Wednesday: Hili dialogue

We’re already into the third day of August, 2016, and it’s Esther Day, commemorating the death of blogger and author Esther Earl, who succumbed to cancer at age 16 on this day in 2010. Earl was the inspiration for the bestselling book and movie The Fault In Our Stars, a movie that’s available on every flight I take, but which I can’t bear to watch.

Also on this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail with his three ships from Spain, ultimately arriving in the Caribbean islands and Cuba (he did not land in North America). In 1811, this day marked the first ascent of the Jungfrau by the Meyer brothers, and, in 1936, Jesse Owens won the 100-meter dash at the Berlin Olympics, upsetting Hitler.

Notables born on this day include Rupert Brooke (1887), Tony Bennett (1926; he’s 90 today, and still singing!), and Martin Sheen (1940). Those who died on this day include Joseph Conrad (1924), Colette (1954), Lenny Bruce (1966), Henri Cartier-Bresson (2004), and Bobby Hebb (2010). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is making jokes about my book:

Jerry: And what are we going to talk about?
Hili: Facts; there is no use talking about faith.
In Polish:
Jerry: I o czym będziemy rozmawiać?
Hili: O faktach, nie ma co mówić o wierze.

In Wroclawek, Leon is complaining that his specially ordered treats haven’t arrived. What a spoiled cat!

Leon: Oh, no! They didn’t deliver my treats from Ontario* again.

13872942_1211285962225336_7233845428661258435_n*Ontario is a Canadian firm producing cat treats which aren’t available in Poland.)
In Winnipeg, Gus once again got into the catnip in the garden, and he’s baked:

And special lagniappe today: readers Gethyn and Laurie in London have named the visiting next-door cat “Jerry Coyne.” Jerry sometimes comes over to visit their own cat, the famous espresso-drinking Theo (more about Theo on August 8). Here’s Jerry showing typical cat behavior “Follow me and pet me. . . wait, no, don’t. Rub my belly. . . no, don’t!”


  1. John Frum
    Posted August 3, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Goodness, I think this is the first time I’ve been first to comment.
    It must be because I’m in Oz and usually only read the website in the morning.
    Anyway, who likes cheese?
    Tonight I have made some blue cheese which is draining and some quark which is doing whatever quark does (I’ve never made it before).
    I put out some of the whey from the blue cheese for my cats but only one of them was interested in it and only had a few sips.
    I’ll probably try to make ricotta from it.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 3, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Leon hears the famous reply – It’s in the mail.

    In four trips Columbus never made it to North America. However, he was pretty sure that China was just around the corner.

    • davidintoronto
      Posted August 3, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      If it came up as a game show question, I’d say that Cuba was in North America.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 3, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Maybe your definition. Many tend to think of North America as referring to the continent and continents don’t usually go out into the water looking for islands. Usually referred to as Canada, United States and Mexico. Some include central america.

    • George
      Posted August 3, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Columbus did reach the North American mainland on his fourth voyage. Central America is part of North America. He explored what is now Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. On hos third voyage, he made it to South America – present day Venezuela.

      John Cabot (in 1497) was the first European to reach either Canada or USA post Columbus (well after the Norse and maybe others) when he reached Newfoundland for the British. The first European to reach what is now the USA post-Columbus was Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 near what is now St. Augustine, Florida.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 3, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Again, your definition. You can find many sites on the subject that say no, he did not land in North America, because those don’t happen to include central america. He was looking for Asia and most importantly gold.

        • George
          Posted August 3, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          I have always been confused by the separation of Central American from NA. In terms of geography, CA is part of the NA continent. CA (excluding Belize) speaks Spanish while the rest of NA (i.e. USA and Canada) speak English. The separation of the two may be cultural but geographically, one continent.

  3. Posted August 3, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Nice reflection in the eyes of Cyrus.

  4. tubby
    Posted August 3, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Orson always surprises me in the his invitations to rub his belly are real rather than a trap. He loves a good belly rub, and usually only grabs your hand to direct you to where he wants the rub. Sometimes there’s still the drift from happy rubs to bear trap mode, so I have to be careful.

  5. colnago80
    Posted August 3, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    In other deaths, the Nobel Prize winning chemist, Egyptian born Ahmad Zewail died yesterday in California. Zewail was one of only 2 Muslims to be awarded the prize and one of only 2 Arabs (Algerian born Claude Cohen Tannoudji, who is Jewish) was the other).

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 3, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve only seen about 15 minutes of Fault/Stars. Critics who liked it praised it for not being manipulative or exploitative while the negative reviews found it emotionally inert. Based on what I saw, I would say both are correct.

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