A Blogged Week

photo: cafe le select, mpntparnasse

Already - a summer like - August 1914.

With a Change of Email

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 30. June 2003:- Last Tuesday morning the birds started to tweet-up the coming sunrise about a half hour before it peeked over the Fondation Cartier in the Boulevard Raspail. Before, it showed the sky was all blue, and then it got fiery red, right in the centre of the sunball.

I have seen this more than once lately. It means - one, there have been a lot of blue-sky sunrises in Paris this year, and two, I have been up to see some of them. And I have seen enough. For this reason, this issue will have modest contents, beginning with the weather.

The Weather

On more than a few days last week, the thermometre in Paris topped out at about 30 degrees, which is about 83 or 84 on the other type of non- metrical thermometre.

For a change of pace, rain-on-the-face woke me this morning quite a long time before breakfast. Whenphoto: tennis, luxembourg, sunday breaking my morning bread finally arrived, it was still raining a bit. This is good for everything green in Paris. You don't have to be a greenie to appreciate this.

Anyone for tennis - in the Luxembourg garden on Sunday.

Both today's Le Parisien and tonight's TV-weather news are in agreement for a change. They both forecast fairly typical July weather of mostly cloudy with occasional passages of rain, and temperatures no higher than 22 degrees.

Le Parisien calls Thursday's forecast 'incompréhensible,' for summer holidayers if they aren't wedged into a tiny corner of south-east France, along the coast of the Mediterranean.

Perhaps, just perhaps, next Friday will see a return to reason - with most of France being partly sunny and temperatures in the north hovering around 23 degrees.

Café Life

A Blog of a Week that Was

You already know I lived through the sunrise on the day of my weekend last Tuesday. You might think I am a spry chicken, but I really needed to get a little sleep before hitting the old freelife, and this I did until it was time to go to the marché and get some peanuts.

Then I did my other weekend chores for a few hours. At the end of these, I chanced to meet a building cleaner - 'of the week' - and although he said he was only a 'temp' at my building, he did have a garbage-room key.

This was the very same 'lost key' to getting access to the cable that would allow me to not only change Internet access providers, but to get it via Internet-cable.

The guy offered to lend me the key so I could have a duplicate made, so I ran off to do this in the steaming heat, and got his original key back to him before he finished washing the building.

As I was giving it back, one of my floor neighbors stepped out and asked me if I had any luck findingphoto: creperie, rue montparnasse the key. How sweet it was to show him the very missing object. Better yet, the duplicate key worked.

At the café Bouquet that evening I saw Dennis, reading a book as usual. Before I could tell him my great 'key' story, he said he had to go. Matt Rose came in with a Nicolas bag to match Dennis,' and they snuck off because I hadn't been invited to the dinner they were going to.

Frankly, my spry-chicken feathers were wilting, and continuing my weekend quietly wasn't a bad idea. Twelve hours later I did not see Wednesday's sunrise, but the rest of the day was a hot as my weekend the day before and I didn't break any productivity records. The main thing I couldn't decide to do was phone the Internet-cable people and ask them to send their installer.

Thursday was, as usual, the Café Metropole Club meeting day and had weather like Wednesday and my weekend. Club members came before the meeting, during it, and after it - and later on it took more time than usual to sort it out into a carefully composed 'report' with hardly any major gaffs.

Friday's first surprise was having weather the same as the three previous days. The second surprise was not getting 'authorization' to my Internet dial-up account. Flaky they've been getting, but this was a minor 'first' for Worldnet.

Although I've had this provider since 1995 I am not sentimental about it. They've already said they are to close the line in August. But I hadn't called the Internet-cable installer - and Matt Rose advised me against it anyway - and all of the rest of the DSL providers require a plug-hole my new-but-used computer doesn't have - so I turned to France Télécom.

I did this once before, when I moved to Paris from the suburbs in 1999. I thought it was a way to get a new, faster, modem, for free - but all their automatic installer software got me at the time was exactly one connection. And the modem itself couldn't be reconfigured to the Worldnet account.

But, on Friday, time was slipping away. I needed a modem with a wire that would fit my computer's port-hole. A look in the phone book showed one of France Télécom's boutiques nearby, so over to it I went.

Yes, the young lady said, I could have a modem with the right wire - but instead of 'free' it would cost me a bit extra. Not remembering the experience in 1999, I grabbed it. She said I could hook it up right away, but the access to high-speed wouldn't happen until early this weeK. 'No matter,' I thought, 'Just so long as this magazine gets online somehow.'

Back at the editorial office, hooking up the modem to power and to my new-but-used computer took three minutes and 22 seconds. The installer program on the CD-ROM provided with the DSL modem installed the software in less than a minute, then stopped.

It didn't dial up anything to complete the process. No magic 'Network!' sign. Crikey! Nigel was right! Getting this thing going is going to take two months - just as he said on 21. May before flying back to Oz.

On top of it, I was running this modem installer on a brand-new, for me, unconfigured late-model operating system. The ones you know are a hassle to hand-configure, because the software is designed to prevent it - plus I have no user manual other than the system's 'help,' which does not have a big vocabulary, not even in French.

I quit before the birds woke up on Saturday. Later in the day, it was not with enthusiasm that I turned the thing on. But the gremlins must have done something overnight, because on the first try got 'Network!' before I even had a chance to fiddle the software.

I couldn't believe it. I am not Nigel's oldest son, the one in university with the computer science. I am hacker - in the original sense of the word 'hacker' - Rickieee, unknown serial-flop with ResEdit and other arcane estorica.

I turned it off. I turned it on again and it worked again. I logged on to the Wanadoo - not 'Wanafoo!' - Web sitephoto: doorway, av leclerc and created a new email account, and set up the beginnings of a personal Web site. 'Ten megabytes of server-space available, with a maximum of ten pages allowed.' Aha! Each page one mega-worth? Ils sont fous, ces Wanafoos.

Er yes. Well. Hmm. There is, was, a whole new operating system to configure too. There are over 3500 pages of Metropole that need the 'mailto:' changed. Overdue are changes to the About Metropole and the About Café Metropole Club pages.

The deal I got allows for higher-speed for two months, which I can afford, and after the promotion period is over what I can afford will be a lot slower - but it will still be pretty fast, and it can be 'online' all the time, without affecting the phone bill - perhaps, all-in-all, totalling no more than an average phone bill plus the cost for dial-up access.

On Saturday I let the 'Marche des Fiertés Lésbiennes, Gaies, Bi et Trans' - 'LGBT' for short, but Le Parisien still calls it 'Gay Pride' - pass, and I did not take the first Air France flight to Algiers in nine years, nor did I go to Rouen for the grand 'Armada' of sailing ships, or see Cameroon vs France play football on Sunday.

Sunday started out hot and it got hotter. After hours of twiddle and tweak, I had to go out, if for no other reason than to get some 'photos of the week.'


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