Taking A Stand

May 22, 2010 By: erik Category: Uncategorized 104 views

thumbToday, Nora and her mother were playing the cutest game, with Nora, who already understands about telephones, “dialing” the phone and handing it to her mother, who would pretend to talk for a bit and then hand it back. I said, “Keep doing that, I’m going to get the camera!” And when I got back, they were still at it. Adorable footage captured. Yay.

But what no one was expecting was what came next!
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Weekend Flowers

May 21, 2010 By: erik Category: Photos 167 views

FlowersThis morning I got up at 4:45 to take my parents to the Bilbao airport. I was back home by 6:45, just in time for Marga to go off to work. I snuck in an hour of sleep until Nora woke up at 8:00 wanting breakfast. Her snot-encrusted philtrum was a pitiful sight. She’s been suffering from a sniffly mucusfest of a cold for the past two days, the poor thing.

About mid-morning, I put her in her crib for a few minutes (she immediately stood up) while I ran around the house doing some errands, and when I came back, she had taken her pants off. Today was hotter than it has been recently, so I understood her motivation. Still, it’s shocking when she accomplishes things like that. Oh, and she also turned over a chair in the dining room today while in her walker.

To help begin a relaxing weekend, I thought I’d share some flower photos I took a few weeks ago. Enjoy… Read the rest of this entry →

Birthday Mariscada

May 20, 2010 By: erik Category: Family, Food, Photos, Spain 685 views

Paul with his Crab FeastYesterday was my father’s 61st birthday. Ever since we celebrated his sixtieth birthday last May by eating a mariscada at a local restaurant, he has been planning on/hoping for/not-so-subtly requesting a repeat celebration this year. A mariscada is a platter of marisco, which generally translates to “seafood” in English, but usually specifically refers only to shellfish. The region of Galicia is very famous for its marisco, but the mariscada we had in Vigo was a big let down after that of our local restaurant, El Guti, which is where we dined last night. The restaurant is owned by a friend of ours, José Luis. Now, on to the photos… Read the rest of this entry →

iPad for a 13-month-old

May 17, 2010 By: erik Category: Geeky, Offspring, Parenting 779 views

Nora using her iPadMy father has an excellent story about reading an editorial in Creative Computing magazine once about how children could comprehend and do useful things on personal computers. The author of the article had a four year old that knew about games and how to use the keyboard, etc. My father wrote another editorial letter for the magazine, about me, that went roughly like this:
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Jewel Thief

May 16, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Videos 104 views

thumbToday, for the first time, I found Nora standing in her crib by herself. And then later I witnessed two such rises to bipedalism. However I highly suspect that yesterday was the first day she ever stood up in her crib by herself. Let me explain…
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May 10, 2010 By: erik Category: News, Offspring 123 views

Slam Dunk!Nora said her first word today, at an age of 13 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days. She’s a little behind the curve, but then she’s behind a lot of curves. And what most parents consider a word, I don’t. For me, for a baby to have said a word, it needs to occur within proper context, and only within that context.

Nora’s been voicing phonemes that sometimes make words by chance for a while now. It doesn’t count if she says “mama” or “dada” when she sees her mother or father if she continues to say it when she is by herself or seeing another object or person that doesn’t have that name. She’s been doing that for months, but it’s not clear that she understands that the sounds have specific meanings. She could say pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, but if we’re not talking about coal miners, lungs or silicate dust, then it’s just out of context jibberish.
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May 08, 2010 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos 126 views

Sudsy NoraLast Friday, after a 12+ hour day at work, Marga decided to have a rare relaxing bath. When she was almost done, Nora’s bath time was approaching, so we decided to throw her in there too. It was way more soap bubbles than she’s ever seen. The following are a set of photos I took as she was exploring her soapy environment. She was in a child bath seat, but you’d never know that from the photos, as the surface of the water was opaque with bubbles.
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Tax Deductible

May 07, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics 130 views

The more I research retirement savings plans, college savings plans, and think about my investment portfolio, the more I come across the phrase “tax deductible” or “tax free”. My 401K contributions come out of my untaxed gross salary. The interest gains of my IRA are not taxed. Up to $2500 of my contributions to my daughters college fund are tax deductible. In the US, up to $3000 of stock market losses are tax deductible. Think about what that means. You can lose up to $3000, and the government covers your losses, making your final total the equivalent of someone who did not play the market at all. It’s almost like every American being given $3000 of poker chips to be played on the stock market every year. The term “tax deductible” is like “free money from the government…if you know how to use it”.
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After so much everything for nothing

May 06, 2010 By: erik Category: Art, Colindres, Spain, Spanish 177 views

VidaOn today’s walk I went down a street I don’t normally use and found a bronze plaque I had never noticed. On it was a poem by José Hierro, one of Spain’s twentieth century poets. He was born in Madrid, but then moved to Cantabria, the region where I live, when he was two years old. I don’t know about Hierro’s philosophy, but this particular poem is quite nihilistic. It’s also just the length and has just the right amount of wordplay that I like in poems. What do you think?
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Bovine Anatomy Lesson

May 05, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain 1,532 views

Sleepy CowThis morning during my daily visit to the grocery store, my friend, neighbor and butcher, Bruno, had something to show me. Normally he doesn’t get whole calves to sell, but today he did. When I was there, he was in the process of carving out the kidneys, heart, and other parts (it was a male calf). If you don’t want to see the insides of dead things or my local butcher, look away now.
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