Wednesday: Hili dialogue

December 25, 2019 • 7:00 am

Today is Christmas, the third full day of Hanukkah, and the first day of Coynezaa: a perfect trifecta of holidays on this Wednesday, December 25, 2019. Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) wishes you all a Happy Trifecta and hope that you are in the presence of presents, family and/or good friends, and, of course, good noms. (Please report on your Christmas victuals below.)

I’m still suffering a bit from my bug, and so will spending most of the day in bed—Jews shouldn’t celebrate Christmas, anyway—but I’m feeling much better. I have some Christmas posts lined up, but don’t expect much that is substantive today. Have a big dinner and a nap instead!

It’s very warm in Chicago, with a predicted high today of 53° F (12° C); I don’t think I’ve seen as warm a Christmas since I moved here in December, 1986. Tomorrow may well get to 60° F, which would beat the all-time record for December 26 by two degrees.

As for food, it’s National Pumpkin Pie Day (good, but only with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; sweet potato pie is better). It’s also “No ‘L’ Day”, a pun on the holiday but also a day on which you’re supposed to remove that (l)etter from speech and writing. Good (l)uck with that.

Today’s new Google Doodle celebrates the season, and, as Google is fighting the war on Christmas, leads to a bunch of sites about the “holiday season” (click on screenshot):

Matthew sends this Merry Xmas tweet, with “X” being especially appropriate here:

To celebrate the Jewish holiday, we have a special song: Boyz II Menorah singing their smash Hanukkah hit “A Week and a Day”, which is very good for a spoof song (h/t: Merilee):

Stuff that happened on Christmas Day include:

  • 0 AD-Jesus was born. [I added that one]
  • 333 – Roman Emperor Constantine the Great elevates his youngest son Constans to the rank of Caesar.

Remember that Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity.

  • 336 – First documentary sign of Christmas celebration in Rome.
  • 800 – The coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.
  • 1066 – William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 1758 – Halley’s Comet is sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch, confirming Edmund Halley’s prediction of its passage. This was the first passage of a comet predicted ahead of time.
  • 1776 – George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River at night to attack Hessian forces serving Great Britain at Trenton, New Jersey, the next day.

Here’s the most famous painting of that event: “Washington Crossing the Delaware “by Emanuel Leutze, done in 1851:

  • 1809 – Dr. Ephraim McDowell performs the first ovariotomy, removing a 22-pound tumor.
  • 1831 – The Great Jamaican Slave Revolt begins; up to 20% of Jamaica’s slaves mobilize in an ultimately unsuccessful fight for freedom.
  • 1914 – A series of unofficial truces occur across the Western Front to celebrate Christmas.
  • 1950 – The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951.
  • 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine’s referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.

Notables born on Christmas Day include:

  • 0 – AD Jesus was born [I added that here, too]
  • 1642 (OS) – Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician (d. 1726/1727)
  • 1821 – Clara Barton, American nurse and humanitarian, founder of the American Red Cross (d. 1912)
  • 1876 – Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Indian-Pakistani lawyer and politician, 1st Governor-General of Pakistan (d. 1948)
  • 1884 – Evelyn Nesbit, American model and actress (d. 1967)
  • 1887 – Conrad Hilton, American entrepreneur (d. 1979)
  • 1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (d. 1957)
  • 1907 – Cab Calloway, American singer-songwriter and bandleader (d. 1994)
  • 1924 – Rod Serling, American screenwriter and producer, created The Twilight Zone (d. 1975)
  • 1946 -Jimmy Buffett [JAC: I added this because I heard it on NPR]
  • 1949 – Sissy Spacek, American actress [JAC: only five days older than I!]
  • 1950 – Karl Rove, American political strategist and activist
  • 1954 – Annie Lennox, Scottish singer-songwriter and pianist

Those who began necrosis on this day include:

  • 1946 – W. C. Fields, American actor, comedian, juggler, and screenwriter (b. 1880)
  • 1977 – Charlie Chaplin, English actor and director (b. 1889)
  • 1983 – Joan Miró, Spanish painter and sculptor (b. 1893)
  • 1995 – Dean Martin, American singer and actor (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (b. 1918)
  • 2008 – Eartha Kitt, American singer and actress (b. 1927)
  • 2016 – George Michael, British singer and songwriter (b. 1963)

Miró painted many cats in his life; you can see some of them here. Here’s a good one, “Jumping Cat”:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants her Christmas although she’s a secular Jewish cat, and she always gets treats on the holidays:

Hili: Where are the presents?
A: You ate them yesterday.
Hili: That’s not the right answer.
In Polish:
Hili: Gdzie te prezenty?
Ja: Wczoraj zjadłaś.
Hili: To nie jest właściwa odpowiedź.

In nearby Wloclawek, Mietek and Leon also seem to be worried that they haven’t had their holiday noms yet.

Leon:  Did we miss something?

In Polish: Coś przegapilismy?

Reader Pliny the in Between posted this Christmas cartoon at The Far Corner Cafe:

From Cole & Marmalade:

A tip from Jesus of the Day, which reminds me of Leon and Mietek:

A tweet sent by Gethyn, showing a Christmas miracle! It proves that God is a hedgehog!


And seven tweets from Matthew. First, the Christmas Day egress from the Marsh Farm barn. The animals are especially excited as they get extra treats, and there’s also a Christmas scarecrow. Once again, Cuthbert the Goose, who has privilege, gets a special mention:

I love the wags who run the “signage” for the London Underground:

About this one Matthew says, “This is not a joke”:

I think this is a ferret, and look how clever (and agile) it is!

New Darwiniana released!

Matthew loves optical illusions, as do I. Can you see the snakes move in the picture below?

Finally, Philomena returns to tell us the true meaning of Christmas. (And note this; “Cunk On Christmas is on BBC2 on Thursday 29 December at 10pm.”)



47 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Forecast here is expected to reach 69F / 20.5C. Rough winter so far. Sorry no special victuals here. Just another day without religion.

  2. Happy Christmas/solstice/saturnalia/good old Norse booze up (to quote Hitch)!

    But my patriotism calls me to add that the Stone of Scone, also called the Stone of Destiny, was traditionally used by Scottish monarchs in coronation ceremonies before being used by them as joint monarch of England and Scotland, and then by British monarchs after 1707! It’s Scottish before it’s British, harrumph 😉.

    It’s now on display at Edinburgh Castle. I’ve seen it. And it’s basically just a rock…I mean, a potent symbol of Scotland’s national consciousness!

  3. Tomorrow may well get to 60° F. I’ll take it.

    Looking forward to the return of Philomena. She’s just like that friend Jesus who also comes once a year, but real. I had a sister just like her, but less talented and short.

    1. Merry Trifecta!

      To me putting *anything* on pumpkin pie is blasphemy. It’s perfect on its own 🙂

      I’ve been hit with a double whammy of jet lag (Melbourne – Toronto) and head cold so the festivities will be muted today.

      1. Melbourne – Toronto? My deepest sympathies. 😎
        Whipped cream at least looks good on pumpkin pie, and you can scrape it off after the pictures are taken.

        “We have a listener, James, from T.O. who has unconventional culinary tastes, but, he’s returned from Melbourne in time to be home for Christmas. This next song is dedicated to James and all the James’ out there in radio land whether they managed to make the trip home or not.”

  4. My Christmas treat is to have a day in which to do absolutely nothing but feed the animals and hang out. No baking, no cooking, we will probably have a frozen pizza for dinner. My one geographically close family member will not be here until tomorrow, when the roads will be better.

    Pumpkin pie day? I always smile at “the day”, since I never seem to hit it with what I’m doing, although I do bake many of the items listed.

    I must respectfully disagree with our hose that sweet potato pie is better than pumpkin pie. We do ours with fresh, NOT CANNED, pumpkin, which makes all the difference. We are open for Thanksgiving, and we sell advance tickets, so I do pumpkin pies for that.

    And since then, I’ve been baking Christmas cookies and making fudge for gift bags that we hand out to our colleagues and friends. I finished the baking for those on Sunday and got everything mailed on Monday, so now I can have a peaceful day today.

