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Shirley, Don, Tomoko, Nellie

photo: group, tomoko and don

Half of the 'Group of the Week,' Tomoko and half of Don's hat.

'Co–Incidence of the Week'

Paris:– Thursday, 10. June 2004:– It has cooled off a bit today but it is still humid. You can start out walking feeling that it cooler than it was but after a couple of blocks on streets with no wind you'll feel like you should have stayed where you were if it was air conditioned.

In New York for example, the temperature is the same as Paris late this afternoon at 26 degrees or 79 F, but New York's humidity is higher at 71%, compared to 53% for Paris. On the Atlantic's other side the wind is 12 mph and coming from the east–northeast while here it is 14 'knots' and pouring over the city from the north–northwest. It is supposed to be cloudy in New York and it was supposed to be raining in Paris, but there were only a few drops a while ago.

You get this bonus of New York weather because there is no weather from Le Parisien today. I don't like to depend entirely on the TV–weather news, but here is what it predicts:–photo: shades of the week

It may start off mostly cloudy in the morning and gradually become semi– cloudy. This depends on a diagonal trough between low fronts. Their passage, sooner or later, will result in more clouds. The temperature will be lower at 24 degrees.

The only 'Shades of the Week' this week.

Saturday may be brighter but the temperature may be lower, at 22 degrees. Sunday will see another loss of a degree, and the skies might be more uncertain. If the passing fronts don't scoot to the east then they'll be overhead, with possible showers. If none of this happens, then it will be sunny all over.

The Full 'Club Report of the Week'

Before setting off for today's club meeting I remember that I've received a couple of emails telling me to be on the lookout for new members today. I do not note these emails because pre–announced new members never show up. The least I can do to foil the jinx is to ignore it and forget the emails.

The Métro is steamy on the ride to Châtelet and it's a relief to trade its atmosphere for the Rue de Rivoli. However one look at this busy street makes me decide to trade its atmosphere for my usual back alleys, where there is no traffic.

On the Quai du Louvre there are a lot of overheated people sitting at tables on the café terraces, facing a lot of other overheated people sitting in cars stalled in traffic right in front of them. At the Louvre end, the club's café terrace has a lot of free space left even if it has more custom than usual.

The café is nearly empty inside, and there's only the old man in the 'grande salle.' He is here every Thursday, aboutphoto: green drink like Willy the Bird. I take my secretary's spot against the far wall, but a bit closer to the windows to cut down the glare from passing windshields outside.

I have no sooner written – '14:55, no members' – than Shirley Lindsay shows up. I know who it is instantly even if I can't quite pinpoint the name. The fact that I haven't seen Shirley since she joined the club on 22. March 2001 makes no difference.

This week's 'Green Drink of the Week.'

Shirley is Metropole's Maurice Utrillo expert, and we had a fair amount of correspondence before she got to Paris. She thinks the Utrillo painting she was looking for is in a collection in Kansas someplace. This is less than certain because Shirley moved to Winston–Salem in North Carolina a few years ago.

It is good to see a member again who doesn't visit Paris often. I remind myself to check Winston–Salem to see if it might possibly be the 'City of the Week.' I even remember to do this – Aha! Winston–Salem was a 'City of the Week' – exactly one year ago today!

Not only this, but 12. June 2003 was a hot, sticky, humid day, too. Boy, was that a meeting! There were six new members and five already members and it was hot, hot, hot. Does anybody remember that the garbagemen were on strike in Marseille?

Shirley says she isn't staying long because she hasn't expected today's North Carolina weather here, and she is staying in a hotel with air conditioning. She came to Paris to walk around a lot, but it isn't perfect for it today.

Her 'hellos' having been said she relays her seat to Don Smith, who has come in just as she is leaving. I tell Don about Shirley's 'Utrillo Tips' and he asks me to send him a copy.

Don, who normally lives in cool Seattle, is in town conducting photo workshops. He guides people around their cameras and around Paris to get shots that you don't see on postcards. He says he lets his clients have café–breaks too.

We talk about cameras – his, mine – for a few minutes, and I try some trick shots that work – actually, don't work, because the camera will not release its shutter for a room view while it's set on 'spot focus' and 'macro.' Just like it won't release the shutter when the subject is too close and 'spot focus' and 'macro' aren't turned on. I find two new 'idiotproof' camera functions, in other words.

It is too warm to do stuff more exiting than this. Don shows me his Palm hand–sized mini–computer. He has a lot of photos stored in it. Plus, he says, all of Paris' arrondissement maps and the Métro map.

He lets me try it. I draw a cartoon of Don on its screen. Don has his hat on so it's not hard to get it looking a bit like Don. This is a pretty nifty gizmo. Don says it has everything except Photoshop in it. Considering ts size and what it can do, it is probably worth every penny it costs.

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