Water. Falling.

Today at Gullfoss, the Niagara Falls of Iceland. And frankly, more impressive, as it’s not used for hydroelectric power, there are no casinos rising on its shores and no Maid of the Mist taking honeymooners up close, although there are scores and scores of tourists.

This is a beautiful country. On our drive today we went past farms nestled into folds of felted green that climbed hundreds of feet up volcanic mountain faces, their sweeping flatlands dotted with sheep and horses. Not a fast-food interchange to be seen (although Subway and KFC have a foothold here,  and there’s a Dunkin Donuts a block or two away from our apartment in Reykjavik). Hardly any billboards. Hardly a scrap of litter. 

Coming back to the car, Kate overshot our Toyota in the lot. “Oh,” she said when I called her back. “I didn’t know our car was missing a hubcap.” 

“It isn’t,” I said. It was. 

We figured the item was lost on a piece of rough road we’d traveled en routed, doubled back and re-traveled it at a crawl. No hubcap. We made one final pass, what the hell. FOUND IT. That was a relief, so we celebrated with pizza lunch. Mine had Parma ham, arugula and peanuts on top. Filed under: Things That Are the Same, But Different. 

Tomorrow, up to Akureyi we go, on the north coast. Hours of sunlight there: 23.5. This is disorienting, to say the least. Getting to sleep is tough enough, but can be done with an eye mask. But Iceland generally works regular hours, so after sleeping late you find yourself breakfasting at 11 am, lunching at 3:30 pm and then, at 10 p.m., saying, “Hey, anyone hungry? Let’s eat!” But everything is closed at that hour other than bars, and most bars don’t serve food. How have these socialists figured it out? Genetics, I guess. 

7:55 p.m. Here. Time to consider whether dinner will even be in the picture tonight. Have a great weekend, all. 

Posted at 3:53 pm in Uncategorized |

48 responses to “Water. Falling.”

  1. David C. said on June 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Never heard of anyone finding a lost hubcap. The elves must have guided you. 23.5 hours of sunlight sounds bad, but the corresponding .5 hours in the winter would probably kill me. I don’t think there’s a light box bright enough to compensate for that.

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  2. Brandon said on June 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Subway and KFC have a foothold here….

    If I get all the way to Iceland, I don’t want KFC. This is what I want:

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  3. brian stouder said on June 10, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Excellent photograph!!

    One thing I know is that even the best photograph can only capture a small bit of the grandeur of a place; noticed that in the photos we snapped at the Badlands (etc) a year ago.

    But this (and the natural bath stories!) definitely puts Iceland onto the list of places I’d like to see – and Iceland would never even have occurred to me, before.

    Their equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce surely wouldn’t mind changing the name of that place, eh? (then again – “Badlands” didn’t dissuade us – so there’s that)

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  4. Hattie said on June 10, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Getting a vicarious thrill out of your epic journey!

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  5. Deborah said on June 11, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Are you going to see the beaches with the jet black sand? I’d want to see that.

    I’m in Seattle where the weather is lovely. I’m traveled out though. Lots and lots of family stuff going on. Tonight is the wedding, the groom, my husband’s brother is 63, his bride is in her 50s. She’s never been married before. It’s cute to see how happy they are.

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  6. MichaelG said on June 11, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Brandon, I’d pay a dollar to watch you eat that.

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  7. MichaelG said on June 11, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Maybe two.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on June 11, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Oh, I’d pay several dollars to NOT have to watch anyone eat that. Blergh.

    Deborah, I’m with you, about traveled out. We fly back tomorrow and on Thursday I have to drive mom back to Illinois again. After that I hope to stay home for the rest of the summer.

    Even if it meant missing views like that.

    I’ve never heard of anyone being able to reattach a hubcap before. At any rate, when my sister’s Toyota lost one we just ordered a new one on Amazon. $20, amazing.

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  9. Brandon said on June 11, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Brandon, I’d pay a dollar to watch you eat that.

    It’s lamb. How can you not love that? It’d be comparable to the head of a suckling pig, I think.

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  10. MichaelG said on June 11, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I guess I’m not really an omnivore. I’m a somestuffvore.

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  11. Deborah said on June 12, 2016 at 2:14 am

    The wedding in Seattle is over and it was so fun. I danced the night away which I never do unless I’ve had a sufficient amount of alcohol to loosen up. Fun, fun, fun. The bride and groom are so happy in love at ages 63 and 59.

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  12. alex said on June 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I’ve been in Chicago the last few days. Yesterday was a scorcher. Today it’s cool and breezy.

