horz line

No Alarm Bells

photo, cafe odessa

Parisians shed world's worries with sunshine.

Halloween Flops

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 31. October 2005:– It is possible that at long last, after a prolonged period of weather that is not natural to this area and season, there is a possibility of its coming to an end. It is as if it has been playing Russian Roulette, spin the cylinder and pull the trigger and it lands on an empty chamber. Click. Another warm day with sunshine.

It was warm enough today even if there wasn't bright sunshine like yesterday and the day before, and for most of the last two months. I have switched coats so often that the sleeves have worn out. But now, tonight, the TV‐weather news Joe seemed to be saying, without actually saying out loud ‐ hinted at, well, I'm not sure.

Tomorrow, he said, clouds along the Alps, clouds along the west coast, clouds up along the Channel, but here ‐ confused, clouds, and sunshine, and he said 'variable.' Meaning? It could be semi‐sunny? Maybe, maybe not. A high of 17 degrees is forecast for Tuesday, which must be a couple of degrees warmer than normal for Toussaint, 1. November.

Wednesday might be a lot more simple, with clouds that drop water out of them. The BBC agrees with thisphoto, basking turtle and another forecast I've seen confirms it, plus Le Parisien's map and loaded with blacks puffs. The upside is a high temperature of 19 degrees.

Cast turtle at ease in pool.

It looks like Tuesday may replay on Thursday with clouds hovering over the same areas, but the opinion seemed to lean towards a cloudy day with sunny periods after maybe a bit of morning rain, with another high temperature estimate of 19 degrees. If this one's not loaded it could slip up and give us another bright Thursday, like the past several.

Metropole's out–of–house but in‐tune weather scribe, Météo Jim, treats all to a glorious end of October in downtown Pommeland and provides us this week with Las Vegas' odds for the end of the hurricane season, to end with Zeta by 30. November.

Herman Melville Replaced

Frost has kissed the fields of Pommeland, turning La Grosse Pomme into Le Grand Citrouille. According to tradition, Indian Summer will burnish the fields with haze and warmth. If you believe the Weather Channel, this appears to be the case. Temperatures for le jour du Grand Citrouille might reach 70 anglograd ‐ 21 eurograd ‐ and Toussaint will also register the same temperature. A cool front will arrive from the west on Wednesday and cool Pommeland/Citrouilleland into the lower 60's anglograd which is 7 or 8 degrees too warm for this time of year. It would seem that Golden November is replacing Melville's 'damp, drizzly October' of the soul.*

*Disclaimer – announced last week, this week's special feature is the lack of a 'Disclaimer' for this week's weather report from Pommeland, because October is over, again.

Café Life

Cause for Alarm?

There is one report and one story on this week's Au Bistro page and both of them may alarm you. France is a modern country but it has its warts, and since these are similar to ones you probably have in your country they should be no surprise.

There are poor people living in France and there are unemployed people. Some of these live in places where other people are poor and unemployed, in places where a lot of young people with energy are in the same boat. Some of these are bitter and angry.

The government has a lot of plans, for it would like to have everybody working and everybody living in aphoto, football, lux garden fine place and paying taxes, but the government can only do so much, and only at its own speed. As it is, it does not seem as if there is a job for everybody, and there's not enough fine places to live.

Footballers use Senat's gate as a backstop.

I will let you make up your own minds about the notion of using armed police to keep a lid on things. If that's the way the government has decided to handle its 'sensitive' situations, then that's the way it is.

Meanwhile you are hardly likely to find yourself in Paris' suburbs with names like Argenteuil or Clichy–sous–Bois or any of 40–odd other similar localities outside the Périfreak.

But if you land in a such place by chance, just remember to stay cool, say as little as possible, do not try to take any photos of local color, and quietly turn around and take the train or bus back the way you came.

The Avian bird flu scare is exactly this – a scare. The government wants us to know that it is on top of the situation, so it is telling us more and is telling us it is doing more than we really need to know. They are being careful and we can help ourselves by staying cool.

Halloween Is a Has–Been

I know everybody loves Halloween except me. I liked it when I was a kid but I didn't like the idea that it wasn'tphoto, pumpkin crate a holiday. In France we have Toussaint the day after Halloween, so it is a holiday. The kids even get a whole week off. But I don't, so I've gone off Halloween.

As it turns out so have the French. Ten years ago Halloween was a fête on the rise and merchants happily jumped on the bandwagon, so that Halloween and the color orange were everywhere you looked. These days even the Monoprix only has minor tokens, and a report on TV tonight said that spending for the pumpkin party is down by 50 percent.

Beach Boule Bingo

Metropole partner Philippe of Petanque America wrote a couple of weeks ago to let us know that he is organizing the 'first ever' International Petanque Tournament in Miami. Thisphoto, pont des arts will be Petanque America's second tournament, open this time to all comers. It could be pretty interesting because it will take place on South Beach where folks casually wear next–to–nothing for the climate, which has many fewer blizzards than Minnesota or Helsinki.

Tune in to Petanque America Open International for tournament details. To take place in Miami on Saturday and Sunday, 12 and 13. November. And if you haven't got your French boules yet, get a set of Obut pétanque balls from Petanque America today and start practicing.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The most recent Thursday 'Club Meeting of the Week' was reported in the 'Murder in the Café Corona' meeting report because mystery writer Cara Black became a member, without actually doing any detecting during the club meeting, without saying that the 'Waiter of the Week' done it.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be more routine. But this is not any oldphoto, snack kiosk, lux garden Thursday either because it is the first one of the month. When November is over the first will be over for ever. The 'Saint of the Week' will be Saint–Hubert. This saint du mois is admired in the Ardennes, since Merovingian times. When not being bishop of Liège or Maastricht Hubert had a vision, which has caused him to become the patron of hunters, as well as reputed powers against rabies.

Autumn garden in the Luxembourg.

Other equally true facts about the club adorn the 'About the Club' page if you like reading medium–sized fine words. If not, just look and the photos. The club membership card looks about as much like one as a wanted poster for stray Loto winners. Totally hors d'âge, the guaranteed free club membership is in itself worth peanuts regardless of being valuable for life.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.45 – 1. Nov. 2004 – the week's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'By a Whisker, the Issue that Almost Wasn't.' There was a hot feature titled, 'Like Old Times – A Real Cure for Jet–Lag.' The update for the 4. November meeting of the Café Metropole Club appeared as the 'First Annual 'Day After' meetingphoto, sign, rue de cice report. The Scène columns were desolated reruns. There were four utterly miserable 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was tip–top with the beverage caption of, 'Change plonk into wine.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.45 – 3. Nov 2003 – the issue's Café Metropole column had dining tips along the lines of 'How To Not Dine Out.' The famous 'Support Metropole' began to get boring, with, 'Readers Like You Can Support Metropole.' You still can. The 'Feature of the Week' was missing again, probably lost in translation. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 6. November was totally new with the 'Cappuccino of the Week' report. There seems to have been a new Scène column, with 'Two Picassos for the Price of Two.' There were merely four brilliant 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week again dealt with indifference with the caption of, "Treat' is Over but Ticket Isn't?"

Beware the Jaws of Power

For the 33rd time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but is instead a somewhat apt 'Quote of the Week.' "The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." This has been attributed to John Adams, the second US president.

If the Past Is Any Indication

photo, sign, square ozanamToday marks the date in 1517 when Martin Luther became famous forever. Martin was a bit upset with his religion so he tacked a 95–point thesis to the door of his church in Wittenberg, which denounced certain shoddy clerical practices. Without his permission the list was reproduced and plastered all over the country, finally being burned by Pope Leo X in June of 1520, and the rest is history.

Slightly Fictional Pataphysics

It was on this date in 1938 in the evening, that HG Wells' futuristic novel 'War of the Worlds,' in a treatment as a radio play by Orson Wells, was broadcast in America. Wells later, the next day, expressed surprise and 'deep regret' for the trouble caused to credulous listeners. As it turned out the invasion of the world by Martians, was fiction.

Escape of the Week

This honor goes to Giacomo Girolamo or Giovanni Jacopo Casanova, who in 1756 escaped from I Piombi in Venice, where he had been locked up by the Inquisition, charged with witchcraft. Casanova fled to Paris and made a fortune in the lottery business but lost it investing in a silk factory. Somehow, he was even banished from France, but then he managed to be banished from most places, until he retired in 1785, to work as a librarian for the Count of Waldstein at the castle of Dux in Bohemia.

Faits Divers V

In 1992 on this date the Vatican decided that it was no longer angry with Galileo, who claimed in the early 17th century that the Earth spins around the Sun, and not the opposite. At the time the church put the Inquisition on his case and the scientist had to repent or something, until 359 years later, when the church changed its mind. Galileo could not be reached for a comment. However in 1512, Michelangelo's Sistine chapel fresco hadphoto, roger & gallet soap its debut today, being much admired by everybody except some German priests who thought it too expensive and not especially evangelic, equally unaware of what was awaiting them in Wittenberg in exactly five years' time.

Odd and Unlikely Dates of the Week

There are only 61 days left of this year, which means this year has less than 55 Christmas shopping days left. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1892 when Arthur Conan Doyle saw 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' published for the first time. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 304 days, the same number that 1993 had when Italian circus fan and master film maker, Federico Fellini quit making movies once and for all.
signature, regards, ric

horz line
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini