Friday, February 27, 2009


In the very first post I wrote about the Faroe Islands almost two years ago, I mentioned that the Faroes had its own music festival called the G! Festival and remarked that I hoped to attend some time in the future. Last year those hopes seemed permanently dashed when the company that puts the festival on went bankrupt. But, like a phoenix from the ashes, the G! Festival is back.

The festival has started announcing musical acts for the three day event, and it's quite an eclectic bill. Faroese favorites Boys in a Band will be returning to the festival stage, and they'll be joined by acts playing heavy metal, electronic, folk, and pop music. The festival has even booked a polka band.

I actually spoke to the G! Festival's organizer this week and he said they don't care about genre or style. If they like a band, they'll book them. (Plug: you can hear the interview on episode 5 of the Faroe Islands Podcast, which should be released in a few days.)

I've been to several music festivals in my life, but I've never seen one in so spectacular a setting (see photo above). I'm happy G! is back. Helps keep the dream alive that I will one day stand in that place listening to great music as the sun (sort of) sets over the fjord.

The G! Festival runs from July 23rd to the 25th.

This week's Faroe photo is of Trøllkonufingur, or "witch's finger." It's was taken by Faroe Man and is part of a photo set that can be found at the home page for the Faroe Islands Podcast. Enjoy.


Thursday, February 26, 2009


I haven't left you. Really. I've been sick and now I'm buried under a big project.

I'm reemerging soon. I promise.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Every now and then I feel the need to pick at the wound that is my 15 months in Texarkana.

It's no secret that I did not enjoy my time in the city that's "twice as nice," and I've generally tried to put the experience behind me. But last week I typed the word "Texarkana" into the search box on Facebook, just to see what came up.

What I found is a group called "Texarkana, it's better than it used to be." As evidence, someone posted a video from a CBS news story that aired in 1969. While Texarkana is no longer a city that wallows in tons of its own trash while a "rat patrol" fires revolvers at rodents the size of small terriers, I still think I recognize the city documented in this story.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take another dose of my "forget Texarkana" medication.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I complain a lot here that almost all the English-language news about the Faroes online is about soccer. But this time, I think it's perfectly newsworthy.

Goal.com is reporting that France's soccer season may start a week early this year. The reason? The Faroe Islands Soccer Team. I'll explain.

France is one of the powerhouses of international soccer. The Faroe Islands is not. But in a match not that long ago, the Faroes held France scoreless for most of the game. France ended up winning... but still.

So now it's World Cup qualifying time, and France is several points behind the leaders in their group. And this August, they must travel north and face... the Faroe Islands. France's coach (pictured above) is worried the his team won't be in good enough condition for the match. So he's asking the domestic league to start the first week in August. That way, his players will have a couple of games under their belts before they face the mighty Faroese team.

Allow me to taunt the French for a moment: You're really afraid of the Faroe Islands? You've got some of the world's elite athletes, they've got a bunch of auto mechanics and school teachers. Looks like somebody's chicken, bok, bok, bok, bok. (I am also doing a chicken dance while I write this.)

No matter what the outcome, however, the Faroese team the French face won't be helmed by Colin Calderwood. A few weeks ago we reported that the Scottish footballer was hired as the Faroese National Team's head coach. In the past two weeks, the media reported that the deal was off. Then they reported that the deal was back on and that Calderwood was flying to the Faroes to sign the paperwork. Then the deal was off again. Oh well.

This week's Faroe Photo is a snowy image of Torshavn. A series of storms has dumped a lot of the white stuff on the Faroese capitol. And Faroe Man was there to get some pictures of the sunny aftermath. The large white building on the left side of the picture is the building housing the national TV and radio stations. Just thought you'd want to know.

Also, episode three of the podcast is online. You can listen on iTunes or download it from our blog, at http://faroepodcast.blogspot.com/.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Julie is out of town on business and missing the little guys. So normally I'd post a great big pile of new photos to help ease the pangs. But photos of Nate and Will aren't easy to come by these days. Still photography isn't really the medium that works best with these two.

So I offer these few pics as a place holder, with the hopes that I can get some good pictures soon. (For those keeping score at home, Will is wearing the blue shirt, Nate is in black)

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


There's no telling how long it will be until the thugs at the RIAA have this thing pulled from YouTube, so enjoy it while you can.

It's the first live TV performance by Radiohead in 9 years, and they played with the USC marching band. Serious nerdgasm.

But the performance was so good that when Nate and Will saw it, they demanded, "More! Drums! Dark!"

I couldn't have put it better myself.

(And one more thing, if the RIAA doesn't want anyone seeing snatched video of the Grammy telecast, why don't they post some up on their site? The Grammy website is a joke with two video clips that appear to be acceptance speeches. Why are major labels, as embodied by the RIAA, going out of business? Because they don't know what their customers want or refuse to offer it to them. Burn, baby, burn.)

