All the Ristans Plopped

photo, cascade water stairs, bercy Waterfall stairs at Bercy.

Their Necks Twisted Like Turkeys

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 17. September:–  A curious thing happened on the way to the weather news tonight. I have been preparing my castle for the depart of the tired old TV that gave up the ghost of color recently. This has involved a major tear–down and some kicking and a couple of punches, witholding juice and other assorted assaults on furniture, spaghettis of cables, blood, sweat, etc. and trips to the Monoprix. A big battle, quoi, over two days.

Red, Green, Blue, Sucker!

It just goes to show that if you go out and sink your meagre savings into the world's biggest, most up–to–date apparatus, glossy piano black, super surround stereo, 15 TNT channels every one digital, the cat's striped pajamas in HD, hey! – the last night in the house the old TV decides that it can do full millions of colors after all, ha, ha, just kidding! I am not amused. It is not fooling me. I hear that tell–tale short in the audio, bzziyyzkkk.

photo, a long shadow of ed Ed's long shadow.

The good from this is obviously tonight's weather outlook in color for the next three days. Well, aside from the storm warning tonight, until tomorrow afternoon, but not around here, eh? Ah, not the focus of it anyway. Sure it's going to be rainy in Paris on Tuesday, a kind of semi–crummy day or worse, but hey! no actual orange warning. There will be a 50 kph wind from the north which will tend to hold the temperature to no more than 14 degrees. That is truly horrible!

From tonight's TV–news and weather I have marked Wednesday as cloudy. But given my TV's recent indisposition I have taken to consulting another source or two, and the other one said Wednesday might be more sunny than cloudy. With a wind shifted to southwesterly at 70 kph, there may be a temperature rise to 17 degrees.

My first inclination for Thursday was to guess semi for here and sunny for the southeast, which isn't near here, so forget that. The ever more faithful second source forecasts soft and sunny for here with a high of 20 degrees. I wonder what they mean by soft? It is not Ireland, is it? Ireland is wet and soft. And 20 degrees isn't soft either, being a lot less than 27, which is civilized, maybe even soft.

Météo from Pommeland across the Atlantic is almost as good as here, from our expert, semi–time forecaster, Météo Jim. Declassed hurricanes, muggies out, poetry in, take it away Jim:–

Déjà Vu Revisited Again

As we start this week's weather in Pommeland, a phrase by Yogi Berra sums it up quite nicely, "It's déjà vu all over again!" Along the Gulf Coast of Texas on Wednesday night, a dark and stormy night by all accounts, Tropical Depression Humberto approached land with winds of no more than 40 mph – 64 e–maxi–metres per hour. But 14 hours later, it had developed into a category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph – 128 e–maxi–metres per hour. This set a record for the fastest growth of a tropical depression into a hurricane. Fortunately, it grew while it was over land, which stunted its growth. There was no warm water it feed it. Had it developed over water, there's no telling how big it could have become. Alas, etc.

photo, sign, square de l'abbe mogne

Although September claims to belong to the cool school, the weekend weather made many think otherwise. Very warm, humid and muggy weather visited Pommeland and refused to budge. Finally, on Tuesday, the cool school had enough and kicked out the muggies and washed them away with an a–inch – 2.5 tiny e–metres – of rain. The weather is the cool school of September with cool days and invigorating nights. Even the trees are taking on the hues of September. A soft glow is noticeable on rows of trees that border a field while others are starting to dye their leaves red and orange. September is expected to continue for the rest of the week.

photo, floating cabaret batofar Floating saloon, the Batofar.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

More Than You Wanted To

The cat is out of the sack already. I spent the week dithering about where to put the new TV set I ordered. It has probably been said a million times before – if you live in a small European studio apartment full of a three–bedroom apartment's mess of furniture and a lifetime–worth of souvenirs, it is a lot better to sort out the mess before the new TV arrives than wait until you have to do this magazine too.

But we all live by Professor Parkinson's rules. Work expands to fill the time available even as that time contracts, until there's no time left and the work has reached its greatest degree of expansion. Little did I realize that as I dithered, that articles that I haven't seen for years were multiplying in their secret closets. Did I realize that I am the proud owner of six year's worth of TransAtlantik magazines?

photo, good ship boudeuse The good ship Boudeuse.

And the 2500 photo prints I had made in 1990. Did I wonder where they had gotten to? Not only this, while I was avoiding looking at the drawing cabinet with its ten drawers, Dimitri showed up to return some books he borrowed. At that moment I needed more books like I need an eviction notice. He installed himself in the only comfortable chair – missing only one wheel – and helped himself from the piles on the table, under the table, beside the table, on the chair, commenting on the picture book showing how Hamburg looked in 1944.

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photo, bercy sports palace Right in Paris, a UFO at Bercy.

