Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning on a rainy Chicago Saturday; it’s July 22, 2017, and National Penuche Day. What’s that, you ask? It’s “a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavorings except for vanilla. Penuche often has a tannish color, and is lighter than regular fudge. It is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar, thus its flavor is said to be reminiscent of caramel. Nuts, especially pecans, are often added to penuche for texture, especially in the making of penuche candies.” Also this: “It is primarily a regional food, found in New England and some places in the Southern United States, though in the latter it goes by different names, usually ‘brown sugar fudge candy’”. Oy, my kishkes! I’ve never had the stuff; have you?

According to Wikipedia, it’s also Pi Approximation Day, because the fraction 22/7 (not the American way of writing today’s date, is “a common approximation of π, which is accurate to two decimal places and dates from Archimedes.”

On this day in 1893,  Katharine Lee Bates wrote the unofficial U.S. national anthem,  “America the Beautiful” after admiring the view from atop Pikes Peak in Colorado. It’s a much better song than “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which strikes me as dreadful.  On July 22, 1933,  Aviator Wiley Post returned to New York City after finishing the first solo flight around the world. It took him seven days, 18 hours and 49 minutes. In 1942, the Holocaust formally began with the removal of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, many of whom went to Auschwitz. On this day in 1983, martial law in Poland was revoked. And exactly six years ago today, Anders Breivik committed two terrorist attacks in Norway: a bomb blast in Oslo, killing 8 and injuring 209, and the second an attack at a youth camp on the island of Utøya, killing 69 and injuring 110.

Notables born on this day include Emma Lazarus (1849), Edward Hopper (1882), Bob Dole (1923), Tom Robbins (1932) and Don Henley (1947). Here’s a famous painting by Hopper with a later addition by someone from the Hopper School:

Those who died on July 22 include John Dillinger (1934; shot down by The Law in Chicago) and Carl Sandburg (1967; it’s the 50th anniversary of his death). In honor of Sandburg’s deathiversary, here’s his well known poem “Fog” (and this one’s for real):

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s been reading Sartre (or, god forbid, Derrida):
Hili: It’s said that a French intellectual can think for many hours without a break.
A: So they say.
Hili: I’ll better go to sleep because I’m already tired with thinking.
In Polish:
Hili: Podobno francuski intelektualista potrafi myśleć wiele godzin bez przerwy.
Ja: Tak mówią.
Hili: To ja się raczej prześpię, bo już jestem zmęczona tym myśleniem.

Nearby, Leon is doing Important Cat Stuff again:

Leon: I have to take care of a lot of feline things before nightfall.

Finally, we have a new picture of Gus; staff member Taskin explains:

The caption I give it, “Look up, look waaaaaay up,” is a reference to a Canadian children’s show that folks of my generation may remember. 🙂

If you want to see the reference it’s here. Start about 1:20 the critical moment is about 1:45. Funny how slow this show moves compared to current shows. I loved it as a kid, though.



  1. steve oberski
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The Friendly Giant, I remember it well.

    Jerome the Giraffe, Rusty the Rooster and if I recall there was a d*g as well.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Not exactly Red Green, eh.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    This must be the d*g days of summer. 105F in the Wichita area yesterday and will do the same today. That’s 40.5C for others. As Hili says, I should just go back to sleep.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    “pi approximation day”

    now THAT is good

  4. Fernando Peregrin
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Notables born in this day:

    Gustav Ludwig Hertz (22 July 1887 – 30 October 1975) was a German experimental physicist and Nobel Prize winner, and a nephew of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz.

    Prince George of Cambridge (George Alexander Louis; born 22 July 2013) is the elder child and only son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He is third in line to succeed his paternal great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, after his paternal grandfather, Charles, Prince of Wales, and his father

    Terence Henry Stamp (born 22 July 1938)[1][2] is an English actor. After training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London he started his acting career in 1962. He has appeared in more than 60 films. His performance in the title role of Billy Budd, his film debut, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer.

    (Both last ones, dedicated to British readers of this blog, with shame for the Brexit!

    Licia Albanese (July 22, 1909 – August 15, 2014) was an Italian-born American operatic soprano. Noted especially for her portrayals of the lyric heroines of Verdi and Puccini, Albanese was a leading artist with the Metropolitan Opera from 1940 to 1966. She also made many recordings and was chairwoman of The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting young artists and singers.
    Arturo Toscanini invited Albanese to join his broadcast concert performances of La bohème and La traviata with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in NBC’s Studio 8H in 1946. Both performances were later issued on LP and CD by RCA Victor.

  5. rickflick
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The Canadian children’s show I remember was Uncle Chichimus. He was a hand puppet that appeared on a show called, I think, Let’s See. I see no trace of it on the inner tubes.

  6. Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Interesting to be reminded of Carl Sandburg. Sewall Wright, the great pioneer of theoretical population genetics and a major founder of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, was a student at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois. His father was a teacher there. In the basement of their house they had a printing press, which his father used to publish occasional books.

    One was an early volume of poetry by a favorite student of his. Sewall and his younger brothers ran the press and did the printing.

    The student was Carl Sandburg. There, Jerry, is your connection to Carl Sandburg, as I know you knew Sewall Wright.

    • Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Cool story! Did Wright ever meet Sandburg?

      • Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Unclear. But checking Will Provine’s biography of Wright (page 15) I see that Philip G. Wright’s “Asgard Press” actually published four of Sandburg’s volumes of poetry between 1904 and 1910, with Sewall and his brothers doing the printing. These were Sandburg’s first four books. One suspects that they must have met.

        Sandburg was loud in his praise of Philip Wright, calling him the “Illinois prairie Leonardo”.

  7. E C Siegel
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The frogs come in on little flat feet

  8. Merilee
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    My mother used to make penuche ( pronounced pinohchee) frosting for spice cake. Deelish. Haven’t had it in years.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Hopper did a famous painting of a “House by the Railroad” which influenced both the house in Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and the house in Terence Malick’s “Day of Heaven”!

    and from “Days of Heaven”

    • rickflick
      Posted July 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I’d never heard of this connection. The house has an ominous look to it. Fascinating.

  10. E.A. Blair
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’m going to try making some penuche. I have all the ingredients I need left over from another baking project.

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