Friday, February 06, 2009


About two years ago, I got a random hit on this blog from the Faroe Islands. This led me to investigate just where the hit came from. After several weeks of online research a full-on obsession had developed, which I documented in this blog post from June of 2007.

Pretty soon, news and trivia from the Faroes became a regular feature of this blog and I actually got a small handful of readers from the Faroe Islands, including Tollakkur Hansen, who at the time I only knew by his online handle of "Faroe Man." Tollak encouraged me to get onto facebook, where he introduced me to several other people from the Faroes.

Now our friendship and mutual interest in the Faroe Islands has gone multi-media. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce the Faroe Islands Podcast. The podcast is a collaboration between me and Faroe Man and a few other people both here and in the Faroes. Each podcast deals with the news, culture, politics, and music of the Faroe Islands.

We've put out two episodes so far and a third one should hit the net early next week. It's a completely homemade affair, but freeware and Skype mean you can put together a nice sounding podcast for almost nothing.

How to listen? Let me count the ways. First, you can go to iTunes and subscribe there. If you search for "Faroe Islands Podcast," we'll be the only thing that turns up. Second, you can download episodes directly by going here. At the blog you can find links to the RSS feed, directly download individual episodes, or listen to the most recent installment on our embedded audio player.

Not enough? Ok. We're on Facebook, too. At our new Facebook page, you can get more information on the podcast and listen to individual episodes. What more can you possibly want?

I'll also post notices here when new episodes are completed. So there.
This week's Faroe Photo comes from Faroe Man's brother, Janus. It's a lighthouse, and Tollak thought it was an appropriate image to associate with the podcast. He said something about the podcast being a beacon of light in the darkness or something like that. Scandinavians do those kinds of metaphors better than I. So that's all for now. Happy listening. If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


This meme has been floating through facebook, and I eventually got tagged. So I'll post it here as well. The assignment is simply to post 25 random facts about yourself. Well, ok...

1. I am perhaps the pickiest eater in the world. Everyone knows this. At my funeral, someone will ask whoever I leave behind, “did he ever start eating more stuff?” And the answer will be, “sort of.”

2. I am the only one of my siblings not born in Rochester, NY. I was born in San Jose, CA.

3. I have accepted money to go on dates with strangers three times. I never put out on any of those occasions.

4. I have a thing for airports. I like them. I think they’re cool. I also am a nerd about commercial air flight and international airlines. I actually own a book that’s like bird spotting book, but instead has pictures of planes from almost every airline in the world. When I know I’ll be flying into a major international airport, I’ll try to have the book handy so I can identify previously unseen airlines.

5. I once went through the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” and started adding up places. I had seen about 115 of those places.

6. Despite #1 and my extremely lowbrow eating preferences, I still have managed to become a food snob. I make perhaps the world’s best grilled cheese.

7. I’m utterly obsessed with the Faroe Islands (a small band of islands about halfway between Iceland and Norway) . Don’t ever get me started on the subject. I will never stop talking.

8. I hate sports and I hate the cold. But I love skiing. I understand this makes no sense.

9. I flunked every grade in high school.

10. I once sort-of danced with Beth Gibbons of Portishead.

11. If I could be anything in the world, I would be an International Superstar DJ. I love the idea of traveling all over the world and having people pay money to hear me play my record collection.

12. I have never in my life eaten a hamburger or tasted alcohol.

13. Ok, so there was this one time in 1987 when I stuck my tongue in a glass of champagne. But that’s it.

14. I dislike how, when you have a job, you say you “are” that thing. For instance, you work as a reporter so at social gatherings you are obliged to say, “I am a journalist.” That’s just too all encompassing. I don’t believe people are merely the sum total of what they’re paid to do.

15. I know I talk too much and I’m deeply embarrassed by it. But by the time I’m aware of it, it’s already too late.

16. I sort of have a crush on Emma Thompson.

17. I won an unemployed actress on “The Dating Game” in 1997.

18. I lived in Subaru for about two months.

19. I love watching Prime Minister’s Questions in the British House of Commons on C-SPAN.

20. I have perhaps the best batch of friends in the world who are unfortunately scattered all across the country. I miss them. A lot.

21. I am probably lactose intolerant.

22. I used to perform in a comedy troupe. We had a regular gig at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip. One of my recurring characters was a pompous news anchor. Three years later, I was an actual news anchor.

23. I have committed to memory the contents of almost every Monty Python’s Flying Circus episode.

24. I’m an urban planning nerd. Don’t ever visit Portland with me. I will never shut up.

25. I find lawn mowing a meditative experience.

Monday, February 02, 2009


For reasons I'll go into later, I had to shave my beard this weekend. It was the first time I had shaved since November. I had promised a friend I would document the last moments of The Beard. So the above photo was taken just five minutes before I shaved.
And this photo was taken just one minute before I shaved. What's the difference, you ask? I think it's pretty obvious that my beard looks much more frightened in the second photo.

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