Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s June 2, 2017, and I’m off to Toronto! It will be good to be in Canada again, and I hope I’ll get the chance to have a good poutine, though the meeting is in a hotel at the Toronto airport, and I don’t know whether there’s any poutine in that area. Perhaps readers can tell me. Posting will be light until Tuesday, though Grania will handle the Hilis and Caturday felids.

It’s National Rocky Road Day, and if you are unfamiliar with that, it’s ice cream mixed with peanuts, marshmallows, and chocolate: not too shabby.

On this day in 1692, Bridget Bishop was the first person tried in the the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials. Like 20 of the 72 ultimately accused, she was convicted and hanged. On this day in 1924, Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, making all native Americans born within the U.S. citizens (seriously? that late?). On this day in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, making today the 64th anniversary of her reign. And on June 2, 1967, the Beatles released their Sergeant Pepper album in the U.S., the album that made me an atheist. It was a great album, though I prefer Revolver, but don’t listen to the misguided critics who claim that Sergeant Pepper was somehow anti-feminist. Hooray for its 50th anniversary (am I that old?)!

Notables born on June 2 include the Marquis de Sade (1740), Edward Elgar (1857), Johnny Weissmuller (1904), Sally Kellerman (1937; she’s 80 today), Charlie Watts (1941), Marvin Hamlisch (1944, deceased), Jerry Mathers (“as the Beaver”, 1948), Cornel West (1953), and Dana Carvey (1955). Those who died on this day include Giuseppi Garibaldi (1882), baseball great Lou Gehrig (1941, died of ALS, sometimes called “Lou Gehrig Disease”), Bunny Berigan (1942), Vita Sackville-West (1962), Rex Harrison (1990), and Bo Diddley (2008).

Lou Gehrig gave a moving speech on the day appointed to commemorate his greatness: July 4, 1939. As he stood before the microphone in Yankee Stadium with his number (4) retired, and with Gehrig and all the fans knowing his fatal diagnosis, he said these words:

“Fans, for the past two weeks, you’ve been reading about a bad break [pause] Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“When you look around, wouldn’t you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such fine-looking men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today?  Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. – Thank you.”

Here are the only newsreel snippets of his speech:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, who spends most of these warm spring nights outdoors, wants to go for a walk through the cherry orchard in the afternoon. Isn’t she adorable?

Hili: The house isn’t going anywhere, I’m going with you.
A: You were out all night.
Hili: But without any company.
In Polish:
Hili: Dom nie ucieknie, idę z wami.
Ja: Całą noc byłaś na dworze.
Hili: Ale bez towarzystwa.

In nearby Wloclawek, Andrzej (the other Andrzej, who’s half of Leon’s staff) is mowing the grass on their future home (the wooden house to be moved from southern Poland hasn’t yet arrived!); and Leon enjoys the activity:

Leon: I’m rushing to haying.

The site of Leon and Staff’s future home:

Out in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Gus has just had a few leaves of a certain plant. Can you guess which plant it is?

He’s baked!

And across the pond in London, Theo, the Cat Who Drinks Espresso, is being annoying. Staff member Laurie says this:

He hollers his head off, bounds about like a feline cannonball, vaults onto my head, screams undeviatingly into my ear and when he rejoices in the certainty that I have wholly awakened, he reposes thus.  Jerk.
And a final political cartoon about Trump’s actions yesterday:


  1. Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Gus looks like he is a Scottish Fold cat (Felis Catus Coupari), the first of which was discovered in a village called Coupar Angus, 15 miles from my home, in 1961.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Gus lost his ears to frostbite when he was younger. Something about being caught in a trap during the winter.

    • Taskin
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      People often ask if Gus is a Scottish fold, but he is your standard barn cat who lost his ears to frost bite as darrelle says. (We sometimes call him a designer cat.) He was trapped in very cold weather by some jerk who didn’t bother to check the trap, but at least he dumped him at my friend’s vet clinic. Friend then sent me a photo via social media and several seconds later, I had a new cat!

      • Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:13 am | Permalink

        That’s a sad story. At least he seems to have a good home now.

  2. Jim Knight
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I do not command the vocabulary to describe the contempt and disgust that I feel for Trump!

    So… covfefe you, Trump!

    • W.Benson
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      When Trump talks, I pull the covfefe over my ears.

      • claudia baker
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        When his ugly mug shows up on my TV screen, I throw my covfefe at it.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      In response to Sean Spicer’s evasive declarations suggesting there was some real known-to-insiders meaning to covfefe, the San Francisco papers’ “Bad Reporter” cartoon had the ultimate riposte. (First panel)

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Sgt. Pepper’s was the first album I owned.

      A discussion of it cemented my negative views on Protestant fundamentalism. A good friend of mine who was a born again type told me the Beatles were going to hell, thus permanently cementing my negative view of this sector of Christianity.

