Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Yes, good morning; it’s Tuesday, November 14, 2017, and National Guacamole Day as well as World Diabetes Day. Just a note: as I’m preparing for a trip and have multiple things to do (haircut, going downtown to get a new battery put in my watch, etc.) posting will be light from tomorrow through Monday of next week, when I return. As always, I do my best.

Whether you look at events, births, or deaths, not much happened on this day in history. On November 14, 1851, Melville’s Moby-Dick was published in the U.S. In 1922, the BBC began radio service in the UK, and 45 years later,  American physicist Theodore Maiman received a patent for the world’s first laser, the ruby laser.

An animated Google Doodle (below) celebrates the 131st anniversary of the hole punch. As the Spectator notes, devices to punch holes in paper were patented as early as 1885, but Google gives the kudos to another patent awarded on this day:

Google gives the honours of having invented the paper punch to the Germans, however. Friedrich Soennecken made his patent for a paper punch device in November 1886.

How many of us still use this device? I don’t think I’ve punched a hole in a decade. It’s a weird thing to celebrate! However, Soennecken invented more than that; as Wikipedia reports, he devised the kind of round, continuous writing that most of us use on the now rare occasions we write by hand:

His main invention is the “round writing” style of calligraphy and the pen nib associated with it.  Round writing was designed to be a visually appealing, standardized style of penmanship which was easy to learn and execute, and Soennecken published books on the topic in several languages.

Here’s the Doodle:

Notables born on this day include Claude Monet (1840), Nobel Laureate Frederick Banting (1891, helped discover insulin), Aaron Copland (1900), Joseph McCarthy (1908), and Prince Charles (1948). Here’s a nice Monet, “Cat Sleeping on a Bed”:

By the way, one of our readers has a cat named Clawed Monet, which I think is the best cat name ever.

Those who fell asleep on this day include Alexander Nevsky (1263), Gottfried Leibniz (1716), Booker T. Washington (1915), Grace Jones (2013, a British “supercentenarian who lived until 23 days shy of her 114th birthday), and NPR correspondent Gwen Ifill (2016).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, for once Cyrus objects to being encatted:

Cyrus: Sometimes I feel excluded.
A: What from?
Cyrus: From privacy.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Czasem czuje się wykluczony.
Ja: Z czego?
Cyrus: Z prywatności.

There are more troubles for Leon’s family: the contractor engaged to pour the foundation for their wooden house has reneged, and others are also trying to raise the price of the wooden house his staff bought in Southern Poland over a year ago. Do we have a contractor here that can go to Poland to help them out? In the meantime, Leon prowls the uninhabited site:

Leon: Look how nimbly I move!
A tweet sent by Matthew showing a picture from an old calendar. Is this the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy?

Spot the sheep dog:

From Heather Hastie. Look at that joey get in the fooking sack!

And all cats have a little Maru in them:


  1. Linda Calhoun
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Clawed Monet’s staff here.

    I solved the bed/box problem when I bought new beds for the barn cats by leaving the beds in the shipping boxes.

    The beds were really slick on the bottom, and didn’t want to stay put on top of the cabinets where the cats like them. So, in order to add some traction, I put the beds back into the boxes them came in, and, problem solved.


  2. Posted November 14, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I use the 3 hole puncher all the time on piano sheet music or guitar tab that I’ve printed out and want to organize in a folder.
    Speaking of which, Leon Russell’s best song is Roll Away The Stone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W9JsskFVSo)and their is a wonderful transcription available online for printing and punching holes in.
    The lyrics strangely mix references to the resurrection of Jesus with a love gone awry.

    Well it’s such a strange world that I’m living in
    She was my woman and she was my friend
    But I was wrong again.
    Such a strange changes that you put me through
    But like a fool I fell in love with you
    What can this poor boy do?

    Roll away the stone
    Don’t leave me here alone
    Resurrect me and protect me
    Don’t leave me laying here
    What will they do in two thousand years?

    It’s such a strange time that we’re passing through
    I thought you’d tell me when your time was due
    I guess you thought I knew
    Strange way to keep avoiding me
    Why did you lie how could I help but be
    Oh won’t you help me be?

  3. Jeff Rankin
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The YorkshireShepherdess twitter feed is full of wonderful pictures.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I have a nephew who is a very good builder and contractor and several years of experience. However, afraid he would be out of his element in Poland. Certainly hope that Leon’s staff can find someone of quality to get the work done.

  5. rickflick
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday Claude Monet! During my September visit to France I decided to see the Monet museum in Paris having already seen the Louvre and other well known places. It is an intimate museum which contains many of Monet’s works as well as a number of other familiar artists, like Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso. Here’s a work by Andres Derain that caught my attention.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Monet is one of my favourite artists (along with Sisley and J M W Turner). What they all had in common (and I am not an art critic!) was their treatment of light.

