Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

G’day, mates: it’s January 14, 2018, and still wicked cold in Chicago. At this moment—about 4:30 a.m.—the temperature outside is 10° F (-12° C), and the high today will reach only 22° F (-6° C). In fact, according to the Washington Post, Chicago is now getting ice formations usually seen only in Antarctica or the Baltic Sea: “pancake ice” that requires extreme cold and high winds to form. Here it is:

Photo by Barry Butler

It’s National Hot Pastrami Day, and my mind drifts back to overstuffed sandwiches at Katz’s, The Second Avenue Deli, and the Carnegie Deli, all in New York. There’s nothing comparable in Chicago (Manny’s gives it a game try).  It’s also the medieval Christian holiday Feast of the Ass.

Not much happened on this day in history, as per my theory that events are scarce when it’s cold. On this day in 1539, Spain annexed Cuba, and if you put the last digit in second place, on this day in 1953 Tito was inaugurated as the first President of Yugoslavia. On January 14, 1967, the Human Be-In took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: the official beginning of the Summer of Love. It was at the Be-In that Timothy Leary came out with his famous mantra: Also “turn on, tune in, drop out“.  Here’s a poster:

Allen Ginsburg at the event:

Finally, it was on this day in 1973 that Elvis Presley’s concert Aloha from Hawaii was broadcast live via satellite, and became (and still is) the most watched television broadcast by a single entertainer.

Notables born on this day include Mark Antony (83 BC), Benedict Arnold (1741), Maria Theresa of Austria (1767), Albert Schweitzer (1875), John Dos Passos (1896), Andy Rooney (1919), photographer Garry Winogrand (1928), Faye Dunaway (1941), Maureen Dowd (1952), and Slick Rick (1965, whose gig was missed by Amy Winehouse).

Winogrand, like Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, was a great street photographer; here’s one of his images:

Those who died on this day include Edmond Halley (1742; yes, the comet), George Berkeley (1753), Lewis Carroll (1898), Humphrey Bogart (1957), Anaïs Nin (1977), Kurt Gödel (1978), Ray Kroc (1984), Donna Reed (1986), and Ricardo Montalbán (2009, famed for selling cars with Corinthian leather seats).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has purloined some nonkosher ham!

A: Was it you who ate the ham from my sandwich?
Hili: I can’t remember.
In Polish:
Ja: Czy to ty zjadłaś szynkę z mojej kanapki?
Hili: Nie przypominam sobie.

And Leon, still waiting to move into his new home (it’ll be a while), remains infused with Christmas cheer:

Leon: I’m still purring in the Christmas spirit.

Some tweets. From Matthew: a really stunning spider mimicking a dead leaf:

From Grania: a bird visits a weather forecast.

From reader Barry, a traffic jam I wouldn’t mind being stuck in:

From Heather Hastie, a cat with hiccups:

. . . as well as a pissed-off cat:

. . . and a cacheing squirrel:


  1. Posted January 14, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Hili is a Dreaded Hamwort!

    (H/T to the late Hap Kliban, cat cartoonist extraordinaire.)

  2. nicky
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Those handbags! Those expressions! Priceless.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted January 14, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      And the hair, straight out of ‘Mars Attacks’.

    • Posted January 14, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Did you notice the evil guy from Matrix is in the front row of the Be-in?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        LOL Agent Smith isn’t bad. I think he’s actually the hero of the Matrix.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          He’s certainly the most interesting character.

          Well spotted, though. (I thought it might be one of the Blues Brothers, sans hat).


    • Janet
      Posted January 14, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      And in nearly every photo you see from that era, people were lean.

  3. George
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Some false advertising on the Human Be-In poster. I don’t think that either Santana or Steve Miller played.
    “The “San Francisco bands” that had been vaguely advertised turned out to be the Big Four — the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother & the Holding Company. (Big Brother co-founder Peter Albin claims the band was in Los Angeles and never quite made it, though there are still people who swear they heard Janis Joplin wail.)”

    \I would not have complained.

  4. GBJames
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The leaf spider is amazing!

  5. Blue
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    TOO here, ” … … and still wicked cold.”

    Thus I state, and,

    for sure, as well,


  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Mark Antony wasn’t just born before the Gregorian calendar- he was even born before the Julian calendar, meaning he was born under the Roman calendar. (The 7th and 8th month were still Quintilis and Sextilis, not July and August.)

    The Roman calendar itself had several versions, having been most recently revised in 304 BC with the Flavian reform.

    In Julian reckoning, today is December 29th, but I haven’t any idea what day it is in the Roman calendar.

    My humble suggestion would be to say Mark Antony was born on this “date” is 83 BCE.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I can never work out Roman dates for things. Some volcanologist will come along and make it all worse anyway.

  7. Simon Hayward
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    My daughter sent me the link to the pancake ice yesterday, I think as a way of pointing out that Atlanta is generally warmer than Chicago (even though it’s cold by local standards right now).

    I was wondering if anyone knows whether we are seeing those formations at relatively higher temps here (vs Antarctica) because this is fresh vs salt water ice. Seems a reasonable hypothesis but I know nothing about this.

  8. Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Wow that looks so cold.

    Out here on the beautiful island of Maui the forecast is for sunny and 83 degrees today…with a chance of incoming ballistic missiles.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Darn, you beat me to the ballistic missile punch line.

      • Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Ha ha. I had to. I’m tired of being your straight-man.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 14, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      And here in Auckland I’m swimming every day (except when I can’t be bothered to go) because the water’s *warm* 😎

      Warmest year (for swimming) that I can recall. All the extra heat energy that isn’t in Chicago any more must have ended up with us.

      A ‘high’ of minus 6? I can hardly conceive it.


      **Currently 22 C (that’s 71 F)

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        -6 is balmy lately. I don’t wear a hat when it’s -6 and I wear my lighter coat.

  9. Posted January 14, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    That leaf spider is fascinating

  10. nurnord
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    The pissed-off cat looks rather like Yoda !

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha yes the ear position is Yoda-like. The way the cat’s mouth & eyes are arranged, it looks like it just got finished saying, “this is bullshit!”

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