Saturday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Saturday, March 28, 2020: National Black Forest Cake Day. It’s also Eat an Eskimo Pie Day (I haven’t had one for decades, and shouldn’t the name now be Inuit Pie?), Piano Day, National Hot Tub Day, and, most important, Respect Your Cat Day.

News of the day: Everything continues to get worse. The bailout bill passed Congress yesterday, and the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. also passed—100,000 (I believe it’s now over half a million for the world).  The New York Times reports that if the pandemic continues to spread in the New York City area, it will be worse on a per capita basis than the toll in Wuhan, China and Lombardy, Italy.  I am frightened for the first time, and it doesn’t help to read stories like this.  Chicago’s mayor has closed our lakefront and all our parks to prevent people congregating, and hinted that the lockdown could continue longer than specified (duhhh!). Professor Ceiling Cat Emeritus threw his back out stretching on Thursday, the pain is pretty bad, and the doctor says it may be weeks or even months before it returns to normal.

On top of it all, we’re predicted to have severe storms in Chicago today, including the possibility of hail. I hope my ducks don’t get bopped on the head with hailstones! Click to read the weather report:

I can see lightning and hear thunder as I write this. It’s gonna be gnarly out there.  As my father used to say (but in Yiddish): “Troubles as numerous as poppy seeds.” (I think the phrase is “Tsouris mit Mohn,” but I can’t remember, and call on Yiddish-speaking readers for help.)

Stuff that happened on March 28 includes:

  • AD 37 – Roman emperor Caligula accepts the titles of the Principate, bestowed on him by the Senate.
  • 1842 – First concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Otto Nicolai.
  • 1871 – The Paris Commune is formally established in Paris.
  • 1939 – Spanish Civil War: Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquers Madrid after a three-year siege.
  • 1959 – The State Council of the People’s Republic of China dissolves the government of Tibet.
  • 1979 – A coolant leak at the Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania leads to the core overheating and a partial meltdown.:

Notables born on this day were few, and include.

Here’s a picture of an early bottle (it was call “malt”) taken from Spoon University:

And Pabst himself, looking pretty much as you’d expect:

By S.L. Stein – The Pabst Mansion, Public Domain

Others born on this day include:

  • 1868 – Maxim Gorky, Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1936)
  • 1909 – Nelson Algren, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1981)
  • 1936 – Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian novelist, playwright, and essayist Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1955 – Reba McEntire, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
  • 1986 – Lady Gaga, American singer-songwriter, dancer, producer, and actress

. . . and a Holocaust survivor born on this day. Jerzy Bielecki (who has a Wikipedia entry) and his girlfriend Cyla Cybulska were separated after their escape from Auschwitz (one of only a handful of escapes), and didn’t meet again until 1983, when, living in New York, he learned she was alive and went back to Poland to see her. She died there in 2005, he in 2011. Read their story at the link in the previous sentence or the NYT obituary in the tweet below.

Those who stopped living on March 28 include:

  • 1881 – Modest Mussorgsky, Russian pianist and composer (b. 1839)
  • 1941 – Virginia Woolf, English novelist, essayist, short story writer, and critic (b. 1882)

Woolf, of course, was subject to depression and ultimately killed herself at age 59 by filling her pockets with stones and walking into a nearby river. She was a very great writer. Below is her heartbreaking suicide note (addressed to her husband) and a photo:

Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight it any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V

  • 1943 – Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1873)
  • 1953 – Jim Thorpe, American football player and coach (b. 1887)
  • 1969 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, American general and politician, 34th President of the United States (b. 1890)
  • 1977 – Eric Shipton, Sri Lankan-English mountaineer and explorer (b. 1907)
  • 1985 – Marc Chagall, Russian-French painter and poet (b. 1887)
  • 1987 – Maria von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (b. 1905)
  • 2000 – Anthony Powell, English soldier and author (b. 1905)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Szaron wants inside. Actually, this is misleading now as Margozata relates:

“This is a picture taken before Szaron started to live inside but Andrzej thought it was a good picture and it would be a pity to waste it. So the dialogue is misleading. Just now Szaron is with us downstairs and Hili is outside! But they are not on the opposite sides of the window pane. Szaron is now absolutely tame. He is sleeping upstairs with the lodgers, there’s no more peeing outside the litter box, and he comes to us during the day. Perfect.”

