...Continued from page 1

At one restaurant I passed I saw the tops of familiar heads. Just behind them the terrace window was open, so I stuck in my head and said 'bonsoir' to a tableful of Daguerrotypistas. Terrace days are about 16 hours long these days.

Café Life continues on its own extra page.

Anti-Spam War Kills Legit Emails

If your emails to this magazine have been batted back to you with a label of 'spam' attached, do not be offended. You haven't sent me any 'spam' and I haven't batted it back.

Somewhere in the Internet system, somebody is fighting against 'spam' and while doing so they are preventing a lot of legitimate messages from getting to their proper destinations.

Six weeks ago 'spam' reached some sort of pinnacle of garbage. Out of hundreds of messages - with dozens of attachments - received daily, only about 10 percent were bona-fide messages.

For about the past ten days, the total volume seems to have been cut by about 60 or 70 percent - with legitimate messages suffering unjustly from the same percentage of cuts.

Even if you haven't been writing to Metropole, you may have noticed that you aren't getting some email newsletters that you've subscribed to. It seems like everybody is in the same boat, and nobody seems to know who is at the helm.

On a related note, May has been a particularly chaotic month here at Metropole's editorial niche. Changingphoto: cafe la corona Internet access, upgrading equipment, dislodging furniture, strikes, multiple visitors and long weekends have all played a part in my slowness to respond to some the emails that have been getting through the 'spam' barriers.

Another terrace - one familiar to many club members.

The calendar says there is only one long weekend in June - next week - so I expect a gradual return to operations as normal as they ever get. By writing it out, I have probably axed any chance of this, but let's be optimistic.

'About' Café Metropoleô Blanc de Blanc

The most recent news about Metropole's wine was the report by Allan Pangborn about taking the wine to the 'Taste Washington' exhibition in Seattle, where visitors to the Moonlight booth had to stand in line to get a taste or two. Use this link to take you to this news about Metropole's sparkling wine, with vague links to all the previous 'news' about it.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Click this link lightly to get last week's "I have a thing for macaroons" club meeting report, the one featuring a monster 'City of the Week' that was not Chicago.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 5. June. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint-Igor. This is another one on the calendar but with nothing in my saints-book. I am getting a great desire to create histories for these orphans, or even make substitutions such as Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, which is near Bayonne and has old houses and ramparts.

Only a few of the minor details concerning the club can be found handily grouped on the all-purpose 'About the Club' page, because there aren't more than a few. The virtual membership card on this page may also be useful, but not for getting discounts. It is free though.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 7.23/24 - 3/10. June 2002 - This double issue began with the Café Metropole column, 'Home Sweet Home' followed by an update of 'Café Life' titled 'Flat Hunting, Part 44.' This issue had two 'Au Bistro' columns, with 'No News In a Very Tiny Nutshell' and 'All Together Now, Turn Right!' There were two updates for the Café Metropole Club meetings on 6. June and 13. June, with the "Something Pulled Us Here" report followed by the 'Nothing of the Week' report. The Scene column's title was 'Roller Days Are Back.' Again. There were six new 'Postersphoto: sign, rue pierre au lard of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' appeared twice, with one captioned, "Great Flyer!" and the other, 'Let's Wake Her Up.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.23 - 4. June 2001 - This issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Free Lunch Is Over.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'The Big Fish Story.' It wasn't the first one either. The features of the week were titled 'Half the Free Sights' and 'Anyone for Etchings?' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 7. June had a kind of instructional 'Lost and Found' report. The 'Scene' column's title was the 'Future' Gets Longer.' There were the four sparkling 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon announced, "I've Seen Your Engravings." The on-again off-again Photo Page had, simply, 'Champs-Elysées.'

'Mardi Noir' Part Five

The government, after a meeting today, is reported as having said Maybe! to demands that the proposed decentralization measures be shelved, but only until fall. Students and teachers will be able to do their exams now, and resume the strikes during the 'rentrée.' The government hopes the teachers will not remember to do this

TV-news suggested that the government's strategy of giving a bit of leeway on the decentralizationphoto: sunglasses issue would permit them to remain hardnosed about their 'reform' plans for retirement issues. However, the retirement plans will affect teachers too, so it doesn't seem like much of a 'strategy.'

Meanwhile, a splendid 'Mardi Noir' is planned for tomorrow, and as far as public transport goes, it will have begun tonight. There is some confusion about who is involved - maybe fewer than on 13. May - but tonight's TV-news gave this forecast:

- Métro - 50 percent operational
- Buses - two out of three
- RER - two out of three
- TGV - one out of three
- Eurostar - normal schedule
- Air France - one flight out of three, with long-distance flights 'normal.' For 'normal' see this week's Email from Grace and Colin Lim.
- Air controllers - expected to be on strike until Thursday
- Truckers - all sizes, everywhere
- Autoroutes - south of France, free passage
- Public transport - throughout France, varying degrees
- Expect post offices to be closed, as well as some banks. Other public sectors affected will be tax collectors, France Télécom and EDF services

Labor organizations have also hinted that tomorrow's 'Mardi Noir' may last for more than 24 hours.

Recent experience with 'Mardis Noirs' has led to an upsurge in hotel bookings, which are supposed to have increased by 50 percent suddenly. All scooters have already been rented. Presumably rental bikes have been scooped up too, because bicycle sales are reported to be a high level.

For Diehard Hardcore Countdown Fans

With minimum fanfare, the number of days left this year is 212. This may not seem like an overly long time until 2004, but who can tell?. Otherwise it is nearly no time at all until summer, which is 'officially' only 20 short days from today.
signature, regards, ric

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