Thursday: Hili dialogue

Welcome to Thursday, March 26, 2020: National Nougat Day but also National Spinach Day. And, appropriately enough, it’s Solitude Day, though perhaps it should be declared Solitude Season. And today is Andrzej’s 80th birthday, for which I’ve written my own Hili dialogue along with the usual one from Andrzej and Malgorzata.  See below.

It’s Purple Day in the U.S. and Canada, dedicated to bringing awareness to epilepsy, and, in Hawaii, it’s Prince Kūhiō Day, one of only two U.S. holiday celebrating royalty (the other is Hawaiʻi’s King Kamehameha Day, celebrated on June 11). The Prince, heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, was also a territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress, where he “won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act, creating the Hawaiian Homes Commission and setting aside 200,000 acres (810 km2) of land for Hawaiian homesteaders.”  Here he is:

Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (Prince Kūhiō)

News of the Day: Everything is still going to hell everywhere. The Senate finally passed its $2 trillion stimulus package, but it’s not going to do much. A $1200 check for most Americans won’t go very far, and of course the virus still rages. Nobody can procure sanitizer, and I will die from going to the grocery store.

And there’s this (tweet from Matthew):


Stuff that happened on March 26 includes:

  • 1344 – The Siege of Algeciras, one of the first European military engagements where gunpowder was used, comes to an end.

Algeciras, called Al-Jazeera by its Moorish Muslim inhabitants, was retaken after a siege of 21 months by Castilian forces. It was the Muslims who used the gunpowder, in early cannons called “bombards”, but it didn’t save them.

Here’s an iron bombard from 1450 that fired 6-kg stone balls:

Published under the GNU Free Documentation License

  • 1484 – William Caxton prints his translation of Aesop’s Fables.

Caxton was the first person to introduce a printing press to England.

Here’s that first cartoon, with the caption from Wikipedia:

Printed in March 1812, this political cartoon was drawn in reaction to the newly drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature to favor the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists. The caricature satirizes the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts, as a dragon-like “monster”. Federalist newspaper editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a portmanteau of that word and Governor Gerry’s last name.

And here’s Essex County now:

  • 1830 – The Book of Mormon is published in Palmyra, New York.
  • 1934 – The United Kingdom driving test is introduced.
  • 1942 – World War II: The first female prisoners arrive at Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ends as the island is officially secured by American forces.
  • 1971 – East Pakistan declares its independence from Pakistan to form Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Liberation War begins.
  • 1979 – Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.
  • 1997 – Thirty-nine bodies are found in the Heaven’s Gate mass suicides.

Here’s a photo. The suicides were bizarre, as members of the cult thought that, after dying, they would board a spacecraft following the Comet Hale-Bopp. The circumstances of the mass suicide were bizarre:

To kill themselves, members took phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce or pudding and washed it down with vodka. Additionally, they secured plastic bags around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” (one of many instances of the group’s use of the Star Trek fictional universe’s nomenclature). Each member had on their person a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets: the five-dollar bill was to cover vagrancy fines while members were out on jobs, while the quarters were to make phone calls. Once dead, a living member would arrange the body by removing the plastic bag from the person’s head. They then posed the body so that it lay neatly in their own bed, with faces and torsos covered by a square purple cloth for privacy. The identical clothing was used as a uniform for the mass suicide to represent unity whilst the Nike Decades were chosen as the group “got a good deal on the shoes”

39 bodies of Heaven’s Gate members were discovered, bags packed and Nike’s laced, lying on beds and mattresses in a San Diego mansion. (Kim Kulish/Getty). Source.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1874 – Robert Frost, American poet and playwright (d. 1963)
  • 1904 – Joseph Campbell, American mythologist and author (d. 1987)
  • 1908 – Franz Stangl, Austrian-German SS officer (d. 1971)
  • 1911 – Tennessee Williams, American playwright, and poet (d. 1983)
  • 1913 – Paul Erdős, Hungarian-Polish mathematician and academic (d. 1996)
  • 1931 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor (d. 2015)
  • 1940 – Nancy Pelosi, American lawyer and politician, 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • 1940-Andrzej Koraszewski, writer, activist, co-producer of Listy z Naszego Sadu (Letters from Our Orchard)
  • 1941 – Richard Dawkins, Kenyan-English ethologist, biologist, and academic
  • 1942 – Erica Jong, American novelist and poet
  • 1943 – Bob Woodward, American journalist and author
  • 1944 – Diana Ross, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
  • 1948 – Steven Tyler, American singer-songwriter and actorv
  • 1985 – Keira Knightley, English actress

