Archive for July, 2013

State of the Offspring Address – July 2013

July 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Well hello, there!After six long months of cold and rain, the longest spell of bad weather anyone can remember, literally when we changed the calendar on July 1, the weather turned into the nicest summer weather we’ve had in the eight years I’ve been living here. With Nora out of school, we made a lot of effort to go to the beach, which is difficult since the beach is not really a good place for a two month old baby. Many times either my wife or I would go with Nora and the other parent would either stay home with Ian or walk along the sidewalk that lines the beach for the hour or two that Nora was enjoying the sand.
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Bar Culture in Spain

July 30, 2013 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel

Which way to the nearest bar?After living in Spain for so long, I have internalized so much of the culture, that I forget what is quirky about it and what seems weird to outsiders. One aspect of Spanish culture that visitors often misunderstand is just how central bars are to Spanish society. When you first visit Spain, you will notice that there are a lot of people in the bars every midday and evening (and even for breakfast), and you might think, “Wait, where’s the economic crisis?” There is one simple fact that you need to know to understand almost anything about Spanish social culture:
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Today is our wedding day! …or not.

July 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Photos, Spain

Marriage BeretIf an American were to look at the special Basque wedding beret we were given on our wedding day, she may very well conclude that we were married today, July 10, 2013. You see, my wife’s family knew that Those Wacky Americans wrote the date in a different order, but they weren’t exactly sure what order. In doing so, they came very close to my very favorite date format, ISO 8601 (with the most significant digits to the left, just like our numbering system). They put the year first, then the month, and then the day, which would be ISO 8601, but they only used two digits for the year. So, in reality, our wedding was 2097 days ago, on October 13, 2007.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2013

July 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

July Fourth Party InviteIt’s July again, and time for my annual party I’ve dubbed Hamburgerfest, because it’s mostly just be cooking hamburgers for some friends. This year was a little more relaxed than previous years, with a considerable drop in alcohol consumption and general rowdiness that makes parties good, but it was still very nice company and also very nice to have someone to take our children’s laser focus off of us for a few hours. Nora had fun playing with our friend Elena, who was very patient with her, and was immediately accepted into the Grandmother role (a playmate for Nora to boss around). And there were plenty of women queueing up for a chance to hold baby Ian, which is all he needs to be happy.
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San Juan – Beans in the Park

July 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

Drinking Wine from a Spanish BotaLast Sunday was the annual Cocido Montañes in the Park day here in Colindres. Every year, around the summer solstice, the Peña San Juan (Saint John’s Club), named after the town’s patron saint, throws a huge cookout in the local park. They make a Cantabrian specialty, known as cocido montañes, which is a white bean and spinach soup with pieces of meat in it. Each serving contains a pork rib, a piece of chorizo, and a piece of morcilla (blood sausage). Over the eight years we have been attending the festival, it has been evolving and improving. When we first went, you waited in line and then asked for as many servings as you wanted and paid 1€ each. So some groups of four would order eight servings to have leftovers later that week. But it was hard to calculate just how much to make.
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