Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

September 10, 2017 • 6:30 am

Well, the lovely weather we had yesterday in Dobrzyn was ephemeral: today—Sunday, September 10, 2017—it’s back to chilly temperatures and overcast skies. But at least we had a lovely visit in the country yesterday with Leon and his staff (see below). Today is National Hot Dog Day, and there’s no better dog to be had anywhere than the Chicago-style dog, which even has its own entry in Wikipedia. You should memorize the nine essential ingredients in a proper version:

  1. Vienna Beef dog in a natural casing (provides a toothy snap). Vienna Beef makes quality dogs with real cuts of beef
  2. A Rosen’s poppyseed bun
  3. Mustard
  4. “Sport peppers”: small hot pickled peppers
  5. Tomato slices
  6. “Green relish” (sweet pickle relish)
  7. A dill pickle spear
  8. Onions (I prefer mine sauteed, which is acceptable)
  9. Celery salt


NO KETCHUP! Some Chicago dog emporia won’t even put ketchup on your dog. Wikipedia says that the fully-loaded dog can be ordered as “dragged through the garden”  (referring to its preponderance of vegetables), but I’ve yet to hear a a local use that phrase. The good thing about the Chicago dog is that you get your meat and veggies in a single item.

If you’re in Chicago and want the best dog, eschew the overpriced but famous places like Portillo’s or Byron’s and head straight for the source: the Vienna Beef factory itself on Damen and Elston, which has a cafeteria for workers which visitors are allowed to patronize. There you get your franks straight off the production line, and prepared by pros who know how to serve them.

But I digress. It’s also World Suicide Prevention Day, with an estimated 3,000 people killing themselves every day. That’s way too many, but not near the figure given in the song “(Don’t fear) The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult (1976): the only only heavy metal song I like—and it’s a good one.  I always assumed the lyric “40,000 men and women every day” referred to suicides, as it follows a line about Romeo and Juliet, but that’s more than a tenfold overestimate of suicides. It cannot, however, refer to the number of deaths every day, which is about 152,000, at least in recent years.

On September 10, 1776, Nathan Hale volunteered to spy on the British for the Continental Army. He was of course captured and hanged at age 21 with the apocryphal last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” (Given the circumstances, the misplacement of the word “only” can be excused.) On this day in 1823, Simón Bolivar became President of Peru. On September 10, 1960, the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila won the Olympic men’s marathon in Rome, not only setting a world record but running the 26 miles in bare feet. Here’s his win:

Finally, on this day in 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) went online at CERN near Geneva. With a tunnel 27 km in circumference, it’s surely the world’s largest scientific experiment.

Notables born on this day include Henry Purcell (1659), Carl Correns (1864; one of the rediscoverers of Mendel’s work), Arnold Palmer (1929), Roger Maris (1934), Jared Diamond (1937; he’s 80 today), Stephen Jay Gould (1941) and Bill O’Reilly (1949). Those who died on this day include Mary Wollstonecraft (1797), Huey Long (1935), Felix Bloch (1983) and Jane Wyman (2007). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is enjoying a Japanese cat snack sent by Hiroko:

Jerry: Do you like this Japanese treat?
Hili: I get the feeling that they added something to this one exclusively for Japanese cats.
In Polish:
Jerry: Lubisz ten japoński przysmak?
Hili: Mam wrażenie, że do tej porcji dodali coś wyłącznie dla japońskich kotów.
 Coincidentally, the Leon monologue also features one of Hiroko’s cat snacks, for I brought two of them to the Dark Tabby on a visit yesterday. He ate them with gusto:


Leon: Oh, Jerry! At last! I’ve been waiting for a whole year for these Japanese cat snacks!

(In Polish). Leon: Och, Jerry! Nareszcie! Cały rok czekałem na te japońskie przysmaki!

Here are three tw**s found by Grania. Skunk rescue! (I may have posted it a while back.)

A beautiful Bengal (I’ve since found that they digitally change the color of his eyes):

And ciliates glistening under polarized light:

48 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

  1. “Carl Correns (1864; one of the rediscoverers of Mendel’s work”

    That’s interesting – I thought Mendel’s work didn’t need “re”discovering?

    I recall a video with Eric Lander saying Mendel had serious support (can remember who from) for his work – i.e. the idea of him as a reclusive independent monk was a myth.

      1. Thank you, this is interesting – I’ve been reading on this whole thing, having not done so for a long time. Another Hili Dialogue miracle!

  2. I think those ciliates were filmed in XPL but with a dark field stop in the optical path too. The scopes I’ve used have never had a ark-field stop, but I’ve approximated the optics by moving the condenser wildly off the optical axis.
    The strongly oriented fabric of some organic materials – hair in particular – can produce sufficient polarisation to be noticeable, even if the material itself is intrinsically isotropic.

    1. Chalk up another score for Dennett’s Dictum (my own term) – when you hear/read the word “surely”, our skepticism meter should spike? Can’t remember where I read it.

        1. What counts as “the same experiment”? – one of those probes that is in the outer solar system and still sending stuff back forms a unit with the receiver (albeit one that is only one photon wide, so to speak).

          1. Good point. However, you could argue that the Voyager experiment is confined entirely within the space craft and that only there analysis of the results is done on Earth. With a VLBLI array, the telescopes gathering the data are necessarily thousands of kilometres apart.

            1. Ah, interesting argument- however, without instruments on Earth to interpret the signals sent back (in all directions??), Voyager is not THAT kind of experiment….

  3. OK, I know I risk being permanently banned from this website for what I’m about to say, but here goes nothing…

    That hot dog looks totally gross and Chicago is full of people made insane by cold weather. But the weather is really no excuse for that travesty of a hot dog. You don’t see Winnipeg pulling crap like this, do you?

    I like to taste my hot dog, not have so many toppings it reminds me of a salad from a pizzeria. Acceptable toppings on that dog: mustard, relish, onions. Unacceptable toppings on that dog: EVERYTHING ELSE. Sauerkraut and cole slaw (one or the other, but never together) are also acceptable toppings.

    We can absolutely agree that ketchup is never an acceptable hot dog topping. People who put ketchup on hot dogs should be exiled to some very inhospitable island where we can be sure they will die violent deaths at the hands of vicious animals.

      1. Jerry, I’m surprised you don’t know my sarcastic nature by this point, but I was being entirely sarcastic. I was playing the role of someone unreasonably invested in hot dogs.

        I’m sorry it didn’t work.

    1. I don’t like mustard, I like ketchup. Ergo, I put ketchup on my hotdogs. Anybody who is offended by that, let me call you a waaambulance.

    2. An unkind person wishing violence on people with different food tastes might leave them in Chicago, given that 2652 people have been shot – 454 dead, 2198 wounded – there so far this year.

      To an outsider, it seems a rather violent place, but probably PCC(e) and his Chicago readers think/feel differently.

  4. I went to medical school with a former member of Blue Oyster Cult. He started medical school around age 50. Crazy. I don’t know how he did it. Great guy, though. With some great stories.

  5. I like hot dogs a lot. And even an Oscar Mayer weiner plain on a bun is better than no hot dog at all. And while Chicago style dogs are good, they’re not my favorite. My favorite topping is something they served at the University of Maryland Ellicot Dining Hall while I was there, but that I haven’t seen anywhere else since (other than my own kitchen) – sautéed potatoes and onions topped with spicy mustard. The potatoes really add a great texture and flavor.

    I also agree that natural casings are the best, but I prefer a blend of pork and beef, to give the frank a milder flavor.

    Anyway, now that I know today’s National Hot Dog Day, I know what I’m having for lunch.

  6. Gene and Jude’s hot dogs in River Grove on River road. No frills with natural casing dogs.Always stopped there after working shows at Rosemont Convention Center. The fries are to die for.

      1. It is actually a few miles south of Rosemont on River Rd by the inter section of Grand Ave. If you want ketchup you have to go next door to McDonald’s.

  7. Sorry, but I think that dog looks kinda messy. I don’t see how you can eat it without mustard and stuff going everywhere.

  8. The last hot dog I ate was about 10 years ago. I got a horrendous migraine because it was most likely full of MSG. I never eat them now as you can’t trust what’s in them and it’s not worth the risk.

    1. I don’t like MSG either. A Vietnamese restaurant I once frequented realy used a lot. If I ate dinner there I could guarantee getting up at 3 AM to have to drink a crazy amount of water.

  9. When I visited Chicago I gained an appreciation of the Chicago-style dog.

    That said, I will defend to the death ketchup on hot dogs! 🙂

    1. Yeah, I like both mustard and ketchup on my dogs. The “mustard only” I relegate to bratwurst, knockwurst, kielbasa and the like.

    1. I know, I thought the same. Black Sabbath must be extra heavy metal. Blue Oyster Cult would be lead & Black Sabbath plutonium. 😜🤘

  10. “only” is both an adjective and an adverb depending on usage, so I suspect Hale’s usage of the synonym “but” is probably OK.

  11. I’m not a fan, but my original city of Montreal is also famous for hot dogs, at the opposite end of the scale of dressing – often they are plain, from what I understand (that’s also how you can serve them for about a buck, too).

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