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What Did He Get

photo, wine bar, la toupie echantee

Offside wine bar oasis.

For Those Big Bucks?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 22. November 2004:– If you feel drowsy or depressed or both, it is because you lack sunlight – according to tonight's TV–weather news. You might have been feeling under the 'weather' for several weeks now, but it is only as of this date that the symptoms of the lack of sunbeams become apparent.

Well, er, this is leading nowhere. Short of shining a bright light in your face. Because the forecast for Paris is not at all brilliant. Despite it being the beginning of the French kiwi season the sky tomorrow will be gray and low. In fact, tonight's TV–weather lady said that a high pressure thing is pushing the clouds down, causing humidity as well as lack of light.

All cloudy tomorrow then, with a high of 13 degrees. The outlook for Wednesday is a bit brighter, ifphoto, shop mondial cafard implausible. It's supposed to be cloudy in the west and dryer and brighter in the east, and the east includes here. The temperature is expected to be lower, with a high of 10 degrees.

Right here – global pest control.

Thursday looks like being another day of implausible weather, with nearly all of France having veiled skies, with some sort of weak sunshine. The temperature is supposed to be no more than 8 degrees, so maybe it will be brighter than the weather maps suggested.

Now, about the kiwi season. The chief of a kiwi plantation is called a 'kiwiculteur' and kiwis in France are grown on the Ile de Kiwis. TV–news didn't say where it is but showed the kiwis being freighted to the mainland by way of a skiff with a tractor on it. Doesn't seem like a likely way to transport 60,000 tons of kiwis annually, but what do I know?

Café Life

Drop a Stitch

I wondered what was wrong with me. I'm glad tonight's weather news has provided an explanation for my desire to stay in bed with the covers pulled up to my nose and the curtains drawn. I guess I've been doing the wrong thing by missing four hours of daylight every day, ending up with a serious light deficit.

Friday was pretty bright and I got out for some of that. The sun was so low that it didn't take much of a corner to go around before being plunged into blue gloom. I left the quartier and tried out the gloom in a new quartier – a quartier I haven't been in for about 25 years.

Back then it was cold and dark. If it was the same place there was an 'all you can eat so long as it's steak' fixed–priced restaurant where it was important to be early because standing outside in line was pretty uncomfortable. Sitting inside was uncomfortable too, but the fixed–price was supposed to overcome it. As I remember it, the steak was about as good as any steak–frites anywhere for 15 francs, except that it cost 18 francs on account of the ambiance.

If it was the same place as on Friday, the restaurant isn't there anymore. I'm not surprised. The equivalentphoto, light, shade, rue falguiere today is 'Chez Papa,' two blocks away. Except that the price is 15€, and the portions are a lot bigger. The hungry are still waiting outside though.

Wierd light in the 15th arrondissement on Friday.

Last night about quarter to midnight Matt Rose called me on the phone. He wanted to know if I had anything for fixing his computer. He helped me out a couple of weeks ago so I gathered up my meager tools, tossed on my coat and hit the sidewalk.

While crossing Gassendi he called out. Backlit, I thought he was a mugger or a carless taxi driver. But it was Matt. He was in bad shape, chain smoking his fingers.

He's got a job to write a piece for a ritzy client – big bucks! – but his computer did a belly–up on Saturday. He called in the computer doctor and this guy did all kinds of stuff – for big bucks! – and it was running okay until Sunday when it 'lost' its hard disk.

Matt called the guy 40 times. When he finally got him the guy said that his Sundays are sacred. Must be some kind of civilian. Guys like Matt don't have any sacred days – I mean, he lost all of Saturday, didn't he? And what did he get for those big bucks?

We got up to his place and did various thing to his computer but it kept on not 'seeing' his hard disk. Timephoto, rue dulac passed. I did not want a Coke or a café. Gradually I began to feel that maybe the computer doctor had loaded up Matt's machine with the wrong system. It's the kind of detail a 'big bucks' computer doctor might overlook.

So we used one of my tools to put an older system on his iMac. It takes about 15 minutes. On restart we crossed our fingers, which is what witch doctors who are doing stuff for free after midnight do.

A forgotten street in the15th arrondissement.

'Bong.' Have you ever noticed that happy Macs have this drawn out 'bong' when they're feeling good? 'Boonggg!' Matt's machine came on with this hideous screen background, and all this new junk was in it – including the contents of his hard disk.

When I left, thinking it was quarter to one, Matt was looking for 5000 missing emails. They were certainly there but I didn't have any idea of how to access them. The machine was online, and the piece he was working on was there, so I figured he was up and running.

Back here at Metropole central, I looked at what I'd left on the screen and couldn't remember what I'd been doing. A lot of time working is like knitting. If you drop a stitch by forgetting you have to unravel everything and start over again. Instead I went to bed and pulled the covers up to my nose.

About this Issue

The state of affairs of this issue is due to resuming a task I suspended in June. At the time I hit a brick wall that seemed pretty sturdy. After banging my head against it for a couple of weeks I put it aside to wait for a better horoscope, stars, signs, hocuspocus.

Something must have been working unconsciousnessly because when I came back to it last week I did everything right instead of everything wrong, and got a green 'go' signal.

This led to the necessity to change all of Metropole'sphoto, xmas bunny underlying code. This is a very tedious business. The only thing that takes care of it is time. You don't know how much time except that it's going to take the amount of time it takes.

This week time has run out and the changes aren't finished. In addition there isn't much in the way of new content either. On the brighter side you might be able to find whatever you are looking for in Metropole now.

Try out the search & site map page when you get a chance. The link to it can be accessed from the navigation line at the top and bottom of some pages.

You saw it here – the year's 1st xmas bunny.

Please report all strange behavior, mistakes and booboos to me. If you feel the need to complain about anything else, address your emails to me and I will forward them to Matt where they'll be lost.

Headline of the Week

Today's Le Parisien features a modest headline, with "Le canal Saint– Martin réempoissonné" squinched into a one–column box on the front page. I was going to pick 'Zazie se lâche' but I don't feel like looking up 'Zazie.' Anyway, the Canal Saint–Martin has had a ton of live fish dumped in it, for the joy of Parisian fish fans.

The canal gets its water in a constant flow from the Ourcq river, not from the Seine. When the canal was emptied for cleaning a couple of years ago the fishermen culled four tons of fish from it. After the cleaning 200 kilos of little Pike were tossed in. They thrived and ate the other fish – thus the reason for the new fish.

However all is not rosy for the fishermen. They complain about the hordes of joggers along the canal tripping over their rods, and poachers with nets who don't belong to the association. Other careless people use the canal like a trashcan, throwing hamburger wrappers in it.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The recent club meeting's 'Beaujolais Nouveau Day' club report is stillphoto, bar, corona, beaujolais nouveau available, through editorial inaction. The club's secretary talked less and scribbled more notes than usual, producing a 'report' richly nuanced with the profound observations of members, aided as they were by refreshments.

Beaujolais Nouveau at the Corona last Thursday.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, which is on Thanksgiving this year. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Sainte– Catherine. This saint should be remembered for being such a smooth talker that she converted Maximo's sages to christianity in the 3rd century, but wasn't a smooth enough talker to convince Maximo to let her keep her head.

Other, less exciting facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The impressionistic graphic of the virtual club membership card on this page looks hardly better online than printed, but is free either way. The club membership itself is absolutely free too, even though the club's secretary made an error.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.48/49 – 24. Nov/1. Dec 2003 – for this double issue the Café Metropole column two titles were, 'The Best Baguette' and 'Under Construction.' Laurel Avery's 'Paris Life' columns followed with 'Apartment Hunting Zen' and 'The Gilded City.' The week's Scène columns were repeats. The Café Metropole Club update for 27. November was named the 'Reunion(s)' report and the report for 4. December was called the 'Patagonia and Detour Village' Report. The 'Lodging' page joined the 'Support Metropole' pagephoto, sign, place jacques et therese trefouel in this issue. There were six new 'Posters of the Week' and the caption of Ric's weekly cartoon was "Under Eternal Construction."

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.48 – 25. Nov 2002 – the Café Metropole column began with 'Spotlight On a Bender.' The 'Au Bistro' column headline asked, 'Anyone for Zero Tolerance?' Metropole's 'Wine News' continued with "The Best Sparkling Wine Possible." There was one feature concerning 'Rudolf Augstein Dies,' that was translated by Chris Irwin. The Café Metropole Club update for Thanksgiving on 28. November resulted in the 'Icons of the Week Return' report. There were four super Paris type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "Pizza? What kind?"

'Countdowns' Move to New Mexico

The old feature 'Quote of the Week' is back again for the fourth time in recent history. One November in the past Thomas Carlyle is said to have said, "Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity." This doesn't sound much like the 'countdowns' themselves.

The Only Real, Urgent, 'Countdown'

Last week, writing from then snow–bound New Jersey Jim Auman wrote, "The local weekly French newspaper announced the upcoming 100th anniversary of the death of Jules Verne. But, in what is becoming more typical French non–reporting, the exact date was not announced. So, a trip to the Encyclopedia Britannica revealed that Monsieur Verne died on March 24, 1905 – not exactly a close, upcoming event."

Possibly not for New Jersey, but for Paris this major anniversary is still a mere 123 days from now.

More Famous Anniversaries Today

If he was still alive it would be Charles de Gaulle's 114th birthday today, but he has been dead for two weeks more than 34 years. The same can be said for René–Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who was born 361 years ago, and André Gidephoto, sign, 131, bis who breathed his first 135 years ago. Edward Teach, known to kids as Blackbeard, breathed his last 286 years ago, on account of being shot and stabbed 25 times.

Meanwhile, in 845 Nominoë the Breton beat up the Franks, which assured the independence of Brittany for seven centuries. Frédéric II von Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily, was crowned Emperor of Germany in Rome by Pope Honorius III in 1220. In Paris, Maurice Ravel's 'Bolero' had its debut in 1928. Regular passenger service of the Concorde flying across the Atlantic began 27 years ago, and Juan Carlos became King of Spain two years earlier.

Today's Other Additional 'Significant Dates of the Week'

There are only 38 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1916 when the writer Jack London died. This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 327 days, the same number that 1980 had when actress and writer Mae West quit being quotable.
signature, regards, ric

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