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The Calm

photo, cafe louis philippe

The café Louis Philippe almost overwhelmed by its jungle.

Before the Rentrée

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 29. August 2005:– You should see the weather guy on France–2 TV news. He does look smug. His is, now that just about everybody and their elected representatives are back pounding away at the old millstone, he is really proud to be giving us beautiful summer weather.

I can't say it is 'better late than never.' There has been no unbroken spell of ultra–hot days and none of the ultra–cool. Instead there has been a pretty steady variety of days that have been warm enough, with a lot of sunshine and not too many clouds or rain. And once in a while there have been days when the temperature went over 30 degrees, but that's what they were – individual days rather than any series.

So I can say, from the view of an urban mensch, that summer has been fully agreeable. I may even remember it for having the best all–round weather in recent memory.

Only just a few days ago, and even last week, there was a morning nip in the air that announced that fall is here. The temperatures were going down to 12 overnight, even if the days have been comfortable with highs jiggling around 22–25 degrees.

Yesterday, which I write about elsewhere in this issue, was stunningly brilliant. It is unheard of for the day that everybody is supposed to have left the sand behind, to be pleasant. When you come back from holidays you are supposed to get drizzle. Not yesterday.

Okay, now to smugness. Tomorrow has been forecast to be all sunny, just about everywhere in France. Rightphoto, door, rue des ursins here in downtown Paris the temperature is predicted to be 29 degrees. Earlier these predictions regularly fell short by a couple of degrees, so I expect 31.

With a few clouds edging into the western tip of Brittany on Wednesday, again most of the rest of France will be sunny, and the temperature for Paris may be 31 degrees. The change is come on Thursday, when there may be more than a few clouds around, but the temperature is expected to hold up, with a high of 26 degrees. Not too shabby at all.

The door in the Rue Des Ursins.

Eyes focused tightly on TV–screens, this week Météo Jim sends an informative note about weather not here, but down south Gulf of Mexico way.

Hurricane Not Here

Sirius and his friends have returned to the kennel for a while; hopefully for the rest of summer. The end of the week was marked by slightly higher temperatures and clouds. Not just any clouds but those of a change of seasons. High towering clouds and darker roiling ones that indicatephoto, palm, luxembourg a cold front has come. The front is still a few days away but it is giving notice that the dream of August is coming to an end. Rain shadows will cover Pommeland for most of the coming week. This brings us to the event of the week – Hurricane Katrina.

In the Luxembourg on Sunday.

Katrina paid a brief visit to the southern area of Le Pays de Pamplemousse and the city of Miami. Maybe Katrina was impressed by what she saw for she is now heading for the City of the Big Easy – New Orleans. As of Sunday, 28. August, 10:38 PM, the storm has winds of 165 mph and a storm surge of 28 feet. This means that the point where high tide falls, the wind will drive the water 28 feet higher above that point. It is measured vertically, meaning the waves will be 28 feet above your head. How far inland the waves will go depends on the slope of the land. In some cases, it will drive the water hundreds of feet inland.

Café Life

If I don't get Metropole's events online soon I will be able to copy everybody else who does them. But I am only joking of course. I used to grit my teeth and do an events column every week. Maybe I need to fire me and get an unpaid intern to do it for free. People are so unreliable.

One More Time

Mentioned above, the weather was perfect yesterday. I had to go out into it and wander around, get some Cs and air and see up into the sky a long blue way. Instead of news I've put this on the 'Au Bistro' page, partly to hold some extra photos. Click here to go there.

Bûcheronnage Sportif

News has just arrived of a new world record being set yesterday at Arthemonay in the Drôme. The AFP report is highly technical, using all sorts of words I've never seen before, sophoto, merry go round, st paul this account will be approximatif. Amateur woodchopper Dominique Figuet went up a big tree and on a platform 37.6 metres above the ground, he cut some wooden thing – a ticket? – in 1:50:13:05. That is, one hour, 50 minutes, 13 seconds and 5/10s.

This feat was witnessed by a huissier, Me Christian Joubert, from Romans, also in the Drôme. This 'billet' that was hacked out of Beech wood with a hatchet, was 1.32 metres long, or wide, or high. The organizer, Bruno Ollat, is going to lodge the details with Guinness, because the existing record of 32 metres and one hour, 24 minutes, set in Switzerland by another French woodchopper, was broken. Yesterday's champion, Dominique Figuet, a maintenance technician, broke the record once before, in 2004. A couple of weeks ago we nearly had chuckwagon races. I guess NFL football will be next.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The so–called report about last Thursday's club meeting was headlined 'Cool of the Week.' This was a reference to a variety of cool subjects and objects, including Bob's shoes which popped up on a chair to get their photo taken.photo, notre dame You are reading a magazine whose club members choose to wear Swiss technology shoes, in public. Cool.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday again, amazingly like a digital watchworks. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Gilles. This 'Saint of the Week' was a hermit in the Languedoc area, and spent a lot of time in the desert of Crau, before becoming an abbot, and before having somebody build a basilica on his tomb, around which the town of Saint–Gilles– du–Gard developed.

