Grandpa Ramón's 87th Birthday

June 26, 2007 By: erik Category: Family, Mondragon, Photos 2,597 views

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On Saturday, we got up, packed our bags, and drove to Mondragón to celebrate Grandpa Ramón’s 87th birthday.

That’s a lot of years. It’s easy to calculate people’s ages when they’re born in a year divisible by 10.


It’s not a prime number. Since the sum of its digits is divisible by 3, 87 is also divisible by 3.


The numbers had to be moved to the cake that had the “Congratulations” banner on it.


Check out the reflection of the long white table in his glasses.


A great smile from Grandpa. 87 and still going strong.


I hope to take many more pictures of Grandpa Ramón in front of a cake. I love him like he was my own grandfather.


Recently the Extremadura Cultural Center has had these little ladybug chocolates that they give you when you order a coffee. Every time I see them, I’m reminded of my favorite java applet game ever. Most of them are really kind of cute. I was the only one that got the creepy blond you see on the left. That’s not a lady bug!


Belén was sick, unfortunately.

Unlike last year, my intellectual property rights were not violated at all during the birthday party.

Marga wasn’t feeling well, so I had to moderate my wine consumption so that I could drive three and a half hours west…to León!

  • ¡Ojalá que yo también tenga tan buena cara a 67 años!

    ¿De cual sabor fue la torta? Parece café o algo así.

  • ¿Verdad? Not only that, but he could easily beat me at arm wrestling. He’s an ox.

    No comí­ la tarta (porque tuve que conducir, y ya estaba demasiado lleno), pero siempre compran las mismas. No son de café. Creo que son más de caramelo.

    Now that I’m more or less bilingual, you multilingual jerks really piss me off. At least you’ve made a career of it. I try not to compare myself with professional guitarists, dancers, or golfers, either.

    It’s funny that you should use the word “torta” instead of “tarta” that I learned for “cake”, although Google Translate claims their meanings are the same. The only place I’ve heard the word “torta” in Spain is in the phrase “darse una torta”, which roughly means “to smack (someone) across the face”. When I’m annoying Marga, she’ll say, “¡Te voy a dar una torta!” If I’m feeling particularly cheeky, I’ll pretend to have misheard and say, “¿Una tarta? ¡Qué bien! ¡Dámela!”

    Part of learning a language is learning, and being surprised and confused by, all the alternate words for things. The difference in Spanish from Spain to the Americas is really quite comparable to the difference in English from Great Britain to the US, but even within one area, the differences, once you start to notice them, are amazing. I thought the Americans were bad with all the regional “couch/sofa” and “pop/soda” variations, but in Spain every little town has a different word for “pig”.

    P.S. No need to HTML-escape the accented characters.

  • Cuentamelo. Magda is currently teaching me ‘Solkanski’ each day when I get home. Solkan is the tiny village whose edge we live on, population something over twelve — basically the dialect of Slovene spoken on the shady side is different from that on the sunny side. I’ve seen figures somewhere (but have since forgotten them) about the number of distinct dialects of Slovene, and it’s in the many dozens. Within a country the size of Vermont, and a language with under 2 million speakers. Mind-boggling.

    One of the things I loved most about being in Argentina was exactly the sort of thing you’re talking about. I had been exposed to both ‘American’ and ‘Peninsular’ Spanish before I moved there, but Argentine Spanish was not quite like anything I’d experienced before — I certainly had never dealt with ‘vos’ before, though I’d read about it in linguistics books. I grew to love it. The accent could be challenging, too. One of my favorite anecdotes about my problems with the language there comes from my very first day in country: new boss is quizzing me about my tastes in food, and wants to know if I like ‘pata’. Uh-oh, I think. I knew that they ate every part of the cow here, but is ‘paw’ or ‘hoof’ on the menu? Turns out I still had to get used to the aspirated (disappearing) ‘s’. Of course they eat a lot of pasta in Argentina.

    She thought I was an utter dolt when I said I had never tried pata. I did end up eating some cow parts I’d never tried before, though…

    And by the way, I don’t claim to be multi-lingual. I can just barely get into trouble in a couple of languages.

  • Okay, now you’ve forced me to tell one of the only Spanish jokes I know.

    Q: ¿Cuál es el íºnico animal que jode con la pata?

    A: El pato.

    Like most jokes, it doesn’t translate well, but I’ll try, at the risk of ruining it. It translates to:

    Q: What’s the only animal that fucks with its leg?

    A: The duck.

    The humor being in that “pata”, rather obscurely, can also mean “female duck”. When it was told to me, my answer was “el burro”, thinking, “well, a donkey could fuck you up pretty good with its hind legs.” 🙂

    Most jokes are way over my head, since humor is the hardest thing to understand in foreign languages, so when I actually get one, I’m very pleased with myself.

  • Betsy

    When I copied the first line of Erik’s duck joke into my translator it gave me this: Which is the unique animal that jode with the leg? I tried to Google “jode” but it seems to be related to JAVA in some way??! You’re right about jokes and idioms often not being trans-cultural.

  • That’s because jode is the singular third person conjugation of the verb joder.

    Not to be confused with Joder, Nebraska. 🙂

    Funnily enough, searching for the whole question gives you this Mexican Yahoo! Answers entry where someone thought the funny answer to the joke was el caballo for the same reason that I answered el burro when I was asked. The multiple-meaning “duck” angle, which is also mentioned in the comments on that page, is way better, in my opinion.