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'Lost Window'

photo, group, josef, edna, bob

The cool 'Group of the Week' is Josef, Edna and Bob.

Cool of the Week

Paris:– Thursday, 25. August 2005:– Let's see, what can I write that will be in stunningly bad taste about the weather conditions in Paris? Haven't I already written that, although it is still August, the weather has mutated into autumn? My morning shower raises goosebumps the size of medium champignons de Paris. Brrrrrr.

But during the daytime, usually after noon, the temperature gets up to 23 to 25 degrees, which is perfectly fine for September. But the sky can get up to dumping too. So far, in this area, it is sensible and doesn't do this for more than 18 minutes at a time, like it did this afternoon for 18 minutes.

Tomorrow, TV–news said tonight, there will be a high pressure unit located over southern Brittany, and somehow this will result in severe clouds up along the Channel, maybephoto, cool rain of the week dropping a bit of rain where we are. Then the afternoon is supposed to be a half, or semi, or a bit sunny, sometimes, and the high will be 20 degrees on the France–2 scale, and perhaps only 19 degrees if you prefer Arte–TV.

Fine details for Saturday escape me, leaving the note saying mostly sunny, with some rare and small clouds, while the temperature hikes up to 22 degrees. The ultra–long range forecast for Sunday has predicted mostly or very sunny, with another hike in warmth to 24 degrees.

Cool rain of the week during the club meeting.

This looks like it is on a roll, so the super long–range forecast for Monday is out on a thin limb with a prediction of sunny, with a fantastic temperature of 26 degrees. This will still be August and if it comes true, it will be a fine way to finish the month before we get into our itchy designer thermal undies.

The 'Lost Window' Report of the Week

I couldn't tell if it was rain overnight or dry leaves rattling in the wind, but when I bounce out the door I see that the sidewalk looks like it's been wet. It could look like this sometimes after being washed because the city has a crew with a green truckette and a tank that is used for hosing the sidewalks. They could try hosing the local pigeons too.

So here I am skipping down the clean sidewalk on my way to the weekly club meeting, checking out the new posters, making a slight detour by way of the tabac to see if I'm a zillionaire yet, and after that the skipping is over for the week.

And then it's back to the drearyphoto, cool bubbles of the week shamble past the cemetery. Nevertheless I admire the colors on the trunks of the plane trees that line the long block. These trees have a natural camouflage, to make their enemies think they are not here. I doubt that it fools sparrows, friends or foe.

Today may be the first that the Paris Plage speedway is again a speedway. I do not see any stray palm fronds, seashells or sand around on the Quai du Louvre when I pass. It is quite something to plug in a three–kilometre beach one day and then yank it out the next. It could be hard on memories – was this thing ever a tuba d'été?

The cool bubbles of the week.

As great philosophers say, life goes on, so I plow along past all the fastfood stands, the dog shop and the trinket palaces, to arrive at the club's café where the terrace is nearly empty, the ice cream booth is unmanned, the crew is listlessly lounging around the bar and in the 'grande salle,' as Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' says, personne is waiting patiently for the club meeting to begin.

I fill in today's meeting details, put on my glasses and turn to Le Parisien and turn to page two, then members Edna and Bob Bradley arrive and I take off my glasses and put the paper away and Edna says that her nickname is 'Fidele' before she sits down.

This has to do with the French conversation group at home in Costa Mesa, California, which has next to no effect on Bob. He says he is busy keeping their herd of computers going, mentioning casually that the team is composed of PCs and Macs.

As much as I am anxious to hear about the working ladies they've seen in the Bois de Boulogne, "in the daytime!" – I learn that Bob started with the same machine as I did, the original Macintosh. What a gas that was! It only took a year, a doubling of the onboard memory, the addition of another disk drive, to get it to work. What sacrifices pioneers make for progress. We laugh about swapping diskettes for hours, just to write a phone number.

Edna has some choice thoughts to share concerning Bob's 'spaghetti' of wires, which are, he says, being eliminated via a switch to WiFi. Before I can express worries about all the ones and zeros in the airwaves around us, Edna is ordering a cool drink of bubbles.

She would have ordered Coke but she doubts the café has real Coke. Many members have ordered Coke during meetings but I has never occurred to me to ask if it was real Coke. Why not, when the café is hardly real?

She says that sometimes when she orders a 'coke' she is served a Pepsi because some think the word 'coke' is generic for cola, and Pepsi will do. "I have never liked Pepsi," she says firmly. She objects to Pepsi's aggressive advertising tactics, even though the drink is only number two.

Which reminds Bob of the time he was inBrussels for the World's Fair and was amazed at howphoto, cool wine of the week Europeans could figure out that he was an American because of his shoes. At that time, in 1958, nobody except tennis players wore sneakers in public. Europeans had these really thin shoes that fell apart.

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