Those who perished on March 26 include:

  • 1649 – John Winthrop, English lawyer and politician, 2nd Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • 1797 – James Hutton, Scottish geologist and physician (b. 1726)
  • 1827 – Ludwig van Beethoven, German pianist and composer (b. 1770)
  • 1892 – Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, and journalist (b. 1819)v
  • 1969 – John Kennedy Toole, American novelist (b. 1937)
  • 2011 – Geraldine Ferraro, American lawyer and politician (b. 1935)

Toole died of suicide of 31, but his novel A Confederacy of Dunces (well worth reading) won the Pulitzer Prize posthumously—in 1981! Here he is:


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Hili dialogue is complicated, so Malgorzata explains:

Hili means that this ban on gatherings irritate her no end. She hates being banned from doing anything but this time she knows that she has to obey. So to relieve her irritation she decides all of a sudden that she hates huge gatherings. If she hates gatherings, no ban on gathering can irritate her.

Hili: I hate huge gatherings.
A: Why do you say that?
Hili: Because bans irritate me.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie znoszę wielkich zgromadzeń.
Ja: Dlaczego to mówisz?
Hili: Bo denerwują mnie zakazy.

And today is Andrzej’s 80th birthday! In honor of his venerable years and many accomplishments, I’ve written my own Hili dialogue using my own photo from several years ago:

Hili: I understand you are 80 today. Happy birthday, Andrzej!
Andrzej: Why, thank you, Hili.
Hili: To what do you attribute such a long life?
Andrzej: To work that absorbs one completely, to a wonderful and supportive wife, to many helpings of cherry pie, and to a loving cat in the house.
Hili: I think the last item is the most important.

In Polish (translation by Malgorzata):

Hili: Rozumiem, że kończysz dzisiaj 80 lat. Wszystkiego najlepszego!
A: Ach, dziękuje ci, Hili.
Hili: Czemu przypisujesz takie długie życie?
A: Pracy, która całkowicie mnie absorbuje, wspierającej żonie, wielu porcjom placka z wiśniami i kochającemu kotu w domu.
Hili: Sądzę, że ostatni punkt jest najważniejszy.

In the same house, Szaron slept inside: “It was a chilly evening and Szaron decided to sleep at home.”

In Polish: Wieczór był chłodny i Szaron postanowił, że idzie spać do domu.

From Malgorzata:

From Norm:

From Nicole:

From Su.  Poor Vincent!

A tweet from the Queen with a retweeted video:

From Mark Plotkin. I haven’t looked up the data to ensure that this is real, but if it is it’s plenty scary.

People are really being uber-silly during quarantine. Here’s a tweet found by Simon:

Tweets from Matthew. This first one shows a stain (not a shadow), which makes it look as if the bin is floating. Cover the stain and see:

A lovely video of the world’s smallest wild felid, the Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) from India and Sri Lanka. Adults weigh only 0.9-1.5 kg, or 2-3.5 pounds, less than half the size of a house cat.

I like this because I’d be one of the people the Republicans want sacrificed to the Dow Jones Industrial Average:

We can all use a newborn lamb, right? (Sound up, please.)



  1. JezGrove
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Loved the floating wheelie bin and the tiny felid!

    • darrelle
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      The tiny felid was the bomb. Loved watching him cross the creek.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Andrzej! That’s a funny but tender Hili Dialogue!

    Quite a company of birthdays : Beethoven and Dawkins too – awesome!

  3. Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    What an assortment! Somehow, the gerrymandering map triggered an arcane memory.
    Did you know that one governor of Massachusetts has three towns named after him?
    (Answer: Peabody, Marblehead, and Athol.)
    Oh, well, I love the covid versus corvid meme.
    Thanks for brightening my day … again.

  4. Hempenstein
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Andrzej! Sorry that I can’t find a gender-appropriate version of the song, but I know that you know how to make the necessary adjustment.

  5. Linda Calhoun
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Andrzej! May you keep contributing to civilization as long as you want!

    I’m so sorry for everyone’s isolation and boredom. Here on the farm, it’s not like that. I’m up to my ears in kids, training the first-fresheners to the milk line, vaccinations, and the beginnings of spring cleaning. The usual for this time of year.

    And, our restaurant is still open. NM is on complete lockdown, which is fine with me, but we are allowed to do takeout, and we are staying open for that. It hasn’t been super busy, but not dead, either. Blueberry muffins, NJ crumb cake, biscotti, and chocolate chip cheesecake are all going out the takeout window. I guess people feel the need for comfort food. We have had a little trouble resupplying, but not much, considering everything.

    Stay well, everyone.


    • darrelle
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Yep, comfort food. Despite our entire house being on strict diets for the past couple of months or more (some for weight loss, some for muscle gain) my wife decided we’re throwing it all out the window today. She’s making her famous signature chocolate chip cookies. I can’t wait. I’m sure not a one will make it through the night.

      • rickflick
        Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        I may try to work oatmeal or peanut butter cookies into my schedule today. Thanks for the suggestion (although when you think about it, it may not be a great long-term solution. Think of it. Two – six months of baking? Perhaps keeping extra active with walks and yard work would make it work).

        • darrelle
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          I invented the worlds best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies years ago. Haven’t made them in a while. Might be time for a batch.

          • Marlene Zuk
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Recipe, please!

            • darrelle
              Posted March 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

              I’m of course joking about world’s best, but I really do like these better than the traditional, dense, flattened with a fork peanut butter cookies. I fiddled around with ingredients and proportions from a few different recipes for the traditional kind and came up with this recipe. These cookies come out less dense and more tender inside than the traditional kind. Plus, chocolate chips make just about any cookie better.

              3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
              1/2 cup butter, softened
              ~3/4 – 1 cup of smooth peanut butter

              (I use Smucker’s Natural, or similar. Regular peanut butter with various additives, added sugar and various oil contents could change the taste and texture considerably)

              2 large eggs
              1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
              1 teaspoon baking soda
              chocolate chips to taste.

              (I recommend bittersweet. I use a moderate amount so there is only 2 or 3 chips per cookie)

              Mixing is pretty much standard. I use a stand mixer and first mix the butter and sugar until well creamed. I then add the peanut butter and mix to thoroughly combine. Next in are the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. I don’t know how big a difference this makes, but I do sift the flour. The 1-1/2 cups is measured before I sift it. Next I add flour in 2 or 3 stages, combine well and then scrape the sides and paddle with a spatula, then mix for 30 seconds or so more. Last in are the chips.

              I drop rounded spoonfuls, 9 to a 1/2 sheet size parchment paper lined sheet pan. I then bake at 350 F for about 8 or 9 minutes, rotate the pan 180 then bake for another 4 minutes. If they aren’t quite done they go in for another minute. Total cooking time varies slightly depending on oven, cookie sheet and size of cookies, but not much.

              Hope you like them.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

                Thanks. I needed that.

      • rickflick
        Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Just out of the oven. And, I have to agree there probably the best ever:

        • merilee
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

          Courier to everyone??
          I don’t dare make them, what with missing 4 days/week at the gym. Don’t want to turn into Miss Piggy😜

          • darrelle
            Posted March 27, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Once some years ago I was trying to lose a few pounds and not having much luck. One evening I rebelled, made a batch of cookies and ate about 10. My wife teased me mercilessly. Within 48 hours I lost 4 lbs without otherwise changing my diet.

            So this is going to be my get rich infommercial diet scam, The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Diet.

            It’s been a running joke in the family since. Not making progress on your diet? Time to go hardcore and do the PBCCC Diet!

            • merilee
              Posted March 27, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

              Lost 4 lbs in 48 hours? Gotta me male😬

              • darrelle
                Posted March 27, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

                I’m telling ya! It was the cookies!

          • rickflick
            Posted March 27, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            I was very clever. I cut back on the sugar and used whole wheat pastry flour. So, LO-CAL. 😎

            • merilee
              Posted March 27, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

              Perfectly healthy, thrn, with all the food groups, including chocolate🤓

              • rickflick
                Posted March 27, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink


        • darrelle
          Posted March 27, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          Wow rickflick, you are a man of action!

          And, thank you.

          • rickflick
            Posted March 27, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            Ya. I had some time on my hands. Probably about 6 months. 😎

            • darrelle
              Posted March 27, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

              Ain’t that the truth?!

  6. Monika
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, Andrzej!

  7. darrelle
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Andrzej! I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Very nice birthday special Hili dialogue Jerry.

  8. RGT
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Good xkcd today:

  9. Ruthann Richards
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday, Andrzej! May you have many more so you can continue to bring joy to Hili and all the rest of us. Ceiling Cat’s tribute is wonderful! A much needed bright spot in the midst of this crisis.
    And Ceiling Cat, may you succeed in getting groceries safely so you can continue to provide your readers with much-appreciated posts, especially about cats and nature.

  10. DrBrydon
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    First of all, happy birthday to Andrzej, and many happy returns of the day!

    Second, I was reminded of the anti-bacterial properties of vinegar when reading that the British washed the mouths and nostrils of horses to prevent diseases during transport in the Crimean War.

    Lastly, an internet wag reminds us of the disproportionate cost of Covid-19 to men:

    • BJ
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      You do know that the whole “women earn only $.79 for every dollar a man earns” is a bunk statistic? I mean, I guess it’s technically true (although it hasn’t been updated in years, so it’s probably not even technically true anymore), but the idea is to imply that they earn less for the same work. In reality, it’s just taking every working woman and every working man in the country, throwing them together, and taking an average for each group. It doesn’t account for even a single confounder, like

      – Men almost exclusively comprise the workforce for jobs that involve “hazard pay,” like oil rig work, mining, forestry, construction, etc. Men account for 97% of workplace injuries and 98% of workplace deaths
      – Men are willing, on average, to work longer hours
      – Men are willing, on average, to commute further
      – Men are willing, on average, to be “on call” 24 hours a day
      – Women, on average, prioritize things like flexibility of schedule, working fewer hours, less danger, shorter commutes, etc. more than money, while money is the primary priority for the average man
      – Men almost exclusively make up the workforce for jobs that involve somewhat higher pay for the nastiness of the job, like garbage collectors, sewage treaters, etc.

      These are just some of many confounders.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Dude, it’s a joke.

        • EdwardM
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          It’s funny, like jokes about dog years, but there’s a dark side too. It turns out that COVID-19 is more dangerous to men than it is to women. About 70% of the deaths have been men. It is not understood why this is so.

          • JezGrove
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            One suggestion I’ve heard, but not seen substantiated, is that there is a greater proportion of male smokers/former smokers in the vulnerable older age group.

  11. John Dentinger
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday Tennessee Williams: IMHO the greatest American playwright. If not him, who?

    • EdwardM
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      O’Neill? Miller? Simon? Mamet?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        I’d say in the pantheon of American playwrights, Mamet and Sam Shepard are/were to their generation comparable to what Williams and Miller were to theirs or what O’Neill and Clifford Odets were to theirs.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I’d put TW at the top of the heap of American dramatists, too, but I think a case could also be made for Eugene O’Neill or Arthur Miller.

      • EdwardM
        Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        It’s like asking who was the best band or the best director or the best athlete. The question really being asked is; “how many can we get to dance on the head of this here pin” and there are exactly as many greatest -whatevers- as can fit on the pin of your choice.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          Except that there’s a much larger pool to choose from with regard to the other categories you cite. Every Tom, Dick, and Nickelback can put a record or two and gain a legion of dedicated fans. We could argue from now until doomsday about the 100 greatest bands since the dawn of rock’n’roll in the 1950s. Then turn around and argue again about the next best hundred.

