Friday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Friday, October 6, 2016:  National Noodle Day. Today the weather will be cloudy in Chicago with a chance of rain, but with a temperate high of 22° C (71° F)—still on the warm side for fall. I continue to look for my duck Honey every day, but my whistles to her are in vain. I wonder were she is. I suppose I’ll put the cup of mealworms I carry down to the pond three times a day back in the mother bag, hoping to feed her come spring.

It’s not much of a day for history. It was on this day in 1723 when Benjamin Franklin arrived in Philadelphia at age 17, having run away from his home in Boston. Legend has it that he was carrying a loaf of bread, but it wasn’t a loaf. Here’s his account:

I have been the more particular in this description of my journey, and shall be so of my first entry into that city, that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the figure I have since made there. I was in my working dress, my best cloaths being to come round by sea. I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuff’d out with shirts and stockings, and I knew no soul nor where to look for lodging. I was fatigued with travelling, rowing, and want of rest, I was very hungry; and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling in copper. The latter I gave the people of the boat for my passage, who at first refus’d it, on account of my rowing; but I insisted on their taking it. A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps thro’ fear of being thought to have but little.

Then I walked up the street, gazing about till near the market-house I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker’s he directed me to, in Secondstreet, and ask’d for bisket, intending such as we had in Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia. Then I asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I made him give me three-penny worth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy rolls. I was surpriz’d at the quantity, but took it, and, having no room in my pockets, walk’d off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other.

On this day in 1927, the first famous “talkie” (talking movie) opened: The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolsen. The plot (from Wikipedia):

The film depicts the fictional story of Jakie Rabinowitz, a young man who defies the traditions of his devout Jewish family. After singing popular tunes in a beer garden he is punished by his father, a hazzan (cantor), prompting Jakie to run away from home. Some years later, now calling himself Jack Robin, he has become a talented jazz singer. He attempts to build a career as an entertainer but his professional ambitions ultimately come into conflict with the demands of his home and heritage.

Here’s his first song in the movie, which was only partly a “talkie”:

On October 6, 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists. Finally, on this day ten years ago, Jason Lewis became the first person to travel around the world on his own power, using kayaks, boats, bicycles, and rollerblades. It took him 13 years to complete the journey.

Notables born on October 6 include Jenny Lind (1820), George Westinghouse (1846), Le Corbusier (1887) Willy Merkl (1900, died in 1934 climbing Nanga Parbat), Carole Lombard (1908; died at 33 in a plane crash), Thor Heyerdahl (1914) and Melvyn Bragg (1939). Those who died on this day include Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1892), Elizabeth Bishop (1979), Anwar Sadat (see above), Nelson Riddle (1985), Johnny Vander Meer (1997; he holds a baseball record that has never been bested—do you know what it is?) and J. J. C. Smart (2012). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is stunned and stupefied:

Hili: OMG!
A: What’s that?
Hili: A flying saucer with cream.
In Poliah:
Hili: OMG!
Ja: Co takiego?
Hili: Latający talerz ze śmietanką.

Here’s a tw**t sent my a reader (I lost the email; my apologies), who claimed that this undoubtedly took many tries before it succeeded! I like to think it’s a one-off, but I’m probably wrong:

And three tw**ts pinched from Heather Hastie. In this first one, a bear approaches a workman in Kolyma, Russia. He’s a nice man and feeds it (would you?):

A panda ant, not an ant but a wingless wasp:

. . . and a hungry cat:


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I had to looked up the baseball record so will not mention it here. Franklin was the most famous early American and right up there with Washington during the time. In Europe he was probably more famous and had many years in France and Britain. Considered his son a traitor as he stayed on the side of Britain. The part of his life that somewhat remains a mystery was his private life with his family. Anyway, he will always be best known for his work with France during the revolution.

  2. Larry LeClair
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Vander Meer: Back-to-back no-hitters.

    • Steve
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      That’s right, in 1947 for the Reds.

    • Steve
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      That’s right. In 1947 for the Cincinnati Reds.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I love reading Franklin’s diary/writings.

    What’s a bisket?

    • Posted October 6, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink


    • Posted October 6, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Had Benjamin been jewish, it would have been a brisket.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        And if Italian, a biscotti.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I’ve made that rugged Boston-to-Philly run on I-95 a time or two myself, so know just how ol’ Ben felt when he arrived.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Probably close to a month journey when Franklin did it?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Yeah, say what you will about that stretch of I-95 through New Jersey, at least it doesn’t usually require any “rowing.” 🙂

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 6, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          Yeah, I was a bit long on that travel…more like 2 weeks. I guess the boat was preferable to walking.

  5. John W.
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Not a one-off. Canada (gray) jays are famously not shy of humans.

    • Bruce Lyon
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I have personally had them do this exact thing time after time. Now officially the Gray Jay; Canada Jay has not been used for years I think.

  6. Dave B
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Sadly, I see a bullet in that bears future. Don’t ever feed a bear.

    The Jay was super cool.

  7. Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Canada jays (we call them whiskeyjacks)do this all the time. If you go cross-country skiing in Manning Park in BC, as soon as you stop. the whiskeyjacks will come flying out to greet you and land on your hand to take a bite from your granola bar.

  8. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Wikipedia has a marvelous in depth analysis of the unique way that blackface singing is used in “The Jazz Singer” here:

    I quote one enticing sentence (itself a quote from a critic)
    “In contrast to the racial jokes and innuendo brought out in its subsequent persistence in early sound film, blackface imagery in The Jazz Singer is at the core of the film’s central theme, an expressive and artistic exploration of the notion of duplicity and ethnic hybridity within American identity. “

  9. Blue
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Would that I myself could turn back time, too,
    especially and in particular … …
    to this pre – election date !

    “Good morning on Friday, October 6, 2016:”

%d bloggers like this: