Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning: it’s Sunday, May 28, 2017, and the second day of America’s Memorial Day weekend. So far the weather has been sunny and glorious, but we have thunderstorms predicted for today. So far, though, it’s just a bit overcast and hazy. Here’s the city from my crib at about 5 a.m.

It’s National Brisket Day, and the best way to eat that is Texas style–barbecued slowly and sliced, with a bit of sauce. It’s also Menstrual Hygiene Day, which you can read about at the link.  Here’s a photo of the doings in India:

On this day in 1588, the Spanish Armada sailed from Lisbon: 130 ship and 13,000 men intending to overthrow Queen Elizabeth. It didn’t work. On May 28, 1871, the Paris Commune fell after ruling barely two months. In 1892, John Muir started the Sierra Club, still an active organization, and in 1937, the Volkswagen company was founded. On this day in 1951, the BBC broadcast the first episode of The Goon Show, an influential comedy broadcast that had a huge influence on the genre in Britain, inspiring the creators of Monty Python. Finally, in 2008 the legislature declared Nepal a republic, bringing to an end over 200 years of the royal dynasty.

Here are a few Goon Show moments. Their humor (unlike that of the Pythons) is not to my taste, but many of my older British friends speak fondly of them. In a few places you can see the zaniness of the later Python show:

Notables born on this day include William Pitt the Younger (1759). Louis Agassiz (1807), Jim Thorpe (1888), Ian Fleming (1908), Walker Percy (1916), Gladys Knight (1944), Leland Sklar (1947), and Kylie Minogue (1968). Those who died on this day include Noah Webster (1843), Audie Murphy (1971), Gary Coleman (2010), and Maya Angelou (2014). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is making pronouncements On Liberty, though she spends almost every night these days out on the tiles:

Hili: Freedom is dangerous.
A: But it’s delightful.
Hili: That’s true but it’s better to be careful.
In Polish:
Hili: Wolność jest niebezpieczna.
Ja: Ale rozkoszna.
Hili: To prawda, lepiej jednak uważać.
Here is the family of ducks I’m feeding in the pond outside my building. There were originally six ducklings, but two disappeared early. The remaining four are doing well on a diet of good food, including oatmeal, shelled sunflower seeds, and cracked corn, and I’m hoping they’ll all fledge. (Photo taken with iPhone.)
The pond is full of red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) who were clearly pets discarded by people who no longer wanted them. They’re thriving now, and when it’s sunny they pile up on the cement “rounds” in the middle of the pond to soak up some heat:

And out in Winnipeg, Gus attacks! But it’s a clump of irises, not a bird or mouse. As his staff said, “What a nut!”

And the gory aftermath, with the staff adding: “My poor irises!”



  1. Linda Calhoun
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Aren’t irises poisonous?


    • Ken Phelps
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Gus, being home schooled, thinks he is part of “Nature, green in tooth and claw”.

    • Taskin
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      I looked it up, and yes, irises are toxic to cats and dogs so I will keep an eye out to see that Gus doesn’t eat them. Fortunately, at the moment he is only interested in tackling them.

  2. Jim Knight
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Hili seems to be an astute observer of American politics…!

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Good job, cats and ducks. Should also mention today is race day starting with the Grand Prix of Monaco, you know, where all the poor people live. Two Ferrari on front row. See it on NBC in about 5 minutes.

  4. Posted May 28, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Some Spike Milligan of ‘The Goon Show’ jokes.

    We arrived in le Kef, which means ‘the Kef’.

    He came from a broken home: he broke it.

    The priest used to ask us to donate for the poor of the parish. I couldn’t understand it. We were the poor of the parish.

    • David Coxill
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      What does the good Dr think of the films Peter Sellers made in the 50s and 60s?.
      Heavens above is a classic ,funny than Life of Brian IMHO.

      • Posted May 28, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Doctor? Who? Me? No.

        I haven’t seen Sellers’ films in years so I can’t say. Never heard of ‘Heavens Above’: will look out for it.

        I just think Milligan obviously thought life was funny; and his self-penned epitaph, “I told you I was ill,” as well as his response to some lifetime achievement award – “About bloody time” – put him up there with Peter Cook, imo.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    It’s National Brisket Day, and the best way to eat that is Texas style–barbecued slowly and sliced, with a bit of sauce.

    I love Texas-style barbecue, but the sandwiches at Katz’s make for a pretty powerful argument that pastrami is the way to do brisket.

  6. rickflick
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The red-eared slider is the common pet store turtle and invasive everywhere. When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fad hit Briton, “the popularity of the Turtles led to a craze for keeping them as pets in Great Britain, and subsequent ecological havoc as turtles were accidentally or deliberately released into the wild.”

    Here in NY the blanding’s turtle is quite rare and endangered. A local branch bank was recently built where blanding’s turtles live and breed, so they have warning signs posted in the parking lot to please not drive over the turtles.

    • David Coxill
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Yes ,they survive the winters over here but British summers are not warm enough for them to breed ,or so i heard.
      Don’t know how long the things live for.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Ian Fleming gave his birthday to the at hnemesis of James Bond, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

  8. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The Goon Show isn’t funny. There, I said it. I do not understand the rep it has.

    • Richard Jones
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      At the time I thought it very funny and it was probably the most popular show on the BBC. Then, there are other radio shows and TV which lose their funniness, even Tony Hancock who was a comic genius.

      Years later I agree, they don’t sound funny anymore, even the one where they had to deliver a grand piano with brass candle holders to General Cash My Cheque. That is probably inappropriate now.

      • Sarah
        Posted May 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        “Round the Horne” was rarely funny but had a huge devoted following.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      It was a wonderful experience for us schoolboys, bringing irreverent humor to our rather narrow and staid lives, but making no sense to our parents. Sixty years later, I and several male relatives Of a similar age can still imitate the voices, repeat catch-phrases and recall episodes.

      Reputedly, the longest passage of genuine studio audience laughter ever recorded by the BBC occurred during a Goon Show.

  9. Sarah
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The Spanish Armada sailed from Portugal?? Maybe La Coruna?

    • stephen
      Posted May 28, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Portugal was ruled by Philip ii of Spain at the time.

      • Sarah
        Posted May 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but I thought they sailed from La Coruna, but they put in there for repairs. I stand corrected!

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