Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning on Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, February 19, 2017. The temperatures reached another record in Chicago yesterday: the news reported a high 70° F, or 21° C. That’s a record for this date—by a long shot. And for the next couple of days it will be almost that warm. It’s National Chocolate Mint Day, but I will eschew that comestible in favor of bread pudding. In Bulgaria, my friends are commemorating Vasil Levski Day, honoring a hero of national independence.

On February 19, 1878, Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. And in 1915, the British attack on the Dardanelles began, ordered by Winston Churchill. The attack on Gallipoli in April was, of course, a total disaster for the British, but a great victory for the Ottomans–and for the reputation of Kemal Atatürk. In 1943, Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin, Australia, killing 243 people; I had no idea that Australia was ever attacked directly. On this day in 1963, Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique was published, and in 1985 the BBC began broadcasting its famous program Eastenders; I’ve never heard it, and hope that a reader will explain it and its popularity.

Notables born on this day include Nicolaus Copernicus (1473; I’ve seen his birthplace in Torun, see here), Lee Marvin (1924), Smokey Robinson (1940), Will Provine (1942), Tim Hunt (1943), Amy Tan (1952), and Seal (1963).  Those who died on this day include Ernst Mach (1915), Leo Rosten (1997), and two authors on the same day last year: Umberto Eco and Harper Lee. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Miss Hili is appropriating a prime spot next to the fireplace:

Hili: I think I will annex this place.
A: I think not, this is a place for wood.
Hili: I think I’m going to insist.
 In Polish:
Hili: Chyba zaanektuję tę wnękę.
Ja: Chyba nie, bo to jest miejsce na drewno do kominka.
Hili: Chyba będę się upierać.

In nearby Wloclawek, Leon is stopping to smell the roses, but he isn’t impressed:

Leon: Are these flowers for me? I would prefer tuna.


Lagniappe: a tw**t sent in by reader Ursula:


  1. Posted February 19, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Eastenders is a long-running BBC soap about mainly semi-criminal Cockney sparrers at various stages of clinical depression. The series holds the record for the longest-running programme without a single gag. The working title of Ha-ha Land was quickly dropped. Its popularity is explained by the fact that all its viewers have better lives than the characters.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted February 19, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Droll but very good. I have a lot to say about Eastenders but as I have never seen a single episode – I’m proud to say – I’ll resist.

    • David Coxill
      Posted February 19, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Wot he said ,they are always having to sort fings aatt .

      • Mike
        Posted February 19, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink


    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted February 19, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Lovely summary! The character Dot Cotton, who I believe appeared in the first episode and looked ancient even then, is still going strong. The actress who plays her is 90 this year. Most of the rest of the original characters have been murdered, I think. 😉

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted February 19, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Is dirty den still dead? Never really saw the appeal of the series and astonished to know that it is still on.

      Of course it doesn’t come close to The Archers in the longevity stakes, now in its 66th year (I believe) of five episodes per week. Rather lost contact with that series when I moved continents 25 years ago, but am pretty sure the Grundy family are still in trouble 🙂

      • chris moffatt
        Posted February 19, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        or “Coronation Street” – an incredibly tedious soap running since the 1950s IIRC; and so beloved by brit immigrants that CBC has been running it (still are I think)for at least 40 years and maybe more. Set in some unnamed Mancunian suburb but reputed to be Salford…..I remember the name of the Pub “the Rover’s Return” and (incredibly since I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night) one of the early characters- a lame brained ne’er-do-well named Dennis Tanner…OMG

        • Posted February 19, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Corry at least has the saving grace of humour. And Sally Dynevor who plays Sally Metcalfe, the social-climbing local councillor, is compiling one of the great comic acting performances of British TV. Yes, it’s set in working-class back-to-back Salford: Sally complains to her illiterate but sharp-minded and neighbourly husband, “Oh Tim, you should stop being so parochial!”

          She‘s very good but not as, I think, as great as Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday but then, nobody is.

