Thursday: Hili dialogue

May 31, 2018 • 6:30 am

Well, May is at an end, as it’s the 31st day of the month in the year of Our Ceiling Cat 2018. It’s National Macaroon Day, and I have to say I like the kind below far more than the French-style macarons much beloved by the sophisticated classes. Americans will pay big bucks for macarons, but I’d rather have one of these, chewy with real shreds of coconut:

It’s also World No Tobacco Day, and yes, smoking is a bad, bad idea, but I refuse to give up my occasional Havana cigar.

On May 31, 1669, Samuel Pepys, citing his poor eyesight, recorded the last event in his diary. Here it is (it’s all online); the emphasis is mine:

Up very betimes, and so continued all the morning with W. Hewer, upon examining and stating my accounts, in order to the fitting myself to go abroad beyond sea, which the ill condition of my eyes, and my neglect for a year or two, hath kept me behindhand in, and so as to render it very difficult now, and troublesome to my mind to do it; but I this day made a satisfactory entrance therein. Dined at home, and in the afternoon by water to White Hall, calling by the way at Michell’s, where I have not been many a day till just the other day, and now I met her mother there and knew her husband to be out of town. And here je did baiser elle, but had not opportunity para hazer some with her as I would have offered if je had had it. And thence had another meeting with the Duke of York, at White Hall, on yesterday’s work, and made a good advance: and so, being called by my wife, we to the Park, Mary Batelier, and a Dutch gentleman, a friend of hers, being with us. Thence to “The World’s End,” a drinking-house by the Park; and there merry, and so home late.

And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes of it, I must forbear: and, therefore, resolve, from this time forward, to have it kept by my people in long-hand, and must therefore be contented to set down no more than is fit for them and all the world to know; or, if there be any thing, which cannot be much, now my amours to Deb. are past, and my eyes hindering me in almost all other pleasures, I must endeavour to keep a margin in my book open, to add, here and there, a note in short-hand with my own hand.

And so I betake myself to that course, which is almost as much as to see myself go into my grave: for which, and all the discomforts that will accompany my being blind, the good God prepare me!

On May 31, 1859, the clock tower at Parliament in London, containing Big Ben, began keeping time. On this day in 1889, the Great Johnstown Flood occurred, killing more than 2200 people after the failure of a dam near Johnston, Pennsylvania. In 1911, the Titanic was launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  On this day in 1927, the very last Ford Model T came off the assembly line (replaced by the Model A). Exactly 15,007,003 vehicles were made.  Finally, on May 31, 2005, the magazine Vanity Fair identified “Deep Throat” of the Watergate affair as Mark Felt.

Notables born on this day include Walt Whitman (1819), Clint Eastwood (1930), Joe Namath (1943; he’s 75 today), and Brooke Shields (1965). Those who died on this day include Tintoretto (1594), Billy Strayhorn (1967), Nobel Laureate Jacques Monod (1976), boxer Jack Dempsey (1983), Timothy Leary (1996), and Jean “Edith” Stapleton (2013).

Here is Tintoretto’s Birth of John the Baptist (1554); can you spot the calico cat?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili gets a rebuke from Cyrus:

Hili: Friendship doesn’t need words.
Cyrus: That’s true, you are talking too much.
In Polish:
Hili: Przyjaźń nie potrzebuje słów.
Cyrus: To prawda, za dużo mówisz

From Matthew, a wonderful series of tweets (read the entire thread at the site; here are a few at the beginning):

. . . and some followup:


And a related tweet:

I haven’t looked to see if this spider has been ID’d yet, but it looks like an ant mimic of some sort:

A lovely handful of caterpillars:

And a “stupendous owlfly” from Peru:

Look at the toes on this caterpillar!

The world’s best job: cleaning a baby bat:

From Grania, a true tweet to forestall future Darwin Awards:

From Heather Hastie—a kitty sings on cue (turn up the sound):

Finally, to show that I am an Honorary Kiwi, here I am in my official All Blacks rugby jersey (a gift of Heather Hastie) and a genuine Marsden flower jade pounamu tiki around my neck.

15 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

      1. There are other candidates but it gets complicated when the heart wood is rotted away – this tree ‘clones’ itself –
        & this is probably older than the Heldreich’s pine but again the heart wood is long gone –
        There is one in Downe where Darwin lived –
        Read more on ancient yews here…

  1. Once or twice while traveling on a C-130 I looked out the window to see one of the engine props standing still. Not a good feeling but okay as long as it’s just one.

  2. The camera shutter speed videos with the blades are so neat.

    Nice jersey. I can see you playing scrum-half or fly-half.

  3. I’ve wondered for a while:

    According to a book I bought used a while back (_Indians of North America_) tobacco also got used as a topping for food. I wonder if anyone still does that? (I guess the closest thing might be chewing tobacco.)

  4. Can they be toes if they are on fake feet? Perhaps they are pseudotoes. Well, they are called crochets, actually.


  5. “I have to say I like the kind below far more than the French-style macarons much beloved by the sophisticated classes.”

    Spoken like a true Scotsman.

  6. Re. the Havanas, I gather they’re not like they once were. My father had a WWII Army pal, John Dyer-Bennet, eventually Professor Emeritus of Mathematics @ Carleton College (and brother of English balladeer/minstrel Richard Dyer-Bennet) who back in the ’70s anyway mainly smoked pre-embargo Havanas. He told me that the closest to a p-e Havana was a White Owl – that their main characteristic was their mildness.

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