Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stupid American Tourists

We went to the store for one last shopping trip as we are packing for tomorrow's trip home. Lisa bought $80 worth of Candy, Cookies, and Mustard. They use a special mustard on their Pylsur (Lamb Hot Dogs) and Lisa wanted a supply. We also can get a lot of unique candy and English cookies (HOB NOBS!!) very cheaply. Anyways the pretty blonde Icelandic cashier was looking at all our purchases and how much we spent and you can tell exactly what she was thinking - "Stupid American ..."

They are blonde and beautiful here, but as anywhere some are more beautiful than others. Getting ready for today's independence day celebration they were landscaping the past week. In the all the side roads they had crews of scraggily teen boys, but in the center of town at the main traffic round about they had four of the most stunning blonde Icelandic beauties working away in matching head bands and traditional swaeters. You can't tell me that was an accident.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Every Turn

Every time we turn around there is a new waterfall or stunning landscape. This country is like every national park crammed into a tiny island. This is the place to be if you want an outdoor vacation to beat every vacation you have ever had.

It is very expensive and I have figured if it weren't for Rick & Eileen (free room and vehicle) we would have spent about $10,000 on this trip.

It isn't all good though, the sun never sets which really wrecks havic with your internal clock. It looks the same outside whether it be noon or midnight. We never know what time it is, so consequently we are not sleeping enough and getting run down.

Luckily a local member has taken pity on Lisa and I and is letting us use their spare bed. Sleeping on the floor with deflating air mattressess was killing us.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Things Eaten

Sheep (Lamb)
Various Seafoods
Sheep Head
Some sort of deep fried fish skin.

Still need to find Puffin

True Irony

You can't get ice in Iceland. Go figure.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Even 1000's of miles away

JT is still awesome.

I guess the kitchen sink backed up and my Mom called the plumber, but not just any plumber, she called what JT believes is the greatest plumber ever. So great that during our Skype phone call he felt the need to yell out the plumber's name every 30 seconds, followed by a fit of giggles.

That's right, he was shouting


He's right, that is pretty funny. Be you 7 or 40.

Island Paradise

Yesterday we did a driving tour of one of the Western peninsulas. I may have my Icelandic wrong but I believe it is called

Technically it is spelled Snaefellsnes.

Anyways it was very pretty with waterfalls, ocean views, and fjords everywhere. We saw Icelands natural mineral spring (not that impressive), climbed a Waterfall, and went down to a beach. Along the way we went through a town called Grundarfjordur which is wonderful. It is defintely one of those places you could just live in for its beauty alone. Though Rick said during the winter the sun doesn´t rise for months at a time.

Gunnar and I had heard legend about how beautiful Icelandic women were supposed to be. For the most part it seemed like any other place until we stopped for a drink and candy bar experiment in a gas station in Lynghagi. You two girls behind the counter when you read this (they might google Lynghagi one day), you did your country proud and have kept the legend alive.

Candy bar experiments: I have told the boys we are not allowed to buy anything we can get at home. If I wanted that we would have stayed home. Anyways we had a lovely chocolate bar whiched turned out to have a liquorice center running the length of the bar. We have determined that Lakkris is liquorice in Icelandic.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things forgotten

I realized this morning I forgot shaving cream, and my back up plan failed as Rick uses a electric razor. I did learn that you can have a decent shave with hand soap.

But the best is illustrated by this conservation*** from Saturday morning's packing.

Me: Hey, Lisa, where is my card reader for my camera?
Lisa: I packed it already.
Me: Where? I usually pack it with my carry on with my camera.
Lisa: (Said in an EXTREMELY condescending tone) I Packed it in my video camera bag so all the rechargers and readers are in one place. If I left you responsible for anything we would never have anything. Thank goodness that I, the GREAT Lisa, is here, or NOTHING would ever get done. By the way, you are an Idiot for even asking - loser!!!!
Me: What about my battery recharger?