    Bummed at the number of friends who are Bernie supporters who have a #NeverHillary attitude and think that the rest of us should be punished with a Trump presidency for not seeing the light.

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  13. Heather said on June 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

    No kidding, Alex. So tired of seeing screeds about this. As many have pointed out, it’s easy to say #NeverHillary if you’re in a privileged position. If you’re Latino, Muslim, poor–not so much. The vilification of Clinton from the left is starting to remind me of the tone on right wing radio. I was actually arguing with some random Sanders supporter on FB (I know, I know) who I thought made some decent points, but then she claimed that the death threats against the female DNC chair in Nevada were “a lie” and a Clinton plot–well, that tinfoil hat doesn’t do much for your credibility.

    I think there are a lot of closet Clinton voters who just don’t want to deal with the hassle of vocally supporting her–but I think there are a lot of closet Trump voters too.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on June 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    We’re leaving Orlando as it reels from two shootings in two nights, with God knows how many killed overnight. Damn. The national news immediately identified it as a gay nightclub, while local stations were mum on that aspect. Not clear why.

    Of course Trump will immediately jump on the shooter’s name, which sounds as if it could be Muslim. Lord have mercy.

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  15. basset said on June 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    First mention of “healing,” at least the first I’ve heard… about forty minutes ago on CNN radio. And he usual gun mis-terminology, mainly “semi-automatic assault rifle.”

    Question for Nancy and anyone else who might be out of the country – how’s this getting covered where you are?

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  16. Dexter said on June 12, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    A gay married couple I have known for eleven years fly between D.C. and Orlando , one’s boyhood family home, frequently. Hopefully, these gents are way too old to have been at Pulse last night. Maybe they are just in shock…not a post, not a peep so far…so yeah, still worried and also shocked myself…this was the big one, the record setter, the worst, the unthinkable thought out and executed. The horror and grief now overwhelm Orlando and the families of the dead and badly injured. So what does Florida’s governor do, first thing? He makes a statement that all of Florida is all-clear, no prob…go on ahead, DisneyWorld! Jesus Christ almighty couldn’t convince me to take a kid to fucking DisneyWorld or any water-park or jousting castle or anywhere today…for one thing, who would or could have fun on a day like this?

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  17. Dexter said on June 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    OK…just heard from my friends via a blog post…one guy grew up just a mile from that shooting scene and spent many a day with his dying friend in cancer treatment just a stone’s throw from that Pulse club. They are safe in D.C.

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  18. beb said on June 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Geez, Basset, fifty people are dead another 50 are wounded (some, I’m sure seriously) and you’re worried that the killing weapon was not properly identified? What part of an AK-15 is not an assault rifle? What part is not “semi-automatic?” This would be the perfect time to STFU.

    Julie, one article I read about the shooting said that the killer had been enraged days earlier by the sight of two men kissing. So we know he’s a homophobe. I suspect that national media has extrapolated that into concluding the club he shoot up must be a gay nightclub. But they could be guessing wrong. Both the killer and his father have middle-eastern sounding names. The father has already come up sayingn he is appalled and sadden by what his son has done. As for the killer’s nationality, to me, it’s not middle-eastern, it’s Trumpian.

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  19. beb said on June 12, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    And on another note… I can’t understand the BernieBros who are #neverhillary. Seriously, even the GOP are appalled by the thought of a Trump presidency. When you hear Republican Congress-critters saying they can’t vote for Trump you know Hillary is the better (tho not the best) choice.

    And a third note… I was waiting in line at the Post Office when a man in the line started handing out business cards. He’s running for state office. The front has a picture and contact information. The back has a 9 point list of his positions. I never seen a politician campaign with business cards before but I like the idea. I like his positions on several issues so I’ll probably vote for him this fall.

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  20. basset said on June 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    “…perfect time to STFU.”

    Surprised at you there, beb. You don’t understand my point at all, or apparently care to, so let’s move on.

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  21. Sherri said on June 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Well, what was your point, basset? I didn’t get it, either.

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  22. Jolene said on June 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Also, what is the proper terminology for this kind of weapon?

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  23. Sherri said on June 12, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Are you unhappy that the media is calling the AR-15 a semi-automatic assault rifle, instead of assault weapon? I’d prefer they call it the gun of choice for the mass murderer.

    Just another day in America. We all take our shoes off at the airport because one time one person unsuccessfully tried to use a shoe bomb to blow up a plane, but thousands are killed by guns and we do nothing but “thoughts and prayers.” How’s that working out?

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  24. Sherri said on June 12, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Are you unhappy that the media is calling the AR-15 a semi-automatic assault rifle, instead of assault weapon? I’d prefer they call it the gun of choice for the mass murderer.

    Just another day in America. We all take our shoes off at the airport because one time one person unsuccessfully tried to use a shoe bomb to blow up a plane, but thousands are killed by guns and we do nothing but “thoughts and prayers.” How’s that working out?

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  25. basset said on June 12, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Well, as a gun owner any comment I might have here is immediately suspect, so I’ll just say that there’s already way too much misinformation out there. Try not to read anything into that, I’m just as horrified and disgusted by the recent events as any of you.

    Jolene, the proper terminology is “semi-automatic rifle,” an “assault rifle” is by definition full-auto… meaning that if you hold the trigger down it keeps firing, semi-automatic requires one trigger pull for each shot. There are many, many civilian semi-autos on the market which look like and/or are derived from military full-auto weapons… and a substantial number of wannabes who use them as props for their fantasies of badassery and home defense against the Scary Others. Not to say that everyone who owns a “black rifle” is that way, but it does happen. Wouldn’t have one myself.

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  26. Sherri said on June 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Basset, you’re way too defensive about being a gun owner. I get a little tired of couching every gun statement in terms of “not all gun owners.” We all know you are a reasonable gun owner, not a nut. If you have something to say about guns, say it.

    AP Stylebook is to call the AR-15 an assault weapon, not an assault rifle, which, as you note, is by definition full automatic. The AR-15 was banned for ~10 year under the assault weapons ban, and is appropriately called a semi-automatic assault weapon. However, it seems more than a bit pedantic at this point to worry about that distinction, as often as the AR-15 has been in the news as an weapon of mass destruction.

    It’s time for reasonable gun owners to speak out, because as the body count builds, I for one am losing tolerance, and am becoming more radicalized towards the notion of appealing the second amendment. Appealing the second amendment doesn’t ban guns, but maybe we could put some restrictions on ownership without it. Why should it be easier to get a gun than to get an abortion?

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  27. Julie Robinson said on June 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    We thought there might be extra security at the Sanford/Orlando airport but there wasn’t. We had Pre-check again and they didn’t make us take off our shoes or anything.

    Checking Facebook now that we’re home, I see that our daughter is at an LGBTQ advocacy and support center and I hope she’ll be able to help a few people with trauma counseling. She’s exactly who you would want in that kind of situation. But I’m so so sad it’s necessary.

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  28. Little Bird said on June 12, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Not all gun owners? Is that like not all men?


    Trump is despicable.

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  29. MichaelG said on June 12, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Not to mention that poor singer who got killed in Orlando the other day.

    I went through CDG in Paris in mid April and had heard about all the extra security but I sure didn’t see it.

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  30. basset said on June 12, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Well, no, Sherri, I don’t think I am, at least not here. Today was the first “STFU” I’ve gotten in this group, though… and I will note that I got thrown out of a Tennessee deer hunters’ online forum for being too liberal, so I have that going for me.

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  31. David C. said on June 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Who cares a flying fuck what they call it? Any weapon that can make mince of over 100 people in a bar or a room full of kindergartners in seconds shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone, let alone any asshole who can fog a mirror like in Floriduh.

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  32. Sherri said on June 12, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I’d really like to hear what you have to say, basset.

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  33. Suzanne said on June 12, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I have often wondered why people think banning abortion or making it much more difficult to get legally will cut down on the number of abortions, but say the same about gun ownership and we are consistently assured restrictions on gun manufacturing & ownership wouldn’t make any difference in stopping gun violence.

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  34. Jolene said on June 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Good point, Suzanne. Not that good points have much influence in this domain. If they did, the many, many graphs showing the rate of gun deaths in the U.S. Compared to other countries would surely have had some effect by now.

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  35. brian stouder said on June 12, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Well, and indeed – the Second Amendment says:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    So, one-elephant-in-the-room is the silly reference to “a well regulated militia” (I don’t think chuckleheads with a stars and bars flag plate on their pickup truck, or fantasy-ISIL members are in a “well regulated” anything, let alone a “well regulated militia”), and another elephant in the room is that we seem to have arbitrarily decided that “arms” equals guns.

    But if Billy Bob or Anwar or Helmut wants a bazooka, that’s an armament, too, right? Or – if I’m making bombs out of pressure cookers in my garage, those are “arms” too, right?

    If we interpret the Second Amendment literally (as opposed to the profit-centered way the industry lap-dog NRA would have us do), then I get to have a bazooka, and all the damned improvised explosive devices I can improvise, right?

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  36. Joe K said on June 12, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Depending on ones beliefs, I would say if you want to outlaw guns then you need to outlaw abortion, both kill innocent victims.
    Pilot Joe

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  37. basset said on June 12, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks, Sherri. I’ve already said it.

    Suzanne, agree with you on that. You could shut down all gun production right now and there would still be literally millions of em out there, how do you control those?

    Brian, not gonna go down the “well regulated militia” rabbit hole here but I have indeed run across some deluded rednecks who think their deer rifles are going to keep foreign invaders out of their property… good luck with that.

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  38. jcburns said on June 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    No, Joe, that’s a (very) false equivalence.

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  39. susan said on June 12, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Joe, you really are a troll. It’s best to ignore trolls.

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  40. alex said on June 12, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Looks like another mass shooting was narrowly averted this weekend:


    I swear, these young Hoosiers who go off to Hollywood thinking they’re gonna set the place on fire and knock ’em all dead.

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  41. Crazycatlady said on June 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I dare say those dead on the floor of the nightclub in Orlando do not care about the technical name for the mass-murder weapon of choice. Semantics here seem trite.

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  42. Sherri said on June 12, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Basset, there are a lot of guns out there, but if there’s a fire, you don’t keep pouring gasoline on it.

    One gun at a time.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 12, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Hey, Detroit — a word of hope and encouragement for you on a sorrowful day:


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  44. Joe K said on June 12, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Really Susan?
    Did I say I believe that? This is a argument that will be brought up. Did you read the part where I said, depending on ones belief? Or did you just look at who posted and automatically dismissed it,?
    Pilot Joe

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  45. beb said on June 12, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I’ve been out most of the day trying to wrestle the backyard into some semblance of order so I haven’t had a chance to keep up with comments. But it seems like Sherri has been doing an excellent job in answering Basset’s complaints.

    What is sad here is that while the killer was interviewed a couple times by the police they never concluded he was a threat to anyone. There was nothing in his profile that would have or should have barred him from owning a gun. The NRA wants stronger mental health laws (no they don’t) to weed out dangerous persons but more mass murderers rarely talk about killing people to others and when they do are rarely believed by others. Then again most deaths by guns are not committed by mass murderers. They committed by people taking their own lives, responding with rage against another or by accident (like all those infants shooting themselves or their parents). So while we’ll never be able to do much about people running amuck, we can do thinks to reduce run-of-the-mill gun injuries. Like banning anyone with a protective custody order from owning or possessing a gun. Banning anyone who has accidentally discharged a gun from owning a gun, closing all loopholes on background checks amd creating a national gun registry so the police can identify who are buying guns to sell to gangs and so on.

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  46. beb said on June 13, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Mike The Mad Biologist eviscerates that second amendment:

    Southern states had militas to suppress slave revolts. Southerns like Patrick Henry was afraid the new Constitution would take away the state’s ability to crush a slave revolt. It wasn’t for Liberty. It is a law that has outlives it’s time.

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  47. Dexter said on June 13, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Many of you recall Craig Crawford from his busy days and nights as a pol-commentator on msnbc a few years ago. I wish to share Craig’s column here, copied from his blog page, trailmix.cc

    Orlando Strong

    “I don’t want to make this about me, but simply stress how this craziness can hit any of us close to home.

    From age 3 to high school, when we moved further out, I grew up in a house exactly 2.5 miles from the site of this massacre. Our dog’s veterinarian and kennel was almost literally across the street. The modest restaurants nearby were some of our favorites, for everything from fried catfish to Cuban food.

    In those days it was a typically American middle class neighborhood where we didn’t just watch “Leave It To Beaver” – it was our way of life.

    As a grown-up gay man many years later, and long ago, I went to Pulse a few times with friends. It was a fun and welcoming place for an evolving neighborhood that came to fully accept such diversity without complaint.

    My heart aches for my hometown I love so much. Since Disney World transformed us in the early 1970’s from a place only known for orange trees, cows and mosquitoes it became our nation’s most visited tourist destination – more than 60 million a year, besting New York City, Vegas and all the rest.

    I always feared we could be a target. And now it has happened.

    Hopefully the nation will now see that Orlando is so much more than theme parks. It is little known what more we are, from our hundreds of gorgeous lakes, laid-back and fun people, an amazingly advanced center for state-of-the-art health care (the best doctors flock there for the golf courses) — and, thanks to the entertainment Goliath Orlando is, a huge, vibrant and yet very tightly-knit gay community that I know will rise above this with dignity.”
    craigcrawfordAuthorPosted on June 12, 2016

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  48. David C. said on June 13, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Well, we can all calm down. It didn’t happen at all according to tRump’s bestie Alex Jones. Just another false flag. I’m so relieved.

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