Saturday, 9 July 2016

What to Sip in Iceland

The one thing you notice in Iceland is that every time you go to lunch or dinner....these kind  restaurant folks come out with this great bottle of Icelandic glacier water....straight from their water facet.

It normally comes in a bottle as shown in the picture, and is awful chilled.

I have to admit.....it is one of the finer waters that I've ever tasted in my life and a guy could become awful attached to the taste.

Course, if you look to the right of the water.....is a glass of some awful fine Tuborg Classic beer.  A guy could become attached to it's taste as well, and I suspect they use glacier water to make it. It's in the 4.6 range for the alcohol rate.

The water is free, but the Tuborg runs around four bucks at a restaurant (it's not that cheap).

Land of the Midnight Sun

When someone says 'Land of the Midnight Sun'.....this photo is the best example possible.

This was a few minutes before midnight in Reykjavik.

In mid-July, there is no real darkness.  The sun will set but there's enough light left that you can see just about everything.  The sun will officially rise around 3:30AM but there's already light existing.

A bothersome thing?  After a week, I have to admit that I wasn't getting used to this and the 24 hours a day of light bothered me.

In December, the opposite problem, with the sun rising around 11AM and setting by 3PM.

It kinda got brought up on Muslims having a big problem in this area of the world.  In the four-week Ramadan period.....from sun-up to sun-down.....you can't drink liquids or eat.  This means almost 20 hours of no liquids in the summer time.....for four weeks.

It is one of those odd things that you come to experience and realize how screwed up things can get with much daylight.

The Bulb

 I stayed at a fancy upscale hotel on the south coast of Iceland this past week.  To be honest, I actually forced myself to pay roughly $350 for one single night in this place.  For a guy from Alabama.....it's a tough decision to make.

There were a bunch of fine things about this hotel, and it was right next to a glacier.....which probably helped to inflate the pricing of the room.  But it's the ceiling light that consumed my time in the room.

It's one big custom blown-glass bulb....probably twice the size of a basketball.  It has to weigh at least 20 pounds.

So I laid there in the bed.....looking up at the globe and kept looking at what was basically holding the globe there.....one thin electrical cable.  That was it.

On the safety scale.....one to ten.....this was a marginal two at best.

The place just opened in June and this was a fancy upscale place.  Maybe the globe light does make sense.  But you can just sit there and envision some night coming up in a year or two.....where this thin electrical cable will break and dump the bulb down onto you as you are sleep.  If it's thick glass....it'll probably hurt you pretty good.  If it's thin glass....it'll break and cut you up.

Cost?  Oh, I'm guessing this was a 400-dollar light fixture, that some interior decorator felt would add to the room.

This was one of twenty-odd features of the hotel that just made me question the value of the rates.

The Cop Shooting Observation

If you stand back and look over the Dallas cop shooting (five dead cops) and the whole story.....you come to this observation.

In the late 1960s....there were X-number of cops and law enforcement in towns, counties, state apparatuses, and the federal government.  Today?  There are double, and in some organizations....triple or more.....cops that have been added to the system.  The question is.....are you safer now, or from the late 1960s?

Go look at your local small town cop force that had two guys on the payroll in 1969.  Today?  It's probably seven guys.  What do the seven guys mostly do?  Hand out speeding tickets, and traffic violation tickets.  They are a money-maker for the small towns, infuriating the general public (mostly the low-wage earner), and a sad comical force.

As we added more and more cops to the system.....we didn't really ask questions.  Joe would show up and just say he was the cousin of Marvin.....who was already a sheriff's deputy.....no real experience.

Some guys showed up with MP experience from the Army.  Some guys had five or six classes from some community college.  Some guys had an academy deal with some state organization.  Overall, we did a lousy job hiring people and in some cases....hired thugs instead of law enforcement.

Add in the aggressive drug and thug crime issues on top of the cop issue.  If we drug-tested everyone arrested in a normal year.....I suspect well over fifty percent have some significant drug in their system.  They aren't clean.

Then you come to the various mass movements started in the past six to eight years.....all using some dead 'hero' to get public appeal.  The news media is stupid enough not to ask questions anymore.....they just publish the banners and pump the message out to the public.

Social media?  Also part of the mass messaging system to the public.

Here's the general part to affect each of you.  If you live in a small town.....some nutcase meth-head will look at the shooting business.....get some stupid idea.....fire a round or two at the local cop, and suddenly, you have everyone in the town carrying a gun.....24 x 7.  Cops will react more often with a gun, and the public will do the same.

Bunch of shooting....scores of dead people.....and for what?

There is no fix for this.....other than accepting it as the norm for the next couple of years, and forcing a bunch of folks into the legal system for stupid stuff.

The Hillary Observation

After watching for six months this whole FBI dance of sorts over Hillary.....you can generally come to five observations.

1.  Up until the late 1990s.....if you were reviewing classified material.....it was printed out at some communications center and put into a book, which you read.  If you wanted to chat about it.....you went to a STU (a special phone which was marginally effective in talking and hearing).  In the late 1990s....things changed.  Networks came up, and individual accounts.  So everyone was forced to become technology gifted.  In today's world, you would have a personal email account (like Yahoo), a gov't unclassified account (functioning slightly different than Yahoo), a Secret account (very much different from Yahoo and the unclassified account), and a Top Secret account (extremely different).

To operate all four? You need to use them daily and be fairly gifted.

I get the impression that the people in the background of Hillary Clinton.....realized that she isn't that gifted with hardware or different email gimmicks.  So blending all of this into one single system....like a Yahoo account.....made perfect sense (sadly).

2.  No one lost their security clearance or got fired over this whole thing.  It's amazing to see this part of the episode.

3.  The FBI used up around $4.5 million dollars worth of time on this so far.....with zero results.  It kinda says a lot about prioritizing efforts and the value of an investigation.

4.  Multi-task capable?  After looking at the various routines, you tend to see a White House that really didn't use Secretary of State Clinton, and she was just around to make speeches and travel across the globe.  The emails and lack of authority.....all demonstrate this.

5.  The odds of her repeating the same procedure and email game?  Well.....it's hard to say.  If you were really that stupid, yes.....you'd go right back and do it the same way again.  Maybe she learned something from this.  Well.....maybe.