The old picture and its dialogue

Hili: You are here again?
Szaron: Yes, I wonder when I will be inside and you outside.
In Polish:
Hili: Znowu tu jesteś?
Szaron: Tak, zastanawiam się, kiedy ja będę w środku, a ty na zewnątrz.

From Heather Hastie:

From Jesus of the Day.

A wonderful Facebook video (h/t: Mark). If only the deer would fetch the Frisbee too!

The Queen has a new article out:

Reader Barry’s note on this tweet is “This has been a Public Service Announcement from the family Chamaeleonidae.” I have to say that the reptile’s technique is estimable.

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. First, the irredeemably stupid Ann Coulter:

Heather likes Little Humbug’s backwards walk. I guess she doesn’t like potato skins. . .

Tweets from Matthew. I told him that this first one was really cute, and he suggested that perhaps the slipper was stuck on its leg:

Internecine strife:

This is a “tidal” phenomenon as the red dwarf pulls its larger companion out of shape:

Make sure you click on the picture to see the entire front page:

31 Comments

  1. Serendipitydawg
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    and shouldn’t the name now be Inuit Pie?

    My understanding is that all Inuit are Eskimo but not all Eskimo are Iniut, so it would appear to be just fine.

    Of course, my understanding could be completely wrong.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      My understanding was that ‘eskimo’ was the Athapaskan name given to the Inuit, and not flattering.
      I was completely mistaken.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I’d like to share this talk. It is long – but I managed to break it up. Perhaps some can get it in one go. A sort of what’s the deal with the whole coronavirus thing :

    Laura Kahn – Bats, Cats and Coronaviruses: What You Need to Know About C…

    Laura H. Kahn, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.P.
    Princeton University : https://youtu.be/HR3mE5p3jLU

    … it is sponsored by The Simons Foundation. I don’t recall anything about cats in it.

    If anyone can catch Bill Gates and Sanjay Gupta with Anderson Cooper – might try that too.

  3. JezGrove
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Ann Coulter – words fail me!

    • Historian
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I don’t think Ann Coulter is stupid. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Rather, she has made a career being a provocateur, baiting liberals with outrageous claims (probably many of them she didn’t believe herself), thus making her a hero with conservatives. Undoubtedly, she is quite wealthy from her efforts. She will apologize for her mistake in reading the graph, but now she will be the butt of jokes for the rest of her life. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

  4. XCellKen
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Malt Tonic was another name for Near Beer. Beer with little or no alcohol. Many breweries remained open during Prohibition by selling such products.

    The joke was you took a shot of bootleg alcohol, poured it into the malt tonic, stirred, and drank. I heard it was pretty horrific.

    But this bottle is quite older than the 1920s. It doesn’t use a beer cap, which were invented in 1893. Maybe it was sold in a place where Prohibition was in effect on a local level ?

    I have three Pabst cans in my collection. The oldest is from 1937. It has instruction printed on the side which show you the proper use of a “church key” ( can opener)

    • GBJames
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Pabst made more than just beer, even before prohibition. This is a bottle of malt extract. Malted barley didn’t always find its way into beer!

      • XCellken
        Posted March 28, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Hop flavored Malt Extract, marketed as a cure all for so many illnesses. Nobody would ever think of adding yeast and water to it.

        Kinda like how hydroponics stores sell everything you need to grow plants in your house. And everybody knows what kinda plants those are lol

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    You must be reading my mind or something coming down with your back problem. I have my own that just started a couple of days ago. Mine is sciatic nerve pain, most likely from degenerative disks or something like that. I had it once before about a year ago and it is the most painful thing I have ever known. The first time I went through rehab type therapy and even a shot in the back. It mostly went away on it’s own but now is back.

  6. rickflick
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Hili: You are here again?
    Szaron: Yes, I wonder when I will be inside and you outside.

