Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on another balmy winter day in Chicago: it’s February 20, 2017, and National Muffin Day. It’s also Presidents’ Day, formerly George Washington’s Birthday, and a federal and state holiday. Though Washington was born on February 22, 1732, the day is celebrated on the third Monday of February, i.e., today. Other Presidents can be celebrated on this day, like Jefferson or Lincoln, but those don’t include Trump. It’s also, as proclaimed by the United Nations, World Day of Social Justice, a day for bloggers to flaunt their moral purity. (Only kidding! It is a day for social justice, but one that recognizes the need to do something about it.)

On this day in 1792, George Washington signed the act establishing the U.S. Post Office. In 1816, Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville premiered in Rome, spawning a million parodies of the Figaro song. Here’s one of them, starring Tom and Jerry:

In 1835, the Concepciòn Earthquake took place in Chile; Darwin, on his Beagle voyage, was in the area and wrote about the damage. On February 20, 1877, Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake opened at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. And on this day in 1942, Edward “Butch” O’Hare shot down several Japanese bombers to become the first “ace” in World War II. He was later killed in combat, but gave his name to Chicago’s largest airport. Below is a photo of him; note in the caption that his insignia was censored out of the picture, probably so the Japanese couldn’t identify him. (The Japanese flags on the plane represent the number of enemy aircraft he shot down.)

butch_ohare

LT Edward Butch O’Hare in a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat The wartime censor has blanked out the famous “Felix the Cat” squadron insignia on this photo

But. . . here he is with Felix. Note that the cat is carrying a bomb with a lit fuse:

hersch_pahl_f6f3_vf6_1943

 

Notables born on this day include Ludwig Boltzmann (1844), Louis Kahn (1901), Ansel Adams (1902), Robert Altman (1925), Sidney Poitier (1927; he’s 90 today), Buffy Sainte-Marie (1941), Ivana Trump (1949, abandoned by The Donald for Marla Maples), Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950), and Kurt Cobain (1967). Those who died on this day include Frederick Douglass (1895), Gene Siskel (1999), and Hunter Thompson and Sandra Dee (both 2005). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is hunting from the windowsill:

A: What are you looking at?
Hili: I’m waiting to see whether this is a stone or a mouse pretending to be a grey stone.
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In Polish:
Ja: Czemu się tak przyglądasz?
Hili: Patrzę, czy to jest kamień, czy mysz, która udaje szary kamień.
Lagniappe: A LOL submitted by reader Glenda, who says this:
The photos were taken June 2016. If you can’t use them at least you might get a chuckle.
The black carved cat is a treasured gift from a son who has since died. He loved cats too. My cats are Kofi – in honour of Kofi Annan -and Minky (aka Badass and Ditzy) . They are Devon Rex half sisters who are going on nine years old now. The scene takes place on their observation tower (the fridge) where they monitor most household activities – especially food preparation, of course.
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15 Comments

  1. Dominic
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    eek! You named an airport after someone who shot down planes?!

    • Randy schenck
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      You are kidding, Right?

      • Dominic
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        right! 🙂 I just wanted to see if anyone reacted – call me Loki!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1792, George Washington signed the act establishing the U.S. Post Office.”

    This is a great factoid! I don’t think I’ll ever forget now!

  3. Richard
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    First American ace in WWII, I think you mean. Some other countries had been actually been fighting since September 1939…

    E.g. there were four RAF pilots (one British, one Polish and two New Zealanders) who were “ace in a day” in the Battle of Britain.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      PCC being from America and O’Hare being in Chicago I don’t think it would be that confusing. Besides, the term Ace is particular to the country, is it not. Different rules and different numbers depending on the place?

      • eric
        Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        It can be different, but it’s typically five.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Also typically different if you wanted to read up. Germany – generally required independent witness. They counted destroyed on the ground.
          Early in Britain required 2 destroyed and 5 driven down (out of control). Some allowed shared kills.

  4. busterggi
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Even a wooden cat has secrets.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It’s Family Day in Ontario today so thankfully no work because this insane weather is giving me crazy migraines. But it is sunny after all those months of gloom!

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Maybe the kittehs thought it was Woden not wooden. 😀

    • Glenda
      Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Hum, this pair of kittehs not very literary. Not sure they know of Woden. Life is mainly about food and soft blankets. However, we three are waiting for spring to go for walks outside – tired of watching squirrels and birds through glass.

  7. Monika
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    What a gloriously grumpy face.
    The wooden kitteh is great, at first glance I thought it was a real cat.

  8. Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    An interesting day in history. Would just like to add that on February 20 1962 John Glenn, who died recently, became the first American to orbit the earth.

  9. Nobody Special
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I see mention of Poitier I am reminded of a brilliantly played and very funny scene from an episode of Only Fools and Horses. Grandad is watching an old filmwon tv with Rodney, leading to the following (paraphrased) exchange:
    Grandad; I like that Sidney Potter, he’s a great actor.
    Rodney; It ain’t Potter, it’s Poitier.
    G; It’s Potter.
    R; No, it’s Poitier.
    The argument continues until Del enters the room.
    R; Del, will you tell Grandad that actors name?
    Del; It’s Harry Belafonte.


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