Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning—especially to those of you bummed out by another week of work. But cheer up: it’s Chop Suey Day, as well as International Day Against Nuclear Tests. You can’t do much about the latter, and I can’t really recommend trying the culturally appropriated “Chinese” dish. But for Leisure Fascists and Food Police, it’s also “More Herbs, Less Salt Day.” What’s next: “National Coffee Enema Day”? Why don’t we have “Eat a Big Steak Day”?

On this day in 1911, Ishi, a member of the Yahi Tribe of Native Americans, walked into Oroville, California, searching for meat. He was 50 years old, starving, and the last recorded Native American to make contact with white colonizers (the rest of his tribe and family had died or been killed). He spent the remaining years of his life in an apartment in the Anthropology Museum of UC Berkeley, being a subject for study. Lacking immunity to “Western” diseases, he was often sick, and died of tuberculosis in 1916. On August 29, 1966, the Beatles performed their last paid concern before fans in Candlestick Park, San Francisco.

Notables born on this day include Temple Grandin (1947) and Michael Jackson (1958). Those who died on this day include Ingrid Bergman (1982) and bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards (2011), whom I once signed up as entertainment for a charity gig here in Chicago. Lovely guy, and I didn’t know he died till I looked up today’s events. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is trying to be fearsome:

A: Why are you rushing to me?
Hili: To show you how sharp my claws are.
In Polish:
Ja: Dokąd pędzisz?
Hili: Pokazać ci jakie mam ostre pazurki.

And Leon is near the end of his hiking trip in southern Poland:

Leon: I don’t really feel like running, it’s too hot.


Finally, here are two new photos of Gus chilling in Winnipeg:


This is my favorite cat pose: reclining with both front paws tucked into the chest:



  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    What’s next? … next? … whaddya do with your coffee, drink it?!

  2. rickflick
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Ingrid Bergman – favorite of mine. I remember feeling quite sad when she died.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      You’ll always have Paris, kid.

      • Art
        Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        She was incredibly beautiful. I so envied Gary Cooper in “For Whom the Bell Tolls….”

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Hitchcock used her to great effect, too, opposite Cary Grant in Notorious, and Gregory Peck in Spellbound.

          Still, she’ll always be Ilsa to me.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      In interview with Ingrid Bergman’s daughters(2003):

  3. Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Apropos the photograph of Gus next to the blue watering can, in our household, we refer to this pose as “pawtucket”, as in “Gus is on the patio, all nice and pawtucket.”

    • Taskin
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Ha! I like pawtucket, I will be using your word henceforth! 🙂

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “National Coffee Enema Day” makes less sense than “National Coffee Diuretic Day”. 🤓

  5. Christopher
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    And according to that link, it’s also been Admit You’re Happy month…Gee, if only I’d have known, I wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble to have a major bout of depression. Plus, it’s also Romance Awareness month, which is great for me, the perpetually (probably terminally) single guy.

    seriously, who comes up with this special day or month crud?

  6. Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I’m interested in salt as the skeptical cardiologist ( so I clicked on the link for the absolutely ridiculous “more herbs, less salt day” and it goes to a site entitled “holiday” and fails to open.
    What gives, Jerry?

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    ‘What’s next: “National Coffee Enema Day”? ‘

    I’ve had an idea. Does anyone think we could get a ‘National Do Something Stupid Day’ off the ground? (Or does every day qualify as that, somewhere?)


  8. Hempenstein
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Highly recommend the 1961 book on Ishi. Cheap copies abound. It seems to have been reprinted in 2011, too.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      A terrific play on Ishi premiered in SF about 10 years ago, one of the few plays by Rhinoceros theatre not on gay themes.

      After Ishi’s death, anthopologist Alfred and Theodora Kroeber begat science-fiction novelist Ursula K. LeGuin whose writings reflect a lot of the Ishi experience, far more profoundly than the film Avatar.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    On this date in 1957, South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond began the longest filibuster in US Senate history, in an effort to stop passage of a weak civil rights statute that did little but make lynching a federal crime (something congress hadn’t been able to accomplish over the previous 90 years).

    The distinguished senator from the Palmetto state said “[t]here aren’t enough federal troops to force southerners to accept the nigger race into their theaters and swimming pools …”

    Just heard about it on NPR.

  10. Alastair Haigh
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    In case anyone is unaware, the style of feline repose mentioned is often described as the “catloaf”. See the following link for some more examples of loafing:

    • David Harper
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      A pedant writes: the true catloaf pose has no visible paws, as the linked gallery illustrates. Gus is pawtucket, as his front paws are curled around him.

    • Taskin
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink


  11. Posted August 29, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    There’s a Chinese restaurant I get takeout from occasionally that actually has chop suey on the menu (I’ve never seen it at another Chinese restaurant). I tried it once, and both liked it and realized it would be easy to make something similar at home… and so I do occasionally. A simple stir-fry, not really Chinese cuisine but a quick, satisfying meal.

    There’s a lot to be said for quick, satisfying meals when you’re tired and hungry.

  12. Posted August 29, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    More Herbs, Less Salt… I’ll go for the More Herbs part. I have high blood pressure (well-controlled) and salt was considered a big evil for a long time for me. I had to change my cooking style, and I embraced herbs with enthusiasm. I think it made me a much better cook. I never gave up on salt (or more often, potassium chloride), just moderated it. I also tend to run potassium-deficient, so KCl is good for me. But on the table, I serve real NaCl.

  13. Posted August 29, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    “More herbs, less salt” *and* Chop Suey Day?

    I think those are at odds!

    Anyway, from what I’ve gathered over the years, “chop suey” is just “leftovers”. (In Cantonese-American, anyway.)

  14. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    “the last recorded Native American to make contact with white colonizers”

    This claim had me confused at first, since presumably there are Native American infants making their first contact with white people even today.

    So I clicked through to the Wikipedia article on Ishi to learn more, and now I’m even more confused. According to that article, Ishi’s first contact with whites happened in 1865, at age four, when white settlers drove his tribe from their homes. He then spent 44 years as a fugitive from white civilization, escaping another attack by white surveyors in 1908. After three more years alone in the wilderness, he walked into Oroville in 1911.

    So while Ishi may well have been the last of his kind, it turns out to be not so easy to say exactly what kind that was.

    As a side note, the anthropologist who took Ishi in, Alfred Kroeber, was the father of author Ursula K. Le Guin.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      And sub.

  15. harrync
    Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    In the August 24 “Pearls Before Swine”, Rat tries to create “International Day that Celebrates Nothing Day”, only to be informed, he is too late – it is already “Waffle Day.”

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