Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Saturday! August 11, 2018 is the date, and it’s a Yuppie Food Day: National Panini Day.

Today’s big news is that PHOEBE (the runt duckling still in the pond) FLEW!!! Yesterday Anna observed Phoebe effortlessly flying over the lily pads to get to where the food was being dispensed. Usually a flight like this is followed the next day by emigration, so I’m not sure if Phoebe will be there for this morning’s feeding. But it’s still good news, as I want her to be healthy enough to leave and join her fellow fowl.  Honey, of course, is still molting, and will be with us for a while until her flight feathers grow in. As I recall, she left last year at the end of August. I hope she returns, but, as always, my ducks are on temporary loan from the Universe.

On this day in 3114 BC. according to Wikipedia, “the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Maya, [began].” On August 11, 1858, three men made the first ascent of the Eiger in the Bernese Alps. The deadly North Face of the mountain, however—also known as the “White Spider”—wasn’t climbed until 80 years later. Here’s the mountain showing the North Face:

On August 11, 1929, Babe Ruth became the first major-league baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career, poling a four-bagger at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Babe’s lifetime total was 714, putting him in third place behind Barry Bonds (762) and Hank Aaron (755). On this day in 1965, the Watts race riots began in Los Angeles after a black woman driver was pulled over, got into a fight with police, and the (false) rumor spread that the cops had injured a pregnant woman.  On this day in 1972, the last U.S. ground combat unit left South Vietnam. What a stupid war, and a useless waste of lives! Finally, on August 11, 1984, Ronald Reagan, running for re-election, quipped “We begin bombing in five minutes” as a voice test into an NPR microphone.  His full quote was, according to Wikipedia, this one:

My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

The joke was a parody of the opening line of that day’s speech:

My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you that today I signed legislation that will allow student religious groups to begin enjoying a right they’ve too long been denied — the freedom to meet in public high schools during nonschool hours, just as other student groups are allowed to do.

His quip wasn’t broadcast, but it leaked, resulting in the Soviet Army being put on alert for 30 minutes.

Notables born on August 11 include The Great Agnostic, Robert G. Ingersoll (1833), Alex Haley (1921), Jerry Falwell (1933, buried in a matchbox), Steve Wozniak (1950), and Hulk Hogan (1953). Those who died on this day include Hans Memling (1494), Hamnet Shakespeare (Shakespeare’s son, born 1585, died 1596), John Henry Newman (1890), Edith Wharton (1937), Jackson Pollock (1956), photographer and mountaineer Galen Rowell (2002), and Robin Williams (2014).  A few memoria for those having anniversaries today.


Memling, “Virgin with Child between St. James and St. Dominic (painted 1488-1490):

And one of Galen Rowell’s mountain photos. He’s my favorite mountain photographer, and was also a great climber and great writer (read In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods to see all three skills on tap). This was taken with Kodachrome before the days of Photoshopping, so I think the image is unmanipulated. It looks like the Sierra Nevada near Rowell’s home in Bishop, California:


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s words are a bit obscure, as is often the case lately. Malgorzata explains: “If you buy something and it disappears almost immediately, you have to go out and buy it again. It’s not worth the bother. Distasteful cat food lasts for ages but tasty sausages just disappear. Of course, as Hili rightly says, this is an alternative logic.”

A: Buying cat sausages is pointless. You eat them immediately.
Hili: This must be some alternative logic.
in Polish:
Ja: Nie ma senstu kupowanie ci tych kocich kiełbasek, od razu je zjadasz.
Hili: To chyba jakaś alternatywna logika.

And nearby, with their new home almost finished, Leon and Elzbieta go for a hike:

Leon: Go, go, I’m protecting the rear.

Some tweets from Grania:

It’s ships all the way down!

This anniversary was two days ago, but it’s still worth seeing the letter. I imagine it’s worth a lot, but it’s probably in the National Archives or the Nixon Library:

All you can say to this is “OMG, where did the gull get that?”

It’s a narrow talent, but a deep one:

Meatball cat (turn sound on):

Wonderful mother cat brings a fish to her kittens:

From Matthew; why we say “dead as a dodo”:

This is amazing! WHO’S a good boy?

From Heather Hastie, a case that is NOT affirmative consent:


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    3114 BC?

    • Frank Bath
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Sorry, you are right.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Good to hear Leon’s place is moving right along.

    714 home runs for Babe Ruth. I wonder how many if he had not spent nearly a third of his career as a pitcher.

    • Sarah
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      I don’t follow this reasoning. Why might he have hit more home runs if he had not been a pitcher?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Pitchers only play about every four games. Therefore they are at the plate to bat much less. This was another rap on the Boston team he played for in those early years. After the trade to the Yankees he stopped pitching and was in the line up every day, hammering the ball.

        The problem was, he was a really good pitcher as well.

    • George
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Imagine if he had taken steroids like Barry Bonds.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Imagine if he had not been out drinking and chasing women. That was the only training he did most of the time.

        • George
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          But he drank and chased women simultaneously. This multi-tasking made him more efficient in his chosen training method.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      By sheer chance a bit of Babe Ruth YouTube video appeared in my inbox a few minutes ago showing his last appearance at bat from 1943. It came from Guy Jones’ channel – he restores old film clips including the sound if available. I’ve put it below – I know Ruth is the No. 3 shirt with the impressive snozzle, but most of the other faces are unknown to me.

      DESCRIPTION: Old, mostly silent reel of an exhibition game for war bonds held at the now demolished “Polo Grounds” in New York City on August 26, 1943. This game was Babe Ruth’s last appearance at bat. Lots of other players and celebrities show up – Walter Johnson, Jimmy Cagney, Honus Wagner, Milton Berle, Jimmy Walker, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Beazley etc. Sadly most of the audio is lost, I attempted to tape the scattered reel back together and added in the record “Sometimes I’m Happy” by Lester Young (1943)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Pretty sure the Babe retired in 1935, after 22 seasons in The Bigs. I know he pulled on his old uniform when he came back to Yankee Stadium for the “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” farewell speech of his rival Lou Gehrig in 1939, and by then his dissolute lifestyle had him looking old beyond his years.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          This is all true, but ’43 was his last official public time “at bat” [is that correct terminology?]. Or is it? The video displays a ‘photo op’ – I dunno if Babe played an actual game that day. He doesn’t look up to it.

          Can you name any of the faces [with video times]?

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Galen Rowell used a specially designed filter to increase the dynamic range of his 35mm shots. In landscapes where the sky is very bright [as per the pic in the OP] one loses all the detail below the horizon because it’s a comparatively dark area. The Singh-Ray Neutral Density Grad Filters boosted the light collected below the horizon line to solve this problem. MORE INFO HERE

    • Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Correct. That image is DEFINITELY manipulated: The foreground and cloud exposures are impossible at the same time. The Grad ND filter at work (and maybe some SW processing in the image as well, since it’s online).

      He helped pioneer the graduated neutral density filter.

      I used these (produced by Cokin) extensively in the 1980s, after learning about them from Rowell.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Ta very much for the confimation

  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The White Spider is just one feature of the Eiger Nordwand. I think it looks more like a white flying fox than a spider.

    It’s a huge face, it looms over Grindelwald (when the clouds clear and you can see it all). And possibly the only one with a railway station on it.


    • Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Thanks, I was going to mention this as well.

  5. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Bloody Photoshop is responsible for an awful lot of cynicism about photos.

    First reaction to that tweet of the ship-shipping ship was ‘Photoshop!’ But it’s genuine.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Also, in case you wondered how they load it – it’s semi-submersible.


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      And also, as noted by PCC in reference to Galen Rowell’s photos, the existence of Photoshop raises unfair suspicions about genuinely remarkable photos. I have a calendar featuring truly spectacular scenery and (so far as I have been able to establish by searching on the Web) they are all genuine, but it’s sad how many people on seeing it immediately say ‘Photoshop’. (one image is very similar to this, from the Namib Desert, for example: )


      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        I know what you’re saying when you use the term “Photoshopped”, but the “Thorn Tree” image you chose by Luca Galuzzi was indeed processed by Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows – as an example the colours may well have been punched up for increased impact.

        I guess we need a generic term for image manipulation of a more devious kind, such as adding objects or removing objects [usually people in Stalin’s case] from photographs 🙂

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          I’m prepared to believe that the image may (I say ‘may’, not necessarily ‘has’) have had its saturation adjusted. But I’m sure the colours are genuine. Looking at the Namib Desert on Googlemaps Satellite View does show white to light straw flats and orange dunes.

          The ‘photoshopping’ which people suspect is that the colour hues have actually been changed, or that clouds have been removed from the sky, which I believe (in the case of images such as this) to be a false suspicion.


          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

            Repeating back to me in your para two my own points about normal & devious use of Photoshop in my own para two. Why? Why repeat back to me my point about the verb usage of “Photoshop” & how it can be innocent or devious?

            Nevertheless Photoshop was used in that very image in 2007 – on the RAW files three years after the picture was taken in 2004. I ran it through an analyser & the sky & everything else that’s not orange rock/sand [the entire fore & mid-ground] has been manipulated – probably foreground glare at very bright points & maybe smoothing the blue of sky a little or changing the intensity of the blue. The analyser reports more regularities in those areas than are typical of a simple RAW > jpeg conversion. As a side note – the metadata from 2007 reports a counter clockwise rotation of less than a degree: “rotated 0.85° CCW”, but that wouldn’t account for the numbers of regularities

            Now you know 🙂

          • Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            If you read, for instance, Ansel Adams, on printing B&W from negatives, you will see that his images (and basically all others) are manipulated in ways to enhance the photographer’s vision of the final image.

