Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Yes, it’s Monday again, September 11, 2017, and thus the infamous “9/11″—the 16th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. And it’s another chilly and overcast day in Dobrzyn. Hili was out all night, but this morning we found her warmly ensconced in her “nest” (a blanket formed into a cup) on the veranda. It’s National Hot Cross Buns Day, a food rarely seen in America, and one I’ve eaten only overseas.

I am heading to Gdansk (Danzig) early tomorrow morning to give a talk, and posting will be very light after today (I return to Warsaw on Friday). Grania will be handling the Hili dialogues.

On September 11, 1296, during the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Scots, led by William “FREEDOM!” Wallace and Andrew Moray, defeated a much larger English force at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Moray was killed in the fighting and in 1305 Wallace was captured and executed—you know the grisly details.  On this day in 1609, Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan, inhabited by Native Americans. In 1857, September 11 marked the end of the four-day Mountain Meadows Massacre in which Mormons, with the help of Native Americans, killed 120 people in a wagon train heading for California. Only 17 people were spared, all children younger than seven. On September 11, 1973, Salvador Allende was removed from power by a coup led by Augusto Pinochet, with Allende committing suicide with a rifle.

On this day in 1985, Peter Rose broke Ty Cobb’s career record of hits in baseball,  getting his 4,192nd hit—a single against the San Diego Padres. It is likely that Rose used “corked bats” (bats hollowed out and replaced with cork to make them lighter) in pursuit of this record.  His total was 4,256 hits, but he was later ruled ineligible for the Hall of Fame because of his betting on baseball, and also went to prison for tax evasion. Here’s his record-breaking hit:

Finally, on this day in 2015, four Americans were killed on an attack of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, an event that was to dog the future campaigns of Hillary Clinton, who at the time was Secretary of State.

Notables born in this day include Carl Zeiss (1816), O. Henry (1862), D. H. Lawrence (1885), Mickey Hart (1943), Leo Kottke (1945) and Moby (1965; what happened to him?). Those who died on this day include four heads of state: Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1948), Jan Smuts (1950), Nikita Khrushchev (1971), and Salvador Allende (1973; see above), as well as Lorne Greene and Peter Tosh (both 1987). Finally on this day in 2001, 3996 people died in the terrorist attacks in New York, with another 6,000 people injured. Those are too many people to list here, but spare a thought for them and their families.

Meanwhile here in Dobrzyn, Hili has sniffed out something suspicious:

Hili: Could something be hiding here?
A: I doubt it.
Hili: Still, you have to check everything.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy tam mogło się coś schować?
Ja: Wątpię.
Hili: Trzeba jednak wszystko sprawdzać.

Nearby, Leon is thinking Deep Thoughts:

Leon: I have to think through a few things.

In Polish: “Muszę przemyśleć parę spraw.”

Out in Winnipeg, yesterday was “Gusday,” the day when he gets special fusses and extra ‘nip:

Gus: “I do believe that I smell catnip.”

Reader Charleen sent a catpuccino:

Found by Matthew Cobb, a case of art imitating life. Could you bear to drink one of these?

Once again I’ve stolen a tw**t from Heather Hastie’s daily compendium. This one shows a smart cat who’s learned exactly what to do to cop a cuddle:

And reader jsp sent this vet’s sign, which conveys a profound truth:


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    It is odd how large and long the Benghazi terrorist act dogged Clinton when compared to the incident in Lebanon during the Reagan era. Hundreds of marines were killed in Lebanon and resulted in retreat.

    I suspect the only thing that Babe Ruth corked was a bottle. The spit ball was made illegal during Ruth’s time and some pitchers were grandfathered in and continued to use it.

  2. beanfeast
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I thought Good Friday was hot cross bun day.

    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Exactly, they’re available in one of our local markets just before Easter. Why September 11?

    • Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      So did I – that’s when they are everywhere here, or rather leading up to it.

  3. David Duncan
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Hili was out all night, but this morning we found her warmly ensconced in her “nest” (a blanket formed into a cup) on the veranda.”

    Is there a photo please?

    • Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      It was ineffably cute, but she got up and came in before I had the chance to get my camera. I may get another chance, but I’ll be here only three more nights.

  4. Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Geographical urban myth trivia tme. I read once that Henry Hudson is the sole non-aristocrat/Head of State to have 3 places named after him – Hudsons Bay, Strait and River.

    I imagine Cook must run him close, but surely there are others? Columbus?

    • Randy schenck
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Well, Columbus had a country, Columbia. Cook had the Cook Islands and Mount Cook in NZ. Strait of Magellan, Bering Strait, Drake Passage, Faddey Island and Tasmania. Probably hard to get three or more.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Tasman – Tasmania (as you say), also the Tasman Sea, and we in NZ have Abel Tasman National Park, Mount Tasman in the Southern Alps (near Mt Cook as it happens), Tasman River, Tasman Bay (by Nelson).

        That’s six for Cook and six for Tasman. Honours even 😉

        (All these are substantial geographic features, not just some obscure dots on the map)


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        And Columbus – Colombia the country; Columbus, Ohio; District of Columbia (Washington); Columbia River; British Columbia; (I presume all those referred to Cristoforo Colombo): there are probably others.

        Sorry, can’t resist this stuff. I’d better stop now before PCC zaps me for dominating the thread…


      • Derek Freyberg
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        And Cook Strait.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Close? No contest.

      Cook Islands in the South Pacific; Cook Strait (between North & South Islands of New Zealand); Mt Cook (New Zealand); Cook River (west coast New Zealand), Cook Inlet (Alaska); Cook’s Harbour, Newfoundland…

      the guy got around.

      (And that doesn’t include places I had to Google for like the two Cook Bays, one in South Georgia and one in Tierra del Fuego)


      • Randy schenck
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        It sounds like NZ appreciated the explorers more than most. Now, who had the most explorers of note – England, Spain, Portugal or Italy?

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Well Tasman was Dutch and Humboldt was German (Prussian).

          But I wouldn’t care to venture an opinion. ‘Explorer’ is a bit of a fuzzy category and ‘explorers of note’ even more so. 😉

          As to why NZ has so many geographical features named after explorers, (and quite a few after classical allusions like Castor and Pollux), I’d guess it was due to a relative dearth of pre-existing local names at the time, in the more remote areas. The question of Maori vs European names can be a bit contentious though. (I’d better mention that Mt Cook, highest in New Zealand, is also known as Aoraki-Mt Cook).


      • Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Vancouver has a few. There’s the island, the several cities: Technically, Vancouver, BC and West Vancouver and North Vancouver are separate, plus Vancouver, Washington. There are is also a bay and a river. I see also there is a lake which I didn’t know about.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      How about Rhodes? With Northern and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe and Zambia), and a university. And I doubt that would be all.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Ah, Rhodes. We don’t talk about him, he was a colonialist of the worst sort.

        Which leads to an unfortunate but ineluctable conclusion – if we’re going to remove stachoos of un-approved historical figures, what about places named after them? After all, virtually every** historical figure was a racist, sexist, elitist miscreant by today’s standards. Every single map will have to be comprehensively re-drawn.

        (And our USAnian friends – in the United States of [unacceptable historical character redacted] – will be more vulnerable than most, every place name** in their entire country will have to be changed. Nobody will be able to find their way around any more).


        (** to a first approximation)

  5. Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “Heads of state”?

    Muhammad Ali Jinnah was governor-general of Pakistan under head of state King George VI (the head of government at the time was Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan).

    Jan Smuts was prime minister of South Africa under heads of state King George V (first appointment as PM) & King George VI (second appointment as PM) & about half a dozen GGs.

    Nikita Khrushchev was, likewise, head of government, not head of state.

    As president of Chile, Allende was head of state (as well as head of government). 1/4 correct.

    • Posted September 11, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      this is the kind of nitpicking comment that borders on rudeness, and crosses the border with your “1/4 correct.” You know what I meant.

  6. Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget also the provenance of the “first 9/11”.

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