Wednesday: Hili dialogue

January 20, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s Inauguration Day!!!!!  The nightmare of the last four years appears to be over and, through his actions surrounding the Capitol takeover, Trump has probably shattered whatever political career he envisioned after his Presidency. (Believe me, he won’t want to go back to reality shows and real estate deals.) Good news all around!  Even Mitch “666” McConnell is making noises that may help convict Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate (a conviction would of course help separate Trump from the GOP, which many Republicans want).

A couple of tweets and memes to celebrate. Sadly, the first one is marred by the misspelled “Lonney Tunes”.

h/t Marie

It’s a good day, this Wednesday, January 20, 2021, as the heinous incumbent will be ejected from the Presidency at noon. He’s off to Florida, skipping the Inauguration: the first ex-President to do that in a century.  ABC News describes the petulant little baby:

Trump, who remains consumed with anger and grievance over his election loss, refused and has not been seen in public since last week, when he traveled to Texas for one last photo opportunity at the border wall he pushed so adamantly throughout his presidency. In the end, he spent less than 45 minutes on the ground there and spoke just 21 minutes.

Trump has also refused to take part in any of the symbolic passing-of-the-torch traditions that have been the capstones of the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. He is boycotting not just the ceremony at the Capitol, but also passed on inviting the Bidens to the White House for a get-to-know-you meeting. And it remains unclear whether he will write Biden a personal welcome letter, like the one he received from former President Obama when he moved in.

It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day, and once again a misplaces apostrophe implies that only one person on Earth loves cheese, and it’s their holiday.

Is this the Cheese Lover?

It’s also National Buttercrunch Day, and Penguin Awareness Day. Here’s a Magellanic pengie photo that I took in Antarctica a year from last fall. Dear Ceiling Cat, let me go back!

News of the Day:

Trump’s pardons have now been issued and there are 143 in the last batch, with 73 full pardons and 70 commuted sentences. The list includes Steve Bannon, a couple of Trump’s other cronies, some convicted Republican congressmen, and, to Trump’s credit, a number of people convicted and serving time for nonviolent drug crimes, especially involving marijuana.  The release of the list was reportedly delayed by a long debate over Bannon. You can see the full list here.

I’m sure we have a winner in our “Who will get pardons?” contest, but it will take me some time to find the victor. If you remember your choices, it would help for readers who entered to match your choices with the pardon list and let me know if you were the first to get them all right. A prize will be forthcoming.

On Saturday, a team of Nepalese climbers accomplished a first: reaching the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain (28,251 ft.), in the winter. And crikey, ten of them made it to the top, having a veritable house party on the summit. No winter ascent was successful until this one.

(From the NYT): From top left: Dawa Tenji Sherpa, Mingma G, Dawa Temba Sherpa and Pem Chiri Sherpa. From bottom left: Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Nirmal Purja and Gelje Sherpa. (Not pictured: Kilu Pemba Sherpa and Sona Sherpa.) Pool photo by Nimsdai

Here’s the route from the BBC article on the ascent:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 401,823, an increase of about 2,800 deaths from yesterday’s figure. Our death toll has now exceeded 400,000, and in two days will surpass the total number of Americans killed—combatants or others—in World War II, (405,399). It took four years of war to reach that figure, but less than a year of Covid-19. The world death toll is 2,067,591, a big increase of about 16,200 deaths over yesterday’s total, or about one death every five seconds.

Stuff that happened on January 20 includes:

  • 1265 – The first English parliament to include not only Lords but also representatives of the major towns holds its first meeting in the Palace of Westminster, now commonly known as the “Houses of Parliament”.
  • 1783 – The Kingdom of Great Britain signed preliminary articles of peace with France, setting the stage to the official end of hostilities in the American Revolutionary War later that year.
  • 1788 – The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Port Jackson is a more suitable location for a colony.
  • 1841 – Hong Kong Island is occupied by the British.
  • 1887 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
  • 1929 – The first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, In Old Arizona, is released.

