...Continued from page 1

photo, shadows and leaves, behind notre dame The terrace behind Notre Dame.

Meanwhile, the Loto has upped its payouts and the frequency of games. At the same time French casinos have reported a 13 percent fall in gambling. In the banking sector everyone was stunned with the news that three traders managed to lose 600 million euros in the past two weeks for the Caisse d'Epargne. Officials said that it would have absolutely zero effect on depositors' savings. The minister of finance was far from amused.

In the little time there was for news tonight one of the items was about the resignation of the three top nobs from the huge savings bank. That they have renounced their golden parachutes was highlighted. The news didn't mention the three frisky traders though.

photo, fountain Fountain of the Week.

One good bit of news I learned yesterday by visiting starving artist Matt Rose. He was fairly happy. His building has a new elevator and he has new windows, with motorized shades no less. He buzzed them up so I could see the inside of his place. I never realized that it looks like a place where they defuse bombs. But that's just because he's busy making collages. He is going to make himself famous and if he does he's going to have to give up that starving artist label I pinned on him. He led me to the nearby McDo to show me their 1€ café dispenser.

And yeah, I was on the Ile de la Cité on that Saturday excursion for photos, looking for anything other than Notre Dame and the hundred thousand around there. The best were the shoppers in their cars mingling with the visiting sightseers, trying to get up the rue Saint–Jacques or further along the quai Saint–Michel, jammed together at the Petit Pont. Paris in splendor.

Repeat Custom Tours

A heads–up came in last week from club member Larry Wechsler in Seattle. He spotted an item on CNN TV–news about a new service in Paris called Paris Greeter where you can sign up for a free walking tour conducted by a local resident, either French or English speaking. These are not professional guides, but are volunteers vetted by the Paris Greeter outfit – selected for local knowledge and enthusiasm. Unlike the club there are a few rules, mostly involving the fairly simple details. Thank Larry if it works out for you.

photo, best leaves of the weekThe best leaves of the week.

The Tiddly Winkly Café Metropole Club

There were a bunch of folks, both members and newcomers, and a Waiter of the Week at last Thursday's meeting. Nobody had an apartment for the secretary to rent so he went home in a sulk. The next Thursday that everything at the Café Metropole Club will be 100.8% new, will be on 23. October, seven days before the end of the October. All members in any shape, class, form, hue, any standing, of any type or creed, will be offered a chair. If you feel like sitting at a table on the terrace, pretending to not be at the meeting, you will not be able to use a club table to hold up your drink.

The fusty old rumor that repetition will end someday is right here. One false fact and three–fourths of a fake rumor about the club are on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who have read it in person, and one or two have, may already be club members for life without exorbitant risk or fees. Refunds can be refunded on principle. Make your deposit soon.

photo, sign, jocahim du bellay

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Some alert readers might have considered that it is apt to remember that it was today in 1401 that Klaus Störtebeker became headless along with 30 of his Vitalienbrüder on the Grashook in Hamburg. As a deterrent, the pirates' heads were speared on pikes, but doubt continues – what if it wasn't the right Klaus Störtebeker? And who recalls that the Battle of Navarino took place today in 1827? This one took the combined British, the French and the Russian navies to sink the Ottoman fleet in Pylos, setting the stage for Greek independence. Who knew that there was more than one Titanic? Today in 1910 the hull of the near identical RMS Olympic was launched at the Harland and Wolff yards in Belfast. The third was the Britannic, making a trio of sisterships. Most remarkable was Violet Jessop, survivor of the collision of the Olympic with HMS Hawke in 1911, survivor of the Titanic sinking in 1912 and survivor of the Britannic sinking in 1916. The Olympic went on to survive the U–boats in WWI. It was on this date in 1967, near Bluff Creek, Washington, that Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin filmed a Bigfoot. Some who saw the short movie thought it was a man in a monkey suit so a debate continues. Then in 1983 on this day the metre was redefined as the distance that light travels in 1/299,792,458 of a second in a vacuum. Finally we come to the birthday corner, namely 20. October 1905 when Ellery Queen was born. This was in fact a pair of cousins born in Brooklyn, named Daniel Nathan and Manford Lepofsky, who had several aliases, extra names and pseudonyms, including Ellery Queen. It was Danny's birthday today so the mystery is solved. For the hell of it I'm skipping Arthur Rimbaud's birthday today in 1854 and going straight to a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower who said, "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." Wasn't that sweet? That's our little world, folks!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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