Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s Saturday, October 7, 2017, and the start of a three-day weekend in the U.S. (dare I say it’s the Columbus Day weekend?). It’s National Frappe Day, which is confusing because in some places in America, like New England, “frappe” means a milkshake (milk, syrup, ice cream, and whipped cream), while in most other places it’s an iced coffee beverage, sometimes topped with whipped cream but containing no ice cream.

It’s again one of those days on which not much happened in history, which makes my job easier. On October 7, 1916, Georgia Tech beat Cumberland University 222–0 in the most lopsided-scoring college football game in American history. Imagine how the Cumberland players felt! Georgia Tech got 32 touchdowns, and here’s a photo scoreboard from Wikipedia (not quarters, obviously):

On this day in 1919, the Dutch airline KLM was founded, and the fact you should know is that it’s the oldest airline in the world still doing business under its original name. On this day in 1949, the communist GDR (or DDR in German) was established, otherwise known as “East Germany”. When I was in junior high school, my family visited East Berlin after having driven through the DDR to Berlin from West Germany. I remember it as bleak.

On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa founded the Missionairies of Charity, otherwise known as Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering. Finally, on this day in 2003, California governor Gray Davis was recalled in an election (only the second in US history); the voters simply didn’t like him. His replacement, you may recall, was ARNOLD! I’m somewhat fond of Schwarzenegger as he smokes Cuban cigars (as do I) and has a huge collection of cowboy boots, most made by Falconhead in El Paso. I once visited the factory when they were making him a pair of black boots inlaid with sterling silver skulls: a Christmas gift from his then wife Maria Shriver. Here’s Arnold with some of his boots (I have more). These are fancy boots and very expensive (the pair I saw under construction would cost over $20,000).  He seems to favor alligator.

Give me a politician who wears cowboy boots!

Notables born on October 7 include Joe Hill (1879), Niels Bohr (1885), SS guard Irma Grese (1923, hanged at age 22), Harry Kroto (1939), Oliver North (1943), and Vladimir Putin (1952). Those who died on this day include Edgar Allen Poe (1849), Christy Mathewson (1925), Norman Angell (1967), and Leo Durocher (1991).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is having a rare moment of neediness. Look at that face! I’m told that he has no doubts about Malgorzata’s affection but has more respect for Andrzej:

Hili: Do you still like me?
A: Why do you ask?
Hili: Just in case.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy ty mnie jeszcze lubisz?
Ja: Dlaczego pytasz?
Hili: Na wszelki wypadek.

Matthew found a cat tw**t; be sure to watch the whole thing:

And one from Heather Hastie—it’s DOOR CAT!

And, for your amusement, a tw**t from Dan Arel:


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The Imelda Marcos of cowboy boots.

    • nicky
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      But Jerry has more! The ‘Iron Butterfly’ was my first reaction too, although I doubt their collections run in the thousands.

  2. Linda Calhoun
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    “Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering”…

    Oooohh, Jebus love. Feel the love!!


    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      That has to be MT’s honorific. She embodies it for sure.

      Irma Grese, aka “The beautiful beast of Belsen.” I don’t want to think of that unspeakable creature as being part of the human race, but she is.

  3. Roger Latour
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    “Here’s Arnold with some of his boots (I have more”

    You have more?!? I wants a picture…

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      I have about 120 pairs. No pictures!

      • BJ
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        I’ve always been curious: how comfortable are cowboy boots? They look terribly uncomfortable, particularly the shape of the soles (I don’t know if that’s what you actually call them). Are the different on the inside in a way that makes them far more comfy?

        • Andy Lowry
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          If you mean the pointy part at the toe, the narrowing starts right at the end of your toes. No scrunching of tarsals happens. The rest of the upper fits the shape of the foot very well, with a waist at the arch, so it’s like your foot is getting a nice hug. The heels are usually about an inch high, so that takes a little practice to get used to (or did for me, anyway).

          • BJ
            Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            Actually, I meant that I’ve notice the heel and the space from toe to arch have a sole (or whatever you call it on a cowboy boot), but there appears to be a space between them that has no support. Also, those pieces of the sole always look like they’re made of a very hard material.

            • darrelle
              Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

              It of course depends on the quality of the boot but high quality western boots fitted properly are very comfortable. I’ve owned many pairs of Redwing boots, I like them for riding, but the fine western boots I’ve had are more comfortable than any Redwings I’ve had. There is typically a bit of a break-in period but not as long as you might think.

              It has been a while since I’ve bought a pair, but the level of boot I’m talking about would be in the $300 minimum range back in the ’80s, more like $500 in the ’90s.

              Cheap western boots can be crippling though. Think Steve Martin’s Cruel Shoes skit.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        I was hoping you meant mire pictures of Arnie and his boots! 😀

        I like Arnie too because he’s making a big effort to do something about gerrymandering. It’s a huge problem in US politics and needs sorting.

  4. Larry LeClair
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Why is the scoreboard “obviously” not quarters? 63+63+54+42=222 It seems obvious to me that it is a typical four-quarter and total scoreboard. Am I missing something?

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Possibly the Georgia team scored 22 points while walking off the field?

    • Hempenstein
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Yep, those last frames are the totals.

    • vtvita
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      You are correct, sir. You beat me to it.

