Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Year-end Wrap Up

2022 is nearly over.

Good riddance to bad rubbish? Or are there gems to be found in this landfill of a year?

The big story in 2022 is the same as the big story of 2020 and 2021 - Covid. It finally caught up with me (“I went to Iceland and all I brought home was a case of Covid”) and although I was over it in a week, the lingering effects of an ear infection induced deafness lasted over a month, the Weaver also succumbed to the virus. It was a time span which coincided with the birth of our first grandson (premature and is still in hospital). November was not a fun time at Flippist World Headquarters. 2022 was also the pits from a monetary standpoint—but I find it amusing that a 0.1% bank savings account rate outperformed my carefully-curated IRA investments over the last two years. In other bummer news from 2022: World War III started.

Moving on from that bleakness, in the words of Monty Python, let us “Look on the Bright Side of Life.” The Weaver and I did manage to get out of the house this year, to California in March, Seattle in April, and we made a return visit to Mineral Point, Wisconsin. All of this travel led up to my eighth trip to Iceland, a trip that was extremely intense (except for the time spent lolling in the hot pots at the swimming pool.) Was it worth a case of Covid? Is my Iceland infatuation finally over? I’ll be exploring that question in depth in the coming months (big announcement Sunday).

Flippist World Headquarters, December 2012:
Looking back as I enter the 19th year of Flippism is the Key (a quarter of my life!), I find that it has been a long, strange trip, indeed. Almost all the bloggers that I interacted with in those early years are dormant, notable exceptions are Carrie Marshall, and Alda Sigmundsdóttir, both of whom have published memoirs this year. All of the rest of the bloggers I followed in the aughts have ceased posting and only a few from ten years ago still write (Bob, Sheila, and the aforementioned Carrie. Even my long held connection to all things Icelandic, The Reykjavík Grapevine, has dropped its daily coverage. A new social media site, Post, holds some promise. I’ll be posting more music videos in the upcoming year, you can see all of them at the link in the sidebar. I’ve also been exploring the site ooh! which is dedicated to the discovery of old-school blogging—evidently there is still some life left in this archaic form of internet communication. Or is the internet is already over? Don’t get me started on GPT-3, it is humbling to think that a set of AI algorithms could replace my labored scribblings here.

Or my illustrations:
AI generated image of Minneapolis ala Vincent Van Gogh.

So here’s to 2023 and, at the risk of being made a fool, could it be any worse that 2022?

Would it make things better if I posted more cat pictures?

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Kitten in the Snow

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Traffic Jam

There are still boatworks in the old harbour in Reykjavík, holdouts against the relentless commercial building developments in the area.

A telephoto lens turns the scene into one big traffic jam.

Geirsgata, October 31, 2022

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Monday, December 19, 2022


This is a FITK re-post from December, 2007

First grade brought new opportunities as well as new responsibilities.

Kindergarten was a breeze- I remember the crisp rustle of construction paper and the slightly sour tang of milk-glue giving hours of delight. The next year this was replaced by reading primers (See Dick go! Go Dick, go! See Baby Sally! etc.,) and the aroma of spirit duplicator worksheets (I wonder how much alcohol I absorbed through my skin?) But the REALLY BIG SHOW was the Christmas Pageant. It required the learning of lines, of blocking and stagecraft, direction and (gulp) PERFORMANCE. I was one of the three wise men, with a crepe beard and a brown bathrobe, and one line- “We come from the East, with gifts for the Christ-child!”

The show was staged for the mothers and a few night-shift fathers of the kids; the auditorium was packed as we thespians waited our turn in the long hall that went down to the primary grades wing. My teacher, Miss Studer, was a vivacious young woman who, like every other grade school teacher I had, would leave the year after having had experienced the glorious educational experience that was me. She was in charge of keeping the manger scene under control. As I sat on the steps leading up to the auditorium, silently mouthing my line over and over, a palpable knot of fear made itself manifest in the pit of my stomach. “I’m nervous!” I exclaimed to Miss S. She smiled sweetly (she did everything sweetly) and said “Why would a nice boy like you have anything to be nervous about? The play will be fine, and it will be over sooner than you know.”

And she was right, of course, but then you could hardly see me standing in the back (the BVM and the baby Jesus - who was really just a light bulb- were the “stars” of the show) although my mother did see me and later told me how good I had been.

The seeds of my downfall into the “performing arts” were sown that afternoon, if only I had known!

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 16, 2022

This is How We Live

Geirsgata, Reykjavík, 2022

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Jofríður’s Big Night Out

Jofríður Ákadóttir, AKA JFDR:
X three:
Gamla Bío, November 3, 2022, Iceland Airwaves

By Professor Batty

Comments: 4 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Antarctic Update

Note: this is a FITK re-post from December of 2007

A message from my eldest, on a geological expedition in Antarctica:

Hello! We've been in McMurdo Station, Antarctica for nearly a week now. We've been busy preparing for our departure into the field. Our camping gear, scientific equipment, food, radios, snowmobiles, fuel, and personal gear all has to be gathered, sorted, packed, and put into the cargo system before we can fly to Siple Dome and then on to Scott Glacier. In addition, I had to take a two-day snow camping course which included a night out in tents on the Ross Ice Shelf about a mile out of “town”. The weather was beautiful, and by the end of the class we had a view of the entire 12,500 feet of Mt. Erebus, the southernmost active volcano in the world.

We're scheduled to fly out on Wednesday, although flight schedules in Antarctica often change. I've attached a few photos from the trip thus far:

1 - As our NZ-Antarctica flight approached McMurdo, we had an amazing view of the Transantarctic Mountains in northern Victoria Land. Our field area at Scott Glacier won't be as completely snow covered but otherwise will probably look similar.

2 - Me on the NZ-Antarctica flight, with lots of cargo behind. We flew on a C-17 operated by the New York Air National Guard for you airplane buffs out there.

3 - A view of McMurdo Station from the top of a local hill. Most of the station is cargo storage yards, fuel tanks, etc. The middle of "town" is where most things happen for us.

4 - A photo of my snow camping classmates as we waited to be picked up at the end of our class. Mt. Erebus rises to over 12,000 feet behind.


~ Seth.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 09, 2022

Bæjarns Beztu Pylsur

By day:
By night:
Bæjarns Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavík, November 5, 2022

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Monday, December 05, 2022

Found in a Snowdrift

Re-run from December, 2007 at FITK…

We had a major snowfall last week-end.

I had driven into Minneapolis to check out an annual art sale held in a downtown restaurant. The City of Minneapolis takes a “wait and see” attitude toward plowing the streets, usually giving everyone a couple of days to flounder about in the the snow before any plowing commences. I had parked on the street in a spot that wasn’t completely drifted in. It was a one-way so I exited to the curb. Gleaming amidst the snow was a shiny aluminum tube, with a black plastic collar. “Hmm... a flashlight...” I mused. I tossed it into the backseat to look at  later. The next day, when I had time to examine my find, I noticed that it felt kind of slippery for a flashlight. It was stylish: with a conical end, a raised design that coiled around its shaft, and the aforementioned collar at the other end. But where the lamp should have been was only a small screw-head. Turning it over, I saw a sticker with the words, "MUST CLOSE CAP TIGHTLY" printed on it. I turned the collar, loosening it and it came off- there were batteries inside, but still no light. I screwed the collar back on tightly...
It started vibrating!

Oh My!

Then I remembered where it was exactly that I had parked.

Near “Sex World” — a certain sort of “boutique.”

Then I also remembered why I don't go downtown much any more.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 02, 2022

The Hole

Hekla Magnusdóttir with Óttarr Proppé.

I love the Icelandic music scene.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

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