Thursday: Hili dialogue

It’s December 22, 2016, with only 3 shopping days left till Christmas and the First Day of Koynezaa. It’s also (oy!) National Date Nut Bread Day. Has any reader had this comestible in the last month? It was a staple of my childhood, but seems to have disappeared. It’s also National Mathematics Day—but only in India.

On this day in 1808, as Wikipedia reports, “Ludwig van Beethoven conduct[ed] and perform[ed] in concert at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven at the piano).” Wouldn’t you love to have been there? On this day in 1984 (and do you remember this?), Bernard Goetz shot four men on a New York City subway, claiming they were muggers and that he was acting in self defense. He was ultimately convicted of criminal possession of a weapon, served a year in jail, and was ordered to pay a $43 million fine, which of course he couldn’t do.  And, in 2001, the “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid, tried to bring down an American Airlines flight by setting off explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines. It didn’t work. Was that really 15 years ago? I grow old. . . I grow old.

Notables born on this day include Giacomo Puccini (1858), Lady Bird Johnson (1912), Diane Sawyer (1945), Maurice and Robin Gibb (1949; almost my age, except they’re both dead), and Ralph Fiennes (1962). Those who died on this day include Nathaniel West (1940), Beatrix Potter (1943; I can’t believe Google didn’t give her a rabbit doodle), Butterfly McQueen (1995), and Joe Cocker (2014).  Here in honor of Ms. Potter, is Tom Kitten getting refitted for his clothes, as he’d grown too tubby:


I love her stories!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is trying to be profound, and can’t find the Door to Friday:

Hili: We have Thursday.
A: Where?
Hili: Wherever I look.
In Polish:
Hili: Mamy czwartek.
Ja: Gdzie?
Hili: Gdzie nie spojrzę
Lagniappe: a classic “Tom the Dancing Bug” strip by Reuben Bolling, sent by reader jsp. It’s the only example of Sophisticated Theology™ I know of in a comic:


  1. Dominic
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The Tom kitten story I found very scary as a young child when the mice rolled him up in a roly poly pudding!

  2. bluemaas
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Not “profound,” Ms Hili, and certainly not at all “notable” whatsoever, today in y2016, is Thursday alright and my birthday as well. Over the years I had learnt about all of the others whom Dr Coyne names birthed this day as well, but I find out about one person I did not know until this morning also has birthday today ! that Biggest Ick Factor – Cruz = Ted Cruz.

    Saddest to me, though, about today? Mr Cocker’s death only two years ago. Since an August ago and, too, Woodstock at where I hauled on into Mr Yasgur’s dairying property for its Three Days of Wonderment then, I simply adore this former gas pipefitter – Brit’s gravely voice and persona … … so in honor of him and of today, here are two favored ones of Darling Mr Joe Cocker’s ! and, with the late Mr Cohen’s lovely lyrics, thus: !

    R I P, Mr Cocker !

    • dabertini
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Happy B-DAY, Blue!! Forgot about good old Mr. Cocker. He was brilliant. Thanks for the links.

    • darrelle
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Happy Birthday Blue! I hope you have a wonderful day. I was also an end of year, almost next year, baby.


    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Nice. You made it to Woodstock. I attended a thing by the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park that same year. My recollection is a little fuzzy.

    • Mike
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The great Joe Cocker, lover of Shepherds Pie and Yorkshire lad, here’s two versions of the Song he made completely his own the first is at Woodstock, the second was a version he did at Buck House in 2002, I prefer the latter, but he was the only guy who did it justice.

      This version had Dr Brian May Astrophysicist on Lead Guitar, and some little guy on Drums whose name escapes me.

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Happy b-day Blue! Lucky you to be at Woodstock. I was not allowed to go, even though I had friends going, had a ride with them and was 18. Parents said: “no way in hell”.

        • darrelle
          Posted December 22, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          Have you forgiven them yet?

          • Claudia Baker
            Posted December 22, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            I think, maybe, not entirely. It was, after all, the event of a lifetime.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      The happiest of B-days to the one, the only, Blue – who brings us her own form of wonderment.
      Joe – gravely voice – Cocker’s one of my favorite ever singers. Share the day, Blue, with his memory.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Bluemaas, I join the chorus to wish you a very happy birthday!

