Monday, July 23, 2012

Cleaning up...

After the Rom curse had been placed on me, nothing seemed to go right.  Such is supposedly the Nature of Curses.

First, after a very quick delivery of our new Orange TV/Livebox/Telephone system by la poste, it took a week to sort out the fact we had a dead on arrival Orange TV box.  Everything else worked, but not the Orange TV box.

After sorting out the Orange TV situation, first in an all french on-line chat with, then with a mostly English speaking India call center, I took the dead box to a local boutique where we were able to exchange the dead for the living.  All was suddenly good until we discovered that the old tube-type TV that came with our apartment was in it's final stages of crossing over to the other side.  It was dying.  Quickly.

Passy Distortions
Time to transform our TV situation from Alien Green wavering imaged skin tones for something a little less Alien Green.  So, it was off to the local Darty to spend a little money.  After an hour of working through the purchase process, again, all in french, we exited the store with a new Samsung HD (only 720p, but, beggars can't be choosers and, besides, it was only 66cm across) and a receipt for a new micro-onde.

Have your ever seen an old man hauling a new 66cm Samsung HDTV box through the metro system in Paris before?  Neither had we.  Until now.  That old man was moi-meme.

Along the way, Jude spied a musician.  He was playing a very nice classical accompaniment on a French Horn (bien sur!).  My wife said "Give me some coin.  I'm going to counter that Rom Curse right now!!"

By giving to the Forces of Good, it was hoped my Rom Curse would be cleared out of our lives.

Our new appartement is looking wonderfully fit, clean, and healthy.  Our new micro-onde is working well.  Our new tele gives us drop-dead gorgeous images every night.  Our Orange TV box provides hundreds of HiDef channels of very wonderfully French programs (including live broadcasts of the 2012 Tour de France!).  Doves are building a nest just outside our livingroom window in a tree that is no more than 15 feet away.

Passy Distortions
Sunday, last, dawned clear and bright.  As the cross-walk graffiti says, "Regarde le ciel."  Squinting ciel-ward, we could confirm that yes, le ciel was crystaline blue.  It was going to be a good day.

Around 15h00, Jude and I headed out for the Champs-Elysees.  We had to see what the party of the final etage of le tour was all about.

Wiggins still wore the Yellow Jersey.  Mark Cavendish, the non-kilt wearing Scotsman Best Sprinter Of ALL Time was in the mix.  The peloton looked, well, somewhat smaller than is usually does.  Maybe too many people crashed and burned during the previous weeks of le tour?  Or maybe they went by so fast it only looked like a smaller than usual peloton.  The fans were waving and cheering each lap as the peloton worked it's way around the 16th Arrondisement.

After meeting a group from Sussex, England, we learned just how nice everyone around us was.  We learned how well behaved bicycle spectators can be.  We were seriously enjoying a warm summer day on the Champs-Elysees.

Gods! this must be paradise!!

Walking along a rue near our apartment, a woman stopped us and asked if we had been to see le tour.  All in French, we did our best to share a few videos we took just a half hour earlier.  Smiles and well wishes all around and a few coins to a French Horn player a few days earlier appears to have put paid to that Dastardly Rom Curse.

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