Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Velkomin til Íslands

It was a Thursday. The eighth of April, 1999, precisely. The day a few of me mates and I landed in Iceland. We took off from Logan International Airport in Boston sometime around 8 or 9 p.m., Wednesday. A little over five hours later, we were preparing to land at Keflavik International Airport, Keflavik, Iceland. Locally, it's about 6:30 a.m.

The view of the harbour during our descent was stunning. Picture one of those helicopter fly-by shots of a dark, placid, blue-green sea littered with the tips of a thousand icebergs. Add the arctic sun, barely extricating itself fully from the horizon, providing spectacular back-lighting and forget it. Some sights may match its beauty but, dare I say, none will ever surpass it.

It was as if we'd flown, directly and unequivocally, into one of those documentaries you'll find on The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, et al. If it was the opening scene of a movie, it'd be discarded as cliché.

That was my first glimpse of Iceland. I was jazzed up.

After landing, deplaning, regaining our luggage, and undergoing the necessary but awkward and nerve-wracking pass through customs, we head for the bus to Reykjavik. Once aboard, we're treated to a 45 minute ride through a Flintstone-esque landscape of lava fields. Each mile, excuse me, kílometrar, is practically indistinguishable from the next. But it's beautiful. I've never seen anything like it. I'm mesmorized.

We arrive at the hotel and check in unceremoniously, unpack, settle in, and rest for a spell. We'll be needing our strength for the horseback riding session I've just booked for this afternoon over the phone from my hotel room.

After one or two hours and a short taxi ride outside the city, we're at the farm. Upon entering we all realize that we need to get a picture of all of this. So, here is that picture :

This is the view as we enter the pen of the horses we'd soon be riding. We settle down and after an acceptably thorough instructional presentation, we lot are ready to mount. It's a fairly relaxing ride amidst a landscape of mostly lava fields and small ponds with faint traces of golf course on the outskirts of the trail.

Here's a snapshot of the surrounding landscape, which is also representative of alot of the landscape we encountered on our bus trip from the airport. I'm still fascinated by it this early in the trip :

And for posterity's sake, here's a bit of our group on the trail :

This is day one. Maybe it's eight hours after landing at the airport. Whenever it is, it's the beginning of an adventure like no other.

Stay tuned... The excursion continues.

Friday, June 16, 2006

What Are You Doing?

Once again, I got into work late, again. Partly due to fault of my own; partly due to inexplicable and uncomprehensible traffic. Seriously. It was like, for the 35 minutes I was on the road (to travel a wee eight-plus miles from my domicile to my place du travail) every living sad-ass driver was on the go.

But that's the least of my worries.

Or the worst of my worries; I've yet to decide.

Nonetheless, I've made it to work and everything's keen. Until after I've pulled round the entrance-way and I'm making my way up to the employee parking area. Apparently, today, the 'employee' parking area isn't so open to allowing the 'employees' to park. Yes, I understand that today is the "CIO Workshop" ... but, whatever a "CIO" might be, did we need to invite each and every one of them !? From every state in the entire United States of America? Apparently, we did. And here they are. Taking up even the most precious 'late comer' spots in the lot. Curse them!

So, that's settled. I've managed to find a pretty sweet spot in the farthest reaches of the parking lot, right next to a stairwell that leads to the farthest end of the Swan Pond... right around North Dakota, I'd say.


Don't be! or, at least, let me explain. There is a man-made pond (two, actually) on the grounds of my office building. Enjoyable. I'll continue.

These ponds support resident swans... real, live swans which live in this pond year-round. It's amazing in mid-January or February when it's cold as a witch's tit and these swans are just floatin' about... heads tucked in below a wing. And you're dyin' just gettin' to your car! Fuckin' Cold!!! There they are. Floatin' around.. taunting humans.

"Screw you sans-downy beasts! I've the hide to keep alive!" is what you imagine hearing them screaming from the pond on your way out. Yet, they're really more freezin' to fuck, as if they had a choice. They don't move. Still floatin' and still alive come spring, though. Friggin' swans. Tough bastards, them. Swans.

So, in this particular pond here's what's going on - "Two 'parent' swans teaching six or seven 'baby' swans how to survive in the dangerous confines of a man-made pond with a feeder machine easily accessible to most floating fowl." Nature at its finest. But I love the swans. Don't get me wrong... them little cygnets is somethin' to see. Love 'em. Then, they all disappear once they're older (about six weeks?) and it's looking to next June. For the next cygnet batch. It's science.

The above quote (in addition to everything written here, i'm talking about the stuff that's actually in " - quotes - ") was provided by me, earlier, while thinking amongst myself and is, therefore, thoroughly copywrighted. Or so you better believe it is.

Strangely enough, or maybe just an ironic coincidence (if such a thing exists...), the man-made pond all this fowl thrives upon is made out in the shape of The United States of America. Refer, please, to the Norh Dakota reference above, if you will.

So there's my just getting into work, today. Brilliant. I've made it. Fuck the swans - today, i'm concerned about the penguins! And before you question - I do noe want to get into that, about the swans. Feedin' and that. Fuckin' NGEO channel's for that. Penguins is universal. Penguins... Weasels... you know whom I'm talking about.

It's about mid-day and I'm heading up the hall for a squirt. Same Men's Room I visit once or twice a day... and Holy Mackerel !! What in the fuck has happened here?! Definitely more a question and then - an exclamation. Well documented something.

It's been one of those days where you're left amazed at the undeniable and non-defensable attack on civil and cordial etiquite. Then there's the question... 'What about the toilet?'

Thus, it is told.

And here I lay out the fetid story of the ravaged Men's Rooom.

It was one of the men's rooms that I'd come to enjoy. And I found I had developed a deep discouragement as it became increasingly maligned. Mistreated by guests that were oblivious to their impact on the space, the toilet stall was now a liquified, desolate, place to be.

As difficult a topic as this is, the main point is that these pigs.... these 'men in suits' - and I don't mean the single quotes as a joke.. it's to identify who i'm referring to - are PIGS! Remember, the place is loaded with people 'dressed to the nines'... in suits; ties; pressed pants; the trappings of well-heeled business folk...

I went to check into a stall and there was piss all over the seat. The ceramic part of the seat! Who the F is pissing all over the toilet seat ??!! In a sit-down, practically shyte-only, stall? I know who it is. It's Mr. Genius SmartyPants, the guy who's shown up in a Suit today. Good for you! As if that suit is going to convince me that you're smarter than you really are. Truth be told, you can't even control your own dick when it comes to pissin' !! The fucking toilet is a mess. You've created a health hazard.

You. All of you fucking monkey-suit wearing pricks... Get the F out !!

You don't wash your hands in the bathroom.
You don't care about the people you're meeting with.
Go Fuck Yourself... Please!

Jeez, this seems fairly harsh, looking at it... Maybe they're all right.

Nah. 'Twas one of the most disgusting diplays I've ever witnessed.

Fucking suits... means pissing all over the place and someone else'll clean it all up when you're gone.

Never mind the sinks - where it's as if they're trying to baptize cats! There's enough residual water to supply a small nation, the water spilled upon the surface of the sinks. What are these people doing? How does that much sludge and water find its way to the tableop?

Wash your f-ing hands and keep the tidal wave to yourself! For fuck's sake.... I can't imagine what goes on to get that much water all over the place ??? Seriously, what the F are you doing, that that much water ends up on the outside of the sink?

Fuck me.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Post With No Apparent Focus

It's not hard to believe that I'm rarely at a loss for words. The frequency of my posts does not accurately reflect the number of ridiculous ideas I hold in my skull-encrusted mass of neurological tissue. It's a matter of logistics. I'm priming for the upgraded system this summer... a tale for another twilight.

The point here is that I'm experiencing overload.

o I just watched a Stanley Cup game 2 that was a 5-0 shutout - but
I'm optomistic Edmonton can come back at home and tie the
series at 2 a piece.

o I'm not sure if this Raconteurs album is great or just good.

o I just noticed that only the letters 'T' and 'I' have begun every
sentence, so far.

o Thank you for taking the time to verify. (5 'I's and 2 'T's, yeah?
and yet another 'T', here... that's 5 and 3 but who's counting?)

o Obviously, I am.

o I terribly miss traveling. Probably the single-most jones I've
got, right now. I need to go somewhere. If not Prague this
fall, why not Iceland this winter?

o Cooking is good. More cooking needs to happen at The Inn.

o How much would maid service be, saaaaay... twice a month?

o I need someone to explain to me the fascination with celebrity.
What the fuck is so special about these people? I'm lost.

o A good cup of coffee can make a bad day tolerable.

o A great cup of coffee (ohhh, like - homemade espresso one
of me mates makes) can make that same day worthwhile.

o I love The Dome.

That's about all I can muster at this point. There's plenty more but I run the risk of telling too much. Not true. It's just too late.

Good Night.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Game on.

First, a small confession. I haven't been watching too much of the NHL playoffs this season. I watched a ton of games during the regular season on the Center Ice package (best $130.00 I've ever spent) - but after taking the Cup in my fantasy hockey league and baseball season starting up, it's been a bit anti-climactic for me. Especially with the sorry state my Bruins are in. Here's hoping Chiarelli brings some life to the Bs. "F" Jacobs.

That said, the Sox are off tonight and there's a Game 7 between Buffalo and Carolina on OLN. Perfect opportunity to jump back in the game. So, I did. And I am lovin' it. And something tells me the Sox are going to take a back seat during the Cup Finals.

You'll often hear hockey fans, and even sports people in general, proclaim, "There's nothing like playoff hockey." No more veritable words have ever been spewed forth by man nor beast. Especially in a Game 7.

With the series on the line - and a shot at the championship in the balance - players display phenomenal physical stamina and feats of athleticism you wouldn't imagine possible.. The energy is unbelievable. Anything is possible in a Game 7. Every player on the roster has a chance to be the hero. The player that will succeed at just the right moment to propel his team into the next round... or, better yet, to Stanley Cup Champions.

It's too much to explain here (and besides, i've got the game paused during the second intermission - with Buffalo leading 2-1, on the road, after a goal with only 4.7 seconds left in the period - and i'm jonesin' to return to it) but - believe me... if you like sport and don't think you're a fan of hockey - the Stanley Cup Finals begin Monday night with the winner of tonight's tilt hosting the Cinderella Edmonton Oilers (eighth and lowest seed in the West).

Do yourself a favor. Watch it. Watch some of it. You won't believe your eyes. Just watch one period and you'll see for yourself why hockey is, plain and simple, the best game in the world.

Now, if you'll excuse me.... Game on.