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Weather Strikes Back

photo, cafe naguere, 21 june

The longest day – Tuesday, 21. june

'Interesting' Dates

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 27. June 2005:– The weather is absolutely normal. Just as when it is cold and rainy, when the forecast calls for sunshine to break out within a few days, the 'few days' stay where they are in the future and we never catch up to them.

Now it is hot and often steamy. Today it was 38 degrees – just a hair more than 100 F – in Bordeaux. For the past several days the forecast has been for cooler weather, but it gets hotter instead. Around noon when I went into the air–cond. Monoprix it was 29 degrees and feeling just right, but when I came out 15 minutes later the pharmacy sign read 32 soggy degrees.

Places in France where the lowest overnight temperatures are 20 degrees or above have been classified as 'orange.' This is mostly around Lyon, the Rhône and down to Marseille. But tonight much of the west coast has an 'orange' storm alert, probably meaning more tropical rain is on the way.

There is no such 'alert' for Paris tomorrow but the sky is going to be tricky and you might not be able to tell the difference, if the threatened hail shows up along with clouds, lightning and thunder. With a high of 34 degrees it probably won't be spring fresh.

Another thing about the air is that it is not clean either. After several days of ever rising temperatures and very weak breezes, the pollution level is high, also 'orange.'

If tonight's TV–weather news forecast works out, Wednesday will be eight degrees cooler, and it will be cloudy. But remember what I wrote above – cooler air has been elusive.

Thursday is supposed to see the tendency confirmed with a high of only 23 degrees. A cloudy front will be moving from west to east and another will be sitting in the north, but both systems may not be quite sitting on Paris. It may be another day made for going to the movies.

From across the waters Météo Jim sends a damp version of cooked apples in the guise of a recipe. Stuck with burnt oven mitts here in weather central, here is Jim's report with the forecast this week:–

Baked Pommeistas

The temperatures in Pommeland are expected to reach the low to mid 90's anglograd – 33–35 eurograd – with cloudless skies. These two factors will bake La Grosse Pommephoto, longest day, 21 june and will henceforth be referred to as 'La Grosse Pomme cuite au four' – LGPcaf – or, The Big Baked Apple. As a result of this, the forecast is suspended to be replaced by The Recipe of the Week. LGPcaf will simmer in the low 90's anglograd – 33+ eurograd – through Monday. The heat will be slightly reduced for the rest of the week to about 90 anglograd – 32 eurograd – and seasoned and stirred with an occasional thunderstorm while steaming in the kettle of the midsummer sun. Les gentlemens newyorkaises qui tondent leur gazons will have noticed that clover has been in bloom, mixing with the grass in their gazons.

Café Life

Everybody Is Talking About It

Last Tuesday, 21 June, was perfect. It's the first time I remember a first day of summer being perfect – like a good day in June should be. It was also the warmest summer begin I can remember since I arrived in 1976. Back then I thought it was normal for Paris. The 25 following freezing Junes were a surprise, but then, so were the freezing Julys and Augusts.

It is starting to look like we can quit dithering about whether global warming is real or imaginary. According to a report released on Friday France is not in the right place on the planet. While the average temperature everywhere else has gained 0.6 percent, in France the increase has been a whopping one percent.photo, picnic on daguerre

If the tendency continues and the global increase becomes two percent, it will be three percent warmer in France. This will translate into extremes being excessive – heatwaves, floods and droughts. Apparently the numbers aren't new, but the consequences for France are disturbing. The report concludes that no mildness can be expected.

Rue Daguerre's longest day causes sit–downs.

The report's authors aren't predicting any catastrophic scenarios either – no Gulfstream with a plug in it, no increase in cyclones. They are sounding the alarm because doing nothing now will have a greater cost later. Now is the time to apply the numbers on climate extremes to sensitive systems like the TGV network or nuclear power stations.

One noted change has been the three–week advance for many grape harvests in France. The question arises – should the growing areas be moved further north? And the answer should be 'no.' Becausephoto, homobus if 'yes' then the EU will have to subsidize even more grape growers. There is nothing wrong with this except that Parisians do not get to share the booty. Parisians are getting a trolley instead.

'HomoBus' in Saturday's parade.

Soldes d'Ete Now

Thousands of shoppers besieged shop doors last Friday morning and commenced a frenzy of buying the minute the doors were opened. No serious injuries were reported. The summer sales will continue until about Saturday, 23. July or maybe longer. If you didn't get the tiny bikini of your dreams, just remember that there are a lot of shopping days left until the 'soldes d'hiver' begin.

