Spring Rears Its Fragrant Head

March 15, 2010 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Offspring, Photos 89 views

Bring on the Spring, baby!This morning the clouds parted, the sun came out, and it was actually rather pleasant out. Not as nice as the t-shirt weather we had before the snowfall last week, but very agreeable despite the chill wind. I had taken my camera with me – something I rarely do anymore – so I was particularly attuned to the appearance of flowers around town. Spring brings so much hope for good times ahead. Below are a few photos I took along with a dash of random content thrown in for good measure.
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Sloth

March 14, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Videos 98 views

Well, Nora, here we are, less than ten days until your first birthday, and I must say that you’re a little on the slow side. Other kids that were born with you in March (or even April and May!) are pulling themselves up to a standing position, and some have a smattering of vocabulary. And you, my dear, can’t even crawl!

This is nothing new. Over the past year, you’ve shown nothing if not a chronic, systematic laziness that makes sloths look hyperactive by comparison. Pretty much ever since I cut your umbilical cord on that cool March morning, you’ve been annoyed that the world has had nothing but expectations of you to do stuff. You refused to breast feed, instead preferring to have the milk dropped into your gaping mouth requiring you only to swallow. The only thing you learned faster than your contemporaries was to turn yourself over onto your back, thus requiring less effort in the long run. Your future looks bright as a welfare mooch.
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Proporta Product Reviews

March 12, 2010 By: erik Category: Internet, Marketing, Reviews 434 views

Ted Baker Leather Case (Apple iPhone 3G Series)Several weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative of Proporta.com, a manufacturer of cases and accessories for mobile phones, asking if I would be willing to review three of their products on my blog. I’m always up for new internet experiences, so I agreed. I scanned their website to find the most expensive products that might benefit me. I found nothing over £30. I ended up choosing an Antimicrobial Silicone Case with SteriTouch for the iPhone 3G, a Ted Baker Leather iPhone 3G Case, and a Handy Travel Bundle. I chose the travel bundle because the week before I had lost my airline audio jack and I also needed a new wallet.
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Add Homonym

March 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Spanish 89 views

duckyToday during bathtime, I was trying to teach my daughter to say “hola“. I’ve decided that “hello” is more complicated because of the H sound, and a Spanish salutation is going to be more useful around town, so we’re starting with Spanish. Her big problem is that the O vowel sound still eludes her, so I make a special effort to exaggerate the O, showing the shape of my mouth when I say it. OOOOO-la!

I was repeating, “Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola…”

Rather than repeat after me, she made a big movement, pushing her body out of the water and letting it fall back, sending waves up over the edge of the tub.

“Not that kind of ola,” I said.

For, you see, the word for a wave in water is “ola“, which sounds just like the greeting with the silent H, “hola“.

Monte Real Castle in Baiona, Galicia

March 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 668 views

Harbor from castle wallsTo take a break from the 517th Annual Arrival Festival, we walked up to the Monte Real Castle that looks out over the Baiona harbor and also towards the Atlantic Ocean. It houses the Parador de Baiona, which is a ritzy four-star hotel and restaurant. A double room with a view is only 266€ per night! Their marketing video is very well done. What had been an overcast day opened up and shed sunlight on most of our visit to the little peninsula fortress. Once we got up to admire the view, we found a stone bench to sit, and then lie, down on for a short siesta in the sunshine. All that walking, wine and octopus really knocked me out. So I can honestly say that I slept at the Parador de Baiona. Cat nap over, we continued all along the castle walls. Medieval castles are a lot of fun.
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Fiesta de la Arribada – Baiona

March 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel 1,285 views

Bayona 1493On Saturday, March 6, 2010, I attended the 517th annual Fest da Arribada (“Arrival Festival” in the Galician language) in Baiona, Galicia. In the port of that small town, 517 years ago, on March 1, 1493, a boat called La Pinta returned to Spain bringing news of a New World to the west, filled with bizarre mostly naked humans, corn, potatoes, peppers, tobacco, tequila and cowboys. It was the first of Christopher Columbus’ ships to return, and, should your childhood textbooks be believed (they absolutely should not!), the first proof that the Earth was not round. Normally Spaniards need little to no provocation to have a celebration, so there’s been no stopping this party for half a millennium!
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Vigo

March 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Travel 463 views

Octopus PlateThis past weekend, we went to Vigo, Galicia, on the Atlantic coast of Spain near the Portugal border. On Thursday morning, we got up early, left The Wee One with my in-laws, and drove seven hours west to the province of Galicia. That afternoon, I worked like normal, feeling extra worldly burning a charred spot on a hotel desk with my laptop, while Marga studied for a test about Project Management or some such thing. On Friday morning, she went to take her test and I worked all morning, except for when I when I went out for a brief cafe con leche and a palmera pastry for breakfast. Friday afternoon, I worked some more and then went out to meet Marga and walk around the city.
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Patética Fonética Debut

March 02, 2010 By: erik Category: Colindres, Funny, Spain, Videos 559 views

Native Speaker of U.S. EnglishLast month, I was asked to participate, as a native English speaker, in a videocast from the local language school, Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Laredo, about English pronunciation. The man who filmed me and is the brain of the whole videocast, Rodolfo, is really annoyed at his students’ (and, in general, all Spaniards’) lack of care when pronouncing English words. Rather uniquely, Rodolfo has specifically chosen American English as his pronunciation goal; he has worked really hard, and his pronunciation is superb. This is the third installment in his videocast. Here are the first and second.
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February Hurricane

February 27, 2010 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Damn, Nature!, Scary, Spain 185 views

23 C in FebruaryThe weather today has been very, very odd. Everyone is using the word huracán for what is in store for us tonight. Nora and I spent much of the afternoon outside in the unseasonably warm temperatures and brisk breeze. We saw several dumpsters that had been tied down to keep them in place. There were a few strange occurrences, such as when it rained from a perfectly blue sky.
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Drug Deal

February 26, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Politics, Spain 143 views

The other day I took Nora to the doctor to get her cough and recurring fever looked at. Actually I went in just to get an appointment, but as soon as the receptionist heard the F-word, she passed me right along to the pediatric waiting area. Eventually the doctor saw us, probed and prodded a screaming Nora, and gave us a prescription for a cough and fever medicine. We headed straight for the farmacia.
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