A Walk Around Colindres

April 28, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Spain, Timelapse, Videos 280 views

thumbEver since I knew I would be a father, and even before we bought a stroller, I’ve wanted to make a video like this one. I’m really quite enamored with my adopted town here in Spain. It’s a wonderful size, it’s got all the amenities you could need (stores, bars, restaurants, etc.) and has some picturesque vistas. After living here for four years, we have walked down every street, and several dozen of the 8000ish residents greet us as we walk around town. There’s no doubt that, should we ever move, I will miss this place. So I’ve really made this video for me to remember Colindres by in the future, but it also serves to show my curious readers the kind of atmosphere we have here.
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Conversation With My Bank

April 27, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Funny 1,412 views

This is the transcript of an actual conversation that I had today with a representative at the international wire transfer call center of my bank. Behold the idiocy:

Agent: Would you like to initiate an international wire transfer today?

Me: Yes.

Agent: Can I have your account number and the destination account number?

Me: Yes. It’s [REDACTED].

Agent: Okay, how much would you like to transfer?

Me: What’s the maximum I can send?

Agent: I’m sorry, sir, I cannot tell you that. Only your local branch manager can discuss that with you.

Me: Okay, so I would like to transfer $X.

Agent: I’m sorry, sir, that is above your maximum.

Me: So you won’t tell me my maximum, but you will tell me if any quantity I tell you is above or below my maximum?

Agent: You tell me how much you want to transfer, and I will enter it in the system and see if it lets you.

Me: You’ve got to be kidding me. Okay, how about $X-Y?

Agent: One moment… Yes, you can transfer that amount.

Me: Okay, so it would be safe to say that my maximum transfer limit is between X-Y and X, correct?

Agent: I’m sorry, sir, I can’t tell you that.

Me: Whatever. I don’t have time to slowly increment the amount until we find the maximum. Just send $X-Y.

Agent: Okay, your confirmation number is [REDACTED]. Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Me: No. Bye.

Inactivity Mat

April 27, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Timelapse, Videos 129 views

Marga’s coworkers gave us an “activity mat” as a present when Nora was born. It’s one of these things where you put the baby on the floor and toys dangle above her and she spends hours and hours getting visual, tactile, and aural stimulation. At the moment, however, Nora’s brain hasn’t formed the neural connection between her body and the outside world stimulating her nerves. I just don’t think she understands that she is an object in the 3D world she is perceiving. Like a guy with a virtual reality helmet on who forgot or doesn’t know to put on the gloves to interact with the virtual environment, Nora spends most of her time gazing in wonder at the world around her. All of her behaviors that seem like she’s grabbing for something or pushing something away, I think, are still instinctual reflexes. The only “activity” Nora partakes in involves either the beginning, middle, or end of her digestive tract. Thus, the activity mat remains a future activity. Yesterday, however, she clearly expressed an interest in lying on a flat surface so she could stretch her long legs and arms, so we pulled out the activity mat, sans dangly bits, and plopped her down on it. For almost an hour, she was delighted to lie there and kick at the air.
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One Month Old

April 24, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos 911 views

One Month OldToday you turned one month old, Nora. You had a doctor’s appointment first thing in the morning. You’ve gained 500 grams (1 lb 2 oz) and are now 3.6 kg and 53 cm (you were 3.3 kg and 51 cm when you were born). After the doctor’s visit, which included a hepatitis vaccine, your mother went to her beauty salon to schedule a leg waxing and a manicure, and the beautician took one look at your fingernails and immediately offered to cut them for us. We’ve been waiting out of caution (but mostly fear) until you were a month old. Surprisingly, you protested very little. Just so we’re clear, on your one month birthday, you got a professional manicure!

After that it was a walk through the town market (a Friday event). We bought you three pairs of 3-month-old pajamas because you are quickly outgrowing your newborn ‘jammies. One woman from a fruit stand came out from behind her stand to coo at you and talk to us about her experience as a 40-year-old first-time mother and tell us the rest of her life story. Then I picked up some meat, bread, birthday candles, and some pastries, while your mother and aunt ran home to exchange a rug they had bought at the market the previous week. You and I got home before they did and you bawled your eyes out until I could give you warm milk. The adults ate lunch, and then it was time for your birthday party. Read the rest of this entry →

Lucky Shoes

April 23, 2009 By: erik Category: Golf, Offspring, Photos 370 views

Lucky ShoesAunt Belén bought these for you when she visited Dublin last year, as well as some onesies, one of which says “I am a happy spotted snake,” or something similar. These little socks dressed up to look like shoes are already too small for you, and you’ve only worn them once. The problem with baby socks is that so many baby trousers have the feet built into them, so the socks rarely get used. But we put them on you and took this picture because they’re so cute. I suspect they might be reassigned as golf ball warmers, as they seem to be the perfect size for that. Yes, it’s important to keep your balls warm, especially on a cold day. It’s okay to snicker.
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Grandma Marce

April 21, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Photos 268 views

Grandma MarceFor eleven days this Easter, your grandparents, Juan and Marce came to live with us. They spent most of their time taking you for long walks around town. Once, down at the port, you were all watching the fishermen come in and unload tons and tons of fish. Someone who your grandfather had met at a bar the night before offered him a couple fresh fish (to eat it any fresher, you’d have to cook it on the boat!) because, well, your grandfather is the kind of guy that those things happen to. Your grandmother mainly busied herself with preparing food every day, cleaning the house, and doing load after load of laundry…because we do laundry every day since you arrived!

Yesterday, on your grandmother’s 59th birthday, she went back to her house, 90 minutes away in Mondragon. From the amount of tears she shed when leaving you behind, any bystander would have thought she was terminally ill or going to live on another continent. Both your Spanish grandparents absolutely adore you and spent several hours a day during their stay watching you twitch and grunt…which is what I expect your American grandparents will do when they visit next month. Heck, they already do via streaming video. Read the rest of this entry →

A Moment in Time at IWUS Headquarters

April 20, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Stuff I Found, Videos, Weird 133 views

This video represents a snapshot of what it’s like at the IWUS International Headquarters all the time.

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What I want in a Twitter client

April 17, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Geeky, Internet 198 views

Foul Owl?It’s really simple. I want my contacts organized in groups, just like any RSS client. When I open up my Twitter client, I want to go directly to my friends’ new tweets before reading my celebrity or news tweets. I care more about jagosaurus or sgazzetti are up to than what celebrities like Wil Wheaton or Penn Jillette or John Hodgman are doing. And I want an unread count for each group, like most RSS readers give. The total unread count should be shown in the dock icon.
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Quarter Included For Scale

April 16, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos 216 views

Quarter Included For Scale (cropped)Now that I’ve grown accustomed to her, my infant daughter no longer looks very small to me. But everyone else that sees her can’t help but remark how minute and doll-like she is. It occurs (and was suggested) to me that, as she grows up, I will surely forget just how tiny she originally was. So I’ve tried to take some photos that will remind me, and surprise her, about just how small she really was at a few weeks old. Unless the economy goes really bad in the next few years, she will know what a US quarter looks like and be able to compare her body parts to one in the future.
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Nora's First iPod

April 15, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Offspring, Reviews 382 views

iNoraNora, yesterday we received a package from your Rasmussen grandparents. In it were a few toys, some bedtime story books, a lovely blanket, and, at your three week birthday, your initiation into Apple Geekdom: an iPod Shuffle. I had never seen one of the new talking Shuffles, so I was rather perplexed by the earring-box-sized plastic box with an Apple logo on it. The card with it said, “Tell Daddy to load this with some good tunes.” Once again, I am awestruck by the sheer aesthetic beauty of Apple’s products. This thing, like it’s new owner, is absolutely adorable! It’s smaller than either of my two USB pen drives and weighs so little that you can’t tell at all when it’s clipped to your clothing.
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