Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday, February 2, 2018, and a frigid 5° F (-15° C) outside, with snow predicted today and through the weekend in Chicago. It’s National Tater Tot Day. I suspect they have these in Canada, and Wikipedia says they’ve also infected Australia and New Zealand, but not elsewhere. Actually they’re not bad! If you haven’t seen them, here’s what they look like.

Let’s learn about Tater Tots! From Wikipedia;

Tater tots are pieces of deep-fried, grated potatoes served as a side dish. They are recognized by their compact cylindrical shape and crispy colored exterior. “Tater Tots®” is a registered trademark of Ore-Ida (a division of the H. J. Heinz Company) that is often used as a generic term.

The product was created in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. They chopped up the slivers, added flour and seasoning, then pushed the mash through holes and sliced off pieces of the extruded mixture. The product was first offered in stores in 1956.

Originally, the product was very inexpensive. According to advertising lectures at Iowa State University, people did not buy it at first because there was no perceived value. When the price was raised, people began buying it. Today, Americans consume approximately 70,000,000 pounds (32,000,000 kg) of tater tots, or 3,710,000,000 tots per year.

It’s also Groundhog Day, and the sky in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where Phil makes his prognostication, is predicted to be partly cloudy. We won’t know for a while, then, whether Phil will see his shadow (that forecasts 6 more weeks of cold weather). I hope he doesn’t, because maybe my beloved duck Honey will return early!

On February 2, 1709, Alexander Selkirk, after being marooned for 4 years on a desert island, was rescued, inspiring Defoe’s book Robinson Crusoe. And on this day in 1887, in Punxsutawney, the very first Groundhog Day was observed, so it’s been going 131 years.  On February 2, 1901, Queen Victoria died at age 81; she had reigned for 63.5 years.  And on this day in 1922, Joyce’s great novel Ulysses was published. In 1943, the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad came to a close, with the last German troops surrendering to the Red Army.  On this day in 1959, the Dyatlov Pass incident occurred, in which 9 experienced hikers and skiers died, having cut their way out of their tents. The cause of their death has never been determined. Finally, on February 2, 1990, South African President F. W. de Klerk announced that the ANC was unbanned and promised to release Nelson Mandela from prison. It was the beginning of the end for apartheid, and both de Klerk and Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Notables born on this day include Hamnet Shakespeare, William Shakespeare’s only son. Hamnet died at only 11, but his twin sister Judith lived to be 77 and his eldest daughter Susanna lived to 66. On this day in 1882, James Joyce was born, so that Ulysses was published on Joyce’s 40th birthday.  Also born on February 2 were Jascha Heifitz (1901), Ayn Rand (1905), James Dickey (1923), Stan Getz (1927), Evgeny Velikhov (1935), Tommy Smothers (1937; still with us), and Shakira (1977; hips don’t lie).

Getz and Coltrane, who had very different styles, were two of the greatest saxophone players of our time. Here they are playing together (with the Miles Davis Quintet) in a medley of three songs:

Those who died on February 2 include Dmitri Mendeleev (1907), John L. Sullivan (1918), Boris Karloff (1969), Bertrand Russell (1970), Sid Vicious (1979), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (2014, only 46).

Also, Buster Keaton, who died on February 1, 1966, had his death reported on the front page of the New York times on February 2. Note the second paragraph (h/t: Matthew):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili (already rotund) is wheedling for her next meal:
Hili: You understand yourself that we have to have a talk.
A: What about?
Hili: About shopping or about what can be pleasing for a cat.
In Polish:
Hili: Sam rozumiesz, że musimy porozmawiać.
Ja: O czym?
Hili: O zakupach, czyli o tym, co może kotu sprawić przyjemność.

And up in Winnipeg, Gus got a good brushing yesterday, but wanted to nom the brush, too:

Matthew sent a tweet of maternal instinct gone wrong:

A tweet from Grania, who says the prediction is “freakishly correct”:

From Matthew, a Dramatic Ferret:

. . . and a cat chased by an otter:

Aerin Jacob has also experienced the 15 minutes of fame that come with a botfly:

58 Comments

  1. Tim Harris
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Glad to see that both cat and otter have their headlights properly on.

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Percy Shaw!

      • Nobody Special
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Percy Shaw (yes, the Percy Shaw) was my maternal grandmother’s cousin. He was by all accounts an oddball and a bit of a miser – even after making ‘a bob or two from his fortuitous encounter with a cat at night – who used newspaper for a tablecloth, had no chairs, employing tea-chests (the wooden boxes used for shipping tea and given away by grocers once empty), in their place, and drank tea from jam jars.

