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A Couple of Familiar Names

photo, cafe cave de bourgogne

Life is a beach.

Sports News, Short and Sweet

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 6. June 2005:– Yesterday the sky hung low from clouds that looked dark and ugly but did not in the end open up and pour all over a million Parisians and other folks gathered on the Champs–Elysées for a bit of Olympic foretaste – before Paris is even awarded the games and seven years in advance if it gets them.

Given such an event, my short term forecast for yesterday was rain, rain, rain, and I stayed home wrapped in a ratty bathrobe, thinking of pots of tea and tasty cookies. Every half hour I looked out of the window and wondered where the rain was. The cookies, I knew, were still in the Monoprix.

Maybe it came late. It poured for a while today. Big drops pearled on the leaves outside my window like green ladybugs. This is going to have to do me because the leaves are so dense that I can't see the street anymore, or see if the windshield wipers on cars are swishing from side to side.

For the next few days, if I can believe tonight's TV–weather news, the air here should be fairly clear of rain, fog, clouds, smog, smoke and low–flying aircraft. For tomorrow expect sunny skies everywhere around here except for some slop up near the northern frontier and below the country's mid–line. It's also expected to be cool overnight and no great heatwave in the day, with a high of only 18 degrees.

For Wednesday and Thursday you can sort of expect really simple weather in the form of one great sunball over everything except those few and far apart exceptions that will be nowhere near here. No winds – did they forget? – no clouds and high temperatures at 20 and 21 degrees. It's not cooking, but it'll do.

photo, graphic, weather, new york, parisOn the other Atlantic side Jim Auman sends a personally–observed and revolutionary view of weather, that might require a bit of history to figure out. Here is Jim's detailed report with the forecast:–

Was Fleet Spring, Not Prairial

For the past few months, spring in La Grosse Pommeland has been fleeting. Even the few warm days have been touched by either the ghost of Germinal or the foretaste of Brumaire. But this weekend it has definitely been either Prairial or Messidor, but since it really hasn't been hot or sticky, the spirit of Thermidor hovered in the air with temperatures reaching the upper 80's anglograd – 32–33 eurograd – and sunny. Monday threatens with the definite appearance of Thermidor and temps 90 or higher anglograd – 34+ eurograd – and sun. The rest of the week will be partly cloudy with the reappearance of Prairial with temperatures around 80 anglograd – 26–27 eurograd.

Café Life

Names of the Week

It seems to me I read somewhere that nobody outside downtown Europe knows the names of any French politicians other than Jacques Chirac, and maybe José Bové, who is the peasant's spokesman and not a politician. So that you can impress people at parties you could mention that the outgoing prime minister was Jean–Pierrephoto, photo exhibit, luxembourg Raffarin. It is possibly the last time you'll see his name here, so memorize it now if you're into trivia. And one quote – "We need a republic of common sense."

The new photo expo for the anniversary of 'Reporters Without Borders' at the Luxembourg.

The new prime minister's name is Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin, or Dominique de Villepin for short. He is officially the number one prime minister. For a while last week news organizations were a bit confused about terminology, hinting that there were to be two prime ministers, but this would be an oxymoron. Instead, almost equal, nearly 'bis,' is Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy–Bocsa, who is known simply as Nicolas Sarkozy, or 'Sarko.'

There is little affection lost between Sarkozy and de Villepin. While the latter's ambitions are more circumspect, Nicolas Sarkozy makes no secret of his desire to become president of France in 2007. This may turn into his personal 'Catch–22.' He should take time tophoto, exhibit luxembourg, treemen remember another quote by Raffarin, "Our road is straight but there's a steep hill."

Sports News

Quite by surprise – to me – Paris turned the Champs–Elysées into a track and field, swimming and sailing, Olympic site on Sunday and a million residents turned up to see the free sports under gray skies. The city's magazine had a sketch of this on its cover, and while very–well done, it looks virtual. But according to the TV–news report it was really real verging on the surreal. The swimming pool was long enough for laps and the kids were really sailing, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background. It should happen every Sunday. Then, just to test luck to the limit, 150,000 then hiked over to the Champ de Mars where there was a free pop music concert in the evening.

On tonight's TV–news there was a report about an Olympic Committee appreciation of the candidates' applications for the summer games in 2012. It suggested that London and Paris are the leading contenders. Apparently Paris impressed the Olympic inspectors by having a transport strike and a huge street demonstration on the day they inspected the town. While you are still tuned in, be aware that Paris is hosting a baseball championship from Tuesday, 21. June until Sunday, 26. June.

Soldes d'Ete

Usual or not, the summer sales announced to begin Friday, 24. June and continue until about Saturday, 23. July, are still scheduled. It just goes to show that if you can't afford the full price for a tiny bikini there must be more to it for less than meets the eye.

