...Continued from page 1

photo, chaotic sky of  the week Real chaotic Sky of the Week.

The two new club members were Sandra Herrington and Steve Volaric, and they called Ewing, New Jersey home. That could have been good enough for a City of the Week – had I felt like looking it up to make sure it hasn't been already – but Steve said he grew up in Hollywood, Florida. This is a Hollywood that is nothing like the Hollywood in California but it is Hollywood, real enough, and now an exclusive club City of the Week.

Sandra and Steve have been spending a week in Paris, seeing all the sights. Like the 20th arrondissement, and trying out the city's new Velib' bike deal. They came with five or six plastic cards and one of them worked, so it is not completely true that American visitors cannot ride the bikes.

Another Paris sight they saw was Brussels, where they went for a day because Steve wanted to have a good beer. While there they dropped into the comics museum, and they said it was well worth a visit. Check out the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée if you are up there to have a decent beer.

photo, sack of the week Steve's Bag of the Week.

Steve said he worked in acoustics. He makes sure new buildings that have built–in speakers sound good. With digital solid–state all sorts of new things are happening with sounds, from iPods to home cinema systems, digital music and its hardware and software – Garageband in every Mac! – and every portable phone full of iTunes and uTube video clips. Except for Digital Rights Management, it's a wonderful new world.

So we talked about that. I mean I asked questions about it. What sort of a–v ampli should I get to go with my planned 98–inch widescreen LCD TV? Did he think one with 250 horsepower and 9.1 channels would be enough for a 15 square metre home cinema. Yes, I know. I need to get some of that sealant gunk for windows and put it on my walls because they are made out of thin cheese and my neighbor's snoring might disturb my appreciation of the audio effects in Doctor Strangelove.

Then Sandra said I should see Steve's bag. And I'm glad they remembered because it was a beauty. Hand–crafted of recycled conveyor belts and sporting wide straps made of organic hemp. It appeared to be sturdy, colorful and exotic all at once – totally unlike most of the monotone hightech stuff made these days in China.

photo, paris plage on thursday Bad Hair Day for Paris–Plage.

And while out in east Paris they dropped in to the Fleche d'Or café and nightclub. I had forgotten about it. It's club in an old train station on the abandoned Petite Ceinture line and it sits right over the tracks. Has live Indie rock if you care for that sort of thing, and some folks do.

It was after 17:00 and pouring rain when we went out to the café's terrace for the Group Photo of the Week. It's getting tropical here. It rains, really wet, for about ten minutes and then it stops and dries out. Then it rains again. Maybe it's like Hollywood in the 40s. Willy the Bird, it must be him, was still flying around. Monsieur Ferrat was very annoyed with him.

News You Can Always Use

WiFi For Email Addicts

Cyber cafés may be a bit thin on the ground in Paris but the city has begun offering free access to the Net via the magic of WiFi. This note has been here so long that it's turned into blah–blah. Just remember, although this WiFi is free, you do have to supply your own computer.

Soldes d'Eté Over Forever

The annual summer sales in Paris continued until they ended on 4. August, a Saturday. Unless you want to plan for 2008 you can forget this now and resume your life.

About the Café Metropole Club

Treat your mouse to a club meeting report buried fathomless in the deep archive of the Internet. Speed–skimming long semi–boring reports is faster than being at tiresome club meetings but only provides a smidgen of the real goods. An explanation for what we are doing here may be unconvincing but can be found on the dubiously named About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Speedy Written Gobble Turkey

Nearly spontaneous as ever, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and again less than three members. Club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 23. August. These times are not virtual but are the same as from 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be completely appreciated by the other members present if they are here and listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are all welcome too. Members like jokes if they are funny.

Caution – should you have a personal desire to remain unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming found. To stay unfound refuse membership.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because the Paris Velib' bikes are about the same color as recycled hemp.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 23. August.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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