          But I think we’d be hard-pressed to name the nation’s hundred best playwrights going all the way back to the founding. There’ve been relatively few writers who’ve been able to broach the distance between serious artistic drama and the great white way of Broadway. The half dozen or so mentioned in the comments above are among these select few.

          • merilee
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Not to forget the great black Pittsburgh playwright, August Wilson.

  12. BJ
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Boy, does this $2 trillion package freak me the hell out. Where is this money going to come from? Is our credit rating going to be downgraded a year from now because of this?

    • darrelle
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      The Fed already dumped $1.5 trillion into the market in an attempt to “shore it up.” Didn’t seem to work.

      • EdwardM
        Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        That didn’t go to human people, it mostly went to corporation people.

        What? They’re people too, you know.

        • darrelle
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Passed with barely a ripple. 15 minutes later the market resumed it’s previous downward slope.

          I’ve no doubt that in so far as any of the $1.5 trillion was “real” money that not a cent of it will be of any benefit to me. I’m sure that some few corporate entities used some interesting methods to siphon some of it into their own pockets though.

      • Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Yes. It turns out the market is smarter than the Trump administration. They realize that the downturn is due to disruption of business by COVID-19, not the availability of money.

        • darrelle
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          I completely agree that the Trump administration is “dumber than a box of rocks,” but I’ve got to wonder if this was an under cover way of greasing certain pockets. The way this apparently worked was plenty complicated enough to provide good cover for such a scheme. But, who knows?

          • Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            If you’re talking about the stimulus bill passed in the Senate last night, it is complicated. As I understand it, the earlier version of the bill really did have a slush fund that would let Trump dole it out according to his warped whims. Not only that but it allowed him to hide the identities of the recipients until after the election! The Senate Dems feel they have been successful in removing the Trump pork aspects from the bill that actually passed. I am looking forward to seeing an independent analysis.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Deficits and the national debt matter only when there’s a Democrat in the Oval Office, silly boy. Look at Reagan. Look at Dubya. Then look at the Tea-baggers and deficit hawks that came out of the woodwork soon as Obama got elected. Where are they now?

      They morphed into the “Freedom Caucus” and fell in line behind Dear Leader with his fat-cat tax-cuts that put the nation another potential $2 trillion deeper in the red (during a booming economy when the debt can usually be paid down or at least kept under control). Doesn’t leave much in the cookie jar for a rainy day now that a legit national emergency is upon us.

  13. Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The floating bin / stain illusion is really nice. Note that it only works because the stain is exactly the right size and shape. I bet if you change the size of the stain even a little, the illusion disappears. It amazes me the kind of processing that must be taking place in the brain for all that to happen.

    • grasshopper
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      It works, too, because the day is overcast and there are no real shadows to counter the illusion.

  14. Jenny Haniver
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Yo, Andrzej. Sto lat!

    Yes, I looked po the expression and sure was glad to find the easy way to wish someone Happy Birthday” in Polish because I wouldn’t be able to pronounce “Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin,” even with online help!

    I hope that Hili will bring you a big fat mouse for your birthday! And that Szaron will bring one too!

  15. merilee
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I saw the Jehovah’s Witness piece as “knock knock” instead of “ding dong”.😂

    • JezGrove
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      The lockdown is going to play havoc with their monthly Field Service Reports, but I guess they won’t mind as they are doubtless more convinced than ever that they are living in the end times.

  16. Debra Coplan
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Andrzej! Thank you for sharing your cats with us…I look forward to the photos every morning.

  17. Posted March 26, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Andrzej. I wish I could self-isolate on your lovely cherry orchard.

  18. pablo
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Confederacy of Dunces is one of my favorites, and one of the few books that I’ll re-read.

    • grasshopper
      Posted March 26, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      One of the great pleasures in life was sharing books with friends, and I think remembering a book can recall pleasurable memories of friendships past.

      But those days are gone. I can’t afford to give my friends an Ipad each.

  19. eric
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Re: the crow meme. I was thinking the other day that if there was an identifiable crow that hung out with Honey and the others at the pond, then the obvious name for him/her would be Corvid 19.

  20. Posted March 26, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A Happy Birthday to Andrzej!

  21. Posted March 26, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    A very Happy Birthday to Andrzej, and many happy returns!

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