Sarkozy Au Top

photo, saint placide, rue de rennes, saturday Yellow lights, bright neons, headlights, at Saint–Placide.

Weather Stays Crazy

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 15. January:–  I am not surprised that it is Monday again even though a week has passed in a blink, leaving scant trace. Do you remember that horror when somebody said a time–unit could be a week of Sundays? How would you like to try a year of Mondays? Meanwhile, there is the curious weather, causing confusion, today on page 4, below.

Page 4, Above the Fold

It looks like winter even if it doesn't feel much like it. It has been gray and raining a bit occasionally, but the temperatures have been holding to the 10–15 slice of the thermometre – holding at least five degrees above normal.

While plants start to bud about 6 weeks early and some birds didn't bother going to Africa this year, the apparently endless flow of warm streams up from the southwest, hosing mild all over the place. Tomorrow the breezes will be plugging along at 60 kph up the Channel, while a great gray blob hangs over northwest France including here. Expect the high to be about 9 degrees.

photo, saint germain, thursday Saint–Germain fêtes January.

On Wednesday all of northern France is supposed to be overlaid with solid gray clouds, through which a 50 kph wind is supposed to pass, heading to the northeast. In compensation tonight's TV–weather news promised at high of 12 degrees.

Which brings us to Thursday and even more clouds, covering more of this green and pleasant land. As you enjoy a temperature that might be 15 degrees everywhere around here, try not to notice the invisible wind hustling northeast under the clouds, right up your coattails, at 70 kph. On the Riviera there will likely be offshore winds too. But with sunshine and a forecast high of 17 degrees, it will be almost wonderful unless you crave deep powder snow.

While the winter weather acts strange here and it appears as if it might be getting normal in New York, way out west in Hollywood topsy seems to be getting the upper hand.

Pommeland Weather On March

The strange days of dazed weather continues in Pommeland. December set a record for being the warmest December ever recorded. Flowers and plants began blooming and sprouting, thinking it was March.

photo, sign, 1 bis

Even though January is named after Janus, the god with two faces, March also has a Janus aspect. Winter surged back with a surprising surge on Wednesday which resulted in at least 200 snow flakes falling. This in turn created a media frenzy which resulted in the injury or discombobulation of over 300 flaky reporters.

As of this weekend Pommeland will be bathed in foggy, froggy, rainy weather. Winter will move eastwards and is expected to arrive on Tuesday with high temperatures below freezing on Wednesday. The high on Friday may reach 40 a–grad but then turn windy and colder on Saturday.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Way Out In Hollywood

Alan Pavlik writes today:– It's not exactly icy in Hollywood – just chilly. The real cold is out in the San Fernando Valley and the high desert – in Lancaster, Palmdale. The beach cities have the moderating ocean – the heat sink – and I've got urban build around me. But from my study window I can see Baldy and Big Bear far in the distance – the snow in the mountains is quite impressive. Needless to say there's not a cloud anywhere – the sun is intense. It will hit 60 today.

photo, ice skating; montparnasse, sunday Skaters at Montparnasse on Sunday.

In Woodland Hills the low was a flat 20 degrees, tying the old record set in 1963. On the Santa Monica Pier, the low was 39 degrees, tying the old record, also set in 1963. Long Beach hit 31 degrees, beating its old record of 33 degrees set in 1963. In the mountains in Sandberg, the temperature sagged to 19 degrees, beating the old record of 21 degrees set in 1962. The chilly weather is expected to remain the same for the rest of the week. Our winter is different.

Café Life

Sarkozy Au Top

Finally at long last, after years and years of endless campaigning, the right–wing UMP party selected Nicolas Sarkozy as its candidate in the election to be held this spring, for the position of President of France. The party faithful cast 98.1 percent of their votes for the candidate, and about 60,000 turned out on Sunday for his coronation at the Porte de Versailles in the big cow barn.

The result was hardly surprising. All of the other UMP candidates dropped out of the race and the secret here is guessing where the missing 7.9 percent of the votes went. Adversaries and ex–candidates trooped down to Paris Expo for a token kiss, a formal make up, and then quickly buzzed off so the party could continue with best–friends only.

All in all it was a great weekend for the short Minister of the Interior. On Friday Le Parisien treated its readers to a front page followed by nine pages – called 10 pages – of "La vraie nature de Nicolas." Today's edition has three more pages, with the headline, "Sarkozy – Royal, c'est parti."

photo, institut de france, pont des arts, thursdayThe non–neon Paris night.

