bob sends TAKK!! card for his new wool cap + gloves + mittens + headband (not shown) from iceland/island
Oh yes absolutely click!
They came today, in a little cardboard box that was waiting for me inside the screen door! They came from Iceland! To replace my beloved Keflavik Airport cap and gloves, which did not survive last winter.
And just in time for the first snowfall on Vleeptron! Note that on Vleeptron, all snowflakes are exactly alike. (Glaciologists on Vleeptron, Hoon and Yobbo refer to it as the Model D, I don't know why, maybe my nephew Ice Cube knows, I think he is in Chile ahora. If he would ever speak, he is Vleeptron's Man-On-The-Glacier about all snow and ice stuff. Also he probably knows the latest about the impending destruction of all mainland Sudamerica by the swimming pregnant Castore [the great-great-great-great-grandaughter of original Canadian immigrant beavers] from Patagonia.)
I thought I had a problem with always wanting to go North, ever farther North. Ice Cube just wants to get to anybody's 90° of Latitude, Arctic, Antarctic, he seems to have no preference, Sud ou Norde, penguins or puffins, it's all good. He goes where it snows. If there's ice, that's nice. He calls vulcanologists and seismologists in the next cubicles the "shake n bake people."
The north coast of Iceland hangs at 66° North. The Arctic Circle circles the Earth at 66° 33′ 39″ or 66.56083° North. That must be very close, maybe if you climb a mountain on a clear day (in a season that features day) you can see the Arctic Circle. Certainly a bunch of friendly Icelander fishing people could take you out there with the GPS so you could look over the side and see the Arctic Circle. "There it is! You see it? Look there, where I point!"
He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.
"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!
"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank:"
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best --
A perfect and absolute blank!
-- "The Hunting of the Snark"
Fit the Second: THE BELLMAN'S SPEECH
Actually the Arctic Circle never touches the mainland, but does cut through a tiny island called Grímsey. If anyone has ever been to Grímsey or knows anything about it, please Leave A Comment.
Oh listen, there is hot news about the solar system in the nearby Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy of which Vleeptron, Yobbo, Hoon and Mollyringwald have until now been the only known planets.
The Very Strange Array near Thud has discovered a new planet!
Apparently this oblate spheroid has a very aberrant (or perverted) orbit, which keeps it hidden behind Mollyringwald 99.89923 percent of the time, during which you can't see it from Hoon or Yobbo or Vleeptron.
I mentioned that my buddy Axelrod, the 467th Vleeptron Astronomer Royal, let me name Planet Mollyringwald once when I was hanging in C.V. for a couple of weeks. He said they needed to give a name to the Dark, Shrouded, Mysterious (and possibly All-Female) planet, so I named it Mollyringwald.
Well, the Zeta Beam is working again, I'm in my spacetimeshare holiday condo near the Shoe Mirrors UnderWay station, and Axelrod has left me a voicemail that they need another planet name.
This is a no-brainer: The new planet will henceforth be known as Planet BjörkGuðmundsdóttir.
But anyway the buzz is the researchers at the Very Strange Array near Thud have not only discovered this new oblate spheroid, and crudely imaged the dingus in radar wavelengths, but have received an Intercept from this bowling ball!
It looks not-random so far! Strongly believed to be Not Noise, but real Signal! No clue what it says, perhaps we will seek ye Assistance of ye Publicke to decrypt this mysterious string of binary pulses. Watch This Space for further encryption news from BjörkGuðmundsdóttir.
I love these woolen things from Iceland! You can go clickety click and SHAZAM! 8 or 10 days later (I opted for the Bargain Shipping Rate, I think it came to Boston on a fishing boat laden with cod) your cap and mittens and gloves and headband, of gorgeous Icelandic wool, from a gorgeous Icelandic sheep, will be in a little box with Icelandic postal runes inside the screen door!
The name of the company that made them is VARMA of Iceland. There's a catalog for their stuff HERE. (It's all in Icelandic, so they must really be in Iceland, or maybe Winnipeg.) But there's also a sort of Virtual Shopping Mall for all sorts of Iceland tchatchki HERE, you can shop till you drop in Iceland while you're Somewhere Else.
I don't need a scarf, because my Mom knitted me the official BBC Doctor Who (Tom Baker) Scarf, it's 6 feet (1.8288 meters) long and the most lurid thing anybody ever put around his or her neck. One of my nephews, Kwik, Kwek or Kwak, saw my Mom knitting it, and he knew who Doctor Who was, and he jumped down and up and put on some kind of hissie fit and held his breath until he turned blue, so she knitted him a scarf too, only taking his size into account, this one was 3 feet (0.9144 meters) long. I still have mine, I don't know if he still has his. I donated to the PBS station and got the official BBC knitting pattern as a bonus, and my Mom said it was the most fun knitting project she'd ever done. (She may have been lying so as not to make me feel bad about putting her through some freaky and interminable fabric-craft torment.)
Winters are fucking brutal on Vleeptron. Spiritually brutal. You need Iceland wool cap and gloves and mittens, and a Doctor Who scarf, to make a Happy Fun Winter Party out of the season of Bleakness, Darkness, Heavy Drinking, and a pretty damn good and lengthy Impersonation of Widespread Permanent Death.
Also there is Genuine Vleeptron Maple Syrup, the very best maple syrup in the entire Local Group, and Hot Cocoa from Yobbo, the best damn cocoa there is. Yobbo is still a little backwards in Chocolate Science. They can't make chocolate into a solid. They only know how to manufacture chocolate as Liquid or Gas, but they are damn good at making chocolate Gas and Liquid bonbons.
Anybody who dies on Vleeptron this winter because their car got trapped in a blizzard or fell down a moulin into a glacier because they were navigating by using a goddam GPS machine, they were trusting their lives to some robot lady announcing TURN RIGHT NOW TURN LEFT NOW such persons deserved not to reach childbearing years.
On the Dakar Rally (for the first time it's gonna move from the Bad Neighborhood of Africa to the somewhat calmer Argentina and Chile) or in the Kalahari or schlepping between research stations near McMurdo Sound, this might be the last thing you ever hear, scroll down and play the Sound Sample.
My new pre-owned 4WD -- the International Space Station of personal vehicles, you got to take a community college course to back it out the driveway -- has no GPS. I bought a Road Atlas and stuck it in the passenger door. And I can read. And think. And reason. And I don't need batteries (well, okay, I need one lousy Energizer AAA) and neither does the Road Atlas.
The best thing about every trip I take is I get to buy wonderful new local maps. The closer you get, the better the maps get.
If you are travelling to some Freaky Very Cold Place, you might also wait until you get there to buy a winter coat. Stores in Philadelphia or Padua have no clue how to keep you warm and dry and cozy and convenient on Grímsey. But Njal's Winter Nasty Weather Gear Boutique in Reykjavik, they will do you up right, Njal's your uncle. Also Long Winter Underwear, really Advanced Stuff. 90° Latitude borealis or australis, and you are having a Party In Your Pants.