Archive for June, 2009

Strange Monsters of Madrid

June 18, 2009 By: erik Category: Art, Spain, Travel, Weird

Bizarre Monster Art in MadridWhen we were in the nation’s capital recently, we spent a few hours walking around the Parque Del Retiro, Madrid’s equivalent of New York’s Central Park. At the time there was an exhibition of some bizarre humanoid sculptures that had multiple faces. The point of them being that they looked like they had a face from any angle. Needless to say, with the right mindset, they were quite comically creepy.
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Expressions of a 2.5 month old

June 17, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

thumbThe following video was taken as Nora was starting her 81st day. She’s come a long way from her three-day-old expressions. This past week she’s been doing an awful lot of smiling and making eye contact. This makes her a LOT more fun to play with. There has yet to be any intentional interaction directly with an external object, so toys aren’t yet of much value to her. If there is a television on in the room, her eyes will go directly towards it. The flashing, lights, movement, and voices are a sirens’ call to the human brain. Of course we try to avoid much contact with the television, but in this day and age, it’s impossible to avoid completely.
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Because I Said So

June 15, 2009 By: erik Category: Parenting, Stuff I Found

Because I Said SoThis article was published in the Charlotte Observer – which I think is some sort of paper-based RSS feed – on March 24, 2009, the day that my daughter was born. My parents clipped it out and brought it to me on their recent visit. Of course I agree completely with what John Rosemond has said here. The underlying part about leadership depending on confidence is right on, too.
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Nora's World

June 12, 2009 By: erik Category: News, Offspring

After lightly debating the ethics of the situation, I have decided to create a blog for my daughter, Nora. Also, it gives me a chance to use the domain name I registered for her about two minutes after deciding her name.

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Bobblehead Baby Just Called

June 11, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Videos

thumbNora, the other day your mother called me into the living room to look at what new feat you were mastering. She said you’d been like this for ten minutes, lying on her chest straining to keep your enormous head vertical. So I grabbed the video camera and captured your valiant efforts. And then I couldn’t help but put the obvious soundtrack on it, which you won’t understand at all.
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Sungha Jung

June 11, 2009 By: erik Category: Internet, Music, Stuff I Found, Videos

thumbYesterday, I was just doing a simple google search for…hmm, I can’t remember…and I tripped and fell down the YouTube rabbit hole. Ninety minutes later, I emerged with some serious respect for this spidery-fingered asian kid named Sungha Jung. Just as an article I read the other day pointed out, this kind of stuff, not corporate produced television, is what YouTube is all about. Check out this kid.
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The taxman cometh, and the taxman taketh away

June 10, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, Spain, USA

Spain and USA Flags MergedThis morning we went through the annual rigmarole that is reporting income and paying taxes in your country of residence when you work and pay income tax in another country. Once again, the amount of taxes that I pay on my income in the States was less than what I would pay in Spain if I earned the same salary. Because the US and Spain have a treaty to avoid double taxation, I was made to pay the difference. How much do you think that difference was? Keep in mind that I get free medical care, and the birth of my daughter didn’t cost me a penny. Yes, over here in pinko commie land, I suffer from the worst possible scenario imaginable: The government makes decisions about my healthcare!! I don’t enjoy the freedom that Americans have of letting an insurance company, whose goal is to make a profit for their shareholders by not giving out money and taking bribes from drug companies, make decisions about their healthcare. So, what was the exorbitant amount of extra money I had to pay for the superior equivalent of US health insurance?
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No, beef jerky is the question.

June 10, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Funny, Internet

thumbMy Uncle Steve sent me a link to this Reddit discussion about his domain name. It’s pretty darn funny. I’ve quoted my favorite bits below, but I recommend reading the rest.
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The Elusive Smile

June 09, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Funny, Offspring, Photos

Attempting To SmileWhen her American grandparents visited last month, they gave Nora a homework assignment to be completed by the time they visit again in August: to learn to smile in response to attention and goochi-hoochi-coo baby talk. She has taken the assignment very seriously and has been practicing ever since.

The first time I ever saw her truly smile, combined with a not-yet-laughter cooing noise, was in our hotel room in Madrid two weekends ago. I had her in my arms and was recounting the exciting morning of planes, trains, and automobiles. Her face lit up and I saw the most beautiful sight I think I’ve ever seen. Or at least I did for a few seconds before my smile raised my cheekbones up over my eyes and, tears welled up, and everything went blurry. Paralyzed by joy, the storytelling stopped, and eventually we eased back down off of cloud nine. Marga reports the same teary-eyed emotional paralysis and can’t recall anything for those few heavenly moments either.

Naturally we’ve done little else than seek this high ever since. Nora, like a manipulative drug dealer with her junkies, has only given us small samples of joy ever since, but has yet to repeat the full-on high of nine days ago. What follows is an attempt I made yesterday to capture an image of The Elusive Smile.
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Ethics of blogging about your children in the first person

June 09, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Internet, Musings

Several dozen times now I have come close to starting a blog or twitter account or Facebook account for my 77-day-old daughter, and updating it as if it was her talking about herself. But there’s something that always stops me. It feels vaguely unethical. Like I’m not sure that I would have wanted my parents to do the same to/for me. The Golden Rule and all that. It would be cute as the dickens, of course, and it would help separate my own identity and thoughts from all the reporting on her activities. Let’s face it, the Offspring post category has rather exploded around here lately. It’s one thing to do it for an inanimate object, but eventually she’s going to grow up and participate in the social internet world, and maybe she won’t like having these old accounts (and scatological status updates) lying around?

Can I get some opinions from my audience about this? Would you do it for your kid? Would you really enjoy reading Nora’s status updates from a separate account? Knock me off the fence.