It Had Bubbles In It Too

photo, group of the week, josef, yoko Josef and Yoko, the year's final Group of the Week.

Bonne Année!

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 27. December:–  My calendar told me that today's is the last club report of the year, which means that today's meeting was the final one of the year. The club members' booklet told me that today's meeting was the 399th, so that's like a round number, a lucky milestone marker, just the ticket for ending the year in glory. Next Monday the last issue of Metropole will be done on New Year's Eve, the last day of 2007. Obviously this will have a mighty effect on the weather.

France–2 TV news and weather was keeping up the good works tonight by forecasting the coming weather until New Year's Day, next Tuesday. Unfortunately they didn't tell Le Parisien so I was only able to mark the maps until next Monday. It's just as well. No need to know in advance that 2008 is going to begin with crumminess!

Let's see what we have. The good news is that the temperatures have climbed out of the gutter. For the time being those numbers of 5 and below for daytime highs are banished to the recent past. Today was 8 or 9 and felt like it was 6.5. It was cloudy and misty and felt damp and it made my bones rusty, as if wrapped in frigid seaweed.

photo, beer of the weekThe last Beer of the Week.

Tomorrow there will be a big pocket of the same stuff, but it may be just to the east of us. Around here it might be semi–cloudy with sunny occasions, unless that pocket of woe loops over here. A breeze of 50kph is expected from the south–southwest but the temperature was predicted to be 7 degrees.

By Saturday the breeze will freshen a bit, especially up around the Channel, far from hereabouts. The rain loop will have drifted to the southeast, leaving behind some semi–sunny and cloudy skies. You can expect a high of 8 degrees. If we are lucky that's what we'll get.

On Sunday all of France's lousy weather will be east of here, leaving behind semi–brightness in the heavens. The temperature is to slip to a lousy high of 7 though. Next Monday, New Year's Eve, might be semi–good skywise, but the temperature is not expect to exceed a disappointing 6 degrees, almost like the bad old days that will be in the past darn soon.

Bonus Update Not from Météo Jim

Temperatures forecast for New York City are even better than here, until they get worse. Friday will be more cloudy than Thursday because they will be rolling in, but the high will be 8 degrees. A bit of rain on Saturday morning will shoot the temperature up to 12 but clouds and other factors on Sunday will push the high down to 5, until it gets to no more than 4 on Monday, although with some feeble peeps of sun.

The It Had Bubbles In It of the Week Report

Sometime before I wrote the above I trundled off to the final club meeting of the year. At the time, in the afternoon, I was just going to another regular club meeting, slightly wishing I could stay home and play with the Internet. But I wish this every day, so today I did go to the club. On the way I did all the usual things that members and readers have read about hundreds of times, unless they routinely skip it all.

photo, terri's letter Terri's Letter of the Year.

If you do, it's all there in back issues. Today I am going to omit it – but I did it just like every other time, in case you are curious. At the paper kiosk in front of Samaritaine I captured 9 posters, a good haul, although it's doubtful that anyone will see all of them unless you are running around the streets here. I will look for more anyway.

Going into the café Corona the famous Waiter of the Week, Patrick, held me up to hand over two envelopes that had come in. Both from member Terri Blazek in Chicago, one for Yoko and one for me. Starting a club meeting with a surprise is no chore.

Out on the streets there weren't too many folks around. Instead, the ones not riding of the top decks of the sightseeing buses, were in the Grande Salle eating, drinking, smoking, and talking loudly in foreign tongues. I had to squeeze into a little leftover corner to the right of the club's usual location.

photo, josef The new version of Josef.

Then I read the paper for more than a hour. Today's big story was about how some French popstars did well – some newcomers – and how some established ones had flops – except for some oldies from the distant past who used 2007 for surprise comebacks. Johnny Hallyday, of course, was in neither group. He's advertising his final going–away concert, in 2009, already.

The rest of the news, the news news, was on page 23. Le Parisien is a tabloid, with only 32 pages today. Otherwise the news would have been on page 94. Our president, Nicolas Bling–Bling Sarkozy is on holiday in Egypt with his new – fairly new – girlfriend, Carla Bruni. This is worth a feature per day. Today's was about the usual lefties complaining about him flying there on a private jet. It's so Italian!

photo, winter in montparnasse This winter in Montparnasse.

That was on a low–numbered page. The news about Gaz de France hiking the rates again came after. Returning gifts, winter pollution, fears for Dakar, and the sentence for the aid workers nailed for attempted kidnapping in Chad, all came after. Sports news had its usual size of comfort zone.

Near page 30, with silly TV news, I was interrupted by member Josef Schomburg. Josef seems to drop into club meetings after failed shopping excursions. Last time was a vacuum cleaner and today he said he was looking at electric razors. "I didn't get a razor for my birthday yesterday," he said.

Readers and members who remember Josef might wonder what happened to his hair. Like with the razor, he didn't get a haircut – he said – for 15 years. Then just a short time ago he needed a photo for ID or something, so he gave himself a haircut. The ponytail is no more. However this is hardly a reason for the razor. I guess what it is – Josef hardly ever gets birthday presents.

photo, perrier and lemon slice Drink of the Week.

He ordered a Beer of the Week. Then he told me about preparing a sanglier, with some frozen marrons from Picard, along with some fresh cranberries he found in a Monoprix. He said that when it was assembled, it was some kind of stew. Probably because all the juicy and tender capons were sold out, if you ask me.

As there were no other members present we could talk guy stuff, like about mini amplifiers with 7 watts and miniature speakers with 96dB efficiency ratings, and about Hasselblad backs with 32 zillion pixels. Heady stuff.

When his beer was nearly finished he suggested we leave and go across the Seine to another bar. I looked at my watch. I said we should wait another few minutes because Yoko might show up.

So we talked about becoming rich and famous on the Internet next year, somewhat like we said in December of 2001. Optimism can last for years. And then, I don't know what we had under discussion, Yoko did show up. I gave her Terri's letter.

She ordered the Drink of the Week, and it had bubbles in it too. She showed us her new hat. She put it on. I snapped it. She joined Josef on his side of the table for the Group of the Week photo. She had to convince Josef to go and see the Beatles Story up at the place Clichy before it closes its run.

photo, yoko The club's own, only, Yoko.

In thanks, Josef coached her with a couple of new words to use when she appears in the musical. They were whining and screeching, and Yoko carefully wrote them in a fat notebook. In a moment of inattention I did not catch how these words were meant to be used. They were telling Yoko Ono stories when I reestablished their frequency.

After that, it was after 5, there wasn't much left of the meeting so we put on our coats and left. On the café's terrace Yoko asked Josef if he knew of software she could use to put her play on a Website. This was a subject requiring more than a short answer, so Josef said he would answer it next year.

Then we crossed the Pont des Arts and found Ernest's empty, the music good, and the air warm. We sat there for a while until we had to go. The rest of the way was routine, except for a strange car parked on the boulevard Saint–Germain.

Aerial Photos For You

Last year the Institut Geographique National announced that it was putting high–rez aerial photos of France online. On last week's TV–news the story was about the IGN launching a 3D version of its photos, supposed to be, "better than Google's!" So I looked at the 2D version and saw my house, in some other season. As for the IGN's Géoportail in 3D, the site claimed it was there for Windows users. Mac users should be patient, as usual, according to the IGN.

About the Café Metropole Club

Scoot your mouse past the cat to see a recent club meeting report buried somewhere in these very pages. Less taxing than being at tediously long and gloomy club meetings but nothing is perfect. An explanation for what we might have been doing today may help and can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Walls In the Patazone

Off–the–wall as any Thursday, half unrehearsed, demi out of control and again, semi–something less than three members. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 3. January, next year. These metric times are the same as 3 to 5 pm around other old unmetric places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be totally appreciated by the other members present if there are any and they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are totally welcome too even if they are true.

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. Stay unfound if you prefer.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because today's meeting featured some bubbles, razors, hats, stewed pigs, some onos, and a dash of cranberries.

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, 3. January 2008.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
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Waldo Bini