The centre–right's leader, François Bayrou is still a candidate in the running. The extreme left has a candidate or two as do the Communists, and the far–right has Jean–Marie Le Pen as a candidate again – if he can assemble the necessary 500 endorsements from elected mayors in time.

Finally, sitting President Jacques Chirac has not yet made clear what his plans are. None of his followers made any headway within the UMP against Sarkozy. Quoted in Le Parisien, Sarkozy spear–carrier François Fillon said there was no longer any space available for a – new – candidate.

To be continued...

Reminder of the Week

The Soldes d'Hiver began last Wednesday real early in the morning and they will continue until about the third week of February. TV–news has been saying that some knockdowns amount to 70 percent but if they were any good, there probably isn't much left of them. Traditionally Parisians spy out the shops in advance and when the opening bell rings they grab their prize. Everybody else gets leftovers.


The Next Café Metropole Club 'Report'

photo, bus 82, luxembourg, reflections Reflections on a night bus.

Back in town a week I managed to attend last Thursday's club meeting. This week on Thursday there will be the coming Café Metropole Club meeting and unless I am mistaken if these add up they will amount to a year of Thursdays. In fact the coming meet will be the 359th, so we are almost there.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 18. January. The Saint of the Day on Thursday is no longer a mystery. It will be Sainte–Prisca's turn. She was martyred sometime during the earliest centuries of our era in Rome, and buried in the Priscilla catacombs in the Via Salaria, between the 1st and the 3rd century, more or less.

Some precise facts about the club and its legendary legends are on the page usually called the About the Club Webpage. Most readers have a notion of English and won't require much of it to understand the lore, some idle musings, and don't forget to view the club's handsome hand–crafted membership card before its renewal, pending now for the past 47 months.

photo, sign, raspail metro station

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

There are hardly any Internet magazines that can claim to have been online for 10 years but this is one of them. This and a nickel gets you next to nothing – like no podcasts, no videoblogs, no Flash animations, no instant messaging, no other blog tricks, no myscene yourscene, practically nothing other than words words words. It hardly seems worth the lousy deal it seems to be. You may as well keep the nickel.

Café Life Légère 99.9

The Blue Meanies

The Quote of the Week is new this week. After last week's whopper I thought nothing could top it. You decide about this: "To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right nor the knowledge nor the virtue." Let's wish Pierre–Joseph Proudhon happy birthday today, and remember him for being the world's first anarchist.

photo, sign, turtle,  ivory

The Wobble–W Wiki Corner

There are a mere 350 days left of this year, the same number that 2001 had when Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales decided to invent Wikipedia, the mother of online encyclopedias. Many complain about the accuracy but there's no getting around its 6 million free articles in umpteen languages. At the moment the English version is getting overloaded with the birthdays of minor sports and entertainment figures, so it's not perfect. It's just the best there is.

Gooey Pataphysics

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 15 days, the same number that 1919 had when the Great Molasses Flood happened to an unsuspecting Boston. A huge storage tank of molasses in the North End burst, sending a tidal wave of sticky goo through the streets. It was an unusually warm day – like now! – and the wave of icky treacle caught hundreds, killing 21 and injuring 150. The incredible mess took a long time to clean up too. The event, also known as The Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, is sometimes recalled by residents who think they can still smell it.

Early Dot Com Hero

If it were not for Metropole to remind you of Wilson Bentley and his vital contribution to human knowledge, you would probably remain unaware that he is credited with taking the first photo of a snowflake, in 1885. There are several reasons why this is significant, other than, how did he do that? New York City is still claiming that no snow fell there in December. However I saw six flakes with my own eyes but didn't know how to photograph them. As for Bentley, he died of pneumonia in Vermont when he was 66, two days before Christmas.

photo, sign, visite panoramique

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

In 1431 Joan of Arc died as a result of being burnt alive, at the stake, in Rouen. The date was Thursday, 30. May 1431. However we are supposed to remember that Jeanne d'Arc's birthday was today but nobody seems to know when it was exactly, not then and not now. The best guess picks 6. January 1412 but that is hardly On This Day is it? According to Pernoud, a dude named Lord Perceval de Boullainvilliers wrote a letter in 1429 claiming that Joan was born in Domrémy at Epiphany. Was it hearsay? Witnesses, and relatives, they were all unsure at the trial. 24 years later, the original conviction of heresy was tardily reversed, and Joan was finally canonized in 1920.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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