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Smokey Philosophy

photo, group, cindy, new member of the week

The 'Group of the Week,' from left, from right, in the
centre – Cindy from Monterey.

Guesswork Weather

Paris:– Thursday, 20. January 2005:– The TV–weather news has been elusive for the past couple of days. On Tuesday there was a football game after the news so the weather got left on the cutting room floor or wherever it is that they leave unused weather reports. In the trash by the café automat I guess.

Last night I was out helping Heather launch her book. This was outside so I was out in the weather in the dark rather than finding out about the forecast, and I think I caught a cold. I haven't had one for so long I'm not sure what one is, so I'm not sure.

Tonight's TV–weather news turned out to be the short version. There's a real mess for Friday, only a temperature for Saturday, and an outright puzzle for Sunday. I don't know why because there didn't seem to be any football games.

Tomorrow we are supposed to expect some really gloomy skies, helped along by winds puffing up to 60 kph. Maybe there's rain too like it tried today and Wednesday night, but it will be fairly warm with a high of 12 degrees predicted.

Without any details the weather might be pretty much the same on Saturday, with a hint of the same temperature as Friday. But for Sunday it is supposed to be cold, but without any hint of how cold. If 12 degrees is considered to be 'warm,' then I'd say 6 degrees is cold. East of Paris there may be snow too.

This morning's Le Parisien thinks the temperature on Sunday will only be 4 degrees, and they've put in 3 degrees for next Monday. It may be true because the mild temperatures we've had can't last forever. I say 'why not?' They lasted before, and now is a good time to keep them going.

A 'Strike of the Day' Report

This is supposed to be a socially exciting week with postmen on strike nationally on Tuesday, train workers on strike yesterday and teachers on strike today. According to the papers and TV–news, these workers are sending the government a message, or several messages.

It appears as if most of the postal workers skipped their strike and many striking rail workers arranged for trains to take bad tempered commuters to work, but the teachers put on a fair display today around France.

All of this had no effect on the Métro running completely as usual from Raspail to Odéonphoto, heather, book reading while I was on it. I have no idea what it did before and after, but if asked to guess I would say that there were no official strikes or warnings of any concerning the Métro today, yesterday, or Tuesday.

Heather, up on her soapbox last night.

What counts absolutely is the club secretary getting to the weekly meeting on time. If this is the case, then we are alright, Jack! Even on the walk from Odéon to the Seine and across the Pont Neuf there was no rain, no strikes, and the police sirens were silent, for a rare change.

Which means I arrive at the club's café La Corona in tip–top shape, and on time. I have seen the café emptier, when it was closed, but not recently. This is definitely the time of year when there is a fair amount of self– centered hibernating going on. If I weren't the club secretary I would certainly be doing my own along with the best of them.

In the café's 'grande salle' I have a wide choice of tables and chairs but I take the club's regular ones. The 'Waiter of the Week' clears away the menus and the paper place mats and only faintly sneers when I tell him I'll order later.

After getting the meeting's details into the club's booklets I look at Le Parisien's front page. Its big headline says, "Why the profs have gone to war again." On page two the word 'rebellion' is in big type. This paper is getting as irresponsible as the Brit tabs.

Page three has more strike news, with one quarter of the page reserved for our all–round man of all seasons, Nicolas Sarkozy. He is no longer a government minister but he gets to put in his two–bits worth anyway. He says strikers should do minimum work when they are on strike. It's possible he doesn't understand the concept of strikes.

A voice says "Hello" and my glasses almost fall off, so I take them off and put away the paper. When my face is arranged again I see new member Cindy Joerger and we are shaking hands.

Cindy says Heather has told her about the club. Besides this Cindy knows about the rules that no longer are and other club lore, so I do not have to explain much other than the 'dead–letter' part of the email business.

Right away we hit it off. Cindy lived in just about every town on the Monterey peninsula, so we have a brand new 'City of the Week' before 15:17. Let's say this time it's Monterey, California, and save the others for coming club meetings.

Cindy has been in Paris before but this time she's been here for longer. "Five years went by sophoto, drink of the week, cafe fast," she says. The cold I think I'm getting has affected my ears so Cindy at first thinks I say I've lived here 59 years. I make the correction in units of 10, until getting down to a number that's plausible.

Exciting view of the 'Drink of the Week' that was.

Cindy says she got a part–time job that keeps getting extended, and that she travels around a lot getting stamps in her passport. She likes Europe because it's possible to drive to other countries in a hour. And once in other countries it's possible to drive to still other countries, each with a different flag but most with all the same money nowadays.

In fact Cindy manages to think of a lot of reasons why it's a treat to live in Europe. "They know how to make café," is a major one of them. I agree with this, so long as certain countries where café is not a national beverage are avoided. They know who they are.

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