Smoke Is Out In France

photo, seine, bridges, orsay, louvre, grand palais A nearly monochrome January.

A Punky Forecast

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 29. January:–  Lately the weather has not seemed to be such a personal insult to me so I find it difficult to work up a proper rant and rave about it. The beginning of this week is a good example of an uninsulting forecast. It is a punky forecast. A forecast so dreary is rates no raspberry. Tune your dials to –

The Weather Channel

The weather guy on France–2 TV–news came right out with it. He said, quote, "A system of high pressure is weighing heavily on some fog, pushing it down to where we are." Listening between the lines, it means that it will be gray and miserable around here but we shouldn't mind it because there is a jolly clear blue sky above the fog and the clouds.

photo, rainy street Cool and damp, with cold potions
across the way.

It's a bit like saying we shouldn't mind it being winter here because it is summer in Australia. Has anybody stopped to consider that down under Santa's reindeer pull a surfboard and not a sleigh? How can the kiddles get a thrill out of that? Does anyone think they go skiing in order to see exploding whales?

Well, anyway, we will have a high we can't see. Under the fog it may get a tiny bit sunny at times in the afternoon on Tuesday if you don't give up on it. Expect a temperature somewhere around 9 degrees. Wednesday looks like it will be a day devoted to fog and low clouds and the same goes for Thursday. Temperatures are expected to stay in the 9 to 8 degree range. Way out west, mostly in the ocean, there will be peeps of sunshine but that isn't around here anywhere.

Across the mighty Atlantic the weather is folklorique but we have it covered. We switch computers and go now to Météo Jim, spinning his tales.

Stupor Follows Groundhog

American folklore marks dates by such names as the Great Snow or Cold Friday. Although there was no snow, this past Friday was definitely a Cold Friday. The low temperature was 9 a–grad – minus 12 euro–grad – with a wind chill factor of 0 a–grad– minus 16 euro–grad.

photo, citroen 2cv Working model of a rétromobile.

Today, Sunday, a heat wave will seize Pommeland with a high of about 42 a–grad. The heat will not last long because a new cold wave will arrive tonight along with hurried flurries. The temperature tomorrow will hover around 29 a–grad – minus 3 euro–grad – then rise slightly for the rest of the week with temperatures in in mid 30s.

A note of importance – January ends this week, sliding into February which starts off the month – on Feb. 2 – with the memorably important Groundhog Day on Saturday followed by the StuporBowl on Sunday.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

photo, le parisien, abbe pierre, le pape des pauvres, tuesday

Café Life

Actually Continued

Saturday:– You might have heard that the Abbé Pierre died last week. He had the year's biggest mass on Friday at Notre Dame. All the biggest nobs who haven't done anything much about the lack of housing for the poor for the last 55 years were there, along with bus–loads of folks who work for the Abbé Pierre's enterprises – most of them one–time street people.

Actually continued... right here

Forget the Reminder of the Week

The Soldes d'Hiver, blah blah blah, etc. The big news is that everybody in France is supposed to stop smoking on Thursday. By odd coincidence this is also the Café Metropole Club day, but it is not related. Smoking is to halt in public places like operating rooms in hospitals and recreation areas of nursery schools, and in places where they make video games. Smoking in bars, cafés and restaurants will not be outlawed until next year – like on New Years Day unless I'm mistaken. France will never be the same but folks have said this before, many times.


The Café Metropole Club Meets Soon

A recent club meeting last Thursday contrived to occur with four whole members present. The server–lady was there but she left early, to go to class. This week on Thursday there will be the another Café Metropole Club meeting and I hope that I am mistaken about it happening on France's first day of no smoking.

photo, sahara club, quartier latinClub entry in the Quartier Latin.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 1. February. The Saint of the Day on Thursday is rather well–known. It will be the turn of Sainte–Ella. She was married to Guillaume who was a brother of Richard Cœur de Lion and she was the Abbess of Laycock. All this happened about 900 years ago, back in the murky past.

Much clearer, all about the club and its thrilling legends are on the page normally called the About the Club Webpage. Most readers who have a notion of English won't require much of it to understand the understated facts, some unlikely fables, and don't forget to view the club's zonked hand–crafted membership card before its renewal, pending now for the next 49 months.

photo, sign, rue de l'epernon

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Other Internet magazines that claim to have been online for 11 years are fibbing, most of them. This and a dime gets you next to zilch – like no free nothing, no blogs, no flashy flash, no instant instants, no other upload your snaps, no practically anything other than words words words. It is so little and insignificant that seems worth the lousy dime. You may as well send it after all.

Café Life Légère 88.6

Impotently Happy

The Quote of the Week is less boring this week than last. After last week's flop I thought nothing would ever top it. So I was wrong, again. "Learn this lesson, that to be self–contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy." Better not wish Edwin Abbott happy birthday today, whether it is or not, myth, fact, fancy, or if his name was really Edwin Abbott Abbott Abbott Abbott.

photo, sign, rue serpente

The Wobble–W Benz Corner

There are a mere 336 days left of this year, the same number that 1886 had when Karl Benz patented the world's f“rst automobile, which he called the Benz Patent Motorwagen. He invented the motor, the gas pedal, the ignition key, the spark plugs, the carburetor, the clutch, the gear shift, the radiator and the ash tray. The first person to buy one, in 1888, went crazy. The second buyer was – what else? – a Parisian. Emile Roger liked his Benz so much that he started to make them in France. Then Bertha Benz got it into her silly head to go for a drive. She was the first person in the world to drive to Pforzheim. When she got there she sent a telegram to her husband because there were no phones in Pforzheim then. It is unknown what Benz said when he learned that his only car was 106 km away. Gas stations hadn't been invented yet.

Aeronautical Pataphysics

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 29 days, the same number that 1964 had when the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was first screened in the United States. Stanley Kubrick was the director and the film was loosely based on a Cold–War thriller by Peter George, titled Red Alert. Of the four parts contracted, Peter Sellers played three and Chill Wills played the fourth, the B–52 bomber pilot. In the same year I saw the film in a cinema in northern Sweden. Nobody laughed. The film was about guaranteed mutual destruction, a sort of WMD on steroids – which is still around.

Early Dot Com Heros

If it were not for Metropole to remind you of Jacques Chirac and his vital contributions to mankind, you would probably remain unaware that he is credited with a definitive end to French nuclear bomb testing exactly 10 years ago today. No less important was Sweden's ban on aerosol sprays in 1978 which has benefitted the ozone layer over the South Pole but has had slight effect on Global Warming because only 14 Swedes ever used spray bombs for painting anti–war slogans on the walls on cinemas showing Dr. Strangelove.

photo, model, citroen traction, retromobile

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks are probably unaware that today is the anniversary of the world's latest exploding whale. The decomposing sperm whale which was beached in Taiwan in 2004 was being hauled away for a post–mortem exam when it blew up in the town of Yunlin. The 17 metre–long animal weighed 50 tons and when it blew there were an estimated 600 bystanders, rubber–neckers, shoppers and the merely curious, who were showered with slimy whale parts, blood, bones, gunk, dreck, and massive amounts of goop. According to a BBC report a local said, "What a stinking mess! This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful!" – said in Chinese, of course.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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