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''A Profound Experience''

photo, tomoko, josef, silvana, nina, mitch, dee, philip, pamela

This week's large 'Group of the Week' is not quite all.

What's In a Title?

Paris:– Thursday, 28. April 2005:– At today's club meeting new members informed me that they read this weather report or forecast and they take it as a true indication of what the weather was like here – when they read the report, which might be months before they are turning up to experience it, or avoid it by passing the afternoon at a club meeting.

Which means, I guess, that I could be giving weather forecasts for the back side of the moon, for all the good it is going to do anybody. Even if the forecasts are right, you aren't here most of the time – and they are not right all the time, and sometimes they are in the wrong month, or are never the same from year to year. It's a problem beyond solving, I think you'll agree.

Fortunately we are all grown up and we know the weather can be mysterious and capricious, ornery, devil–may–care, or plain careless, so we are used to being perfectly prepared for any and all occasions – like for picnics in February or deep–snow skiing in June. We are like the 43–blade Swiss pocket knife of weather afectuosos, aren't we?

Luckily for all I try to see the TV–weather news before the news. Lately the news has been followedphoto, le parisien, superbe, airbus a380 by 'questions and answers' with a politician, leaving the weather shorted to just tomorrow. This happened tonight and if I hadn't been quick on the spot you would have been left guessing for May day.

This important day is on Sunday. Good weather is crucial for it because a lot of people are annoyed with the government and they want to go out and march all over Paris – it's the 'Fête du Travail! – the day most workers worldwide have off. The day the grindstones are still.

Here is the weekend's good news – Friday may start off crummy but it's expected to get kind of sunny. High temperature for the day will be 21 degrees. Saturday may be mostly sunny, with a high of 25 degrees. Sunday may just be super–sunny with a high of 28 degrees. Do not worry about the clouds in Brittany for they might stay where the are, leaving us with only very tiny little clouds. See you at République at 14:00.

The 'Profound Experience' Report of the Week

This morning's radio news has said lawyers are demonstrating today somewhere around the Palais de Justice, so I stay on the Métro all the way to Cité in hopes of getting a photo of a bunch of lawyers wearing their black robes and shaking their fists at the gendarmes guarding France's number one courthouse. But the slackers are still having lunch when I arrive. Nothing is happening except for a few tourists lining up for the show in the Conciergerie.

On the north side nothing much is happening in the Seine either and further on the Pont Neuf is having a ho–humphoto, wine of the week day too. Ditto Samaritaine, although I don't go in, and the newspaper kiosk outside gives up a copy of Le Parisien. I have to ask for it because I don't recognize its front page, a full–page photo of yesterday's Airbus takeoff. Ohh, the photo takes up all of the back page too – it's all one huge photo.

I must say I am going to take some credit for this. My archives must have about ten drawings of this super jumbo that I did 35 years ago. What looked like an overweight joke then looks like a pinup today. Some people have said the new Airbus looks ugly. I say it does not – it looks like a fat flying sausage with gull–wings. Like a short Condor.

Onwards along the Quai du Louvre to the club's café there isn't much startling to see, so I go around the corner to the cake shop to look for animals in the window, but all there is are some chocolate boxes. Okay, enough fooling around, it's showtime.

In the club's area of the 'grande salle' a new member is waiting for the club's secretary. This turns out to be a nice young lady from my own home town, who is really from Paris, I think, but who is '404' – 'not found' – for this meeting. I mention this so that any of you who wish to be '404' will know that you are not alone even though it can be ticklish fitting you into a club report without you being in it.

There isn't a lot of time to get hung up on this before Dee Kubel and Mitch Bitting, from Daytona Beach, Florida,photo, mark kritz are taking places at the tables to my right. Mitch says that he has tried to get to the club on past visits, hindered by the 'usual excuses' clause.

Then Nina Keneally, from Stratford, Connecticut, swings in and sits opposite, talking, saying something about a date. A moment later, or maybe at the same time, Silvana Felix from Toronto, Ontario, is settling in beside Nina. Do I hear this right – they met online so they could walk around Paris together.

Mark Kritz, club member and many–time visitor.

"I like walking around and getting lost," Mitch says, but makes an exception of Montmartre where walking around is on stairs or hills. He tells Dee about the club's 'rules.' The secretary tries to think of some, and makes sure everybody knows about the dead–letter email 'rule' that says if anybody sees a name in a club 'report' and writes to a member, the secretary passes it on.

Right here I should remind members and friends of members that it is impossible to pass on emails to abandoned or dormant email accounts. Members have slight reason to keep their secretary up–to–date with current email addresses. Spam–be–damned, etc.

Nina takes out her glasses and the lenses fall on the table top. She has fall–apart glasses,photo, pill boxes actually designed to have interchangeable lenses. They are not a bit like having two pairs of glasses.


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