Rio de Bastille II

Wednesday, 13 July, is the eve of 'Bastille Day' and the star guest at big fête at the Bastille will be Gilberto Gil, Brazil's musical ambassador and current Minister of Culture.

Headline of the Week

One of the Le Parisien's sappier headlines of the week was today's 'Les 100 jours de Villepin.' This wasphoto, star wars bee inspectors coupled to '100 lecteurs lui proposant 100 questions.' He's probably sorry now that he ever said anything more than ten.

Don't panic! These are only beekeepers in the Luxembourg.

Everybody caught up on it. Socialist party leader François Hollande on the TV–news last night said, "100? What about the 1100 days until they 'discovered' unemployment?" He had just come from booting Laurent Fabius off the Socialist leadership team for voting 'non' and he seemed to be in a foul mood.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's club meeting report was loosely founded on some members doing some 'Amazing Walking.' This was well and good because it was a way of avoiding making too much out of the bus running over the Smart story, whichphoto, friday roller skates wasn't all that hilarious anyway. For this note here I have just read the report again, and it all comes back to me now.

The Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on next Thursday once again. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Sainte–Diane. This 'Saint of the Week' was seduced by the preaching of Dominique de Guzman, the founder of the Frères Prêcheurs, or Dominicans for short. Diane's rich family in Boulogne prevented her from entering an Augustinian convent but she persevered and entered the Dominican, and eventually died happy in 1256.

Some terribly confused facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The sketchy design of the club membership card on the page looks as unlike a membership card as any other rare baseball card, and it isn't. Basically free, the club membership itself is virtual, priceless, without actually being worth anything.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.24 – 7. June 2004 – the week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'D–Day In Paris – Red Carpets and the Marseillaise.' The Au Bistro column's headline was, 'The Longest Weekend – Marriage in Bègles.' There was no 'Feature of the Week' so readers could skip straight to the repeat Scène column with the title, 'Ready for Summer with Any of 220 Events.' The update for the 10. June meeting of the Café Metropole Club was called the 'Coincidencephoto, sign, rue du pont de lodi of the Week' report. There were four rather plain 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was direct from somewhere else with a caption like, "No Saint–Cola!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.23 – 2. June 2003 – this issue's edition of the Café Metropole column was super topical with, 'On the Terraces.' A Café Life column explained hospitality with 'Giving One Out.' An Email feature was titled 'Calamity Ends at Sundance,' from Grace and Colin Lim. The Scène column's headline was, 'Choo–Choo Champs–Elysées.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 5. June was hailed as the 'Eulipian Vision' is a Meeting 'First' report. There were four no–way 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was extra 'social' again with, 'Not Delayed by Strikes.'

Shipping News

For the 14th time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is a true 'Quote of the Week' again. Aleksandr Pushkin, who was named after the ship photo, sign, pourboires interdits that brought me to Europe, said, "Fearing no insult, asking for no crown, receive with indifference both flattery and slander, and do not argue with a fool." Since it was back in the good old days of the KGB, nobody argued with Boris, first class barman and major, out of uniform.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the death in 1941, of Louis Chevrolet, who was born in La Chaux–de–Fonds, Neuchatel, in Switzerland. Louis learned car–making skills in Beaune as well as developing his interest in auto racing, while working for in the Roblin mechanics garage between 1895 and 1899. Louis then worked for a spell in Paris before moving to Montreal and then to New York City, in 1901, where he worked for Fiat. His younger brother, Gaston, won the Indianapolis 500 race in 1920 in his own car, and died the same year at 28.

A Near–Miss

Today is the anniversary of the 10–metre diameter asteroid that slammed into the earth in 2002 with the force of 26 kilotons of TNT, which was slightly more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in WWII. However the space junk blew up in mid–air and the noise was not noticed in Paris because this happened over the Mediterranean south of Greece, west and south of Crete and north of Libya, over open water. Small asteroids hit the earth a couple of times a month, according to scientists, but we should not worry unduly about big asteroids because these will only hit the earth about once in ten million years.

A 'First' of the Week

On this date in 1933 the first drive–in cinema opened for business in Camden, New Jersey. It wasphoto, sign, decor oeufs frais du jour invented by Richard Hollingshead, if you can call a cow pasture with a screen an 'invention.' All the same, Richard added speakers that could be attached to cars and a snack–bar that sold greasy frites and soggy popcorn. After a heyday in the 1950s and early '60s, drive–ins declined because movies became lousy and kids turned to rock–n–roll for fun. These days so–called 'guerilla' drive–ins exist, out there in the dark somewhere.

Other, Slightly 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 208 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1954 when Eurovision became Europe's common television broadcaster, charged with producing its justly famous 'Song Contest' and broadcasts of World Cup soccer matches and riots. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 157 days, the same number that 1606 had when French writer Pierre Corneille was born. Happy birthday, Pierre!
signature, regards, ric

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