      I wasn’t aware Monet had his own museum. Opportunity missed, maybe next time.


      • Derek Freyberg
        Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        It’s the Musée Marmottan Monet; English-language link here (for some reason they use “uk” rather than “en” for the English site: http://www.marmottan.fr/uk/

        • rickflick
          Posted November 14, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Yes, the Marmottan museum held many object from Monet’s personal collection. The example Derain I show above was actually from the Orangerie Museum not far away. The Orangerie features Monet’s water lilies in a special room he designed for their display. Both museums are worth a visit.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 14, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          Thanks! Noted.

          The ‘uk’ may be because that’s the domain name for British sites.


          • Michael Fisher
            Posted November 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            “UK/” is the English language pages, hosted on the same site as the “version Francaise” – there a flag toggle top of page

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

              Oh yes, I realise that – they could have put the English language pages under any sub-directory name they liked. I was just suggesting why they might have chosen to name it ‘/uk/’ rather than ‘/en/’


  6. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    “he devised the kind of round, continuous writing that most of us use on the now rare occasions we write by hand”

    I have painful memories of being taught “joined-up writing” at school. DIDN’T WORK!

    The painstakingly-rendered joined-up bits (we were forbidden to lift our pen off the paper) dominated and obscured what the actual letters were supposed to be. ‘b’s and ‘f’s and ‘r’s were especially painful and horrible.

    Eventually as a teen I said ‘enough!’ and reverted to print-writing separate letters with an immediate improvement in my legibility and this, with use, eventually morphed into a style of joined-up writing that was still orders of magnitude more legible than the dreadful ‘handwriting’ I’d been taught at school.


  7. Posted November 14, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The cat beds made me laugh especially. Our d*g will gladly use his bed, so long as its put on top of our bed.

  8. David Coxill
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    By the way, one of our readers has a cat named Clawed Monet.

    Did you hear about the Lion Tamer named
    Claude Bottom?

  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The best cat bed is one that has “D*g” written on it –


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      (Look at the expression in that dog’s eyes. We all know who’s boss and it isn’t him.)

  10. Nobody Special
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the hole punch, source of one of the best practical jokes ever.
    About 20 years ago I worked with somebody who enjoyed paying tricks on people. As revenge, when working nights I went around the empty, open-plan office every night for a month, emptying all the hole punches into a bag (it’s surprising how many holes are – or were – punched in an office. When I decided I’d got enough I gained access to his car (an old Ford, so easy to get into it’s embarrassing) and poured the thousands of little paper circles into every air-vent, turned the fan control to full, made sure all vents were open and no paper circles had been dropped, then locked his car and waited for the end of the shift. Obviously, I told other colleagues to watch him leave in his car without telling them why.
    Come end of shift we all headed for the car park as usual, but with an eye on him as he got into his car and turned the key, thus switching on the fan and turning himself and car into the world’s biggest snow-shaker.
    The vents were still blowing out pieces months later.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Oh that is beautiful.

      You are truly, truly evil. (I mean that as a compliment 😎


      • David Coxill
        Posted November 15, 2017 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        It’s people like you that put cling film on toilets ,no offence meant.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 15, 2017 at 4:19 am | Permalink

          Actually, I wouldn’t.

          Because – one of the reasons I admired the OP’s practical joke – it caused no damage and no mess that couldn’t be vacuumed up.

          And I note the ‘victim’ was apparently a repeat offender himself.


          • Nobody Special
            Posted November 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            Thank you, for both the compliment (which was taken as intended) and the defence. My ‘vicytim’ was indeed a repeat offender, and his ‘jokes’ were usually of the cling-film variety (which never worked in brightly-lit rooms; the reflection of light was too obvious) but could often border on malicious; we used extremely high-tack labels that made superglue look like Pritt Stick in comparison, and he’d try to stick them on hairy arms – think ‘extreme waxing’!
            To be fair to him, he wasn’t intending to be malicious, he just thought he was funny and that his co-workers, being largely ex-miners (as was he), were ‘hard’ enough to take it, and he never tried his meaner tricks on anybody who wasn’t in that category. Personally, I’m still surprised that nobody actually got physical with him; I think he was mostly seen as an annoyance, tolerated but kept at arms length.

  11. Dale Franzwa
    Posted November 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    PBS News Hour had a nice tribute to Gwen Ifill tonight. She hosted Washington Week in Review (which I watched almost every Friday night) and co-anchored the News Hour with Judy Woodruff. Gwen was a terrific journalist and a great personality.

  12. Posted November 15, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    I think all the Polish contractors are here in the UK.

%d bloggers like this: