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A Half–dozen Gadgets

photo, from left, jim, rita, jerry, marilyn, shirley, betty, danielle, walter, tina, chuck

From left, today's 'Group of the Week,' to right.

Where Not To Go

Paris:– Thursday, 23. September 2004:– After having some weather that wasn't too bad at all that some called 'Indian Summer,' we are now having a preview of less pleasant fall weather, now that we are officially and safely one day into it.

The sky is full of clouds of different sizes and most of them are low as if it is going to rain, which if it is not actually doing it, has being doing it and will do it again. This is a kind of gray fall rain that is off and on. Parisians carry umbrellas to protect themselves from it even if it isn't terribly wet.

Between wetness, you don't see many Parisians carrying umbrellas. I don't know where they hide them. It is a great mystery worthy of intense scientific study.

The TV–weather news goes tophoto, salad food of the week great lengths to not predict rain. They will show the clouds with sunballs peeking out, and they will show them moving from west to east, but they seldom show the clouds leaking water. A student of weather has to make deductions.

Ultra–rare 'Salad of the Week.'

For tomorrow for example. There will be clouds piled on top of mostly cloudy skies. Clouds will be fighting for sky space. Out on a limb, the TV–weather news forecaster almost said there might be a 'risk of rain,' with some winds from the north hauling the temperature down to 17 degrees.

On Saturday the possible 'risk of rain' will be up along the northwest, from Brittany to Belgium. While there may be a few sunny periods, it will stay cool at 17 degrees.

By Sunday that stuff in the northwest will be here, kind of blotting out any chance of sunbeams. But it will be warmer they said – it might get up to 19 degrees. None of tonight's TV–weather news predictions match this morning's weather maps in Le Parisien.

The actual weather this weekend might not match tonight's TV–weather news forecast either. It might be gray and rainy only at night, or the other way around.

The New Club Report of the Week

It is kind of breezy as I leave for the club, but I don't think it will rain even if the sky is very flat gray. The wind will make it rain somewhere else. Riding the Métro I have my usual indecision about where to leave it, until I decide I don't want to see the Rue de Rivoli today.

Crossing the Pont Neuf I see a police Zodiac scooting downriver past the club's café. All around the Ile de la Cité there are police sirens howling, and I wonder why the water police aren't running with a blue light.

On the Quai du Louvre there is another police car screaming for everybody to get out of the way. It must be national cops and robbers day. The rest of the Quai du Louvre is kind of quiet and peaceful.

At the café Patrick tells me there is 'beaucoup du monde' waiting in the club's area in the 'grande salle.' Inphoto, water drink of the week fact it is Shirley and Walter Pappas from Falls Church, Virginia, and they are eating salads. The rest of 'du monde' are civilians, just polishing off the 'Waiter of the Week' with money.

As the Pappas' are in the blind corner under the 'non fumeurs' sign, I begin to install myself on the other side of the civilians. My coat is only half off when Tina and Chuck Napier from Garden Grove, California, arrive.

Nobody touched this 'Drink of the Week.'

It is the Napier's first time in Paris and they are staying out at Disneyland, because Chuck works for the Disneyland number one at Anaheim in California. He has worked there so long that he got his 20–year gold ring a long time ago. For one night, the Napiers intend to stay at the Hotel Victor Hugo in the 16th arrondissement.

To celebrate, Chuck orders a 'Crêpe of the Week.' Then he says they had one on the Tour Eiffel yesterday, so I guess it may only be the 'Crêpe of the Day.'

While we are admiring the crêpe which looks a bit like a chocolate sundae, Marilyn and Jim Brannin arrive and sit down. The Brannins are in the process of moving to Paris from London where they moved after living in Madrid after they lived in California.

Hardly before we can get any names for a 'City of the Week' from these residences, Betty and Jerry Blizin arrive, as they always do, from Tarpon Springs, Florida.

No sooner do we have the handshakes and the 'hiyas' over than Rita Martinson arrives from West Hollywood, California. After reading Metropole for decades – it seems like – Rita is moving here too, but is temporarily camping near the bottom of the steps leading up to Sacre Cúur.

Jim asks us if we've ever been to a Sunday brunch at Jim Haynes' place. He says Marilyn and he went and there was 50 people there and Jim Haynes remembered everybody's name.

Jerry mentions all of the expos he's seen, like the photos hung outside on the walls of the police prefecture, or the 120 Albrechtphoto, book, the french exception Dürer etchings at the Mairie of the 5th arrondissement. Then he shows me how he uses his great bumper– sticker contest prize Métro key ring to hold his spare paper clip.

Walter shows me that his digital camera makes videos with sound too. It's like watching an animated postage stamp that talks like a Hungarian parrot.

We were too busy to read Rita's 'Book of the Week' today.

I have to leave my place in front of the ravaged crêpe to move down the tables to talk to Rita. She tells me that West Hollywood is not to be confused with Los Angeles. Los Angeles, she says, is where you hear gunshots that scare cats, and West Hollywood is not.

There were some new club members from Los Angeles in January, who said they lived 'close' to West Hollywood. I think the diplomatic thing to do is have a 'Double–City of the Week.' Garden Grove for Disneyland and West Hollywood, because it is 'close' to LA.

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