Password Challenged

photo, ducks at the louvre Ducks lining up for the movie.

Some Big Things of the Week

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 15. May 2006:– I was washing dishes and they started tonight's TV–weather news without waiting for me, and I missed the big scene at the beginning where they show the greater cloud swirl from mid–Atlantic to the Urals. For all I know it was a bit of video they ran last February. Judging from the clouds I did see on the tube, here might have been South America.

The adventure called weather continues. Tomorrow will begin with rotten weather in southern France and by noon – on the dot! – it will gradually become worse here, although it will be slightly sunny when it isn't being mostly cloudy, and there may be some hail way off to the east maybe near Switzerland. A high temperature of 20 degrees is forecast, like yesterday's 20 that became 24.5 degrees this afternoon.

photo, cherries of the week

TV's weather lady said Wednesday's would be the most like seasonal, like May I guess, with 22 for a forecast high and more of the mostly sunny when it isn't mostly cloudy, but more so than Tuesday – but a lot less than the sunny it might be south of the Loire.

Soap–suds on my hands, the official weather Bic slippery, I never did get caught up. Thursday, supposedly worse off than Wednesday, came out equal according to my notes. Mostly sunny is again marked on Le Parisien's map. I ran out of time to write 'mostly cloudy' too, but scribbled 60 kph for a wind charging up the Channel and a high of 22 degrees, for near here and all of northern France.

Over Here, There, Rain Rain

Météo Jim, Metropole's weather snoop on the skies over the five–borough area, sent his on–time forecast for this week, today. Here is, absolutely accurate, Météo Jim's timely and fresh forecast:–

North of Pommeland, the weather would have suited Charles Baudelaire – even if it isn't in Paris – and excited his spleen. Up to 10 a–inches of rain fell in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and southern Maine creating severe flooding, with much more rain expected to come. Many mamans, who expected breakfast in bed last Sunday, had to settle for an evacuation by boat to an emergency shelter. Meanwhile, the rest of Maine is under a drought watch.

photo, cow of the weekSay what? Cow of the Week.

This same immense low pressure system that is drowning New England will, in the poetic term, tarry a–while over the east coast, Canada and parts of the midwest. Pommeland is expected to see mostly cloudy skies and chances of showers and an occasional thunder– boomer, with temperatures somewhere in the mid 60s a–grad for the rest of the week.

Not to be outdone or forgotten, June 1 which is a Thursday, marks the beginning of the 2006 hurricane season. Once again, the weather people predict an overly active program. Mark your calendars and start the countdown.

Café Life

'Ed' Still Stalling

Getting a new computer and a big hard disk may seem to many as a minor concern but for me I am making sure about 25,000 files – text, photos and graphics – that are in Metropole's archives, get saved and transferred from certain oblivion to – to where exactly? And why?

I'm not sure, but I'm doing it. Under ordinary circumstances this would be a slight chore. However I didn't reckon with a new operating system that has UNIX under the hood. This has a thing built into it called 'permissions' that are tied to a 'keychain,' that require passwords of different levels. They are explained on page 400 of the book I had to buy extra, somewhat after I got started, and now there are some files I have that are refusing me access because I am not 'authorized.'

photo, louvre security on bikeSecurity on wheels in a big space.

To put it mildly I am password– challenged. It was also a password that kept the WiFi from talking to the modem, sitting 10 centimetres away. It gaily chatted with some unknown network from who–knows–where. But last week there was success at last, after only five weeks of trial–and–mostly–error.

At this moment it is beginning to look as if I will be able to switch completely from the old machine and system to the new machine and new system this coming week. If this is the case I will certainly be ready for anything, but especially for:–

The Big Night of the Week

A year goes by so quickly and here we are again, about to have another Nuits des Musées next Saturday, 20. May. This event will see 1600 locations open throughout Europe and France for the sole delight of night–time art fans. First–time participants this year are Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Cyprus, Finland, Estonia and Turkey. This will be one of Europe's bigger Saturday night freebies so don't pass it up.

And Retard of the Decade Ends

Ten years of moaning ends on Wednesday when the National Museum of the Orangerie reopens its doors for five days of free entry, including on the Nuits des Musées. This museum is France's home of Impressionism, the house rebuilt for Monet's Les Nymphéas, and has been sorely missed. Normally open at 9:00 for reserved visits, and from 12:30 without, the museum is open until 19:00, and until 21:00 on Friday. Except Tuesday, open daily. On Sunday following the Nuits des Musées the doors open at 12:30. Be early.

Liberated Poulets

Chicken fanciers were overcome with joy on Saturday when it was announced that their favorite food was to be liberated from the confinement caused by the worries about the grippe aviaire – avian bird flu – that never turned out to be the feared epidemic. Chickens on TV–news were shown flipping out as they were allowed to roam free under the open skies again. The restrictions are still in place in the Dombes in the Ain region where the few cases were detected. Bird experts think the danger from birds migrating from Africa is over but warned that the coming migration, from Russia next fall, might be troublesome.

The Huge Thing of the Week

photo, reflections, pyramid, louvre Do you get what you see?

After the bombardment of publicity that has been dumped on billboard space and TV–news for the past year and last week in particular, we can now have a very short countdown to the cinema debut of the super colossal production of the Da Vinci Code, to open on Wednesday, when it will also be presented as the opener at the Cannes Film Festival. It's all so thrilling.

Do not forget that Café Metropole Club member David Pitt's Tricolors Web site has a daily 'Da Vinci' quiz located in a section called 'Common Denominator.' This will continue throughout May and June. For 'Da Vinci Code' related tidbits also take a look at David's 'Cowboy In Paris' pages. Maybe there will be clues.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last week's 'Club Meeting of the Week' last Thursday took place recently in the club's café which was about what club members have come to expect. Toss a glance at the 'report' of the meeting, which, with some minor artistry was titled, 'Pétanque, Bring Balls.'

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will without doubt be next Thursday, with all the usual 'firsts' such as a new 'Water Drink of the Week.' The 'Saint of the Week' will be Saint Eric, also known as Eric IX and Eric–le–Saint. Good old Eric was King of Sweden for four years until being bumped off by a Danish prince in 1160. His other real name was Jedvardsson but he is still not well known.

The hugely large and true story of the club is on the 'About the Club' page. Should curiosity befall, throw a gander at the club's original and hand–made membership card, before its eventual replacement with a sturdy item.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 9.20 – 10. May 2004 – this week's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Below Par, Good Bread News.' This issue's Au Bistro column proclaimed, 'Sarko says, "Consummez!"' The 'Feature of the Week' was headlined 'And Now for the Winners! – of the Bumper–Sticker Slogan Contest.' There was a double–repeat Scène column with the title, 'Par Amour de l'Art, and Thread Trips.' The update for the 13. May meeting of the Café Metropole Club cried, 'Big Moment of the Year' Bungled' report. There were four classic 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was straight from the Foire de Paris with the 'Baguette News from the Inventors Corner.'

photo, sign, medallion, ecole de medecine

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 8.20 – 12. May 2003 – in this issue the Café Metropole column wasn't shy, with 'Bring Your Own Tapas.' The Au Bistro column wasted no words with 'In 6 words: 'Mardi Noir' Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.' The lone feature's headline was, 'On a 'Typical' Street No More than Just Average.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 9. May was titled as, "We've Just Hung Up Our Sleds!" report. There were four marvelous 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week promoted the rails with, "No Trains to Nantes."

photo, sign, direction, musee du louvre

Café Life Lite 1O1

Don't Read the Fine Print

For the 42nd time, almost in a row, this is not about some martyred old saint, but is instead an exciting and very apt 'Quote of the Week' based loosely on a true one. Once upon a time Pete Seeger, who was a folk guy, said, "Education is what you get when you read the fine print and experience is what you get when you don't." Mind you he was not thinking of software. He was lucky enough to live in a time before its invention..

If the Past Is Any Indication

Seven years after the invention of the moving picture, today marks the premiere showing of the first movie, directed by Georges Méliès. The film's title was Voyage dans la Lune and it had a big success in Paris in 1902. Twenty years later its creator was struggling to survive as a flower vendor at the Gare Montparnasse.

Ever Better, Softer Pataphysics

Arletty won born on this day in 1898 in the almost–Paris suburb of Courbevoie but it didn't stop her from becoming a big star of musical halls, theatre and cabaret, really taking off around 1936 when she appeared in Les Joies du Capitole and Fric–Frac. After commencing in movies in 1930 her most famous film role was in Marcel Carné's Les Enfants du Paradis, in 1945. This was after she was imprisoned the same year for consorting with the recent enemy. Later she said, "Si mon cœur est français, mon cul lui, est international." Arletty died in 1992.

Streets of Dreams

photo, sign, cafe a la tasse, chocolat chaude

Around here today is remembered as Mutiny at the Palais Bourbon day, recalling the events in 1848 when Armand Barbès, Auguste Blanqui and François Vincent Raspail led 50,000 Parisians to the seat of government, to demand intervention in Poland. The government, unimpressed, arrested the ringleaders and all the other usual suspects. At the time it was a setback for the workers and the Socialist cause, but all three of the leaders have streets in Paris named after them now.

Forgettable Dates of the Week

There are 230 nights and days left this year, which means there are several baker's dozens of them left until the begin of the Soldes d'Eté, on Wednesday, 28. June. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1902 when genial inventor Lyman Gilmore became not very well–known for making the first flight in a steam–powered aircraft. A short time later he became completely unknown. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 135 days, the same number that 1919 had when nearly everybody in Winnipeg quit work in order to participate in a general strike, which is now fondly remembered by everyone who took part as the Winnipeg General Strike.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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