The Chupinazo – July 6th, Noon

July 06, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Spain 1,379 views

Watching the ChupinazoToday was the chupinazo, the big party and celebration that marks the beginning of the week-long San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. Marga and I have been to San Fermin twice, and we are fans of the festival. The chupinazo is also important to us because, exactly one year ago today, on July 6, 2008, right around noon, the two gametes, each containing half of my daughter’s DNA, fused together to form the strand of DNA that has guided the creation of a new human being. It’s amazing what that little cell turned into in only one year.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2009

July 06, 2009 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, USA 424 views

July 4th PartySince moving abroad, I have begun a family tradition of eating hamburgers on the fourth of July as sort of a homage to my homeland. To Europeans, the hamburger is the quintessential American food. Like all stereotypes, this one is also false. I suspect that if you surveyed random Americans, less than 20% would name hamburgers as being “the most American food”. But I make a damn good burger, and I don’t mind feeding the stereotype a little bit.

Like last year, we invited some friends over for a little hamburgerfest.
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Breaking and Entering

July 05, 2009 By: erik Category: House, Photos, Spain 723 views

Break InSomeone broke into our house today when no one was home. The intruder climbed perilously over a wall (six stories up!) separating our balcony from the neighbors’, smashed through the glass of our balcony door, cutting his hand in the process, and climbed into our house. We found glass all over the kitchen floor.
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Clay Keepsake – Three Months Old

July 02, 2009 By: erik Category: Art, Family, Funny, Offspring, Photos, Timelapse, Videos 484 views

Handprints - 3 MonthsA friend of my parents gave us a “clay keepsake” gift. I had never heard of such a thing, but the value was immediately obvious to someone who has photographed his infant daughter’s body with a quarter for scale. The idea is that you flatten out some “clay” (really some kind of space-age polymer), press your kid’s hands into it, place it in the oven (the clay, not the kid), and what you get is a keepsake that will let you remember the size of your child’s hands at the time of the molding. Including the 15 minutes in the oven, the box announced that the whole process “takes only 20 minutes from start to finish!” Yeah, right…
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Bill Shannon – Dancing on Crutches

July 01, 2009 By: erik Category: Dancing, Stuff I Found, Videos 373 views

thumbA tweet by Ze Frank got me watching some videos of Bill Shannon. On crutches from a disability for most of his childhood, he has invented a new style of dance. Ze, as usual, summarized it perfectly with only one word: Inspiring.
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Stuff I Seen – June 2009

June 30, 2009 By: erik Category: Uncategorized 194 views

Like the “Stuff I Thunk” series, the “Stuff I Seen” series relays information from my brain into my blog, only the SIS series is narrowed down to thoughts provoked by stimulus from my visual cortex. Let us begin, shall we?
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Stuff I Thunk – June 2009

June 30, 2009 By: erik Category: Musings 241 views

Not so much thunk as overheard on American Dad:

Heisenburg‘s wife was unhappy because when her husband had the time, he didn’t have the energy. And when he had the position, he didn’t have the momentum!

Not a lot of quantum physics sex jokes out there, I’m guessing…but then I don’t work at CERN.

You know you’ve been thinking too hard about parenting when…. I dreamt that the entire human population was preparing to switch over from a “bad behavior is punished and good behavior is ignored” system of government and law enforcement to a “bad behavior is ignored and good behavior is rewarded” system. I was a senior member of the team that was outlining guidelines and getting everyone ready. I was in charge of the department dealing with traffic laws. For some reason, because this was such a huge paradigm shift, we were all changing the side of the road we drove on. Sounds like the doings of Supreme Leader Obama and his fascist communist regime.

I wonder what percentage of YouTube videos are still viewed using a cathode ray tube, the technology that the video sharing site took its name from. If it’s higher than 2%, I’d be surprised.

The Flickr iPhone web interface is absolutely outstanding! It should be used as an example for anyone designing a website for handheld devices. I am consistently impressed with the simplicity and intuitiveness of using Flickr on my iPhone. There are several Flickr iPhone apps and none of them come close to the ease of Flickr’s own web interface in Safari for browsing photos. The native apps are only good for (and are required for) uploading.

Foosball

June 29, 2009 By: erik Category: Soccer 554 views

Foosball Player (cropped)One thing I learned when I moved to Europe is that I really, really suck at foosball. The pub culture in Denmark, England and Spain has resulted in a very high average foosball skill level of any 20-40-year-old you find in a bar. I can probably beat the majority of ten-year-olds, but any older than that and you should bet on my opponent. This one foosball table at my in-laws social club always attracts my eye. I love the worn look of the wooden players. What better subject to play around with aperture and depth of field?
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Even More Nora Clothes

June 26, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos 538 views

Silly GirlNora continues to look faaaa-bulous in all her new clothes. Today she hit a milestone: she had her first real laugh. She’s been smiling a lot more lately, but this was an actual “ha ha” giggle. Needless to say, her mother and I were overcome with joy. I think the reason that it’s so difficult to capture a laugh or smile in a photograph or video is that, aside from pleasure gained from digestive tract pressure release, she requires a true eye-to-eye human connection to smile at the moment. The camera breaks that connection. Not to mention the Pavlovian punishment of a big flash in the face whenever she comes close to a smile…
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Three Months Old

June 24, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Partying, Photos 710 views

Three Months OldToday is a big day. First of all, it’s Saint John’s Day (San Juan), which is a holiday in many, many Spanish towns and cities, including León, Mondragón and Colindres. San Juan is a thinly veiled pagan solstice celebration including local witch-burning bonfires. So all the shops are closed and everyone (except me) is off work today.

Secondly, later today there will be a fíºtbol match between Spain and the United States of America. I plan on taking my miniature American flag to a local bar to get ridiculed. Nora, being half-Spanish and half-American, will have allegiance issues. I’ve already made a bet for a beer with a friend, and he gave me a one-goal spread. Sounds expected to leave my mouth this afternoon: USA! USA! USA! Awwww…

Thirdly, Nora turned three months old today. Naturally we had another party. This time she was fully awake, but no where near fully aware. At her three-month checkup the other day she was only at the 10th percentile of weight. This means she needs to start eating more or risk getting beaten up by the other kids on the playground.
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