This is Metamorphosis?

photo, rooftops in rain, tour eiffel, horizon From Beaubourg, rays on the horizon.

Is that Spelled Right?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 13. March 2006:– It rained more in Paris last week than at any time since the week before. We stood around like penguins on an excursion to Patagonia and shrugged it off as if we were canvasback ducks, sort of waterproof, and waited patiently until the clouds lifted so we could continue our flights north to cooler summer quarters in Saint–Denis.

I can certainly write this without fear of contradiction, partly because I am too tied up to read emails from people who know better. But if you are one of these I hope you can write sooner so I can stand corrected rather than standing here uncorrectly.

Now that you are paying attention here is the weather forecast. According to tonight's TV–weather news there isn't going to be much rain in the near future around here. It may be pouring in Belgium or in the Schwarzwald but those places, although near, are off TV's maps.

Except for a few high, white clouds up along the miserable Channel coast, it may be sunny here tomorrow morning and maybe a bit less sunny tomorrow afternoon. The rest of France will be very sunny, but it's not near here either. For Paris, we are supposed to expect a high of 8 degrees.

photo, fiat 500 of the week Long time no see the 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

Ditto ditto for Wednesday with the light clouds, the temperature, and on Thursday it may be mostly sunny again, still with the light clouds or lots of big spaces between them, with a high of a cool 6 degrees to remind us that the closer spring gets, the less the local weather likes giving up its greedy hold on winter. All in all, it'll be fine weather for February.

Back for the another season, contra–Atlantic, here's Météo Jim, writing today with a Pommeland forecast for excessive greenability, from the Easter River to shining cool Hudson Bay, Battery Park to Pacques, including the fabulous Coney Island and offshore reefs in the environs.

Hibernia Rules the Green

In the rest of Extremely Greater Pommeland, warm, moist air is coming up from the Gulf of Mexico only to clash with frigid Canadian air flowing down from the north. Where these two air masses meet produces a weather front far exceeding any human conflict. These clashes have resulted in the creation of tornadoes which have already attacked parts of the Midwest. They will continue in intensity until winter arrives.

However, as soon as the pseudo–Pommeland spring arrives, the approaching winter will quickly cause spring to retreat. This coming Friday, Pommeland celebrates the Feast of the Hibernians. A great parade will march down 5th Avenue in La Grosse Pomme accompanied by green shamrocks, green beer and green bagels, washed down by staggering amounts of green corned beef and green cabbage.

photo, boules players, sunday, luxembourgBoules on Sunday in the Luxembourg.

This marks the true arrival of green winter because this feast comes from the green land of Hibernia, so named by the Romans who never invaded it because of its fierce greenness. It is a land where winter rules for 14 months of the year and then it really turns extra green. In honor of this overly green land and climate, the Romans gave the French the word hiver and the Anglo speakers, 'hibernate.'

In true Hibernian fashion, the weather on Friday is predicted to be rain, snow and temperatures may be in the 30s, anglo–grad.

Ed's Note – I was worried for a moment until I washed my eyes out with window cleaner. It is creation of 'tornados' above, not torpedoes.

Café Life

This is Metamorphosis?

While France lurches from calamity to catastasis, while the streets resound with the raw sounds of protest and flying trashcans, teargas, while politicians crisscross the arid steppes in search of votes, and while the Minister of the Interior campaigns in the Antilles, while folks scan the skies in fear of birds and rain, when others are fighting mosquitos for their very lives, and statistically the unemployment falls, why this is mere background static during the battle to sail Metropole out of the drizzly fog and into the silver light of a golden future.

Yes, readers, friends and club members; Metropole is undergoing a metamorphosis from being a humble caterpillar lounging under a stink cabbage on a lily pod to becoming – not the glass slipper that fits only the most beautiful foot, nay! – but the very foot of beauty itself.

All of this is owed to Josef M. Schomburg. This young man is a vertible magician, an alchemist, a man with a magic baton, a pocket full of bunny rabbits' feet, the original Mister Luckypenny himself, practically a licensed Marabou with a certified diploma from the Sorbonne's Dakar campus – which reminds me, this august institution was not actually sacked by rioting students over the weekend, as the right–wing press may have claimed.

photo, big and little sailors, luxembourg Marine activities near the Senat.

Tonight's TV–news clearly showed armored and helmetted CRS anti–riot police smashing flimsy barricades of cafeteria chairs and old desks to smithereens, to get at the students who were jumping out of windows. I mean this is what TV showed but the audio part claimed it was students making antiauthoritarian whoopie, and the head cheese of the Sorbonne said it was a disgrace. Only 30 were arrested. Today of course, everybody was back on the barricades.

While this was going on Josef M. was toiling away, with sweat flowing down his forehead, as software he commanded did some neat trick of separating Metropole's chaff from its dross, relentlessly combing through 450 old issues, ripping the contents like rotten teeth out of about 4000 pages and dropping it neatly into new decor, grinding on all day Friday, Saturday, and without pause all day Sunday, not even knocking off for the Sunday lunch of roast chicken and tasty frites, and on into prime TV time, past midnight when owls are hooting about in the cemetery across the street.

But I exaggerate! In fact, Josef threw the switch while everybody was asleep on Sunday morning. Then he spent the rest of the day, until those owls were hooting truly, fixing the bobos. Considering the complexity of the task these were not many. May I say – they are not many?

At this end, meanwhile, there I was yesterday out in the sunshine waltzing around towards the Luxembourg, trying to find a dead duck to photograph for this week's news section. No dead duck. No news section.

But this was merely a pause from – ah, how shall I put this? A pause from mistakenly applying Josef's coding changes to current Metropole pages. Mistakenly because these kept evolving. A bit of a fix here, a bit of a change there, some floating thing – not much, really, to do with me carelessly cutting and pasting, destroying it faster than Josef could build it.

In fact this fix and counter–fix has gone on all day today. If I haven't wrecked the latest version, this is what you will see here. Before you might be inclined to say, it doesn't look like much, just let me remind you that what we have here is Google–style. It may look plain as vanilla, but there's a mighty motor underneath.

So then, it's done. Except for the minor corrections Metropole is now ready for its next ten years of giving you reports about Paris today, depending on the mood of its Ed and its club secretary and the new Joe on the block, Radio Ric, who is supposed to fill up the new GoodBlogWeek with timely blather, just as soon as the dust settles.

Demo of the Week

This is scheduled to take place next Saturday in Paris and everywhere around France and is supposed to include all unions, students, the unemployed, university presidents, the young, the old, political hacks of all parties except the UMP, the greenies, the Corsican nationalists, friends of animals, farmers, fishermen and their wives and girlfriends, firemen, maybe air traffic controllers, trainmen, bus drivers, in short, all and sundry.

photo, kiosk, sunday, luxembourgWhat it is, it's a moveable hunger.

This occasion is to protest against the prime minister's pet idea, the CPE law, which stands for labor contracts for first–time jobs that permit an unlimited right to fire the hapless kids. You can probably understand why university students don't think much of it.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

There was no 'Club Meeting of the Week' last Thursday because the club's café was getting an overdue paintjob. If you must read the 'report' that wasn't, look for last week's GoodBlogWeek column instead.

This coming Thursday's meeting of the Café Metropole Club will without doubt be a surprise for all, with the club's secretary being the most surprised. The 'Saint of the Week' will be Sainte– Bénédicte, about whom I know absolutely nothing because Eddie was a bungler of a king – that's not it! My real excuse was I was up to my knuckles in chintzy code.

A fanciful but true story about the club is on the 'About the Club' page. Should curiosity befall yourself take a gander at the club's original and hand–crafted membership card, good for absolutely no less than nothing.

photo, sign, rue beauty

Crucial Club Note

The next meeting is on Thursday, 16. March. After that I will be on holiday until the next meeting on Thursday, 13. April. Between yesterday and now a substitute club secretary has volunteered to host the meetings. Please accord Josef M. Schomburg the same respect you bestow on the club's regular sectretary if he's in a good mood, on a Thursday. Watch this space, or GoodBlogWeek, for further updates. Beyond this be sure to keep an eye on Metropole – expect to see GoodBlogWeek become what it is supposed to be.

Faits Divers XIX

'Ed,' Ric, the secretary of the Café Metropole Club und neuerdings radio ric, all wish to thank all readers for longstanding patience through these tiresome times of reconstruction and waltzing around the Luxembourg. Salut les copains!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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