...Continued from page 1

Veteran Internet users will know that the Internet is a veryphoto: copying peace complicated worldwide network, that depends on a very big lot of software co-operation between tens of thousands of different machines, located all over the place.

A young boy copying the word 'peace' written in several languages and scripts.

Messages routinely make incredibly complicated circuits through the Internet maze, to get from the sender to the destination. Sometimes, one little 'dot' too many, or out of place, throws the message off the route and it ends up stuck in Internet limbo.

Even if 'undeliverable,' the machines are programmed to return the message to the sender, usually with the optimistic comment that 'they' will 'keep trying for five days.'

This is not mere PR blah-blah text. The Internet does keep on trying, even while you are asleep.

The server-lady, Linda Thalman, has told me she routinely gets an average of 40 to 60 'bounces' every time she mails her Paris In Sites newsletter. This is a problem that keeps her awake.

Café Metropole Club's 25th Session

The 25th weekly meeting of the 'Café Metropole Club' came off with considerable excitement - for me - last Thursday. You can read about it on last week's 'Club 'Report'' page.

For a few weeks I announced here that the last Thursday's meeting 'report' would be re-run on this week's 'Club News' page. This was an idea I had because I wasn't sure that regular issue readers were looking up the 'Update' on Thursdays or hitting the link above, to look it up now - or doing neither.

Strictly speaking, the last club meeting 'report' is an 'almost live Update' to last week's issue of Metropole. But it is also part of last week's events in Paris, and that is what this Monday's issue of Metropole is about.

If this is confusing to you; it is equally confusing to me. Maybe I should drop the weekly-issue notion of Metropole and just make everything an 'Update,' to go online whenever Paris is in the mood.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.14 - 5. April 1999 - The Café Metropole column was headlined: - 'Surprise Easter In Paris.' 'Au Bistro' had 'Lost' News Isn't Here.' This issue had two features, entitled 'Not Finding Paris' Oldest Tree' and 'Model Salon: On Land, On Sea, In the Air: In Scale.' This issue's 'Paris' Scene' hadphoto: pelouse interdit 'When in Rome, Do Paris.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' as usual and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'No 10,000 Lira Notes Please.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.14 - 6. April 1998 - The Café Metropole column was headlined 'Papon Trial Finally Winds Up.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'Le Pen Loses Civil Rights; Is Fined.' This issue had four features! They were 'Not the Cheapest Bargins I've Seen - Rue d'Alésia,' 'In South Paris In the Rain - Rue d'Alésia,' ''Nova:' 10 Francs - 'Generation-X' on the Cheap' and 'Suburbs - A Lost Weekend in the Village.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Watercolors.'

The Metropole Paris Countdown to 31. December 2000:

Here is the 14th issue of the year and I haven't received any complaints about Metropole's all-new and whiter-than-white, fabulously stupendous count-down. Yet. I don't think anybody reads this, but I can't prove it because nobody has written to say they don't.

This new countdown will last only 366 days, minus the 79 days already gone. The official reason for doing this is to give the Tour Eiffel a new chance to 'get it right' - and for a leap year it ought to. So many count-down fans missed shouting 'Zéro' on Friday, 31. December 1999 when Paris' countdown clock gave up. There is no 'unofficial' reason, but if necessary I'll invent one.

There are about 280 days left to go until the 3rd Millennium.
signature, regards, ric

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