Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Today is Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Let us spare a thought for those killed in the terrible high-rise fire in London last night, which killed at least six and probably many more. The cause has not been determined.

It’s National Strawberry Shortcake Day, celebrating a much beloved treat in the U.S. It’s also our Flag Day, celebrating the adoption of the Stars and Stripes in 1777.

On this day the Continental Army was established in the U.S., which grew into the United States Army (and defeated the British).  On June 14, 1822, Charles Babbage described his “difference engine” to the Royal Astronomical Society, often seen as the world’s first computer.  The first Henley Regatta was staged in 1839, and in 1900 Hawaii became a U.S. Territory. On June 14, 1907, women got the right to vote in Norway, and 33 years later to the day, a group of Poles became the first occupants of the Auschwitz concentration camp. On this day in 1941, UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer, began operation for the U.S. Census Bureau. In 1966, the Vatical finally  deep-sixed the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the list of books prohibited for Catholics to read: a form of censorship that began  in 1557. Finally, on this day in 1882 the Argentinian forces surrendered to Britain, ending the Falklands War.

Notables born on this day include Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811), Burl Ives (1909), Pierre Salinger (1925), Junior Walker (1931), Rowan Williams (1950), and Steffi Graf (1969). Although Junior’s gone, let’s wake up with his greatest hit, “What does it take” (1968), performed here on the Letterman show. That’s some sax work: “I’ve gotta blow for you.”

Notables who died on this day include Edward FitzGeralnd (1883), Mary Cassatt (1926),  and Jorge Luis Borges and Alan Jay Lerner (both 1986). Here’s one of Cassatt’s paintings from 1908, “Sara holding a cat”:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is hankering for cream (yes, she gets some from time to time):

Hili: Do you remember what we had to do after returning home?
A: Remind me.
Hili: We had to give me some cream.
In Polish:
Hili: Pamiętasz co mieliśmy zrobić po powrocie?
Ja: Przypomnij mi.
Hili: Mieliśmy dać mi trochę śmietanki.

Our in Winnipet, Gus got catnip (he gets one leaf several times a day):

And in Wloclawek, Leon, still waiting for his wooden house to be shipped from southern Poland, demands noms in the garden:

Leon: I’m resting. Will you bring me a sausage, please?

Here’s a tweet, but it looks suspicious to me. . .


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Of course you mean 1982 for the end of The Falklands War.

    • somer
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Yes I remember it and Im not *that* old!

    • Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Yep. The Falklands War ended on my 16th birthday.

  2. MKray
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Univac 1 was 1951, not 1941

  3. Terry Sheldon
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Interesting that Darwin’s works didn’t get put on the Index.

    • W.Benson
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      The Vatican didn’t have to put books with non-Catholic authors on the Index. Since the Council of Trent, all books on religion or with religious import written by heretics were prohibited. When Pope Leo XIII changed the Index rules in 1897, the rules stated that “Books written by non-Catholics that treat religion ex profeso are prohibited, unless it is ascertained that there is nothing in them contrary to the Catholic faith.” Works by Darwin, Wallace, Huxley, Weismann, Haeckel, etc were automatically prohibited. One or another work by Catholic evolutionists did get listed.
      Artigas, Mariano, Thomas F. Glick & Rafael A. Martínez, eds. 2006. Negotiating Darwin: The Vatican Confronts Evolution, 1877-1902. Johns Hopkins.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Besides the terrible fire in London, there is another story just happening in Virginia, where a person with a rifle has shot several people at a baseball game of congressmen and staff (GOP). One congressman was shown on a stretcher on TV.

    • Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Somebody called Steve Scalise

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Yes, he is the majority Whip in the House of Representatives I believe. He was probably the highest ranking of 30 or more congressmen who were having this practice prior to a game to be played tomorrow. Fortunately they had two DC police with them and they were also wounded. Apparently they have the shooter in custody.

  5. Randy schenck
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I must say something about that Continental Army – It never reached but half the number that Washington asked for. It was poorly dressed, poorly feed and often not paid. The turnover was very high and Washington did shoot deserters. Uncle Sam Wants You…

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    In 1966, the Vatican finally deep-sixed the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the list of books prohibited for Catholics to read …

    Right around that time, there was a weekly Catholic newspaper that all the families in my parish subscribed to. I never much read the rag, except for the movie reviews on the back page. On that page would be a box with a list of films under the label “CONDEMNED.” I’d look at that list every week and think, “Wow, I wonder what’s in those flicks” and vow that someday I’d see every one of ’em.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Was Barbarella on the list by chance?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 14, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        I believe Vadim’s “masterpiece” made the list. There was usually an Italian or French or Swedish title or two. I remember I Am Curious (Yellow> made it. Some Hollywood titles, too, like Midnight Cowboy, but by then I’d given up on both the Church and the paper.

        I’ve given it hell tryin’ to see every one of ’em. 🙂

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The Index of Forbidden Books had some damned good reads on it. All the works of Emile Zola and Andre Gide and Madame Bovary.

      Wasn’t surprised that Kazantzakis’ “Last Temptation of Christ” was on it, but very surprised that “Paradise Lost” was there.

      • Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Could it be that PL is too Protestant?

        • Newish Gnu
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          I read somewhere, but can’t confirm, that PL ridiculed some prominent Catholics. That some of the characters in hell were obvious references to specific people.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      You can see a list of all the condemned films here

      Easily among the best films on the list are “Taxi Driver”, “The Producers” (the Mel Brooks comedy), and Fellini’s “8 1/2”

  7. Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    So, what part of the US should one visit for strawberry shortcake? I’m not sure I’ve ever had it.

    (I realize this may instigate jihad, but …)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      There’s a strawberry festival at the height of the season every March in Plant City, Florida, about 20 miles east of Tampa. They do it up bigly there.

  8. Christian
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Der Drumpfenführer was also born today 71 years ago.

    Oh wait I see, you said notables.

  9. revelator60
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Junior Walker, I’d like to share one of his smallest hits, because it’s pretty damn good anyway. In 1979 Walker had left Motown and released an album for Whitfield records, run by fellow Motown alumnus Norman Whitfield (producer and co-writer of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and much more). The album, “Back Street Boogie,” wasn’t a big seller, but the title track is an epic slab of disco-funk built around Junior’s wailing sax. It is, to quote the lyrics, “24 carat funk for your rump!”

  10. somer
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Re the fire in London Concerns had been raised about the fire safety of Grenfell Tower “for years”

  11. Diane G.
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:52 am | Permalink


%d bloggers like this: