Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s December 12, 2016—two weeks till Boxing Day. And it’s both National Cocoa Day (appropriate given the amount of snow and the cold temperatures here) and also National Ambrosia Day, a fruit salad made with a variety of things that don’t meld well (Wikipedia gives the most common ingredients as fresh or sweetened pineapple, mandarin oranges or fresh orange sections, miniature marshmallows, and coconut. I’m not too fond of it, but I’d eat it if it were the only dessert on tap. It’s also Kanji Day in Japan, an unusual holiday in which the Japanese vote on a written character that best represents the events of the year. I’m not sure how it works, for this year’s character is already on Wikipedia as having been chosen. Perhaps the character is first chosen by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society, and then there’s simply a yes or no vote. Japanese-knowledgable readers, please weigh in.

Here’s this year’s kanji:


And the explanation:

High number of gold medals won at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the shift to minus interest (“interest rate” is “kinri” in Japanese), Trump’s U.S. presidential election victory, and Piko Taro, singer of ‘PPAP’, who’s known for wearing a gold-colored animal print outfit.

On this day in 1911, Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital city of India. A good thing, too, as Delhi is much nicer (I’ve been to both places). In 1935, Himmler started the Lebensborn project, a scheme to increase the production of more Aryan types. Exactly 6 years later, Hitler announced his plan to exterminate the Jews, though I’m dubious of that Wikipedia entry since I know of no formal document or announcement of that, beyond Hitler’s intimations in Mein Kampf.  On December 12, 1963, Kenya became independent of the UK, and, in 2000, the infamous Bush v. Gore decision came down from the Supreme Court, effectively declaring GW the President.

Notables born on this day include John Jay (1745), Gustave Flaubert (1821), Edvard Munch (1863), Edward G. Robinson (1893), Frank Sinatra (1915), Ted Kennedy (1925), Buford Pusser (1937; I just wanted to write his name), Dickey Betts (1943, and, amazingly, still alive), and Jennifer Connelly (1970 ♥). Those who died on this day include Robert Browning (1889), Tallulah Bankhead (1968), and Joseph Heller (1999).

Here’s a very early Sinatra song: “Night and Day,” one of my favorites. The writer was Cole Porter.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is still pondering the meaning of meaning (something philosophers do all the time, and get paid for it!). Her staff has just purchased a new camera, too, so we can expect some nice new pictures in the next week:

Hili: There are moments when I wonder.
A: Frankly speaking, me too.
In Polish:
Hili: Są momenty kiedy się zastanawiam.
Ja: Szczerze mówiąc, ja też.

It’s cold and snowy out in Winnipeg, and Gus spends his time watching the world on his Katzenbaum, as well as nomming his new box. He’s started doing that again, and has shredded nearly one whole side:




  1. Posted December 12, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Jerry, there’s a National Cocoa Day?
    Good to know. Busting out the cocoa powder from Venezuela and whipping up some hot chocolate. 38F here and kinda grayish outside so this is perfect. Thanks for the heads up.

    Carl Kruse

    • rickflick
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      These national food days are having a damaging effect on my health. Must cut back. Must cut back. Must cut back…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Waiting for “National Cutback Day” … still waiting … There must be a National Society For the Promotion of Self-Denial somewhere – even if they struggle to get members.

  2. David Duncan
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    “Notables born on this day include … Ted Kennedy (1925)…”

    Is there another Ted Kennedy that I’ve never heard of? From Wikipedia:

    Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Joseph Heller always to be remembered for Catch 22. Such a notable movie was created from the book and not often that this occurs. Perhaps can only be appreciated most by those who did some time in the service.

    • Posted December 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      First I read Catch 22 and wasn’t crazy about it, then I listened to the Audio book and liked it a little more but I really fell in love with the movie adaptation though. In my opinion it’s one of those rare cases where the movie is equal to or arguably better than the book. I’m retired from the Army and recognized most of those characters from my time in the service.

      • Merilee
        Posted December 12, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        I liked the book MUCH better than the movie. I don’t think the film captured the black humor as well as the book. I could read the book over and over again.

  4. David Duncan
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    “…Hili is still pondering the meaning of meaning (something philosophers do all the time, and get paid for it!). His staff…”

    Has Hili had a sex change we haven’t been told about? 🙂

    • Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Oy, I’ll fix! Hili is still female, and her preferred pronoun is “her Highness.”

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    If you go here:

    There’s a link re. Dec 12 in the Planning the Conference para about a meeting Hitler had with other Nazi leaders, leading up to the Wannsee meeting.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      very good. When PCC mentioned it I though, final solution was the NAZI preferred term. Extermination was too open for them. Kind of like the South, prior to the civil war and their peculiar institution.

  6. Merilee
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Love the early Frankie songs, especially Night and Day, but what the heck is with the André Rieu-ish ( Lawrence Welkish) production? I guess this must be from a movie?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      The Youtube page says it’s from “Reveille with Beverly,1943. I love the later Sinatra, or should I say the middle period, but this early “Night and Day” is mighty fine.

  7. jaxkayaker
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I agree with your assessment of Jennifer Connelly. She’s a solid actress and a beautiful woman.

    I recommend sprinkling cinnamon in your hot cocoa. It improves the flavor.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I’m curious how other readers feel about these ♥ confessions of Jerry’s, not in terms of whether Connelly in particular should get one, but whether anybody should get one. I confess that to me it’s starting to seem like Too Much Information, and I find myself cringing a bit every time I see one in the list of today’s birthdays.

      But maybe that’s just me.

      • Posted December 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it’s just you.

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          Looks like you might be right. My curiosity has been satisfied. I won’t bring it up again.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      I recommend sprinkling cinnamon in your hot cocoa.

      Hmmm not heard that one before. [Checks cupboard] May try it later.

      It improves the flavor.

      Of the cinnamon, or of the cocoa?

      • Merilee
        Posted December 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Or buy the Mexican chocolate ( round) bars, which already have lots of cinnamon added, and which melt nicely in hot choc.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Idea filed in case I see the product in the future. Never heard of it before. (Not a lot of Mexican culture in pre-Trump Britain, though when the refugee wave starts to arrive – who knows.)

  8. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The Wikipedia article on Dec 12 entry on Hitler has a link to this article
    which clarified the announcement of plans to wipe out the Jews.

  9. Steve
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    The Wannsee conference was -Jan.20, 1942.
    I believed they finalized plans for extermination of the Jews and named the cities that they would place the camps for the dirty deeds.

%d bloggers like this: