Tuesday: Hili dialogue

October 1, 2019 • 6:30 am

It’s Tuesday, October 1, 2019, which means it’s time to post Thomas Wolfe’s paean to October from Chapter 39 of Of Time and the River. Wolfe is one of my favorite writers, even though I realize that his writing was uneven and even though my English-professor friends tell me that his books are juvenile and overwritten, and that I shouldn’t like him. Yes, he’s uneven, but there’s also wonderful writing like the following, truly expressing the soul of the season in America:


It’s National Pumpkin Month, but that goes along with today being (ugh) National Pumpkin Spice Day. Whoever thought up the idea of putting this stuff in coffee created a monster—and a lot of bad drinks. It’s also World Vegetarian Day, International Coffee Day, and, best of all, International Raccoon Appreciation Day. Please appreciate a raccoon today. I love them! Here’s a mom and her brood climbing a tree, with mom helping the reluctant kits:

It’s also the International Day of Older Persons, a UN holiday. I guess I qualify, but the link doesn’t define “older persons.”

News of the Day: Too much to tell, with lots of impeachment stuff happening, and now the Australian prime minister is involved in Trump’s political manipulations. Read the New York Times for everything.  And both Napoleon Chagnon and Jessye Norman died yesterday.

I met Norman once, as she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on the same day I was. She even sang a bit during the ceremony. When I approached her, all I could say was that I was a fan (and got her autograph).

This is my favorite song of hers, Richard Strauss’s “Beim Schlafengehen” (“Going to sleep”), one of his Vier Letzte Lider (“Four Last Songs”). It’s appropriate as a memorial to this remarkable artist:

Today’s Google Doodle (below) honors Dr. Herbert Kleber (1934-2018), and clicking on it goes to an Internet compilation of articles about him. As C|Net notes:

Dr. Herbert Kleber dedicated more than half his life to treating drug addiction, spending more than 50 years studying the causes of substance abuse and developing treatments to reduce the effects of withdrawal. His work changed the way addiction is viewed and treated and helped save countless lives.

To honor the American psychiatrist and pioneering substance abuse researcher’s work, Google on Tuesday is dedicating its Doodle to Kleber on the 23rd anniversary of his election to the National Academy of Medicine, a volunteer organization that provides advice on health and medical advice.

. . . Kleber developed his “evidence-based treatment,” treating addiction as a medical condition instead of a failure of moral character. [JAC: a deterministic rather than a free-will approach!] His approach stresses the importance of research, employing the use of medication and therapy to prevent patient relapses.

Stuff that happened on October 1 includes:

  • 1861 – Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management is published, going on to sell 60,000 copies in its first year and remaining in print until the present day
  • 1890 – Yosemite National Park is established by the U.S. Congress.
  • 1903 – The Boston Americans play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.
  • 1908 – Ford Model T automobiles are offered for sale at a price of US$825.

The inflation calculator says that this price then is equivalent to $24,052 today, which would buy you a spiffy Honda sedan with lots of extras.

  • 1938 – Germany annexes the Sudetenland.
  • 1946 – Nazi leaders are sentenced at the Nuremberg trials.
  • 1949 – The People’s Republic of China is established.
  • 1957 – First appearance of In God we trust on U.S. paper currency.

Many of you know that at its annual meeting, the Freedom From Religion Foundation raffles off “clean money”—currency minted before 1957—as a prize.

  • 1971 – The first practical CT scanner is used to diagnose a patient.
  • 1982 – Sony and Phillips launch the compact disc in Japan. On the same day, Sony released the model CDP-101 compact disc player, the first player of its kind.
  • 1989 – Denmark introduces the world’s first legal same-sex registered partnerships.

Notables born on this day were few, and include:

  • 1910 – Bonnie Parker, American criminal (d. 1934) [This is of course the Bonnie of “Bonnie and Clyde”.]
  • 1920 – Walter Matthau, American actor (d. 2000)
  • 1924 – William Rehnquist, American lawyer and jurist, 16th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 2005)
  • 1935 – Julie Andrews, English actress and singer

Famous people who bought it on October 1 were also few, and include:

  • 1972 – Louis Leakey, Kenyan-English archaeologist and paleontologist (b. 1903)
  • 1985 – E. B. White, American essayist and journalist (b. 1899)
  • 2004 – Richard Avedon, American photographer (b. 1923)
  • 2018 – Charles Aznavour, French-Armenian singer, composer, writer, filmmaker and public figure (b. 1924)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is waxing sagacious:

Hili: Life must be treated with a pinch of salt.
Sarah: Why?
Hili: An excess of solemnity may indicate narcissism.
Photo: Sarah Lawson
In Polish:
Hili: Życie trzeba traktować z przymrużeniem oka.
Sarah: Dlaczego?
Hili: Nadmiar powagi może wskazywać na narcyzm.

From Jesus of the Day:

From Su: Ducks as fashion accessories:

My own tweet:

A tweet from Claire Lehmann. It’s amazing how few people noticed the wombat, but it’s like the famous basketball-passing video in which people fail to notice a guy in a gorilla suit.

A great clip from Bill Maher’s last show:

Lordy, this guy is good with the ball!


From Barry: an elk bugling (I’d never heard it before, and it’s not what I expected!):

A tweet from Heather Hastie, who’s about as anti-gun as I am. She says about this one, “Via Ann German. I don’t even know what to say here. The whole idea of giving this stuff out in the first place is beyond my comprehension.”

. .  and two tweets from Matthew Cobb. This first one puzzles me: are you supposed to give the staff some money and then one time out of ten they’ll give you a toy?

This one’s bizarre but seems mostly real (except for the concealed identity). Read the thread for more info, including:

Original article: rtvutrecht.nl/nieuws/1963769

English translated article: translate.google.com/translate?sl=a

51 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. “… in Virginia the chinkapins are falling. Frost sharps the middle music…”

    Well… Where I live, just across the Potomac river from Virginia, Wednesday’s weather forecast is for a 94 deg (F) max temperature.

    Maybe we could use Thomas W. as data point in Climate Change Studies.

    Roast chinkapin, anybody?

    1. Yes indeed. Wednesday forecast is 90s (F) for here in southeastern virginia also, where the james river flows into the chesapeake bay and atlantic ocean moderating our weather with water temps in the 70’s (F). But with shorter days and lower sun angles during the day, the nights are clearly not of the oppressive heat of july and i expect there might be significantly autumnal nights in the mountains of the western parts of virginia. Hope springs or maybe falls eternal.

  2. How does President Pelosi sound? Just thinking ahead.

    Also, nice job by California governor yesterday to start the process of paying college students for playing sports. Down with corrupt NCAA.

    1. Yesterday Gavin Newsom made possible the gain for college students who play sports; today, child care workers can now form unions. I hope soon for all in-home care workers and the like, and with proper regulations.

    2. President Pelosi sounds great, but chances are 0. Even if Mr Trump gets impeached, and condemned (still highly unlikely) we would get President Pence. I do not see how he could possibly be impeached simultaneously.

    1. They caught her in a jewellery shop robbin’ red-handed. She said she did it just for a lark. She already had a caution for jay-walking and wanted to cheer herself up because she had thrush.

  3. The *school guardian* story makes me wonder if the money for the weapons might be better spent paying the teachers enough to live on? I don’t know what their pay is where this occurred, or the cost of living, but in general, high teacher salaries still tend to be at or below median overall. (in my county, the top teacher salaries are about $100K, which sounds great until you realize low rent around here as $1500/mo, a 900sqft house in a decent area is $400K, and that $100K is just about the 50th percentile)

    A side note: me furry feline brother did NOT like the elk call one bit.

    1. I read the story. He wasn’t a teacher, he was a classroom assistant. I imagine that means he was paid even less.

      Also, from the article

      Those allegations came to light after Russell was arrested Sept. 5 on charges of domestic battery and false imprisonment

      Russell is accused on Sept. 5 of keeping a woman inside a room of a Palm Harbor apartment against her will and pushing her when she tried to leave

      It seems to me he wasn’t quite as suitable for the role as everybody thought.

  4. Wombat or obese dog? Home owner says he was on the ‘phone & heard his dogs barking – we only see two four-legged animals in the video – the black one with four white paws & the below. If that’s a wombat is the white patch some sort of nappy [diaper]?

    I think it’s a seriously blubbery dog with short legs & short tail, but I can be persuaded otherwise.


    1. I’m inclined to agree with you. I googled wombat buttocks and though difficult to find clear shots, from what I can determine, wombats do not have that kind of patch across their buttocks, though of course, there could be variations. I did find that corgis have prominent white patches across their backsides but it it doesn’t look like a corgi. Maybe it’s a cross between a bulldog and a corgi? Or a corgi and a wombat?

      Never expected to wake up and spend even a brief part of my morning searching for photos of dog and wombat butts.

      1. Now you’re going to get their weirdest emails & ads after googling “wombat buttocks”, not to mention your browser history. 😛

        1. 😎

          Yes. One of those phrases that immediately hits one between the eyes when reading.

          “I googled ‘wombat buttocks’…”

          This site is classic sometimes…


    2. Agreed, that is no wombat, it has a typical dog-face: inbred bulldog/pug-like.
      Alternatively, thinking of the gorilla that wasn’t there, it could be a wombat wearing a dog costume.

        1. Nope, if it is a dog wearing a wombat costume it is wearing a bulldog mask over it’s wombat costume, defeating the intent (well, if ther was any).

          1. But it could be wearing the wombat costume and not covering the face. Dog costumes typically just over the ears and body.

            1. I admit defeat, it must be a bulldog wearing a headless wombat costume. Incontrovertible.
              How stupid not have thought of that myself 🙂
              Which raises the question: why would a wombat costume include a sanitary towel? Has that anything to do
              with cubic poo?

  5. The “Go grandpa 👴😂” football wizard gif is flipped horizontally [goalkeeper has “2” flipped on back of shirt].

    This is the original footage [lol] – it is of Arnaud “Séan” Garnier in an ad for Mexican retailer Coppel championing an active life for all age groups. In the ad, Garnier disguises himself as an old man, as a character dubbed Abuelo “Grandpa” Memo, and joins in a local five-a-side freestyle match and goes on to “amaze” the young players and an enchanted crowd of spectators through his skills:


    Séan [born 18 June 1984 in Sens, France], is a French freestyle footballer. He began as an association football player, notably for Auxerre and Troyes, but his professional career was cut short due to injuries.

    In 2006, Garnier studied to become a football instructor and started a program of urban freestyle art gaining fame for his own style and skills. He was taught by the current world champion Benjamin Aw. In 2008, he was declared World Champion at the inaugural Red Bull Street Style World Finals in São Paulo, Brazil.

    Garnier combined music, breakdance, somersaults, various football and basketball elements to his routines. He formed his own team dubbed Street Style Society also called S3 Crew, which combines freestyle football, freestyle basketball as well as some other street sport styles.

    Garnier is sponsored by Red Bull. In addition to performing at freestyle football shows, he also practices this sport discipline in matches, such as street soccer, futsal, profutsal or panna. He is the captain of French profotsal team Massaliotes, and champion freestyle in particular with Mexico street football players.


    1. Pretty good makeup. I could tell he was faking the rigid body though when he began his show routine. Old guys like me just can’t articulate our joints like that. 😎

  6. I’d be surprised if the ‘grandpa’ playing football is actually a grandpa. Looks to me more like a freestyler in slightly shonky old-person makeup and costume.

    I don’t know where it’s from but I’d guess it’s one of those videos on YouTube where someone who’s really good at basketball/football/etc. pretends to be rubbish at first so that they can astonish onlookers when they eventually reveal their prowess.

      1. Yeah, it’s amazing technical skill. I’ve always been impressed by when they can juggle the ball while on their back, with the soles of their shoes

        But…I’ve never found football free-styling that impressive. When these moves are divorced from the game itself, when they don’t have any function, they’re just a bit daft.

        Believe it or not I can do(or used to be able to do) a few of the moves in this video. But I always practised the tricks that had some use on the pitch. If they were just pointless I didn’t bother with them. And on the pitch is where they’re really beautiful: when they’re not just examples of form but of function too, in that they help you get past a defender, or they help you nutmeg someone.

