Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday, July 24, 2017, it’s early, I have a crooked finger and a slowly healing but still aching shoulder and there’s but a single duck left in my pond. First World problems! Perhaps I’ll drown my sorrows, as it’s National Tequila Day!  In Poland it’s Police Day, Święto Policji, established in 1995. Perhaps the Polish cops will be busy, for the country is awash in protest after what the autocratic government did to bring the judiciary under political control. Poland is quickly turning into a dictatorship, and it’s very sad.

On this day in 1304, in the Wars of Scottish Independence, King Edward I of England and his troops brought about the Fall of Stirling Castle using a giant catapult (or “trebuchet”) called the Warwolf. It was 300-400 feet long, its parts filled 30 wagons, and it was the biggest catapult ever made. Here’s a reconstruction:

On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and his band of 148 Mormons reached their destination: Salt Lake Valley, soon to be the site of the Mormon town of  Salt Lake City. On this day in 1911, archaeologist Hiram Bingham III re-discovered Machu Picchu, “the Lost City of the Incas”. It’s one of the three most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Finally, on this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 mission safely returned to Earth after landing on the Moon, with splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

Notables born on this day include Simón Bolívar (1783), Alexandre Dumas (1802), Robert Graves (1895), Amelia Earhart (1897), Zelda Fitzgerald (1900), Bella Abzug (1920), and Lynda Carter (1951). Those who died on this day include Martin Van Buren (1862), Peter Sellers (1980), and Isaac Bashevis Singer (1991).  Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there’s bad news about the cherries, but Hili’s staff has picked the ripe ones, individually, to ensure that there will be enough fruit for my pies on my September visit:

Hili: Almost all the fruit was destroyed by frost.
A: There will be enough for a cherry pie for Jerry.
Hili: I will not eat any, just in case.
 Oh Hili, you don’t normally eat cherrries!
In Polish:
Hili: Prawie wszystkie owoce wymarzły.
Ja: Na placek z wiśniami dla Jerrego wystarczy.
Hili: Na wszelki wypadek nie będę ich jadła.

In Winnipeg, Gus is having an al fresco snooze:

And Heather Hastie sent a cat tweet:

As did Matthew Cobb (there’s a video):



  1. Mike
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    No doubt Poland being a Country steeped in Catholicism, will have its Laws reveiwed by its Archbishops, always a bad sign. It looks like it will be an Autocratic Theocracy,a nightmare scenario.

  2. bric
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Dick King-Smith also tweeted Darwin’s birthday today

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Vry sorry to hear of the crop failure. Here in Pittsburgh it was the exact opposite. With my two sweet cherry trees I harvested by pruning branches and still probably only got 10% of what was there. The remainder was such a load that even the birds that I usually have to fight with were overwhelmed.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    That little cat demands freshness.

    The Siege was often the strategy in many battles – siege of Leningrad during WWII and the siege of Vicksburg during the American civil War come to mind. However, they were no longer using the trebuchet.

  5. Posted July 24, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    FYI, the mormons intended destination was San Francisco which they planned on forcibly taking over.

    The trip wasn’t going so well, and Brigham Young had a gammy leg and was being carried on a litter, so at Salt Lake he said “this is the place”.

    From the start, mormons have excelled at flexibly interpreting divine revelation in response to temporal circumstances.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      I tweeted quite a lot about this aspect of the Mormons during the 2012 campaign. I remember getting responses back saying things like if I just looked into the testimony of the men who knew Young etc, I’d have a different view.

      I must say though the Mormons, ime, have always been polite in their disagreement with me.

    • Wayne Y Hoskisson
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      When the Mormons left Iowa they intended to leave the United States. What is now Utah was part of Mexico in 1847. Brigham Young and church leaders had read a great deal about the west including John C. Fremont’s account of traversing the Great Basin to California. By 1846 there were a number of guide books describing routes across the west to Oregon and California. Brigham Young very likely had the Great Basin in mind when the Mormons headed west. Samuel Brannan, a Mormon, had sailed to San Francisco. He headed east to give Brigham Young a glowing report about CA. The met east what is now Utah. Brigham Young rejected CA as a destination. A final destination was decided on over a period of time but the Great Basin was planned as the first place to settle. The Mormons reached the Salt Lake Valley around July 22, 1847. Brigham Young suffered from what was called “mountain fever.” Most likely this was later called Colorado Tick Fever or possibly Rocky Mt. spotted fever. He was riding in a borrowed carriage when he arrived on July 24. An advance party had been in the Salt Lake Valley for a week or more. They had already dammed a river, planted a few crops, and started clearing land. There are variations about when or if Brigham Young ever said “this is the place.” He may have said it at a meeting on July 28. Over the next decade they explored a number of areas around the west as potential sites for Zion but none replaced Salt Lake City. Brigham Young was my great, great grandfather. I have not been to church for any reason except funerals (mostly) for about 52 years. I still live in Utah by choice.

  6. kieran
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Trebuchet is how you get sheep to the tops of mountains. You need velcro sheep or gorse on the top to prevent them rolling all the way downhill, it’s either that or sheep can teleport but have no control of where they end up.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The one born in 1802 was, of course, Alexandre Dumas, père.

  8. darrelle
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I’m itching to build a trebuchet.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I feel a bit the same.

  9. busterggi
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Technically catapults are torsion engines while trebuchets are counter-weight driven.

    • Andy Lowry
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. I was sitting here trying to remember what the difference was, and was juuuust about to do a search! You’ve saved me some time, because I then would have been lost for an hour reading about medieval weapons and tactics and such.

  10. Matthew North
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink


    I’m so frustrated!

    Why in the hell didn’t they film the projectiles hitting the mark or landing?!!

    I’d like to strangle the people who filmed this.

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