Bové Is An Artist

photo, fountain, pyramid, carousel, cour napolean Saturday's sundown from the Cour Napoléon.

Fight Over Pixels

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 5. February:–  I want to take back what I wrote here last week. We had an uninsulting Class A of weekend weather after last week's dreary grayness, featuring those mysterious but welcome temperatures above normal and skies so blue that they were classified as a state treasure. Can it last? Do SUVs fly? Direct your dials to –

Le Petit Coin Météo

The weather news has no past except that it is like baseball. Anything significant goes into the statistics and every time something seems unusual it is compared to the past. However, a 10 degree, sunshiny, blue–sky Saturday in February is not significant except to ordinary humble folks, so it won't get stuck in the hit parade of statistics. And it was not just one, but two days. Sunday was included. It was glorious!

Tonight's TV–weather news began with the sobering information that Arctic airflows are pushing their way south and these will collide with warm airs from the south, resulting in solid grayness and damp air. Today's Le Parisien says it will be, "Ni pire... ni meilleur, simplement pourri." For once they are bang–on.

photo, sailboat, tuileries garden In the Tuileries on Saturday.

Nail the overnights to about freezing and the highs to 6 or 7 degrees, lay on the low gray flannel overhead and add offshore breezes and onshore breezes. Then say that Wednesday might be 10 percent better than Tuesday, and with those onshore breezes toss in some warmer maritime air on Thursday. Throughout expect weak peeps of feeble sunlight, and hold your breath until Friday's simply rotten. Now I am back to being insulted.

On the other side of the Atlantic weather is getting serious but we have no fear. We switch to Vista and turn to Météo Jim, waxing poetic.

Afterglow of StuporHype

After 2 million buffalo wings, 6 million hot dogs, 80 thousand gallons of beer, 200 cases of BoJo Novo, 5 tons of sauerkraut, 890 tons of ribs, 2 billion antacid pills and 91 thousand gallons of liquid antacid the StuporBowl started at 8 PM.

Canadians were looking on with interest, not for the game, which is a crude replica of the Canadian version which emphasizes speed and finesse over brute force. In football north of the border, it is not uncommon for a player to run 115 metres in a single carry to make a first down. How many American players can make that claim?

photo, sign, toilettes publiques

But all is not lost. In a few more days, the Boys of Summer will begin appearing, making people long for the chirps of returning birds, the fertile warmth of diamonds and the cries of, "Strrriiiike!" No, not the French strike – the rush of the ball as it evades the player's bat and lands safely in the musty leather of the catcher's glove.

Pommeland received three significant snow falls this past week. Significant is relative, but in this case, each storm left the ground covered with snow. A major whopper that was predicted for Thursday into Friday arrived Friday evening and the bulk of the storm went south. Interestingly, Thursday was the only warm day of the week with a high of 40 a–grad. Temperatures for the upcoming week will be a repeat of last week with wind chills at night around 0 a–grad or below, or minus 17.778 in e–grads. No day next week will be unfrozen.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

photo, arc de triomphe, saturday The Etoile still twirls.

Election Frenzy

We are at it again. During last week's grayness if you had flipped a coin you would not have probably guessed that Josef Schomburg and I would resume hammering and banging away on Metropole again but that is what we did and you lose the coin–flip.

These operations are very tricky and you never know how long they are going to take. Josef suggests improvements and I remember slight imperfections I want lifted, and next thing you know we are fighting over pixels and time is running through the hourglass like a TGV train bent on breaking records.

We had a good session on Friday without too many bruises and we had repaired to a local café for a pickup spirit and to scope out the smokers, when local video artist Pierre Labrot grabbed my arm and dragged me to a meeting above a café in the Rue Saint–Denis, to a gathering of artists planning their support of José Bové for President.

Yes, well, it was during the Café Metropole Club meeting on Thursday that professional peasant Bové declared his candidacy. This makes him one of six or seven leftist pretenders. Only nasty minds would say that he is on this lark because he's faces a court judgement on Wednesday, which may result in prison time. Luckily Nicolas Sarkozy is Minister of the Interior, not Justice.

photo, assembly national, place concordeLights lit by sunlight at Concorde.

One the way down to Les Halles Pierre was telling me how artists should support France's living Asterix because he is an artist, like Brazil's Lula and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. About whether Dr. Fidel Castro is also an artist, Pierre was not so sure.

The meeting hall turned out to be too dim for photos. While I was there the small room overlooking one of Paris' livelier streets filled up. Artists wishing to phone stepped out onto a landing where the smokers were, and nobody could hear what was happening in the meeting. Afflicted suddenly by hunger, I took my leave before I could learn any confidential campaign plans.

