ west highland terrier, Sam, passed away this morning in his sleep at the vet’s office. He’s been blind and deaf for a couple years now. But he was very loved for fifteen long years.

I pulled Nora into my office today, which is more or less the equivalent of Christmas Day here in Spain, and told her that I had some sad news. When I told her that Sam had died, she understood immediately, and the corners of her mouth fell like stones, nearly breaking my heart. Before she could think about it more, I hugged her and sent her back to watch cartoons.
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State of the Offspring Address – December 2014

December 29, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 124 views

Santa NoraYet another calendar year is coming to a close. The offspring are doing well. They have been at their grandparents’ house for the past week, enjoying the Christmas festivities. Nora has totally bought into the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus and the Magi Kings. It sounds like they talk about that a lot at school. She has not even a sliver of doubt that the myths might not be 100% true. Occasionally she will ask how Santa Claus can do X or Y, but we feign ignorance or defer to “magic”, and that is more than enough explanation.
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Drone Terrorism: Coming to Skies Near You!

December 23, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Scary, USA 47 views

QuadcopterUnmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is advancing incredibly rapidly. For several years now, I’ve been a fan of the Team BlackSheep YouTube channel, which regularly displays seriously impressive videos from the point of view of their drones, zooming around places that no manned aircraft could do. It’s about as close to a first person perspective from Peter Pan or Superman that we all imagine as you can find on the internet.
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La Otra Carta – Horrible Spanish IKEA Ad

December 18, 2014 By: erik Category: Complaining, Internet, Marketing, Videos 352 views

Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, has released a commercial in Spain that has quickly gone viral around El Internet. It’s meant to be a tearjerker, and it is, if you suspend all your critical faculties and ignore the underlying message. It only came to my attention because my daughter’s kindergarten teacher played it for all the parents of her students during a parent-teacher meeting yesterday. Some of the more intelligent parents questioned her motives, and rightly so. I’ll run you through it…
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Facebook to Introduce Enemies List

December 12, 2014 By: erik Category: Funny, Geeky, Internet 154 views

Zuckerberg-QA-2MENLO PARK, CA – At a press conference and Q&A session held at Facebook’s corporate headquarters in California today, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of the biggest and most important social network in history, admitted that there may be plans to release a new feature of the website: The Enemies List.
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iOS Game Review

December 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Geeky, Reviews, Videos 54 views

Download on the App StoreI go through ebbs and flows of iOS gaming. As my previous iPhone 4 slowly aged into oblivion, I weaned myself off of gaming, and I’ve since been reluctant to start back. I used to play quite a bit of the FIFA games, although they have messed with the controls, and I have sort of lost interest. Plus, the local team, Racing Santander, has dropped into the third division, which is not covered by EA Sports (It’s in the game!).
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Tarkarí – The Best Restaurant in Colindres

December 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Food, Photos, Spain, Travel 109 views

TarKaríDue to a lucky bit of childlessness this weekend, my wife and I were finally able to try the best restaurant in town, which opened less than a year ago, I think. It’s a place called Tarkarí. The name comes from an Indian curry, the chef is Venezuelan, but the food is Italian, although perhaps the chef might prefer the word “fusion”. The logo proclaims “gastroart”, and the logo looks like it was drawn by my one year old son; how delightfully pretentious! The chef explained to me that the vegetable curry called tarkari was introduced to the Caribbean during British occupation, eventually made its way from the islands to Venezuela, and somewhere along the way baby goat was added to make the, now typical, Venezuelan dish called tarkarí de chivo. Perhaps it’s this cultural culinary fusion that lead the chef to name his restaurant after it. Plus, it’s a pretty cool word.
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Karpin Abentura – Basque Mountain Zoo and Dinosaur Park

December 06, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos 160 views

Dinosaur FootEver since my daughter’s preschool class took a field trip there two years ago, Karpin Abentura has been on our list of places to take the kids for a day. A couple Sundays ago we finally pulled the trigger and went there. It was a lot closer than we thought, only a thirty minute drive away, straight up into the mountains. It’s just across the border in the Vizcaya, in the Basque Country.
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Spanish Ham Mites: Entomology and Jamón Ibérico

December 05, 2014 By: erik Category: Food, Scary, Science, Spain 527 views

Yesterday, with the entire family – the children were forbidden for solstice myth reasons – digging around in our storage room to find the missing Christmas tree legs, we ended up finding another leg that we’d bought this past summer, a leg of Iberian Ham, or jamón ibérico. We sliced off a few slices for dinner last night.

This morning, I glanced at the ham and noticed some little white dots on the open meat. Upon closer inspection, I realized that they were moving. Ugh.
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