Rio de Bastille III

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

The news we've all been waiting for showed up as a Le Parisien headline of the week last Thursday. 'Le lundi de Pentecôte travaillé, c'est fini' is too long to be a classic headline, and I haven't got the energy to rewrite it now. This is about the national holiday that the government decided we should work on for free, as a gesture of solidarity with France's old folks.

Yes, this was the day this year when some decided to strike instead of not having a holiday, or decided to play hookey, or decided to be elsewhere – like on a long weekend – and when the bean counters added it up, it didn't amount to a hill of beans. The government committee that looked into it suggested everybody forget the whole idea. Conclusion? It's a good principle, but this is France!

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's club meeting report title was based entirely on the headline, 'Honolulu 'First' At Last' With 295 meetings on record and somewhere around 650 unique members from all around the world, it was high time that Honolulu became 'City of the Week' at last.

The weekly Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be next Thursday yet once more, like clockwork. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Martial.photo, gay parade, brazil This 'Saint of the Week' was the bishop of Limoges in the third century, which is so long ago that nobody is quite certain why Martial was a saint. Some said, 600 years later, that he really was a secretary or a cousin of Peter, who told him to convert Aquitaine.

Brazilians try to turn parade into carnival.

Vastly more confused notions about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page should you happen to look at it. The sloppy design of the club membership card on the page looks as little as a membership card as any cinema ticket, but it isn't. Totally free, the club membership itself is pretty virtual, virtually pretty, all without actually being pretty anything much.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.26/27 – 21/28. June 2004 – this double issue has 'Life' to open, with 'The Gay Parade, Cheap In Paris.' The Café Metropole column a week earlier had the headline, 'Summer Begin Bungled.' The Au Bistro column's title was 'EuroFoot In the Mouth.' The Scène columns were two with the titles, 'Paris Stays Open' and 'Eté – Plage and Pools – Révolution and Libération.' The update for the 1. July meeting of the Café Metropole Club was called 'The Plain Truth' report and the report for 24. June was the 'Open–Pit of the Week'photo, sign, rue cels report. There were six only ordinary 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was direct from yesterday with the caption, 'Kazoo Time.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.26 – 23. June 2003 – this week's Café Metropole column was bang–on sportif with, 'Server–Lady Meets Horse.' The Au Bistro column featured crime news with 'José Bové Goes to Jail Suddenly.' The 'Feature of the Week' was titled 'The Fête de la Musique was Full of Sparkles.' There were links to repeat Scène columns rather than updates. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 26. June was headlined by the secretary as the 'Spacy Ice Cream is Warm 'Food of the Week' report. There were four slightly wonderful 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was extra folksie with, "Don't Smile!"

Existing Evils

For the 17th time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is aphoto, poster, gai fiertis true 'Quote of the Week' again. Ambrose Bierce, possibly writing instead of speaking, said, "Conservative, n. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones." How times change! These days conservatives think liberals are existing evils.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the anniversary of the 1954 coup d'etat in Guatemala that saw the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán by a mean military junta acting in favor of the United Fruit Company – it didn't want lands it was not using expropriated and given to peasant farmers. The United States was so grateful for the outcome that it quickly recognized the junta, which of course caused the rise of democracy–loving guerrillas as a counter–force. However, it was the poet Pablo Neruda who coined the phrase 'Banana Republic,' and it stuck.

France Exceptional!

Jacques Chirac, during a solemn ceremony at the Elysée Palace, said that he had passed 'exceptional moments of relaxation' while reading the comic albums by cartoonist Georges Wolinski, a major contributor to popular anti–establishment titles such as 'L'Enragé,' 'Hari Kiri' and 'Charlie–Hebdo.' For his more than 37 years of corrosiveness, irreverence, barb–slinging and bad taste, Wolinski was honored as a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the president of France today.

Mutiny On the Black Sea

On was on this date in 1905 that sailors,photo, sign, doorknob annoyed with the captain and officers of the cruiser Potemkin because an officer trashed a sailor who dared to complain about rotten grub, in turn trashed the captain and officers and threw them into the Black Sea. The discontent spread to other ships but the repression was terrible, with some sailors finding refuge in Romania. The affair was immortalized in the 1925 film by Sergei Eisenstein.

Other, 'Interesting Dates of the Week'

There are only 187 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1953 when Joseph Laniel became prime minister of France for the first and last time. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 178 days, the same number that 1985 had when Route 66 ceased being an official highway and became a legend, with many European fans.
signature, regards, ric

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