    • bluemaas
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Thank YOU ALL for the good wishes for my birthing’s day. It has been, so far, a good one, indeed, today; and yes, Mr rickflick, deaf as I am but also only @ half staff’s worth at the office today, I have quite enjoyed over its hours now the very many tunes of Mr Cocker’s ! the drummer, Mr Mike ? you perhaps ? or Mr P Collins perhaps ? Mr Cocker’s Bird on a Wire ? Besides his smashing gravelly vocals on it, I find his rendition (especially at my workstation’s desk upon such sparsely attended workdays such as this one is !) .the. finest air – piano paean on which to ever finger my pretend 88 keys’ board !

      Haaaappy, Happy Birthday, too, to you Mr darrelle ! End – o’any – years’ birthdays can
      be ‘difficult’ — what … … with everyone else’s ‘other’ activities happening now — for the day’s honoree / for its celebrant to actually have her or his special time. Flowers arrived around 8:30am this morning. So far ? Alongside everything else — décor, cards, etc — within the Front Office ? No one has noticed; at least, no one has said a word about ‘em. Nor about this particular day for me (although the house directory re All of us here states on it .the day. for each person of the joint). O well.

      And, Ms Baker / Randall / Ms Haniver, I was of majority age as well — and with Friend (& our two, soooo unnecessary – after – all, $18.00 – full three days’ worth of Woodstock Festival tickets in hand) took the train to the ‘top’ of Manhattan, stuck out our thumbs and hitched with Gretchen and Stony (so apropos as is from out of his given name … … of Winston !) a ride on in to near the highly fenced – entrance to Mr Yasgur’s farm. ~Eight miles out from it and inside Bethel territory by then, however, it was clear: all of us, if inside vehicles, were stalled at a dead – stop there was such a jam. Friend and I opened the Mercury’s back door, bid farewell to our conveyors with the promises to reunite when back inside the City, and waltzed those some several miles on in to our itty bitty spot upon Woodstock’s hillside. All fences torn down and no tickets taken by the time we actually arrived to it that Friday !

      Friend and I did reunite with Gretchen and Stony: about a week later and only three blocks’ total distance away from our own brownstone walkup on the City’s West Side, we again boogied on over to their living room — at where, because he felt himself so inspired to do so, — Stony placed in to its fireplace of theirs all — absolutely all — of his phd program’s writings: its notes, literature review and chapter drafts, anything thesis – connected — and burnt it all the way down to its ash. Done. He declared himself done.

      My parents, Ms Baker ? When I got back to Iowa — after finishing out in January 1971, a bsn – program of my own at Cornell University’s New York Hospital School of Nursing (all upon m’own dime and itself long closed down now) — my own mother, adult and a labor and delivery room, postpartum and nursery – worker bee of society’s citizenry already that I myself was by that return — pronounced me “a slut” and that “there was 99% nudity” at “that horrible Woodstock place.” She knew this (“to be true”), of course, cuz that is what the local news reports had informed such rural Iowans thereof ! For sure !


      … … “the event of a lifetime” to be sure ! As a fact and after some few other accomplishments within my own endeavors, my three sons, each of them long into their late 30s now, when introducing me to their peoples whom I have never before met — do so — still — only with the one purred précis that, “And this is our ma. She was at Woodstock.”

      That which Mama, dead some decade & a ¼, would find, though, even more horrendous, I am thinking, is .that. which for years now I have, on my birthday, right exactly upon the very day that she herself was in labor and bulldozing me out — and with my father alongside her celebrating, too, this very day as his own 28th birthday as well then, — I have on my birthday renewed my annual membership within the Freedom From Religion Foundation, that entity with .the. hardest – working attorneys and others for All of Our Overall Freedoms — Ever !

      May I, today, recommend that AllYa’All, if you haven’t already, do the same ?! Here: !

      From its late Ms Anne Gaylor and the FFRF whilst “away with the (m)anger,”

      “At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.

      There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.

      There is only our natural world.

      Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

      O ! so it does !

      Again, my thanks !

