Pickin’ and Trimmin’ – A Barbershop Documentary

December 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Music, Reviews, USA, Videos

Pickin' and Trimmin'In 2007, Matt Morris, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, directed a short film about a barber shop near where I grew up. One of the owners of the shop, David Shirley, the well spoken gentleman with the full head of white hair in the movie, is the father of one of my best friends and guitar mentor, Phil Shirley. The movie does an excellent job of capturing a dying southern American small town bluegrass culture.
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The Economy and Elections

October 12, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics, USA

How Humans VoteA few years ago, I came to the realization that modern two-party democracies are like pendulums. Just as gravity will pull a pendulum down towards the center, building up enough momentum to push it to the other extreme, so human voters’ innate human ability to find something to be upset about will pull their votes away from one party and build up enough momentum until the other party has a majority. Rinse and repeat.
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¿Cómo ESTA?

June 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Politics, Travel, USA

ESTA logoTo travel to the United States this June, we packed our bags and got our passports in order. We were concerned with how well our two year old, Nora, would do on our long journey (it ended up being 23 hours from door to door). In all the hubbub of travel organization and packing, we totally forgot about another two-year-old: the ridiculous Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) law enacted by the terrorist paranoid (paranoia = terrorist win?) United States that requires non-residents to fill out an application over the internet and pay a small fee of $14 to be allowed to enter the United States. It’s hard enough to find cheap holidays abroad without your destination country trying to extort money from you. Our first flight was from Bilbao to Lisbon, our second flight was from Lisbon to Philadelphia, and our third flight was from Philadelphia to Charlotte.
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Domestic Appliances in the US and Europe

April 12, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Photos, Spain, Spain-v-USA, USA

Dishwasher ControlsMy blogrollmate, Simon, shared this article with me today, by a US citizen who has lived in Europe for a decade, about the superiority of American domestic appliances. I must say that, after having spent a decade myself living in four houses and a dormitory in Europe, I agree completely.

Allow me to address my experiences with a variety of appliances.
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