Look, all Pierre wanted was for me to mention that José Bové is running for president, on the Lula – Chavez plank. As ever I expect that you are alert and know you are aware as well. Act accordingly!

Friday was a gray, stumble sort of day but Saturday was a bright jewel so I was out snooping on the Champs–Elysées and in the Tuileries and as the sun sank behind the Grand Palais, I was in the Louvre's Cour Napoléon. The most exciting moment came at one of the pools when a Mallard attempted to bite the camera. Was it a French duck?

photo, ramp, tuileries, trees, flag on grand palaisOutlook in the Tuileries.

I would have written quite a bit about this adventure had I not many emails to deal with, mostly from Josef, and mostly about pixels. Sometimes life is tedious but there is a light at the end of the tunnel or when all the dominos are standing it only takes one little tap to set them all to falling down. This might not be exactly what I mean to say. Hammer and tongs.

Not actually continued... not here, not today.

Everlasting Reminder of the Week

The Soldes d'Hiver, blah blah blah, etc. On Thursday smoking halted in France 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. France will never be the same but from this viewpoint nothing seems to have changed, yet.

The Café Metropole Club Meets On Thursday

Last week's meeting on Thursday happened with three members present, one new. Other new members failed to show, more or less as unexpected. This week on Thursday there will be yet another Café Metropole Club meeting. I hope that I am mistaken about it happening on France's 8th day of partial no smoking.

photo, sign, number 69

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 8. February. The Saint of the Day on Thursday is another somewhat obscure one. It will be the turn of Sainte–Jacqueline d'Assise or Sainte–Jacqueline de Septisoles. Both were associated with Saint Francis of Assisi somehow. All this happened about 700 years ago, but they were probably unrelated.

More related, all about the club and its exciting legends are on the page usually called the About the Club Webpage. Many readers who have some notion of English won't require much of it to grasp the true facts, some highly unlikely fables, and don't overlook viewing the club's zoned out hand–crafted membership card before its renewal, pending now for the last 51 months.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Other Internet magazines that claim to have been online for 11 years are fibbing, most of them. Why I cannot simply delve into Metropole's archives and retail its glorious past splendor instead of re–writing this drivel every week is as much mystery to me as it probably is to the ever–alert reader, but heck!

photo, sign, alberto santos dumont habita cet immeuble

Café Life Légère 89.6

No Reward

The Quote of the Week is more boring this week than any other for quite some time. February seems to be a weak quote of the day month. Whatever? "It is wrong to expect a reward for your struggles. The reward is the act of struggle itself, not what you win. That's morality, that's religion. That's art. That's life." Best not to wish Phil Ochs happy birthday today. Even if he has struggled, sweated, strained, it probably isn't his birthday today no matter what we do.

The Wobble–W Citroën Corner

There are a mere 329 days left of this year, the same number that 1878 had when André Citroën was born. When little André grew up he made a factory for making cars, which turned out to be the world's fourth largest during the 1930s. Many of André's cars were quite odd but they appealed to drivers with peculiar tastes for single–spoke steering wheels and floaty suspensions. Some people became seasick in Citroëns but the same happened to them on the Queen Mary too. André was buried across the street in 1935 and he is still there.

Volcanic Pataphysics

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 36 days, the same number that 63 had when an earthquake in Italy gave Pompeii a good jolt. The inhabitants were having a party at the time and did not connect the jolt to the nearby Vesuvius. This mistake cost them dearly in 79 when the volcano popped and caught many residents napping, or doing other stuff and not paying attention, luckily, for archeologists. Vesuvius is still around and still belching occasionally.

photo, sign, vin chaud, hot wine, 4.80 euros

Early Identity Confusion

If it were not for Metropole to remind you of 1556 and its famous Truce of Five Years you would probably not recognize the name of Charles–Quint. Unless you are a history buff you would not be expected to know that this dude was also known as Charles de Habsbourg in Belgium, as Charles V in Germany, as Charles I in Spain, as Charles IV in Scilly and as Charles II in Brabant. Charlie, as he was known to close friends, died of malaria in 1558, aged 58, and left his various holdings and domains – such as both Americas – to Philippe II and Ferdinand I.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks might be unaware that today is the anniversary of Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations, in which it was claimed that Iraq was in secret possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The war in Iraq began in 2003 and no WMD were ever found. As time has gone by a great many people have been killed without anybody resorting to WMD. It is a sad business. On the other hand, in 1958 the United States lost a WMD in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast from Savannah, Georgia and have never found it.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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