Thursday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning on the Ides of Junes (June 15, 2017); I’m absolutely certain that some reader will tell me that it’s not really the Ides of June and that reader will probably be correct. It’s National Lobster Day, and, even better, it’s National Beer Day in the UK, celebrating the day the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Wikipedia makes two observations:

. . . ale is mentioned in clause 35 of Magna Carta, which states:
Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely ‘the London quarter


Beer Day Britain was instigated and driven forward by beer sommelier, writer and drinks educator Jane Peyton. It took place for the first time in 2015. The main focus of the day is the National Cheers To Beer that takes place at 7 pm when people also sing the Cheers To Beer anthem co-written by Jane Peyton.

Brits, does that in fact really happen, with people singing “Cheers to Beer”?

On this date in 1215, King John of England affixed his seal to the Magna Carta (see above), and in 1667 the first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys, though I believe there’s some controversy about the date of the first such transfusion. On June 15, 1878, Eadweard Muybridge’s series of photographs proved for one and for all that yes, all four feet of a horse can leave the ground when it runs. Muybridge went on to take many series of stop-action photos. On this date in 1937, sixteen climbers on an expedition to Nanga Parbat were killed in an avalanche: the worst disaster on an 8000-meter peak, even counting the Everest debacle of 1996, when eight climbers were killed. Finally, on this day in 1970, Charles Manson went on trial in Los Angeles for the “Sharon Tate” murders.

Notables born on this day include Saul Steinberg (1914). Erroll Garner (1921), Waylon Jennings (1937; he’s 80 today), and Neil Patrick Harris (1973). I am old. Those who died on this day include Ella Fitzgerald (1996) and Casey Kasem (2014).  All of us are going to die!

In the comments below, reader Ken suggested that I put up this video of Erroll Garner playing “Misty”, adding that Garner couldn’t even read music! And it’s a great performance, so here it is:

Since it’s Black Music month, here’s Ella doing “It don’t mean a thing”:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is wide eyed in fear. When I asked Malgorzata what kind of work was frightening poor Hili, she responded, “Oh, keeping the world in order.”

Hili: I’m terrified.
A: What of?
Hili: The amount of work that awaits me.
In Polish:
Hili: Jestem przerażona.
Ja: Czym?
Hili: Tą ilością pracy, którą mamy przed sobą.
In nearby Wloclawek, Leon’s staff has made a gorgeous garden on their new property, but are still awaiting delivery of their wooden house from the South. In the meantime, Leon sits in the garden and questions the bees:

Leon: What issue are they buzzing about?

Via Matthew Cobb: The classic hare vs tortoise race. Reptile wins!

And from Grania, a cat sleeping upside down (it’s a gif):


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I’ve been a keen London beer (ale) drinker for 65 years and everything written above about National Beer Day, Magna Carta, and the song is completely new to me. I’ll be putting the good news around in the pub tonight.

  2. DrBrydon
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Cat’s doing upside-down, air buscuits.

  3. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of national beer day or Cheers to Beer. (Lived in UK all my life).

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Nor me. I can’t match Frank Bath, but I have been drinking good English ale for nearly 50 years. I’m afraid I don’t go for what is clearly a publicity stunt (I see Ms Peyton has a contract with Taylor Walker, which is now owned by Carlsberg…enough said).

      I have just finished a bottle of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, and I enjoyed a pint of Larkins Bitter at lunchtime. Real beer drinkers don’t need an arbitrary date – still less a crap song – to enjoy ourselves.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I assumed everyday was beer/ale day in Britain. There were times when one feels like the cat who sleeps upside down.

    • Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      A terrible thing, the decline of lunchtime drinking. I used to have 2 pints of cider in 30 minutes then go up on scaffolding!

      • Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Wasn’t that dangerous? Cider is STRONG!

        • David Coxill
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          And disgusting.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Jerry, since it’s Black Music Month, how about we celebrate with a link to birthday-boy Erroll Garner’s most popular tune, “Misty”? Pretty cool for a cat couldn’t read music, huh?

    • Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Good suggestion: I’m putting it in the post above. Great piece, thanks!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Great suggestion Ken. Most enjoyable.

  6. Linda Calhoun
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Waylon Jennings died in 2002.

  7. Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Did you know it was allegedly a Dean of St. Paul’s who accidentally created bottled beer?

    I am trying to find proper evidence – no mention on his DNB page…

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Sounds a little fishy to me. Ha ha.

  8. colnago80
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Waylon Jennings would be 80 today if he were still alive. He’s been dead for 15 years.

  9. Desnes Diev
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    In the first video, the lagomorph looks more like a rabbit than a hare. This comparative study could be completed by: rat vs. tortoise, guinea pig vs. tortoise, chinchilla vs. tortoise, capybara vs. tortoise (I want to see that),…

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      The rabbit is clearly not buying into the whole premise of the contest, and therefore gets my vote for Freethinker of the Day.

  10. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink


  11. David Harper
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    “Good morning on the Ides of Junes (June 15, 2017); I’m absolutely certain that some reader will tell me that it’s not really the Ides of June and that reader will probably be correct.”

    In a 31-day month, this day would be the Ides, but in 30-day months, the Ides fall on the 13th.

    An ancient Roman would count today as the 17th day before the Kalends of July. Yes, the 17th, because the count included the Kalends itself. The Roman calendar was very confusing!

    • Publilius
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      That was true in the early Roman calendar, but over time the number of days in each month was changed several times. However the Ides remained on their original day of each month. So in March, May, July, and October, the Ides are on the 15th. In all other months, the Ides are on the 13th.

  12. Blue
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    O my, my ! Thank you ! for this reminder in re m’Darling Mr Waylon J’s birthday today !

    Three of The Loveliest EVER Bass – Baritone Voice’s I can so, so use, especially now … … (m’close friend of 44 years’ heartstrings, passions and struggles, Ms Kathy B, breathed in her last one quite, quite early yesterday morning, not alone thankfully):


  13. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Today marks the day in 1992 when Dan Quaile gave us a new spelling of “potato” — with an “e”.

    • nicky
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Epotato? Petato? Poteto? Potate? Petete? Which was it?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink


    • E.A. Blair
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      You’re right about the spelling of “potato(e)”, but James Danforth Quayle’s last name is spelled with a ‘y’, not an ‘i’.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I quail at my mistake.

        • E.A. Blair
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Remember: Every time you make a mistake, the errorists win.

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            Excellent point.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the good old days when we were horrified to imagine Dan Quayle as President. The bar has been lowered several times since then.

  14. E.A. Blair
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Some years ago, I noticed that the sale books shelf at my local public library branch had a set of music CDs with a small hardcover booklet bound together with a rubber band. I picked it up and it turned out to be the complete Ella Fitzgerald Songbook, 16 CDs with the book. The sign on the shelf said, “Sale Books, All Items $1” I took it to the counter and asked whether it was a dollar per CD or for the whole set. He looked uncertain (he was a volunteer, not a librarian) and said, “The whole set, I guess.”

    I forked over my dollar, and when I got home, I looked it up on Amazon. The lowest price for the complete set was over $300 (The current price ranges from $465 to $700). If only I could get that kind of return on all my investments. It Don’t Mean A Thing is on disk 6, the Duke Ellington Songbook.

    If the library had been selling off its old items with more of an eye towards profit rather than convenience, they could have put it online and gotten enough to be dozens of new books. Their loss, my gain.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Typo apology: “buy”, not “be”.

      Damn. The errorists win again.

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