Showing posts from January, 2013


American oatmeal, although packaged and advertised as a breakfast food, has so much sugar in it, it ought to be considered dessert. I did not really realize this until I, in a pinch, served American style oatmeal to a group of Icelanders who literally did not know what they were eating. In other words, it looked like oatmeal, was the same temperature and consistency of oatmeal, but did not taste a thing like what they were used to. Over the Christmas holidays, I ate a lot of oatmeal prepared the Icelandic way, and now can officially say how much better it is than the artificially sweet American version. Oats do actually have a nice hardy flavor, albeit a bit subtle, that needs just a wee bit of room on one's palette to express itself. Yet one more thing Iceland has taught me.

Under motivated

I start teaching as a Lecturer at Berkeley tomorrow, which has got me thinking about how that does not mean the same thing as being a Lektor at HÍ. Nor dies it mean the same thing as being a lecturer in the UK system. Apparently, the US is the only place to use that term for recent PhDs who are giving lecturers to classes, but not actually full time appointed faculty members. But it is still a promotion of sorts, or anyhow a raise, so I am happy for it. Now I just need to figure out what to do with myself after July....

Happy New Year!

Over the last two weeks, I've had a friend from Iceland staying with me, and that has led to lots of opportunities to make comparisons between California and Iceland. We spent New Years Eve in San Francisco, and Unnar was stunned by how ridiculously steep all the hills were in the city, much steeper than in Akureyri. But he was less impressed by the fireworks display at midnight, which was pretty good for an American fireworks show, but nothing at all compared to the wildness of the individual displays that take place all over Reykjavik on New Years. We took a hike on New Years day, and I was pleased to get confirmation that there is something similar between the landscape of Iceland and California. The height of the coastal hills is about the same as the mountains in Iceland, and they are both largely treeless. On a more personal note, it has been great to have someone to speak Icelandic with, and who is willing to offer corrections to me as needed. I was saying "taldi me