Here’s the whole movie if you want to have a look:

  • 1936 – King George V of the United Kingdom dies. His eldest son succeeds to the throne, becoming Edward VIII. The title Prince of Wales is not used for another 22 years.

Edward VIII of course abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson; his reign lasted a bit less than a year.  Here’s the instrument of abdication:

  • 1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner are sworn in for their second terms as U.S. President and U.S. Vice President; it is the first time a Presidential Inauguration takes place on January 20 since the 20th Amendment changed the dates of presidential terms.
  • 1961 – John F. Kennedy is inaugurated the 35th President of the United States of America, becoming the second youngest man to take the office, and the first Catholic.
  • 1981 – Twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States of America, Iran releases 52 American hostages.
  • 2009 – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America, becoming the first African-American President of the United States.

The good old days (John Roberts leads the oath:

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Trump was 70 on that day, but today Biden will become the oldest President by a long shot, as he’s 78.  The bad old days:



Notables born on this day include:

  • 1888 – Lead Belly, American folk/blues musician and songwriter (d. 1949)

Here’s Lead Belly singing “Where did you sleep last night?”

  • 1896 – George Burns, American actor, comedian, and producer (d. 1996)
  • 1920 – Federico Fellini, Italian director and screenwriter (d. 1993)
  • 1930 – Buzz Aldrin, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut
  • 1939 – Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan-English mathematician, astronomer, and biologist
  • 1953 – Jeffrey Epstein, American financier and convicted sex offender (d. 2019)
  • 1956 – Bill Maher, American comedian, political commentator, media critic, television host, and producer

Here’s Maher the other day introducing his new children’s book about Trump. (They could have written poetry that scanned.)

Those who checked out on January 20 include:

  • 1779 – David Garrick, English actor, producer, playwright, and manager (b. 1717)
  • 1900 – John Ruskin, English painter and critic (b. 1819)
  • 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet and philosopher (b. 1887)
  • 1984 – Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor (b. 1904)
  • 1996 – Gerry Mulligan, American saxophonist and composer (b. 1927)

Here’s Mulligan with his Quartet playing “Open Country”:

  • 2018 – Paul Bocuse, French chef (b. 1926)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili was left out in the cold for too long, and wasn’t noticed on the windowsill:

Hili: This is a lack of responsibility!
A: What do you mean?
Hili: For an hour now I’ve been banging on the window!
A: You went out ten minutes ago.
Hili: Exactly, and all this time I’ve been waiting for you to let me in.
In Polish:
Hili: To jest brak odpowiedzialności!
Ja: O co ci chodzi?
Hili: Od godziny dobijam się do okna!
Ja: Wyszłaś dziesięć minut temu.
Hili: No właśnie i cały czas czekam, żebyś mnie wpuścił.

Little Kulka, who loves to run, climb the trees, and play, is enjoying the recent snowfall.

Caption: And Kulka is enjoying herself. (Photo: Paulina)

In Polish: Kulka się cieszy. (Foto: Paulina.)

From reader Pliny the in Between’s The Far Corner Cafe, a dig at HuffPost (how could I resist?)

From Stephen:

A meme from Bruce:

From Titania, but sent by Simon. The big question here, whose answer I can’t find, is whether Winter was put in a women’s prison or a men’s. Winter still has male plumbing, and, given his rape conviction, would seem to be a real danger to the other inmates if put in a women’s prison.

From Jez. I find this astonishing! It’s almost a Tweet of the Year. Be sure to play the video.

Tweets from Matthew. I love this first one!

Truer words were never spoken (or, in this case, written):

Check out the cuticles of the old legs:

Mine are too!

This is a visual poem—one way of looking at a crow:

I told Matthew to get one of these for his three cats Ollie, Pepper, and Harry, and he says there have been familial discussions about that on and off:

25 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. I feel something… a feeling not unlike that immediately after a flu is over…. but more … gubernatorial….(with apologies to George Costanza)

    “No winter ascent was successful until this one.”

    Soon there’ll be a year-round resort – or more likely, refuge from the scorched hellscape near sea-level.