    I hope everyone here has a great holiday. Stop in if you’re ever in the area.


      1. We do ours in the steamer, and then scrape the flesh out of the shell into a sieve to drain. The draining step is really important, as the flesh by itself contains too much water to do a recipe correctly. BTW, if you’re into soup, the drippings make a great stock additive.

        I used New England sugar pumpkins for years, but last year we got some Pink Porcelains, and they were WONDERFUL!! Sweet, meaty, not stringy at all. We couldn’t find any of those this year, so I went back to New England sugars, but we have a couple of people who have offered to grow Pink Porcelains for us next year, so I am hopeful.

        If we have any leftovers, we freeze them in 1 1/2 cup portions, which is the same quantity as a single can. I use that for pumpkin bread or pumpkin cheesecake.


    1. I prefer the taste and denser texture of sweet potato pie. I find pumpkin pie too jiggly and often cloyingly sweet. I think maybe I just haven’t had a proper pumpkin pie, given its popularity.

      1. My daughter makes an excellent pumpkin pie. I’d offer you a slice and possibly change your opinion, but practical issues prevent that.

  5. Bright sunshine and 48 degrees in Metro Atlanta. Kind of Christmas day I like. Bug going around down here also.
    I made a request for apple pie. That and brisket with salad is fare for today. And pecan pie.

  6. 1642 (OS) – Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician (d. 1726/1727)

    … who wrote considerably more about religion and theology than he ever did about science and maths. Also, lots of alchemy. And he hung a few counterfeiters on off days.

    Reader Pliny the in Between posted this Christmas cartoon at The Far Corner Cafe:

    Rudolph is deducibly a she. Horns at this time of a year, on a reindeer? Probably a doe. Maybe an immature male.

    1. I find it rather sad that Newton, despite his enormous contribution to science, wasted much time with superstitious and metallurgical nonsense. He was responsible for holding himself back because he had some serious misconceptions about reality. With just a little more skepticism, and some small hints, who knows what other advances he might have made.

  7. Happy birthday, Jerry! Get well soon.

    It’s bright and sunny down here in Central Florida, which is nice, because it’s been unseasonably rainy the last week or so.

  8. Vitt_es:
    Entrees and sides – roasted beef tender_oin; pot of spicy rice and b_ack beans; curried chicken breast; oxtai_ and butter beans; app_ewood ham with gri__ed pineapp_e spears and pineapp_e/cane sugar g_aze; musse_s in a spicy white wine/gar_ic sauce; asiago artisan bread; veggie sa_ad
    Dessert – rum cake; app_e crumb_e pie (icecream optiona_); gourmet cheeses and bosc pear s_ices
    Beverages – mu__ed app_e cider red and white wine; coffee and tea; egg nog.

  9. Good noms are expected at my sister’s new home. Two hams are promised! I’ll be bringing a “non-cheesy brussel sprout dish” as promised, though it will have a better-sounding name upon arrival. I will be avoiding anything with those little marshmallows on top, unless it’s a dessert item.

  10. Happy Ho?idays, Jerry, and Get We?? Soon!

    Today is also the birthday of Canada’s current Prime Minister, Justin Pierre James Trudeau (b. 1971), the most sensible current head of government in North America [eh]. Happy birthday, Prime Minister!

  11. I’m on Maui and going to Mama’s Fish House for dinner, so my Christmas repast will be macadamia nut encrusted mahi-mahi. Mele Kalikimaka to you all.

    Oh, and the snakes did not move.

  12. My late mother in law would send us a box full of various meats, cheese, sausage, from her shop in Vermont, so every Christmas eve we would have this for dinner. the kids called it snitch plate and we have continued to have a dinner of such morsels ever since–ham, turkey,pepperoni, brie, sharp cheddar, smoked Beemster cheese, a baguette, and a spicy hungarian sausage that I found at a local shop. Christmas breakfast is always beignets. Dinner tonight will be more traditional with turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, and finally apple pie all enjoyed with a nice Pauillac, my favorite of all Bordeaux wines.

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