Archive for September, 2011

Vuelta a España 2011 – Stage 19 – Colindres

September 09, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, News, Photography, Photos, Spain, Videos

Vuelta a España in ColindresThis morning when I was walking Nora back from the town’s Friday market, a man was wandering around asking people if they knew when the race was coming through. What race? The human race? As I went about my daily errands, I gradually learned, through eavesdropping on people, that the Vuelta a España would be passing through town. This is huge!! It’s one of the biggest international cycling races, sort of Spain’s version of the Tour de France (vuelta = tour or lap). Then I remembered that I had heard that they were finishing one stage in the nearby town of Noja. Apparently the parties thrown at the end of each stage are absolutely amazing, and worth going to even if you don’t care about the sport at all, so if you’re a heavy partier looking for cheap holidays abroad… I learned that they were leaving Noja at 1:45 PM and that they were expected to go through Laredo at 2:10 PM, which would put them smack in Colindres at around 2:05 PM.

I want to stay at home!

September 08, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

I want to stay at home! (thumbnail)Before her three week vacation of non-stop 24-hour grandparent attention, Nora was pretty good about going to daycare. After her lunch, she’d say, “And now we have to go to daycare!” and hop in her stroller for me to take her. After vacation, it’s been more of a struggle. The first two days, she cried for 90 minutes straight until her favorite daycare provider, Nela, arrived for her afternoon shift. The daycare boss, Adela, wisely commented that, “Well sure, it’s a struggle for all of us to go back to daily routines after a vacation, and the longer the vacation, the harder it is.” It was one thing back before she could talk, when she would cry when I dropped her off at daycare, but now that she can say, “Daddy, are you going to leave? Why are you leaving? Stay here with Nora! Take me with you!”, it’s somewhat more heartbreaking. (more…)

Extremadura Stroll

September 07, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Extremadura SunsetWhen we go on summer vacations in Extremadura, as we do most Augusts, the weather is usually too hot to do much besides drink and sleep during the day, but at dusk, it’s just the right temperature for a nice stroll through the countryside. Just after sunset, the stars come out with a light-pollution-free brilliance that I almost never get to enjoy. In the past, I have been a bit more serious about photographing the serene beauty of an Extremadura sunset, but this year, in a marriage of convenience and laziness, I decided to only take my iPhone with me.

Bionic Transition Initiated

September 06, 2011 By: erik Category: Musings, Reviews

FitbitThis summer, I purchased a tiny computer, called a Fitbit, that I wear on my person that tracks my movements when I am both awake and asleep. Then, when I spend a few minutes in my office, with the device still clipped to my clothing, the information about my previous days’ movements are uploaded wirelessly to the internet and a report prepared for me, detailing how much I tossed and turned in my sleep each night and how much exercise I got. The Fitbit is a very advanced pedometer, counting steps and general movements and accelerations, but the integration with The Cloud is what makes the device special.

Three Noras

September 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photography, Photoshop

Before and After: The Last Twelve MonthsI realized that it was about time to revisit my temporal compositing Photoshop project, placing Nora on the couch with younger versions of herself. It’s no surprise that she has changed much less in her second year than in her first. What follows are three Noras, one at 6 months, one at 18 months, and another at 30 months. To take the 6-month-old’s picture, I had to prop her up and run to press the shutter before she fell over. The 18-month-old could sit there just fine, but the 30-month-old could actually be told to keep her legs straight and put her hands on her knees to conserve horizontal space.


September 04, 2011 By: erik Category: Dancing, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Spanish, Videos

SevillanaThe word Sevillana, pronounced “seh-vee-YA-na”, can refer to several things. It can be an adjective to describe a woman or any feminine noun from Seville, Spain. It can refer to a particular kind of folk music from Andalusia, or a particular four-part dance that originated in Seville. Like for other Spanish dances like the pasodoble, it doesn’t require much imagination to see that the movements in a sevillana dance are meant to mimic bullfighting, with the dancers gracefully passing buy each other without touching. The whole closeness without touching aspect of it makes it quite sexy.

Alcatraz Parenting

September 02, 2011 By: erik Category: Travel, USA

Alcatraz Magnet - Regulation #5When we visited Alcatraz last year (which I highly recommend), I couldn’t resist buying two souvenir magnets in the gift shop on the way out. During the tour, we learned that, when a prisoner first arrived to the maximum security prison and was shown to his cell, he found, on the fold-out table in his cell, a list of the prison’s rules and regulations. The two regulations on the refrigerator magnets I bought are fantastic for parenting a child. I plan to have them posted in the kitchen for the duration of my daughter’s stay under my care.

Wall Walking

September 01, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Experiments, Offspring, Photos, Photoshop, Videos

Wall Walking CompositeEvery kid has done it and loved it. What could be better than walking on top of a wall, holding your parent’s hand, up at grownup eye level, carefully placing each step, enjoying the illusion of danger. Last Sunday, we took a stroll up to Colindres de Arriba, the picturesque village within a town just up a hill past the town hall. We spent about thirty minutes picking blackberries and then continued on to the medieval church. If I had been planning on it before we left, I’d have taken a better camera, but it occurred to me while we were up there that I could take a series of photographs and photoshop them together into a motion composite. I’m fairly pleased with the result.