  2. The cheese lover for whom the day is named is me.

    Years ago we had a Border Collie that stepped on a rattlesnake (after a flooding rainfall – the snakes were all over the place because their holes were flooded). He survived, after much antivenin and ice on his leg, but he limped for a few weeks after the bite. After he recovered, he walked normally, except when you yelled at him for something, at which point he would start limping. You could tell he was faking, though; when he got tired of limping on one leg, he’d change legs and start limping on the other one.

    Matthew, I have one of those cat fountains, which we got a few years back when Pewter, my Water Boy, was still alive. It was easier than having to play water with him in the sink whenever he was there, which was always. Jerry once described Pewter as “showing up from out of nowhere”, as soon as someone opened the bathroom door, whereupon he would get up on the sink and expect you to turn the water on for him so he could splash in it. Anyway, we kept the fountain after Pewter died because the other cats like it, too, although they don’t spend nearly as much time with it.


  3. Without the 20th Amendment, inauguration day would be March 4th. Could anyone take 43 more days of the Tangerine Wanker?

  4. The Broidy pardon is interesting. There was a conspiracy theory two years ago suggesting that Broidy took a bullet for Trump when he made payments to Shera Bechard, a blond playboy model, via Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen, who had never previously worked for Broidy:

    Admittedly a very strange conspiracy theory, and one of the pieces of “evidence”, the use of the same pseudonyms in both this case and Trump’s Stormy Daniels case, is really silly — should we assume that all cases charged to John Doe refer to the same master criminal? Still, the absolute last-minute pardon adds a bit of fuel to this fire. It suggests Trump must have felt a little uneasy about scrutiny in this case. However, Broidy’s big fraud and influence-peddiling case, pardoned by Trump, was embarassing enough in itself to make Trump wait until his last day to pardon him.

    1. I can easily imagine that. I’ve no mountain climbing experience, but skiing was always just as you described, weather is everything. -10 F, clear sunny skies and no wind? Beautiful, perfect. -10 F, overcast and gusty winds? Not so nice and perceived coldness about double. And as soon as the sun goes down behind the mountains, time to head for the lodge.

      1. And then some, K2’s summit is often in the jetstream during winter, 125mph winds. The upside is that means less snow and ice to deal with, it literally gets blown clean but if your ‘window’ ends and the stream shifts to get you….

        1. That would be some serious wind-chill factor!

          I once experienced -40 F in blizzard wind conditions. I was wearing 1960’s era USAF arctic flight line gear. Taking the wind from the side it was okay. But when I turned to face the wind, I learned just how precise the metaphor “the cold cut right through” really is. It felt just like that, cutting right through all the gear.

  5. Cat water fountains are hit and miss. My last cat was interested in hers for about a day, then went back to jumping on the sink and asking for the faucet to be turned on. The grass is always greener…

      1. So not true! Get a nice ceramic one, do the weekly cursory cleaning and then a really good one once a month. Change the filter when it needs it, not necessarily on when company recommends. I too, started with one-day wonders, but this one’s been going strong for three years.

        It is the one item that truly “sparks joy” for them.

    1. And some of mine prefer the toilet. Always got to check the seat in the powder room when people are over. Sometimes litter on the seat and paw prints in the bowl.🐾🐾

  6. Yeah, Mitch is now saying the right words. Kinda late but I suppose it’ll have to do, as long as he votes the right way at the end of the trial. Anyway, his wife looks like she was dressed in case there was trouble – wool jacket and slacks and sensible footwear – no spike heels. It must have been traumatic for all of them on that Day of Infamy.

    Wrt the etiquette question, there can be no other place for the cat but in the tureen. A dry tureen of course.

    1. Mitch is moving in the right direction but he still hasn’t said he’ll vote for impeachment. I don’t think we can trust him one bit. He can blame Trump for the storming of the Capitol and still have an excuse: one or more of (a) healing the nation, (b) the good of the party, (c) can’t impeach a president who’s no longer in office, or (d) poking Dems in the eye. It is noteworthy that he hasn’t publicly called on his fellow senators to convict Trump. He’s good at counting votes and may know that impeachment will fail and wants to hang it around Dem necks.

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