Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Christmas Eve: December 24, 2016. That means there’s only one frenetic shopping day left till Xmas and the First Day of Koynezaa. And, yes, it’s National Egg Nog Day. Now I know people claim that they’ve had good eggnog, and I’m sure that somewhere on this planet lurks a drinkable specimen—but I’ve not had it. (I anticipate serious objections from the readers.) But all things told, I’d rather have a mulled wine or a Moscow Mule. It’s also the pagan festival of Mōdraniht .

On this day in history, the Ku Klux Klan was formed in 1865; and 103 years later, the crew of Apollo 8 began orbiting around around the Moon. They were the first humans to do this, and performed ten such orbits. Not much else happened this day in history, as one would expect given its proximity to the holidays, at least in the West. What is remarkable, however, is the number of people who were born or died on this day, perhaps the latter trying to hold on till Xmas.

Notables born on this day include Kit Carson (1809), Matthew Arnold (1822), Baby Dodds (1898), Joseph Cornell (1903), I. F. Stone (1907), Ava Gardner (1922; ♥), Scott Fischer (1955; died on Everest 1996), Carol Vorderman (1960), and Ricky Martin (1971). Those who died on this day include Vasco da Gama (1524), Johns Hopkins (1873), John Muir (1914), Peter Lawford (1984), Norman Vincent Peale (1993), John Boswell (1994; a gay man who became a great scholar of religion and homosexuality and a professor at Yale, he lived across the hall from me during my junior year at William and Mary, and died of AIDS at only 47), Harold Pinter (2008), Jack Klugman (2012), and Buddy DeFranco (2014).  Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a holiday message for her fans and readers:

To all our readers, both those who believe in different strange gods and those who do not believe in any god except Bastet, I want to express my heartfelt meow.
In Polish:
Wszystkim naszym czytelnikom, zarówno tym, którzy wierzą w różnych dziwnych bogów, jak i tym, którzy nie wierzą w żadnego poza Bastet, składam serdeczne miau.
And out in icebound Winnipeg, Gus is chilling indoors. Here he’s having some tea with his staff:
And here he’s indulging in one of his favorite indoor pastimes: watching bird videos:



  1. philfinn7
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Enjoying a mulled wine at this very moment Jerry – in Singapore. Cheers.

  2. bric
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Happy Festivus! everyone, may the Ceremony of Resentment refresh us all

  3. Gasper Sciacca
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The drinkable specimen is called Tom & Jerry.

  4. Posted December 24, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Didn’t notice it before: Polish and German cats speak the same language, for example the common word “miau”. I wonder if german-cat-polish produces more faithful results than trying to map german/polish onto each other.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Cat interpreters – I wonder how that would go.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Cat interpreters – I wonder how that would go.

        This should cover a very large chunk of the important communications.

    • George
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      In Polish, miau would be pronounced as a three syllable word. “mi” is pronounced like the English word “me”. “a” is pronounced like “ah” and “u” like “oo” as in moo or shoot. So say it fast – me+ah+oo. Sounds like meow.

      • Posted December 24, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Some things are Serious Business. After extensive research of hundreds of seconds, involving the newest research methods unimaginable just twenty years ago, I found that I was mistaken, and I regret having to withdraw my hypothesis for the further improvement of neigbourly friendship. I was wrong. In fact cats meow extremely differently as to render communication between felines of Poland and Germany practically impossible.

        German Miau is [miˈaʊ̯]. Characteristic is the entirely missing “w” at the end, which is not even suggested, but exists in vestiges in other germanic languages(compare Dutch vrouw and German Frau). So it is more like two syllables, you have to move your jaw quite a lot, Me – eeau. The second syllable is also rendered as “jau” with the J pronounced like in “Jan”. English speakers typically don’t know the sound, and have a hard time pronouncing it (it’s common in Scandinavian languages, and they often have it in their English accent when they prounce “jump”). Anyway, polish Miau is totally different and is pronounced like [mʲaw]. English is [mjaʊ̯] and thus somewhat like the German (since iau is pronounced “jau”).

        In short, German [miˈaʊ̯] versus Polish [mʲaw]. Glad that a diplomatic catastrophe was averted in the last moment.

  5. Ken Pidcock
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I love eggnog, perhaps because, when I was a kid, it was the only way my mother could get me to consume eggs.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Shouldn’t it be: The only way my mother could get me to consume eggs was because I love eggnog.

      Ether way, I love eggnog too. 8)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      When I was sick in the summer, my baby sitter made me (and her three boys – also sick) egg nog. It was delicious. I think the home made stuff is milkier.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I would pass on the Festivus and just watch some bird videos with Gus.

    • bric
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      But the concatenation of Jerries . . . !
      (Coyne – Stiller – Seinfeld)

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted December 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes well, we could name all the birds tweety if that would help. At least there was no sitting around singing those Xmas songs. Nothing makes me head for the clicker quicker.

  7. Posted December 24, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I had made a reference to an eggnog recipe in a previous thread and here’s the recipe (It’s from Fanny Farmer):

    Holiday Eggnog

    Make at least a week before serving and let it mellow. Ladle from a big punch bowl into small cups and sprinkle with nutmeg (must be freshly grated per my tastebuds).

    12 eggs yolks
    12 egg whites
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 quart heavy cream, beaten
    1 quart milk
    1 quart bourbon whiskey
    1 cup rum

    Beat egg yolks with 1 cup sugar and salt until very light. Beat whites until stiff and beat in 1/2 cup sugar. Combine and beat until thoroughly blended. Beat in cream, then milk. Stir in whiskey. Beat well. Add rum. Pour into gallon jug (extra in quart jar). Store in cool cellar. Shake thoroughly. Serves 30.

    The nog can be stored in the fridge or a cool cellar. The copious amount of booze will cancel out any danger raw eggs may present (such concern is overblown anyway according to some experts). Get doing! And you can have it for New Year Eve which is when I prefer getting soused.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Looks more like a booze fest for those with ulcers.

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted December 24, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Seems much like a recipe I used to follow, only we’d set the egg whites aside (refrigerated!), then beat and fold them in just before serving.

  8. John Dentinger
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Gus appears to be watching the Ontario Feeder Cam, hosted by Tammie & Ben Hache, in Manitouwadge, ON.
    I encourage everyone to watch all the Cornell Ornithology affiliated Feeder Cams, and to support Cornell’s work by joining Feeder Watch! Happy Koynezaa, everyone!

  9. Posted December 24, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Have a Karefree Koynezaa, everyone.

    And thanks to the PCC for his many interesting posts over the past year.

  10. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to know more about the secret history of the Klan’s space program.

  11. Diane G.
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Hili, happy holidays to you, and your staff as well!

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