  2. David Coxill
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I like Huskies ,one breed of k9 i do like .

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted February 19, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      I have reasons to like all breeds, but the Huskie is special. Rather imposing looking, but all they want is something to do. With humans. Every one I had met just wanted to be my best friend.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Love that photo from Ursula.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I thought I read about Mach yesterday on here – a solemnly interesting factoid… born the 18th, died the 19th…

  5. Billy Bl.
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The bombing of Darwin was “commemorated” in the film “Australia”, which was a failed attempt at an “epic” film. The only thing I remember about it was that Faramir was in it.

  6. Claudia Baker
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Chocolate-mint is delicious, especially Baskin-Robbins choc. mint ice cream. Now re-named “mint chip”, I think. The closest B-R to where I live is about 30 miles, so I REALLY have to want it bad! And sometimes I do…

    Spent some time in Darwin 2 years ago, and learned about the bombing, which I had never heard of either. Saw lots of pictures etc. of the destruction. Wonder why this not more widely known?

  7. somer
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Darwin was bombed via multiple Japanese air raids from the Timor Sea, although the purpose of the raids was not to be the vanguard of an invasion. The intention was to
    destroy its role as an air and naval base supporting allied operations in New Guinea or Timor, which the Japanese were about to invade.
    The Japanese had hoped if they could capture Port Moresby they could use that as a base to invade Australia.
    Sydney harbour was also attacked by 3 midget submarines in May 1942
    On 29 May, the subs did a rendezvous outside the harbour whilst a plane taking off from Japanese ‘mother ships’, I-27, I-22 and I-24 conducted the latest of a number of reconnaissance flights over Sydney providing valuable intelligence for an impending surprise attack on the numerous Allied warships anchored peacefully in the harbour. Prime targets included the cruisers HMAS Canberra and USS Chicago. On the night of 31 May the three ships, which had drawn outside the harbour entrance, each released a submarine with a mission to attack ships in the harbour

    The first midget submarine to enter Sydney Harbour, M-27[i] manned by Lieutenant Kenshi Chuman and Petty Officer Takeshi Omori, got its propellers entangled in anti-submarine nets close to the western boom gate. Unable to get away the crew decided to die with the craft which they destroyed with a charge, raising a general alarm. The second midget submarine, M-24, crewed by Sub Lieutenant Katsuhisa Ban and Petty Officer Mamoru Ashibe, successfully entered the harbour at 9.48 pm. Some time later Chicago, lying at the Man-of-War anchorage, sighted the midget’s periscope about 500 yards distant. The Chicago’s guns was unable to lower sufficiently to hit the submarine, but torpedoes from the submarine exploded under a ferry, which sank, killing 21 on board. The sub slipped away but was wrecked on Sydney’s northern beaches. Later in the early hours of 1 June the third enemy midget submarine, M-22, crewed by Lieutenant Kieu Matsuo and Petty Officer 1st Class Masao Tsuzuku, entered the harbour. It was later detected in Taylors Bay where it was depth charged repeatedly by the patrol boats, crippling the vessel. The crew also committed suicide. Only the one allied vessel – the ferry which was being used as a depot ship – was hit.

  8. Blue
    Posted February 19, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Another different-but-similar Executive Order to include deportation as well as internment.

    Another different president of the United States.

    Same United States of America:
    today in 1942:

    ” ‘Executive Order 9066 dated February 19, 1942, in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt Authorizes the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas’. National Archives Catalog. National Archives and Records Administration. February 19, 1942. ”
    from and, specifically, of reference #13 there.

    “Roosevelt authorized the deportation and incarceration with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed regional military commanders to designate “military areas” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.”[13] This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire West Coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona, except for those in government camps.[14] Approximately 5,000 Japanese Americans voluntarily relocated outside the exclusion zone before March 1942,[15] and some 5,500 community leaders arrested after the Pearl Harbor attack were already in custody.[16] But, the majority of nearly 130,000 mainland Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their West Coast homes during the spring of 1942.”


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