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Blue Labor Day

photo, snack, carousel gourmand, tour eiffel

Fog–blessed snack stand near the Tour Eiffel.

And Other Whimsies

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 5. September 2005:– According to tonight's TV– weather news forecast we are not going to have good times tomorrow. This is perfect. I can rant and rave, oh, gloriously crummy weather, absolute muck, pinnacle of gloom, pit of depression, yata yata, grumble, whine, moan. You see, I'm out of practice, and winter may only be one mean weather system off in the future.

Tomorrow, if they've gotten this right, it might be gray and rainy. If it's not right it may be partly sunny, at least until the rest of the rotten stuff gets here from Brittany. If this arrives earlier, forget it. But, what ho? This is not so bad because the high is supposed to be 26 degrees. It means, I suppose, that it may be humid even if there is no actual rain.

For Wednesday I must revert my ranting and raving back to praise for weather suitable for barefootphoto, trocadero pool, tour eiffel canaries. While the southern half of France lurks under edge to edge cloud cover, here in the funky north we can expect a pretty sunny day, along with a high of 27 degrees.

Wednesday at Trocadéro, informal 'Paris–Plage.'

This is supposed to continue on Thursday. But a belt of serious rain has been forecast for the Channel area and this may advance towards us, and then again it may not. If not, then we have sunny weather again, sandwiched between that Wednesday muck to the south and the danger in the northwest. Meanwhile, as they say, here is it supposed to be 27 degrees again. Le Parisien, with lower numbers says Thursday will be bof!, followed by re–bof! on Friday, which shows a dark rain cloud near Orléans.

We shift focus back to Pommeland this week with Météo Jim sending a bulletin about fêtes, weather and spurious degrees, but including times of limpid climes.

Sunny September

Pommeland's weather pales in comparison to what has happened along the Gulf Coast. Experts had been saying for years that a storm and disaster of this magnitude would occur and unfortunately it did.photo, trocadero pool, tour eiffel To put the area affected – which includes total devastation, flooding, tornadoes, power outages and wind damage – in perspective for non–US Metropole readers, this would be an area equal to half the size of France.

Next to the Tour Eiffel, short line for cool glace.

After leaving New Orleans, tropical storm Katrina went up the Mississippi River and then northeast along the Ohio River. It inflicted some damage on Montreal and then headed out to sea.

Pommeland is now enjoying its Fêtes du Travail three–day weekend with the actual celebration of Laborious Day coming today. Weather is a beautiful early September gift of sunny days, low humidity and temperatures around 80 degrees. However, after seeing what the Weather Channel had predicted for the past several weeks, experience says to add about 5 or more degrees to the predicted high.

Café Life

If I don't get Metropole's events online within the next year or two I will be able to copy everybody else who does them slightly more frequently. But I am only joking, hardly serious. I used to gnash my teeth and do an events column every week. Maybe I should fire me and get an intern to pay me to let them do it for free. I feel so unreliable.

SOS Received

Last Monday's killer hurricane Katrina is little more than a puff of wind today. The week's appalling scenes fromphoto, trocadero pool, wading the Gulf Coast disaster zone are etched in our memories forever and there's more bad news yet to come. I received a few emails, not apparently from regular readers, asking for aid from Europe and France.

More do–it–yourself cool at Trocadéro.

The European Union and the French government hardly need any hints from me. Reports say that European countries have considerable reserves of refined gasoline, and they have offered to ship it to the United States. In France the foreign minister says she has three cargo aircraft full of urgently useful items ready to fly as soon as American authorities tell him where they should land.

France has a stockpile of appropriate material on hand in the hurricane zone, in Martinique, and two of the cargo planes are based there, gassed up and ready to go. Other reports have said the Croix–Rouge is saddling up, getting ready to perform their mission.

On behalf of the Café Metropole Club, I hope its members who live in the region of the hurricane damage are safe and sound.photo, sign, littering, 183 euros

Put Down that Hot Dog and March!

Today, the first Monday in September, is Labor Day in the United States and Canada. Europe borrowed this day and placed it, for reasons of solidarity, on May 1st so folks could bug the government before the holidays. On this day workers are supposed to celebrate, and many do so by having a parade to protest about the latest dumb outrages by stupid management. In Paris something is always wrong so there is never no parade, but there are other years when corks are ready to blow and the mechanics and shopworkers, the bus drivers and the train workers, teachers and scientists, the whole bleeding working world takes to the streets to give the big red finger to the MGT. Here are links to the ugly, the bad and good May Days in Paris from 1996 to 2005, as they appeared here.

May Day in Metropole Paris:–

1996Red Flags On May Day
1997Hide and Seek May Day Parade
1998May Day at République, also see Eyewitness to Paris in May '68, by Jim Auman and 30 Years Later – A Chronology of 'May '68'
1999A Week Asleep
2000Red Flags, Blue Skies, May Day
2001The May Day Issue
2002Parisians Vote for May Day, Massively
2003Day of club meet, 1st missed May Day
2004Four Parades Instead of One
2005Primo de Mayo

As Marx or Lenin or Willy Brandt used to say, 'Workers of the world, unite! You got nuttin' to lose!'

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The notional report about last Thursday's club meeting was headlined 'Superpanne ...of the Week,' of course. This was a reference sophoto, rue daguerre, wed, 31 degrees oblique that when Josef Schomburg phoned to ask what was 'super–broken,' I had no idea what he was blathering on about. On re–reading the report I am none the wiser, other than it's a catchy headline.

31 degrees in Daguerre, on August's last day.

The coming Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday yet again. Most weeks have one after all. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Sainte–Notre–Dame Nativité. This is far from exact, because the Sainte in question is Mary, but she is honored on several other days, each with an explanation, leavingphoto, sign, pelouses et baignades interdits only 8. September without one. Anyhow, part of it was decided in 431 and some of the rest 150 years ago, and it all started with Adam and Eve, without whom there would be no sin.

Grass and bathing forbidden, plus risk of cannons.

More exact facts about the club can be gleaned from the 'About the Club' page should you happen to be in that region of pages. The foul design of the club membership card on the page looks about as like a membership card as a rabid bananabird. Hors d'âge, the club membership itself is virtually worthless, while being a valuable item you would hardly want to give away for something.

Silent Radio

For the 26th time almost in a row without fail, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is an intellectual 'Quote of the Week.' Federico Fellini, probably, wrote, "I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusionphoto, sign, place de varsovie of voices. What role does silence have in all this noise?" Next week right here, as a special feature, the 'Silence of the Week' will be in Italian.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1638 when Louis Dieudonné was born in Saint–Germain– en–Laye, at the western terminus of the RER 'A' line. When little Louis became king at the age of five, he changed his name to Louis XIV, although he probably remained a religious soul. His mom, Anne d'Autriche became regent when dad, Louis XIII died, and Cardinal Mazarin was his godfather. Then, on the same date in 1661 d'Artagnan arrested the general superintendent of finance, Fouquet. As if this wasn't enough of a coincidence, on the same day in 1793 the Convention initiated the Reign of Terror that was supposed to terrorize counterrevolutionaries, and did, as well as wiping out quite a number of revolutionaries too.

Disgusting Old Patapsphysics

It was on this date in history that several major massacres happened, rather than beautiful ceremonies of light and joy. So these are skipped here, leaving a reminder that today is not only Labor Day, but its anniversary as well. The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City in 1882, and the day was a Tuesday. Again there was a coincidence, for it was on this date in 1666 the Great Fire of London flamed out after burning for three days, after destroying 10,000 buildings, including Saint–Paul's Cathedral. The death toll was very low.

First Euro Saint?

It was on this day in 1948 that Robert Schuman became Prime Minister of France. He is not especially famous for this, however, but he studied law at the University of Bonn and atphoto, sign, average waiting time 30 min Humboldt University in Berlin, and was in the Kaiser's army in WWI. He is not famous for this either, but was elected as a French deputy for Thionville in 1919, and he kept this seat until 1940. A year later he was arrested by the Gestapo and escaped in 1942, and then he joined the resistance, but he is not really famous for this either. He was also French foreign minister, and in 1950 invited Germany to join a joint management of the iron and steel industries. This eventually became the European Union, and the French voted against accepting its constitution only this year, but not because Robert Schuman always spoke with a German accent. Now the Vatican has got into the act, with an ongoing beatification process. If nothing else, Robert Schuman might become famous one day.

Barely 'Significant Dates of the Week'

There are only 117 days left of this year, which means this year has already run out of low–priced gas.photo, trocadero pool, jets This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1698 when Russia's Peter the Great imposed a tax of 100 rubles a year on beards, except for priests and peasants. Commoners, unlike peasants, had to pay a tax of one kopek. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 248 days, the same number that 1957 had when Jack Kerouac had his novel On the Road published. At the beginning of August, a poll in a British music magazine, seeking the top 100 songs, movies, television shows or books that 'changed the world,' judged Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' the top of the tops. The first book on the list, at number 19, was 'On the Road.'
signature, regards, ric

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