  7. The original picture of the lovebird doing ‘bird’ @ Politie Utrecht Centrum doesn’t have a black bar across its beak & the cops say:


    Hi, this bird sat on the shoulder of a thief we arrested for shoplifting. As we don ‘t have a birdcage, this bird had no other place to stay than in the cell. His owner agreed to this. When the owner was released shortly after, the bird accompanied him. The bird has not been questioned and is as far as we know not guilty of any charges 😁👮‍♂️


      1. It is clearly not an indigenous Dutch bird, so they can’t just leave it (there are quite strict rules for alien wildlife). It is a Fischer’s lovebird Agapornis fischeri originating in Africa (I think Michael refused to identify because of the extra ‘c’).
        So the police put it in a cell with it’s staff. The jailbird was not put in solitary confinement and was released with it’s staff in attendance.
        Tip for the Utrecht police: lovebirds like seeds, fresh leaves (spinach, dahnia) and fresh fruit, white bread is not a winner there.

        1. Pffft they would in Canada. Most likely just let the bird go and fend for itself. Sometimes they’d call animal services.

          1. I guess (just a guess) that the rules are less strict in Canada, because you have less problems with trooical and subtropical species going awry. Canada’s climate may not be really inviting to many invasive species. How many animal invasive aliens Canada has? I might be completely out of line here, of course, just speculating.

            1. And of course depends on where you are in Canada. I’m cold but not that cold (I’m far south) but Vancouver and Victoria are the warmest parts of Canada that would be similar to the winters in Holland if not warmer.

  8. The professor’s comments give rise to the following thoughts…
    Firstly, that Mrs Isabella Beeton died three of four years later aged 28, and was not the old biddy we have come to love.
    Secondly, that the star Arcturus, being 36.7 light years away, the inhabitants of the nearby planets have been exposed to Charles Aznavour, singing ‘She’ for seven years now, and it might explain the take-up of opioids, and the wave of suicides among those distant people, as our radio waves reach them.

  9. I, too, was surprised by the bugling elk. I thought it would sound more like, well, a bugle.

    Given that PCC(E) is partial to tapirs, I wonder what he thinks of tapir sounds, young and adult? They certainly weren’t what I’d expect from a tapir. They squeak.

      1. Wish I could go to Yellowstone. I was once in the Rockies in the fall but I didn’t hear any bugling.

        But we’ve got Tule elk not far away and I’ll check them out. I found a good video of a bugling tule elk that went on for some time and I could hear a kind of brassy sound so I now understand why they call it “bugling.”

  10. We had a big old raccoon visit us last night. We faced off through the window, Our cats show interesting behavior around them. The raccoons aren’t aggressive towards them but the cats also realize that they are bigger than they are so they can’t chase them off either. They just stand and watch each other from 10 to 15 feet.

  11. “… don’t use freedom of speech to cause us pain by insulting our Holy Prophet ….” Yes, there’s a difference between criticism and murder (speech vs action). There’s also a difference between an insult and a statement of facts. The difference is rational intelligence. Most of the people who have been murdered to assuage the “pain” or avenge the “honor” of Islamic snowflakes weren’t using their freedom of speech to intentionally insult or to cause pain; they were just pointing out a difference. My response to all p.c. snowflakes: Get over yourself. The World doesn’t owe you a pain-free, insult-free, obstacle-free life.
    P.S.: If you insist on murdering someone for failure to believe what you believe, then start with yourself for failure to follow the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” commandment.

  12. Thank you so much for including the link to Beim Schlafengehen, as a tribute to Jessye
    Norman. No one who heard her sing will forget that voice – “in the magic circle of night it lives deeply and a thousandfold”

    1. I listened to her complete Richard Strauss Vier Letze Lieder recording yesterday evening. I am fortunate to have heard Jessye Norman on many occasions in the concert hall and on the opera stage. A great artist with a phenomenal voice.

    1. Lucky man on the ranch. 😉
      My parents actually have a home in Payette, ID. I think it’s a couple hours west of where you live. Lovely wildlife abounds. Idaho makes up in wildlife what it lacks in politics…as I’m sure you’d concur.

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