  5. jaxkayaker
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Arel has come unhinged from what I’ve observed.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      When you make your living saying things, and don’t actually have anything to say…

  6. busterggi
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    That door cat – not named Johnny is it?

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    One year ago today, Trump’s “Access Hollywood” hot-mic video was unearthed. Half-hour later, Putin’s people released Podesta’s purloined emails.

    Earlier that day, the US intelligence community had announced that Russia was hacking the US presidential election with the intent to influence its outcome. And, oh yeah, a Cat 4 hurricane named Matthew made landfall in Florida.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Coincidence…I think not.

  8. Vaal
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Good lord, that Arnold picture with the suit and cowboy boots is the epitome of “there’s no accounting for taste.”

    I suppose those boots could look right with some other attire. Well, that is if you like cowboy boots…never understood the appeal at all. But then, other people’s hobbies often look odd from our own perspective. I had a friend obsessed with collecting old wall clocks, which gave me a peek into the previously unknown world of clock collectors. I thought his hobby was odd – he thought my high end audio hobby was odd. And so it goes with hobbies….

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Take it up with Steve Pinker!

      • Vaal
        Posted October 8, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink


        They actually look better on Pinker.

        I shall retire, tail between my legs….

    • XCellKen
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      I collect old beer cans from the 50s and 60s. To most outsiders, that is much odder than collecting cowboy boots

      • nicky
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is really weird. At least you’re aware of it. In a reverse kind of Catch 22 it might mean you are actually sane. 🙂

  9. BJ
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Jerry, but I have one other question for you today (in addition to the one I posted above): when your parents visited the GDR, was it soon after the Berlin Wall went up? I’m assuming so, since it was built in 1961, and you probably didn’t attend high school until a couple of years after the wall’s construction. If so, what was the process of getting in and out like? How risky was it to visit? And what compelled them to do so?

    OK, I guess that was more than one question.

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      It was probably about 1964 or 1965, and yes, the wall was up. The rules were this: we had to stay on the Autobahn, not getting off even for gas, all the way to Berlin. Once in West Berlin, we could then visit East Berlin under two conditions: my dad had to wear his American Army uniform, and we had to exchange a certain number of West German marks into Ostmarks (or whatever they called them). It was perfectly safe because those visits were not uncommon, and nobody is gonna attack a US army officer in uniform in East Berlin. I think we had some kind of bus tour and then walked around a bit. We bought some wursts with the Ostmarks. I remember the HUGE disparity in the wealth and atmosphere between East and West Berlin.

      Oh, and we went through Checkpoint Charlie.

      • BJ
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        That was very interesting, especially the requirement for your father to wear his uniform. Thanks for the response.

      • Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        “Ostmark” – that was the inofficial name only in West Germany for the currency of the GDR. If you went in the middle of the sixties there, the money would be called “Mark der Deutschen Notenbank” (MDN) (1964 – Dezember 1967).
        From January 1968 until June 1990 the name of the currency was simply “Mark”.

    • nicky
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I went to the DDR in the late seventies, a school-trip organised by a communist teacher.
      Noted the difference in living standards, but nothing much more of that. Meissen, Dresden, some incredible mountains and a lot more. It was a great trip.

      • BJ
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        I’m curious if the communist teacher tried to give some positive explanation of why living standards were so much worse there.

        • nicky
          Posted October 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          He actually did: “Marshall Aid”.

      • darrelle
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        I visited East Berlin in the late ’70s, also on a school trip. My father was US military and we were stationed in West Germany at the time. The school was a US military school.

        The US military had lots of problems in the ’70s, but one thing they did very well was the overseas schools for dependents. Excellent teachers and programs. Week long field trips to places like Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Innsbruck, Paris. Those were fun years.

  10. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    the start of a three-day weekend in the U.S.

    For banks and federal office workers perhaps, but for many state governments and most schools and businesses (including the University of Chicago), Columbus Day is just like any other Monday.

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Annie turned out to be a reasonably competent governor of CA.
    One of the unfortunate incidents in his political career only seemed bad to folks who never watched Saturday Night Live.

    As an actor, he was incredibly gracious about spoofs of himself ranging from the underrated film “Last Action Hero” to the Hans and Franz sketches on Saturday Night Live.
    It was on the latter that the phrase “You are little girlie-men” got popularized. Annie used it in a political speech, offending a few feminists. But at least the friend of mine who got offended had never seen any of the Hans and Franz sketches, and when I explained them to her, she had a much mellower attitude to Arnie using it. (But he should know a lot of his constituents don’t watch SNL.)

    • ploubere
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      I was living in CA at the time and voted to keep Gray. The whole thing stank. Gray had been set up by the Bush administration over the cost of electricity and rolling outages, which had been artificially engineered by Enron. Bush refused to do anything about it, and Gray got blamed for the debacle in the public perception. He didn’t deserve to be recalled.

  12. ploubere
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Georgia Tech beat Cumberland because Cumberland didn’t actually have a football team, the program had been discontinued. But Georgia’s coach, John Heisman, insisted that the game be played, due to a contract.

    Cumberland got together some volunteers, many of whom had never played the game. Thus the results.

    The game was ended 15 minutes early, or the results would have been worse.

  13. Bob Barber
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Dear Professor,

    You may wish to rethink your comment about politicians in cowboy boots. Here is what we have in Alabama.

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