Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning; it’s Sunday, February 5, 2017, and it’s World Nutella Day. If you eat it (or even if you don’t), PuffHo has obligingly compiled “11 things you really should know if you love Nutella.” Not all of these facts are palatable: for instance, 56% of the stuff is straight sugar, and the second ingredient isn’t hazelnuts, but not-that-good-for-you palm oil. I did try it out of curiosity a while back, and wasn’t impressed. But your mileage may differ.



In Mexico it’s Constitution Day, and the U.S. it’s National Weatherperson’s Day, celebrating our public meteorologists.

On this day in 1852, the Hermitage Museum opened in St. Petersburg. I’ve been there, and it is without doubt one of the three or four greatest art museums in the world, with the added perk of being in a royal palace. On February 5, 1869, the world’s largest alluvial gold nugget, the “Welcome Stranger Nugget”, was discovered by two prospectors at Moliagul, Victoria, Australia. Its refined weight was 3,123 oz (214.1 lbs or 97 kg), and the miners received £9381 for their find— about US $3-4 million in 2013 prices. Here’s a relative of one of the finders holding a replica of the nugget:


On this day in 1917, the current constitution of Mexico was adopted, which is why it’s Constitution Day there. In 1924, the Greenwich Observatory began broadcasting its famous time signals, and on February 5, 1939, Franco became the leader of Spain. Rumor has it that he died some time ago.

Notables born on this day include Adlai Stevenson II (1900), Hank Aaron and Don Cherry (both 1934), Al Kooper (1944), Charlotte Rampling (1946), and Laura Linney (1964). Those who expired on this day include Marianne Moore (1972) and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (2008).  Meanwhile Hili is being apocalyptic:

Hili: End of the world.
A: When?
Hili: A week from now.
A: So we still have plenty of time.
Hili: That’s true.

In Polish:
Hili: Koniec świata.
Ja: Kiedy?
Hili: Za tydzień.
Ja: To mamy jeszcze mnóstwo czasu.
Hili: To prawda.

Leon, on a hiking vacation to the mountains of southern Poland, seems reluctant to go outside. I can’t believe a cat can sleep on top of a stove like that, which is undoubtedly very hot!:

Leon: Mountains? Thank you, maybe another time.


And out in Winnipeg, Gus is passing the winter by playing indoors. We have a video:

Gus was a bit lukewarm about these feather sticks until they were combined with the tissue paper.


  1. tubby
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Orson agrees that tissue paper makes everything better. He’s also a big fan of crumpled up balls of newsprint and butcher’s paper.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    It is nearly 7 am. folks…get up.

    A relative holding a replica. So authentic.
    Have never eaten nutella but will stick with the peanut butter.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      You’ll probably find that peanut butter is little better. Why, after all, use butter when you can get better shelf life using (say) canola oil blended with a surfactant and 40% v/v water and some sulphite to supress bacterial growth.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        You make that taste so bad, without trying it.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Well, it having been years since I had any peanut butter, it has similarly been years since I had opportunity to read the labels. So what do they make peanut butter with (in the real world, as opposed to the minuscule amount made at home by bored grannies).

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted February 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never heard of peanut butter made with actual butter, and can’t fathom why anybody would want that. Proper peanut butter (which is not hard to find, at least in the US) is made from nothing but peanuts and a pinch of salt, and keeps perfectly well in the refrigerator without preservatives.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          I’d have to look for peanut butter on the shelves. Since I have at least 6 months worth of toast-topper in the fridge, that isn’t going to happen soon.

    • ploubere
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m a night owl. The only reason I’d be up at 7 a.m. is if the house were on fire.

  3. Karin Lindhagen
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Franco lived, according to Wikipedia, 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975), so the rumor about his death is somewhat belated if it is still around. Unless there is an alternative fact…

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Franco rumour: it’s JAC resurrecting an old joke. Details here:

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Ah, that joke never made it to this side of the pond. I remember my Spanish teacher at the time bemoaning that he’d never felt it safe to take up his expected year of living/TEFL in Spain because of El Generalissimo. Since he was also one of the teacher’s union reps – I’d see him at Party meetings from time to time – I don’t doubt that entering Franco’s Spain would have been bad for his health.
        OTOH, following that link, I found “the show would provide assistance from Garrett Morris, “head of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing”, whose “aid” involved cupping his hands around his mouth and shouting the news as Chase read it” ; I’m sure I saw that on an episode of Family Guy, but wasn’t sure if they were making a “cultural reference” I didn’t get, or being deliberately crass. I’d put it down to the latter.

  4. Mike
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Can’t stand either, As for the Stove Cat. our glorious Leader sits right on top of the Radiator,and they are hot, but I doubt they are as hot as that Stove.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Note the ventilation slots below the counter level. I would guess that the bulk of the hot gases from that stove are funnelled into a boiler buried in the wall behind it. Machinery space between the top of the burner section and the counter.
      Basement Cat below, keeping everything warm.

  5. Dave
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Nutella is actually quite healthy when used as a dip for Twinkees.

  6. Christopher
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    There is at least one ingredient missing from the nutella pic: dead orangutans.

    I used to like that stuff, along with quite a few other treats (just about every sweet snack food from Europe) but I refuse to purchase it until they replace palm oil with a sustainable oil. I’m sure many readers here know how vile and corrupt the palm oil growers are, the devastating deforestation, including on supposedly protected parks, to grow it as a monoculture, the slaughter of all wildlife in those forests, and the sale of orphaned baby orangutans to the pet trade after their mothers have been shot. I’m forever surprised at how little attention this environmental disaster gets.

    • Posted February 5, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I agree, and I avoid palm oil for both health and environmental reasons. (On the other hand, I eat meat, so I’m somewhat of a hyprocrite.)

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      It gets plenty of attention down our way, in fact dead orangs were the first thing I thought of when I saw the ingredients listed above.

      Not that I’m a fan of brown slimy spreads anyway (though I do sometimes tolerate peanut butter).


    • reasonshark
      Posted February 6, 2017 at 4:42 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Given its monstrous environmental impact, using palm oil is an utter disgrace. Once I found out it was in Nutella, I decided not to buy another jar of the stuff ever again.

  7. Kevin
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Nutella gets a bad rap from the health nutters. NOT FAIR!

    Anyhow, my kids like local Kroger/Smiths band over Nutella. Hersheys attempt falls flat and some of the other brands are not sweet enough.

  8. Posted February 5, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Is it me, or on there a second cat — dare I say a devil cat — in that stove?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Well spotted – you clearly have an affinity to Basement Cat.

  9. Jenny Haniver
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    For those who like hazelnut spread, there are numerous recipes online and one can whip up a much healthier and tastier version at home. Here’s one It’s very easy. I’d use hazelnut or walnut oil. And if you can find hazelnut butter, it’s even easier.

  10. Avis James
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Jerry- You forgot to announce that it is Superb Owl Day!

    • Posted February 5, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Oops. See the lovely owl photos here.

      • Taskin
        Posted February 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Wow, love these photos!

    • Taz
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Kitten Bowl on the Hallmark channel.

  11. darrelle
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like Nutella. Too sweet, among other things. But chocolate hazelnut butter can be delicious. Try Justin’s brand instead. Really good on a nice apple. The crunch and sour-acidity of the apple pairs really well with the richness and sweetness of the Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter.

  12. jaxkayaker
    Posted February 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I have also visited the Hermitage Museum/Winter Palace! I was there in 1987.

  13. Posted February 5, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    For those strange people at PuffHo, there is apparently nothing sacred.
    Next, I expect them to make a similar diagram about human body, fat-shaming the readers.

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