Friday: Hili dialogue

April 17, 2020 • 6:30 am

Good morning at the end of another wretched “work week”—if that concept even exists any more. It’s Friday, April 17, 2020, and a double food holiday: National Cheeseball Day and World Malbec Day. Forget the cheeseballs (a dire comestible) and drink the Malbec.

Here is a cheeseball:

Here is another cheeseball:

It’s also International Haiku Poetry Day as well as International Ford Mustang Day.

Finally, it’s Bat Appreciation Day, which should certainly be canceled this year, along with World Pangolin Day next year (that’s on the third Saturday in February).

It’s snowing again in Chicago, with several inches predicted, although it will all be gone tomorrow when temperatures rise and become springlike. I saw Honey for a bit less than an hour yesterday, when she flew down to the pond to have a big feed and a long preen and bath. Then, with Wingman accompanying her for a few seconds, she flew back to her nest. She must have been hungry and grubby.

Here’s one photo. Look at her gorgeous speculum! I have a lot of photos and videos to post today and this weekend.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates teachers as “coronavirus helpers” (click on screenshot). Unlike the other ‘helpers’, they aren’t really at risk for teaching at a distance, and distance teaching isn’t, I think, something be celebrated. For most teachers it’s an undesired consequence of the pandemic; here Google makes a virtue of necessity:

News of the Day: Bad but things are looking up a bit, though not with the Trump Administration. In the U.S., as of this morning 34,784 have died from coronavirus while the worldwide toll is 145,568.  The U.S. has released some “guidelines” for opening up America; I haven’t yet read them carefully, but Trump claims that some places can begin opening up before May 1.  The New York Times summarizes the three-step plan:

In states judged to be doing well enough to enter the first phase, people would still be urged to avoid socializing in groups of more than 10, employers would be asked to encourage telework, and schools would remain closed. But some large venues — including restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship — would be allowed to operate under strict physical distancing protocols, elective surgeries could resume, and gyms could reopen as long as they maintained physical distancing. Bars would remain closed.

In the second phase, schools could reopen and people would be advised to avoid social gatherings of more than 50 people. By the third phase, states with no evidence of a resurgence of infections would be able to resume unrestricted staffing of work sites, visits to hospitals and nursing homes could resume, large venues could operate under limited social distancing protocols, and bars could reopen with increased standing room.

All well and good, but when to take these steps will involve  hard decisions, and the administration offered no guidance. At least Trump has left these decisions to the governors (not all of whom are to be trusted, and I’m talking about you, Ron DeSantis) rather than asserting a kingly prerogative to open up the country at The Chief Moron’s bequest.

I am getting more stir-crazy, cranky, and unable to concentrate. I’m a social animal! Further, my hair is growing longer and shaggier (see below). I guess everyone’s either letting it go or getting haircuts from their spouse/paramour:

It’s not a banner day for anything today: events, births, and deaths are, as they say, “thin on the ground.”  Stuff that happened on April 17 includes:

  • 1521 – Trial of Martin Luther over his teachings begins during the assembly of the Diet of Worms. Initially intimidated, he asks for time to reflect before answering and is given a stay of one day.
  • 1907 – The Ellis Island immigration center processes 11,747 people, more than on any other day.
  • 1949 – At midnight 26 Irish counties officially leave the British Commonwealth. A 21-gun salute on O’Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushers in the Republic of Ireland.
  • 1961 – Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of Cuban exiles financed and trained by the CIA lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.
  • 1969 – Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.
  • 1970 – Apollo program: The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1837 – J. P. Morgan, American banker and financier, founded J.P. Morgan & Co. (d. 1913)
  • 1896 – Señor Wences, Spanish-American ventriloquist (d. 1999)

Remember Señor Wences, who made many appearances on the Ed Sullivan show? It always went something like this (looking at it, Wences appears to have been a lousy ventriloquist!):

  • 1923 – Harry Reasoner, American soldier and journalist (d. 1991)
  • 1951 – Olivia Hussey, Argentinian-English actress
  • 1967 – Liz Phair, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1972 – Jennifer Garner, American actress
  • 1985 – Rooney Mara, American actress

Those who met their “sell by” date on April 17 include:

  • 1790 – Benjamin Franklin, American inventor, publisher, and politician, 6th President of Pennsylvania (b. 1706)
  • 1988 – Louise Nevelson, Ukrainian-American sculptor and educator (b. 1900)
  • 1998 – Linda McCartney, American photographer, activist, and musician (b. 1941)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Szaron, while not exactly friends, can tolerate each other, even when they’re close together. But Hili remains indifferent:

Hili: I don’t see him at all.
A: Indifference may be a beginning of acceptance.
In Polish:
Hili: Ja go wcale nie widzę.
Ja: Obojętność może być wstępem do akceptacji.

Posted by Seth Andrews:

Posted by Melissa:

Posted by Diana MacPherson (as I recall):

A tweet found by Muffy. I hope someone’s taking care of the kittens:

From Heather Hastie. This is about as far from “majestic” as you can get, but hey, it’s a d*g!

A tweet sent by reader Barry. Oy, does that rodent love his pizza!

