Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

The weekend is here: it’s Saturday, August 19, 2017, and National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day. Fun fact: “An average dairy cow can produce enough milk in her lifetime to make a little over 9,000 gallons of ice cream.” That’s more ice cream than I can eat in my lifetime: even if you ate a half gallon a day, it would take you nearly fifty years. It’s National Aviation Day in the U.S., and here in Chicago we have the annual Air and Water show, a highly touted spectacle that I’ve never seen. The weather in Chicago is predicted to be lovely today, but also partly cloudy on both Sunday and Eclipse Monday, so I’m hoping that I can see the Sun on Monday at about 1:18—the darkest it will get here. Don’t forget to get your ISO-approved eclipse glasses. On the local news yesterday I saw people standing in line for hours to get them, and some pairs were going for nearly a thousand dollars each on eBay (they’re worth about $1). Such is the law of supply and demand.

Not much happened in the world on August 19 compared to other days. In 1692, during the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts, five people—one woman and four men, including a pastor—were hanged after being convicted of witchcraft. During the year of the witch mania in Salem, 20 people (14 of them women) were executed, while five others, including two infants, died in jail. Another black mark for faith.  In 1909, the first race at the Indianapolis motor speedway (race track) took place. Back then it was 250 miles, now, of course, it’s the “Indy 500”. Even at the first race, a driver and his mechanic were killed. On August 19, 1934, a referendum in Germany merged the offices of Chancellor and President since President Hindenburg had died a short time before. The people’s nod went to Adolf Hitler, who became head of state—der Führer. Finally, and I remember this well, though it seems not so long ago, in 2003 a car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq killed, among the 22 dead, the agency’s local head, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, by all accounts a wonderful man and a dedicated worker.

Notables born on this day include John Dryden (1631), Orville Wright (1871), Coco Chanel (1883), Ogden Nash (1902), Malcolm Forbes (1919), Gene Roddenberry (1921), Ginger Baker (1939), and Bill “Bubba” Clinton (1946). Those who died on this day include Blaise Pascal (1662), George Gamow (1968), Groucho Marx (1977), Linus Pauling (1994).

I’m amazed that Baker, rated by many as the world’s best rock drummer, is still alive, just as I’m amazed that Keith Richards is still alive. Here’s Baker, along with his Cream bandmates Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, doing what is perhaps their most famous song, though my personal favorite, by far, is “Badge“:

Oh, hell, I want to put up “Badge, too”: here it is from the band’s 2005 reunion at Royal Albert Hall. What a great song: I love the driving bass intro, though here the guitar break is different from (and perhaps not as compelling as) the one on the original release, but Clapton still shows his chops. The song was written by Clapton and George Harrison. A note from Wikipedia: as Harrison recounts, “when the song was being written, Ringo [Starr] walked in drunk and gave us that line about the swans living in the park.”

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili show some rare (but superficial) concern for her staff:
Hili: There is a horrible amount of mosquitos here.
Cyrus: But they are not biting you.
Hili: That’s true but it’s a pity about humans.
In Polish:
Hili: Strasznie dużo komarów.
Cyrus: Przecież ciebie nie gryzą.
Hili: To prawda, ale ludzi żal.

And Leon, still on a hiking vacation in Southern Poland, is kvetching, as all cats constantly do.

Leon: Swings are cool but I would prefer a hammock.

Here’s relaxed red squirrel photographed by reader Taskin, half of Gus’s staff. 

A tw**t sent by reader Barry. What is the disturbed moggie trying to say?

And one found by Grania:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I think I was about 12 when I first heard White Room. I felt like that guy in the old Memorex ad.

    Baker plays with Bill Frisell and Charley Haden as the Ginger Baker Trio- my favorite album is the first one…. named …. Going Back Home….

    If you liked Pressed Rat and Warthog, try East Timor on that one^^^

  2. Ken Phelps
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    To borrow from Mark Twain in the bluejay yarn: “You think a cat can swear. Well a cat can…”

  3. Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I love “Badge” also but I don’t like this 2005 version. For me the best part is the guitar arpeggio that follows the pause after the second verse. The timing on the original version is crucial to the momentum of the song (and I always had difficulty coming in at the right time when I played it.)
    On ths 2005 version they don’t even attempt to get that right they just have an extremely long pause and Clapton starts the arpeggio at a seemingly random time interval.
    Sucks the life out of the song.

    • Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree, but that’s the only live performance I could find of Cream doing “Badge.” I have put a link to the original with the better guitar arpeggio.

    • dabertini
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      My personal favorite is tales of brave ulysses. Imho the best drumming on any rock song and jack bruce’s singing is simply mesmerizing.

  4. dargndorp
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Jerry, Something’s not right wih the picture of Leon, it’s just blank.

    • Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Yes, I see. I’ll fix it; I had another picture in there and deleted it from the gallery without replacing it.

  5. Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Me too (Firefox 55.0.2, Windows 7). Everything else is fine.

  6. Hempenstein
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    When was the last time a kid was named Ogden?

  7. peter
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    My staf is refusing to open that door! They need a good ticking off!

  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Heh. I’ve just today rediscovered Hawkwind, the prototypical space-rock band, and – surprise surprise – Ginger Baker was in it at one point.

    (Well, maybe not so surprising, damn nearly *everybody* in rock has been in it at some time. I’m not exaggerating, see )


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink


      GB’s drumming added a dynamism to that studio album they did with him, but as usual with Ginger things didn’t go well! The most grumpy, faithless, self-serving & disloyal person imaginable – plus a great one for revising history upon the retelling.

      Very sniffy & superior about musicians/bands that aren’t in his jazz mode. When he got sacked he went off to Italy using the Hawkwind name to garner freebies… Here’s a notable GB interview where one sees nearly all the Baker negatives on display – very funny too.

      in the early 70s Hawkwind recruited a 6’2″ in stockined feet [Lemmy claimed], 50″ bust, Irish stage dancer named Stacia. A remarkable addition to their set! She’s back in Ireland these days as a painter I think. Won awards & such, but I don’t know what sort of painting. On her body maybe? 🙂

      Images here:

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        Umm no I didn’t know that. She looks – somewhat alarming, I think.


        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Stacia deserves a place in that Wiki Hawkwind timeline. Not at all alarming – she’s grounded, left-leaning, ‘occupy’ gal – considers medical care for profit a heinous crime. In her 60s now & supports a few local new bands by gracing them with her presence [turning up at gigs, not the dance thing any more]

          A fairy recent vid of her here:

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            Hmmm, interesting. And maybe ‘imposing’ might be a better term 😉


            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

              And I’d forgotten – everyone was so much more liberated back in the 70’s. 😎


              • Michael Fisher
                Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

                According to my friends I had a blast.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

                What is it they say – if you can remember it you weren’t there. 8-))


  9. busterggi
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    “if you ate a half gallon a day, it would take you nearly fifty years”

    At last – a reason to live!

  10. Simon Hayward
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    If you ate a half gallon of ice cream a day living to 50 would be a major achievement requiring very good genes!

    My wife says the talking cat sounds like it is yodeling.

    • Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      One of my friends’ fathers ate about a half gallon of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream (the whole big carton, which then was a half gallon instead of 1.5 quarts), and he lived till about 90–and his last request for food was some Breyer’s vanilla.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Ginger Baker has the rep as one of the most difficult people in all rockdom (which is really sayin’ something, I suppose). Clapton often had to get between the two to keep Bruce from braining Baker with his bass.

    Rumor has it, shortly before he shuffled off this mortal coil, when Bruce was calling friends and band-mates to say goodbye, he put in a call to Baker just to bid him a final “fuck you.”

  12. koseighty
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Concerning the cat at the door, I saw a youtube video where someone successfully translated Chat to French (with English subtitles):

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink


    • ploubere
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink


  13. Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Ginger Baker played Tampere, Finland two years ago. The band was great (Pee Wee Ellis, Alec Dankworth and Abass Dodoo), but the leader was only able to perform in 15 minute stretches due to his heart problems.

  14. Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Watching the Sweetie Cat video disturbed mine greatly. Tail went, and there was some back talk.

  15. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    That first video of Cream was recorded by the French F2 TV network, in a closed session [no audience] at the Revolution club, London in Nov. ’67

    Very good roaming camerawork – very 60s
    Set: Tales Of Brave Ulysses, Sunshine Of Your Love & Spoonful.

    A couple of pleasing historical nuggets from the era…

    Here’s a couple of videos at the same venue – Revolution, but for the Quorom fashion shows [Ossie Clark & Alice Pollock] which were fab & groovy & very “in” at the time – the Beatles for example. Commentary is priceless with women called “birds” & prices are in Guineas, which is a very old, very weird convention that’s died out now. One Guinea is 21 shillings where 20 shillings equals one Great British Pound. Thus 25 Guineas = £26.25 = $74 approx [$3 to the pound back then]

    [1] Richard Burton & Liz Taylor [dunno the location. Paris?] then the film switches to the Revolution – George Harrison, Patti Boyd, John Lennon.

    [2] John Lennon looking very smart with Yoko Ono + Cathy McGowan [Hip Brit TV presenter of Ready Steady Go! & important Mod icon]

    I’m hoping I’ve made it so vids don’t embed

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Harrison and Clapton shared the same first wife, Patti Boyd. She married Clapton 6 years after breaking up with Harrison. I remember being amazed at how laid back GH was about it. Something along the lines of she’s better off with EC than some jerk.

    In 2007 she published her autobiography “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” and her terrific photos of both George and Eric can be seen at the San Francisco Art Exchange (same place I posted about that has the actual and rejected Abbey Road front cover photo.)

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Pattie not Patti

  17. ploubere
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I lost interest in Clapton after he found religion. I found his music insipid after that.

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