Quite true facts about the club can be discerned on the 'About the Club' page should you happen to be in that neck of the woods. The clumsy sketch of the club membership card on the page looks about as like a membership card as a toothbrush. Timeless, the club membership itself is virtually priceless, while being something you would hardly want to sell for a discount on eBay.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.36/37 – 30. Aug/6. Sept. 2004 – the issue's first Café Metropole' column featured 'Libération!' and the second column had 'Fine Weather Keeps On.' The week's Au Bistro column asked, 'Three More Years, of Sarkomania?' The Scène column finally made it with 'More Fall Program – Whew!' The update for the 2. September meeting of the Café Metropole Club was bleerily positive with the "It Is What It Is" report. The 9. Septemberphoto, sign, rue cloche perce meeting report put all back to rights with 'Bongo 253.' There were six fabulous 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was also positive with the end–of–summer caption, "There's no way forward!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.36 – 1. Sept 2003 – the week's Café Metropole column was spacy with, 'Ne Ratez Pas Mars!' The Au Bistro column had short news with 'RAIN in Paris!' Somehow there was a feature titled 'Plucky Henri IV – France's First, Best Bourbon.' There was a dismal repeat Scène column, titled 'Events Carry Over,' again. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 4. September was heralded as "It's a Two Dog Day" report. There were four stupendous 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was even wilder than ever with the caption "We're Taking the Train!" Toooot.

Preserve Your Clan

For the 25th time almost in a row without fail, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is a 'I–told–you–so' 'Quote of the Week.' Confucius mayphoto, sign, french delice have written, "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security, he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved." Next week right here, as a special feature, the 'Quote of the Week' will not be in Chinese.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1896 when it is believed that Li Hung Chang invented chop suey in New York City. Monsieur Chang was a famous royal Chinese ambassador making a state visit to Pommeland, and he feared that there would be nothing suitable to eat except rice balls. So he commanded his personal cooks to make something tasty for his American guests, and they all asked for chop suey and a Coke. However, the origin of chow mein, much favored in Canada, is unknown. According to American experts, chow mein is simply a northern version of chop suey, but with noodles instead of overcooked vegetables. Canadian experts say that sprinkling crispy chow mein noddles on chop suey will turn it into authentic chow mein. This may be the way it's done in Toronto, but not in Vancouver, which is much closer to China.

Reasonably Old Patapsphysics

It was on this date in 1982 that the Meitnerium was inventedphoto, sign, absense de marquage on purpose at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionen– forschung in Darmstadt by a research team led by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg. Wearing safety hats, the team bombarded some spare bismuth–209 that was lying around unused, with some speedy nuclei of iron–58. With the creation of Meitnerium it was proved that you can use nuclear fusion techniques to make heavy nuclei in your kitchen using common household utensils. Meitnerium, named after Lise Meitner, is 109 on the Atomic scale, and its name was confirmed in 1997 when it was decided not to call it Unnilennium.

Oliver Cromwell Gets Boot

On today's date in 1660 Charles II was proclaimed King of England in London, after returning from an exile that began in 1649. His father was Charles 1, who this history says started a civil war so that Oliver Cromwell would have to behead him, which is apparently what happened. Cromwell was some sort of blue–nose born–again Christian who was so strict that even his son resigned, so there was nothing else to do but get one of these Charlies back, and after that there was a hot time in the old kingdom that even the French would have enjoyed.

Chicken Trumps Red Bear

It was on this day in 1991 that the Supreme Soviet, the parliament of the USSR, decided to suspend all the activities of the Soviet Communist Party in Russia. Various other Communist parties, including as the one in France, decided not to dissolve themselves and continue the struggle to assure a chicken in every pot.

Some 'Significant Dates of the Week'

There are only 124 days left of this year, which means this year has just about run out of high–priced gas. Thisphoto, sign, rue victor considerant is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1920 when Charlie Parker, composer and be–bop saxophone player, was born. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 241 days, the same number that 1521 had when the Ottoman Turks captured Nándorfehérvár in Serbia. Somewhat amazingly, on the same date in 1526 the Ottoman Turks won the Battle of Mohács. Then, going for a grand slam, they picked 29. August in 1541 to capture Buda, the ancient capital of the Hungarian kingdom.
signature, regards, ric

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