I will say this – once I had the drawing cabinet moved he graciously helped me put the ten drawers back in it. He only stopped once when we were doing drawer two with the cartoons in it. A week later we got it in, and the first drawer as well. Then, because he seemed faintly interested, I explained how one goes about getting a bigscreen TV and the nifty Oppo DVD player from Sweden, and the cable business that goes with the TNT decoder that hooks up to the DSL modem, the same one that delivers the telephone that I haven't quite hooked up yet. When I said we should go to the Monoprix Dimitri did not hesitate, and we went.

I don't know how your week was, but when I was dithering last Wednesday and the weather was so fine I went over to Bercy to see this three–masted ship moored there. There was a big story about it in Le Parisien that I didn't bother to read. Other items I didn't read included anything about the Techno Parade on Saturday and the Jours de Patrimonie over the weekend. So I missed all that deafening noise and a half million frenzied youth, and I missed being with 13 million folks out standing in lines to see Nicolas Sarkozy's new residence, the Elysée palace.

photo, pont simone de beauvoir The Simone de Beauvoir
footbridge.

About the fabulous rugby I know next to nothing. France is not leading its poule whatever that is. On top of everything else I have to get up at 8 tomorrow in case the Joes come with the TV before noon. Then, of course, I have to tune it. I mean just turn it on. I don't expect to to take more than two weeks. By then it should have it burned in and I can turn to taking care of this unholy mess around here. Maybe I'll even have time to do some more Metropole.

Next year, not next month of course, there will be much more of everything. There always is, more bigger, wider, HD LCDs, more uTubes, more touchy uPods, more cheapo DVDs, more high–grade antique movies, more something next year.

The Café Metropole Club

Some of the club's totally new members showed up at last week's club meeting and Yoko was there too. The club's secretary took two beautiful photos, one of the café. Next Thursday there will be more wonderful photos snapped at the Café Metropole Club meeting. Any sort of members regardless of your standing are welcome, as well as are all future members. You should know who you are I think.

photo, good ship boudeuseA reminder of the old days, before bridges.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 20. September, a sort of day in a week. The Saint of the Day will be Saint–Davy. This one was martyred in London in 1537 with eight cohorts, on account of refusing to understand that Henri VIII was the boss of the church in England.

Yet again, déjà, this is completely unrelated to Paris because it happened on the other side of the Channel. Some compelling stuff about the club and its lone factoid are on a page mis–placed as the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually have read some of it, and most of you have, will hardly fail to be curious about the unwritten rest of it. Should queries arise, check out the club's dismal but free membership card for clues, secret ink or odors.

photo, sign, allee arthur rimbaud

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

No one should be surprised that last week ten years ago was weeks ago. Metropole used to have lots of real new stuff in it, such as last week's Brit Tabs Savage French Flics, possibly in the Café column, A Little Stroll on the Boulevard Saint–Michel, possibly was the week's feature, along with some posters and a cartoon entitled Back in School Again. Yes!. That was more than enough in Issue 2.37 – 15. September 1997 because it was still the rentrée.

photo, sign, stationnement tolere

Café Life Légère 90.1

Smile When You Say That

Today's Quote of the Week has a connection to today's date, but what does anyone know? For today's tidbit of philosophy I offer a quote by Joshua A. Norton, who declared himself Emperor of the United States today in 1859 in San Francisco. He once decreed, "Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word "Frisco," which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of twenty–five dollars." This wasn't at the same time he said he was going to marry Queen Victoria but it was in the same town.

Patazone Wobblies

There are no more than 105 days left of this year, the same number that 1176 had when there was a battle between the Byzantines and the Seljuk Turks at Phrygia. Manuel I Comnenus, the Byzantine Emperor, was having a fragile peace with Kilij Arslan II, the Sultan of Rüm. The Seljuks wanted to push westwards into Asia Minor, while the Byzantines wanted to push eastwards, to get back lands they lost during the Battle of Manzikert a hundred years earlier. Manuel recovered Cilicia and widened his authority over the Crusader holding at Antioch. The fact that Nur ad–Din, the Emir of Aleppo, was dead, helped. His successor Saladin liked Egypt better than the territory bordering the Empire, so the Seljuks were left without a strong ally. In 1175 the peace became war when Kilij Arslan refused to give back land he had grabbed from the Danishmends. Got all that?

photo, sign, le favori couscous

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

A few folks have might have been thinking that it is fair to remember that it was in 1630 on this date that Pilgrims founded Boston, Massachusetts, because it was there. That reminds me that today is also the birthday, in 1776 of the founding of the Presidio of San Francisco. It was built by José Joaquín Moraga, but Mexico lost interest. Oh well, it's also fair to recall that today is the birthday of David Dunbar Buick, a Scottish immigrant who struck it rich in America by inventing the overhead valve engine in 1902. If Julia Flavia were alive it would be her 1943rd birthday today. Her dad was Titus who offered Julia to his brother Domitian to be his wife, but he had eyes only for Domitia Longina. She married Titus Flavius Sabinus instead. Julia had a big, Roman nose. It probably ran in the family.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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