Thursday: Hili dialogue

Today is August 17 11 (I misread the second numeral on my watch when I woke up, so ignore everything not in bold except the Hili dialogue. The rest applies to August 17 and you’ll see it again real soon. Genuine August 11 stuff today includes:

  • In this day in 1972, the last U.S ground combat unit left Vietnam
  • Robert G. Ingersoll, the Great Agnostic, was born on this day in 1833
  • Photographer and mountaineer Galen Rowell died on this day in 2002, killed in a light plane crash near Bishop California. His picture + narration book, In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods, about a failed attempt to climb K2, is one of the best mountaineering books I’ve read. And here’s surely his most famous photograph, a rainbow over the Potala, the former palace of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, Tibet (Ive been there, but didn’t see a rainbow):


Sue me over the rest, but if you have a black cat, get ready to celebrate it next Wednesday. 

[Aug. 17]officially Black Cat Appreciation Day. If you have one, as I did for 17 years, give it some extra kindness.  We have dozens of readers with black cats, so do right by your moggie.

On this day in 1908, Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl, considered the world’s first animated cartoon, was released. I’ve put the very short video below; Wikipedia notes that;

The film, in all of its wild transformations, is a direct tribute to the by-then forgotten Incoherent movement. The title is a reference to the “fantasmograph”, a mid-Nineteenth Century variant of the magic lantern that projected ghostly images that floated across the walls.

On this day in 1932, author V.S. Naipal (now a Nobel Laureate) was born. I find his work uneven, but A House for Mr. Biswas is a true classic. And on this day in 1983, Ira Gershwin, who with his brother George composed some of the finest songs in “the American songbook,” died at 86.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Cyrus is incensed at Hili’s implication that she is walking him, and threatens to chase her in retaliation.

Hili: You are better and better walking to heel.
Cyrus: Be careful or I will check how fast you can run.
In Polish:
Hili: Coraz lepiej chodzisz przy nodze.
Cyrus: Uważaj, bo zaraz sprawdzę jak szybko umiesz biegać.



  1. Dominic
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Also #WorldLionDay!

  2. Steve Knoll
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Black katz are the hardest to place, so my sister, the vet tech instructor, sez

    Something to keep in mind if you are adopting

  3. JoanL
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Ha! Welcome to my world (lost in time)! Is this what happens once we retire?

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      No, it’s what happens when you’re writing this post in the early morning dark and think that the second numeral of the date is a 7 rather than a 1.


      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Ha ha – that happens to me but what’s worse is I never know what day it is and wouldn’t have noticed. If it weren’t for various electronic devices, I’d probably get all mixed up about when to be at work.

        • bluemaas
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Persons, such as nurses, who work in, say, the very same week’s time period three different rotating shifts ?

          Jeeeesch ! I would arrive at work @ 11:00pm and within moments at times, particularly when charting (this was back.back.back. in the paper – only era) have no frickin’ idea of what day it was / at when I was supposed to be reporting / recording.

          I have no idea re the here and now. Are there still such rotating / three – in – one – week shift schedulings and assignments ? cuz, in my wee opinion, .those. for adulting, let alone for braining, were … … to say the least, dangerous ! Actually.


          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted August 11, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            Oh yeah. Losing track of the day has always been a problem. Until the wife got me a watch with (1) radio time/date pick up (long wave, from Mannheim, IIRC) ; (2) lots of time zones selections (including the weird quarter hour ones) ; and (3) solar cell recharging.
            Problem solved – as long as I remember to put the watch on. I don’t take the watch off.

  4. rickflick
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The 17th is going to be great! I will especially enjoy the Émile Cohl.

  5. Posted August 11, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Galen Rowell was one of my favorite outdoor photographers. RIP. I got to meet him once. He was gracious and willing to spend time talking about his work. I think I got a couple of books autographed as well … must check.

    His book Mountain Light is a classic and, best of all, provides his thoughts on technique and composition for some of his best know photographs.

    He was also an accomplished mountaineer and rock and ice climber.

    Far too soon gone and much missed.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      I think it’s in Mountain Light where Rowell relates the story behind that photo.

      He had to run, hard, for a long time, at high altitude (Lhasa is at 11,995 ft (3656m)), to align the rainbow with the palace.

      He also frequently talked about the importance of being “out there”, in place and prepared for when good light and interesting things are going to happen.

      I’ll try to remember to comment with the actual quotes from his book.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      When I was trying to be a photographer I remember reading that story in my copy of Mountain Light. Beautiful photo, like so many of his that capture a fleeting moment of beauty.

    • Posted August 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Here’s the quote:

      The potential was less than obvious when fifteen of us got out of a bus in the rain at the Lhasa Guest House, tired after a long day of sightseeing at the end of a month’s journey. We could see a dim rainbow hovering over a field miles from the famous Potala Palace, which was in deep shadow under storm clouds. Man y members of the group took photographs of it; but no one joined me to chase rainbows in the rain just as dinner was being served.

      I hopped a fence with a bag of cameras and walked diagonally away from the rainbow. It followed. I knew with each step I took I was actually seeing a different rainbow refracting from inside of a different set of water droplets. The primary arc of a rainbow always forms at a radius of 42 degrees from the around the antisolar point, directly away from the sun. If I chased the rainbow directly, it would disappear as soon as I went beyond a position where that radius intersected sunlit raindrops. My hope was to chase it sideways and use my motion to aim a rainbow at the palace roofs in a manner similar to lining up the sights of a rifle.

      Soon the rainbow grew more intense, and so did my pursuit of it. I ditched my heavy camera bag in a bush and took off running with a Nikon F3, a 75-150 zoom with polarizing filter and two rolls of Kodachrome 64. I stopped a couple of times to take “insurance shots” of the rainbow near the palace, and after nearly a mile of running, panting hard at 12,000 feet in the thin air, I reached spot where the rainbow was directly behind the palace. The convergence was nowhere near as dramatic as I had hoped it would be because the palace was dark. I took more insurance shots and weighed staying a while longer against the prospect of a cold dinner. Had Lhasa cuisine been better, I might well have decided not to wait in the rain.

      [here he includes a discussion of the Potala and its construction]

      … As if by magic, a hole opened in the sky, beaming a spot of evening light directly onto the palace. The background remained dark, and as vivid a rainbow as I have ever seen rose from the golden rooftops of the summit of Buddhism, as if some power in the palace were its source. I increased the rainbow’s intensity by further darkening the area around it. I used just enough polarization to cut some of the specular highlights from the water droplets, but not so much that I would weaken or erase the rainbow itself. With my camera braced on a wooden post, I finished off both rolls of film, regretting that I hadn’t brought a third, because only during the last few shots was the light at its best.

      Galen Rowell, Mountain Light, 1986 (First Edition), pp. 210, 211

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Galen Rowell was such an iconic figure in outdoor photography, I am always amazed to meet photographers today who have no idea who he was. We need to spread his vision! He was also a master at presenting slide shows, a lost art these days.

      I idolized Galen and once contacted him, asking if I could help him set up one of his slide shows. Although I’m sure needed no assistance, he met me before the show and gave me something to do.

      Later, I took an outdoor photography course from Galen. He invited me to join him for a 6AM run one day. I regret to this day that I didn’t go because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up with him!

  6. bluemaas
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Always on an August’s second Thursday this one, 11 August 2016, is this deal’s opening day (of ten very full ones):

    And more importantly for me in particular today ? Today 33 years ago, that is ? At the time to that point then (but, by now since … … not) and after 17 years’ worth of my courting This Killer … … the most difficult thing I had ever accomplished. Quite C O L D turkey I ceased smoking cigarettes (O, I remember well the sequence to their ends: Marlboro, Kool, Merit snd then straight Pall Mall !) and finally too, the last five of those years’ worth … … those inhaled yet filterless Swisher Sweets’ cigarillos (there’s a bit more to .that. saga) !

    One (more) o’the f – and B – ucket List done.

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