      And oyster stew downed with, as well, a cordial of Templeton Rye, the Good Stuff (& soooo .not at all. that Other’s muck !), for suppertime’s comestibles — all with which to (scientifically) mark this: m’Next Go ‘Round the Sun ! Not ?!


      • Claudia Baker
        Posted December 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        My parents too, saw those ‘nudie’ pictures from Woodstock after the fact. They were probably very relieved they did not let me go. Because, for sure, I would have been one of those nudes in the water, having a great time. No question about it. haha

        Man-oh-man, I wish I had been there though. Must have been wonderful!

        • GBJames
          Posted December 22, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          I was a student in Madison at the time and didn’t have the money (or car) to make the trip. I had a roommate who did, though.

          Stayed home and got stoned. 😉

          • Claudia Baker
            Posted December 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


  3. dabertini
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Happy first day of Koynezaa!! I’ll be celebrating with a steak dinner!!

    • GBJames
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      No! It starts 3 days from now! (The phrasing is ambiguous.)

    • George
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      How many days of Koynezaa are there? And what should I expect my true love to give me on the first (and subsequent) day of Koynezaa?

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 22, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Drosophila in a pear tree.

  4. darrelle
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    My amazingly talented wife painted a series of Beatrix Potter’s characters on the walls of our children’s nursery. Each one was “framed” in an oval outlined with an artificial ivy-like vine to give the appearance of looking out the window of a fanciful under-hill critter dwelling.

    I was really impressed at how good they turned out. I knew she had artistic talent but had never seen her do something like that before. The room is now my 12 year old sons bedroom. He likes the paintings well enough that he has declined offers to repaint the walls, though the ivy has long since been removed.

  5. Claudia Baker
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Ralph Fiennes is my true love. He just doesn’t know it…

    • bluemaas
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      O, quite, Ms Baker!

      T R U E this is
      in its entirety
      re ALL of mine, as well !


      ps One’s initials are V P M
      with the exact same birthing day
      as one of m’grandbambina’s:
      20 October !

      He so dudn’t know ‘this fact’ either !

  6. prinzler
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    God-man is a great comic. An archive is at

    One of my favorites (can’t remember the title) is when God-man goes away instead of capturing a criminal, leaving the criminal to descend into existential angst wondering when or if God – Man will punish him, whether his angst is the punishment itself, etc., with the last panel showing God-man back home saying “Wheh, I DIDNT leave the stove on!”

    • prinzler
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Correction: God-man DID leave the coffee (no the stove) on.

      The title is “Crime or Punishment”

    • busterggi
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Still, God Man somehow reminds me of the Spectre with just a touch of Fantomah.

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      I like God-man vs. Charles Darwin. I used to have that hanging on my office door.

    • Posted December 22, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, great….

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    God-Man is great. If only I had a slice of my dear mother’s homemade date nut bread to go with my coffee while I read God-Man, my morning would be perfect.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    And it’s the birthday of the entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre (1823), whose wonderful books on insects enchanted me as a child. They still do.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Re: God-Man Comics

    Ironically, early Superman comics had him flying off the handle a bit, until editors decided they had to make him more cool, calm, and collected.

    As Wikipedia reports,
    “In the original Siegel and Shuster stories, Superman’s personality is rough and aggressive. The character often attacks and terrorizes wife beaters, profiteers, lynch mobs, and gangsters in a rough manner and with a looser moral code than audiences today might be used to. Although not as ruthless as the early Batman, Superman in the comics of the 1930s is unconcerned about the harm his strength may cause. He tosses villainous characters in such a manner that fatalities would presumably occur, although these are seldom shown explicitly on the page. This came to an end in late 1940 when new editor Whitney Ellsworth instituted a code of conduct for his characters to follow, banning Superman from ever killing”

    An example of him dealing with a wife-beater

    • busterggi
      Posted December 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Of course back then Supes was a notorious vigilante actively pursued by the police who,being just as dumb as criminals, never got that shooting him was pointless.

      In fact if you listen to the original syndicated radio episodes you learn that Supes does everything he can to conceal his existance from everyone so that he is a mysterious Batmanish character.

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