Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Hump Day, Wednesday, October 19: exactly one week before I flee the U.S. to escape the election (I already voted) and to talk and eat good food in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China.  In Albania, it’s Mother Teresa Day (marking the day she was beatified in 2003), and the less said about that the better.

On this day in 1512, Martin Luther became a doctor of theology, and the rest is history. Also on this day, but in 1812, Napoleon began his punishing retreat from Moscow. In 1900, it was on October 19 that Max Planck discovered his “law” of black-body radiation—the formal inception of quantum physics. In 1960, the U.S. imposed its formal trade embargo against Cuba, which continues in a modified form in this day (no Cuban cigars for you!). And 11 years ago today, Saddam Hussein went on trial for crimes against humanity, ultimately leading to his conviction and hanging.

Notables born on October 19 include Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910, for a short while one of my colleagues in Chicago), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Peter Tosh (1944), and Deborah Blum (1954). Those who died on this day include Jonathan Swift (1745), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1950), and cellist Jacqueline du Pré (died at age 42 in 1987 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is thinking Deep Thoughts while Mr. Cyrus contemplates a nap.

Cyrus: I’m going in.
Hili: I will indulge in contemplation a moment longer.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Wracam do domu.
Hili: Ja jeszcze chwilę będę kontemplować.

And in Wloclawek, Leon has taken it upon himself to oversee the neighbor’s harvest:

Leon: I’m supervising the beetroot harvest.


Finally, out in icebound Winnipeg, Gus continues to nom his box. This time he’s discovered the joys of gnawing on the sturdy corner:


  1. Posted October 19, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    On this day in 1512, Martin Luther became a doctor of theology, and the rest of history.

    Typo there – the end of the sentence should be … the rest is history.

  2. Dominic
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Birth & death day of Sir Thomas Browne 1605-82

    Sleep is a death; oh, make me try
    By sleeping what it is to die,
    And as gently lay my head
    On my grave as now my bed.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Leon is correct, cats are born supervisors.

    Gus looks to have the best teeth in Canada.

  4. bric
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Also born on this day John le Carre and Philip Pullman.

  5. Posted October 19, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I miss seeing Hili’s face. Seeing it makes a good beginning to any day.

  6. Posted October 19, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Hili and Cyrus have such great conversations. I should create dialogues for the kitties at Bag of Nails.

  7. rickflick
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I just read the Wikipedia entry on Max Planck – a remarkable fellow – and what struck me was how he and Einstein (who were good friends) were both very reluctant to accept the implications of quantum mechanics being developed by the younger generation of physicists. The ideas they themselves had initiated they found hard to swallow when followed through to their logical conclusion.

    Planck wrote “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

    • Posted October 19, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      “Science proceeds one funeral at a time.”

    • Posted October 19, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Except Planck, at least in some fields, was wrong about “new generation”. See David Hull, _Science as Process_.

  8. jaxkayaker
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I believe I read that it will soon be possible to obtain Cuban cigars legally in the U.S.

  9. Peter
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Gus does not heed the advice on his box: “Manger frais”!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 19, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Since when did a cat follow advice? 🙂

      Gus can proceed with impunity. He knows from experience that his staff will clean up any mess he creates, and will even provide him with a new box once he’s destroyed this one.

      • Taskin
        Posted October 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Gus knows all these things…and more…

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted October 19, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I bet he does! 🙂

  10. Posted October 19, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    “Mr. Cyrus”?

    Assuming that Cyrus’ name is his given name, and not a family name, that’s an Arab address of great respect, from what I am told … unusual for a dog as target … 😉

  11. Posted October 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I find it positive that Albania, a Muslim-heritage country, honors a Christian. I have stated there before that if I am ordered to move to a Muslim-majority country of my choice, I’d immediately opt for Albania.

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