From Jeremy. I suppose the lions like the road because it’s warm:

Tweets found by Matthew. This is an excellent one!

And look at this six-foot-tall preserved heart of a blue whale!

Covert actions of houseplants:

A worthy winner of the photo contest, with a plane as lagniappe:



53 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Here in the UK, teachers are teaching the children of essential workers in school so that their parents are free to work. This is continuing right now, despite the fact that schools are otherwise closed for the Easter holidays.

  2. The weather is quite odd in the middle. Yesterday it reached 70 degrees here in south Kansas while 300 miles north in Iowa it was snowing.

    1. Isn’t this the time of the year when folks in that neck of the woods say, if you don’t like the weather here, just wait 15 minutes? 🙂

  3. Bat appreciation day (not that I knew it existed) should be celebrated – now more than ever… Moral of the story: appreciate bats; don’t eat them!

      1. Brilliant, love it! Human denialism at its very best. As a species, we’re pretty good at shifting blame, aren’t we.

      2. God is punishing the billions of people around the world for the 304 electoral voters who elected Trump.

  4. I wonder if the drake will ever help with the brooding – sit on eggs while the female is performing her ablutions.

  5. Your caption for Bridges was wonderful and I almost laughed out loud. He is still there. How in this world has this happened? I was hoping the legislature or citizens or…would intervene. It must be still the same there, perhaps more underground.

  6. As for the cat and the carpet – yup! Despite having wooden floors in all the rooms at our house, all three of our kitties always look for a rug to vom on. So gross, but after all, it’s a cat’s prerogative.

    1. When I briefly lived on a five acre lot, all the indoor/outdoor cats would hotd it, and rush in to throw up on the carpet.

      1. That’s hilarious – it’s definitely very deliberate, isn’t it. I wonder what the thinking is behind it.

  7. Diet of Worms is possibly the most ridiculous name ever other than the Bond girls’ names from the James Bond movies.

      1. Do I need to say it? “Diet” is an archaic word for “legislative body” and while the city’s named is spelled; “Worms”, it is pronounced; “Vurms”.

        But it is funny.

        1. So basically for the correct pronunciation one would need to track down Bela Lugosi and have him say it.

  8. Loved Señor Wences when I was a kid. Especially the man in the box. My ex and I would always say S’aright when we stepped on one of those trashcans with the pedal (in our 30s…)

    1. I don’t think Senor Wences (I can’t do the tilde – how do you do that?) made it to this side of the Atlantic, but I loved Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop when I was a kid.

      1. To get ñ on a Windows PC, hold down the Alt key and type 164 on the number keypad (make sure that Num Lock is on). For Ñ, use 165. For a table of character codes for stuff like ð, þ, é, ®, €, æ and ™, go here.

  9. We visited the ROM after the blue whale skeleton was put on display. At that time they indicated that the heart would eventually be on display, and that it was the size of a Mini-Cooper. The photo doesn’t really indicate the actual size.

    1. oops Meant to reply to annarussellk.

      About the hair, surely a good pair of scissors and a comb would do for the front bangs and the sides, Professor? (Take a little off at a time, steady as she goes!) The mullet at the back might look nice too.

  10. First he’d have to choose which nest to sit on if PCC(E) is correct about Wingman being the father of both broods. And if Dorothy is really Honey’s daughter, then there’s a whole other dimension. If only Aristophanes had written The Ducks! Or maybe that should have been a job for Softquacklese. (Apologies in advance! Not least for conflating Sophocles and Socrates. And yes, I know that Socrates wasn’t a dramatist… So even more apologies.)

    1. There was a Greek tailor in a neighborhood I lived in during my Chicago years. One day I took hom a tor pair of pants. He examined the gaarment, then said, “Euripides?” I nodded and replied, “Eumenides?”

    1. 😂
      From Wiki:
      “In hoc signo vinces” (Classical Latin: [ɪn hoːk ˈsɪŋnoː ˈwɪŋkeːs], Ecclesiastical Latin: [in ok ˈsiɲo ˈvintʃes]) is a Latin phrase conventionally translated into English as “In this sign thou shalt conquer”.

  11. Most people I know who know anything about haiku think that it’s all about the syllable structure 5-7-5). In college, I had a friend who was a Sansei (granddaughter of immigrants from Japan). Her great-uncle, who still lived in Tokyo, was a professor of Japanese literature and poetry. I met him on one of his visits here, and it was from him that I learned the real structure of haiku – it’s like a riddle. The first two lines are supposed to set up an ambiguous image that is resolved in the last line. One example is this:

    Oh! I ate them all!
    And Oh! What a stomachache!
    Stolen green apples

    Many years later, I wrote this haiku for the girlfriend who became my (now late) wife:

    Were they in the sky?
    Did I seed them in your eyes?
    I dreamed I saw stars.

    She told me I was the first to write a poem for her.

  12. My normal cut is #1 clipper, all over (such as there is hair there!).

    I gave myself one the other day. It went fine and wasn’t too difficult. Just leaned over a bucket to catch the hair. 🙂

  13. It’s also International Haiku Poetry Day

    Why Evolution Is True
    Years of dialogues
    Season of reason

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