Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Wednesday, August 16, 2017, and Finger Therapy Day. It’s also National Rum Day, and perhaps I should have a tiny tot of a touted tipple I bought in Guatemala several years ago: Ron Zacapa Cenenario, 23 years in the cask. That’s sipping rather than mixing rum. And in Kyoto, it’s Gozan no Okuribi, the day when spirits of your ancestors, who visiting the preceding few day, go back to wherever they came from.

Not much happened in this day in history, nor were many notables born. On the other hand, it was a good day for deaths—if you call that “good”. On August 16, 1896, three miners, Skookum Jim Mason, George Carmack and Dawson Charlie (yes, that’s his name, as he was an indigenous Tagish), discovered gold on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River in Canada, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush. Although it drew 100,000 wealth-seekers, the rush lasted but three years before it went bust, and only a handful of people got rich. And, on this date in 1962, Pete Best was fired as the Beatles’s drummer, to be replaced two days later by Ringo Starr.

Notables born on this day include T. E. Lawrence (1888), Menachim Begin (1913), Fess Parker (1924), Suzanne Farrell (1945) and Madonna (1958, it’s hard to believe she’s 59 today). Those who died on this day include Andrew Marvell (1678), Jacob Bernoulli (1705), Mathew Tindal (1733), Jean-Martin Charcot (1893; I’m reading about him now, as he was one of Freud’s early mentors), Babe Ruth (1948), Margaret Mitchell (1949), Elvis Presley (1977, but did he really die?), Abu Nidal (2002), Idi Amin (2003), and, one year ago, the irascible John McLaughlin (“bye-BYE”!). Here’s a photo I took in Dorset when, after a long time of searching, I found the site of the motorcycle crash that killed T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia). It was ironic, because right before we were there, another car crashed at the same place:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is trying out some Big Words:

Hili: I have a cognitive dissonance.
Cyrus: And that means?
Hili: I’m drawn in different directions.
In Polish:
Hili: Mam dysonans poznawczy.
Cyrus: To znaczy?
Hili: Ciągnie mnie w różne strony.

Up in the Polish mountains, Leon has found a girlfriend. And her name is Mawrula! If you lighten the photo below, you’ll she that she’s a lovely black cat. Leon is deeply smitten. (More romantic adventures tomorrow.)

Leon: Wait for me, baby. After they make breakfast, I’ll eat and come out.

A tw**t found by Matthew: Cats make the world go ’round:

And another from the Twi**er addict Dr. Cobb. This is a drumming cockatiel, appropriate for the day on which Ringo became the Beatles’ drummer;


  1. ratabago
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    “… and, one year ago, the irascible John McLaughlin (“bye-BYE”!)”

    Well that threw me for a bit, as the only famous John McLaughlin I know is arguably the world’s greatest living jazz guitarist, famous for playing on classic Miles Davis albums, and dabbling in Indian mysticism and music.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      His contribution to ‘Bitches Brew’ is something else! Also let’s not forget he’s a Yorkshireman [b. in Kirk Sandall, Nr Doncaster]

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I saw him with Shakti a decade or so ago. It was a stunning performance. They all sat on cushions and the intricate energetic music belied the stillness of the group. Bitches Brew is probably my favorite collaboration of his, but I think my favorite incarnation was Mahavishnu Orchestra. I like some rock in my jazz!

  2. barn owl
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Drumming cockatiel is adorable!

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, loved that!

      • Diane G.
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Me three!

  3. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    only a handful of people got rich.

    Only a handful of miners, perhaps. I’m guessing there were a fair number of outfitters, saloon keepers, card sharps, and con artists who did well out of it.

  4. rickflick
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    The massive extradimensional cat is true.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    One of my great aunts joined the Klondike gold rush. She had one of the nuggets she found set into a ring, which I still have and wear.

    Love the drumming cockateil, but it doesn’t seem to care for syncopation — it stops when it apparently realizes that the human drummer is off the beat the bird sets.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Re: Did Elvis really die?

    The single most brilliant quip ever I remember from Jay Leno was his comment on the low TV Nielsen ratings for the short-lived (3 to 4 months) though excellent 1990 TV series on the early pre-fame life of Elvis Presley, entitled simply “Elvis”.

    Leno: “The ratings of this show are so low that actually more people have seen Elvis than have seen Elvis.”

    (A similar 3 hour mini-series in 2005 fared far far better. For more on the 1990 series see ).

  7. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    My father looked just like Ringo Starr. When the Beatles visited NZ in 1964, he got a free meal at a restaurant, which he accepted, because they thought he was Ringo.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      I was a bit more honest in a similar situation.

      The famous Brit composer Jonathan (Dean not Lynn) Harvey spent 5 years at Stanford University as a professor. When a ticket salesperson at the San Francisco symphony saw my driver’s license with a Palo Alto address, he assumed I was the composer, and wanted to give me a freebie. He was chronologically off, since JDH had taught at Stanford from 1995 to 2000, and this was the year 2010.
      I explained I was not the composer and paid for my ticket. (I have fairly wide ranging musical tastes and wished I liked JDH’s music, but I regret to report that I don’t.)

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        It was typical of my father to take advantage of such situations. One of the ways I knew the right thing to do as a kid was to NOT do what he would do. (I had a good role model in my mother. )

  8. starskeptic
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    The car crash is co-incidence, not irony.

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