    • BJ
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I can’t believe that cat was such a wuss. My first cat would’ve beat the shit out of that otter, tortured him until he revealed the location of his family, barged into their home and threatened to murder them if they ever stepped on his territory again, and then come home and sat in my lap, purring and nuzzling me and being the sweetest kitty that ever was. He loved and never so much as nipped at any humans or the other cat in his house, but if other animals stepped onto his territory outside, he became fierce. And his territory was anywhere he traveled 🙂

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Maybe we saw too small a part of their interaction? Perhaps they were playing? Or maybe the cat was luring it into a trap.:-)

  2. Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    … & the Black dog? depression?

  3. Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    6 More Weeks of Winter: Punxsutawney Phil Sees His Royal Shadow

    • George
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      It’s February 2. In the northern US, we pretty much expect at least six more weeks of winter no matter what a big rat does.

      • Walt Jones
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        And if there are ONLY six more weeks, we’ll be happy.

        • George
          Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Are you in Minnesota – or even further north?

      • BJ
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        At least De Blasio didn’t have the opportunity to Phil again. He never will. Nobody trusts him anymore.

        • BJ
          Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          *to drop Phil again

          Damnit..

  4. rickflick
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Alfie seems embarrassed at being filmed. He has that, “Turn that thing off!”, look.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I’m going to mash potatoes and bake ‘em tater tot style for my low-cal no-fat no-sugar diet

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      UPDATE:

      Potatoes are cooked. Mashing is next.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        RESULTS :

        Yum

        SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

        Mashed nuked peeled potatoes and nothing but mashed nuked peeled potatoes on the stove top = Hash browns.

        You’re welcome

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          I don’t understand — mashed baked (or fried) potatoes do not qualify as tater tots. For homemade tater tots, the potatoes are first parboiled, then shredded while still warm, then seasoned,and a little flour is added to the mix. Then form them into tater tot shapes, or little rectangles, fry, or I guess you can brush them with oil and bake them. Here’s a basic recipe https://damndelicious.net/2015/04/10/homemade-tater-tots/. Many others online, fancy and plain. And you can freeze them uncooked for later frying or baking. And here’s a basic recipe for baked tots s/241/homemade-baked-tater-tots. Nothing like homemade!

  6. colin
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Isn’t a tater tot basically a hash brown in a different shape?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      That is a pretty good description. However, I would prefer hash browns anytime. Tater Tots tend to be a pre-maid fast frozen thing that is cooked or heated later. That is why the fast food industry uses them.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        ITS amazing how little things make a big difference

    • Paul S
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Pretty much, but you can’t swirl your yolks in tater-tots.

    • David Coxill
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Over here in GB a supermarket has hash brown fries ,very tasty .

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    That was Miles’s “first great quintet” Getz was sitting in with in the vid. Miles had a “second great quintet” in the Sixties, with Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter and Tony Williams and Wayne Shorter.

    Cats could play, man.

    • Mark R.
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Wayne Shorter! He’s the only one of the 2nd great quintet to work on “Bitches Brew”. Out of the 5, three (Hancock, Carter and Shorter) are still alive and iirc Shorter and Hancock are still active. Cats can still play, man.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        I dug Shorter’s collaborations with Joe Zawinul with Weather Report. too.

        • Mark R.
          Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          !!!

  8. Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It’s also Groundhog Day, and the sky in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where Phil makes his prognostication, is predicted to be partly cloudy. We won’t know for a while, then, whether Phil will see his shadow (that forecasts 6 more weeks of cold weather). I hope he doesn’t, because maybe PCC(E)’s beloved duck Honey will return early!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      O U alliterator U

      • Posted February 2, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        I can’t take credit for the awesome alliteration.

  9. Roger
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Yes! All hail tater tots. Bow before the tater tots.

  10. darrelle
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Generally speaking I don’t think much of tater tots. As Randy said up above most of the tots one encounters are poorly re-heated, already cooked & frozen.

    But, a couple of times while I was doing some work in Miami I ate at a Triple D joint that had its tots featured on the show. Those tots are extremely tasty. The food at this joint is Asian inspired, as are their tots. The place also makes pork-belly Bánh mì steam bun mini-sandwiches, the thought of which is making me drool right now.

