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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 in Brussels 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.

It reminds me that I forgot to photo Bob's shoes last week and I lean under the table to see if he's got them on. Edna mentions that she keeps up with Fodor's travel forum to find out 'what to wear' when visiting Europe. "How should I dress?" Bob asks.

The cool wine of the week.

This summer white has been very popular. White shoes, white pants, white shirts, with a red necktie and a Basque beret. This outfit is especially apt if you are in or around the western Pyrenees, catching the pelote, bullfights or the rugby, or the marching 'bandas.' TV showed the residents down there dressed all in white, and afterwards, with red wine stains. Very colorful. Quite noisy too.

As soon as Josef Schomburg shows up Edna says, "We never hear anything about Canada." Joseph looks puzzled. Living in Paris, nobody hears much about Canada, at least not since Charles De Gaulle visited, but that was before anybody's time.

Then in quick succession we touch on the 2CV, SUVs, lawn mowing on spongegrass, looking for sunshine in Switzerland, cog–wheel railways, air bearings, Beverly Hills on fire or flooding, spy in the sky, Panama, and available Mexican food on marchés in Paris.

Followed by Edna mentioning Picard opening a new branch near the apartment where they are staying. She agrees that Picard could be a good number two, for air conditioning, after the congress centre at Porte Mayo. Picard, for those who are unfamiliar, is a chic chain of frozen food boutiques. Edna thinks they are classy.

Then it's back to clothing again, with Edna saying that 'shabby chic' was in style, it might have been some time ago. Bob thinks seersucker fits this bill. "What's seersucker?" Josef wants to know. Now that nothing isn't rumpled, it doesn't matter.

Whenever this was, but after the sudden and short, heavy downpour this afternoon, out we go to the café's terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week,' remembering at the same time to capture onephoto, cool menu of the week of Bob's shoes. Notice the turned up toe and the rounded– up heel. Wear these Swiss technology shoes if you don't mind camera recoil making all your photos blurry. Shoot sideways or use a periscope camera to overcome this effect.

The cool menu of the week.

Edna has told us a secret about how to get upgraded airline seats. Bob seems dubious, but it might work, so the secret stays secret. The Bradleys started out with a window seat and then they got better ones. "You haven't lived until you've taken off in a 747 backwards," Edna says.

I have a few single words noted here, like gizmo, fog, level crossing, with no context for them. But it's not too late to remind members that riding backwards in a 747 may be thrilling, but landing in an airport strike is not. It could be the price to pay for a 'lost window.'

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' written with a Mac whirring softly, hardly clears up what this is all about. If you can spare a second or two scoot yourphoto, cool shoe of the week eyeballs over the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its ridiculous mishmash of bungled photos, boring words and the sad scrap of a membership card. You can join the club too, no fuss or bother, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' There are 52 of them every year.

The cool shoe of the week.

Where, What, How, When, Why Not, Who?

These club meetings, as these silly affairs are called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for two hours until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its getting shorter slow next to autumn modus. Known in semi–exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is unlikely to be where meetings are conducted. Be sure to come to the café La Corona and its 'grande salle.' The folks casually dressed in the back, wearing their shoes, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Stay for a hour or a whole meeting with new friends, if you have the time for it. Real 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'first' even if 'real' is just as likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'true' with any sort of connection to reality, like true facts or invented fiction.

A note of caution – you may have personal reasons for remaining unfindable via the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines beforegraphic: club location map becoming 'found' in one of these club reports. Treat yourself to a Google session if unsure.

'Ex–rules' continue to be former rather than latter week after week after week, after months, after year–in year–out, after forever and far beyond the present and the after the past. Nonetheless these former rules may still be looked–up so that you can learn that this truly antique club of slim reason repeats them seldom, as we tend to say repeatedly.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional at no extra cost. There are usually enough empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is acceptable too. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by other members present if there are any listening, and there usually are some but not always – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of today's quite amazing omission of the mention of the sighting of a pair of mounted flics on the quay.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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