Archive for October, 2008

Canon Error 99

October 17, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, News

Canon Error 99A couple weeks ago, I set up my Canon 40D and Optika Timer to take a timelapse video of the roof repair effort. It took just over one thousand photos and then stopped.

Err 99
Shooting is not possible. Turn the power switch to <OFF> and <ON> again or re-install the battery.

At the time I just assumed that the battery’s charge had run out, since I had not thought to fully charge it before setting up the shooting and it had been shooting for a couple hours. It was only when a full charge changed nothing that I began to get worried.
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Everything is Gray

October 16, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings, Politics, Stuff I Found

Erik's Political CompassAs I finished up my thirtieth trip around the sun last week, I thought I would impart some wisdom I have gained so far, both to hear what people think of it and to be able to look back later and laugh at my naiveté. One of the things I love about being a computer programmer, is that I spend a good part of each day in a world of absolute truths. Boolean ones and zeros. Either the client record in the database has a phone number or it doesn’t. Unfortunately, this way of thinking and reasoning about absolutes does not work well in the real world. I have come to realize that, when it comes to political, social, and moral issues, there are no right or wrong answers, nothing is black and white. Everything is gray.
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Actual Birthday Lunch

October 15, 2008 By: erik Category: Family, Food, Mondragon, Partying, Photos, Spain

Cutting JamónSince we celebrated my birthday a day early with a big family lunch on Saturday, on Sunday, we had a lower key lunch out with more intimate family members. What was cool was that, while watching the national military parade in Madrid, I used my iPhone to find us a restaurant. No one knew the names of the restaurants, just generally where they were. So I zoomed in on a nearby town, Udala, and searched for restaurant. Two appeared on my map and I tapped on them and a second later was talking to them on the phone making reservations. That was the first time I’ve done something like that with my iPhone. Awesome.
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Thirty Candles

October 15, 2008 By: erik Category: Family, Food, Mondragon, Partying, Photos, Spain

Birthday Boy with CakeOctober 12th is a national holiday in Spain. It’s also my birthday every year. In 2008, it fell on Sunday. In many provinces of Spain, it was unexceptable that a perfectly good day off work should fall on Sunday, so many Spaniards had Monday off. Not so in the Basque Country. So we moved my main family birthday party to Saturday the 11th. It was a blast!
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Parents go to Pico de las Nieves

October 14, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Family, Photos, Spain

Paul and Erik on mountaintopEarlier this year, Marga’s parents, Marga and I went up to a local mountain peak that sports a little hermitage church. This week, it was my parents’ turn. On Friday morning, my mother, my father, and I went up to the peak. It was a wonderfully warm day and the trip was very enjoyable.

Well, it was just a little crappy, actually. The trail up the mountain was full of horse and sheep droppings. There were several score of sheep (we tried counting but dozed off) at the base of the mountain, and there was a horse up at the top grazing when we got up there. The horse preceded to descend down a path that only an ungulate would choose. (more…)

Thursday Salsa Dancing

October 14, 2008 By: erik Category: Dancing, Family, Partying, Photos

Thursday SalsaFor the past couple years, Marga and I have been going out salsa dancing most Thursday nights, and we have become good friends with the group that we go out with. The ritual involves meeting at a bar, having a beer, going to another bar, having another beer, going to a sandwich bar, having a sandwich, and then finally going to another bar that puts on salsa, meringue, bachata, and cha-cha-cha music just for us. The routine is so regular that the bartenders at each place know us and give us regular customer perks. It’s very nice. Last Thursday, my parents got to go along for the ride.
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Parents in Colindres

October 14, 2008 By: erik Category: Beach, Colindres, Family, Food, Photos, Spain, Videos

Paul and Betsy eating Spanish foodMy parents came for a visit this past week. As always, I tried to show them a good Spanish time with lots of good food, good wine, and good weather. The first day they were here the weather was pretty bad, but eventually we got to go out around Colindres and Laredo. Here are a few photographs.
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Digg Virginity Lost

October 07, 2008 By: erik Category: Internet, News, Religion, Weird

Ugh!  Dugg!I have submitted several of my own blog posts to Digg over the years. The ones I think are particularly clever (The Solution to Iraq), or funny (McCain-Palin Morph), or useful (Widgetize Anything), or artistic (Desk Traffic), or nerdy (Distance to Horizon), or political (Can Sarah Palin really see Russia from her house?), or satirical (Spain Discovers Mars). Most of those received between one and three diggs. My record was 12.
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Agnosticism vs. Atheism

October 06, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Religion

Bill Maher was on The Daily Show the other day. He’s a funny guy. He was promoting his new movie, Religulous (“religion” + “ridiculous”) that, as you might suspect, is all about making fun of religion. You can see part of his visit on The Daily Show on his website. He was great, but then he went and said the following.

“I’m not an atheist. I’m not certain, and I don’t think we can know for sure.”

This is kind of a pet peeve of mine. Most people that say they are agnostic are really functional atheists, but they are making an epistemological argument to avoid confrontation and accusations of having faith or dogma.
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John McCain: Personal Space Infringer

October 05, 2008 By: erik Category: Politics, Stuff I Found, USA

After I recovered from the convulsions of laughter brought on by the VP Debate skit, I picked myself up off the floor and started thumbing through some of the SNL sketches available online. I was surprised to find one featuring John McCain. His acting ability amazed me. Who would have thought he could portray a really creepy guy that no one would ever want to be close to!?! He nailed the character!
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