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      We sprinkle our with truffle salt. Delicious! Truffle Tots!

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Vietnamese cuisine is so eclectic, isn’t it?

      There’s a place near me which specializes in Vietnamese fast food and I’ve taken to going in and just pointing.

  11. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Count me as a tater tot fan. A basic, simple pleasure. And there are tons of recipes where they can be gussied up!

  12. David Coxill
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Was that Otter planning to make a meal of that poor cat ?

  13. Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Of course I had to look up the Dyatlov Pass incident you mentioned. Very strange indeed.

  14. Posted February 2, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Yes, we have tater tots in Canada! We also have Taco Bell and Tacotime.

  15. Michael Fisher
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The Brit copy was Ross Oven Crunchies, but it didn’t catch on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwQNmb4SgTE

    Now we have Potato Croquettes from various outfits – pretty bland fare, those that I’ve tried.

  16. Jenny Haniver
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if the tweet from Aerin Jacob was posted solely for the ludicrous weirdness quotient, but I think it’d behoove those interested in unique scientific uses for unlikely products to click on the third link in her tweet “washingtonpost.com/news/speaking…” to find some very clever scientific uses for items such as interdental brushes “Really excellent for getting the brains out of very small bird skulls”; and Naturalamb Luxury Condoms “Useful membrane through which to feed hematophagous insects.”

    True, PCC[E] wouldn’t have had his excellent adventure incubating a bot fly larvae if he’d had some nail polish to asphyxiate the pupa, but now he’s done the feat and most would prefer nail polish.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Following that tweet down the rabbit hole to other tweets, I found this Vanity Fair video of bug-eater Nicole Kidman tucking into various kinds of live grubs and and giving reviews of their gustatory appeal — she finds them all quite gustatorily appealing. Much better to promote alternative sources of protein than vaginal eggs and such.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Link to video:

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          excellent. thanks.

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      If I killed it, somebody would have had to cut out the botfly, and it could have gotten infected. Much safer (and more fun) to rear it out, as it keeps the tissue around it clean.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the explanation. I certainly do see the practical wisdom of incubation to term to insure a healthy, Athena-like offspring. And fun — how cool was that!

      • Posted February 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Cool!

  17. Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    As I traveled the world, I noticed that everyone loves fried potatoes!

    I love tots. We sprinkle ours with truffle salt: Truffle Tots: A delight!

    Jerry, maybe you’ve explained this and I missed it. Could you please explain the new black d*g feature of the Hili Dialogues? Cheers!

  18. Posted February 2, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Notice that although the cartoon predicted portable phones, it also predicted wrongly that they’d have bells.

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Mine sounds just like an old Western Electric rotary model!

    • Nobody Special
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I have suspicions that the cartoon may not be genuine. The phone being used by the man in the rain looks too much like a modern phone, and ‘hullo’ was not a version of ‘hello’; it was an expression of surprise, as everybody would have known in 1920.

  19. Hempenstein
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Keaton was wonderfully acrobatic. But it was a surprise to learn that he was only 70 when he died.

  20. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Since Joyce is being mentioned today, and Virginia Woolf’s (initial) very negative assessment of “Ulysses” was mentioned here at WEIT 8 days ago, I should mention that I have in the intervening days learned the VW eventually warmed up to Ulysses and reversed her earlier negative opinion.

    Some interesting info on this may be found here.
    https://modernism.coursepress.yale.edu/woolfs-reading-of-james-joyces-ulysses-1918-1920/

  21. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Buster Keaton in his old age did an interesting tribute to himself in a mostly silent episode of “THe Twilight Zone”, entitled “Once Upon a Time”. One can watch the whole thing here.

  22. revelator60
    Posted February 2, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Buster Keaton earns my vote as the greatest comedian to ever appear on film. People who dismiss visual humor as slapstick don’t realize how much harder it is to devise than verbal humor, and how universal and rewarding it is. The sheer ingenuity of Keaton and the other great silent comedians (Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon, Raymond Griffith, Laurel and Hardy, etc.) has almost no parallel in today’s comedies.

    If you don’t believe me, check out Keaton’s best comedies, from his shorts—One Week, The Playhouse, The Boat, Cops, The Goat—to his features—Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr., The Navigator, Seven Chances, The General, Steamboat Bill Jr., and The Cameraman.

    • denise
      Posted February 2, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      I love The High Sign.

  23. Eric Grobler
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    More on Coltrane’s softer side



%d bloggers like this: