Nora's First Christmas

December 18, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA 241 views

Christmas Tree 2009When my parents came to visit last week, they brought two suitcases, one for clothes and one for Christmas presents. So for the first time our little plastic Christmas tree looked like it should, rising up from a sea of wrapped toys and books and other goodies. In Spain (in my family at least), there is no tradition of putting presents under the tree to incite anticipatory speculation torture like we have in the United States. Here you just give the gift on Christmas or Epiphany and the wrapping paper only serves to conceal the item for about seven seconds before it is ripped open. They don’t know what they are missing.
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The Feeding Mirror

December 17, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 101 views

Grandpa feeding Nora (crop)During their visit, my parents very much enjoyed feeding their granddaughter her lunchtime vegetable puree and her afternoon fruit. Feeding Nora is one of the best times (both frustrating and adorable) I usually get to spend with her, and I delighted in the opportunity to share the experience with my folks. In my couple months of feeding her from a spoon, have found that it is pretty much impossible to feed her without opening your mouth big when you want her to do the same. It’s a natural human reflex. The fact that she has not yet reached the point where she can mimic the body movements of someone else does not stop us (me, my wife, my parents, and everyone I’ve seen feed her) from trying to will her mouth open with our own gaping jaw. It’s quite a funny phenomenon.
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Rasmussen Blanket

December 16, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, House, Offspring, Photos 105 views

Nora face cropSome years ago, Thelma, a friend of my mother’s, was traveling somewhere in the Midwestern United States and spotted this blanket. It was clearly made to celebrate or advertise a company specializing in bulldozers, backhoes, and other heavy machinery. A quick Google search would lead me to believe that it is probably for Rasmussen Equipment Company. Anyway, Thelma bought it for my mother because it had her last name on it. At some point the blanket was given to me, and I have had it in my possession for many years now. Since we moved into our house, it has been on our sofa, often pulled down on top of the sofa’s occupant(s) on chilly evenings.
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NCSSM, Class of 1996

December 14, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Nostalgia, Photos, Weird 1,002 views

North Carolina School of Science and MathematicsMy parents are visiting, and they brought a set of photos that I haven’t seen for a very long time. They are photos that I took just before and during my high school graduation from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics on June 1, 1996. Needless to say, it was quite a blast from the past. There’s nothing like a photo of the dorm room you lived in fourteen years ago to bring back a flood of memories. My time at NCSSM was definitely the peak of my academic career. Everything (i.e. a four-year bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from NC State) after that was a slow glide downhill.
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Well Informed

December 09, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 106 views

Nora with the remotesThis morning when Nora got up, I fed her breakfast and set her on the couch while I went about organizing a few things around the house. I left the room for about two minutes, and when I returned, there she was, in the same place I’d left her, with both the television and cable box remotes in her lap, watching some Spanish political pundit on the news. The television had been off when I left.
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December 07, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 85 views

thumbWhen we got home from visiting my in-laws last week, Nora was a little ball of energy. Flailing and chirping. If she could walk, she’d have been zooming around the house knocking things over. Once she calmed down a little bit, I recorded a short video of her antics. It was this behavior that lead me to tweet:

Not sure how to describe daughter’s behavior this evening, but the unit of measurement would be kilotons of TNT.

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Nuts, snails, oranges, moss, and leaves

December 04, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Damn, Nature!, Photos 143 views

Autumn BenzLast week, when I took my walk around town with my video camera, which resulted in some moving photographs, and a photo of a local fruitful business, I also took some other still photos that I like a lot. So here’s a little medley of these photos.
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Fruteria – How to open a small business

December 04, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Musings, Photos 444 views

Fruit Stand ConversationRecently a small shop in town selling decorative housewares, that had been there for the entire four years we’ve lived here, went out of business. While it was always interesting to look into their shop window, I think I only went in once, and the shopkeeper wasn’t very pleasant, so nothing was purchased. The shop was on a prime corner right in the center of town. I can’t think of a better location for a shop in town. So of course I was pretty curious as to who would jump on that choice piece of real estate. It was empty for a couple weeks, and then the painting started.
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Zoí« Keating Is Awesome

December 03, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Music, Stuff I Found, Videos 103 views

thumbFor several months now, my favorite podcast has been Are We Alone?, put out by SETI. At first one might think that a podcast from an organization that has listened to the heavens for years without hearing so much as a peep from the aliens might not have much to talk about, but it turns out that they do: astronomy, anthropology, biology, psychology, etc. It’s more about understanding how humans became what we are and extrapolating that to speculate about alien life.
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Small Town Victories

December 01, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Musings, Spain 131 views

Recently I’ve been particularly enjoying living in a small town. Many of the shopkeepers and bartenders know me, most not by name, and even some not by nationality, but they all say hello and some of the bartenders will even start preparing my drink when they see me enter.
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