...Continued from page 1

Patrick, the 'Waiter of the Week,' known to hundreds of club members, stands patiently by ready to take drink orders. A drink has been recommended to Lynn so she asks Patrick for a white, dry, martini with cassis.

This launches the 'Debate of the Week' and Patrick joins in. When it has been fully discussed he withdraws to the bar end of the café to get the fixings.photo, martini cassis cocktail

We twiddle our thumbs for five minutes until Patrick returns with the drinks. Lynn hesitates. "I'm waiting for the ice to melt," she says. Then, carefully, "I wouldn't totally recommend it."

Susanne takes a sip and says, "It tastes like cough syrup;" Actually it smells like varnish remover, much the same as any sort of vermouth flavored with black currant juice.

The 'Cocktail of the Week' was not a great success, tastewise.

Jeff is, we learn, a scientist. For the past ten years he has been engaged in a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In fact he is with a program called SETI, which uses millions of PCs around the globe for spare computing power, for analyzing weak signals from the Arecibo Radio Observatory located in Puerto Rico.

This is called something like 'distributed computing,' and as far as I am concerned, it's a great way to use Windows with PCs. Jeff says the combined computing power is bigger than Texas, or something else equally large.

There was a mild stir recently in the extraterrestrial intelligence business when the magazine New Scientist hopelessly overblew a signal as being a morning talk–radio station on SHGb02+14a, about 48 trillion light–years away. A re–scan of five billion potential signals improved SHGb02+14a's score, but it was still only in the 'top 200.'

This goes on at Berkeley, which was once associated with a gold rush. Jeff says it is pretty exciting doingphoto, jeff cobb this searching even if nothing much has been found in the way of intelligence in outer space. There's more aliens to be heard on local morning talk– radio.

Jeff is, of course, the 'Listener of the Week.'

Susanne has a map she says is specially enlarged for people who don't see too well. "I can't read all these little streets. Where we are is all little streets and everywhere we go is all little streets," she says.

To illustrate the map she turns on her digital camera, to show its miniature photos the size of stamps. They are not in order so it is a long process, coordinating the map to the photos.

Mara asks if there is a bus that will take her back to Montparnasse. I suggest she try the number 58, which has a handy stop beside the Samaritaine. When I leave, I cross the Seine via the Pont des Arts again, uplifted as ever.

Extraordinary Announcement

The coming meeting next Thursday will be the anniversary of the Café Metropole Club. Everybody should try to be on hand for an exciting double 'first.' It will be the last meeting of the club's 5th year and the first meeting of its 6th year. No other Café Metropole Club in the history of the world has had so many meetings, in such a short period of time. By next week the club will have managed to hold 259 meetings in a mere 60 months – another true 'first!'

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' lacked for nothing other than a 'City of the Week.' No meeting is perfect. The 'About the Café Metropole Club'photo, cafe of the week page has some other details, but you can skip them and not miss most of the ex–rules. An easier way to find out all you want to know about the club is by joining it any Thursday.

Back for new acclaim, the 'Café of the Week.'

You can become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becoming a member really easily on a Thursday by signing–in yourself during one of the meetings in Paris if you are here. Getting something to drink is even more easily arranged than said.

The club's 'rules' were turned into mere hints of rumors by the club's members some time ago, much to their everlasting satisfaction. The club's other meager distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that carries on with no newsletter, regardless of what members say.

Why Not, When, Who, Where, How, What?

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00, on Thursday afternoons. Meetings end about 17:00, also on Thursday afternoons in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'PoGo' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Club meetings are always in Paris. If the secretary gets no other better offer soon, club meetings will continue to be held here.

Do something clever at a meeting – like being present for one – and become mildly famous for a short moment. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same monopoly value as 'first,' especially if hotels are involved. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, especially if it's modestly 'first.'

There's just one note of caution – you may have any one or two personal reasons for not wanting to be traceable via the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' in one of these club reports.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' remain 'former' week after darn week, year after everlasting year, and have been purged from the club's intergalactic volumes of archives except for all the originals still online buried in the cool and deep salt mines of the SHGb02+14a chronicles.

Conversation with other club members at meetings is an encouraged activity rather than permanently optional. If there's an empty chair, sit – also optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. What you say may be frankly appreciated by other members present if they are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as bits of it are, sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because there were no known 'Radio Signals of the Week' at today's meeting other than digital cameras.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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