      I was mildly intrigued by the Beatles’ interest in Transcendental Meditation, but never really warmed up to their guru.

  3. Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I had no idea what the Matt cartoon meant until someone just explained it to me…

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Hili and the whole gang are out there today. Our cats stay pretty calm as long as they get food on time.

  5. Ross
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink


    your republican (small R!) roots are showing!

    “..On this day in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, making today the 64th anniversary of her reign”

    It takes a while to organise a coronation – she actually became monarch in February 1952 on the death of George VI.

    Unlike your elected head of state transitions, the coronation itself is important but (for an uncontested heir) not the point of power transfer.

    The great Terry Pratchett once offered this instant transfer of power as a means of rapid communication. Since the heir gains power immediately, the ‘kingon’ or ‘Queenon’ particles must travel faster than light. So, with a little bit of torture of the ruler, it might be possible to modulate the signal to transit information!

    At least there’s be some point (more than tourism) to have a Monarch!


  6. rickflick
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Heather Hastie has a great write-up on Trumps announcement to pull the US out of the Paris agreement.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that reminder…I forget.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Rick. 🙂

  7. davidintoronto
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I think the area around the Toronto airport might be a write-off in terms of sightseeing and decent restaurants.

    • Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I’m screwed, then. I hope Larry Moran, who will be at the meeting, can save me.

      • claudia baker
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Three excellent poutine places in T.O.:

        -“Nom Nom Nom Crepes”, 707 Dundas St. W.

        -“Poutine’s House of Poutine”, 1112 Queen St. W.

        – “Smokes Poutinerie”, 218 Adelaide St. W.

        • Hempenstein
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          Poutine seems like wintertime fare. Do Canadians eat it just as much in summer?

          • Peter
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            In the summer we eat it outside.

            • claudia baker
              Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

              Yup, some of the chip stands around here make the best poutine.

        • Martin Levin
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Smokes is opening a Burritorie, featuring poutine burritos (?), at Pearson airport, but, alas, not until June 28.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      A write-off? Nonsense! Jerry can visit my boyhood home on Lawrence Avenue, near Humber Heights Elementary where I got my book learnin’.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        …all my changes were there.

        • claudia baker
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink


  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I’d venture that most Americans alive today know that Lou Gehrig speech from Gary Cooper’s iconic performance of it in the movie Pride of the Yankees. Cooper, a natural righty, did his best to learn to bat and catch left-handed, in order to lend verisimilitude to his portrayal of Gehrig.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Btw, in that clip, that’s the mug of the real-life Babe Ruth just to Cooper’s right.

  9. somer
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1924, Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, making all native Americans born within the U.S. citizens.”

    Im afraid Australian Indigenous people were not recognised as citizens until 10 August 1967 when a Referendum for constitutional change on questions affecting Indigenous Australians was put to the public. The first change was removal of the part of Section 127 of the Constitution that mandated the exclusion of Aboriginal Australians from population counts conducted for electoral purposes. This removal effectively enabled Aboriginal people to be counted as citizens. The second change was an amendment to Section 51(xxvi) to allow the federal government to legislate in states for the benefit of Aboriginal people.

  10. David Coxill
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Ugh ,ice cream with hard bits in it ,work of the devil i tells yer .

  11. Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Also on this day 50 years ago in West Berlin, Benno Ohnesorg was shot and killed by police, at a demonstration against a visit by the Shah of Iran. The policeman, Karl-Heinz Kurras, claimed it was in self defense, and the authorities covered up clear evidence that it was in fact unprovoked.

    Decades later it emerged that Kurras was a Stasi collaborator, who probably did it to incite rebellion against the West German capitalist state.

    Possibly worth remembering that such things can happen when a hostile country has infiltrated the organs of state….

  12. Peter
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Mill Street Brewery, 6301 Silver Dart Dr, Mississauga (905) 678-1114 near the airport does a Montreal Smoked Meat Poutine – Smoked meat, Quebec cheese curds, pickles, honey mustard, gravy. They are a craft brewery with lots of interesting choices. Limited choice around the airport.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Just noticed that the airport location is after security – you could fill up when you are leaving, I suppose.

  13. Peter
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    A couple of other choices near the airport:

    Moxie’s Grill & Bar, 55 Reading Ct, 416) 798-6788 – pretty standard steaks, burgers and pasta.

    The Keg, 927 Dixon Rd, (416) 675-2311 – steak and seafood.
    Olio, 801 Dixon Rd, (416) 213-7504 – Mediterranean (no poutine!)

    Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill, 25 Carlson Ct, (416) 213-1688

  14. Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Somehow as a Quebecer I do find it odd to look for poutine in *Toronto*, of all places.

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