Friday, December 29, 2023

Year in Review

It's been a year of ups and downs here at Flippism is the Key and in real life. The new year started with The Weaver, me and our newborn grandson recovering from serious medical issues. Everything thing turned out for the best, thankfully.

I began a memoir, Search For A Dancer, on New Years Day, giving a detailed look at one of my Reykjavík excursions. TMI for some, YMMV. In February I began experimenting with AI imagery, coming to the conclusion that it had some limited uses, but also some real dangers (note: I always label all AI on FITK.) I also (finally) got a pair of hearing aids which definitely help in conversations (and in listening to music) but can become a bit of a nuisance in the noisy world. Sometimes silence is golden.

A return trip to Santa Fe in March was a delight, plenty of places to explore, as was a return to Seattle in May. At that time my site-meter began logging dozens visits from one location in Singapore. What that meant is still a mystery, perhaps an AI bot scraping the site for material? A similar flurry of activity in FITK in November quintupled interest in the site for a week but its meaning was just as baffling.

In June I began a series of posts about “My Back Pages” that took on a special significance when my life-long friend and inspiration, Rich Lewis, had passed away.

Our summer vacation to Grand Marais, Minnesota, was ill-timed in that it was THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD where temperatures in July were below normal. Despite a drought, the rest of the summer was good, especially a family reunion in August with a whole new crop of little kids! A photo of mine made it into the State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit, where I even got to meet one of the subjects and both their mothers! My old pal Nicole also had a print there—a fitting scene seeing as it was the summer of Barbie™.

October found me back in Iceland, perhaps for my last hurrah. I can’t overstate how I have enjoyed these trips: the people there have been so kind to me over the years and Icelandic culture has enriched my life immensely. Iceland was a major impetus for the start of FITK and I’ve gotten a lot of material for the blog from these visits, but after experiencing a couple of earthquakes and narrowly avoiding an accident, those omens made me begin to think that my good-fortune there may be finally running out  (to say nothing of the volcanoes!)

The decline and demise of my big sister Jean in December put a damper on the holidays and made me reflect on my own mortality. Her last words to me were: “I love you, baby brother.”

Finally, here is a benediction I loosely paraphrased from Ingmar Bergman’s great film Fanny and Alexander:
“My dear friends, for 19 years, in the capacity of site administrator, I’ve existed here, making posts without really having any talent for that sort of thing. My only talent, if you can call it that in my case, is that I love this little world inside the thick walls of this playhouse, and I'm fond of the people who visit this little world. Outside is the big world, and sometimes the little world succeeds in reflecting the big one so that we understand it better. Or perhaps, we give the people who come here a chance to forget for a while, for a few short moments, the harsh world outside. My blog is a little room of orderliness, routine, care and love. I don't know why I feel so comically solemn this evening. I can't explain how I feel, so I'd best be brief: I wish you all a happy and joyous holidays. I Hope we meet again on New Years Day, strengthened in body and soul!

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023


A look behind the scenes at the equipment needed to create the Norwegian holiday treat, Krumkake. No electricity, no cheap Chinese knock-off, this is the tool that has been used for generations. Made in Minnesota by Norwegian-immigrant descendants!

Ready for batter:
Bake, roll-up, finished:
Stuff with whipped cream—and enjoy—yum!

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Monday, December 25, 2023


I am thankful for another year to be added to all of us, so we can keep growing and enjoy the beauty of life.

What is Beauty? It is what you love. Walk with awareness, dance with joy.

I am indeed indebted to every one of you, without you I would not be here. So, in gratitude, I would like to share an affirmation with you:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for a beautiful day.

Today is the beginning and the foundation of an exciting, interesting and magical life. We are healthy and whole. Every part of our body is rapidly rejuvenating, revitalized and cheered. May we make the new year's right judgement—the right moves at the right time and the right place for ourselves and others—and make this planet earth an oasis for the universe.

For the good of all concerned, so be it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love you.

~Yoko Ono, at the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, Reykjavík, October 9, 2012

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 22, 2023

Icelandic Holiday Card

Reykjavík, 2012. Holiday colors added in post-processing.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Tropical Holiday Card

Christiansted, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, 2009

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Modern Holiday Card

Downtown Anoka, Minnesota, home to Flippist World Headquarters. December, 2023.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Vintage Holiday Card

As a start to the FITK holiday season, here is a classic card by the legendary Karen Heathwood (of Sharon Spotbottom fame), circa 2009 - click to embiggen!

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Belle de la Belle Époque

Yvette Guilbert was a café-concert star in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th century. She was a favorite subject of artist of Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec. Her exaggerated gestures and emotions, along with her wit and eccentricities, all spoke to Lautrec’s art.

Carte-de-visite and poster as seen in the Seattle Asian Art Museum exhibition Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec

I'll let Mlle Guibert speak sing for herself:

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Monday, December 11, 2023


(Makes more sense on a laptop or desktop than on a phone or tablet.)

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 08, 2023

Great Restrooms of the Minnesota State Fair

More fun in this popular series:
Skyride restroom, 2015

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Great Restrooms of Northeastern Iowa

Yet another entry in this popular series:
Twin Springs Road, Decorah, October 2023

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Monday, December 04, 2023

Great Restrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Another installment in this popular series.
Madison Park Beach, Seattle, December, 2023

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Saturday in Seattle

Seattle Asian Art Museum, December, 2023

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

Friday, December 01, 2023

Puzzling Perspective

Kaffivagninn, October 30, 2023

I once saw an interview with Björk that was filmed in this restaurant in the old harbour.

Since then I’ve made it a habit to stop in every time I’ve been in Reykjavík.

This puzzles me.

The food here is nothing special, although the prices are. My $6 cup of cocoa was from a mix, and not a very good one at that. I’ve also had pastries here; they were not a pleasant experience.

Still, I return.

There are usually a group of old men nattering amongst themselves, and the occasional lost tourists. There are newly-built food halls along this street now, places where you can get a real meal. But I return here to do my duty, wondering why I came.

I drink my cocoa and get back to the city.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0 

                                                                                     All original Flippism is the Key content copyright Stephen Charles Cowdery, 2004-2024