Fast forward to about 4 hours into the flight, somewhere over Greenland.
Lisa, popping up from a nap: I forgot the camera bag.
Then somehow she made it into my fault for not packing my own stuff.

***Even though I am pretty convinced this is a word for word conversation, Lisa seems to think it was slightly different. To be fair I will admit I removed the profanities she used when answering me, just because I love her too much to show the rest of you the unvarnished truth.

Iceland Observation #1

Hot water means HOT!!

Given this is a volcanic island the water comes out of the ground practically boiling. Consequently they do not have hot water heaters. Rather you spend your time managing the cold water flow in the shower to prevent scalding.

The downside is the sulphur smell. A small price to pay for unlimited and extremely cheap hot water. All of us could take showers in the morning, right after each other, and still have plenty of hot water.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More Later

We have arrived safely, but jet lag sucks pretty bad right now. We have had a short nap and now we leaving for church. Two hours of Icelandic - that should be easy to stay awake!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Book of Fate - Book 59

The Book of Fate
By Brad Meltzer

Now this was a good book, much better than the Book of Lies as it seemed more original.

Plot Summary: A failed presidential assassination attempt left one staffer dead and an aide permanently disfigured. Eight years later the latter runs into the former, which then begins a quest involving multiple agencies, good & bad guys, and secret symbols to uncover a conspiracy that reached to the heart of the government. Can our hero not only uncover the truth of that fateful day, can he handle it as his trust is rocked.

Why Read It: Fast paced action where the tension and twists are built and laid out in perfect harmony. He continues to use the short chapter writing style (see Dan Brown) which keeps pulling you through the book (it is only 2 pages until the next chapter, so I will just read to there. Soon followed by it is only 3 pages…). The final twist while not shocking, it did not occur to me that it was coming at all.

Why Skip It: It is light thriller reading, like watching a good movie. It will entertain you but it won’t change your life. You also have to suspend some logic about how truly hard a large scale conspiracy would be to pull off for that many years. Plus some plot points are to convenient, like how the crazy man escapes from the asylum. I say no way to him being so few steps from freedom. Finally the cover of the book suggests this book is a conspiracy based within Freemasonry, which is one of the reasons I picked it up; the truth is a let down. This book has about 3 paragraphs about Masonry over 508 pages. Not a problem in and of itself, but still deceptive if that is what you are looking for.

Mormon Mentions: YES. On page 111 he is mentioning famous Masons and Joseph Smith is listed. Overall it is fairly innocuous, but if you didn’t no better it gives the impression that Smith was first a Mason and then he founded the church. That is backwards as he did not become actively involved with the Masons until the Nauvoo period.

Monday, June 1, 2009

You Are Crazy

As I have gotten older I have realized that desiring to be Bishop is a sign of a truly immature, in the spiritual and emotional sense, individual. I remembering having aspirations (for other callings) as a younger man and then, of course, they grew as I did. But I have noticed, particularly over the last 5 years, Bishop is just about the last thing I would ever want to be. If any of you still harbor thoughts on this “promotion” I recommend spending a Sunday skipping your classes and sitting in the foyer watching the Bishop’s door. Watch how he spends his time in constant counseling sessions – and this is his life 24/7.
Now I realize there are some highlights, like working with the youth, actually helping people who want to be help, and generally making a difference. But a lot of what I have witnessed is a never ending meeting with people who do not want to change; they either want to be told what they are doing is alright (when it clearly isn’t) or have everyone else change to meet their needs. Worse yet, you have wonderful people who are your friends going through some really hard times, needing your help. And I am sure in the back of your mind is the thought that you are struggling to figure out your own life and your family’s; but you put it on hold to help others.
Being Bishop is something you step up to when called upon, but no sane or emotionally stable person would ever seek it out. That said I have often looked about my ward and thought who would be a great Bishop and I find I keep coming down to one criteria. The one thing that is the make or break standard upon which I judge all men in this calling, would their spouse make a good Bishop’s wife? More than anything else, this is all I need to know.