    Great picture. I’m glad this didn’t get lost. Don’t you just feel the beginnings of a warm relationship? 😎

  7. rickflick
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    In other brewing news: Brewing magnate August Anheuser Busch Jr. was born March 28, 1899, in St. Louis, Missouri. What a fantastic name!

  8. Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I think the Eskimo Pie name should persist. Usually in conflicts between brand names and cultures, the brand name is the one forced to change. This time the culture changed their name. I’m sure Nestlé is happy with this and should promise the Inuit a lifetime supply of Eskimo Pies. 😉

  9. sted24
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t speak Yiddish, but Google claims to and renders “Troubles as numerous as poppy seeds” thus:

    קאָפּדרייעניש ווי פילע מאָן זאמען
    kopdreyenish vi file mon zamen

    “Tsouris mit Mohn” it doesn’t understand at at all, but thinks it might be Greek.

    And as you face storms, of various kinds, heading your way, there is really only one song to listen to. Here is Gerry as a lad in 1965:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mQQ_PtNQXU

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      “kopdreyenish” what makes ones head turn, what a great word.
      I get this feeling that if one speaks Dutch and/or German, learning Yiddish would not be a high mountain to climb
      Tsouris in Greek is a crust, but I guess it comes from Hebrew, meaning trouble (in Dutch ‘sores'(like so-res not soars), probably from Yiddish); mit (with), Mohn is poppyseed, ‘moonseed’, moon.

  10. Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    What should we be looking for on the NYT front page?

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      The spike in unemployment claims to scale.

      • JezGrove
        Posted March 28, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        As PCC(E) says, “Make sure you click on the picture to see the entire front page”. The graph starts in the bottom left hand corner!

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          I did, but couldn’t enlarge enough to read the captions. Impressive, thanks.

  11. EdwardM
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that chameleon was washing its hands. I think it was trying to grasp the stream; it mistook it for a twig.

  12. Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Sorry about your back. Ice the injured muscle well.

  13. Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Here in Seattle, formerly the US covid center, a glimpse of hope. Cases seem to be flattening even as testing is high. People are not going bat shit stir crazy—yet. Some hard-hit restaurants are innovating by delivering meals to parking lot pick up spots. Yesterday, I had vichyssoise, beef bourguignon, apricot tarte, pinot noir, bread and cheese selection with nuts thanks to Maximillien, a fine french restaurant trying to stay afloat. $45 per couple, wine extra. Stay healthy and happy, folks.

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      We are, however, still a corvid center. There are about forty crows cawing in a tree near my house as I write this. Why, I don’t know. Maybe a cat.

      • Jon Gallant
        Posted March 28, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        The corvids come to Seattle from all over the world in order to confer with Professor John Marzluff at the UW. Maybe they take his courses in crow ethology.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Washington had the lowest increase in CoVID-19 cases from March 25 to March 27: ‘only’ 29%! In several states it was well over 200% and in Texas nearly 300%.
      https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-coronavirus-isnt-just-a-blue-state-problem/

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        March 23 to March 28, sorry

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          23 to 26, what’s going on?

  14. chris moffatt
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Jim Thorpe was much more than a football player and coach He was widely hailed as the world’s ‘greatest athlete’ when he won the 1912 Olympic pentathlon and Decathlon gold medals, which were later taken from him because he had played some semipro baseball a few years earlier. These were posthumously returned to the Thorpe family in 1982. A leading light in the denial of the medals was Avery Brundage, who lost to Thorpe in the 1912 Olympics. Sour grapes much?

    Thorpe was also a pretty good baseball player and played MLB from 1913 – 1919

  15. Claudia Baker
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    My god but Virginia Woolf was a beautiful woman.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      A Pre-Raphaelite ‘ideal’, I’d say.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Next time you’re England, take a trip down to East Sussex, where you can visit Monk’s House in Rodmell, where Woolf lived until her death, and Charleston, spiritual home of the Bloomsbury Group (both ££). They are both very evocative and interesting houses, tucked into the scarp slope of the wonderful South Downs (And I don’t even particularly care for Woolf’s writings!)

  16. openidname
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    So sorry to hear about the Professor’s injury! It sucks to be in pain. Get well soon.


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