            Some strong examples are:

            Moonrise, Hernandez NM
            Monolith, the Face of Half Dome
            Leaf, Alaska, 1947

            The only “un-manipulated” image would perhaps be a straight contact print, as Edward Weston used to make.

            Clearly, one can go overboard with PS and create images that are truly unrealistic. Many overdo it with saturation. I’ve been guilty of this error.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    “We begin bombing in five minutes”

    That Dutch Reagan, such a kidder! Did you know trees cause air pollution? #ScienceFact according to The Gipper.

    Of course, next to Trump, Ronnie seems like a regular Thomas Jefferson.

    • David Coxill
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Anyone ever see the clip where the pope is rambling on and ronnie is fast asleep ?
      Almost as funny as when he nearly poops himself when a navy jet flies over his head .

  7. Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The picture of the Eiger reminded me of the Clint Eastwood film, “The Eiger Sanction” (1975). Although my memory of it has been dimmed by the years, I remember it as a pretty good film.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Do you remember Jack Cassidy playing the camp as all hell secret agent? Had a dog named faggot lol

      The scenery was great, the plot outrageous [not a bad thing] & the details sometimes clunky/absurd such as the Eastwood lead character being a super-fit history prof named Hemlock. A lot of the films I liked from that time are so strange/jarring when viewed today in this PC era.

      • Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Yes. I’d be afraid to watch The Eiger Sanction now for fear of ruining a good memory or the embarrassment of once liking such tripe.

        I just watched “Force 10 from Navarone” which was a sequel to “The Guns of Navarone” which was probably a better film. I don’t dare watch it though in case it isn’t. Actually, “Force 10 from Navarone” wasn’t too bad.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          The first Navarone [1961] is streets ahead of the “Force 10” sequel – you can watch it without fear of disappointment if you enjoyed the sequel.

          The book is even better – Scottish Alistair MacLean knew how to write a plot driven story with the odd surprise. He was WWII RN so the sea features in nearly all his many novels – worth a look if you’re a reader. His books are so well structured they are already halfway to being movie scripts hence: Where Eagles Dare, Puppet on a Chain, When Eight Bells Toll & Breakheart Pass. [plus a dozen others].

          The other book writer easily convertible to film script was the American writer Elmore Leonard who specialised in simple plots involving mostly dim bulb criminals – with superior, realistic & amusingly sardonic dialogue. Almost as good as the Bostonian master George V. Higgins [The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Cogan’s Trade & many more].

          • Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            I did enjoy some of Alistair MacLean’s books when I was young, though I don’t remember which ones as they blur with the many films made from them.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          The Guns of Navarone — I believe it to be the loudest film ever. The Krakatoa of cinematic history. 🙂

          • Posted August 11, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I guess it was loud but probably only for its time. Nowadays I am sure we have louder ones judging from the sound coming from the next theater over at the cineplex.

  8. David Coxill
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Bishop CA ,passed through there on our way to Mammoth Lake ,found a nice book shop there.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Evidently today, Shakespeare has no living descendants at all.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      This magnifiable FAMILY TREE makes your point. Bill & Ann are in the middle of the 4th row. It stops around 100-150 years ago – possibly because it’s difficult to keep track once people became more mobile.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Every mention I have ever seen of Shakespeare’s wife spells her name AnnE with an ‘e’, including programs and reviews for the stage play “Shakespeare’s Will” (a one-woman show about Anne Hathaway).

        However, this family tree is unique in my experience in dubbing her simply “Ann”. Perhaps spellings were less standardized in an earlier era??

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 11, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Shaxpere, Shagspeare & many other spellings – I don’t think people cared in a time when illiteracy was extraordinarily high. Most women, including the lowlier end of the middle classes, were brought up to manage a house as the highest ambition & couldn’t read/write. Her ‘real’ name might be Agnes Hathaway – Agnes, Anne & Ann were interchangeable in her day. It’s “Anne” on her gravestone, but that means little or it means nothing since she is but a chattel – as long as it’s known she belongs to Bill it doesn’t matter how she is spelled.

          Irrelevant aside: She married him as an old maid of 26 when he was 18. I wonder if it was a 2nd marriage given that she could be 12 at marriage in those days & being a single woman late was socially unacceptable unless you were a nun or in domestic service.

  10. Diane G
    Posted August 12, 2018 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Cool the way the ship hulls are stacked and all the superstructures are loaded on the topmost hull. Some assembly required.

  11. Diane G
    Posted August 12, 2018 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Bit of vid on those ship shipping ships. Crazy how they tie up those behemoths with just your basic hawsers…

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 12, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Be interesting to ride out a gale on the bridge of one of the ships lashed to the very top. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: