Return to Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

June 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Wine

Coconut and pineapple ravioli with passionfruitWhen our friends Simon and Paola were visiting last week from Brussels, we wanted to show off our local cuisine. As you can see from Simon’s blog, they are fine dining hobbyists, taking advantage of their location in Brussels to try as many Michelin Star restaurants as they can. After I visited them and they took me out to one of Brussels’ finest establishments, the fine dining bug bit me as well. It really is a fun experience.

After I visited them in October, I took my wife out to our local Michelin Star establishment, Restaurante Solana, and we were wowed, especially my wife, who had been dubious about the whole thing. So naturally we wanted to take Simon and Paola to Restaurante Solana to show off what Cantabria has to offer.
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Transatlantic Movie Marathon – February 2013

February 14, 2013 By: erik Category: Reviews

American In Spain On A PlaneSince moving to a different continent from my family more than a decade ago, I have become quite an expert on how my body reacts to jet lag and being confined to an airline seat for 7-9 hours. The method that works best for me is to not even attempt sleep, but instead, especially now that most transatlantic jets have personal video monitors and video on demand, to sit and watch movies for the duration of the flight. This time I was traveling alone and had my full attention to give to the video monitor, and I managed to get through seven movies.

I have arranged them in order from worst to best according to my personal opinion.
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Mayumana: Racconto Review

January 04, 2013 By: erik Category: Dancing, Photos, Reviews, Videos

Mayumana MomentumOn December 29, we went to a show at the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao called Mayumana: Racconto. It’s a dance troupe from Tel Aviv, Israel that involves a lot of rhythmic percussion in their act. I was looking forward to it, because I’ve seen and very much enjoyed both Blue Man Group and Stomp. I must say that Mayumana left me a bit disappointed.
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Binary Clock

December 07, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Ireland, Marketing, Photos, Programming, Reviews

Binary ClockLast Christmas, after seeing me express some coveting interest in a geeky product on the internet, my parents gave me a binary clock. Part of what I love about it is that it reminds me of the very first circuit (with a chip) that I made in my high school electronics class. We had a breadboard – that’s a board with lots of holes to push wires into to connect them, not something to serve a cheese platter on – and a timer chip, a counter chip, a battery, some LEDs, and some wires to connect them. Sure enough, they started blinking and counting in binary! It’s sort of the Hello World of computer engineering.
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Transatlantic Movie Marathon – 5 Movie Reviews

November 27, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Reviews

American In Spain On A PlaneDuring my recent Thanksgiving pond hop, I had the opportunity to watch several movies during my 16.5 hours of air travel over the ocean. I was impressed with the selection available, with a few dozen older classics and about twenty “new releases”. With so many movies fresh in my memory, I figure I should tell you about them.
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Learning Lytro – Light Field Camera Review

November 13, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photography, Photos, Reviews

LytroI had never heard of a “light field” camera until I began hearing marketing buzz about the Lytro camera last year. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t really understand how the technology works. I have a pretty good layman’s grasp of how normal lens optics work to focus an image onto film or a CCD sensor, and how and why focusing at a certain depth works, but the “light field” camera concept still seems a bit like magic. They say that it captures not only the intensity and color of the light hitting each sensor pixel, but the direction of said photon as well. Huh? And somehow this magically allows the focal length (what depth in the image is in focus) to be modified after the moment has been captured, just like they do in Hollywood movies and television where a detective tells a lab geek to “enhance this area of the photograph here” and they can now magically read the perp’s license plate. Like I said, it still seems a bit like magic, but it really, really works.
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I wonder where that plane is going

February 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Travel

Plane Finder ARI’ve had my iPhone 4 for almost two years now, and it’s been at least six months since an app has really wowed me. The last one was surely Word Lens, the app that lets you point your phone at some foreign text, and it translates it right there on the screen for you. Okay, to be honest, Word Lens is quite a bit more technologically mind-blowing than the app I’m about to tell you about, but it’s been a while since I’ve pulled anyone over to say, “Hey, look what my phone can do!”
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Pickin’ and Trimmin’ – A Barbershop Documentary

December 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Music, Reviews, USA, Videos

Pickin' and Trimmin'In 2007, Matt Morris, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, directed a short film about a barber shop near where I grew up. One of the owners of the shop, David Shirley, the well spoken gentleman with the full head of white hair in the movie, is the father of one of my best friends and guitar mentor, Phil Shirley. The movie does an excellent job of capturing a dying southern American small town bluegrass culture.
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Roomba Eye View

September 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Experiments, House, Reviews, Videos, Weird

Roomba

Just over a year ago, in May of 2010, we bought Roomba. We had two recommendations from friends, so we splurged the 300€ and bought a robot to vacuum our floors. Initially it seemed pricy, but it’s some of the best 300€ we’ve ever spent. As my wife said to me soon after we bought it…

I think I like the Roomba. It doesn’t clean as well as I do, but it cleans about as well as you do.

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Los Cronocrímenes – Timecrimes

May 09, 2011 By: erik Category: Reviews, Spain, Weird


Several weeks ago, I got an email from my Uncle Neil recommending a movie to me. He had previously recommended Primer to me, which I loved and watched several times to catch all the intricacies of the time travel, so I had high expectations. Timecrimes is a low budget Spanish film shot here in Cantabria, my region of Spain. If you look at any of the movie posters or trailer (I recommend not watching the spoiler-laden trailer), you might get the idea that it’s a horror flick with a bloody-bandage-wearing scissor-wielding homicidal maniac, but it’s really not at all. It’s more about an average man trying to outsmart himself.
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