Agriculturally Inclined Neighbors

September 08, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, Religion, Spain, USA 314 views

Agriculturally Inclined Neighbors (crop, no pun intended)Today a neighbor of mine whispered some gossip in my ear about something he’d seen on another neighbor’s balcony. I was surprised that I had not discovered this gossip on my own, since it’s about the balcony that we have the best view of from our own and was the source of my most viewed photo on Flickr. Apparently, in the evenings, our young neighbor can be seen carefully spraying and lovingly caring for a plant on his balcony. I’ve heard that this guy had kind of a wild youth, so his parents must be very proud that he’s working so hard on his gardening project.
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Shrinking Clothes

September 07, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Offspring, Photos 336 views

I support my parents' political beliefsWe’re going to a wedding this weekend, so I had to try on my wedding suit. I found the pants to be a little tighter than they were three years ago at my wedding. Sigh…

Only the very biggest clothes that Nora had last year are going to get any use this year. Today she put on her “I support my parents’ political beliefs”, from The Onion Store. It fit her perfectly.
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The Private Internet

September 06, 2010 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Reviews 344 views

AOLbookRemember back in 1995, when companies didn’t advertise their internet urls so much, but their AOL keywords. “Find us online with AOL keyword ‘fluffy anvils’!” The reason this worked is that so many people connected to the internet via AOL that some people never even ventured out into the world wide web, but kept their entire online experience confined to AOL’s private servers. Corporations had, and I presume paid handsomely for, their own AOL pages.
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The Proper Way To Hold A Baby

September 06, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Videos 366 views

Nora with baby dollThrough our loving parenting, Nora has developed a natural understanding about how to treat a baby. Since her grandparents bought her a toy stroller and a baby doll to go in it, she has spent much time pushing the baby around the house and feeding it with the toy bottle that came with it and fits into its mouth. I have to wonder if she is modeling her behavior after her parents, and thus understands that she is the baby in normal life, or if she is mimicking how she has seen other parents treat other babies.

Yesterday I set her on her special chair that is still a little too high for her to sit on herself and gave her one of her baby dolls. She immediately began doing cute things with it, so I grabbed a video camera.
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Loitering

September 03, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Videos 106 views

Resting (crop)Yesterday we were running ahead of schedule, so Nora and I took a leisurely stroll to her daycare. She walked about halfway there, which is only about 150 meters. I can see just how slow traveling on foot with a toddler is going to be. Normally when we walk somewhere, she has to run her hand along every filthy surface along the way. Yesterday, she thought it would be a good idea to clean off a dusty ledge with the front of her dress and face.
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iPad Photoshop Fun

September 02, 2010 By: erik Category: Experiments, Geeky, Photos, Photoshop 211 views

Heron iPad FramebreakRecently the iPad has been a source of inspiration for my photoshop creativity. Since it functions so well as a photoframe, it seemed only natural to use it as a frame for frame breaking. I also must admit to being astonished that I seem to be the first person to see its pristine reflective glass as a place to put an ice skater. It seems so natural to me. Here are my first two attempts at iPad photoshoppery.
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Batalla de Flores 2010

August 30, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos 350 views

Batalla de Flores 2010Parking in nearby beach tourist town, Laredo, is really a nightmare in July and August, especially for those of us that go there year round. But never is the parking problem worse than on the last Friday of August, when Laredo hosts their famous Batalla de Flores (Flower Battle), a parade of floats with 100% real flowers. So this year we came up with a parking strategy.

I’ve been walking a lot lately, so we decided that I would drive the car to Laredo in the morning, park it as close to the downtown parade site as possible, and then walk back home. I took Nora with me since she isn’t any extra work on walks (when bribed with cookies), but she is a handful to care for around the house. Then, at 17:00, we set out walking to Laredo. Immediately the sky began to look ominous, and about halfway there, it began to rain. We managed to find a little shelter and soon the rain slowed and then stopped. We got there late for the initial lap (for the judges to see the floats), but we caught the entire second lap (for the awards to be given) and a little of the third lap (for the awards to be paraded, literally, around the town).
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Sugar High

August 29, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 104 views

Sugar High (freeze frame)Ever since migrating back north after her three week hiatus in southern Spain, there has been something very peculiar about Nora, besides being able to walk: it has been an absolute pleasure putting her to bed at night. Only the very tip top of her consciousness protests the day’s end. She cries when we shut the door and turn out the light, but only as long as the air in her lungs from the previous breath lasts. She totally understands what being put in the crib means. Tonight I forgot to take off her shoes before putting her in the crib, and she was already lying down with her head on the pillow by the time I bent down to take them off her. It’s really super-eerie for her parents, who remember her lasting up to and past the ninety minute mark of bedtime wailing. I suspect the phrase, “She never ceases to surprise me,” will only become more and more true in the coming years.
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Watching Eva

August 27, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 102 views

Watching EvaToday, my internet friend, Andrea, posted a video of her daughter, Eva, who is three months older than Nora, exhibiting one of the most annoying toddler behaviors: dropping whatever cute thing she is doing and coming to examine the video camera her parent has clutched so importantly. It’s a very reasonable thing to do, but awfully frustrating for the documentarian. While I was playing the video, Nora heard Eva talking and entered my office. So I propped her up on my desk and showed her the video. The resulting video (captured with my new HD-recording iPhone 4) reminds me a little of the green screen game they play on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, where one improv “contestant” is placed in front of a green screen and has to guess, from the commentary of the other contestants what is going on behind him.
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Buying an iPhone 4 in Spain

August 27, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Geeky, Spain 13,433 views

iPhone 4 32GBI was one of the first owners of an iPhone in Spain, buying my iPhone 3G on July 14, 2008. Just a couple weeks ago, almost two months after the launch in the United States, the iPhone 4 began to be announced in the local mobile shops. In 2008, I paid 359€ for my phone, a decision I do not at all regret. So I was pretty much prepared for a similar amount of cash to be exchanged for my upgrade two years later. Here’s what happened when I bought my iPhone 4 yesterday:
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