Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Unofficial First Installment of Glima, Etc.

The L-H sports columnist, John K. Samson, has posted some sports musings on his own "tumblog." Click on the title to see! (If I can figure out how to embed it in this blog, I will do so.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blögberg-Heimskringla rises like an unkillable maniac in a horror movie

It's been a while since David's last B-H entry, but here's a new one for you.

The L-H office is all a-bustle at the moment. Hardworking fellows are installing our new donor wall, which is to say a large display listing all of the wonderful people who contributed and otherwise helped out with the Future Fund Campaign of last year. This is the campaign which assured the continued survival of the Lögberg-Heimskringla for some time to come. Those who live in Winnipeg or are visiting should drop by the office to say hello and check out the wall. But you can check this blog in a little while - we'll put up some pictures of the exciting installation and the thrilling final result.

I, by the way, am Caelum, the new editor, so hello to all of you I haven't said hello to yet. I'll do my best to put up some regular blog entries, or at least semi-regular blog entries. In the meantime, here's a picture for you:

It's a still from a rock video shoot featuring the Winnipeg band The Weakerthans. Their singer, John K. Samson, is the L-H's new sports columnist.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Final post

I'm writing this on my last day as editor of Lögberg-Heimskringla, just to say goodbye and to add a photo that many people have asked me to publish in L-H. That fact that it's a photo of my daughter in no way influences my decision...

Little Fiona Kristjana was born during the first day of the Icelandic National League Convention this year in Winnipeg, April 27. It was an exciting and long night for Bronwen and me — in fact we thought the baby would be born on the 26th but it didn't work out that way. Anyway, for the rest of the weekend, I went back and forth between the Fort Garry Hotel where the convention was in full swing so I could cover it for L-H (and moderate a discussion panel I had put together) and the St. Boniface Hospital, where Fiona had been born and Bronwen was recuperating. Some people at the convention started calling Fiona (as yet unnamed) "the INL baby." About 300 people every day were asking what we were going to name her.

Anyway, Fiona has grown up bright and healthy so far, and for Hallowe'en, Bronwen and I decided to have a little fun with the Nordic side of Fiona's heritage. Fiona seemed to get a kick out of it too, if the photo is anything to go by. Maybe next year we can take inspiration for a costume from Bronwen's Celtic/Scottish background...

Anyway, it has been an honour to serve as editor of L-H. I won't belabour the history (and if you're a subscriber, you've heard this from me already). I hope you enjoy this "parting shot."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Running out of room

I don't know why I started doing it years ago, but at whatever publication I work for, I keep a copy of every issue I've worked on in a stack underneath my desk (or beside it). It's mainly because I'm too lazy to get up and walk to the other room where they are all stacked in piles per issue — when I want to see how something was designed or when an article appeared, I want to flip through the issue ASAP. Also I have a tendency to walk into another room for the express purpose of something or other but by the time I get there my thoughts have moved on and I can't remember why I needed to go into the room in the first place.

The only problem is that after a while, even at a newspaper that only publishes twice a month, the papers begin to pile up. You can see here what might seem a modest pile of Lögberg-Heimskringlas — but it actually represents every issue (except one) that I worked on as designer or editor since coming back to L-H in February 2004.

I know many subscribers have piles of back issues much more impressive than these — I've seen them! I wonder why they are keeping them, if not as a reference for what we should or shouldn't put into the next issue. Anybody out there have a theory?

P.S. (added at 4:09) in case anyone is wondering why the papers on top seem whiter than those on the bottom, it's not just because the ones on the bottom are older and have started to yellow (this pile has almost never seen sunlight). We switched from printing with The Daily Graphic to The Prolific Group in January 2006, and printed the newspaper on better paper. That's why there's a clean break in the colour of the papers.

Change is in the wind

It's been announced in Lögberg-Heimskringla and a notice was posted in the Winnipeg Free Press, but in case you don't read either of those excellent publications, I'll add here that I will be stepping down as editor of L-H later this month. It has been a great experience and I've gotten to know many in the Icelandic community, from all over North America, as well as try a few new things with the newspaper.

In case you know of anyone who might be interested in applying, L-H is currently accepting applications for the position of Managing Editor. The job posting is as follws:

NOW HIRING: Writer/Editor

Growing ethnic newspaper seeks full-time Managing Editor. Duties include writing editorials and articles, editing,  managing the daily operations of the newspaper and working with the other four staff members to produce two issues per month. Knowledge of Icelandic culture and community an asset. Apply in writing by December 5 to:

Attn: Audrey Kwasnica
100-283 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 2B5

Monday, November 26, 2007

What's on the shelf (recently)

If you're a mystery fan (and I wouldn't say I am... I mainly know Sherlock Holmes and the Cadfael books), you should browse through what's coming out of Iceland these days. Arnaldur Indriðason's series about police detective Erlendur (Voices, Jar City, and many others) have been winning over readers in translation, and now there is Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, a civil engineer who wrote Last Rituals, a mystery that delves into Iceland's history of witch hunts.

When I studied Icelandic history I was surprised to find that most of the people persecuted for witchcraft in that country were men, not women. I seem to recall it had something to do with the fact that witches were not permitted to own property, so if you got your neighbour accused of witchcraft you might just snag his land as well.

Anyway, Last Rituals is a great read. If you have been reading Björk Bjarnadóttir's folklore column in Lögberg-Heimskringla, some of the bizarre and morbid Icelandic folk beliefs the novel turns up won't come as a complete surprise...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's on the spindle

The Weakerthans rock. If you haven't heard them, or have but don't have their new album "Reunion Tour," check it out. This band just keeps getting better, and probably scores highest on writing Songs That Are Just True of any group I've heard.

Also, if you like great punk/rock songs with a lot of attitude, search out the debut EP by The Papsmears, "Love Chords." These women can really play.

I've added a new menu to this blog called "Playlist" ... I'll list links to bands mentioned here, so you can check them out.

P.S. "Spindle" for all you young folks out there means the thing that holds a record on the turntable. Yes, even in high school, I bought records instead of tapes sometimes because I thought they sounded better. And I refused to pay an extra five bucks for the CD version. Still, I'm glad I did not become a music fan in the eight-track era... that's about as great a format as RealAudio.