Archive for October, 2011

Big Girl Bed

October 31, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Big Girl BedI think that perhaps we waited too long to make the transition for Nora from her crib to a real bed. Lately she has been sleeping very poorly in her crib, and it’s clear that it’s the size that is bothering her. Or at least it’s clear to me, as a larger-than-the-average-bed individual. You know those nights we all have occasionally where no matter what posture you adopt, you’re just not comfortable. As adults, we moan or sigh, but a two year old cries.

Halloween 2011 – Pumpkin Carving with Carmen

October 30, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin 2011A couple months ago, we started chatting in the street with our neighbors from three flights down, and their four-year-old daughter, Carmen, began playing with Nora. Immediately it was clear that Nora liked Carmen more than most children near her age. There was a certain je ne sais quoi chemistry between them as they giggled and chased after each other. So this year we decided to invite Carmen over for our household’s very American tradition of Halloween pumpkin carving.

Ominous Sunset

October 30, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos

Cloudy DuskLast Wednesday, we had a particularly ominous looking sunset, with the horizon lit by the sun, yet dark stormy clouds overhead. The contrast was too much to bear, so I took a few too many photographs. I never quite got the exact shot that I wanted with the sun, already over the horizon, illuminating the underside of the clouds, but I did get some photos worth sharing. What can I say, I’m a fan of atmospheric phenomena!

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Apple Amazes

October 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Weird

AppleYesterday morning I had a video conference with Bangkok, as international men of mystery like myself do on Friday mornings. It was actually with my friend Jacob, who is there for a month on business and had his workday cancelled because of the heavy flooding Thailand is currently experiencing, so he was bored in his hotel suite and sent me an iMessage. When I initiated a FaceTime call with him, I realized as soon a I pressed the button to call him that there was no way it would work.

Plastic Cap Charity

October 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Marketing, Media, Politics, Skepticism, Spain

Bottle Cap RecyclingSeveral months ago, I was informed that we were to stop recycling plastic bottle caps of all kinds in our household because my mother-in-law was collecting them to give to a charity to help a sick boy. Immediately, I was skeptical and full of questions. I feel unsettled when I hear of a scheme like this and I can’t understand the motivations of all the parties involved. When beer or soda companies offer to support a local sports team if residents collect bottle caps of their products, that’s one thing; that makes sense to me. But this indiscriminate collecting? What could possibly be the motivation?

Foreigners Are So Rude!

October 27, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Spain, Travel, USA, Videos

roy poutsOne of the things that most irks me, as an expat, is when someone claims that an entire country full of people are rude or lacking in manners. I guarantee you that if you go to live for even a short period of time in another country, you will notice general cultural behaviors that are different from your own culture; some will seem odd, and others will seem rude. I can also guarantee you that for every odd cultural mannerism you notice, the natives around you will notice at least one or two about you. With the right attitude, these cultural differences can add to the adventure that is having foreign friends and traveling and living abroad.

Irish Coast

October 26, 2011 By: erik Category: Ireland, Photos, Travel

Irish CoastLast week I was going through some old photographs and noticed a whole set of photographs from my June 2011 Ireland trip had gone unpublished. Our drive from Waterville to Kenmare was a gorgeous drive overlooking picturesque Irish cliffs. It was so breathtaking that we had to pull over several times to take photographs. There are several repeats in the photo set because all four of us were snapping pictures. All of the photos can be seen on Flickr, but I’ll share a few of my favorites here.

Golf in Asturias

October 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Photos, Spain

Seaside GolfI am a member of the Laredo Club de Golf, the 2010 winner (I did not participate) of the Spanish Championship Between Clubs Without Courses. It’s tough, you see, to have a golf club without a course. We live in a little pocket in northern Spain where there are very, very few golf courses. In fact, the Laredo Club de Golf has more members than any courseless club in Spain. As a member of said club (membership dues are practically nothing without a course), I was invited to play in the 2011 Laredo Club de Golf Championship, played in LLanes, Asturias, nearly a 75 minute drive from Laredo. Due to my own timidity in my spousal “escape for 9 hours on a Saturday” permission submission, it was only two days before the event when I requested to participate. The captain of the club, Pedro, was quick to act and I was immediately entered. So it would come to be that I would get up at 7:45 in the morning on Saturday and drive 75 minutes west to the neighboring province of Asturias to participate in the 2011 championship.

Country Roads

October 21, 2011 By: erik Category: Beach, Math

Flower at SunsetMy photography walk last Saturday that first went by the fishing harbor then turned inland. My camera and I admired autumn’s fanfare and the sunset’s long shadows. Some may search for the exotic with expensive holidays to Sharm el Sheikh, but with the right eye and attitude, a simple walk around the place where you live can be an exotic adventure.


Sunset at the Docks

October 19, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photography

Bow HeadFor more months than I’d like to admit, my DSLR’s CCD sensor has been dirty. There were just a few specks of dust, but I had to digitally retouch almost every single photo to remove the digital noise they caused. A couple weeks ago, I decided enough was enough, so I took my lens cloth that came with my sunglasses, flipped up the mirror (the R in DSLR) and wiped off the sensor. Of course this didn’t work at all. Every time I tried to wipe it, I added more debris than I wiped clean. I had to break down and order a sensor cleaning kit, which consists of some Q-tip-looking things the size of the sensor and some sensor cleaning liquid, which smells like it may be entirely made up of rubbing alcohol. I’m guessing that cleaning off the sensor is just something DSLR owners have to do every couple years, like replacing the tires on a car.